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left unto us in writing, in Portuguese verse, very many prophecies upon divers and sundry subjects ; amongst the which there are found some, which treat Del Incubierto, viz. Of the concealed and hidden prince; in one part whereof, we have observed the aecomplishment, in the person of King Don Sebastian ; and, if those, which remain behind, shall
prove but as true, as those that are past, doubtless, we shall see this king seated in his royal throne.
The poor labouring people of Portugal retain this as an old tradition :
• That a time shall come, wherein a king, whose name shall be, as it were, De Bestia, shall disappear for a time; and that, after he and his realm shall have suffered many afflictions and calamities, the very selfsame king, whom all the world holdeth for dead, shall rise again, and gain his throne with incredible happiness.' In which tradition, we are to note one thing concerning the name of Bestia ; for the peasants of Portugal, instead of saying Sebastian, pronounce Bestiam; so that, taking away the last letter of the word, there remains, Bestia. Moreover, we may also persuade ourselves, that this tradition of those base, rustick, and barbarous men shall have its full accomplishment, in the person of this prince, hitherto so unfortunate. It is no such strange and unusual thing to see God pernit, that we behold his secrets in the mouth of ignorant persons, since that his son hath taught us, Abscondisti ed a sapientibus, & redelasti ea parvulis. And we may as well, by the permission of God, see this rustick prophecy fulfilled, as they did that, which runneth through the mouths of the labourers of Beaulse, in these latter years of the King that was; which was by tradition delivered still from the father to the son ;
! The year one-thousand five hundred eighty-nine,
• Far more hares, than sheep, shall you see. We have also, elsewhere, another old follow, who hath composed a book in Castilian verse, which serves as an explication of those prophecies of St. Isidore, and of some others, who have writ of the Incubierto. In which book I have read, some forty-five years since, many curious things, which, if I could remember them, would at this time stand me in good stead. But, because I read them in my youth, without any notice of things to come, or imagining of any changes or revolutions to happen in the world these twenty-four years past ; and, besides, being then incapabļe of understanding them, it made me the more negligent in the apprehension of them; only my memory hath, in a confused manner, furnished me with a poem of seven lines very fit for our present purpose ; and, not long since, a gentleman of Portugal, a faithful servant to his king, and very deşirous of his country's liberty, gave it me in writing:
Vendra & Incubierto,
Entrera en el huerto,
Which is as much as to say:
6 The unknown shall come,
Which is nearest to the wall ;
• Shall appear full clear, and be discovered For the better understanding of these verses, we are to understand what this Garden, and what this Wall is; for the exposition and understanding of these two words shall give us light to the rest, and shall lay open to our view those admirable things, which a simple poem prophesieth unto us.
We are, then, to understand, that this Garden may be taken for the country which extends itself beyond the mount Calpe, which is in Spain, at the mouth of the Streight of Gibraltar, fronting mount Abyla, which is situated on the other side of the said Streight, in Africa ; which are the two mountains, that are named by the ancients Hercules's Pillars, as far as the river which the Latins call Bætis, and is named now at this day, by the inhabitants, Guadal-quiver (a name imposed by the Moors, after they had made themselves lords of Spain) which signifieth, in our language, Great Water ; for Guad, in the Arabian tongue, is as much as Water, and Quiver signifieth great.
The isle of Cales is in that country, and was once far greater than now it is. All this country is very fertile, plentiful, and delightful.
Ancient authors do report of it, that, if their sheep should go but thirty days without letting of blood, they would die with fatness.
In this country did Homer dwell, before he grew blind, which was in the year 1307 after the flood, and two-hundred fifty-five, before the foundation of Rome, and a thousand before the incarnation of Christ. In those days they called it, Melesegines. They that have seen the fruitfulness and good temperature thereof, affirm, that these were the Elysian Fields, whither the gods sent the souls of the blessed. Whence we see clearly, that this country is the garden of Spain, and so we likewise call it.
Yet there are some authors, notwithstanding, who maintain and approve with very strong and evident reasons, that Lisbon is the garden of Spain, with the appurtenances thereunto belonging: For as much as it is a very pleasant territory, large, fertile, plentiful, fair, and delectable, wherein grow great abundance of all fruits, the most excellent, and the most perfect that Europe affordeth.
Your elder writers affirm, that the mares, that live thereabout, will be impregnated by the wind; and that the colts, which come of them, seem rather to fly than run, so swift they are of foot.
Ulysses, whom writers allot unto us, as founder of the said city, and his companions, arrived after his shipwreck, in these quarters, and entering into the ocean sea by Tagus, moved by the fertileness of the territory, with the waters, and the abundance of fish, that were bred in the said river, being so deep, and so marvellous fit for all kind of commodities, besides the great store of gold, which seemed to be in those sands, he named it Theodora, which in the Greek tongue, signifieth God's Gift. So that the garden of Spain is that country, which we affirm to be between the mount Calpe and the river of Gaudiana: Or else the town of Lisbon, with her territories.
The King Don Sebastian having entered some of these parts with prosperity, it importeth us a little for the verification of this prophecy, whether the one, or the other, be the garden of Spain.
Touching the wall, all they, that are well seen and practised in the ancient histories of Spain, confess, that it is the isle of Cales, which they call Gades, and by reason of the affinity of the G with the C, is converted into the name of Cades.
And for the better declaring from whence this name came, it is necessary that we here alledge some ancient histories, which teach us, that there are six men that bear the name of Hercules; whereof two of them have sufled each others reputation. One was son unto Jupiter and Alcmena; the other, son of the same father, and of Asteria sistor to Latona. And this Hercules is adored with great reverence at Tyre.
The histories do report, that he commanded the Gaditanes by a dream, who were the inhabitants of that city, that they should pass into Spain, andb uild a temple unto him in Cales, where his name should be held in veneration.
For to accomplish this commandment, the Gaditanes embarked themselves in the year two-hundred thirty-five, after the foundation of Rome; and sailing by the Mediterranean sea, they entered the ocean; and not far from the mouth of the Streights, they landed at Cales. · There began they to build a town, observing the customs and ceremonies of the Hetruscians, who did, as. Marcus Varro mentioneth, couple a bull and a cow under one yoke, and so made a deep furrow with their ploughshare, in a circular or round figure, whose circuit they drew as large as the city should be, which they intended to build. The ploughshare made the furrow, and the earth, they threw up, formed their walls. So did Romulus, when he undertook the foundation of Rome ; as it is storied by Dionysius Halicarnasseus. So did Æneas also, according to the testimony of Virgil.:
Intered Æneas orbem designat aratro.
And thus, in this manner, was the said place held afterwards for a thing holy and religious,
Assoon as the building of this town and temple was bruited in the world, great multitudes out of Europe, Africa, and Asia came to see it. And. in after years, the Carthaginians, considering that the inhabitants thereof, as being all of one country, for they and the Gaditanes came both out of 'Tyre, would continue still friends unto them, determined to undertake the conquest of Spain.
And for the better effecting their design, they cloaked their ambition, with piety and religion, as I shall shew you; giving the Spaniards to understand, that it was not fit, since so many out of all parts of the world came to visit this city, and the temple belonging unto it, and to do sacrifice unto the God thereof, of whom they had received such exceeding benefits, that the said God should be worshiped in so poor & temple, and of so base a structure, the walls thereof being no better than dirt and earth : and therefore would entreat them, that they might have leave to build a greater, a richer, and more sumptuous temple.
The Spaniards, not suspecting any ill that might succeed, nor any way being jealous of the Carthaginians at that time, did easily condescend to their request, suffering them to obtain whatsoever they desired.
Presently hereupon, the Carthaginians began, with incredible haste, to build a mighty huge temple of squared stone, and so strong, that it might serve them instead of a castle, for the effecting of this their intention.
There were also all along the temple some strong buildings, saying they were to serve for the priests, the officers, and the servants of the said temple.
Not content with this, acquainting the Spaniards with the bad entertainment, which those received, which came with such great devotion, and undertook such long journies for to visit the house of this their God, that they might have where to retire themselves, and to shelter themselves for all seasons, that they would permit them to build a greater number of houses, for to lodge and receive poor pilgrims.
In a word, the Carthaginians obtained all that they would; and joining one house to another, they made a very strong place, by means whereof, they grew great lords in Spain. And the same report is now at this day very common also in the mouths of many. When the Earl of Essex took the said town by force, the inhabitants trembled, and cried out, Is it possible that the walls of Spain should be taken by the enemy? O God, what shall we do?
Out of this, which hath been said, you may clearly see, that this is that wall, and that garden, which the author of these prophecies hath spoken of in his verses. So that, in knowing this, we may easily have knowledge of the gate, that is on the hither side of the wall, which must be that of St. Lucar de Barrameda, which is on the other side in the ocean sea, some five leagues distant from Cales.
God grant that this virtuous and holy prince, Don Sebastian, King of Portugal, fulfilling all that which is prophesied of him, may enter
into the possession of his Kingdom, for the peace and tranquillity of his countries, and the common good of all Christendom. Amen. Farewel, the last of August.
After I had ended this present discourse, news came out of divers places, and letters, sent by many persons worthy of credit, who confirm all this that hath been spoken of Don Sebastian : Adding withal, that the Duke of Medina Sidonia sent afterwards aboard the gallies four men, which had both seen, known, spoken, and served the said King, all the time he lay at Cales, before he passed into Africa, which was eight days, for to see and examine, whether he were the very same or no. These men saw him, spoke to him, and demanded of him many things, himself not knowing to what end they thus examined him : who returning to the Duke, did avouch with many oaths, that this man was that very self-same right and true Don Sebastian, King of Portugal, whom he had received at Cales, with such great joy and feasting, in the year 1578. Some say that the Duke writ letters of all this that had passed unto the Catholick King: and besides, that with these his letters, and ratification of what he had seen and heard, he sent the said men for to testify the truth of it.
God grant for his mercy's sake, and for our delivery out of so many troubles and miseries, that those prophecies set down in the two last lines of those verses in the Castilian tongue, before recited, may quickly be fulfilled, to wit:
Y lo, que paresee escuro,
DON SEBASTIAN, KING OF PORTUGAL, With a Declaration of all his Time employed since the Battle in
Africk against the Infidels, 1578, until this present year, 1603. London : Printed for James Shaw, and are to be sold at his Shup near Ludgate,
1603. Quarto, containing sixty-eight Pages.
THE EPISTLE TO THE READER.
GENTLE READER, In the entrance of this discourse which follows, you shall find three letters, written by an ancient mau called Doctor Texere, a Portuguese,
This is the Both Number in the Catalogue of Pamphlets in the Harleian Library..