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mental; but a previous acquaintance, and even intimacy, with the history and characters upon which the other poem is founded, is absolutely necessary to do justice to its author. Without such previous knowledge, the ideas which he would convey pass unobserved, as in an unknown tongue; and the happiest allusion, if he is fortunate enough to attain any thing worthy of that name, is unfelt and unseen. Under these disadvantages the following epistle is presented to the public, whose indulgence and candor the author has already amply experienced. In the Twelfth Century, Lisbon, and great part of Portugal and Spain, were in possession of the Moors, Alphonso, the first King of Portugal, having gained several vićtories over that people, was laying siege to Lisbon, when Robert, Duke of Gloucester, on his way to the Holy Land, appeared upon the coast of that kingdom. As the cause was the same, Robert was easily persuaded to make his first crusade in Portugal. He demanded that the storming of the Castle of Lisbon, situated on a considerable hill, and whose ruins shew it to have been of great strength, should be allotted to him, while Alphonso was to assail the walls and the city. Both Leaders were successful; and Alphonso, among the rewards which he bestowed upon the English, granted to those who were wounded, or unable to proceed to Palestine, the Castle of Almada, and the adjoining lands. The river Tagus below and opposite to Lisbon, is -edged by steep grotesque rocks, particularly on the
south side. Those on the south are generally
In the chapel they bound themselves to obedience to Gama, and devoted themselves to death. “On the next day when the adventurers marched to the ships; the shore of Belem presented one of the most solemn and affecting scenes perhaps recorded in history. The beach was covered with the inhabitatants of Lisbon. A numerous procession of priests in their robes sung anthems, and offered up invocations to heaven. Every one beheld the adventurers as brave innocent men going to a dreadful execution, as rushing upon certain death.” Introdući, to the Lusiad. 2 , 114. Proud domes and villages array'd in white] The houses in Portugal are generally whitened on the outside, white being esteemed as repulsive of the rays of the Sun.
115. The stream of Lethe, The river of Lima, in the north of Portugal, said to be the Lethe of the ancients, is thus mentioned by Cellarius in his Geographia Antiqua ; “Fabulosus Oblivionis fluvius, Limaeas, ultra Lusitaniam in septentrione.” It runs through a most romantic and beautiful distrićt; from which circumstance it probably received the name of the River of Oblivion, the first strangers who visited it, forgetting their native country, and being willing to continue on its banks. The same reason of forgetfulness is ascribed to the Lotos by Homer, Odys. ix. There is another Lethe of the ancients in Africa.
116. Where Viriatus proudly trampled o'er - Fasces and Roman eagles steept in gore;] This great man is called by Florus the Romulus of Spain,
116. O'er Ev'ra's fields let dread Sertorius rise.] Ebora, now Evora, was the principal residence of Sertorius. 117. Here jealous Cato laid the cities waste, According to History, this different policy is strikingly charaēteristic of those celebrated names. ibid. And Julius here in fairer pride replaced, Lucan, Martial, Seneca. 121. Palmela's hill and Contra's summits—j are both seen from Almada, and were principal forts of the Moors. They were stormed by Alphonso the first about the time of the conquest of Lisbon. 122. Low lay her Peers on Fontarabia’s plains: The irruption of the Mohammedans into Europe gave rise to that species of poetry called Romance. The Orlando Furioso is founded upon the invasion of France :
When Charlemaigne with all his Peerage fell
ibid. Blacken'd o'er Tago's banks | The promontory of Sagrez, where Henry, Duke of Wiseo, resided and established his naval school, is on the southern part of Portugal opposite to Africa.
124. Great Albuquerk renown'd its generous pride.j Albuquerk, Sampayo, Nunio, Castro, are distinguished characters in the Lusiad, and in the History of Portuguese Asia,
126. A tyrant race, who own’d no country, came,” Before the total declension of the Portuguese in Asia; and while they were subject to Spain, the principal
people, says the historian Faria, who were mostly a mixed race born in India, lost all affection for the mother country, nor had any regard for any of the provinces where they were only the sons of strangers: and present emolument became their sole object. 127. From slaughter'd thousands shrieking to the skies.] Besides the total slaughter of the Moors at the taking of Lisbon, other massacres have bathed the streets of that city in blood. King Fernando, surnamed the Careless, was driven from Lisbon by a bloody insurrečtion, headed by one Velasquez a Taylor. Some time after on the death of Fernando, Andeyro, the Queen’s favorite, was stabbed in her presence, the Bishop of Lisbon was thrown from the tower of his own cathedral, and the massacre of all the Queen’s adherent’s became general; and many were murdered under that pretence, by those who had an enmity against them. In 1505 between two and three thousand Jews were massacred in Lisbon in the space of three days, and many Christians were also murdered by their private enemies under a similar pretence that they were of the Hebrew race. Thousands flocked in from the country to assist in their destruction, and the crews of some French and Dutch ships then in the river, says Osorius, were particularly active in murdering and plundering. 128. I hear the triumph of a nation's joy, When the Spanish yoke was thrown off, and the Duke of Braganza ascended the throne under the title of John IV. This is one of the most remarkable events