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Europeans, and the rights of the original inhabit- | might be always at hand to lend him assist ants were never taken into notice. Of these ance. stone records, nine more were erected in the reign of king John, along the coast of Africa, as far as the Cape of Good Hope.
The negro, who seemed very well to understand what the admiral intended, after a short pause, returned an answer full of respect to the The fortress in the isle of Arguin was finished, king of Portugal, but appeared a little doubtful and it was found necessary to build another at what to determine with relation to the fort. S. Georgia de la Mina, a few degrees north of The commander saw his diffidence, and used the line, to secure the trade of gold dust, which all his art of persuasion to overcome it. Carawas chiefly carried on at that place. For this mansa, either induced by hope, or constrained purpose a fleet was fitted out of ten large and by fear, either desirous to make them friends, three smaller vessels, freighted with materials or not daring to make them enemies, consented, for building the fort, and with provisions and am- with a show of joy, to that which it was not in munition for six hundred men, of whom one hun-his power to refuse; and the new comers began dred were workmen and labourers. Father La- the next day to break the ground for the founfitau relates, in very particular terms, that these dation of a fort. ships carried hewn stones, bricks, and timber, for the fort, so that nothing remained but barely to erect it. He does not seem to consider how small a fort could be made out of the lading of ten ships.
The command of this fleet was given to Don Diego d'Azambue, who set sail December 11th, (481, and reaching La Mina January 19th, 1482, gave immediate notice of his arrival to Caramansa, a petty prince of that part of the country, whom he very earnestly invited to an immediate
Having received a message of civility from the negro chief, he landed, and chose a rising ground, proper for his intended fortress, on which he planted a banner with the arms of Portugal, and took possession in the name of his master. He then raised an altar at the foot of a great tree, on which mass was celebrated, the whole assembly, says Lafitau, breaking out into tears of devotion at the prospect of inviting these barbarous nations to the profession of the true faith. Being secure of the goodness of the end, they had no scruple about the means, nor ever considered how differently from the primitive martyrs and apostles they were attempting to make proselytes. The first propagators of Christianity recommended their doctrines by their sufferings and virtues; they entered no defenceless territories with swords in their hands; they built no forts upon ground to which they had no right, nor polluted the purity of religion with the avarice of trade, or insolence of power.
What may still raise higher the indignation of a Christian mind, this purpose of propagating truth appears never to have been seriously pursued by any European nation; no means, whether lawful or unlawful, have been practised with diligence and perseverance for the conversion of savages. When a fort is built, and a factory established, there remains no other care than to grow rich. It is soon found that ignorance is most easily kept in subjection, and that by enlightening the mind with truth, fraud and usurpation would be made less practicable and less
Within the limit of their intended fortification were some spots appropriated to superstitious practices: which the negroes no sooner per ceived in danger of violation by the spade and pickaxe, than they ran to arms, and began to interrupt the work. The Portuguese persisted in their purpose, and there had soon been tumult and bloodshed, had not the admiral, who was at a distance to superintend the unlading the materials for the edifice, been informed of the danger. He was told at the same time, that the support of their superstition was only a pretence, and that all their rage might be appeased by the presents which the prince expect ed, the delay of which had greatly offended himn.
The Portuguese admiral immediately ran to his men, prohibited all violence, and stopped the commotion; he then brought out the presents, and spread them with great pomp before the prince; if they were of no great value, they were rare, for the negroes had never seen such wonders before; they were therefore received with ecstacy, and perhaps the Portuguese derided them for their fondness of trifles, without considering how many things derive their value only from their scarcity; and that gold and rubies would be trifles, if nature had scattered them with less frugality.
The work was now peaceably continued, and such was the diligence with which the strangers hastened to secure the possession of the country, that in twenty days they had sufficiently fortified themselves against the hostility of the negroes. They then proceeded to complete their design. A church was built in the place where their first altar had been raised, on which a mass was established to be celebrated for ever once a day, for the repose of the soul of Henry, the first mover of these discoveries.
In this fort the admiral remained with sixty soldiers, and sent back the rest in the ships, with gold, slaves, and other commodities. It may be observed that slaves were never forgotten, and that wherever they went, they gratified their pride, if not their avarice, and brought some of the natives, when it happened that they brought nothing else.
In a few days an interview was appointed be tween Caramansa and Azambue. The PortuThe Portuguese endeavoured to extend their guese uttered by his interpreter a pompous speech, dominions still farther. They had gained some in which he made the negro prince large offers of knowledge of the Jaloffs, a nation inhabiting the his master's friendship, exhorting him to embrace coast of Guinea, between the Gambia and Senethe religion of his new ally; and told him, that gal, The king of the Jaloffs being vicious and as they came to form a league of friendship with luxurious, committed the care of the government him, it was necessary that they should build a to Bemoin, his brother by the mother's side, in fort, which might serve as a retreat from their preference to two other brothers by his father. common enemies, and in which the Portuguese | Bemoin, who wanted neither bravery nor pru
dence, knew that his station was invidious and | cessary for the erection of a fort. With this dangerous, and therefore made an alliance with the Portuguese, and retained them in his defence by liberality and kindness. At last the king was killed by the contrivance of his brothers, and Bemoin was to lose his power, or maintain it by war.
He had recourse in this exigence to his great ally the king of Portugal, who promised to support him, on condition that he should become a christian, and sent an ambassador, accompanied with missionaries. Bemoin promised all that was required, objecting only, that the time of a civil war was not a proper season for a change of religion, which would alienate his adherents, but said, that when he was once peaceably established, he would not only embrace the true religion himself, but would endeavour the conversion of the kingdom.
This excuse was admitted, and Bemoin delayed his conversion for a year, renewing his promise from time to time. But the war was unsuccessful, trade was at a stand, and Bemoin was not able to pay the money which he had borrowed of the Portuguese merchants, who sent intelligence to Lisbon of his delays, and received an order from the king, commanding them under severe penalties to return home.
powerful armament were sent a great number of missionaries under the direction of Alvarez the king's confessor. The command of this force, which filled the coast of Africa with terror, was given to Pedro Vaz d'Acugna, surnamed Bisagu; who soon after they had landed, not being well pleased with his expedition, put an end to its inconveniences by stabbing Beinoin suddenly to the heart. The king heard of this outrage with great sorrow, but did not attempt to punish the murderer.
The king's concern for the restoration of Bemoin was not the mere effect of kindness, he hoped by his help to facilitate greater designs. He now began to form hopes of finding a way to the East Indies, and of enriching his country by that gainful commerce: this he was encou raged to believe practicable, by a map which the Moors had given to prince Henry, and which subsequent discoveries have shown to be sufficiently near to exactness, where a passage round the south-east part of Africa was evidently described.
The king had another scheme yet more likely to engage curiosity, and not irreconcilable with his interest. The world had for some time been filled with the report of a powerful christian prince called Prester John, whose country was unknown, and whom some, after Paulus Venetus, supposed to reign in the midst of Asia, and others in the depth of Ethiopia, between the ocean and Red Sea. The account of the African christians was confirmed by some Abyssinians
Bemoin here saw his ruin approaching, and, hoping that money would pacify all resentment, borrowed of his friends a sum sufficient to discharge his debts; and finding that even this enticement would not delay the departure of the Portuguese, he embarked his nephew in their ships, with a hundred slaves, whom he pre-who had travelled into Spain, and by some f iars sented to the king of Portugal, to solicit his assistance. The effect of this embassy he could not stay to know; for being soon after deposed, he sought shelter in the fortress of Arguin, whence he took shipping for Portugal, with twenty-five of his principal followers.
The king of Portugal pleased his own vanity and that of his subjects, by receiving him with great state and magnificence, as a mighty monarch who had fled to an ally for succour in misfortune. All the lords and ladies of the court were assembled, and Bemoin was conducted with a splendid attendance into the hall of audience, where the king rose from his throne to welcome him. Bemoin then made a speech with great ease and dignity, representing his unhappy state, and imploring the favour of his powerful ally. The king was touched with his affliction, and struck by his wisdom.
that had visited the holy land; and the King was extremely desirous of their correspondence and alliance.
Some obscure intelligence had been obtained, which made it seem probable that a way might be found from the countries lately discovered, to those of this far-famed monarch. In 1486, an ambassador came from the king of Bemin, to desire that preachers might be sent to instruct him and his subjects in the true religion. He related that in the inland country, three hundred and fifty leagues eastward from Bemin, was a mighty monarch called Ogane, who had jurisdiction both spiritual and temporal over other kings; that the king of Bemin and his neighbours, at their accession, sent ambassadors to him with rich presents, and received from him the investiture of their dominions, and the marks of sovereignty, which were a kind of The conversion of Bemoin was much desired sceptre, a helmet, and a latten cross, without by the king; and it was therefore immediately which they could not be considered as lawful proposed to him that he should become a chris-kings; that this great prince was never seen but tian. Ecclesiastics were sent to instruct him; on the day of audience, and then held out one of and having now no more obstacles from interest, his feet to the ambassador, who kissed it with he was easily persuaded to declare himself what-great reverence, and who at his depa-ture had a ever would please those on whom he now de- cross of latten hung on his neck, which ennobled pended. He was baptized December 3d, 1489, him thenceforward, and exempted him from all in the palace of the queen, with great magnifi- servile offices. cence, and named John, after the king.
Some time was spent in feasts and sports on this great occasion, and the negroes signalized themselves by many feats of agility, far surpassing the power of Europeans, who having more helps of art, are less diligent to cultivate the qualities of nature. In the mean time twenty Jarge ships were fitted out, well manned, stored with ammunition, and laden with materials ne
Bemoin had likewise told the king, that to the east of the kingdom of Tombut, there was among other princes, one that was neither Mahometan nor idolater, but who seemed to profess a religion nearly resembling the christian. These informations compared with each other, and with the current accounts of Prester John, induced the king to an opinion, which, though formed somewhat at hazard, is still believed to
be right, that by passing up the river Senegal his dominions would be found. It was therefore ordered that when the fortress was finished, an attempt should be made to pass upward to the source of the river. The design failed then, and has never yet succeeded.
of Storms to be called thenceforward Capo 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.
Other ways likewise were tried of penetrating to the kingdom of Prester John, for the king resolved to leave neither sea nor land unsearched till he should be found. The two messengers who were sent first on this design, went to Jerusalem, and then returned, being persuaded that for want of understanding the guage of the country, it would be vain or impossible to travel farther. Two more were then despatched, one of whom was Pedro de Covillan, The negroes were soon pacified, and the Porthe other Alphonso de Paiva; they passed from tuguese left to their inercy were well treated; Naples to Alexandria, and then travelled to Cairo, and as they by degrees grew able to make themfrom whence they went to Aden, a town of Ara-selves understood, recommended themselves, bia, on the Red Sea, near its mouth. From Aden, their nation, and their religion. The king of Pavia set sail for Ethiopia, and Covillan for the Portugal sent Diego back in a very short time Indies. Covillan visited Canavar, Calicut, and with the negroes whom he had forced away; Goa in the Indies, and Sosula in the eastern and when they were set safe on shore the king Africa; thence he returned to Aden, and then of Congo conceived so much esteem for Diego, to Cairo, where he had agreed to meet Paiva. that he sent one of those who had returned, back At Cairo he was informed that Paiva was dead, again in the ship to Lisbon, with two young men but he met with two Portuguese Jews, one of despatched as ambassadors, to desire instructors whom had given the king an account of the situ- to be sent for the conversion of his kingdom. ation 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.
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.
Corvillan obeyed the orders, sending an exact account of his adventures to Lisbon, and proceeding with the other messenger to Ormus; When they came to land, the king's uncle, where having made sufficient inquiry, he sent who commanded the province, immediately rehis companion homewards with the caravans quested to be solemnly initiated in the christian that were going to Aleppo, and embarking once religion, which was granted to him and his young more on the Red Sea, arrived in time at Abysson, on Easterday, 1491. The father was named sinia, and found the prince whom he had sought so long, and with such danger.
Manuel, and the son Antonio. Soon afterwards the king, queen, and eldest prince, received at Two ships were sent out upon the same search, the font the names of John, Eleanor, and Alof which Bartholomew Diaz had the chief com-phonso; and a war breaking out, the whole mand; they were attended by a smaller vessel army was admitted to the rites of christianity, laden with provisions, that they might not re- and then sent against the enemy. They return upon pretence of want either felt or feared. turned victorious, but soon forgot their faith, and Navigation was now brought nearer to performed a conspiracy to restore paganism; a fection. The Portuguese claim the honour of powerful opposition was raised by infidels and many inventions by which the sailor is assisted, apostates, headed by one of the king's younger and which enable him to leave sight of land, and sons: and the missionaries had been destroyed, commit himself to the boundless ocean. Diaz had not Alphonso pleaded for them and for had orders to proceed beyond the river Zaire, christianity. 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.
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.
Diaz, with much opposition from his crew, whose mutinies he repressed, partly by softness and partly by steadiness, sailed on till he reached The king died soon after, and the throne was the utmost point of Africa, which from the bad disputed by Alphonso, supported by the chrisweather that he met there, he called Cabo Tor- tians, and Aquitimo, his brother, followed by mentoso, or the Cape of Storms. He would the infidels. A battle was fought, Aquitimo was have gone forward, but his crew forced him to taken and put to death, and christianity was return. In his way back he met the Victualler, for a time established in Congo; but the nation 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
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
The Portuguese and Spaniards became now jealous of each other's claim to countries which neither 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 hundred leagues westward from Cape Verd and the Azores, giving all that lies west from that
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.-line to the Spaniards, and all that lies east to the 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.
Portuguese. This was no satisfactory division, for the east and west must meet at last, but that time was then at a great distance.
According to this grant, the Portuguese continued their discoveries eastward, and became masters of much of the coast both of Africa and the Indies; but they seized much more than they could occupy, and while they were under the dominion of Spain, lost the greater part of their Indian territories.
PREFACE TO THE PRECEPTOR;
CONTAINING A GENERAL PLAN OF EDUCATION.
THE importance of education is a point so generally understood and confessed, that it would 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 nitherto 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 crowded with learning very rarely applicable to the purposes of common life.
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 facul ties 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 with out 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 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 la bour, or grow wanton with the facility, of the work assigned; and in either state it naturally Every man who has been engaged in teaching, turns aside from the track before it. Weariness knows with how much difficulty youthful minds looks out for relief, and leisure for employment, are confined to close application, and how rea- and surely it is rational to indulge the wanderdily they deviate to any thing, rather than at-ings of both. For the faculties which are too tend to that which is imposed as a task. That lightly burdened with the business of the day, this disposition. when it becomes inconsistent 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.
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 difficulties, 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.
mitted 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 di rected 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 volumes are particularly 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 subtle philosophy, and may be properly initiated in speculative stu dies by an introduction like this, in which the grossness of vulgar conception is avoided, without the observation of metaphysical exactness. These considerations produced the book which It is observed that in the course of the natural is here offered to the public, as better adapted world no change is instantaneous, but all its to the great design of pleasing by instruction, vicissitudes are gradual and slow; the motions than any which has hitherto been admitted into of intellect proceed in the like imperceptible proour seminaries of literature. There are not in-gression, and proper degrees of transition from deed 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 synoptical tables, as that of Stierius; and others 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.
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 ad
one study to another are therefore necessary; but let it not be charged upon the writers of this book, that they intended to exhibit more than the dawn of knowledge, or pretended to raise in the mind any nobler product than the blossoms of science, which more powerful institutions may ripen into fruit.
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 ap pears 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