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At Cairo he was informed that Paiva was dead, but he met with two Portuguese Jews, one of whom had given the king an account of the situation and trade of Ormus: they brought orders to Covillan, that he should send one of them home with the journal of his travels, and go to Ormus with the other.
Covillan obeyed the orders, sending an exact account of his adventures to Lisbon, and proceeding with the other messenger to Ormus; where having made sufficient inquiry, he sent his companion homewards with the caravans that were going to Aleppo, and embarking once more on the Red Sea, arrived in time at Abyssinia, and found the prince whom he had sought so long, and with such danger.
Two ships were sent out upon the same search, of which Bartholomew Diaz had the chief command; they were attended by a smaller vessel laden with provisions, that they might not return upon pretence of want either felt or feared.
Navigation was now brought nearer to perfection. The Portuguese claim the honour of many inventions by which the sailor is assisted, and which enable him to leave sight of land, and commit himself to the boundless ocean. Diaz had orders to proceed beyond the river Zaire, where Diego Can had stopped, to build monuments of his discoveries, and to leave upon the coasts negro men and women well instructed, who might inquire after Prester John, and fill the natives with reverence for the Portuguese.
Diaz, with much opposition from his crew, whose mutinies he repressed, partly by softness and partly by steadiness, sailed on till he reached the utmost point of Africa, which from the bad weather that he met there, he called Cabo Tormentoso, or the Cape of Storms. He would have gone forward, but his crew forced him to return. In his way back he met the Victualler, from which he had been parted nine months before; of the nine men which were in it at the separation, six had been killed by the negroes, and of the three remaining, one died for joy at the sight of his friends. Diaz returned to Lisbon in December, 1487, and gave an account of his voyage to the king, who ordered the Cape of Storms to be called thenceforward Cabo de buena Esperanza, or the Cape of Good Hope.
Some time before the expedition of Diaz, the river Zaire and the kingdom of Congo had been discovered by Diego Can, who found a nation of negroes who spoke a language which those that were in his ships could not understand. He landed, and the natives, whom he expected to fly like the other inhabitants of the coast, met them with confidence, and treated them with kindness; but Diego, finding that they could not understand each other, seized some of their chiefs, and carried them to Portugal, leaving some of his own people in their room to learn the language of Congo.
The negroes were soon pacified, and the Portuguese left to their mercy were well treated; and as they by degrees grew able to make themselves understood, recommended themselves, their nation, and their religion. The king of Portugal sent Diego back in a very short time with the negroes whom he had forced away; and when they were set safe on shore the king of Congo conceived so much esteem for Diego, that he sent one of those who had returned, back again in the ship to Lisbon, with two young men despatched as ambassadors, to desire instructors to be sent for the conversion of his kingdom.
The ambassadors were honourably received, and baptized with great pomp, and a fleet was immediately fitted out for Congo, under the command of Gonsalvo Sorza, who dying in his passage, was succeeded in authority by his nephew Roderigo.
When they came to laud, the king's uncle, who commanded the province, immediately requested to be solemnly initiated in the Christian religion, which was granted to him and his young son, on Easter day, 1491. The father was named Manuel, and the son Antonio. Soon afterwards the king, queen, and eldest prince, received at the font the names of John, Eleanor, and Alphonso; and a war breaking out, the whole army was admitted to the rites of Christianity, and then sent against the enemy. They returned victorious, but soon forgot their faith, and formed a conspiracy to restore paganism; a powerful opposition was raised by infidels and apostates, headed by one of the king's younger sons: and the missionaries had been destroyed, had not Alphonso pleaded for them and for Christianity.
The enemies of religion now became the enemies of Alphonso, whom they accused to his father of disloyalty. His mother, queen Eleanor, gained time, by one artifice after another, till the king was calmed; he then heard the cause again, declared his son innocent, and punished his accusers with death.
The king died soon after, and the throne was disputed by Alphonso, supported by the Christians, and Aquitimo, his brother, followed by the infidels. A battle was fought, Aquitimo was taken and put to death, and Christianity was for a time established in Congo; but the nation has relapsed into its former follies.
Such was the state of the Portuguese navigation, when, in 1492, Columbus made the daring and prosperous 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 slighted him as a fanciful and rash projector, that promised what he had not reasonable hopes to perform. Columbus had solicited other' princes, and had been repulsed with the same indignity; at last Isabella of Arragon furnished
him with ships, and having found America, he entered the mouth of the Tagus in his return, and showed 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 destroy him; but the king, who knew that he deserved the reproaches that had been used, and who now sincerely regretted his incredulity, would suffer no violence to be offered him, but dismissed him with presents and with honours.
The Portuguese and Spaniards became now jealous of each other's claim to countries which
PREFACE TO THE PRECEPTOR;
CONTAINING A GENERAL PLAN OF EDUCATION.
published IN 1748, By Dodsley.
THE importance of education is a point so gen- | crowded with learning very rarely applicable erally understood and confessed, that it would to the purposes of common life. be of little use to attempt any new proof or illustration of its necessity and advantages.
At a time when so many schemes of education have been projected, so many proposals offered to the public, so many schools opened for general knowledge, and so many lectures in particular sciences attended; at a time when mankind seems intent rather upon familiarising than enlarging the several arts; and every age, sex, and profession, is invited to an acquaintance with those studies, which were formerly supposed accessible only to such as had devoted themselves to literary leisure, and dedicated their powers to philosophical inquiries; it seems rather requisite that an apology should be made for any further attempt to smooth a path so frequently beaten, or to recommend attainments so ardently pursued, and so officiously directed. | That this general desire may not be frustrated, our schools seem yet to want some book, which may excite curiosity by its variety, encourage diligence by its facility, and reward application by its usefulness. In examining the treatises hitherto offered to the youth of this nation, there appeared none that did not fail in one or other of these essential qualities; none that were not either unpleasing, or abstruse, or
Every man who has been engaged in teaching, knows with how much difficulty youthful minds are confined to close application, and how readily they deviate to any thing, rather than attend to that which is imposed as a task. That this disposition, when it becomes inconsistent with the forms of education, is to be checked, will be readily granted; but since, though it may be in some degree obviated, it cannot wholly be suppressed, it is surely rational to turn it to advantage, by taking care that the mind shall never want objects on which its faculties may be usefully employed. It is not impossible, that this restless desire of novelty which gives so much trouble to the teacher, may be often the struggle of the understanding starting from that, to which it is not by nature adapted, and travelling in search of something on which it may fix with greater satisfaction. For without supposing each man particularly marked out by his genius for particular performances, it may be easily conceived, that when a numerous class of boys is confined indiscriminately to the same forms of composition, the repetition of the same words, or the explication of the same sentiments, the employment must, either by nature or accident, be less suitable to some than others; that the
Ideas to be contemplated may be too difficult for | synoptical tables, as that of Stierius ; and others the apprehension of one, and too obvious for that of another: they may be such as some understandings cannot reach, though others look down upon them as below their regard. Every mind in its progress through the different stages of scholastic learning, must be often in one of these conditions, must either flag with the labour, or grow wanton with the facility, of the work assigned; and in either state it naturally turns aside from the track before it. Weariness looks out for relief, and leisure for employment, and surely it is rational to indulge the wanderings of both. For the faculties which are too lightly burdened with the business of the day, may with great propriety add to it some other inquiry and he that finds himself overwearied by a task, which perhaps, with all his efforts, he is not able to perform, is undoubtedly to be justified in addicting himself rather to easier studies, and endeavouring to quit that which is above his attainment, for that which nature has made him capable of pursuing with advantage.
are too large and voluminous, as that of Alstedius; and, what is not to be considered as the least objection, they are generally in a language, which, to boys, is more difficult than the subject; and it is too hard a task to be condemned to learn a new science in an unknown tongue. As in life, so in study, it is dangerous to do more things than one at a time; and the mind is not to be harassed with unnecessary obstructions, in a way, of which the natural and unavoidable asperity is such as too frequently produces despair.
That therefore this roving curiosity may not be unsatisfied, it seems necessary to scatter in its way such allurements as may withhold it from a useless and unbounded dissipation; such as may regulate it without violence, and direct it without restraint; such as may suit every inclination, and fit every capacity; may employ the stronger genius, by operations of reason; and engage the less active or forcible mind, by supplying it with easy knowledge, and obviating that despondence, which quickly prevails, when nothing appears but a succession of lifficulties, and one labour only ceases that another may be imposed.
A book intended thus to correspond with all dispositions, and afford entertainment for minds of different powers, is necessarily to contain treatises on different subjects. As it is designed for schools, though for the higher classes, it is confined wholly to such parts of knowledge as young minds may comprehend; and as it is drawn up for readers yet unexperienced in life, and unable to distinguish the useful from the ostentatious or unnecessary parts of science, it is requisite that a very nice distinction should be made, that nothing unprofitable should be admitted for the sake of pleasure, nor any arts of attraction neglected, that might fix the attention upon more important studies.
These considerations produced the book which is here offered to the public, as better adapted to the great design of pleasing by instruction, than any which has hitherto been admitted into our seminaries of literature. There are not indeed wanting in the world compendiums of science, but many were written at a time when philosophy was imperfect, as that of G. Valla; many contain only naked schemes, or
If the language however had been the only objection to any of the volumes already extant, the schools might have been supplied at a small expense by a translation; but none could be found that was not defective, redundant, or erroneous, as to be of more danger than use. It was necessary then to examine, whether upon every single science there was not some treatise written for the use of scholars, which might be adapted to this design, so that a collection might be made from different authors, without the necessity of writing new systems. This search was not wholly without success, for two authors were found, whose performances might be admitted with little alteration. But so widely does this plan differ from all others, so much has the state of many kinds of learning been changed, or so unfortunately have they hitherto been cultivated, that none of the other subjects were explained in such a manner as was now required; and therefore neither care nor expense has been spared to obtain new lights, and procure to this book the merit of an original.
With what judgment the design has been formed, and with what skill it has been executed, the learned world is now to determine. But before sentence shall pass, it is proper to explain more fully what has been intended, that censure may not be incurred by the omission of that which the original plan did not comprehend; to declare more particularly who they are to whose instructions these treatises pretend, that a charge of arrogance and presumption may be obviated; to lay down the reasons which directed the choice of the several subjects; and to explain more minutely the manner in which each particular part of these volumes is to be used.
The title has already declared, that these voJumes are particu arly intended for the use of schools, and therefore it has been the care of the authors to explain the several sciences, of which they have treated, in the most familiar manner; for the mind used only to common expressions, and inaccurate ideas, does not suddenly conform itself to scholastic modes of reasoning, or conceive the nice distinctions of a subtile philosophy, and may be properly initiated in speculative studies by an introduction like
this, in which the grossness of vulgar concep- | mated oration, it is necessary the voice be retion is avoided, without the observation of me- gulated by the sense, varying and rising with taphysical exactness. It is observed that in the passions. These rules, which are the most the course of the natural world no change is in-general, admit a great number of subordinate stantaneous, but all its vicissitudes are gradual observations, which must be particularly adapted and slow; the motions of intellect proceed in to every scholar; for it is observable, that the like imperceptible progression, and proper though very few read well, yet every man errs degrees of transition from one study to another in a different way. But let one remark never are therefore necessary; but let it not be charged be omitted; inculcate strongly to every scholar upon the writers of this book, that they in- the danger of copying the voice of another; an tended to exhibit more than the dawn of know- attempt which, though it has been often repeatledge, or pretended to raise in the mind any ed, is always unsuccessful. nobler product than the blossoms of science, which more powerful institutions may ripen to fruit.
The importance of writing letters with proin-priety, justly claims to be considered with care, since, next to the power of pleasing with his presence, every man would wish to be able to give delight at a distance. This great art should be diligently taught, the rather, because of those letters which are most useful, and by which the general business of life is transacted, there are no examples easily to be found. It seems the general fault of those who undertake this part of education, that they propose for the exercise of their scholars, occasions which rarely happen; such as congratulations and condolences, and neglect those without which life cannot proceed. It is possible to pass many years without the necessity of writing panegyrics or epithalamiums; but every man has frequent occasion to state a contract, or demand a debt, or make a narrative of some minute incidents of common life. On these subjects, therefore, young persons should be taught to think justly, and write clearly, neatly, and succinctly, lest they come from school into the world without any acquaintance with common affairs, and stand idle spectators of mankind, in expectation that some great event will give them an opportunity to exert their rhetoric.
II. The second place is assigned to geometry; on the usefulness of which it is unnecessary to expatiate in an age when mathematical studies have so much engaged the attention of all classes of men. This treatise is one of those which have been borrowed, being a translation from the work of M. Le Clerc; and is not intended as more than the first initiation. In delivering the fundamental principles of geometry, it is necessary to proceed by slow steps, that each proposition may be fully understood before another is attempted. For which purpose it is not sufficient, that when a question is asked in the words of the book, the scholar likewise can in the words of the book, return the proper answer; for this may be only an act of memory, not of understanding; it is always proper to vary the words of the question, to place the proposition in different points of view, and to require of the learner an explanation in his own terms, informing him however when they are improper. By this method the scholar will become cautious and attentive, and the master will
For this reason it must not be expected, that in the following pages should be found a complete circle of the sciences; or that any authors, now deservedly esteemed, should be rejected to make way for what is here offered. It was intended by the means of these precepts, not to deck the mind with ornaments, but to protect it from nakedness; not to enrich it with affluence, but to supply it with necessaries. The inquiry, therefore, was not what degrees of knowledge are desirable, but what are in most stations of life indispensably required; and the choice was determined not by the splendour of any part of literature, but by the extent of its use, and the inconvenience which its neglect was likely to produce.
I. The prevalence of this consideration appears in the first part, which is appropriated to the humble purposes of teaching to read, and speak, and write letters; an attempt of little magnificence, but in which no man needs to blush for having employed his time, if honour be estimated by use. For precepts of this kind, however neglected, extend their importance as far as men are found who communicate their thoughts one to another; they are equally useful to the highest and the lowest; they may often contribute to make ignorance less inelegant; and may it not be observed, that they are frequently wanted for the embellishment even of learning?
In order to show the proper use of this part, which consists of various exemplifications of such differences of style as require correspondent diversities of pronunciation, it will be proper to inform the scholar, that there are in general three forms of style, each of which demands its particular mode of elocution: the familiar, the solemn, and the pathetic. That in the familiar, he that reads is only to talk with a paper in his hand, and to indulge himself in all the lighter liberties of voice, as when he reads the common articles of a newspaper, or a cursory letter of intelligence or business. That the solemn style, such as that of a serious narrative, exacts a uniform steadiness of speech, equal, clear, and calm. That for the pathetic, such as an ani
know with certainty the degree of his proficiency. | intelligible by some knowledge of chronology, Yet, though this rule is generally right, I cannot but recommend a precept of Pardie's, that when the student cannot be made to comprehend some particular part, it should be, for that time, laid aside, till new light shall arise from subsequent observation.
the science by which events are ranged in their order, and the periods of computation are settled; and which therefore assists the memory by method, and enlightens the judgment by showing the dependence of one transaction on another. Accordingly it should be diligently inculcated to the scholar, that unless he fixes in his mind some idea of the time in which each man of eminence lived, and each action was performed, with some part of the contemporary history of the rest of the world, he will consume his life in useless reading, and darken his mind with a crowd of unconnected events; his memory will be perplexed with distant transactions resembling one another, and his reflections be like a dream in a fever, busy and turbulent, but confused and indistinct.
The technical part of chronology, or the art of computing and adjusting time, as it is very difficult, so it is not of absolute necessity, but should however be taught, so far as it can be learned without the loss of those hours which are required for attainments of nearer concern. The student may join with this treatise Le Clerc's Compendium of History; and afterwards may, for the historical part of chronology, procure Helvicus's and Isaacson's Tables; and, if he is desirous of attaining the technical part, may first peruse Holder's Account of Time, Hearne's Ductor Historicus, Strauchius, the first part of Petavius's Rationarium Temporum; and at length, Scaliger de Emendatione Temporum. And for instruction in the method of his historical studies, he may consult Hearne's Ductor Historicus, Wheare's Lectures, Rawlinson's Directions for the Study of History; and for ecclesiastical history, Cave and Dupin, Baronius and Fleury.
When this compendium is completely understood, the scholar may proceed to the perusal of Tacquet, afterwards of Euclid himself, and then of the modern improvers of geometry, such as Barrow, Keil, and Sir Isaac Newton.
III. The necessity of some acquaintance with geography and astronomy will not be disputed. If the pupil is born to the ease of a large fortune, no part of learning is more necessary to him than the knowledge of the situation of nations, on which their interests generally depend; if he is dedicated to any of the learned professions, it is scarcely possible that he will not be obliged to apply himself in some part of his life to these studies, as no other branch of literature can be fully comprehended without them; if he is designed for the arts of commerce or agriculture, some general acquaintance with these sciences will be found extremely useful to him; in a word, no studies afford more extensive, more wonderful, or more pleasing scenes; and therefore there can be no ideas impressed upon the soul, which can more conduce to its future entertainment.
In the pursuit of these sciences, it will be proper to proceed with the same gradation and caution as in geometry. And it is always of use to decorate the nakedness of science, by interspersing such observations and narratives as may amuse the mind, and excite curiosity. Thus, in explaining the state of the polar regions, it might be fit to read the narrative of the Englishmen that wintered in Greenland, which will make young minds sufficiently curious after the cause of such a length of night, and intenseness of cold; and many stratagems of the same kind might be practised to interest them in all parts of their studies, and call in their passions to animate their inquiries. When they have read this treatise, it will be proper to recommend to them Varenius's Geography, and Gregory's Astronomy.
IV. The study of chronology and history seems to be one of the most natural delights of the human mind. It is not easy to live without in quiring by what means every thing was brought into the state in which we now behold it, or without finding in the mind some desire of being informed concerning the generations of mankind, that have been in possession of the world before us, whether they were better or worse than ourselves; or what good or evil has been derived to us from their schemes, practices, and institutions. These are inquiries which history alone can satisfy; and history can only be made
V. Rhetoric and poetry supply life with its highest intellectual pleasures; and in the hands of virtue are of great use for the impression of just sentiments, and recommendation of illustrious examples. In the practice of these great arts, so much more is the effect of nature than the effect of education, that nothing is attempted here but to teach the mind some general heads of observation, to which the beautiful passages of the best writers may commonly be reduced. In the use of this it is not proper that the teacher should confine himself to the examples before him; for by that method he will never enable his pupils to make just application of the rules; but, having inculcated the true meaning of each figure, he should require them to exemplify it by their own observations, pointing to them the poem, or, in longer works, the book or canto in which an example may be found, and leaving them to discover the particular passage by the light of the rules which they have lately learned.
For a farther progress in these studies, they may consult Quintilian and Vossius's Rhetoric;