« ElőzőTovább »
of conversion. The old negro king soon grew a littlé cold towards Christianity, disliking much its monogamic rules. He had two sons: the elder approving and the other disapproving of the new faith. The king himself inclined to his pagan younger son and the other was difinherited. On the death of the old monarch, the younger son suddenly attacked the other who had only about him thirty seven followers, Portuguese and negroes. However, under the Christian banner and probably with some little aid of Christian disci
pline, the elder vanquished his younger brother Christiani- with all his host; became king, and did his best
to establish Christianity throughout his dominions. go.
This king of Congo reigned fifty years; he was not only a warm favourer of Christianity, but himself, an active preacher, having qualified himself by learning the Portuguese language and studying the Scriptures. He sent his children and grandchildren over to Portugal; had them well taught both in Latin and Portuguese; and of his own lineage there were two bishops in his kingdom. Barros tells us, that all these things were done at the expense of the kings of Portugal.* A very noble work it was of theirs : and in the
present state of that kingdom, these are the works which may console the Portuguese nation and their rulers with a not unbecoming recollection of past greatness, and, perhaps, reanimate them to great deeds again.
We may now stop in our task of tracing Portuguese discovery on the coast of Africa. We have seen it quietly making its way for seventy years, from Cape Nam to the Cape of Good Hope, some seven thousand miles. This long course of discovery has been almost entirely thrown into shade by the more daring and brilliant discovery of America, which we have now to enter upon. Yet these doings on the African coast had in them all the energy, perseverance, and courage which distinguished American discovery. Prince Henry himself was hardly a less personage than Columbus. They had different elements to contend in. But the man whom princely wealth and position, and the temptation to intrigue which there must have been in the then state of the Portuguese court, never induced to swerve from the one purpose which he maintained for forty years, unshaken by popular clamour for or against him, however forely vexed he might be with inward doubts and misgivings; who« scorned delights and lived
“ laborious days,” to devote himself to this one purpose--enduring the occasional short-comings of his agents with that forbearance which springs from a care for the enterprise in hand, so deep as to control private vexation (the very fame motive which made Columbus bear so mildly with insult and contumely from his followers),--such a man is worthy to be put in comparison with the other. great discoverer who worked out his enterprise through poverty, neglect, fore travail and the vicissitudes of courts. Moreover we must not forget that Prince Henry was undoubtedly the father of modern geographical discovery, and that the result of his exertions must have given much impulse to Columbus, if it did not first move him to his great undertaking. Having said so much in favour of Prince Henry, we must not omit to speak highly of the contemporary Portuguese monarchs who seem to have done their part in African discovery with much vigour, without jealousy of Prince Henry, and with good intent; and I would wish to include in some part of this praise his many brave captains.
The rediscovery of America (I say “ redifcovery," because I do not doubt that it was difcovered by the Northmen in the ninth and tenth centuries,) just at the time when the whole of
the western coast of Africa had been made out
and nothing favourite part of the grandeur of a great house- campinas hold, but we do not see how they could have couvertsiin occupied a country already stocked with hardy20
272é . labourers, fitted for the soil, as was the case with Europe. Ca da Mosto has told us that ini . 1455 A.D., the export of Naves was between seven and eight hundred yearly. Seeing how careless people are in the use of numbers, so that shrewd men of the world mostly divide by two or three the account in numbers of everything they hear, except men's accounts of their own debts and losses, it is not improbable that Ca da Mosto gives us an exaggerated statement of the number of slaves exported, which at the most is but a small affair indeed, when compared with the immense exportations of modern days. Moreover, from what is mentioned of the voyages since that time to the one we are now speaking of, i. e. from 1455
to 1492, it may be concluded that the trade in flaves had fallen off, so little are they mentioned, while at the same time we have signs of other articles of commerce engaging the attention of the Portuguese. *
Leaving now for a while all mention of Portuguese affairs, we commence the chapter of that man's doings whom we last heard of incidentally as son-in-law of Perestrelo and living at Porto Santo; but who is now about to become one of the few names which carry on from period. to period the tidings of the world's great story, as beacon fires upon the mountain tops. There is a peculiar fascination in the account of such a doing as the discovery of America, which cannot be done any more, or anything like it,which stands alone in the doings of the world. We naturally expect to find something quite peculiar in the man who did it, who was indeed one of the great fpirits of the earth, but still of
* Precedieron otros a estos; como la costa de donde vino la primera malagueta : Faria y Sousa, tom. 1, part 1, cap. 2. El Rey D. Juan II, que succediò a su padre D. Alonso cõsiderando que en la tierra nuevamente conocida avia riquezas que aumentavan sus rentas, y viendo disposicion en sus habitantes para admitir nuestra ley, ordenó que se levantasse una fortaleza en'aquella parte adonde se hazia el rescate del oro que llamaron de la Mina.-Faria y Sousa, tom. 1, part 1, cap. 3.