Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/51

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brought to the Portuguese markets, the greater part of whom, it is unctuously observed by Zurara, were converted to the true way of salvation. The rich field of commerce thus entered upon was rapidly developed by the continued exploration of the coast. We have seen that even before the Iffante's emissaries anchored at the mouth of the Senegal a navigator standing further out to sea claimed to have passed it, and reached Cape Verde. The year in which the Senegal river was actually reached (1445) was marked by another important advance. The Venetian captain Ca da Mosto and the Genoese Antonio de Nola, both in the Iffante's employ, passed beyond Cape Verde, and reached the Gambia river; the Iffante began also in this year the colonisation of San Miguel, which had been reached in the previous year, and was the second among the Azores Islands in order of discovery. In 1446 Ca da Mosto and Antonio de Nola not only discovered the four Cape Verde Islands, Boavista, Santiago, San Filippe, and San Cristovao, but passed Capo Roxo, far beyond the Gambia River, and coasted the shore to an equal distance beyond Capo Roxo, discovering the rivers Sant' Anna, San Domingos, and Rio Grande. From the coast south of Cape Verde new wonders were brought back to Portugal. The Iffante's eyes were gladdened by beholding tusks of the African elephant, and a living African lion.

How far southward along the coast the Iffante's licensees had actually sailed at the time of his death (1460), is uncertain. Could the distances reported by them as expressed in nautical leagues be accepted as trustworthy evidence, they must have passed the Bissagos and De Los Islands, and here reached the latitude of Sierra Leone, only eight degrees north of the equator. But the estimates given in the chronicle, founded only on dead reckoning, are in excess of actual geographical distances. We doubt whether before Dom Henrique's death Portuguese seamen had passed the tenth parallel of north latitude; and it is known that in his last years the complete discovery and colonisation of the Azores group chiefly occupied his attention. Dom Henrique's will, which specifies churches founded by him in each of the Azores, in Madeira, Porto Santo, and Deserta, as well as in various towns of Portugal and on the opposite coast of Morocco, speaks of the great dependency of Guinea, which he had secured for the Portuguese Crown, in general terms only. He looked on it as a certain source, in the future, of large ecclesiastical revenues. These, following a common practice of the age, were settled by him, with the Pope's assent, on the military and religious Order of which he was governor. Guinea was to be parcelled into parishes, each having a stipendiary vicar or chaplain, charged for ever with the duty of saying " one weekly mass of St Mary " for the Iffante's soul. We find nothing about the circumnavigation of Africa, or the extension of the enterprise to the Indian Ocean. Down to his death he probably expected that a junction with the