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was philosophy in this extraordinary man would be frenzy in one who does not resemble him as well in the cheerfulness of his temper as in the sanctity of his life and manners.
I shall conclude this paper with the instance of a person who seems to me to have shown more intrepidity and greatness of soul in his dying moments, than what we meet with among any of the most celebrated Greeks and Romans. I'met with this instance in the history of the Revolutions in Portugal, written by the Abbot de Vertot.
When Don Sebastian, king of Portugal, had invaded the territories of Muli Moluc, emperor of Morocco, in order to dethrone him, and set his crown upon the head of his nephew, Moluc was wearing away with a distemper which he himself knew was incurable. However, he prepared for the reception of so formidable an enemy. He was indeed so far spent with his sickness, that he did not expect to live out the whole day, when the last decisive battle was given; but knowing the fatal consequences that would happen to his children and people in case he should die before he put an end to that war, he commanded his principal officers, that, if he died during
the engagement, they should conceal his death from the army, and that they should ride up to the litter in which his corpse was carried, under pretence of receiving orders from him as usual. Before the battle began, he was carried through all the ranks of his army in an open litter, as they stood drawn up in array, encouraging them to fight valiantly in defence of their religion and country. Finding afterwards the battle to go against him, though he was very near his last agonies, he threw himself out of his litter, rallied his army, and led them on to the charge; which afterwards ended in a complete victory on the side of the Moors. He had no sooner brought his men to the engagement, but, finding himself utterly spent, he was again replaced in his litter; where, laying his finger on his mouth, to enjoin secrecy to his officers who stood about him, he died a few moments after in that posture.
No. 350. FRIDAY, APRIL 11.
Ea animi elatio quæ cernitur in periculis, si justitiâ vacat,
pugnatque pro suis commodis, in vitio est. TULL. That courage and intrepidity of mind which distinguishes
itself in danger, if it is void of all regard to justice, and supports a man only in the pursuit of his own interest, is vicious.
CAPTAIN SENTRY was last night at the club, and produced a letter from Ipswich, which his correspondent desired him to communicate to his friend the Spectator. It contained an account of an engagement between a French privateer, commanded by one Dominic Pottiere, and a little vessel of that place laden with corn, the master whereof, as I remember, was one Goodwin. The Englishman defended himself with incredible bravery, and beat off the French after having been boarded three or four times. The enemy still came on with greater fury, and hoped by his number of men to carry the prize; till, at last, the Englishman finding himself sink apace, and ready to perish, struck: but the effect which this singular gallantry had upon the captain of the privateer was no other than an unmanly desire of vengeance for the loss he had sustained in his several attacks. He told the Ipswich man in a speaking-trumpet, that he would not take him aboard, and that he staid to see him sink. The Englishman at the same time observed a disorder in the vessel, which he rightly judged to proceed from the disdain which the ship's crew had of their captain's inhumanity. With this hope he went into his boat, and approached the enemy; he was taken in by the sailors in spite of their commander; but though they received him against his command, they treated him when he was in the ship in the manner he directed. Pottiere caused his men to hold Goodwin, while he beat him with a stick till he fainted with loss of blood and rage of heart; after which he ordered him into irons, without allowing him any food, but such as one or two of the men stole to him under peril of the like usage. After having kept him several days overwhelmed with the misery of stench, hunger, and soreness, he brought him into Calais
. The governor of the place was soon acquainted with all that had passed, dismissed Pottiere from his charge with ignominy, and gave Goodwin all the relief which a man of honour would bestow upon an enemy barbarously treated, to recover the imputation of cruelty upon his prince and country.
When Mr. Sentry had read his letter, full of many other circumstances which aggravate the barbarity, he fell into a sort of criticism upon magnanimity and courage, and argued that they
were inseparable; and that courage, without regard to justice and humanity, was no other than the fierceness of a wild beast. A good and truly bold spirit, continued he, is ever actuated by reason and a sense of honour and duty; the affectation of such a spirit exerts itself in an impudent aspect, an overbearing confidence, and a certain negligence of giving offence. This is visible in all the cocking youths you see about this town, who are noisy in assemblies, unawed by the presence of wise and virtuous men; in a word, insensible of all the honours and decencies of human life. A shameless fellow takes advantage of merit clothed with modesty and magnanimity, and in the eyes of little people, appears sprightly and agreeable; while the man of resolution and true gallantry is overlooked and disregarded, if not despised. There is a propriety in all things; and, I believe, what you scholars call just and sublime, in opposition to turgid and bombast expression, may give you an idea of what I mean, when I say modesty is the certain indication of a great spirit, and impudence the affectation of it. He that writes with judgment, and never rises into improper warmths, manifests the true force of genius; in like manner, he who is quiet and equal in his behaviour is supported in that deportment by what we may call true courage. Alas! it is not so easy a thing to be a brave man as the unthinking part of mankind imagine: to dare is not all that there is in it. The privateer we were just now talking of had boldness enough to attack his enemy, but not greatness of mind enough to admire the same quality exerted by that enemy in defending himself. Thus
his base and little mind was wholly taken up in the sordid regard to the prize, of which he failed, and the damage done to his own vessel; and therefore he used an honest man who defended his own from him, in the manner as he would a thief that should rob him.
He was equally disappointed, and had not spirit enough to consider that one case would be laudable, and the other criminal. Malice, rancour, hatred, vengeance, are what tear the breast of mean men in fight; but fame, glory, conquests, desires of opportunities to pardon and oblige their opposers, are what glow in the minds of the gallant. The captain ended his discourse with a specimen of his book learning; and gave us to understand that he had read a French author on the subject of justness in point of gallantry. I love, said Mr. Sentry, a critic who mixes the rules of life with annotations upon writers. My author, added he in his discourse upon epic poem, takes occasion to speak to the same quality of courage drawn in the two different charac. ters of Turnus and Æneas.
He makes courage the chief and greatest ornament of Turnus, but in Æneas there are many others which outshine it, among the rest that of piety. Turnus is therefore all along painted by the poet full of ostentation, his language haughty and vain-glorious, as placing his honour in the manifestation of his valour: Æneas speaks little, is slow to action, and shows only a sort of defensive courage. If equipage and address make Turnus appear more courageous than Æneas, conduct and success prove Æneas more valiant than Turnus.