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Eut if we will not allow Venus to have directed his choice, and assisted him in gaining Helen; may we not conjecture that, in some piratical expedition, making an inroad on the coast of Sparta, he was so fortunate as to carry off this inestimable prize? The situation of Troy naturally caused; its inhabitants to turn their attention to navigation. In the early history of navigation, we find its first object to have been, among all nations, piracy, rather than commerce. As savage tribes seldom have long peaceful intercourse with each other, we fnay believe, that their natural ferocity and the love of plunder will actuate them, as well when they traverse the sea as when they range over the earth. We find that Agamemnon and Achillcs took care also to get possession of some lovely captives for their amusement, soon after their arrival in Phrygia. Had Homer told us a long story of Paris travelling to a Grecian couit as a competitor with many other suitors for the affections of the charming Helen while yet a maid, we might with good reason suspect the truth of his nanation; because such an adventure would appear inconsistent with the manners of the age. But when we are informed that he stole her off, though married to a Grecian prince, we immediately recognize those savage times in which the law of nations is unknown or unobserved. Paris might fail to Greece, with a design to revenge the injuries which his nation and family had suffered from the Grecian Hercules. The remembrance of his aunt Hesione, would be a sufficient inducement to him to carry off, by fraud or force, the queen of MeneT laus, even though her beauty had been less alluring. When the author of the dissertation urges the impossibility of Paris carrying off Helen, together with her attendants and wealth, from the inland town of Lacedemon, he seems to think rather of some gallant Irishman eloping with an English hei
ress, than of the manners, circnmfhnces, and adventures of the heroic age of Greece.
It is by no means suprising that the Trojans refused to deliver Helen to the Greeks. The mutual hostilities which appear to have long prevailed between Greece and Asia, the influence of Paris and Priam, the disposition of Helen, and the ferocity of a barbarous age, are sufficient to account for this. As life is short and uncertain, and all the children of men must die at one period or anotl.:.; I must confess, that I can perceive no reason to suspect Homer of falsehood, when he tells us, that Castor and Pollux had died between the time of Helen's elopement with Paris, and the expedition of the Greeks to Troy. But our author seems to think, that it was exceedingly selfish and absurd in those heroes to depart from life at a time when their lister was among a strange people, and in the embraces of a ravilher.
Ten years elapsed before the Greeks sailed for Asia Minor to revenge the injuries of Menelaus, and to regain the lovely Helen. Many circumstances, unknown to us, may have contributed to retain them so long from that expedition. Perhaps the unfortunate husband could not, at first, engage his subjects and neighbours to Ci spouse his cause. To build a thousand ships would be, to a people whom we cannot suppose to have been very dexterous or ingenious ship-carpenters, a work of no inconsiderable labour ot time. An army composed of the subjects of many different princes, and of the inhabitants of several different islands and divisions of the Grecian continent, could soatcely be assembled all at once. There appears, therefore, no shocking improbability in their suffering the amorous Paris to enjoy his mistress undisturbed for the space tf ten years.
Helen appears to have been at least forty, when Troy was ukeo; and the author of the dissertation u
Jerioiifly of op:nion, that whatever a lady may have been at fifteen, at forty she can be no longer beautiful. Nay, he would even persuade us, that this fair Grecian's beauty must have been "on the wane," as he elegantly expresses himself, so early as at the beginning of the Trojan war. Alas! is it impossible for good nature, good hours, and the arms of the man she luves, to preserve a lady's beauty from decay till the age of forty ? Poor beauty! what a fading flower! But as the charms of many a maid have been immortalized in song, why may we not suppose Homer to have preserved the beauty of Helen a few years longer than it would otherwise have lasted? Or, though the virgin-bloom of fifteen may be different from the matron beauty os forty, yet we may reasonably allow one of the most beautiful women whom the world has ever seen to have been capable, even at the age of forty, to move the admiration of the aged Priam and his venerable counsellors. «« But can the siege of Troy have lasted ten years?" Yes, ten years ; for, as Rome rose more beautiful and better fortified after being destroyed by the Gauls; as London acquired greater regularity, magnificence, and elegance in its buildings, in consequence of the gTeat fire os 1666; so Troy, after being levelled with the giound by Hercules, was rebuilr, and fortified in such a manner as to secure its inhabitants almost from every danger.
And, when the Trojans were fortified in such a manner, were so numerous and so brave, can we be surprised that they were able to withstand all the valour and military skill of the Greeks for ten years; when we consider, besides, that the Greeks had Wasted their strength by attacking the neighbouring nations, and were weakened by discord and sedition? But why should we doubt that the Greeks at length prevailed? many of their heroes, indeed, were slain before Troy. £ut when Eparninondas, and when
Wolfe fell, their armies were victorious. Virgil, who flourished at a time when the numbers and elevated language of poetry were insufficient: to charm mankind, without the aid of fiction, may, indeed, be supposed to have misrepresented the circumstances of the taking of Troy; but shall we refuse to believe Homer, who wrote in an age when the poet and the historian were one?" Did Ulysses, Agamcm"non, and Diomedes, conquer only to "be exiled, or to be dethroned and "murdered ? Surelytheirtoils and thtir "victories merited a better reward." But after being so long absent fto:Ti their country and dominions, and Ester losing their bravest soldiers, and most faithful subjects before Troy, were not their fortunes such as might be naturally expected? Did the European monarchs, whose piety moved them to join the Crusades, find, ac their return from the East, either their wealth increased, or their power tendered more absolute? Such of the Trojans as could make their escape, might be expected to sice the avenging Greeks, and their ruined country. Antenor and Æneas, with a few followers, arrived in Italy. Small were their first establishments there; but they gradually lose to wealth and power.
I flatter myself that all those particulars in Homer's story, which I have attempted to vindicate against the cavils of the author of the dissertation, now appear probable and consistent. It' this is accomplisticd, we can no longer have any difficulty to agree with Homer, notwithstanding all that C'hrvstcmus and his worthy friend hive advanced, that the wife of Menclaus was carried off by Paris, and that Troy was taken by the Greeks.
Perhaps, to the learned and sensible reader, this subject may appear unworthy of such laborious discussion. It would, indeed, be difficult to prove the dignity or importance of the subject. Notwithstanding all our toils
aai and inquiries, obscurity and mystery must ever pervade that early period of Grecian history. But wherever sophistiy erects her standard, let truth and reason boldly advance to level it yith the ground. As we would haste tp expel an hostile force sioin the barrenest spot in the Biiiiih dominions, so let the lovers of literature and the ftiends of truth, firmly resist—even the smallest encroachments of scepticism and sophistry. However feeble
J$8 Certificate of the Services c/St Anthony in a Portuguese Regiment.
and inaccurate the arguments which* I have adduced, yet I cannot avoid thinking, that, when viewed in comparison with those of the Diffettator, they carry time plausibility. I shall rejoice, however, if some person, capable of more acute reasoning, and more profound research, shall bravely accomplish what even I have ventutured to attempt.
Certificate ofths Services of Saint Anthony in a Portuguese Regiment. By W. Cotiigan, E/q *.
IN all Catholic countries there is not a kingdomj a province, a town, a parish, nor even an individual, especially in Spain and this countiy (Portugal), who has r.ot each his tutelar Saint, Angel, or GuRrdi;m, to whom he recommends himself and his concerns. In like manner, there is not a regiment which has not long ?.go put itself under the protection of some particular saint, as their devotion or attachments dictate to them. For example, one regiment, about a hundred years ago, took St Anthony of Lisbon for its patron and protector, who, soon after, received a captain's commifiion in the same, and has received the appointments regularly ever since. These are employed, as well as two-pence per month, paid by every individual of the regiment, in saying a stated number of masses for the fouls of all those of it who die—in celebrating the festival of the Saint—in supposing the chaplains—adorning the chapel, and defraying other incidental charges, under the inspection of an officer the regiment appoints for that purpose. This post of'Superintendent for St Anthony, the Major, who is a noble (fidalgo.) and a blockhead, has occupied with great zeal and devotion tbr some years past, and has never
since ceased teasing the court with memorials and certificates of seivicet in favour of St Anthony, that he might be promoted to the rank of Aggregate Major in the regiment. The late minister always laughed heartily at such memorials, and threw them among his waste paper, declaring, it was only another method of robbing the King of so much more money per month, to be employed in supporting idle priests, processions, and superstitions. But the present pious Queen and her ministers have uken the affair in a serious light, and hive promoted St Anthony for me encouragement of superstition.
The Colonel of the regiment fnewed us a bundle of paper3 folded together, which, when he had untied and spread out, consisted of above city certificates, signed by different persons of the regiment. These certificates were stitched together, like a pamphlet in folio, and were stuffed with narratives of miracles which St Anthony had performed at the requests of different persons—He hid restored a very favourite lap-dog tor the Major's lady, whiii had been stolen from her, and which she had despairecT of ever seeing again, till he* Father Director desired het to s
Certificate a/the Services o/St Anthony in a Portuguese Regiment. 3^9
tune St Anthony, which (he had not arms. For your information, I subdone for above two days, when th; join here a translation of the certificate dog was brought back to her! He al- the Colonel read to us, which I obso saved a poor soldier, who Called tained as a piece tod precious to be upon him when drowning, as he passed lost, or overlooked. It is as near as 8 deep river, by miraculously throwing the idioms of the two languages will* a rope in his way! Another had reco- permit, which in formal deeds and vered from the small-pox, by thinking writings are considerably different \ on St Anthony, and this after the rat- but In its manner and form exactly tie was in his throat, and he had bs.cn resembles all those passed in this coungiven over by the Surgeon-Major of try, which, as well as in Spain, are the regiment! In short, another cer- numberless, no manner of public butificate related, that a drummer of the siness, lawsuits, &C. being carried on regiment, named John, or Joa6 Ivo without them, as those who are at all Alegre, being in bed with his wife, acquainted with the language and cus* and their child sleeping between them, toms of Portugal can readily attest, when he waked in the morning found The translation runs as follows: a large snake (which had crept in un- 'Don Hercules Antonio Carlos der the door of their hut) in bed with 'Luiz Joseph Mariade Aibouquerqud them, sucking his wife's breast, while 'e Araujo de Magalhaens Homem, she was fast asleep, with its tail in the 'Nobleman of her Majesty's Housemouth of the child, who was sucking 'hold, Knight of the sacred Order of it very contentedly: at sight of such an 'St John of Jerusalem, and of the extraordinary appearance, the drum- 'most illustrious military Order of mcr immediately invoked St Anthony, 'Christ, Lord of the Districts and ^ho inspired him with presence of 'Towns of Moncarapacho and Terramind and courage, sufficient to seize * gudo, hereditary Alcaide Mor of the at once the head and tail of the ser- 'city of Faro, and Major of the Repent, by this time overloaded with the 'ginient of Infantry of the city of quantity of milk he had sucked; and 'Lagos, in this kingdom of Algarve, setting a foot upon each, secured him 'for her Most Faithful Majesty, whom from, doing them any mischief, till 'God long preserve, &c. &c. Sec. with his hanger, which lay at his bed's 'I attest and certify, to all wh6 head, he cut off the animal's head, 'shall see these presents, Written out and mangled it so as to prevent it from 'by my commands and signed at thft hurting them. Thus the man, wife, 'bottom with my sign-manual, with and child, had a miraculous escape 1 'the broad seal of my arms close by Amidst such a multifarious collec- 'my said signature, and a little to the tioft os crude absurdities, Mr Bagot 'left of it, that the Lord 9t Anthony, tiid be would not take up any more 'otherwise the great St Anthony os' time, than by reading the Major's own * Lisbon, (commonly and falsely callcenisicate, which served as a crown * ed of Padua) has been insisted, and and confirmation to all the others, and 'had a place in this regiment ever to establish St Anthony's character as * since the 24th of January, of the a man of honour and a good soldier; * year of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1668, and, .s such, recommending him to 'as will appear more particularly beber Majesty, aJ a person every way 'low: I farther attest, that the fiftydelerting her royal attention, in what 'nine within certificates, numbered regards h<s promotion in the army. 'from unity up to the number 59, and Th-s certificate was drawn out in a 'with the cypher of my name set close fine hanH, - ' sealed at bottom with 'by each number, do contain and toman enormous-large seal of the Major's 'prehend. a tru* and faithful relation Vox.: VII. No 41. ., Z* . ?*/ j6o Certificate os the Services i/St Anthony In a Portuguese Regiment.
* of the miracles and other eminent « services the said St Anthony has, at « different times, rendered to and per
* formed in this regiment, in consc
* quence of his having a place in it;
* wherein, besides many other incon
* testible evidences, I am confirmed,
* by having conversed with many of
* the parties now alive who received
* these services from the said Saint:
* That, therefore, to doubt os the ve
* racity of these miracles, is as heinous
* a crime against the Holy Ghost, as
* to doubt any of the dogmas of our 'holy faith, or of the miracles of
* Christ himself, the evidences where1 of are not so strong and convincing *"as those in the present instance bc
* fore us, and by which our blessed
* Saviour's own woids are fulfilled,
* when he told bis disciples, that " af
* ter me (hall come those who shall do
* greater works than I have done," 'which prophecy clearly pointed to
* our great St Anthony.
« I do farther certify, upon my word
* of honour, as a Nobleman, a Knight,
* and a Catholic Chiistian, (as with
* God's grace I am) what hereunder
■ That having read over and peru
* fed attentively a'l the papers, note
* books, and registers of our regiment,
* ever since its first formation, and ha
* ving carefully Copied out of the said .* papers every thing relating to the a'bove-named St Anthony, it is it ver'bo ad verbuvi what follows here:
■* for the truth of which I refer to the
* said books and papers, lodged in the 'archives of our regiment.
• That on the 24th of January
'16R8, by order of his Majeliy Doo 'Pedro Second, (whom God has in
• glory) then Prince Regent of the 'Kingdom of Portugal, directed to 'the Viceroy of this kingdom of Al'garve, was St Anthony insisted as a 'private soldier in this regiment of 'Infantry of Lagos, when it was fust 'formed by command of the fame
• Prince; and of such enlistment of
• St Anthony there was a register 1 formed, which now exists in the 'First Volume of the Regtster-bork 1 of the Regiment, sol. 143. rer. and
• whsrein he gave for his caution and 'surety * the Queen os Angels, who
• became answerable that he would net 'desert his colours, but behave always 'like a good soldier in the regiment. 'And thus did the Saiot continue to 'serve and do duty as a private in the 'regiment, till Scp::mbcr the lith '1685, on which day the fame Prince 1 Regent became King of Portugal.
• by the decease of his brother Don 'Assonco the Sixth; and on the fair* 'day his Majesty promoted St Ac'thony to the rank of Captain in the 'regiment, for having, a short time
• before, valiantly put himself at the ■ head os a detachment of the regi
• ment, which was marching from Ju
• rumenha to the garrison of Oirvenga,
• both in the province of the Alentcjn, 'and beat off a strong body of Cafhl'lians, four times the number of said
• detachment, which body had been fee
• in ambush for them, with the inun'tion os carrying them all prisoners t»
• Badajox, the enemy having, by their
• spies, obtained information of oSdr
* The method of recruiting the army "ut Spain and Portugal, is totally difJerret from what is practised in England: each of the provinces is divided into diftrieev and the Civil Magistrate of everv district is obliged to furnish the number as recruits allotted him, whenever called upon by Government; and such reenits mo* be the sons of merchants, tradesmen, peasants, labourers, &c. &c. inhabitants t£ their district: and the father, brother, some relation, or other sufficient person, » made responsible for each recruit, that he shall heh.ive well, and not desert hk colours; and if he does, that person is obliged to find another man to serve in ki» jlace, for whom he must also be answerable. Thus, in the text. Saint Anthons
;ivrs the Virgin Mary for his security, as being the most respofisiblc ptrfca fcr
sold offer to aasvrci for his £oed behaviour.