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of their terror and their hope. From thence he proceeded along the south-east coast of Africa, till he arrived at Melinda, where he had the satisfaction to find a people far advanced in civilization, and engaged in active commerce with remote countries of Asia. Con. ducted by their pilots, he sailed across the Indian ocean, and landed at Calicut, on the coast of Malabar, May 22, 1498, exactly ten months and two days after his departure from the port of Lisbon.
Di Gama conducted himself with amazing prudence and resolution in his intercourse with the natives, and, lading his ships with many rich productions of the east, returned to Portugal, where he was received with every testimony of gratitude and respect by the king and the nation.
On the first intelligence of Di Gama's successful voyage, the Venetians, who had hitherto monopolized the trade of the east, with the quick-sighted discernment of merchants, foresaw the ruin of their commerce, without the possibility of either preventing or retarding the expected crisis.
The Portuguese, on the other hand, were elated with their good fortune, and entered on the new career that was opened to their activity, with a vigour, commercial and military, beyond what might have been expected from their nar. row limits and resources. Emanuel, however, was intelligent and bold; he was capable of forming plans of the greatest magnitude with calm systematic wisdom, and of executing them with unremitting perseverance. He selected the most able officers to carry his pre-concerted
measures into effect; and, in little more than twenty years from the first discovery of the Indies, the Portuguese had made extensive settlements along the coast, and in a great measure diverted the oriental trade from its long accustomed channel.
Not satisfied with this ascendant, which they had acquired in India by their good fortune and address, they early formed a scheme, more politic than liberal, of excluding all other nations from a participation in the advantages of a commerce with the east, and they partially accomplished what their ambition had planned.
In consequence of this, the ranklings of jealousy and envy, which the Venețians had naturally indulged, now broke out into overt acts. By their instigation, the sultan of the Mamelucks fitted out a powerful fleet in the Red Sea, with a design of attacking the Portuguese, and recovering those advantages of which they had deprived him as well as his allies. The Lusitanians, however, met this formidable squadron with undaunted courage, and totally defeated it. After this, they continued their progress without interruption, and established a commer. cial empire, which till that time had no parallel in the history of nations. Emanuel, who laid the foundation of this mighty fabric, had the felicity to see it almost completed; and, besides this splendid appendage of his crown, he added the important province of Brazil to his dominions.
The Portuguese monarch, indeed, was too wise to engage in any enterprise that did not promise interest as well as glory. He lived on good terms with his neighbours, and confined
his wars to the coast of Africa; for his conquests, both in the east and the west, scarcely deserved the appellation of military affairs. No king ever displayed more magnificence; and, from the discoveries he had made, and the consequent influx of wealth into his dominions, few were better able to indulge in expensive parade. Foreigners were struck with the splendor of his embassies; and magnificent colleges, churches, palaces, and hospitals, which were daily rising throughout his kingdom, attested to his people the liberal spirit of their sovereign, and the happiness of his
government. Under this reign, however, the plague made its appearance, as it had done frequently before; yet famine never approached the coasts of Portugal, though it wasted the strength of Africa, to which the compassionate Emanuel stretched out the hand of assistance.
After having achieved such great things, and arrived at the summit of human glory, the king of Portugal, smit with the mania of the times, had formed a design of abdicating the throne, and retiring to a convent. Observing, however, that his son was likely to tarnish the honour he had acquired by a premature elevation to sovereign power, he changed his design, and dedicated his time as before to the service of his country, though he never appeared so happy, or in such an amiable point of view, as when surrounded by his family, with whom he spent his leisure in the sweetest endearments of domestic society.
Such was the exalted character of Emanuel, that some will not allow he had any faults, but only virtues carried to excess; and from an imparVOL. XV, F
tial estimate of his conduct, it must be con. fessed, that few greater or better men have ap, peared on the stage of life. Attached to the liberal arts, he shewed the greatest deference to learned men while alive, and mourned their loss with unaffected sorrow. In many of the sciences he excelled, and in all the little arts that embellish life, and render us happy and beloved, he had no equals. The last and the most glorious trait in his character, which we shall mention, is the compliment that has been paid him of banishing poverty and distress from his dominions. A. D.
An epidemic fever, which terminated 1522.
in a mortal disease, carried off this
patriot king at the age of fifty-three, at a time when his subjects were congratulating themselves, from a consideration of his uniform temperance and the soundness of his constitu. tion, that his reign was likely to be protracted to the utmost limits of human duration.
His son and successor John III. inherited many of the noble qualities of his father, and particularly his discernment in the choice of ministers. One of them, named Don Antonio, from the subsequent anecdote which is recorded of him, seems to have deserved his confidence. The lord of Azambuja, descended from one of the oldest families in Portugal, by the derangement of his affairs, in consequence of his expences in the king's service, was reduced to the necessity of offering his lands for sale. « They lie adjacent to you,” said the king to Antonio ;
you will do well to purchase them.” “ Your majesty," replied the minister, “ will do better if you enable the proprietor to keep them; for
he and his ancestors have been ruined only by the services which they have rendered to the crown." John listened to this monition, and, by a generous action, prevented the fall of an illustrious family. **If this prince, however, who certainly was not deficient in judgment or goodness, did not establish the inquisition, he at least suffered it to assume a power under which the Portuguese have long groaned. No doubt, he imagined that he was taking the most effectual means to reform the morals of his people, by purifying Christianity among them; but, in fact, he made only hypocrites, who are unquestionably worse than heretics or even infidels. The latter, it is to be hoped, some time or other open their eyes to the conviction of immutable and divine truth; but the former are without principle, and therefore incapable of reformation.
During the reign of John III. Solyman the Magnificent, the most enlightened monarch of the Ottoman race, jealous of the rising power and opulence of the Portuguese in the east, and eager to supplant them, ordered the bashaw of Egypt to employ his whole force against the Christians in that quarter. Accordingly, the bashaw sailed down the Red Sea with an immense armament; but so well were the Portuguese prepared for his reception, that he experienced nothing, except defeat and disgrace. In Africa, likewise, the king of Fez was baffled before the town of Safi ; and the infidels quarrel. ling one with another, furnished a plausible opportunity for attacking them in all directions: but John wisely satisfied himself with securing what he had already gained on that continent, F 2