The History of the Portuguese, During the Reign of Emmanuel, Vol. 1 of 2

Jeronimo Osorio


The History of the Portuguese, During the Reign of Emmanuel, Vol. 1 of 2 - Jeronimo Osorio

Excerpt from The History of the Portuguese, During the Reign of Emmanuel, Vol. 1 of 2: Containing All the Discoveries, From the Coast of Africk to the Farthest Parts of China; Their Battles by Sea and Land, Their Seiges, and Other Memorable Exploits; With Particular Account of Those Countries, and a Particular Accounts of Religion, Governme

On the other hand, the ambitious, who fix no bounds to their desires, will be highly provoked, if their ancestors are not loaded with the most extravagant praises. Such are the difficulties which the historian has to encounter in almost every nation, but especially amongst the Portuguese; where the resentment of all is sure to fall on him who ventures upon so bold an attempt. This was the fate of Damianus Goes, who, in his native language, wrote a history of the exploits performed under the admirable conduct, bravery, and almost incredible success of your father king Emmanuel. This historian, said one, has not done justice to the memory of my forefathers; he has not given them such encomiums as their merit deserved. This fellow, said another, has thrown several aspersions on our house, and sullied the honour of its nobility. A third alledged, that he had omitted such and such a thing, which, if properly taken notice of, would have added a lustre to his name and family. Now if it is the part of a wise man to take warning from the dangers of others, surely this one example might be sufficient to make me dread the event of writing a history. There is likewise another difficulty that presents itself; this arises from my holy function, which may be said to have a claim to all my study and application, thence it may seem improper in me, as it were, to withdraw myself from heaven for the sake of more nearly looking into the world, since by my undertaking to treat of secular affairs, I shall appear to neglect what is more particularly within my province, I mean the holy things of religion.

But the greater and more numerous the obstacles were, which I had to surmount in writing a history, thence you may the better judge with what zeal I was pushed on, with what ardor I was inflamed, and how great was the admiration of you and your family, which filled my mind.

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