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Moving the Monarch. The Rhetoric of Persuasion in Camoes's Lusiadas.

Like many other medieval and Renaissance works, the Lusiadas by Luis de Camoes can he profitably interpreted as a work of rhetorical persuasion. Although rhetoric was a primary feature of the educational curriculum of the time, this line of reasoning has been missing from the critical studies of the poem, most of which are committed instead to historical, biographical, and ideological approaches. In each narrative surface of the Lusiadas, a royal audience is cajoled, admonished, guided, or taught by an eloquent petitioner who may lack the credentials of power but manifestly possesses those of experience, wisdom, virtue, and love. Finally, this petitioner, whether in the form of a historical or mythological personage, Vasco da Gama the protagonist, or some projection of the inspired poet-orator, accesses a wide range of rhetorical strategies, among them the popular and efficacious Aristotelian categories of ethos, pathos, and logos, in order more effectively to move and persuade.

More than twenty years ago, Frank Pierce, in his edition of the Lusiadas (ca. 1572) of Luis de Camoes (ca. 1524-1580), proclaimed the need for "a full-length study [of the poem] bringing together the excellence of its style and structure and [relating] them to its subject" (xxiv). That study has not yet appeared, and one wonders why. Is it because of the poem's apparently outdated ideology? Thomas Hart, quoting Scholes and Kellogg, reminds us that because the trend in the western world since the Renaissance has been "away from dogma, certainty, fixity, and all absolutes in metaphysics, in ethics, and in epistemology," many of us have little patience for "a narrator who is not in some way suspect, who is not in some way subject to ironic scrutiny" (45). Thomas Greene agrees that the poem does not suit ideologically, since of the "two great forces which animate it, imperialism and nationalism, the first is largely discredited in our time [back in 1963], and the second is beginning to be suspect" (220). Antonio Jose de Saraiva (1957) would add a monarchic and Rogerio Fernandes a progressivist perspective to the poet's ideological liabilities (354 and 399, respectively).

Or could some critical trepidation result from the apparent complexity of the work? For Jorge de Sena, Camoes is a poet for whom ambiguity rules since "everything always has two sides." [1] For Pierce, Camoes is an "arch-seducer" (1954, 97); and for Saraiva, a master of verbal concealment practices, as reflected in his word-play or "jogos de palavras" (1949, 29). A random look at the bibliographies, moreover, reveals a substantial critical fascination with Camoes's putative predilection for exotic intellectual currents, among them neoplatonism, cabbalism, and even existentialism.

One may add to this a sometimes implicit assumption, going back at least as far as Voltaire, that the Lusiadas is a flawed artifact. To cite some current instances, the work is marred for Greene by a "cosmic confusion" (225); for A. Bartlett Giamatti, by both "an imbalance between what it says and how it says it" and "clashing" pagan and Christian mythologies (224); and for Maria Helena Ribeiro da Cunha, problems in its mode of characterization (62). Saraiva (1949, 143-47) and later Jose Martins Garcia (13) add to the poem's blemishes a fundamental contradiction (a "central" or "fundamental contradicao," respectively) in its plan. One can even argue that, if little of lasting value has been said about the design of the poem, it may be because many of its commentators have tacitly assumed that the work is structurally flawed; indeed, for one of them, it is held together only by "the intensity of description" and "the ocean setting" (Giamatti, 211).

Of course, we should bear in mind that the Lusiadas, like many of its Renaissance counterparts, is not an easy read because it is essentially a hybrid, not only in its blending of Virgilian, Lucanesque, Ariostan, and, I think, Dantean precedents, but also in its eager fusion of mythological and historical characters and actions, of pagan and Christian contexts, and of diverse modes of expression. Nevertheless, its difficulty in itself should not bar it from the company of great poetry. We should not forget that Camoes was extolled by many of his contemporaries (including Torquato Tasso and Lope de Vega, who singled out the Lusiadas for particular praise); by seventeenth-and eighteenth-century editors (like Manuel de Faria e Sousa and W. J. Mickle, respectively, who produced the most learned commentaries on the poem in existence, even to this day); by such nineteenth-century readers as Sir Richard Burton, who admired and translated the poem, Herman Melville, whose Jack Chase, captain of the main top of the U. S. S. Neversink, calls the Lusiadas "the man-of-war epic of the world!" [2] and Schlegel who considered the poet to be an entire literature unto himself. More recently C. M. Bowra many ways of Humanism" (138), and for E. M. W. Tillyard "there is no writer of epic really like [Camoes]" (243), a poet who, reminiscent most of Homer, "is great enough to see both sides at once," one whose epic is "the one worthy poetic record of the expansive spirit of the whole of western Europe" (248).

In my view, the challenge facing the reader of Renaissance epic is to interpret his texts by developing interpretive frameworks that take into account both the contexts of the times and the habits of mind prevalent at the time of composition. In the case of Camoes and his contemporaries, while these contexts often helped animate attitudes and ideologies that were not always acceptable to the sources of power and patronage then prevalent, the most current habits of mind were largely defined and shaped by rhetorical systems that had become the mainstay of the predominant educational curriculum. For these reasons, I should like in this paper to reconsider the Lusiadas as a work of rhetorical petition, one that exploits the arts, especially of epideictic oratory in order to move and persuade its audience to reevaluate, assent, and adopt. Despite its apparent pertinence, this line of reasoning has, with few exceptions, not influenced the critical commentaries that have come down through the ages. [3]

Let us recall that when he was writing the Lusiadas Camoes was not a literary novice. A talented but aging poet already in his second decade of exile from his native land, he had written, in his early years, three plays, numerous sonnets and lyrics, some pastorals and redondilhas, and other poems employing older Iberian verse forms, not to mention four prose letters. [4] However, it was on this second exile, one far more punitive and protracted than the first, that the poet embarked on a different path: to write a patriotic epic and dedicate it to the young King Sebastiao who was merely eighteen years old when the poem was published in 1572. [5] The poet's decision to so formulate and direct his work may well have been influenced by his economic and geographic situation.

It is known (both from Camoes's letters and lyrics, as well as from contemporary references) that he was frequently in debt and in need of help, his very return trip to Lisbon (probably from Mozambique) having been financed by friends, among them, the historian, Diogo de Couto, who tells us in his eight Decada that the poet was so poor that he depended on his friends for his subsistence. [6] Clearly, granted his condition, the onus was assuredly on Camoes to win some support at court, but he did not have the good fortune of having a ready benefactor there, [7] as did Virgil in Augustus and Maecenas, Ariosto in the Este family, or Ronsard in the Valois princes. [8] By contrast, in Sebastiao, Camoes had one of the least auspicious of audiences imaginable. The poet's main hope must have been that the youthful monarch might emulate his grandfather's example and become a generous patron of the arts. [9] In any case, since the poet's time to make his mark had arrived, only a major literary effort, one that could m ove and edify an unlikely young monarch while impressing the learned with its literary value and moral depth, would succeed and help him improve his fortunes. In many ways that he could not have missed, Camoes was another Lucan petitioning his Nero. [10]

Since his purpose was necessarily to some extent didactic, it is understandable that Camoes would opt for epic, the form traditionally considered to be not only "the best and most accomplished kind of poetry," according to Sir Philip Sidney in his Apology for Poetry (ca. 1580), but also the one best equipped to teach and inspire virtue and thus improve humanity. For Sidney, epic alone produces a "lofty image of such worthies" that "most inflameth the mind with desire to be worthy, and informs with counsel how to be worthy" (49), and it can accomplish these goals because it "teacheth and moveth to the most high and excellent truth" (48). What is more, epic convention frees the poet to assume a narrative voice forceful, flexible, and eloquent enough both to teach and move. This is what Sidney had in mind when he contended that the role of poetry is not only "to make a Cyrus" but to "bestow a Cyrus upon the world" and "to make many Cyruses, if they will learn aright why, and how that maker [that is, the poet] m ade him" (16). [11] I believe that Camoes in his Lusiadas had no less lofty an expectation than Sidney of the capabilities of heroic verse.

In order to move and persuade in his epic poem, Camoes had to draw upon his rhetorical skills, and they were considerable, as a cursory look at his writings makes evident. This is not at all surprising. He had the good fortune to receive a stellar education, probably at Coimbra, whose prevailing curriculum reflected the humanist emphasis on grammar and rhetoric -- an emphasis that was mandated by, among others, Andre de Gouveia. [12] Camoes thus had a solid grounding in rhetorical texts, foremost among which were those of Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian. [13]

At this time, rhetoric was not, as it is popularly regarded today, an "art of embellishment and ornamentation" but "of communication and persuasion," (Kennedy, 1). Aristotle, for example, characterizes rhetoric, in the words of Joachim Dyck, as "the study of the principles of persuasion ... by which the orator is enabled to persuade his listeners to accept views that he, the orator, considers right and important" (222). To do so, the orator has at his disposal three modes furnished by the spoken word: ethos, which, to borrow Kennedy's helpful descriptions, "informs both the speaker's and the character's presentation of themselves" (189); pathos, which "establishes the speaker's relationship to the author, to the work, and to the audience, as well as the audience's relationship to each of the other agents both as fictive audience and as actual reader" (189) and logos, which "entails the speaker's selection and use of enthymemes, maxims, example, and their common topoi" (8), the key to forensic success lying i n the creative integration of these. [14]

First and perhaps foremost is the character of the persuasive orator as a good person speaking well. Aristotle avers that "persuasion is achieved by the speaker's character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him more credible, [since] we believe good men more fully and more readily than others" (25). Indeed, the speaker's "character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion he possesses" (25). However, the character of the audience is also of vital importance because it must prove capable of being moved and stirred to action by the words. Finally, effective persuasion depends on the "truth" of the words themselves (25). And things seem truest when they are either self-evident or confirmed by "other statements that are so" (27).[15] As we shall see, Camoes cunningly develops and intertwines these rhetorical strategies in the Lusiadas.

As indicated above, our poet would have to draw from all of his rhetorical and poetic skills in directing and dedicating his poem to King Sebastiao, someone who would for several reasons not qualify as a likely subject for persuasion. [16] Hailed at birth as "the long-awaited one" (o desejado), Sebastiao, born (like Sir Philip Sidney) in 1554, inherited the throne at three years of age in 1557 (the same year as his more fortunate British contemporary, Elizabeth Tudor), at a time when religious intolerance was gradually supplanting humanistic moderation and stoical restraint in more places than Portugal. [17] Raised and schooled in an atmosphere that has been described as one "of hysterical religious fervour accompanied by an anachronistic revival of chivalrous ideals," [18] the young monarch suffered from a host of physical and emotional problems, causing him to act impetuously, rely on the wrong advisors, and throw himself into martial and physical activities when he should have been embracing his princely role as leader of a nation at a crossroads in its history. As he was more interested in medieval crusades than the social and political needs of his nation, Sebastiao's rash adventures left him, at the age of twenty-four, dead on the Moroccan fields of Alcacer-Quibir, and left his country without an heir to the throne and on the brink of total ruin. [19]

Any poet hoping to influence and move such an audience would have to feature some action or theme that would be favorably perceived, and Camoes did just that in making his primary theme one of crusading patriotism. [20] However, as this paper shows, the poet employs this theme as a kind of leitmotiv, in order to move the monarch in other, more humanistic directions, with the help, of course, of the arts of rhetoric and allegory -- the first to help persuade him to adopt the poem and assent to the values it affirms, and the second to imbue it with a veil enigmatic and ambiguous enough to insure it some chance of survival at court. Since the epic form had traditionally been regarded as a vehicle suitable for teaching and moving through epideictic rhetoric, Camoes opted for its heroic mode over his previous experimentation with pastoral, Petrarchan, and satiric idioms. Nevertheless, the futility of our poet's suit can be adjudged in retrospect not only by the monetary pittance that he was ultimately awarded and the struggles with the censors that the poem would undergo for over a century, but also the fact that the sovereign chose Diogo Bernardes, a lyrical, pastoral poet, not his heroic poet of crusading patriotism, to accompa ny him as royal bard to Alcacer-Quibir.

Given these circumstances, it is not surprising that Camoes fashioned the Lusiadas in the epideictic mold. Even a cursory glance at the poem argues a rhetorical emphasis, for it is crowded with formal speeches in which various suitors petition a king or ruler to grant a boon of some sort or to reconsider a course of action. These may occur in any of the narrative or temporal surfaces of the poem: in the present (as recounted by the poet-orator) in a mythical locus like Mount Olympus; in a fabulous one like the Isle of Love or the watery realm of Adamastor; or in a real place like Africa or India. They may also occur in the past, as in the historical survey provided, for example, for the King of Malindi by Vasco da Gama. They may be narrated by historical figures such as Ines de Castro or Maria, the daughter of Afonso IV of Portugal, or by our protagonist himself, as when da Gama petitions the King of Malindi or the Zamorin of Calicut for aid. They may also be narrated by such mythological figures as Mars and Venus when they beg Jupiter to assist the Portuguese sailors. They may be delivered by the virtuous or the vicious. So central are these rhetorical encounters to the organization and shape of the poem that one has to wonder why they are there.

In each of the petitions, typically organized as formal orations, the demands of persuasion are met by an ingenious blending of the three Aristotelian modes, with an occasional emphasis on (the speaker's) delivery and (audience) response. Moreover, the poem abounds in its use of rhetorical devices, among them apostrophes, antiphrases, philippics, ekphrases, exordia, prosopopeia of various sorts, allegorical representations (some of them "explained" by the speaker), all generally organized upon the epideictic modes of praise and blame. In each of these notably dramatic confrontations, it may be added, the boundaries of speaker and audience become blurred, as speakers become audiences to, and therefore beneficiaries of, their own words, while listeners assent and take, almost invariably, favorable action, moved, then moving others in new spheres of action. But what all of these encounters have in common, I argue, is a fundamental analogy to the primary petition of the poem, that of the poet-orator -- or, to bo rrow, once again, Kennedy's terminology, "rhetorical speaker" (4) -- to his audience, whether fictive or empirical.

This reliance on the power of eloquence, or rhetoric, to make a mark on others and thereby improve the world is of course in keeping with Camoes's humanist orientation. In the Lustadas, rhetoric is assuredly a power that "cannot be resisted" (Vickers, 1983b, 418), one whose capacity to effect change is truly remarkable, and one to which monarchs and other rulers are particularly vulnerable. Indeed, one scans the Lusiadas in vain for an eloquent petition that does not succesfully move a royal audience. Even the ill-fated ins de Castro manages to persuade King Afonso to have mercy; he later reneges, as will the Zamorin in the eighth canto, only because he is indecisive and weak (a sure warning for Sebastiao), not because he was not moved. Nor is this to suggest that the wicked, like Bacchus, lack eloquence. Quite the contrary, they too frequently master the craft. But the discriminating can distinguish them from their virtuous counterparts by their recourse to devices reserved for the villainous and vicious, a s my comments on Bacchus below will make clear. Throughout Camoes's poem, the wicked endeavor to move others to division and hatred, while the latter persuade to virtue, to wholeness, to love (a dichotomy that is copiously dramatized by Shakespeare, for example, in Othello and Much Ado about Nothing). Audience response to eloquent discourse is a key element in Camoes's epic poem, but the pivotal issue is audience awareness of the rhetorical speaker's apparent intention. Looked upon in this way, the Lusiadas takes the shape of a conduct book for aspiring princes, as well as a poetic treatise, one that teaches interpretive strategies that help illuminate not only its own linguistic surfaces, but also human discourse in general.

An instructive instance of the centrality of rhetorical modes in the Lusiadas occurs at the Olympian council near the beginning of the work when the opposing forces, dramatically represented by Venus (who supports the Portuguese mariners in their mission to the East) and Bacchus (who opposes them), dash for the very first time. The subsequent ruckus really should not occur at all, since, after all, "eternal Fate I (Whose high decrees no Power can ere revoke)" [21] has already decided in favor of the Lusitanians, a decision to which Jupiter, who has the first and last word, has filly acquiesced. However, like all villains, Bacchus has little respect for destiny or justice, so he stubbornly and enviously dissents, since "His fame ith' East must suffer an eclipse / Should there arrive the Lusitanian-ships" (1.30) and, like all villains, he is not one to take a second place to those beneath him. [22] By contrast, Venus, having heard the decree of the Fates, or "Parcas" (1.34), rebuts Bacchus, and with the subseq uent quarrel, [23] all of Olympus breaks loose. Venus proves resourceful by getting her lover, Mars, "who with more cordialness did take / Then any of the rest the Goddess part," [24] to speak on her and the Portuguese mariners' behalf. In the Lusiadas, as we shall see, an argument arising from and fostering love is one that should be heeded: when good men speak well and to good purpose, the audience does well to be persuaded. [25]

Like Camoes's best petitioners in the work, Mars is a master of that segment of rhetoric best known as delivery. His three-stanza speech is a mini oration, exploiting each of the Aristotelian modes of persuasion. After a brief salutation establishing his credentials (ethos) as good and honest caretaker, someone wanting to keep his royal father from strife, or "vituperio" (pathos), he exhorts him to fulfill divine decree, close the debate, and act in behalf of the Portuguese, using for proof (logos) past precedent, that is, Jupiter's previous decree, while refuting the spurious arguments and dubious motives of Bacchus and his supporters (1.38-40). The speech ends with an admirable peroration, exhorting Jupiter to be steadfast in upholding his previous decision to aid the Portuguese and advising him to send Mercury to help them find a welcome land where they will be able to learn more about reaching India. Even after Jupiter's immediate and unwavering assent, Bacchus, true villain that he is, realizing that he is not having his way, plays bad sport and, for the time being, rejects eloquence for sullenness. True to form, he decides to sidestep the god of the thunderbolt, ignore the divine plan, and take matters into his own hands, defiantly descending to earth in the form of an old Moorish sheikh in whose person he promulgates two strategies to ambush the Portuguese sailors.

The Portuguese avoid certain destruction only as a result of Venus' second intervention: she furnishes winds that help them avoid an ambush (1.100) and then blocks the Portuguese fleet from entering a hostile port. Subsequently, it is her considerable eloquence that induces Jupiter to send Mercury to tell them where they will find a friendly port, one where they may recoup, rest, and obtain a pilot capable of guiding them to India. Even more than Mars, Venus, rhetorically employing "gesture as pressure" (Dyck, 429), exploits delivery as she flaunts her beauty, and pathos as she dramatizes herself as the neglected daughter of an uncaring father. Voluptuous in her veils but showing "a Sadness temper'd with a little smile," [26] she chides her father, whose love for her, she claims, is "sounding a retreat" (2.39), rhetorically contrasting the preferential treatment that Bacchus has allegedly been granted with hers: "Let Bacchus have his will: / In fine, his luck was good, and mine is ill." [27] Through it all, she cleverly dramatizes her ethos as proud sponsor of the Portuguese. [28] Implying that Jupiter, in opposing them, is really opposing her and suggesting that he would probably favor them if she were in the opposition (2.40), she interrupts her speech with a rush of tears. Like the other great royal audiences in the work, Jupiter, "mov'd by that dumb Rhet'rick (which would move / A Tygers flinty Breast)," [29] opts for immediate action in her behalf: he sends Mercury down to the Portuguese to help them find a safe haven. For the time being, thanks to Jupiter's receptiveness to eloquence for virtue and his decisiveness in adhering to the path of virtue and justice, things look good for Venus and the Portuguese, and bad for Bacchus and those opposed to Portuguese glory in the East -- those, that is, that opt for superstition over commerce and discord over love.

Although Bacchus does not have his way on Olympus, he does get opportunities to exercise his considerable rhetorical powers throughout the poem. While he shares Mars' and Venus' gifts to move and persuade especially by means of an impeccable delivery, his rhetoric for malice contrasts instructively with their rhetoric for love. His utterances, reminiscent of those of Allecto in the Aeneid, are intended not only to persuade, but to foment anger and unleash fury. This is to say that he employs rhetoric for the sole purpose of manipulating and traducing others, not to promote virtue or cultivate an ideal. Even though he is not as verbally prolific as Richard III, Iago, or Edmund, he shares with them a preoccupation with certain rhetorical devices reserved especially for villains and hypocrites, among them ostentatio, simulatio, and dissimulatio. [30] Generally these evil orators, as Vickers observes, are no less skilled than their virtuous counterparts in persuading weak or unvigilant monarchs, for they can imi tate other men's styles, improvise, act and pretend, and employ rhetorical structures with ease (1983b, 434). For example, early in the sixth canto of the Lusiadas Bacchus easily persuades Neptune to unleash a furious windstorm against the Portuguese fleet. Here is how he does it.

He begins by employing the rhetorical process of propositio (announcing what you want to say before you say it), by which he declares his purpose of creating anger against the Portuguese, whom he manages to scapegoat as the common enemy of everyone present (6.15). After a formal salutation to Neptune, Oceanus, and the gods of the sea (6.27-28), he employs the epideictic convention of vituperation by admonishing his audience for their "tameness" and "dull lethargick Fit" (6.28) in permitting the Portuguese, who are, he claims, in an unintended encomium, just as formidable as were the earlier imperialists from Rome ("a gente alta de Roma" 6.30) and the Argonauts (6.31). Projecting the ethos of a speaker of the truth and a voice of admonition, he exploits what some would today call "healthy self-interest" in predicting the inevitable losses that will be endured in the East if the Portuguese are not stopped (6.32). Moreover, like Venus, Bacchus knows how to use gesture as pressure for psychological effect, as wh en he tearfully dramatizes himself as a much-suffering victim (6.34) who will nevertheless heroically stand up against the mandates of fate and fortune (6.33). Clearly, Bacchus' speech is another rhetorical success. His audience is so persuaded and moved to anger against the Portuguese that, like Jupiter with Venus, they take action without any hesitation: plans are immediately made to unleash Aeolus' furious winds to stifle and destroy the Iberian fleet (6.35). So unanimous is the decision that all debate is perfunctorily cut off: not even Proteus, a god known for his prophetic powers, is allowed to offer even one word of dissent (6.36). [31] Assuredly, Bacchus' is another instance of rhetoric that cannot be resisted.

It is only Venus' comparable determination later in the same canto (6.86 ff.), after, significantly, da Gama's Christian prayer (6.81-83), that once again saves the Portuguese from shipwreck and destruction. Rhetorically, Bacchus and Venus are equals, but with the major difference that while he promotes anger, envy, and distrust, she engenders love. For example, to abate the storm that Bacchus' rhetorical dissimulations have unleashed, she descends with garlanded goddesses whose loving countenances prove irresistible to each of the offending winds (6.86-9 1), underscoring the inferiority of fury to love. [32] As a result, the winds, "Calme as the Lambs, and gentle as her doves," submit to the "Queen of Beautie." [33] This emphasis on love finally culminates in the structurally and thematically essential Isle of Love episode in the ninth canto, an episode that has been popularly mischaracterized as little more than a titillating afterthought or some epicurean wish fulfillment on the part of the poet. [34]

The centrality of eloquence in the poem is borne out even more instructively in da Gama's historical narrative to the King of Malindi in cantos 3-5, where one encounters numerous petitions to authority, all of which succeed as models of persuasion. Each of these figures (all drawn from Portuguese history) sues for a higher good, something that transcends her or his mere existence. Two examples, both occurring in the latter part of the third canto and both involving sufficiently representative females, are most revelatory: a daughter (Maria) of a Portuguese king (Afonso IV) asking her father to help her royal Spanish husband in a battle against the Moors, and a devoted wife and mother (Ines de Castro) beseeching her lover's royal father to spare her life and the lives of her children. In both cases, eloquence moves and persuades the listener, but only in the first of these (3.102-05) is ruin avoided.

Here, once again, love can foster eloquence because, like Mars in the first canto, the loving and devoted Spanish queen desperately petitions her Portuguese father for aid against a formidable Moorish host. Before uttering a word, Queen Maria, like her Olympian counterparts, begins with an impressive delivery. Her ethos already established as daughter and petitioner for her imperiled husband, she is "lovely in Grief; nor, though the water stood / In her sweet eyes, did that suspend their flame." [35] Her discourse is logically compelling, but it is also designed to appeal to her father's humanity. She tells him that the King of Morocco has amassed an enormous army of a "Peopie barbarous and inhumane" [36] to take possession of "illustrious" (nobre) Spain. Unless her father moves expeditiously, Spain will be destroyed; Portugal, direly threatened; and the infidels, in ascendancy. For better emotional appeal, she makes use of various rhetorical devices. The first is hyperbole:

So vast a pow'r ne're marcht under one Head

Since the dry Earth was compast by the Main.

It terrifies the living where it rolls,

And ev'n alarums their dead Fathers' Souls. [37]

The second is pathos, as she appeals to her father's compassion, followed by an expression of ethos as queen and wife, who may soon be widowed: not only is he whom her father chose to be her "Lord and Husband" leading a small force in his terrified land ("sua terra amedrontada"; 3.104) and about to be viciously slaughtered, but, unless her father immediately assents to her suit, she will become "a sad and private Woman, Husbandless, / Without a Crown, or Him, or Happiness." [38] With its tight deductive structure, the petition leads inevitably to the exhortation: "Therefore... Succour, O! quickly to the succour come" (3.105). Then, noting her father's apparently complete acquiescence, Maria pushes for immediate action, evoking once again their bond as father and daughter, since "that deare smile [must] be an assenting dumb" and the "seal" of his "fatherly affection." [39] So effective is the petition that the poet compares its cogency with that of Venus suing Jupiter in behalf of her son, Aeneas, in Virgil's epic poem (3.106). In both cases, "such tender pitty" seizes the royal listener that without further ado, he "[grants] her all." [40] The desired result of such rhetorical virtuosity is finally achieved: the triumph of the two Iberian kings over the Moorish infidel (3:107-15). Once again, a monarch is moved to immediate and fortunate action as a result of the persuasive skills of an eloquent petitioner who is suing for love, not discord.

Ines de Castro, although slain for love (prefiguring Saint Thomas in the tenth canto), is no less eloquent in her suit to the same king, Afonso IV, but here the king makes the mistake, paralleling that of several other monarchs in the Lusiadas, of being indecisive in enforcing justice. Truly and mutually loving the noble prince Pedro (3.121), Ines, a commoner, is opposed by both the people and the king, who has resolved to extinguish their love by putting her to death (3.123). Unlike Maria, who petitions to save the life of her lover, Ines is forced into the position of supplicating for her own life and the lives of her children. Eventually, visibly affected by her speech, which she has delivered in the presence of her dread executioners ("horrificos algozes"; 3.124), the king is moved to compassion, compassion, however, that he cannot act upon because of his fear of popular opinion. Like Camoes's best orators, Ines is a master of pathos, especially in her delivery: she appeals emotionally to the monarch wit h a surge of tears, tears that, she reminds the king, she cannot wipe away since her hands are tied (3.125). Restrained although she is, she can still use "gesture as pressure": turning her eyes from heaven down to her children, soon to become orphans, she cogently indicts their cruel grandfather ("o avo cruel"; 3.125) for his lack of humanity if he deprives them of a mother and slays a defenseless woman whose only offense was to love his son, "who first did love her." [41] Again, the arts of vituperation and exhortation are exploited: although the king apparently lacks the pity to save her, he should at least pity the little ones (3.127). Her peroration typically exploits the mode of pathos, contrasting the King's might against the Moor with his total dominion over "a damsel poore" (3.128). Rhetorically, she asks at least to be exiled far away, where she can live eternally in tears [42] or with wild animals who may show more pity than her fellow humans (3.129), and by whom she will not be punished for her lo ve of a royal prince.

Once again, a monarch ("mov'd with these words, which made his Bowels yearn"; 3.130) is rhetorically lured into granting the wish of his petitioner, but his indecisiveness and acquiescence to the popular will ("pertinaz povo") represented by the executioners, prevent a reprieve. Instead, the latter butcher her to death, in the very presence of her children (3.130). Her eloquence almost saved Ines, but a true monarch, in order to reward virtue, must dominate, not yield to, the powers around him, and he should be receptive to the eloquence of the virtuous, of those who persuade for love, not for hatred or self-interest. The episode is concluded by one of Camoes's most cogent maxims: while a strong king is the desire of every populace, "a soft King makes a valiant People soft." [43] Afonso's failure to be moved by Ines's eloquence results in bloodshed and civil strife as his son Pedro takes merciless revenge against those responsible for her murder. Love, even when vindictive, presides over malice in the Lusiad as.

As an audience to the rhetorical triumphs that he reports in his historical survey to the African king, that is, his use of the rhetorical art of aristeja, Vasco da Gama seems to grow into rhetorician nonpareil in the course of the poem. [44] While earlier in the work he avoids ruin only as a result of Venus' direct intervention in his behalf, by the time he arrives in India, in the seventh and eighth cantos, he is increasingly resourceful as a persuader and mover of monarchs and decidedly less dependent on divine assistance. For example, when he first addresses the Hindu monarch, the Zamorin, the captain seems cognizant of the appropriate delivery, as he orates "with an emphatick Voyce from a deep head." [45] In the speech itself (7.60-63), da Gama petitions with grace despite the difficulty implicit in his mission: he must persuade the Hindu ruler to accept commerce and an alliance with, as well as protection by, the great king (Manuel) who sent him. In it he persuasively assures the Zamorin that a favorab le response will benefit both potentates: "Of two great fruits, which will from thence redound, / His [Manuel's] shall the glory; thine, the Gain be found," [46] but da Gama will need a sure sign, a "certissima reposta" (7.63) to take back to Manuel.

Although assuredly impressed by da Gama's petition and favorably inclined, the Indian ruler also proves indecisive because of his superstitious faith in his haruspices, or augurs who, employing "diabolic sign and augury" (Bacon), [47] ultimately persuade him to reject da Gama's suit, arguing that the Portuguese will impose upon them "a strong yoak, which they should ne're remove" and "endless Bondage." [48] If this is not enough, Bacchus then comes down in a dream (8.48-50) to insure that the Zamorin's Muslim counselors also deliver a sufficiently cogent anti-Portuguese message. The poet's subsequent moral admonition against excessive dependence on advisors, especially those who conceal their ambition and appetite for discord under "a simple Coat," [49] is emblematized by the Zamorin. Here is a leader who is not only "too creduous to ev'ry Augur's word" (8.58), but one who has ceded much of his authority to his ministers, that is, his catuals, a venal but influential group interested only in their own comfor t and perilously vulnerable to Muslim subterfuge.

This is the dilemma that da Gama will have to solve in petitioning the king: it is the difficulty of persuading an audience that is not merely undisposed and therefore unreceptive but also indecisive and vulnerable to superstitious and corrupt ministers. However, having to resolve the matter in one way or another, the Portuguese captain asks for still another audience with the Zamorin who, however, continues to procrastinate because of a conflict between his credulity and his greed: that is, between faith in his advisors (who have told him not to credit the Portuguese) and his essential self-interest (in not wanting to abort what might prove a profitable pact). Irresolute, he questions da Gama's credentials and even asks him for an admission of fraud, since it is unlikely that such a great king as he has described would suffer a mere "ocean vagabond" [50] to represent him. If, the Zamorin adds, he is really an exile or a pirate (8.63), da Gama should just admit it, and he will be treated fairly. Realizing th e difficulty implicit in making a convincing refutation of such charges of fraud, the Portuguese captain activates his "high assurance" or alta confianca (8.64) and looks within to recruit all the wisdom that his recent experiences have instilled in him. His subsequent speech to the Hindu ruler constitutes his highest rhetorical moment in the work, one that looms over, but is built upon, his previous experience as narrator and audience to his own narrative. In other words, given his preparation as narrator and historian in the earlier cantos, da Gama is eminently qualified to make his monumental petition.

Da Gama's opening establishes his personal character, or ethos, as someone cognizant of both the origins and the current manifestations of evil, for he proceeds to warn the ruler about "that damn'd Sect" ([a] torpe seita) of Islam (8.65), one that he associates with the spirit of evil, not love. A direct bond with his audience (or pathos) is established by the very personal, didactic plea that he sets forth, petitioning him to be ever-vigilant to the presence of corrupt counselors around him (8.65). In stanzas 66 and 67 of canto 8, the speaker reverts to the mode of ethos as he compellingly defends his character. He accomplishes this first by reaffirming his integrity ("[esta] minha verdade"; 8.66), which the emperor has wrongly besmirched, in favor of the false advisors that he should not trust [51] and then by setting forth the logos, or apparent truth, of the petition.

Like all of the orators preceding him, some of whom, of course, he has role-played as historical narrator, da Gama knows how to appeal emotionally to his audience: how, he asks, can the Hindu monarch doubt him? If he were a mere exile or a pirate, why would he have risked his life and traveled unimaginable distances on such arduous seas? And if the Zamorim recognizes that such an enterprise requires a superior valor, one in many ways exceeding the usual capacities of man, he should know that for the Portuguese ruler nothing is impossible. [52] More proof (or logos) is proferred in da Gama's brief historical synopsis of Portugal's search for eastern trade routes (8.70-73), culminating in the current visit, one for which the captain asks only "a sign that I have done my Task." [53] In good structural form, the petition leads to a peroration (8.74-75) in which the essential veracity [54] of the petition is reasserted, and the character of the speaker again vindicated. Some pathos is driven home by the enargeia implicit in his declaration that, as a mariner whose final reckoning is always imminent, he would find it too risky to put personal gain over truth. He repeats his appeal for the opportunity to return with dispatch ("despacho brevidade"; 8.75) with some propitious sign to his homeland. But if the Hindu ruler should entertain some doubt, he should just review, with clear mind ("claro juizo"; 8.75), the points of the arguments, or logos, just presented, since truth is ultimately easier to detect than its opposite. [55]

Like the other royal audiences in the work, the Zamorin, who has been most attentive through it all, is fully persuaded, as a result not only of the logical force of the words, but of the character, or ethos, of the speaker: "a full assurance of his Innocence, / A perfect credit did this speech inforce." [56] Pondering the "copious Words's [sic] magnificence" and "th'aurhoritie with which they fetch their source," [57] the Hindu leader now sees things in a new light: his catual advisors "were dupes...corrupted, prone to judgment ill-conceived" (Bacon). [58] In short, he agrees to the terms set forth by the Portuguese captain, bidding da Gama to return to his ship and select merchandise for immediate trade. His aspirations, however, are thwarted by a catual, acting as agent for the Muslims, who stalls the operation by taking da Gama captive, in the hope of sabotaging the Portuguese mission to the East. That is to say, despite the obvious authenticity of da Gama's discourse and the Zamorin's acquiescence to it , certain forces at court, mirroring the operations of Bacchus on Olympus (and possibly of Sebastiao in Lisbon), have defied his wishes and acted unilaterally. This, of course, serves as an exemplum for a standard dictum of the time: sovereigns must not only be virtuous and decisive but virtually omniscient about everything that is going on around them.

I remarked above that the narrated material we have been considering bears a "fundamental analogy" to the primary petition of the poem, that of the poet-orator as narrator and petitioner to his imagined or real royal reader. In each sector or surface of the poem, a royal listener is being admonished, guided, or taught by an eloquent petitioner who may lack the credentials of power but assuredly possesses those of experience, wisdom, virtue, and love. On the poem's fictive surfaces, as we have seen, the royal audience is consistently receptive to the cogency of the rhetoric; on the more historical surface, where the rhetorical speaker tries to move and persuade his empirical reader or primary audience, an analogous assent is hoped for, while the rhetorical strategies that are recruited are largely the same. On both surfaces, a petitioner resorts to the Aristotelian modes of ethos, pathos, and logos, as well as numerous rhetorical strategies, such as moral sententiae and exordia, in order to persuade his audie nce to take some corrective action.

The principal narrator establishes his character in various ways throughout the poem. First, and most evidently, even upon a mere glance at its opening lines (e.g., 1.19), he dramatizes himself as an accomplished poet rhetorician, a learned and allusive classicist who is cognizant of pertinent literary traditions from which he knows when to draw and when to depart; a patriot-historian committed to his nation whose poem, albeit largely written in exile, provides a record of past greatness with lessons for future glory; a talented literary craftsman owing nothing to, and finally excelling, such contemporaries as Boiardo and Ariosto (5.89); and, in keeping, particularly, with the literary context of Lucan and Dante (a context that has essentially gone unstudied, despite the moral and didactic features of the poem), a moral teacher of stature, someone having the inspiration, the wisdom, and the experience to help influence his sovereign in new directions. More than a good man speaking well, the poet most basical ly dramatizes himself as an inspired maker and teacher, possessing the credentials of both art and experience, someone committed to moral virtue and truth, who enacts his eloquence to sue for something of profound significance.

The poet-orator's delivery is, from the outset, forceful and confident, although humble and gracious. He first praises his royal reader and dedicatee as an annoinred monarch, fortunately favored by God and fortune, asking for his receptiveness to the poem, a work in which he will see a mirror of himself (1.9), as well as a lively example of patriotic love, which (later exemplified by da Gama's petition to the Zamorin), is "not mov'd with Vile but high immortal Meed," [59] all redounding to the praise and glory of a sovereign who cannot but conclude that it is more "excelente" to rule such a people than the entire world (1.10). In keeping with the mode of ethos, the petitioning poet carefully establishes his credentials: his is a poem containing historical truths that are far more admirable than the hyperbolic fictions of Boiardo and Ariosto (1. 11). Moreover, if the royal reader and dedicatee responds favorably to the framing petition, he will be inspiring material for other, future, works of epic poetry (1. 15), enabling him to renew and continue the valorous work of his grandfathers (Carlos V of Spain and Joao III or Portugal), while assuring himself of eternal fame. A felicitous alliteration brings home the thrust of the petition: "Dai vos favor ao novo atrevimento, / Pera que estes meus versos vossos sejam." [60]

After his dedicatory verses in the early stages of the first canto, the rhetorical speaker of the poem actually says little in propria persona until the conclusion of da Gama's triumphant lecture on Portugal's historical greatness. [61] But, when he does so, he touches upon five overarching and often overlapping topics, topics which help shape and define the entire poem: the importance of poetry in general and of the present poem in particular as a source of instruction and delight in a healthy commonwealth; the capacity of poetry, if supported, to bring glory, fame, and immortality to its patrons; the neglect of poetry, and the arts in general, in his native land (e.g., 7.78-87); the unfortunate royal tendency of preferring self-serving ministers and theoreticians in influential positions to the devoted, loyal veterans and men of experience at home and abroad; and the ubiquity of human greed and unmerited wealth in places of power requiring just the opposite: humility and virtue (e.g., 8.96-99; 9.87-95). In each of these discourses or set pieces, the poet-orator stresses his ethos as a suffering, talented artist of high desert, while, reminiscent of the orators in the poem that we have been discussing, exploiting at every turn the rhetorical category of pathos, that is, the speaker's "relation to the author, the work, and the audience." [62]

To better persuade, the petitioning poet draws an analogy between the arts of poetry and war, illustrating it copiously with details taken from classical history. Alexander was more moved by Homer's representation of Achilles than of Achilles' feats themselves (5.93); Octavius himself composed learned and lovely ("doutos e venustos") verses while in the field of battle (5.95); and Julius Caesar, "in this hand a Pen; in that a Lance" [63] never allowed his knowledge, or his eloquence, to be "silenc't by his drumme" (5.96). This is, however, presumably not the case in Camoes's Portugal, where learned commanders (that is, the "douto e ciente"; 5.97) have not emerged. That is, the poet-orator exhorts his empirical royal reader to reject any advisor who opposes the cultivation of the arts of poetry and war since such an attitude derives from a lack of learning, and the unlearned cannot be expected to esteem or value works of art. [64] In his role as good man of experience speaking truth, he observes that the negl ect of the arts in Portugal has spawned a certain harshness in her native poets, making them hard, austere, rude, and uncreative. [65] This explains why until now, his nation has produced neither a Homer or Virgil nor, respectively, an Achilles or Aeneas.

A more emotional appeal, expressing his ethos, is employed when the rhetorical poet interrupts his narrative late in the seventh book to invoke divine assistance. Significantly, this occurs just as Paulo da Gama and his Indian audience are gazing at a portrait of Lusus, [66] the eponymous founder of Portugal and, tantalizingly, Bacchus' direct descendant (7.77). In the lines that follow, the poet-orator dramatizes himself (ethos) as a suffering and under-rewarded artist skilled enough to confer glory on those who support him but virtuous enough to withhold it from the undeserving. At first, he admits his need for divine inspiration in order to chart this new course "so long, so intricate." [67] This, he admits, is a labor fraught with new dangers (7.79), one that he will try to carry out as a valiant soldier and man of letters, in the tradition of Caesar, with sword and pen in hand. Establishing himself as so impoverished that he has degraded himself "at Another's Board to eate," [68] he admits that he is lu cky to be alive; nevertheless, instead of receiving the laurel crown that he deserves and desires, [69] he has been given "labors undreamed" and has been "cast...down into this agony" (Bacon). [70] In his subsequent apostrophe to the Nymphs of the Tejo of whom he invokes both aid and a redoubled "furia" (7.87), he takes on this dangerous topic, stressing his role as moral conscience of his nation and issuing a harsh invective against perceived ominous trends at the home court. He begins by describing with obvious irony the "senhores...valerosos" of his native land (7.82) who are doing little for poetry or the other arts. The words are hortatory and cogent:

What precedents are these, what likely seeds

To raise in future curious Wits and strong,

To register the Acts of all those men

That merit Fame from an immortal Pen? [71]

What follows is both an admonition and a manifesto. At first, it employs the same pathos or nexus with audience manifested by Venus and Maria in their supplications to their fathers: since the rulers of the land are disinclined to reward artistic merit, the rhetorical speaker will dedicate his art only to the Muses, solemnly vowing "never to use [them] but for merit known, / Nor to one, however great, will flatterer play, / for so ingratitude were my just pay" (Bacon). [72] Clearly, our poet is dramatizing himself as a self-conscious artist whose highest loyalty is to his craft. Yes, he is suing for acknowledgment and acceptance, but he will not compromise his integrity as artist or moral guide in the process, for, like da Gama with the Zamorim, his credentials are above reproach. Nor, unlike his enemies and discreditors, will he flatter or resort to political intrigue to achieve his ends. In the end, the choice is left to his primary reader. To accept the poem is not merely to subsidize its author, but also to accept a set of values that come with it, values which are intended to redefine and redirect the nation.

In order to choose correctly, the royal reader must presumably be enlightened about the various manifestations of corruption at court and should rest assured that the rhetorical speaker has no intention of compromising with corruption. Employing the rhetorical strategy of refutatio, he keeps to his "dangerous course" by enumerating the various kinds of corruption that prevail at court. He begins by rebuking, first, those violators of human and divine law who put their own interests above those of the ruler and the realm, and then the ambitious who dream only of mounting to power. [73] He then assails those who, like King Afonso with Ines, exercise power to enforce their ugly will74 and to satisfy the vulgar populace, who "changeth as oft as Protheus, or the Wind."75 He reserves for last those who, "with grave Face, grave case, grave pace 76.. . Fleece the poor People to the very skin" in order "to please the King in the new Place he's in."77 These ministers zealously and rigidly enforce the king's laws at ev ery turn without recognizing that it is only fair "to pay the sweat of those that serve the King," [78] and, with little expertise79 but with rapacious hand, they discredit the services of others, services that, significantly, they are unwilling or unable to perform (7.86). Of none of these is the inspired poet-orator willing to sing. Instead, he will memorialize only those who have risked, and often lost, their lives for their God and their king, those worthy men of experience, integrity; and love who find themselves toiling daily and often thanklessly at the farthest reaches of the empire (7.87). Clearly, this is not only an inspired poet speaking morally and well, but, mirroring da Gama at the Zamorin's court, someone unmistakably on a higher plane of virtue than his disparagers.

Much of the same occurs late in the eighth canto, as the Hindu ruler, once again analogous to Sebastiao, vacillates between the self-serving counsels of his advisors and his own avaricious designs. Here, the rhetorical speaker reinforces his moral dimension and role as teacher and guide, in true Lucanesque and Dantean fashion, by issuing a fierce and sententious apostrophe against human greed, a vice that assails both rich and poor. It is "the thirst horrible . . . that men to all things can compel" (Bacon). [80] After drawing two examples from classical antiquity (8.97), the speaker apostrophizes on the metamorphosing powers of gold. The description is not haphazard but essential to a modality that has been running through the poem: gold can overthrow the strongest fort; it makes friends betray each other; it turns the noble into the vulgar; it delivers captains to their foes. It even corrupts the virginally pure ("virginais purezas"; 8.98) making them heedless of the risks of compromising their honor or of sullying their names. It depraves the learned and makes the wise ignore the claims of conscience (8.98). It can over-subtly [81] reinterpret texts, make and unmake laws, perjure subjects, and tyrannize kings. And then, reminiscent of Dante, the poet takes aim at the clergy; a particularly influential group in Sebastiao's court, even for a considerably orthodox Christian nation. [82]

The philippic opens with what appears to be a bold pun, one that has escaped all of the commentaries that I have looked at: it is an allusion to even those ("ate os") [83] who are "dedicated utterly / To God Almighty" (Bacon). [84]

Despite their avowed dedication to God, the clergy, frequently ("mil vezes"; 8.99) yield to this enchanter. In this respect, they are really no different from any other victims of greed. There is only "this Diff'rence though, I That still These glister with a holy show."85 That is to say, the monarch should read his advisors the way one is taught to read his texts: allegorically, or beyond the literal surface. It is presumably indispensable that the monarch retain discriminating judgement ("jufzo curioso"; 8.96) in everything he does. So armed, he will be better prepared to set his national and royal priorities: for Camoes, this means, in my view, emphasizing poets over religious advisors, humanism over scholasticism, experience over theory; [86] and love over discord.

Having in his dangerous journey identified the principal maladies at court, the petitioning poet-orator, in the peroration declaring the allegorical (and euhemerist) meanings of the Isle of Love, now assumes a more hortatory tone as he exhorts those desirous of meriting eternal fame to awake from their slumber and sloth [87] that enslave the will, and to curb the vices of ambition, greed, and oppressive tyranny88 because these are vain honors which are unrelated to true virtue.89 It is better to merit but lack them than to have but not deserve them.90

Again, the posture is that of the inspired poet and guide in the tradition of not only Virgil, but also Lucan and Dante, as he reverts to the mode of pathos, for he addresses his reader most emphatically by seeming to generalize the mere empirical or actual reader to include everyone who advises the king and influences the national destiny. The nation, he adds, must be led in either one of two directions: either "in peace promote impartiall Laws" that prevent the rich from exploiting the poor, or in war take on the pagan enemy ("imigos Sarracenos"; 9.94). It is presumed that the current practice of unjust treatment of the poor and the petty squabbles and jealousies, which the poet censures in his letters, should be eliminated, or else the nation will not prevail. Just laws and contempt only for the infidel, whether at home or abroad, will enhance the kingdom and bring well-deserved riches ("riquezas merecidas") and the "honor which makes life a noble thing" (Bacon, 9.94) to those in power. Above all, his min isters can best manifest the love that they putatively have for their king, [91] by prudent counsels ("conselhos bem cuidados"; 9.95), and with the sword, in the best tradition of their illustrious predecessors. With genuine love in their hearts and the determination [92] to be governed by that love, there is little that they (or their nation) will be unable to accomplish. And they too will have reserved for themselves "a Hero's place" on the Isle of Love.

The final twelve stanzas, following Tethys' extended prophecy on the future greatness of Portugal (up to about 1548) and just after the Portuguese mariners bring new glories and titles to their feared but loved king, [93] serve as a somewhat unconventional peroration to not only the narrative portion of the poem but also the poet-orator's petition. [94] Finding himself like da Gama in the presence of the Zamorin, and having one last chance of persuading his audience to the path of virtue, he applies in one final flourish all of his rhetorical skills. Like the most effective petitioners in the narrative sector of the work, he evokes sympathy by resorting to the mode of ethos, that is, dramatizing himself as someone of great merit but little fortune. Again he resorts to Dantean vituperation: his lyre is out of tune and his voice is hoarse, not from his song, but from the apprehension that he is not being heard: he is singing to a "deaf people and without remorse," [95] for his is a country that withholds from i ts best poets the favor which inspires art, because it is committed to greed and to the brutishness of an austere, dark, and vile melancholy. [96] He defines this context as one in which "there is no general gust, no happy pride" (Bacon) that might inspire the soul to aspire to greater labors, [97] a context that is construed by Faria e Sousa to represent an unnatural separation among subject, sovereign, and God. Having laid this foundation, the poet-orator turns one final time to his sovereign, his empirical reader, who has been enthroned by divine decree, to lead his "vassalos excelentes" to greater glories in a better tomorrow.

Assuming the role, once again, of inspired poet, loving guide, and sage, the rhetorical speaker directly exhorts his audience, particularly his royal reader and dedicatee, to acknowledge and esteem the heroic, self-sacrificing work of his loyal overseas veterans (10.147). Despite the lack of a "happy pride" (Bacon),98 these royal subjects cheerfully go forward, always obedient and content, never sullen or mutinous. And, merely with the awareness that their sovereign acknowledges them, they are willing to face any peril and make him the victor, not the vanquished:

To doe and suffer All for You prepar'd;

And to obey in the remotest Land

(Though ne'r so bitter, and though ne'er so hard, Without Reply, or stop) what You command. [99]

The royal reader is therefore exhorted to take specific action: first, to favor and gladden these loyal subjects with his royal "presenca e leda humanidade," absolving them from harsh laws ("heavie Taxes," to Fanshawe) and second, to select his advisors from these "men of Experience" for they alone know "the How, the When, the Where to do things well." [100] These specific actions represent for Faria e Sousa a much-deserved prod for Sebastiao, a king who, unlike many of his predecessors on the Portuguese throne, had less interest in his people generally than in a handful of advisors. [101] Third, and most fundamentally, if the monarch is willing to appoint and advance men according to their talents, he should recognize that churchmen are particularly unqualified to advise a monarch in the changing secular contexts of the sixteenth century. [102] Instead, they should confine themselves to prayer, fasts, and discipline to help foster virtue and combat vice while shunning ambition, for this is their true, and s ole, calling. After all, "the true / Churchman (exempted from Ambition's heat) / Seeks neither to be Rich, nor to be Great." [103]

Instead of depending on his ministers at court and, adds Faria e Sousa, devoting himself to his religious advisors ("entregarse a Religiosos"; 2:595), the monarch should most esteem his noble adventurers in far-off lands because they extend not only the empire but also, indirectly, the faith. However, they need royal acknowledgment and assistance because of their daily ordeal in surviving "the Living first, / Excessive Toile the second and the worst." [104] What is at stake is more than justice; it is the fate of the nation. If no action is taken, or, more specifically, if the royal reader fails, like the Zamorin, to replace his superstitious ministers with loyal men of experience, the admonition is clear and unequivocal: the nation will flounder, and Portugal will become a nation known more for being governed than for governing others. [105] To avoid this catastrophe, the sovereign must rely only on his loyal veterans, because, although the theoretician knows things in their general applications, the experi enced man knows things in their practical ones:

Let your Advisers be experienc'd All,

Such as have seen the World, and studied man.

For, though in Science much contained bee,

In speciall Cases Practice more doth see. [106]

This preference for the experienced over the expert is subsequently exemplified in the rhetorical contrast between the Greek theoretician Phormio and the Carthaginian practitioner, Hannibal (10.153). [107] Despite his self-assurances to the contrary, Phormio's notions about war, based merely on reading, cannot compare in efficacy and probity with those, based on real experiences on the battlefield, of the great general. The contrast, of course, bears our one of the recurrent themes of the poem:

No, no, the brave Profession Militar

Is not learned, Sir, by Fancy in the Schoole,

Dreaming, contemplating, to spelling held;

But seeing, sweating, fighting in the Feud [sic] [108]

The poet-orator's peroration flows felicitously from this contrast because it reiterates his credentials as someone essentially certified to serve his king, someone in the best tradition of those "lusiadas," or sons of Lusus, who have glorified and graced Portuguese history since the time of Afonso Henriques. Employing the modesty topos and a by now familiar appeal to audience sympathy, he invokes the mode of pathos and reconfirms his ethos as a humble, but deserving subject. He undertakes, like da Gama in the presence of the Zamorim, to move his audience by recourse to modesty and humility, with an admixture of hope: even though he is "humble, rough, and low" and not known by his royal reader, "not even in a dream" (Bacon),109 he draws hope from the fact that even the small and undistinguished ("[os] pequenos") can sometimes best praise to perfection. [110]

Upon this foundation, the poet-orator (again recalling da Gama two books earlier), proceeds to spell out his credentials, credentials that have been implicitly celebrated throughout the poem: his is a rare blend of "honest studies," "long Experience," and "Wit." [111] And, in accord with the distinction between "espada" and "pena" that runs through the poem, the rhetorical speaker reminds his reader that, unlike those uncultivated Portuguese captains described in 5.95, this is a poet-soldier with an arm trained in war to serve his sovereign, as well as "a Soul (to sing [him]) to the Muses bent" (10.155). The only thing missing (as da Gama declared to the Zamorin) is a real sign, or "acceptance in [his sovereign's] Eye, / Who owe to Vertue fair encouragement." [112] If such an honor should be granted, he once again [113] prophesies "some high / And brave Exployt; worthy a Monument / Of Verse." [114] The final stanza of the poem describes two possible enduring consequences of that monument. It would make the P ortuguese monarch master of North Africa either by invasion (causing him to be more feared and dreaded in North Africa than even Atlas feared the Gorgon Medusa), or by his enemy's surrender: "putting in Ampleusian Fields to flight / The Moors in Fez and black Morocco bred." [115]

If successful in his enterprise of persuasion, the poet-orator, his muse now acknowledged and content ("ja estimada e leda Musa," 10.156), will so promote and promulgate Sebastiao's fame that "Alexander shall himself in [him] discern, / Nor longer for Achilles' honors burn" (Bacon). [116] If unsuccessful, it is implicit from the poem itself that one can expect not only oblivion for Sebastiao but ruin and stagnation for Portugal. While the poem abounds with successful petitions to moved and usually consenting monarchs, its crowning petition, we know too well, did not prevail, and its most ominous prophecies were realized. Camoes may have received only the most paltry of stipends, but we, perhaps more receptive readers than his first audience, at least have for our profit and delight his lasting poetic monument.

(1.) de Sena, 50: "tudo ... tem sempre duas faces."

(2.) White Jacket, 276. In this passage, Captain Chase is generous in his praise of nor only Camoes's epic but its eighteenth-century translator, W J. Mickle.

(3.) It should be noted that Manuel Faria e Sousa, Camoes's first great (some think greatest) commentator, acknowledged and admired the rhetorical riches of the poem and that Baltasar Gracian in his treatise Agudeza y arte de ingenio (1649) singles the Portuguese poet out as the pinnacle of rhetorical achievement. Too few of the commentators have gone this route, but Pierce (in his edition of the Lusiadas), Saraiva (1957), and Helder Macedo have uttered welcome minority voices.

(4.) The plays include El Rei Seleuco (ca. 1546), El Filodemo (ca. 1555), and Anfitrioes (ca. 1555). He is also the probable author of the Satira do Torneio (ca. 1555). The four letters ascribed to Camoes are sometimes bitter, sometimes bantering, always rhetorically biting. An apt instance of the poet's talent for satirical invective can be found in the opening pages of his second letter, found in Cidade's edition of Camoes's works (3:243-44). Camoes's early reputation as a troublemaker (as the notorious "Trinca-fortes" or rabble-rouser) did not serve him well in his later years as a poet trying to promote his work. Although biographical facts are scanty and not always reliable, it is generally accepted that he was exiled at least twice, the second time probably for knifing a young courtier on the eve of Corpus Christi day (16 June, 1552). Even though this courtier (Gaspar Borges, whose letter of exculpation, dated 10 March, 1553, is on view at the Torre de Tombo in Lisbon) later cleared the poet, it is cle ar that Camoes was now seen as a persona non grata, about to be punished with some two decades of service to his nation in exile. Nor was his case aided by his apparent ridiculing of the national hero, King Manuel, in his play El Rei Seleuco, a portrayal for which he may have been later reprimanded. In short, Camoes's stormy personality and brilliant wit would have made it difficult for him to survive in any European court of the time, even those more tolerant than the increasingly dogmatic and bellicose royal court of Lisbon.

(5.) The dates of authorship of the Lusiadas are essentially conjectural. Most of the commentators opt for 1570 (e.g., Sergio, 31) or 1571 (e.g., Macedo, 14) as the completion date for the poem. Fernandes suggests that it may have been begun when Sebastiao was still a child (375) but completed only after the poet had returned to Portugal and become familiar with the now adolescent king and his policies (348). Hermano Saraiva (333) and Houwens Post (passim) make a case for ongoing alterations of the text right up to the publication date. Post, who has given more attention to the problems of dating the text than anyone else, postulates that the poem spanned some twenty-five years from 1545 to 1570, but his argument is often overly hypothetical and conjectural. Diogo do Couto's contemporary report is our only evidence that the poet may have been back in Lisbon in 1569. See Moser's interesting remarks on Couto (98-102).

(6.) The Portuguese reads: "tao pobre que comia dos amigos" (so poor that he depended on his friends for food; quoted in Bell, 132-37). See also Couto's Soldado pratico another contemporary text that sheds an immense light on Camoes's world. Macedo notes the "marked resemblance" between Couto's honest soldier and "the persona that Camoes assumes in the Lusiadas" (7). For a helpful summary of some of the extant pamphlets and treatises critical of Portuguese overseas policy in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, see Moser, 101-04. On the poet's penchant for requesting monetary help in his lyrics, see Hermano Saraiva, 330-31. Moser shows how Camoes created the image of "the luckless man" in his poetry (97-98), one that would be lovingly cultivated by many of his later admirers, among them the romantic poet Almeida Garrett.

(7.) Henry Hart conjectures that Camoes had turned to Don Manuel of Portugal for aid in publishing the Lusiadas, but the best the latter could do was encourage the poet to endear himself to young Sebastiao by writing some complimentary verses about his grandfather, D. Joao III, who was about to be transferred to Jeronimos (190-93). Back in the 1540s, according to Hart, the poet seems to have had some success with the Infante Dona Maria, King Manuel's daughter, who may have occasionally invited him to her salon. For more on Don Manuel, see Hermano Saraiva (63) who interprets Camoes as the portavoz or spokesman for various nobles, like the Infante Don Henrique, bitter foes of Sebastiao's most powerful advisors, the Camara brothers (333). Little love was felt for the Camara brothers, whose "odioso despotismo" (Queiros Velloso, 132) was well known by the Cortes, by the nobility, and by the masses (Livermore, 152-54 and Queiros Velloso, 135-37). According to Livermore, their domination of the young king had becom e "supreme" by 1572, the year that the Lusiadas was published (153). Hermano Saraiva suggests that the Camara brothers' influence at court may explain the small pension or tenca, that Camoes would subsequently receive for his poem (334-35). According to an extant royal document (reproduced by Hermano Saraiva, 327-38), the stipend amounted to 15,000 reis a year (about $250 today), to be renewed for Camoes's surviving mother, Ana de Sa, by Felipe II in 1582. Not only was the award paltry, it was difficult to collect. Legend has it that the poet dicd without a sheet to cover him and that his remains were lost in a large debtors' tomb shortly after his death (Henry Hart, 195-96). A contemporary writer, Joao de Barros, is known to have received four times this amount (Hermano Saraiva, 334). Vasco da Gama's heirs may also have been targeted by the poet for support: see 5.99.

(8.) Alex L. Gordon calls Ronsard "an eloquent voice in the royal policy of the Valois" (383). Our poet would have agreed with Martial's quip that if there were sufficient Maecenases, "there [would] be no lack of Virgils" (Hadas, 69).

(9.) Similar generosiry toward the arts was also widely expected of Sebastiao's popular but unfortunate father, Prince Joao, who died at seventeen in 1554, just days before the birth of his son. See Danvila, 52. On Camoes's direct utterances to the young king, see Macedo, who views the Lusiadas as "an exemplary lesson" (6) to its royal addressee written by someone who had assumed the "self-appointed role as royal counsellor and national mentor" (7). For Peter Fothergill-Payne, the poem "can be read as a continuous exhortation and exemplum to that youthful and impetuous prince to fulfill his destiny and accomplish what Camoes sees as his country's salvation by taking the poet's advice to become a good king" (14). Sergio stresses that Camoes's critique should not be viewed as a mere exercise in political and moral generalization but as very direct rebukes ("censuras bem concretas") in sync with the the large popular protest ("grande protesto popular") against the king's policies (46). For Erilde Melillo Reali, the poet is not merely trying to redirect the young monarch but to create a new one in his poem (76).

(10.) It should be noted that, in opening his poem with flattering lines directed to his sovereign and dedicatee, Camoes was following the lead of Lucan, who had done the same for Nero in his Civil War on or around 65 C.E. Simllarities and analogies abound: both poems share an emphasis on persuasive rhetoric as a mode of discourse, although Lucan is more prosaic and less allegorical than the Portuguese poet. Surprisingly, not much has been written about Camoes's use of the Civil War in the Lusladas: Faria e Sousa (eg., Lusiadas 10.145) is one exception; de Sena (173) and Post (295) are more contemporary ones.

(11.) Of course, there was nothing new to the conception of poets as moral teachers and guides. For example, in his Arte of English Poesie (1589), George Puttenham describes poets as "the first Philosophers Ethick" because they were the first to distinguish virtue from vice and "from the beginning the best perswaders and their eloquence the first Rhetoricke of the world" (25). Therefore, he considers, all poets to share with orators the best credentials to praise virtue and assail vice. This ethical strain linking poets and rhetoricians helped cultivate the epideictic genre at the time, since it stressed the "reformatory or reclamatory function" of poetry and sprang from the assumption that "men will fall into vice without the good offices of the orator or poet" (Vickers, 1983b, 420). It is not surprising, therefore, that for Vickers, "the correct approach to epic" is through the epideictic genre (1983a, 500). Moreover, once one agrees with Rainolde that "the ende of all artes and sciences, and of all noble acte s and enterprises is vertue," then it follows that "the vertue of eloquence" is to persuade "Princes and rulers ... in good causes and enterprises, to animate and incense them to godlie affaires and business" (quoted by Vickers, 1983a, 421). Puttenham was in full agreement, hailing poetry as a superior form of rhetoric, one that is able to mold men's opinions in the right direction.

(12.) In the 1540s, Gouveia was the director of the Colegio das Artes of Coimbra, a school known for its Aristotelian humanism. Considerable educational reforms had occurred in Portugal in the 1530s, but by the 1560s the humanist movement had been ecipsed by a spirit of increasing religious intolerance (see da Silva Dias's enlightening observations on this, esp. 138-46). The University of Evora, by contrast, was established as a school for Jesuit training and instruction by Sebastiao's uncle and mentor, Cardinal Henrique, the founder of the Inquisition in Portugal.

(13.) Cicero's speeches and mature rhetorical works had been widely published between 1528 and 1570. See Ward, 149; 152-53. Quintilian's Institutio Oratoria had been re-discovered by Poggio in 1416 and edited by Cardinal Campano in 1470, while Aristotle's Rhetoric had appeared in a Latin translation by George of Trebizond in 1478 and in a Greek edition, together with the Poetics, by Aldus Manutius in 1508. By 1421, the first complete edition of Cicero's De Oratore was available. See Kennedy, 11. Of course, Camoes might also have had access to more contemporary rhetorical texts, such as Juan Luis Vives's De ratione dicendi (1532), Julius Caesar Scaliger's Poetices Libri Septem (1561), Cipriano Soares's De arte rethorica (1562), and Antonio Sebastiano Minturno's De Poeta (1559) and Arte Poetica (1564).

(14.) Aristotle describes ethos as "the personal character of the speaker," pathos as "putting the audience into a certain frame of mind," and logos as "the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of the speech itself" (24-25). Julius Caesar Scaliger, in his Poetices Libri Septem (1561), proposes efficacia as the rhetorical power, usually in the form of exclamations, addresses, apostrophes, and interrogations, to persuade one's audience to accept even an unpopular course (Kennedy, 12). The Lusiadas abounds in such techniques. Sister Miriam Joseph Rauh devotes an entire chapter to pathos and ethos in Shakespeare's plays (242-89). See also the figurae elocutionis in Lausberg, 165-215.

(15.) One is reminded, in this context, of Giovano Ponrano's contention that truthful men (the veridici) best petsuade because they ate most believed. See Trinkaus, 218-19.

(16.) This is certainly not to suggest that the poem is nothing mote than a poetical essay directed at one empirical or actual reader. Like Virgil, Lucan, Dante, and Atiosto (to name only a few), Camoes is adept at creating multiple audiences for his poem, even when he seems to be addressing a particular individual. Nor, however, do I advocate a totally disembodied reading of the epic. The political and intellectual contexts of mid-sixteenth-century Portugal are plainly evident in the poem. It was Faria e Sousa who first made a convincing case for the identification of Actaeon (9.26), in his preference of the "austere" hunt to love and wedlock, with Sebastiao. The association has been enthusiastically accepted by most of the editors and some of the commentators, among them, respectively, Mickle, Burton, Ramos, and Cidade, on the one hand, and Sergio (33), Macedo (12), and Barkan (passim) on the other. A failure to acknowledge the allegorical dimensions of the work, i.e., not making a distinction between the veil and the "idea" behind it, will obviate an appreciation for the Lustadas as anything more than a superficially ideological, historical, or biographical literary work. Camoes himself avows, when explaining his allegorical approach, that it is from the shadow that the truth can be construed ("pela sombra conhece a verdadeira"; 7.51). It is the rhetorical technique of voice and address, together with its allegorical poetics, that, in my judgment, ultimately and most fundamentally establishes the Lusiadas as a profound work of literary art.

(17.) Sebastiao did not in fact assume full power until his fourteenth birthday in January, 1568. Regencies under first his grandmother Catarina de Austria (1557-1562), and then his great-uncle Henrique (1563-1568), had preceded. According to Hugh Trevor-Roper, the 1550s were a particularly decisive decade throughout Europe since they saw "the extinction of the humanist hope...[for] an individualized reformed Christianity" (39). Portugal was assurediy no exception. Due largely to the policies of Sebastiao's grandmother, Catarina (Carlos V's sister), his uncle (and her brother-in-law), Henrique, and the young king himself, the Inquisition was gripping Lisbon with remarkable force by the 1570s. According to a contemporary observation, the Portuguese court in which the young king was raised and educated seemed mote like a religious school than a Renaissance palace (Queiros Velloso, 95). In such a context, it is not surprising that the censorship of "heterodox" ideas becomes a major problem for anyone trying to be authorized to publish in Portugal (da Silva Dias, 141). The erratic early textual history of the Lustadas (e.g., the "two first editions" of 1572) is probably a consequence of this. A useful description is furnished by Pierce, xiii-xvi, in his edition of the Lusiadas (1973).

(18.) Macedo, 4.

(19.) A variant spelling of the battle site is "Al-Qasr Al-Kabir." Some of Sebastiao's advisors thought that the nation's growing economic difficulties could be diminished by the conquest of Morocco, arguing, for example, that Portugal's recurrent wheat shortages (called by Sergio "o problema do pao para a boca'"; 50) could best be resolved by conquering Morocco and making it the principal grain source ("o celeiro") of Portugal (Sergio, 50-51); however, the consensus was that a successful conquest of Morocco was impossible (ibid.). Felipe II of Spain tried at various junctures to dissuade his nephew from the enterprise (Danvila, passim). 1568, the year before our poet's probable return to Portugal, had seen a revolt in Lisbon, resulting from a sharp rise in taxes together with a devaluation of the currency (Sergio, 43-44). Such economic problems (in marked contrast to the bonanzas of the previous century), as well as the consequent restrictions on generous patronage, clearly contributed to the burdens facing the poet in winning approval at court. Queiros Velloso (130), Fernandes (387-88), and Hermano Saraiva (332) survey some of the numerous contemporary broadsides directed at Sebastiao, and Fothergill-Payne reminds us that Couto would later (in the early 1580s) describe the misgovernment of Sebastiao and cite two manifestations of it (16-17). See also Sergio, 37, 30, 41-42. Alfonso Danvila has an extensive and sometimes illuminating, if occasionally tendentious, account of Sebastiao's political activities, especially as regards Spain.

(20.) One should bear in mind that there was little about Sebastiao with which either Camoes or his humanistic counterparts could identify. For example, the writer was a love poet par excellence, while the monarch was not romantically inclined. Despite his youth, Sebastiao had no apparent interest in finding a royal spouse, a fact that alarmed many of his countrymen. Sergio argues that the youth was adamant about remaining virginal, preferring instead "a pureza da castidade, que ele guardou ate a morte com limpeza virginal; em cuja guarda foi tao zeloso e acautelado de toda a comunicacao e ainda da vista ou fala de mulher" (the purity of chastity, which he guatded all his life with virginal behavior of the most zealous sort in the presence or on the subject of women; 34). His disinterest in marrying was widely thought to be the result of the physical maladies of his late childhood. By 1571, details of his problems were known all over the nation (Queiros Velloso, 108-09). Sebastiao also manifested little inte rest in classical humanism, a current that pervades much of Camoes's poetry. The only possible subject on which they would have agreed would have been national pride.

(21.) 1.28: "[o] Fado eterno / Cuja alta lel nao pode ser quebrada. All translations of the Lusiadas are those of Fanshawe (1963), unless otherwise noted. All other translations (including translations of texts besides the LUsiadas) are my own, unless, again, otherwise noted, as when I quote Bacon. My text for the Lustadas is Hernani Cidade's definitive edition. Citations refer to canto.stanza

(22.) 1.31: "Altamente the doi perder a gloria."

(23.) 1.34: "um, pela infamia que arreceia, / E o outro, pelas honras que pretende."

(24.) 1.36: "que da Deusa sustentava / Entre todos as partes em porfia."

(25.) One of Cicero's spokesmen in De Oratore, Antonius, expounds on the way audiences feel love for their speaker when they are defending the good and combating its opposite: "love is won if you are thought to be upholding the interests of your audience, or to be working for good men, or at any rate for such as that audience deems good and useful. For this last impression more readily wins love, and the protection of the righteous esteem [illa virtutis defensio caritatem]; and the holding-out of a hope of advantage to come is more effective than the recital of past benefit. You must struggle to reveal the presence, in the cause you are upholding, of some merit or usefulness, and to make it plain that the man, for whom you are to win this love, in no respect consulted his own interests and did nothing at all from personal motives. For men's private gains breed jealousy, while their zeal for others is applauded" (2. 51. 206-07).

(26.) 2.38; "Co riso ua tristeza misturada."

(27.) 2.39: "Faca-se como Baco determina; / Assentarei enfim que fui mofina."

(28.) 2.40: "Este povo, que e meu."

(29.) 2.42: "destas brandas mostras comovido, / Que moveram de um tigre o peito duro."

(30.) These categories are set forth by Giovanni Pontano in his De Sermone. See Trinkaus, 217-18. In his eighteenth chapter, Puttenham uses the category of dissimulation to describe such rhetorical figures as enigma, ironia, and periphrasis (196-206).

(31.) Enigmatically, Proteus is also stopped from speaking by Neptune's wife, Tethys, the same Tethys who, as da Gama's newly awarded spouse, will prophesy the "future" eastern glories of Portugal in the tenth canto.

(32.) 6.89: "nao convem furor a firme amante."

(33.) 6.91: "a linda Venus se entregavam, / Amansadas as iras e os furores."

(34.) For example, Vitor de Aguiar e Silva sees the episode as a kind of pleasure-filled reward for the long-suffering and striving Portuguese mariners.

(35.) 3.102: "Lindo o gesto, mas fora de alegria, / E seus olhos em lagrimas banhados."

(36.) 3.103: "genre fera e estranha."

(37.) Ibid.: "Poder tamanho junta nao se viu, / Despois que o salso mar a terra banha; / Trazem ferocidade e furor tanto, / Que a vivos medo, e a mortos faz espanto!"

(38.) 3.104: "Viuva e triste, e pasta em vida escura, / Sem marido, sem Reino e sem ventura."

(39.) 3.105: "esse gesto ... claro e ledo, / De pai a verdadeiro amor assela."

(40.) 3 106: "Tudo o clemente Padre lhe concede, / Pesando-lhe do pouco que Ihe pede."

(41.) 3.127: "so por ter sujeito / O coracao a quem soube vence-la."

(42.) 3.128: "Onde em lagrimas viva eternamente."

(43.) 3. 138: "um fraco rei faz fraca a forte gente."

(44.) Aristeja is the rhetorical art by which the heroic exploits of others are narrated in poetic form. Da Gama reports not only the discourses of Maria and Ines but also those of Nuno Alvares Pereira, o Veiho do Restelo, and Adamastor, all of which are of rhetorical interest. Like, particularly, Lucan and Dante before him, Camoes fills his poem with didactic illustrations of desirable and undesirable behavior through the rhetorical use of moral exemplars taken from Portuguese history.

(45.) 7.59: "Lancando a grave vox do sebio peito."

(46.) 7.62: "De vossos Reinos, sera certamente / De ti proveito, e dele gl6ria ingente."

(47.) 8.45: "sinais deabolicos e indicios." An in-text parenthetical reference to Bacon indicates that I quote the 1950 English translation of Camoes.

(48.) 8.46: "Jugo perpetuo eterno cativeiro / Destruicao de gente e de valia."

(49.) 8:55: "num pobre e humilde manto."

(50.) 8.62: "vago navegante."

(51.) 8.66: "quem nao crer devias."

(52.) 8.69: "[com] o coracao sublime, o regio peito, / Nenhurn caso possibil tem por grande."

(53.) 8.73: "so queremos / Sinal que ao nosso Rei de ti levemos."

(54.) 8.75: "minha grao verdade...sincera e nao dobrada."

(55.) Ibid.: "Que facil e a verdade de entender-se."

(56.) 8.76: "Concebe dele certa confianca, / Credito firme, em quanto proferia."

(57.) Ibid.: "das palavras a abastanca."

(58.) Ibid.: "enganados...corruptos, mal jugados."

(59.) 1.10: "nao movido / De premio vii, mas alto e quasi eterno.

(60.) Italics mine. 1.18: "In kindness this new enterprise exalt I So that my verses may belong to thee" (Bacon).

(61.) The poet does speak briefly in his own person in 1.105-06, where he ponders the benign manifestations of evil in the world and the resultant confusion for lowly man, and in 3.138-43, in the middle of da Gama's history, where he describes the power of love, even in its least uplifting forms. In the first few stanzas after da Gama's historical discourse to the King of Malindi, da Gama assumes an identity analogous to that of the petitioning poet, when he rhetorically asks the African king if even Aeneas and Ulysses can be compared to the valiant Portuguese (5.86) and then asserts that, despite the joys one might get from reading the "fabulas vas" of Homer and Virgil, the naked truth ("nua e pura") that he tells (as Bacon translates) "triumphs over all high-flying poetry," (Vence toda grandloca escritura; 5.89). After the admiring reaction of the Malindian audience (5.90-91), the poet seriously returns to propria persona and, using the rhetorical mode of antithesis, declaims on how vital it is for poets t o be celebrated and recognized in a just commonwealth. Mirroring da Gama's self-dramatization as an honest speaker speaking unornamented truth, the poet contrasts great past civilizations, where poetry was cultivated and admired by monarchs, to present-day Portugal, where the arts are of little apparent importance to those that rule.

(62.) Kennedy, 189. Although such utterances are assuredly sanctioned and championed in the tradition of literary epic, Camoes's strictures bear close affinities to those of D. Aleixo de Meneses, one of Sebastiao's early tutors and by Jeronimo Osorio de Fonseca, an early tutor of Elizabeth Tudor, who later wrote an admonitory letter to Luis Goncalves de Camara, Sebastiao's notorious tutor. See Sergio, 37 and 41-42, respectively.

(63.) 5.96: "nua mao a pena e noutra a lanca."

(64.) 5.97: "quem nao sabe arte, nao na estima."

(65.) 5.95: "duros e robustos." 5.98: "asperos." "austeros," and "rudos e de engenho ... remisso."

(66.) In this portion of the poem, Camoes exercises the rhetorical mode of ekphrasis, defined by Pierce as a "structural device" in the form of "the insertion of a secondary story or set of pictures within the confines of the main narrative" as in Neptune's palace in canto 6 and in the description of the Portuguese heroes in canto 8, "both of which represent considerably expanded versions of the device as used by Virgil" (Camoes, 1973, xxx). Essentially, ekphraiis is a pause in the narrative resulting from some self-contained aside leading to the description of a work of art or other object, intended, finally, to illuminate not only it but also the larger work in which it occurs.

(67.) 7.78: "por caminho tao arduo. longo e vario!"

(68.) 7.80: "Por hospicios alheios degradado."

(69.) 7.81: "[as] capelas de louro que me honrassem."

(70.) Ibid.: "Trabalhos nunca usados me inventaram, / Com que em tao duro estado me deitaram!"

(71.) 7.82: "Que exemplos a futuros escritores, / Pera espertar engenhos curiosos, / Pera porem as cousas em memoria / Que merecerem ter eterna gloria!"

(72.) 7.83: "Que nao no empregue em quem o nao mereca, / Nem por lisonja louve algum subido, / Sob pena de nao ser agradecido."

(73.) 7.84 "Subir a grandes cargos."

(74.) 7.85:" "Pera servir o seu desejo feio."

(75.) "Ibid.: "Se muda em mais figuras que Proteio."

(76.) "Ibid.: "corn habito honesto e grave.

(77.) "Ibid.: "Por contentar a rei, no oficia nova, / A despir e roubar a pobre povo!" The "oficio novo" of this passage is, in my view, an unequivocal reference to the Holy Inquisition, which had recently become energized both in Goa and Lisbon, and habito honesto e grave seems to evoke ironically the dergy. Sergio (43-44) provides a useful contextual reading of these lines.

(78.) 7.86: "E nao acha que e just o e born respeita I Que se pague a suor da servil genre."

(79.) "Ibid.: "corn pouco experto peita."

(80.) 8.96: "[a] sede imiga / Do dinheiro, que a tudo nos obriga!"

(81.) 8.99: "mais que sotilmente."

(82.) In Dante's Purgatorio, Sordello rails against those priests who choose not to leave Caesar's work to Caesar (6.94-99). To cite first Sebastiao's grand-uncle, Henrique, the true founder of the Inquisition in Portugal, and then the even more profound influence of the somber but efficient Camara brothers at court, is to give only an incomplete look at the pervasive influence of clerical (and clerically inclining) interests at the Portuguese court from 1550-1578. In this respect, Sebastiao was in no respect following in the tradition of his greatest predecessors, Afonso I (Afonso Henriques), Joao I of Avis, or, for that matter, his grandfather Joao III.

(83.) Emphasis mine. The pun illuminates the primary allegory of the poem, from the very beginning of the voyage of the Portuguese when they land in Mombasa and see a pagan god in the form of a priest praying at a Christian altar.

(84.) 8.99: "que s6 a Deus omnipotente / Se dedicam."

(85.) Ibid.: "mil vezes ouvireis / Que corrompe este encantador, e ilude, / Mas nao sem cor, contudo, de virtude!"

(86.) "One is reminded of lago's unflattering description in Othello of Michael Cassio's soldiership as "mere prattle without practice" (1.1.26). See Gerald M. Moser's illuminating essay on the prevalence of this attitude among the "grumbling veterans" of the Portuguese empire.

(87.) 9.92: "do sono do ocio ignavo."

(88.) 9.93: "no torpe e escuro / Verdadeiro valor nao dao a gente."

(89.) Ibid.: "essas honras vas, esse auto puro, I Verdadeiro valor nao dao gente." (90.) Ibid.: "Milhor e merece-los sem os ter, I Que possui-los sem os metecer.

(91.) 9.95: "rei que tanto amais."

(92.) Ibid.: "quem quis, sempre pode."

(93.) 10.144: "rei temido e amado."

(94.) Faria e Sousa copiously illustrates how the absence of a real conclusion to the poem's narrative section clashes with, particularly, Virgilian tradition. Instead, he sees its peroration to be one directed solely at Sebastiao, full of admirable antitheses and sententious wisdom ("solamente una peroracion al Rey D. Sebastian Ilena de cotejos, i sentencias admirables"; 2:583). Quotations by Faria e Sousa are cited by volume:page number.

(95.) 10.145: "[uma] genre surda e endurecida." Rogerio Fetnandes (342-43) sees the transition between stanzas 144 and 145 to be unusually harsh and abrupt.

(96.) Ibid.: "metida / No gosto da cobica e na rudeza / Dua austera, apagada, e vil tristeza."

(97.) 10.146: "Nao tem um ledo orgulho e geral gosto / Que os animos levanta de contino / A ter pera trabalhos ledo o rosto."

(98.) "Ibid. "ledo orgulho."

(99.) 10.148: "So com saber que sao de vos olhados, / Demonios infernais, negros e ardentes, / Cometerao convosco, e nao duvido I Que vencedor vos facam, nao vencido."

(100.) 10.149: "pois que sabem / O coma, a quando e onde as cousas cabem."

(101.) "I singularmente atendio el Poeta a que el Rey Don Sebastian iva faltando con aquella facilidad humana de los Reyes passados, en hablar a su gente en general, i no con dos o tres validos en particular (2:591)"

(102.) Faria e Sousa conjectures that these words were directed at the young king because he was at that time dominated by three clerics, one of them a Jesuit, who should set a better example: "Todo esto es, porque entonces tres Religiosos modernos lo mandavan todo; i principalmente uno que era diciplina de Cavalleras, deviendo de diciplinarse a si por el buen camino dellos" (2:593-94). Faria e Sousa himself had the title of "Cavallero de La Orden de Christo, i Casa Real." And in his discussion of 10.150, he adds that any cleric who is similarly interested in money is equivalent to a Judas ready to trade in his God for some pieces of silver (2:593-94).

(103.) 10.150: "Que o bom religioso verdadeiro / Gloria va nao pretende nem dinheiro."

(104.) 10.151. "uns, os vivos, / E (o que e mais) os trabalhos excessivos."

(105.) 10.152: "pera mandados, / Mais que pera mandar."

(106.) Ibid.: "Tomai conselho so de exprimentados, / Que viram largos anos, largos meses, / Que, posto que em cientes muito cabe, / Mais em particular o experto sabe."

(107.) For Faria e Sousa, the analogy between Phormio and Hannibal is another prod by which the poet warns his reader of the danger of depending on the unexperienced, many of them clerics, at court: "Trae el Poeta este exemplo al Rey, para reprehenderle de que tomava consejo en estas materias con las personas que no sabian que cosa eran armas, i casos militares; i principalmente aquellos Religiosos" (2:597). By contrast, the nobility, especially those that have served in India, can be depended upon for expert advice: "i por eso dixo antes, que estimasse los Cavalleros, i con ellos tratasse estas materias, que eran propias dellos, i en particular de los que las tenian tratado en la India" (ibid.).

(108.) 10.153: "A disciplina militar prestante / Nao se aprende, Senhor, na fantasia, / Sonhando, imaginando ou estudando, / Senao vendo, tratando, e pelejando."

(109.) 10.154: "humilde, baxo e rudo, / De vos nao conhecido nem sonhado."

(110.) Ibid.: "o louvor sai as vezes acabado." Faria e Sousa glosses "acabado" as "perfeto: sin poderse mejorar, ni hazer falta para esto otra mano, estudio, o abonacion" (perfect, not able to be improved upon, nor requiring another hand, study, or endorsement; 2:598).

(111.) Ibid.: "honesro estudo, / Com longa experiencia misturado / [e] engenho ... I Cousas que junta se acham raramente [italics mine]. "Engenho," for Camoes more accurately suggests literary talent or inventiveness.

(112.) 10.155: "So me falece ser a vos aceito, / De quem virtude deve ser prezada."

(113.) Early in the poem, the poet assures the young king that a future poem (or poems) in his honor may follow, if he rakes control of his kingdom: "E, enquanto eu estes canto, e a vos nao posso, / Sublime Rei, que nao me atrevo a tanto, / Tomai as redeas vos de Reino vosso: /

Dareis materia a nunca ouvido canto" (And whilst I These do sing and dare not you, / Great King (for I aspire not to that height)/Take you your Kingdomes reynes your Hand into, / And furnish matter for a loftier flight; 1.15).

(114.) 10.155: "Dina empresa tomar de ser cantada, / -- Como a presaga mente vaticina."

(115.) 10.156: "rompendo nos campos de Ampelusa / Os muros de Marrocos e Trudante."

(116.) Ibid; "Alexandre em vos se veja, / Sem a dita de Aquiles ter enveja."


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Date:Sep 22, 2000
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