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like them; and that if their virtue was superior to his, they would have the same claim to divinity: for that the path of virtue was the only way which lay open to Heaven.
"At length he resolves to go in a single ship, and to reject all such dastards as dared not accompany him.
"Upon this, Orontes takes fire, declares he will attend him through any dangers; that he wants no oracle, but his own courage and the love of glory; that it was for merchants like the Tyrians, not for heroes like them, to make trading settlements in a country for the sake of its wealth.
"All the younger part of the council agree to the sentiments of Orontes; and, from the love they bear to Brutus, determine to be the companions of his enterprise; and it is resolved to set sail the next day. That night Hercules appears to him in a vision, applauding and confirming the sentiments he had that day delivered in council, and encouraging him to persevere in the pursuit of the intended enterprise.
"The second book opens with a picture of the Supreme God in all his majesty, sitting on his throne in the highest Heaven. The superintending Angel of the Trojans' empire (the Regnum Priami vetus) falls down before the throne, and confesses his justice in having overturned that kingdom, for the sins of the princes, and of the people themselves. But adds, that after having chastised and humbled them, it would now be
agreeable to his mercy and goodness, to raise up a new state from their ruins, and form a people who might serve him better; that, in Brutus, his providence had a fit instrument for such a gracious design.
"This prostrate Angel is raised by the Almighty, and permitted to attend upon Brutus in his voyage to Britain, in order to assist him in the reduction of that island.
"The Guardian Angel, in pursuance of this commission, flies from Heaven to the high mountain of Calpe; and from thence causes an east wind to blow, which carries the fleet out of the Straits westward to the Canary islands, where he lands.
"Here was to have been a description of Teneriffe, and of the volcanoes, as likewise of a most delicious island, which is described to be without inhabitants. A great part of his followers are disposed to settle here. What more, say they, can we wish for ourselves, than such a pleasing end of all our labours? In an inhabited country we must, perhaps, be forced to fight and destroy the natives; here, without encroaching upon others, without the guilt of a conquest, we may have a land that will supply us with all the necessaries of life. Why then should we go farther? Let us thank the gods, and rest here in peace. This affords room for a beautiful description of the land of Laziness.
"Brutus, however, rejects this narrow and
selfish proposition, as incompatible with his generous plan of extending benevolence, by instructing and polishing uncultivated minds. He despises the mean thought of providing for the happiness of themselves alone, and sets the great promises of Heaven before them.
"His persuasions, being seconded by good omens, prevail: nevertheless, they leave behind them the old men and the women, together with such as are timid and unfit for service, to enjoy their ease there, and erect a city. Over this colony, consisting however of about three thousand persons, he proposes to make Pisander king, under such limitations as appear to him wisest and best.
"To this proposal they all assent with great satisfaction; only Pisander absolutely refuses to be king, and begs, notwithstanding his age, that he may attend Brutus in his enterprise. He urges that his experience and counsels may be of use, though his strength is gone; and that he shall die unhappy, if he does not die in the arms of his friend.
"Brutus accepts his company, with great expressions of gratitude; and having left his colony a form of pure worship, and a short and simple body of laws, orders them to choose a government for themselves, and then sets sail with none but resolute and noble associates.
"Here the Poet, by way of episode, meant to have introduced the passion of some friend, or the
fondness of some female, who refused to stay behind, and determined to brave all hardships and perils, rather than quit the object of their affections.
"Providence is now supposed to send his spirit to raise the wind, and direct it to the northward. The vessel at length touches at Lisbon or Ulyssipont, where he meets with the son of a Trojan, captive of Ulysses. This gives occasion for an episode; and, among other things, furnishes an account of Ulysses settling there, and building of Lisbon; with a detail of the wicked principles of policy and superstition he had established, and of his being at length driven away by the discontented people he had enslaved.
"Brutus is afterwards driven by a storm, raised by an evil spirit, as far as Norway. He prays to the Supreme God. His Guardian Angel calms the seas, and conducts the fleet safe into a port; but the evil spirit excites the barbarian people to attack them at their landing.
"Brutus, however, repulses them, lands, and encamps on the sea-shore. In the night an aurora borealis astonishes his men, such a phenomenon having never been seen by them before.
"He endeavours to keep up their spirits, by telling them that what they look upon as a prodigy, may be a phenomenon of nature usual in those countries, though unknown to them and him; but that if it be any thing supernatural, they ought
to interpret it in their own favour, because heaven never works miracles but for the good.
"About midnight they were attacked again by the barbarians, and the light of the aurora is of great use to them for their defence.
"Brutus kills their chief leader, and Orontes the three next in command. This discourages them, and they fly up into the country. He makes prisoners of some of the natives, who had been used to those seas, and inquires of them concerning a great island to the south-west of their country; they tell him they had been in such an island upon piratical voyages, and had carried some of the natives into captivity. He obtains some of these captives, whom he finds to be Britons; they describe their country to him, and undertake to pilot him.
"In the next book, Brutus touches at the Orcades, and a picture is given of the manners of the savages. The North Britons he brought with him from Norway relate strange stories concerning one of the greatest of their islands, supposed to be inhabited by demons, who forbid all access to it, by thunders, earthquakes, &c. Eudemon relates a tradition in Greece, that in one of the northern islands of the ocean some of the Titans were confined after their overthrow by Jupiter. Brutus, to confound their superstition, resolves to land in that island.
"Brutus sails thither in a small vessel of six oars,