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Title: The Chronicle of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea - Vol. I
Author: Zurara, Gomes Eannes de, 1410?-1474
Language: English
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  The Hakluyt Society.


  VOL I.

  No. XCV.









  VOL. I


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


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






WILLIAM FOSTER, ESQ., _Honorary Secretary_.



The 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

In the second volume (which is due for the year 1897) will be given the
rest of the Chronicle, with 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 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 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._





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

The 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 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.

  [Footnote 1: In the _Chronica de Guiné_, ch. 97, he calls himself
  "Gomez Eanes de Zurara."]

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 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

  [Footnote 2: Barros, writing before 1552, says, "I know not how long
  he lived."--_Asia_, Dec. 1, liv. ii, ch. 2.]

  [Footnote 3: "De Bello Septensi," p. 27 (in the _Ineditos de
  Historia Portugueza_, vol. i, Lisbon, 1790).]

  [Footnote 4: _Chronica de Ceuta_, ch. 23.]

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 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

  [Footnote 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.]

  [Footnote 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.

  [Footnote 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.

  [Footnote 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.]

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 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.

  [Footnote 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).]

  [Footnote 10: _De Bello Septensi_, p. 27.]

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 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, which had all the old prerogatives
of those of the Temple and Calatrava, together with such as had been
granted it by name.[14]

  [Footnote 11: So says Corrêa da Serra--_Ineditos_, vol. ii, p. 207.]

  [Footnote 12: _Vide_ Ruy de Pina, _Chronica de D. Duarte_, ch. 8.]

  [Footnote 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.]

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

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]

  [Footnote 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.]

  [Footnote 16: _Chronica dos Carmaelitas_, vol. i, pp. 469, 486.
  Lisbon, 1745.]

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 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.

  [Footnote 17: _Chronica de Ceuta_, ch. 2.]

  [Footnote 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.]

  [Footnote 19: _Diccionario Bibliographico Portuguez_, vol. iii, p.

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
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.

  [Footnote 20: Pisano testifies of Azurara, "scientiæ cupiditate
  flagravit".--_De Bello Septensi_, p. 27.]

  [Footnote 21: _Chronica de Ceuta_, ch. 38.]

  [Footnote 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.]

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 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]

  [Footnote 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.]

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 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

  [Footnote 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.]

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 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 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 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
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

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

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 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

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.

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.

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]

  [Footnote 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

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 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
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 he
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 in the same manner, and with the same rights and profits as were
enjoyed by his predecessor therein.[27]

  [Footnote 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).]

  [Footnote 27: _Chanc. de D. Affonso V_, liv. X, fl. 30. Torre do

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 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.

  [Footnote 28: _Definiçoẽs e Estatutos dos Cavalleiros e Freires da
  Ordem de N. S. Jesu Christo_, etc., p. 242.]

  [Footnote 29: Liv. XII _de D. Affonso V_, fl. 62. Torre do Tombo.]

  [Footnote 30: _De Bello Septensi_, p. 26.]

  [Footnote 31: _Estremadura_, liv. VII, fl. 255. Torre do Tombo.]

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]

  [Footnote 32: _Definiçoẽs e Estatutos_, etc., p. 236.]

  [Footnote 33: _Ibid._, p. 263. The situations of these Commendas are
  taken from _Portugal Antigo e Moderno_, Lisbon 1873, and following

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]

  [Footnote 34: _Chanc. de D. Affonso V._ liv. X, fl. 113. Torre do

When next we hear of Azurara he is acting in his official capacity as
Keeper of the Royal Archives. 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.

  [Footnote 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).]

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 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.

  [Footnote 36: _Chronica do Conde D. Pedro de Menezes_, ch. 1.]

  [Footnote 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.]

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 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 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, 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.

  [Footnote 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.]

  [Footnote 39: _Annaes Maritimos e Coloniaes_, No. 1, Segunda serie,
  p. 34; and J. P. Ribeiro, _Memorias Authenticas_, etc., p. 21.]

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 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]

  [Footnote 40: There is a reference to this claim of the Order in the
  _Definiçoẽs e Estatutos_, etc., p. 201, and to its defeat.]

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

  [Footnote 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.]

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 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]

  [Footnote 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.]

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

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.

  [Footnote 44: _Estremadura_, liv. II, fl. 279. Torre do Tombo.]

In 1461 there occurred an event, simple enough on its face, but one
which Azurara's biographers 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 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 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.

  [Footnote 45: _Terçeyro dodianna del Rey Dom Alfonso Quinto_, fol.
  57. Torre do Tombo.]

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]

  [Footnote 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.]

  [Footnote 47: Liv. IX de _D. Affonso V_, fol. 94. Torre do Tombo.]

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 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.

  [Footnote 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.]

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 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]

  [Footnote 49: _Ibid._, ch. 64.]

  [Footnote 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.]

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

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 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]

  [Footnote 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.]

  [Footnote 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.]

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, 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.

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

  [Footnote 55: _Decimo de Estremadura_, fol. 270. Torre do Tombo.]

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.

  [Footnote 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.]

As before, Azurara hesitated to make a start on account of his
"untutored style and small knowledge", and through fear of hostile
criticism; indeed, 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. 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]

  [Footnote 57: _Ibid._, ch. 1.]

  [Footnote 58: _Ibid._, ch. 2.]

  [Footnote 59: _Ibid._, ch, 2.]

  [Footnote 60: _Ibid._, ch. 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 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."

  [Footnote 61: Azurara seems to have corresponded frequently with
  Affonso V; cf. _Chronica de Guiné_, ch. 7.]

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:--

    "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

  [Footnote 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.]

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.

  [Footnote 63: _Opusculos_, vol. v, p. 14. Lisbon, 1886.]

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 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]

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

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.

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

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]

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

  [Footnote 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.]

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]

  [Footnote 68: _Memorias Authenticas_, p. 21.]

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]

  [Footnote 69: _Chronica de D. Manoel_, quarta parte, ch. 38.]

  [Footnote 70: _Memorias Authenticas_, p. 21.]

       *     *     *     *     *

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 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

  [Footnote 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.]

  [Footnote 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.]

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


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 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, 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 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, 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 of the 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]

  [Footnote 74: _Chronica de D. Pedro de Menezes_, ch. 63, and
  _Chronica de Ceuta_, ch. 38.]

  [Footnote 75: _Chronica de Guiné_, chs. 61 and 62.]

  [Footnote 76: _Chronica de Guiné_, chs. 7 and 28; _Chronica de
  Ceuta_ chs. 34, 52, and 57; _Chronica de D. Duarte de Menezes_, ch.

  [Footnote 77: _Chronica do Principe D. João_, ch. 6, and _Asia_,
  Dec. 1, liv. ch. 2.]

  [Footnote 78: _Ineditos_, vol. ii, p. 210.]

  [Footnote 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.]

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, 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.

  [Footnote 80: Cf. _Chronica de Ceuta_, ch. 1.]

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 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]

  [Footnote 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.]

  [Footnote 82: _Chronica de Guiné_, ch. 6.]

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

  [Footnote 83: _Ibid._, ch. 2.]

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, 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

  [Footnote 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.]

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 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]

  [Footnote 85: _Quarterly Review_, May 1809, p. 288.]


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


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 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]

  [Footnote 86: _A Vida de Nun' Alvares._ Lisbon, 1893.]

  [Footnote 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.]

  [Footnote 88: _Chronica dos Carmaelitas_, vol. i, pp. 469 and 486.
  Lisbon, 1745.]

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 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]

  [Footnote 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_.]

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 Affonso V, when he
forwarded the Chronicle, is printed in facsimile and precedes the

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 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.

  [Footnote 90: Cf. _Chronica de Guiné_, ch. 5.]

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 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.

  [Footnote 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.]

  [Footnote 92: Barros, _Asia_, Dec. 1, liv. ii, ch. 1, and Goes,
  _Chronica do Principe D. Joào_, ch. 6.]

  [Footnote 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.]

(_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
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_.

  [Footnote 94: Catalogue No. 148, _Bibliotheca Hispana_, February 1895.]


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 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:--


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 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.

  [Footnote 95: _Chronica de D. Manoel_, quarta parte, ch. 38.]

  [Footnote 96: _Asia_, Dec. 1, liv. ii, ch. 2.]

  [Footnote 97: _Chronica de Guiné_, chs. 1, 5, and 68.]

  [Footnote 98: _Chronica de Ceuta_, ch. 21, and cf. _Chronica de D.
  Duarte de Menezes_, ch. 24.]


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 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 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

  [Footnote 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.]

  [Footnote 100: _Bibliotheca Lusitana_, vol. ii, art. on Azurara.]

  [Footnote 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.]

  [Footnote 102: Prologue to the _Chronica de D. Affonso V_
  (_Ineditos_, vol. i, p. 202).]

(_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

There are three MS. copies of this volume which differ somewhat _inter
se_, the earliest dating from the 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

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

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 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.

  [Footnote 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.]

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 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 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'

                   EDGAR PRESTAGE.

  _Day of Camöens' Death, 1895_.

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

  [Footnote 105: _Vide_ Part I, chs. 1, 4, 6, 17, and 37.]

  [Footnote 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.]

    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 of signature]




Here 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 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[N1] 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 gratitude,
in order that the good may return to him who gave it.

  [Footnote A: _I.e._, conferring of favours.]

  [Footnote 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.]

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,[N2] 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 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,[N3] and in Castille in the matter of the deeds of the Cid Ruy
Diaz,[N4] and in our own kingdom in the story of the Count Nunalvarez
Pereira.[N5] 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.

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

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 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[N6] 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,[N7] 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.

  [Footnote D: Such as that of Guinea.]

  [Footnote E: _I.e._, after Moses.]

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 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.

  [Footnote 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 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[N8] on the knowledge possessed by spirits
concerning those who have been, or are, profitable to them in this
world. I see those Garamantes,[N9] 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,[N10] 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,[N11] or to see the beauty of the world, came to the ends of
our Spain. And those dwellers on the Nile, whose multitudes possess the
lands of that ancient and venerable city of Thebes,[N12] 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,[N13] 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 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,[N14] 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.[N15] 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 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,[N16] 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[N17] 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 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.

  [Footnote G: _I.e._ for undertaking Prince Henry's genealogy.]

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.[N18] 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.


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[N19]
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 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 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[N20] 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

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,[N21] 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[N22] 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.

  [Footnote H: _I.e._, on this point of distributive justice.]

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 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.


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

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,[N23]
that all those holy sacrifices and blessed ceremonies should have been
celebrated in praise of Christ our Lord in that city from 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.[N24] 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[N25] in a turn of the wall under the shadow of
the castle, 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.[N26] 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,[N27] 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.[N28] 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, 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,[N29] 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.[N30] 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.[N31]

  [Footnote I: John, Edward and Affonso.]

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;[N32] 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 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.[N33]
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.

  [Footnote J: In this battle.]

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.[N34] 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.[N35] But I know not
for the present if there is 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[N36] 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 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.[N37]

  [Footnote K: In his jurisdiction.]

  [Footnote L: In home affairs.]

  [Footnote M: Ceuta.]


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.[N38]

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.[N39] 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 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,[N40] 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 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 Caesar, 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?[N41] 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?[N42] 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 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.[N43]

  [Footnote N: Of shewing distributive justice.]

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 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

  [Footnote O: _I.e._, on that occasion.]

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.[N44]

O how few there be, as said Seneca in his first tragedy,[N45] 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 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.


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.[N46] 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, 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

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,[N47] 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.

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 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.[N48]


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 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.[N49]

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 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.[N50]


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 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,[N51] 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.[N52] 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 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.[N53]


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.[N54] 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,
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.[N55]
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 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.

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.[N56]

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 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

  [Footnote P: _I.e._, 1436 to 1441.]

  [Footnote Q: 1437.]

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.[N58] 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.


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

Now it was so that in this year 1441, when the affairs of this realm
were somewhat more settled though not 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 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 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 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), 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[N58A] 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,[N59] 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.[N60] 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 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[N61] 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 gain some first-fruits of a recompence for the great
expense he has incurred."

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

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 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."

  [Footnote S: Whom my people fell in with.]

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";[N62] the fright of which so abashed the
enemy, that it threw them all into disorder. 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".[N63] And so he was the
first knight that was made in those parts. Then those captains returned
to the ships and bade that Arab 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;[N64] 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 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.

  [Footnote T: Their prisoners.]

  [Footnote U: Adahu.]

  [Footnote V: Of defiance.]

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,[N65] 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,[N66] 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.


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 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.


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

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.

    "Eugenius the Bishop,[N67] 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 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.[N68]

  [Footnote W: The Infant Henry.]

  [Footnote 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,[N69] 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.[N70]

The will of Antam Gonçalvez to return to that land, for 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.

  [Footnote Y: Adahu.]

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.[N71]

  [Footnote Z: Mohammedans proper.]

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.[N72]

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; 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

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.

  [Footnote AA: Of Portugal.]

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

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 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.[N73]

  [Footnote AB: Our captives.]

  [Footnote AC: Ransomer of captives.]

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,[N74] 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 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.


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

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[N75] 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.

  [Footnote AD: Arguim.]

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, 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.

  [Footnote AE: Lit., Over.]

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.

  [Footnote AF: By drowning.]

And very near this island they discovered another, in which there were
an infinity of royal herons;[N75a] 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.

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.


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

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 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.[N76]

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

And the first who interposed to beg for this license, was 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

  [Footnote AG: A Collector of Taxes.]

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.


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.[N77]

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 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

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
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, 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
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

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 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,[N78] 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.

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.[AH]

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

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.

  [Footnote AI: Tiger.]

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 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."

  [Footnote AJ: G. Eannes]

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: 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.

  [Footnote AK: Gil Eannes' 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.

  [Footnote AL: _I.e._, Lançarote's first party.]

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 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

  [Footnote AM: With Gil Eannes.]

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.


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; 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 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 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."

  [Footnote AN: Except his service.]

All considered as good what Gil Eannes said, and on the next day at dawn
full thirty men started in the boats, 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.

  [Footnote AO: _I.e._, for return.]

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 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.


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 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[N79] 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.

  [Footnote AP: Named after their black fins.]

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.


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.

  [Footnote AQ: Of their arrival.]

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

"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 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,[N80] 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.


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 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?[N81]

  [Footnote AR: Lit. axles.]

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 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.

  [Footnote AS: Lagos.]

The Infant was there, mounted upon a powerful steed, and accompanied by
his retinue, making distribution of his 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.

  [Footnote AT: Among others.]

  [Footnote AU: The accomplishment of.]

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.


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 text,[N82] 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.

  [Footnote AV: The black captives.]

  [Footnote AW: Of Portugal.]

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 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.

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

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.


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[N83] 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."[N84]

  [Footnote AX: If he so act.]

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[N84] them; where he thought that with little
trouble 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.

  [Footnote AY: Who had preceded him on this way.]

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 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 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 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

  [Footnote AZ: Portugal.]

  [Footnote 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.[N85] 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.

  [Footnote BB: Lit., the heavens.]

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 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.[N86]

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.[N87]

  [Footnote BC: Lit., himself.]

  [Footnote BD: Punic.]

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 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."[N88]

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.[N89]

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[N90] 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.


How Antam Gonçalvez and Gomez Pirez and Diego Affonso went to the Rio

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

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."

  [Footnote BE: His friends.]

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.[N91]
Nuno Tristam here caused his ship's boat to be launched, with the
intention of landing 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.

  [Footnote BF: His reply.]

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 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.[N92]

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


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.

  [Footnote BG: Henry.]

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.

  [Footnote BH: Of Guinea.]

  [Footnote BI: Of Portugal.]

  [Footnote BJ: Lisbon.]

The Infant thanked him for his good will, and had a caravel armed and
got ready for the aforesaid Dinis Diaz 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.[N93] 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.

  [Footnote BK: Explorers.]

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 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.[N94]

  [Footnote BL: Our men.]

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.[N95]

  [Footnote BM: The Prince's.]

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

  [Footnote BN: They were sighted.]


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

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 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

[Footnote BO: As was the Infant.]

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

  [Footnote BP: Homem and Affonso.]

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 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;[N97]
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.

  [Footnote BQ: Of Diego Affonso's.]

The caravels having joined one another again, the captains very gladly
met in their boats, each one proud to 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.


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

  [Footnote BR: Arguim.]

"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 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 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.


How John Fernandez came to the caravels.

John Fernandez had now been seven months dwelling in that country,[N98]
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 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.

  [Footnote 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 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.[N99] 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.

  [Footnote BT: Of men.]

  [Footnote BU: In the deserts.]

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 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]

  [Footnote BV: Our men.]

  [Footnote BW: Of the ships.]

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.[N100] 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.[N101]

  [Footnote BX: Ahude Meymam.]

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 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][N102] 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.

  [Footnote BY: _I.e._, Tiger.]

"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 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.


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
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 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.

  [Footnote BZ: Of Portugal.]

  [Footnote CA: Home.]

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[N103] 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.[N104] 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

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.


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.[N106]

  [Footnote CB: Of Lisbon.]

  [Footnote CC: The people of Lisbon.]

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.[N107] And it seemeth that he considered of this matter, and
wrote at once to the Infant to 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.[N108] 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 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 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.

  [Footnote CD: D. Pedro.]

  [Footnote CE: Lit. in good time.]

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 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.[N109] 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, 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.


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."

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.[N110]


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 that our men already had of these people,[CF] perceiving
their cunning to be but small in this part of the world.[N111]

  [Footnote CF: Moors.]

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 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.

  [Footnote 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 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
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.[N112]

  [Footnote CH: _I.e._, Tiger.]

  [Footnote CI: _I.e._, Tiger.]

  [Footnote CJ: "Their" refers to the Moors.]

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 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.





[_N.B.--The page references are to the Hakluyt Society's translation_].

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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).]

[Endnote 9: (p. 7). _Garamantes_, _etc._--Properly the inhabitants of
Fezzan--"Garama," or "Phazania" in classical language. Γαράμαντεσ ...
ἔθνοσ μέγα ἰσχυρῶσ [Garamantes ... ethnos mega ischyrôs] 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).]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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."]

[Endnote 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

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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_.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.

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

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.]

[Endnote 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).]

[Endnote 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

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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."]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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).]

[Endnote 32: (p. 18). _Peopled five Islands ... especially Madeira_
(see Introduction to vol. ii, pp. xcviii-cii).]

[Endnote 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).]

[Endnote 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

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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).]

[Endnote 37: (p. 21). _The Infant's town ... So named ... by
writing._--The settlement at Sagres. On this Santarem has the following

[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

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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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].]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 45: (p. 26). _Seneca ... first tragedy._--This is the
_Hercules Furens_ of the great--or younger--Seneca, the philosopher.]

[Endnote 46: (p. 27). _St. Brandan ... returned._--On this Santarem

[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).]

[Endnote 47: (p. 28). _Power of ... Moors in ... Africa ... greater
than was commonly supposed_ (see Introduction to vol. ii, pp. xlv-lix).]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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."]

[Endnote 50: (p. 32). _Virgin Themis ... returned to the Kingdom very

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

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.

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]."]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.

[Endnote 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."]

[Endnote 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

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

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

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.]

[Endnote 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.

[Endnote [N58A: (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.]

[Endnote 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.).]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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

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.]

[Endnote 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

[Endnote 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)."]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 68: (p. 54). _Without his license and especial mandate._--See
Introduction to vol. ii, p. xiv.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 71: (p. 55). _Better to bring to ... salvation._--Cf. the
Christian hopes of the pagan Tartars in the thirteenth century.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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."]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]]

[Endnote 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

[Endnote 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).]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 83: (p. 87). _Tully saith._--Cf. Cicero, _De Nat. Deorum_, i,
20, 55; _De Or._, iii, 57, 215, 48, 159.]

[Endnote 84: (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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 87: (p. 93). _The enemy ... to them._--Azurara's reference
here is to Livy, Bk. XXII, cc. 42-3.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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_.]

[Endnote 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).]

[Endnote 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

[Endnote 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

[Endnote 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.].]

[Endnote 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_].]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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

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

[Endnote 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."]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 100: (p. 110). _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.]

[Endnote 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).]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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).]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

[Endnote 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.]

  Transcribers Notes:

  Footnotes are indented and moved to the end of the paragraph in which
  the anchor appears.

  Volume 1 ends with the illustration of the Coast of N.W. Africa.
  Endnotes pertaining to volume 1 have been added for the convenience of
  the reader; originally, they were only included in volume 2.  An 'N' was
  added to endnote anchors (e.g. [N1], [N2]) to  distinguish them from
  numbered footnote anchors in the first half of the book.

  Obsolete and archaic spellings were retained. Punctuation was standarized.

  Changed 'Brendam' to 'Brandan' ... the voyages of St. Brendan ..., for
  consistency with remaining text.

  Printing errors corrected:
    Changed 'Michäelis' to 'Michaëlis' ... Michaëlis de Vasconcellos ...
    Added missing word 'thing' ... for a man to do a good thing ...
    Added missing 'l' to 'mediæval' ... Among early Christian and
      mediæval authors ...
    Added missing word 'of' ... writers worthy of the name ...
    Page reference for Endnote 78 was corrected from 61 to 68.
    Page reference for Endnote 100 was corrected from 110 to 111.
    The first paragraph of Chapter XXXIII had two lines of text reversed
      in the original. The text was reordered so that it makes sense.
    In Chapter XXXVI, "Then said some of them, it would be well for us ..."
      was changed to ...Then said some of them, "It would be well for us...
    There are two endnotes numbered 75. The second was renumbered as 75A.
      The anchor for 75A was missing in the original.
    Chapter XXVII contains three endnote anchors [N84]. They all refer
      to the same endnote. The second one (... very near[N84] them;...)
      was numbered [N85] in the original text.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "The Chronicle of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea - Vol. I" ***

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