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Title: The Chronicle of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea. Vol. I

Author: Gomes Eannes de Zurara

Translator: C. Raymond Beazley

Edgar Prestage

Release date: April 1, 2011 [eBook #35738]
Most recently updated: January 7, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Chris Curnow, Joseph Cooper, Carol Ann Brown
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at


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The Hakluyt Society.





No. XCV.










fellow of merton college, oxford; corresponding member
of the lisbon geographical society;



knight of the most noble portuguese order of s. thiago; corresponding
member of the lisbon royal academy of sciences,
the lisbon geographical society, etc.


With an Introduction on the Life and Writings of the Chronicler.


Published by
514 West 113th Street
New York 25, N. Y.







Sir Clements Markham, K.C.B., F.R.S., Pres. R.G.S., President.
The Right Hon. The Lord Stanley of Alderley, Vice-President.
Sir A. Wollaston Franks, K.C.B., F.R.S., Vice-President.
C. Raymond Beazley, Esq., M.A.
Miller Christy, Esq.
Colonel G. Earl Church.
The Right Hon. George N. Curzon, M.P.
Albert Gray, Esq.
The Right Hon. Lord Hawkesbury.
Edward Heawood, Esq., M.A.
Admiral Sir Anthony H. Hoskins, K.C.B.
Vice-Admiral Albert H. Markham.
A. P. Maudslay, Esq.
E. Delmar Morgan, Esq.
Captain Nathan, R.E.
Admiral Sir E. Ommanney, C.B., F.R.S.
Cuthbert E. Peek, Esq.
E. G. Ravenstein, Esq.
Coutts Trotter, Esq.
Rear-Admiral W. J. L. Wharton, C.B., R.N.

William Foster, Esq., Honorary Secretary.

[IX] Design 1


Letter T

he following translation of Azurara's Chronicle of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea is the first complete English version that has appeared of the chief contemporary authority for the life-work of Prince Henry of Portugal, surnamed the Navigator; and we may remind members of the Hakluyt Society, and other readers, that we have but lately passed the fifth centenary of the Prince's birth (March 4th, 1394).

The first volume includes about half of the text, together with an Introduction on the Life and Writings of Azurara, which it is hoped will be found more exhaustive and accurate than any previous notice of the historian.

In the second volume (which is due for the year 1897) will be given the rest of the Chronicle, with [pg X]an Introduction on the Geographical Discoveries of the Portuguese, and Prince Henry's share in the same. It will also contain notes for the explanation of historical and other questions arising out of certain passages in the text of both volumes. To illustrate the condition of geographical knowledge in the period covered by the present instalment, we have included four reproductions of contemporary (or almost contemporary) maps: (1) Africa, according to the Laurentian Portolano of 1351 in the Medicean Library at Florence. This is the most remarkable of all the Portolani of the fourteenth century. Its outline of W. and S. Africa, and more particularly its suggestion of the bend of the Guinea Coast, is surprisingly near the truth, even as a guess, in a chart made one hundred and thirty-five years before the Cape of Good Hope was first rounded. (2) N.W. Africa, the Canary Isles, etc., according to the design of the Venetian brethren Pizzigani, in 1367. (3) The same according to the Catalan Map of 1375 in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris. The interior of Africa is filled with fantastic pictures of native tribes; the boatload of men off Cape Bojador in the extreme S.W. of the map probably represents the Catalan explorers of the year 1346, whose voyage in search of the "River of Gold" this map commemorates. (4) The same, with certain other parts of the world, according to Andrea Bianco in 1436. In the succeeding volume, we hope to offer some illustrations [pg XI]of the cartography of Prince Henry's later years, as well as a likeness of the Prince himself, either from the Paris portrait (MSS. Port. 41, fol. 5 bis) or from the statue at Belem. We had expected to be able to furnish our readers with a copy of the portrait of the Prince from the important oil-painting on board preserved in a corridor of the extinct monastery adjoining the Church of S. Vicente de Fóra in Lisbon, but the photograph, which was taken by Senhor Camacho with the permission of His Eminence the Cardinal Patriarch, proved unsatisfactory, owing to the position of the picture and want of sufficient light.

We may add that a considerable part of the Paris manuscript of the Chronicle of Guinea has been collated for the present edition with the printed text as published by Santarem, and the result proves the accuracy of the latter.

We have to thank Senhor Jayme Batalha Reis, who has looked through the present version as far as the end of vol. i, and has kindly offered many suggestions. Among other Portuguese scholars who have been of service to us, we would especially mention Dr. Xavier da Cunha, of the Bibliotheca National, Lisbon; Senhor José Basto, of the Torre do Tombo, and General Brito Rebello. In a lesser degree we owe our acknowledgments to D. Carolina Michaëlis de Vasconcellos and Dr. Theophilo Braga, the chief authorities on all that pertains to Portuguese literature, as well as to the [pg XII]late Conselheiro J. P. de Oliveira Martins, whose untimely death robbed his country of her foremost man of letters.

C. R. B.
E. P.

October, 1896.

Title Design 2

[pg i] Title Design 3



"Lidar sem descanço parece ter sido o moto d'Azurara."

Vieira de Meyrelles.

Letter T

he materials at hand for a study of the life and work of the second great Portuguese Chronicler are, considering the age in which he lived and the position he held, somewhat disappointing, and no one of his countrymen has been at the pains to work them up satisfactorily. They naturally fall into three divisions—his own writings, documents directly relating to his life or merely signed by him in his official capacity, and the witness of historians. There exists but one contemporary description of Azurara, that by Mattheus de Pisano, author of the Latin history of the Capture of Ceuta, though this is supplemented by the contents of two letters addressed to the Chronicler by Affonso V and the Constable D. Pedro respectively, as well as by what can [pg ii]be gleaned from documentary sources and from Azurara himself. In the next century—the 16th—some assistance may be derived from the traditions preserved by Barros, the historian of the Indies, as also from his critical judgments together with those of Damião de Goes, the famous Humanist and friend of Erasmus. These are all in a sense primary authorities, while the others who have discoursed of, or incidentally mentioned him are but secondary, namely, Nicolau Antonio, Jorge Cardoso, Barbosa Machado, João Pedro Ribeiro, the Viscount de Santarem, Alexandre Herculano, Vieira de Meyrelles, Innocencio da Silva, Sotero dos Reis, and Rodriguez d'Azevedo.

Gomes Eannes de Azurara, to give the modern spelling of his name, though he always signed himself simply "Gomes Eanes" or "Gomes Annes",[1] was the son of João Eannes de Azurara, a Canon of Evora and Coimbra; but, beyond the fact of this paternity, we know nothing of his father, and only by conjecture is it possible to arrive at the name of his mother, as will hereafter appear. He is said to have come of a good family, on the ground of his admission into the Order of Christ.

As with several other Portuguese men of letters, the respective years of Azurara's birth and death are unknown,[2] and two localities dispute the honour of [pg iii]having given him to the world; but there seems little doubt that this "bonus Grammaticus, nobilis Astrologus, et magnus Historiographus," as his friend Pisano calls him,[3] was born in the town of his name, in the Province of Minho, at the very commencement of the 15th century. In proof of this it should be stated that Azurara expressly declares in his Chronica de Ceuta, which was finished in 1450, that he had not passed "the three first ages of man" when he wrote it.[4]

The dispute as to his birthplace between the Azurara in Minho and the Azurara in Beira[5] is not easy to settle, but tradition favours the former, and until the end of the last century no writer had ventured to doubt that the ancient town at the mouth of the River Ave, which received its first charter, or "foral", from the Count D. Henrique in 1102 or 1107, was the early home of the Chronicler.[6] Such evidence as exists in favour of the latter place is [pg iv]slight, consisting only of inferences drawn from a document, dated August 23rd, 1454, in which Affonso V grants certain privileges to two inhabitants of Castello Branco, who were accustomed to collect the Chronicler's rents and bring them to Lisbon. From this it has been argued by such able critics as Vieira de Meyrelles and Rodriguez d'Azevedo that these rents must have issued out of family property situate at the Azurara in Beira, which happens to be in the district of Castello Branco, and hence that the Chronicler was a native of Beira rather than of Minho.[7] The conclusion seems far-fetched, to say the least, for it is just as likely that these two men were agents for a benefice, or "commenda", at Alcains, in the same district, which Azurara possessed at the time this grant was made.[8]

The early life of the Chronicler is almost a blank. Until the year 1450, in which he wrote his first serious Chronicle, though not, perhaps, his first book, we have little beyond the meagre information, supplied by Mattheus de Pisano,[9] that he began to study [pg v]late—"dum maturæ jam ætatis esset"—and that he had passed his youth without acquiring the rudiments of knowledge—"nullam litteram didicisset"[10]—to which some later authorities have added—he spent his early years in the pursuit of arms, a statement likely enough to be true. It seems probable that he obtained a post in the Royal Library during the brief and luckless reign of D. Duarte (1433-1438), or shortly afterwards, as assistant to the Chronicler Fernão Lopes, whom he succeeded, for he was actually in charge of it early in the reign of Affonso V, in 1452, and finished the Chronica de Guiné in that place in 1453.

Tradition has it that he entered the Order of Christ as a young man, for he came to be Commander therein, a position only obtainable at that time by regular service in the Order, and by seniority; but the nature of these services, and the advancement which Azurara gained by them, cannot precisely be determined, because the early private records of the Order, together with the roll of its Knights, have been lost, those that exist only reaching back to the commencement of the 16th century.[11] This Order was founded by King Diniz in 1319, on the suppression of the Templars, and it inherited most, if not all, their houses and goods throughout Portugal. Its members were bound by the three monastic vows of chastity, poverty, and [pg vi]obedience, which prevailed in Azurara's time, although Commanders and Knights of the Order were at a later period allowed to marry, by grant of Pope Alexander VI.[12] The Commanders were bound to confess and communicate four times in the year, to recite daily the Hours of Our Lady, to have four Masses said annually for deceased members, and to fast on Fridays, as well as on the days ordained by the Church. Membership of the Order was an honour reserved for Nobles, Knights, and Squires, free from stain in their birth or other impediment; while the Statutes directed a number of enquiries to be made before a candidate was admitted, one being, was he born in lawful wedlock?—a question our Chronicler could possibly not have answered in the affirmative.[13] Besides this, aspirants were required to be knighted before their admission, and then to profess. A gift of one or more "Commendas", or benefices, followed in due course, but, to prevent the abuse of pluralities which thus crept in, Pope Pius V afterwards decreed that no Knight should hold more than one Commenda, and this he was to visit at least once in every three years. The Knights possessed many privileges, the most notable being that, in both civil and criminal cases, they were exempt from the jurisdiction of the Royal Courts, and subject only to those of their Order, does not necessarily follow that he was illegitimate, and, in fact, no letters of legitimation exist in respect of him.] [pg vii]which had all the old prerogatives of those of the Temple and Calatrava, together with such as had been granted it by name.[14]

According to one authority, Azurara began his career as author in the reign of D. Duarte by compiling a detailed catalogue of the Miracles of the Holy Constable, Nun' Alvares Pereira.[15] The MS., which is said to have existed in the Carmo Convent in Lisbon as late as 1745, has disappeared, but the substance of this curious work may still be read in Santa Anna's Chronica dos Carmaelitas, together with a number of contemporary popular songs about the Constable, extracted from MSS. left by Azurara.[16]

More than ten years now elapse without any mention of Azurara's name, and we hear of him for the first time, definitely, in 1450. On March 25th of that year he finished at Silves, in the Algarve, his Chronicle of the Siege and Capture of Ceuta, an event that took place in 1415, and formed the first of a long line of Portuguese expeditions, and the starting-point in their career of foreign conquest. Fernão Lopes, the Froissart of his country, and the father of Portuguese [pg viii]history, was still alive at the time Azurara wrote this work, but had become too old and weak to carry on his history of the reign of João I, to which it is a sequel. After paying a tribute to Lopes as a man of "rare knowledge and great authority",[17] Azurara tells us that Affonso V ordered him to continue the work, that the deeds of João I might not be forgotten; and this he did, culling his information from eye-witnesses as well as from documents, with that honesty and zeal which are his two most prominent features as an historian.[18] He began the Chronicle—which was printed once only, and that in the 17th century—thirty-four years after the capture of Ceuta, i.e., in the autumn of 1449, and concluded it, as the last chapter states, on March 25th, 1450. It was, therefore, written in the short space of about seven months, which, says Innocencio, seems well-nigh incredible, considering how deliberately and circumspectly histories were compiled in those days.[19] The narrative is, with a few exceptions, full and even minute.

[pg ix]We know not the precise date at which Azurara had begun to apply himself to the study of letters, and he makes no allusion whatsoever, in his writings, to his early life; but it is clear, from the Chronica de Ceuta, that his self-training had been lengthy, and his range of study wide.[20] In the Preface to this, his first literary essay still existing, he quotes from many books of the Old and New Testament, as well as from Aristotle, St. Gregory, St. Anselm, and Avicenna; while in the body of the work he compares the siege of Ceuta to that of Troy, talks of "Giovanni Boccaccio, a poet that was born at Florence", mentions the Conde Lucanor, and wanders off into philosophical musings that forcibly recall passages of the Leal Conselheiro of D. Duarte, and prove him to have been no tyro in the learning of the age. He was equally well versed in astrology, in which he believed firmly, as in history, and of the latter he says: "I that wrote this history have read most of the Chronicles and historical works."[21] To understand how this was possible, it must be remembered that the Portuguese Court, in the first half of the 15th century, was an important literary centre, and that João I and his sons, besides being themselves authors of books, possessed libraries among the most complete in Europe.[22] The [pg x]atmosphere of learning that he breathed made Azurara what he was, and it explains the ascendency he gained, as a pure man of letters, over the mind of Affonso V.

Three years elapsed between the writing of his second and third books, and there can be little doubt that Azurara spent this period partly in the Royal Library and partly among the Archives, which were then housed in the Castle of S. Jorge in Lisbon, continuing his study of the history of his own and foreign countries in the chronicles and documents those places contained.

Some time in the year 1452 the King, who was then in Lisbon, charged him with the book which constitutes his chief title to fame, owing to the importance of its subject, and the historical fidelity and literary skill that distinguish its presentment, namely, the Chronica de Guiné, or, as it might be called, the Life and Work of Prince Henry the Navigator. From the subscript we find it was written in the Royal Library, and finished there on February 18th, 1453. Azurara sent it to the King, five days afterwards, with a letter which has fortunately been preserved, since it shows how friendly and even familiar were the relations subsisting between them, and how these were maintained by a regular correspondence. It appears that Affonso had urged Azurara to obtain all the information possible about the life and work of D. Henrique, and, this done, to write as best he could, "alleging a dictum of Tully, that it sufficeth not for a man to do a good thing [pg xi]but rather to do it well". Then the letter proceeds, addressing the King: "For it seemed to you that it would be wrong if some example of such a saintly and virtuous life were not to remain, not only for the sake of the Princes who after your time should possess these realms, but also for all others of the world who might become acquainted with his history, by reason of which his countrymen might have cause to know his sepulchre, and perpetuate Divine Sacrifices for the increase of his glory, and foreigners might keep his name before their eyes, to the great praise of his memory."[23]

The following is a summary of the contents of the Chronicle:—

Azurara begins (Chapter I) by some reflections on well-doing and gratitude, the conclusion to which he illustrates by quotations, and then goes on to tell the origin of his work, which lay in the King's desire that the great and very notable deeds of D. Henrique should be remembered, and that there should be an authorised memorial of him, even as there was in Spain of the Cid, and in Portugal itself of the Holy Constable, Nun' Alvarez Pereira.[24] The Chronicler justifies his task by summing up the profits that had [pg xii]accrued from the Prince's efforts—firstly, the salvation of the souls of the captives taken by the Portuguese in their expeditions; secondly, the benefit which their services brought to their captors; and thirdly, the honour acquired by the fatherland in the conquest of such distant territories and numerous enemies.

Chapter II consists of a long and most eloquent invocation to D. Henrique, and a recital of his manifold good deeds to all sorts and conditions of men and his mighty accomplishments. Azurara presents them to us as in a panorama, and his simple, direct language reveals a true, though unconscious, artist in words.

Chapter III deals with the ancestry of D. Henrique, and Chapter IV describes the man himself, "constant in adversity and humble in prosperity", his appearance, habits, and manner of life, all with much force of diction.

In Chapter V we have an account of the early life of D. Henrique, of his prowess at the capture of Ceuta, and during its siege by the Moors, with his fruitless assault on Tangiers, which resulted in the captivity of the Holy Infant. His peopling of Madeira and other islands in "the great Ocean sea", and presence at the gathering that ended in the battle of Alfarrobeira are referred to, as also his governorship of the Order of Christ and the services he rendered to religion by the erection and endowment of churches and professorial chairs. The chapter ends with a description of the Town of the [pg xiii]Infant at Cape St. Vincent, "there where both the seas meet in combat, that is to say, the great Ocean sea with the Mediterranean sea", a place designed by the Prince to be a great mercantile centre, and a safe harbour for ships from East and West.

In Chapter VI, Azurara returns to his laudations of the Infant, whom he apostrophises thus: "I know that the seas and lands are full of your praises, for that you, by numberless voyages, have joined the East to the West, in order that the peoples might learn to exchange their riches"; and he winds up with some remarks on "distributive justice", the non-exercise of which had been attributed to D. Henrique as a fault by some of his contemporaries.

Chapter VII is occupied with a recital of the reasons that impelled the Infant to send out his expeditions. They were shortly as follows. First and foremost, pure zeal for knowledge; secondly, commercial considerations; thirdly, his desire to ascertain the extent of the Moorish power in Africa; fourthly, his wish to find some Christian King in those parts who would assist in warring down the Moors; and last but not least, his purpose to extend the Faith. To these reasons Azurara, quite characteristically, adds a sixth, which he calls the root from which they all proceeded—the influence of the heavenly bodies, and he essays to prove it by the Prince's horoscope.

The narrative of the expeditions really begins in Chapter VIII, which opens with an account of the reasons why no ship had hitherto dared to pass [pg xiv]Cape Bojador, some of them being at first sight as sensible as others are absurd. The fears of the mariners prevented for twelve years the realisation of their master's wish, and for so long the annual voyages were never carried beyond the terrible cape.

Chapter IX relates how at length, in 1434, Cape Bojador was doubled by Gil Eannes, a squire of D. Henrique, and how, on a second voyage with one Affonso Gonçalvez Baldaya, Eannes reached the Angra dos Ruivos, fifty leagues beyond it.

In the next Chapter (X) Baldaya passes one hundred and twenty leagues beyond Cape Bojador to the Rio d'Ouro, and a short way beyond; but failing to take any captives, as the Prince wished him to do, he loads his ship with the skins of sea-calves and returns to Portugal in 1436.

Chapter XI is a short one, and merely tells that for three years, i.e., from 1437 to 1440, the voyages were interrupted by the affairs of the Kingdom, which required all the attention of D. Henrique. These affairs were the death of D. Duarte, and the struggle that followed between the Queen, supported by a small section of the nobles, and the Infant D. Pedro, backed by Lisbon and the people as a whole, over the question of the Regency and the education of the young King Affonso.

Chapters XII and XIII relate how Antam Gonçalvez took the first captives, and how Nuno Tristam went to Cape Branco.

In Chapter XIV Azurara dwells on the delight [pg xv]D. Henrique must have felt at the sight of the captives, though he opines that they themselves received the greater benefit: "for, although their bodies might be in some subjection, it were a small thing in comparison with their souls, that would now possess true liberty for evermore."

Chapter XV contains an account of the embassy sent to the Holy Father by D. Henrique to obtain "a share of the treasures of Holy Church for the salvation of the souls of those who in the labours of this conquest should meet their end." The Pope, Eugenius IV, granted a plenary indulgence, on the usual conditions, to all who took part in the war against the Moors under the banner of the Order of Christ; and D. Pedro, the Regent, made D. Henrique a present of the King's fifth to defray the heavy expenses he had incurred by the expeditions.

In Chapter XVI Antam Gonçalvez obtains the Infant's leave for another voyage, and is charged to collect information about the Indies and the land of Prester John. He receives ten negroes, in exchange for two Moors whom he had previously taken, together with some gold dust, and then returns home.

In Chapter XVII Nuno Tristam goes as far as Arguim Island and makes some captures; this in the year 1443.

Chapter XVIII begins the relation of the first expedition on a large scale, and the first that sprang from private enterprise—namely, that of Lançarote and his six caravels from Lagos. Azurara takes the [pg xvi]opportunity to insert here a short but interesting sketch of the change that had taken place in public opinion with reference to these voyages. In the beginning, they were decried by the great not a whit less than by the populace, but the assurance of commercial profit had now converted the dispraisers, and the voyage of Lançarote gave a tangible proof of it.

The next six Chapters (XIX to XXIV) relate the doings of this expedition, which ended in the capture of two hundred and thirty-five natives.

Chapter XXV, which treats of the division of the captives at Lagos, is the most pathetic in the book, and one of the most powerful by virtue of the simple realism of the narrative.

Chapter XXVI gives a lucid summary of the after-lives of the captives, and their gradual but complete absorption into the mass of the people.

Chapter XXVII narrates the ill-fated expedition of Gonçalo de Cintra and his death near the Rio d'Ouro; while, in the next, Azurara refers the accident to the heavenly bodies, and draws a profitable lesson from it, which he divides into seven heads, for the benefit of posterity.

Chapter XXIX contains a short notice of a voyage undertaken by Antam Gonçalvez, Gomez Pirez, and Diego Affonso to the Rio d'Ouro, which had no result.

Chapter XXX deals with the voyage of Nuno Tristam, who passed the furthest point hitherto discovered, and reached a place he named Palmar. Azurara confesses himself unable to give more [pg xvii]details about this expedition, "because Nuno Tristam was already dead at the time King Affonso ordered this Chronicle to be written"—a statement which proves that he did not rely only on documents for the facts he related, but was careful to glean as much as possible from the actors therein.

Chapter XXXI tells how Dinis Dyaz sailed straight to Guinea without once shortening sail, and how he was the first to penetrate so far, and take captives in those parts. He pushed on to Cape Verde, and, though he brought back but little spoil, he was well received by the Infant, who preferred discoveries to mere commercial profits.

Chapters XXXII to XXXVI recite the expedition of Antam Gonçalvez, Garcia Homem and Diego Affonso to Cape Branco, Arguim Island and Cape Resgate, where, besides trafficking, they took on board a squire, Joham Fernandez, who had stayed full seven months at the Rio d'Ouro, among the natives, to acquire for the Infant a knowledge of the country and its products.

Azurara refers in Chapter XXXII to Affonso Cerveira, whose history of the Portuguese discoveries on the African coast, now lost, was used by him in the compilation of this Chronicle; and in the next chapter he employs one of those rhetorical periphrases of which his other works afford many an example, though they are rather scarce in this his masterpiece in point of style.

[pg xviii]Chapters XXXVII to XLVIII relate the doings of the first expedition from Lisbon, which was under the command of Gonçalo Pacheco, and penetrated to Guinea, or the land of the Negroes, the result being a large number of captives, seemingly the chief object it had in view.

Chapters XLIX to LXVII contain the acts of the great expedition of fourteen sail which set out from Lagos in 1445, under the leadership of Lançarote, for the purpose of punishing the Moors on the Island of Tider and avenging Gonçalo de Cintra. In all twenty-six ships left Portugal that year, being the largest number that had perhaps ever sailed down the Western side of the Dark Continent at one time.

After accomplishing their object some returned home, but others, more bold, determined to explore further South, if perchance they might find the River of Nile and the Terrestrial Paradise. Arriving at the Senegal they thought they had found the Nile of the Negroes, and went no further. A curious description of the Nile, and its power according to astronomers, forms the subject of Chapters LXI and LXII, where Azurara has collected all the learning and speculation of the Ancients and Mediævals on the question.

Chapters LXVIII to LXXV describe the doings of the remaining ships that left Portugal in 1445, and relate descents on the Canaries and the African coast, and the voyage of Zarco's caravel to Cape Mastos, the furthest point yet reached.

[pg xix]Chapters LXXVI and LXXVII contain valuable notes on the life of the peoples south of Cape Bojador, together with an account of the travels of Joham Fernandez, the first European to penetrate far into the interior of Africa.

In Chapter LXXVIII Azurara adds up the sum of the African voyages, and finds that up to 1446 fifty-one caravels had sailed to those parts, one of which had passed four hundred and fifty leagues beyond Cape Bojador.

Chapters LXXIX to LXXXII are taken up by a description of the Canary Islands, while Chapter LXXXIII deals with the discovery and peopling of the Madeiras and Azores.[25]

Chapter LXXXIV tells how D. Henrique obtained from the Regent a charter, similar to the one he had previously secured in the case of Guinea, to the effect (inter alia) that no one was to go to the Canaries, either for war or merchandise, without his leave; and the following chapter (LXXXV) relates a descent on the Island of Palma.

In Chapter LXXXVI Azurara narrates in feeling terms the death of the gallant Nuno Tristam in Guinea-land.

In Chapter LXXXVII we read how Alvaro Fernandez sailed down the African coast past [pg xx]Sierra Leone, and more than one hundred and ten leagues beyond Cape Verde.

Chapter LXXXVIII describes the voyage of another Lagos fleet of nine caravels to the Rio Grande, while the next five chapters (LXXXIX-XCIII) relate that of Gomez Pirez to the Rio d'Ouro in 1446.

Chapters XCIV and XCV are devoted to the trafficking venture of the year 1447, the unhappy fate of the Scandinavian Vallarte, and an expedition to the fisheries off the Angra dos Ruyvos.

In Chapters XCVI and XCVII Azurara winds up his narrative, ending with the year 1448. The captives brought to Portugal down to that date by the various voyagers numbered, according to his estimate, 927, "the greater part of whom were turned into the true path of salvation"; and this he counts as the greatest of the Infant's glories, and the most valuable fruit of his lifelong efforts. He then announces his intention to write a second part of the Chronicle, dealing with the final portion of D. Henrique's work—a purpose which to our manifest loss he never carried out—and concludes by giving thanks to the Blessed Trinity on the completion of his task.

The Chronica de Guiné has many features in common with that of Ceuta, but on the whole it reveals a decided advance in power. The style, though at times rather rhetorical, is generally plain and facile, ever and anon rising to a true eloquence. While the narrative portions are vivid, picturesque, and often majestic in their very simplicity, other [pg xxi]chapters bristle with quotations, and show a more extensive range of reading and a knowledge truly encyclopædic. All the philosophy, the geography, the history, and even the astrology of the age is called into requisition to support an argument or illustrate a point.

But to return to our subject—the Life of the Chronicler.

On June 6th, 1454, Azurara received the reward of his past services, being appointed Keeper of the Royal Archives (Guarda Mór da Torre do Tombo), at the instance of, and in succession to, Fernão Lopes. It is probable that the office of Chief Chronicler (Chronista-Mór) was conferred on him at the same time and implied in the grant, though it is not verbally mentioned there, since in the document next referred to be is actually named Chronicler.[26] The King, in his letter of appointment, after reciting that Fernão Lopes is very old and weak, so that he cannot well serve his office, says he confides in Gomez Eanes de Zurara, Knight Commander of the Order of Christ, "by the long education (criaçom) we have given him and the service we are receiving and expect to receive at his hands", and therefore grants him the post to hold [pg xxii]in the same manner, and with the same rights and profits as were enjoyed by his predecessor therein.[27]

It is noticeable that Azurara had already obtained a "Commenda" belonging to the Order of Christ, and, although its name is not given here, we know from another source it was that of Alcains, a place situate in the Province of Beira (Baixa) and District of Castello Branco, the value of which in 1628 amounted to one hundred and four milreis.[28] The source referred to is a document, dated July 14th, 1452, which calls Azurara "Commander of Alcains" and "Author of the notable deeds of our realm", and mentions that he had already at that time charge of the Royal Library.[29] He appears to have exercised this office with credit, though somewhat less strictly than would now be considered necessary, for Pisano says of him in this connection:—"hic bibliothecam Alfonsi quinti, cujus curam gessit, strenue disposuit atque ornavit, omnesque scripturas Regni prius confusas mirum in modum digessit, & ita digessit ut ea, quibus Regi & ceteris Regni proceribus opus est, confestim discernantur; viros enim eruditos summe coluit, atque nimio charitatis amore complexus est, quibus ut profecissent ex Regia bibliotheca libros, si parebant, libenter commodavit".[30] But the Chronicler received yet [pg xxiii]another advancement in the year 1454. From a document bearing date the 4th August it appears that he was then living in a house belonging to the King near the Palace in Lisbon which needed some repairs. Affonso V therefore granted him leave to lay out ten milreis upon it, and to make a cistern, with a proviso that he and his heirs might continue to inhabit the house and use it as their own, until the sum so expended should be repaid out of the Royal Treasury. In this licence Azurara is dubbed "Commander of Pinheiro Grande and Granja d'Ulmeiro, Our Chronicler, and Keeper of the Archives".[31] These two Commendas belonged to the Order of Christ, and were probably conferred upon him in this same year, though the deed of grant has not come down to us.

Pinheiro Grande is situate in the province of Estremadura and Archbishopric of Lisbon, and its ancient Commenda belonged to the Templars down to the year 1311, and from 1319 to the present century to the Order of Christ. In the Statutes of the latter Order, published in 1628, it is stated to have been worth 550 milreis for many years—"ha muitos annos".[32] Granja d'Ulmeiro is a small place in the Bishopric of Coimbra, and the same Statutes give the value of its Commenda. called of St. Gabriel. at 150 milreis, "in the year 1582".[33]

[pg xxiv]Besides these two Commendas, Azurara still continued to hold that of Alcains, as we learn from the document already referred to, granting certain privileges to his agents in Castello Branco, and dated the 23rd of the same month and year. The revenue of these three Commendas, together with his official salary, must have sufficed to make of him a wealthy man, for it should be remembered that the purchasing power of the milreis was then nearly six times greater than at the present day. He seems, however, to have relinquished the benefice of Alcains shortly afterwards, for it does not appear again among his titles, and henceforth he is only credited with the other two.

In the above-mentioned document of privilege of August 23rd, 1454, after reciting the services rendered to Azurara by Guarcia Aires and Afomsso Guarcia—to employ the antique spelling—muleteers of Castello Branco, in collecting his rents and bringing them to Lisbon, the King grants them immunity from being forced into the service of either himself, the Infants, or the local authorities of the district in which they live. Their houses, cellars, and stables are not to be taken from them to lodge others against their will, and they are to enjoy this freedom as long as they continue to be of use to the Chronicler.[34]

When next we hear of Azurara he is acting in his official capacity as Keeper of the Royal Archives. [pg xxv]It seems that the people of Miranda had lost the "foral" given them by King Diniz in 1324, and required a copy of it, which Azurara made and handed to them on the 16th February 1456.[35] This is the first of a series of certificates (certidões) signed by the Chronicler that has come down to us, and the issuing of these and similar documents appears to have been one of his chief duties as Royal Archivist.

But Azurara was too valuable a man to be allowed to spend his whole time and energy in the routine work of an office; and so we find that when the King had reigned twenty years or more, which would be in or about 1458, he commissioned him to relate the history of Ceuta under the Governorship of D. Pedro de Menezes, to whom the city had been entrusted on its capture.[36] The story runs, that for some time João I was unable to meet with anyone who would undertake the responsibility of guarding the new conquest, and, word of this having been brought to D. Pedro while he was playing at "Chóca", he at once hastened into the King's presence, and said he would engage to hold the city against the whole strength of Africa with the olive-wood crook he had just been wielding.[37] Be this [pg xxvi]incident true or not, certain it is that D. Pedro de Menezes succeeded in maintaining Ceuta, despite all the efforts of the Moors to expel him; and his achievements, as chronicled by Azurara, form by themselves sufficient ground for Affonso's commission. But another reason, no doubt, influenced the King, and that was the supreme importance attached to the possession of the old city. Its position as the key of the Straits enabled the Portuguese to hinder the Moorish corsairs from raiding the Algarve, and, at the same time, to help the Christian cause by attacks on the last relic of Mohammedan power in the Peninsula, the kingdom of Grenada. Added to this, its conquest was hailed as the first step in the realisation of that cherished ideal, an African Empire: for, besides being a great trading centre and the sea-gate of Mauritania, it formed a wedge driven into the heart of the Infidel, and a fitting crown to the struggle of seven centuries, which, commencing on the morrow of the battle of the Guadalete, had ended by the establishment of the Cross in the land of the Crescent. The tide had turned at last and for ever, and the Gothic monarchy was avenged.

Azurara, who on previous occasions had proved himself a ready writer, compiled the Chronica do Conde D. Pedro de Menezes more slowly, owing doubtless to the fact that his new official duties kept him from devoting his whole time to the work, and the Chronicle was not finished until 1463.

In this very year of 1458 occurred the first African Expedition of Affonso V, with its result, the capture [pg xxvii]of Alcacer. This event was probably the immediate cause of the writing of the Chronicle, because the record of his reign shows how the King cared more for African expansion than maritime expeditions, and how, like the old-time cavalier that he was, he preferred a land-war with the Moors to the seemingly theoretical, or at least distant, advantages to be gained by voyages of discovery. In 1460 D. Henrique died, leaving the fruit of his ceaseless endeavours to be plucked by other hands; since it was not until 1498, when Vasco da Gama cast anchor off Calicut, that the Infant's expeditions came to their legitimate conclusion, and a century of efforts received their reward.

But if Azurara possessed many of the higher qualities of an historian, he was by no means devoid of shortcomings; and two incidents, now to be related, form serious blots on his character as a Chronicler and a man.

In 1459 the Cortes met in Lisbon, and the Deputies of the People requested that a reform should be carried out in the Torre do Tombo, or Archive Office. They complained that the mass of old Registers which it was necessary to search in order to obtain copies of the documents existing there, together with the profitless prolixity of many of them, had long proved a source of great expense; and they therefore begged that such as were deemed of importance might be transcribed and the rest destroyed. This petition met with the King's approval, and Azurara charged himself with its [pg xxviii]execution, a task which seemingly occupied the remainder of his life.[38] He acted with a zeal worthy of barbarous times, and the memory of the destruction to which he condemned documents of the highest historical importance has been preserved by tradition, and his proscription is still spoken of. He appears to have been unconscious of the harm he did, for he prefaces each of the new Registers compiled by him from the old with an account of his handiwork. True it is that Barros praises Azurara for these Registers, but in reality they are only "dry, imperfect abstracts", as one writer calls them, for they throw little light on the periods to which they relate, and were, besides, the cause of the loss of their originals. Fortunately, however, some records escaped the general destruction, for it happened that certain Municipalities had previously obtained transcripts of the most precious, while others that existed in duplicate in the Archives, unknown to anyone, came to light during the administration of another Guarda-Mór.[39] The authorities of the City of Oporto obtained leave from Affonso V, [pg xxix]on the 23rd March 1447, to have copies made of all the documents in the Torre do Tombo which related to them in any way, and these were furnished on December 25th, 1453, when Lopes was still Keeper of the Archives.

But Azurara was guilty of a yet graver delinquency than his destruction of the old Registers, and a charge of forgery must be brought against him. A detailed account of this affair may be read in the judgment of the Casa de Supplicação, delivered on January 12th, 1479, from which it appears that a dispute had arisen between the Order of Christ and some inhabitants of Punhete over rights claimed by the former in the River Zezere, a tributary of the Tagus. The Order based its claim on certain documents, one being of the reign of D. Fernando, and said to have been extracted from the Torre do Tombo, in which that monarch purported to confer on the Order of Christ jurisdiction over the towns of Pombal, Soure, Castello Branco and others, to the practical exclusion of his own authority therein.[40] When a copy of this pretended grant was produced in support of the contention, Azurara's successor in the Archives, Affonso d'Obidos, received instructions to produce the Register of D. Fernando for the purpose of comparison, and to bring the scribes engaged in the Archive Office [pg xxx]with him; whereupon the grant was found at the end of the Register in a different writing from the rest of the book. Neither d'Obidos, nor the scribe who had copied out the Register, could say how it came there, or who had inserted it, and the latter declared that no such grant existed in the old books from which he had transcribed the present one. On further examination the pretended grant proved to be in the handwriting of "Gomez Eannes, Cleric",[41] a servant of Azurara, and it must have been fraudulently inserted in the Register after the latter had been bound up. On the discovery of this act of forgery, judgment was, of course, given against the Order, and it was fortunate for our Chronicler that the offence he had committed in its interests remained undiscovered until after his death.[42]

Curiously enough, in the same year Azurara was rewarded by a pension. The grant dated from Cintra, August 7th, 1459, runs as follows:—"Dom Affonso, etc., to all to whom this letter of ours shall come we make known that, considering the many services we have received and expect hereafter to receive from Gomez Eanes de Zurara, Commander [pg xxxi]of the Order of Christ, Our Chronicler and Keeper of our Archives, and wishing to do him favour, we are pleased to give him a pension of twelve white milreis from the 1st day of January next, which amount he has had of us up to the present time."[43]

It would appear from the last line that this document is rather the confirmation of an old grant than the gift of something new, but it has been interpreted to mean that Azurara had been receiving the money from the King's privy purse, and was henceforth to have it out of the public treasury. There can be no dispute that the recipient merited the gift for his past literary services, which were an earnest of the work he was to accomplish in the future, and the value of the latter will presently appear.

We possess the copy of one certificate issued by the Chronicler in the following year, together with the record of another, their respective dates being June 27th and October 22nd, 1460. The former, dated from Lisbon, was granted in answer to the petition of the inhabitants of Nogueira, who felt uncertain about the dues they were bound to pay the Bishop of Coimbra;[44] the latter is mentioned by J. P. Ribeiro, but seems to have disappeared from the Torre do Tombo.

In 1461 there occurred an event, simple enough on its face, but one which Azurara's biographers [pg xxxii]have regarded as the mystery of his life, or else employed as a weapon wherewith to smite their hero—his adoption by Maria Eannes. In the king's confirmation of this, dated from Evora, February 6th, 1461, we are told that "Maria Eannes, a Lisbon tanner—considering the love and friendship that Johane añnes dazurara, erstwhile Canon of Evora and Coimbra, had always shown to her mother, Maria Vicente, as well as to herself and her husband, and the many good deeds she herself had received at his hands, being his godchild and friend, and considering that she had no children and was no longer of an age to have any, and also the love and friendship she had felt for Gomez Eannes dazurara, ever since his father's death, and the services he had rendered her—thereby adopted him as her son and heir to succeed to her real and personal property, including her country house at Valbom, in the Ribatejo, and a house she possessed in the Parish of S. Julião in Lisbon".[45] Such is the substance of this document, over the explanation of which some controversy has taken place, because of the social gulf that separated the parties to it. The true motive for the adoption, as hints Senhor Rodriguez d'Azevedo, would seem to have been the existence of some near relationship between Maria Eannes and the Chronicler which it was not expedient to disclose; but whether this opinion find acceptance or no, there is nothing to [pg xxxiii]justify the old view which regarded the grant as a proof of Azurara's avarice and unscrupulousness: since, on the contrary, the preamble reveals a lively sense of gratitude in the donor for real benefits conferred by the donee. If, however, the above theory be worked out, the most plausible conclusion to arrive at is, either that Maria Eannes and Gomes Eannes de Azurara were brother and sister, both being children of the Canon and Maria Vicente, or that the Chronicler was half-brother to Maria Eannes, i.e., had the same father but not the same mother. It seems at least a fair inference to draw from the wording that the Canon and Maria Vicente were of a similar age, and the same may be said of the other pair, because at this time the Chronicler would count nearly sixty years, and his benefactress could not be much less, seeing that all possibility of her bearing children had passed by. Either of these hypotheses would account for the name Eannes being common to the lady and Azurara. The Canon would then have left his property between his two children, and as Maria Eannes was childless, it would be natural for her to bequeath her share of her fathers property to her brother. But be this as it may, we know from an independent source that Azurara had a sister, for she is mentioned in the letter which Affonso V wrote him whilst he was living in Africa and engaged on historical investigations. The fact, recorded by Pisano, that the Chronicler began his studies relatively late in life, unless it be ascribed to his adoption of a military career at first, seems to [pg xxxiv]show that he had passed his early years under a cloud, and that his father, from one cause or another, lacked the power to provide him with an education at the customary age. It is, however, impossible to proceed beyond conjectures, and since the matter cannot claim to be one of historical moment, we may leave it unsolved without much regret.

On June 14th, 1463, Azurara issued a certificate of documents in the Torre do Tombo relating to land of one D. Pedro de Castro,[46] while yet another proof of the influence he possessed with his royal master is afforded by two grants, dated respectively June 22nd and 23rd of the same year. By the first of these the office of Judge of Excise in the town of Almada was conferred on a certain Pero d'Almada, servant of Gomes Eannes, and the grant is expressed to be made at the latter's request. The second appoints the same individual Judge and Steward of the gold-diggers at Adiça, near that town.[47]

The Chronica de D. Pedro de Menezes, which had been commenced by Azurara in or about the year 1458, was finished on St. John the Baptist's Eve, June 23rd, 1463, at his Commenda of Pinheiro [pg xxxv]Grande. It relates the history of Ceuta, from the capture of the city in 1415 until the death of D. Pedro de Menezes, the first governor, in 1437, and gives evidence of the author's progress in historical methods.[48] While it contains less moralising and more matter than any of his previous works, at the same time he appears surer of his own powers, and no longer feels the same need of supporting every remark by a citation. Of course this Chronicle has not as deep an interest for us as that of Guinea, but this is due to the subject, not to any shortcomings in the narrator, whose contemporaries were probably of a different opinion, for many of them looked askance at the voyages of discovery, though there were few that doubted the importance of the possession of Ceuta.

Azurara confesses that he felt at first somewhat diffident of putting pen to paper, so marvellous seemed the deeds he was called on to relate; and he would never have persevered with his task had he learnt them on hearsay evidence, or from the mouths of one or two witnesses; but he found their truth confirmed on a perusal of the official reports sent to the King from Ceuta, and this encouraged him to proceed. He appears to have been assisted in his task by D. Pedro himself during his lifetime,[49] and to have written out the book twice, while his impartiality [pg xxxvi]and the care he took to arrive at the truth are everywhere visible.[50] Of course he cannot abstain altogether from citations, and these have an interest as showing the measure of his literary knowledge: witness his mention of Dante's Divina Commedia, Cinó da Pistoia and The Book of Amadis, which he ascribes to "Vasco Lobeira, who lived in the time of D. Fernando."[51]

For three years contemporary records are silent respecting the Chronicler, and it is not until 1466 that he comes before us again. On June 11th of that year, D. Pedro,[52] King of Aragon, son of him who was Regent in the minority of Affonso V, and fell at Alfarrobeira, wrote Azurara a short but familiar autograph letter, which affords another proof of the intimate relations that existed between the Chronicler and the great personages of the age. In this letter, which is in response to one sent by Azurara, D. Pedro addresses him as "friend", refers to his "old kindness and sweet nature", and goes on to accept his offer to keep him informed of the progress of events in Portugal. He then takes [pg xxxvii]the Chronicler into his confidence, and complains of the difficulties of his position as King of Aragon—difficulties which were aggravated by an illness that ended in his death less than a month after he had penned this epistle.[53]

On July 27th, 1467, in answer to a petition of the inhabitants, Azurara issued a certificate[54] of the "foral" of Azere (Azár), virtute officii, and on the very next day he met with another piece of good fortune. From the deed of grant it appears that, some ninety years previously, a certain Gonçalo Estevez of Cintra had died, after having built a chapel in honour of St. Clare in the Church of St. Mary Magdalen, in Lisbon, where he desired to be buried, and had left his property with the condition annexed that masses should be regularly said there. This condition, the document goes on to declare, had been broken by his heirs for about seventy years, in spite of judgments obtained against them, and many had died excommunicate because of their neglect and disobedience. Finally, the goods had been declared forfeit to the Crown, [pg xxxviii]and they were now granted out to Azurara, on condition that he should provide for the masses and generally carry out the instructions contained in the will of the founder.[55] A gift of this nature was considered an extraordinary grace in those days, and it affords clear evidence that the Chronicler stood high in the royal regard.

In August of this same year Azurara went to Africa, and, to explain the journey, some introductory remarks are needed. On returning from the fruitless African expedition of 1464, the King had written to him from Aveiro, with instructions to leave all his other occupations—which the Chronicler naïvely assures us were very important and profitable to his countrymen—and forthwith to collect and put in writing the deeds of D. Duarte de Menezes, late Captain of Alcacer.[56] This Duarte was the natural son of D. Pedro, the hero of Azurara's last book; and he had merited much from Affonso V for his long and faithful services at Alcacer, ending with the sacrifice he had made of his own life to save that of the King, during a reconnaissance against the Moors in the last-named year.

As before, Azurara hesitated to make a start on account of his "untutored style and small knowledge", and through fear of hostile criticism; indeed, [pg xxxix] under the latter head he says, with a touch of bitterness, "there are so many watching me, that I have hardly put pen in hand before they begin to damn my work."[57] But his obligations to, and regard for, the King caused him to pluck up courage, and proceed with a task which occupied some three or four years of his time. In order to secure the best information possible, he considered that he ought to visit Africa, because some of the dwellers in and about Alcacer were the chief actors in the drama he was called upon to write, and would be likely to have a clearer recollection of events than the courtiers in Portugal; and also because he wished to view the district which had been the scene of the struggle, and learn the disposition of the land, the Moorish method of fighting, and the tactics employed against them by the Portuguese. He confesses that he would have gone to Ceuta before writing the Chronica de D. Pedro, but the King refused to give permission, considering that his services were more needed inside than outside the realm. Even after he had resolved on the present visit, the King detained him a whole year, until fully convinced how necessary it was, if his commands were to be satisfactorily carried out.[58] Finally, in August 1467, Azurara crossed the Straits to Alcacer, where he stayed for twelve months, occupied in studying the district and taking part in the various excursions into Moorish territory that were made by D. [pg xl]Henrique, son of D. Duarte de Menezes, who, to satisfy him and aid his work, used even to change the plan of operations and go to some spot the Chronicler desired to inspect.[59] With an impartiality rare enough at that time, Azurara took care to obtain information from the Moors themselves, both from such as visited Alcacer and from those he met when accompanying D. Henrique to treat of matters with the inhabitants of the neighbouring places.[60]

The Chronicle, which is at once a life of D. Duarte de Menezes and a history of Alcacer, supplements that of his father D. Pedro de Menezes, and carries the history of the Portuguese in North Africa down to 1464. We have no record of when it was finished, but the year 1468 seems the probable date. It is, if not the most important, yet the longest, as it proved to be the last, of the Author's historical works, and cost him more labour than any of its predecessors; but, through some mischance, no complete MS. exists, all having many and great lacunæ, as will hereafter appear. It presents the peculiarities common to all Azurara's writings—the same fondness for quotations, and the same reliance on astrology as explicative of character. Among the more interesting of the former, besides those from the Classics and the Fathers, are his references to Johão Flameno's gloss on Dante, Avicenna, Albertus Magnus, and the Marquis of Santillana. Speaking [pg xli]of this Chronicle. Goes notes and condemns the "superfluous abundance and wealth of poetical and rhetorical words" that are employed here and elsewhere by its author.

During Azurara's stay at Alcacer the King addressed him an autograph letter dated November 22nd, 1467 (?), which affords a striking proof of Affonso's superior mind, as well as of the esteem in which he held men of letters. He begins by saying that he has received the Chronicler's letter,[61] and rejoices he is well, as he had feared the contrary, owing to his long silence, and proceeds:—

"It is not without reason that men of your profession should be prized and honoured; for, next after the Princes and Captains who achieve deeds worth remembering, they that record them, when those are dead, deserve much praise.... What would have become of the deeds of Rome if Livy had not written them; what of Alexander's without a Quintus Curtius; of those of Troy without a Homer; of Cæsar's without a Lucan?... Many are they that devote themselves to the exercise of arms, but few to the art of Oratory. Since, then, you are well instructed in this art, and nature has given you a large share of it, with much reason ought I and the chiefs of my Realm and the Captains thereof to consider any benefit bestowed on you as well employed."

Affonso then goes on to praise Azurara for having voluntarily exiled himself in his service, and says he would not have him stay in Africa any longer than he pleases, and winds up as follows:—

[pg xlii] "I count it as a service that you wish for news of my health, and, thanks be to God, I am well in body as in other respects, though on the sea of this world one is constantly buffeted by its waves, especially as we are all on that plank since the first shipwreck, so that no one is safe until he reaches the true haven that cannot be seen except after this life, to which may it please God to conduct us when He thinks it time, for He is sailor and pilot, and without Him no man may enter there.... I have not a painting of myself that I can send you now; but, please God, you will see the original, some time, which will please you more."[62]

Herculano truly says of this epistle: "Had it been from one brother to another, the language could not well have been more affable and affectionate";[63] but, more than this, it proves that Portugal was ahead of most European nations of that age in possessing a King who could value the pen as highly as the sword.

Henceforth little or nothing is known of the life of Azurara, except from the certificates he issued in the course of his official duties.

On May 25th, 1468, one of these documents was issued from the Torre do Tombo, and signed by a substitute, with the statement that the Chronicler was living at Alcacer, on the service and by command of the King. He probably returned to [pg xliii]Lisbon to finish the Chronica de D. Duarte de Menezes in the autumn of this year.

On October 22nd, 1470, Azurara gave a certificate of the Charter of Moreyra. In their petition for the same, the inhabitants allege that their copy is so written, and in such Latin, that they cannot understand it; and they further wish to know how much of the present money they must pay for the three mealhas mentioned in the original as payable for the carriage of bread and wine—a question which Azurara seems to have experienced some difficulty in answering.[64]

On April 20th, 1471, he issued a similar certificate to the dwellers in S. João de Rey.[65] In this same year took place Affonso's third African campaign, which resulted in the capture of Tangier, Arzila and Anafe.

On September 5th, 1472, in answer to a petition of the inhabitants of Cascaes, the Chronicler handed them a copy of the Charter of Cintra, in which district Cascaes is situate,[66] and on December 5th in the same year he issued copies of documents affecting the liberties of the Order of Christ and the couto, or "liberty", of Gordam.[67]

[pg xliv]This latter is the last existing document signed by Azurara, though he appears to have given another certificate on August 17th, 1473, nearly a year after, relating to the forged grant of D. Fernando to the Order of Christ, as mentioned by João Pedro Ribeiro.[68]

There is no evidence to show when the Chronicler died, and tradition on the point varies. The oldest authority who refers to it is Damião de Goes, and, according to him, Azurara lived some years after 1472.[69] He never married, and was succeeded in his post at the Torre do Tombo by Affonso Annes d'Obidos; but the charter of this man's appointment has been lost, and his first recorded certificate only bears date March 31st, 1475.[70]

* * * * *

We have now followed the life of Azurara step by step, and seen him honoured for his talents by his contemporaries, and rewarded for his services to King and country by numerous benefactions.[71] We [pg xlv]have also seen him on intimate terms with the Royal Family, and corresponding regularly with some of its members, as well as acquainted with the leaders of the explorations and the learned men of the time, and must conclude that this was chiefly due to his literary attainments and genial character. It is therefore pleasant to be able to record that, in our day, Portugal has marked her appreciation of him, as a man and a writer, by a statue, whilst recognising that his works form his greatest and most durable monument. In the Praça de Luiz de Camões in Lisbon there rises a noble statue of the "Prince of Spanish Poets"[72], surrounded by eight of the most distinguished men of letters and action of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, his predecessors and contemporaries, and among them is a life-size figure of Gomez Eannes de Azurara.[73]

[1] In the Chronica de Guiné, ch. 97, he calls himself "Gomez Eanes de Zurara."

[2] Barros, writing before 1552, says, "I know not how long he lived."—Asia, Dec. 1, liv. ii, ch. 2.

[3] "De Bello Septensi," p. 27 (in the Ineditos de Historia Portugueza, vol. i, Lisbon, 1790).

[4] Chronica de Ceuta, ch. 23.

[5] This place is in Beira Alta, twelve kilometres east of Vizeu, famous (inter alia) for the great picture of St. Peter as Pope, lately reproduced by the Arundel Society.

[6] The first to mention Azurara's birthplace was Soares de Brito (born 1611, died 1669), who, in his Theatrum Lusitaniæ Litterarium, p. 547, says: "Gomes Anes de Azurara ex oppido, sicuti fertur, cognomine in Diocesi Portucalensi," voicing the tradition of his time (MS. U/4/22 of the Lisbon National Library, dated 1645). The first who suggested Beira in place of Minho seems to have been Corrêa da Serra, editor of the Ineditos, ibid., vol. ii, p. 209.

[7] Vide the articles on Azurara in the Instituto de Coimbra, vol. ix, p. 72, et seq., by Vieira de Meyrelles, and in the Diccionario Universal Portuguez, vol. i, p. 2151, by R. d'Azevedo.

[8] Azurara is named in this document "Commander of Alcains and Granja de Ulmeiro".—Chanc. de D. Affonso V, liv. x, fol. 113, Torre do Tombo.

[9] According to Azurara, Pisano was tutor (mestre) to Affonso V, and "a laurelled Bard, as well as one of the most sufficient Philosophers and Orators of his time in Christendom."—Chronica de D. Pedro de Menezes, ch. 1 (Ineditos, vol. ii).

[10] De Bello Septensi, p. 27.

[11] So says Corrêa da Serra—Ineditos, vol. ii, p. 207.

[12] Vide Ruy de Pina, Chronica de D. Duarte, ch. 8.

[13] Because Azurara is found to have been the son of a Canon, it does not necessarily follow that he was illegitimate, and, in fact, no letters of legitimation exist in respect of him.

[14] Definiçoẽs e Estatutos dos Cavalleiros e Freires da Ordem de N. S. Jesu Cristo com a historia da origem & principio della. Lisbon, 1628.

[15] D. Carolina Michaëlis de Vasconcellos, however, is of opinion that this, and the popular songs hereafter referred to, are pious frauds, invented in the first half of the seventeenth century to form materials for the canonisation of Nun' Alvares.

[16] Chronica dos Carmaelitas, vol. i, pp. 469, 486. Lisbon, 1745.

[17] Chronica de Ceuta, ch. 2.

[18] Azurara's chief informants were D. Pedro, Regent in the minority of Affonso V, and D. Henrique, in whose house he stayed some days for the purpose by the king's orders; "for he knew more than anyone in Portugal about the matter" (Chronica de Ceuta, ch. 12). To this fact must be attributed the prominent place he gives D. Henrique in his narrative. The same circumstance is noticeable in the Chronica de D. Duarte, which was begun by Azurara and finished by Ruy de Pina, of which hereafter.

[19] Diccionario Bibliographico Portuguez, vol. iii, p. 147.

[20] Pisano testifies of Azurara, "scientiæ cupiditate flagravit".—De Bello Septensi, p. 27.

[21] Chronica de Ceuta, ch. 38.

[22] Vide Theophilo Braga, Historia da Universidade de Coimbra, Lisbon, 1892, vol. i, ch. 4, for the catalogues of these libraries and an account of the books they contained.

[23] This letter defines the scope of the book, which was not meant to be a general history of the Portuguese expeditions and discoveries. It is printed in Santarem's edition of the Chronica de Guiné, and precedes his Introduction.

[24] This charming old chronicle of the life of the noblest and most sympathetic figure in Portuguese annals was written anonymously, and first printed in 1526.

[25] Azurara's laconism with reference to the history of the discovery of the Madeiras and Azores is really regrettable. In many respects his narrative needs to be supplemented from other sources.

[26] The offices of Chief Chronicler, Keeper of the Royal Archives and Royal Librarian were, as a rule, held by the same individual and conferred at the same time, as in the case of Ruy de Pina, but Azurara had the position of Royal Librarian for at least two years before he obtained the others, namely from 1452, as already mentioned (p. v).

[27] Chanc. de D. Affonso V, liv. X, fl. 30. Torre do Tombo.

[28] Definiçoẽs e Estatutos dos Cavalleiros e Freires da Ordem de N. S. Jesu Christo, etc., p. 242.

[29] Liv. XII de D. Affonso V, fl. 62. Torre do Tombo.

[30] De Bello Septensi, p. 26.

[31] Estremadura, liv. VII, fl. 255. Torre do Tombo.

[32] Definiçoẽs e Estatutos, etc., p. 236.

[33] Ibid., p. 263. The situations of these Commendas are taken from Portugal Antigo e Moderno, Lisbon 1873, and following years.

[34] Chanc. de D. Affonso V. liv. X, fl. 113. Torre do Tombo.

[35] Gav. 15, Maço 13, No. 21. Torre do Tombo. Azurara is here described as "Commander of Pinheiro Grande and Granja d'Ulmeiro, our Chronicler and Keeper" (of the Records).

[36] Chronica do Conde D. Pedro de Menezes, ch. 1.

[37] "Chóca" is an old-fashioned Portuguese game played with a stout staff and ball. The incident is referred to by Camöens in Eclogue I, in the lines beginning, "Emquanto do seguro azambugeyro", etc.

[38] Particularly he "reformed" the Registers of the reigns of Pedro I, D. Fernando, João I, and D. Duarte; and J. P. Ribeiro, who gives a minute account of the state of these Registers and of Azurara's compilation, winds up thus: "Such is the state of the Chancellary books of the early reigns down to that of Affonso V; some are still in their original condition, while others are reformed or rather destroyed, by Gomez Eannes de Zurara."—Memorias Authenticas para a Historia do Real Archivo, p. 171. Lisbon, 1819.

[39] Annaes Maritimos e Coloniaes, No. 1, Segunda serie, p. 34; and J. P. Ribeiro, Memorias Authenticas, etc., p. 21.

[40] There is a reference to this claim of the Order in the Definiçoẽs e Estatutos, etc., p. 201, and to its defeat.

[41] This must have been an adopted son of the Chronicler, to whom he had lent his name.

[42] This forgery must be reckoned a very passable one, although the handwritings are obviously not the same, and the parchment differs in texture and colour from that of the rest of the book. The judgment of the Casa de Supplicação is printed in extenso by J. P. Ribeiro from liv. 1, "dos Direitos Reaes," fol. 216, in the Torre do Tombo.

[43] Chanc. de D. Affonso V, liv. xxxi, fl. 76vo. Torre do Tombo. For the signification and value of these "white milreis", see Damião de Goes, Chronica de D. Manoel, ch. 1.

[44] Estremadura, liv. II, fl. 279. Torre do Tombo.

[45] Terçeyro dodianna del Rey Dom Alfonso Quinto, fol. 57. Torre do Tombo.

[46] The original of this certificate belongs to the famous novelist, Senhor Eça de Queiroz, whose wife claims descent from this de Castro. Doubtless others of the Chronicler's certificates, the contents—or at least the dates—of which would fill up some of the gaps in his biography, are in private hands, without any record of their issue remaining, either in the Torre do Tombo or elsewhere, as in the present case. Brandão mentions one such in his Monarchia Lusitana, Quinta parte, p. 177. Lisbon, 1650.

[47] Liv. IX de D. Affonso V, fol. 94. Torre do Tombo.

[48] Affonso V ordered Pisano to write the Chronicle in Latin, as he had previously done with the Capture of Ceuta.—Chronica do Conde D. Pedro de Menezes, ch. 1. The MS. is now lost.

[49] Ibid., ch. 64.

[50] Chronica do Conde D. Pedro de Menezes, chs. 2 and 3. The end of ch. 3 deserves perusal, for it shows how fully Azurara realized the difficulties of an historian's task.

[51] Ibid., ch. 63. This is the first reference in all literature to the authorship of the famous romance.

[52] D. Pedro, fils, was a distinguished poet, and to him the Marquis of Santillana addressed that famous letter which may be described as a history of poetry in the Peninsula. It is transcribed in extenso by Dr. Theophilo Braga, in his Poetas Palacianos, pp. 161-169. Porto, 1871.

[53] The letter was first published in the Panorama for 1841, at p. 336. General Brito Rebello argues that the date 1406 is impossible, and should read 1466, or possibly 1460. The former has here been adopted. Other mistakes occur in the letter, as printed in the Panorama, besides that of date. Some of its expressions are ambiguous, and the subscript "From Aviz", an evident addition to the original, may be put down to the copyist, who, knowing D. Pedro to be Master of Aviz, concluded that the letter was written from there, though the contents disprove it.

[54] Gav. 8, Maço 1, No. 17. Torre do Tombo.

[55] Decimo de Estremadura, fol. 270. Torre do Tombo.

[56] Chronica do Conde D. Duarte de Menezes (Ineditos, vol. iii), ch. 1. It would almost seem as though Azurara accompanied the King in his first expedition in 1458, when Alcacer was taken.—Ibid., ch. 34.

[57] Ibid., ch. 1.

[58] Ibid., ch. 2.

[59] Ibid., ch, 2.

[60] Ibid., ch. 60.

[61] Azurara seems to have corresponded frequently with Affonso V; cf. Chronica de Guiné, ch. 7.

[62] The letter is printed in the Ineditos, vol. iii, p. 3. According to Meyrelles, there are two copies of it in MS. No. 495 of the Coimbra University Library.—Vide Instituto, vol. ix.

[63] Opusculos, vol. v, p. 14. Lisbon, 1886.

[64] Maço 7 de Foraes Antigos, No. 3. Torre do Tombo.

[65] Maço 3 de Foraes Antigos, No. 5. Torre do Tombo.

[66] Maço 1 de Foraes Antigos, No. 11. Torre do Tombo.

[67] Armario 17, Maço 6, No. 5. Torre do Tombo. It is worthy of note that the Eytor de Sousa, here referred to, is the same person that appears in the judgment of the Casa de Supplicacão of January 19th, 1479, as representing the Order of Christ.

[68] Memorias Authenticas, p. 21.

[69] Chronica de D. Manoel, quarta parte, ch. 38.

[70] Memorias Authenticas, p. 21.

[71] Padre José Bayam, in p. 5 of his Prologue to the Chronica del Rey D. Pedro I of Fernão Lopes (Lisbon, 1761), states that Azurara obtained the position of Disembargador da Casa do Civel, or Judge of Appeal of the Civil Court, on the authority of ch. 54 of Pina's Chronica de D. Affonso V, which mentions a certain Gomez Eanes as holding the office in question and being sent on an embassy to Africa; but João Pedro Ribeiro, in vol. iv, part 2, of his Dissertações Chronologicas e Criticas, Dissertação XVI, proves conclusively that Bayam is in error, and that the Judge had no connection with his namesake the Chronicler.

[72] The word "Spanish" is here used, in its correct sense, to include all the peoples of the Peninsula. So the Archbishop of Braga bears the title "Primaz das Hespanhas", denoting his primacy over both Spain and Portugal.

[73] No portrait of Azurara exists, and his signatures form the only relic of him that we possess.

Critical Remarks.

Azurara belongs to the line of Portuguese Chroniclers who rendered illustrious the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, a line that began with Fernão Lopes and culminated in Damião de Goes [pg xlvi]and João de Barros, both of whom were almost historians in the modern sense of the term, and at the same time masters of prose style. He is indeed the connecting link between the chronicler and the historian, between the Mediæval writers and those of the Renaissance; for, while he possesses much of the sympathetic ingenuousness of Lopes, yet he cannot resist displaying his erudition and talents by quotations and philosophical reflections, as quaint as they are often unnecessary, proving that he wrote under the influence of that wave of foreign literature which had swept in with the new monarchy.

Three literary tendencies may be said to have prevailed in Portugal during the fifteenth century—firstly, a monomania for classical learning; secondly, an increased taste for the mediæval Epics and prose Romances, due to the English influence that had entered with Queen Philippa, daughter of timeserving Lancaster, though it must be remembered that Amadis de Gaula, the most famous romance of the Middle Ages, was compiled in the preceding century and by a Portuguese hand; and lastly, an admiration for Spanish poetry, which had made wonderful strides since the great Italians, Dante and Petrarch, had become known in the Peninsula. In philosophy, Aristotle, as expounded by Averroes, was the chief authority—Azurara calls him "the Philosopher"—and following him Egidius and Pedro Hispano, the Portuguese Pope and scholar, enjoyed the widest influence. Platonic philosophy was introduced at a much later period, [pg xlvii]chiefly through the medium of Italian poetry, and it never took root.

To the reader of Azurara's writings, it often seems as though the author were overburdened by his knowledge, which was in truth very extensive, if at times somewhat superficial; and the Chronicles bear witness to the fact that Portugal had not remained foreign to the literary impulse of the Renaissance. Besides citations from many books of the Bible, the following classical writers appear in his pages:—Herodotus, Homer, Hesiod, Aristotle, Cæsar, Livy, Cicero, Sallust, Valerius Maximus, Pliny, Lucan, the two Senecas, Vegetius, Ovid, Josephus and Ptolemy. Among early Christian and mediæval authors he mentions Orosius, St. Gregory, Isidore of Seville, Lucas of Tuy, the Arabic astronomer Alfragan, Gualter, Marco Polo, Roderick of Toledo, Egidius, St. Jerome, Albertus Magnus, St. Bernard, St. Chrysostom, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, and Peter Lombard; while he has heard the legend of the voyages of St. Brandan and knows the author of the Amadis de Gaula. He was acquainted with the Chronicles and Romances of the chief European nations,[74] and had studied the best Italian and Spanish authors. Added to this, he had mastered the geographical system of the Ancients,[75] together with their astrology, and his knowledge of the latter probably came from the [pg xlviii]famous Opus Quadripartitum of Ptolemy. Although he obtained his education in the time of D. Duarte, or early in the reign of Affonso V, an age which had ceased to believe in sidereal influences, as appears from the Leal Conselheiro, his writings show that he possessed a fervent faith in astrology as explaining the character and acts, as well as governing the destinies, of man.[76] Various opinions have been emitted about his style; for, while such a good judge as Goes condemns his "antiquated words and prolix reasoning, full of metaphors or figures that are out of place in the historical style", Barros speaks of his "clear style" that, together with his diligence, rendered him worthy of the office he held.[77] But perhaps the most perspicuous criticism thereon is that of Corrêa da Serra, who declares, with reference to the opinions just cited:—"Both may well be right, for the style of Gomes Eannes is not uniform, and seems the work of two different men. As a rule his narrative is simple, full of sound sense, and not without elegance; but, from time to time, he remembers the rude rhetoric he had learnt so late in life, and writes (if I may say so) in a falsetto style. The first was what nature had bestowed upon him, the last came from his immature studies. But these very defects are of interest now, [pg xlix]for they give an idea of the learning and taste of that age."[78] And, in spite of all his pedantry, Azurara rises at times to a true eloquence, some of his pages being equal to the best in Portuguese prose. The grandeur of chapter ii of the Chronica de Guiné, and the heartfelt pity of Chapter XXV, which relates the division of the captives, prove conclusively that he could accommodate the style to the subject like all writers worthy ofthe name. Had he lived a century later, he would have certainly been placed in the first rank of Portuguese prosists; while, as it is, his antiquated and at times inflated language has gone far to prevent him from being appreciated, or even read, by any save the studious.[79]

As an historian he had an unbounded respect for authority, on his own confession, and the speeches he puts in the mouths of his heroes remind the reader at times of Livy, and make it clear that he was writing under the immediate influence of classical models.[80] The historical importance of his Chronicles is of the first order. They are contemporary with the events they relate, and contain the history of the Portuguese expeditions to and rule in Mauritania from the reign of João I down to that of Affonso V, and furnish a complete account of all the voyages of discovery along the African Coast, [pg l]due to the initiative of D. Henrique, until 1448. True, the Chronica de Guiné omits to mention some other voyages that were the result of private enterprise, for Azurara wrote it in the capacity of Chronicler to the King and as a panegyric of the Prince, and never intended to relate discoveries unconnected with his hero and with the land that gives his book its title. The Chronica de Guiné must, of course, always take rank as Azurara's masterpiece. It was the first book written by a European on the lands south of Cape Bojador, and it restores to us, in great part, the lost work of Cerveira entitled a History of the Portuguese Conquests on the Coast of Africa, on which it is founded, besides making up for the regrettable disappearance of the naval archives of the early period of modern discovery.

Azurara's credibility as a narrator is both unquestioned and unquestionable, for his position enabled him to get at the truth, and he took pains to record nothing but the truth, thereby proving himself a genuine disciple of his master, Fernão Lopes. He was moved, as a rule, neither by human respect nor by petty jealousies, and accuracy seems with him to have amounted to a passion.[81] So truthful was he that he preferred to leave the relation of facts incomplete rather than tell of them without having [pg li]received exact information from eye-witnesses. He was quite conscious of what he calls his "want of polish and small knowledge", and his humility is shown by the declaration that he only regarded the Chronica de Guiné as material for some future historian who would perpetuate the great deeds of D. Henrique in "a loftier and clearer style".[82]

His attitude towards the Moors, those hereditary enemies of Portugal, was only what we should expect, for, while he is strictly impartial in distributing praise and blame to them equally with Christians, he leaves us in no doubt on which side his sympathies lay. In the Chronica de Guiné, for example, after descanting on the universal praise of the Infant's life and work, he admits that a discordant note in the general chorus was struck by the Moors whom the Prince had warred with and slain, or, to quote his own words, "Some other voices, very contrary to those I have until now described, sounded in my ears, for which I should have felt a great pity, had I not seen them to come from men outside our Law".[83]

It has been already noted that Azurara, though he wrote under the very shadow of the Palace, was anything but a flatterer of the great; indeed, he has been accused by some of insisting too much on the defects in his heroes.[84] On the other hand, [pg lii]it must be confessed that he shows a marked partiality, if not a blind admiration, for D. Henrique in the Chronica de Ceuta as well as in the Chronica de Guiné. In the former he attributes to the Prince the chief part in the capture of the city, while in the latter he shows himself ever ready to defend him from his dispraisers, and to convict of foolishness out of their own mouths the opponents of the voyages of discovery. Nay, more, he even finds an explanation for D. Henrique's neglect to defend his brother Pedro from being done to death at Alfarrobeira, a neglect which is hard to explain satisfactorily and must remain a blot on the Prince's fair fame. But this bias may readily be accounted for by the fact that Azurara passed much of his time in close intimacy with D. Henrique, and drew a great part of the information for his Chronicles of Ceuta and Guinea from that source, besides which he can hardly be blamed for the love he felt and displayed for a great and good man, the initiator and hero of modern discovery.

Finally, while no serious critic would admit Azurara within the circle of great historians, few would dispute his title to be named a great Chronicler. That he was a laborious and truthful writer his pages make clear; that he could tell a simple story vividly—nay, dramatically—and that he [pg liii]had at times flashes of inspiration, the Chronica de Guiné attests, though, even bearing this work in mind, it is easy to perceive his inferiority in the matter of style to Fernào Lopes, a point constantly insisted on by Portuguese critics. In a word, if, as Southey said, Lopes is "beyond all comparison the best Chronicler of any age or nation", it may well be that Azurara, "notwithstanding an occasional display of pedantry, is equal in merit to any Chronicler, except his unequalled predecessor".[85]

[74] Chronica de D. Pedro de Menezes, ch. 63, and Chronica de Ceuta, ch. 38.

[75] Chronica de Guiné, chs. 61 and 62.

[76] Chronica de Guiné, chs. 7 and 28; Chronica de Ceuta chs. 34, 52, and 57; Chronica de D. Duarte de Menezes, ch. 34.

[77] Chronica do Principe D. João, ch. 6, and Asia, Dec. 1, liv. ch. 2.

[78] Ineditos, vol. ii, p. 210.

[79] Compare the remarks on Azurara's style by Sotero dos Reis in his Curso da litteratura Portugueza e Brazileira. Maranhão, 1866, vol. I, lição xiv.

[80] Cf. Chronica de Ceuta, ch. 1.

[81] Many passages from his Chronicles might be cited to prove this, but the following will suffice: Chronica de Ceuta, chs. 1, 2, 12, 51, 83, 91, and 95; Chronica de Guiné, ch. 30; Chronica de D. Pedro de Menezes, ch. 1, and Bk. II, ch. 18; Chronica de D. Duarte de Menezes, chs. 2 and 60.

[82] Chronica de Guiné, ch. 6.

[83] Ibid., ch. 2.

[84] The Azorean scholar, Dr. J. T. Soares de Sousa, calls Azurara "a clever courtier rather than a severe and impartial historian" (quoted by Dr. Theophilo Braga, in his Historia da Universidade de Coimbra, vol. i, p. 138); but this is certainly unjust and even untrue. K. Manoel de Mello gives a fairer estimate in the witty phrase, "Chronista antigo, tão candido de penna, como de barba."—Apologos Dialogaes, p. 455, ed. Lisbon, 1721.

[85] Quarterly Review, May 1809, p. 288.


The following is a list of Azurara's works in the order in which they were written:—

(a) "Milagres do Santo Condestabre D. Nuno Alvres Pereira."

This volume, of doubtful authenticity, which was never printed, has now been lost. Senhor Oliveira Martins was unable to find a trace of it when engaged on his recently-published life of the Holy Constable,[86] and suggests that it may have perished, along with so many other literary treasures, in 1755, during the Great Earthquake. Jorge Cardoso, in his Agiologico Lusitano,[87] quotes a passage from [pg liv]Azurara's work, and Santa Anna gives the substance of it in his Chronica dos Carmaelitas, expressly declaring that he had seen the original MS., which was then preserved among the Archives of the Carmo Convent.[88]

(b) "Chronica del rei D. Joam I de boa memória e dos reys de Portugal o decimo. Terceira parte em que se contém a tomada de Ceuta." Composta por Gomez Eannes D'Azurara Chronista Mór destes Reynos & impressa na linguagem antiga. Em Lisboa. Com todas as licenças necessarias. Á custa de Antonio Alvarez, Impressor del-rei N.S. 1644, pp. X-283 fol. Such is the full title of the Chronica de Ceuta as given in the one and only published edition.

Following the Chronicle come accounts of the death of King João and the translation of his body to Batalha, extracted from the Chronica de D. Duarte, as well as a copy, with translation, of the epitaph on his tomb, and then his will and a general Index. MSS. of this Chronicle exist in the Bibliotheca National in Lisbon, and in the Torre do Tombo. The former place contains a defective one, dating from the middle of the 16th century, as well as one of the second part of the same period apparently complete. The latter boasts a MS. (No. 366) of the 15th century, in large folio, written on paper in red and black, which derives importance from its [pg lv]early date, and exhibits a text practically identical with that of the book described above; while of the others, one may be attributed to the 16th century and two to the 17th. The Oporto Municipal Library has an 18th-century MS. of this Chronicle.[89]

(c) "Chronica do Descobrimento e Conquista de Guiné, escrita por mandado de El-Rei D. Affonso V sob a direcção scientifica, e segundo as instrucçoës do illustre Infante D. Henrique pelo Chronista Gomez Eannes de Azurara; fielmente trasladada do Manuscripto original contemporaneo, que se conserva na Bibliotheca Real de Pariz, e dada pela primeira vez á luz per diligencia do Visconde de Carreira, Enviado Extraordinario e Ministro Plenipotentiario de S. Majestade Fidelíssima na corte da França; precedida de uma Introducção e illustrada com algumas notas pelo Visconde de Santarem ..... e seguida d'um Glossario das palavras e phrases antiquadas e obsoletas." Paris, 1841. Fol. pp. XXV-474, with frontispiece portrait of D. Henrique from this same MS.

The letter which Azurara addressed to King [pg lvi]Affonso V, when he forwarded the Chronicle, is printed in facsimile and precedes the Introduction.

There are three separate impressions of this Chronicle—one on parchment, of which the Bibliotheca National in Lisbon possesses a copy, another on large paper, both of these being folio size, and a third on small paper octavo size.

Two early MSS. of the Chronicle exist: one, very handsome and perfect, in the Paris National Library, from which the printed edition was made; and the other, bearing date 1506, in the Royal and National Library at Munich. The latter belonged to Valentim Fernandes, a German printer, established in Lisbon from the end of the 15th century to past the middle of the 16th, who owned many MSS. of great value, which have been studied by Schmeller in his Ueber Valentī Fernandez Alemā und seine Sammlung von Nachrichten über die Entdeckungen und Besitzungen der Portugiesen in Afrika und Asien bis zum Jahre 1508. The imprint of this essay is 1845.

The Munich MS. is an abridgment; many of the rhetorical passages, ch. i, and nearly the whole of chs. iii-vii, being omitted. Valentim Fernandes, who transcribed, if he did not compile, this summary, which he finished on November 14th, 1506, commences his chapters at the eighth of the Paris MS., and reduces the original number of chapters from ninety-seven to sixty-two.

The text of the Paris MS. seems to have been added to at some later time, and, at any rate, is not in the state in which Azurara left it in 1453, the [pg lvii]year the Chronicle was finished, because certain passages speak of D. Henrique as though already deceased, while he only died in 1460.[90] Innocencio thinks Azurara emended his work after the Prince's death, and inserted some reflections on his life and moral qualities, without continuing the narrative, or passing the limit he had at first marked out, namely 1448.

The history of the MS., and the discovery in 1837 by the Lusophile, Ferdinand Denis, of the Paris copy, together with a description thereof, is related by the Viscount de Santarem in his Introduction, and deserves perusal.[91] Fragments of the Chronicle were known to Barros, who incorporated them in his Asia, but Goes never saw it at all, and it would seem to have disappeared from Portugal in the 16th century.[92] Frei Luiz de Sousa, the great Dominican prose writer, met with a MS. copy at Valencia, in the possession of the Duke of Calabria, one of whose ancestors, a King of Naples, had received it, he was informed, from D. Henrique himself.[93] We know from another [pg lviii]source that this MS. was still in Spain at the beginning of the last century, but how it reached its present resting-place, the National Library in Paris, remains a mystery.

(d) "Chronica do Conde D. Pedro (de Menezes) Continuada aa tomada de Cepta, a qual mandou El-Rey D. Affonso V deste nome, e dos Reys de Portugal XII, escrepver." Such is the title of this Chronicle, which was published in Vol. II of the Ineditos, and runs from page 213 to the end. It is there preceded by an Introduction of six pages, dealing with the life and works of Azurara, from the pen of the erudite Abbade Corrêa da Serra.

There exists a valueless MS. of this Chronicle in the Bibliotheca National in Lisbon of the end of the 17th century, and another equally devoid of interest in the Academia das Sciencias. Mr. Quaritch recently offered one for sale,[94] which derives importance from having been copied from another of early date, and was kind enough to send it for our inspection. It is a small folio, beautifully written on paper, containing 164 leaves with thirty-one lines to the page, and was transcribed from a MS. on parchment of 233 folios in a single column, which had been itself finished in Lisbon on July 24th, 1470, by João Gonçalvez, the scribe who copied the Paris MS. of the Chronica de [pg lix]Guiné. The copy belonging to Mr. Quaritch has some marginal notes without value, and must, to judge from the writing, have been made in Portugal at the very beginning of the 17th century, or, as he says, about 1620. The text is the same as that printed in the Ineditos.

(e) "Chronica do Conde D. Duarte de Menezes."

This was published for the first time in Vol. III of the Ineditos, and has there no separate title page, but the heading of the first chapter reads as follows:—"Comecasse a Historia, que fala dos feitos que fez o Illustre e muy nobre Cavaleiro Dom Duarte de Menezes, Conde que foi de Viana, Alferes Del-Rey e Capitão por elle na Villa Dalcacer em Affrica. A qual foi primeiramente ajuntada e escripta per Gomez Eanes de Zurara, professo Cavalleiro, e Comendador na Ordem de Christus, Chronista do mesmo Senhor Rey, e Guardador mór do Tombo de seus Regnos."

All the MSS. of this Chronicle are defective, and we know from the Royal Censor that they were in the same state as early as the reign of Dom Sebastião. In fact, more than a third of the work has disappeared, and is represented by lacunæ. The Bibliotheca National in Lisbon has three, the Torre do Tombo two, and the Bibliotheca da Academia Real das Sciencias one MS. of this Chronicle; all show the same gaps. The only MS. of value is one (No. 520) in the Torre do Tombo, dating from the end of the 15th century, written on parchment, with the [pg lx]headings to the Chapters in red and black, and an illuminated title-page. It must be pronounced a fine specimen of caligraphy, and, though incomplete like the rest, is otherwise in good condition.

* * * * *

The Writings attributed to Azurara consist of the following:—

(f) A Chronicle of D. Duarte.

There seems to be little doubt that Azurara wrote some sort of a Chronicle of this King which has not been preserved. The Chronicle we possess goes under the name of Ruy de Pina, but, according to Goes, it was begun by Fernão Lopes, continued by Azurara, and only finished by Pina.[95] Barros is more explicit, for he not only states that Azurara compiled the Chronicle in question, but adds that it was appropriated by Ruy de Pina, who succeeded him in the post of Chronista Mór.[96] Azurara himself does not help us much to a solution of the problem. In the Chronica de Guiné he refers twice to it somewhat vaguely, but in another place mentions it quite clearly as his own work, though in the future tense.[97] Again, in the Chronica de Ceuta there is a similar reference to it, also in the future tense.[98] Unsatisfactory as this is, we must perforce be content with [pg lxi]it in default of any better information. It seems most unlikely that Affonso V would have employed the Chronicler on the lives of great nobles like Pedro and Duarte de Menezes, who, after all, were but private persons, without providing, in some way, for a history of his father to be written. All we can say is, that Azurara probably collected the material and possibly made a first draft—although it is noticeable that he nowhere speaks of the Chronicle as finished, but always as something that is to be done—then came Ruy de Pina and put it into shape, for the style is certainly his, and, while more smooth, is far less characteristic than the quaint rhetorical sentences of Azurara.

(g) A Chronicle of King Affonso V. Both Barros and Goes agree that Azurara wrote a Chronicle of this monarch, and carried it down to the death of D. Pedro in the year 1449, and that it was finished by Ruy de Pina, under whose name it appears.[99] More than this, Barbosa Machado actually cites it, as though it existed in his day, thus—Chronica del Rey D. Affonso V, até a morte do Infante D. Pedro; fol. MS.[100] It is true that, in the Chronica de D. Pedro de Menezes, Azurara declares that, in spite of entreaties, the King would never allow him to write a history of his reign; but this [pg lxii]was in 1463, and Affonso may well have entrusted him with the work in later years, and another passage of the same Chronicle seems to imply it,[101] though Pina, while confessing that he was not the first to receive a commission for the Chronicle of King Affonso, declares that he found it uncommenced.[102] If we examine carefully the first 124 Chapters of Pina's Chronicle, we shall at first sight conclude the ideas to belong to Azurara and the phraseology to savour of Pina. Such prominence is given to the acts and character of the Regent that the work might well have borne his name, and he is treated with a fervent veneration and a love which might naturally be expected from Azurara, who must have known him intimately, as he certainly knew his son, but which could hardly be looked for in a later writer. Again, D. Henrique's neglect of his brother, a neglect which made Alfarrobeira possible, is reprehended in terms that bring to mind the stern and impartial Azurara rather than his more smooth-tongued successor, while, curiously enough, the incident is not touched on in Chapter cxliv, undoubtedly the work of Pina, where the character of the Prince is summed up after his death and receives unmixed praise. On the other hand, it [pg lxiii]must be remembered that D. Henrique's behaviour to his brother Pedro at the last is referred to in the Chronica de Guiné as a proof of his loyalty under difficult circumstances, and this fact certainly tells against Azurara's authorship of the Chronicle under consideration, though hardly enough of itself to discredit the express statements of Barros and Goes. To sum up. While it is certain that Azurara never wrote a complete Chronicle of Affonso V, for the good reason that he predeceased the King, it is impossible in the present state of our knowledge to measure his share in the first part, with which alone he has been credited, although one cannot help inclining to the opinion that the Chronicle as it stands is substantially the work of Ruy de Pina.

(h) A Romance of Chivalry, in three MS. volumes, existing in the Lisbon National Library. The title of the First Volume runs:—"Chronica do Invicto D. Duardos de Bertania, Princepe de Ingalaterra, filho de Palmeiry, e da Princeza Polinarda, do qual se conta seus estremados feitos em armas, e purissimos amores, com outros de outros cavalleiros que em seu tempo concorrerão. Composta por Henrrique Frusto, Chronista ingres, e tresladada em Portugues por Gomes Ennes de Zurara que fes a Chronica del Rey Dom AFonço Henrriques de Portugal, achada de novo entre seus papeis."

There are three MS. copies of this volume which differ somewhat inter se, the earliest dating from the [pg lxiv]second half of the 17th century. Two of these copies contain eighty chapters, the other but seventy-six. They are marked respectively U/2/100 B/10/6 B/10/7 in the Lisbon National Library.

The last, an 18th-century MS., though substantially the same work as the two former ones, bears a different title: "Chronica de Primaleão, Emperador de Grecia. Primeira Parte. Em que se conta das façanhas que obrou o Princepe D. Duardos, e os mais Princepes que com elle se criarão na Ilha Perigoza do Sabio Daliarte." Its composition is attributed to "Guilherme Frusto, Autor Hybernio", and the name of Azurara does not appear as translator, one "Simisberto Pachorro" being named as the copyist.

The Second Volume bears the title:—"Segūda parte da cronica do Princepe Dom Duardos. Composta por Henrique Frusto e tresladada por Gomez Enes Dazurara, autores da primeira parte." It contains eighty-six chapters and is marked U/2/101. Underneath the title is written in a flowing hand—"Podesse encadernar esta segunda parte da Chronica do Princepe Dom Duardos. Lxa em Mesa. 21 de Outubro de 659", and signed with three names.

The Third Volume is headed:—"Terseira parte da Chronica do Princepe Dom Duardos, composta por Henrrique Frusto e tresladada por Gomez Ennes dazurara, Auctores da 1a, e 2a parte." It has thirty-five Chapters, and ends abruptly. Its mark is U/2/102.

All the MSS. described above are of relatively [pg lxv]recent date, written on paper and of folio size.[103] A certain want of connection appears between Parts I and II, but this is not so as regards Parts II and III. A very unpoetical Sonnet closes Chapter XI. of the last Part, and, since it is not referred to in the text and its language is modern, may possibly have been interpolated. From the form it cannot be earlier than 1526 or 1530, while a competent judge holds it to have been probably composed after 1550.

From a cursory examination of the Chronicle under consideration, it would seem to be neither (1) a translation from the English, nor yet (2) by the hand of Azurara, as alleged, but an original composition by some anonymous writer. The value of the first statement may be estimated by remembering how Cervantes declared he had copied D. Quixote from the Cide Hamete Benengeli; and, again, how João de Barros introduced his Clarimundo as a version from the Hungarian; in any case, no such early English or Irish Chronicler as Frusto or Frost (?) can be shown to have existed. The Cycle of the Round Table, and other British Romances of Chivalry, which were known in Portugal early in the 14th century, became more popular after the marriage of D. João I with D. Philippa of Lancaster, and this accounts for the ascription to an English origin; while Azurara's [pg lxvi]knowledge of such books, as displayed in his various Chronicles, explains how this story of a mythical D. Duarte came to be fathered on him. The considerations that weigh most against Azurara's authorship of the MS. are those of date and style. It has been already proved that he died in or about the year 1473, so that, assuming the work to be his, it must have been written at least before that date, or even much earlier, say before 1454; since it cannot be presumed that he would have time for such an essay after his appointment as Chief Chronicler of Portugal and Royal Archivist. Perhaps he would have lacked the inclination as well, at least judging from the disdainful tone of his reference to the Amadis de Gaula in the Chronica de D. Pedro de Menezes. Now, the first of the Palmerin series—to which our MS. certainly belongs—the Palmerin de Oliva, was only printed in 1511; and though both it and its sequel, Primaleon, may have existed in MS. in the 15th century, contemporary literature has no record of the fact as in the case of Amadis, and there is nothing to favour the supposition. But, apart from this, a perusal of the first few chapters of Part I of the present MS., and especially the opening lines of Chapter 1, will convince most readers, without further proof, that it is nothing else than a continuation of the Palmeirim de Inglaterra of Francisco de Moraes,[104] for it not only takes up [pg lxvii]the story where Moraes had left off, but expressly refers to the Palmeirim on more than one occasion.[105] Now, the book of Moraes was only written about the year 1543, so that, as far as the dates go, they are enough of themselves to decide the question of Azurara's authorship in the negative. To come to the question of style—that of the MS. has nothing to correspond with the rhetorical expressions and the quotations, and none of the idioms, peculiar to Azurara; nor does it belong to the 15th century, but rather to the middle or latter part of the 16th, despite the slight archaic atmosphere, shown more especially in the orthography, that hangs about Part I, and ever and anon calls to mind the Saudades of Bernardim Ribeiro. The phrase "achada de novo entre seus papeis", on the title-page of the Romance, evidences nothing, although it is alleged, as already mentioned, that Azurara left MSS. behind him which were explored in the last century by Padre José Pereira de Sant' Anna.[106]

Edgar Prestage.

"Chiltern", Bowdon,

Day of Camöens' Death, 1895.

[86] A Vida de Nun' Alvares. Lisbon, 1893.

[87] Tom. iii, p. 217, ed. Lisbon, 1666. Barbosa Machado mentions the MS. on the authority of Cardoso.—Vide Bibliotheca Lusitana, tom. ii, art. on Azurara.

[88] Chronica dos Carmaelitas, vol. i, pp. 469 and 486. Lisbon, 1745.

[89] There doubtless exist many other MSS. of Azurara's Chronicles, besides those mentioned in this notice, both in public libraries and private collections. Most of those described here are in Lisbon, and neither the Royal Library at the Ajuda nor the rich collection at Evora appear to contain a single specimen. Gallardo states that D. Pedro Portocarrero y Guzman, Patriarch of the Indies, the catalogue of whose library was printed at Madrid in 1703, possessed a signed MS. of the Chronica de Ceuta.

[90] Cf. Chronica de Guiné, ch. 5.

[91] Chronica de Guiné, p. xii, and compare the art. on Azurara in the Diccionario Universal Portuguez, and Innocencio da Silva, Diccionario Bibliographico Portuguez, vol. ix, p. 245.

[92] Barros, Asia, Dec. 1, liv. ii, ch. 1, and Goes, Chronica do Principe D. Joào, ch. 6.

[93] Historia de S. Domingos, p. 1, liv. vi, ch. 15. Santarem suggests that Affonso V sent it to his uncle, Affonso the Magnificent of Naples, by his ambassador, Martin Mendes de Berredo, between 1453 and 1457; but this cannot be reconciled with the fact that certain passages in the Chronicle appear to have been written after the death of D. Henrique.

[94] Catalogue No. 148, Bibliotheca Hispana, February 1895.

[95] Chronica de D. Manoel, quarta parte, ch. 38.

[96] Asia, Dec. 1, liv. ii, ch. 2.

[97] Chronica de Guiné, chs. 1, 5, and 68.

[98] Chronica de Ceuta, ch. 21, and cf. Chronica de D. Duarte de Menezes, ch. 24.

[99] Asia, Dec. 1, liv. ii, ch. 2, and Chronica de D. Manoel, quarta parte, ch. 38. Goes says, too, that Azurara related the taking of Arzilla, which happened in 1470.

[100] Bibliotheca Lusitana, vol. ii, art. on Azurara.

[101] Chronica de D. Pedro de Menezes, chs. 1, 2, and parte II, ch. 26; and compare his references to the Chronica Geral in the Chronica de D. Duarte de Menezes, chs. 108, 111, 135, 142, and 145, as well as in the Chronica de Guiné, ch. 5.

[102] Prologue to the Chronica de D. Affonso V (Ineditos, vol. i, p. 202).

[103] Dr. Theophilo Braga mentions another MS. of the whole Chronicle, in a single volume of 644 folios, as being in private hands. The name of the English (?) Chronicler is there spelt "Henrique Fauste".—Amadis de Gaula, p. 196 n. Porto, 1873.

[104] But it is quite a distinct work from that of Diogo Fernandes, though the same period seems to have given them birth.

[105] Vide Part I, chs. 1, 4, 6, 17, and 37.

[106] Compare, on this question, the following studies:—Opusculo acerca do Palmeirim de Inglaterra e do seu auctor, by M. O. Mendes. Lisbon, 1860. Discurso sobre el Palmeirim de Inglaterra y su verdadero autor, by N. D. de Benjumea. Lisbon, 1875. Versuch über den Ritterroman Palmeirim de Inglaterra, by D. Carolina Michaëlis de Vasconcellos. Halle, 1883.

[pg lxviii] Note.—The elegant signature of Azurara, with its flourishes and general ornateness, a woodcut of which appears below, was copied by my friend the Viscount de Castilho, son of the poet, from an original document in the Torre do Tombo. The writing, it will be observed, is clear and firm, a characteristic of all the Chronicler's signatures, which exist to the number of some half-dozen in the Torre.—E. P.

Illustration: Signature

[pg 1] Design 4





Letter H

ere beginneth the Chronicle in which are set down all the notable deeds that were achieved in the Conquest of Guinea, written by command of the most high and revered Prince and most virtuous Lord the Infant Don Henry, Duke of Viseu and Lord of Covilham, Ruler and Governor of the Chivalry of the Order of Jesus Christ. The which Chronicle was collected into this volume by command of the most high and excellent Prince, and most powerful Lord the King Don Affonso the Fifth of Portugal.

Which is the Prologue, wherein the Author sheweth what will be his purpose in this Work.

We are commonly taught by experience, that all well-doing requireth gratitude. And even though the benefactor doth not covet it for himself, yet he should desire it, that [pg 2]the recipient may not suffer dishonour where the giver hath acquired virtuous merit. And such a special communion is there between these two acts, to wit, giving and thanking, that the first requireth the second by way of obligation. And did not the former[A] exist, it would not be possible for there to be gratitude in the world. Wherefore, Saint Thomas,[B] who was the most clear teacher[1] among the Doctors of Theology, saith in the second book of the second part of his work, in the 108th section, that every action returneth by nature to the cause from which it first proceeded. Therefore, since the giver is the chief cause of the benefit received by the other, it is requisite, by the ordinance of Nature, that the good he doth should come back to him in the shape of a fitting gratitude. And by this return we are enabled to understand the natural likeness between the works of Nature and those that give moral aid, for all things bring about a proper return, starting from a commencement and progressing till in the end they accomplish the recompence we speak of. And, in proof of this, Solomon saith in the book of Ecclesiastes, that the sun riseth over the earth, and, having encircled all things, returneth to where it first appeared. The rivers also proceed from the sea, and ceasing not their course, are continually returning to it. A like thing happeneth in the moral order, for all good that cometh from a generous will, doth run a straight course until it arrive at the fitting recipient, and then afterwards it returneth naturally to the place where the generosity allowed it to begin; and such a return bringeth about that sweet union between those that do good and those that receive it, of which Tully speaketh when he saith that no service is more necessary than [pg 3]gratitude, in order that the good may return to him who gave it.

And in that the most high and excellent Prince and most mighty Lord, the King Don Affonso the Vth (who at the time of the writing of this book reigned in Portugal, by the grace of God, whose reign may God in his mercy increase in length and in virtues), in that he, I say, saw and knew the great and very notable deeds of the Lord Infant Don Henry, Duke of Viseu and Lord of Covilham, who was his highly-valued and beloved uncle, and in that the said deeds appeared to him so noteworthy among the many actions of Christian princes in this world—it seemed to him a wrong thing not to have some authentic memorial of the same before the minds of men. And this most of all because of the great services which the said Lord had ever rendered to past kings, and the great benefits which by his efforts the Prince's countrymen had received.

For these reasons the King bade me engage in this work with all diligence, for although great part of his other actions are scattered through the Chronicles of the Kings of his day, as, for instance, what he did when the King Don John, his father, went to take Ceuta,[2] and when on his own account he went with his brothers and many other great lords to raise the siege of the aforesaid town, and afterwards when in the reign and by the command of the King Don Edward of glorious memory, he attacked Tangier, where were done many very notable deeds, which are mentioned in his history, yet all that followeth was done by his ordinance[C] and mandate, not without great expense and trouble, all which is truly to be set down to his account. For though in all kingdoms men compile general Chronicles of their Kings, they do not fail [pg 4]also to write separately of the deeds of some of those Kings' vassals, wherever the greatness of the same is notable enough to warrant such especial mention—as was done in France in the case of Duke John, Lord of Lançam,[3] and in Castille in the matter of the deeds of the Cid Ruy Diaz,[4] and in our own kingdom in the story of the Count Nunalvarez Pereira.[5] And with this Royal Princes ought to be not a little contented, for so much the more is their honour exalted as they have seigniory over greater and more excellent persons; for no Prince can be great, unless he rule over great men; nor rich, unless he rule over the wealthy. For this cause said the virtuous Roman Fabricius, that he would rather be lord over those who had gold, than have gold himself.

But because the said deeds were written by many and various persons, so the record of them is variously written, in many parts. And our Lord the King, considering that it was not convenient for the process of one only Conquest[D] that it should be recounted in many ways, although they all contribute to one result, ordered me to work at the writing and ordering of the history in this volume so that those who read might have the more perfect knowledge. And that we may return the benefit he conferred on us by gratitude to him from whom we received it, as I began to set forth at the commencement of this chapter, we will follow the example of that holy Prophet Moses, who, desiring not to let the people of Israel forget the good that God had shewn them, often commanded the receivers to write them upon their hearts, as in a book that should display to those who considered it what was written therein. Further, seeing that the remembrance of injuries is tender, and that the good deed is soon forgotten, those that came after[E] set up signs that should be lasting, on which [pg 5]people might look and remember the benefits they had received in time past. And so likewise it is written of Joshua, that God bade him take twelve great stones from the midst of the river Jordan, and carry them to where the camp was pitched, after all had crossed. For this was done in order that they should be in remembrance of the wonderful miracle which God had wrought in presence of the people, when he parted the waters, so that those which came from above stood up in a heap and did not flow out towards the sides, while those which were below flowed on until the river was dry. But some, considering that even by such signs it was not always perfectly well known what had been done (just as we see that the Pillars of Hercules[6] do not signify clearly to all who see them that they were placed there as a memorial of his Conquest of Spain), began the custom of writing what could not otherwise be long remembered. And in proof of this it is related in the book of Queen Esther, that King Ahasuerus kept a record of all the notable services that had been rendered to him, and that at certain times he caused this record to be read, that he might reward the authors of those services. So, too, the King Don Ramiro, desiring that the men of Spain should not allow themselves to forget the great aid that the blessed apostle Saint James had given them, when he delivered them from the power of the Moors, and promised to be our helper in all our battles with the Infidel, caused to be written the story of that event in the privileges that he granted the Church of Santiago,[7] that is to say, in providing for the entertainment of the poor,—privileges which that Church now receives from every part of Spain where Christians then lived.

Now this care that the ancients showed ought to be a custom of to-day, and inasmuch as our memory is weaker than theirs was, and less mindful of the good that it receiveth, so much the more careful should we be to keep [pg 6]ever before us the benefits bestowed on us by others, since we cannot afford to forget them without manifest injury to ourselves. And because we received of God great benefit in the deeds hereinafter recorded, in three ways—firstly, by the many souls that have been already saved, and yet will be saved, of the lineage of our captives; secondly, by the great benefits we all of us receive from the said actions; thirdly, by the great honour that our realm is now gaining in many parts by subjecting to itself so great a power of enemies, and so far from our own land—for all these reasons we will put this history in remembrance to the praise of God, and to the glorious memory of our aforesaid Lord, and to the honour of many good servants of his, and other worthy persons of our country who toiled manfully in the doing of the aforesaid actions. Finally, because our said Chronicle is especially dedicated to this Lord,[F] let us begin at once to speak of his habits and of his virtues, and of his appearance also, in accordance with the custom of various authors of credit whose chronicles we have seen.

[A] I.e., conferring of favours.

[B] I.e., Aquinas. See note 1, in vol. ii. Throughout the present volume the numbers inserted in the text refer to historical and other notes which will be appended to vol. ii.

[C] I.e., all that follows in this book was done by Henry's ordinance, etc.

[D] Such as that of Guinea.

[E] I.e., after Moses.

[F] "This Lord," the "aforesaid Lord," and so on, is of course Henry.

The Author's invocation.

O thou Prince little less than divine! I beseech thy sacred virtues to bear with all patience the shortcomings of my too daring pen, that would attempt so lofty a subject as is the recounting of thy virtuous deeds, worthy of so much glory. For the eternal duration of these thy actions, if the end of my attempt be profitable, will exalt thy fame and bring great honour to thy memory, giving a [pg 7]useful lesson to all those princes that shall follow thine example. For of a certainty it is not without cause that I ask pardon of thy virtues, knowing my insufficiency to compass such a task, and that I have more just reason to expect blame for doing less than I ought, than for saying over much. Thy glory, thy praises, thy fame, so fill my ears and employ my eyes that I know not well where to begin. I hear the prayers of the innocent souls of those barbarous peoples, almost infinite in number, whose ancient race since the beginning of the world hath never seen the divine light, but who are now by thy genius, by thy infinite expense, and by thy great labours, brought into the true path of salvation, washed in the waters of baptism, anointed with the holy oil, and freed from that wretched abode of theirs, knowing at this present what darkness lay concealed under the semblance of light in the days of their ancestors. I will not say with what filial piety, as they contemplate the divine power, they are ever praying for a reward to thy great merits—for that is a matter which cannot be denied by him who hath well considered the sentences of St. Thomas and St. Gregory[8] on the knowledge possessed by spirits concerning those who have been, or are, profitable to them in this world. I see those Garamantes,[9] those Ethiopians, who live under the shadow of Mount Caucasus, black in colour, because of living just opposite to the full height of the sun's rays—for he, being in the head of Capricorn, shineth on them with wondrous heat, as is shown by his movements from the centre of his eccentric, or, in another way, by the nearness of these people to the torrid zone,—I see the Indians of the greater and the lesser India,[10] all alike in colour, who call upon me to write of thy gifts of money and of raiment, of the passing of thy ships, and of thy hospitality—which those received who, either to visit the Apostle,[11] or to see the beauty of the world, came to the ends of our Spain. And those dwellers on [pg 8]the Nile, whose multitudes possess the lands of that ancient and venerable city of Thebes,[12] they, too, astonish me, for I see them clothed in thy livery, and their bodies, that had never known a covering, now carrying robes of varied colours, while the necks of their women are adorned with jewels of gold and silver in rich workmanship. But what has caused this save the munificence of thine expenses and the labours of thy servitors, set in motion by thy beneficent will, by the which thou hast transported to the ends of the East things created in the West? Yet not even the prayers and the cries of these peoples, though they were many, were of such price as the acclamations I heard from the greatness of the Germans, from the courtesy of the French, from the valour of the English, and from the wisdom of the Italians,[13] cries that were accompanied by others of divers nations and languages, all renowned by lineage and virtues. Oh thou, say these, who enterest the labyrinth of such great glory, why dost thou busy thyself only with the nations of the East? Speak to us, for we traverse the lands and encircle the circumference of the Earth, and know the Courts of Princes and the houses of great lords. Know that thou wilt not find another that can equal the excellency of the fame of this man, if thou judgest by a just weight of all that pertains to a great prince. With reason mayst thou call him a temple of all the virtues. But how plaintive do I find the people of our nation because I place the testimonies of some other race before theirs. For here in Portugal I meet with great lords, prelates, nobles, widowed ladies, Knights of the Orders of Chivalry, Masters and Doctors of the holy faith, with many graduates of every science, young scholars, companies of esquires, and men of noble breeding, with mechanics and an untold multitude of the people. And some of these shew me towns and castles; others villages and fields; others rich benefices; others great and wealthy farms; others [pg 9]country houses and estates and liberties; others charters for pensions and for marriages; others gold and silver, money and cloth; others health in their bodies and deliverance from perils which they have gained by means of thee; others countless servants both male and female; while others there are that tell me of monasteries and churches that thou didst repair and rebuild, and of the great and rich ornaments that thou didst offer in many holy places. Others, again, pointed out to me the marks of the chains they bore in the captivity from which thou didst rescue them. What shall I say of the needy beggars that I see before me laden with alms? And of the great multitude of friars of every order that shew me the garments with which thou didst clothe their bodies, and the abundance of food with which thou didst satisfy their necessities? I had already made an end of this chapter, had I not descried the approach of a multitude of ships with tall sails laden from the islands thou didst people in the great Ocean Sea,[14] which called on me to wait for them, as they longed to prove that they ought not to be omitted from this register. And they displayed before me their great cattle-stalls, the valleys full of sugar cane from which they carried store to distribute throughout the world: they brought also as witnesses to their great prosperity all the dwellers in the kingdom of the Algarve.[15] Ask, said they, whether these people ever knew what it was to have abundance of bread until our Prince peopled the uninhabited isles, where no dwelling existed save that of wild beasts. Next they shewed me great rows of beehives full of swarms of bees, from which great cargoes of wax and honey are carried to our realm; and besides these, lofty houses towering to the sky, which have been and are being built with wood from those parts. But why should I mention the multitude of things that were told me in thy praise, though all of them were things that I could write [pg 10]without injuring the truth? Let me tell how there now sounded in my ears some other voices very contrary to these I have recounted hitherto: voices for which I should have felt great compassion had I not discovered them to be the cries of those outside our law. For there addressed me countless souls of Moors, both on this side the Straits, and also beyond,[16] of whom many had died by thy lance in the cruel war thou hast ever waged against them. And others presented themselves before me loaded with chains, their countenances pitiable to behold, men who were captured by thy ships through the strength of the bodies of thy vassals; but in these I noticed that they complained not so much of the ill fortune that overtook them at the end as of their fate in earlier life, that is, of the seductive error in which that false schismatic Mohammed[17] left them. And so I conclude my preface, begging that if thy great virtues, if the excellence of thy great and noble deeds, suffer any loss by my ignorance and rudeness, thy magnanimous greatness may vouchsafe to look on my fault with a propitious countenance.

In which we recount the descent of the Infant Don Henry.

Two reasons move me to speak in this chapter of the descent of this noble prince. First of all, because the long course of ages driveth out of the memory the very knowledge of past things, which would be altogether dimmed and hidden from our eyes were they not to be represented before us in writing. And since I have determined to write for the representing of this present time to those that come after, I ought not to pass by in silence the glory of so noble a descent as our Prince's, since this book must indeed be a work placed [pg 11]by itself. For it may happen that those who read through this may not know anything of other writings.

But this digression must needs be brief, that I may not be drawn away far from my projected task.

And the second reason[G] is that we may not attribute the whole of such great virtues to one man only, but may rather give some part to his ancestors, for it is certain that nobility of lineage, being well observed by one that hath sprung from such a stock—for the sake, as often happeneth, of avoiding shame, or in some way of acquiring virtue—constraineth a man to shew courage, and strengtheneth his heart to endure greater toils.

Therefore you must know that the King Don John, who was the tenth King of Portugal, the same that was victor in the great battle of Aljubarrota and took the very noble city of Ceuta, in the land of Africa, was espoused to Donna Philippa, daughter of the Duke of Lancaster, and sister of the King Don Henry of England, by whom he had six lawful children, to wit, five princes, and one princess, who was afterwards Duchess of Burgundy.[18] Some others, who died while still very young, I omit to mention. And of these children Prince Henry was the third, so that with the ancestry he had, both on his father's and his mother's side, the lineage of this royal prince embraced the most noble and lofty in Christendom. Now this same Prince Henry was also brother of the King Don Edward and uncle of the King Don Affonso, the kings who, after the death of the King Don John, reigned in Portugal. But this, as I said, I touch on briefly, because if I were to declare things more fully I should meet with many matters of which any single one duly followed up, as would be necessary, must needs cause so great a delay that I should be late in returning to my first commencement.

[G] I.e. for undertaking Prince Henry's genealogy.

[pg 12] Which speaketh of the habits of the Infant Don Henry.

Meseemeth I should be writing overmuch if I were to recount fully all the particulars that some histories are accustomed to relate about those Princes to whom they addressed their writings. For in writing of their deeds they commenced by telling of the actions of their youth, through their desire to exalt their virtues. And though it may be presumed that authors of such sufficiency would not do aught without a clear and sufficient reason, I shall for the present depart from their course, as I know that it would be a work but little needed in this place. Nor do I even purpose to make a long tale about the Infant's bodily presence, for many in this world have had features right well proportioned, and yet for their dishonest vices have got great harm to their fair fame. So, though it be nothing more, let it suffice what the philosopher[19] saith concerning this, that personal beauty is not a perfect good. Therefore, returning to my subject, let me say that this noble Prince was of a good height and stout frame, big and strong of limb, the hair of his head somewhat erect, with a colour naturally fair, but which by constant toil and exposure had become dark. His expression at first sight inspired fear in those who did not know him, and when wroth, though such times were rare, his countenance was harsh. Strength of heart and keenness of mind were in him to a very excellent degree, and beyond comparison he was ambitious of achieving great and lofty deeds. Neither luxury nor avarice ever found a home within his breast, for as to the former he was so temperate that all his life was passed in purest chastity, and as a virgin the earth received him at his death again to herself. And what can I say of his [pg 13]greatness, except that it was pre-eminent among all the princes of the earth? He was indeed the uncrowned prince, whose court was full of more numerous and more noble vassals of his own rearing than any other. His palace was a school of hospitality for all the good and high-born of the realm, and still more for strangers; and the fame of it caused there to be a great increase in his expenses: for commonly there were to be found in his presence men from various nations so different from our own, that it was a marvel to well-nigh all our people: and none of that great multitude could go away without some guerdon from the Prince. All his days were passed in the greatest toil, for of a surety among all the nations of mankind there was no one man who was a sterner master to himself. It would be hard to tell how many nights he passed in the which his eyes knew no sleep; and his body was so transformed by the use of abstinence that it seemed as if Don Henry had made its nature to be different from that of other men. Such was the length of his toil and so rigorous was it, that as the poets have feigned that Atlas the giant held up the heavens upon his shoulders, for the great knowledge that was in him concerning the movements of the heavenly bodies, so the people of our kingdom had a proverb, that the great labours of this our Prince "conquered the heights of the mountains," that is to say, the matters that seemed impossible to other men, by his continual energy, were made to appear light and easy. The Infant was a man of great wisdom and authority, very discreet and of good memory, but in some matters a little tardy, whether it were from the influence of phlegm in his nature, or from the choice of his will, directed to some certain end not known of men. His bearing was calm and dignified, his speech and address gentle. He was constant in adversity, humble in prosperity. Of a surety no Sovereign ever had a vassal of such station, or [pg 14]even of one far lower than his, who held him in greater obedience and reverence than he showed to the kings who in his days reigned in Portugal, and especially to the King Don Affonso, in the commencement of his reign, as in his Chronicle[20] you may learn more at length. Never was hatred known in him, nor ill-will towards any, however great the wrong he might have done him; and so great was his benignity in this matter that wiseacres reproached him as wanting in distributive justice, though in all other matters he held the rightful mean. And this they said because he left unpunished some of his servants who deserted him in the siege of Tangier, which was the most perilous affair in which he ever stood before or after,[21] not only becoming reconciled to them, but even granting them honourable advancement over and above others who had served him well; the which, in the judgment of men, was far from their deserts. And this is the only shortcoming of his that I have to record. And because Tully commandeth[22] that an author should reason, in the matter of his writing, as truly appeareth to him—in the sixth chapter of this work I shall declare myself more fully on this,[H] that I may approve myself a truthful writer. The Infant drank wine only for a very small part of his life, and that in his youth, but afterwards he abstained entirely from it. He always shewed great devotion to the public affairs of these kingdoms, toiling greatly for their good advancement, and much he delighted in the trial of new essays for the profit of all, though with great expense of his own substance. And so he keenly enjoyed the labour of arms, and especially against the enemies of the holy faith, while he desired peace with all Christians. Thus he was loved by all alike, for he made himself useful to all and hindered no one. His answers were always [pg 15]gentle, and therewith he shewed great honour to the standing of every one who came to him, without any lessening of his own estate. A base or unchaste word was never heard to issue from his mouth. He was very obedient to all the commands of Holy Church, and heard all its offices with great devotion; aye and caused the same to be celebrated in his chapel, with no less splendour and ceremony than they could have had in the College of any Cathedral Church. And so he held all sacred things in great reverence and treated the ministers of the same with honour, and bestowed on them favours and largess. Well-nigh one-half of the year he spent in fasting, and the hands of the poor never went away empty from his presence. Of a surety I know not how to find any prince so Catholic and religious, that I could say as much of him. His heart never knew what fear was, save the fear of sin; and since from chaste habits and virtuous actions spring great and lofty deeds, I will collect in this next chapter all the notable things which were performed by him for the service of God and the honour of the Kingdom.

[H] I.e., on this point of distributive justice.

In which the Chronicler speaketh briefly of the notable matters which the Infant performed for the service of God and the honour of the Kingdom.

Where could this chapter begin better than in speaking of that most glorious conquest of the great city of Ceuta, of which famous victory the heavens felt the glory and the earth the benefit. For it seemeth to me a great glory, for the sacred college of the Celestial Virtues,[23] that all those holy sacrifices and blessed ceremonies should have been celebrated in praise of Christ our Lord in that city from [pg 16]that day even until now, and by his grace ever shall be celebrated. And as to the profit of our world from this achievement, East and West alike are good witnesses thereof, since their peoples can now exchange their goods, without any great peril of merchandise—for of a surety no one can deny that Ceuta is the key of all the Mediterranean sea. In the which conquest the Prince was captain of a very great and powerful fleet, and like a brave knight fought and toiled in person on the day when it was taken from the Moors; and under his command were the Count of Barcellos, the King's bastard, and Don Fernando, Lord of Braganza, his nephew, and Gonçalo Vasquez Coutinho, a great and powerful noble, and many other lords and gentlemen with all their men-at-arms, and others who joined the said fleet from the three districts of the Beira, and the Tral-os-Montes and the Entre Douro-e-Minho.[24] Now the first Royal Captain who took possession by the walls of Ceuta was this same of whom I write, and his square banner was the first that entered the gates of the city, from whose shadow he was never far off himself. On that day the blows he dealt out were conspicuous beyond those of all other men, since for the space of five hours he never stopped fighting, and neither the heat, though it was very great, nor the amount of his toil, were able to make him retire and take any rest. And in this space of time, the Prince, with four who accompanied him, made a valiant stand. For as to the others who should have followed in his company, some were scattered through that vast city, and others were not able to join him by reason of a gate through which the Infant with the said four companions had passed together with the Moors, which gate was guarded by other Moors on the top of the wall. So for about two hours the Prince and his friends held another gate, which is beyond that one which stands between the two cities[25] in a turn of the wall under the shadow of the castle, [pg 17]which gate is now called that of Fernandafonso. And to this had retired the greater part of the Moors who had fled out of the other town from the side of Almina just where the city was entered, but in the end, despite the great multitude of the enemy, they shut that gate. And whether their toil were idle or no could well be seen by those who had fallen and lay dead there, stretched out along that ground. In that city of Ceuta was the Infant knighted, together with his brothers, by his father's hand, with great honour, on the day of the consecration of the Cathedral Church. And the capture was on a Thursday, the 21st day of the month of August, in the year of Christ 1415. And immediately on the return of the King Don John to his kingdom, he made this honoured prince a duke, with the seignory thereof, in a place of the province of the Algarve.[26] And afterwards at the end of three years there came against Ceuta a great power of Moors, who were reckoned at a later time by the King's Ransomers of Captives to be 100,000 strong—for there were present the people of the Kings of Fez and of Granada and of Tunis and of Marocco and of Bugya,[27] with many engines of war and much artillery, with the which they thought to take the aforesaid city, encircling it by sea and land. Then the Infant was very diligent in succouring it with two of his brothers, that is to say the Infant Don John and the Count of Barcellos, who was afterwards Duke of Braganza, with many lords and gentlemen and with the aid of a great flotilla; and after killing many of the Moors and delivering the city, he repaired it and returned again very honourably to Portugal. Yet he was not well content with his victory, because the chance of taking the town of Gibraltar, for which he had made preparation, did not offer itself to him.[28] The chief reason of his being thus hindered was the roughness of the winter, which was just then beginning; for although the sea at that time is dangerous everywhere, [pg 18]it is much more so at that very part because of the great currents that are there. He also fitted out a very great armada against the Canary Islands,[29] to shew the natives there the way of the holy faith.

Again, while the King Don Edward was reigning, by his order he passed over a third time into Africa, when he besieged the city of Tangier, and went for nineteen leagues with banners flying through the land of his enemies; and then maintained the leaguer for two and twenty days, in which time were achieved many feats worthy of glorious remembrance, not without great slaughter of the enemy, as in the history of the kingdom you can learn more fully.

He governed Ceuta, by command of the kings, his father, brother and nephew,[I] for five and thirty years, with such prevision that the crown of the kingdom never suffered loss of honour through any default of his; but at last, because of his great burdens, he left the said government to the King Don Affonso, at the beginning of his reign.[30] Moreover, from the time that Ceuta was taken he always kept armed ships at sea to guard against the infidels, who then made very great havoc upon the coasts both on this side the straits and beyond; so that the fear of his vessels kept in security all the shores of our Spain and the greater part of the merchants who traded between East and West.[31]

Also he caused to be peopled in the great Sea of Ocean five islands, which embraced a goodly number of people at the time of the writing of this book, and especially Madeira;[32] and from this isle, as well as the others, our country drew large supplies of wheat, sugar, wax, honey and wood, and many other things, from which not only our own people but also foreigners have gained and are gaining great profit. Also the Infant [pg 19]Don Henry was with the king Don Affonso his nephew, in that army he collected against the Infant Don Pedro, from which followed the battle of Alfarrobeira, where the aforesaid Don Pedro was killed and the Count of Avranches who was with him, and all their host defeated.[33] And there, if my understanding suffice for the matter, I may truly say that the loyalty of men of all times was as nothing in comparison of his. Further, although his services[J] did not occasion him such great labours as those I have mentioned, yet of a certainty the circumstances of the matter gave to them a lustre and a grandeur that exceeded all else: and of these I leave a fuller account to the general history of the Kingdom.

Don Henry also made very great benefactions to the Order of Christ, of which he was ruler and governor by the authority of the Holy Father, for he bestowed upon it all the spiritualties of the islands[K] and in the kingdom he made purchases of lands (from which he created new commanderies), as well as of houses and estates, which he annexed to the said Order. And in the Mother-Convent of the Order he built two very fair cloisters and one high choir, with many rich ornaments, which he presented for sacred uses.[34] And for that he had a great devotion to the Virgin Mary, he built in her honour a very devout house of prayer, one league from Lisbon, near the sea, at Restello, under the title of St. Mary of Belem. And in Pombal and in Soure, he built two very notable churches. Also, he bequeathed many noble houses to the City of Lisbon, being pleased to give his protection for the greater honour of the holy Scriptures; and he ordained a yearly grant of ten marks of silver to the Chair of Theology for ever. And in the same way he gave to his chapel of St. Mary of Victory seven marks of yearly revenue.[35] But I know not for the present if there is [pg 20]to be an increase in these grants after his death, for, at the time that King Affonso ordered this book to be written he was yet alive, of an age little less than sixty years, so that I cannot make an end of his benefactions, for, as his mind was great and ever intent on noble actions, I am sure that his members may indeed grow weaker with the lapse of time, but his will can never be too poor both to undertake and to finish a multitude of good deeds, so long as his soul and body are united together. And this may well be understood by those that saw him ready to go to Ceuta[36] and almost embarked on shipboard with that intent—to end his life there, toiling in arms for the honour of the Kingdom and the exaltation of the Holy Faith. For in this cause he ever had a desire to finish his days: yet he desisted from carrying out his purpose for this time, because the King agreed with his Council in hindering the voyage, though he had previously given him leave. And though the chief cause of this be not known to most men, some wiseacres, who were not members of the Chief Council, perceived that the reason was as follows: the Lord King, like a man of great discretion, considering the great things to be performed at home, ordered him to remain, that he might give him, as his uncle and especial friend and most notable servant, the principal part in searching out the remedies for these troubles. But it mattereth not much, whether this was the cause of his remaining or whether it was some other reason outside our knowledge: let it suffice that by this action you may see what was the chief part of his life's purpose, and this is what I ought in reason to set forth after what I have said. And among those actions of the Prince's[L] there are many others of no little grandeur, with which another man, who had not attained to the excellency of this hero, might well be [pg 21]content, but in this history I omit them, in order not to depart from what I promised at first to write of. Not that I would keep silence altogether concerning them, for in the general chronicle of the Kingdom I intend to touch on each in its own place. And because I began this chapter with the taking of a city,[M] I would fain end it with an account of that noble town which our Prince caused them to build on Cape St. Vincent, at the place where both seas meet, to wit, the great Ocean sea and the Mediterranean sea. But of the perfections of that town it is not possible to speak here at large, because when this book was written there were only the walls standing, though of great strength, with a few houses—yet work was going on in it continually. According to the common belief, the Infant purposed to make of it an especial mart town for merchants. And this was to the end that all ships that passed from the East to the West, should be able to take their bearings and to get provisions and pilots there, as at Cadiz—which last is very far from being as good a port as this, for here ships can get shelter against every wind (except one that we in this Kingdom call the cross-wind), and in the same way they can go out with every wind, whenever the seaman willeth it. Moreover, I have heard say that when this city was begun, the Genoese offered a great price for it; and they, as you know, are not men that spend their money without some certain hope of gain. And though some have called the said town by other names, I believe its proper one, according to the intention of its founder, was that of "the Infant's town", for he himself so named it, both by word of mouth and by writing.[37]

[I] John, Edward and Affonso.

[J] In this battle.

[K] In his jurisdiction.

[L] In home affairs.

[M] Ceuta.

[pg 22]CHAPTER VI.
In which the Author, who setteth in order this history, saith something of what he purposeth concerning the virtues of the Infant Don Henry.

Such were the virtues and habits of this great and glorious Prince, even as you have heard in the past few chapters, in which I have spoken as well as I was able, but certainly not as the matter deserved of me, for as St. Jerome layeth it down, small wits cannot handle great subjects. And if it be true, as Sallust saith, that great praise was given to those who performed the famous actions in the history of Athens, as far as the brilliant and glorious talents of her subtle authors were able by words to praise and exalt them, it was great boldness in me, who am only worthy to name myself a disciple of each one of these ancients, to undertake so high a charge.[38]

But whereas it is said, that obedience is better than sacrifice, it seemeth to me that I do not deserve so great a blame, since I have only fulfilled what was commanded me. But I neither demand nor desire that my work should be placed before the public, for it is not of so precious a nature as to merit that it be preserved in a tower or temple, as the Athenians preserved the Minerva of Phidias, the figure to wit of the goddess Pallas, which for the excellency of its beauty was placed on high for the better view of all men, as saith the Philosopher in the sixth book of his Ethics, in the Chapter on Wisdom.[39] Rather I wish that this book of mine may be profitable as to its form, in order that in the future another work more adequate to the subject may be constructed out of it, and one that may suffice for the merits of so great a prince; for certainly shame will descend on all the masters, all the doctors, all the lawyers that have received instruction [pg 23]through his beneficence, if among so many there should not be found one willing to perpetuate his admirable deeds in a loftier and nobler style.

But as it may happen that the recompense of gratitude, as I often perceive, may not be swift to follow or may very quickly cease altogether, let it please you to receive what in the past chapters of this work I have said of the Prince's habits and virtuous acts, and what more in the future I shall have to say—not according to that which the excellence of the work requireth, but according to the rudeness and ignorance of the Author. And these matters you may well believe are more truthfully written than easily collected together.

But before entering fully upon the substance of my history, I wish to say a little of my intention to amend somewhat in the things where aforetime I was found wanting, to the praise of this great and glorious duke. And thou, great Valerius,[40] who with such constant study, didst occupy thyself in gathering and putting together in a history the powers and virtues of the noble and excellent lords of thy city, of a surety I dare say that among so many renowned men, thou couldst not, in the highest degree, speak of another like him, for although thou wast able to assign certain grades of virtue to each one of thy heroes, yet thou wast not able to unite all these merits in one single body, as I am able to gather and join them together in the life of this Prince.

Where couldst thou find one so religious, one so catholic, one so prudent, one of so good counsel, one so temperate in all his actions? Where couldst thou light on such magnanimity, such frankness, such humanity, such courage, to support so great and so many toils as his?—for of a surety there was not a man of his time who would have dared to continue in the practice of such severity of life. Oh how often did the sun find him on its rising seated in [pg 24]the same place where it had left him the day before, watching throughout the circle of the night season without taking any rest, surrounded by people of various nations, not without profit to every one of them that stood by. For he took no small delight in finding the means to profit all. Where could you find another human body that would endure the toil he underwent in arms, a toil that was but scantly diminished in the time of peace? Certainly I believe that if fortitude could be depicted, it would encounter its true form in his face and members, for he did not prove himself strong in some matters only, but in all. And what courage, what endurance, could be greater than that of the man who is victor over himself? Yet he endured hunger and thirst as well, a matter almost past belief.

But what Romulus, or Manlius Torquatus, or Horatius Coclês couldst thou prefer to the might of this Prince? Perchance thou wouldst bring hither thy Cæsar, whom by thy words thou hast set up as a god, and an example of good morals and honest life: what then wilt thou do with Marcus Tullius and with Lucan, who in so many places confess that he corrupted himself by carnal desires and other vices, to the great diminishing of his praise?[41] Who would not fear to compare himself with this our prince, seeing how that the Sovereign Pontiff, vicar-general of the Holy Church, and the Emperor of Germany, as well as the Kings of Castille and England, when informed of his great virtues, begged him to be captain of their armies?[42] And to what shall we assign more justly the name of felicity and good fortune than to his virtues and habits, or to what empires and riches can be given greater honour than to his great and excellent deeds?

O fortunate prince, honour of our kingdom, what single thing was there in thy life which they who praise thee ought to pass by in silence: what moment of thy time was barren of good deeds or empty of praise? I consider how [pg 25]thou didst welcome all, how thou didst listen to all; how thou didst pass the greater part of thy days and nights among such great cares, that many might be profited. Wherefore I know that lands and seas are full of those that praise thee, for by thy continual voyagings thou hast joined the East with the West, in order that the nations might learn to exchange their riches. And in truth, though I have said many things about thee, many more remain for me to say.

But before I end this chapter I believe that it beseemeth me, of necessity, to show what I think about that matter on which I touched—to wit, distributive justice—so as not to pass it by without some declaration of my mind, as I promised before. And certainly that was a beautiful ordinance that Tully made upon this matter, for it standeth to reason that the verdict of the historian should have greater authority upon that matter of which he treateth than any other person, because he enquireth about the truth of things with greater care: Now this duty[N] will be either that of martial correction or of humanity and clemency. If it be an affair of correction or martial justice, it is impossible to excuse shortcomings, for we read in the histories of the Romans that the fathers slew their sons for such faults, and made other very bloody executions: but, contrariwise, on the side of clemency and humanity, this must needs be praised as a great virtue, since its third part, according to Seneca, lieth in reconciling familiars to oneself; yet the extreme of both these two things is of doubtful merit, to wit, whether one should prefer discipline to clemency or clemency to discipline.[43]

But under correction of him who better understandeth it, I say it appeareth to me that the better part of the matter should take precedence of the other part of less value, and [pg 26]considering the particular case and the circumstances of the time and how no correction could bring about amendment,[O] we ought to give praise rather than blame to the Infant for his conduct, inasmuch as it sheweth a liberal heart to offer kindness to those whom one might with good reason have denied.

And be this as it may, let not these matters, most excellent prince, seem serious unto thee, for it was not so much my intent to praise thy deeds as to praise thee. For the wicked do many deeds worthy of praise, but no man should be praised save he who is truly good in himself. Where is the man whose virtues are not offended by some accretion of vices? Certainly I am not one to write or say it of thee, O Prince, for one who hath a place prepared among the celestial thrones cannot receive offence from the deeds he did on earth, though to some they appear worthy of blame; for one may quote the saying of Saint Chrysostom, that there is nothing so holy, but that an evil-minded interpreter thereof can find something to asperse.[44]

O how few there be, as said Seneca in his first tragedy,[45] who turn to good account the time of their life or ever think upon its brevity. But of a surety thou, O prince, wast never of the number of these men, since by thy glorious and lofty deeds and cruel sufferings, thou didst add to thyself, among many princes of most excellent dignity, an eternal and undying memory, and, what is of more value, a heavenly throne, as I piously believe. O fortunate Kings, who after his death shall possess the royal seat of his ancestors, I beg you always to keep the sepulchre of this great and noble duke in your especial remembrance, since the splendour of his virtues doth form a great part of your honour. For verily the exclamations and the praises which I tell you of him, were not invented by my own wit, but [pg 27]are as it were the living voices of his virtues and his great merits, which would be of great profit to every one of you, if you could keep them whole and sound in your thought, not desiring that I had related them more briefly, since it would be a trouble to find his like among the men of our time.

[N] Of shewing distributive justice.

[O] I.e., on that occasion.

In which five reasons appear why the Lord Infant was moved to command the search for the lands of Guinea.

We imagine that we know a matter when we are acquainted with the doer of it and the end for which he did it. And since in former chapters we have set forth the Lord Infant as the chief actor in these things, giving as clear an understanding of him as we could, it is meet that in this present chapter we should know his purpose in doing them. And you should note well that the noble spirit of this Prince, by a sort of natural constraint, was ever urging him both to begin and to carry out very great deeds. For which reason, after the taking of Ceuta he always kept ships well armed against the Infidel, both for war, and because he had also a wish to know the land that lay beyond the isles of Canary and that Cape called Bojador, for that up to his time, neither by writings, nor by the memory of man, was known with any certainty the nature of the land beyond that Cape. Some said indeed that Saint Brandan had passed that way; and there was another tale of two galleys rounding the Cape, which never returned.[46] But this doth not appear at all likely to be true, for it is not to be presumed that if the said galleys went there, some other ships would not have endeavoured to learn what voyage they had made. And because the said Lord Infant wished to know the truth of this,—since it seemed to him that if he or some other lord did not endeavour to gain that knowledge, [pg 28]no mariners or merchants would ever dare to attempt it—(for it is clear that none of them ever trouble themselves to sail to a place where there is not a sure and certain hope of profit)—and seeing also that no other prince took any pains in this matter, he sent out his own ships against those parts, to have manifest certainty of them all. And to this he was stirred up by his zeal for the service of God and of the King Edward his Lord and brother, who then reigned. And this was the first reason of his action.

The second reason was that if there chanced to be in those lands some population of Christians, or some havens, into which it would be possible to sail without peril, many kinds of merchandise might be brought to this realm, which would find a ready market, and reasonably so, because no other people of these parts traded with them, nor yet people of any other that were known; and also the products of this realm might be taken there, which traffic would bring great profit to our countrymen.

The third reason was that, as it was said that the power of the Moors in that land of Africa was very much greater than was commonly supposed,[47] and that there were no Christians among them, nor any other race of men; and because every wise man is obliged by natural prudence to wish for a knowledge of the power of his enemy; therefore the said Lord Infant exerted himself to cause this to be fully discovered, and to make it known determinately how far the power of those infidels extended.

The fourth reason was because during the one and thirty years that he had warred against the Moors, he had never found a Christian king, nor a lord outside this land, who for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ would aid him in the said war. Therefore he sought to know if there were in those parts any Christian princes, in whom the charity and the love of Christ was so ingrained that they would aid him against those enemies of the faith.

[pg 29]The fifth reason was his great desire to make increase in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ and to bring to him all the souls that should be saved,—understanding that all the mystery of the Incarnation, Death, and Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ was for this sole end—namely the salvation of lost souls—whom the said Lord Infant by his travail and spending would fain bring into the true path. For he perceived that no better offering could be made unto the Lord than this; for if God promised to return one hundred goods for one, we may justly believe that for such great benefits, that is to say for so many souls as were saved by the efforts of this Lord, he will have so many hundreds of guerdons in the kingdom of God, by which his spirit may be glorified after this life in the celestial realm. For I that wrote this history saw so many men and women of those parts turned to the holy faith, that even if the Infant had been a heathen, their prayers would have been enough to have obtained his salvation. And not only did I see the first captives, but their children and grandchildren as true Christians as if the Divine grace breathed in them and imparted to them a clear knowledge of itself.

But over and above these five reasons I have a sixth that would seem to be the root from which all the others proceeded: and this is the inclination of the heavenly wheels. For, as I wrote not many days ago in a letter I sent to the Lord King, that although it be written that the wise man shall be Lord of the stars, and that the courses of the planets (according to the true estimate of the holy doctors) cannot cause the good man to stumble; yet it is manifest that they are bodies ordained in the secret counsels of our Lord God and run by a fixed measure, appointed to different ends, which are revealed to men by his grace, through whose influence bodies of the lower order are inclined to certain passions. And if it be a fact, speaking as a Catholic, that the contrary predestinations of the [pg 30]wheels of heaven can be avoided by natural judgment with the aid of a certain divine grace, much more does it stand to reason that those who are predestined to good fortune, by the help of this same grace, will not only follow their course but even add a far greater increase to themselves. But here I wish to tell you how by the constraint of the influence of nature this glorious Prince was inclined to those actions of his. And that was because his ascendent was Aries, which is the house of Mars and exaltation of the sun, and his lord in the XIth house, in company of the sun. And because the said Mars was in Aquarius, which is the house of Saturn, and in the mansion of hope, it signified that this Lord should toil at high and mighty conquests, especially in seeking out things that were hidden from other men and secret, according to the nature of Saturn, in whose house he is. And the fact of his being accompanied by the sun, as I said, and the sun being in the house of Jupiter, signified that all his traffick and his conquests would be loyally carried out, according to the good pleasure of his king and lord.[48]

Why ships had not hitherto dared to pass beyond Cape Bojador.

So the Infant, moved by these reasons, which you have already heard, began to make ready his ships and his people, as the needs of the case required; but this much you may learn, that although he sent out many times, not only ordinary men, but such as by their experience in great deeds of war were of foremost name in the profession of arms, yet there was not one who dared to pass that Cape of Bojador and learn about the land beyond it, as the Infant wished. And to say the truth this was not from [pg 31]cowardice or want of good will, but from the novelty of the thing and the wide-spread and ancient rumour about this Cape, that had been cherished by the mariners of Spain from generation to generation. And although this proved to be deceitful, yet since the hazarding of this attempt seemed to threaten the last evil of all, there was great doubt as to who would be the first to risk his life in such a venture. How are we, men said, to pass the bounds that our fathers set up, or what profit can result to the Infant from the perdition of our souls as well as of our bodies—for of a truth by daring any further we shall become wilful murderers of ourselves? Have there not been in Spain other princes and lords as covetous perchance of this honour as the Infant? For certainly it cannot be presumed that among so many noble men who did such great and lofty deeds for the glory of their memory, there had not been one to dare this deed. But being satisfied of the peril, and seeing no hope of honour or profit, they left off the attempt. For, said the mariners, this much is clear, that beyond this Cape there is no race of men nor place of inhabitants: nor is the land less sandy than the deserts of Libya, where there is no water, no tree, no green herb—and the sea so shallow that a whole league from land it is only a fathom deep, while the currents are so terrible that no ship having once passed the Cape, will ever be able to return.[49]

Therefore our forefathers never attempted to pass it: and of a surety their knowledge of the lands beyond was not a little dark, as they knew not how to set them down on the charts, by which man controls all the seas that can be navigated. Now what sort of a ship's captain would he be who, with such doubts placed before him by those to whom he might reasonably yield credence and authority, and with such certain prospect of death before his eyes, could venture the trial of such a bold feat as that? O thou [pg 32]Virgin Themis, saith our Author, who among the nine Muses of Mount Parnassus didst possess the especial right of searching out the secrets of Apollo's cave, I doubt whether thy fears were as great at putting thy feet on that sacred table where the divine revelations afflicted thee little less than death, as the terrors of these mariners of ours, threatened not only by fear but by its shadow, whose great deceit was the cause of very great expenses. For during twelve years the Infant continued steadily at this labour of his, ordering out his ships every year to those parts, not without great loss of revenue, and never finding any who dared to make that passage. Yet they did not return wholly without honour, for as an atonement for their failure to carry out more fully their Lord's wishes, some made descents upon the coasts of Granada and others voyaged along the Levant Seas, where they took great booty of the Infidels, with which they returned to the Kingdom very honourably.[50]

How Gil Eannes, a native of Lagos, was the first who passed the Cape of Bojador, and how he returned thither again, and with him Affonso Gonçalvez Baldaya.

Now the Infant always received home again with great patience those whom he had sent out, as Captains of his ships, in search of that land, never upbraiding them with their failure, but with gracious countenance listening to the story of the events of their voyage, giving them such rewards as he was wont to give to those who served him well, and then either sending them back to search again or despatching other picked men of his Household, with their ships well furnished, making more urgent his charge to [pg 33]them, with promise of greater guerdons, if they added anything to the voyage that those before them had made, all to the intent that he might arrive at some comprehension of that difficulty. And at last, after twelve years, the Infant armed a "barcha" and gave it to Gil Eannes, one of his squires, whom he afterwards knighted and cared for right nobly. And he followed the course that others had taken; but touched by the self-same terror,[51] he only went as far as the Canary Islands, where he took some captives and returned to the Kingdom. Now this was in the year of Jesus Christ 1433, and in the next year the Infant made ready the same vessel, and calling Gil Eannes apart, charged him earnestly to strain every nerve to pass that Cape, and even if he could do nothing else on that voyage, yet he should consider that to be enough. "You cannot find", said the Infant, "a peril so great that the hope of reward will not be greater, and in truth I wonder much at the notion you have all taken on so uncertain a matter—for even if these things that are reported had any authority, however small, I would not blame you, but you tell me only the opinions of four mariners, who come but from the Flanders trade or from some other ports that are very commonly sailed to, and know nothing of the needle or sailing-chart.[52] Go forth, then, and heed none of their words, but make your voyage straightway, inasmuch as with the grace of God you cannot but gain from this journey honour and profit." The Infant was a man of very great authority, so that his admonitions, mild though they were, had much effect on the serious-minded. And so it appeared by the deed of this man, for he, after these words, resolved not to return to the presence of his Lord without assured tidings of that for which he was sent. And as he purposed, so he performed—for in that voyage he doubled the Cape, despising all danger, and found the lands beyond quite contrary to what he, like others, had expected. And although the matter was a [pg 34]small one in itself, yet on account of its daring it was reckoned great—for if the first man who reached the Cape had passed it, there would not have been so much praise and thanks bestowed on him; but even as the danger of the affair put all others into the greater fear, so the accomplishing of it brought the greater honour to this man. But whether or no the success of Gil Eannes gained for him any genuine glory may be perceived by the words that the Infant spoke to him before his starting; and his experience on his return was very clear on this point, for he was exceeding well received, not without a profitable increase of honour and possessions. And then it was he related to the Infant how the whole matter had gone, telling him how he had ordered the boat to be put out and had gone in to the shore without finding either people or signs of habitation. And since, my lord, said Gil Eannes, I thought that I ought to bring some token of the land since I was on it, I gathered these herbs which I here present to your grace; the which we in this country call Roses of Saint Mary. Then, after he had finished giving an account of his voyage to that part, the Infant caused a "barinel" to be made ready, in which he sent out Affonso Gonçalvez Baldaya, his cupbearer, and Gil Eannes as well with his "barcha", ordering him to return there with his companion. And so in fact they did, passing fifty leagues beyond the Cape, where they found the land without dwellings, but shewing footmarks of men and camels. And then, either because they were so ordered, or from necessity, they returned with this intelligence, without doing aught else worth recording.[53]

[pg 35]CHAPTER X.
How Affonso Gonçalvez Baldaya reached the Rio d'Ouro.

"As you have found traces of men and camels", said the Infant to Baldaya, "it is evident that the inhabited region cannot be far off; or perchance they are people who cross with their merchandise to some seaport with a secure anchorage for ships to load in, for since there are people, they must of necessity depend upon what the sea brings them, and especially upon fish, however bestial they may be. Much more so the inland tribes. Therefore I intend to send you there again, in that same 'barinel', both that you may do me service and increase your honour, and to this end I order you to go as far as you can and try to gain an interpreter from among those people, capturing some one from whom you can obtain some tidings of the land—for according to my purpose, it will not be a small gain if we can get someone to give us news of this sort." The ship was soon ready to sail, and Affonso Gonçalvez departed with great desire to do the Infant's will. And sailing on their way they passed seventy leagues beyond where they had been before, a space of 120 leagues beyond the Cape of Bojador, and found an estuary, as of a river of some size, in the which were many good anchorages.[54] And the entering in of this water ran eight leagues within the land, and in this they anchored. And because among the things he had brought, Affonso Gonçalvez had two horses, which were given him by the Infant to mount two youths upon, he now had the horses put on shore, and before any one else disembarked, he ordered the youths to ride on those horses, and go up country as far as they could, looking about carefully on every side for villages, or people travelling by some path. And to cause them and their horses the less fatigue, he told then to take no arms of defence, [pg 36]but only their lances and swords, wherewith to attack, if needed. For if they came on people who tried to capture them, their best remedy would be in their horses' feet, unless they found one man alone of whom they might make use without danger.

Now in the performing of this action the youths shewed clearly what sort of men they would prove. For although they were so far distant from their own country and knew not what kind of people, or how many, they would find, not to speak of the dread of wild beasts, whose fearful shadow might well have alarmed them, considering their youth (for they were not either of them more than seventeen years of age), yet putting all this aside, they set out boldly and followed the course of the river for the space of seven leagues, where they found nineteen men all banded together without any other arms of offence or defence, but only assegais. And as soon as the youths saw them, they attacked them with great courage. But that unknown company, although so many in number, dared not meet them on the level, but rather for security retired to some rocks, whence they fought with the youths for a good space. And during the fight one of those youths was wounded in the foot, and although the wound was slight, it did not remain unavenged, for they wounded one of the enemy likewise. And they kept on fighting until the sun began to give warning of night, on which account they went back to their ship. And I am sure that the injuries of that combat would not have been so small, if the enemy had remained upon the open ground. Two things I consider in this place, saith he who wrote this history.[55] And first, what would be the fancy in the minds of those men at seeing such a novelty, to wit, two such daring youths, of colour and features so foreign to them; what could they think had brought them there, aye and on horseback, with lances and swords, arms that some of them had never seen. Of a surety I ween that their [pg 37]hearts were not so faint, but that they would have displayed greater bravery against our men, had it not been for the wonderment that was caused by the novelty of the thing. Secondly I consider the daring of these two youths, who were in a strange land, so far from the succour of their companions, and yet were bold enough to attack such a number, whose power of fighting was so uncertain to them. One of the youths, I knew in after time as a noble gentleman, very valiant in the profession of arms, and he was called Hector Homem: the same you will find in the Chronicle of the Kingdom well proved by great deeds. The name of the other was Diego Lopez d'Almeida, also a gentleman and a man of good presence, as I have learnt from some that knew him. So they held on their journey to the ship, as we have related, and reached it about dawn and took a little repose. And as soon as it was light, Affonso Gonçalvez had the boat made ready, and putting himself and some of his people into it, followed the course of that river, sending the youths on horseback along by the land, till he reached the place where the Moors had been found the other day, intending to fight with them and capture some; but their toil was in vain, for so great was the alarm that, although the youths had retreated, the natives were possessed with a great fear and departed, leaving behind them the greater part of their poor belongings, with the which Affonso Gonçalvez loaded his boat as a witness of his toil. And seeing that it would not profit to pursue any further, he returned to the ship. And because he saw on a bank at the entrance of the river a great multitude of sea-wolves, the which by the estimate of some were about 5,000, he caused his men to kill as many as they could, and with their skins he loaded his ship—for, either because they were very easy to kill, or because the bent of our men was towards such an action, they made among those wolves a very great slaughter.

[pg 38]But with all this Affonso Gonçalvez was not satisfied, because he had not taken one of those Moors, so going on beyond this for a space of fifty leagues to see if he could make captive some man, woman, or child, by which to satisfy the will of his Lord, he came to a point, where stood a rock which from a distance was like a galley. And for this reason they called that port from that day forward the "Port of the Galley". And there they went on land, where they found some nets, which they took on board. And here you may note a new matter, new I say to us who live in this Spain, that the thread of those nets was of the bark of a tree, so well fitted for such a use that without any other tanning or admixture of flax, it could be woven right excellently, and nets made of it, with all other cordage.[56]

And so Affonso Gonçalvez turned back to Portugal, without any certain knowledge as to whether those men were Moors or Gentiles, or as to what life or manner of living they had. And this was in the year of Jesus Christ 1436.

Of the things that were achieved in the years following.

In the years that follow[P] we did not find anything noteworthy to record. True it is that there went to those parts two ships, each in its turn, but one turned back on account of contrary weather and the other went only to the Rio d'Ouro for the skins and oil of those sea-wolves, and loading a cargo of these returned to Portugal. And in that year[Q] passed over our noble Infant Don Henry into Tangier, for which reason he sent no more ships [pg 39]to that land. And in the year 1438 departed out of this world the very virtuous Don Edward on the 9th of September, in Thomar, on whose death there followed very great discords in the kingdom.[57]

And in these troubles the presence of the Infant was so necessary, that of all other matters he clean forgot himself, to bring a remedy to the perils and travail in which the realm was. And it was so that the King Don Affonso, who ordered the writing of this history, was at the age of six, and had to be tutored and protected, he and his realm, by governors; and about the authority of these there followed great contentions, in which the Infant Don Henry toiled much for peace and a good settlement of affairs, as you may find more at length in the Chronicle of the reign of this King Don Affonso.[58] And so it was that in those years there went no ships beyond that Cape, for the reasons that we have said. True it is that in the year 1440 there armed themselves two caravels to go to that land, but because they had hap that was contrary, we do not tell further of their voyage.

[P] I.e., 1436 to 1441.

[Q] 1437.

How Antam Gonçalvez brought back the first Captives.

I think I can now take some sort of pleasure in the narrating of this history, because I find something wherewith to satisfy the desire of our Prince; the which desire was so much the greater as the matters for which he had toiled so long were now more within his view. And so in this chapter I wish to present some novelty in his toilsome seed-time of preparation.

Now it was so that in this year 1441, when the affairs of this realm were somewhat more settled though not [pg 40]fully quieted, that the Infant armed a little ship, of the which he made captain one Antam Gonçalvez, his chamberlain, and a very young man; and the end of that voyage was none other, according to my Lord's commandment, but to ship a cargo of the skins and oil of those sea-wolves of which we have spoken in previous chapters. But it cannot be doubted that the Infant gave him the same charge that he gave to others, but as the age of this captain was weaker, and his authority but slight, so the Prince's orders were less stringent, and in consequence his hopes of result less confident.

But when he had accomplished his voyage, as far as concerned the chief part of his orders, Antam Gonçalvez called to him Affonso Goterres, another groom of the chamber, who was with him, and all the others that were in the ship, being one and twenty in all, and spoke to them in this wise: "Friends and brethren! We have already got our cargo, as you perceive, by the which the chief part of our ordinance is accomplished, and we may well turn back, if we wish not to toil beyond that which was principally commanded of us; but I would know from all whether it seemeth to you well that we should attempt something further, that he who sent us here may have some example of our good wills; for I think it would be shameful if we went back into his presence just as we are, having done such small service. And in truth I think we ought to labour the more strenuously to achieve something like this as it was the less laid upon us as a charge by the Infant our lord. O How fair a thing it would be if we, who have come to this land for a cargo of such petty merchandise, were to meet with the good luck to bring the first captives before the face of our Prince. And now I will tell you of my thoughts that I may receive your advice thereon. I would fain go myself this next night with nine men of you (those who are most ready for the [pg 41]business), and prove a part of this land along the river, to see if I find any inhabitants; for I think we of right ought to meet with some, since 'tis certain there are people here, who traffic with camels and other animals that bear their freights. Now the traffic of these men must chiefly be to the seaboard; and since they have as yet no knowledge of us, their gathering cannot be too large for us to try their strength; and, if God grant us to encounter them, the very least part of our victory will be the capture of one of them, with the which the Infant will feel no small content, getting knowledge by that means of what kind are the other dwellers of this land. And as to our reward, you can estimate what it will be by the great expenses and toil he has undertaken in years past, only for this end." "See what you do", replied the others, "for since you are our captain we needs must obey your orders, not as Antam Gonçalvez but as our lord; for you must understand that we who are here, of the Household of the Infant our lord, have both the will and desire to serve him, even to the laying down of our lives in the event of the last danger. But we think your purpose to be good, if only you will introduce no other novelty to increase the peril, which would be little to the service of our lord." And finally they determined to do his bidding, and follow him as far as they could make their way. And as soon as it was night Antam Gonçalvez chose nine men who seemed to him most fitted for the undertaking, and made his voyage with them as he had before determined. And when they were about a league distant from the sea they came on a path which they kept, thinking some man or woman might come by there whom they could capture; but it happened otherwise; so Antam Gonçalvez asked the others to consent to go forward and follow out his purpose; for, as they had already come so far, it would not do to return to the ship in vain like that. And the others being content they departed thence, and, journeying through [pg 42]that inner land for the space of three leagues, they found the footmarks of men and youths, the number of whom, according to their estimate, would be from forty to fifty, and these led the opposite way from where our men were going. The heat was very intense, and so by reason of this and of the toil they had undergone in watching by night and travelling thus on foot, and also because of the want of water, of which there was none, Antam Gonçalvez perceived their weariness that it was already very great, as he could easily judge from his own sufferings: So he said, "My friends, there is nothing more to do here; our toil is great, while the profit to arise from following up this path meseemeth small, for these men are travelling to the place whence we have come, and our best course would be to turn back towards them, and perchance, on their return, some will separate themselves, or may be, we shall come up with them when they are laid down to rest, and then, if we attack them lustily, peradventure they will flee, and, if they flee, someone there will be less swift, whom we can lay hold of according to our intent; or may be our luck will be even better, and we shall find fourteen or fifteen of them, of whom we shall make a more profitable booty." Now this advice was not such as to give rise to any wavering in the will of those men, for each desired that very thing. And, returning towards the sea, when they had gone a short part of the way, they saw a naked man following a camel, with two assegais in his hand, and as our men pursued him there was not one who felt aught of his great fatigue. But though he was only one, and saw the others that they were many; yet he had a mind to prove those arms of his right worthily and began to defend himself as best he could, shewing a bolder front than his strength warranted. But Affonso Goterres wounded him with a javelin, and this put the Moor in such fear that he threw down his arms like a [pg 43]beaten thing. And after they had captured him, to their no small delight, and had gone on further, they espied, on the top of a hill, the company whose tracks they were following, and their captive pertained to the number of these. And they failed not to reach them through any lack of will, but the sun was now low, and they wearied, so they determined to return to their ship, considering that such enterprise might bring greater injury than profit. And, as they were going on their way, they saw a black Mooress come along (who was slave of those on the hill[58a]), and though some of our men were in favour of letting her pass to avoid a fresh skirmish, to which the enemy did not invite them,—for, since they were in sight and their number more than doubled ours, they could not be of such faint hearts as to allow a chattel of theirs to be thus carried off:—despite this, Antam Gonçalvez bade them go at her; for if (he said) they scorned that encounter, it might make their foes pluck up courage against them. And now you see how the word of a captain prevaileth among men used to obey; for, following his will, they seized the Mooress. And those on the hill[58A] had a mind to come to the rescue, but when they perceived our people ready to receive them, they not only retreated to their former position, but departed elsewhere, turning their backs to their enemies. And so let us here leave Antam Gonçalvez to rest, considering this Chapter as finished, and in the following one we will knight him right honourably.

How Nuno Tristam reached the spot where Antam Gonçalvez was, and how he dubbed him knight.

For that the philosopher saith, that the beginning is two parts of the whole matter,[59] we ought to give great praise to this noble youth, for this deed of his, undertaken with so great boldness; for since he was the first who made booty in this conquest, he deserveth advantage over and above all the others who in after time travailed in this matter. For the custom was among the Romans, as Saint Augustine saith in the book that he made De Civitate Dei, and as Titus Livius also saith in his Decades, that all those who struck the first blow in battles or were the first to enter into forts or to leap into ships, were granted in return a higher increase of honour, which they bore on the day of triumph in testimony of their valour, as Valerius telleth us more in detail, in the summary that he made of Roman history.[60] And so let Antam Gonçalvez receive his knighthood, as we purpose to describe in this chapter, and after this we will give him commanderies in the Order of Christ (whose habit he afterwards assumed), making him the private secretary to this great and noble prince. And for the remembrance of his honour, let him be satisfied that he is inscribed in this volume, whose tenor will for ever, so long as writing endureth among men, be a witness of his excellence.

Now you must know that Nuno Tristam, a youthful knight, very valiant and ardent, who had been brought up from early boyhood in the Infant's privy chamber, arrived at that very place where was Antam Gonçalvez, and brought with him an armed caravel, with the special command of his Lord, that he should pass beyond the Port of the Galley, as far as he could, and that he should bestir himself [pg 45]as well to capture some of the people of the country, as best he could. And he, pursuing his voyage, now arrived at the place where Antam Gonçalvez was. And you can well imagine how great was the joy of these two, being natives of the same Kingdom and brought up in one and the self-same Court, to meet again at so great a distance from their own land. But leaving out of this account the words we may suppose they would use—the one in asking for news of his lord, and of his friends and acquaintances; the other in his desire to know of the booty—Nuno Tristam said, that an Arab whom he had brought with him there, and who was a servant of the Infant his lord, should speak with one of those captives, to see if he understood their language, and that, if they could understand one another, it would be of great profit to know all the state and conditions of the people of that land. And so all three of them spoke,[R] but their language was very different from that of the others, so that they were not able to understand one another. But as soon as Nuno Tristam perceived that he was not able to learn more of the manner of that land, than what Antam Gonçalvez had told him, he was eager to depart, but that emulation which Socrates[61] praised in gallant youths, tormented his heart in such a manner that he wished first of all to see whether he could not do something of more account before the eyes of his fellows. "How is it right", said he to those of his company, "that we should allow these men to go on their way back to Portugal, without first shewing them some part of our labour? Of a surety, I say to you, that as far as it concerneth me, I trow I should receive disgrace, holding the order of knighthood as I do, if I gained here no booty richer than this, by which the Lord Infant may [pg 46]gain some first-fruits of a recompence for the great expense he has incurred."

Thereupon he caused Antam Gonçalvez to be called, and the principal men whom he brought with him, that he might show them his mind. "You", said he, "my friend Antam Gonçalvez, are not ignorant of the will of the Infant our Lord, and you know that to execute this purpose of his he hath incurred many and great expenses, and yet up till now, for a space of fifteen years, he hath toiled in vain in this part of the world, never being able to arrive at any certainty as to the people of this land, under what law or lordship they do live. And although you are carrying off these two captives, and by their means the Infant may come to know something about this folk, yet that doth not prevent what is still better, namely, for us to carry off many more; for, besides the knowledge which the Lord Infant will gain by their means, profit will also accrue to him by their service or ransom. Wherefore, it seemeth to me that we should do well to act after this manner. That is to say, in this night now following, you should choose ten of your men and I another ten of mine—from the best which each of us may have—and let us then go together and seek those whom you have found. And since you say that, judging from the fighting you had with them, they were not more than twenty men fit for battle, and the rest women and boys, we ought to capture them all very quickly. And even if we do not meet with the very same that you encountered, nevertheless we shall surely find others, by means of whom we can make as good a booty, or perhaps even better."

"I cannot well believe", replied Antam Gonçalvez, "that our expedition in search of those we found before, will have any sure result, for the place is all one great bare hill, in the which there is no house or hut where one could fancy they would lodge, and the more so since we saw them [pg 47]turn again like men that had come there from another part. And what seemeth to me worst of all is that those men[S] will have forewarned all the others, and, peradventure, when we think to capture them we may ourselves become their booty. But consider this well, and where we have been in a manner victorious, let us not return to suffer loss."

Yet, although this counsel of Antam Gonçalvez was good, according to the circumstances of the affair; and although Nuno Tristam was not unwilling to fall in with it; there were there two squires, in whom these reasons did not suffice to oppose their desire of doing brave deeds. Gonçallo de Sintra was the name of one of these—and of his valour you will know more fully in the progress of this history; the other was Diego Añes de Valladares, a squire, valiant in body, well proved in many great perils. And these two persuaded the Council to depart from the advice which Antam Gonçalvez had given, in this way, that as soon as it was night, they set out according to the order that Nuno Tristam gave at first. And so it chanced that in the night they came to where the natives lay scattered in two encampments, either the same that Antam Gonçalvez had found before or other like it. The distance between the encampments was but small, and our men divided themselves into three parties, in order that they might the better hit upon them. For they had not yet any certain knowledge of the place where they lay, but only a perception of them; as you see the like things are perceived much more readily by night than by day. And when our men had come nigh to them, they attacked them very lustily, shouting at the top of their voices, "Portugal" and "Santiago";[62] the fright of which so abashed the enemy, that it threw them all into disorder. [pg 48]And so, all in confusion, they began to fly without any order or carefulness. Except indeed that the men made some show of defending themselves with their assegais (for they knew not the use of any other weapon), especially one of them, who fought face to face with Nuno Tristam, defending himself till he received his death. And besides this one, whom Nuno Tristam slew by himself, the others killed three and took ten prisoners, what of men, women and boys. And it is not to be doubted that they would have slain and taken many more, if they had all fallen on together at the first onslaught. But among those who were taken there was one greater than the rest, who was called Adahu, and was said to be a noble; and he shewed in his countenance right well that he held the pre-eminence of nobility over the others. Now, among those ten who I said were with Nuno Tristam, was one Gomez Vinagre, a youth of good family, brought up in the Infant's household, who showed in this battle what his valour was like to be in after time, for which in the result he was honourably advanced. When the action was thus accomplished, as we have described, all met together, even as they were in the fight, and began to request of Antam Gonçalvez, that he should be made a knight. But he, appraising his toil at far less than they did, answered that it was not right that he for so small a service should receive so great an honour, and one too that was more than his age did warrant. Of his own free will he said he would never have it, except when he had accomplished greater deeds than these. Yet at last by the excessive entreaties of the rest, and because Nuno Tristam perceived it was right, he had to make Antam Gonçalvez a knight, though it was against his will; and for this reason they called that place henceforth, "the Port of the Cavalier".[63] And so he was the first knight that was made in those parts. Then those captains returned to the ships and bade that Arab [pg 49]whom Nuno Tristam had brought with him, to speak with those Moors[T] but they were not able to understand him, because the language of these people was not Moorish, but Azaneguy of Sahara, for so they name that land. But the noble,[U] in that he was of better breeding than the other captives, so had he seen more things and better than they; and had been to other lands where he had learned the Moorish tongue;[64] forasmuch as he understood that Arab and answered to whatever matter was asked of him by the same. And the further to try the people of the land and to have of them more certain knowledge, they put that Arab on shore, and one of the Moorish women whom they had taken captive; who were to say to the others, that if they wished to come and speak to them about the ransom of some of those whom they had taken prisoners, or about traffick in merchandise, they might do so. And at the end of two days there came to that place about 150 Moors on foot and thirty-five on horses and camels, bringing the Moorish slave with them. And although outwardly they seemed to be a race both barbarous and bestial, yet was there not wanting in them something of astuteness, wherewith they sought to ensnare their enemies. For only three of them appeared on the shore, and the rest lay in ambush, to the end that our men, being unaware of their treachery, might land, when they who lay hid could seize them, which thing they might have done by sheer force of numbers, if our men had been a whit less cautious than they. But the Moors, perceiving that their wiles were discovered by us—because they saw that the men in the boat turned about on seeing that the slave did not appear—revealed their dissembling tricks and all came into sight on the shore, hurling stones and making gestures.[V] And there they also displayed that [pg 50]Arab who had been sent to them, held as one whom they wished to keep in the subjection of a captive. And he called out to them that they should be on their guard against those people; for they would not have come there, except to take them at a disadvantage if they could. Thereupon our men turned back to the ships, where they made their partition of the captives, according to the lot of each, and the other Moors betook themselves to their encampments, taking the Arab with them. And Antam Gonçalvez, because he had now loaded his ship with cargo, as the Infant had commanded, returned to Portugal, and Nuno Tristam went on his way, to fulfil his orders, as we have said before that he had received commandment. But after the departure of Antam Gonçalvez, seeing that his caravel needed repair, he caused them to beach her, where he careened and mended her as far as was needful, keeping his tides as if he had been in front of Lisbon harbour,[65] at which boldness of his there was much marvel. And pursuing his voyage, he passed the Port of the Galley, and went on till he came to a Cape which he called Cape Branco,[66] where his men landed to see if they could make any capture. But although they found traces of men and even some nets, they now took counsel to return, perceiving that for that time they would not be able to advantage themselves above their first achievement.

[R] I.e., Nuno Tristam, Antam Gonçalvez, and the Arab interpreter all questioned the captives, but the latter could not understand them.

[S] Whom my people fell in with.

[T] Their prisoners.

[U] Adahu.

[V] Of defiance.

How Antam Gonçalvez, and afterwards Nuno Tristam, came before the Infant with their booty.

I cannot behold the arrival of these ships, with the novelty of the gain of those slaves before the face of our Prince, without finding some delight in the same. For meseemeth [pg 51]that I behold before my eyes that pleasure of his, of what kind it would be. For just in so far as things are more desired, and more numerous and heavy labours are undergone for them, so much the greater delight do they bring with them when a man obtaineth them. O holy prince, peradventure thy pleasure and delight might have some semblance of covetousness, at receiving the knowledge of such a sum of riches, even as great as those thou didst expend to arrive at that result? And now, seeing the beginnings of some recompense, may we not think thou didst feel joy, not so much for the number of the captives taken, as for the hope thou didst conceive of the others thou couldst take?

But of a surety it was not in thy noble heart to set store by such small wealth! And justly I may call it small, in comparison of thy greatness; without which thou wast not able, and knewest not how, to begin or finish any part of thy deeds. But thy joy was solely from that one holy purpose of thine to seek salvation for the lost souls of the heathen, as I have already said in the VIIth Chapter of this work. And in the light of this it seemed to thee, when thou sawest those captives brought into thy presence, that the expense and trouble thou hadst undergone was nothing: such was thy pleasure in beholding them. And yet the greater benefit was theirs, for though their bodies were now brought into some subjection, that was a small matter in comparison of their souls, which would now possess true freedom for evermore. Antam Gonçalvez was the first to come with his part of the booty, and then arrived Nuno Tristam, whose present reception and future reward answered to the toil he had undergone; just as a fruitful soil with but little sowing answereth the husbandman, when for however small a part it receiveth, it giveth back a great increase of fruit.

[pg 52]CHAPTER XV.
How the Infant Don Henry sent his embassy to the Holy Father, and of the answer that he had.

Although the language of those captives could not be understood by any of the other Moors who were in this kingdom, either as freemen or captives, it sufficed, for a beginning, that the noble whom Antam Gonçalvez had brought could recount for the understanding of the Infant a very great part of the matters of that land where the aforesaid noble dwelt. And considering how it was necessary that he should often send his ships, manned with his people, where of necessity they would have to fight with those infidels, he determined at once to send an embassy to the Holy Father, to ask of him to make a partition with himself of the treasures of Holy Church, for the salvation of the souls of those who in the toils of that conquest should meet their end.

And on this embassy he sent an honourable cavalier of the Order of Christ, called Fernam Lopez d'Azevedo, a man of great counsel and authority, on account of which he had been made Chief Commander in the same Order and was of the Council of the King and the Infant.

He had it in charge also to ask from the Supreme Pontiff other things of great importance, as for instance the indulgences of St. Mary of Africa, in Ceuta town, with many other graces that were to be requested of the Pope, the true form of which you can find in the general history of the kingdom.

And as for that part of the business that needeth to be recorded here, the Holy Father was very glad to grant him such a grace as he was requested; as you may see more fully in this transcript of his letter, which we have set down here for your better understanding.

[pg 53]"Eugenius the Bishop,[67] servant of the servants of God, etc. For an abiding memorial and remembrance. As, without any merit of ours we have the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, who refused not to be sacrificed as the price of human salvation, by continual care we strive for those things that may destroy the errors and wickednesses of the infidels and by which the souls of good and Catholic Christians may the more speedily come to Salvation;
"And as it hath now been signified to us by our beloved son and noble baron Henry, Duke of Viseu, and Governor in spirituals and temporals of the Knighthood of the Order of Christ, that confiding firmly in the aid of God, for the destruction and confusion of the Moors and enemies of Christ, and for the exaltation of the Catholic faith, he purposeth to go in person, with his men at arms, to those lands that are held by them, and to guide his army against them; And howbeit that, for the time he is not personally in the field, yet as the knights and brethren of the said order, with all other faithful Christians, purpose to make war under the banner of the said order against the said Moors and other enemies of the faith—to the intent that these faithful Christians may bestir their minds with the greater fervour to the aforesaid war—
"We now do concede and grant, by apostolic authority and by the tenor of these present letters, to each and all of those who shall be engaged in the said war, Complete forgiveness of all their sins, of which they shall be truly penitent at heart and have made confession by their mouth. "And let no one break or contradict this letter of mandate, and whoever presumeth to do so let him lie under the curse of the Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul. Given, etc."

Also the Infant Don Pedro, who at that time ruled the Kingdom in the name of the King, gave the Infant his brother a charter by which he granted him the whole of the Fifth that appertained to the King and this on account of the great expenses he had incurred in the matter.

And considering how by him[W] alone the discoveries [pg 54]were enterprised and made, not without great trouble and expense, he granted him moreover this right, that no one should be able to go there[X] without his license and especial mandate.[68]

[W] The Infant Henry.

[X] To the new found parts.

How Antam Gonçalvez went to make the first ransom.

As you know that naturally every prisoner desireth to be free, which desire is all the stronger in a man of higher reason or nobility whom fortune has condemned to live in subjection to another; so that noble of whom we have already spoken, seeing himself held in captivity, although he was very gently treated, greatly desired to be free, and often asked Antam Gonçalvez to take him back to his country, where he declared he would give for himself five or six Black Moors; and also he said that there were among the other captives two youths for whom a like ransom would be given.

And here you must note that these blacks were Moors like the others, though their slaves, in accordance with ancient custom, which I believe to have been because of the curse which, after the Deluge, Noah laid upon his son Cain,[69] cursing him in this way:—that his race should be subject to all the other races of the world.

And from his race these blacks are descended, as wrote the Archbishop Don Roderic of Toledo, and Josephus in his book on the Antiquities of the Jews, and Walter, with other authors who have spoken of the generations of Noah, from the time of his going out of the Ark.[70]

The will of Antam Gonçalvez to return to that land, for [pg 55]desire of the ransom and profit he would get, was not so great as his desire to serve the Infant his lord—and therefore he asked leave to go on this journey, saying, that (forasmuch as he perceived the great desire his Grace had to know part of that land) if that were not sufficient which he had ascertained from that Moor,[Y] that he should give him license to go and ransom him and the other captive youths with him.

For as the Moor told him, the least they would give for them would be ten Moors, and it was better to save ten souls than three—for though they were black, yet had they souls like the others, and all the more as these blacks were not of the lineage of the Moors[Z]—but were Gentiles, and so the better to bring into the path of salvation.[71]

Also he said that the blacks could give him news of land much further distant, and he promised that when he spoke about the traffic with the natives, he would find means to learn as much news as possible. The Infant answered all this and said that he was obliged by his offer, and that he not only desired to have knowledge of that land, but also of the Indies, and of the land of Prester John, if he could.[72] Antam Gonçalvez made ready to go with his captives, and beginning his voyage, met with so great a tempest that he had to return again to Lisbon, whence he set out. And there happened to be there a gentleman of the Household of the Emperor of Germany, who had attached himself to the Household of the Infant with the intention of going to Ceuta, where he desired to be made a knight, but not without first doing so much for his own honour, as merited such a reward.

His name was Balthasar, and certainly, as we understand, his heart did not fail him in following out his good purpose; [pg 56]for with great honour he received his knighthood, first performing very notable deeds with his own right hand, as you may read at greater length in the history of the Kingdom.

And he said many times that he much desired, before he left that land of Portugal, to see a great tempest, that he might speak of it to those who had never seen one.

And certainly his fortune was no niggard in accomplishing his wish, for he happened to be with Antam Gonçalvez, as we have said, seeking to go and see that land before he left this,[AA] and the tempest was so great that it was a marvel they escaped destruction. However they returned again to the voyage; and arriving at the boundaries of that land where the ransom had to be made, they resolved to put on shore that Moorish noble, that he might go and make ready his ransom at the place where he had agreed to meet Antam Gonçalvez again.

The Moor was very well clad in garments given him by the Infant, who considered that, for the excellence of his nobility that he had above the others, if he received benefits, he would be able to be of profit to his benefactors by encouraging his own people and bringing them to traffic. But as soon as he was free, he forgot very quickly all about his promises, on the security of which Antam Gonçalvez had trusted him, thinking that the nobility he displayed would be the chief hindrance of any breach of faith on his part; but his deceit thenceforth warned all our men not to trust one of that race except under the most certain security.

And now Antam Gonçalvez entering the Rio D'Ouro with his ship for a space of four leagues, dropped anchor, and waited for seven days without getting a message from [pg 57]any, or a glimpse of one single inhabitant of that land; but on the eighth day there arrived a Moor seated on a white camel, and another with him, who gave a message that they should await the others who would come and make the ransom, and that on the next day they would appear, as in fact they did.

And it was very clear that those youths[AB] were in great honour among them, for a good hundred Moors, male and female, were joined in their ransom, and Antam Gonçalvez received for his two captives, ten blacks, male and female, from various countries—one Martin Fernandez, the Infant's Alfaqueque[AC] managing the business between the parties.[73]

And it was clear that the said Martin had great knowledge of the Moorish tongue, for he was understood among these people, where the other Arab, who was Moor by nation, could only find one person to understand him. And besides the blacks that Antam Gonçalvez received in that ransom, he got also a little gold dust and a shield of ox-hide, and a number of ostrich eggs, so that one day there were served up at the Infant's table three dishes of the same, as fresh and as good as though they had been the eggs of any other domestic fowls. And we may well presume that there was no other Christian prince in this part of Christendom, who had dishes like these upon his table.

And according to the account of those Moors there were merchants in that part, who traded in that gold,[74] which it seemed was found among them; but the Moorish noble never returned to fulfil his promise, neither did he remember the benefits he had received.

And by thus losing him, Antam Gonçalvez learnt to be cautious where before he was not. And returning to the [pg 58]Infant, his lord, he received his reward, and so did the German knight, who afterwards returned to his own land in great honour, and with no small largess from the Infant.

[Y] Adahu.

[Z] Mohammedans proper.

[AA] Of Portugal.

[AB] Our captives.

[AC] Ransomer of captives.

How Nuno Tristam went to the island of Gete, and of the Moors that he took.

So these matters went on increasing little by little, and people took courage to follow that route, some to serve, others to gain honour, others with the hope of profit: although each of these two things bringeth the other with it; that is, in serving they profited themselves and increased their honour as well. And in the year of Christ, 1443, the Infant caused another caravel to be armed; and bade embark in it that noble knight, Nuno Tristam, with some other people, and principally those of his own household. And pursuing their voyage, they arrived at Cape Branco. And trying to go further, they passed the said Cape about twenty-five leagues, and saw a little island, the name of which they afterwards found to be[75] Gete.[AD] And from this island they now saw that twenty-five canoes, made of wood, had set out and in them a number of people, but all naked, not so much for the need of swimming in the water, as for their ancient custom.

And they journeyed in such wise that they had their bodies[AE] in the canoes and their legs in the water, and used these to help them in their rowing as if they had been oars, and in each boat there were three or four of the natives. And because this was a matter where our men had had so little experience, when they saw them from a distance, [pg 59]they thought they were birds that were moving so; and though they were rather different in size, yet they thought it might well be that they were birds, in a part of the world where other marvels greater than this were said to exist. But as soon as they perceived that they were men, then were their hearts clothed with a new joy; and most of all because they saw them so placed that they were well able to take them. But they were not able to make a large booty because of the smallness of their boat: for when they had hauled fourteen captives into it, with the seven man of the caravel who made up the crew, the boat was so loaded that it could hold no more.

And it booted not to return, for such terror had come upon our adversaries, and they were so quick in taking flight, that before they arrived at the island, some had perished,[AF] and the others escaped. But in achieving this capture they experienced two contrary feelings: first of all, the pleasure they had was very great to see themselves thus masters of their booty, of which they could make profit, and with so small a risk; but on the other side they had no little grief, in that their boat was so small that they were not able to take such a cargo as they desired. But yet they arrived at the island and captured fifteen other Moors.

And very near this island they discovered another, in which there were an infinity of royal herons;[75a] which appeared to go there to breed, as in fact they did, and with these our men found great refreshment. And so Nuno Tristam returned with his booty, so much more merrily than at the first, as it had the advantage of being greater than the former, and had been won further off; and also because he had no companion with whom he would have to make an equal division of the same. [pg 60]The reception and reward which the Infant gave him I omit to write down here, for I think it superfluous to repeat it every time.

[AD] Arguim.

[AE] Lit., Over.

[AF] By drowning.

How Lançarote required license from the Infant to go with his ships to Guinea.

Of a truth the condition of the people, as Livy saith, is such that men are always found to asperse great actions, especially at the beginning; and it appeareth to me that this is through not having knowledge of the results, for the man of faint heart, when he seeth the base and start of great events, always thinketh them more formidable than they really are; and because his spirit is not sufficient for the accomplishment of these deeds, he beareth along with him a very natural doubt whether they are capable of being performed. And this appeareth to be very well proved by the deeds of our prince. For at the beginning of the colonisation of the islands, people murmured as greatly as if he were spending some part of their property on it; and basing their doubts upon this, they gossipped about it until they declared his work was absolutely impossible, and judged that it could never be accomplished at all. But after the Infant began to people those islands, and to shew these persons how they could profit by the new discovered land; and after the fruits of those countries began to appear in Portugal in far greater abundance; then those who had been foremost in complaint grew quiet, and with soft voices praised what they had so loudly and publicly decried.

And just the same they did in the commencement of this conquest; for in the first years, seeing the great equipment that the Infant made, with such great expense, these [pg 61]busybodies left off attending to their own affairs, and occupied themselves in discussing what they understood very little about; and the more slowly the results came in of the Infant's undertaking, the more loudly did they blame it. And the worst of it was that besides what the vulgar said among themselves, people of more importance talked about it in a mocking manner, declaring that no profit would result from all this toil and expense.

But when they saw the first Moorish captives brought home, and the second cargo that followed these, they became already somewhat doubtful about the opinion they had at first expressed; and altogether renounced it when they saw the third consignment that Nuno Tristam brought home, captured in so short a time, and with so little trouble; and constrained by necessity, they confessed their mistake, considering themselves foolish for not having known it before. And so they were forced to turn their blame into public praise; for they said it was plain the Infant was another Alexander; and their covetousness now began to wax greater. And, as they saw the houses of others full to overflowing of male and female slaves, and their property increasing, they thought about the whole matter, and began to talk among themselves.

And because that after coming back from Tangier, the Infant usually remained always in the kingdom of Algarve, by reason of his town which he was then having built, and because the booty that his captains brought back was discharged at Lagos, therefore the people of that place were the first to move the Infant to give them license to go to that land whence came those Moorish captives.[76]

For no one could go there with an armed ship without the express permission of the Infant, as the King had granted him in the same charter in which he presented him with the Royal Fifth, as you have seen above.

And the first who interposed to beg for this license, was [pg 62]a squire, who had been brought up from early youth in the Household of the Infant and was now married and become Almoxarife[AG] for the King in that town of Lagos.

And because he was a man of great good sense, he understood well how the matter stood, and the profit that he would be able to gain by his expedition, if God guided him, so that he could arrive at that land.

And when he had pondered well this plan, he began to speak of it with some of his friends, stirring them up to join him in that action.

And this matter was not hard for him to compass; for that he was very well beloved in the place and the inhabitants were in general men of honour, always ready to exert themselves for a share in good things and especially in naval contests; because their town was on the coast and they were much more on shipboard than on land. So Lançarote prepared six armed caravels to carry out his purpose and spoke to the Infant about a license; saying that he begged he would grant it him that he might do him service, as well as obtain honour and profit for himself.

And he gave him an account of the people that were going with him, and of the caravels that they were taking.

And the Infant was very glad of this and at once commanded his banners to be made, with the Cross of the Order of Jesus Christ, one of which each caravel was to hoist.

[AG] A Collector of Taxes.

Who were the Captains of the other Caravels, and of the first booty that they made.

The chief captain, as we have said, was Lançarote; the second was Gil Eannes, whom we have noticed as the first to pass the Cape of Bojador; besides these, there were there—Stevam Affonso, a noble man, who afterwards died in the Canary islands, Rodrigo Alvarez, John Diaz, a shipowner, and John Bernaldez, all of whom together were very well prepared for the expedition.[77]

And pursuing their voyage, they arrived at the Isle of Herons, on the eve of Corpus Christi Day, where they rested a little and refreshed themselves on the multitude of young birds that they found there, for it was the breeding season.

Then they took counsel about their intended actions and Lançarote began to set forth his reasons in this manner:—"My friends! we have left our land to do service to God and to the Infant our Lord, who may expect from us with good reason some performance to his advantage; both from the bringing up that some of us have had of him; and because we are men of such a kind that very shame should force us to do more and greater things than any who came here before. For with such a fleet, it would be matter for great shame to turn back to Portugal without a worthy booty. And because the Infant hath learnt, by some of those Moors whom Nuno Tristam brought home, that in the Island of Naar, which is close by, there are little less than 200 souls; it seemeth good to me therefore that Martin Vicente and Gil Vasquez, who have already been by it and seen where it lieth, should go with these boats, and with those men only who can row, against one side of the island, and that if they can find it, they should return quickly [pg 64]along the coast until they reach us, for we, God willing, will set sail very early in the morning and go towards the island; so that on their returning we shall be so near as to be able to hear the news they bring and take counsel as to what it behoves us to do."

Lançarote, as I said, was a man of great good sense, as all those with him knew well: so that they did not care to examine his reasons; but all exclaimed with one voice, that it was very good what he had said.

And so these two captains made ready to go forthwith, and they took with them thirty men, to wit, six in each boat, and set out from the island where they were, about sunset. And rowing all that night, they arrived about daybreak at the island that they sought. And as soon as they recognized it by the signs that the Moors had told them of, they hugged the shore for some way until they arrived, as it grew light, at a settlement of Moors, which was close to the beach; where were collected together all the people of the island. And seeing this, our men stopped for a while to consult what they ought to do. And they were greatly in a strait betwixt two courses, for they did not know whether they should return to the caravels, as their chief captain had ordered them, or whether they should at once attack the settlement that was so near. And while they were still undetermined, each one thinking for himself, Martin Vicente arose and said "Of a surety, our doubts give us food for thought; for, if we transgress the orders of our captain, we shall fall into a mistake; and all the more so if any damage or danger were to come upon us; for then it would be an occasion, not only of loss to ourselves, but of our being very badly reputed. On the other hand we have come here chiefly to procure an interpreter through whom the Infant our Lord may get news of this land, a matter he greatly desires, as all of you know. But now we are so near this settlement that, as it is [pg 65]already morning, we shall not be able to get off to the caravels without being discovered, and if discovered we cannot hope, after that, to obtain an interpreter here; for these Moors will all have fled on to the continent, which as you see is close by—aye, and not only the inhabitants of this island, but also those of the other islands near at hand, being at once warned and prepared by these from here. And so our journey will bring in but small profit, and the Infant our Lord, for this turn, will not have what he desireth from this land. But it appeareth to me, and this is my counsel, if you agree, that we attack the Moors whilst they are unprepared; because they will be conquered by the disunion that will prevail amongst them through our arrival, and, though we gain nothing there save an interpreter, we should be contented with that. And as for disobeying our captain's order, provided God assist us to do something good, as I hope He will, it should not be reckoned against us, and, even if it be, we shall be lightly pardoned for two reasons. First, because if we do not fight it is certain that our coming here will be all in vain; and the design of the Infant our Lord will fail by reason of our being discovered; and secondly, because, although we are commanded to return we are not forbidden to fight. And to fight seemeth to me to be reasonable; for we are here thirty in number, and the Moors, as you have heard, are only 170 or 180 all told, of whom fifty or sixty should be fighting men; and so, if it seem good to you, let us not delay any longer, for the day is coming on quickly enough, and, if we delay, our expedition and purpose will be of little avail indeed."

All replied that his counsel was very good, and that they would go forward at once. And when all this reasoning was done, they looked towards the settlement and saw that the Moors, with their women and children, were already coming as quickly as they could out of their dwellings, [pg 66]because they had caught sight of their enemies. But they, shouting out "St. James", "St. George", "Portugal", at once attacked them, killing and taking all they could.

Then might you see mothers forsaking their children, and husbands their wives, each striving to escape as best he could. Some drowned themselves in the water; others thought to escape by hiding under their huts; others stowed their children among the sea-weed, where our men found them afterwards, hoping they would thus escape notice.

And at last our Lord God, who giveth a reward for every good deed, willed that for the toil they had undergone in his service, they should that day obtain victory over their enemies, as well as a guerdon and a payment for all their labour and expense; for they took captive of those Moors, what with men, women, and children, 165, besides those that perished and were killed. And when the battle was over, all praised God for the great mercy that he had shewn them, in that he had willed to give them such a victory, and with so little damage to themselves. And as soon as they had their captives put safely in their boats, and others securely tied on land (because the boats were small and they were not able to store so many in them at once), they sent a man to go as far as possible along the shore, to see if he could get sight of the caravels. He set out at once; and one full league from the place where the others were staying, he had sight of the caravels coming; for Lançarote, as he had promised, had started as soon as it was dawn. Now the scout put a white ensign on his pike, and began to make signs to the caravels with it, and they as soon as they espied him, directed their course to that part where they saw the signal. And on their way they lighted on a channel through which the boats could easily go to the island, and forthwith they launched a small boat they had, and pulled to land to hear the news, which was told them every whit by the fellow who there [pg 67]awaited them. And he said also that they ought to land and help them to bring off to the caravels those captives who remained on shore under guard of seven men, who were staying with them on the island. For the other boats were already coming along the shore with the other Moors they were carrying.

And when Lançarote, with those squires and brave men that were with him, had received the like news of the good success that God had granted to those few that went to the island; and saw that they had enterprised so great a deed; and that God had been pleased that they should bring it to such a pass; they were all very joyful, praising loudly the Lord God for that he had deigned to give such help to such a handful of his Christian people.

But to the man who asketh me if their pleasure at the affair was altogether sincere, and without being in some way feigned, even though slightly, I would say "nay"—for those on whom God hath bestowed stout and lofty hearts, cannot feel really contented if they are not present at every brave deed they reasonably can meet with; nor are such altogether without that envy which, in a like case, is not one of the chief vices, but may rather be named a virtue, if it rest on a sound reason, as with good men and true.

After the Moorish prisoners had all been transferred from the boats to the caravels, some of our Christian folk were left to watch them and the rest landed, and went over the island, until they found the others under guard of the seven men of whom we have spoken before. And when they had collected all their prisoners together, it was already late, for in that land there is a difference in the length of days from ours; and the deed was all the greater, by reason of the distance of the caravels from the scene of action and of the great number of the Moors.

Then our men rested and enjoyed themselves as their share of the toil required. But Lançarote did not forget to [pg 68]learn from the Moorish prisoners what it was his duty to learn, about the place in which he was now staying and its opportunities; and he ascertained of them by his interpreter, that all about there were other inhabited islands, where they would be able to make large captures with little trouble.

And so, taking counsel about this, they determined to go and seek the said islands.

How they went to the island of Tiger, and of the Moors that they took.

On the next day, which was Friday, they made ready their boats, since the caravels had to stay where they were, and put in them all the provisions they needed for two days only, as they did not intend making a more protracted absence from the ships. About thirty men embarked in the boats, namely, Lançarote and the other captains of the caravels; and with them squires and good men that were there. And they took with them two of those Moors whom they had taken captive; for they had told them that at the Island of Tiger,[78] which was five leagues off, there was a settlement of Moors containing about 150 in all. And as soon as it was morning, they took their departure, commending themselves all to God very devoutly, and begging for grace that He would so guide them in their way, that He might be served and His holy Catholic faith exalted. And they went on until they came to the said island of Tiger; and as soon as they had leaped on shore, the Moor they brought with them guided them to a settlement, where had been all the Moors, or at least the greater part of those that were in the island.

[pg 69]But when they came to it they found it empty, because for some days, as they learnt afterwards, that place had been deserted. Then fearing that their Moor was lying to them (in order to get them into some place far from there, where they would find such a force of Moors that they would perchance suffer loss), they took counsel on what they ought to do. And before they had determined anything, they began to beat the Moor, and to threaten him, to make him speak the truth. But he said that he would bring them to a place where the Moors were, and that if they went at night, they would be able to take or to kill the greater part of them: but by day, as they were going then, they could not reach there without being seen; and, as soon as they were perceived, they[AH] could place themselves in safety, if they did not dare to fight with them.[AHa]

On the Moor saying this, it was not believed by all, but some said that it would be well to return to the ships, and there to agree on what they ought to do; others said that at all events they ought to go forward and seek for that settlement to which the Moor affirmed that he knew well how to guide them; because in reason that island[AI] ought not to have more fighting men on it than the other isle of Naar, where they had already made their first booty; for it was not so great nor so convenient for a large settlement.

Thus they were arguing, each for his own view and not agreeing on any final resolution for their action, when Gil Eannes, a good knight and valiant, of whom we have spoken in another place, answered and said: "I see well that the delay in agreeing on what we ought to do in this matter (of which we should have good hope with the grace and favour of our Lord Jesus Christ), may cause us some [pg 70]hindrance and small profit, in that all division, especially among people so few in number as we are, is very weakening, and may bring about our ruin, with little honour to ourselves and little service to God and the Infant our Lord. Wherefore I advise that with this Moor should go fourteen or fifteen men, towards that part where he saith that the Moors are, till they see the settlement or certain place of their abode; and as soon as they have seen it, that they should return to where all the others are waiting, without stirring until the return of the vanguard. And then with the grace of God, that we should all set out together and go to seek them. And in reason there ought not to be so many men of war as there were in the isle of Naar, that we ought not to conquer them in fight, with the aid of our Lord God, in whom is all our succour, who by His grace causeth the few to conquer and the greater number to be overcome by the less. But now if you are satisfied with what I have said, we ought not to delay to fall to work."

All were very content with his speech, saying that it was very good and that they should at once do as Gil Eannes said.

"Since you all", said Lançarote, "agree in this counsel of Gil Eannes, I would wish to go with those who are to search for the settlement; and I think that it will be well for Gil Eannes to stay with you others and to guard the boats, that you may succour us if the matter cometh to such a pass as to require it; and however it be, I ask him[AJ] to remain here."

And although Gil Eannes refused at first to remain, yet seeing how the request became a command (since he who made it was his captain), and especially as all the others agreed in this request, Gil Eannes had in any case to stay: [pg 71]and Lançarote, with fourteen or fifteen men, went off towards the spot where the Moor was guiding them. And when they were already half a league from where the others were staying, they saw nine natives, male and female, marching along, with ten or twelve asses laden with turtles, who were about to pass over to the island of Tiger, which was a league from them, for at low water it is possible to cross from one to the other on foot. And as soon as they saw them, they ran to them, and without any defence availing them in aught, they took them all, except one who turned and fled to give news to the others that were in the village. And as soon as they had taken these prisoners, they dispatched them to where Gil Eannes was stationed; Lançarote sending him word to put a guard over those Moors, and that he should follow after them and bring all the men he had there, adding that he thought they would find some people with whom to fight.

And as soon as the captives reached them,[AK] they bound them tightly and placing them in the boats, left with them one man only on guard and at once started after Lançarote, following steadily upon his track, till they arrived where Lançarote was with his men.

Now after the taking of the Moors, whom they had sent to the boats, these men[AL] had gone on where the Moor guided them, and arrived at a village from which the inhabitants had all departed, being warned by the Moor who had escaped when the others were taken.

And then they saw all the people that were in the island, standing on an islet to which they had passed over in their canoes: but the Christians were not able to get at them, save by swimming; and they did not dare to retreat, lest it should give courage to the enemy, who were many more in number than they were. And so they waited till [pg 72]all their other men had come up;[AM] and seeing that even when united, they would not be able to do the enemy any harm, by reason of the inlet that was between them, they determined to return to their boats, which were two full leagues off.

And, on their return, they entered the village and searched it thoroughly, to see if they could find anything in the houses. And in searching they lighted on seven or eight Moorish women, whom they took with them, giving thanks to God for their good fortune, which they had obtained through his grace; and so they turned themselves to their boats, which they reached about sunset time. And they rested and enjoyed themselves that night, like men that had toiled hard in the day.

[AH] [AHa]"They" of course are "the Moors"; "them" the Christians.

[AI] Tiger.

[AJ] G. Eannes

[AK] Gil Eannes' men.

[AL] I.e., Lançarote's first party.

[AM] With Gil Eannes.

How they, Lançarote and the others, returned in their boats to Tiger, and of the Moors that they took.

Although the necessity of the night obliged them to spend it chiefly in sleeping, yet their wills were so bent upon this charge that their thoughts never left what lay before them. And so they took counsel as to what they should do on the next day, and agreed, after many reasons given (which I omit in order not to make too long a story), that they should go in the boats and attack the settlement before morning. For it is very likely, they said, that the Moors, having seen our retreat, will think that we went away like men in despair of being able to catch them, and, thinking so, will return to their encampment; [pg 73]and not only would their return profit us, but also the security with which they are able to repose.

And this counsel being settled, they set off in the night, rowing their boats along the coast. And at the first dawn they disembarked and attacked the village, but they found no one there; for the Moors, as soon as they saw their enemies retreat on the previous day, came to the village but would not sleep in it, and went and stayed a quarter of a league distant, near a ford by which they passed to Tiger. And when the Christians saw that they found nothing in the village, they returned to their boats and coasted along that island on the other side of Tiger, and ordered fifteen men to march along the land and look if they could see any Moors, or find any trace of them. And on their way they saw the Moors flying as fast as they could; for they had already caught sight of them, and at once all our men leaped on shore and began to run after them. But as yet they could not overtake the Moor men, but only the women and little children, not able to run so fast, of whom they caught seventeen or eighteen.

And one of the boats, in which was John Bernaldez, and which was among the smallest in the fleet, was coasting the island, and they who were in this boat saw some twenty canoes passing over to Tiger, in which were Moorish men and women, great and small, in each one four or five. And with this sight they were exceeding glad, at the first view of it, but afterwards they were still more grieved thereat. The pleasure they had was in seeing the profit and honour that now offered, which was the end for which they had come there: but they had great sorrow when they saw that their boat was so small that they could only take in a few. But with their slender oarage they followed after as fast as could, till they were among the canoes; and, moved with pity, although they were heathen who were going in the boats, they sought to kill but few of them. But it [pg 74]is not to be doubted that many, who in their terror forsook their boats, perished in the sea.

And some of them our men left on the right, and others on the left, and going into the middle among them all, they chose the smallest of them, because they could get more of these into their boat, of whom they took fourteen; so that those who were captured in those two days, apart from some who were killed, were in all forty-eight.

And for this good booty, and all the grace that God had shown them in those days, they rendered Him much praise for His guidance and the great victory He had given them over the enemies of the faith. And with the will and purpose to toil still more in His service, they embarked again in their boats and returned to their ships, which were lying five leagues off. And here, on their arrival, they reposed themselves, as men who needed it much, for they had toiled enough. But their respite was not long, for that very night they took counsel of what they ought to do next, as men who strove to make use of time, while they thought that the opportunity offered for doing their business.

Of the reasons that Gil Eannes gave, and how they went to Tiger, and of the Moors that they took.

Forasmuch as you see well that in councils (where many take part), there is always much talking, so in discussing that matter each one declared his mind; but at last Gil Eannes asked them all to be silent for a space, and they all obeyed with a good will.

Then he began to reason with them in this wise: "Friends and brothers, meseemeth the wills of you all are ready for some brave action; and this I fancy because there is no [pg 75]talk of repose among you nor of returning to our country; but rather I see that each and all of you wish and require to toil and labour for the common honour and profit. But where we do not agree is in that we do not clearly know to what part we ought to go in search of the aforesaid toil, to do service to God and the Infant our Lord. And forasmuch as we are so near the isle of Tiger, as you all know, and in this there is so great a power of Moors, as these prisoners we have taken tell us;—and as under the command of the Infant our Lord, it is ordered us that we shall not meddle with it without great caution, and that we are only to see if we can in any wise learn about the people that are in the island, and whether their power is such as is said;—therefore I say that we should do well to go to it, and it may be that our Lord Jesus Christ, who always aideth those who do well, will ordain that we shall light upon some one there who may interpret for us; and although we accomplish no more than to see how many people there are in the island, yet it will profit us afterwards; for the Infant our Lord will be able, knowing the power of the same, to send a fleet fit to cope with it and crews to match, who will be able to fight with all the Moors of the island and conquer it; which will be of great service to God and to himself. And therefore let us go to it and land, but let us not wander far from the shore; for of a surety, if their numbers are great, when they see we are but few, and that we will not wander from the shore, they will discover themselves; and if we see what people they are it may please our Lord God, when we are not concerned at aught else,[AN] to shew us some grace we do not think of."

All considered as good what Gil Eannes said, and on the next day at dawn full thirty men started in the boats, [pg 76]and the others remained to clean their ships, that they might be ready[AO]; and so it was agreed that they should start on their voyage home to Portugal as soon as those returned who had just started for the island.

They arrived at Tiger at mid-day, and twenty men landed, while the other ten stayed in the boats; and the former went about half a league distant from the shore and constantly explored those places that seemed to them suitable for any people to lie in; and afterwards they took their station on a hillock and began to look carefully over the island. And as they were standing thus, they espied two Moors coming in their direction, who saw them not, or peradventure thought that they were some of the Moors of the island. These they made for and captured, and in taking them they saw, further off, ten Moors coming, with fifteen or twenty asses laden with fish. Some of our men made for them, and although they put themselves on their defence, it pleased our Lord God that this their defence availed little; for they were put to rout and fled, some to one side and others to another, and so the Christians captured them all.

And while they were there, two men went further on in front, to see if they could descry anybody else; and they saw many Moors, who made for them as hard as they could. The two men turned and fled, and gave this news to the others who were with the prisoners; telling them to fly as fast as they could, for that a great power of Moors was coming upon them. So they made off all together towards the boats, taking their captives with them; and the Moors came after them as well as they could. And then it pleased our Lord God (who succoureth those who go in His service in their dangers and toils) that the Christians should reach the shore before the Moors came up with [pg 77]them; but before they had all got safely into their boats, the Moors were already among them, and fought with them; and only with sore trouble did the Christians gain their boats. All of our men in that retreat showed their good qualities and their brave and ardent hearts; so that it would be difficult to distinguish who did best. But Lançarote and a squire of the Infant, named Martin Vaz, were the last who got into the boats.

Now the Moors were about 300 fighting men, who showed well that they meant to defend their land. Many of them were wounded during the retreat of the Christians; but of the Christians, by the mercy of God, not one was wounded, to speak of. And as soon as they had got into their boats with their prisoners, they started for the spot where they had left the caravels, although night had already fallen.

[AN] Except his service.

[AO] I.e., for return.

How they went to Cape Branco, and of what they did there.

Then on board it was determined that next day they should start for Cape Branco. The which matter, as soon it was dawn, they put in execution, making sail for the said Cape, where they arrived after two days, and some landed at once—about twenty or twenty-five men—to see what the land was like; and when they were a little distance from where they landed, they saw a number of Moors go by, fishing. And though they appeared to them to be rather great in number, they had a mind to attempt that matter by themselves, without acquainting those who were in the ships with their project; and they made after them. And the Moors, on seeing them, began to fly; but when they saw they were so few in number, they awaited them [pg 78]as men who desired to fight, in the hope of victory. The Christians reached them, and the battle began, without anyone shewing to his enemy any signs of fear; and at last He from whom (as saith St. James) cometh down every good thing, and who had already given our men such a good beginning and middle, as hath been said, was pleased that in the end[79] they should have a complete victory over their enemies, and that their lives should be saved and their honours increased; for after a little skirmish the Moors began to get the worst of it, each flying as best he could; and the Christians, following them a long distance, took fourteen of them captive, besides those that died; and so with this victory, and filled with great joy, they returned to their ships. And if their fortune was good against their enemies, it was not less good in the refreshment they had afterwards, for they had there many eels and crowfish,[AP] which they found in the nets that the Moors had thrown out.

Then Lançarote, as a man who did not forget his first purpose, said he thought it well, before they departed from that place, that some men should go along the land and see if they could find any native settlements; and at once five set out, and lighted on a settlement, and returned to tell Lançarote and the others. But although they set off very speedily, their journey was fruitless, for the Moors had caught sight of the first party, and fled at once from that place; so that they only found one girl, who had stayed sleeping in the village; whom they took with them, and returning to the caravels, made sail for Portugal.

[AP] Named after their black fins.

How the caravels arrived at Lagos, and of the account that Lançarote gave to the Infant.

The caravels arrived at Lagos, whence they had set out, having excellent weather for their voyage, for fortune was not less gracious to them in the serenity of the weather than it had been to them before in the capture of their booty.

And from Lagos the news[AQ] reached the Infant, who happened to have arrived there a few hours before, from other parts where he had been for some days. And as you see that people are desirous of knowledge, some endeavoured to get near the shore; and others put themselves into the boats they found moored along the beach, and went to welcome their relations and friends; so that in a short time the news of their good fortune was well known, and all were much rejoiced at it. And for that day it sufficed for those who had led the enterprize to kiss the hand of the Infant their Lord, and to give him a short account of their exploits: after which they took their rest, as men who had come to their fatherland and their own homes; and you may guess what would be their joy among their wives and children.

And next day Lançarote, as he who had taken the main charge of the expedition, said to the Infant: "My Lord, your grace well knoweth that you have to receive the fifth of these Moors, and of all that we have gained in that land, whither you sent us for the service of God and of yourself.

"And now these Moors, because of the long time we have been at sea; as well as for the great sorrow that you must consider they have at heart, at seeing themselves away [pg 80]from the land of their birth, and placed in captivity, without having any understanding of what their end is to be;—and moreover because they have not been accustomed to a life on shipboard—for all these reasons are poorly and out of condition; wherefore it seemeth to me that it would be well to order them to be taken out of the caravels at dawn, and to be placed in that field which lies outside the city gate, and there to be divided into five parts, according to custom; and that your Grace should come there and choose one of these parts, whichever you prefer."

The Infant said that he was well pleased, and on the next day very early, Lançarote bade the masters of the caravels that they should put out the captives, and take them to that field, where they were to make the divisions, as he had said already. But before they did anything else in that matter, they took as an offering the best of those Moors to the Church of that place; and another little Moor, who afterwards became a friar of St. Francis, they sent to St. Vincent do Cabo,[80] where he lived ever after as a Catholic Christian, without having understanding or perception of any other law than that true and holy law in which all we Christians hope for our salvation. And the Moors of that capture were in number 235.

[AQ] Of their arrival.

Wherein the Author reasoneth somewhat concerning the pity inspired by the captives, and of how the division was made.

O, Thou heavenly Father—who with Thy powerful hand, without alteration of Thy divine essence, governest all the infinite company of Thy Holy City, and controllest all the revolutions[AR] of higher worlds, divided into nine [pg 81]spheres, making the duration of ages long or short according as it pleaseth Thee—I pray Thee that my tears may not wrong my conscience; for it is not their religion but their humanity that maketh mine to weep in pity for their sufferings. And if the brute animals, with their bestial feelings, by a natural instinct understand the sufferings of their own kind, what wouldst Thou have my human nature to do on seeing before my eyes that miserable company, and remembering that they too are of the generation of the sons of Adam?[81]

On the next day, which was the 8th of the month of August, very early in the morning, by reason of the heat, the seamen began to make ready their boats, and to take out those captives, and carry them on shore, as they were commanded. And these, placed all together in that field, were a marvellous sight; for amongst them were some white enough, fair to look upon, and well proportioned; others were less white like mulattoes; others again were as black as Ethiops, and so ugly, both in features and in body, as almost to appear (to those who saw them) the images of a lower hemisphere. But what heart could be so hard as not to be pierced with piteous feeling to see that company? For some kept their heads low and their faces bathed in tears, looking one upon another; others stood groaning very dolorously, looking up to the height of heaven, fixing their eyes upon it, crying out loudly, as if asking help of the Father of Nature; others struck their faces with the palms of their hands, throwing themselves at full length upon the ground; others made their lamentations in the manner of a dirge, after the custom of their country. And though we could not understand the words of their language, the sound of it right well accorded with the measure of their sadness. But to increase their sufferings still more, there now arrived those who had charge of the division of the captives, and who began to separate one [pg 82]from another, in order to make an equal partition of the fifths; and then was it needful to part fathers from sons, husbands from wives, brothers from brothers. No respect was shewn either to friends or relations, but each fell where his lot took him.

O powerful fortune, that with thy wheels doest and undoest, compassing the matters of this world as pleaseth thee, do thou at least put before the eyes of that miserable race some understanding of matters to come; that they may receive some consolation in the midst of their great sorrow. And you who are so busy in making that division of the captives, look with pity upon so much misery; and see how they cling one to the other, so that you can hardly separate them.

And who could finish that partition without very great toil? for as often as they had placed them in one part the sons, seeing their fathers in another, rose with great energy and rushed over to them; the mothers clasped their other children in their arms, and threw themselves flat on the ground with them; receiving blows with little pity for their own flesh, if only they might not be torn from them. And so troublously they finished the partition; for besides the toil they had with the captives, the field was quite full of people, both from the town[AS] and from the surrounding villages and districts, who for that day gave rest to their hands (in which lay their power to get their living) for the sole purpose of beholding this novelty. And with what they saw, while some were weeping and others separating the captives, they caused such a tumult as greatly to confuse those who directed the partition.

The Infant was there, mounted upon a powerful steed, and accompanied by his retinue, making distribution of his [pg 83]favours, as a man who sought to gain but small treasure from his share; for of the forty-six souls that fell to him as his fifth, he made a very speedy partition of these;[AT] for his chief riches lay in[AU] his purpose; for he reflected with great pleasure upon the salvation of those souls that before were lost.

And certainly his expectation was not in vain; for, as we said before, as soon as they understood our language they turned Christians with very little ado; and I who put together this history into this volume, saw in the town of Lagos boys and girls (the children and grandchildren of those first captives, born in this land) as good and true Christians as if they had directly descended, from the beginning of the dispensation of Christ, from those who were first baptised.

[AR] Lit. axles.

[AS] Lagos.

[AT] Among others.

[AU] The accomplishment of.

How the Infant Don Henry made Lançarote a Knight.

Although the sorrow of those captives was for the present very great, especially after the partition was finished and each one took his own share aside (while some sold their captives, the which they took to other districts); and although it chanced that among the prisoners the father often remained in Lagos, while the mother was taken to Lisbon, and the children to another part (in which partition their sorrow doubled the first grief)—yet this sorrow was less felt among those who happened to remain in company. For as saith the [pg 84]text,[82] the wretched find a consolation in having comrades in misfortune. But from this time forth they[AV] began to acquire some knowledge of our country; in which they found great abundance, and our men began to treat them with great favour. For as our people did not find them hardened in the belief of the other Moors; and saw how they came in unto the law of Christ with a good will; they made no difference between them and their free servants, born in our own country; but those whom they took while still young, they caused to be instructed in mechanical arts, and those whom they saw fitted for managing property; they set free and married to women who were natives of the land;[AW] making with them a division of their property, as if they had been bestowed on those who married them by the will of their own fathers, and for the merits of their service they were bound to act in a like manner. Yea, and some widows of good family who bought some of these female slaves, either adopted them or left them a portion of their estate by will; so that in the future they married right well; treating them as entirely free. Suffice it that I never saw one of these slaves put in irons like other captives, and scarcely any one who did not turn Christian and was not very gently treated.

And I have been asked by their lords to the baptisms and marriages of such; at which they, whose slaves they were before, made no less solemnity than if they had been their children or relations.

And so their lot was now quite the contrary of what it had been; since before they had lived in perdition of soul and body; of their souls, in that they were yet pagans, without the clearness and the light of the holy faith; and of their bodies, in that they lived like beasts, without any [pg 85]custom of reasonable beings—for they had no knowledge of bread or wine, and they were without the covering of clothes, or the lodgment of houses; and worse than all, through the great ignorance that was in them, in that they had no understanding of good, but only knew how to live in a bestial sloth.

But as soon as they began to come to this land, and men gave them prepared food and coverings for their bodies, their bellies began to swell, and for a time they were ill; until they were accustomed to the nature of the country; but some of them were so made that they were not able to endure it and died, but as Christians.

Now there were four things in these captives that were very different from the condition of the other Moors who were taken prisoners from this part. First, that after they had come to this land of Portugal, they never more tried to fly, but rather in time forgot all about their own country, as soon as they began to taste the good things of this one; secondly, that they were very loyal and obedient servants, without malice; thirdly, that they were not so inclined to lechery as the others; fourthly, that after they began to use clothing they were for the most part very fond of display, so that they took great delight in robes of showy colours, and such was their love of finery, that they picked up the rags that fell from the coats of the other people of the country and sewed them on to their garments, taking great pleasure in these, as though it were matter of some greater perfection. And what was still better, as I have already said, they turned themselves with a good will into the path of the true faith; in the which after they had entered, they received true belief, and in this same they died. And now reflect what a guerdon should be that of the Infant in the presence of the Lord God; for thus bringing to true salvation, not only those, but many others, whom you will find in this history later on.

[pg 86]Now when the partition was thus accomplished, the captains of the other caravels came to the Infant, and with them some noblemen of his house, and said to him: "Sire, in that you know the great toil that Lançarote, your servant, hath undergone in this action just achieved, and with what diligence he effected it, by the which God hath given us so good a victory as you have seen; and also as he is a man of good lineage, who deserveth every good; we beg your grace that for his reward, you would be minded to knight him with your own hand. Since you see that for every reason he deserveth this honour; and even if he had not deserved it so well (said those captains of the caravels), we think it would be an injury to us (as he was our captain-general, and laboured so much before our eyes), if he did not receive for it some honour superior to that which he had before, being an upright man and your servant, as we have said."

The Infant answered that it pleased him greatly; and that besides he was much obliged for their having asked it of him; for by it they gave example to the others that might desire to act as captains of brave men, and toil for their honour.

And so forthwith he made Lançarote a knight, giving him a rich guerdon, according as his deserts and his excellence required. And to the other leaders also he gave increased advancement, so that besides their first profit they considered their labour right well bestowed.

[AV] The black captives.

[AW] Of Portugal.

How the Infant ordered Gonçallo de Sintra to go to Guinea, and how he was killed.

It would be an ugly thing in prosecuting our history, if we did not write the misfortunes of our people, as well as their successes; for Tully[83] saith in his books, that among the great charges that are laid upon the historian, he ought chiefly to remember that of writing the truth, and when he writeth the truth he should not diminish it in aught. And of a surety[AX] he not only doth his duty, but is a cause of much profit; for it oft happeneth that men receive great warnings by the misfortunes of their fellows. And the ancient sages said: "Blessed is the man who gaineth admonishment by the evils of others."[84]

But you must know that this Gonçallo de Sintra, of whom at present we intend to speak, was a squire brought up from early youth in the Infant's household—indeed I believe he had been his equerry. And because he was a man who had a good stature of body and a high courage, the Infant greatly increased him; ever laying upon him the charge of great and honourable matters.

And some time after Lançarote's return, the Infant caused a caravel to be armed; and gave it in charge of Gonçallo de Sintra as captain, admonishing him, before his start, that he should go straight to Guinea, and for nothing whatever should fail of this.

And he, pursuing his voyage, arrived at Cape Branco; and like a man envious of obtaining fame, and desiring to win for himself advantages above the others,[AY] he began to talk of going to the isle of Arguim, which was now very near[84a] them; where he thought that with little trouble [pg 88]he could make some prisoners. The others began to contradict this; saying, that he ought not to do anything of this sort; for, in meddling with any such matter, he would work two evils: to wit, first in going beyond the command of the Infant; secondly, in tarrying there and wasting the time without any profit—but they should rather (they said) make their way straight to Guinea, the land of the Negroes. But he, like a man whom death invited to make his end there, said that the detention would be only short; and that in these matters the injunctions of lords were not always to be strictly attended to; and so at once he gave command to the mariners that they should make their way to the said isle. And it appeareth that arriving by night, they were perceived; so that when they landed in the morning they only found one girl, whom they took to their ship. And thence they went off to another island, that lieth near there; where they caught one woman, being discovered in just the same way when they arrived there.

Now Gonçallo de Sintra took with him an Azanegue boy as an interpreter, who already knew a great deal of our language, and whom the Infant had given into his charge, commanding him to keep a good watch over him. But it appeareth that there was lack of good advisement among those who had the charge of him; and principally on the part of the captain, whose care should have been all the greater. For the boy, seeking for a suitable time and place, escaped one night from among them; and joined those dwellers on the island, to whom he gave information of all that he knew about their enemies.

And although they knew who he was, yet they were not so ill-advised as to believe all that he said straightway; but to obtain certainty of the truth, one of them undertook to go with false dissimulation to the caravels; calling out from the shore that they should take him on board, for he sought [pg 89]to go with them to Portugal. And afterwards when he was among our men he made his signs to them; to shew that on account of the great longing and regret that he had for his relations and friends, who were now in this realm of Portugal, he did not know how to live except among them; and that by God, let his life be what it might, he would be very content to endure it, if only he could have sight of them and intercourse with them again. And the others, like men very little on their guard against his devices, were exceedingly pleased with him; though some there were who said they were not at all content with his coming on board, for it looked like treachery to them. And because of the speech of these they put some guard over the Moor, though it was but a small one. But on the second night the Moor took greater care to escape than they to guard him; and made his way out of the caravel so softly that he was never perceived by our people; and in truth they had pretty well forgotten all about him. But when his escape was known next day, everyone saw that they had been much deceived; and said at once to the Captain that all these signs were against their making any booty in that land. "For look," said they, "how we have been discovered in both islands whither we have gone; how the youth has escaped from us; how one Moor by himself has come to befool us. Of a surety we are not the men to accomplish any great action."

"Then," said Gonçallo de Sintra, "may I perish in these islands; for I will never depart hence till I have performed some exploit so signal that never shall one like me, nor yet a nobler, come here and accomplish a greater deed or perform it better than I."

The others however contended strongly with him, that he should not make any further delay (since the danger was so well understood), and said that he should pursue his voyage straight away. For in doing what the Infant bade [pg 90]him he would be doing his duty; and in any other way he would fall into error, especially seeing how manifest were the chances of his ruin.

But neither did these reasons prevail, nor many others that were spoken for his advisement; for in spite of them he steered the caravel towards the isle of Naar; and as the islands are all near one to another, and the Moors are able to move quickly about in their canoes, all in that island were at once advised of his approach. Gonçallo de Sintra, in his desire of honour as well as profit, bade them launch his boat, and embarked in it with twelve men, the best of his company; and a little before midnight he left the boat and began to walk along the island; and, as it appeareth, the tide had already passed the ebb, and was now beginning to flow somewhat. And there they came upon a creek, which they passed over easily enough, and likewise another near it. But because Gonçallo de Sintra and the rest of his company did not all know how to swim, they determined to wait a little, and see how far the tide would rise, so that if by chance it rose so much that they would have to return, yet they would be near at hand to cross. And during the stay that they made there, morning came on, and either because they slept or because they did not understand the extent of the water, when dawn came they perceived that they would not be able with such ease to retrace their steps; because the tide was now nearly at the full, and the creek had become large and deep. So it was necessary for them to remain there till the water should fall somewhat, and give them a better chance for their passage; and in this they spent two or three hours of the day without seeking to move from there.

And the Moors (though they saw them as soon as it was dawn), like men who were already prepared for it, did not attempt for a long time to attack them, hoping that they would come up further into the country, so that [pg 91]they might seize them more readily; but after they fully perceived their intention they fell upon them all together, as upon a vanquished party. And as in the fight they were very unequally matched (for the enemy were 200 in number and our men but twelve, without hope of succour), they were very easily overcome.

There was killed Gonçallo de Sintra, not in truth like a man who had forgotten his courage, but inflicting great injury upon his enemies, till his strength could aid him no more and he had to make his end. And of the others there perished seven—to wit, two youths of the Infant's Household, one whom they called Lopo Caldeira and another Lopo d'Alvellos, and an equerry who was named George, and one Alvaro Gonçalvez Pillito and three sailors. And in truth I wish to make no difference between them, for they all died fighting, without one of them turning back a foot; and although the youths of the Household and the equerry knew how to swim and so to escape, yet they would never abandon their captain, but bravely received burial around him. May God receive the soul that He created, and the nature that came forth from Him, for it is His very own!

The five survivors returned to their caravel, and shortly made sail for the Kingdom;[AZ] for after such a loss they had no inducement to do anything else, or to push on further,[BA] as had been commanded them before.[84b]

[AX] If he so act.

[AY] Who had preceded him on this way.

[AZ] Portugal.

[BA] To the South.

Of the reasons that the Author giveth for a warning as to the death of Gonçallo de Sintra.

In the event recorded in the last chapter there seemeth to me a great mystery contained, for I know not whether it came about from the spirit of covetousness or from the wish to render service, or from the desire to gain honour. However, since the peril was so manifest, and might have been avoided on that occasion if that Captain had been willing to receive advice, I should say that of a certainty the wheels of destiny[BB] had so ordained it, and that their appointed purpose blinded his reason so that he knew not the ills that would be his. For although St. Augustine doth write many and holy words reprobating the predestination of celestial influences, yet methinks in other places I find authorities to the contrary; as for example Job, who saith that God hath placed us bounds which we cannot pass, and many besides in Holy Scripture which I omit to mention, that I may not be drawn away from my first purpose.[85] But whether it were the predestination of fortune, or a divine judgment for some other sin, or peradventure that God thought good to take them so for their more certain salvation, it is well for us to see if we can gather up some measure of profit from this untoward event. And when I consider it, there appeareth to me seven things from which we may take warning.

Now the first is that no Captain who hath a superior, from whose hand he receiveth his charge, ought in any way to transgress the mandate of his lord or master. And we have an example of this in the deeds of the Romans in the [pg 93]case of Julius Cæsar; for although he gained very glorious victories, and made subject to the Roman power France, Brittany, England, Spain, and Germany, yet, because he overpassed the space of five years (which was the limit marked out for him in which to conquer his enemies), the honour he ought to have received was denied and taken from him, and for no other reason save that he had transgressed his orders. And Vegetius, in the fourth book, De re Militari, relateth how Aurelius the Consul would have his son serve among the foot soldiers because he had gone beyond his commands. And again, St. Augustine in the fifth book of the City of God, telleth of Torquatus that he slew his son, although victorious, for having fought against his orders.[86]

The second thing is that upon captured hostages and interpreters from a foreign land a special guard should ever be placed to keep watch over them with great caution. And the ill results that lately followed from a neglect of this are evident.

The third thing is that when an enemy throweth in his lot[BC] with the Captain the latter ought not to trust him, but should rather keep a diligent look-out, and hold his coming as suspicious until the final victory be won. For from a like cause was lost the battle of Cannæ (as Titus Livius writeth in his book on the Second[BD] War), that is because the Romans refused to be forewarned by those of the enemy who came over to them.[87]

The fourth is that we should hearken to the counsel of those who are in our own company and give us profitable advice; for, saith the Holy Spirit, there is safety in a multitude of counsels. And so the sage in the Book of Wisdom doth admonish all men to take counsel—where he saith, in the sixth of Ecclesiasticus, "List, my son, and take [pg 94]thou counsel alway. For every wise man doeth his actions with advice." Moreover, Seneca layeth it down in his Treatise on the Virtues that every governor, be he Prince or Prince's Captain, should be careful to take counsel of the things he hath to do;—"Regard everything that may chance to happen and revolve it in thy heart, and let nothing come as a surprise but rather have it well provided against, for the wise man never saith—I did not think this would come to pass; and this is because he is not in doubt, but expecteth it, and conjectureth not, but rather attendeth to the reason of all things; for when the beginning of an affair is perceived, the end and egress should ever be watched."[88]

And fifthly, that when our enemies have certain intelligence of our power and intentions we should beware much of invading their land, for a Captain's chief duty as regardeth his enemy is to conceal from them his force; and the contrary leadeth only to his own destruction and that of his men. And so Hannibal ever ordained his ambushes with such skill that his foes might never think his strength to be greater than it appeared for the moment.[89]

Sixthly, that we should take much care not to be discovered on a coast where we would make an inroad. And experience showeth examples of this every day to those who keep armed ships on the sea. And greatly do I marvel that Gonçallo de Sintra, a man who had ofttimes sailed in ships of the Armada[90] by his lord's command and had taken a part in very great actions, both on the coast of Granada and in Ceuta, was not more on his guard at such a time.

And the seventh conclusion I draw from the above event is that no man who cannot swim should cross rising water in a hostile country, except at the time for him to find that it hath ebbed away on his return.

Such then are the matters I have had to write for your warning, and henceforth I will take up again the thread of my narrative.

[BB] Lit., the heavens.

[BC] Lit., himself.

[BD] Punic.

How Antam Gonçalvez and Gomez Pirez and Diego Affonso went to the Rio d'Ouro.

In that year the Infant bade Antam Gonçalvez, that noble knight of whom we have already spoken, to sail in one caravel and Gomez Pirez, master of the Royal Galley in another: and this man went by command of the Infant Don Pedro, who at that time governed the kingdom in the name of the King. And at the same time there was another caravel with them, in which sailed one Diego Affonso, a servant of the Infant Don Henry: and all these commanders went jointly to see if they could bring the Moors of that part to treat of merchandise.

And they had much talk with them and obtained great sureties by means of the Moors whom the Infant sent there to see if with the aforesaid pretence they could guide them into the way of salvation. But they were not able to accomplish aught or do business with them, except in the matter of one negro.

And so they turned back without achieving any more; except that they brought with them one old Moor, who of his own free will wished to come and see the Infant, from whom he received great rewards, according to his quality, and who afterward sent him back to his own country. But I am not so much surprised at the coming of this man as of a squire who went with Antam Gonçalvez, called John Fernandez; who of his own free will decided to stay in that land of Guinea, only to see the country and bring the news of it to the Infant when he should chance to return. But of the travels of this squire and of his excellent qualities I leave the account to another place.

How Nuno Tristam went to Tira, and of the Moors that he took captive there.

For a better understanding of the matter that now happened, we will here tell how Nuno Tristam, of whom we have already spoken, first saw the land of the Negroes. And it was so, that being sent in a caravel, by order of the Infant, to those parts, he went straight to those islands where they[BE] had been already. Now these were then left desolate, for the inhabitants, perceiving the damage they were receiving, had forsaken their land and betaken themselves for a time to other islands, of which they presumed that their enemies had no knowledge. "Seeing that this is so," said Nuno Tristam, "and that we can find no booty in these islands, my wish is to proceed as far as I can, till I come to the land of the Negroes—for you know well," said he, "the desire which the Infant our Lord hath in this matter, and we cannot employ our time better than in doing what we know will most please him."

All said this was well, and that it should be his business to direct them; for they were ready for any emergency, as men who possessed no other good thing except the favour of that lord who sent them there. And they proceeded so far that they passed that land and saw a country very different from that former one—for that was sandy and untilled, and quite treeless, like a country where there was no water—while this other land they saw to be covered with palms and other green and beautiful trees, and it was even so with all the plains thereof.[91] Nuno Tristam here caused his ship's boat to be launched, with the intention of landing [pg 97]where he saw certain men who appeared to be very willing to speak with them.

And with this Nuno Tristam had been very content, if the roughness of the sea had permitted his boat to reach the land; but the waves were huge and perilous withal, so that he was forced to return to his ship and to make sail, to escape the distemperature of the wind, which was very contrary. But Nuno Tristam said, that although he was driven away from the point where stood those who would fain speak with him, he well understood that they were of the company of the Negroes.

And so Nuno Tristam, forced back by contrary weather, arrived with his caravel nigh to those islands where Lançarote in earlier time had made his booty; but he went on to the mainland, where he landed to see if he also could make a capture.

And he went there several nights before he was able to secure anything; till he captured one Moor, already old, who by signs told him of the whereabouts of a settlement, about two leagues from there. But the distance might just as well have been greater, for Nuno Tristam, with the delay he had made before accomplishing any capture, would equally have adventured it. But the Moor was not able to tell him how many were the dwellers in that settlement towards which he was guiding them; or, to speak more accurately, they could neither have asked nor yet have understood him;[BF] and this, it appears to me, should have put our men in some fear, because they knew not what the enemy's numbers might be; but, where there is enough of good will, determinations are never closely examined.

And in the night following that in which the Moor was discovered, they attacked the settlement, but they did not capture there more than twenty-one persons; and we do [pg 98]not find any record whether there were any boys or women among these twenty-one, nor how many men Nuno Tristam took with him, nor if he had to do any fighting there before making his capture. Nor could we find out about these matters, because Nuno Tristam was already dead at the time when King Don Affonso commanded this history to be written.[92]

And so we leave this matter thus without saying any more.

[BE] His friends.

[BF] His reply.

How Dinis Diaz went to the land of the Negroes, and of the Captives that he took.

There was in Lisbon a noble squire, who had been a servant of the King Don John (the grandfather of the king Don Affonso, and father of this virtuous prince),[BG] who was called Dinis Diaz.

And he hearing news of that land,[BH] and how the caravels were already sailing so far from this coast;[BI] and also because he was a man desirous of seeing new things and of trying his strength (although he was now settled in that city,[BJ] which is one of the noblest in Spain, with profitable offices which had been given him in reward for his services), now went nevertheless to the Infant Don Henry to beg him to despatch him to that land. For considering that he was a servant of his father, and that all his rise was through him, and that he had both the courage and the youth to serve him withal, he had no mind to let his life slip away in the pleasures of repose.

The Infant thanked him for his good will, and had a caravel armed and got ready for the aforesaid Dinis Diaz [pg 99]to go and accomplish his purpose. And he, leaving Portugal with his company, never lowered sail till he had passed the land of the Moors and arrived in the land of the blacks, that is called Guinea.

And although we have already several times in the course of this history, called Guinea that other land to which the first[BK] went, we give not this common name to both because the country is all one; for some of the lands are very different from others, and very far apart, as we shall distinguish further on at a convenient place.[93] And as the caravel was voyaging along that sea, those on land saw it and marvelled much at the sight, for it seemeth they had never seen or heard speak of the like; and some of them supposed it to be a fish, while others thought it to be a phantom, and others again said it might be a bird that ran so on its journey over that sea. And after reasoning thus concerning the novelty, four of them were bold enough to inform themselves concerning this doubt; and so got into a small boat made out of one hollow tree-trunk without anything else being added thereto.

Now this I think must have been a kind of "coucho", like to some that are in use on the rapids of the Mondego and the Zezere, in which the labourers cross when they are obliged to do so in the depth of winter. And they came a good way out towards where the caravel was pursuing its course; and those in her could not restrain themselves from appearing on deck. But when the negroes saw that those in the ship were men, they made haste to flee as best they could; and though the caravel followed after them, the want of a sufficient wind prevented their capture. And as they[BL] went further on, they met with other boats, whose crews, seeing ours to be men, were alarmed at the novelty of the sight; and moved by fear they sought to [pg 100]flee, each and all; but because our men had a better opportunity than before, they captured four of them, and these were the first to be taken by Christians in their own land, and there is no chronicle or history that relateth aught to the contrary.[94]

And for certain this was no small honour for our Prince, whose mighty power was thus sufficient to command peoples so far from our kingdom, making booty among the neighbours of the land of Egypt; and Dinis Diaz ought to share in this honour, for he was the first who (by his[BM] command) captured Moors in that land. And now he pushed on till he arrived at a great cape, to which they gave the name of Cape Verde.[95]

And it is said that they met there with many people, but it is not related in what way they met with them; whether our men saw them from the sea while on board their ship; or whether[BN] as they were moving about in their little boats, busy with their fishing. It is enough that they did not capture any more on this voyage; except that it is said they landed on an island where they found many goats and birds, with which they greatly refreshed themselves; it is also said that they found many things there different from this land of ours, as will be related further on. And thence they turned back to this Kingdom; and although their booty was not so great as those that had arrived in the past, the Infant thought it very great indeed—since it came from that land. And so he gave to Dinis Diaz and his companions great rewards on account of it.

[BG] Henry.

[BH] Of Guinea.

[BI] Of Portugal.

[BJ] Lisbon.

[BK] Explorers.

[BL] Our men.

[BM] The Prince's.

[BN] They were sighted.

How Antam Gonçalvez, Garcia Homem, and Diego Affonso, set out for Cape Branco.

It would be well that we should now return to that squire who in the past year remained at the Rio d'Ouro, as we have said already.

And his service was of especial merit, and is worthy of great remembrance. For, as often as I consider it, I marvel much at the same. And what shall I say of a single man, who had never been in that land (and there was not nor had there been any other whom he knew or of whom he had heard), willing thus to stay among a race little less than savage, whose nature and wiles he knew not?

Let me consider with what a countenance he would first appear before them, and for what end he would say he was remaining, or how he would be able to arrange with them about food and other things for his use. It is true that he had already been a captive among the other Moors, and in this part of the Mediterranean Sea, where he acquired a knowledge of their language; but I know not if it would serve him among these. Antam Gonçalvez who had left him there, remembering his story, spoke to the Infant about him in this wise:—

"Your Highness knoweth how John Fernandez, your squire, stayed at the Rio d'Ouro, to learn all he could about that land, small things as well as great, to inform you of the same, even as he knew was your desire; and you know how many months he hath been there, for your service. Now, if your grace is willing to send me to fetch him away, and some other ships with me, I will labour for your service so that, besides bringing back this squire, all the expense of this our voyage may be covered [pg 102]as well." And you must be well aware in the case of a man filled with such desire for these matters[BO] how bitter it would be to hear such a request.[96]

The ships were quickly ready, and of these Antam Gonçalvez was chief captain, taking in his company Garcia Homem and Diego Affonso, servants of the Infant, as you have heard elsewhere. And these two[BP] received charge of the other two caravels, but all under the command of the chief captain.

Now the ships, on setting out, went first to victual at the Madeiras, because of the great supplies that were there. And thence they agreed to push on straight for Cape Branco, and in case by any hap they should be separated, they were nevertheless to steer for the said cape. And the weather taking its accustomed course, that is changing quickly from fair to foul, and sometimes too from foul to fair, there arose such a tempest over them that in a very short time they thought they were lost, and they separated one from the other; for each of those captains thought, judging by his own great labour, that his companion's must be much greater, and so on this account presumed he was lost; and the opinions were so many in each caravel, that they could hardly decide on any settled course.

But at last they decided, each one for his part, to go straight on with the voyage to the place that they had all previously determined on, each thinking that to himself alone appertained all that charge; for they felt very doubtful of their partners reaching there, believing that the best thing that could have happened to them would be their return to Portugal, but asserting that their shipwreck was much more likely. So they went on withstanding their fate, with great bodily toil and no less terror of [pg 103]mind, till it pleased God that the sea should abate somewhat of its first fury and return to its former calmness, as was necessary for their voyage. Diego Affonso, who first reached Cape Branco, caused to be erected on land a great cross of wood, that his partners, in case they should come after him, not having passed it already, might know that he was going on before them. And with such firmness was that cross set up, that it lasted there many years afterwards, and even now, I am told, yet standeth there. And right well might any one of another country marvel, who should chance to pass by that coast, and should see among the Moors such a symbol, without knowing anything of our ships, that they were sailing in that part of the world.

Great was the delight of each one of the other captains, when they came to that spot and understood that their partners were in front. Diego Affonso did not wish to make any stop near the Cape, considering that if the others came there they could soon find him; and that since he was not certain of their coming, he ought to push on and do what he could to make some booty; so that the time might not be lost without his winning some honour and profit while it lasted. I do not care to mention certain matters of the voyage of these people,[BQ] which I found written by one Affonso Cerveira, who first sought to set in order this history;[97] for since they brought no result it serveth no good purpose to waste time over them, and so to weary the good will of my readers and make them tired of my history; all the more as I possess the matter to adorn my work and render it very pleasing.

The caravels having joined one another again, the captains very gladly met in their boats, each one proud to [pg 104]speak of what he had just passed through with so much toil and terror.

And because Antam Gonçalvez was the last to arrive, and the others had to govern themselves by his commands, they told him how they had already landed several times, but had not been able to capture anything to bring them profit; and what was worse, that the Moors had fled from them, and that as they had been discovered they felt it would be of little use returning there again.

[BO] As was the Infant.

[BP] Homem and Affonso.

[BQ] Of Diego Affonso's.

How they went to Ergim[BR] Island, and of the Moors they took there.

"Just as much", said Antam Gonçalvez, "as the beginning of our voyage was troubled, so much I hope that our ending will be the better; trusting in that God who by His mercy hath united us here and saved us from so great a danger. Wherefore," said he, "as you perceive that by your landing the Moors here are all forewarned, you know well that further on from here is an island which is called Ergim; and there, I trust, if we go by night, we shall light on some Moors that we can make captives of. I tell you this, for I do not intend to undertake any matter without your counsel."

And not only did the captains say that this pleased them, but so did the others also in whose presence all had been spoken; who made haste that there might be no great delay in performing this. And as soon as the sun began to hide the rays of his brightness, and the twilight of night filled the air with its obscurity, they were all ready [pg 105]in their boats; taking with them as many people as they saw would be wanted for their defence; each captain putting another in charge of his caravel in place of himself, with orders that as soon as morning dawned they should come and look for them by the said island. And so the men in the boats set off, as had been ordered, and a little after midnight they arrived at the said island; on which they landed and made straight for the native settlement, but they only found there one blackamoor and his daughter, whom they carried off.

And the Moor by signs made them understand that, if they went to the mainland, they would find a settlement of Moors on the sea shore, showing them himself the way to the spot. And upon this, they decided to rest there the whole of the following day, for their deed could not be performed except by their arriving at night; and so they spent the day, partly in sleep, partly in eating and drinking; and especially did they delight themselves in the goodness of the water, for of this there was great abundance to be found there. And when night came, they started again, rowing briskly to the point which the Moor had indicated to them by signs before. And this was a marvellous thing; that as soon as one of the natives was captured, he took a delight in shewing to the enemy, not only his neighbours and friends, but even his wife and children. And so pursuing their way, some of them became doubtful of that project; thinking that they were going with too little advisement; in that they did not know how great was the number of our enemies, nor how they were equipped for defence. But the words of these men did not have much effect; because when the wills of men are eager for such deeds as these, they do not often wait to take counsel. And arriving at the mainland far on in the night, they put the Moor in front of them as their guide; but, through [pg 106]their difficulty in not being able to understand him, they delayed so much, that when morning dawned, they were still a great way distant from the village.

And the Moors rising up about dawn had sight of them where they were coming, and like men without heart and deprived of hope, they began to fly, every one where he perceived he could best take refuge, leaving behind goods, wives and children, as men who perceived that they had quite enough to do to save their own lives.

And our people, who were observing them, when they saw them flee thus, rejoiced somewhat at being safe from the peril which they had looked for before; yet on account of the loss which they saw they would suffer by the flight of them, they could not be very glad. But this thought had not time to be well considered in their minds, for though they were wearied, it was not perceptible in the course of their race; for just as briskly and with as much good will did they hasten on, as at other times they had done; rising from their beds and seeking to prove their cunning in the fields hard by those towns where they had been brought up. And it well appeared with what good will they did it in the capture of their booty; for though they had sighted it so far off, as we have said, and the enemy were rested and used to that business, yet they took twenty-five of them. But agile above all on that day was one Lawrence Diaz, a dweller in Setuval, who was a servant of the Prince, for he by himself alone took seven of those natives prisoners. And the toil was by no one much regarded in comparison of the pleasure with which they went along the shore to seek the caravels, for it was three days since they had left them.

[BR] Arguim.]

How John Fernandez came to the caravels.

John Fernandez had now been seven months dwelling in that country,[98] and it seemeth clear, according to reason, that at the time Antam Gonçalvez left him he must have settled to return for him, or to beg the Infant to despatch some other, who could take him off in this way. And after John Fernandez perceived that the caravels had had time enough to return from Portugal, he came down many times to that shore to see if he could have sight of any of them. And I can well believe that this was his principal care.

And it happened that those who remained in the caravels, seeking to fulfil the orders of their chief captains, made sail to the Isle of Ergim (of which it appeared that they had no knowledge), and passed on and went cruising up and down for two days until they came to another land beyond. And a little more than an hour after they had cast anchor, they saw a man who stood on the land over against them. Quickly one caravel made ready to go and see who it could be; and making sail toward him it was not able to go as far in as it wished, because the wind was off the land. And John Fernandez, seeing the hindrance that the caravel received, resolved to go along the shore, either hoping that the ship's boats would be there, or for some other reason; and so went a little way, till he saw the boats that were coming in search of their ships. And when he shouted towards where they were coming, the others were very glad, thinking that he was some Moor who came to them of his own will to treat about the ransom of some one of these captives; but when they understood his speech, and he named himself for what he was, they were yet much more glad; so that they hastened towards him [pg 108]the quicker. And I consider, saith our author, what must have been the appearance of that noble squire, brought up as he had been upon the food you know, to wit, bread and wine and flesh and other things skilfully prepared, after living seven months in this fashion, where he could eat nothing except fish and the milk of camels—for I believe there are no better cattle in that part—and drinking brackish water, and not too much of that; and living in a burning hot and sandy land without any delights. O ye people who live in all the sweetness of Spanish valleys, who when you chance to miss any part of your accustomed maintenance in the houses of the lord with whom ye live, will let nothing else be heard for your complaints—look, if you will, upon the sufferings of this man, and you will find him worthy to be a great example for anyone who wisheth to do the will of his Lord by serving him. And we others, who perchance fast one day in many months by command of the Church, or for satisfaction of our penance, or in honour of some festival of the Church, if it be such that we must eat only bread and water, we give up all that day to sadness. And how many there are who dispense their own consciences, breaking their fasts to content their bellies. Let us see if there is one here who, for a single week, would endure a like toil of his own free will for Christ's sake. I will not say that the impulse of John Fernandez was not with some regard for his Lord, for I knew this squire myself, and he was a man of good conscience and a true Catholic Christian; and since the object of the principal mover[BS] was so righteous and so holy, as I have already said in other places, all the other matters set in motion by him must needs in some way have corresponded to his first intention.

[BS] In this action, i.e., Henry.

How Antam Gonçalvez went to make the ransom.

If I marvelled before at the endurance of John Fernandez (to wit, his living in that land and enduring what I have said), little less do I marvel at the affection which those who dwelt there came to feel for him. And albeit that his affability was very great towards all other people, I was astonished it could exist towards these, or how it could be so felt and returned by such savages; for I am assured that when he parted from the men among whom he had lived those seven months, many of them wept with regretful thought. But why do I say so, when I know that we are all sons of Adam, composed of the same elements, and that we all receive a soul as reasonable beings? True it is that, in some bodies, the instruments are not so good for producing virtues as they are in others, to whom God by His grace hath granted such power; and when men lack the first principles on which the higher ones depend, they lead a life little less than bestial. For into three modes is the life of men divided, as saith the Philosopher. The first are those who live in contemplation, leaving on one side all other worldly matters and only occupying themselves in praying and contemplating, and those he calls demi-gods. And the second are those who live in cities, improving their estates and trading one with another. And the third are those who live in the deserts, removed from all conversation,[BT] who, because they have not perfectly the use of reason, live as the beasts live; like those who after the Division of Tongues (which by the will of our Lord God was made in the Tower of Babylon), spread themselves through the world and settled there[BU] without increasing [pg 110]any part of their first stock of knowledge. But yet these last have their passions like other reasonable creatures; as love, hate, hope, fear, and the other twelve which all of us naturally have; the which each one of us setteth in use more or less, according to the grace he hath of God, for as St. Paul hath said: God is He who worketh in us the fulfilment of His will. And by these primal passions I hold that these men were moved to the love of John Fernandez, for which reason they henceforth felt sorrow at his departure. And it would be very fitting to speak a little upon these passions, and in what way they are universal in all men; but I fear to prolong my story, and to weary your goodwill by lengthening out my words, even though all would be profitable.[99] So let us leave the long conferences that there might be among those on board the caravels at the coming of John Fernandez, and let us only tell how he said to Antam Gonçalvez that there was hard by there a noble called Ahude Meymam, and that he wished to traffic with them in the matter of some blacks whom he had taken; and of this Antam Gonçalvez was very glad, and put on shore the same John Fernandez, who in a short time brought a great number of that people there. And, after settling the matter of hostages, Antam Gonçalvez received two Moors as security; and he on his side gave two others of those that he had with him. And those two, who were so given on the part of Antam Gonçalvez while the exchanges were being made, were taken to the tents of the Moors, where was a very great number of Moorish women, and those among the best of that land.

Now it happened that the Moors raised an uproar among themselves, for which reason they went out of their dwellings a good way on to the plain. And the Moorish women, looking upon those two hostages, thought to try them, shewing a very great desire of lying with them; and those who thought themselves best favoured shewed themselves [pg 111]right willingly as naked as when they first came out of the bellies of their mothers, and so made them other signs sufficiently unchaste. But seeing that the others[BV] were more concerned at the terror they felt (thinking that the tumult of those Moors was warily raised in order chiefly to cause them injury), the women nevertheless persevered in their unchaste purpose, making them signs of great security, and asking them, as could be understood by their gestures, that they should perform what they sought. But whether this was attempted with deceit, or whether it was only the wickedness of their nature that urged them to this, let it be the business of each one to settle as he thinks best. Great confidence was shown by those Moors in their trafficking, for, in speaking about their matters, many came boldly on to the ships, bringing their women with them, who above all desired to see that novelty.[BW]

And when the noble[BX] concluded his bargaining, he received some things which pleased him most among those tendered to him by our men (though they were really small and of little value), and he gave us for the same nine negroes and a little gold dust.[100] And upon the end of this same bargaining, one squire who dwelt in the isle of Madeira required of Antam Gonçalvez that he should knight him; because, as I believe, he was of great age and had some lineage of nobility; and, having a sufficient wealth, he wished to acquire an honourable title for his sepulchre. He was called Fernam Taavares, and that place was known from henceforth by the name of the Cape of the Ransom.[101]

Well would it have pleased me to speak somewhat in this chapter of the things that John Fernandez saw and learnt in that land; but it is necessary that I should bring the action of those three caravels to an end; and afterwards [pg 112]when I find time I will tell you of all, that I may pursue my story in the order that seemeth best to me.

Now the Moors having left that place, and the caravels sailing on, those men of ours who were working the sails saw near the shore some 200 camels, with certain Moors who followed them. And because they seemed to be very near they went towards them right briskly; but those Moors, seeing themselves pressed by the others, jumped up lightly upon the camels and fled upon them. But the camels were more in number than the men, for which reason some stayed on the spot where they were; and of these our men killed forty, and the others fled and escaped.

And so the caravels going on, came nigh to the island of Tider,[BY][102] where we have said already there were many Moors; and seeing near the shore where they were, some houses; and wishing to know if they could find anything there, they landed. And perceiving that all was desolate, they had a mind to go further inland; where they saw two Moors, who were coming in their direction, and our men, anxious to take them, contended for them. But Antam Gonçalvez, being advised of their deceit, understood by their countenance that that movement of theirs was for the purpose of some ambush; for, as to such confidence shewn by two men against so many, any man of judgment could understand that it was to essay some stratagem.

"Go", said Antam Gonçalvez to two of his men, "a little way inland (signing to them whither they were to proceed), and you will see the treachery of these dogs." And so, as the Christians advanced from the side of the shore, the Moors came out against them; and being near, they hurled their spears, and the Christians ran after them till they came to the place that had been marked out for them before, and so turned back. And [pg 113]as our men began to retire to the ships the ambuscade was discovered; and those who were of it very soon came down upon the shore, so that, if our people had not retired thus sharply, they could not have escaped from these without very great loss. For the Moors, perceiving their advantage, shewed clearly enough their desire, entering into the water as far as they could; whence, had they not been kept at a distance by the cross-bows, they would have followed still, even by swimming, in order to accomplish their desire of injuring our men.

[BT] Of men.

[BU] In the deserts.

[BV] Our men.

[BW] Of the ships.

[BX] Ahude Meymam.

[BY] I.e., Tiger.

How they took the Moors at Cape Branco.

"Let us return", said Antam Gonçalvez, "to Cape Branco, for I have heard say that on the side opposite the sunset there is a village, in which we could find some people of whom we could make booty, if we took it suddenly and by surprise." All said that this was good counsel, and that they should put it in action at once; and, for this thirty-eight men were set apart, who were most ready for the service, and they landed and went to the village straightway, at the beginning of the night, but found nothing in it. Then said some of them, "It would be well for us to return to our boats and row as far as we may along the land, till we see morning; and as soon as that shall happen, we will land and go towards those Moors to hold the passage of the Cape; because they needs must go along the said Cape before they can retreat into the upland. And as they have with them women and children, they will be forced to rest part of the night, and though they travel continually, they cannot go so fast as to prevent us from passing them." And in this counsel they were all [pg 114]agreed, and rowing all the night without taking any rest (because in such places and times slothfulness is the greatest cause of loss), the night came to its end. And when the clearness of the day was beginning, twenty-eight of them landed, for the others stayed to guard the boats. And those that were on land went on, till they arrived at a certain high place, from which they perceived they could keep a good watch over all the parts round about; and concealing themselves as well as they could on account of the rising of the sun, they saw Moors coming towards them, men and women, with their boys and girls, in all seventy or eighty, as they reckoned. And without any further speech or counsel they rushed out among them, shouting out their accustomed cries, "St. George", "Portugal". And at their attack the Moors were so dismayed that most of them at once sought relief in flight, and only seven or eight stood on their defence, of whom there now fell dead at the first charge three or four. And these being despatched, there was no more toil of fight, and only he who knew himself light of foot thought he had any remedy for his life; but our men did not stand idle, for if their enemies took care to run they did not for their part let themselves rest; for at such a time toil of the kind that they underwent is true rest for the conquerors. And so they captured in all fifty-five, whom they took with them to the boats. Of their joy I will not speak, because reason will tell you what it must have been, both of those who took the captives and of the others on board the caravels, when they came with their prize. And after this capture they agreed to turn back to the kingdom;[BZ] both because they perceived that they could accomplish no more to their profit in that part, and especially because of the deficiency of victuals. For there was not enough [pg 115]to last any long time for them and for the prisoners they had with them; and all the more as the way[CA] was long, and they knew not what kind of a voyage they would have.

Wherefore they guided their caravels towards Portugal, making straight for Lisbon, where they arrived quite content with their booty. But who would not take pleasure at seeing the multitude of people that ran out to see those caravels? for as soon as they had lowered their sails, the officers who collected the royal dues[103] took boats from the shore to find out whence the ships came and what they brought; and as soon as they returned and the news passed from one to another, in a short time there was such a multitude in the caravels that they were nearly swamped. Nor were there less on the next day, when they took the captives out of the ships and wished to convey them to a palace of the Infant, a good way distant from the Ribeira.[104] For from all the other parts of the city they flocked on to those streets by which they had to convey them. Of a surety, saith the author of this history, many of those I spoke of at first, who murmured over the commencement of this action, might well rebuke themselves now, for there was no one there who would be then counted as of that number. And the noise of the people was so great, praising the great virtues of the Infant (when they saw them take the captives in bonds along those streets), that if anyone had dared to speak in the contrary sense he would very soon have found it well to recant. But perchance it would have availed him little, for the populace (and most of all in a time of excitement) but rarely pardoneth him who contradicteth what it willeth to hold established. Nor doth it appear to me that there could be a man of such evil condition that he could speak against so manifest a good, from which followed such great profits.[105] [pg 116]The Infant was then in the district of Viseu, from which he sent to receive his fifth; and, of those who remained, the captains made a sale in the city, from which all received great advantage.

[BZ] Of Portugal.

[CA] Home.

How the caravel of Gonçalo Pacheco and two other ships went to the isle of Ergim.

As the town of Lisbon is the most noble in the Kingdom of Portugal, so likewise its inhabitants (if we reckon the most for all) are the noblest and have the largest properties. And let no one be so simple as to take this word in a wrong sense, and think that this nobility is specially to be found in them[CB] more than in those of other cities and towns—for the Fidalgos and men of high family are noble wheresoever they be found—only I speak generally, because as Paulo Vergeryo said, in the instruction that he gave to the youth of the gentry, the splendour of the great city is a large part of nobility. And they,[CC] seeing before their eyes what wealth those ships brought home, acquired in so short a time, and with such safety, considered, some of them, how they could get a part of that profit.[106]

Now, there was in that city a squire of noble lineage, which he had not soiled as regardeth goodness and valour, called Gonçalo Pacheco, who was one of the Infant's Court and was High Treasurer of Ceuta, a man of great wealth and one who always kept ships at sea against the enemies of the Kingdom.[107] And it seemeth that he considered of this matter, and wrote at once to the Infant to [pg 117]permit him to arm a fine caravel, which he had lately had built for his service; and the same allowance he asked for two other caravels which sought to accompany him. He had little delay or hindrance in getting the licence he desired, and much less in making ready the matters that were necessary for the armament. Then Gonçalo Pacheco made captain of his caravel one Dinis Eanes de Graã, nephew of his wife in the first degree, and a squire of the Regent's;[CD] and in the other caravels went their owners, to wit, Alvaro Gil, an Assayer of the Mint, and Mafaldo, a dweller in Setuval; and they, hoisting on their ships the banners of the Order of Christ, made their way towards Cape Branco.[108] And arriving there they agreed all together not to go to the village, which stood one league from the Cape, by reason of the writing they found (which Antam Gonçalvez had placed there), in which he advised those who should pass by that place not to take the trouble of going against that village with any hope of profit, because he had been in it and found it empty. And they agreed to go and look for another, which was two leagues from there; and in the result they came to it and found it likewise empty. But there chanced to be in that company among those who went to that village, one John Gonçalvez a Gallician, who was a pilot, and had already been in that land with Antam Gonçalvez, when he had returned there this last time to search for John Fernandez; and it appeareth that as soon as he reached Lisbon he had joined their company. "And now," said that John Gonçalvez, "you may make a great profit in this business if you will follow my counsel; because I have faith in God that He will give us a prize worth having; for I have already been in this land and seen how the others acted who had a better knowledge of it." All said with one voice that they were very content and [pg 118]that they thanked him much, and that he should say at once[CE] what he thought best. "You know," said he, "that the caravels in which Diego Affonso and Garcia Homem came, went on along this coast frightening the Moors before Antam Gonçalvez reached it. And when Antam Gonçalvez arrived he agreed with them to go to Ergim, and when they came there, the islanders were already prepared; wherefore they all fled away, and there only remained one of them, with one Moorish girl his daughter, whom they brought to Portugal. And we saw the houses on the island, which were capable of holding a very large number of people, and it was evident that the Moors had only just set out, and we went forth and caught twenty-five of them. And I believe that since we were so recently in this island the Moors will not now be ready and on the watch for this year, and so will have returned to the island; and if you follow my guidance, with the grace of God, I shall know how to take you to a place where I imagine they are; and if we light upon them the booty cannot but be good." "How can it be," answered some, "that the Moors should so quickly return to a place where they know they have been looked for before? For that which you are very sure of must be much more doubtful to us, and that is the brevity of the time which you make the principal cause for their return, and which seems to us exactly the contrary, because their suspicion, since it is so manifest, should not give them a sense of security so soon." Nevertheless, the captains did not wish to hear any more reasoning, but as men settled in their first counsel, commanded to launch the boats from the ships and made themselves ready with the crews they thought to be necessary; and because it had already been ordained among them that each captain should land in turn, the lot fell upon Mafaldo for this expedition, and the others [pg 119]stayed in their caravels. And, moreover, they were all commanded that no one should disobey the order of the pilot, from whom I have said before that they received counsel. And they rowed their boats so that about midnight they were in the harbour of that island, close to the settlement; and, leaping on shore, Mafaldo said that they should consider how it was still deep night, and that they were so near to the place that, if they attacked it at this time, by reason of the darkness many would be able to escape; or that perchance they were resting outside at a distance from there, not having got over their former fright; and therefore his counsel was to surround the village, and, as day was breaking, to attack it. Mafaldo was a man who was well accustomed to this business, for he had been many times in the Moorish traffic; so that all considered his advice very profitable.

And so, in going to place themselves where they had before agreed on, they lighted on a road which ran from the village to a fountain; and they stood a little while waiting there; and upon this they saw a girl coming for water, who was quickly taken, and likewise a Moor (who shortly after came along the same path), whom they asked by signs if there were there many people, and he answered in the same way that there were not more than seven. "Since this is so," said Mafaldo, "there is no reason for us to wait any longer for the morning, but let us make for them, for with so few we have no need of so many cautions." And in a word, the village was quickly encompassed and those seven were all captured. And Mafaldo at once took aside one of them and began to ask him (as well as he could, for a man who had no other interpreter) where were the other Moors of that island? And the Moor made signs that they were on terra firma, where they had gone in the fear they had of the Christians; and he offered himself at once to guide them to the spot, for they lay near to the sea. And [pg 120]Mafaldo, when he learnt this, came and spoke with his company; asking them if they thought well to go in search of those Moors? And because where there are many heads there are many judgments, certain doubts began to appear among them; some saying that such an expedition was very questionable, because the Moor could not say, nor they understand, the number of the Moors; and even if he did tell it, that he would speak it treacherously, with the intention of taking them among such a number that they could not get the victory over them. "Then," said Mafaldo, "if in every matter you wish to seek for difficulties, they will never fail you, and if in such deeds you will go to the very end of their reason, late or never will you perform anything notable. Let us go, with God's aid," said he, "and not let our courage fail, for He will be with us to-day of His mercy." All the rest agreed that it was better to start at once; and they left there eight Moors, and with them six men to guard them; and took with them the man who had first told them where the others lay. And it chanced that one of the eight that had been left there escaped from our men who were guarding him, and passed over to the mainland in a canoe to give news to the others who lay there (in chase of whom the Christians were started), and related to them how he and the rest of the eight had been made prisoners. But he knew not to advise them of any matter that pertained to their hurt, for it appeared that he did not perceive what was coming upon them; and although the others were grieved at the news, they supported it with the patience with which men bear the troubles of their fellows.[109] And so they let themselves rest and be easy, and that man with them. And after the Christians entered the boats, they set out at once in the night for the point which the Moor had shewn them, and proceeded the space of two leagues; and landing they followed the Moor to the place where he showed them, [pg 121]by his signs, that they were nigh at hand. And there they all halted, sending on one of them who was called Diego Gil, who was to see if he could find any trace of the people; and he went on until he saw the houses; and approaching nearer, he heard an infant cry.

[CB] Of Lisbon.

[CC] The people of Lisbon.

[CD] D. Pedro.

[CE] Lit. in good time.

How Mafaldo took forty-six Moors.

Diego Gil was not slothful in returning and telling his news to the others, and they agreed that it was best to wait there for the morning; for, in the island (as they said), by reason of the darkness of the night, many of the natives could escape,—for such was their boldness that they had no doubt of the capture of these people. And so they stayed on, waiting until near the dawn, which to most of them seemed a delay more than was reasonable, such was their desire of getting to the end of that action. And oft-times it happeneth in other parts (where through necessity men have to watch) that when that hour cometh they cannot bear up without sleeping, so much are they oppressed by sleep. But it was not so with these, for there was not one who was not very sure of himself against such an event. And Mafaldo (on whose care that action most depended), as soon as he saw the time had come for departure began to speak to them thus: "Friends, the time is near in which we have to finish that for which we have toiled so hard in this part of the night. But we are in an enemy's land, where we know not if we have to deal with many or with few. Wherefore I call upon you to remember your honour, and each one of you to act bravely, and not to faint in the execution of this deed. And now," said he, "let us go on our way, for God will be with us."

[pg 122]The space was but short from where the enemy lay, and they, seeing themselves surrounded, began to run out of their huts; and, like men more full of terror than of courage, put all their hope in flight. And at last they took captive of them forty-six, besides some who were killed at the first shock. And though the action was not one of any great danger, we will not omit to give the advantage of labour to those who behaved the best, and who would not have shown less strength in the fight (had it happened), however great it might have been. Now, besides Mafaldo (who was Captain), Diego Gil, and Alvaro Vasquez and Gil Eannes, (but not that knight of whom we spoke before), toiled manfully, as men who showed well that they were fit for greater deeds than this. And so the booty of that night was fifty-three Moorish prisoners.[110]

How they landed another time, and of the things that they did.

We can well understand, from the hap of these men, that the greater part of the actions achieved in this world are more subject to fortune than to reason. And what man in his right judgment could trust in the motions of the head, or the signs of the hands, which a Moor made him? Might it not chance, too, that that Moor, for the purpose of getting free, or perchance to get vengeance over his enemies, should show them one thing for another, and (under pretence of bringing them to a place where, on his showing, our people might expect to win a victory) should lead them into the middle of such a host of foes that they would escape little less than dead? Certainly no judgment in the world could think the contrary. Yet I believe that the chief cause of these matters lay in the understanding [pg 123]that our men already had of these people,[CF] perceiving their cunning to be but small in this part of the world.[111]

So Mafaldo arrived with his booty, where he had such a reception from the other captains as the presence of the booty, gained by his toil, required of them. And making an end of recounting his joyful victory, he said he thought they ought to ask each one of the Moors they brought with them if, peradventure, beyond that settlement where they were taken, there was any other in which they could make any booty? And after getting the consent of all, he took aside one of those Moors in order to put him the aforesaid question; and he answered that there was.[CG] And they were already so much emboldened, that they waited not to ask if the enemy were many or few, or how many fighting men they numbered, or any of the other matters which it was fitting for them to ask in such a case. But like men who had fully determined upon their action, they started off the same afternoon, where by the signs of that Moor they were guided to a village, at which on their arrival they found nothing they could make booty of. And when they threatened the Moor for this, he made them understand that, as the people were not there, they must be in another settlement not very far from this. But here they only found one old Moor in the last infirmity; and seeing him thus at the point of death they left him there to make his end; not wishing to molest that little part of life that from his appearance was left him. And as it appeareth, the Moors, having already perceived the Christians to be among them, had left that village and moved off to another part of the country. And so our people who were there took counsel not to go further on, because it seemed to be a toil without hope of profit; but they agreed to return there in the future, presuming that [pg 124]the Moors, knowing of their coming and departure, would feel secure and return to their huts. But that was not so, for the Moors that time went a very long way off; where they still felt fearful of being sought out, even though they were so distant. True it is that our men (following their counsel as already taken) went to their caravels, from which they again returned to the village; and seeing they could not find anything, but only that Moor whom they had left before, it now seemed better to them to take him with them. Well might that poor man curse his fortune; that in so short a time it revoked his first sentence, conforming so many wills on each occasion regarding the fate of his happiness. And other times also our men went on shore, but they found nothing of any profit, and so returned to their ships.

[CF] Moors.

[CG] Such a settlement.

How Alvaro Vasquez took the seven Moors.

Great doubts were spread in the counsel of our men by the caution and preparedness that they perceived in the Moors of that land; and they now saw it would be necessary to seek other parts, in which there was no knowledge of their arrival. And some said that it would be well to go to Tider,[CH] because they knew there were many Moors there. Others said that their going to that part would be hurtful; because their enemy was so numerous that the fighting would be very unequal; and to attempt such a matter would be nothing but an insane boldness. For, being so few as they were, such an attempt would appear [pg 125]monstrous to any prudent person; when the injury would not only be the loss of their bodies, but shame before the presence of the living as well. Others again said that they should push on; and if, perchance, they could make no booty in the land of the Moors, that they should go to the land of the Negroes; for it would be a great disgrace to them to return with such small results from places where the others had gained their fill of riches. This saying was praised by all; and so they set out thence, and, going on their voyage for a space of thirty-five leagues beyond Tider,[CI] all three caravels waited for one another, and the captains spoke among themselves. And they agreed that it would be well to send some people out to see if it was a land where they could make any gain. And taking out the boats from the ships, Alvaro Vasquez, that squire of the Infant's, said that it seemed to him it would be well to order two or three men to go out on one side, and as many others on another, to see if they could get any sight or knowledge of the Moors; by whom at least they might understand who lived in that land, that they might come and warn the others who had to attack them. All agreed in that counsel, and selected four scouts for each side, among whom Alvaro Vasquez was one; and each party following their path to the end, the former came to a place where were some nets, which the Moors had only just left. And Alvaro Vasquez with the others went on so far that at night they came upon a track of Moors; and do not wonder because I say "at night",—for perchance you think it doubtful if they could tell such a track in the darkness of the night. Wherefore you must understand that in that country there is no rain as here in Portugal, nor is the lower sky overclouded as we see it in these Western parts; and besides the brightness of the moon (when there is one), the [pg 126]stars of themselves give so much light that it is easy for one man to recognise another, even though they be a little space apart. So that track was found; yet, because they saw no reason to put reliance in it, they would not return to their captains until they had a more certain understanding of the matter. And so going on, they came where the Moors lay, and saw them so close that they felt they could not turn back without being perceived. Therefore they went for the Moors with a rush; and with their accustomed cries leapt among them, being twelve in number. And such was their[CJ] dismay that they did not look at the number of their enemy, but like conquered people began to flee; though this was of little service to them, for only two escaped, while three were killed and seven taken. And thus, returning to their ships, our men were received as those who deserved honour for their toil and bravery; for although we write some part of their desert, we have not done so as perfectly as they performed it, for the knowledge of a thing can never be so proper by its likeness as when it is known by itself; and yet historians, to avoid prolixity, often summarize things that would be far greater if these were related in their true effects.[112]

The captaincy for that turn was in the hands of Dinis Eannes, as we have said already; and he took aside one of those Moors to know if there were any other people in that land. And the Moor answered by signs that there was no other settlement near there, but only a village very far distant from that part, in which there were many people, but few of them men of war. "Now we shall make small profit by our coming here," said Dinis Eannes to his company, "if we are not ready to endure bodily toils; and though this village be so far distant as this Moor maketh me to understand, I should think it would be well for us to go to [pg 127]it, for all the amount of our gain dependeth on our labour." All agreed to go, in any case, where some profit could be got; and taking that Moor for their guide, they went on a space of three leagues, till they arrived at that village which the Moor had named to them before. But they found there nothing by which they could get any profit, for the Moors had already removed far off. So they returned again, not without great weariness; for what they felt most sorely, after going through such great toil, was the finding of nothing that they had sought.

[CH] I.e., Tiger.

[CI] I.e., Tiger.

[CJ] "Their" refers to the Moors.

Illustration: Design 4




Transcriber's Notes:

Volume 1 ends with the illustration of the Coast of N.W. Africa. Endnotes and index pertaining to Volume 1 have been added, below, for the convenience of the reader; originally, they were included only in Volume 2.

Obsolete and archaic spellings were retained. Punctuation was standardized. Footnotes were moved to the end of the chapter to which they pertain.

There were two endnotes numbered 75. The second was renumbered as 75A. The anchor for 75A was missing in the original. Chapter XXVII contained three anchors to endnote 84. They all refer to the same endnote, and are renumbered here as [84], [84a] and [84b]. The second one was numbered [85] in the original text.

The remaining changes are indicated by dotted lines under the text. Scroll the mouse over the word and the original text will appear.


[N.B.—The page references are to the Hakluyt Society's translation].

1 (p. 2). St. Thomas, who was the most clear teacher among the Doctors of Theology, i.e., St. Thomas Aquinas, greatest of the Schoolmen ("Doctor Angelicus"); born at Rocca Secca, near Aquino, 1225 (according to some 1227); Professor of Theology at Cologne 1248, at Paris 1253 and 1269, at Rome 1261, etc., at Naples 1272 (Doctor of Theology, 1257). Died at Fossa Nuova, in the diocese of Terracino, 1274; canonised 1323; declared a Doctor of the Church, 1567; author, among many other writings, of the Summa Theologiae, the greatest monument of Roman divinity. Aquinas completed the fusion of the re-discovered Aristotelian philosophy with church doctrine, which in the earlier Middle Ages had been hampered by the imperfect knowledge of Aristotelian texts in the Latin world, but which had for some time been preparing, e.g., in the work of Peter Lombard (d. 1164), and even earlier. Aquinas also marks the temporary intellectual victory of the Church, in the thirteenth century, over the free-thinking and disruptive tendencies which had shown themselves so threatening in the twelfth. See K. Werner, Thomas von Aquino, Regensburg, 1858-59; Feugueray, Essai sur les doctrines politiques de St. T. d'A., Paris, 1857; De Liechty, Albert le grand et St. T. d'A., Paris, 1880. Encken, Die Philosophie des T. von A., Halle, 1886.

2 (p. 3). When the King John ... went to take Ceuta, viz., in 1415, in company with his sons, Edward (Duarte), Pedro, and Henry, and a force of 50,000 soldiers. See especially Oliveira Martins, Os Filhos de D. João I (1891), ch. ii; Azurara's Chronica de Ceuta; Mat. Pisano, De bello Septensi; Major's Henry Navigator, 1868 ed., pp. 26-43; "Life" of the same, in Heroes of the Nations Series, ch. viii.

3 (p. 4). Duke John, Lord of Lançam.—On this Santarem has the following: [The Duke of whom our author speaks was probably John of Lançon, one of the Paladins of Charles the Great, concerning whose deeds there exists a MS. poem of the thirteenth century in the Collection of MSS. in the Royal Library of Paris (No. 8; 203). This reference cannot be to John I, Duke of Alençon, seeing that it does not appear that any history of his deeds was ever written].—S.

4 (p. 4). Deeds of the Cid Ruy Diaz.—[Here our author probably refers to the poem of the Cid, copies of which were spread through Spain from the twelfth century (see the Coleccion de Poesias castellanas anteriores al siglo XV, Madrid, 1779-90). In the time of Azurara there was no one chronicle of the Cid's deeds; see Herder, Der Cid nach Spanischen Romanzen besungen 1857(-59), who translates eighty romances published on this subject; Southey's Chronicle of the Cid, London, 1808].—S. See also The Cid (H. B. Clarke) in Heroes of the Nations Series; R. P. A. Dozy, Hist. Pol-Litt. d'Espagne, Moyen-âge, i, 320-706; Le Cid ... Nouveaux Documents, 1860; J. Cornu, Etudes, 1881 (Romania, x, 75-99); Canton Zalazar, Los restos del Cid, 1883.

5 (p. 4). The Count Nunalvarez Pereira.—The "Holy Constable," one of the Portuguese leaders in the Nationalist rising of 1383-5, which set the House of Aviz on the Portuguese throne. Azurara is credited with the (doubtful) authorship of a work on the miracles of the Holy Constable. See the Introduction to vol. i of this Edition, pp. liii-liv, and Oliveira Martins' Vida de Nun'Alvares, Lisbon 1893; also the latter's Os Filhos de D. João I, chs. i, ii; Major's Henry Navigator, pp. 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 21, 78.

6 (p. 5). Pillars of Hercules, or Straits of Gibraltar; called by some Arabic geographers (e.g., Mas'udi) the Strait of the Idols of Copper. The conquest of Ceuta in 1415 gave Portugal a great hold over this "narrow passage," and in 1418 Prince Henry aspired to seize Gibraltar, which would have made his country complete master of the same, but his project was discountenanced by his father's government. We may refer to Galvano's story of a Portuguese ship starting from here, shortly after 1447 (?), being driven out to certain islands in the Atlantic; to the Infant's settlement at Sagres being in tolerable proximity; and to Azurara's (and others') reckoning of distances along new-discovered coasts from the same. See Azurara, Guinea, ch. v.

7 (p. 5). The Church of Santiago, i.e., St. James of Compostella, in Galicia.—[In this passage our author refers to the celebrated diploma of King D. Ramiro about the battle of Clavijo, though he does not cite that document, and also to the Chronicle of Sampiro. On these two documents the reader can consult Masdeu, Historia Critica de España, tom. xii, p. 214, etc.; tom. xiii, 390; and tom. xvi—Voto de S. Thiago Suppl. 1.].—S.

8 (p. 7). Sentences of St. Thomas and St. Gregory, i.e., of St. Thomas Aquinas and Pope (St.) Gregory the Great (a.d. 590-604).

9 (p. 7). Garamantes, etc.—Properly the inhabitants of Fezzan—"Garama," or "Phazania" in classical language. Γαράμαντεσ ... ἔθνοσ μέγα ἰσχυρῶσ says Herodotus (iv, 183). Yet like the Nasamones and other nations of this part, they are apparently conceived of by H. as a people confined to a single oasis of the desert. The Garamantes' land, H. adds, is thirty days' journey from the Lotos Eaters on the North coast of Africa, which is about the true distance from Mourzuk, in Fezzan, to Tripoli (see the journeys of Captain Lyon in 1820, and of Colonel Monteil in 1892). The oasis, ten days' journey beyond the Garamantes, inhabited by the Atarantes or Atlantes, may be the Herodotean conception of Tibesti.

Compare the story, in Herodotus, ii, 32, 33, of five Nasamonians, from the shore of the Great Syrtes, crossing the deserts to the south of Libya to an inhabited region, far west of their home, with fruit trees, extensive marshes, a city inhabited by Black People of small stature, a river flowing from west to east containing crocodiles: probably either the modern Bornu or one of the Negro states on the Middle Niger.

Pliny (Hist Nat., v, 5, §36) records the conquest of the Garamantes by Cornelius Balbus in b.c. 20, when the Romans captured Cydamus (Ghadames in south-west Tripoli) and Garama ("clarissimum oppidum," the Germa of the present day, whence the name "Garamantes").

In the time of Vespasian the more direct route from Œa or Tripoli to Phazania was discovered (Pliny, l. c.). In the reign of Tiberius, during the revolt of Tacfarinas in Numidia, the Garamantes supported the rebel, and after his defeat sent to Rome to sue for pardon, an unusual embassy, as Tacitus remarks ("Garamantum legati, raro in urbe visi"). From Fezzan, in later days (about time of Trajan?) started the remarkable expeditions of Septimius Flaccus and Julius Maternus to the "Ethiopian land" (Sudan) and Agisymba (Region of Lake Chad?) in the south, which reached inhabited country after a march of three and four months respectively across the desert (see Ptolemy, i, 8, §5, from Marinus of Tyre, now lost except in Pt.'s citations). The original conquest by Balbus is probably referred to in Virgil's Æneid VI, 795, in the prophecy of Augustus' triumphs:—

"Super et Garamantes et Indos Proferet imperium."

The Ethiopians ... under the Shadow of Mount Caucasus is an extreme instance of the mediæval geography met with so frequently in Azurara, as no African "Mt. Caucasus" has ever been identified, even as a barbarous misnomer for one of the African ranges; while Ethiopia, however confused the reference, always starts from the ancient knowledge of the Sudan, and especially the Eastern or Egyptian Sudan (see below).

The Caucasus, here used, perhaps, like "Taurus," or "Alps," in the general sense of "lofty mountains," was a great centre of mediæval myth. Here was situated, according to most authorities, the wall of Alexander, when with an iron rampart he shut up Gog and Magog, and "twenty-two nations of evil men" from invading the fertile countries of the south (see Koran, chs. xv, xviii; the Arabic record of "Sallam the interpreter," sent to the Caucasus about 840 by the Caliph Wathek-Billah; Ibn Khordadbeh, c. 880; St. Jerome On Genesis, x, 2, and On Ezekiel, xxxviii-ix; St. Augustine, De Civitate Dei, xx, 11; St. Ambrose, De Fide ad Gratianum, ii, 4; St. Isidore, Origines, ix, 2; xiv, 3; and the Commentaries of Andrew and Aretes of Caesarea On the Apocalypse of a.d. c. 400 and c. 540; Dawn of Modern Geography, pp. 335-8, 425-434).

10 (p. 7). Indians of Greater and Lesser India is a regular mediæval term for the inhabitants of India proper and of south-western Asia, sometimes including Abyssinia. Another frequent division was threefold: India Prima, Secunda, Tertia, or Greater, Lesser, and Middle, as in Marco Polo, Bk. III, chs. i, xxxviii-xxxix. Most commonly, Greater India means India west of Ganges; Lesser India corresponds to the classical India extra Gangem, or Assam, Burma, Siam, etc.; and Middle India stands for Abyssinia, and perhaps for some parts of the Arabian coast, as far as the Persian Gulf.

On this passage we must also notice the following MS. notes:—

[α. Garamantes, Ethiopians and Indians.—It must be understood that these are three peoples, as saith Isidore in his sixth book [i.e., of the Etymologies or Origins of St. Isidore of Seville, written c. A.D. 600], to wit, the Asperi, Garamantes and Indians. The Asperi are in the west, the Garamantes in the middle, the Indians in the east. He reckoned with the Garamantes, the Tregodites [Troglodytes or Trogodites] because they are their neighbours. Alfargano [Mohammed Alfergani, or of Ferghanah on the Upper Oxus, a great Mohammedan geographer of the ninth century, author of a "Book of Celestial Movements" translated into Hebrew and from Hebrew into Latin, which also described the chief towns and countries of the world] placed Meroe, which is Queen of the Nations, between the Nubians and the Indians. The Garamantes are so called from Garama, which is the capital of their Kingdom, and the castle of which standeth between Inenense and Ethiopia, where is a fountain which cooleth with the heat of the day, and groweth hot with the cold of the night. Ethiopia is over against Egypt and Africa, on the southern part thereof; from the east it stretcheth over against the west even to the Ethiopian Sea. And because much of the people of these three nations are Christians, and because they desired to see the world, they came to these parts of Spain, where they received great gifts from the Infant, on account of which the author hath given this description in his chapter thereupon.

β. Caucasus.—This mount is so called from Candor, the which stretcheth from India to Taurus, in its length, through various peoples and tongues, and therefore is variously named. Some say that Mt. Caucasus and Mt. Taurus are all one, but Orosius reproveth this opinion.] On the fountain of Garama, cf. Solinus, xxx, i.

11 (p. 7). To visit the Apostle, viz., St. James of Compostella, patron saint of Spain, and traditionally the "Apostle" of that country. Santiago de Compostella was once the capital of Galicia; it lies 55 kilometres south of Coruña, on the north bank, and near the source, of the River Sar, which flows into the Ulla. The town is built round the Cathedral, which claims to possess the body of St. James. A star was said to have originally shown the place of this relic, hence "Compostella" (Campus stellae). The body of the great church was commenced in 1082 and completed in 1128; the cloisters were finished in 1533. An earlier church of the later ninth century had been destroyed in 997 by the Arabs under the famous "hagib" Almanzor, who also restored Barcelona to the Western Caliphate, and nearly crushed all the Christian kingdoms of Spain. For centuries Compostella was the most famous and fashionable place of pilgrimage, next to Rome, in Europe. It is referred to in Chaucer, Prologue to Canterbury Tales, l. 466, in the description of the "Wife of Bath:"

"At Rome she haddé been, and at Boloyne In Galice at Saint Jame, and at Coloyne."

12 (p. 8). Ancient and venerable city of Thebes.—Here we have again a MS. note.

[We must understand that there are two cities of Thebes—the one in Egypt and the other in Greece. That in Greece was the selfsame which in the time of Pharaoh Nicrao (Necho, see Herodotus, ii, 158-9: Josephus Antiq. Jud.) was called Jersem, as saith Marco Polo, whence came the Kings of Thebes who reigned in Egypt C I R (190) years. And this was one of the places which were given to Jacob, by the countenance of his son Joseph, when by the needs of hunger he went with his eleven sons to Egypt, as it is writ in Genesis. And Saint Isidore saith in his xvth book (of Origins) that Cadmus built Thebes in Egypt, and that he, passing into Greece, founded the other and Grecian Thebes, in the province of Acaya (Achaia), the which is now called the land of the Prince of the Amoreans.]

It is not necessary to dwell on the additional confusion furnished by this "explanation"—Thebes given to the Israelites (as part of Goshen?), Cadmus building the Egyptian Thebes, Achaia for Bœotia, and so forth; but the point really noticeable is that in Azurara's text the "dwellers on the Nile who possess Thebes" came in here as "wearing the Prince's livery:" i.e., the negroes of the Senegal are supposed to live on the western branch of the Nile, which mediæval conceptions obstinately brought from Egypt or Nubia to the Atlantic, and which Prince Henry's seamen thought they had discovered when they reached the Senegal; just as later in the Gambia, the Niger, and the Congo, other equivalents were imagined for the Negro Nile of Edrisi, and the West African river-courses of Pliny and Ptolemy. Cf. chs. xxx, xxxi, lx-lxii, of this Chronicle.

13 (p. 8). Wisdom of the Italians ... labyrinth.—Here we have another original MS. note. [Labyrinth is so much as to say anything into which a man having entered cannot go out again (so Prince Henry, in Azurara, vol. i, p. 8 (ch. ii), has "entered a labyrinth of Glory"). And therefore, saith Ovid, in his Metamorphoses, that Pasiphaë, wife of Minos, king of Crete, conceived the Minotaur, who was half man and half bull. The which was imprisoned by Daedalus in the Labyrinth into which whatsoever entered knew not how to come out, and whosoever was without knew not how to enter. And of this Labyrinth speaketh Seneca in the Tragedy, where he treated of the matter of Hippolytus and Phedra].

Azurara's reference to the distinctive virtues of the four great peoples here noticed is interesting, especially from the fact that Prince Henry's mother was an Englishwoman; that the Emperor (now a purely German sovereign, though still in name "holy and Roman"), invited him to enter his service (see ch. vi); that the Pope (like Henry VI (?) King of England) made him similar offers; that his scientific and practical connections with Italy were very important; and that his sister Isabel was married to the Duke of Burgundy. "The wisdom of the Italians" was nowhere more conspicuous at that time than in geography. Italians initiated the great mediæval and renaissance movement of discovery both by land and sea (cf. John de Plano Carpini, Marco, Nicolo, and Matteo Polo, Malocello, Tedisio Dorio, the Vivaldi, the Genoese captains and pilots of 1341, precursors of Varthema, the Cabots, Verrazano, and Columbus). Italians also constructed the first scientific maps or Portolani (existing specimens from 1300 show out of 498 examples 413 of Italian origin, including all the more famous and perfect). Lastly, Italians probably brought the use of the magnet to higher efficiency; though they did not "invent" the same, it is likely that they were the first to fit the magnet into a box and connect it with a compass-card. "Prima dedit nautis usum magnetis Amalphis."

Also, we may recall that the Infant Don Pedro, Henry's brother, brought home from Venice in 1428 a map illustrating a copy of Marco Polo (see p. liv of the Introduction to this volume), and that the most important map-draughtsmen of the Prince's lifetime were Andrea Bianco, Fra Mauro, and Gratiosus Benincasa. From 1317, when King Diniz appointed the Genoese Emmanuele Pesagno Admiral of Portugal, and contracted for a regular supply of Genoese pilots and captains, down to the Infant's earlier years, when the Genoese tried to secure a "lease" of Sagres promontory as a naval station, and even to the time when the Venetian Cadamosto sailed in his service (1455-6), and Antoniotto Uso di Mare and Antonio de Noli were to be found in the same employment, the connection between Portuguese and Italian seamanship was very close—a relationship almost of daughter and mother.

14 (p. 9). From the islands thou didst people in the Ocean, etc. ... wood from those parts.

Here Azurara gives some references to the products raised in the newly-colonised groups of "African Islands"—corn, honey, wax, and especially wood, on which Santarem remarks:—

[This interesting detail shows that the wood (Madeira) transported to Portugal from the islands newly discovered by the Infant D. Henrique, chiefly from the isle of Madeira, was in such quantity as to cause a change in the system of construction of houses in towns, by increasing the number of storeys, and raising the height of the houses, thus bringing in a new style of building instead of the Roman and Arabic systems then probably followed. This probability acquires more weight in view of the system of lighting at Lisbon ordered by King Ferdinand, as appears from a document in the Archives of the Municipality of Lisbon. So this detail related by Azurara is a very curious one for the history of our architecture.]—S.

15 (p. 9). Dwellers in the Algarve (Alfagher), i.e., the extreme southern portion of Portugal, including Cape St. Vincent, the cities of Lagos, Faro and Tavira, and Sagres (off C. St. V.), the special residence of the Prince himself. Later, the plural title "Algarves" was applied to this Province, in conjunction with the possessions of Portugal on the North African coast immediately fronting the Spanish peninsula, viz., Ceuta, "Alcacer Seguer," Anafe, Tangier, Arzila, etc.

16 (p. 10). Moors ... on this side the Straits and also beyond.—Moors who on "this side the Straits" had "died" from Prince Henry's lance might be difficult to find; but of "those beyond" the reference is more particularly to the conquest of Ceuta, 1415; the relief of the same, 1418; the abortive attempt on Tangier, 1437; and the raids upon the Azanegue Moors between Cape Bojador and the Senegal, c. 1441-1450. The African campaign of 1458, which resulted in the capture of Alcacer the Little, cannot, of course, be included here.

17 (p. 10). That false schismatic Mohammed.—In the ordinary style of mediæval reference, as followed by Father Maracci and the older European school of Arabic learning. The progress of the Moslem faith in North Africa was rapid in the Mediterranean coast zone, but comparatively slow in the Sahara and Sudan. See Introduction to vol. ii, pp. xliii-lix, and W. T. Arnold, Missions of Islam.

18 (p. 11). Duchess of Burgundy.—The Infanta Isabel, Prince Henry's sister, was niece of a King of England, viz., as Santarem says, of Henry IV, son of John, Duke of Lancaster. [By this connection our Infant was a great-grandson of Edward III, and at the same time a descendant of the last kings of the Capetian house, and likewise allied to the family of Valois. The Infanta Donna Philippa was married to the Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, on January 10th, 1429. She was not only endowed with very eminent qualities, but was also of rare beauty. She had great influence on public affairs. The Duke, her husband, instituted the celebrated order of the Golden Fleece to celebrate this marriage. This princess died at Dijon, December 17th, 1472. From this alliance came many descendants. She was equally beloved by her brothers, and especially by King D. Edward (Duarte), who, in his Leal Conselheiro (ch. xliv, "Da Amizade"), speaks of the great affection and regret which he felt for her. The festivities which took place at Bruges on her arrival were among the most sumptuous of the Middle Ages].—S.

19 (p. 12). The Philosopher, i.e., Aristotle, in Azurara's day regarded among Christians as the "master of them that knew." The transformation of Aristotle into a storehouse of Christian theology was a long process, which was perhaps most completely successful in the hands of Thomas Aquinas.

20 (p. 14). As in his Chronicle, i.e., The Chronicle of the Reign of Affonso V, the African, attributed by Barros and Goes to Azurara himself, and perhaps embodied (partially) in Ruy de Pina's existing chronicle of the monarch. (See Azurara, Hakluyt Soc. ed., vol. i, Introduction, pp. lxi-lxiii.) We must notice that a little earlier (p. 13, top of our version), on Azurara's reference to Prince Henry as an "uncrowned prince" (cf. Azurara, vol. ii, Introduction, p. xix). Santarem remarks:

[This detail, recorded by Azurara, a contemporary writer, shows the error into which Fr. Luiz de Souza fell in his Historia de S. Domingos, liv. vi, fol. 331, by saying that the Infant was elected King of Cyprus: an error which José Soares da Silva repeated in his Memorias d'El Rei D. João I; whereas if the words of Azurara were not sufficient to demonstrate the contrary, the dates and facts of history would prove the errors of those authors. As a matter of fact, the kingdom of Cyprus, which Richard, King of England, took from the Greeks in 1191, was immediately ceded by that Prince to Guy of Lusignan, whose posterity reigned in that kingdom till 1487; and as our Infant was born in 1394 and died in 1460, it was not possible for him to be elected sovereign of a kingdom ruled by a legitimate line of monarchs. Besides this, in the list of the Latin or Frank Kings of Cyprus, the name of D. Henry is not found. It is to be presumed that Fr. Luiz de Souza confounded Henry, Prince of Galilee, son of James I, King of Cyprus, with our Infant D. Henry.]—S.

Also, on the words Atlas the Giant (middle of p. 13 in our version), there is another original MS. note:

[Atlas was king of the land in the west of Europe and of that in the west of Africa, brother of Prometheus, that great wise man and philosopher descended from Japhet, the giant. And this Atlas was considered the greatest astrologer living in the world at his time. And his knowledge of the stars made him give such true forecasts of matters which were fated to happen, that men said in his time that he sustained the heaven upon his shoulders. And as Lucas saith, he was the first who invented the art of painting in the city of Corinth, which is in Greece.]

On this Santarem remarks:—

[Here our author mixes up all the historical and mythological traditions from Greek and Latin authors relative to Atlas. Diodorus Siculus and Plato are not cited by Azurara, who, however, relates that Atlas was king of the West of Europe and of the West of Africa; but he forgets to say that he reigned over the Atlantes, as Herodotus says, and confounds Prometheus with "Japhet," whose son he was, viz., according to Apollodorus, Diodorus Siculus, and all the ancient writers. Diodorus says in effect that Atlas had taught astronomy to Hercules, but our author confounds the three princes of this name, and made a mistake in citing Lucas de Tuy (continuer of the Chronicle of Isidore of Seville) as saying that Atlas was the first who invented the art of painting in the city of Corinth. The origin of this art was unknown to the ancients. It is true that Sicyon and Corinth disputed the glory of the discovery, but the discoverer according to most of the ancient authors was Cleanthes of Corinth and not Atlas, as Azurara says. According to others, the discovery was due to Philocles the Egyptian.]—S.

The Atlas chain of N. Africa has been the subject of persistent exaggeration. The Greek pillar of heaven (derived from Carthaginian? seamen) probably referred to Teneriffe. No summit in the Atlas range answers to the legend. Though Miltsin rises to 11,400 feet, neither this nor any other peak can be supposed to represent the idea of towering height embodied in the story. We may notice the enormous over-proportion of the Atlas in some of the most important maps which Prince Henry and his seamen had to consult (e.g., Dulcert of 1339, the Catalan of 1375). See Introduction, vol. ii, pp. cxxiii-iv, cxxvi.

21 (p. 14). Tangier ... the most perilous affair in which he ever stood before or after, viz., in 1437. The conquest of Ceuta (aided perhaps by the earlier discoveries of Prince Henry's seamen) had made some in Portugal eager for more African conquests, and in 1433 King Duarte (Edward) on his accession was induced by his brothers Henry and Ferdinand, against the opinion of his next brother Pedro, to take up the project of an attack on Tangier. The Papal Court gave only a very doubtful approval to the war, but on August 22, 1437, an expedition sailed for Ceuta. Tetuan was captured, and on September 23 Prince Henry began the siege of Tangier, but his attacks on the town were repulsed; the Portuguese were surrounded by overwhelming forces which had come down from Marocco, Fez, and Tafilet for the relief of the city; and on October 25 the assailants surrendered with the honours of war, on condition that Ceuta should be given up with all the Moorish prisoners then in Portuguese hands, and that the Portuguese should abstain for 100 years from any further attack upon the Moors of this part of Barbary. Prince Ferdinand was left with twelve nobles as hostages for the performance of the treaty. The convention was repudiated in Portugal, and Ferdinand, the "constant Prince," died in his captivity June 3, 1443. Like Regulus in Roman tradition, he advised his countrymen against the enemy's terms of ransom,

"Lest bought with price of Ceita's potent town To public welfare be preferred his own."

Camöens: Lusiads, iv, 52 (Burton).

22 (p. 14). Because Tully commandeth.—It is characteristic of Azurara's school and time that he should declare his preference for truthful writing because a great classic recommended the same.

23 (p. 15). College of Celestial virtues.—Contrasted with the previous reference, this gives a good idea of Azurara's mental outlook—on one side towards Greek and Latin antiquity, on another to the Catholic theology. The Christian side of the Mediæval Renaissance had not, in Portugal, been overpowered by the Pagan. We may remember, as to the context here, that on the capture of Ceuta the chief mosque was at once turned into the Cathedral.

24 (p. 16). Districts of the Beira ... and Entre Douro e Minho. The three northern provinces of Portugal:—The Beira, comprising most of the land between the Tagus and the Douro (except the S.W. portion); the Tral (or Traz) os Montes, the N.E. extremity; and the Entre Douro e Minho, the N.W. extremity of the Kingdom. Here was the cradle of the state—for the principality granted in 1095 by Alfonso VI of Leon to the free-lance, Henry of Burgundy, was entirely within the limits of these provinces, and was at first almost entirely confined to lands North of the Mondego, being composed of the counties of Coimbra and Oporto.

25 (p. 16). The two cities, viz., The citadel and the lower town of Ceuta, which together covered the neck of a long peninsula running out some three miles eastward from the African mainland, and broadening again beyond the eastern wall of Ceuta into a hilly square of country. The citadel covered the isthmus which joined the peninsula to the mainland. East of the citadel was Almina, containing "the outer and larger division of the city, as well as the seven hills from which Ceuta derived its name," the highest of which was in the middle of the peninsula, and was called El Acho, from the fortress on its summit. "On the north side of the peninsula, from the citadel to the foot of this last-mentioned hill, the city was protected by another lofty wall." According to some, the old name of Septa was derived from the town's seven hills; it was ancient, being repaired, enlarged and re-fortified by Justinian in the course of his restoration of the Roman Empire in the Western Mediterranean.

26 (p. 17). A duke ... in the Algarve, viz., Duke of Viseu and Lord of Covilham. His investiture took place at Tavira in the Algarve, immediately on the return of the Ceuta expedition. Together with his elder brother Pedro, whom King John at the same time made Duke of Coimbra, Henry was the first of Portuguese dukes. This title was introduced into England as early as 1337, and the Infant's mother was the daughter of one of the first English dukes, "old John of Gaunt, time-honoured Lancaster."]

27 (p. 17). The people of Fez ... of Bugya.—This Moslem league of 1418 against Portuguese Ceuta comprised nearly all the neighbouring Islamic states (1) Fez—the centre of Moslem culture in Western "Barbary," a very troublesome state, politically, to the great ruling dynasties in N.W. Africa—contained two towns at this time, called respectively the town of the Andalusi, or Spaniards—from the European (Moslem) emigrants who lived there—and the town of the Kairwani, from Kairwan ("Cairoan"), the holy city of Tunis. The founder of the greatness of Fez was Idris, whose dynasty reigned there a.d. 788-985. It was captured by Abd-el-Mumen ben Ali, the Almohade, in 1145. It was also besieged in 960, 979, 1045, 1048, 1069, 1248, 1250. See Leo Africanus (Hakluyt Soc. ed.), pp. 143-5, 393, 416-486, 589-606. (2) Granada was still a Moslem Kingdom, as it remained till its capture by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492. It was now (1418) ruled by the successors of Mohammed-al-Hamar, who in 1236 gathered the relics of the western Caliphate into the Kingdom of Granada. In 1340 the Granadine attempt, in alliance with Berber help from Africa, to recover southern Spain for Islam, had been defeated in the great battle of the Tarifa, or Salado (one of the first engagements where cannon were used); but Granada still (in the fifteenth century) retained considerable strength. (3) Tunis.—Leo Africanus mentions its capture by Okba (Akbah) in the seventh century a.d., by the Almoravides in the eleventh century, and by Abd-el Mumen ben Ali, the Almohade, in the twelfth century. It was unsuccessfully attacked at times by those states whose trade with it was most important, e.g., by Louis IX of France in his crusade of 1270; by the Genoese, 1388-90; by the Kings of Sicily, 1289-1335; and by other foreign states; but remained for the most part independent, from the breakup of the Almohade empire till its capture by Barbarossa for the Ottomans in 1531. See Leo Africanus, pp. 699, 716, 753. (4) Marocco.—The city of Marocco was founded, a.d. 1070-2 according to some, 1062-3 according to others (a.h. 454), by Yusuf Ibn Tashfin, the Almoravide. Under both Almoravides and Almohades its greatness steadily increased. Abd-el-Mumen ben Ali took it for the latter, and under his grandson, Yakub Almansor, it became the Almohade capital (a.d. 1189-90). The Beni-Merini succeeding to power in these parts in the thirteenth century, removed the seat of government to Fez (1269-1470). See Leo Africanus, pp. 262-272, 351-359. Early in the sixteenth century the Portuguese, under Nuno Fernandez d'Ataide, Governor of Safi, attacked Marocco without success. A district called Marocco was much older than the city. "Marakiyah," in Masudi (iii, p. 241, Meynard and Courteille), is used of a district to which the Berbers emigrated. (5) Bugia, Bougie, anciently also Bujaïa and Bejaïa, a very ancient city. Carthage had a settlement here; Augustus established a Roman colony with the title of Colonia Julia Augusta Saldantum ("Saldaa"). It fell into the power of the Vandals in the fifth, of the Arabs in the sixth, century; and during the earlier Caliphate it carried on a considerable trade, especially with the Christian states of the Western Mediterranean. This trade continued to flourish during the later Middle Ages; and we may instance, not only the favourable descriptions of Edrisi (c. 1154) and of Leo Africanus (1494-1552), but also the Pisan commerce (of about 1250-64) both in merchandise and in learning, with this city, as well as the Aragonese treaties of 1309 and 1314, and the Pisan embassy of 1378, as a few examples out of many. In 1068, En-Naser having restored and embellished the town, made it his capital, re-naming it En-Naseria; Abd-el-Mumen ben Ali subjected it to the Almohade empire in 1152; in 1509 Count Peter of Navarre seized it, and the Spaniards held it till 1555. From 1833 it has been a French possession. See Edrisi (Jaubert), vol. i, pp. 202, 236-8, 241, 245-6, 258, 269; Leo Africanus, Hakluyt Soc. edn. pp. 126, 143-4, 699, 700, 745, 932.

28 (p. 17). Chance of taking Gibraltar ... did not offer itself to him.—This project is especially notable in the light of later history, as of the years 1704, 1729, 1779-82, and of earlier times, e.g., 710. Prince Henry seems to have been one of the few men who valued aright (before quite modern times) the position from which the Arabs advanced to the Conquest of Spain, and from which the English obtained so great a hold over the Mediterranean. It was only in the later sixteenth century that one can discover anything like a widespread perception of Gibraltar's importance.

29 (p. 18). Canary Islands.—Here Azurara probably refers to the projects of 1424-5, though his words may apply to Henry's efforts in 1418, or in 1445-6, to acquire the Canaries for Portugal (see Introduction to vol. ii, p. xcvi-xcviii).

The "great Armada ... to shew the natives the way of the holy faith" is very characteristic of Azurara.

30 (p. 18). Governed Ceuta ... left the government to King Affonso at the beginning of his reign.—On this, Santarem has the following note:—

[The 35 years during which the Infant governed Ceuta must be understood in the sense that during the reigns of his father and brother and nephew (till Affonso V reached his majority) he directed the affairs of Ceuta, but not that he governed that place by residing there. The dates and facts recorded show that we must understand what is here said in this sense, seeing that the Infant, after the capture of that city (Ceuta) in August 1415, returned to the Kingdom (of Portugal); and there was left as Governor of Ceuta D. Pedro de Menezes, who held this command for twenty-two years (D. N. do Leão, cap. 97). The Infant returned to Africa in 1437 for the unfortunate campaign of Tangier. After this expedition he fell ill in Ceuta and stayed there only five months, and thence again returned to Portugal, and spent the greater part of his time in the Algarve, occupied with his maritime expeditions. He went back for the third time to Africa with King D. Affonso V for the campaign of Alcacer in 1456, returning immediately afterwards to Sagres.

Beyond this, it should be noticed that the sons of King D. John I had charge of the presidency and direction of various branches of State administration. D. Duarte (Edward) was, in the life of the King his father, entrusted with the presidency of the Supreme Court of Judicature and with the duty of despatching business in Council, as is recorded by him in detail in ch. xxx of the Leal Conselheiro. The Infant D. Henry had charge of all African business, and so by implication of everything relating to Ceuta.

Finally, the sublime words of King D. Duarte to D. Duarte de Menezes, when he said, "If I am not deceived in you, not even to give it to a son of mine will I deprive you of the captaincy of Ceuta" (Azurara, Chronica de D. Duarte, ch. xliii), show that the Infant D. Henry was not then properly Governor of Ceuta; although he was formally appointed to that post on July 5th, 1450, he never actually occupied it (see Souza, prov. of Bk. v, No. 51).]—S.

31 (p. 18). The fear of his vessels kept in security ... the merchants who traded between East and West.—This important detail has not been noticed sufficiently in lives of D. Henry. If Azurara really means that the Infant's fleet preserved the coasts of Spain from all fear of the piracy which then, as later, endangered the commerce of the Western Mediterranean, we can only regret that no further details have come down to us about this point. For such a task the Prince must have maintained a pretty large navy: though it is noticeable that piracy seems to have been worse on the so-called Christian side in the mediæval period; and not till after the fifteenth century, and the establishment of Turkish suzerainty, was it as bad on the Moslem side (see Mas Latrie, Relations de l'Afrique Septentrionale avec les Chrétiens au Moyen Age, passim, and especially pp. 4, 5, 61-2, 117, 128-30, 161-208, 340-5, 453, 469, 534). The forbearance of the Barbary States with Christian freebooting from the eleventh century to the sixteenth, their tolerance of Christian colonies in their midst, and the special favours constantly shown to individual Christians, would surprise those who think only of Algerine, Tunisian, or Maroccan piracy and "Salee rovers." Roger II of Sicily is a striking exception to this disgraceful rule. In the earlier Middle Ages, some of the Christian Republics of Italy even joined Moslems in slave-raiding upon other Christians (see Dawn of Modern Geography, pp. 203-4).

32 (p. 18). Peopled five Islands ... especially Madeira (see Introduction to vol. ii, pp. xcviii-cii).

33 (p. 19). Alfarrobeira, where ... Don Pedro was ... defeated.—D. Pedro, the eldest of the uncrowned sons of King John I, was famous for his journeys in Europe, ending in 1428, when he returned from Venice with many treasures, among others a MS. copy of Marco Polo, and a map of the traveller's route (see Introduction to vol. ii, p. liv). He was still more famous for his wise government of Portugal as Regent for his young nephew, Affonso V, 1439-47. He took part in the campaign of Ceuta, 1415; advised vainly against the Tangier campaign of 1437; married his daughter Isabel to the King in 1447 (May); was worried into a semblance of rebellion, 1448-9, and was killed in a battle at the rivulet of Alfarrobeira, between Aljubarrota and Lisbon, in May 1449.

On his companion, the Count of Avranches ("Dabranxes" in Azurara), Santarem has a note remarking that he, D. Alvaro Vaz d'Almada, was [made a Count (of Avranches) in Normandy, by gift of the King of England (Henry V), after the battle of Azincourt, when he was also created a knight of the Order of the Garter.

He was sometimes called, in the affected Renaissance fashion of the time, the "Spanish Hercules;" but he also had fallen into disfavour with Affonso V. He escaped from imprisonment at Cintra, joined D. Pedro in Coimbra (the latter's dukedom), and marched with him to his death (see Introduction to vol. ii, pp. xvi-xviii).]

34 (p. 19). Order of Christ ... Mother-convent ... Sacred uses.—Prince Henry was Grand Master of the Order of Christ, founded by King Diniz in 1319, in place of the Templars, whose property in great measure it inherited (see Introduction to vol. ii, p. xviii-xix).

The mother-convent of the Order of Christ was at Thomar, in the (Portuguese) province of Estremadura, 45 kilometres N.N.E. of Santarem, or a little N.W. of Abrantes, and is noticeable for its sumptuous architecture. It was founded originally as a house of the Templars by Donna Theresa, mother of Affonso Henriques, first King of Portugal; it was enlarged and rebuilt in 1180 and 1320. At the latter date it passed, with the reconstitution of Diniz, from the Templars to the Order of Christ.

35 (p. 19). St. Mary of Belem ... Pombal ... Soure ... Chair of Theology ... St. Mary of Victory ... yearly revenue (and see next sentence of text).—This is the locus classicus on the benefactions of the Prince (see Introduction to vol. ii, pp. cvi-cix).

St. Mary of Belem, "near the sea at Restello," a chapel where the Infant's mariners could pay their devotions the last thing before putting out to sea from Lisbon, or return thanks after a voyage, was superseded by the more sumptuous edifice of Kings Emanuel and John III, known as the Jeronymos, and named "the Lusiads in stone," which, with the exception of Batalha, is the noblest of Portuguese buildings. Da Gama, however, when starting for and returning from India, had only Prince Henry's little chapel available.

Pombal, in Estremadura, and Soure, in Beira, are both a little S.W. of Coimbra: Pombal being further in the direction of Leiria.

36 (p. 20). Ready to go to Ceuta ... desisted.—This abortive African expedition belongs to the reign of Affonso V, and apparently to the years immediately subsequent to the Tangier disaster of 1437 (see Introduction to vol. ii. pp. xvi-xvii).

37 (p. 21). The Infant's town ... So named ... by writing.—The settlement at Sagres. On this Santarem has the following notes:—

[α. We see by our author's account what was the state in 1453 of the town of which the Infant had laid the foundations in 1416, and to which at first was given the name of "Tercena Naval" (Naval Arsenal), from the Venetian word "Darcena," an arsenal for the construction and docking of galleys; it afterwards received the name of Villa do Infante (the Infant's town), and later on that of Sagres—derived from Sagro, Sacrum, the famous Promontorium Sacrum of the ancients, according to D. Francisco Manoel, Epanaphoras, p. 310. It should be noted that the celebrated Cadamosto, who had speech with the Infant in 1455, at Cape St. Vincent, does not give the name of the town, though he speaks of the interview which he had with him (Henry) at Rapozeira].

[β. In writing "Callez" for "Cadiz" in this paragraph, our author follows the corrupt nomenclature of the authors and MSS. of the Middle Ages, which altered the name of that city from the Gades of Pliny (v, 19), Macrobius, Silius Italicus (xvi, 468), Columella (viii, ch. xvi), a form more like the primitive Gadir (a hedge) in the Phœnician or Punic language. The corrupt terms Calles, Callis, etc., are, however, met with even in documents of the sixteenth century. See the letters of Vespucci in the edition of Gruninger (1509)].

[γ. As to this reference to the Genoese (desiring to buy Sagres from Portugal), the meaning must be that they offered great sums of money for the concession of a place in the new town for the establishment there of a factory, and perhaps of a colony, similar to those they possessed in the Black Sea, as especially Caffa (now Theodosia, in the Crimea), or Smyrna in the Archipelago. It is, however, improbable that they proposed to the Infant the cession of a town of which he did not hold the sovereignty. The Republic of Genoa had preserved very close relations with Portugal from the commencement of the monarchy, and could not be ignorant that even the Sovereigns of the country were not able to alienate any portion of the land without the consent of the Cortes (on this subject see Part III of our Memorias sobre as Cortes). Howsoever the case may have been, the detail referred to by our author illustrates the prudence of the Portuguese Government of that time in having resisted such a proposal, in view of the fact that the Republic of Genoa had by its immense naval power obtained from the Moorish and African princes the concession of various important points in Asia and Africa; and had also procured from the Greek Emperors the cession of the suburbs of Pera and Galata in Constantinople, and the isles of Scios, Mitylene (Lesbos), and Tenedos in the Archipelago. The reader will find it worth his attention that Portugal refused to accede to a similar offer when the Emperors of the East and of Germany, the Kings of Sicily, Castile, Aragon, and the Sultans of Egypt constantly sought the alliance of that Republic and the protection of its powerful marine. True it is that the power of Genoa had already then begun to decline and to become enfeebled, but none the less important are the details given by Azurara and the observations which we have offered for the consideration of the reader].

As to the connections of Genoa with Spain, we may add the following:—

Genoese relations with Barcelona became active in the twelfth century. In 1127 the Republic concluded a commercial treaty with Count Raymond Berenger III, and formed an offensive and defensive alliance with the same Prince in 1147. As a result, the allies took Almeria and Tortosa. In this conquest two-thirds went to the Count, one-third to the Genoese. In 1153 they sold their new possessions to Count Raymond for money and trading rights; but in 1149 they concluded a treaty of peace and commerce with the Moorish King of Valencia, and in 1181 a similar treaty with the King of Majorca. As early as 1315 the Genoese had begun a direct trade by sea with the Low Countries, passing round the Spanish coast. After the conquest of Seville by Ferdinand III they also obtained important trade privileges in that city, especially those enjoyed by a grant of May 22nd, 1251. By this time they had ousted all their Italian rivals in the trade of the Western Mediterranean, and there held a position analogous almost to that of Venice under the Latin empire of Constantinople. In 1267 all the Genoese consuls in Spain were put under a Consul-General at Ceuta. In 1278 Genoa concluded a treaty of peace and commerce with Granada. In 1317 the Genoese, Emmanuel Pessanha (Pezagno), became Lord High Admiral of Portugal: Genoese captains and pilots were employed in the Spanish exploring voyage to the Canaries in 1341; and a regular contingent of Genoese pilots and captains was maintained in the Spanish service. See Introduction to vol. ii, p. lxxx.

38 (p. 22). Jerome ... Sallust ... so high a charge.—Here again is the truly characteristic mingling of sacred and profane learning, both almost equally authoritative to his mind, in Azurara. Cf. Sallust, Catiline, chs. ii, viii, li; especially viii.

39 (p. 22). Phidias ("Fadyas") ... the philosopher ... chapter on wisdom.—Here Santarem has the following notes:—

[α. The "height" of which Azurara speaks is the Parthenon, or Temple of Minerva, in Athens. The famous statue of that goddess, in gold and ivory, was made by that famous sculptor (Phidias), and placed by the Athenians in that magnificent temple]. Cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist., Bk. xxxiv, ch. xix.

[β. The philosopher is Aristotle. It is not unworthy of note that our author cites Aristotle in this place, and prefers his authority to that of Pausanias. This preference, which may also be frequently observed in the Leal Conselheiro of King D. Duarte, proves the great esteem in which the works of the Stagyrite philosopher were held among our ancestors (as well as in other nations) during the Middle Ages. Our learned men followed him in preference to Pausanias, even when treating of the antiquities of Greece].

40 (p. 23). Great Valerius.—Here again Santarem:—[This author, cited by Azurara, is Valerius Maximus, a writer of the time of Tiberius, who wrote De dictis factisque memorabilibus in nine books. He was a native of Rome, and therefore Azurara says, "of thy city."] Azurara is not mistaken, as Santarem suggests, in assuming that the Roman author did not only deal with the deeds of his compatriots but also described those of foreigners. Of the main divisions of V.'s work, the first book is devoted chiefly to religious and ritual matters, the second to various civil institutions, the third and three following books to social virtues; the seventh book treats of many different subjects. This treatise was very popular in the Middle Ages, and several abridgments were made, one by Julius Paris.

41 (p. 24). What Romulus ... Manlius Torquatus ... Cocles ("Colles") ... diminishing of his praise.—On this Santarem remarks: [T. Manlius Torquatus, the dictator, is here seemingly referred to; on whom see Livy, vii, 4, and Plutarch, i].

The contrast of Cæsar's gaiety with the strictness of Henry's life refers us to ch. iv (beginning), pp. 12, 13, of this version. Azurara had but a very inadequate conception (supplement from Cadamosto, Pacheco Pereira, and Barros) of the real scope of Henry's life-work, and his remarks sometimes sink into mere flattery; but the comparisons he makes here are not misjudged. The Infant was really one of the men who, like Cæsar, Alexander, Peter I of Russia, or Mohammed, force us to think how different the history of the world would have been without them.

42 (p. 24). Captain of their Armies.—Here Santarem:—[This detail is so interesting for the history of that epoch, that we judge it opportune to indicate here, for the illustration of our text, the names of these sovereigns. The invitation given by the Pope (as recorded here) to the Infant could only have taken place after the taking of Ceuta, a campaign in which the Prince acquired immortal glory, having commanded the squadron and been first of the princes to enter the fortress. In view of this, it appears to us that only after 1415 could this proposal have been made by the Pontiff; and also it seems as if the offer must have been made to him before the unfortunate campaign of Tangier in 1437, during the time in which the Infant was exclusively occupied with the business of the Kingdom and of Africa, and with his expeditions and discoveries. From this it appears likely that the Pope who invited him to become general of his armies was Martin V, and the year of the invitation 1420 or 1421, after the embassy which, the Greek Emperor, Manuel Palaeologus, sent to the Pontiff to beg for aid against the Turks. The Emperor of Germany of whom Azurara speaks was Sigismund (Siegmund), who, by reason of his close relations with the Court of Lisbon, and with the ambassadors of Portugal at the Council of Constance, could appreciate the eminent qualities of the Infant, and form the high opinion of him which he deserved. Lastly, the Kings of Castile and England of whom Azurara speaks must be D. John II, and Henry V.]—S. Santarem is probably wrong here. "Henry VI" should be read for "Henry V;" see Introduction to vol. ii, p. xv.

43 (p. 25). Discipline ... clemency.—Azurara here imitates somewhat the formal disputations of Seneca and Cicero. We may especially compare Seneca's De Ira, De Providentia, and De Clementia ad Neronem Caesarem libri duo; also, but with rather less close a parallelism, the same writer's De Animi tranquillitate, De Constantia Sapientis. The Elder Seneca's rhetorical exercises, Controversiarum libri X, and Suasoriarum Liber, were also, as far as the form goes, models for such discussions as are here conducted. Azurara's point, of course, is that, of the two extremes, Prince Henry leaned rather to "clemency" than to "discipline;" and though he by no means neglected the latter, he was content rather to err in generosity than in severity. Precisely the opposite is the view of some modern students: e.g., Oliveira Martins, Os Filhos de D. João I, especially pp. 59-63, 210-1, 267-270, 311-346.

44 (p. 26). St. Chrysostom ... something to asperse.—As to the Prince's critics, though in a slightly different sense, cp. what Azurara says in ch. xviii (beginning). The modern criticisms of the Infant's conduct may be read in O. Martins (Os Filhos, as cited in last note). According to this view, the Infant's genius was pitiless: he cared little or nothing for the captivity and torture of D. Fernando the Constant, who died in his Moorish prison after the disaster of Tangier; for the broken heart and premature end of D. Edward; or for the fate of D. Pedro. As little did he care for the misery of the Africans killed or enslaved by his captains, or for the unhappy life of Queen Leonor, mother of Affonso V. Not only was he indifferent to these sufferings, but indirectly or directly he was the efficient cause of the same. This extreme view, as regards the slave-raiding, is much weakened by Cadamosto's testimony, and Azurara's own admission in ch. xcvi (end) of this Chronicle (see Introduction to vol. ii, p. xxv). The truth seems to lie between Azurara and Martins: between the conceptions of Henry as a St. Louis and as a Bismarck.]

45 (p. 26). Seneca ... first tragedy.—This is the Hercules Furens of the great—or younger—Seneca, the philosopher.

46 (p. 27). St. Brandan ... returned.—On this Santarem writes:—

[The voyage of St. Brandan, to which Azurara refers, is reputed fabulous, like the island of the same name. According to this tradition, it was said that St. Brandan arrived in the year 565 at an island near the Equinoctial(?). This legend was preserved among the inhabitants of Madeira and of Gomera, who believed that they were able to see Brandan's isle towards the west at a certain time of the year. This appearance was, however, the result of certain meteorological circumstances. Azurara became acquainted with this tradition of the Middle Ages from some copy of the MS. of the thirteenth century, entitled Imago Mundi de dispositione Orbis, of Honorius of Autun; and this circumstance is so much the more curious as Azurara could not have been acquainted with the famous Mappamundi of Fra Mauro, which was only executed between the years 1457-9; and still less with the Planisphere of Martin of Bohemia (Behaim), which is preserved at Nuremburg, on which appears depicted at the Equinoctial a great island, with the following legend: In the year 565 St. Brandan came with his ship to this island. The famous Jesuit, Henschenius, who composed a critical examination of the life of St. Brandan, says of it:—"Cujus historia, ut fabulis referta, omittitur."] The Bollandists speak with equal distrust of the Brandan story.

To this we may add:—It is possible Azurara may have read the original Navigatio Sti. Brendani. The legendary voyage of Brandan is usually dated in 565, but this is probably a mere figure of speech. He was supposed to have sailed west from Ireland (his home was at Clonfert on the Middle Shannon) in search of Paradise, and to have made discoveries of various islands in the Ocean, all associated with fantastic incidents: as the Isle of St. Patrick and St. Ailbhé, inhabited by Irish Cœnobites; the isle of the Hermit Paul, at or near which Brandan met with Judas Iscariot floating on an iceberg; the Isle of the Whale's Back, and the Paradise of Birds; to say nothing of the Isle of the Cyclops, the Mouth of Hell, and the Land of the Saints—the last encircled in a zone of mist and darkness which veiled it from profane search. It is more than probable that the Brandan tradition, as we have it, is mainly compiled from the highly-coloured narratives of some Arab voyagers, such as Sinbad the Sailor in the Indian Ocean, and the Wanderers (Maghrurins) of Lisbon in the Atlantic (as recorded in Edrisi, Jaubert, ii, 26-29), with some help from classical travel-myth; that it is only in very small part referable to any historical fact; that this fact is to be found in the contemporary voyages of Irish hermits to the Hebrides, Orkneys, Shetlands, Faroes, and Iceland; that a certain special appropriateness may be found in the far western Scottish island of St. Kildas (Holy Culdees) or the islet of Rockall; and that some of the matter in the Brandan story is derived from the travels of early Christian pilgrims to Palestine, e.g., Bernard the Wise, c. 867. It is important to remember that the tradition, though professing to record facts of the sixth century, is not traceable in any MS. record before the eleventh century; but, like so many other matters of mediæval tradition, its popularity was just in inverse proportion to its certainty, and "St. Brandan's isle" was a deeply-rooted prejudice of the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and even fifteenth centuries. Down to the middle of the sixteenth century it usually found a place on maps of the Western Ocean, usually due west of Ireland (see Dawn of Modern Geography, pp. 230-240, and references in same to other works, p. 239, n. 2, especially to De Goeje's La légende de Saint Brandan, 1890; Avezac's Iles fantastique de l'Océan Occidental, 1845; Schirmer, Zur Brendanus Legende, 1888; and the study of Schröder, 1871). We may note that Azurara is (for his time) somewhat exceptional in his hesitating reference to the Brandan story; but of course his object led him, however unconsciously, to minimise foreign claims of precedence against the Portuguese on the Western Ocean. As far as Brandan goes, no one would now contradict the Prince's apologist; but more formidable rivals to a literal acceptance of the absolute Portuguese priority along the north-west coasts of Africa are to be found in Italian, French, and Catalan voyagers of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, one of which is perhaps alluded to here by Azurara. For "the two galleys which rounded the Cape (Bojador) but never returned" were probably the ships of Tedisio Doria and the Vivaldi, who in 1291 (aliter 1281) left Genoa "to go by sea to the ports of India to trade there," reached Cape Nun, and, according to a later story, "sailed the sea of Ghinoia to a city of Ethiopia." In 1312, we are told, enquiry had failed to learn anything more of them (see Introduction to vol. ii, pp. lxi-lxiii).

47 (p. 28). Power of ... Moors in ... Africa ... greater than was commonly supposed (see Introduction to vol. ii, pp. xlv-lix).

48 (p. 30). King and Lord.—With this astrological explanation compare what Azurara says about the death of Gonçalo de Sintra, ch. xxviii, p. 92.

49 (p. 31). A fathom deep ... ever be able to return ... (see Introduction to vol. ii, pp. v, viii-x, lxiv, lxx).

Here Santarem has the following notes:—

[α. This passage shows that the Portuguese mariners already, before the expedition of Gil Eannes, knew that beyond Cape Bojador the great desert of the Sahara was to be met with, and that the land was not less sandy than that of "Libya." This last term of Plinian geography, and the circumstances which the author relates in this chapter, show that before these expeditions our seamen had collected all the notices upon that part of the African continent found in the ancient geographers, and in the accounts of the Moors of the caravans which traversed the great desert. This is confirmed by what Azurara says in ch. lxxvii, as we shall see in due course].

[β. The reader will observe from this passage that in spite of the hydrographical knowledge which our mariners had already obtained of those coasts, from their imperfect understanding of what are called the Pelagic currents, those sailors of the fifteenth century still feared the great perils which the passage of that Cape offered to their imagination. Azurara makes clear to us here how powerful, even at this epoch, was the influence of the traditions of the Arabic geographers about the Sea of Darkness, which according to them existed beyond the isles of Kalidad (the Canaries), situated at the extremity of the Mogreb of Africa. See Edrisi, Backoui, and Ibn-al-Wardi. Lastly, on the superstitious and other fears of mediæval navigators, the reader can consult the Itinera Mundi of Abraham Peritsol, translated from Hebrew into Latin by Hyde]. Cf. Introduction to vol. ii, p. x. Cape Bojador, in N. lat. 26° 6' 57", W. long. (Paris) 16° 48' 30", is thus described by the most recent French surveys: "Viewed from the north there is nothing remarkable, but from the west there appears a cliff of about 20 metres in height. A little bay opens on the south of the Cape."

50 (p. 32). Virgin Themis ... returned to the Kingdom very honourably.

On the first words there is this original MS. note:—[It is to be understood that near to Mount Parnassus, which is in the midst between east and west, are two hill tops, which contend with the snows. And in one of these was a cave, in which in the time of the Heathen, Apollo gave responses to certain priestly virgins who served in a temple which was there dedicated to the said Apollo. And those virgins dwelt by the fountains of the Castalian mount. And among these virgins was that virgin Themis, whom some held to be one of the Sibyls. And it is said that those virgins were so fearful of entering into that cave, that, save on great constraint they dared not do so—according as Lucan relateth in his fifth book and sixth chapter, where he speaketh of the response which the Consul Appius received, on the end of the war between Cæsar and Pompey.

On this Santarem remarks:—

[Both in this note and in those on pp. 10, 11, 12, and 21 ( = pp. 7-8, 13, of this version), which are met with in our MS., and are in the same script, there prevails such a confusion of thought that we hesitate in supposing them to have been written by Azurara. These notes, so far from illustrating the text, themselves call for elucidation. Here the writer follows the opinion of the ancients as to the position of Parnassus, viz., that it was situated in the middle of the world, though, according to Strabo, it was placed between Phocis and Locris. As to its "contending with the snows," the writer of this note, who quotes Lucan, seems to have taken this passage from Ovid rather than from the Pharsalia. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, I, v, 316-7; Lucan, Pharsalia, V, v, 72-3. The cave is the Antrum Corysium of the Poets. See the Journey to Greece of the famous archæologist Spon. The passages referred to as from Bk. V of the Pharsalia are those beginning with the lines—Hisperio tantum ... and v, 114, Nec voce negata ... together with line 120, Sic tempore longo, and the following lines.]

On the "honourable return" of these caravels, with "booty of the Infidels," from the Levant Seas, we may compare the text on p. 18, and note (31) to the same. Here Santarem remarks:—

[The attempts made by the Portuguese seamen to pass the Cape began before the fifteenth century. Already, in the time of King Affonso IV, the Portuguese passed beyond Cape Non, i.e., before 1336 (?). The documents published by Professor Ciampi in 1827, and discovered by him in the MSS. of Boccaccio in the Bibliotheca Magliabechiana in Florence, as well as the letter of King Affonso IV to Pope Clement VI attest that fact. See the Memoir of Sr. J. J. da Costa de Macedo, in vol. vi. of the Memoirs of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Lisbon, and the additions published in 1835. As for the attempts made in the Prince's time by ships that he sent into those latitudes to pass beyond Cape Bojador, if we admit the number of twelve years which Azurara indicates, and if this is taken together with the date 1433, which he fixes for the passage effected by Gil Eannes(?), the result is that these attempts began only in 1421; and so Azurara did not admit that the expedition of 1418 (or of 1419), which went out under J. G. Zarco, had for its chief object the passage of the Cape at all. But from Barros it is seen that Zarco and Vaz went out with the object of doubling the Cape, but that a storm carried them to the island they discovered, and named Porto Santo (Decades I, ch. 2, and D. Franc. Manoel, Epanaphoras, p. 313]. The statements of part of this note are loosely worded. See Introduction to vol. ii, on the voyage of 1341, on the earlier claims of Affonso IV, and on the rounding of Bojador.

Also, on Azurara's use of Graada for Granada, Santarem remarks: [On the origin and etymology of this word, see Cortes y Lopez, art. Ebura quae Cerialis. Dic. Geograf. Hist. de la Esp. Ant., II., 420, etc.].

And on the "Granada" and "Levant" expeditions, the same editor remarks: [The details of these expeditions prove the activity of our marine at the beginning of the fifteenth century, and its system of training, which enabled it to cope better with the perils of Ocean voyages, and in naval combats with Arabs and Moors to protect the commerce of the Christian nations in the Mediterranean]. Cf. note 31 to p. 18 of this version.

51 (p. 33). Gil Eannes ... touched by the self-same terror.—As to Gil Eannes, Santarem remarks:—[Barros also says he was a native of Lagos, and was the man who so named "Bojador" from the way it jutted or bulged out (Decades I, 6)]; This last statement is quite untrue; [cf. an Atlas of which Morelli and Zurla treat in their Dei Viaggi et delle Scoperte Africane da Ca-da-Mosto, p. 37, on which is the inscription "Jachobus de Giraldis de Venetiis me fecit anno Dmi MCCCCXVI;" as well as another atlas of the fourteenth century, on which two the Cape appears as (1) Cabo de Buider, and (2) Cavo de Imbugder; cf. Zurla's Dissertazione, p. 37.]. Also, see Introduction to vol. ii, pp. x, lxiv, lxviii-lxx.

52 (p. 33). Needle or sailing chart.—See Introductory § on History of Maps and Nautical Intruments in Europe up to the time of Prince Henry, vol. ii, pp. cxvii-cl, and especially pp. cxlvii-cl.

53 (p. 34). Barinel ... Barcha ... anything worth recording.—[A Varinel or Barinel was an oared vessel then in use, whose name survives in the modern Varina; so Francisco Manoel, Epanaphoras, p. 317, etc.].—S. See Introduction to vol. ii, pp. cxii-cxiii.

On the Footmarks of men and camels Santarem remarks.—[To this place our sailors gave the name of Mullet Bay (Angra dos Ruivos), from the great quantity of these fish that they found there. The bay appears with this name in the Map of Africa in the splendid Portuguese Atlas (unpublished), dating from the middle of the sixteenth century, in the Royal (National) Library at Paris (R. B. No. 1, 764)].—S. See Introduction to vol. ii, p. x. Ruivos is variously rendered "Mullet," "Gurnet," "Roach." The original meaning is simply "red[fish]."

54 (p. 35). Went up country 8 leagues, etc. ... anchorages.—[Our men named this place Angra dos Cavallos (cf. Barros Decades I, i, 5; Martines de la Puente, Compendio de las Historias de las Indias, ii, 1). This place-name is marked in nearly all the sixteenth and seventeenth century maps of Africa].—S.

55 (p. 36). Two things I consider ... saith he who wrote this history.—Though these phrases, "our author," "he who wrote this history," are certainly applied by Azurara to himself in some instances, there is also sometimes a suggestion of the previous writer on the Portuguese Discovery and Conquest of Guinea, viz., Affonso Cerveira, a seaman in Prince Henry's service (see Introduction to vol. ii, p. cx). Here, we fancy, a passage of Cerveira's work is referred to. The loss of the latter is deplorable. It evidently contained all the facts and documents given by Azurara, and some omitted by him (see ch. lxxxiv of this Chronicle, end). Azurara added the reflections and the rhetoric, but followed Cerveira's order of narrative closely (see especially ch. lxvi).

56 (pp. 37-8). Sea-wolves ... Port of the Galley ... nets ... with all other cordage.—[These Sea-wolves are the Phocæ Vitulinæ of Linnæus. Cf. the Roteiro of Vasco da Gama's First Voyage, under December 27th, 1497, p. 3 of Port. text "Achamos muitas baleas, e humas que se chamam quoquas e Lobos marinhos."]—S.

[The Port of the Galley is so named in the Portuguese Atlas above referred to (Paris: Bibl. Nat., i, 764, of the sixteenth century), and in the Venetian maps of Gastaldi (1564); cf. Barros, Decades I, v, 11, who says, "Ponto a que ora chamâo a pedra da Galé"].—S.

On the "nets ... with all other cordage," cf. Barros, Decades I, ch. v, fol. 11: "No qual logar achou humas redes de pescar, que parecia ser feito o fiado dellas, do entrecasco d'algum pao, como ora vemos o fiado da palma que se faz em Guiné."

57 (pp. 38, 39). Rio d'Ouro ... discords in the Kingdom.—[On old unpublished Portuguese maps we find marked between Cape Bojador and the Angra dos Ruivos, the following points: Penha Grande, Terra Alta, and Sete-Montes, besides the Angra dos Ruivos, being all of them probably points where the Portuguese had landed].—S. See Introduction to vol. ii, pp. x-xiii, lxi-lxxi.

[The events which interrupted the Infant's expeditions and discoveries from 1437 to 1440 may be briefly indicated. The Infant returned to the Algarve after the expedition to Tangier (1437), and was there in September of the following year, when King Edward fell ill at Thomar. On the King's death, the Prince was at once summoned by the Queen, and charged by her to concert with the Infant D. Pedro, and with the grandees of the realm, some means of grappling with the difficulties of the Kingdom. The Infant convoked these persons, who decided that the Cortes ought to be assembled to pass the resolutions they judged expedient.

The Prince thought that D. Pedro ought to sign the summonses; but as he refused to do this, they were all signed by the Queen, with the proviso that such signature should hold good only till the Assembly of the Estates should settle the question.

At the same time the Infant, on account of his accustomed prudence, was chosen mediator between the Queen and D. Pedro. At his proposal, discussed in various conferences, the Queen was charged with the education of her children and the administration of their property; while to the Infant D. Pedro was given the administration and government of the Kingdom, with the title of Defender of the Kingdom for the King (Ruy de Pina, ch. xv).

But, as a large party did not agree to this, and so public disorder increased, Henry sought to conciliate the different parties by getting their consent to an Accord, published November 9th, 1438, providing:—

1. That the education of the King while a minor, and of his brothers, and the power of nominating to Court Offices, should rest with the Queen; and that a sum should be paid her sufficient to defray the expenses of the Royal Household.

2. The Royal Council was to consist of six members, who should be charged in turn and at definite periods with such business of state as was within their power to decide, conformably to the regulations of the Cortes.

3. Besides this Council there was to be elected a permanent deputation of the Estates, to reside at the Court, composed of one prelate, one fidalgo, and one burgess or citizen, to be elected, each by his respective estate, for a year.

4. All the business of the Royal Council was to be conducted by the six councillors and the deputation of the Three Estates under the presidency of the Queen, with the approval and consent of the Infant D. Pedro.

If the votes were equal, the business in question was to be submitted to the Infants, the Counts, and the Archbishop, and to be decided by the majority.

If the Queen agreed with the Infant D. Pedro, their vote was to be decisive, even though the whole Council should be against them.

5. All the business of the Treasury, except what belonged to the Cortes, was to be conducted by the Queen and the Infant: decrees and orders on the subject were to be signed by both, and the Controllers of the Treasury were to be charged with their execution.

6. It was settled that the Cortes should be summoned every year to settle any doubts which the Council could not decide for themselves, such as "the [condemnation to] death of great personages, the deprivation of state servants from great offices, the [confiscation or] loss of lands, the amendment of old or the making of new laws and ordinances; and it was also agreed that future Cortes should be able to correct or amend any defect or error in past sessions" (Ruy de Pina, ch. xv). The Queen, however, being induced by a violent party to resist, refused to agree to these resolutions, in spite of the vigorous efforts of D. Henry. This produced great excitement, and in the Cortes it was proposed to confer the sole regency on D. Pedro. It should be noted that Prince Henry expressed his disapproval of all the resolutions of the municipality of Lisbon and other assemblies, declaring that they illegally tried to rob the Cortes of its powers. Equally plain was his indignation when he learned that the Queen had fortified herself in Alemquer, and had invoked the aid of the Infants of Aragon.

He did not hesitate to go to Alemquer in person, and induce the Queen to return to Lisbon, in order to present the young King to the Cortes (1439); and such was the respect felt for him (Henry) that the Queen, who had resisted all other persuasions, yielded to the Infant's.

In the following year the divisions of the Kingdom compelled the Infant to occupy himself with public business, the conciliation of parties, and the prevention of a civil war.]—S.

58 (p. 39). Chronicle of D. Affonso.—This chronicle, according to Barros and Goës, was written by Azurara himself as far as the year 1449, and continued by Ruy de Pina. It is cited by Barbosa Machado. See Introduction to the first volume of this translation, pp. lxi-ii.

58a [(p. 43). Those on the hill.—This hill is also marked in the unpublished Portuguese maps in the National Library at Paris, and is situated to the south of the Rio do Ouro.]—S.

59 (p. 44). The philosopher saith, that the beginning is two parts of the whole matter.—Here, and in the two following notes, it is very difficult to suggest any classical reference which corresponds closely enough with Azurara's language; but cf., in this place, Aristotle, Ethics, Bk. I, ch. vii, p. 1098b7; Topics, Bk. IX, ch. xxxiv, p. 183b22 (Berlin edn.).

60 (p. 44). Roman History.—Cf. Valerius Maximus, Bk. II, cc. 3, 7; St. Augustine, De Civitate Dei, Bk. II, cc. 18, 21; Bk. V, c. 12.

61 (p. 45). That emulation which Socrates praised in gallant youths.—Cf. Xenophon, Memorabilia, Bk. I, c. 7; Bk. III, cc. 1, 3, 5, 6, and especially 7; also Plato, Laches, 190-9; Protagoras, 349-350, 359. On the history that follows, cf. D. Pacheco Pereira, Esmeraldo, cc. 20-33. Pereira must have had a copy of this Chronicle before him, for in places he transcribes verbatim; see Esmeraldo, c. 22.

62 (p. 47). "Portugal" and "Santiago."—The latter war-cry is of course derived from St. James of Compostella, which being in Gallicia was not properly a Portuguese shrine at all. All Spanish crusaders, however, from each of the five Kingdoms, made use of this famous sanctuary. See note 11, p. 7 of this version.

63 (p. 48). Port of the Cavalier.—[This is marked in two Portuguese maps of Africa in Paris, both of the sixteenth century, as on this side of Cape Branco, which is in 20° 46' 55" N. lat.]—S.

64 (p. 49). Azanegues of Sahara ... Moorish tongue.—[Cf. Ritter, Géographie Comparée, III, p. 366, art. Azenagha. Ritter says they speak Berber. On this language see the curious article, Berber, by M. d'Avezac, in his Encylopédie des gens du Monde. On the Azanegues, Barros says (Decade I, Bk. I, ch. ii): "The countries which the Azanegues inhabit border on the negroes of Jaloff, where begins the region of Guinea." Sahará signifies desert. Geographers spell Zahará, Zaara, Ssahhará, Sarra, and Sahar. The inhabitants are called Saharacin—Saracens—"sons of the desert" (cf. Ritter, Géographie Comparée, III, p. 360), a term immensely extended by mediæval writers—thus Plano Carpini expects to find "black Saracens" in India. On the etymology, cf. Renaud's Invasions des Sarrasins en France, Pt. IV, pp. 227-242, etc. He confirms Azurara's statement that the Sahara language differed from the Mooris—i.e., it was Berber, not Arabic—and he refers us to the Arab author Ibn-Alkûtya, in evidence of this.]—S.

The "Other lands where he learned the Moorish tongue" were probably Marocco, or one of the other Barbary States along the Mediterranean littoral, where Arabic was in regular use. This language stopped, for the most part, at the Sahara Desert. Santarem's derivation of the word "Saracen" is much disputed.

65 (p. 50). Lisbon Harbour ... —Here, perhaps, Azurara refers to the broad expanse of the Tagus, opposite the present Custom House and Marine Arsenal of Lisbon. "The broad estuary of the Tagus gives Lisbon an extensive and safe harbour." From the suburb of Belem up to the western end of Lisbon, the Tagus is little more than a mile in width, but opposite the central quays of the city the river widens considerably, the left, or southern, bank turning suddenly to the south near the town of Almada, and forming a wide bay, reach, or road about 5½ miles in breadth, and extending far to the north-east. "In this deep lake-like expansion all the fleets of Europe might be anchored."

66 (p. 50). Cabo Branco.—[In lat. N. 20° 46' 55", according to Admiral Roussin's observations.]—S. According to the most recent French surveys, it is thus described:—"Il forme, au S., sur l'Atlantique, l'extrémité d'une presqu'île aride et sablonneuse de 40 kil. de longeur environ, large de 4 à 5 kil., qui couvre a l'O. la baie Lévrier, partie la plus enfoncée au N. de la baie d'Arguin. Cette presqu'île se termine par un plateau dont le cap forme l'escarpement; le sommet surplomb la mer de 25 m. environ. Des éboulements de sable, que le soleil colore d'une nuance éblouissante, lui ont valu son nom. 'Le Cap Blanc est d'une access facile. Il est entouré de bons mouillages qui, au point de vue maritime, rendent cette position préférable à celle d'Arguin' (Fulcrand)."

67 (p. 53). Eugenius the Bishop.—[Barros adds certain reasons for this request; he says, "the Infant, whose intent in discovering these lands was chiefly to draw the barbarous nations under the yoke of Christ, and for his own glory and the praise of these Kingdoms, with increase of the royal patrimony, having ascertained the state of those people and their countries from the captives whom Antam Gonçalvez and Nuno Tristam had brought home—willed to send this news to Martin V (?), asking him, in return for the many years' labour and the great expense he and his countrymen had bestowed on this discovery, to grant in perpetuity to the Crown of these Kingdoms all the land that should be discovered over this our Ocean Sea from C. Bojador to the Indies (Barros, Decade I, i, 7).]—S. Barros here apparently confuses Martin V with Eugenius IV.

[Besides this bull, Pope Nicholas V granted another, dated January 8th, 1450, conceding to King D. Affonso V all the territories which Henry had discovered (Archives of Torre do Tombo, Maç. 32 de bullas No. 1). On January 8th, 1454, the same Pope ratified and conceded by another bull to Affonso V, Henry, and all the Kings of Portugal their successors, all their conquests in Africa, with the islands adjacent, from Cape Bojador, and from Cape Non as far as all Guinea, with the whole of the south coast of the same. Cf. Archivo R. Maç. 7 de bull. No. 29, and Maç. 33, No. 14; and Dumont, Corp. Diplomat. Univ., III, p. 1,200. On March 13th, 1455, Calixtus III determined by another bull that the discovery of the lands of W. Africa, so acquired by Portugal, as well as what should be acquired in future, could only be made by the Kings of Portugal; and he confirmed the bulls of Martin V and Nicholas V: cf. another bull of Sixtus IV, June 21st, 1481, and see Barros, Decade I, i, 7; Arch. R. Liv. dos Mestrados, fols. 159 and 165; Arch. R. Maç. 6 de bull., No. 7, and Maç. 12, No. 23.]—S.

68 (p. 54). Without his license and especial mandate.—See Introduction to vol. ii, p. xiv.

69 (p. 54). Curse ... of Cain.—For "Curse of Ham." Cf. Genesis ix, 25. "Cursed be Canaan: a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." For this mediæval theory, used sometimes in justification of an African slave-trade, we may compare the language of Barros, quoted in note 81.

70 (p. 54). Going out of the Ark.—The writings of Abp. Roderic of Toledo, and of the other authors here referred to, are apparently regarded by Azurara as explanatory of the record in Genesis, ix and x. Abp. Roderic Ximenes de Rada (fl. 1212) wrote De Rebus Hispanicis in nine books; also an Historia Saracenica, and other works. Walter is doubtful. He may be Walter of Burley, the Aristotelian of the thirteenth-fourteenth century, who wrote a Libellus de vita et moribus philosophorum. Excluding this "Walter," our best choice perhaps lies between "Gualterus Tarvannensis" of the twelfth century; Walter of Châtillon, otherwise called Walter of Lille, author of an Alexandreis of the thirteenth century; or the chronicler Walter of Hemingburgh, or Hemingford, who is probably of the fourteenth century.

71 (p. 55). Better to bring to ... salvation.—Cf. the Christian hopes of the pagan Tartars in the thirteenth century.

72 (p. 55). Land of Prester John if he could.—See Introduction to vol. ii, p. liv. As to "Balthasar" [Barros says "he was of the Household of the Emperor Frederic III," who had married the Infanta Donna Leonor of Portugal (Decade I, ch. vii).]—S.

73 (p. 57). Infant's Alfaqueque ... managing business between parties.... —The Alfaqueque, or Ransomer of Captives, must have been an interpreter as well. Later, we find "Moors" and negroes employed for this purpose.

74 (p. 57). Who traded in that gold.—[Azurara seems ignorant that the gold was "brought from the interior by caravans, which from ancient times had carried on this trade across the great desert, especially since the Arab invasion. Under the Khalifs, this Sahara commerce extended itself to the western extremity of the continent, and even to Spain. The caravans crossed the valleys and plains of Suz, Darah and Tafilet to the south of Morocco. Cf. the Geographia Nubiensis of Edrisi (1619 ed.), pp. 7, 11, 12, 14; Hartmann's Edrisi, pp. 26, 49, 133-4. This gold came from the negro-land called Wangara, as Edrisi and Ibn-al-Wardi tell us. See Notices et extraits des MSS. de la Bibliothèque du Roi, fo. 11, pp. 33 and 37: so Leo Africanus and Marmol y Carvajal speak of the gold of Tiber, brought from Wangara. "Tiber" is from the Arab word Thibr = gold (cf. Walckenaer, Recherches géographiques, p. 14). So Cadamosto, speaking of the commerce of Arguim, says, ch. x, that men brought there "gold of Tiber;" and Barros, Decade I, ch. vii, in describing the Rio d' Ouro, refers to the same thing:—"A quantity of gold-dust, the first obtained in these parts, whence the place was called the Rio d' Ouro, though it is only an inlet of salt water running up into the country about six leagues."]—S.

75 (p. 58). Gete (or Arguim).—[Barros, Decade I, 7, says: "Nuno Tristam on this voyage went on as far as an island which the people of the country called Adeget, and which we now call Arguim." The Arab name was "Ghir," which Azurara turns into "Gete," Barros into "Arget." The discovery and possession of this point was of great importance for the Portuguese. It helped them to obtain news of the interior, and to establish relations with the negro states on the Senegal and Gambia. The Infant began to build a fort on Arguim in 1448. Cadamosto gives a long account of the state of commercial relations which the Portuguese had established there with the dwellers in the upland; and the Portuguese pilot, author of the Navigation to the Isle of St. Thomas (1558), published by Ramusio, says of Arguim: "Here there is a great port and a castle of the King our Lord with a garrison and a factor. Arguim is inhabited by black-a-moors, and this is the point which divides Barbary from Negroland." Cf. Bordone's Isolario (1528) on the Portuguese trade with the interior. In 1638 this factory and fortress were taken by the Dutch.]—S.

The subsequent changes of this position may be briefly noticed. After passing, in 1665, from the Dutch to the English and afterwards back again, in 1678 from the Dutch to the French, in 1685 from the French to the Dutch, in 1721 once more falling into French hands, only to be recovered shortly afterwards by the Netherlanders, it became definitely and finally a French possession in 1724, and at present forms part of the great North-West African empire of the Third Republic. At the northern extremity of the Bight of Arguim, or a little beyond, near Cape Blanco, is the present boundary between the French and Spanish spheres of influence in this part of the world.

The native boats, worked by "bodies in the canoes and legs in the water," must be, Santarem remarks, what the Portuguese call "jangadas."

75a (p. 59). An infinity of Royal Herons.—[The Isle of Herons is one of the Arguim islands; cf. Barros, Decade I, ch. vii; it is marked under this name (Ilha, or Banco, das Garças) in early maps, as in Gastaldi's Venetian chart of 1564, which is founded on ancient Portuguese maps.]—S.

76 (p. 61). Lagos ... Moorish captives.—On the importance of Lagos in the new Portuguese maritime movement, see Introduction to vol. ii, pp. xi-xii; and note the reasons given by Azurara in ch. xviii for the change of feeling among Portuguese traders and others towards the Infant's plans.

77 (p. 63). Lançarote ... Gil Eannes ... Stevam Affonso ... etc., ... expedition.—This list of names includes several of the Infant's most capable and famous captains. On Lançarote see this Chronicle, chs. xviii-xxiv, xxvi, xlix, liii-v, lviii, lix; on Affonso, chs. li, lx; on John Diaz, ch. lviii; on John Bernaldez, ch. xxi; and on Gil Eannes, chs. ix, xx, xxii, li, lv, lviii; also pp. x-xiii of Introduction to vol. ii, and the notices by Ferdinand Denis and others in the Nouvelle Biographie Générale. On the "Isle of Naar," mentioned a little later on p. 63, Santarem has the following note:—[This island is marked near to the coast of Arguim on the map of Africa in the Portuguese Atlas (noticed before) at the Bibliothèque Royale (Nationale) de Paris.]

78 (p. 68). [In Bordone's Isolario (1533) all three of the islands noticed by Azurara (Naar, Garças and Tider), are indicated with the title of Isles of Herons [Ilhas das Garças]. The same is to be found in the Venetian map of Gastaldi, and in others. In the Portuguese Atlas just cited, and in another Portuguese chart made in Lisbon by Domingos Sanchez in 1618, these islands are depicted as close to the coast of Arguim, but without any name.] As to Cabo Branco [This name was, apparently, given it by Nuno Tristam.]—S. See ch. xiii (end) of this Chronicle.

79 (p. 78). In the end.—It is evident, from Azurara's language, that the Azanegues made a better stand in this fight at Cape Branco, and came nearer to defeating the Portuguese than on any previous occasion. It was a sign of what was to follow, for the native resistance now began to show itself, and the very next European slave-raiders (Gonçallo de Sintra and his men) were roughly handled, and most of them killed (see ch. xxvii. of this Chronicle).

80 (p. 80). Friar ... St. Vincent de Cabo.—This "firstfruit of the Saharan peoples, offered to the religious life," was appropriately sent to a monastery close to the "Infant's Town" at Sagres, and adjoining the promontory whereabouts centred the new European movement of African exploration.

81 (p. 81). Sons of Adam.—Azurara's position here is, of course, just that of the scholastics: As men, these slaves were to be pitied and well treated, nay, should be at once made free; as heathen, they were enslaveable; and being, as Barros says, outside the law of Christ Jesus, and absolutely lost as regards the more important part of their nature, the soul, were abandoned to the discretion of any Christian people who might conquer them, as far as their lower parts, or bodies, were concerned.

82 (p. 84). As saith the text.—Cf. Virgil, Æneid, i, 630 (Dido to Æneas), Haud ignara mali miseris succurrere disco. There is no text in the Jewish or Christian Scriptures which can be said to answer properly to Azurara's reference in this place. We may, however, cf. Judges xi, 38; Revelation i, 9.

83 (p. 87). Tully saith.—Cf. Cicero, De Nat. Deorum, i, 20, 55; De Or., iii, 57, 215, 48, 159.

84 84a 84b (p. 87). Ancient sages ... others.—Cf. Livy, v, 51, 46, 6. On the disaster of Gonçalo de Sintra, Santarem remarks:—[This event happened in 1445. The place where De Sintra perished is fourteen leagues S. of the Rio do Ouro, and in maps, both manuscript and engraved, from the close of the fifteenth century, it took the name Golfo de Gonçallo de Cintra]. The reference in the concluding words of this chapter, as had been commanded, etc., is to the passage on p. 87 of this version, towards the foot: "That he should go straight to Guinea, and for nothing whatever should fail of this:" an order which De Sintra treated with entire contempt.

85 (p. 92). First purpose, viz., to write the chronicle of the "Guinea Voyages," not to discuss philosophic problems. The reference here to the "wheels [or circles] of heaven or destiny" recalls the astrological passages on pp. 29, 30, 80, etc. Azurara's reference to Job is to ch. xiv, verse 5.

86 (p. 93). Julius Cæsar ... Vegetius ... St. Augustine ... —Azurara here, of course, indulges in some exaggeration. Cæsar's breach with the Senate did not take place because of his "overpassing the space of five years" allowed him at first (b.c. 59) for his command in Gaul. In b.c. 56 the Lex Trebonia formally gave him a second allowance, of five years more; and he was not required to disband his army and return from his province till b.c. 49, when the Civil War broke out. By "Bretanha," or "Brittany," Azurara indicates the Duchy of Bretagne, which retained a semi-independence till 1532, when it was absolutely united with the crown of France. Cæsar's campaigns against "England" are, of course, those of b.c. 55 and 54, against Germany of 55 and 53, against Spanish insurgents of 61; but he could not by any stretch be said to have made England or Germany "subject" to the Roman power in the same sense as Gaul or Spain. Had his life been prolonged twenty years, he would probably have achieved both these unfinished conquests, as well as that of Parthia.

87 (p. 93). The enemy ... to them.—Azurara's reference here is to Livy, Bk. XXII, cc. 42-3.

88 (pp. 93-94). Holy Spirit ... ever be watched.—The references in this paragraph are to Proverbs xi, 14; xxiv, 6; Tobit iv, 18; Ecclesiasticus vi, 18, 23, 32-3; xxv, 5.

89 (p. 94). Hannibal ... for the moment.—Cf. Livy, 3rd Decade, Bk. XXII, cc. 4-5, 42-6. The reading of the Paris MS. (sajaria) is rejected, plausibly enough, by Santarem for sagaçaria.

90 (p. 94). Ships of the Armada.—I.e., the Royal Navy of Portugal; the "very great actions on the coast of Granada and Ceuta" must refer to events of 1415, 1418, and 1437. (See Introduction to vol. ii, p. viii, x.) Especially does this expression recall the naval war of 1418, when the King of Granada sent a fleet of seventy-four ships, under his nephew, Muley Said, to aid the African Moslems in recovering Ceuta from the Portuguese. Prince Henry proceeded in person to the relief of the city, and the Granada fleet, we are told, fled at the approach of the European squadron, without venturing a battle. It is possible, however, though unrecorded, that the Infant was subsequently able to engage and destroy part of the Granadine squadron. Gonçalo de Sintra, from Azurara's words, may have been with D. Henry on this occasion.

On the reference to John Fernandez staying among the Azanegues "only to see the country and bring the news of it to the Infant" (close of ch. xxix, p. 95), Santarem refers to Barros' words: "Para particularmente ver as cousas daquelle sertão que habitão os Azenegues, e dellas dar razão ao Infante, confiado na lingua delles que sabia" (like Martin Fernandez, p. 57, c. xvi).

91 (p. 96). The Plains thereof.—[Comparing the account in the text with the unpublished maps already referred to, it appears that Nuno Tristam, after revisiting the isles of Arguim, followed the coast to the south, passing the following places: Ilha Branca, R. de S. João, G. de Santa Anna, Moutas, Praias, Furna, C. d'Arca, Resgate, and Palmar; the last being the point Azurara mentions as "studded with many palm trees."]—S.

92 (p. 98). When King Affonso caused this history to be written.—On this Santarem remarks: [This is important as showing that Azurara did not only consult written documents, but personally interviewed the discoverers, seeing that he confesses his inability to give details of this occurrence because Nuno Tristam was already dead, "When Affonso," etc. Cf. Barros, I, iii, 17]. Cf. Pina's "Chronicle of Affonso V," in vol. i of the Collection of Unpublished Portuguese Historians.

93 (pp. 98, 99). Dinis Diaz ... convenient place.—["Dinis Diaz" is called by Barros, and all other historians and geographers following his authority, "Dinis Fernandez."]—S.

On Azurara's statement that "the Infant provided a caravel for Dinis Diaz," Santarem adds: [Barros does not agree with Azurara in this, but says on the contrary, "que elle [Diaz] armara hum navio," etc]. The "other land to which the first (explorers) went" is apparently the Sahara coast, from Cape Bojador to the Senegal, which Azurara here admits to be quite a different country from "Guinea" proper (the land of the Blacks). This last, after the discoveries of 1445, the Portuguese recognised as beginning only with the cultivated or watered land to the south of the Sahara. The name, a very early one, whose subtle changes of meaning are very perplexing, like the "Burgundy" of the Middle Ages, was probably derived originally from the city of Jenné, in the Upper Niger Valley (see Introduction to vol. ii, pp. xlv-xlix). [Here Azurara shows that he is already beginning to recognise the geographical error of those who gave an undue extension to the term "Guinea."]—S.

On the reading at the close of this paragraph "concerning this doubt," Santarem remarks: [So it stands in the MS., as verified; but it seems to us that there must be some omission of the copyist, and we propose to restore the text thus: "Filharom quatro daquelles que tiveram o atrevimento," etc.].

94 (p. 100). Aught to the contrary.—On this passage, cf. Santarem's Memoir on the Priority of the Portuguese Discoveries, § III, p. 20, etc. Paris, 1840. [Memoria sobre a prioridade dos descobrimentos dos Portuguezes].

95 (p. 100). Egypt ... Cape Verde.—[This proves that our navigators were the first who gave the Cape this name. See the Memoria sobre a prioridade].—S. On Azurara's idea that the Senegal was near Egypt, cf. Introduction to vol. ii, pp. xii, xxx, xlii, lviii, cxxii. This notion is, of course, bound up with the theory of the Western or Negro Nile, branching off from the Nile of Egypt. No mediæval geographers, and scarcely any ancient, except Ptolemy, realised the size of Africa at all adequately.

On the "rewards" given by the Infant to Diaz, Santarem well remarks: [From this and other passages it is clear that the Infant's principal object was discovery, and not the slave-raids on the inhabitants of Africa in which his navigators so often indulged]. See Introduction to vol. ii, pp. v, xxiii-vi.

Cape Verde.—The turning-point of the great north-west projection of Africa, now in French possession. It is so called, according to the general view, from the rich green appearance of the headland—"la vegetation (as the most recent French surveys describe it) qui le couvre durant l'hivernage, et que dominent deux mornes arrondis, nommés, par les marins français, Les Deux Mamelles." The peninsula of Cape Verde is one of the most remarkable projections of the African coast. Generally it has the form of a triangle, "terminé par une sorte d'éperon dirigé vers le S.E., et mesure depuis le cap terminal on point des Almadies jusqu' à Rufisque une longueur de 34 kilom. avec une largeur de 14 kilom., sous le méridien de Rufisque, pris comme base du triangle. Sa côte septentrionale, formant une ligne presque droite du N.N.E. au S.S.O. est creusée, près de l'extremité, de deux petites baies, dont la première (en venant de l'E.), la baie d'Yof, est la plus considérable; puis au delà de la pointe des Almadies, qui est le Cap Vert proprement dit, la côte court au S.E. jusqu' au Cap Manuel, roche basaltique haute de 40m., puis remonte aussitôt au N. pour, par une très légère courbe, partir droit a l'E., dessinant ainsi un éperon bien accusé qui envelloppe le Golfe de Gorée. Le corps principal de la presqu' île est bas, sablonneux et parsemé de lagunes qui s'égrènent en chapelets le long de la côte N.; la petite péninsule terminale est au contraire rocheuse, accidentée et semble un ilot marin attaché à la côte par les laisses de mer. Ses hautes falaises, d'une couleur sombre et rougeâtre, forment une muraille à pic contre laquelle la mer vient se briser, écumante." See Duarte Pacheco Pereira's Esmeraldo, pp. 46-49, ed. of 1892. As to the island on which Dinis Diaz and his men landed near the Cape, this may have been either (1) Goree, two kilometres from the mainland, and fronting Dakar on the S.E. of the peninsula; (2) The Madeleine islands, at the opening of a small inlet to the N.W. of Cape Manuel; (3) The Almadia islands ("Almadies"), "îlette, qui, située en avant du cap terminal, est la vrai terre la plus occidentale d'Afrique, les archipels de l'Atlantique non compris;" or (4) The isle of Yof, in the bay of Yof, on the north side of the peninsula. The Madeleine islands were once covered with vegetation, though now desert. Here the French naturalist Adanson made his famous observations on the Baobab trees, in the eighteenth century. These trees, though they have disappeared on the islands, are still numerous on the mainland near the Cape. Azurara has a good deal more to say about these islets and their baobabs in chs. lxiii, lxxii, lxxv, pp. 193, 218, 226, etc., of this version. The rounding of C. Verde opened a fresh chapter in the Portuguese circumnavigation of Africa—to S.E. and E.; see Introduction to vol. ii, pp. xii, xxx.]

96 (pp. 101-2). John Fernandez ... such a request.—On this passage, and especially on Azurara's statement (middle of p. 101) that Fernandez "had already been a captive among the other Moors and in this part of the Mediterranean Sea, where he acquired a knowledge of their language," Santarem remarks: [This detail gives us another proof that Prince Henry's explorations were made systematically, and according to plans carefully worked out. In his previous captivity in Marocco, Fernandez had learnt Arabic, and probably Berber as well; he must also have gained some information about the interior of Africa. To gain more detailed knowledge, and so be able to inform the Infant better, he had now undertaken his residence among the Azanegues of the Rio do Ouro.

See Introduction to vol. ii, pp. viii, x, xvi, on the dual nature of Henry's African schemes, land conquest and exploration going along with the maritime ventures. This was, of course, partly due to an inadequate conception of the size of the continent, which rendered even the conquest of Marocco of little use towards the circumnavigation of Africa.

"How bitter ... to hear such a request" is, of course, one of Azurara's rare touches of irony.

97 (p. 103). Affonso Cerveira.—[The author of the earlier account of the Portuguese conquest of Guinea, Historia da Conquista dos Portuguezes pela costa d'Africa, on which Azurara's present Chronicle is based. Cf. Barbosa, Bibliotheca Lusitana.]—S. See Introduction to vol. ii, p. cx, and note 202A.

Ergim, in ch. xxxiii, pp. 104, etc., and elsewhere, is, of course, Arguim. Santarem here refers to Barros' description in Decade I, i, 10. "Porque naquelle tempo para fazer algum proveito todos os hião demandar (os ilheos d'Arguim); e tinha por certo que avião elles de ir dar com elle, por ser aquella costa e os ilheos a mais povoada parte de quantas té então tinhão descoberto. E a causa de ser mais povoada, era por razão da pescaria de que aquella misera gente de Mouros Azenegues se mantinha, porque em toda aquella costa não avia lugar mais abrigado do impeto dos grandes mares que quebrão nas suas praias senão na paragem daquellas ilhas d'Arguim: onde o pescado tinha alguma acolheita, e lambujem da povoação dos Mouros, posto que as ilhas em si não são mais que huns ilheos escaldados dos ventos e rocio da agua das ondas do mar. Os quaes ilheos seis ou sete que elles são, quada hum per si tinha o nome proprio per que nesta scriptura os nomeamos, posto que ao presente todos se chamão per nome commum os ilheos d'Arguim; por causa de huma fortaleza que el Rei D. Affonso mandou fundar em hum delles chamado Arguim." Cf. Duarte Pacheco Pereira's Esmeraldo, chs. xxv-vi, pp. 43-4. Arguim is defined in the most recent surveys of its present French possessors as "Golfe, île, et banc de sable ... l'île est par 20° 27' N. lat., 18° 57' à 60 kilom. vers le S.E. du Cap Blanc ... Ses dimensions sont de 7 kilom. sur 4. Elle est basse, inculte, et parsemée de dunes."

98 (p. 107). John Fernandez ... in that country.—Santarem draws attention to Azurara's statement that the explorer, Fernandez, was personally known to him. Cf. ch. lxxvii of this Chronicle; also chs. xxix and xxxii. "That country" is of course the Azanegue or Sahara land, near the Rio do Ouro.

Setuval (p. 106) is in Estremadura (of Portugal), twenty miles south-east of Lisbon.

99 (p. 110). Fear to prolong my story ... though all would be profitable.—The fondness of Azurara for these scholastic discussions and useless displays of learning is one of his worst failings; and a good deal of Cerveira's matter of fact has apparently been sacrificed to this weakness of his redactor.

100 (p. 111). Nine negroes and a little gold-dust.—This was the first instalment of the precious metal brought home to Portugal from the Negro-land of Guinea. The same Antam Gonçalvez had already, in 1441, brought the first gold dust from the Sahara, or Azanegue coast (see ch. xvi of this Chronicle, p. 57). As to the importance of these gold-samples in promoting the European exploring movement, see Introduction to vol. ii, pp. x-xi.

101 (p. 111). Cape of the Ransom.—[This name is marked upon the manuscript maps already referred to. On one great Portuguese chart of this class, on parchment, in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris, the reading is not Cape, but Port of the Ransom. The Portuguese nomenclature for the West African coast, as we see in this instance, was for a long time accepted by all the nations of Europe.]—S.

We may notice the allusion in this paragraph to the Portuguese colonisation of Madeira, in the story of Fernam Taavares (see Introduction to vol. ii, pp. xcviii-cii).

102 (p. 112). Isle of Tider (see note 78 to p. 68).—[Tider, marked "Tiber" in the map of West Africa before referred to. We do not meet this name in any of the many earlier charts that we have examined].—S.

103 (p. 115). Officers who collected royal dues.—The custom-house officers of Lisbon. We may compare with Azurara's graphic account of the return of Antam Gonçalvez in 1445, the very similar details of a much greater reception in the same port: that of Columbus on March 14th, 1493, on his home-coming from his first voyage (see the postscript of Columbus' Letter to Luis de Santangel, Chancellor of the Exchequer of Aragon, respecting the Islands found in the Indies).

104 (p. 115). A palace of the Infant, a good way distant from the Ribeira.—Azurara's only reference, in this Chronicle, to the Lisbon residence of the Infant Henry. This passage implies that Prince Henry was often to be found there, and must be taken with others in modification of extreme statements about his "shutting himself up at Sagres," etc. Again, at the end of this chapter we are expressly told that he was now in his dukedom of Viseu, in the province of Beira, some 50 kilometres N.E. of Coimbra, 220 kilometres N.N.E. of Lisbon.

105 (p. 115). Profits.—Azurara's remarks here about the change of feeling as to the Infant's plans are similar to passages in ch. xiv, p. 51, ch. xviii, pp. 60-61.]

106 (p. 116). Lisbon ... profit.—The city of Lisbon, whose name was traditionally and absurdly derived from Ulysses—"Ulyssipo," "Olisipo," and his foundation of the original settlement in the course of his voyages, was perhaps a greater city under the Moors, eighth-twelfth century, than at any time before the reign of Emmanuel the Fortunate. It was a Roman colony, but its prosperity greatly increased under the Arab rule from a.d. 714; from this port sailed Edrisi's Maghrarins, or Wanderers, on their voyage of discovery in the Western Ocean, probably in the earliest eleventh century. It was three times recovered and lost by the Christians: in 792(-812) by Alfonso the Chaste of Castille; in 851 by Ordonho I of Leon, who held it only a few months; and in 1093(-1094) by Alfonso VI of Leon, soon after his great defeat by the Almoravides at Zalacca (1086); but on each occasion it was quickly retaken—in 1094 by Seyr, General of Yusuf ibn Tashfin, the Almorvaide. In alarm at the Moslem revival, Alfonso founded the county of Portugal in 1095, giving it in charge of Count Henry of Burgundy and his natural daughter Theresa, to hold as a "march" against the Moors. In 1147 Lisbon was finally recaptured by Affonso Henriques, the first King of Portugal, in alliance with a fleet (164 ships) of English, Flemish, German and French Crusaders on their way to the Holy Land (Second Crusade). At this time it was said, perhaps with exaggeration, to contain 400,000 inhabitants; its present number is only about 240,000 (see Cruce-signati Anglici Epistola de Expugnatione Olisiponis, in Portugalliæ Monumenta Historica, vol. i, p. 392, etc). Before 1147 Guimaraens had been the capital of Portugal; and even down to the time of John I, Henry's father, Lisbon was not formally the seat of government, this being more often fixed at Coimbra. In the same reign, Lisbon also, as a commercial port, easily distanced all rivals within the kingdom, especially Oporto; and King John's erection of palaces in the city, and his successful application to the Pope for the creation of an Archiepiscopal See (thus rivalling Braga), further contributed to give point to Azurara's words in this paragraph about "the most noble town in Portugal." On the share of the commercial classes of Lisbon, Lagos, etc., in Henry's schemes, see Introduction to vol. ii, pp. x, xii.

Paulo Vergeryo is Pietro Paulo Vergerio, born at Capo d'Istria, July 23, 1370, died at Buda, 1444 (1428 according to others). He enjoyed a considerable reputation as a scholar at Padua in 1393, etc., and migrated to Hungary in 1419. See Bayle, Dict. Crit. IV, 430 (1741); P. Louisy, in Nouvelle Biographie Générale, art. (Vergerio); J. Bernardi, in Riv. Univers. (Florence, 1875) xxii, 405-430, in Arch. Stor. Ital. (1876) C., xxiii, 176-180; Brunet, Manuel V, 1132-3; Muratori, Rer. Ital. Scr. (edition of Vergerio's works) XVI, pp. 111-187, 189-215, 215-242; Fabricius, ed. Mansi, VI, p. 289. He has left various Orations and Letters; especially an Epistola de morte Francisci Zabarekae, and a Historia seu Vitae Carariensium Principum ab eorum origine usque ad Jacobini mortem (1355). See also Joachim Vadianus, Biographia P. P. Vergerii, sen.; and C. A. Combi, Di Pierpaolo V. ... seniore ... memoria, Venice, 1880.

107 (p. 116). Gonçalo Pacheco ... Kingdom.—Barros copies this sentence, with some omissions. The allusion to the High Treasurer of Ceuta (Thesoureiro Mor das cousas de Cepta), and his Noble lineage, goodness, and valour, is interesting in its proof of the detailed attention given to the new conquest, and to African affairs generally, by the Portuguese government at this time.

108 (p. 117). Cape Branco.—On the personnel of this expedition we have accounts elsewhere; for Dinis Eannes de Graã and the rest, see chs. xxxvii-xlviii, and especially pp. 121, 122, 126, 130, 131, 138; for Mafaldo, especially p. 119 ("a man well acquainted with this business ... had been many times in the Moorish traffic"); also pp. 120-121, etc. Cape Branco, since its discovery by Nuno Tristam, had become the favourite rendezvous of the Portuguese expeditions on this coast. See ch. lii, p. 153 (made agreement to await one another as usual at Cape Branco).

On the banners of the Order of Christ, see Introduction to vol. ii, pp. xviii-xix; and in this Chronicle, pp. 62 (ch. xviii), 53 (ch. xv), 117 (ch. xxxvii), etc.

[Cf. a parchment atlas (unpublished), executed in Messina as late as 1567 by João Martinez, in which two Portuguese ships are painted in various points of the Eastern Ocean with the Cross of the Order of Christ on their sails, apparently to indicate the Portuguese dominion in those waters. This atlas passed into the Library of Heber, and afterwards into that of M. Ternaux.]—S.

109 (p. 120). The patience with which men bear the troubles of their fellows is another piece of irony, similar to that on p. 102; see note 96.

110 (p. 122). Fifty-three Moorish prisoners.—In this, as in subsequent actions, Mafaldo, rather than Gonçalo Pacheco, showed himself to be the leader of the expedition.

111 (p. 123). Cunning ... but small in this part of the world.—The fair inference is that, on this occasion, Mafaldo, from his previous experience, correctly estimated the danger (or absence of danger), and knew when to trust the natives. Similar trustfulness was not always equally successful, sometimes from absence of that past experience possessed by Mafaldo. See chs. xxvii, pp. 90, 91; xlviii, pp. 144-5; lxxxvi, pp. 252, etc.; xxxv, pp. 112-3. The Azanegue Moors of the Sahara on the whole showed less ability to defend themselves than the Negroes of the Sudan coast; cf. chs. xlv, pp. 137-8; lx, pp. 179-182; lxxxvi, pp. 252-6; xli, p. 130; xxxi, p. 99; contrast with pp. 126, 122, 114, 105-6, 78, 73, 36.

112 (p. 126) ... true effects.—Azurara certainly does not commit the error of "those historians who avoid prolixity by summarizing things that would be greatest if related in their true effects," i. e., in detail. This central portion of his narrative (chs. xxxvi-lix, lxviii-lxxiv) is especially tedious, and we cannot too much regret the comparative sacrifice of the scientific interest to the anecdotal, biographical, or slave-raiding details, with which he fills so much of this Chronicle. Cf. the slender and imperfect narratives of the really important voyages of Dinis Diaz (ch. xxxi), Alvaro Fernandez (ch. lxxv), and Nuno Tristam (chs. xxx, lxxxvi), with the lengthy descriptions of the expeditions personally conducted by Gonçalo de Sintra, Gonçalo Pacheco, Lançarote, Mafaldo, and other men whose voyages resulted in scarcely any advance of exploration. In all this Azurara's narrative contrasts unfortunately with Cadamosto's, which is not only a record of exploration, but of acute original observation, a quality by no means so noticeable in the Chronicle of Guinea, except at rare intervals. Cf., however, chs. xxv, lxxvi-lxxvii, lxxix-lxxxiii, and see Introduction to vol. ii, pp. xxiv-xxvi, etc.