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Infidels. A Battle was fought, Aquitimo was takeri and put to Death, and Christianity was for a Time established at Congo; but the Nation has relapsed into its former Follies.
Such was the State of the Portugueze Navigation, when in 1492, Columbus made the daring and prof: perous Voyage, which gave a new World to European Curiosity and European Cruelty. He had offered his Proposal, and declared his Expectations to King John of Portugal, who had fighted him as a fanciful and rafh Projector, that promised what he had no reasonable Hopes to perform. Columbus had folicited other Princes, and had been repulsed with the same Indignity; at last Isabella of Arragon, furnished him with Ships, and having found Āmerica, he entered the Mouth of the Tagus in his Return, and shewed the Natives of the new Country. When he was admitted to the King's Presence, he acted and talked with so much Haughtiness, and reflected on the Neglect which he had undergone with so much Acrimony, that the Courtiers who saw their Prince insulted, offered to de. stroy him ; but the King who knew that he deservo ed the Reproaches that had been used, and who now fincerely regretted his Incredulity, would suffer no Violence to be offered him, but dismissed him with Presents and with Honours.
The Portugueze and Spaniards became now jeaa lous of each others Claim to Countries, which nei. ther had yet seen ; and the Pope, to whom they appealed, divided the new World between them by a Line drawn from North to South, a hunrded Leagues westward from Cape Verd and the Azores, giving all that lies west from that Line to the Spaniards, and all that lies east to the Portugueze. This was no very fatisfactory Division, for the east and west must meet at last, but that Tine was then at great Distance. ,
According to this Grant, the Portuguese conti. nued their Discoveries eastward, and became Mas. ters of much of the Coast both of Africa and the Indies, but they seized much niore than they could occupy, and while they were under the Dominion of Spain, lost the greater Part of their Indian Territories.
E P I T A PHS
WRITTEN BY POPE.
DVERY Art is best taught by Example. No.
thing contributes more to the Cultivation of Propriety than Remarks on the Works of tl.ose who have most excelled. I shall therefore endeavour, at .this Vifit, to entertain the young Students in Poetry, with an Examination of Pope's Epitaphs.
To define an Epitaph is useless ; every one knows that it is an Inscription on a Tomb. An Epitaph, therefore, implies no particular Character of Writing, but may be composed in Verse or Profe. It is indeed commonly Panegyrical ; because we are seldom distinguilhed with a Stone, but by our Friends; but it has no Rule to restrain or modify it, except this, that it ought not to be longer than common Beholders may be expected to have Leisure and Patience to peruse.
Wythyham in Suflex.
The Scourge of Pride, tho' fanctify’d or great,
Yet soft his Nature, tho' severe his Lay,
As show'd, Vice had his Hate and Pity too. • Blest Courtier !who could King and Country please, " Yet sacred keep his Friendships, and his Ease.
Blest Peer! his great Forefathers ev'ry Grace • Reflecting, and reflected on his Race; • Where other Buckhursts, other Dorfets shine, • And Patriots still, or Poets, deck the Line.'
The first Distich of this Epitaph contains a Kind of Information which few would want, that the Man, for whom the Tomb was erected, died. There are indeed some Qualities worthy of Praise ascribed to the Dead, but none that were likely to exempt him from the Lot of Man, or incline us much to wonder that he should die. What is meant by Judge of Nature, is not easy to say. Nature is not the Object of human Judgment, for it is vain to judge where we cannot alter. If by Nature is meant, what is commonly called Nature by the Criticks, a just Representation of Things really existing and Actions really performed, Nature cannot be properly opposed to Art, Nature being, in this Sente, only the best Effect of Art.
The Scourge of Pride Of this Couplet, the second Line is not, what is intended, an Illustration of the former. Pride, in the Great, is indeed well enough connected with Knaves in State, though Knaves is a Word rather too ludicrous and light; but the mention of fan&tified Pride will not lead the Thoughts to Fops in Learning, but rather to some Species of Tyranny or Oppression, something more gloomy and more formidable than Foppery... Vol. II.
Yet soft bis NatureThis is a high Compliment, but was not first bestowed on Dorset by Pope. The next Verse is extremely beautiful.
Blesi Satyrist ! !, In this Distich is another Line of which Pope was not the Authour. I do not mean to blame these Imitations with much Harshness ;, in long Perform. ances they are scarcely to be avoided, and in slender they may be indulged, because the Train of the Composition may naturally involve them, or the Scantiness of the Subject allow little Choice. How ever, what is borrowed is not to be enjoyed as our own, and it is the Business of critical Justice to give every Bird of the Muses his proper Feather.
Blef Courtier ! Whether a Courtier can be properly commended for keeping his Ease sacred may perhaps be disputable. To please King and Country, without sacrificing Friendship to any Change of Times, was a very uncommon Instance of Prudence or Felicity, and deserved to be kept sepatate from so poor a Commendation as Care of this Ease. I wish our Poets would attend a little more accurately to the Use of the Word sacred, which surely should never be applied in a serious Composition, but where some Reference may be made to a higher Being, or where fome Duty is exacted or implied. A man may keep his Friendship sacred, because Promises of Friendship are very awful Ties ; but methinks he cannot, but in a burlesque Sense, be said to keep his Ease facred.
Blest Peer! ' The Blessing ascribed to the Peer has no Connec-' tion with his Peerage; they might happen to any other Man, whose Ancestors were remembered, or whose Posterity were likely to be regarded.' } .ba
I know not whether this Epitaph'be worthy either of the Writer, or of the Man entombed.