National Geographic : 1918 Dec
518 THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Camoens, the preemi nent writer of Portugal, inspired by love of coun try, in the "Lusiads" em bodied the romantic "epic of discovery" and shaped and stabilized the Portuguese language. Literary Portuguese is still called "the speech of Camoens." His work, though less creative than that of Dante, is no less permanent. THE SPANISH * The peninsula writhed beneath the heel of the Moslem for eight hun dred years. No other people has incarnated a national tragedy so pro longed. The Portuguese farther west suffered less in the intensity of the struggle, which wrought itself into the soul of the Spanish char acter. To this day Span ish peasants address one another as caballero, or knight. T h e struggle produced that rigor and intensity of religious con viction which found ex pression in Torquemada and the Inquisition and which could not endure peoples of alien faiths, like the Jews and Moors, on Spanish soil. Ferdinand and Isabella, joint sovereigns of re Photograph by A. F. Sherman united Spain, inflicted the final overthrow upon the "OPEN MY HEART AND YOU WILL SEE GRAVED INSIDE OF Moslems at Granada in IT 'ITALY"' (SEE ALSO PAGE 449) 1492. From that camp at The Italians, like the Americans, are a most composite people. No- Granada Columbus, com where else in Europe have so many foreign elements fused with the missioned by the Queen, native element to produce a modern nation (see text, page 511). went forth to the voy age that brought to Eu The Portuguese have always been a warlike rope the New World. To the Spanish and the and proud people. The spirit of that first Portuguese of right belong the greatest glory democratic assembly, even when under seeming for the epochal discoveries of that marvelous eclipse, has never been wholly lost. That spirit generation. Other nations emulated, but could finally drove out the Moslems and extended not equal, their achievements upon the sea. their language beyond its natural frontiers. It The decline of Spain from her preeminence rendered Portugal in the fifteenth century the and the suppression of Portuguese independ foremost maritime, commercial, and colonial ence resulted from the reign of Philip II, power in the world. It sent Diaz, Da Gama, great-grandson of Ferdinand and Isabella. and Magellan across many seas and demon- The many invasions of the peninsula had strated the earth a sphere by circumnavigation. contributed many additions to the original The same spirit today fired the sons of Por tugal to act their valiant part on the fields of * See also, in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGA Flanders and made them copartners in sacrifice ZINE, "Romantic Spain," by Charles Upson and victory. Clark (March, 191o).