La Vie et Voyages de Christophe Colomb - Forgotten Books

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et qui, en sirivant la trace de Christophe Colomb devint un historien d'"lite. Irving " tait ..... evinced^ a strong passionforgeogra- phical ...... Aventures. Les for"ts ...

AND

LIFE

VO YAG ES

C H RISTO P HER C O LU M B U S

WASHl NGTO N

IRVING

(

couos uss o av r ue A U THO R FRO M

ms

LARGER

WO RK)

7

G

.

P PUTNAM S sons ’

.

NE W Y O RK 27

w aar '

rw

m rv r mao ‘

-

LO NDO N sr nar r

Cb:

24

ns o r o no sr ns n

t n l m m h o u S G

nid

x,

1

,

sr nA N o

IN T RO DUCT I O N

.

W H ETH ER i n old times beyond the reach of h ist o ry or tradition and at some remote per i od wh en as so me i magine the arts may have flourished to a degree u nkno wn to those whom we term the ancien ts there existed an i ntercou rse bet ween the opposite shore s of the Atlantic ; whether t he E gyptian legend narrated by Plato respect ing t he islan d of Atlantis was ind e ed no f able but the trad it ion of some cou ntry en gul fed by on e o f those m ighty convu l sions of our globe which have left th e traces of the ocean on the su m m its of lofty m ou n tain s m ust ever rem ai n m atters of vagu e an d visionary speculation As far as authent icated h istory extends n othing was kn o wn of terra fi rm a an d th e i slands of the w estern h em isphere u n til thei r d iscovery to wards the close o f the fi fteen th centu ry A wand ering bark may occasion ally have lost sight of the lan d marks of the old cont in ents an d b een d riven by tem pests across the w il dern ess of waters long before th e i nvent ion of t he com pass but non e ever retu rn ed to reveal the secret s o f t he ocean ; an d though from tim e to tim e som e doc u ment has floated to th e old world giving to i ts wond e ring inhabit ants i n d i cat i ons of lan d far b eyon d their watery horizon yet n o one ventu red to spread a sail an d seek that land enve l oped i n mystery and peril O r i f the legend s of th e S candinavian voyagers be correct an d thei r mysterious Vinland were the coast o f Labrador ,

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iv

I N TR OD U C TI ON

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or the shore of N e w fou ndlan d they had bu t t ran cie nt glimpses of the N e w World leadin g to n o perman ent kno wledge and i n a little time l ost again to mankin d Certai n it is that at the begin n ing of the fi fteen th cen tury wh en th e mos t in telligent m in ds were seeki ng i n eve ry direction f or th e scattered l ights of geograph ical kn o wl edge a profou nd ig noran ce prevailed among the learn ed as to the w estern region s of the Atlantic ; i t s vas t w aters w ere regarded w i t h awe an d w onder seem in g to bou nd the w orld as w ith a ch aos i nto wh ich conj ect u re could n ot pen etrate an d en terprise feared to adven tu re We need n o greater proof of this than th e description given of th e Atlantic by X e rif al Ed risi surnamed the N u bian an em in en t Arabian w riter w hose cou n trym en possessed all that was kno wn of geography i n the m iddl e ages ” “ T he ocean h e observes encircles th e ultim ate bou nds of the i nha b ited earth an d all beyon d it is u nkn o wn No one has been abl e to veri fy anythi ng concern in g it on accou n t of its di ffi cult and perilous navigation its great obscu rity its profou n d d epth and frequen t tem pests ; through f ear of its m ighty fi s hes an d its haughty wi nd s ; yet th ere are many isl and s in it som e of wh ich are peopled an d others u n inhabited There is n o mariner w ho dares to enter into its d eep waters ; or i f any have don e so they have m erely kept alon g its coasts fearfu l of depart ing from them The waves of th is ocean althou gh they roll as h i gh as moun tain s yet m ain tai n themselves w ithout breaking ; for i f t hey broke it w ou l d be i mpossi ble for a ship to plo w them I t is the obj ect of th e fo l lo wing work to relate the deeds an d fortu n es of the mari ner who fi rst had the j udg m en t to d ivi ne and the in trepid ity to brave the mysteries of this peri lous d eep ; and who by h is hardy gen i us his i nflexible con stancy an d his heroic courage brought ,

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the en ds of t he earth i nto co mm uni cat i on wi th each other T he na rrative of his trou b led life i s t he link which con nects the h i sto ry of the old world wi th th at of the n e w .

.

N OT E

.

S I NCE the fi rst publ ication of th is w ork researches made concern in g t he ea rly voyages of the N orthmen have establ i shed t he fact to the con vict ion of most “ m in ds that Vin land the cou n t ry acc i den tally dis co v ered by those wide wan dering n avi gators a b o ut th e year 1000 was really a part of the co nt in en t o f N o rt h America This fact ho wever does n ot lessen the m erit of the great enterprise and achievemen t o f Col um bus Nothing gre w out of th is d iscovery of Vinland n or does any idea appear to have been en tertain ed of the exten t or im por “ tance o f the region th us casually brou ght t o light T wo or three voy ages w ere made to it bet ween the years 1 000 an d 102 1 after which it ceased to be an obj ect of further qu e st and apparen tly faded fro m thought as i f it h ad never been At the tim e whe n Colu mbus visited Thule u p wards of three cen tu ries an d a hal f had elapsed si nce the last voyage to Vin land of wh ich we h ave any record ; an d t wo centu ries and a half sin c e the sagas We see w hich mention the cou ntry had been writt e n n o reaso n to bel ieve that h e heard anythi ng of these d is H ad he don e so co v e rie s or s aw th e sagas i n question h e would doubtle s s have c ited th e m a mong the various reports o f lands seen by marin ers in the w est with wh ich h e sought to fo rti fy h is the o ry an d win patronage t o h is ,



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vi

N O TE

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en terprise during years of w eary and almost h opel ess solicitation I t is more than probable that at th e tim e of h is visitin g T hu le th e trad it ion concer ni ng Vin lan d had long been forgotten an d the sagas had been con signed to the dust of libraries an d arch ives then ce to be dra wn fort h by antiquarian research i n after ages when h is o w n discoveries should have cast b ack a light to illu mi nate t heir obscurity .

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ARM S O F CO

LUMBU S

.

CO N T EN T S

.

I nr ao nuc rto s

N or a

I

.

II

.

.

P og ess c

O

Gro u n

d

s on

di sc

Un

.

VI I

.

VIII

.

P

d

o rt u

to the

Co

Co

v ere igns

os p

i ti

.

.

l i

re at ve

ons o f

v

g

ih

e

.

l umb us

P

of

l

o rt uga

c nc

i

e rn ng

o

Co

e

e n ts o f

ed

his Be

Di sc o ve ry

.

Is

— Re s i

l nd a

s

in

lie f

o

xi

f the E

s te nce

.

— Pro po s i t io ns

in Sw

s

of

Cc

Cou rt

l umbu

s

r of

t he Spa n

ih s

il

to t he Co urt o f Cas t e

Co un

cil at Salamanca mo ng st

o na e a g

Con

the So

men t wi th

x p d i ti

d

i m—Charac te

l umb u

e

wt

ons

— I d e as

oun

to

o rt ugue se

s

i

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in the

s

lumbus seek Patr

Arran

E

d

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s

E

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gal

l umbu be fore th

t

ce

Pri n

e of

.

t urns to the

IX

er

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Lan

Co

rr

ro

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o ve re

i rs t A iv al of So

VI

hich

w

P

E ve nts i n

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d

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s

ly Li f

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o n , and

ean

s

.

un

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of

e

d ucati

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,

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of

r

r

l umbu V

.

,

of

IV

to n

i h Paren tage

B rt

the

.

Eo n

TO r a ts

d en c III

.

v

e re

of

s

s

es u

.

G ran

me s

d

ee s

.

— Re

his Nego t

in

igns ( t 4 9 t ) pani sh S v o

P

o rt o f

i r t Voyag

F

pani h

S

bid a — R

La Ra

t he S

o n at the

the

v en t

the

e.

Pal

os

e re

ign

s

.

— Pre paratio ns

( 1 4 9 2)

— Di sco v e ry

of

d

Lan

( 1 4 9 2)

fo r t he

CON TE N T S

.

CH A PTE R

XI

PA G E

F

.

i

Lan

rs t

di g

mong

of Co

n

l u mb

ma

h

the Ba a

a

Is

i

us

'

t

n

h

— Cru i se N e w Worl d

e

— Di sc ov ery

lan ds

of

Cu

b

and

a

.

H i spani o la ( 1 4 9 2)

X II

.

Coast

i ng

.

.

an d

,

ot

h

O

er

cc

ur

l d (1 4 9 2)

the I s an

renc es at

XIII

H i s pan i o l a — Ship wre ck

of

Retu rn Voyage — Vi ol e n t Storms — Arriv al i n

P

.

ort u

gal

( 1 49 3 )

X IV

.

ii

Vs t

Co

of

Pal os XV

.

l

u

mb us

Po tugal

t o th e Co urt o f

r

—Arriv al

.

at

( 1 49 3 )

Re cep t i on

of

Co

lumb by th us

p ni h

S

e

a

s

So

v

e re

ig n

B ar

s at

c l on a ( 1 4 9 3 ) e

XVI P pal .

Bu

a

age o f

XVI I

.

.

Fate

.

l e p

XX

XXI XXII

.

E

of

(

on

.

— Pre parati ons for

u

mb us

a

Se

c nd V o

oy

l

his Se

on

con d

yag

Vo

Di s

of

e

H i s p an i o l a ( 1 4 9 3 )

at

of

vid ad — T

La Na

.

c t i on

ran sa

s at

the

)

iy

C

t

b ll

o f I sa

—Di sc onte n ts o f the Peo

e

a.

o

the I nte ri or

(149 3 )

xp di ti e

Customs

.

S kness

ic

on o f

and an d

r

i se

Cru

14 9 3

e

.

.

l

Fortres s

di ng of th

P eparati XX I I I

Co

— Arrival

o f the

Fo un

r

Di scov ery ( 1 4 9 3 )

Hmb o r

XIX

Pa t i ti

of

Departu re co very .

XV I II

ll

of

Co

s

h a c t i stic

C

ra

er

Di sc on ten t

o ns o f

Co

l umbu i nt

Co

l umb u

s

s of

at

l umbu

s

l g

a on

th e

the

fo r the

N at

Sett a

Vo

ive

of

H i s p an i ol a

s

l ement of

bell

I sa

a

.

yage to Cub a

Southern Coas t

161 of

Cu

ba

ix

CON TE N TS

.

Re turn Voyage ( 1 49 4 )

XXV

.

E vent

i n t he I s

s

ives

X XVI XXVII

Batt

.

A rr

l e o f th

e

ival

Go

X XVII I

.

Ret urn Vo

X XI X

.

of

ld

Co mmiss

the

Di sc overy

XXXI X X XII

d mi ni

A

.

Tr

.

i

XXXV

.

me nt

val

Co

of

e re

ro

p

XXX I I

.

Co

of

Is

l and i

Stra t

T r bu te .

— Di sc o ve ry

of

the

.

— Pre parati o ns

for

i

Th rd

a

s

P i

of

Co as t

ar a

.

— Arri val

at

d l

e an tad o

We s t

E nd

x c ti

on

e u

l umb us

of

the I sl and

Co ns

-

pi racy

( 149 9 ) i n the Span

Co mm ss

i i

as

ih

o ne r

.

— Ap

Co u rt

s

— i l i s Arriv al

d

and s e n t to

s

i

Spa

in C

n

in — Il i

in Spa

.

of

h ai n

s

v

ih

I n te r i e w w t

s

O van

d

to

o

the

Go

v

the e rn

H is pan i o l a

Fo u rt

l umbu

i

of

)

— Appo i n tme nt

s

ii

a

Cao nabo ( 1 4 9 4 )

o

l umb u

os t on o f

for

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ign

,

dill a

s arres te

v

a n

an d t he

Bo ba

i g

me nt .

of

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So

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aga ns t

l umbu

Arri

X XXVI P

a to the

i

I n t r gues

Co

s

Ro ld an ( 1 4 9 8 )

.

at

i nt

aga

Aguado

r

p i

S

A

t he

Moxica — H is E

i

.

of

e

n t o p

XXXIV

(

14 9 8

i

s

of

XXXII I

o

a

s t rat o n o f

i i t o f Oj d

V

i one

to

i nid d

of

Re be llio n

.

j eda

o f the

( 149 6 )

e

i g

.

O

— I nsurrect i ons

H ayn a ( 1 4 9 5 )

of

San Do m n

XX X

of

.

Col u mbus

of

i l

s pan o a

— Vega I mpos i t ion

M i nes

yag

Hi

a

—E xpedi ti o n

Nat .

l nd o f

sa

of

h

il

Co

l u mbu

s

fo r

a

Vo y age ( 1 5 00

,

s

on

H is

F

Cru sa 1 50 1

o urt

h

d

e

.

— H is

P pa ati re

r

ons

)

Vo

yg

H i s pan io l a — H is Se arch

a

— Ev e n ts

e

ft

a

e r an

at

t he

gi n

a ry

I ma

1 78

CON TE N T S

X

.

C H A PTE R

PA G E

XXXVI II

.

Re tu rn t i ves

X X XI X

.

XL

X LI

.

.

Vo

yag

.

M ut i n y

X I II

.

X LIV

.

.

ival

Arr

vi i t

A

p

di x

l

y

A pe n G

o ss ar

O

.

of

l

e

.

clip

Su

re

se o f

es

at t

Na

ro

h at I l nd

305

s a

M oo n — Stratag em

th e

ppli f

Di eg o de E sc o b ar

of

.

m the

In

b

H ar

at th e

dian

or

.

311

s

— Battl e

i

w th

Re b el s ( 1 5 04 )

ig

f

i

rs at

us

ro

M e nd e

o

m the

v

ern

Co

pplicati

A

e ss

Is

H i sp an i o l a

— Re tu m o f

i tl

me nt

.

v i i

Co

H i s pan i o l a

of

an

d i ng

l umb u

s

Co

a

.

— De liv e ran c e

A

d mi ni

pi

l umbu

s

(

i

s t rat o n o f

1 5 04

to b e

l

u

mb u s

c

i

re n st ate

Deat h ( 1 5 04 )

e s s an d

l

b

O

van

)

the C ara te r o f Co u m us

h

of

maic a ( 1 5 04 )

to S a n

l a t I ll n s

J

t he

ur

os

u s of e q

z

to

l d

on o f

— H is

s er at o n s o n

—O b s e

the

men t ( 1 5 03 )

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ro

lumb

b

Set t

o rras

Co

Fru

.

— Con test s wi th

maica — T ran sac ti o ns

P

of

yg

.

ua

a

De

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to

s

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a e of

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Go

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to

th e

o

do

X LV

of

l u mbus t p c u

th e

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e

g

Ve ra

of

( 1 5 02)

Di sas ters

Co

X L II

to the Coas t

d

i n h is

I LLUST RAT I O N S

.

PAS S

V

The Au thenti

Arms

of

Co

c

i

of

Po rt ra t

l umbus

Christo

Part

Poole s

bary

'

-

l

t

i me

Co

l umb us

Corsa

mad e

l umb us

of

i

Bar

terres t rial g obe

of a

r

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Medi te rranean Gal l e y i n the Lane

phe

Co

Based

.

on a

d ign in es

rs

at

N ure mberg i n

the

yea

r

by

1 49 2 ,

M art i n Be he m

di nand

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I sabe

ll Q a,

T he Co n

K i ng

,

c

Pi t ure s

hips

of

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l umbu

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ki ng l

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f

ro

eri n

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m Manni ng s ’



pani h

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bella

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f

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.

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s s

fi rs t

xii

[ LL U S TK A TI ON S

.

PAG E

N at

iv

H uts H amacs

e

,

ll y c

Ga

e

i g th

oast n

Di sc o very In

N at

iv

di

N at A

ro

N e we We

m Got tfrie dt s

lt

73

.

H i s p an i o l a

of

84

F ro m H erre ra

.



H i s tory



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We s t

the

of

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W est

t he

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H i s pani o l a

of

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di

In

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Re cep t i on

Fro m an

f

m Go ttfried t s

ro

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f

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A rq ue T he

A

s of

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b uildi ng

Ca q ue

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132

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Gottfried t

s

143

I LL U S TKA TI ON S

.

rac e

N at

ive

pplyi ng provi si on N e w We l t dt

s su

frie



s

s

i l

Tom

b

A mer

of

ig

o

y

f Ad p t d f a

.

di nand an d

Fe r

Ves

Monume nt

pucci

to

Co

.

.

Red rawn

f

ro

m

Go t t

.

Red rawn

e rs .

Bur a Ce remo n

p i d

to the S an ar s



e

pani h Soldi

S

s

e

ro

ro

b ll

I sa

e

Red rawn

l umbu

s

m De

B ry

2 3 1,

m M ori tz Ruge ndas

da

ro

in Ge noa

Rei se in B ras il

Gran a

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f



3 22

m

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i ta

V

e

Le t tere

di

Amer go Ves

i

34 7

TH E

PO RT RAI T

A U T H E N T IC

— CO L U M B U S ( See F RO

M A P A I NTI N G

I AG

T h p bl h

p

zece.

) E

O,

E

,

.

M B dl y hh b p D V P p h hD y V C l mb h w p p p dd l l mb d d I b ll Th lp d l m C d Id h l d p d by i D B y k m V y h py pp d h y md A h im l ll p p h mh h l b ll d I mb l m d phy y l mly P d l p h R m ly l yl p k d Am l p h d by m m wh m I p h d m h p l mb p d w dd h D

the

is

u

In

t at i t un

er

ers as

e

r

istor

'

of

ran s

s

n

t t is t

ias

fro

a co

at a s a e o f ro a e fl ects ,

th e gran

ict ure aug

o rtrai t

pears an os ses s ion , of the

Ne t

and

e r an

i n the

.

a

,

of

was tak en .

sa e

o

ortrait

i s origi na

a

.

was

s,

e ngravi ng o f

co

r.

ages

was

Co

te r of

u

e

a

i

fa

,

faci ng the t e rrors

es of t he

k ee s a

us . and the

L o n ne

.

fa

e rs o n

i

ra

writes to

e

fro

o

i ct ure ,

w ic

uri ng the

e

i fe

afte rwar s s to e n

e

r



of

fro

ari s

se rve

e rt

d e Lo nne ,

uri ng t he

urc

ase

an of

i t had

us

the

asa

art i c es

rece ive

fro

c e ntu r

e re s o

.

uc

ett ers and th e

evo uti on of 1 789

ong the

.

a

sa s

u

s acq uai ntan ce . and

ict u re w e nt w

e , and th e

Bry

Co

a e , t owar s t he e nd of the Si xtee nt

of

h e h ad

us of

o u

aint e

an art s t of

ie

France was the great art co ec t or o f E uro i s tori c va ue w as ei ng co ecte , for we fi nd '

is

the a ove

ate r,

s ic i an of the ro

t rus te

from w ic

art

i n h is

eari ng

the e ngravi ng a

o f art is ti c and



i nan

and ta e n t o the

e as

ai n t i ng

ages .

o

t he i nstruct ions o f Fer

co

as t

th e

ows

fo

as e ngrave

d e l as

t is

y p ll By G d y d m py

ing the

o uc

h

ron ti s

'

PH ER

PO SSESSI O N O F W I LL I AM H A RRI SO N B RA DL Y U N IT ED ST AT ES CO N SUL AT N I C

I N THE

OF C H C

f

CH RI ST O

OF

urc

to

as e

urc

as e .

hi

the painti ng fro

LI FE

AND

VO YA G ES

C H APT E R I B I RT H ,

PARENTAGE

,

CO LUMBUS

OF

.

.

AN D

E DU CAT I O N ,

EARLY

LI FE

OF

CO L U M B U S

.

C H RI STO PH ER C O LU M B U S or Colom b o as the nam e is w ritten in I talian was a n ative of G en oa born about the year 14 3 5 of poor but reputa b le and m eritorious parentage H e was the so n of Domen i c o Colom bo a wool comber and S usan n a Fontanarossa h i s w i fe ; and h is an cestors see m to h av e fol l o wed the same trade for several gen erat ions i n G en oa Attem pts have been made to prove h im of i l l ustri ous desce nt an d several n oble houses have laid claim to him sin ce h is n am e has become so reno wn ed as to con fer rather th an rece i ve d istinction I t is possible some of th e m may b e i n th e right for the f euds in I taly in those ages had b roke n do wn and scattered many of th e n oblest fam il ies an d wh ile som e branches remain ed in th e lordly heritage of castles and dom ai ns others were con foun d ed with t he h umbl est population of th e cities The fact h o wever is n ot mate rial to h is fam e ; and it is a h igher proof O f m erit to be the obj ect O f con ten tion amon g various no b le fam il ies t ha n to be a b le to substan tiate the most i llustrious ,

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TH E

LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

.

lin eage H is son Fernan do had a true f eeling on the “ “ su bj ect I am O f opin ion says he that I s hould derive less dign ity from any n obility o f an cestry than ” from being the son O f such a father Colu mbus was the old est of four ch ild ren ; hav ing t wo — brothers Bartholom e w and Giacomo o r as his n ame is — t ranslated i nto Span ish Diego an d on e sister of wh om noth i n g is kn o wn excepting that sh e was m arried to a person i n O bscure li f e called Giacomo Bavarel lo While very you ng Colu mbus w as t aught readin g writ i ng gram mar an d arith metic an d made som e p ro ficie nc y in dra wing H e soon evin ced a strong passion for geo graphical kn ow ledge an d a n irre sistible i nclin at i on for the sea ; an d in after l ife whe n he looked back upon his career wit h a solem n an d superst i tious feeling he re garded th is early d eterm in at i on of h is m in d as an impulse f rom the D e i ty gu i di ng h im to the stu dies an d inspirin g h im w ith th e inclin ati on s proper to fit h im for th e h igh decrees h e was destin ed to accomplish H is fath er see ing the ben t O f h is m ind endeavored to gi ve him an ed ucati on su itabl e for m aritime life H e sen t him there fore to th e u n i versity of P avia where he was inst ructed in geometry geography astron omy an d n av i gat ion ; he acqu i red also a fam iliar kn owledge O f the Latin tongu e wh ich at that t im e was the m ediu m of i nstruction an d th e l anguage O f the schools H e remained bu t a short time at P avia barely su ffi cient to give h i m th e ru dimen ts th e thorough acquain tan ce O f the n ecessary scien ces ; w ith them w hich b e displayed in after life m ust have been the result of diligen t self schooli n g and of casual hou rs of stu dy amidst the cares an d vicissitudes O f a rugged and wan deri ng li fe H e was on e of those m en of strong natural gen ius who appear to for m themselves ; w ho from having to conten d at their very o u tset w ith priva .

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E N TE RS I N T O N A U TI CA L LI FE

3

.

tion s and i mped im en ts acquire an intrepidity in braving ‘ an d a facility in vanqu i shing d ifli c u l t ie s Such m en learn to e ffect great pu rposes wi t h s mall means supply ing the deficien cy of the latter by th e resources of their o wn energy an d invent ion T h is is on e of th e re marka b le featu res in t he h isto ry of Colum bus I n every u nd e rt ak i n g the sca n tiness and apparen t ins ufli cie ncy of his m e an s enhan ce the grandeu r of his achievements ,

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M ED IT ERRANEA N GA L LEY B a s ed

on a

I N T HE

des ig n i n L a ne Pooh -

'

TI M

UMBU S

E O F CO L

B a r ba ry Cor n i n

s

.

.

Shortly a f ter leaving the u n iversity h e entered i n to naut i cal l i f e an d according to h is o wn account began to navigate at four t een years of age A co mple t e obscurity rests upon th is part O f h is histo ry I t is supposed he made his first voyages w ith on e Colom bo a hardy captain of th e seas w ho had risen to som e d isti n ction by h i s brave ry and w ho was a d istant con n ection of h is f am ily T his veteran is O ccasi onally m entio ned in O ld chron icles sometimes as comm and ing a squadron O f h is o wn som e ,

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4

TH E

LI F E

OF COL U M B U S

.

tim es as being an adm iral i n the G en oese service H e appears to have been bold and adventurous ready to fight in any cause an d to seek quarrel wh erever it m ight la w f ully be fou n d T h e seafaring l ife i n th ose days was pecu liarly full of hazard and en terprise Even a comm ercial expedit ion resem bled a w arlike cruise and th e m ariti me m erchant had O f ten to fight h is way from p ort to port Pi racy was almost legali z ed T he frequen t feuds bet wee n the I talian states ; the cru isings of th e Catalon ians ; the armadas fitted out by noblemen w ho were petty sovereign s i n their o wn dom ains ; th e roving sh ips and squ ad ro n s of private adven tu rers ; and th e holy wars waged w ith th e M oham med an po wers r en dered th e n arro w seas to wh ich n avigation was pri ncipally confi n ed scen es of the m ost hardy en cou nters an d t rying reverses Such w as th e rugged school in wh ich Colu m bus was reared an d such th e rugged teach er that first broke him i n to n aval d is .

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c i p l in e

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Th e first voyage in wh ich we h ear any accou nt o f h is being engaged was in a naval e x pedition fitted out at G enoa in 14 59 by J oh n o f Anjou Duke O f Calabria to m ake a d escen t upon Naples in the h ope O f recovering that kin gdom for h is fath er Ki ng Rein ier or Renato otherw ise called Ren e Cou n t de Proven ce I n th is enterprise the repu bl i c of G enoa aid ed w ith sh ips an d m on ey and m any privat e advent u rers fitted out sh ips an d galleys an d en gaged u nd er the ban n ers of Anjou Among th e n u m ber was th e h ardy veteran Colom bo who had com man d of a sq uad ro n and with h i m sai l ed hi s youthful relation T he struggle of J oh n o f A njou for th e cro wn O f Naples last ed about fou r years w ith vari ed fortu n e an d m uch hard service T he n aval part of the e x pedition distin ,

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6

TH E LI FE

01? COL U M B U S

.

han d to ha n d an d from sh ip to sh ip T h e vessel com man d e d by Colum bus was engaged with a h uge Venetian galley Th ey th re w han d gren ad es an d other fie ry m is sil es and th e galley was wrapped in flam es T he vessels b eing fasten ed togeth er by chains and iro n grapplings cou ld n o t b e separated an d both becam e a m ere blazing m ass invo l ved i n on e co n fl agrat io n T he cre ws th re w themselves into the sea Col u mbus sei z ed an oar which w as floating n ear h im and bein g an expert s wimm er attained the shore though full t wo l eagu es d istant I t pl eased G od adds h is son Fern an do to give h im stre ngth th at h e might preserve h im for greater things A f ter recovering from h is exhaustion h e repai red to Lis b on w h ere he fou n d m any of his Gen oese cou n trym en and w as in du ced to take up his residen ce Suc h is th e accou nt given by Fern an do of h i s f ather s first arrival i n Portugal an d it h as been cu rren tly adopted by m od ern h istorian s ; but on exami n ing variou s h is tories of th e tim e s th e battle here described appears to h ave happen ed several years after th e date of th e arrival o f Colum bus i n that cou ntry That h e was engaged in th e contest is n ot im probable ; but he had previously re s ided for som e t im e in Portugal I n fact on re f erring to th e h istory of that kingdom we shall find in th e great m aritime enterprises i n wh ich it was at that tim e en gaged am ple attract ion s for a person O f his in clin ation s an d pu r su its ; an d we shal l be led to con cl ud e that h is fi rst visit t o Lisbon was not the fortu itou s resu lt O f a desperate adventure but was un d ertaken in a spirit O f liberal cu ri and i n th e pursu it of hon orab l e fortu n e o s it y .

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P RI N CE H E N ) ? y

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C H A PT E R I I

P ROGRESS O F DI SCO VERY — P O RT U GA L RESI DENCE — I DEAS

7

OF P OR T U GA L

.

P RI NCE

U N DE R OF

CO LU M B U S

H E N RY IN

OF

LI SBO N

CO NCERN I NG I SLA N DS I N T H E O CEA N

.

.

career of mod e rn d iscovery had co mm en ced shortly be fore the tim e of Colu m bus and at the period of wh ich w e are t reat ing was p rosecuted w ith great activity by Po rtugal T he red iscovery of the Cana ry I slands in the fou rteen th centu ry and t he occasional voyages mad e to them and to t he oppos i te sh ores of A f ri ca had first t u rn ed the att e n tion o f m anki n d i n that direct ion T he grand impulse to d iscovery ho wever was given by P rince H en ry of P ortuga l s o n of J oh n th e Fi rst surn amed the Avenge r an d P h ilipp a o f Lan cas ter sister of H en ry the Fou rth of E nglan d H avi ng accompanied h is father i nto Africa in an ex pe d ition a gainst the M oors he received m uch in formation at Ceut a con cer ni ng the coast of Gu inea and other regio ns e ntirely u nkn o wn t o E uro peans ; and conceived an idea that i m port ant d iscoveries were to be made by navigating along th e w estern coa s t of Africa O n retu rn in g to Portugal h e pu rsu ed the vei n of i nqu i ry thu s accid entally opened A ban doning the cou rt he ret i red to a cou nt ry retreat i n th e Algarves n ear to S agre s i n t he n eighborhood of Cape S t Vin cen t and i n full vie w of the ocean H ere he d re w roun d him me n em i nen t i n s c i e nce and gave him sel f up to those branches of study con n ected with the mar i t i m e arts H e m ade h i msel f master of all the geograph ical kn o wledge of th e an cients and of the astronom ical science O f t he Arab i a ns O f S pai n T he resu lt of his studies was a firm THE

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8

TH E

LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

conviction that A frica was circu m n av i gable an d that i t w as possible by keepi n g along its sho res to arrive at I n dia For a long t im e past the O pulent trade O f Asia had been monopolized by the I talians wh o had th eir com me rcial establis hm en ts at Constanti nople an d i n th e Black Sea T hither all the precious commod ities O f the East w ere conveyed by a circuitous an d expensive i nter n al route to be th en ce distribu ted over Eu rope The republics O f Ven ice an d Gen oa h ad risen to po wer and opulence in con sequ en ce O f this mon opoly ; their me r chants emu lated th e m ag n ificence o f pri nces an d held Eu rope i n a m an n er tri b utary to their comm erce I t was the gran d idea O f Pri nce H en ry by c irc u mn avigat in g A f rica to open an easier and less expensive route to th e sou rce of th is com m erce to turn it sudden ly i n to a n e w and sim ple chan nel an d to pour it out in a golden tide upon h is cou n try H e w as before th e age in thought an d had to struggle hard agai nst the ignora n ce and pre j u dices o f mankind i n th e prosecution O f h is design N avigation w as y e t in its in f ancy Marin ers f eared to ventu re far from the coast or out O f sight o f i ts land marks and they looked w ith awe at th e vast an d u n kno wn expan se o f th e Atlantic They cherished the O ld belief that the earth at th e equator was gird led by a torrid zone separat in g th e hem ispheres by a region O f impassive h eat and th ey had a su perstitiou s belie f that whoever doub l ed Cape Boj ador w ould n ever return Prin c e H en ry called i n the aid O f science to dispel these errors H e establish ed a n aval college and O bserva to ry at Sagres an d invited thith er th e m ost em in e nt professors of th e naut ical faculties Th e e ffects O f th is establishm en t were soo n apparent A vast improvem ent took place i n maps and charts t he compass was brough t ,

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A RRI VA L A T LI SB ON

9

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i n to m ore

rtuguese m ari n e b e cam e e ra l use th e Po e n ; g signalized for its hardy e nterprises : Cape Boj ador was dou bled th e region of the tropics pen etrated and d ives t e d of its fancied terrors ; the greater part of the Afric an coast from C ape Blan co to Cape d e Verde explored an d the Cape d e Verde and Azore I s lands discovered T o secu re the fu ll enjoym e nt o f t h e se territories H en ry obtain ed a papal bull i nvesting the Cro wn of Portugal w ith sovereign au t h ority over all th e lands it m ight d is cover in th e Atlant ic to I n dia inclusive H en ry d ied on th e 1 3 th O f Novem ber 1 4 73 before h e had accom plish ed the great O bj ect of his am bition ; but h e had l i ved long en ough to behold through h is mean s h is n ative coun try in a grand career of prosperity H e has been w ell “ d escribed as full of thought s O f lofty enterprise and acts O f gen erous spi rit H e bore for h is device th e m agnan imous m otto the tal e nt to do good the only t alen t wo rthy the am bition of prin c e s The fam e of th e Portugu ese d iscoveries dre w th e attention O f th e world ; an d the learn ed th e curious and th e adven tu rous resorted to Li sbon to engage in th e e n terp rises co n t in ually fitting out Am ong th e rest Columbus arrived there about th e year 14 70 H e was at that tim e in t he fu ll vigor O f man hood and O f an engaging presen ce ; and here it m ay not be im proper t o d ra w h is portrait acco rdi ng t o th e m in ute descriptions given O f hi m by h is con temporaries H e was t all w ell form ed an d m uscular and O f an elevat e d and d ign ified d em ean or H is visage was lo n g and n eithe r full nor m eagre ; his complexion fair and freckled and inclin ed t o ruddy ; his n ose aqu ilin e ; his cheek bon es w ere rather h igh ; his eyes ligh t gray an d apt to enkin dle ; h is whole cou n tena nce had an air of author i ty H is hair in his e outh ful d ays a l ight color but care an d troubl f s w a O ; y ,

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TH E LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

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soon t urn ed it gray an d at th i rty years O f age it was qu ite H e was mod erate an d simple i n d iet and apparel w h ite eloquen t in discou rse engagi ng and a ffable w ith strangers and O f an amiablen ess and suavity in dom estic li f e that strongly attached his hou sehold to h is person H is temper was n atu rally irritable ; bu t h e subdu ed it by the m agnan im ity O f his spi rit com porting h im self w ith a cou rteous an d gen tle gravity and n ever indu lgin g in any i ntem peran ce o f lang u age Throughout his li fe h e w as noted for a st rict atte n tion to the O ffi ces O f religion nor did h is piety con sist in m ere f orms but partook O f that lo fty and solem n en thusiasm w ith wh ich h is whole char acter was strongly t inctu red While at Li s bon h e was accustom ed to at te nd religious service at the chapel O f th e Conven t O f All Sain ts H ere he becam e acqu ainted with a lady O f ran k nam ed Do na Felipa who resid ed in the conve n t She w as the d au gh ter O f Barto l om eo M ofi is d e Pale st re llo an I talian cava lier lately d eceased who had been o n e O f the most d isti ngu ished navigators u nder Prin ce H en ry an d had colon i z ed an d govern ed the islan d O f Porto San to Th e acqu aintan ce soon ripen ed into attachmen t and ended i n m arriage I t appears to have been a m atch of m ere a ffection as the lady had little or n o fortun e T he n e wly m arried couple resided w ith t he m other O f th e bride The latter perceiving the interest wh ich her son in l aw took in nau ti c al a ffairs used to relate to him all she kn e w of the voyages an d expedit i on s O f her late h usband and delivered to him all h is charts j ou rn als an d other m an uscripts By these mean s Colu m bus became acqu ain ted w ith th e routes of the Portugu ese an d their plan s an d ideas ; an d h aving by h is m arriage an d residence becom e nat u ralized in Port ugal h e sailed occasionally in the ex peditio n s to the coast O f Guin ea When at hom e ,

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D RE A M S OF DI SCO VE R Y

n

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he su pported his fam ily by m aking ma ps and chart s ; and th ough his m eans were s can ty he appropriated a part to th e educat i o n O f h is you n ger b rothers and the s uccor of his aged father at G en oa From Lis bo n he rem o ve d for a t im e to the recen tly d iscovered island of P orto Santo w h ere h is w i fe had inh er i ted s om e property and d u ri ng his resid ence there she bore h im a son wh om he n am ed Diego H is w ife s sister was m arried to P ed ro Co rreo a navigator of n ote who had at o ne tim e been govern or o f Porto S an to I n th e fam i l iar i nterc o u rse of dom e stic life their con versation fre q u en tly tu rn ed u pon t he d is co v eries of the Atlant ic island s and the Afri can co asts u pon th e long s ought for route to I nd i a and u pon the poss i b il ity of u nkn o wn l an ds e x isti ng in the We s t I t was a period of ge neral e x c i tem en t wi th all who we re con nect ed with m aritim e li fe or who r esid ed in t he vicin i ty of the O cean T he recent d iscoveries had inflam ed their ima gi nations an d had filled them w i th ideas of other i s ] an ds of greater w ealth and beauty yet to be d iscovered in the bou ndless was tes O f the Atlan t i c T he opi n ions and fan cies of the ancien ts were again put i nto circulation ; the islan d of An tilla and Plato s im agin ary Atlan tis once more fou n d fi rm bel i evers ; and a thousand rum o rs were spread of u n kno wn isla nds casu ally seen i n th e ocean M any of these were mere fables ; many of them had their origi n in th e self d ecept ion O f voyagers whose h eated fan cies be held island s in those su m mer clouds wh ich l ie along the horizon and ofte n beguile the sailor w ith th e idea O f d istan t land T h e most si ngul ar i nstan ce of this kind O f self d ec e pti o n or rath er O f opt ical d elusion is that recorded of the inhabitants of the Can aries T hey im ag i n ed that from t im e to t im e th ey beheld a vast islan d to the west ward with lo fty m ou n tain s an d deep valleys Nor was it seen in cloudy or d ubious weath er but with ,

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12

TH E LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

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all th e d ist i n ctness w ith w hich d istan t obj ects m ay be discern ed i n the transparent atm osphere of a tropical clim ate I t is tru e it was on ly see n trans ien tly and at long in tervals ; w h ile at other tim es an d in th e clearest weath er n ot a vestige of it was vi s ible ; but so persuaded w ere th e people of t he Canaries o f its real ity t hat they o h t ain e d perm ission f rom the king of Portugal to fit ou t vari ous expeditions in search o f it T he islan d h ow ever w as n ever to be fou nd thoug h it stil l cont in u ed occasionally to cheat th e eye ; m any i den tifi ed it w ith a legendary island said to have been d iscovered in th e si xt h century by a Scott ish priest o f the n am e of St Bran dan an d it was actua l ly laid do wn in many maps of the tim es by the nam e o f St Brandan or St Boro n don All th es e tales an d rum ors were not ed do w n with curious care by Colu mbus an d may have had so me in fl u e n ce over his imagin ation ; but though of a visionary spirit h is penetrati n g gen iu s sought in deeper sources for T he voyages he h ad the a l im ent of its med itation s m ade to Gu in ea and his frequ en t occu pation i n m aking maps an d chart s had led h im m ore an d m ore to spe en late o n the great obj ect of geographical en terprise ; but w hile others were slo wly an d pain fully seeking a route t o I nd ia by follo w in g up t he coast of A f rica h is darin g ge n ius con ceived the bold idea o f tu r ning his pro w directly to the west and seeking t he desired land by a route across t he Atlan tic H avi ng o n ce con ceived th is idea it is interest ing to notice from what a m ass of ack n o wl edged facts rational hypoth eses fan c if u l n arrations an d popular ru mors his grand proj ect o f discovery was w rough t ou t by the strong workings of his vigorous m i nd ,

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TH E

14

LI I f E ‘

COL U M B U S

OF

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regions of Asia wh ich m ight extend so far as to approach the western shores o f Eu rope an d Africa A navigator therefore by pursuing a direct course f rom east to w est m ust arrive at th e extrem ity of Asia or d iscover any interven ing land T he great obstacle to be apprehen ded was f rom th e tract of ocean that might intervene ; bu t th i s could not be very wide i f th e opin ion of Alfragan us the Arabian were adm itted who by d im i n ishing the si z e of the degrees gave to the earth a smaller circu m feren ce than was ass i gn ed to it by other c osm ographers ; a t he o ry to wh ich Columbus seem s gen erally to have given m uch faith H e was fort ifi ed als o by th e op in io n of Aristotle Seneca P liny and Strabo who consid ered the ocean as but of moderate breadth so that on e m igh t pass from Cad iz w est ward to the I nd ies i n a fe w d ays Col u m bus derived great support to h is theory also from a lett er wh ich h e received i n 14 74 from P au lo T osca n elli th e learn ed Floren tin e already men tion e d who was considered on e of the ablest cosm ographers of the day This l etter was m ade up from the n arrat i ve of M arco P olo a Ven etian travel ler who in th e fourteen th cen tu ry had pen etrated the rem ote part s of Asia far beyond Toscan e l l i e nco u r t he reg i ons laid do w n by Ptolemy aged Colu mbus in an in tent ion which he had com m u n i cat e d to h im of seek i n g I n d ia by a western cou rse assur i ng him that the d istan ce cou ld not be m ore than fou r thousan d m iles in a d irect lin e from Lisbon to the provin ce of M angi n ear Cathay si nce ascertai ned to be th e n orthern coast of Ch ina O f th i s cou n try a magn ifi cen t description was given accord i n g to M arco Polo who extols the po w er and grand eu r of its sovereign th e Great Khan the spl en dor an d magn itud e of his cap ita l s of Cam balu an d Q u in s ai or K i ns ay an d the wonders of the island of Cipango or Z ipangi supposed to be J apan ,

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P ART

OF

T E RREST RI A L

A

G LO B E

B E RG I N T H E Y EA R 1 4 9 2, B Y

N U REM

M A DE AT

M A RT I N BEI I E M

.

RE F E RE NCES

.

A — Cipanga Has its o w n k i ngs and l angtm ge Peo le i d o laters T he .

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i l gl b w mad t Nu mb rg i n ag e b t fi m a n h th y y w hich C l u u d p d v y a i n r t o 1 4 9 2 the v e y y M ti n B h em th i nv nt was n f th m t l n d f di f co mograph nd h avi n g f the ti me s id d at L i bo n i n t h e mpl oy t h ki ng f P t ugal h had p r b ably map f T c n lli and th n th d c um n t s submit t d by C l umb u t th c n i d ati n f th P rt ugu g ve nment H is gl b may th ef r b pr um d ill u t ativ o f th id a en t rtai ned by C l umb u f the i l and in th c ean n ar th ex t m i ty of As i a at th ti me he u nd rtoo k hi di c o v ry i

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16

TH E

LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

Th is islan d he p l aces opposite Cathay far i n the ocean and represen ts it as ab ou n ding in gold precious sto n es an d spices and that th e palace of th e king was covered w ith plates of gol d as edifices i n oth er cou ntries are co v ered w ith sh eets of lead The work o f M arco P0 10 is d eserv i n g of this pa rt icular men tion fro m b eing a key to many of the ideas and speculation s of Colu m bus The territories of the Grand K han as described by t h e V en etian w ere t he obj ects o f his d iligen t search in all his voyages ; and i n h is crui s i ngs among the Antilles he was conti n ually flatte ri ng h imsel f w ith th e hopes of arriving at the op u len t isla n d The o f Cipango an d the shores of M angi and Cathay letter o f Paulo T oscan elli was accompan ied by a map projected partly acco rd i n g to Pto l emy an d partly accord i ng to th e descript ion s of M arco Polo T he east e rn coast o f A sia was depicted in fron t of the coasts of Africa an d E u rope wit h a mod erate space of ocean bet w e e n th em i n wh ich were placed at convenient d istan ces Cipango Antilla and th e other islands By th is conj ectural m ap Columbus govern ed himsel f in his fi rs t voyage Besides these l earn ed auth orities Colu m bus was atten tive to every gleam o f in formation bearin g u pon his the an d o ry that might be de rived f rom vetera n m ari n ers the i nhabitants of the lately discovered is lands w ho were placed in a mann er on the f ron tier posts of geographical kno wledge O n e A n ton io Leon e an inhabitant of M a d eira told h im that in saili ng we st ward on e hu n dred leagues he had s een three islands at a d istance A m ari n e r o f Port St Ma ry also as s er t ed that in th e co u rse of a voyage to I reland he had seen lan d to the west wh ic h the sh ip s com p any took for som e extrem e p art of Tar tary O ne Martin Vicenti a pilot in the service o f th e kin g of Por t ugal assured Colu mbus that after saili ng ,

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TH E ORI E S D E VE LOP I N G

I

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7

four h u ndred an d fi fty leagues to the w est o f Cape St Vincen t he h ad taken fro m th e w ater a piece of carved wood eviden tly not labored with an iron i n s tru m ent As the w ind h ad dri fted it from the west it m i ght have com e from some u nk n o wn lan d i n that d irect ion Pedro Correo broth er in law o f Col u mbu s also in form ed h im t h at he had seen a sim ilar piec e of w ood on the islan d o f Porto Santo w hich had dri f ted from the sam e quarter an d he had heard from the ki n g o f Po rtugal that reed s of an im m ense size had floated to those islan ds from the west w hich C o lu m bus su pposed to be the kin d of reeds o f en orm ou s magn itud e d escribed by Ptolemy as gro win g in I n dia T ru nk s o f h uge pin e trees of a kin d that did n ot gro w u pon any of the i s la n ds had be e n w afted to the Azores by westerly w i nds T he inhabit ants also i n f o rm ed hi m that th e bodies o f t wo dead m en had been cast u pon the island o f Flo res whose features had caused great wo n der an d speculation b e i ng d i ff eren t f rom those of any kno w n race o f people Su ch are th e pri ncipal grou nds on w h ich accordi ng to Fern an do Co l u m bus h is father proceeded f rom o n e po s i t ion to an other of h is theory I t is evide n t ho wever t hat the grand afgu me n t wh ich i nduced h im to his en ter prise w as the on e first cited ; nam ely that the most eastern part o f Asia k n o w n to the an cien ts could n o t be separated f rom the A z ores by m ore than a th ird o f the circum fe rence of the globe ; that th e interven ing space m ust in a great m easu re be filled u p by the u nkno w n residu e of A s ia ; an d that as the circu m feren ce of th e w orld was less tha n was ge n er ally supposed th e Asiatic shores could easily be attain ed by a m oderate voyage to the west I t is si ngular ho w m uch the success o f th is great enterprise depen ded u pon t w o happy errors the imagin ary exten t of Asia to the east an d the supposed .

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18

TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

.

sm alln ess of the earth ; both errors of the most learn ed and profoun d philosophers but w ithou t wh ich Colum bu s w ou ld hardly have ven tu red into the w estern regions of the Atl a n tic in whose unkn o w n an d pe rhaps immeas u r able waste o f waters h e m ight perish before he cou ld reach a sh ore When Colu m bus had on ce form ed h is th eory it becam e fixed in his m i nd w ith si n gul ar fi rm n es s H e n ever s poke in doubt or hesitation but w ith as m uch certainty as if his eyes had beh eld th e Prom ised Land A deep relig ious se n tim en t m ingled w ith his thoughts an d gave th em at tim es a ti nge o f superstition but of a su bli me an d lo fty ki n d H e looked upon h imself as stan d ing i n the ha nd o f heave n chosen from among m en f or the accom pli s h m ent o f its high pu rpose ; h e read as h e supposed h is contemplated d iscovery f oretold in H oly Writ an d s h ad o wed f orth darkly in the prophecie s The en ds o f the e arth w ere to b e brou ght togeth er and all n at ions an d to n gues an d languages u n ited u n der the ba n n ers o f the Red e e mer The enth usiastic nature o f h is con cept ion s gave an elevation to h is spirit and a dign ity an d loft i ness to h is whole d em ean or H e con ferred with sovereign s alm ost w ith a f eeling o f equ ality H is proposed d iscovery w as o f empires ; h is con d ition s w ere proportionally magn ifi cen t nor w ould he ever eve n a fter lon g delays repeated disappoin tme n ts an d w h e n u nder th e p re s su re o f actual p e nu ry abate what app e ared to others extravagant d eman ds Those who cou ld n ot co n ceive ho w an arden t a n d compr e hensive m in d could arrive by presumpt i ve evidence at so firm a conviction sought for other mode s o f accou nting for it an d gave coun ten an ce to an id le tale of his having received previous in formation o f the w estern w orld f rom a tempest tost pilot who had died i n h is h ouse ,

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VO YA GE



TI I U LE

19

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b e queathing h i m written accoun t s of an u nkn o wn land i n t he west upon which he had b e en driven by adverse w i n ds T his and other attempts to cast a s hade u pon h is fam e h ave been dil igently exam ined an d refuted an d it appears eviden t that his great e nt e rpri s e was the bold con ception of h is gen ius q uicken ed by the im pulse of the age an d aided by those scattered gl eams o f kn o wl edge wh ich fall i ne fl e ct ually u pon ord inary m inds ,

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C HA PT E R I V E V E N TS I N

P

.

O RT U GA L RELAT I VE T O

O SI T I O N S

CO LU M B U S

OF

TO

D I SCO VE RY THE

.



PRO P

P O RT U G U ESE

CO U RT

.

W H I LE the design of attemptin g th e d i s covery in th e w est was mat u ring in the min d o f Colu m bu s he made a voyage to the n o rthe rn seas t o th e i s land of T h ul e to w h ich the E ngl is h navigators particularly th o s e of Br is t ol were accu s tom e d t o re s ort on acc o u n t of its fi s h e ry H e ev e n advan ced he says on e h u nd r e d l e agu e s b e yond penetrated the polar circle and convin c e d hims e l f of the fallacy of th e p o pular b e lie f th at t he fro z e n zon e was u n inhabitable The islan d thu s m ention e d by h im as Thule is gen erally su p posed to have be e n I c e la nd wh ic h is far to the w est of the U ltima T hule o f the an ci e nt s as laid do wn o n the map o f Ptolemy N oth ing more is kno w n of th is voyag e i n wh ic h w e d iscern in d ications of that arden t an d im patient desire to bre ak a way f rom t he lim its o f the old w orld an d l au nch i nt o the u nkno wn region s of the oce an Several y e ar s elap s ed w ithout any d e cid e d e ff ort o n ,

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TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M E U S

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the pa rt of Colu mbus to carry h is design i nto execut ion An en terprise o f the kind requ ired th e patronage o f som e sovereign po wer wh ich cou ld furn ish the n ecessary m eans cou ld assu m e dom in ion over the lands to be dis covered an d could i nsu re su itable re wards an d d ignities to th e d iscoverer The cause of discovery had languished d u r ing th e lat ter part of the reig n o f Alphonso o f Portugal who was too m uch engrossed w ith h is wars with Spain to engage in peace f ul en terprises o f great cost and doubtful result N avigation also was still too imperfect for so perilous an u n dertaki n g as th at proposed by Col um bus Discovery adv an ced slo wly along the coasts o f A f rica an d though th e compass had been i ntro d tice d in to m ore gen eral use yet m arin ers ra rely ven tu red f ar ou t o f sight o f lan d ; they even feared to cru ise far in to the southern hem i sphere w ith th e stars of w hi ch they w ere totally n u acquainted To such m en therefore the proj ect o f a voyage d irectly west ward in qu est o f som e imagin ed l and in th e bo u nd less wastes of th e ocean appeared as extravagan t as it would at the presen t day to laun ch forth in a ba l loon in to th e region s of space in quest of som e di s tan t star The t im e h o wever was at hand that w as to exten d The era was propitious to the t he po w er of n avigation q uick advancemen t of kno w ledge The recen t inve n tion o f prin ti ng enabled m en to com m un icate rapidly and extensively their id eas and discoveries I t m ultipl ied and spread abroad an d placed in every hand those volum es of i n format ion wh ich h ad h itherto existed on ly in costly m an uscripts t rea s u red u p i n the l ib raries of colleg e s and con vents At this j u n cture J oh n the Secon d ascended the th ron e o f Portugal H e had imbibed the pa s sion fo r di s covery from his gran d u ncle Pri n ce H en ry .

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TH E

LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

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loose from its long bond age to th e land Science had thus prepared gu ides f or discovery across the trackless ocean an d h ad d ivested the enterprise of Colum bus o f th at extrem ely hazardous character W t h had been so great an obstacle to its accompl ish ment I t was immed i ately a fter th is event that h e sol icited an audi ence of the ki ng o f Portugal to lay be f ore h im h is great project of d iscovery Th is is the first proposition o f which we have any clear an d in d isputable record although it h as been strongly asserted an d w ith probabil ity that he had m a d e on e at an e arlier period to his n ative cou ntry Gen oa Col um bu s obt ain ed a ready audien ce of K i ng J o b b w ho was extrem ely liberal in encou raging and re ward i n g nau tical enterprise H e explain ed to the mon arc h h i s t heo ry and proposed i n c ase th e king w ould furn ish him w ith shi ps and men to con duct th e m by a shorter route to the richest cou n tri es o f the E as t t o tou ch at the opu len t island o f Cipango and to establish a com mu n ication w ith the territories o f th e G ran d Kh a n the m ost s plen did po w e r ful a nd w e al thy o f o rien t al p o t en tat e s King J ohn li s tened at t en t ively to the prop o sit ion of Colu mbus an d referred i t t o a l e ar n e d j u n to compos e d of M asters Rod e ri go an d J o s e ph and the k ing s co n f e ssor Di e go Ortiz b is ho p o f C eut a a man gr e atly repu ted for h is learn ing a C ast ilian by birth an d gen erally called This s c ie n Caz ad illa f rom the name o f h is b irthplac e t ifi c bo d y treated the proj ect as ext ra vagan t an d vision Still th e k in g w as n o t s atis fi ed bu t c o nvoked h is a ry coun cil composed o f person s o f t he gr e atest learn in g i n the kingdom and asked their advice I n th is assembly Caz ad ill a the bi s hop o f Ceu ta oppos e d t he t heory of Colu mbus as d e s titute o f re ason an d i nde e d e vi n ced a cold an d n arro w s pirit h o s tile to al l d is c o v e ry The .

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D E TE RM I N E S U P ON

23

LE A VI N O I OR T L CA L '



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of t he cou ncil was equally un favorable w ith that the j u nto and th e pro po s itio n of Colum bu s was t e

d ecision of

j

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e ct ed

.

Certain of the cou nsellors an d pa rticularly the bishop Caz adil la seeing that th e king was d is s atisfied with their d ecisio n and retai n ed a lu rking incl ination for th e en ter ages rise suggested a st ratagem by h ich all its advan t w p migh t be secu red wi thout com m itting the d ign ity of the cro w n by en tering in to formal n egotiation s about a schem e which m igh t p rove a m ere chim era The king i n an evil hou r d e pa rted from his usual j u s tice and gen e ro s it y and had t he w eakn e ss to perm it their s trat age m These crafty cou nsellors then procu red from Col um bu s as if to assist th e m in their d e libera t ion s a de tail e d plan of h is proposed voya ge w ith th e charts by whic h h e in t en ded to sh ape his cou rs e W hile they h eld him in s u s pense a waiting their decision they privately d ispatch e d a caravel to pu rs u e the design ate d route The caravel to o k its d eparture f rom the C ap e d c V erd e I s lands an d sto o d we s t ward for s e v e ral d ay s The w eather gre w stormy a nd t he pilot s havin g n o z e al t o stim u l ate t h em and s e e ing n ot h i ng b u t an im m e as urabl e waste of w ild tum bl i ng w av e s s till e xt e n d in g b e fo r e th e m lost all cou rage an d put b ack t o the C a pe ( le V erde I slan ds an d th e nce to Li s b o n e x cu s ing t h e ir o wn w ant of resolu t ion by r idicul ing t he pro j ect as e x t rava gan t an d irration al This u n worthy attempt to d efraud him of h is en ter pr ise roused the in di gn ati on o f Col um bu s and thou gh Ki ng J oh n it is s aid sho wed a d i s po s i t ion to re n e w t he n ego t iation h e re s olutely decl in ed H is w i fe had b e e n for some tim e de ad ; the d omes t ic t ie which had bou nd h im to Portugal ther e f ore bei n g brok e n he det e rm in e d t o abandon a cou n t ry where h e had bee n treat e d with ,

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TH E

LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

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so little faith Like mo s t proj ectors wh ile engaged in schemes wh ich held out prom ise of in calculable wealth he had su ffered his a ffairs to run to ru in , an d was in dan ger o f being arrested for debt Th is has been given as the reason for his leaving Portugal in a secret m an n er which he did to w ards the end o f 1 4 8 4 taking w ith h im h is son D iego as yet a m ere child An interval n o w occu rs o f about a year du ri ng wh ich the movem en t s of Columbu s are involved i n u n certainty I t h as been asserted by a modern Span ish h istorian o f m erit that h e departed imm ediately for Ge n oa wh ere he repeated in person the propositi on w hich h e had for m erly mad e to the govern men t by lett er The rep u blic o f Genoa ho w ever was langu ish i n g u nder a long declin e and w as embarrassed by ru inou s wars H er spirit was broken with h er fortu n es ; for w ith n ation s as with i n d i vid u al s e n terprise is th e child of prosperity and is apt to la ngu ish in evil days w hen there is m ost n e e d of its exert ion Th us Gen oa it w ou ld appear d ishearten ed by reverses rej ected a propos it ion wh ich w oul d have elevated the republic t o ten fold splendor and m igh t f or a long tim e have perpetuated th e golden wan d of com merce in th e fail iri g grasp o f I taly From Genoa it has been said but e q uall v w ithout positive proo f that Colu mbus carri e d his p rO po s al to V en ice bu t that it was declin ed i n consequ en c e o f the Difl e re n t authors agree critical state of n atio n al a ffairs that about this tim e h e visited h is aged father an d m ade such arrangem ent s for h is com fort as his o w n poor m eans a fford ed an d that having th us per formed th e d ut ies of a piou s son he d eparted on ce more to try his f ortu n es in foreign courts About th is tim e also h e e n gaged h is brother B artholom e w to sail for E ngland to lay h is prop o s i t io n s befor e H en ry the Seventh whom he had heard .

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F I RS T

VI SI T TO SP AI N

25

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extolled for h i s w isdom an d mu n ifice nce For himself h e sailed for S pain where he ap pears to have arrived in gre at poverty for this cou rse of fru itless so lic i tation had ex haus t e d all his means no r is it on e of th e least e x t rao r d inary circu mst an ces in h i s event ful l i fe that he had in a m an n er to be g h is way from co it rt to co u rt to o fl e r to p rinces the d iscovery o f a world .

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C H A PT E R V

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F I RST A RRI VA L O F CO L U M BU S I N S A I N

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P

—C I I A RACT E R

O F T H E S AN I SH SO VE RE I G N S

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first trace we have o f Colum bu s in Spain is gath ered from the man u sc ript d ocu m ents of th e cel e brat ed la wsu it w hich took place a fe w years aft e r his d e a t h bet ween h is son Don Diego an d the cro wn I t is co n t ain e d i n the deposit ion o f o n e Garcia F e rn a n d e z a physician resident i n the littl e se apo rt o f P al o s d e M ogu er in Andalusia Abou t hal f a league from Pal o s on a solitary hei ght o v e rlooki ng t he sea c o as t a nd s u r roun ded by a forest o f pi n e tr e e s there stoo d an d st a nd s at the presen t day an an c ie n t conv e nt of Franci s c an friars ded icated to Santa M aria d e R abi d a A st ra nge r travelling on f oot accom p a n i e d by a young boy stopped o f t he o n e day at the gate o f the conv e n t an d asked po rter a l ittle bread and wat e r for h is child W hile receivin g thi s h um ble re fresh m en t th e gu ard i an o f t he convent Friar J uan P e rez d e M a rch e n a h appen ing to pass by w as st ruck with the app e aran ce o f the s t ranger and observi ng from h is air and acc e n t th at he was a foreigner entered i n to conv e rs ation wi t h him That THE

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LIFE

TH E

2

COL U M B U S

OF

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stran ge r was Col um bu s accom pan ied by h is youn g son Die go H e was o n his way to the n eighboring to w n of H u elva to seek a b rother in law who had married a sister of his deceased w i f e T he guard ian was an in telligent man and acquain ted H e was interest with geograph ical and n au ti cal scien ce ed by the conversation o f Colu mbus an d stru ck with the grand eu r of h is pla ns H e detained him as h is gu est and bei n g d i fli d e n t of h is o w n j u dgm ent sen t for a sci e n tific frien d to converse w ith h im T hat frie n d w as Garcia Fern an dez the physician o f Palos th e sam e who f u r n ish es th is interest in g testim o ny an d w ho becam e equally convi nced with the friar of th e correct n ess of the theory of Colu mbus Several veteran pilots an d marin ers of P alos also were consulted du ring the con feren ces at the conve n t w ho stated various facts observed i n th e course of t h eir experie n ce w hich se e med to corroborate the idea of w estern lan ds in the At la n tic But the conviction of the f riar w as still more co n fi rmed by the hearty concur rence o f an impo rtan t pers on age in that maritim e n eigh b o rho o d o ne M artin Alonz o Pin zon residen t of the to w n of Pal o s o ne o f t he m o s t in telligen t sea captains o f the day an d th e he ad o f a fam ily o f w e al thy and d istingu ished naviga t o rs P i n zon n ot only gave the pro j ect o f Co l u m bus h is d ecided app ro ba t ion bu t o ff e red t o engag e i n i t w it h pu rse and pers on Fray J ua n Per e z bei n g no w fu lly persuaded of the import ance of the prop o sed enterprise advised Colum bus to re pair to court an d make h is propositions to the Spa n i s h sovereigns o fferin g to give him a l e tter of re co m me n d at io n to h is f riend Fernan do de Ta l avera pl io r of the convent of Prado an d con f essor t o th e q ueen an d a man o f great p o l itical i nflu en ce th rough whose m eans h e w ould n o doubt im mediat ely obtain royal aud ie n ce and ,

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GE N E RO SI T Y OF P I N ZON

27

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favor Martin Alonzo Pin zon al s o gen erously o fl ere d t o fu rn ish him with mon ey for the j ou rney and the friar t ook charge of his youth ful son Diego to maintain and ed ucate h im in the con v e nt T hus aided and e ncourag e d a n d elated w ith fresh hope s C o lum bu s took l e ave o f the ,

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I AND K G

FERD N

Red r a w n f

l ittle

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OF Ol d

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fi r rnt

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j u nto at La Rabida an d s e t out in the s prin g of 1 4 8 6 for the Castilian court which had j u s t a s s em bl ed at Cordova wh ere the s overeigns w ere fu l ly occupied w ith their chivalrous enterprise f or the conquest of Gra n ada And here it is proper to give a brief description of ,

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th ese pri nces who perform ed such an i mporta n t part i n the even ts of this h istory I t has been w ell observed of Ferdi nan d and I sabella that they lived togeth er not l ike man and wife whose estates are in com mon u nder t he orders of the h usban d but like t wo m on archs strictly alli ed They had sepa rate claim s to sovereign ty in virtue of the ir separate ki ngdoms an d held separate cou ncils Yet they were so happily u n ited by com m on vie ws com mon interests and a gr e at de f erence for each other that this dou ble adm i n ’ is t i at io n n ever preven ted a u n ity of p urpose an d action All acts of sovereign ty were executed in b oth th eir n am es all public writings subscribed w ith both their sign at u res ; their likenesses w ere stam ped togeth er o n th e p ublic coin and th e royal seal d isplayed the u n ited arms of Castile and Arragon Ferd in a nd possessed a clear an d com prehensive ge n ius an d great pen etration H e w as equable in temper in de fatigable i n busi n ess a great observer of m en an d is extol led by S pan ish w riters as u np arallel ed i n the science of the cabin et I t h as been mai ntai n ed by writers of other n ation s ho wever an d apparen tly with reason that h e was b igoted in rel igion an d cravi ng rather than mag that h e m ad e war less like a n an i mo u s i n h is ambition paladin than a prin ce l ess for glory than for mere do min ion and th at h is po licy w as cold se lfish an d art f ul H e in I taly the w as called the w ise an d prudent in Spain pious ; i n Fran ce an d E nglan d the am bitious an d per ,

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Con tempora ry w riters have b een en thusiastic in their descriptions of I sabella but t im e has san ction ed their eulogies Sh e was of th e m iddle size an d w ell f orm ed ; w ith a fai r com plexion auburn hai r an d clear blu e eyes T here was a m ingled gravity an d s weetn ess i n her cou n ,

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TH E

OF

LI F E

COL U M B U S

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ish kings o f Granada h ad f orm ed a coalit io n an d th e Castilian sovereign s had su m mon ed all their chivalry to assem ble for a gra n d campaign Every d ay witnessed the arrival of s o m e Span ish n oble w ith a splen did retin ue an d a brill ian t array o f household troops The court was l ike a m ilitary ca mp ; eve ry aven ue w as cro w d ed by war like gran dees an d hardy cavaliers w ho had d i s ti ngu ished th em selves in th is M oo rish w ar Th is w as an u np ro pitious moment for an application l ike that o f Columbus Everybody w as e ngrossed by the open in g campai gn Even Fernan do de Talavera w ho was to h ave been h is great patro n and protecto r an d h is organ o f c o mmu n ic a tio n w ith the sovereig n s was completely tak e n u p with m ilitary concern s bei ng on e o f the clerical advisers w ho su r roun ded the qu e e n in thi s as it w as ter med h oly w ar The lette!r o f recom men dation f ro m the worthy Fray J ua n P e r e z wh ich was to have secu red the po wer f ul influ e n c e o f T al avera seems to have had but little e ffect u pon t h e prio r w ho l ist e n ed coldly to Colu mbus and looked upon h is plan as extrav agan t an d i mpossible So far t h e refore f rom r e c e ivi n g im m ed iate patron age f rom t he s overe ign s Colum bus f ou n d it impossible to o btain even a heari ng I t is a qu estion even whet her f or som e t im e h is application reached t h eir ears If Fern ando de Talavera d id m ent ion it to th e m it must h ave bee n in d isparagi ng terms s u ch as ra th er t o d estroy than excite int erest in its favo r The cam paign open ed almost im med iat ely ; the king took the fi eld i n person ; the qu ee n w as f u lly occupied by the hu rrying con cerns of the war and w as part o f the tim e prese n t in the cam p it would have been in vai n th ere f ore at su ch a m om ent to expect attention to a scheme of foreign discovery fou n ded on principles wh ich requ ired calm and learn ed in vesti gation ,

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D uri n g the summ er a nd autu m n of 14 8 6 Colu m bus re m ai ned at Cordova waitin g for a mor e fav o rabl e o ppo r t u n it y to u rge h is su it an d trustin g to t ime an d as sidu ity t o gai n him conve rts among t he int e llig e nt an d po w erful H e w as i n in d igen t circu m s tanc e s an d earn e d a scanty s u pport by making m aps and chart s H e had to cont e n d also agai n s t the rid icul e of the l i ght and the su p e rciliou s w hich is on e of t he great es t o b s tacl e s to m od es t m e rit i n a cou rt Some sco ffed at h im as a m e re dr e am e r oth e rs stigm atized h im as an adv e n tu r e r ; th e very chil d re n it is said poi n ted to th e ir f ore h e ad s as he pas s e d b e ing t aught to con s ider h im a ki nd o f madman I nd e e d the s l ender in terest on which h e had fou n ded his hopes o f royal patron age an d the h um ble g arb i n which h is pov e rty o bliged h im to appear f orm e d a pre posterou s contrast i n the eyes of the cou r t iers w it h th e m agn ificen ce o f h is Because h e was a foreigner s ay s O vi e d o speculations and w en t bu t in sim ple apparel n or other wise cred it e d th an by th e letter of a gray friar th e y bel ieved him n ot n either gave ear to his word s w h ereby he w as greatly torm ented 1n h is imagination While th u s lingering i n Cordov a he became attached to Do fl a Beatri x En riqu e z a lady of th at city of a n oble f am ily L ike m o st o f th e circum stan c e s of this p art o f h is l i fe his con n ection with th is lad y is wrapp e d i n o b s c u ri t y but appears n e v e r t o hav e b e en san ction ed by m arriage She w as the m other o f h is secon d s o n Fe r n an do who becam e h is histo rian an d who m he al w ays t reated on ter ms o f p e rf e ct equ ality w ith h is l e giti mate son Diego By degrees th e theory o f Colum bus began t o o btain p roselytes Th e atten tion of m en o f refl e ct ion was d raw n to th is soli t ary in divi d u al who almost u n supp o r t e d w as en deavoring to m ake h is w ay with so s i n gular a proposi ,

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TH E

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COL U M B U S

OF

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tion to th e foot o f t he th rone W hoever conversed with hi m was struck by the d ign ity o f his m an n er s t h e earn est sin ce ri ty o f his d iscourse an d the fo rce o f his re aso n ing Alonzo d e Quin tan illa compt roll e r o f t he financ e s o f Castile became a warm advocate o f his theory and t e H e w as co u n t e c e ive d h im as a guest into h is hous e n an ce d also by Anton io G e rald i n i the pope s n u n cio and h is brother Alexan de r Ge ral d in i pr e ceptor to th e you nger ch ildren o f Ferd inand and Isabella By these f riends h e was in troduced to the c e lebrated P e dro G o n zalez de M en doz a archbishop of Toledo an d gran d card i n al of Spai n Th is was the m ost i mp o rt ant pe rs onage about the cou rt ; he w as al ways w ith the k ing and qu e e n w ho n ever took any m easure o f c o ns e que n ce w itho u t co n s u l t ing h im a n d was f acetiously call e d th e third ki n g of Spain H e was an elegan t s chola r a man o f sou nd u nderstan d ing and o f great qu ickn es s and capacity in busin ess T he clear h eaded ca rd in al was plea s e d w ith th e n oble and earn est m an n er o f Colum bus ; he l isten ed to h im w ith profou nd attent ion felt the importan ce o f h is proj ect an d th e force o f his argum e n ts an d b e cam e at once a fi rm an d serviceable f rie n d Th ro ugh his in tercession the royal au d ien ce was at length o h .

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Col um bus appeared in th e prese n c e of t he kin g w i t h m odesty yet self possession inspired by a c o n s ci o u sn e s s of the d ign ity an d importan ce of h is e rr an d fo r he f el t h i msel f as h e aft erwards dec lared in his lett e rs an imated as i f by a sacred fi re from above an d consid e red h ims e l f an instru men t in th e h and of he av e n to acc o m plish it s gran d desig n s Ferd in a n d was too keen a j u dge o f m en not to appreciate the ch aracter o f Colum bus H e p e r c e ive d also t hat h is sch em e had sci en tific an d practical fou n d ations ; and his ambition w as excited by the possi -

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SA LA M A A CA

co (I N C/L A 7

33

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of discoveries far exceeding in i mpo rt ance th o se which had shed such glory upon Portugal Still as usual he was co o l and wary H e ordered Fern an do de T alavera the pri o r of Prado to assemble the m ost l e arn ed astron omers an d cosmo graphers of the kingdom t o hold a con ference wit h Col u m bus T hey were to exam in e h i m u pon the grou nds of h is theory and after wards to con sult together and r e port their opin ion as to its m erit s C o lum bus no w considered the d ay of success at h an d h e had bee n deceived by courtiers an d s co fl e d at as a vis but he was no w io n ary by the vulgar and th e ig n orant to appear before a bod y of th e most l e arn ed an d en light ened m en elevated as he su pposed above all n arro w prej udice and selfi s h in terest an d capabl e of com preh end From the dispas in g the full scope of h is reason ings s io n at e exam ination of s uch a body of sages h e could not but an tici pate the mo s t triu m phan t verd ict b il ity

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C HA PT ER VI I

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I

CO L U M B U S BEFO RE T H E CO U N C L A T SA LA M AN CA

.

in teresti ng con ference took place at Salam an ca I t was h eld i n the t he great seat of l earn ing in Spain Domin ican conven t o f St Steph en the m ost scien tific college i n the un iversity in which Co l um bu s was lo d ged and e ntertai ned w ith gre at hospitality d uri ng t he course of the exam in ation T he board of con ference was co m posed o f professors of the u n iversity together w ith vari ou s dign i t aries of th e ch u rch and learn ed friars No t ribu nal could bear a f ro nt o f m ore im posing w isdom ; yet Col um bus soon discovered that i gnorance and il lib TH E

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TH E

34

LI F E

COL U M B U S

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may som eti me s lurk u n der the very robes of

e rality

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scien ce Th e greater p art o f th i s lear n ed j u n to i t w ould appear cam e pre possessed again st h im as m en in place and d ig n it y a re apt t o be ag a in st poor applicant s There is al ways a pron en ess t o consid e r a man u n der exam i n ation as a kin d o f d eli nqu e n t or im po s tor u p o n trial w ho i s to be detected and exposed Col u m bus too appeared in a most u n fa vorable light be f ore a schol ast ic body ; an o b scu r e navigator m em ber of no learn ed in stit u t i on desti tute o f all th e trappings an d circu m stan ces which som e t imes give oracu lar a u th ority to d ulln es s an d depen d ing u pon th e m ere f orce o f n atu ral gen ius Som e of t he assem bly e n tertain ed the popu lar not ion t hat he was an adve n tu rer or at b es t a vision ary ; an d others had th at m orbid impatien ce o f any in n ovation u pon established doctrin e w hich is apt to gro w upo n d ull and ped antic me n i n cloiste red li f e The hall o f th e old con ven t pre sen ted a striki n g spectacle A si mple m ari ner sta n d ing forth i n th e m idst o f an imposing array o f cl e rical an d collegiate sa ges mai n tain i ng his theory w ith n atu ral elo u i e n an d as it w er plead ng the c u e o f th e n e e e w c s a q We are told that wh en h e bega n to state th e w orld groun ds o f h is th e ory th e friars of St Step hen alon e paid attent ion to h im Th e others appeared to have in t renc h ed themselves beh i n d on e dogged pos it ion n amely that a fter so many pro fou n d ph ilosoph ers had occ u pied themselv e s i n geograph ic al i n vestigatio n s an d so many abl e navigators h ad been voy agi ng about t h e w orld for ages it w as a gre at presumptio n in an ordi n ary man to su ppose that there remain ed such a vast discov e ry fo r him to m ake Sev eral o f the obj ections opposed by t h is l e ar n ed b o dy have bee n han ded do wn to u s an d have p ro vok e d many .

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CO U N CI L

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sn eer at the expense of the u n iversity of Salamanca ; b ut they are proofs rather of the im perfect state of sci e n ce at the time an d of the m an n er in which kn o wledge t ho u gh rapidly advan cing was still im peded i n its pro g r e ss by monastic bigotry Thus at th e very th re s h o ld o f the d iscu s sion Col um bus was assailed with citat ions f rom the Bi b le and the works of the early fath ers o f the ch u rch which were thought incom patible with h is t heory ; doctrin al poin ts were m ixed up w ith ph ilosoph ical d is e ussions and even a m athematic al d emon s tration was allo w ed no t ruth i f it appeared to cl ash w ith a t e x t of Script u re or a com m entary of on e of t he fath e rs Th us th e possibility of the exi s ten c e of antipodes in th e south e rn hem isphere though m aintain ed by the w isest of t he a ncien ts was disputed by som e of t hes ages of Salaman ca on t he authority of L act an t ius and St Au gustin e those t w o great lum i n aries of what has b e e n called t he golden age of ecclesiastical learn ing I s t h ere any on e so fool “ ish asks L act an t iu s as to b e l i e ve that there are an t i po d e s w ith their f eet oppo s ite to ou rs ; p e ople who w alk w ith th eir h e e ls u p ward and th e ir heads h anging d o wn ? That the re is a part of t he world in which all t h in gs are topsy tu rvy ; wh ere t he t rees gro w w ith th eir bran ches do w n ward and wh ere it rain s hail s and sno ws u p wards ? The id ea of th e ro u nd n ess of th e earth he adds was the c ause of i nven ting th is fable ; for t h ese philosophers havin g once erred go o n in th eir ab s u rd i t ies defendi ng on e w ith an oth er Obj ections of a graver n ature and m o re dig n ified ton e were advan ced on the authority of St Au gustin e He pron ou n ces th e doctri n e o f an tipod es in compatible with t he h is t orical foun dations o f ou r faith ; since to assert that there were inhabited lan ds on t he o pposite side o f the gl o be w ould b e to m ain tain that there w e re n a t ion s a

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TH E

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COL U M B U S

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not d escen ded from Adam it being impossi bl e for th em to have passed th e in terven i n g ocean This w ould be th erefore to discred it the Bi ble wh ich expressly d e clares that all m en are descen ded from on e com m on paren t Such were the un looked for prej ud ices wh ich Colu m bus had to encou n ter at the very ou tset of h is con f er ence an d which certain ly savor more of the conven t than the u n iversity T o h is simplest proposition the sph erical form o f the earth w ere opposed figu rative tex ts of Script u re I n the Psalms the heavens are said t o be exten d ed over the earth like a h ide that is to say like th e covering o f a ten t w hich among the an cien t pastoral nat ions w as form ed o f the h id es o f an imals St P au l also i n h is epistle to th e H ebr ews com pares the heave ns to a taber hen ce these casu ists n ael e or tent spread over th e e arth m ain tain ed that th e earth m us t be flat like th e bottom o f th e t ent Others adm itted the gl o bular f orm of th e earth and the possibility of an opposite an d i nhabitabl e hem isph ere but main t ain ed that it w o uld be im possible to arrive th ere i n con sequen ce o f th e h eat of the torrid zone As for steering to the w est in search of I n d ia they observed that the circu m feren ce of th e earth m ust be so n reat as to requ i re at least th ree years to voyage t e a d h g those who should u nd ertake it m ust perish o f h u ng er and thi rst f rom th e im possi bil ity of carryin g provision s fo r so long a period Not the least absu rd obj ect ion advanced w as that should a ship even succeed in reach ing the ex t re mit y of I n dia she could n ever get back again f or th e rotun d ity o f th e globe wou ld presen t a kin d of m ou n tai n u p w h ich it w ould be impossible for her to sail w ith the m ost favorable w ind Such are specimens o f the erro rs and prej ud ices th e m ingled error an d erud ition with wh ich Col um bus had ,

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TH E

LI FE

COL U M B U S

OF

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o f th e prophets wh i ch in h is en th u sia stic m om ents h e considered as t y pes an d an n u n ciat ion s of the sublim e d iscovery wh ich he proposed ! I t is b u t j u s t ice to add that m any of his learn ed hearers w ere convi nced by h is reason ing an d w arm ed by h is e l o r n u e c e am ong th e n u mbe o f these w a s Diego de Deza ; q a worthy f riar of the order o f St Dom in ic at that tim e pr o fessor of th eology i n the co n ve n t of St St e ph e n but w ho became a fter w ards archbishop o f Seville the s e c o n d ecclesiastical dign ity o f Spain H e was an able and e ru d it e man above th e n arro w bigotry o f bookish lore and co uld appreciate th e valu e of w isd om even when uttered by u n l e arn ed lip s H e secon ded Colum bus w ith all h is po w ers an d i n flu en ce a nd by th e ir u n ited e fforts th ey brought over several of th e most intelligen t m en o f th e assembly Still there w as a pr e ponde rat ing m ass of in ert big o try and learn ed prid e in th e eru dite body which re fused to yi eld to the dem o n strat ions of an obscure for ei gn er w ithout fort u n e or co n nections or any academ ic A fter this celebrated exam ination o f Col u m hon ors bus th e board held occasional con feren ces but w ithout com ing t oany decision Fern an do d e T alavera to wh om t h e m att e r was especially intru s ted had too little esteem for i t an d w as too m uch occupied by the stir an d bustle o f pu blic con cerns to pre ss it to a con clusion ; his de part u re w it h th e cou rt fro m Cordov a early in th e spring o f 14 8 7 put an en d to the consultation s an d le f t Colum bu s in a state of th e m ost tan talizing suspense For several years h e follo wed th e movem en ts o f th e c o u rt contin u ally flattered w ith hopes of success Con fe re n ces w ere appoint ed at vari o u s places bu t the tem pest o f w arl ike a ffairs which hu rri ed th e court from place to plac e an d gave it the bustle an d con fusion o f a cam p co ntin ually s wept a way all matters of less im m ed iate ,

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FI GH TI N G A GA I N S T

TH E J I OSL E M S

39

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importan ce It h as gen erally been supposed that th ese years of irksom e solicitation were spen t by Colu m b us i n the dro wsy atte ndan ce of antecham bers ; b ut on th e co n t rary they were passed amidst scen es of peril an d ad v e nt u re and in follo wing the cou rt h e w as led in to som e of th e m ost striking situ ations o f th i s wild ru gged an d m ountain ous w ar I n o n e of the severest cam paign s he is said to have distinguished him s el f by h is personal pro w ess H e was presen t at th e sieges an d su rrend ers of Malaga an d Ba z a a nd beheld E l Z a gal th e eld er of the t wo rival kings of Gran ada yield u p h is cro w n an d possessions to t he Span ish sovereigns D uring t he siege of Baza t wo reveren d friars gu ardi an s o f the h oly s e p u l ch re at J erusalem arrived in the Span ish cam p beari n g a m en ace from th e Gran d Soldan of E gypt th at h e would put to d eath all the Christian s i n his dom in ion s an d destroy the sepulchre i f th e s ov e reigns d id n ot de s ist from the war agai nst th e M oslems of Gran ada I t is probable that the pious in dig nation excited by this th re at in the bosom of Col um bus gave the fi r s t rise to a resolution which h e entertain ed to t he d ay o f h is d eath this was to devote th e profits which he anticipat ed f rom h is disco veries to a crusad e for th e resc u e o f t he ho ly sepulch re Du ri ng th is long cou rse o f applic ation Colum bu s partly d efrayed his expenses by m aking maps an d charts H e was occasionally assisted also by the pu rse of t he w orthy friar Diego de Deza an d was som eti mes a gu est o f Alon zo d e Qu in ta n illa I t is d ue to the sovereign s t o s ay also that he w as attached to the royal s uite an d su ms i s sued to de fray h is expenses and l odgings provid ed f or him w hen sum mon ed to follo w this rambli n g an d w a rl ike court Wh e n ever th e sove reign s had an interval o f le i su re there seem s to have been a dispositio n to atte n d to .

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OF COL U M B

TH E LI F E

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h is proposition ; bu t the hu rry and tem pes t of th e war ret u rn ed and the question was again s wept away At length in the w in ter o f 14 9 1 when the sovereigns were prepari ng to depart on their final campaign in the vega of Granada Colum bus losing all patience pressed for a decisive reply and Fernando d e Talavera was ordered there fore to hold a fi nal con ference an d to H e obeyed report the decision of his learn ed brethren an d i n formed their maj esties th at the maj ority of the j un to cond em n ed the schem e as vai n an d im possible an d consid ered it u n becom ing such great princes to engage in an u n dertaki n g of th e kin d on such w eak grou nds as had been advanced A d egree of con s i deration ho wev e r had grad ually gro w n up at cou rt for th e en t erpri se an d no t wit hst an d ing this u n favorable report the sovereign s w ere u n willing to close the door on a proj ect which m i ght be o f such i m portant advan tages They in form ed Colu mbus there f ore t hat the great cares and expenses of the war rend ered it impossible for th em t o e n gage in any ne w en terprises for th e presen t ; bu t that w hen th e w ar should be con clud e d t hey w ould ha ve leisu re and in cli nation to t re at w ith h im concern ing his propositions T h is was but a sta rved reply to recei ve a ft e r s o man y years of weary atten dance Colum bus con sidered it a m ere evasion of the sovereigns to rel ieve t h e ms elve s from his importu n ity an d g ivin g up all hop e o f co u nt e n ance f rom th e thron e he t u rn ed his back upo n S e vi ll e filled with d isappoin tm ent an d indignation .

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A P P E AL S

TO SP A N I SH

GRA N D E E S

C HA PT E R VI I I

.

CO LU M B U S SEE K S PAT RO NAG E A M O NG ST

— G RA N D EE S RET U RN S .

RA B I DA

—RESU M ES

.

m

s oV E R

11 15

TO

THE

1 4

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TH E

SPAN I SH

CO NVE NT

N EG O T I AT I O NS

or

w11 11

LA

TH E

s

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C O LU M B U S n o w look e d round in search o f some other sou rce of patron age H e had received favorable letters both f rom th e kings of E ngland an d of Fra nce ; the king o f Portugal also had i nvited hi m to retu rn to h is cou rt ; but he appears to have becom e attach ed to Spai n proba bly from its being the reside n ce of Bea t rix E n ri q u e z an d his ch ildren H e sought there f ore to engage th e patronage of som e on e of those po w er f u l Span ish gran dees who had vast posse s sions exercised fe udal rights an d Among these w ere petty sovereign s in their domains w ere the duk e s of M ed ina Sidon ia and M ed in a Celi ; both had principalities lying along the seaboard w ith armies o f vassal s an d ports an d sh ipping at thei r com m and Colu mbus had many int e rvie ws w ith th e duke o f M ed ina Sidon ia who w as t e m pted for a t im e by t he spl e nd id prospects he ld out ; but th e ir very splend o r thre w a coloring o f exaggeration over the enterprise and he fin ally rej ected it as the d re am of an I talian visionary The duk e o f M ed in a C e l i was st ill more favorable an d w as actually on th e poi n t of gran ting h i m th ree or f ou r caravels wh ich lay ready for sea i n h is harbor o f Port St M ary ; bu t he sud den ly ch anged h is m ind f e ari ng to a w aken th e j ealousy of the cro w n an d to be consid ered as in ter feri ng w ith the vi e w s of t he sovere ign s who h e .

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TH E

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L I FE

OF

COL U M B U S

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kne w h ad been treating w ith Col u mbus H e advised h im th erefore to retu rn once m ore to co urt an d he wrote a letter to the queen i n favor o f h is proj ect Colu m bus f el t averse to the id e a o f subj ect ing h im self again to th e tantali z ing d elays an d d i sappoin tm en ts of the cou rt an d determ in ed to repair to P aris H e depa rted therefore for the convent of La Rabida to seek his oldest son D iego an d l eave h i m w it h h is oth er son at Cordov a Wh en the w orthy Friar J uan P erez de M archen a beh eld Colu mbus arrive once more at the gate o f h is conven t after n early seven years fru itless sol icitation at the cou rt an d s aw by th e h u m il ity of his garb th e pov experien ced he was greatly m oved but e rty he h ad w h en h e fou nd that he w as on the poin t of leavi n g Spain an d carrying h is proposit ion to an other cou n try h is patriotism took the al arm H e had been con fessor to the n e w her to be al ways accessibl e to person s ueen an d k q of h is sacred calling H e w rote a letter to h er therefore earn estly vin d icatin g the proposed schem e an d conj uring her n ot to tu rn a deaf ear to a m att er of such vast impor tan ce ; and he prevailed u pon Co l um bus to delay h is j ou rn ey u ntil an ans wer shou ld be received T h e am bassador chose n by the little j u nto of the co n ve n t was on e Sebastian Rod rigu ez a pilot of Lepe who acqu itted h imsel f faith fully exped itiously and su ccess fully in h is em bassy H e fou n d access to the ben ign an t princess i n the royal cam p at San ta Fé before G ranada an d delivered the epistle of the friar H e retu rned i n fou rtee n days w ith a letter from th e qu een thanking J uan P ere z for h is timely services and requesti n g h im to repai r imm ed iately to the cou rt leaving Colu m bus i n confident h ope of hearin g farther from her T his royal epist le caused great e x ultation i n th e convent No soon er did the warm hearted friar receive it than he p ro c u red a .

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U A .v P E RE Z P LE A 0 5

43

F OR COL U M B U S

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mule an d departed i nstantly before m id n ight for t he court H is sacred o fli ce an d h is former relation as father con fess or gave h im im m ed iate ad mission to the qu een and great freedom of cou nsel I t is probable I sabella had n ever heard the proposition of Colu mbu s ,

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I A B LLA S

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Red r a w n f

Q

U EE N m

ro

an

or s p a

m

Ol d P r i n t

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rged with su ch hon e st ze al an d impressive eloquen ce She was natu rally more sanguin e an d s u sceptible than the ki ng and more open to warm an d gen erous impulses M oved by the repre se n tat ions o f J uan Perez She re l h u ested that Co u m bus m ight be again sen t to e r a n d q kin dly beth inking h ersel f of h is poverty an d h is h u mble u

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TH E

LI F E

COL U M B U S

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pligh t ordered that a su ffi cie n t su m o f mo ney should be f orwarded to h im to d e fray h is travelling expen ses to provid e h im wit h a mu le for his j ourn ey and to f urn is h hi m w ith dec e nt raim ent th a t h e migh t m ake a respect able appearan ce at t he cou rt Col u mb us lost n o ti me i n complying w ith the com mands o f the queen H e ex changed his threadbare garm ent for on e o f more cou rtly textu re and pu rchasing a m ule set ou t once m ore re an i mated by fresh hopes for the cam p be f ore Grana d a H e arrived in tim e to w itness th e m emorable su rren der of tha t capital to the Span ish arms H e beheld Boabdil e ] Ch ico the la s t of the M o o rish kings sally forth from the Alhambra and y iel d up the keys of that favorite seat of M oslem po wer while the king an d qu een w i t h all the ch ivalry an d magn ificen ce of Spai n m oved forw ard in proud and solemn procession to receive th is token o f subm ission I t was o n e o f th e m ost brill ia n t triu m phs l n Span ish h istory T he air resoun ded w ith shouts of joy w ith songs o f triu mph and hym ns of thanksgiving On every sid e w ere beheld m ilitary rej oicin gs an d religious obla t ion s Th e cou rt w as th ro nged by th e most illustri ous of that w ar like country and stirrin g era by the flo w er of it s nobility the m ost d ign ified of its prelacy by bards an d m instrels and all t he retin u e of a r omantic and pict ,

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u re s q u e a e g

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During th is brillia nt and tri u mphan t s cen e says an “ elegant Span ish writer a man obscu re an d but littl e k n o wn f ollo w ed th e court Con foun ded in th e cro w d o f importunate applican ts and feeding his imagi natio n in the cor n ers of an techambers with the pompous proj ect o f discovering a w orld h e was m elan choly an d dej ected in the m id s t of th e gen eral rej oici ng an d beheld with in dif feren ce alm ost with contempt th e con clusi o n of a co n q uest which s welled all bosom s w ith j ubilee an d seem ed ,

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TH E

O E COL U M B U S

LI FE

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m n t s he had e x peri e nc e d i n Spai n h e n o w deter e p m in ed to ab andon it forever and m o u nting h is m ule sallied f o rth from Sa n t a Fé on h is w ay to Cordova w ith th e int e n tion of im med iat e ly proceeding from thence to Fran ce Whe n th e fe w frie n d Sw ho we re zealou s believers in t he theory o f Colu mbus s aw h im o n the poin t o f aban don ing Amon g the t he coun try they w ere fil l e d w ith d istre s s nu mber was Lu is de St An gel recei ver of the ecclesiasti cal reve n ues o f Arragon and Alon zo de Q u i n tan illa who determ i n ed to m ake on e bold e ffort to avert th e evil They ha s tened to the queen an d St Angel add ressed her w ith a cou rage an d eloqu en ce i n spired by t h e exigen cy of the m om en t H e d id n ot con fin e h im sel f to entreaties but alm ost m i ngled reproaches H e expressed h is aston ish m en t that a queen w h o had evin ced the spirit to u nder take so m any gr e at an d perilou s en terprises should hesitate at on e w here the l oss could be but trifling while th e gain m ight be incalculable fo r all that was requ ired for this great exped ition was bu t t wo vessels an d abou t thirty thousan d cro w ns and Columbus himsel f had o ff ered to bear an eighth of the expense H e remin d ed her ho w m uch m ight be do n e for th e glory of God the prom ot io n o f th e Christia n fait h an d the extension of her o w n po wer an d domin ion s hould th is en terpris e be adop ted but what cause o f r e gret it w ould be to hersel f o f sorro w to her f rien ds an d triumph to her en em ies sh ou ld it be rej ected by h er an d accompl ished by som e other po wer H e vin d icat e d th e j udgme n t of Co l u mbus an d th e sou nd n ess and p racticability of h is plan s an d ob s erved that even a fail I t w as u re w ould reflect n o d isgrace u pon th e cro w n w orth th e trou ble and exp e n se to clear u p even a doubt u pon a matter o f su ch im portan ce for it belo n ged to e h li ghten ed and m ag n an imo u s prin c e s to i nvesti gate q u e s o int

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CON SE N T OF I SA B E LLA

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t ions of the ki nd an d to explore the wonders and secrets of the u n iverse T hese and m any more argum ents were u rged wi th that persuas i ve po wer which hon est z eal i m parts T he gen erous spiri t o f I sabella was enkindled and i t seem ed as i f the su bj ect for the first time broke upon her m i nd i n its re al gran deu r She declared her resolution to un d e rt ak e the enterprise but paused for a mom ent remem berin g that King Fe rdin and looked coldly on th e a ffai r and that the royal treas u ry was absolutely drained by t he war H er suspen se was but mom entary With an e nthu s ias m worthy of h erself an d of the cause she excl ai m ed I u n dertake the enterprise for my o wn cro w n o f Casti le an d w ill pledge my j e wels to raise the n ec e ssary fu nds Th is was the prou dest mom ent i n the l ife of I s abella ; it stamped her ren o w n forever as th e patro n ess of the d is co ve ry of th e N e w World St Angel eager to secu re th is favorabl e resol ution assu red her maj esty that th ere wo u ld be no n eed of pledging her je wels as h e was ready to advance the necessary fu n ds as a loan from the treas ury of Arragon h is o ffer was gladly accepted Columbus had proceeded on his Solitary j ou rn ey across the vega o f Gra nada and had reached the br i dge of P i nos about t w o leagu es from that city a pass fam ous for bloody en cou nters du ring th e M oorish w ars H ere he was over taken by a courier sen t a fter h i m in all speed by the qu een requesting h i m to retu rn to Santa Fé H e hesi t at e d for a mom e n t to su bject h imself agai n to the d e lays an d equ ivocat i ons of the court ; but whe n he was in form ed that Isabella had positively u n de rtaken the e n t e rp ri se an d pledged her royal w ord eve ry doubt was dispelled he t urned the reins of h is m ule an d hasten ed back joyfully to San ta Fé co n fi d ing implicitly in t he n oble probity o f that princess .

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TH E

LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

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C H APT E R I X

.

— H EI N T H E S AN I SH SO VE R G S A RRAN GE M EN T WI T

P

A RATI O N

FO R

.

P

E X E D I TI O N

TH E

AT

TH E

P RE P

P O RT

OF

P ALO S

.

arriving at Santa Fé Colu mbus had an i mm ed iate audien ce o f the qu een and t h e ben ign ity w ith wh ich Through s he received h im aton ed for all past n eglect d e f e ren ce to th e zeal she thu s sudden ly dis played th e ki n g yie l ded his tardy con cu rren ce bu t I sabella w as the soul of this gran d enterprise She was prompted by lofty an d gen erous en th u siasm w h ile the king remain ed cold an d calculat i ng in th is as in all his other u n dertakings A perfect un dersta n d i ng bei n g thu s e ff ected w ith th e sovereign s articles of agreem en t w ere dra w n ou t by J u an de Coloma th e royal secretary They w ere to th e follo w i ng e ff ect Th at Colu m bus sh ou ld have for h imsel f du ring h is I l ife and h is heirs an d su ccessors forever th e o fli ce o f h igh adm iral i n all the seas lan ds an d con ti n en ts he might d iscover w ith sim ilar hon ors an d p rerogatives to those enj oyed by the high ad mi ral o f Castile i n his dis tri et be Viceroy an d go ve rn or gen eral 2 Th at h e should over all the said lands an d contin ents w it h th e privilege of n om in ating th ree can didates for th e govern m en t of each islan d or province on e of w hom Shou ld be sel ected by th e sovereigns That he should be en titled to on e ten th of all free 3 pro fits arising from th e m erchan dise an d produ ct ions of t he cou n t r i e s wi th i n his adm i ralty ON

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SI GN I N G TH E

CA P I T U L A TI OI V

49

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T hat he or h i s lieuten an t should be the sole j udge 4 of causes an d disputes arisin g out of t rafli c bet ween those cou ntries an d Spai n T hat he m ight then an d at all a f ter t i es contri b m 5 ute an eighth part o f th e expen se o f exped itions to sail to th e coun tries h e expected to discover and should re c e ive i n consequ ence an eig h th part of the profi ts T hese capitulation s w ere sign ed by Ferdin an d an d I sa bella at the city of San ta Fé i n the vega or plai n of Gran ada on the 1 7th of April 1 4 9 2 All the royal docu m en ts issued in con sequ en ce bore equally the sign atures o f Ferd in and an d I sabella bu t her separate cro w n of Castile de f rayed all t he expense As t o the mon ey advan ced by St Angel out o f the treasu ry o f Kin g Fer d i n an d that pruden t m on arch in dem nifi ed h im se l f som e fe w years a f ter w ards by em ploying some o f th e first gold brough t by Colu mbus f rom the n e w w orld to gild the vaul t s an d ceili ngs o f the gran d saloon in his royal palace of Saragoss a i n Arragon On e o f the great obj ects h eld ou t by Colu m bu s i n his un dertaking was the propagation of t he Christian faith H e expected to arrive at the extrem ity of Asia or I n dia as it w as then gen erally termed at the vast empire o f the Gran d Khan of w ho s e m aritim e provin ces of Mangi and Cathay and their d epend en t islan ds since ascertai ned to be a part of th e kingdom o f Ch ina the most magn ificen t accou nts had b een given by M arco Polo Various m is sions had been sen t i n former tim es by popes and pious sovereigns to in s truct th is oriental potentate an d his s u b e s in the doctrin es o f Christian ity Colu mbus hoped c t j to e ffect th is gran d w ork an d to spread the light o f the tru e faith among the barbarous cou ntrie s an d n ation s that w ere to be discovered i n the u nkn o w n part s of th e E ast I sabella fro m p ious zeal an d F e rd in an d fro m ,

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m ingled notion s o f bigotry an d am bition accorded w ith h is vie ws an d when h e a f ter w ards departed on this voy age letters w ere ac tually given h im by the s overeigns for the Gran d Khan of T arta ry The arden t en th u s iasm o f Col u mb us d id not stop here Recollecting the insolen t threat once made by th e soldan of E gypt to destroy the holy sepulchre at J erusalem he proposed that the profits wh ich m igh t arise f rom his d iscoveries should be consecrated to a crusade for th e rescu e of the holy edifi ce from the po wer o f the I n fi d e ls T he sovereigns smiled at th is sally o f the imagi nation an d expressed themselves w ell plea s ed w ith the idea ; but what th ey m ay have con sid ered a m ere momen tary th ought w as a deep an d ch e rished d esign of Columbus I t is a curious an d characteristic fact which has never been parti cularly noticed that the recovery of the holy sepulc hre was th e lead in g obj ect o f h is ambition m edi t at e d throughou t the rem ai n der of h is li f e an d solem n ly provided f or in h is w ill an d th at he consi dered his great d iscovery but as a preparatory d ispensation of P roviden ce to furn ish m eans fo r its accom plishmen t The port o f Palos de M oguer in An dalusia w as fixed upon as the place w here th e armamen t for the exped ition w as to be fitted out the com m u n ity o f the place being obliged in consequence o f som e m isdem ean or to serve the cro w n fo r one year w ith t wo arm ed caravels A royal order w as issued com man di ng the authorities of P alos to have these caravels ready for sea w it h in t e n days an d to yield them an d their cre ws to th e comm an d o f Col um bus Th e latter was like wise empo wered to fit out a third vessel ; n or w as any restricti on pu t u pon h is voyage excepti n g that he shou ld n ot go to the coast o f G uinea or any other of the lately d iscovered possess i on s of P ort ugal O rders w ere like w ise is s ued by the sov ,

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ARRI VA L A T P A LOS

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com manding the i nhabitants of the seaboard o f Andalusia to fu rn ish supplies an d assistance of all ki n ds for the exped ition at a reasonable rat e and th reaten ing severe penalties to such as should cause any i mped im ent As a mark of particular favor to Col umbus I s abella before h is departu re from the co urt ap pointed his son Diego page to Pri nce J uan the heir apparen t an honor gran ted on ly to t he son s of person s of distingu ish ed rank T h u s gratified i n h is dearest w ishes Col u m bus t ook leave o f the court on th e 1 2t h of May an d set out joyfully f or Palos Let those who are d isposed to fain t un d er d iffi e re ign s ,

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TH E CO N

Red r a w n f

V E NT

m M a n n i ng

ro

A BI DA

O F LA R ’

Sf

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mirb

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Pi ct u r es

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in the prosecution o f any great an d worthy un d er takin g rem e mber th at eighteen years elapsed after Col u m bus conceived h i s en terprise before he was en abled to car ry it into e ffect ; that th e m ost of that t im e w as passed in alm ost hopeless solicitation am idst poverty n e glect and tau ntin g ridicule ; that the prim e of h is l i f e had w asted a wa y in the struggle ; an d that w hen h is perse ve ran c e w a s fin al ly cro w ned w ith success h e w as about H is example should teach th e e n fi fty six years of age t e rpris i ng n ever to despair When Columbus arrived at Palos an d presen ted h im cu l t ie s, ,

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sel f once m ore be f ore the gat es of th e con vent of La Rabida h e was received w ith open arms by th e w orthy J u an Perez an d again entertai n ed as his guest T he z ealous f riar accom pan ied h im to th e parochial ch urch of St George in Palos w here Colu mbus caused the royal ord er for th e caravels to be read by a n otary p u blic i n p resen ce o f t he au thorities of the place N oth in g cou ld equ al the aston is hm en t and h orror o f the people o f this m aritim e com mu n ity w hen th ey h e ard of th e natu re of the exped ition i n w hich they were ord ered to engage Th ey c on sidered the s hips an d cre w s d eman ded o f them in the light of sacrifices devot ed to destruct io n All the f right f u l tales an d fables w ith wh ich ign oran ce an d super s t it io n are pron e to people obscu re an d d istan t region s w ere conj u red u p con cern ing th e u nkno wn parts of th e deep an d the bolde s t seamen shru nk from such a w ild an d ch im erical cru ise i n to the w ildern ess o f the ocean R epeat ed m anda t es w ere issu ed by the sovereign s orderin g t h e m agistrates of P alos an d t h e n eighboring to wn of M ogu er to press i n to th e service any Span ish vessels an d cre ws they m ight th ink proper an d threaten ing severe pu n ishm en ts on all w ho should prove re frac tory I t w as all i n vain ; t he com m u n it ies o f those places t um ults an d alter w ere th ro w n into complete con f u sio n cat ions took place but n othin g o f consequen ce was e ff ected At l e n gth M artin Alon z o Pin zon the w ealthy an d e n t e rpris i n g n avigator w ho has already been m ention ed cam e for w ard an d engaged personally in th e exped ition H e an d h is brother Vicente Ya nez Pinzon who was like w ise a n avigator of great cou rage an d abil ity possessed vessels an d had seamen i n th eir em ploy Th ey w ere related to many of th e seafaring in habitan ts of Palos and M o guer and h ad great in flu ence throughout th e n eigh ,

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arbitrary m easu res and in defiance o f popular opposi t ion At length by th e begi n n in g o f August every d iffi c ulty was van qu ished an d the vessels w ere ready for sea After all the obj ections m ad e by various courts to un dertake this exped ition it is surprising ho w i n co n sid c rable an armam en t was requ ired Tw o of the vessels w ere light barks called caravels n ot superior to river an d coasting craft of m od ern days They w ere built high at the pro w an d ste m with forecas t les an d cabins for the cre w but were w ithout d eck in the ce n tre On ly on e of “ the three called th e San ta M aria w as com pl etely decked on board of wh ich Colu mbus hois ted h is flag Marti n Alon zo Pin z on com manded on e of the caravels ” called t he Pinta an d w as accom pan ied by his brother ,

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L U MBU S TAK I NG LEA V E

I A

O F FE RD N

F r om D e B ry



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Voy ages

ND .

AN D

IA S

A

BELL

.

D E P A R T U RE

TH E

ON

FI RS T

VO YA GE

55

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Fran cisco M arti n as mate or pilot T he ot her called “ the N i na h ad lateen sails an d was comm anded by Vicente Y afl ez Pinz o n on board of this vessel wen t G ar cia Ferna nde z the physician of Palos i n the capaci ty of ste ward T here w ere three oth er able pilots : San cho R u iz Pedro Alon z o N i no and Bartholome w Ro ldan and the whole n um ber of person s em barked w as on e h u n dred an d t wen ty T he squadro n bei ng ready to put to sea Col u m bus con f essed h imself to th e Friar J uan P ere z an d partook of the com m un ion and his example w as follo wed by the o ffi cers and cre w s com mitting themselves w ith the m ost devout an d a ff ecting ceremon ials to the especial guid ance an d protectio n of heaven in this perilous en terprise A deep gloom was spread over th e whole com mu n ity of Palos f or al most every on e had some relat ion or frien d on board of the squadron T he spirits of the seam en already depressed by th eir o w n fears w ere still m ore cast do wn at behold in g th e a ffl ict i o n of those th ey l eft beh ind who took leave o f them with tears and lamentations and d is m al forebodings as of men they w ere n ever to behold agai n ,

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C H A PT E R X E VE NT S O F

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T H E FI RST VO Y A GE — D I SCO VE RY

O F L AN D

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early i n the morn in g of Frid ay the 3 d of Aug u st 1 49 2 t hat Colum bus set sail from th e bar o f Saltes a small island fo rm ed by th e rivers Odie ] and T in to in fron t o f Palos steerin g for th e Can ary I sla nds from when ce he in t e nd ed to strike due west As a guid e I T was ,

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by wh i ch to sail he had the conj ectural m ap or chart sen t him by P aolo T oscan elli of Floren ce I n this it is supposed th e coasts of E urope an d A frica f rom th e south of I relan d to th e en d of G u in ea were delin eated as im m ediately opposite to the extrem ity o f Asia wh ile th e great islan d o f Cipango described by Marco Polo lay bet w een the m fifteen h u n d red m iles from th e Asiatic coast At this islan d Col u m bus expected first to arrive ,

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O n th e th ird day after setting sail the Pin ta mad e sign al of d istress her ru dder being broken an d u n hu ng T his w as suspected to have been don e th rough th e con t rivan ce of th e o w n ers Gomez Rascon an d Ch ristoval Quintero to disabl e the vessel an d cause h er to be left behind Columbus w as m uch d isturbed at this occ u r ren ce I t gave h im a foretaste of th e di ffi cu lties to be apprehen ded f rom people partly en listed on com pu lsio n an d full of dou bt and forebodin g Trivial obstacles might in th is early stage of the voyage spread pan ic and ,

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m ut i ny through his cre ws an d indu ce them to renou n ce the prosecut ion of th e e nterprise M artin Alon zo Pin z on wh o comman ded th e Pi nta secured the rudder with cords but th ese fasten i ngs soo n gave way an d the caravel p roving defective i n other respects Colu mbus remai n ed three w eeks cru i sin g among the Cana ry Islan ds in Search of anoth er vessel to replace “ her Not bei ng able to fi nd on e the Pi nta w as re paired and furnish ed w ith a n e w rud der The latee n sai ls of the N i na w ere also altered i nto square sails that she m ight work m ore stead ily and securely Wh ile maki ng these repairs an d takin g in wood and wat er Co l um bus was in formed that th ree Po rt uguese caravels had been seen hoveri ng o ff the island o f Ferro Dread in g som e h ostile stratagem on the part of t he kin g of P ortugal i n revenge for his having embarked i n the Service of Spain he pu t to sea early on th e mor n ing o f th e 6t h o f Septem b e r bu t for th ree days a pro f ou nd calm detai n ed th e vessels w ithi n a short d istance of the lan d Th is w as a tan tali z in g delay for Colu m bus trembled l est som eth i ng should occu r to defeat h is exped ition an d was impatien t to fin d himself far u pon the ocean out of sight of either lan d or sail w hich i n th e pu re atmosphere of these lati tudes m ay be descried at an i mm en se distance O n Sun day the 9 t h of September as day broke h e beh eld Ferro about n in e leag u es distant ; h e was i n th e ve ry n eighborhood there f ore where the P ortugu ese cara vels had been seen Fortun ately a breeze spran g up w ith th e su n an d i n th e cou rse of th e day the heights of Ferro grad ually faded from th e horizon O n losin g sight of th is last trace of lan d the hearts of th e cre w s fai led them for they seemed to have taken leave of the world Behi n d them was eve ryth i ng dear — to th e h eart o f m an cou n try fam ily frien ds life itsel f ; ,

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before them everyth ing was chaos mystery and peril I n the pertu rbation of the mom e n t th ey despaired o f ever more seeing their hom es M any of th e rugged sea men shed tears and som e broke in to loud lame n tations Colu mbus tried i n every w ay to sooth e their d istress describing the splend id cou ntries to wh ich he expected to con d uct them an d prom isi ng them land riches and every thing that could arouse t h eir cupid ity or i nflame their i m agin ation s n or w ere these prom ises m ade for pu rposes of decept ion for he certain ly believed h e sho uld realize th em all H e n o w gave orders to the com man ders of th e other vessels i n case they should be separated by an y accident to conti n ue d irectly west w ard but that a f ter sailing seven h un dred leagues th ey sh ould lay by from m id n ight u n til daylight as at abou t that distan ce he con fiden tly expected to fi n d land Foreseeing that the vague terrors already a waken ed am on g the s eam en wou ld in crease wi t lT th e space w hich interven ed bet ween th em an d their hom es h e com m enced a stratagem wh ich he c o nti n ued through out th e voyage Th is wa s to keep t wo reckon in gs on e private in wh ich the true w ay of the Ship was n oted an d which h e reta i n ed in secre t for his o wn govern m en t ; th e oth er public for ge n eral i n spection in w hich a n u m ber o f leagues w as daily subtracted from the saili n g of the sh ips so as to keep the cre ws in ign orance o f the real distance they had advanc ed Wh e n about on e h u n dred an d fifty leagu es w est of Fe rro they fel l in w ith part o f a m ast of a large vessel and th e cre ws t rem blin gly alive to every porten t looked w ith a ruefu l eye upon th is fragm en t of a w reck d ri f ting om i n ously at the en trance o f these u nkno wn seas On t he 1 3 th o f September i n the even ing Columbus for the first time n oticed t he variation of the n eedle a ,

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TH E

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phenom en on wh ich h ad n ever before bee n re marked H e at first mad e n o m ent io n o f it lest h is peopl e shou ld be alarm ed bu t it soon attracted the att en tion of the pilots an d filled th em w ith constern ation I t seem ed as if the very la ws o f Natu re were ch an ging as they advanced an d tha t they w ere en tering anoth er w orld su bj ect to u nkno w n i nfluen ces They apprehend ed that the compass w as abou t to lose its mysterious virtues and w ithout th is gu ide what was to become o f them in a vast an d track less ocean ? Col u mbus tasked h is scien ce and ingen u ity for reason s w ith which to allay thei r terrors H e told th em that th e directio n of the n eedle w as n ot to the polar star but to s om e fixed an d i nvisible poi nt The varia tion therefore w as not caused by any fallacy in th e com pass but by the m ovem en t of th e n orth star itsel f which l ike the other h eaven ly bodies had its changes an d revo lutions and every day described a circle ro un d the pole Th e h igh opin ion they entertain ed of Colu m bus as a pro fou n d astron omer gave w eight to h is th eory an d th eir alarm subsided T hey had n o w arriv e d withi n the influ ence of th e trade w in d w hich follo w ing the sun blo ws steadily from east to w est bet w een th e tropics an d s w eeps over a fe w ad j oin ing degrees o f th e ocean With this propit ious breeze d irectly aft they w ere w afted gen tly but speed ily over a tra n quil sea so that for many days they did n ot sh ift a sail Colu mbus in his journal perpet ually recu rs to the blan d an d tem perate seren ity of the w eath er an d com pares the pure an d balmy m orn in gs to those o f April in An dalusia observin g that the song of th e n ightingale w as alon e wan ting to com plete the illusion T hey no w began to see large patches of herbs an d Som e w ere such as w eeds all d ri ft ing from the w est gro w abou t rocks or in rivers an d as green as i f recen tly .

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th ough already beyon d the reach of succor w ere still pressi n g on ward an d on w ard into that apparently bou n d less abyss E ven the f avorable w ind which seemed as i f providen t ially sen t to wa ft them to th e N e w World w ith such blan d an d gen tle breezes w as conj ured by their fears in to a sou rce o f alarm Th ey f eared that th e w in d in these seas al w ays prevailed f rom the east an d if so w ould n ever perm it their ret u rn to Spain A few light breezes f rom the w est allayed f or a time their last apprehen sion ; an d sev e ral small birds such as keep abo ut groves an d orchard s cam e singing in th e morn ing an d fl e w a way at n ight Their song was w ond er f ully cheerin g to the heart s o f the poor m ari n ers wh o hailed it as th e voice of land Th e birds t h e y had hitherto seen h ad bee n large an d strong of wing but such small birds they observed w ere too f eeble to fly far an d t h eir s inging sho w ed that they w ere n o t exhausted by their flight On the f ollo w ing day th ere w as a profou n d calm an d th e s e a as far as th e eye coul d reach w as covered w ith w eeds so as to h ave the appe aran ce of a vast in u n dated — m eado w a ph e nom en on att ributed to t heimm ense qu an tities o f subm arin e plants wh ich are detached by the cu r ren ts f rom the bottom of th e ocea n The seam en n o w feared t hat the sea was gro w ing shallo w ; they dreaded lu rkin g rock s an d shoals an d qui cksan ds and that their vessels m ight ru n agrou nd as it w ere i n the m idst of the ocean far out of th e track o f h u man aid and with n o shore where th e c re ws could take refuge Columbus proved th e fallacy o f th is alarm by sou nd ing w ith a deep Se a li n e an d fi n d ing n o bottom For th ree days th ere was a conti n uance of ligh t sum m er airs from th e south w ard and w est ward an d the sea was as sm ooth as a m irror The cre ws n o w becam e u n easy at the calm n ess of the w e ather T hey obse rved th at ,

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CO

LU M B U S

O N T H E D EC

K

H I P W IT H

OF H IS S

HIS

H AN D

Fr om D e B ry



:

.

Voy ages

.

A STROLABE

IN

64

TH E L I F E

OF

COL U M B U S

.

the contrary wi n d s they exper i enced were tran sien t an d u nsteady and so li ght as not to ru ffle th e surface of th e sea ; th e on ly w inds of co nsta n cy an d force were from the w est and eve n they had not po wer to d istu rb the torpid still ness of the ocean T here was a risk th erefore eith er of perish i n g am idst stagn an t and shoreless waters or of being preven te d by contrary w in ds fro m ever return ing to their n ative cou n t ry Colum bus cont i n ued w ith adm irable patience to reason w i th th ese absu rd fan cies but i n vain w hen fort u nately there cam e on a h eavy s w ell o f the sea u naccompan ied — w by ind a ph enom en o n that often occurs in th e broad ocean caused by the im pu lse of some past gale or dista n t cu rren t of wind I t was n evertheless regarded w ith as t o n ish me n t by th e mari ners an d dispelled the imagi n ary terrors occasion ed by the calm T he situat ion of Col umbus w as daily becom in g more and m ore critica l T h e im patien ce of the seam en arose to absolute m uti ny T hey gathered together i n the t e tired parts of the ships at fi rs t in littl e kn ots of t wo an d three wh ich grad u ally in creased an d becam e form idable joi n ing i n murm urs and m e n aces aga i nst the Adm iral T hey excla i m ed a gai n st h im as an am b itious d esperado wh o i n a m ad fantasy h ad determin ed to do someth i ng extravagan t to render h im sel f n otorious What obliga tion bou n d them to persist or wh en w ere the terms of their agreem en t to be considered as fulfilled ? They h ad already penetrated i nto seas u n traverse d by a sai l an d w here man h ad n ever before adventu red Were they to sail o n u ntil th ey perish ed or u ntil al l return w ith th eir frai l sh ips becam e i mpossible ? Wh o would blam e th e m should they consu l t the i r safety an d return ? T he Admi ral w as a fore i gn er a m an w ithout fr i en ds or i n flu en ce H is scheme had been cond em n e d by the l earn ed as idle ,

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A CA RA V E L U NDER A I L S

F r om

“ Col a ” baa :



r st

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letter

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66

TH E

LI FE

COL U M B U S

OF

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and v i sio n ary an d discou ntenan ced by people of all ranks T h ere w as there fore no party on h is side bu t rather a large n umber who w ould be gratified by h is failure Such are som e of the reaso n ings by wh ich these m en prepared themselves for O pen rebell ion Som e even p ro posed as an e ff ectual mode of silen ci ng all after com plai nts o f the Adm iral that they should thro w h im i nto the sea an d give out that he had fallen overbo ard wh ile contemplating the stars and sign s of the heavens with his astronom ical i nstru me nts Colu mbus was not ign oran t of these secret cabals but he ke p t a serene an d steady cou nten ance soothi ng som e w ith ge n tle word s sti mu lati ng the pride or t he avarice o f others an d open ly m en acin g the m ost re f ractory w ith pu n ishm ent N e w hopes diverted them for a tim e On th e 2 5 t h of Septem ber Marti n Alon zo Pinzon mou n ted “ o n th e stern of h is ves sel an d sho u ted Lan d ! lan d ! Se nor I claim th e re w ard ! T here was in deed su ch an a ppearance o ft lan d in the south west that Colu mbus th re w h im self upon his kn ees an d retu rn ed thanks to God an d all the cre ws j oin ed i n chan ting Glor ia i n E x cel T h e sh ips altered th eir cou rse an d stood all n ight s zS to th e south west but th e m orning light put an e n d to all their hopes as to a d ream th e fancied lan d prove d to be noth ing but an even ing clou d an d had van ish ed in the n ight For several days th ey contin u ed on w ith alternate hopes and m urm urs u ntil the various si gn s of lan d be cam e so n u merous that the seam en from a st ate of d e passed t o on e of h i gh excitem ent E ager to s p o n d e n cy obtain th e prom ised pension th ey were con tin u ally givin g the cry of lan d u ntil Colu mbus d e clared that sh ou ld any on e give a n otice o f the kind an d lan d n ot be d iscovered ,

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COM P LA I N TS OF

with in

TH E

W

CRE

7

three days after wards he should then ce f orth for feit all clai m to the re ward O n the 7t h of October they had com e seven hu n dred and fi fty leagues th e d istance at which Colu m b us had compu ted to fin d the islan d of Cipango T here w ere great flights of small fi eld birds to th e south west w hich seemed to i n dicate some n eighbori n g land i n that d irec tion w here they were sure o f food anld a rest i ng place Yieldin g to the solicitations of M artin Alon z o P in z on and his broth ers Colum b us on the even in g of th e 7t h altered h is course therefore to the west south west As he advanced the s i gns of lan d i ncreased ; th e birds cam e si n ging abo ut th e sh ips ; an d herb age float ed by as fresh an d green as i f recently from shore When ho wever on th e even i n g of th e th ird day of this n e w cou rse th e seam en b eheld the su n go do wn upon a shoreless h ori z on they again broke fo rth in to loud clam ors an d insisted upon aban don ing the voyage Colu mbus endeavored to paci fy them by gentle w ords and l iberal prom ises ; b ut fi nd ing th ese only i ncreased their violence he assum ed a d i ff eren t ton e an d told them it was useless to m u rm u r ; the exped ition had been sent by th e sovereign s to s eek th e I nd ies an d happen w hat m ight h e was determ i ned to persevere u ntil by th e blessing of God h e should accomplish the enterpri se H e was n o w at open d efian ce wi th his cre w and h is situation w oul d have b een desperate but fortun ately th e m an ifestat i on s of la n d on th e foll o wing day were such as n o longer to admit of doubt A green fish such as keeps abo u t rocks s wam by the ships ; an d a branch of thorn w ith berries o n it floated by ; they p i cked up also a reed a sma l l b oard an d above all a sta ff art ifi cially carved Al l gl oom an d m u rm urin g was no w at an en d ,

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68

TH E

OF

L I FE

COL U M B U S

.

an d thro ughout the day eac h one was on the watch for the long sough t land I n th e even ing wh en accord ing to custom the mari n ers h ad su ng the Sal ve reg ion or vesper hymn to the Virgin Colu mbus mad e an impressive address to hiS cre w pointi ng ou t the goodn ess of God in thus con duct ing them by so f t an d favorin g breezes across a tranqu il ocean to the prom ised land H e expressed a stron g con fi d e n ce of maki ng lan d th at very n ight and ordered that a vigilan t lookou t should be kept from the forecastle pro mising to wh omsoever should m ake the d iscovery a dou blet of velvet i n add ition to th e pension to be given by th e so vereigns The breeze had bee n fresh all day w ith more sea tha n usual ; at su nset they stood agai n to th e w est and w ere plo wing th e w aves at a rapid rate th e Pi nta keeping the lead from her su perior sailing The greatest an im a t ion prevailed throughout the sh ips ; n ot an eye w as closed that n ight As the even ing darken ed Colum bus took h is station on the top of the castle or cabi n o n the h igh poop of h is vessel H o w ever h e m ight carry a cheer f ul and confid en t cou ntenan ce du ri n g the day it was to him a tim e of th e most pain f ul anxiety ; and n o w wh en he w as w rapped from observation by th e shades of n ight h e mai ntained an in ten se an d u n rem itti n g w atch ra nging his eye along the d usky horizon in search o f the m ost vague ind icatio n s o f lan d Sudden ly abou t ten o clock h e though t h e b e held a ligh t glim m eri n g at a d i stan c e Fearing th at h is eager hopes m ight deceive h im h e called to Pedro Gutierrez ge n tl ema n of the king s bedchamber and dem anded whether h e s aw a light i n that directio n The latter replied in the a ffi rmative Colum bus yet dou btful w heth er it m ight n ot be som e delusion o f the fancy called Rodrigo San chez o f Segovi a and made the -

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0 7

TH E

LI FE

OF

COL U M E U S

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sam e in qu i ry By the tim e the latter had ascen ded the rou n d house th e light h ad d isappeared T hey s aw it on ce or t w ice after wards in sudde n an d passing gleams as i f it w ere a torch in the bark of a fisherman risi ng an d sinki ng w ith the waves or i n the han ds of som e person on shore bo rn e up and d ow n as he w alked from house to house So tran sien t an d u ncertain w ere these gleams that few attach ed any import an ce to them ; Colu mbus ho wever considered them as certai n sign s o f lan d an d moreover that th e lan d was inh abited T hey con tin u ed on their cou rse u nt il t wo i n th e morn i ng whe n a gu n f rom the Pin ta gave the j oyful signal of lan d I t w as fi rst d iscovered by a marin er n am ed Rod ri gu e z Berm ejo res i den t of Tri an a a s u bu rb of Seville but native of Alcala de la Gua d aira ; but the re w ard was after wards adj udged to the Adm iral for having previously the light The lan d w as n o w clearl y seen rce iv e d pg abou t t wo leagu es d istant whereupon they took in sail an d laid to w aiting im pat ien tly for th e daw n T he thoughts an d feelings of Col u mbus in th is little space of tim e m u st have been tu m ultuous an d i n tense At l en gth i n spite of every d i ffi culty and d an ger he h ad accom pl ished h is obj ect The great my s tery of the ocea n was revealed h is th eory w h ich had been the sco ff of sages w as trium phan tly established ; h e had secured to h imself a glory wh ich m ust b e as du rable as the w orld itself I t i s d i ffi cult even for th e i mag in ation to con ceive the feeli ngs of such a man at the m om en t of so sublim e a d i scovery What a be wild erin g cro wd of conj ectures m ust have thro nged upon h is m in d as to the lan d wh ich lay before h im covered wi th darkn ess T hat it was fru itful w as evid ent from th e vegetables which floated H e thought too that he perceived in fro m it s shores .

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COL U M B U S

LAN D I N G OF

1 7

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b al my a i r the fragran ce of aromat ic groves T he moving light wh i ch he had beh eld proved that it was the resi dence of m an B ut what were i ts inhabit a nts ?

t he

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Were they like those of other pa rts of the globe or w ere they som e strange an d m on st rous race such as the im agi n ation in those tim es was p rone to g i ve to al l remote and u n kn o wn regions ? H ad h e com e upon some w ild isl and far i n th e I nd ian seas ; or w as this th e famed C ipa n go itsel f th e obj ect of his golden fan cies ? A tho u san d speculat i ons of the kin d m ust have s warm ed upon h im as he watched for the n ight to pass a w ay ; w onderi ng whether the morn ing light w ould reveal a savage w ildern ess or da wn upon spicy groves and gl it tering fan es an d g i lded cities and all the splendors of oriental civ i l ization ,

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C HA P T E R X I

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CO L U M B U S I N T H E N EW

FI RST LAN DI NG o r

W O RLD

.

— DI SCO VE RY CRU I SE AM O N G T H E BA H A M A I SLAN DS .

P

O F CU BA AN D H I S AN I O LA

.

W H EN th e d ay d a wn ed Col umbus saw b efore h im a level an d beau t i ful i slan d several leagues i n extent of great fresh n ess an d verd ure an d covered w i th trees like a contin ual orchard T hough everyth i n g appeared i n t he w ild luxur i an ce of u n tam ed natu re yet th e island was evidently populous for the inh abitan ts were seen issu in g from the woods and ru n n i ng from all parts to th e shore They were all perfectly n aked and from t hei r attitu des and gesture appeared lost in as ton ishm en t at the sight of the ships Colu m bus m ade signal to cast H e entered h is o wn boat ancho r and t o man the boats ,

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TH E

LI F E

OF COL U M B U S

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richly attired in scarlet an d beari n g th e royal stan dard M art i n Alon zo Pinzon and Vicen te Ya nez the broth er like w ise pu t o ff i n their boats each bearin g the bann er of the enterprise em blazo n ed w ith a green cross having on each side the letters F an d Y su rm ou n ted by cro wns th e Span ish in it ials of th e Cast ilian monarchs Fern an do an d Ysabel As they appro ach ed the shores they w ere delighted by the beauty an d gran deu r of the forests ; th e variety o f u nkno w n fru its on the trees w hich overh u n g th e shores ; the pu rity an d su avity of the atmosph ere an d th e cry stal tran s paren cy of the seas wh ich bathe these islan ds On lan d ing Colum bus th re w him sel f u pon h is kn ees k issed th e ea rth an d retu rn ed thanks to God with tears o f joy H is exam ple w as follo wed by h is com pan ions whose breasts in deed w ere full to ove rflo w ing Colu mbus then rising d re w his s word d isplayed the royal standard and took possession in the n am es of th e Cast il ian sovereigns giving th e islan d the n am e o f San Salvador H e then called u pon all p resen t to take the oath o f obedience to h im as A dm iral an d Viceroy and represen tative of th e sovereign s H i s follo w ers no w burst forth i nt o the m ost e x t rava gan t tran sports They thronged arou n d h im som e em bracin g h im ot hers kissing h is h an ds Those who h ad been m ost mu tinou s and tu rbule n t du ri ng th e voy age Som e begged w ere n o w m ost devoted an d en th usi astic favors o f h im as o f a m an who h ad already w ealth an d honors in h is gi f t M an y abj ect spirits who h ad out raged h i m by their 1n s o le n ce n o w crouch ed at h is feet beggi n g h is f orgive n ess an d o ff eri ng for th e futu re th e bli n dest obed ience to h is com m an ds T he n atives of th e island w hen at th e daw n of day they had beh eld the ships hovering on the coast had ,

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M EE TI N G WI TH

73

SA VA GE S

TH E

.

upposed th em som e m onsters wh i ch had issu ed fro m the deep du ri ng th e n ight The i r veering about w ith ou t an y apparen t e ff ort and the shifti n g and furling of their sails resem bl ing h uge w ings filled them with aston ish me n t When they beh eld th e b oats approach t he s

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N

ATI V E H U T S HAMA CS

Red r a w n f

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ro

Got tf

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i ed t



ET C

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N ew e !

:

f el t . !

shore an d a n u mber of strange bei ngs cla d in glittering steel or raim ent of various colors land i ng upon the beach they fled in a ffright to thei r w ood s Fin d ing ho wever t h at there w as n o attempt to pu rsu e or molest them they gradually recovered from their terror an d approached th e ,

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74

TH E

LI FE

COL U M B U S

OF

.

Span i ards with great awe f requ e n tly prostrating them selves an d m aki ng signs o f adoration Du ring the cere mo ny o f taki ng possession they remai ned gazing in tim id adm iration at th e com plexion th e beards th e sh in ing arm or an d splen did dress o f the Span ia rds The Adm i ral particularly attracted their atten tion f rom h is com m a n din g h eight h is air o f aut hority his scarlet dress and the deferen ce paid to h im by his compan io n s ; all w h ich pointed h i m out to be th e com ma n der When they had still further recovered f ro m the i r f ears they approach ed th e Spa n iards to u c h e d their beards an d exam in ed th eir han ds an d faces ad miri n g the i r w h iten ess Columbu s pleased w ith th eir si mplicity their gen tleness an d th e confidence th ey reposed i n beings w ho m ust have ap re d so strange and for midable su bmitted to th eir s c ru e a p tiny w ith per f ect acqu iescen ce The w o n derin g savages w ere w o n by th is benign ity ; th ey n o w supposed that the ships had sailed out o f the crystal fi rmame n t which bou n ded their horizon or that th ey h ad descend ed from above on thei r ample w i ngs and that these m arvellous beings w ere in habitan t s of the skies The natives of the islan d w ere n o less obj ects of cu ri di ff ering as they did fro m any o s it y to the Span iard s race o f m en they h ad ever seen Th ey w ere entirely n aked and p ainted w ith a variety of colors an d devices so as to have a wild an d fantastic appearan ce Thei r n at ural com plexio n was of a taw ny or copper h ue an d they Their ha 1r w as not w ere entirely destitute of beards crisped like th e recently discovered tribes of A f rica u nder th e sam e l atitu de but straight an d coarse partly cut above the ears but som e locks behi n d left long an d f all ing u pon th eir sho ulders Th eir feat u res though d isfi g u re d by pain t w ere agreeable ; they had lo f ty foreheads an d remarkably fi n e eyes T hey w ere of moderate stat ,

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TH E

F RI E N DLI N E SS OF

75

SA VA GE S

.

ure an d well shaped ; most of them appeared to be u nd er thirty years of age There was but on e female with th em qu ite you ng n aked l ike her compan ions and bea utifully formed They ap peared to be a simpl e an d art less peo ple and of gen tle and friendly d isposit ions Their only arms were l an ces hard en ed at the en d by fire or poin t e d There was n o i ro n to with a fl int or the bon e of a fish b e seen among t hem n or did they kn o w its properties for w he n a d ra wn s word w as presented to th em they ungu ardedly took it by th e edge Col u mbus distribut ed amon g them colored caps glass bead s ha wk s bells and oth er t rifl es which they received as ine stim able gifts an d decorating th emselves w ith th em w ere wond erfully del ighted w ith their fi n e ry As Col umb us supposed h imsel f to h ave landed on an islan d at the extremity o f I ndia he called the natives by the general appellation of I n dians which was u n iversally adopted before th e nat ure of h is d iscovery w as kno w n and has sin ce been exten ded to all the aborigi nals of the N e w World T h e Span iards rem ain ed all day o n shore re f reshi ng th emselves after their anxious voya ge am idst the beau ti f ul groves of th e isl and and th e y retu rn ed to their sh ips late in the even i n g delighted w ith all they had seen T he islan d where Colum bus had th us for th e fi rst tim e set h is foot u pon the N e w World is one o f the Lu cay os or Baham a I slands an d was called by the n atives G uana han i ; it still retains the name of S an Salvador which he gave it though called by the E ngl ish Cat I s lan d Th e light which he had seen the even ing previous to h is m ak i n g land m ay have been on W at l ing s I sla n d wh ich l ies a fe w leagu es to the east O n the follo w in g m orn i ng at daybreak som e of the natives cam e s wimm ing o ff to the Ships an d others cam e .

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TH E

LI F E

OF COL U M B U S

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i n light barks which they called canoes form ed of a si n gle tree hollo wed an d capable o f holding f rom on e man to the n u mb e r of forty or fi f ty The Spa n iards soon dis covered that they were destit u te o f wealth and had l ittle to o ffer i n retu r n for t ri nkets except balls of cotton yar n and dom esticated parrots They brought cakes o f a kind of bread called cassava made f rom the y ucca root w h ich con stituted a prin cipal part of their food The avarice o f th e discoverers was aw aken ed by per ce i v in g smal l ornaments of gold in the n oses o f som e o f th e n atives On being asked w here this precious m etal was p rocu red they ans w ered by sig n s poi nting to the south an d Colu mbus u n derstood t he m to say that a king resided i n th at qu arter of such w ealth that he w as H e i n terpreted all their Served in great vesse l s of gol d imperfect com mu n ications accordi n g to his previous ideas and h is cherished w ishes They spoke of a warlike people w ho o f ten i nvaded their islan d fro m the north w es t and carried o ff the inhabi tan ts These he co n cluded to be the people of the main lan d of Asia subj ects to the Gran d Khan who according to M arco Polo w ere accus t o me d t o make war u pon the island s and make slaves o f the n at ives The rich cou ntry to the South could be no oth er than the island of Cipango an d th e king who was se rved o ut of gold e n vessels m us t be the monarch w hose m agn ificen t palace was said to be covered w i th plates of gold H aving explored t he island of G u an ahan i and t aken i n a su pply of wood and w ater Colu mbus s et sail i n qu est o f th e opu len t cou n try to the south t aking seven of the nat i ves w i th him to acqu ire the Spa n ish la n g uage and serve as interpre t ers an d gu ides H e n o w beh eld a n u mber of beau ti fu l islands green level an d fertil e and the I n dian s i ntim ated by signs that ,

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8 7

TH E

LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

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glan ced back the rays of light like precious ston es and as they sported abou t the ships they flashed gleam s of gold an d silver through the crystal waves Colu mbus was disappoin ted in h i s hopes o f fin d ing any gold or spices in these islan ds ; bu t the n atives cont in ued to poin t to the south as th e region of w ealth an d began to speak of an islan d in that directio n called Cuba which th e Spa n iards u nder stood them to s ay aboun ded in gol d pearl s an d spices carried on an extensive com m erce an d that large merchan t ships came to trade w it h th e inhab it an t s Columbus conclu ded this to be the desired Cipango an d the merchant ships to b e those of t he Gra n d Khan H e set sail in searc h of it an d after being delayed f or several days by con trary wi n ds an d calms amon g the small island s o f the Baham a bank an d chan n el he arrived in sight of it on the 2 8 t h of October As h e approach ed this n oble islan d he was struck w ith its magn itu de th e gran deur o f its moun tai ns its f ertile valleys an d long s weep ing plains covered by stately f orests and w atered by n oble rivers H e an ch ored i n a beautiful river to the w est of N u evitas del Prin cipe an d taki ng fdrmal possession o f th e islan d gave it the n am e of J uan a i n ho n or of Prince J uan an d to th e river the n am e of San Salvador Colu mbus spe n t several days coasti n g th is part of the isla n d an d explori ng the fin e harbors an d rivers w ith From his contin ual rem arks in h is w h ich it abou n ds j ourn al on the beauty of the scen ery an d from the pleas ure w h ich he evide n tly derived f rom rural sou n ds an d obj ects he appears to have been extrem ely open to those delicious influe n ces exercised over som e spirits by the graces an d w on ders of n at ure H e w as in fact in a mood to see everyth ing through a fon d an d favoring m ed iu m f or he was enjoy i ng the fulfillment of his hopes the hard ,

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A M ON G TH E

A N TI LL E S

9

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earn ed but gloriou s re w ard of his toils an d perils and it is d i ffi cult to con ceive the rapturous stat e o f his f eel ings wh ile th us exploring the charms of a virgi n w orld wo n by h is en terprise an d v alor I n the s w eet smell of the w oods and the odor o f the flo w ers h e f ancied h e perceived th e fragrance o f oriental spices an d alo n g the shores h e fou n d sh ells o f the oyster H e freq uently deceived h imsel f w h ich prod uces pearls i n fan cyi n g that he heard the so n g of th e n ig htingale a bird u nkn o w n i n these coun tries From the grass gro w ing to th e very edge o f th e wate r he i n ferred the peace f uln ess of the ocean w h ich b athes th e s e islands n ever lash i n g the sh ores w i t h angry surge s Ever si n ce his arrival am ong th ese A n tilles h e had experien ced n oth ing but s oft an d gen tle w eather an d he concl uded that a per u l e t a h seren ity reign ed over t ese seas little suspicious o f p the occasio n al bursts o f fury to wh ich they are l iable an d to the trem en dous hurrican es w h ich ren d an d devastate the face of n atu re Wh ile coasti ng the i sla n d he lan ded occasion ally an d visited the villag e s the i n habi tan t s o f w h ich fled to t he w oods an d mou n tain s The hou s es w ere const ructed of bran ches of palm trees in th e shape o f pavi l ions an d w ere scattered u nder the sprea d i n g tre e s like tents in a c amp Th ey were better bu ilt th a n tho s e he had hitherto vi s ited an d extrem ely clea n H e fou n d i n them rude i mages an d w oode n m ask s c arv e d w ith con s iderable i ngen u ity Find ing im pl e m ents for fis h ing i n all the cabin s he co n clu ded that t he coasts w ere inhabited m e rely by fi s he r men wh o su ppl i e d the cities i h t he i n terior After coasti n g to the north we s t for some d ista n ce Colu mbus cam e in sight o f a great h e adla n d to wh ich from the groves which covered it he gave the n am e of the Cape of P alms H e r e h e learn t that b eh in d this b ay ,

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80

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there was a river f rom whe nce it was but four days jou r By thi s nam e the nati ves designated n ey to Cu ban acan a province in th e centre of Cuba ; naccm 1n their language sign ify i ng in the m idst Colum bus fan cied ho wever that they w ere talk i ng o f Cu b lai Kha n the Tartar sov e re ign an d u nderstood them to say that C uba was not an islan d b ut terra fi rma H e con clu ded that this m ust be a part of the main lan d o f Asia an d that h e could be at n o great distan ce from M angi and Cathay the u ltim ate des The prin ce said to rei gn ov e r the t i n at io n of his voyage n eigh b oring cou n try m ight be som e orie n tal pot en tate of co nsequence ; h e determ in ed th ere fore to se n d a present to him an d on e o f h is l e t t e rs of recom m e n dation from the Castil ian sovereign s For this purpose h e chose t wo Span fards on e of w hom was a converted J e w an d kn e w H e brew Chald aic an d a little Arabic o n e or oth er of which la n guages it was thought m ust be kn o wn to th is oriental prince T w o I ndian s w ere sen t w ith them as gu ides they were fu rn ish ed w ith strings of beads an d vario us trinkets f or their travellin g expen ses an d e nj oin ed to in form thems e lves accu rately con cern ing the situation of certai n provin ces port s an d ri vers of Asia an d to as ce r tain whether drugs an d spi ces aboun ded in the cou nt ry The ambassadors pen etrated t we lve leagu es in to the i nterior when th ey cam e to a village o f fi fty houses an d at least a thousan d inhabitants They w ere received w ith great kind ness con ducted to th e principal house and p ro vis i ons placed be f ore them aft e r wh ich the I n dians seated th emselves on the grou n d arou n d th eir visitors and w a i ted to hear w hat they had to com m un icate T h e I s raelite foun d his H ebre w Chaldaic and Arabic of n o avail and th e L u cay e n in terpreter had to be the orator H e made a regular speech after the I n d ian man n er e x tolling the po wer wealth an d mu n ifi ce n ce of th e ,

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82

TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

.

to be the names o f islands or provi nce s As the sea s o n w as advan cing n ig hts gave hints of an d the cool approachin g w in ter h e resolved not to proceed f urt her to th e n orth an d tu rn ing east ward sailed in quest of Bab e q u e w h ich h e trusted m ight prove some rich an d civiliz ed isla n d A f ter ru n n ing along t he coast for t wo or three days an d passing a great cape to wh ich he g ave the n ame of Cape C u ba h e stood ou t to s e a i n th e directio n poi n ted o u t by the I nd ians The w i nd ho we ver cam e d irectly ahead an d a fter v a rious i n e ffect u al attempts h e had to ret u r n to Cuba What gave h im great u n easin ess was th at th e Pinta com m anded by M artin Alo n zo Pi n zon part ed company w ith hi m dur ing this attem pt She was the best sailer an d had worked considerably to w i n d ward o f the other sh ips Pin zo n paid n o atte n t io n to the sig n al s o f Col u mbu s to tur n back though they w ere repeat ed at n ight by l ights at the masthead ; whe n morn ing d a wn ed t he Pi n ta w as no lo nger to be seen Col u mbus co n sidered th is a w il fu l d e sertion and was m u c h t ro ubled an d p erplexed by it M artin Alonzo had f or som e tim e show n i mpatien ce at the dom in atio n o f the Ad m iral H e w as a vetera n navigator o f great abil ities and accustom ed from h is w ealth and sta n d ing to giv e t he l aw a mo n g his n autical a s s ociates H e ha d f urn ished t w o o f the s hip s a n d m uch o f the f u n ds f or the exped itio n an d th ought hi msel f e n titl e d to a n equal s h are i n the com man d Sev e ral d isput es therefore had occurre d b e t w e e n h im an d the Adm iral Col u mbus f e ared h e m ight have departed to m ake an in depe n de n t cru ise or m ight h ave t he in te n tio n t o ha s te n back t o Spain an d claim th e m erit of th e discove ry These t houghts di st racted h is m in d an d em barrassed him i n t he f arther pro sec ution of his d iscoveries .

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FI RS T SI GH T OF H A V T]

83

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For se veral days he con ti nu ed explori ng the coast of Cuba un til he r e ac hed t he easter n e nd an d to which from supposi n g it the extrem e poin t o f Asia he gave t he nam e of Alpha and O mega the begin n ing an d t he en d W hil e steeri n g at la rge beyond th is cap e un determ in ed w hich course to take he descried high m oun t a i ns to wer in g above the clear horizon to the so u th e ast and giving evide n ce o f an islan d of great extent H e imm e d iately stood for it to the great conste rnat ion o f h is I n d ian guid es who as s u red h im by signs th at t he inhabit ants had b u t one eye an d were fierce and cru e l can n i b al s I n t he transpare n t atmosphere of the t ropics obj ects are descri e d at a great d ist a n ce and th e puri t y o f the air a n d sere n ity o f the d e ep b l u e sky give a m a gical charm to scen ery U nder these advantages the be auti f ul i sla n d of H ayti reveal e d it sel f to the eye as they approached I t s mou ntains were h igher an d m ore rocky tha n tho se o f the other islan ds bu t the rocks rose f rom am ong rich forest s The m ou ntain s Swept do wn into luxuria n t plain s and green savan nas w hi le th e appe arance o f cultivat e d fields w ith th e nu m erous fi res at n ight and t h e col um n s o f sm oke wh ich r o se in various parts by day all sho wed it to be popu lous I t rose before them i n all th e splen dor of trop ical vegetatio n on e of the most be auti f ul isla nds in the w orld and doom ed to be o n e of th e mo s t u n fortu na t e ,

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C HAPT ER X I I — T CO A S I N G O F H I S A N I O LA SH I

P

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P W REC K

O CC U RRE N CE S A T T H E I SLA N D

,

AN D OTI I ER

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th e even i ng o f t he 6t h o f D e cember Col u m bus entered a harbor at the w e s tern en d o f th e island to ON

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VI SI T FROM A CA 6 1 0CE

87

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she had been t reated H avin g recovered from thei r fears th e n atives con d ucted the Span iar ds to their houses and set be fore them cassava bre ad fish roots and fruits of various kin ds ; o ff ering them freely whatever they possessed f or a frank hospital ity reign ed throughout t he island where as yet th e p assion of ava rice was u nkno wn T h e Sp an iards return ed t o the v e ssels en rapt u red w ith the be auty of t h e cou n try su rpa s sing as they s aid even the luxurian t valley of Cordova ; all that they com plained of w as that th ey s aw n o signs o f riches among t he n atives Cont inui n g along the coa s t Colum bus had farther in t erco u rs e w ith the n ativ e s som e of whom had ornam ents of gold which t hey readily exchanged for the m erest trifle of Eu ropean man u facture At on e of the harbors where he was detain ed by cont rary win ds he was visited by a you n g caciqu e apparently o f great importan ce who cam e born e on a litter by fou r me n and atten ded by t w o h u ndred of h is subj ects H e e n tered the cabi n wh ere Columbus was d in i ng and took h is seat besid e h im w ith a frank un embarrassed air w hile t wo old m en who w ere his coun sellors seated th emselve s at h is feet w atchi ng his lips as if to catch an d com m u n icate h is ideas I f any thing w ere given h im to eat h e m erely tasted it and se n t it t o h is follo wers main tain i ng an air of great gra vity an d d ign ity Aft e r d in n er he pres e n t ed the Ad m iral w ith a Col u m b elt cu riously w rought an d t wo pieces of gold bus made h im vari ous pres e nts in retu rn he sho we d him a coi n bearing the like n esses of Ferd inan d an d I sabella an d endeavored to give him an idea of the po w er an d grandeu r of those sovereign s T h e caciqu e ho wever could n o t be m ad e to believe t hat there was a region on earth w hich produced such won d erful peo ple an d w o n d e rfu l th ings bu t p e rsisted i n the idea that the S pan iards w it h w h ich

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A TI VES CA RRY I N G A C ACI Q U E

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H i s tory

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Wes t

I n d i es

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0 9

TH E

LI FE

COL U M B U S

OF

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in sleep While th is s ecurity reigned over the ship the treach erous curren ts which run s wi f tly along th is coast carried her smoothly but with great violence u pon a san dba n k The heedless boy f eeling the rud der strike an d hearin g the rush ing of the sea cried out for aid Col um b us w as th e fi rst to take th e alarm an d w as soon follo w ed by the m ast er of th e ship w hose d uty it w as to have been on watch an d by his d eli nquen t com pan ion s The Ad miral ord ered them to carry out an an chor aster n that they m ight warp th e vessel o ff Th ey sprang in to th e boat but bei n g con fu sed and seized w ith a pan i c as me n are apt to be whe n su dd e n ly a wake ned by an al arm instead of obeying the com m an d s of Colu mbu s they ro w ed o ff to th e other carave l Vice n te Ya nez Pin zon who com man ded th e latter reproach ed th em w ith their pusillan im ity an d refused to ad m it them on board an d m an n ing h is boat h e hasten ed to the assistan ce of th e A dm iral I n the mean ti m e th e ship s wingin g across th e stre am had been set m ore an d m ore u pon the bank E ff orts wer e m ad e t o lighten h e r by cutti ng a w ay th e m ast but in vain T he keel w as firmly bedded i n th e san d ; the seams opened and th e bre akers beat again st her u ntil she fell ov e r on on e sid e Fortu n at ely th e w eather con t i n u e d calm other w ise both ship and cre w m ust have perished The Adm i ral aban don ed the w reck an d took refuge w ith his m en on board of th e caravel H e laid to u n til daylight sen di ng m esse n gers on shore to i n form the caciqu e G u acanagari of his d isastrous sh ip w reck When the Ch ieftain h eard of the m isfortu n e o f his g ue st he w as so m uch a ffl icted as to shed tears ; an d n ever in civilized cou n try w ere the vaun ted rites of hospital ity m ore scr u pu lously observed tha n by th is u n cultured sav age H e assem bled his people and sen t o ff all his ca noes .

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FRI E N D LI N E SS OF

TH E

N A TI VE S

9

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1

to the assistan ce of the Adm iral assu ring h im at t he sam e time that e veryth ing he possessed was at h is se rvice The e ff ects w ere landed from the w reck an d deposited n ear the d welli ng of the caciqu e and a guard set over them u n til hous es could be prepared in w hich they could be stored T here seem ed ho wever n o d i s position among the n atives to take advantage o f the m isfortu n e of the stran gers or to plu n der the treasu res thus cast upon thei r Shores though they m u s t have been i n estimable in their eyes Even in tran sporti ng the e ff ects f rom the ship they d id n ot at t empt to pilfer or conceal the m ost trifling articl e On th e contrary they m an ifested as d eep a con cern at the disaster of the Span iards as i f it had happen ed to themselves and their on ly stu dy was ho w t hey cou ld adm in ister relief and con s olation Col um bus was greatly a ff ected by this u n expected good ness These people said he in h is journ al in ten ded for the perusal of the so vereigns l ove their n eighbors as themselves ; t heir discourse is ever s we e t an d ge n tle an d accompan ied by a smile I s w ear to your maj est ie s there is n o t i n the w orl d a bett e r n atio n or a b e tter lan d When th e caci qu e fi rst me t w i th Colum bus he w as m uch m oved at beholdin g his dej ectio n an d again o ff ered him e veryth i ng he possessed that coul d be of ser vice to hi m H e i nvited h i m on Shore w here a banquet w as pre pared for h is en tertain ment consisting of various kin ds of fish and fru it an d an an i mal called ut ia by the n ativ e s Aft er the collation he con which resembl ed a co ny d ucted Colum bus to t he beauti f ul groves which surrou nd ed his reside n ce where up wards o f a thousan d of t he n a t ive s w ere assem bled all perfectly naked w ho per f orm ed several of t h eir n at ional gam es and d an ces T hus d id this ge ne rou s caciqu e try by every m ean s in h is po wer to cheer the m elan choly of h is gu est s ho win g a warmth ,

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9

TH E

2

OF

LI F E

COL U M B U S

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o f sympat hy a d elicacy o f attent ion an d an i n n ate d ign ity a nd re fi n e ifie n t w hich cou ld not have been expected f rom H e w as tr e ated w ith gre at d efer o n e in his s avage s tate e by h is subj ects and conducted him sel f to w ards them e nC H is whole d e w i th a graciou s an d prin ce l ike m aj esty portm e n t in the e n th u siastic eyes o f C o lu m b us betokened the inborn grace an d d ig n ity o f lo f ty lin eage Whe n the I n d i ans h ad fi n i sh ed t h eir ga mes Columb us gave them an e n tertai n m en t in ret u r n calcul ated to i m press th em w ith a f orm idab l e opin i o n o f th e m ilitary po w er o f the S pa n iards A Cast il i an who had s erv e d i n the w ars o f Granada exhibited h is skill in sh o ot in g w ith a M ooris h b o w to the great ad miration o f t he c a A can n on an d an arqu e b u se w ere lik e wise d is c iq u e ch arged ; at th e sou n d o f which the I n d ians f e ll to t he grou n d as though they had bee n struck by a thu n d e rbolt Whe n th e y s aw the e ff ect o f the ball r e nding and s hiver ing the trees they w ere fill e d wit h d i s may O n being told ho w ever th at th e Spa n i ards w o u ld prot e ct th e m w ith these arms against t he invasion s o f th e ir dread e d en em ies the Caribs their alarm w as chan ged i n to con fi d e n t ex u ltation con s ideri n g th e mselve s u n der t h e pro t e c t io n of the so n s o f h eave n w ho had com e f rom the The caciqu e Skies arm e d w ith thu n der an d l ight n i n g placed a kin d of coron et o f gold 0 11 the h e ad o f Colum bu s an d h u ng pl ates o f the same metal rou n d h is n eck an d he dispe nsed lib e ral pre s ents am ong h is f ollo wers W hat e v e r t rifl e s Colu mbus gave in retu r n w ere r e garded w i t h reverence as cele s tial gi ft s an d w e re s aid by th e I n d ia n s to have com e f rom Tur ey or h e aven Th e extrem e kin dn es s o f the c aciqu e the gentl en ess o f his people and the quantities o f gold d aily brou ght by t he n atives an d excha n ge d f or t ri fl e s contribu ted to con sol e Colu mbus for his m is fort un e s When Gu acan agari ,

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TH E

94

LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

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erceived h e great valu e w h ich th e Adm iral attach ed to t p he assu r e d h i m by signs that th ere was a p lace o ld g not far o ff a mong t he m o u ntain s w here it abou nded to su ch a degree as to b e regarded w ith i nd i fference ; and h e prom ise d to pr o cu re him f rom th en ce as m uch as he desired Col um bus gathered many other p articula rs concer n i ng th is gold e n region I t was called C ibao and lay among h igh an d rugged mou ntain s Th e caciqu e who ru led over it o w n ed m any rich m i nes an d had ban n ers o f C o lu mbus fa n cied th at the name o f Cibao w ro u ght gold must be a corrupti o n o f C ipango an d flattered h imsel f that t his w as t he very islan d prod uctive of gold an d spices m ent ion ed by M a rco Polo Three houses had been given to the sh ip w recked cre w f or thei r residence H ere l iving on shore and m ingli ng f reely w ith the natives they becam e f ascin ated by t heir easy an d idle mode o f li f e Th ey w ere gover n ed by th eir ca c iq u es w ith an absol ute but patriarchal an d easy r ule an d existed in that state o f prim itive and savage sim plicity wh ich so me philosop h ers h ave f on dly pictu red as th e most e n viable on earth I t is certain says o ld “ P e ter Ma rtyr that th e land among th ese people is as common as the s u n an d w at e r ; an d th at min e an d thin e the s e eds o f all m ischie f h ave n o place with them Th ey are conten t w ith so littl e t hat in s o large a coun try they have rath er s u p e rfl u it y th an s carcen ess so that they seem to l ive i n a golden w orld w ithou t toil in ope n g ardens n eith er intrenched n or Sh u t up by walls or hed ges T hey deal truly w ith one anoth e r w ithout la ws or books or j udges I n f act they see med to d isq u iet the mselves about n oth ing ; a fe w fields cul t ivated almost w ithou t labor f u rn ished roots an d vegetables their groves were la d en w ith d el icious f ru it and the coast an d rivers abou n d ed w ith fish S oft ene d by t he ind ulgence of n at u re a ,

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6 9

TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

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great pa rt o f the day w as passed by them i n in dolen t re pose i n that luxury o f sen sa t ion inspired by a seren e sky an d v o lupt uous climate and in th e even ing th ey d an ced i n t heir f ra gran t grove s to their n ation al songs or the rude sou nd of their sylvan dru ms Wh e n th e Span ish m ariners looked back u po n their o w n toils o me and pai n f ul li f e an d reflecte d upon the cares and hardsh ips that m u s t still be t heir lot should they retu rn to Europe they regarded w ith a w i s t f u l eye the ea sy and idle existence o f these I n d ian s and many o f th em rep resent ing to th e Adm iral the d i ffi culty and da nger o f embarki ng so many person s i n on e sma l l caravel en treated perm ission to remain i n the islan d The requ e s t im m ed iat e ly suggested to Colu mb u s the id ea o f f orm ing th e germ o f a f utu re colony The w reck o f th e caravel w oul d f ur n ish materials an d arms f or a f ortre s s ; an d the p e ople w ho shou ld remai n in the islan d could expl ore it learn the lang u age of th e n atives an d coll e ct gold whil e the Adm iral ret urn ed to Spain for re e n f orcem ents Gua can agari w as ove rj oyed at fi nd i ng t hat som e o f th ese w ond e r f ul stra n gers were to re mai n f or t he d e f e n ce of h is island an d t hat the Adm iral in te n ded to revisit it H e read ily gave per mi s sion to bu ild the f ort an d his su b t eagerly aided in its construction li tle d reami ng e c s t j th at they w ere as s isti n g to place on their n ecks the gall in g yoke o f perpe t ual an d toilsom e Sl avery While thus employed a repo rt w as bro u gh t to Colum bus by certain I nd ian s that anoth er ship was at an chor in a river at t he eastern end o f the island ; h e con cl uded “ i t o f course t o be the Pinta and im m ed iately dispatched a canoe in qu est of it with a letter f or Pi n zon u rging h im to rejoin h im imm ed iately T h e can oe coasted th e island for th irty leag ues but retu rn ed withou t h avi ng ” heard or seen anything of the P inta and all th e an xiety ,

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8 9

TH E L I F E

COL U M B U S

OF

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and i n search i ng for a mo re sa fe and co nven ie n t harbor f or that settlemen t Be fore h is d epartu re he g av e t he n atives an other mili tary exhibition to i n crease their awe o f th e pro w ess o f t he wh it e m en Th e Span iards per f orm ed skir mish es an d mock fights with s words b ucklers lan ces cross bo ws an d firearms Th e I n d ians w e re astonished at the kee n n e s s o f th e steel e d w eapons and th e deadly po w er o f the crossbo ws and mu skets ; but n oth in g equaled their awe an d ad miration when the can n on were d is ch arged from the fortres s w rapping it in smoke shaking the for e sts with their thu n d e r an d shiverin g the stou test trees When C olu mbus took le ave o f Gu acan agari the kind hearted cacique Shed many tears for w hile he had been a w ed by the dign ified d em ean or o f the Ad mi ral an d the idea o f his supe rh um an n atu re he h ad been complet ely wo n b y the be n ign ity o f h is man n ers The seam en too had m ade ma ny ple asan t con n ections among the I n d ians and they parted with m utual regret The sorest part ing ho w ever was w ith their com rades wh o rem ain e d beh in d f ro m that habitual attachm en t formed by a compan ion sh ip in perils an d adven t u r e s When th e s ig n al gu n w as fired they gave a parti ng cheer to the gallan t ha n d f u l of volu n teers th us le f t in the w ildern ess of an u nkno w n world who echoed their ch eerin g as they g azed w ist f ully a f ter them f rom the beach but who w e re d estin ed n ever to welcome th eir return ,

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DE P A R T U RE F OR SP A I N

C HAPT E R X I I I RET U RN

VO Y AG E



PO RT U GA L

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STO RM S

V I O LEN T

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[

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14 9

3

99

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A RRI VA L

AT

]

on th e 4 t h of J an uary that Colu mbu s set sail from La N avidad on his retu rn to Spain On the 6t h as he was beati n g alon g t he coast w ith a head w ind a sailor at th e masth ead cried out that t here was a sail at a d is ta n ce stand ing to wards t hem T o their great j oy it prov ed to be the Pin ta which cam e s w eepi ng b e fore the w ind w ith flo wing can vas On join ing th e Admiral Pinzon e ndeavored to excuse his dese rtion by s aying that he had been separated f rom h im by stress o f we at h er an d had ever sin ce b een s eeking him Colu m bus l isten ed passive ly but i ncredu lou sly to these excuses avoid ing any w ord s that m igh t produ ce altercations an d d i s tu rb the remai nder of the voyage H e a s c e rt ain ed a fter wards that P in zon had parted com pany intentionally and had steered d irec t ly east in qu est of a region where the I ndian s on board o f h is ves s el had assu re d h im he w ould fi nd gold i n abu nd a nce They had gu ided him to H ispan iol a w here h e had been for s om e time in a river about fi f t een l e agu es east of La Navidad trading w ith th e n ative s H e had collected a l arge quan tity o f gold o n e hal f of w hich he retain ed as captain the rest h e d ivided among his m en to secu re th eir secrecy an d fi delity On leaving the river he had c arried o ff fou r I n dia n m en an d two girls to be sold i n Spain Columbus sailed for th is river to whic h he gave th e but it l ong con ti nu ed to be n am e of Rio de Gracia kno w n as the river o f Mart in A l o n zo H e re he ordered I T w as

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100

TH E L I F E

COL U M B U S

OF

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the f o u r m en and t wo girls to be d ism issed well cloth ed an d with ma n y p resen ts to ato n e for th e w ron g they had experien ced an d to allay t he hostile f eeling it might have caused am ong the n atives This restitution was not m ade w ithou t grea t u n w ill i n gn ess and many angry w ords on the part o f Pin zo n A fter stand ing f or som e di s tance f u rther along the coast they anchored in a vast bay or rather gu l f th ree leagues in breadth an d ext e n ding so f ar inland that Co lumbus at first sup posed it to be an arm o f the sea H e re he w as visited by the pe o ple o f th e mou ntai n s o f Cigu ay a hardy and w arlike race qu it e d i fferen t f ro m the gen tle peace f ul people th ey had h itherto m et w ith on an d th is islan d Th ey w ere of fierce aspect and hideously painted and their heads we re decorat ed w ith f eat hers Th ey had bo ws an d arro ws w ar cl ub s and Sword s made of pal m w ood s o h ard an d h eavy th at a blo w f rom them wo u ld cleave through a h elm et to th e very brain At the fi rst sight of these f erociou s looki ng people Colum bus suppo s ed them to be th e Caribs so m uch d read ed th rou ghou t th ese seas ; but on asking for the Caribb e an I slands the I nd ian s still pointed to the east ward With th ese people th e Span i ards had a skirm ish in Th is w as the w h ich se v eral of the I n d ia n s w ere slai n first con test they had had with the i n habitan ts o f th e N e w World an d th e first tim e t hat n a t ive blood had been shed by w h ite m en From th is skirm ish Colu mbus c alled the place El G ol f o de las Flech e s or the gulf of Arro w s ; but it is n o w kn o w n by the name of the gu l f o f Saman a H e lam ented that all h is exertion s to maintain an amicable i ntercou rse had been i n e ff ectual an d anticipated f urther h ostility on th e part of the n atives ; but on t he f ol l o wing day they approached the Span iards as freely an d co nfi d e n t ly as if n ot hing had happen ed ; the cacique cam e on ,

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TH E

1 02

LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

.

elements A S the morn i ng da w n ed there was a tran sient pause an d t hey ma d e a little sail but the w ind rose w ith redoubl e d f u ry f ro m the south and in creased i n the n ight t h e ve s sels laboring terribly in a cross sea which threaten ed at e ach mom en t to overwh elm th e m or das h them to pie ce s The tempe s t s till augm enti ng th ey were obli ged again to s en d b e fo re the wind T he Admiral m a d e sign al l i gh t s fo r t he Pi n t a t o keep in compa ny ; fo r s o m e tim e s h e r e pli e d by s i milar s ig n al s but She w as s e parated by t h e vi o l en c e o f th e storm ; h e r ligh ts glea me d mo re an d more d ista n t u ntil th ey ceased e n Wh en the day d a w n e d the s e a prese n ted a fri gh t t ire ly fu l w as te o f w ild br o k e n w aves l as hed i n to f u ry by t he al C Pin ta e o lu mb u s lo o ked ro u n d anxi o u s ly f or t he g but sh e w as no where to b e s ee n Throug ho ut a d r e ary d ay th e h elpl e ss bark w as driven alo n g by the te mp e s t Se e in g all h u ma n skill ba ffled co n f ou nd ed Columb u s e n d e av o r e d to p ropitiate an d H eaven by sol e m n vo ws Lo t s were ca s t to per form pilgrimage s an d pe n it e n c e s m o st of w hi ch f e ll upon Col u mb u s ; amo n g other th i n gs he w as to per form a sol e m n m a s s an d to w atch an d pray all n ight in the chap e l o f t he c o nv e n t o f S a n t a Cl ara at M o gu er V a ri o u s privat e vo w s w ere mad e by the s e am e n an d o n e by the Adm iral an d t he whol e cr e w that i f th ey w e re spare d to reach the l and they w o uld walk i n proce s sion bare footed an d in th ei r sh irts t o o ffer up thanksgivings i n some ch urch d e dic ated to the Virgin The he ave n s ho wever s e em ed dea f to all their vow s ; the stor m gr e w still more f u rious an d every on e gave h imself up fo r lost Du ring th is lon g an d a w f u l conflict o f th e ele ment s the m ind o f Columbus w as a prey to th e most d I St re ss in g an xi e ty H e was harassed by the re pi nings o f h is cre w wh o c ursed th e hou r o f th eir leaving .

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104

TH E

L I FE

COL U M B U S

OF

.

their count ry and their wan t o f resolution in n o t com pelling him to aban don the voyage H e was a ffl icted also when he thought o f h is t wo sons who would be le ft destitute by his d eath But he had an other source of d istress more intolerable tha n d eath itsel f It was h ighly probable that th e Pinta had f ou n dered in th e storm I n such case the history o f his discovery wou ld depend u pon his o wn f eeble bark ; on e surge o f the ocean m ight bury it forever in oblivi on and his n ame only remain as that o f a desperate adven tur e r who had perished in pur su it o f a chi m era I n the m idst o f these gloomy reflection s an expedient suggested itsel f by which though h e an d his ships might perish the glory o f his achievem e n t m ight su rvive to his nam e an d its advantages be secu red to h is sover e igns H e wrote on parchm ent a b ri e f acco u n t o f h i s d i s covery an d o f his havi n g take n possession o f th e n e wly found Th is h e l ands in th e n am e o f th e ir C atholic m aj esties sealed and d irected to th e ki ng and qu een an d su per scribed a promise o f a thousan d d ucats to whom soever shou ld deliver th e packet u n ope n ed H e then wrapped i t in a w axed cloth which h e placed in the centre o f a cake o f wax and in clo s in g the whole in a cask th re w it into t he s e a A copy o f th is m em orial h e in closed i n a si milar m an ne r an d pl aced it u pon the poop o f his vessel so that Should the c aravel si nk th e Cask m ight float o ff an d su rvive H appily th ese p recaution s though w ise were su per fl u o u s ; at sun set there w as a streak o f clear sky in th e w est the w ind sh i f ted to that quarter an d on th e m orn ing o f the I 5 t h o f February th ey came i n sight of land T he transports o f th e cre w at once m ore behold ing t he old world w ere almost equal to those they had e x pe ri For t wo or th ree days , e n ce d on discoveri ng the n e w ,

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1 06

TH E L I F E

OF

COL U M E U S

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did not put his o ff ers to the proof T he wi nd becam e f avorable for the con ti n u a t io n of h is voya ge an d he again set sail on the 24 t h of February After t wo or three days of pleasan t sa i l i ng there was a ren e wal o f tem 2 es t o u eather About mid n ight of the d of March u s w p the caravel was struck by a squall w hic h ren t all h er sails and threaten ed instan t d e s truct io n T he cre w were again reduced to despair and m ade vo ws of fasti ngs an d pil grimages T he storm raged t hrou ghou t the succeed i ng day d uring whic h fro m variou s si gn s they consid ered themselves i n the vicin i t y o f land w hich th ey supposed mu s t be the coast of Portugal T he tu rbulen ce of the follo wing n ight was d read f ul T h e se a was broken wild an d moun tain ous the rai n fell i n torren ts an d the light n i n g flashed an d th e thu n der pealed from various parts o f the h eave ns I n the firs t watch of th is fearful n i ght th e seam en gave t h e usually welcom e cry o f lan d bu t it on ly i n creased their alar m for th ey were ign oran t of their s ituation an d d read ed be i ng d riven on shore or dashe d upon the rocks T aki ng i n sai l th erefore they endeavored to keep to sea as much as possible At daybre ak o n th e 4 t h o f March they f ou n d them s elves o ff the rock of Cin tra at the mouth of the T ag ris T hough distrustful of th e good will o f P o rtugal Colu m bus h ad n o alternative bu t to ru n i n for shelter an d he accord ingly an chored abou t th ree o clock in the river opposite t o Ras t e llo T he i nh abitants came o ff from various parts of th e shore to congrat ulate him on w hat they deem ed a m iracu lous preservat ion for they had been watch in g th e vesse l th e wh ole morn ing w ith great an x iety and putting up prayers for her sa fety T h e old est mari ners o f the p l ace assu re d him that they had n ever kn own so tempestuou s a wi nt er S uch were th e d i ffi culties and perils w ith which Colum bu s had to .

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A RRI VA L I N

P OR T U GA L

107

con ten d on his retu rn to Europe ; had on e tenth pa rt of them beset h is out ward v o yage his factiou s cre w o ld have risen in arm s aga i nst the enterpris e and he n e v e r w ould have discovere d the N e w World -

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C H AP T ER X I V v1s 1T

CO L U M B U S

or

TO

A RR1VA L A T

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T H E CO U RT o r

PO RT U GA L

.

PA LO S

.

I M M E DI AT ELY on his arrival in th e T agus Colum bus despatched a courier to the king and q u e en of S pain w ith tid ings of h is d iscovery H e wrote also to the king o f Port ugal entreating perm ission to go to Lisbo n w ith his vessel as a report had got abroad that s he was laden w ith gold and he felt himsel f i n secu re in th e neigh b o rho o d of a place like Rastello i nhabit ed by needy an d advent urous peop l e At the sam e tim e he stated the route and events of his voya ge lest the k i ng should sus pe et him of having been i n the route of the P ortuguese d iscoveri es The tid ings of this w onder f ul bark freighted with the peopl e an d prod uctions of a n e wly discovered world filled all Lisbon w ith aston ishm en t For several days the T agus was covered w ith barges an d boat s going to and f rom it Am ong the visitors w ere vario us o fli ce rs o f the cro wn and cavaliers o f hi gh distin ction All h ung w ith rapt atten tion upon the accou nts of the voyage and gazed wi t h i n satiable cu riosity upon the plan ts an d an im als an d above all u pon the i nhabitan ts o f the N e w World T he enth u s iasm of som e an d the avarice of others was excited while m any repi ned at the i ncred ulity ,

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1 08

TH E LI F E

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o f the kin g an d his counsellors by wh i ch so gran d a d is co ve ry had been forever lost to P ortugal On the 8 th of M arch Col u m bus r e ceived a m essage from K ing J ohn congratu latin g him u pon h is arrival an d i nviting him to the cou rt at Valparaiso abou t n in e leagu es f rom Lisbon Th e kin g at the sam e t im e ordered th at a nyth ing w hich the Ad mi ral requ ired for himsel f or his vess e l should be fu rn ished f ree of cost Colum bus d istrusted t he good fait h of th e kin g an d set out relu ctantly fo r t he cou rt but h is recept ion was wh at m ight hav e been expected from an enli ghten ed an d li beral pri n ce On approachi ng the roya l residen ce he was m et by t he prin cipal person ages of the kin g s household an d conducted w ith great ceremo ny to th e palace T he king w elcom ed hi m to Po rtugal and congratu lated h im on the gloriou s result of h is en terprise H e ordered h im to seat himsel f i n his pres e n ce an honor only gran ted to person s o f royal d ign ity an d assured h im that everythi ng i n his kin gdom w as at the service of h is sovereign s an d himsel f T hey had re peated convers ations about the even ts o f the voyage an d the king made m in ute i nqu i ries as to t he soil prod uct ions ; an d p e ople of the n e wly d is covered coun trie s and the routes by which Colum bus had sailed The king listen ed with seem ing pleasu re to his repl ies but w as secretly grieved at t h e th ought tha t t his splen did enterp rise had been o ff ered to h im an d re f used H e w as u nea sy also lest th is un defin ed discovery should in some way i nterfere w ith h is o wn territorie s compre hen ded in th e papal bull w h ich grant e d to the cro wn of Portugal all th e lands it should d iscover from Cape Non to th e I ndies O n suggest i ng these doubts to h is counsellors th ey eagerly en cou raged th em for som e of them were t h e very person s who had sco ffed at Colu mbus as a dre am er an d ,

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TH E

1 10

LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

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cou rage an d craft was more relished by the king an d he resolved to put it promptly i n execution I n the mean tim e Col umbus a f ter bei n g treated w ith the most hon orable atte n tions was escorted back to his sh ip by a n u merous train o f cavaliers of the court and on th e w ay p ai d a visit to the queen at a monastery of San An ton io at Villa Franca wh ere he w as listen ed to w ith w onder as he rela t ed the eve n ts of h is voyage to her m aj e s ty an d th e lad ies of h er court The king had o ffered h i m a free pass age by l a n d to Spain at the royal expense but as t h e w eather had m oderated he pre f erred to retu rn in h is caravel Puttin g to sea on th e 1 3 th o f M arch there f ore he arrived sa f ely at Palos on the 1 st h h aving taken not q u ite seven months an d a hal f to acco mplish t h is mos t m om entou s of all maritim e enter prises Th e triumphant retu rn o f Colu mbus w as a prod igious even t in the little comm u n ity o f Palos every m ember o f w h ich was m ore or less i nterested in the f ate of the e x p e ditio n M any had lam ented the i r frien ds as lost wh ile imagi nation had l en t mysterious horrors to their fate Wh en therefore they beh eld on e o f the adventurous vessels furl ing her sails in thei r harbor f rom the d is o f a worl d the whole com m u n ity broke forth co ve ry in to a transport of j oy the bells w ere rung the shops Colum bu s lan ded and Shut an d all busin es s s uspended w alked in procession to the chu rch o f St George to retu rn thanks to God for h is sa fe arrival Wherever h e pas s ed th e air rang w it h acclamatio ns and h e r eceived su ch ho n o rs as are paid t o sovereign s W hat a contrast w as th is to h is d eparture a fe w m ont h s be f ore follo wed by m u rm u rs an d e xecr ations ; or rat h er what a co n trast to h is fi rst arrival at P alos a poor pedestrian craving bread an d water for his ch il d at the gate of a conven t ,

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P I N Z ON

A RRI VE S A T P A LOS

I I I

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U nderstan ding that the court

at Barcelo na he at first felt disposed to proc e e d there in th e caravel but refl e ct in g on the dan ge rs an d d isasters of h is recen t voyage he gave up the idea and dispatched a letter to the sovereign s in form ing th e m of h is arriv al H e the n depa rted for S e ville to a w ait their reply I t a rriv e d w ith i n a fe w days an d was as grati fying as h is h ea rt could h ave d esi re d T he sover e igns were da zz led and aston ishe d by th is s ud d en an d easy acqu isition of a n e w empire of in defi n it e e xtent an d apparently bound less w ealth T hey addressed Col um bus by h is t itl es of A d m iral an d Vic e roy prom ising him still greater re wards and u rging h im to rep a ir im m ediately to cou rt to con ce rt plans for a secon d an d m ore exten sive exped ition I t is fitting here to sp e ak a word o f the fate o f M art in Alo n zo Pinzon By a sin gular coin cid e n ce wh ic h ap pe ars to be w ell authen ticated h e an chored at P alos on the even ing of t he s am e day th at Colum bu s had arrived H e had been driv e n by t he storm into t he Bay o f Biscay Doubting w hether an d h ad mad e the port of Bayon n e Col um bus had su rviv e d t he t e mp e s t he had im med iately w ritt e n to the sover e ig n s giving an accou nt of th e dis and requ esting perm i ssion to com e t o cou rt an d c o ve ry relate the particulars in pe rson As soon as the w eather w as f avorabl e he ag ain s e t sail an ticipati ng a t ri u m p h an t rec e pt ion in h is n at ive port o f P alos When o n entering t he harb o r he b e held the vess e l of the Adm iral rid in g at a n c h or and l e arn e d t he en th usiasm w it h wh ich h e had b e en rec e ived h is h eart d ied w ith in him I t is said he feared to m eet Col um bus in this hour of h is triu mph lest h e sh ould put h im u n der arrest for his d esertion on the coast of Cuba ; but this is not likely for he was a man o f too m uch resolution to yield to such a fear I t is more probable that a consciousnes s o f h is m i sc on d u ct was

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TH E

I IZ

LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

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m ade him u n w illing to appear be fore th e publ ic in the m id st of thei r en thusiasm for Colu m bus an d to wi t n ess the honors h eaped u pon a m an whose superiority he had been so u n w illing to ackn o w ledge Whatever may have bee n h is m otive it is said that h e lan d ed privately in his boat an d kept o u t o f sight u n til the departure of the Adm i ral when h e retu rn ed to h is ho me b ro k e n i n health and deeply dej ect ed a w ait i ng the reply o f th e sovereigns to his letter The reply at l ength arrived f orbidd in g h is com i ng t o court and severely reproach ing h im f or his cond uct Th is letter completed h is h um il iatio n the w ou nds o f his feelin gs gave virulence to h is bodily malady and i n a fe w days he died a victi m to grief an d repe n tan ce Let n o on e ho wever in dulge in harsh censures over the grave of Pin zon H is m erits an d services are e n titled to th e h ighest praise ; h is errors should be regarded with indulgence H e was on e of the firs t in Spai n to appreciate th e proj ect of Colum bus an im ati ng h im by h is co nc u rren ce an d aiding him w ith h is pu rse w hen poor an d u nkno w n at Palos H e afterw ards en abled h im to procure an d fit out h is sh ips w hen even the m an dates of th e sovereigns w ere in e ffectual ; an d fi nally he embarked in the expedition w ith h is broth ers an d frien ds staking li f e property everyth ing u pon the event H e h ad thus entitled h im self to part i cipate largely in th e glory o f th is i m m ortal enterprise w he n u n fo r t u n at e ly forgetting for a m om en t the gran deu r of the cause an d th e im pl icit obedien ce du e to his com mand er h e yielded to th e in citem ents of sel f interest and was gu ilty o f th at act of i nsubordi n ation w h ich has cast a shade upon h is nam e M uch may be said h o wever i n extenu ation of h is fault ; his con sc i ou sn ess of h aving re n dered great serv i ces to th e exped ition an d of pos ,

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1 14

TH E LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

ful co u rtiers an d cavaliers follo wed by a vast con cou rse o f the po p tI l ac e came fort h to m eet him H is en trance into t h is n obl e city has been compared to on e o f those triump h s w h ich the Romans were accustomed to decree to conquerors First were paraded the Six I n d ians pai nted accord i n g to their savage fash ion an d decorated with their or n am en t s of gold After these w ere born e various kin ds of l ive parrots together w ith stu ffed bi rds and an i mals of u nkn o wn species and rare plan ts su pposed to be of precious qualitie s ; wh ile espec ial care w as taken to display th e I n d ian coro n ets b racelets an d other decora tions of gold w hich m ight give an idea of t he wealth of the ne wly d isc overed region s After th is follo w ed Columbus on horseback su rroun ded by a brill ian t cavalcad e o f Spa n ish chival ry T he streets w ere al most impassa b le f rom th e m ultitu de ; t h e houses even to t h e very roofs w ere cro w ded w ith spectators I t seem ed as i f the pu blic eye co u ld n o t be sated w i t h gazing at th ese trophies of an or on the rem arkable man by w hom it u nkn o w n w orld had been discovered There w as a subl imity i n t h is even t th at m in gled a solem n feeli n g with the public j oy I t w as considere d a sign al d ispensati on of Providen ce i n re ward for th e piety o f the sovereigns and th e m aj est ic an d venerable appearan ce o f the discoverer So di fferen t from t h e youth an d bu oya n cy that gen erally accom pany roving enterprise seem ed i n harm o ny w ith the grandeu r and di gn ity o f the achi evem ent To receive h im w ith su itable distin ction the sovereigns had ord ered th eir t h ron e to be placed i n public u n der a rich ca n opy of brocad e o f gold w here th ey a waited h is arrival seated i n state w ith Pri n ce J u an beside them an d su rro un ded by their pri ncipal n obil ity Col u m bu s ar rived in their presen ce accompan i ed by a b rill ian t crow d o f cavaliers among whom we are told h e was con spicuous ,



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TI ON

RECE P

OF CO

L U MBU S AT BA RC ELO NA V O Y AG E

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F r om

an

ol d

f r i nt

.

T U RN

RE

I

F RO M F RS T

1 16

TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

.

for his stately an d com m an di n g person which with h is ven erable gray hairs gave h im the a ugust appearan ce o f a sena t or o f Rom e A m odest smile lighted up h is co nn t e n an c e s h o w ing that he enj oyed th e state and glory in w h ich h e cam e ; an d certai n ly n oth ing cou ld be m ore deep ly moving to a m in d i nflam ed by noble am bition an d con scious o f having n obly deserved than these tes t imo n ials of the adm irat ion an d g rat itude o f a natio n or rat her o f a w orl d O n h is approach t he sovereign s ro s e as i f receivin g a person o f the h ighest rank Ben d i n g on his k n ees he w ould have kissed their han ds in token o f vassalage but they raised h im i n the most gracious ma n n e r and ordered h im to se at himsel f i n — their pres e nc e a rare honor in th is proud an d p u n c t il io u s Cou rt H e n o w gave an accou n t of the most strikin g events of his voyage an d displayed the various prod u ction s and the native inhabitan ts which h e h ad brought from th e n ew H e assu red their m aj esties t h at all these were worl d but harbi ngers o f great e r di s coveries w hich he had yet to m ake w h ich w ould add realms o f i ncalculab l e w ealth to th e i r dom in io n s an d w hole n ations o f proselytes to the tr u e faith Wh e n Colum bu s had fi n ished t he king an d qu een sank on th e ir knees raised thei r h ands to heaven and w ith eyes filled w ith tears of j oy an d grat itud e pou red forth t h a n ks an d pr a ises to Go d Al l presen t follo w ed t h eir example ; a deep an d solem n ent h usiasm perva d ed that splend id assembly an d preven ted all com mon acclam a tions of trium ph T he an them of Te Deu m lauaa mus chan ted by th e choir o f the royal c h ap e l with t he m elo d io n s accompan im en ts o f in strum e n t s rose up from the m idst i n a f ull b o d y o f harmony bea ring u p as it were the feelin gs an d thoughts o f t h e aud ito rs to heaven ,

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1 18

TH E

LI FE

COL U M B U S

OF

.

A ASTI LLA A L MU ND D NU V Y

C

E

il

a T o C s t (

Co

L

I O CO O N

O

O

EO N

e an d

.

L e on

l umb u gav e a new w ld ) or

s

.

The pe n sion of th irty cro w ns which had bee n decree d by the sovereign s to whomsoever s hould first discover ,

CO

LU MB U S

A N D T H E EG G

F r om De B ry



s

Voy ages

.

lan d w as adj udged to Colu mbus for havi ng fi rst seen the l ight on the shore I t is sa i d t h at th e seam an w ho first desc ried th e land was so in censed at being d is ap poin ted o f what h e d eem ed his merited re ward that h e ren ou nced h is cou n t ry an d h is faith and crossing into Africa turn ed M ussul man ; an an ecdote ho wever whic h rests on rather qu e s tion able authority T he favor sho w n Colu mbus by th e sovereigns i n ,

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COL U M B U S A N D

TII E

“9

E GG

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sured him for a time the caresses of the n obility ; for i n a cou rt every on e is eager to lavis h attentions upon th e man wh om the king delighteth to honor At on e o f th e b anq uets which were given h im occu rred the well kno w n ci rcumstance o f th e egg A shal lo w courtier present im patient of the hon ors paid to Colu m bus and m ean ly j ealous of h im as a foreign er abru ptly ask e d h im wh et h er he thought that i n case h e had n ot d is co v e red the I n di e s th e re would have b e en w an ting m en i n Spain capab le of the en terprise To this Colu m b us mad e n o d irect rep ly but taki ng an egg invited th e com pany to m ake it stan d upon on e end E v e ry one attem pted it but in vain ; wh ere u pon h e str uck it u pon th e table broke on e en d an d left it stan d ing on th e broken part ; illustrating i n this sim ple man n er t h at when he had on ce sho w n the way to the N e w World n oth ing was easier than to follo w it The joy occasion ed by th i s great d i s covery was n ot con fin ed to Spai n ; the whole civilized world was filled E very on e rej oiced i n it as an w it h won d e r an d delight even t in wh ich h e was m o re or le s s in terested and which open ed a ne w and u n boun ded fiel d for inqu i ry an d enter prise M en o f learn i n g an d sci e nce sh e d t e ars of joy an d those of arden t imaginations i nd u lg e d i n the most extravag an t and deli ghtful d reams Not withstan di ng all this trium p h ho wever no o ne had an idea of th e real im po rtan ce o f th e d iscovery The opin ion o f Colu mbus was u n iversally adopted that Cu ba was the e n d of t h e Asiatic con tin en t an d that the adjacent islan ds we re i n the I n d ian Sea s T hey were called therefore the West I ndies an d as the region thus d iscovered appeared to be of vast and indefi n ite exten t an d exist ing in a state of n atu re it received th e comprehen sive appellation of ” “ the N ew World ,

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TH E LI FE

1 20

OF

COL U M B U S

.

C HA P T E R XVI

P

PA A L

— PA RT I T I O N PRE P ARAT I ONS

OF

B U LL

.

[

SE CO N D VO Y A G E O F D I SCO VE RY

.

14 9

3

FO R

A

]

the m idst of their rej oic ings the Span i sh sovereigns lost n o tim e i n tak i ng every measu re to secu re their n ew acqu isitions Du ring the crusad es a doctrin e had been established am o n g the Christian pri n ces accord in g to wh ich the pope from h is suprem e authori ty over all temporal th ings as Christ s vicar on earth was co ns id ered as empo wered to dispose of all heathe n lands to such Ch ristian potentates as would u n dertake to redu ce them to the dom in io n of the Ch u rc h an d to i ntrodu ce i nto them th e l ight o f religio n Alexander th e Sixth a n ative of Valen c i a an d born a subj ect to the c rown of Arragon h ad recen tly been ele H e was a pon ti ff whom som e vat e d to the papal chair historian s have stigmati z ed w ith every vice and crim e that could d isgrace hu m an ity but whom all h ave represented as em in ently able and politic Ferd in an d w as w el l a ware of h is w orldly an d pe rfi d io u s character an d e n H e dispatch ed d e avo re d to m a n age h im accordi ngly ambassadors to him an n ou n cin g the n ew d iscovery as an e x traordinary t ri u m ph of the fa i th an d a vast acqui sit i on of empire to the Ch u rch H e took care to state that it d i d no t i n the least i nterfere with th e possess i on s ced ed by the H oly Chair to P ortugal all wh ich had been sedu lo u s ly avoided ; h e supplicated h is H oli n ess t herefore to issue a bul l gran ting to the cro wn of Castile d omin ion over all those lands and such oth ers as m igh t be d is co v ered in th o se part s art fully inti mat ing at th e sam e tim e IN

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1 22

TH E

COL U M B U S

OF

LI FE

.

the Royal I nd i a house which afterw ards rose to suc h great po wer and import an ce No on e was perm itted to embark for t he n e wly discovered lan ds w ithou t express l i cense f rom either the sovereigns Colu m bus or Fonseca T he ign oran ce of the age as to enlarged prin ciples of com m erce an d the example of the Portuguese in respect to their African possessions have been cited in excuse for the n arro w an d j ealous spirit here m an i f ested ; bu t it al ways more or less influ enced the policy o f Spain i n her colon ial regulations Another in stan ce of the d espotic s way exercised by the cro w n over comm erce is m an i f ested in a royal order em po wering Colu mbus an d Fon seca to freight or p urchas e any vessel s i n the ports o f And al usia or to t ake them by force i f re f u sed even though f reighted by other persons paying w hat they should conceive a reaso n able co mp e n sat ion and com pelling their captains an d c re ws to serve in the exped ition Equ al ly arbitrary po w ers w ere given w ith respect to arms am m u n ition an d naval stores A S th e conversion o f the h eathen w as professed to be the g ran d obj ect of t hese d iscoveries t w elve ecclesiastics w ere chosen to accom pany the expe d itio n at the head of wh om w as Ber n ardo B u y l or Boyle a Ben edict ine mon k native o f Cat alon ia a ma n of t alen t an d reputed s anctity but a subtle politician of int rigu ing spirit H e was ap poin ted by the pope h is apost ol ical vicar for the N e w World T hese m onks w ere charged by I sabella w ith th e spirit ual instr uct ion of the I nd ian s and provided by her w ith all things necessa ry for the dign ified performan ce of the rites and ceremon ies of the Ch urch The queen had taken a warm an d compassion at e in t erest i n the we l fare o f th e natives looki ng upon them as com m itted by H eaven to h er peculiar care She gave gen eral ord ers that they should b e treated wit h the u tmost kindn ess an d ,

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S TRA TA GE M

OF

j

oH N

TH E

SE CON D

1 23

.

enjoin ed Colum b us to i n flic t signal pun ishm ent on all S pan iards who should w rong them T he six I nd ians b rought b y the Ad mi ral to Barcelona w ere b ap t i z ed with great state an d solem n ity the king the q u een an d P rinc e J u an o flfciat ing as sponsors an d were consid ered as an o ff ering to H eaven o f the fi rs t fru its of these pagan nations T he preparation s for the exped ition we re quickened by the proceed ings of th e cou rt of P ort ugal J ohn the Sec ond un fortu nately for h imsel f had am ong h is cou nsello rs certa i n pol it i c i ans of that short sighted class who m istak e craft for wisdom By adoptin g their pe rfi d io us policy he had lost the N e w World wh en i t was an o bject of honorable enterpr i se ; in compl i an ce w ith their advice h e n o w sought to retrieve it by subtl e stratagem A large arm amen t was fitt in g out th e avo wed Obj ect of which was an exped ition to A f rica but i ts real destinatio n t o seize upon the ne wly discovered cou ntries T o lull sus i i o he sen t am bassadors to the Span ish cou rt to con c n p gratulate the sovere ig ns on the success of Colu m b us and to am use them with n egot iations respectin g the i r disco v eries Ferd i nan d had received early i ntell i gen ce of the n aval preparations of Port ugal an d perfectly u n derstood the real p urpose of th is m ission A keen d iplomatic game ensued bet ween the sovereign s w herein th e part i e s w ere playing for a ne w ly d iscovered w orld Q ue s tions and propositions w ere m u ltipl i ed an d enta n gl e d the object of each being m erely to gai n tim e to dispatch h is expedition Ferdinan d was successful an d com pletely foiled his adversary ; for though J oh n the Second w as able an d in telligen t an d had crafty cou nsellors to advise h im yet wh en ever deep an d subtle policy was requ ired Fer d in an d was master of the gam e I t may be as w ell to m en tion i n this place th at the .

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TH E

1 24

L I FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

dispute bet ween th e t wo po w ers on the subj ect of th e i r discoveries was finally settled on J u n e 4 149 4 by re movi ng the im agi nary li ne o f part ition three hu ndred an d seventy leagu es w est o f the Cape d e Verde I slands a n arrangem ent w h ich ultimately gave to Portugal th e possession o f the B raz ils By the in defatigable exertions o f Colu mbus aided by Fonseca an d Soria a fl eet of seven teen sail large an d small w ere soon in a state of forw ard n ess ; laborers an d art ifi ce rs of all ki nds w ere engaged for th e proj ected col ony ; an d an am ple su pply was provid ed of w hat ever was n ec e ssary for its subsiste n ce and de f ence f or the cultiva tion of the soil the worki ng o f the m i nes and th e tra ffi c w ith t h e n atives The extraord i nary excitem ent w hich prevailed respect i ng th is exped ition and the magnifice n t id eas w hich we re entertain ed concern ing th e N e w World d re w volu nte ers o f all kin ds to Seville I t was a rom antic and stirring age an d t h e M oorish w ars being over the bold an d rest less spirits o f th e n ation were in wan t o f suitable employ m en t M any h idalgos of h igh rank o ffi cers of the royal house h old an d An dalusian cavaliers pressed i nto the expediti on som e in the royal service others at their o wn cost fan cyi ng they w ere about to enter upon a glorious career of arms i n the splen d id cou ntries and amo n g th e sem i barbarous n ation s of the East No o n e h ad a ny d efi n ite idea of th e obj ect or natu re of the service in wh ich h e was embarked or t he situ ation an d character of th e region to wh ich h e w as bound I n deed d uri ng this fever of th e imaginati o n had sober facts an d cold realities been presented they w ould h ave been rej ected w ith d is dain for there i s n othin g of w hich the public is more im patien t th an of being dist u rb ed in the ind ulgen ce of any of its golden dreams ,

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1 26

TH E

LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

sometimes refused to sign the accoun ts o f the Ad m iral T h e Archdeacon F o n s e ca also d isp uted th e requ isit ion s of Colu mbus for footm en an d domestics suitable to h is st ate as V iceroy They both received reprim and s f ro m th e s overeigns an d w ere commanded to study in every thing the w ishes o f Colu mbus Fro m th is trifling cause w e may d ate the rise of an implac able hostility ever a f ter m an ifested by Fo n seca to wards Colum bus wh ich every f ear in creased i n rancor and h ich his o ficial station w y enabled him to gra t ify in the most i nvidious man n er Enjoying the u n merited favor of the soverei gn s he mai n t ai ne d a con trol o f I ndian a ff airs for about thir ty years H e m ust u n doubtedly have possessed talents for busin ess t o i n su re such perpetu ity of o ffi ce ; but he w as m align an t an d vindictive an d i n th e gratifi cation o f his private re an d se n t me nt s often obstructed the nation al en terprises heaped wrongs and sorro ws on th e heads o f the most illustri ous of th e early discoverers .

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C HAPT E R X V I I

.

D E P A RT U RE O F CO L U M B U S O N H I S SE CO N D V O Y A GE O F

P

— A RRI VA L A T H I S A N I O LA D I SCO VE Rv .

.

[

149

3

]

departure of Col umbus on his secon d voyage of discovery pre s ented a brill ian t cont rast to h is gloomy embarkation at Palos O n th e 2 5 t h of Septe mber at the da w n o f day the Bay o f Cadiz w as wh iten ed by h is fleet There w ere three large sh ip s of heavy bu rden and f ou rteen caravels The n um ber of perso n s perm itted to embark had originally been l imited to on e thousand b ut many vo l unteers were allo wed to e nli st without pay TH E

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SI GH T OF

IN

TH E

1 27

A N TI LLE S

.

others go t on board of the sh ips by s t eal t h so t hat even t u ally about fi fteen hu n dred set sail in the fleet All were full of an imation and too k a gay leave of their f rien ds anticipat ing a prosperous voy age an d t rium phan t retu rn I nstead of being regarded by th e popul ace as devoted men bou nd upon a d ark an d desperat e enterprise they we re contem plated w ith envy as favored mo rtals d esti ned to gold en regions an d d e light ful climes where nothing but wealth an d wonder and enjoyment aw aited them Col umbus mov e d among t he thron g accompan ied by h is son s D iego and F e rnan do the e ldest but a stripli ng w ho had com e to w it ness his d e part u re Wherever h e pa s s e d every e y e follo wed h im with ad m irat i on and eve ry tongue ex to lled and blessed h im Before sun rise the whole fl e et was u nder way ; t he w eather w as s e ren e an d propitious and as t he populace watch ed their part ing sails brighten ing i n the m orn ing beam s they looked for w ard to th eir j oy f ul retu rn laden with th e t reasures of the N e w World Colu m bus tou ched at the Can ary I sla n ds where he took in w ood an d w a t er an d procu red live stock plants and seeds to be propa gated i n H ispan iola O n the 1 3 th o f Oc t ober he lo s t sight of the islan d of Ferro an d fav o red by th e t rade w in ds was born e pleasan tly along Shaping h is cou rs e to th e south w e s t hoping to fall i n w ith the isl ands o f th e Caribs o f w hich he h ad received s uch interest i ng accou n ts in his first voy age At the da wn of day of th e 2 d o f November a lo f ty islan d w as descried to the w est to which he gave the n ame of D om in ica from havin g discovered it on Su n day As the ships moved gen tly on w ard other islan ds rose to sight on e a f ter an other covered w ith f orests and enl iven ed by flights of parrots an d other tropical birds while the wh ole ai r w as s weetened b y th e fra granc e o f the breezes which ,

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1 28

TH E

OF COL U M B U S

LI FE

.

passed over them These were a part of that beautiful clu s ter of islan ds called the Ant illes w hich s weep almost in a sem icircle from th e eastern en d of Port o Rico to the coast of Paria on the southern con tin ent form i ng a kin d of barrier b et ween the m ain ocean an d t he Cari b bean Sea I n on e of those islands to which they gave the nam e o f Gu adal oupe the Span iards first m et with the delicious anana or pin eapple They fou nd also to th eir surprise the sternpost of a Eu ropean vess e l w hich caused much speculation but whic h m ost probably was t he fragment of som e wreck born e across the Atlantic by the constan t current w h ich accom pan ies the t rade w in ds What most struck their atten tion ho w ever an d filled them w ith horror w as th e sight of h u ma n limbs hanging in the houses as i f cu ri ng for provi sions an d oth ers broili ng or roasting at the fi re Col um bus no w concluded that he had arrived at the island s of the can n ibals or Caribs the obj ects of h is search an d he w as confirm ed in this belief by several captives taken by h is m en These Caribs w ere th e m ost ferocious peopl e of these seas m aking roving expedition s in the i r can oes to th e distan ce of o ne hun dred an d fifty leagu es ; in vad ing the islands ravaging the villages making Slaves of t he you ngest and h an d s o me s t fem ales an d carrying o ff the me n to be killed and eat en While at th is islan d a party of eight m en h eaded by D iego M arque captain of one of the caravels strayed into the woods and did n ot return at n ight to th e sh ips The Adm iral was extrem ely u neasy at the i r absen ce fear i ng som e evil f rom the ferocious disposit i on of th e island ers ; on th e follo wing day parties were sen t in q u est of them eac h w ith a tru mpeter to sou nd calls and sign als an d gun s were fi red from the ships but all to no pu rpose .

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1 30

TH E

COL U M B U S

OF

LI F E

.

Th e parties retu rn ed i n the even ing w earied by a fru it less search w ith many d ism al stories o f the traces of cann ibalism they had met w ith Alonzo de Oj eda the dari n g you ng cavalier who has already been m ent ion ed t h en set o ff w ith forty m en into the i n terior of the island beating u p the forest s and m aki ng the mou n tain s and valleys resou n d w ith tru mpets and fi rearm s bu t with n o better su ccess Their search w as re n dered excessively toilsome by th e closen ess an d luxu riance o f the f orests an d by the w i ndings and doub li ngs of the streams w hich were so frequent that Oj eda declared h e had wad ed through t wenty six rivers w ithin the distance of six leagu es H e gave the most e nt hu s ias tic accou nts o f the coun try The f orests h e said were filled w i th aromat ic trees an d shrubs w hich h e had n o doubt wou ld be f ou n d to prod uce p recious gu ms and spices Several days elapsed w ithout tidings o f the stragglers an d Colu mbus giving them up for lost was on the poin t of sailing when they made their way back to the fleet haggard and exhausted For several days t hey had been be wildered in the m aze s of a f orest so dense as almost to exclude th e day Som e o f th em had climbed trees in hopes of g e tting a sight o f th e stars by which to govern their cou rse but the height of th e bran ches shut out all V ie w of the heavens They were alm ost reduced to despair wh en they fortu n ately arrived at th e seashore and k e eping along it cam e to w her e the fleet w as at an chor Aft e r leavin g Guadalou pe Col u mbus touched at other o f t h e Caribbean I slands At one o f them which he n amed S ant a Cruz a sh ip s boat sen t on shore for water h ad an encou nter w ith a can oe in w h ich w ere a fe w I ndian s t wo o f w hom were females The wom en fought ,

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E N CO U N TE R

WI

TH

13 1

N A TI VE S

.

as desperately as the men and pl ied their bo ws w ith such vigor that one of th em Sent an arro w through a Span ish buckler an d wou nded the soldier who b ore it T he canoe being run do wn and overset they con tin ued to fight wh ile in the w ater gathering themselves occa s io nally on sunken rocks and managing th e ir w eapons as d exterously as if they had been on fi rm grou n d I t w as w ith t he utmost d i ffi culty they could be overpo wered and taken When brought on board the sh ips the Span iards cou ld not bu t ad m ire t heir u n tamed spi rit and fierce de m eanor On e of th e females from th e reverence w ith wh ich th e rest treated h er appeared to be their que e n she was accompa n ied by her son a young man strongly made w ith a haughty and fro w n in g bro w who had been w ou nded in the combat One of the I n dia ns had been transpierced by a lan ce an d d ied of the wou nd an d one of the Span iards died a day or t wo afterw ards of a w ou nd received from a poisoned arro w Pursu ing h is voyage Colu mbus passed by a cluster o f small islands to wh ich h e gave the nam e of The E leven T housand Virgin s and arriv e d on e even ing i n sight of a great isla n d covered w ith fin e forests and ind ented I t w as called by the natives Bo riq u e n but w ith h avens h e n am ed it Sa n J u an Bautista ; it is th e sam e sin c e kno wn by the n am e of Porto Rico Af t e r run n ing for a whole day alon g its beauti f ul coast and tou chi ng at a bay at th e west end he arrived on the 22d o f Novem ber o ff th e eastern extrem ity of H ayti or H ispan iol a T he greatest an imation prevailed th roughout th e armada at the thou ghts of soon arriving at t he en d o f their voy age whil e those who had accom panied Columbus in t he preced ing expedition looked for ward to meet in g with the comrad es they had left behind an d to a rene wal of pleas an t scen es among the groves of H ayti Passi n g by the ,

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TH E

1 34

L I FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

C H APT E R X V I I I FA T E O F T H E

FO RT RE SS

TI O N S A T T H E

N A VI DA D

LA

OF

.

T RA N SAC



.

[

H A RB O R

.

149

3

]

.

the evening o f the 2 7t h o f Nove mber Colum b u s an chored opposit e to t h e harb o r of La N avidad about a leagu e f rom the lan d As it w as too dark to di s tinguish obj ects h e ordered t wo sign al gu n s to be fi red T he r e port echoed along the shore but th ere w as n o gu n or light or friendly shout i n reply Several hou rs pas s ed a way in the most d ism al su s pen se ; about m id n ight a n umber of I n d ians came o ff in a cano e an d in qu ired for the Ad miral refusing to come o n board u n til th ey s hou l d see h im perso n ally Colum bus sho w ed him sel f at the side o f h is vessel an d a light being h eld up h is co u n t e n ance and comm and ing per s on were n o t to be m istak e n The I nd ians n o w e n tered the Ship w it h out hesitat io n On e o f them was a cousi n o f the caciqu e G u acanagari The first inqu iry a n d the bearer o f a presen t fro m him of Colu mbus w as con cer n ing th e garrison H e w as in formed that s e veral o f the Span iards had di e d o f sick n ess others had falle n i n a qua rrel am ong th e ms e lv e s an d others had rem oved to a di ff eren t part o f the isla n d ; th at Gu acan agari had been assailed by Caon abo the fierce caciqu e o f the golden mou n tains o f Cibao who had w ou n ded hi m i n com bat and bu rnt his village an d that he remained ill of his wou nd i n a n eighboring h amlet M elan choly as w ere these t idings they relieved Colu m bus f rom the pain ful suspic ion o f treachery on th e part of the caci q u e and pe ople i n w hom he had confid e d and gave him hopes of fin ding som e of th e scattered gar ON

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FA TE

OF LA N A VI D A D

13 5

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rison still alive T he I nd ians were w ell entert ain ed and gratified w ith presents ; on departing t hey prom ised to return in the m orn ing with G u acan agari The mornin g ho wever da wned an d passed a w ay and the day declined w ith out th e prom ised visit f rom the Ch ieftain T here was a Sile n ce and an air o f d esertion abou t the whol e n eigh Not a can oe appeared in the harbor no t an b o rh o o d I n dian hailed th e m from the lan d n or w as th ere any .

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I G RU I N

F I ND N

B a sed

S OF

o n ol d

LA NAV I DA D f r i n ts

.

I

smoke to be seen risi n g from am on g the groves T o ward s th e even ing a boat w as s e nt on shor e to r e con n oi tre Th e cre w hasten ed to the place where the fortress had been erected T h ey fou n d it bu rnt an d d em olished ; the pali Sad o e s beaten do w n and th e grou n d s t re w ed w ith broken Ch ests spoiled provision s and t he fragm en ts o f Eu ropean garm ents Not an I ndian approached th em an d i f they c aught a sigh t of any lurki ng among th e t rees they van M eeting n o one is he d on fin ding th emselves perceived .

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136

TH E

LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

from w hom they could obtain in for mation con cern i ng th is m elan choly scene they retu rn ed to th e ships w ith d e e d hearts e c t j Colum bus himself landed on the follo w ing morn i n g a nd repa i ring to th e ru in s of the fortress caused diligent search to be m ade for the dead bodies of th e garrison ; Can non an d arq uebuses were d ischarged to su m mon any su rvivors that m ight be i n the neighborhood but none made their appearance Colum bu s had ordered Aran a and h is fello w o ffi cers in case of sudden danger to bury all the treasu re they m igh t pos sess or th ro w it in the w ell of th e fortress T he w ell was there fore searched and excavat ions w ere made am on g the ru in s but n o gold w as to be fou nd Not far f rom the fortress the bod ies of eleven Eu ropeans w ere fou n d buried in d i ff ere n t places and they appeared to h ave been f or som e tim e in the grou nd I n the houses o f a n eighboring ham A RQ U E BU SI ER let we re fou nd several Eu ropean Vy g F mD B y articles w hich could not have been proc u red by barter T h is gave suspicions th at the fortress had been plu n dered by the I nd ians i n th e vici n ity ; w hile on the other hand the village of G u acan agari w as a m ere heap o f bu rn t rui ns which sho w ed that h e and his peopl e h ad b e en in volved i n th e sam e d isaster w i t h t he garrison Colum bus was for some t im e perplexed by these con trad ictory d o cu m ents of a d i s astrous story At length a com m u n icat ion ,

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I

8 3

TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

.

ce ive

th at his o wn consequ en ce m ust declin e before su ch form idable intru ders The d epartu re of Columbus h ad given h im hopes that their intrusion would be but tem or r a the d iscords o f t ose h o remained in creased his h w ; p y con fidence No soon er th erefore did Guti erre z an d E scobedo w ith th eir compan ions appear in his dom in ions than he seized them an d pu t them to d e ath He then assem bled his subj ects an d t raversing the forests w ith profou n d secrecy arrived in th e vici n ity o f La N a vid ad w ithout being discovered But ten m en remain ed in the for tress w ith Aran a ; th e rest were l ivi n g i n careless secu rity in th e village I n the dead of the n ight Cao nabo an d h is warriors bu rst u pon the place w ith frightfu l yells an d set fire to the fort ress an d village The Span i ard s were completely taken by su rprise E ight were driven to the seaside an d rushing i nto the waves were d rown ed ; the rest were massacred G u acan agari and h i s subj ects fought faith fu lly in defence of their gu ests but n ot being of a warlike ch aracter they w ere easily routed The cacique was woun ded in the conflict an d his village burn t to the grou n d Such is the story of the first E u ropean establish m en t i n the N e w World I t presents in a d im i n utive com pass an epitom e of the gross vices which degrad e civil i z ation and the grand pol itical errors wh ich so m eti m es subvert the m ightiest em pi res All law an d ord er w ere relaxed by l icen tiousn ess ; public good was sacri ficed to private interest an d passion ; th e com m u n ity w as con v u lsed by d ivers factions u ntil th e w hole body politic was shaken asunder by t wo aspiri ng dem agogues am bitious of the com m and of a petty fortress i n a w ildern ess an d th e suprem e control of ei ght and th irty m en ! T h is accou n t of the cat astrophe of t he fortress satisfied Columbus of the good faith of Gu acanagari bu t circum .

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E N TE R TA I N S A

CA CI

QUE

1 39

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stances concurred to keep alive the s uspici ons en ter Colu mbus paid a visit t ain e d of hi m by the Span iards to the Chieftain whom he fou nd in a n eighbori n g village su ff erin g apparen tly from a bru ise w hich he had received in the leg f rom a ston e Several of his su bj ects also exhibited recen t wounds w hich had evidently been mad e by I nd ian weapons The caciqu e was greatly agi t at e d at seeing Colu mbus and d eplored with tears the m isfortu nes of t he garrison At the request of the A d m iral h is leg w as exam i ned by a Span ish surgeo n but n o Sign of a w ou nd was to be seen though he shru nk with pain w hen ever the leg was touched As some t im e had elapsed sin ce the battle the extern al bru ise might have d isappeared while a tendern ess m ight remain in the part M any of th e S pan iards ho wever who had n ot w it messed the gen erous con duct o f the cacique i n th e firs t voyage looked upon h is lam en ess as f eign ed an d the w hole story o f the battle a fabrication to conceal h is Col umbus persisted in believi ng him in n ocent e r fi d y p an d i nvited him on board o f his sh ips wh ere the caciqu e w as greatly aston ished at t he wonders of art and n ature brought from the O ld World What m ost am azed him w as the horses H e had n ever seen any but th e m ost dimin utive quadrupeds an d ga z ed with awe at t he gran deu r o f these noble an i mals th eir great strength ter rifi c appearance perfect docility T he sight of the e t y Carib prisoners also in creased his id ea of the pro wess of the Span iards h aving the ha rd ihood to invade these terrible beings even i n thei r strong holds while he could scarcely look u pon them without shuddering though i n chain s O n board the ship w ere several I n dian w om en w ho had been capt ives to the Cari bs Among them was on e distinguished above her com pa nions by a certain l oft in ess .

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TH E

LI FE

COL U M B U S

OF

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of demean or ; she had been m uch noticed and adm ired by th e S pan i ards who had g i ven her the n am e o f Cata lin a S he particularly a t tracted the attention o f the caciq u e who is repres e n ted to have been o f an amorous complexion H e spok e to her repeatedly w ith great gen tleness of to n e and ma n n er pity in all probability bein g m in gled w i t h his ad m iration f or though res cued f rom th e hands o f th e Caribs s he an d h e r compan ion s w ere still in a man ner capt ives on board of th e ship A collation w as served u p f or the entertain m en t of Gu ac an agari an d Columbus end eavored by kin d ness and h ospitality to revive th eir f orm e r cordial i n tercourse but it was all in vain ; the c acique w as eviden tly d istrust f ul and ill at ease The suspicions o f h is gu ilt gai ned grou n d am o n g the Spa n iards Fat h er Boyle in part i e ular regarded him with an evil eye an d advised Colu m bus n o w th at h e had him securely on board of his sh ip to detain him prison er ; but C o lu m bus rej ected the cou nsel of th e crafty f riar as con t rary to soun d policy The cacique ho wever accustomed and ho n orable faith i n h is f ormer intercourse w ith the Span iards to m eet on every Sid e with faces beam in g w ith grat itud e an d frien d ship could n ot but perceive the altered looks of cold suspicion and secret hostility ; n ot withstan di ng the f rank an d cordial hospital ity of th e adm iral there f ore he soon took leave and retu rn ed to land On the f oll o wing day there w as a mysterious movem en t an d agitation am ong th e nat i v e s on shore T h e brot h er o f Guacan agari cam e on board u nder pretext of bart er ing a quan tity of gold but as it after wards proved to bear a m essage to Catali na the I ndian f em ale wh ose beauty had captivated the heart of the caciqu e an d whom w ith a kin d of nativ e gallan try he wished to deliv e r from bon dage ,

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2 4

TH E



LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

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or m al ign ant star The situat ion too was lo w moist and u n healthy an d there w as n o ston e in the n eighbor hood for bu ild i ng Colu mb u s searched th er e fore fo r a more f avorable place f or h is proj ected colo ny an d fixed upon a harbor about ten leagu es east o f M o n te Chris t i protected on on e side by a natu ral rampa rt o f rocks and on the other by an im perviou s f orest w ith a fi n e plain i n the vici n ity ; w atered by t wo rivers A great in ducem en t also f or settl ing here was that it was at n o great d is ta n ce f rom the moun t ai n s o f Cibao w here th e gold m in es w ere situ ated T he troops and th e vario u s persons to be em ployed in the colony were im med iately d isembarked together w ith the store s arms a mm u n it ion an d all the cattle and live stock A n en cam pm ent w as f orm ed on the margin o f the plai n rou nd a sheet o f water and the plan O f a to w n traced o u t and the houses com men ced The p u blic ed i fi ce s such as a chu rch a storehouse and a resid e nce f or the Ad m iral w ere constructed of ston e the rest o f w oo d plaster reeds an d such other m aterial s as could be read ily procured Th us was f ou n ded th e first Chris ti an city of th e N e w World to wh ich Col u mbus gave the n am e o f Isabella i n h o n or o f his royal patro ness For a t ime eve ry on e exerted himself w ith zeal ; b u t maladies soon beg a n t o mak e their appeara n ce M any had su ffer e d fro m s e a sick n ess a n d the lo n g con fi n e ment on board of the Ships ; o th e rs fro m the expos u res on t he land be fore houses could be built f or th e ir reception an d from th e exhalation s o f a hot and moist climat e d ense n at u ral forests an d a n e w rank soil so tryi n g to con s t it u t i o n s accus t om ed to a dry climat e an d ope n cul t i Th e im portan t an d h u rried labors of vat e d coun t ry bu ilding the city an d cu ltivat ing the earth bore hard upon th e Span iards m any o f whom w ere un accustom ed to .

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THE B

U I L D I NG

OF

A IT Y C

F r om Col u mbus



s

TIA

O R FO R

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rst

l ett e r

S

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A

BELL

.

I 44

TH E

LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

labor an d n eeded repose an d relaxation T he m aladies of the m ind also m ingled w ith those of the body M any as has been sho wn had em barked in the en terprise w ith the m ost vision ary and rom an tic expectat ions Wh at then was their su rprise at fi nd ing themselves su rrou nded by im practi cable f orests doom ed to toil pai n f u lly for me re subs i sten ce an d to at t ain every com f ort by t h e severest exertion ! As to gold w h ich th ey had expected to fi n d read ily an d in abund an ce it was to be procu red only in small quan tities and by patient an d persevering labor All these disappoin tments sank d eep i nto their h earts their spirits flagged as th eir gold en d rea ms m elted a way and th e gloom of d espon dency aided the ravages o f dis ease Colum bus himself w as overcom e by the fatigues anxiet ies an d exposu res h e had su ff ered an d for several w eeks w as co n fin ed to h is bed by severe illness ; but his en ergetic min d rose superior to t he m alad ies o f the body and he con t in ued to give d irection s abou t the bu ild ing of the city and the gen eral concerns of th e exped ition The greater part of th e sh ips were ready to retu rn to Spain but h e had n o treasu re to sen d with them The d estr u ction of the garrison had defeated all h is hopes o f find ing a quantity of gold amassed an d ready to be sen t to t he sovereigns I t was necessary fo r h im to do som e thing ho wever before th e vessels sailed to keep u p th e reputation of his d iscoveries and j usti fy his o wn magn ifi cen t repre sen tation s Th e region o f the min e lay at a d istan ce o f but three or f our day s j ou rn ey d irect ly in the interior ; th e very n am e of t he cacique Caonabo sign ify “ i ng th e lord o f the golden house seem ed to ind icate th e w ealt h of h is dom in ions Colu mbus d eterm in ed therefore to se nd an expedition to explore them I f t he result should ans w e r to the accou nts given by the I ndia n s he woul d be able to send hom e the fleet with .

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14 6

TI I E

L I FE

OF



COL U M B U S

.

convers ion of their cou ntrym en H e w rote also 3 san guin e accou nt of the t wo exped ition s into the i n terior an d expressed a con fident expectation as soon as the h ealth of h imself and h is people w ould perm it of pro cu ring an d making abun dan t sh ipm ents of gold spices H e extolled the f ertility of the soil an d val uable d rugs evin ced in the l u xuriant g ro w th of the sugar cane an d of vario u s Eu ropean grains an d vegetables ; but entreated su pplies of provisions for the im med iate wants of the colony as their stores were n early exh au sted a nd they could n ot accustom them selves to the d iet of the natives Among m any sound a nd salutary suggestions in this I n h is letter there was on e of a pern icious tend en cy an xiety to lighten the expen ses of the col ony and pro cu re revenu e to the C ro w n h e recom men d ed that the natives o f the Cari b bean I slands being can n ibals an d ferocious invaders of th eir peacefu l n eighbors should be captu red an d sold as slaves or exchanged with m erchan ts f or live stock an d oth e r necessary su pplies H e observed that by t ran sm itt i n g these in fi d els to E urope wh e re they w ou ld have the be nefits of C hristian in stru ction t h ere w ould be so m any So u ls sn atched from perdit ion and so m any converts gained to the f aith Such is the st ran ge sophistry by wh ich u pright m en m ay deceive them selves an d think they are obeying the d ictates of their con science when in fact they are bu t listen in g to t he in citements o f their in terest I t is but j ust to add th at th e sovereign s d id n ot accord w ith h im in his ideas but ord ered that the Caribs sh ould be treated l ike the rest of the islan ders ; a com man d wh ich eman ated f rom the m erciful heart of I sabel la who ever show ed herself the ben ign protectress of th e I n d ian s When the fleet arrived i n E u rope though it brou ght n o gold yet the tidings f rom Colum bus an d h is com .

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A M ON G

SE D I TI ON

TH E

14 7

COL ON I S T S

.

pan io ns kept up t he popular excitement T he sordid calcu lation s of petty spirits were as yet overruled by the enthusiasm of generous m i nds There was somethin g w onderfully gran d in the idea of introd ucin g ne w races of an i mals an d plan ts of bu ilding cities exten ding col o n ie s and so wi ng th e seeds of c i vili z ation an d of e u lighten ed em pire in th is beauti f u l but savage world I t struck th e m inds of learn ed and classical m en w ith ad mirat io n filling them with pleasan t dream s an d reveries and seem ing to realize the poetical pictures of the olden time of Satu rn Ceres and Triptolem us travelling about the earth to spread n e w inventio ns am on g m ankin d and of the colon izi ng e n terprises of the Phen icians But wh ile such san gu in e anticipat ions w ere i nd u lged i n E urope m urm u ring an d sedition began to prevail amon g the colon ists Disappoi nted in th eir hopes of w ealth disgusted w ith th e labors im posed upon them an d appalled b y the prevalen t m alad ies they looked with horror u pon the su rrou ndin g w ildern ess an d becam e impatient to return to Spain T heir discon ten ts were i n creased by o n e Firm in Cado a w rong headed and cap t ious man who had com e ou t as assayer an d purifier o f m etals but w hose ign orance in h is art equaled h is o h H e pertin aciously insisted that there st i nacy of opin ion was scarcely any gold i n th e island an d that all the speci m e n s brou ght by the n atives had been accum ulated in the cou rse of several gen erati on s and been han ded do w n f rom father to son i n th eir f am il ies At len gt h a con spiracy was formed headed by Berna ! Diaz de Pisa the com ptroller to take advan tage of th e ill ness of Columbus to seiz e upon the ships rem ai ning in the harbor an d to return to Spain ; w he re they though t i t w ou ld be easy to j ustify th eir con d u ct by accusin g Co lumbus o f gross decepti on s and exaggerations con cern .

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14 8

TH E

LI F E

OF COL U M E U S

.

ing th e cou ntries h e had discovered Fortu nately Co lumbus received i n formatio n in tim e and arrest ed the ri n g leaders o f the conspiracy Bern a ] Diaz was con fi n ed on board of on e o f th e ships to be sent to Spain for trial ; and several of the in ferior muti n eers w ere pun is he d but n ot w ith the severity their o ff e n ce deserved This w as the first tim e Colu mbus exerci sed the right of pu nish ing delin quents i n h is n e w govern m en t and it im mediately caused a great clam or agai nst h im Already th e d isadvan tage of being a foreign er w as clearly m an i fes t e d H e had n o nat ural frien ds to ra lly roun d him ; whereas the m utin eers had con nections in Sp ain f riends i n the colo ny an d met w ith sym pathy in every d iscon tent ed m i nd .

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XX

C H APT E R E x PE D I T I O N

OF

CO LU M B U S

H I SP A N I O LA

.

I NT E RI O R

TH E

I N TO

OF

.

A S t he

surest m ean s of qu ieting the m u rm u rs and rousing the spirits o f his people Colu mb u s as soon as his health perm itt ed made preparatio n s for an exped i tion to th e m ou ntains of Ciba o to explore th e cou ntry and establi s h a post i n th e vicin ity of the m in es Placi n g his brother Diego in comm an d at I sabella du rin g his ah se n ce and taking w ith h i m every person i n health that could be spared f rom the settlement and all th e cavalry he dep arted on the 1 2t h of Marc h at the head o f f our h un dred m en arm ed w ith helmets an d corselets w ith arqu ebuses lan ces s words an d crossbo ws and follo wed by laborers an d m in ers and a m ultit ude o f the n eigh ,

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TH E LI FE

1 50

OF

COL U M B U S

.

an d Colum b u s struck with its vast extent gave it t h e n a me of Vega Real or Royal P lain Havi ng descended the rugged pass the army issued upon the plai n in m ilitary array w ith great clangor o f warlike instrum en ts When the I ndians beheld this band of w arriors gli t tering in steel emerging f rom th e mou n tai ns with pran cing steeds an d floatin g ban n ers and heard f or the first t im e th eir rocks an d forests echoing to the d i n o f drum an d tr umpet they w ere be wi ldered w ith astonishm en t The hors e s especially exci t ed their terror an d ad m iration They at first supposed th e rider and h is st eed to be one an imal and n othi ng could exceed their su rprise on seeing th e horsem en dismou nt On the approach of the army the I n d ian s generally fled w ith terror but their fears w ere soon d ispelled ; they th en absol utely retard ed the march of the army by their kind n ess and hospitality nor did th ey appear to have any idea of receiving a recompense for th e provisions they fur n ishe d i n abu ndance Th e u n tutored savage in almost every part of the world scorns to make a tra ffi c of hos d is c ,

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i l a i t t y p

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For t wo or th ree days they con tin ued their m arch across th is noble plain whe re every scen e presented th e luxu riance of wild u ncivilized nat u re They crossed t w o large rivers : on e called the Yagu i by the natives was n ame d by the Adm iral the River o f Reed s ; to th e other he gave the n am e of Rio Verde or Green River f rom th e verdure and freshn ess o f its banks At len gt h they arrived at a chain o f lo f ty and rugged mou ntain s w hich f orm ed a kin d of barrier to the vega and am idst O n enterin g this w hich lay the golden re gion of C ibao vau nted cou ntry the whole character of the scenery changed as if n atu re d elighted in con trarie t ies an d dis played a miser like poverty of exterior when teem ing ,

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SE A RCH F OR GOLD

w ith

.

hidden tre as u res I n stead o f the soft luxu riant landscape o f the vega n oth ing w as to be seen but chains of rocky an d sterile m ou n tai n s scan tily clothed w ith pines T he very n am e of the coun try bespoke the nat Cibao in the language of the n atives u re of the soil sign i fying a ston e Bu t what consoled the S pan iards for the asperity of the soil was to obse rve particles of gold among the san ds of the streams w hich they regard ed as earn est s of the wealt h locked u p i n the mou ntain s Choosing a Situ ation in a n eighborhood that seem ed to aboun d in m i n es Colu m bus began to bu ild a fortress to which he gave the nam e of St Thom as i nten ded as a pleasan t though pious reproof of Firm in Cado an d h is doubtin g adherents who had refused to believe that th e islan d con ta i n ed gold u ntil the y should behold it w ith their eyes an d tou ch i t with their han ds : Wh ile th e Adm iral remain ed superintend in g t he bu ild in g of the fortress he d ispatched a young caval ier of Madrid n amed J uan de L u x an w it h a small b and o f arm ed men to explore th e provin ce L ux an return ed a f ter a fe w d ays w ith th e most sat isfactory accou n ts H e fou nd many parts of C ibao m ore capable of cu ltiva tion than those that had been seen by the Ad m iral Th e forests appeared to aboun d w ith spices ; the trees w ere overru n w ith v i n es b eari ng clusters of grapes of pleasan t flavor ; while every valley an d glen had its st ream yield i ng more or less gold an d sho w ing t he u n iversal pre va l en ce of that precious m etal T he n atives of th e surrou n d in g cou ntry like wise flocked to the fortress of S t Thom as bringing gold to exchan ge for E u ropean tri nkets O n e old m an brought t wo pieces o f virgin ore we i gh i n g an ou nce and thought h imself richly repaid on receivi ng a h a wk s bell O n rem arkin g the adm iration of the Adm iral at the Size of these s peci .

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1 52

TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

.

mens he assured h im that in his cou ntry which lay at hal f a day s distan ce pieces were fou n d as big as an orange Others spoke o f m asses of ore as large as t he head o f a ch ild to be met with i n their n eighborhood As us u al ho wever th ese golden tracts w ere al ways i n som e remote valley or along some rugged and seques t e re d stream ; and the wealth ies t spot w as sure to lie at — the greatest distance for the land o f promi s e is ever beyond the mou ntain ,

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C H A PT E R X XI

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C U ST O M S A N D C H A RACTE RI ST I CS O F T H E N A T I V E S

.

TH E

fortress o f St T h omas being n early completed Colum b u s left it i n com mand of Pedro M argarite a native of Catalon ia and kn igh t of t he order of San tiago w ith a garrison o f fi ft y six men an d set out on his return to I sabella H e paused f or a tim e in the vega to establ ish routes bet w een the fortress and the harbor ; d u ring w h ich time he sojou rn ed in th e villages that his men m ight becom e accustom ed to the food o f the natives and that a m ut u al good will m ight gro w up bet ween them Columbus had already discovered the error of on e of his opin ion s con cern i ng these islan ders formed duri ng h is first voyage They w ere n ot so e n tirely paci fi c n or so ign oran t of w arlike arts as he had im agin ed The casual d escents of the Caribs had compelled the in b a h it an t s o f th e seacoast to acquaint them s elves w ith the use o f arms ; an d Caon abo had i nt rod u ced som ething of h is o wn w arlike spirit into the cent re o f the island .

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1 54

TH E LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

.

Yet gen erally speaking the habits o f th e people w ere m il d an d gen tle T heir religious creed w as of a vague yet simple n ature T hey believed i n one Suprem e Being w ho i nhabited the sky who was immortal om n ipotent an d i n visible t o w hom they ascribed an origin having had a m oth er b ut n o father T hey never addressed thei r w orship d irectl y to him but to i n f erior deities called zem es a ki n d o f m essengers or m ed iator s Each cacique each fam ily an d each i nd ivid ua l had a p art icu lar zem i as a tutelary or pro t ecting gen ius whose i mage gen erally o f a h ideous form w as placed about their houses carved o n thei r furn itu re an d som etimes bo u n d to th eir foreh eads when they w ent to battle T hey believed thei r zem es to be tran sferable with all their ben eficial po wers they therefore o fte n s t ole th em f rom each other an d when the Span iards arrived hid them a w ay l est they shou ld be taken by th e strangers They believed that these zem es presided over every obj ect in n ature Some had s w ay over the elem ents causin g steril e or abu n dant years sen ding w h irl wi nds and tempe st s of rain an d thun der or s weet and temperate bree z es an d prolific sho wers Som e govern ed the seas an d forests the sprin gs an d fou ntain s l ike the n ereids th e d ryads an d satyrs of antiqu ity T hey gave su ccess in h un ting an d fishi n g ; they gu ided the mou ntai n streams in to sa f e cha n n els lead in g them to m eander peacefu lly through the plain s ; or if i n cen sed t hey caused them to bu rst f orth into floods an d torrents i nu ndati ng and laying was t e the valleys T he I n d ian s w ere w ell acquain ted w i t h the m ed ici nal proper t ies of trees an d vegetables T heir b u t ios or priests acted as physicia ns curi ng d iseases w ith simples bu t m akin g use o f m any mysteriou s rites ; chan ting an d bu rn ing a light in the cham ber o f the pat ient and pre ,

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F E S TI VA L S

OF

TH E

N A TI VE S

.

155

ten ding to exorcise t he m alady an d to sen d it to the sea or to the mou ntain T hey practiced also many d e ce p tion s m aking t he idols to speak w ith oracu lar voice to en f orce the ord ers of the caciqu es O n ce a year each cacique held a fest ival in h on or of h is zem i w hen his subjects form ed a procession to the ,

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C

A IQ U C

E A ND

A TT E NDA NT S

.

Red r a w n f r om M ont a n i



s



A mer i ea

.

temple t he married me n an d w om e n decorated with their m ost pr e cious ornam en ts ; the young f em ales e n t ire ly n aked carryin g baskets o f cakes orn amented w ith flo wers an d singin g as th ey advan ced w hi le t he caciqu e beat tim e on an I n d ian d ru m A fter the cakes had been o ff e r e d to the zem i they w ere broken an d distributed amo ng the people to b e pr e s e rv e d i n th e ir houses as ,

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1 56

TH E

L I FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

charms agai n st all adverse accidents T he you ng f emales then danced to the cad ence o f songs i n praise of t heir deities an d o f th e heroic actions o f thei r an cient ca c iq u e s ; and the whole cerem o n y concl uded by a gran d invocation to th e zem i to wat ch over and protect t he natio n T he natives believed th at th eir islan d of H ayti was the e arl iest part of creation an d that t he s u n an d m oon i s sued out o f one of its c aver n s to give l ig ht to the u n i v e rse T his cavern still exists ne ar Cape F ran go is an d the hole in the roof m ay still be seen f rom w hence th e I ndian s b e lieved the su n an d m oon h ad salli ed forth to take th e ir places in th e sky I t was consecr ated as a ki n d of tem p l e ; t wo idols w ere p laced i n it an d t he w alls w ere decorated w ith green branches I n times o f great drought the n atives m ade pi lgrimages and p ro ces sions to it with songs an d dan ces an d o fferi ngs of fru it an d flo we rs Th e y ascrib e d to an other cavern the origi n o f the hu m an race believi n g that the large men issu ed f orth f rom a great apert u re but the l it t l e me n from a little cran ny For a l ong tim e th ey dared ven tu re from th e caver n o n ly in t he n ight for the s ight of the sun w as fatal to t hem producing wond er fu l transformation s O n e o f t h eir n u mber h avi n g l in gered on a river s ba n k w here he w as fish i n g u ntil t he su n had rise n w as tu rn ed i n to a bird o f m elodious n ote which yearly abou t the t im e of h is tran s fo rmation is hea rd singi n g plai n tively i n th e n ig ht be wai l ing h is m is fortu n e Th is is th e sam e bird w hich Colu mbus m istook for a n igh tin ga le When th e h uman race at length emerged f rom the c av e t hey for some ti me w an dered abou t d isconsolately w ithou t f emales until com i ng n ear a sma l l lake t h ey beheld certain an imals am ong th e bran ches of th e trees .

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TH E

OF

LI F E

COL U M B U S

.

i n like sit u atio n were extend ed in their ham mocks bread an d water placed beside them and they were then aban don ed to d ie i n soli tude Som etim es they w ere car ried to the cacique an d i f h e perm itted them the d ist inc t ion they w ere strangled T he b ody of the deceased was sometimes consu med w ith fire in h is habitation ; som e t imes th e bo nes w e re retai n e d o r the head or a l imb an d treasu re d u p amo n g th e f am ily relics A f ter the d e ath O f a caciqu e his b o dy was open ed d ried at a fi re an d preserved T hey had con f used n otion s o f th e existence o f the soul when separat e d from the body an d believed i n appari tions O f the decease d T hey had an id ea that the spirits of good me n after death w ere reu n ited to t he sp i ri t s of t hose they had m ost loved and to those o f their ance s tors ; they w ere tr an sported t o a happy region ge nerally supposed to be n ear a lake in the beau ti ful provin ce o f H ere they X aragu a i n t he w estern p art of the island lived i n shady and bloom in g bo wers w ith lovely females an d ban queted on del icious fruits T h e dances to w h ich the nat ives w ere so ad dicted were n ot m ere idle pastim es but w ere O f t e n ceremon ials of a religiou s an d mystic n ature I n these w ere typified thei r historical events and their proj ected enterprises w hether of w ar or hu nting They w ere perform ed to the chan t O f certain m etres an d ballads handed do w n from genera tion to generation ; so me o f a sacred character contain i ng their n otions o f theology and their religious fables ; others heroic and h istoric rehearsi ng the d eeds of t hei r an cestors T h ese rhym es th ey called arey to s an d sang th em to the accom pan im e nt of r u de t imbrels m ade f rom th e sh ells of certai n fish es o r to the sou nd of a dru m made from a hollo w tree T he n atives appeared to the Span iards to be an idle ,

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1 60

TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M E U S

.

and improvide nt race and i n d i ffere n t to most o f the o b n i l e o f h um a n a xiety an d to T h ey ere impat ie n t c t s w j Of all ki n ds O f labor scarcely givi n g t hem selves the trouble to cultivate the yuca root t he m aize an d the sw ee t potato wh ich formed thei r m ain a rt icl es of foo d They l oitered a way existen ce u n d er the sh ade o f th ei r trees or am using them selves occa s io nal ly w ith their games an d dan c es I n f act th ey were dest itute o f all po w er f ul motives t o t o il being fre e fro m mo s t o f t hose w a n ts w hich doom manki nd i n civilized life an d i n le s s gen i a l clim e s to in cessant labor I n the so f t re gion O f the vega t he circling seasons brought each it s store o f f ru its an d wh ile som e w ere g at her e d i n f u l l m atu rity others w er e rip e n ing on the boughs an d b uds an d bl o ssom s gave prom ise o f st ill s u cceedi ng abu nd ance Wh at n eed w as there O f garn eri n g up an d a n xiously provid in g for com ing days to me n w ho lived am id a p e rp et ual harve s t ? What need too of toil f ully spi n n i n g or laboring at th e loo m w here a ge n ial tempera t ur e prevailed throughout th e year an d n eit her n atu re n or custom pr e scribed th e n ecessity of clothi ng ? Th e hospit ality w hich characterizes me n in su ch a simpl e an d easy m o d e o f e xisten ce was ev inc e d to wards Col umbu s and h is f o llo wers d uring their s ojou rn i n t he vega Wherever they w e n t i t w as a con ti n ual scen e o f festivity an d rej oicing an d the nativ e s ha s te n e d f rom all parts to lay the treas u res of their groves an d streams an d mou n tain s at the f eet o f beings w hom they still con s id e re d as descended f rom th e Skies to bring ble s sings to their islan d As w e accompany Colu mbus in imagin ation on h is re tu rn to th e h arbor ov e r t he rocky hei ght f rom w hen ce the vega firs t brok e u pon t he eye O f t he Span iard s w e ,

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1 62

TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

.

drain ed m arshes an d a vast con tin uity of forest and t he action of the s un upon a reeking vegetable soil produced i nterm itte n t f evers an d those other violent maladies so trying to Eu ropean co nstitutions i n the u n cultivated cou ntries O f the tropics The greater part o f the colo n is t s w e re either confi n ed by illn e s s or redu ced to great debil ity Th e stock of med icin es w as exhausted E u ro pea n provision s began to f ail m uch h aving been spoiled and m uch w asted To avert an absol ute fam i n e it w as n ecessary to put the people u pon allo wan ce ; this imm e d iat e ly caused loud m u rm u rs i n w h ich many in o ffi ce w ho ought to have s u pport e d Col u mbus i n h is meas u res for the common s af e ty took a lead in g part Among the n um ber was Friar Boyle who w as irritated at h imsel f an d his house hold being put on the sam e allo w ance w ith the rest o f the comm un ity I t was necessary also t o co n str u ct a mill i mm ediate ly to g rin d th e corn as all the flou r w as exhausted M ost o f the workm e n ho wever w ere ill and Columbus w as obliged to put every healthy pers on in requ isitio n not e ven exc e pting c av aliers an d gentl e men of rank As m any o f t he latt e r r e f u s e d to comply he e n forced t hei r obedie n ce by com pulsory m easu re s T his was another cau s e of the deep an d la s tin g hostilities that sprang up against h im H e w as inveig h ed agai nst both by the cavaliers in the colo n y an d their fam il ies in Spai n as an u p s tart for e ign er i nflated w ith sudd en authority an d w ho in pu rsu it o f his o w n profit an d aggran dizemen t trampl e d upon th e d ign ity o f Span ish gen tlem en and insulted the honor of the nation The f ate i n truth o f m any of t he you ng cavaliers who had com e out in this exped ition del ud ed by romantic dreams was la men table i n th e e xtrem e Som e of th em o f nobl e an d opul en t c o n n ections had been brou ght u p ,

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P RE P A RI N G

TO E X P L ORE

CU B A

63

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e ase an d in du l gen ce an d were little calculated to e n dure the hardships and privatio ns o f a n e w settlem ent in the wi l d ern ess Whe n they fell i ll their case soon became i n cu rable T hey su ff ered un der the irritation of woun ded prid e an d the m orb id m elan choly of d is ap pointed hope ; their Sick bed was destitu te of the tend er care and sooth ing attention to w hi ch they h ad been accustomed an d they sank i nto t he grave in all the sul l e n n ess of despair curs i n g the day that they had left their cou nt ry So s trong an e ff ect had the u n ti m ely and dreary death of these cavaliers u pon the pu bl ic m ind that m any years after ward when the settlem en t of I sabella was abandon ed an d had fallen to ru ins its deserted streets w ere said to be hau nted by thei r spectres walking ab Ou t i n an cient Span ish dresses saluti ng th e way f arer in stately an d mourn ful silence an d van ishing on bei ng accosted T heir m elan choly story was insid iously made u se of by the enem ies o f the Adm iral for it was said that they had bee n sed uced from their h o mes by his d elusive prom ises an d sacrificed by h im to h is private inte rests Colum bus w as d esirous o f departing on a voyage to e x plore the coast of Cub a but it was in dispensable before sail i n g to place the a ff airs of th e island in su ch a s tate as to in su re tranqu i l l ity For th is pu rpose he de t e rmin e d to sen d all the m en that cou ld be spared f rom the conc e rns of the city or the care o f the sick in to th e i nterior where they c o uld be su bs isted among the n atives a nd becom e accustom ed to th eir diet w h ile their force w ould overa we th e machin ations of Caonabo or an y other hostile cacique A littl e army was accordingly m ustered o f t wo hu n dred an d fifty crossbo w m en on e hu n dred an d ten arquebu s iers sixteen h orsem en and t w en ty o fficers T hese w ere to be com m and ed by Ped ro in

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164

TH E

L I FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

M argarite wh ile Oj eda was to s u cceed him in the com mand of Fort St T homas Colum bus w rote a long an d ear nest l etter o f i ns t ru c tions to M argarite desiri n g him to make a m ilitary tour an d to explore the prin cipal parts of th e islan d ; but enj oi n i n g on h im the strictest discipl in e of his army an d the m ost vig il an t c are to protect the righ ts O f the I nd ia ns an d cu ltivate their f rien dsh ip Oj eda set o ff at t he head of the little army for th e f ortress ; o n his way h e learn t that three Sp an iards had been robbed o f th eir e ffects by five I n dian s at the f ord o f on e o f t he rivers o f th e vega an d that the delinquen ts had been s he l t ered by their cacique who had shared their booty Ojeda was a qu ick and i mpet uous so l d ier w hose ideas were all of a m ilitary kin d H e seized on e o f t he th ieves ordered his ears to be cut o ff in the public sq u are o f the village an d sen t the cacique with his so n an d n eph e w in chains to the ad mira l wh o a f ter terri fyi ng th em w ith preparation f or a public execution pretended to yi eld to the tears an d en treaties o f their frien ds an d s e t them at liberty H avi ng thus distributed his forces about the isla n d an d taken m easures for its tranq u il li ty Col um bus form ed a j unta for its govern men t of w h ich h is brother Don D iego w as presid ent and Father Boyle Ped ro Fernan d ez Coronal Alonzo Sanchez Caravaj al an d J uan de L axan were cou nsellors Leaving i n th e harbor t wo o f h is largest s hips wh ich dre w too m uch wa t er to e x plore unkno wn coasts an d rivers he set sail on the 24 t h of “ April w ith the N in a or Sa n ta Clara t he San J ua n an d the Cordera ,

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1 66

TH E LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

began to rise above the horizon I t was t wo d ays a nd a n ight h o w e ver before he reached it filled w ith adm ira tion as h e grad ually d re w n ear at its vast extent t he beauty of its m oun tain s th e m aj esty of its forests an d the great n u m ber of villages w hich an im ated the whole face of th e cou ntry H e coasted the islan d f rom ab o ut the ce n tre to a port at th e w estern end wh ich he called the G ulf of Buen t iem po H e fou n d th e n atives m ore ingen ious as w ell as m ore warlike tha n those of C uba an d H ayti Their can oes w ere constructed with more art and ornam en ted M any at the b o w an d ste m w ith carvi ng an d p ai n ting w ere of great si z e though formed o f th e hollo w t runks of Single trees often a species o f the m ahogany Colum bus m easu red on e w hich proved to be n inety six feet long an d eight broad ; it was hollo wed o u t of on e of those m agn ificent trees w h ich rise like verdan t to wers am idst t he rich forests of th e t rop ics E very cacique possessed a l arge canoe o f the ki nd w hich he seem e d to regard as h is galley of state Th e Span iards at fi rst were treated w ith hostility an d were compelled to skirm is h w ith th e n atives but a f riendly i nt e rcou rse succeeded Colu m bus bei ng disappoi nted i n his hopes of fi n ding gol d in J amaica an d the breeze be i n g fair for Cub a b e determ in ed to ret u rn th ith er J ust as he was about to sail a youn g I nd ian cam e O ff to the ship an d begged that the Span iards would take hi m w ith them to their cou n try H e w as follo wed by h is relatives an d frien ds supplicating h i m to aban don his purpose For some t im e h e w as d istracted bet w een concern for t hei r distress and an arden t desire to see the hom e of th e w on der ful stran gers Cu r i osity an d the youth ful propen sity to rove at length prevailed ; h e tore himsel f from th e em br aces O f h is frien ds and took re f uge in a secre t part of .

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1 68

TH E

L I FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

the sh ip from the tears an d entreaties of his sisters Touched by this scen e of n atu ral a ffectio n and pleased w ith the co n fi ding spirit of the y outh Col um bus ordered that he s hould be treated w ith especial kin dn e s s I t w ould have b ee n int e res t ing to have kn o wn som e thing m ore of th is cu rious savage an d of th e e ffect w hich t h e fi rst sight O f th e lan d O f the white m en had u pon h is min d ; w hether i t equaled his hopes ; or whether as is usual w ith sav ages h e pin ed am idst the splen dors of cities for h is n at ive fore s ts ; an d whether h e ever re t u rn ed to th e arms O f h is family T he Span i sh voyagers ho w ever were i n di fferen t to the s e m atters ; no further m en tion is mad e in their narratives O f this y o u th f ul ad ventu rer H aving steered again for C u ba Colum bus on t he 1 8 th of M ay arri ved at a great cape to wh ich he gave th e nam e O f C abo de la Cruz w h ich it still ret ai ns Coast ing to the west he soon got en tangled i n a complete labyrinth of small islands an d keys ; som e of th em w ere l o w naked an d sandy others covered w ith verd u re and oth e rs tu fted w ith lofty an d beau tifu l forests To this arch ipelago wh ich extend ed as far as th e eye cou ld r e ach an d i n a m an n er enam el ed t he face of the oce a n w ith variegated verd ure h e gave th e n am e of the Queen s Garden H e persuaded h imself that th ese w ere the i slan ds m en t ion ed by Sir J ohn Man deville and M arco Polo as frin ging the coast o f Asia ; if so h e m ust soon arrive at th e dom in ions of th e Grand Kh an T here w as m uch i n th e character o f th e scen ery to favor the id ea A S the sh ips glid ed alon g the sm o o t h an d glassy chann els wh ich separated the islan ds th e mag n ifi ce n ce O f their vegetation the soft od ors wafted f rom flo wers and b lossoms an d arom atic shrubs th e s p len did p l u m age of scarlet cran es fl amingo es an d other tropic al ,

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P RE S TE R

j

oH N

17 1

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scribe d by M arco Polo H e also u nders t ood from th e m that among the m ou nt ain s to th e w est there was a po wer ful king who reign ed in great state over m any pop ulous provin ces ; that he w ore a white garm en t wh ich s w ept the grou nd that he was called a s ain t an d n ever spoke but com m u n icated h is ord ers to h is subj e ct s by signs I n all th is we see the bu sy i magi nation of Col um bus i n t e rp re t ing t he im perfectly u nd erstood com m un ications o f the I ndians into u n ison w ith his precon ceived id eas Th is fan cied king w ith a sa i n tly title w as probably conju red u p in h is m in d by som e descriptions wh ich he thought accorded w ith what he had read of that my s te ri ous potentate P rester J o hn who had long figu red som e tim es as a mon arch som eti mes as a priest i n th e n ar rations of all eastern travellers H is cre ws seem to have partaken of his del usion On e d ay a party bein g sen t o n shore for wood an d water while they were employed i n cutting wood an d filling t heir w ater casks an arch er strayed i n to the forest w ith h is crossbo w i n search o f game but soon retu rn e d flying in breathless terror H e declared that h e had seen th rough an open i ng glade a man d ressed i n long wh ite robes follo w ed by t wo oth e rs in w hite tu n ics reach ing to their kn ees and that they had complexio ns as fair as E u ropeans Colum bus was rej oiced at th is i ntelligence hoping t hat h e had fou n d th e clothed i nhabitants O f M an gon T w o parties w ere d ispatched well ar med i n qu est of th ese people in w hite ; th e first retu rn ed u n succe s sful ; the other brought w ord of havin g tracked t he footprints of som e large an im al w it h cla ws su pposed by t he m to h ave been eit her a l ion or a gri ffi n but w hich m ost probably w as an all igator Dismayed at th e s ight they hasten ed back to th e s e aside A S n o t ribe of I n d ians we ari n g ble th e clothi n g w as ever d iscov e re d i n Cuba it is prob a .

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1 72

TH E

LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

.

men in white w ere n othin g els e t han a fl ock of Cra n es seen by the w an derin g archer Th e s e birds like the fl a mingo e s feed i n compa ny w ith on e stat ion ed at a d is tance as a Sen tin el When seen through an open i n g o f th e w oodlan ds stan ding in ro ws i n a Shallo w glassy pool their h e ight an d erect n e ss give them at firs t gla n ce the sem blan ce of hu man figures ‘

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C H A PT E R X X I V RET U RN VO Y A G E

[

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14

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94

]

C O L U M B U S n o w hope d by co n tin uing o n to arrive ultim ately at th e Au ra Che rs o n e s u s o f the ancie n ts ; d oubli ng w h ich h e might make h is w ay to the Red Sea t hence to J opp a and so by the M ed iterra n e an to Sp ain or m ight circu m navigate A f ric a pass triumphan tly by the Por t ugu ese as t he y w ere gropin g alon g the coast of G u in ea and after hav in g t hus circu mnavi gated th e globe f url h is adventu rous sails at t he Pi llars of H e rc u les the ue pl us ul t r a of t he an cien t w o rl d But though h is fello w voyagers shared h is opi n ion that th ey were coastin g the con tin e n t of Asia th e y w er e far from shar i ng h is enth usia s m an d sh ru nk from t he i ncreasin g p e rils of th e voyage Th e sh ips w ere strain ed a nd crazed by fro quently ru n n i ng agrou nd The cables an d ri gging we re m uch w orn the provision s n early exhausted and th e cre ws w orn out and d ishearte n ed by i nc e ssan t labor T h e Ad m iral therefore w as fin ally persuaded to aban don all fu rther prosecution of the v oyage ; but b efore he tu rn ed back b e obliged the whole of th e o ffi cers an d seam en to s ign a d eposit ion declarin g th e ir per fe ct ,

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74

TH E

LI FE

COL U M B U S

OF

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pre p are d fo r s uc h as h av e b e e n u nj u s t a nd cr u el to their f e l lo w me n ; t he other f u ll of d e li gh t for such as have promot e d p e ace o n eart h I f the n t hou art mortal and dost e xp e ct to d ie b e w ar e t hat thou h u rt n o m an wrong fu lly n e ither do h ar m to tho s e w ho hav e don e n o harm to t h e e -

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K I LL I N G

SEA

Red r a w n f

ro

W O L VE S

m De

.

B ry

.

Wh e n t h i s sp e e c h was e xpla in e d to Col u m bus by h is i nt e rpret e r he w as gre atly m o ve d by the simpl e e lo e n ce of n u e d s av ag e u th is u t tor an d rej oiced to h ear q h is doctrin e of a fut ure state of t h e so ul h avi n g sup posed that n o belief O f t h e ki n d e xisted among the in habitan ts of these cou n tri e s H e a ss ured the old man ,

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TH E

A L ON G

COA S T OF

j

A M A I CA

1 75

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that h e had been sen t by h is sovereigns to teach them the tru e religion to protect them fro m harm and to subdue thei r en em ies th e Caribs The ven erable I ndi an was exceedi ngly aston ished to learn t hat th e Adm iral who m he had considered so great an d po w erful was yet but a s ubj e ct an d when h e was told by the i nterpreter who had been i n Spai n of the grand eu r of the Spanish monarchs an d O f the won ders of th eir kingdom a sudde n desire seized h im to em b ark w ith the Ad miral and accom p any h im to see this w onderful coun t ry and it was w ith d i ffi culty the tears an d remon strances of his w i fe an d child re n could dissuad e h im from h is purpose Aft e r leavi n g th is riv e r to wh ich from the s olemn m ass p e r f orm ed on its banks Columbus gave the nam e of Rio de l a M isa he conti n u e d on to Cape Cruz an d then stood over to J amaica to complet e the c irc u mnavi g ari o n of that islan d For n e arly a m on t h he conti n ued h e at i ng to the east ward along its sout hern coast com ing to an chor every ev e n ing u n der the land and making but An ch orin g on e even i ng in a great bay s lo w progress he w as visited by a caciqu e w ith a n um erou s train w h o remain ed u nt il a lat e hou r co nversin g w ith the Lu cayan i nterpreter who had bee n i n Spain about t he Span iards an d th eir cou ntry an d th e ir pro we s s in van qu ishing t he Caribs O n the follo w ing morn ing when t he ships were u n der w ay th e y beheld three can oes issu i n g from among the islan ds of th e bay The c e n tre on e was large an d handsom ely carved an d pain ted I n it w ere seated th e cacique and h is fam ily con sisting of t wo daughters you ng an d beau ti ful t w o sons and five b rothers T hey w ere all arrayed in their j e wels and atten ded by the O ffi cers of t he Ch ieftain d ecorated w ith plum es an d man tles of variegat ed fe ather s T he stan dard b earer stood ,

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1 76

TH E

LI FE

COL U M B U S

OF

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th e pro w with a fluttering wh ite ban n er wh ile oth er I nd ians fan cifully pai n ted beat upon tabors or sou n ded tru m p e ts of fi n e black wood in gen iou s ly carved The caciqu e enteri n g on board of t he sh ip d istri b u ted pres e n ts am o ng t he cre w an d approach i n g the A d m iral I “ have h eard said he of the irresistible po wer of thy sovereign s an d of the ma ny n at i o n s thou has t s ubdued in their name Thou hast destroyed the d wellin gs o f the Caribs s layin g their warriors an d carrying their wives and child ren i nto cap t ivity All t he i s lan ds are i n dread of th e e for w ho can wi thstan d the e n o w t hat t hou kn o w est t h e secrets O f the la n d an d t he weak ne ss of t he people ? Rath e r therefore t h an thou s houldst take aw ay my d o min io n S I w ill e mbark w ith all my house hold in thy ships an d will go to ren d er hom age to thy ki ng and queen an d behold thy country of w h ich I hear such w on ders When th is speech w as i nt e rpreted to Colu mbus and h e beheld th e w i f e the so n s an d daug ht e rs O f the cacique and consid ered to wha t ills they w ould be ex posed he w as touched with compassion and determ in ed not to take them from th eir n ative land H e received t h e caci q ue u nd er h is protection as a vassal of h is so ve r e igns but in f or med h i m that he had m any lan ds yet to visit be fore h e should retu r n to h is o wn cou n try H e d ismissed h im th e re fore for the prese nt promising that at some fu tu re t i me h e w ould gra t i fy h is w ish es On the l gt h o f August Colu m bu s lost sight of the eastern extremity o f J amaica and o n th e follo w ing day m ade that long pen in su la of H ayti si nce called Cape Tibu ron bu t to wh ic h he gave the n am e of San M iguel H e coasted th e whole o f the southern side of the island and had to take refuge in the chan n el of Saon a from a violen t stor m which raged for s everal d ays du ring which in

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1 78

TH E

L I FE

COL U M B U S

OF

.

C H A PT E R XXV

.

0

E VE N T S

IN

TI O N S

I SL A N D

TH E

OF

THE

N A T I VE S

A G A I N ST CA O N A B O

H I SP AN I O L A

OF .



.

— E X P EDI T I O N

I N SU RREC

OF

J

O E DA

.

A J O Y FU L an d heart f el t su rprise a waite d Colu mbus o n his arrival i n fi n di ng at h is be d s id e h is brother Bartholo me w the com pan ion of his you th his zealous coadj utor an d i n a m an n er his second sel f fro m whom h e h ad been separ ated for several years I t will be recollec t ed that abo u t t he t im e of the A dm iral s depar t u re for Port u gal he com m i s sio n ed Bartholom e w to repair to England and O ffer his proj ect of d i scov e ry t o H e n ry the Seventh V ariou s circu mstan ces occurred to delay th is application Th e r e is rea son to bel ieve that in the in terim he a ecom n i e a d Bartholom e Diaz i n that celebrated voyage i n w p the course of wh ich the Cape of Good H ope was d is c o v er e d O n h is w ay to E ngla nd also Bartholom e w Colum bus was captu red by a corsair an d red uced to extrem e poverty I t is but j ust ic e to th e mem ory of H en ry th e Seventh to say that w hen a fter a lapse o f several years the proposition was even tually made to him it m et with a more prom pt a t ten tio n than it had received from any other sovereign An agreem en t w as actually made with Bartholom e w for the pros e cut ion of the en terprise and the latt e r d eparted for Spai n i n search o f his brother O n reach ing Paris he received i n telligence that the d is was already m ade an d that his brother was c o ve ry actu ally at th e Spa n ish cou rt enj oying h is triu mph and preparing to s ail o n a second exped ition H e hasten ed to rejoin h im and was f urn ished by th e French m on arch ,

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1 79

COL U M B U S RE/OI N E D B Y H I S B RO TH E R

.

Ch arles the E igh th wit h a h u n dred cro wns to defray the expenses of the j ourney H e reac hed Seville j ust as his brother had sailed ; but bein g an accom pli s hed navigator the sovereign s gave him the comm an d o f three Sh ips fre i gh ted with supplies for th e colony an d sent hi m to H e again arrived too a id his brot her in h is enterprises late reach ing the settlement of I sabella j ust after the d e partu re of the Ad miral for the coast of C uba The Sight o f th is brother was an i n expressible relief to Colu mbu s disabled as he w as by sickn ess over whelm ed w i th cares an d surrou n ded by strangers H is chief de had itherto been upo h is brother Don h n e n e e n d c p Diego ; but the latter was of a m ild an d peaceable dispo sitio u w it h an i ncl in at i on for a clerical life an d was but little fitted to m anage th e a ff airs of a factious colony Bartholom e w was of a di fferent and more e flfci e nt char acter H e was prom pt active decided an d of a fearless spirit ; whatever he determ i ned he carried into instant execution w ithout regard to d i fli cu l ty or d an ger H is person corre s ponded t o h is m i n d ; it was tall m uscular vigorous an d com m an d i ng H e had an air o f great authority but som e what stern wan ting that s weetn ess an d ben ignity which tem pered the authoritative de meanor of the Ad mi ral I n deed there w as a c e rtai n as e ri t y in h is temper and a dryn ess an d abruptn e s s i n h i s p man ners w hich made h i m m any e n em ies ; yet no t w it h stand i n g these extern al de f ects he w as o f a ge n erous d ispositio n f ree from arrogan ce or malevolen ce and as placa ble as he was brave H e w as a t horough seaman both in th eory and pra e tice having been formed i n a great m easu re u n der th e e y e o f the Ad m iral to w hom he w as bu t littl e i n f erior in scien ce H e was acquain ted wi th Latin but d oes not appear to have been h i ghly ed ucated his kn o w ledge ,

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180

TH E

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COL U M B U S

OF

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l i ke that of h i s brother be i n g ch i efly derived from aJ ong cou rse of varied experie nce and attentive o b servation aided by the s t u dies of maturer years E qually vigorou s an d penetrating in intellec t w ith th e Adm iral but l ess en thusiastic i n spirit and soaring i n imag i n ation an d w ith l e ss simplicity of h eart h e su rpassed h im i n the adroit m an agem en t of busin ess was more attentive to pecu n iary interests an d had more of that w o rl d ly wis d o m which is so importan t i n the ord i n ary con cern s of life H is gen ius m ight n ever have excited him to the su bl im e specu lation wh ich led to th e d iscovery of a World bu t h is pra ctical sagacity w as calcul ated to turn that d iscovery to more advan tage Anxious to r e lieve himself from th e pressure of public busi n ess d uri ng his presen t malady Colu m bus im m e d iat ely in vested h is broth er w ith th e titl e an d authority o f Ad elan tado an o ffi ce equ ivalen t t o that of l ieutenant govern or H e felt the importan ce o f h is assistan ce i n the presen t critical state o f th e colony for du ring the fe w m on ths that h e had been absen t th e whole islan d had becom e a scen e of vi olence and d iscord A brief retrospect is here necessary to explain the cause O f th is con fusion P edro M argarite to whom Col um bus on his departu re h ad given orders to m ake a m il i tary tou r of th e island set forth on h i s expedit i on w ith the greater part of the forces leaving A lon zo d e Oj eda i n comm an d o f Fort S t T homas I nstead h o wever of proceedi ng on h is tou r M argarite lingered amon g the populous an d h ospitable villages of the vega wh ere h e an d his soldi ery by the i r licen tiou s and oppressi ve con duct soon roused the i n d i gnation and hatred of th e n atives T id ings of their e x cesses reached Don Diego Colum bus who with th e con cu rrence o f the cou n cil w rote to M argari t e rep t e ,

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18 2

TH E

LI FE

COL U M B U S

OF

.

cesses Th e n atives i nd ign an t at hav i n g their hosp i tality thus requited refused any longer to furn ish them the Span iards therefore seized upo n pro vis w ith food ion s w herever they could be fou n d comm itti ng at the At le n gth the s ame tim e m any acts of w anton violence I n d i ans w ere roused to resen tmen t and f rom co n fi ding an d h ospitable hosts were converted in to vi n d ictive en e m ies They sle w th e Spa n iards wherever they cou ld s u r ‘ p 1 ise th em singly or i n small parties ; an d Gu at igu an a cacique of a large to wn on the Gran d River put to deat h ten soldiers who w ere qu artered i n his to w n set fi re to a house in w h ich forty sick Span iards w e re lodged an d even held a s mall fortress called M agdalena rece n t ly built in the vega i n a state of siege i ns om u ch that the com man der had to shut himself up w ithi n h is walls u n til relief should arrive from the settlem ent The most form idabl e en emy of the Spa n iards w as Caonabo t he Carib cacique of the mou ntains H e had natu ral talen ts f or w ar great sagacity a proud an d dar in g Spirit to u rge him on three val ian t brothers to assist h im an d a n um erous tribe at his com man d H e had been e n raged at s e eing the fort ress of St T hom as erected in the very cen tre of his dom in ion s ; an d fi nd ing by his spies that the garrison w as red uced to but fi fty me n an d t he army of Margarite d ism e mbered he tho u gh t the t im e had arrived to strike a Signal blo w an d to repeat the hor ro rs w h ich he had w reaked u pon La Navi d a d The wily caciqu e how ever had a d i ffere nt ki nd of en emy to deal w it h in the comm a nd er o f St Thomas Alonzo de O j eda des e rves particular notice as a spec imen of the Singular characters wh ich aro s e am on g the Span ish d iscoverers H e h ad been school e d in M oorish w arfare and of cou rse versed i n all kin d s o f m ili tary str at agems N aturally of a rash an d fiery spirit h i s courage was .

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A T TA CK

U P ON

Oj E DA

18 3

.

heighten ed by su pe rstition H aving n ever rece i ved a w oun d i n his n um erous quarrel s and encoun ters b e con s id e re d h imself u nder th e s pecial protection of the holy Virgin and that n o we apon had po we r to harm him H e had a sm all Flem ish pai nti n g of the Vi rgi n w hich h e c arried constan tly w it h h i m in his m arches he bore it in his k n apsack an d w o u ld o f ten take it ou t fi x it a gains t a tree and address h is prayers to his m ilitary patron ess I n a word he s wore by t he Vi rgin ; he i nvoked the Vir gin either in bra w l or battl e ; an d u n der favor of th e Virgi n he was ready for any en terprise or adventu re Such w as Alon zo d o Oj ed a bigot e d in devotion reckless i n li fe f earless i n spir it like many of the ro ving Span ish cavaliers of thos e d ays H avi n g recon n o it red the fortre s s o f St Thomas Cao nabo assem b led ten thousan d w arriors ar med with w ar clubs bo w s an d arro w s an d lances hard e n ed in th e fire an d led them secretly through th e fore sts th i n ki n g to surprise Oj e d a bu t fou n d h i m warily dra w n u p wi t hi n h is fortress w h ich was bu ilt u pon a h i ll an d n early sur rou n d e d by a riv e r Caon abo t h e n h eld t he f o rtre s s i n siege fo r t h i rt y days an d red u c e d it to gr e at d istress H e lo s t m an y of h is brav e st w a rriors ho w e ver by th e im petuous s all ie s o f Oj eda ; oth ers gre w weary o f the Siege and retu r n ed hom e H e at le n gth r e li nqu i s h e d the attem pt a n d reti red fill e d w i t h adm i ra tion of th e pro wess o f Oj e d a The restless Ch i e ftain n o w e n d e av o re d to form a l e agu e caciqu e s o f the i s lan d to u n it e th e ir O f th e prin cipal forces su rprise t he s ettlem ent of I sabella an d m as s acre the Spaniards wherever they could be fou nd To e x pl a in this combin at ion it is n ecessary to state th e int e rnal d is I t w as d ivid e d i nto five d o main s t ri b u t io n o f the i s l an d each govern ed by a soverei gn c aciqu e o f absolu te an d .

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1 84

TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

.

hereditary po wers having many in fe rior cac i ques tribu tary to h im The most im portan t d o main comprised the m idd le part of the royal vega an d was gov e rned by The secon d was M arion u nder the s way O f Gu ario n e x Gu acan agari on w hose coast Colum bus had been w recked The th ird w as M agua na w h ich i n clu d ed th e gold m ines of C ibao and was u nder the Sway of Caon abo The fou rth was X aragu a at the western end of the isla n d the most popu lous an d exten sive of all The sovereign was n amed B e he ch io The fi f th dom ain w as H iguey an d occ upied the whole eastern part o f the isla n d but had not as yet been visited by the Span iards The n ame of th e cacique was Co t ab an ama Three of these sovereign caciques read ily en tered into the league w it h Caonabo for the p ro fl igat e conduct o f th e Span iard s h ad i n spired hostil ity even in remote pa rts o f the isl an d w hich had n ever been visited by them The league ho wever me t w ith u n expected O pposition f rom the fi f th caciqu e Gu ac an agari H e n ot m erely re f used to j oi n th e consp iracy bu t en tertain ed a hu nd red Span i ard s i n his territo ry supplying all their wan ts w ith h is acc ustomed gen erosity This dre w upon him the odiu m and hostility of his fello w caciques w ho in flicted on h im v ario us inj u ries an d in d ign ities B ehe chio killed on e of h is w ives and Caon abo carried anoth e r a w ay captive Noth ing ho wever cou ld shake the dev o t ion o f Gu acan a gari to the Span iards ; and as his dom in ion s lay imme d iat e ly adj acen t to the settlem ent his re f usal to join i n the conspiracy preven ted it from bei ng im med iately car ried i nto e ff ec t Such w as the critical state to wh ich t h e a ff airs o f t he island had been reduced an d such th e bitter hostility eu gendered among its kind and gen tle in h abitants duri ng I m med iately on his retu rn t he absen ce O f C olu mbu s ,

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E X P E D I TI ON

13 7

A GA I N S T CA ON A B O

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bapt i zed in S pain by t he nam e of Diego Colon an d who H e gain ed perm ission f rom w as devoted to the Adm iral him also to erect a fortress i n the m idst of his territories w hic h he nam ed Fort Conception The most formidable e nemy rem ain ed to be dispo s ed o f w hic h w as Caonabo ; to make war upon this fierce an d subtle Ch ie ftai n i n the d e pths of h is w ild woodlan d territory an d among the fastn e s ses o f his mou n tain s w ould h ave been a w ork of tim e peril an d u n certai n issu e I n the m ean whi le the settlements would never be safe f rom h is secret combi n ation s an d dari n g e n ter prises nor co uld the m in es be w orked w ith s e cu rity as they lay i n his neighborhoo d While perpl ex e d on this su bj ect Columbus w as re li e ved by a pro position of Alonzo d e Od eja who u n d ertook to bri n g the Carib Chieftain either a frien d or captive to the s e ttl e m en t Choosi n g ten bold an d hardy fo llo we rs well arm e d an d w ell mounted and invoking the protection o f his patroness th e Virgin Oj ed a plu n ged into the fore s t and m aking h is w ay above sixty leagu e s i nto t he wild ter ri tori e s o f Caon abo appear ed fearlessly b e fore the cacique in on e of h is most popu lous to w n s profes s ing t o com e on an am icable embassy f ro m the Adm iral H e was w e l l received by Cao n abo w ho h ad tried h im i n battl e a n d had conceived a warrior s ad mi ration of h im The fre e dau ntless deportm en t great pers onal strength and agil ity and surprising adroitn e s s o f Oj ed a in all man ly and w arlike exercises we re c alcu lated to charm a savage a nd soon m ade him a favor ite w ith Caonabo H e u s ed all h is in fluen ce to prevail u po n the cacique to rep ai r to I sa bella and en ter in to a treaty w ith Columbus o ff ering h im it is said as an i nducem e n t the he ll of the chapel at the h arbor The bell was the wond er of the islan d W hen its m e lody sou nded through t he for e sts as it rung ,

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18 8

TH E LI F E

OF COL U M B U S

.

for mass the I n d ians had n oticed that the Span i ard s hastened f rom all parts to the ch apel At other tim es when it gave the vesper pea ] they beheld the Spa n i ards use in the m idst of their labors or am usements an d pa taking o ff th eir hats repeat a prayer with great devotion They im agin ed therefore that this bell had som e mys “ t e rio u s po wer ; that it had com e from T u rey or the skies and was the ze m i of the wh ite m en that it talked to them and they obeyed its orders Caon abo had longed to see th is bell an d w he n it w as pro ff ered to hi m as a presen t o f peace he fo u n d it impossible to resist the tem ptat ion H e agreed to visit th e Adm iral at the harbor ; bu t when the time cam e to depart Oj eda beheld w ith sur prise a po wer f ul army ready to m arch H e rem onstrated on taking su ch a force on a m ere frien dly visit to which “ the cacique prou dly replied That it was not befitting a great pri nce l ike him to go forth scan tily gu arded Oj eda f eared som e sin ister d esign and to out w it th e caciqu e had resort to a stratagem w hich has the air of a romantic fable but is recorded by all th e con tempo rary historians and accords with the adventu rous and extravagant character o f th e m an and the w ild strata gem s incid ent to I ndian warfare A S the army had halted on e day n ear the river Yegua Oj ed a produ ced a set of m anacles of polished steel so highly burnish ed that they looked like silver These he assured Cao nabo w ere ornam en ts worn by the Casti lian mon arch s on h igh f estivities an d were sen t as a present to h im H e proposed that Caonabo Should bathe in the river after wh ich h e shou ld be d ecorated w ith these or n ame nt s mounted on the horse of Oj eda an d cond ucted b ack i n the state of a Span ish mon arch to aston i sh his Th e cacique was da zz led w ith the splendor of s ubj ects ,

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19 0

TH E

OF

LI F E

COL U M B U S

.

im m ediately ros e an d salut ed him w ith pro fou n d respe ct O n bei n g asked the reason of th i s the proud Carib re plied that the Adm iral had n ever dared to come perso n ally to h is dom in ions an d capture h im ; it was o n ly through the valor o f Ojeda h e was h is prison e r ; to th e latt e r alon e th ere for e h e should pay reverence Colum bus t h o u gh struck w ith t he n atur al h eroism o f th is sava ge con sidered hi m too dangerous an e n e my to be le f t at large H e m ain tai ned h im th e r e f o re a clo s e prisoner i n a part o f his o w n d we ll i n g u n t il he could be shipped to Spai n but tre at e d him w it h gr e a t kin dn e s s an d r e sp e ct O n e o f t h e brothe rs o f the caciqu e as s e m bled an army in hop e s o f s u rpri s i n g t he f or t ress o f St Thomas an d captu ri n g a n u mber o f Span iard s f or w hom he might obtain C aonabo in exchange ; but Oj eda re c e iv e d i n tell igence o f h is design and com i n g upon h i m attacked h i m wit h h is little t roop o f h o rse s ud d enly routed his army killed many of h is w arriors an d to o k h im prison er .

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C H APT E R XX V I B A TT L E

O F T H E VE GA



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[

IM

14 9 4

.

P O SI T I O N

OF

T RI B U T E

.

]

rrival o f fou r ships abou t this time comm an d e d by A n ton io Torres bri ngi n g o u t a physician an d apo t he cary vario us m echa n ics millers and husb an d men an d an ample s u pply of provi s i o n s d i ff u s ed u n iversal joy among t h e su ff erin g Span iards Colu mbus received a highly fl att e rmg letter from h is sove rei gn s approvi n g o f all that h e had d on e i n form i n g him th at all d i ff ere n ces w i th Port u ga l had been am icably adj usted and in viting THE

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A RRI VA L

OF

WI

T ORRE S

h im to

TH

19 1

S U P P LI E S

.

retu rn to Spain or to send some able person i n h is place f u rnish ed w it h m aps an d charts to be present at a convention for adj usti ng th e d ivid i ng lin e of dis bet ween the t wo po wers Colum bus has t en ed co ve ry the retu rn o f th e ships sen ding h is brother Diego to atten d th e convention and to cou n teract the mis re pre s e nt at io n s w h ich he w as a w are had been sen t hom e of h is co n duct an d w hich would be en forced by M argarite H e rem itted by the Sh ips all th e an d Friar Boyle gold h e could collect w ith specim en s o f f ru its and valu able pla n ts an d five h un d red I nd ian cap t ives to be sold as slaves in Seville I t is pai n fu l to fi n d the glory o f Colu mbus sullied by suc h Violation s of the la ws of h u man ity bu t the cu s tom s O f the tim es m ust plead h is apology I n the recent discoveries along th e coast of A f rica the tra ffi c i n slaves had formed on e of the great est sou rces O f profit an d in the w ars w ith th e e n lightened an d highly civilized M oors of Granada the Span iards w ere accusto med to m ake slaves o f their prison ers CO l u mbus w as goaded on like wise by the mis re pres e n t a tions of his enem ies to try every m eans o f i ndem n i fyin g the sovereig n s for the expe n s es o f his e n terprises and to prod u ce them a reven u e from the coun tries he had d is covered T he Adm iral had n o w recovered h is h ealth an d the colo n i s ts were i n some degree refresh ed and i nvigorated by th e supplies brought by the ships when Guacan a gari brought i ntelligen ce that the allied caciqu es headed by M an icao t e x brother an d successor to Caonabo had assem bled all their forces i n th e vega w ith i n t wo d ays ma rch of I sabel la w ith an in tention of m aki ng a gran d a s sault upon th e settlem ent Colum bus im mediately determined to ca r ry th e w ar into the territories of the en emy rather than w ait for it to be brought to his d o or ,

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19 2

TH E

COL UM B U S

OF

LI FE

.

The w hole soun d an d e ffective f orce h e could m uster in the prese n t sickly sta t e o f the colony d id no t exceed t wo hu n dred i n fan try and t w enty horse There were t wen ty blood hounds also an imals s carce ly le s s terrible to t he I n d ians than the horses an d i nfin itely m ore d e s t ru ctive Gu acan agari also brought his people in to the field bu t both he an d his su bj e cts w ere o f an u nw arlike char acter ; th e ch i e f advan ta ge of his co operation was that it co mpletely severed h im from his f ello w caciques and secu red h im as an ally I t was o n the 2 7t h of M arch 1 4 9 5 t hat Columbus issued f orth f rom I sabella wi th h is little a rmy a ecom a n i e d by his brother th e ad elan tado a d dva n ci n g by a n p rapid marches arrived in th e n eighborhood of the e n emy w ho w ere assembled i n th e ve ga n ear to where th e to wn of Sant iago h as sin ce been bu ilt The I n dia n s were con fi d e n t in their n umber wh ich is said to have amounted to one hu n dred thousa n d ; this is evide n tly an exaggeration b u t the n um ber w as u n doubtedly very great The ade l an t ad o arranged th e mod e of attack The in f a n try divided i nto sm all d etach m en t s advanced sudden ly f rom vario u s quarters w ith great d i n o f d ru ms and tru mpets and a d estructive d isc harge o f fi rearms The I nd ian s were struck w ith pan ic A n army seemed pr e s s i n g u pon th em from e very qu art e r Ma ny w ere Slai n by th e b alls o f t h e arquebuses which seem e d to bu rs t w ith thu n der an d lightn i n g from th e forest s I n th e heig ht o f their con fusion Alon zo d e Oj e d a charged im petuously on their m ain body with h is caval ry bearing do w n and trampling them u n d er foot and d ealin g d eadly blo w s w i t h lan ce and s word The bloodh ou n ds w ere at the sam e tim e l e t l oose an d rushed upon th e n aked savages seizin g them by the throat d ragging th em to the earth an d tearing out their bo wels T he batt l e if such it m ight be ,

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19 4

TH E

LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

.

called w as of short du ration The I n dians overw helm ed fled in every d irection w ith yells an d ho wlings Som e clamber e d to the tops o f rocks and precipices from w hence they m ade piteous su pplicatio n s an d prom ises o f s ub missi o n M a ny w ere Slai n ma n y m ade prison ers and the con f ederacy was for th e time com pletely broken up G u acan agari h ad accompan ied the Span iards i nto t he fi e ld bu t h e w as little more t han a spectator of th e ba t tle H is p art icipation in th e hostilities o f the w hite men ho w ev e r w as n ever f orgiven by th e other caciques ; an d h e r e tu rn ed to his dom in io n s follo w ed by th e hatred and e x ecrations of his cou n t rym en Colu mbus follo w ed up h is V ictory by making a m ilitary t o u r throu gh various parts o f t he islan d w h ic h w ere soon r e d uced to subj ectio n H e then exerci s ed what h e con s id e re d the right of a co n queror an d im posed t rib u tes on th e van qu ish ed provinc e s I n those wh ich possess e d mi n es each individual above the age o f f ou rtee n years w as obli ged to render every th ree months the m easure ! o f a Flem ish h a w k s bell of gold d ust T he caciques had to pay a m uch l arger am oun t for th ei r personal tribut e M an ic ao t e x th e brother o f Caon abo ren dered I n th ose in every three m on ths h a l f a calabash of gold provin ces w hich produc e d no gold each ind ividual w as o bliged to f u rn ish t w e n ty fi ve pou n ds o f cotto n every th ree months A copper m ed al s u spended about th e n eck w as a proof t hat an I ndian had paid his tribu t e ; any on e fou n d w ithout such a certificate was liable to arrest an d pu n ish ment Various f ortresses w ere erected in the m ost i mportant place s so as to keep the I n dians in com plete subj ection I n this way the yoke of servitu de w as fixed upon th e island and its thraldo m com pletely insured Deep d e .

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a ue

f

t o fi t ee n

d ll o

ars o f

the

p

rese n t

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im

e

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19 6

TH E

OF

LI FE

COL U M B U S

.

spair n o w fel l upo n the n atives for they fou nd a perpetual task in flicted u pon them en forced at stated and fre qu en tly recu rrin g periods Weak and indolen t by n atu re and brought up in the u ntasked idlen ess o f their so f t climate and their f ru it fu l groves d ea t h itsel f seem ed preferable to a life o f toi l an d an xiety They s aw n o end to th is harassing evil w h ich had so s u dden ly f allen upon them ; n o prospect o f ret urn to that rovi ng i nde n e n ce an d ample l eisu re so dear to the ild i nh abit e d w p an t o f the forest The pleasan t li f e o f the islan d w as at — n an e d t he d ream i n th e shade by day ; the Slum ber d uri ng th e s u ltry n oon t ide h eat by the foun tain or the stream or u n der the sp readi n g palm tree ; and the song the d ance an d the gam e in th e m ello w even ing wh e n su m mon ed to their simple am usem ents by the r u de I n d ian d rum Or i f th ey occasion ally in dulged i n a n ation al da n ce after a day o f pain f u l t oi l th e ballads to w h ich they kept t im e w ere o f a m e lan choly and plain tive character They spoke o f the tim es that w ere past be f ore the wh ite men had i n troduced s o rro w an d slavery an d weary labor amon g the m an d th ey reh ea rsed p ro ph c eies preten ded to be handed do wn from thei r an c e s to rs foretelling that stran gers should com e into thei r isla n d cloth ed i n apparel w it h Sw ords capabl e of cle av ing a m an asu n der at a blo w u n d er whose yoke their r ac e should be subd ued an d pass a w ay These bal lads or arey t o s they sang wit h m o u rn fu l tu n es an d doleful voices be wail ing th e loss o f their l iberty an d their pain ful servitude They had flattered them selv e s f or a tim e that the visit of the strangers would be but t emporary and that spreadi ng thei r a mple sails their ships w ould soo n w aft them back to their hom e i n t he sky I n their simplicity they had repeatedly i nqui red of the Spa n iards wh en they ,

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19

8

TH E

LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

upon his race he retired to the mou ntai ns where it is said he d ied obscurely an d m mI Se ry An attempt has bee n made by a Span ish h istorian to defam e th e character of this I n d ian pri n ce ; bu t it is n ot for Span i ards to excuse their o w n ingratitud e by casting a stigma upon his n am e H e appears to h ave al ways man ifested to ward s t hem that true f ri en dship w h ich shin es brightest in th e dark days o f adversity H e m ight have play e d a nobler part i n maki ng a stand w ith h is broth er caciques to drive those i n truders fro m h is n a tive soil ; but h e appears to have been bli nded by h is adm i ration o f them an d h is p ersonal attachm en t to CO lu mbus H e w as bou n ti f ul hospitable a ffect ion ate an d ki n d h eart e d ; competen t to rule a ge n tle an d u n w arl ike p eople in the happi er days o f th e island bu t u n fi t t e d th rough the m ild n ess o f h is nat ure f or the stern tu rm oil which follo w ed the arrival o f t h e wh ite m en ,

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C HA PT E R XX V I I

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O F T H E CO M M I SSI O N E R A G U A D O

A RRI VA L

O F TH E

GO L D M I N E S O F H A V N A

.

—DI SCO VE RY

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[

14 9

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]

W H I LE Colu mbus w as end eavoring to rem edy the evils produced by the miscond uct o f M argarit e and h is follo w ers that recreant com man der an d h is politic coad r Friar Boyle w ere busily u n derm in in g h is repu tation o u t j in the cou rt of Spai n They acc u sed him o f d eceivin g the sover ei gn s an d the public by extravagan t d es crip tion s of th e cou n tries h e had discovered ; and of tyranny an d O ppression to wards the colon ists com pe l lin g ex ces sive labor during a tim e of sickn ess an d debil ity ; in fl ic t ,

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M A LI CE OF M ARGA RI TE

19 9

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ing severe pu n i sh m en ts for the most trifling o ff ence an d heapi n g ind ign ities o n Span ish gen tlem e n of rank T hey said n ot hin g ho w ever of the exigen cies wh ic h had called for u n usual labor ; n or of the idlen ess an d pro fl igacy of the com mon alty w hich cal led for coerc ion an d chast ise men t ; nor of the con tum acy an d cabals of the cava l iers who had bee n treated w ith in dulgence rather tha n severity T hese represen tation s bei n g supported by many facti ous an d d isco n ten ted idlers wh o had returned from the colony an d en forced by people of rank con had a baneful e ffect upon n e ct e d w ith the cavaliers th e populari ty of Col umbus an d h is favor w ith the sove re igns About this t i me a m easu re was ad opted w hich sho w s the declin ing i nflu ence o f the Adm iral A proclamation w as made o n t h e l ot h of April giving gen eral perm is sion to n ative born subj ects to s e ttl e in the isl an d of H i s pa n iola an d to go on private voyages o f d iscov e ry an d t rafli c to the N e w World Th ey were to pay certain proportion s O f th e ir p rofits to the Cro w n an d to be sub j c et to certain r e gulat ion s Th e privi lege O f an eighth part o f the ton na ge w as like wi s e Secu red to Colum bu s as Admi ral ; but h e fel t h im s el f exceed ingly aggrieved at th is perm i ss ion being gran ted without h is kn o w ledge o r conse nt con s id ering it an i n f ringem ent o f h is rights and a measu re likely to d isturb th e cou r s e o f regular d is c o ve ry by the licent ious an d predatory en terprises of reckless ad ven tu rers The arrival o f th e Ships com man ded by Torre s brin g i n g accou nts of th e voyage along the sou thern coasts of Cuba supposed t o be t he continen t O f Asia and speci m e n s of the gold an d th e vegetable an d an i mal produc t io n s of the cou n try cou nterbala n ced in som e degree these u n favorable represen tation s of M argarite an d ,

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200

TH E

LI FE

COL U M B U S

OF

.

Still i t was deter mi ned t o send out a com m is s io n er to in qu ire in to the all eged d istress of the colony an d the co n duct of Col u m bus an d on e J uan Ag u ado w as appointed for th e pu rpose H e had already bee n to H ispan iola and on retu rn ing had been strongly recom m ended to royal favor by Colu mbus I n appoi n t ing a pe rso n t he re fo re for whom the Ad miral appeared to have a regard an d who was u n der O bligations to h im the Sovereign s thought perhaps to softe n th e harsh n ess o f th e measure A S to the five h u n dred slaves sen t hom e in the ships of Torres I sabe lla ordered a consultation of p ious theo l o gian s to det er min e wh eth er having been taken in w ar fare their sale as slaves would be j ust ifiabl e in th e sight of God M u ch d i ff erence of opin ion arose amon g the d ivin es on t h is i mpo rt ant qu estion whereupo n the qu ee n decid ed it accord ing to the d ictates of h e r conscience and her heart an d ordered that the I nd ia n s should be taken back to their n at ive co u nt ry J uan de Aguado set sail from Spai n tow ards th e end of Aug ust w ith four caravels freighted w ith suppl ies an d Don Diego Colu m bus retu rned in th is squadron to H is m n i o la Aguado w s o ne of those w eak e n w hose a a p heads are turn ed by the l east elevat ion T hough un der obligation s to Col umbus h e f orgot them all an d forgot even the n ature an d extent of h is o w n com m ission Find i ng Colu m bus absent in th e i n terior of the isla n d on h is arrival h e acted as i f the reins O f govern m en t had been t ransferred in to his han ds H e paid n o respect to Don Bartholome w who had been placed in co mm and by h is brother du ring his absence but proclaim ing h is letter of c rede nce by sou nd of trum pet h e proceeded to arrest various publ ic o fli ce rs to call others to rigorous accou nt and to i nvite every on e who had wrongs or grievan ces Boyle

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20 2

TH E

LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

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o ff enders ; every culprit started up into an accuser ; every on e wh o by n egligence or cr i m e had incurred the w holesom e pe n alt ies o f the la w s was lou d in h is clamors o f oppression ; and all the ills o f th e colony ho w ever produced w ere ascribed to the m alad min istration of the Adm iral Aguado listen ed to every accusation with ready e re d u l it y and having collected in form ation su ffi cie n t as h e thought to in sure the ru in of the Adm iral and h is broth ers prepared to retu rn to Spain Col u mbus resolved to do the sam e ; for he f elt that it w as time to appear at court to vi n dicate h is con duct fro m the misre pre s e n t a tion s of h is en em ies an d to explain the causes of the d is tresses of the colony an d of the dis appoin tm ents w ith respect to reve n u e wh ich he f eared m ight discou rage the prosecu tion of h is d isco veries When the ships w ere ready to depart a terrible storm s w ept the island ; it was on e of those a w f ul w h irl win ds w h ich occasiona lly rage w ith in the tropics an d w hich w ere called U rican s by the I n dians a n am e wh ich they still retai n Three o f th e ships at an chor in th e h arbor w ere su nk by it w ith all who were on board ; others w ere dash ed again st each other and driven mere w recks upon the shore Th e I n d ian s w ere over whe lm ed with astonish men t an d d ismay for never in their m em ory or in the trad it ions of th eir an cestors had t hey kn o w n so t r e men dous a storm They believed th at th e Deity had sen t it in pu n ishm en t o f the cru elties an d cri mes of the w hite m en an d declared that this people moved the very air the water an d the e arth to d istu rb their tranq uil life an d to desolate their island Th e depart u re of Colum bu s an d of Ag uado was d e l ayed u n til on e o f th e Shattered vessels the N i na could be repaired and a n other constructed ou t of t h e ,

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204 .

TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

.

fra gmen ts o f the w re cks I n the mea n tim e in format i on was received o f rich m in es in the interior O f t h e islan d A you n g A rrago nian n a med M iguel D i az i n the service o f t he adelantado h avin g w ou nded a co mpa n io n i n a quarrel fl e d f rom the settle me n t acco mpan ied by five or six Co mrades w h o h ad e ithe rb e en engaged i n th e a ffray or w e re personally att ac h e d t o him Wan dering abou t t h e i s land they at le n gth c ame to an I nd i a n vi llag e 0 11 t he banks O f t h e Oz e ma w h e re t h e city o f San Do mingo is at pre s e n t s itu ated ; they w ere rec e i ve d w ith kind ne s s by t he n ativ e s an d re s ided for s o me ti me am ong them The vill age was gover n ed by a fe mal e caciqu e who soon co n ceived a s trong a ffectio n f or the you ng A rrago n ian A co n n e ctio n was formed bet wee n them an d they lived f or som e tim e v e ry happil y together At length th e remem brance of his cou n try an d h is f rie n ds began to h au n t the m ind o f th e Spa n iard ; h e longed to retu rn to the s ettlem en t bu t d read ed the aust e re j us t i ce of t h e ade l ant ad o H is I n d ian bride ob s ervi n g him f requ en tly l ost i n gl o o my thought dre w f rom hi m th e cause o f h is m elan Fear f ul th at he w ould aban d on he r and k n o win g ch o ly the i n fluence o f go ld over the wh i t e me n s he i n for med him o f certain rich mines i n t h e n eighbo rhood an d urged him to p e rsuade h is cou nt rymen to aban don I s ab e lla and remov e to th at part o f the i sland to the fertile b anks o f the Ozem a p rom isi n g that th e y s ho uld be hospitably r e ceived by her n atio n Diaz was rej oiced at this in te lligen ce an d hasten ed w ith it to the sett lem en t flattering h imsel f that it would make h is peace wit h the adela n tado H e was n ot m is taken N o tidings cou l d have co me more opportu nely for i f true they would f urn ish the Adm iral w ith the m ost e ff ectual m eans of silen cin g t h e cavils of h i s en em ies T h e adelan tado imm ed iately set ou t in compa ny w ith .

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LE A VE S F OR SP A I N

207

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island d uring h is absen ce to h is brother Don Bartholo me w w ith the title of adelan tado H e then embarked on board of on e of th e caravels and Aguado i n the oth er Th e vessels were cro wded with t wo hun dred an d t wenty fi ve passe n gers the sick the idle t he p ro fl igat e and fac tious of the colo ny N ever d id a more m iserable and disappointed cre w ret u rn from a lan d o f prom ise T h e re were thirty I nd ians also on board and amo ng the m the on ce redoubtable Caonabo t ogeth er w ith on e o f his brothers an d a n ephe w T he Adm iral had prom ised to rest ore the m to th eir cou ntry an d thei r po wer after h aving prese n ted them to the s overeigns ; trusting by kin d treatm ent an d a disp lay of th e won ders of Spain to conquer the ir hostil ity and convert them in to impor tan t instrum en ts for th e qu iet subj ugatio n of th e island Being as yet bu t little experien ced in the n avigation o f these seas Colu mbus in stead of working u p to the n orth w ard So as to fall in w ith the tract of westerly w inds took an easterly cou rse on leaving the islan d H is voyage in consequ e n ce becam e a toilsom e an d ted ious struggle against the trade w in ds an d calms which prevail bet w een the t ropics Though he sailed on th e 1 0 t h o f M arch yet o n the 6th of April h e was still in th e vici n ity of the Caribbee I slan ds and had to tou ch at Guadaloupe to procure provisions H ere skirm ish es occu rred w ith th e fierce n atives both m ale an d fem ale ; for the wom en were per f ect amazons of large and pow er ful fram e and g reat agility Several o f the latter w ere taken prison ers ; they w ere naked an d wore their hair loose an d flo win g upon their shoulders though some d ecorated their heads with tu fts of feath e rs Their weapon s w ere bo ws an d arro w s Amon g t h em was the w ife of a caciqu e a w o man of a proud and resolute spirit On the approach of the Span i ards she had fled wi t h an agility that soon d istanced all pur ,

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20 8

TH E

LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

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su ers e x cept i n g a nat i ve of th e Canary I slan d s n o t ed fo r She w ould have escaped even f ro m s w i f tn ess of foot him but perceivi ng that he was alone an d far from his compan ion s she suddenly tu rn ed upo n h im seize d him by the throat an d w ould have strangled him had n ot th e Span iards arrived an d taken her en tangled like a ha wk w ith her prey When Colum bus departed from th e i slan d he d ism i ssed all t he prisoners w ith prese n ts The f emale caciqu e alon e refused to go o n shore Sh e had con ceived a passio n for Caonabo havI ng f ou n d out that he was a Carib an d she had been w o n by th e story gat hered from the other I n dians of his great valor and his m isfort u n es I n th e cou rse of t h e voyage ho wever th e u n fortu nate Caon abo expired H e m ain tain ed h is haughty n atu re to th e last for h is death is prin cipally ascribed to the m orbid m elan H is fate fu rn ishes cho ly of a prou d bu t broken spirit on a narro w scal e a pictu re of the fallacy of hu man great When the Span iards first arrived on th e coast of n ess H ayti th eir im agin ation s were inflamed w ith rum ors of a magn ifi cent prince amo n g the m oun tai ns the Lord of t he G olden H ouse th e sovereign of th e m i n es of Cibao ; but a short t im e had elapsed an d h e w as a n aked an d m oody prisone r on the deck o f on e of thei r caravels with n on e but one of his o w n w ild n at ive h eroi nes to sympat hize in his m isfortun es All h is importance van ished w ith his freedom ; scarce any m e ntio n is mad e of him d u ring h is captivity ; an d w ith in nate qualities of a h igh an d heroic n ature he perished w ith the obsc u rity of on e of the vulgar Colu mbus left Guadaloupe on th e 20th of April still w orking h is w ay again st t h e w hole current of t he trad e win ds By t he 20t h of M ay but a portio n of the voyage was perform ed yet the provision s w ere so m uch exhaust ,

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2 10

TH E

LI FE

COL U M B U S

OF

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m onk girded w ith a cord an d he had su ffered his beard to gro w l ike th e friars of that order But ho w ever h u mble he m ight be i n h is o wn personal appearance he en d eavored to keep al ive th e publ ic i n terest in h is dis On his w ay to Bu rgos to m eet the sovereigns co ve ries he mad e a studious display of th e coronets coll ars bracelets an d oth e r orn am en ts of gold w h ich he had brought f rom the N e w Wor l d H e carri e d w ith h im also several I ndians decorated w ith glittering or na men ts an d among t hem the brot h er o f Caon abo o n w hom he put a m assive col lar and chain of gold weigh ing s ix hu nd red ! castillanos as being caciqu e o f th e golde n cou ntry o f C ib ao The reception of Col um bus by th e sovereign s w as di fferent f rom w hat he h ad an ticipated f or h e w as treated w it h distingu is hed favor ; n or w as any m ent io n made either o f th e com plain ts o f M argarite an d Boyle or the j ud icial in qu iries con ducted by Aguado H o wever th ese may have had a transient e ffect u p o n the m in ds of the sovereign s they w ere t oo con scious of his great d ese rts an d o f t he e x t rao rd in a ry d i ffi culties of h is situa tion n ot to tolerate what t he y may h ave considered erro rs o n h is part E n couraged by the i nterest w ith wh i ch t h e sovereigns listen ed to h is accou n t of h is recen t voyage alo ng th e coast of Cuba bordering as h e su pposed on the rich territories of the Grand Khan an d o f h is d iscovery O f the mi n es of H ayn a wh ich h e f ailed n o t to represen t as the Oph ir o f the an cien ts Colu mbus n ow proposed a f u rther enterprise by which h e prom ised to make yet more extensive d iscoveries an d to an n ex a vast an d u n appropriat ed portion o f th e co ntine n t of Asia to their dom i n io ns All he asked was eigh t s h ips t wo to be d ll a s f the p e n t ti m Equiv al n t t ,

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2 12

TH E

COL U M B U S

OF

LI F E

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dispatched to H ispan iola with supplies the remain ing six to be pu t u n der h is co mm an d for th e voyage Th e sovereign s I e ad ily prom ised to com ply w ith his request and w ere probably si n cere i n th eir in ten tion s to do so ; but in th e perform an ce o f their p rom ise C ol u m bus was doom ed to m eet with intolerable delay The r e sources o f Spain at th is mom ent w ere taske d to the utmost by the am biti on o f Ferdin and w ho lavishe d all his revenu es in w arlike en terprises Wh ile m ai n tai n ing a con test o f deep an d art f ul policy w ith France w it h the u ltimate aim of graspi n g the Sceptre of Naples he was layi ng th e fou n dat ion of a w ide an d po wer f ul con n ection by the marriages o f th e royal ch ildren who w ere n o w matu r i ng i n years At t his tim e rose that fam ily allian ce w hi ch afterw ards consolidated such an im m en se em pire u n der h is gran dson an d successor Cha rles the Fifth T hese w idely exten ded operations both of war an d am ity pu t al l the land an d naval forces in to requ isition drain ed the royal treasu ry an d engrossed the time and thoughts of th e sovereigns I t was not u n til the spring o f 1 49 7 t hat I sabella could fin d leisu re to en ter fully i nto the concerns of t he N e w World She the n took them u p w it h a spiri t that sho wed she w as d eterm in ed to place them upon a s u bs t an t i al fou n dat i on as w ell as cl early to defin e th e po w ers and rew ard the services of Col u m bus T o h er protecting zeal all th e provisions in favor of the latter m ust be attribu ted for the kin g bega n to look co l d ly on him an d Fo n seca who had most i nflu en ce in the a ffairs of th e I n d ies was h is i mplacable en emy As the expenses of the ex pedition s had h ithe rto exceed ed the retu rns Colu mbus was relieved o f h is eigh th part of the cost of the past en terprises and allo wed an eighth part of the gross proceeds for the n ex t t hree years and a tenth of the n et profits H e was allo w ed also to ,

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OF COL U M B U S

TH E LI F E

2 14

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disaster T o supply the w ant of volu ntary recru its therefore Co himb us proposed to transport to H ispan i ola for a lim ited term of years all cri m inals condem ned to ba n ishm en t or th e galleys exceptin g such as had com mit t e d crim es of an atroc i ous n atu re T his pern icious m easu re sho ws the desperate alternative to wh ich he was reduced by th e reaction of pu bli c sen timen t I t proved a fru it ful so u rce of m isery an d d isaster t o th e colony ; and having frequ en tly been adopted by various n ations w hose su per i or experience should ha ve taught them better has p roved the ban e of m any a rising settlem ent Not w ith s tan d in g all these exped i en ts an d the u rgent represen tations of Colum bus of th e su fferings to w h ich the colony m ust be re d uced for w an t of suppli es it was no t u n til th e begin n i n g of 1 4 9 8 that th e t wo sh ips w ere d ispatch ed to H ispan iola un der th e com man d of Pe d fo Fernandez Coronal A still fu rther delay occurred in fi tting ou t th e six sh ips that w ere to bear Columbus on his voyage of d i scovery H is cold blooded en emy Fon seca who was no w Bishop of Badaj o z hav i n g the super inten d ence of I n d ian a ff airs was enabled to im pede an d T he various o flf ce rs an d agents retard all h is plans employed in th e con cerns of the armam ent w ere most of them dependen ts an d m i n ions of th e bishop an d sou ght to gratify him by thro wing al l kin ds of di fficulties in the way of Colum bus treating him with that arro gance w h i ch pet ty an d ign oble m en i n place are pron e to exercise when they thin k they can do so wi th im pu n ity So w eari ed an d dish earten ed d id h e becom e by these delays and by th e prej udices of the fi ckle public t hat he at one time thought of aband on ing h is discoveries altogether T h e in solence of these w orthless m en harassed h im to th e last momen t of his soj ou rn i n Spain and follo wed .

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215

OF X I M E N O

I N SOLE N CE

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to the water s edge On e of the most n oisy an d presum ing was on e Xim en o d e Brevies ca treasurer of F onseca a converted J e w or M oor an d a man of impu den t fron t and u nbridled tongue who echoin g th e senti men t of h is patron the bishop had been loud in h is abuse of t he Admiral an d his en terprises At th e very time that Colum bus was on th e poi n t of em barking h e w as assailed by the i nsolen ce of t h is Xim eno Forgettin g in the hurry and ind ign ation of the mom ent h is usual sel f com m and he stru ck the d es i b u w l m in ion to the earth sp rn ed h im ith h is a e n c a d p foo t ven ting in th is u nguarded paroxysm the acc u mu lated griefs an d vexation s wh ich had lon g rankl ed in his heart T h is transport of passion so un u s u al in h is well governed temper was artfully made u se of by Fonseca and oth ers o f his en e mies to inj u re h im i n th e royal favor T he personal castigation of a public O flfce r w as represented as a flagrant in stan ce of his vind ictive temper an d a corroboration of the charges of cru elty an d O ppression sent hom e from the colony ; an d w e are assured t hat certain h um iliating m easures shortly after w ards adopted to wards him w ere in consequen ce of the e ff ect produced upon th e sovereigns by these mis re p rese n t at io ns Colum bus hi mself deeply regretted h is ind iscretion an d foresaw th e i n vidious use that w ould be made of it I t w o u l d be di ffi cult t o make w ith equal brevity a more direct and a ff ecting appeal than that con tained in one of his letters wherein h e alludes to this a ff a i r H e entreats the sovereigns n ot to let it be w rested to his inj u ry in their opin ion ; but to remember when anythi ng should be said to h is disparagem ent that ” he was absent envied an d a stranger .

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2 16

TH E

LI FE

COL U M B U S

OF

.

C HAP T E R XX I X

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D I SCO VE RY O F T RI N I DAD AN D T H E CO AST O F A RRI VA L A T SA N DO M I N G O

PA RI A



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ON

the 3 ot h of May 1 4 9 8 Col u m bus set sail from the port of San Lucar de Barram eda w ith a squadro n of SIX vessels on his third voyage of discovery From various considerat ions he was in d uced to take a d i ff ere nt route from that p u rsued in h is form er expeditions H e had been assured by persons who had traded to th e E ast that the rarest obj ects of comm erce such as gold precious ston es drugs and spices w ere chiefly to be fou n d i n th e regions about the equator w here the in habitants were black or darkly colored ; an d that u ntil he arrived amon g peopl e of such co mplexions i t w as n ot probable he w ould fi nd those articles i n great abu n dan ce C olu mb u s expected to fin d such people more to the south an d south eas t H e recollected that th e natives of H ispan iola had spoken of black m en w ho had once com e to their islan d from the south t he h eads of whose javelins w ere of guan in or adu lterated gold The nat ives of the Caribbee I slands also had in f orm ed him that a great tract of the mainland lay to the sou th and i n his preceding voyage he had re marked that Cuba w hich b e supposed to be th e con tin ent of Asia s wept o ff i n that d irection H e proposed therefore to take h is depart ure from the Cape d e Verde I slands sailin g to the so u th west un til he should com e u nder the equ in octial lin e then to steer d irectly w est ward w ith the favor of the trade win ds H aving touche d at the islan ds of Porto Sa n to an d M adeira to take in wood and water he contin ued his ,

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TH E

LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

course to the Canary I slands from whence h e d ispatched three of h i s ships d irect for H ispan iola w ith supplies for the colony With the remai n ing th ree he prosecu ted h is voyage tow ards the Cape de Verd e I slan ds The sh ip in wh i ch he sailed w as decked th e other t wo were mer chan t caravels A S h e advan ced w ith i n the tropics the change of climate an d the close an d Sultry w eather brought on a severe attack o f the gout accom pan ied by a violent fever ; but he still enj oyed the full possession of his faculties an d con tin ued to keep h i s reckonin g an d make h i s O bservations w ith h is usual vigilance and m in uten ess On the 5t h of J uly he took his departu re from the Cape de V erde Islan ds an d steered to the south west u ntil h e arri ved accord i ng to his observat i ons i n the fi fth d egree of n orth latitude H ere the w in d suddenly fell an d a dead sult ry calm succeeded Th e air was l ike a f urn ace th e tar m elted from th e sides of the sh ips th e seams yaw n ed t h e salt m eat beca me putrid the wh eat was parched as i f w ith fi re som e of th e w in e an d water casks burst and the heat i n the holds of the vessels was so su f fo cat i ng that n o on e cou ld remai n be l o w to prevent the damage that was t aking place among the sea stores T he mar i n ers lost all strength an d spirits I t seemed as i f th e old fable of th e torrid z one was about to be realized an d that they w ere approachi ng a fi e ry regib n where i t w o u ld be im possible to e x i st I t is true the h eavens became overcast an d there w ere drizzlin g sh o wers but th e ar mo sphe re was close an d stiflin g and there was that combin ation of heat an d m oistu re wh ich relaxes all th e energ i es of th e h um an fram e A conti n uat ion of this w eath er together w ith th e t e m onstrances of h i s cre w an d h is extrem e su ffering from t he gout ultimately i nd uced h im to alter h is route and ,

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TRI N I DA D

COA S TI N G A L ON G

2 19

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stan d to th e north west in hopes o f fal l i ng in wi th the Caribbe e Islands w here he m igh t repair h is ships an d obta in w ater an d provis i ons After sail ing som e d istan c e i n th i s d irection th rough an ordeal of h eats an d calm s an d m u rky st ifling atm osphere th e sh ips all at on ce em erged i n t o a ge n ial region ; a pleasant coo l in g breeze played over the sea an d gently filled thei r sails ; the sky becam e seren e and clear an d the s u n shon e forth with all its spl endor b u t n o longer w ith a burn ing heat O n the 3 1 5 t o f J u ly whe n there was not above a cask of w ater remain i ng in each ship a m ari n er n amed Alon zo P erez d escried f rom the m asthead th ree mou ntain s ris ing above the horizon As the Sh ips dre w n earer th ese m ou ntain s proved to be un ited at th e base Colu m bu s therefore from a relig i ous association of i deas gave th is islan d the n am e of La T ri n idad wh ich it con tin ues to bear at the presen t day Shaping h is cou rse for this islan d h e approach ed its eastern extrem ity to wh ich he gave the n am e o f P u nta de G alera from a rock in the sea wh ich resem bled a gal ley un der sail H e then coasted along the sou th ern shore bet ween T ri nidad an d th e main l and which h e beheld on t he sou t h stretching t o the distan ce of m ore than t wen ty leagues I t w as tha t lo w tract of coast in terse cted by the n um erous branches of the Orinoco bu t the Adm i ral s u p posing it to be an islan d gave it the n am e of La I sla San ta ; little imagi n ing that h e n o w for the first tim e beheld that contin en t that T erra Firma wh ich had been the obj ect o f his earn est search H e was for several days coasting the island of T ri ni dad an d explorin g the great G ulf of Paria w h ich lies b e h in d it fan cyin g h imself a mong i slands an d t hat he m ust fi nd a passage to the open ocean by keeping to the bot tom o f the gul f D uring this time he was n early s w ept ,

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2 20

TH E

COL U M B U S

OF

L I FE

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fro m h is an chors and thro w n on shore by a sud den rush an d s well of the sea n ear P oi nt Aren al bet ween T ri n idad an d th e m ain lan d caused as is supposed by the sw elling of on e of the rivers which fl o w i nto the gulf H e lan ded on the insid e of th e long prom ontory of Par i a wh ich he m istook for an islan d an d had various inte rv i e ws w ith the n atives from whom h e procured great quan tities of pearls m a n y of a fi n e s ize a nd qual ity There w ere several phen om en a that surp rised an d perplexe d Colu mbus i n the cou rse of h i s voyage along this coast and wh i ch gave rise to speculations, som e i n f a w an d others fanci ul H e aston ished at the n s e o u i s g vast body of fresh w ater conti n u ally flo wing i n to the gulf of Paria So as apparen tly to s w eet en th e w hole su rrou nd i ng sea and at the co n stant cu rren t which set through it wh ich he supposed to be prod uced by som e great river H e remarked with w on d ering also the d i fferen ce b e t ween th e clim ate vegetation and people of these coasts an d those of the sam e parallel i n Africa T here the h eat w as in su pportabl e an d the la n d p arched an d sterile the i nhabitan ts w ere black w ith crisped wool ill shapen an d o f d ull an d brutal natures H ere on the con trary al tho u gh th e su n was i n Leo h e fou n d the n oon tid e h eat m oderate th e morn ings an d even ings fresh and cool the country green an d fru itful covered with beauti ful forests an d w atered by in n um erable st rea ms and fou n tain s ; t he people fairer than even th ose i n the lands h e had d isco v ered fu rther n orth w ith long hair well proportion ed an d graceful forms lively mi n ds and courageous spirits I n respect to th e vast body of fresh w ater h e m ade on e of h is sim ple an d great conc l usion s Such a m ighty stream could n ot be produ ced by an islan d i t m us t be th e out pou rin g o f a con tin en t H e now supposed t hat th e v a rio n s t racts of land which he had beheld abo u t the gulf ,

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22 2

TH E

LI F E

w ere

COL U M B U S

OF

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con n ected together an d contin ued to an im m ense d istan ce to the south far beyon d th e equator i nto that hem isphere h itherto unkno wn to civili z ed man As to th e m i ld tem perat ure of th e clim ate th e fresh verdure of the coun try an d th e comparative fairn ess of th e inhab i t an ts in a parallel so n ear to the equ ator b e attributed it to the superior elevat i on of this part o f the globe ; for from a vari ety of circu m stan ces ingen iou sly but e t ron c o u s ly reasoned upon b e in f erred that ph ilosophers had been m istaken i n the form of the earth wh ich in stead of being a p e rfe ct sphere h e n o w con cl ud ed to be shaped l ike a pear on e part more elevated than the rest rising i nto the pu rer region s of the air above the heats an d frosts an d storms of t he lo w er parts of the earth H e i magin ed this apex to be situ ated about th e equ in octial l in e in th e in terior of this vast contin ent wh ich he con that on this su mm it s i d e re d the e x trem ity of th e E ast as it w ere o f the earth was situ ated th e terrestrial para d ise ; and that th e vast stream of fresh w ater wh ich pou red into th e G ulf of Paria issued from th e fou n tai n of the tree of life in the m idst of the Garden of E den E x t ravagan t as th is speculation m ay seem at the presen t day it w as groun ded on t h e w riti ngs of the m ost sage and learned men of those ti m es am ong whom th e situa tion of th e terrest rial paradise had lon g been a subj ect of di scussion an d controversy an d by several of whom it was supposed to be on a vast mou ntain i n the remote parts of th e E ast T h e mi nd of Columbus was so possessed by t h ese the an d he was so en cou raged by th e qua ntities of o rie s pearls w hich he had m et with f or the first t im e in the N ew World that he would gladly have foll o w ed up his d i s n o t do u btin g bu t that the cou nt ry wou ld in crease co ve ry i n t he value of its productions as h e approach ed the e q ua ,

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L E A VE S

TRI N I D A D

22 3

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tor T h e sea stores of h is ships ho we ver were almos t exhaus t ed an d the various su ppl i es with wh ich th ey w ere frei gh ted for the colony w ere i n danger of spo i l i n g H e was su ff er i ng also e x tremely in his h ea l th Besides the gou t wh ich had rend ered him a cripple for the greater part of th e voyage he was a ffl icted by a c om plaint i n his eyes caused by fatigue an d over watch ing wh ich ai most deprived h im of sight H e determ in ed therefore to hasten to H ispan iola in te nding to repose there from his fatigu es an d recru it h is h ealth wh i le he should send h is broth er the adelan tado to com p l ete th is impor tan t discovery O n the 14 th of August therefore h e le ft the gulf by a n arro w strait bet w een th e prom ontory of Paria an d the I slan d of T rin idad T h is strait is bese t w ith small islands and the cu rren t w h ich sets th rou gh th e gulf is so com pressed bet ween th em as to cause a tu rbulen t sea w ith great foam in g an d roaring as i f rush in g over rocks and shoals T he Adm iral con ceived h im self in imm i n ent d an ger of ship wreck wh en passin g through this strait and gave it the n am e of La Boca del Drago or th e M outh of the Dragon After recon n oitring th e coast to the w est w ard as f ar as the islan ds O f Cu b aga and M argarita and conv i n ci ng h i msel f O f its bei ng a con ti n ent he bore a way for H ispan i ola for th e river O zema w here he ex n e w settlem ent wh ich he had in structed to fi n d a t d e e c p h is broth er to form in the n eighborhood of th e m i n es H e was born e far to the w est ward by th e currents bu t at length reached his d es ire d haven where he arr i ved hag gard em aciated an d alm ost bl i n d an d was rece i ved with ope n arm s by the adelan tado Th e brothers w ere stron g ly attach e d to each other ; Don Barth olom e w had a great de f erence for the brill ian t gen ius t he enlarged m ind and the com man d in g reputat i on of h is broth er ; w h ile the lat .

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2 24

TH E L I F E

COL U M B U S

OF

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ter p l aced gr eat relian ce i n t i mes of di ffi culty on the w orldly k n o wledge the ind efatigable activi ty and the lion heart ed cou rage of the adelantado T hey had both d u ring th eir long sep aration experienced the need of each other s sy mpathy and support ,

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C H A P T E R X XX

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AD M I N I ST RA T I O N O F T H E AD E LA N TA D O

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C O L U M B U S had ant ici pated a tem porary repose from h is toils on a rri vi ng at H ispan iola ; but a n e w scene of trouble and an xiety open ed upon him w h ich w as d es t i n ed to a ff ect all h is futu re fortu nes T o explain this it is n ecessary to state th e occu rren ces of the islan d d uring h is long d eten tion i n Spain Wh en he sailed fo r E urope i n M arch 14 9 6 h is brother Don Bartholom e w im mediately proceeded to exec u te h is instru ctions w ith respect to th e gold m ines of H ayna H e built a fortress in th e n eighborhood wh ich h e n amed San Ch ristoval an d an other f ortress not far o ff on th e eastern bank o f t he Ozema in the vicin ity of the village inhabited by t he f emale caci q ue w ho had first given i n T his fortress was t e l l ige n ce of the m i nes to M iguel Diaz called San Dom ingo an d was t he origin of th e city w hic h still bears that n am e H aving garrison ed these fortresses an d m ade arrange m en ts for w orkin g the m in es t he in defatigable adelan tado set out to visit the d om in ions of Be he chio w hic h had n ot as yet been reduced to O b ed i en ce This cacique as has been m ent ioned reigned over X aragua a provi n ce comprising almost the wh ol e of the west e nd of the ,

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26

TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

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islan d in clud in g Cape T ib u ron I t was one of the most pop ulous and fertile d istricts T he i nh abitan ts were fi n ely form ed h ad a noble air a more agreeable c l oc u ti on an d m ore soft an d graceful man n ers than the n atives of th e other part of the island T h e I n d ians of H ayti ge nerally placed their elysium or parad ise of happy spirits i n th e del ightful valleys th at bordered the great lake of X aragu a With B e h echio resided h is sist er Anacaon a wi fe o f the late form idable Caon abo on e of the most beautiful females i n th e islan d of great natu ral grace an d dign ity and superior in tell igence ; her n am e in the I n dian lan guage sign i fied Golde n Flo wer Sh e had taken refuge wi th h er broth er after the capture and ru in of her h us ban d but a ppears n ever to have entertai n ed any vin d i ct ive f eelings against the Span iards whom she regarded w ith great ad m i rat ion as almost superhu m an be i ngs On the contrary she cou nselled her brother o ver whom she had grea t i nflu ence to take warn in g by the fate of her husban d an d to con cil iate their frien dship D on Bartholom e w entered the provi nce of X aragu a at the head of an armed band put t i ng his ca valry in the advance and m arch i ng w ith ban n ers d isplayed an d the soun d of dru m an d trumpet B ehe chio m et h im w ith a n umerou s force but being assured that he cam e m erely on a frien dly visit he d is missed h is army an d cond ucted th e adelan tado to his resid e nce in a large to wn n ear the deep bay called at presen t the B i ght of Leagon As they approach ed th irty you ng fem a l es of the ca ciq u e s household beautifully form ed cam e forth to m eet them w avi ng palm bran ch es an d danci n g and sin ging their arey t o s or trad i t i onary ballads Wh en they cam e before Do n Bartholome w they kn elt an d laid thei r palm b ranches at h i s feet A f ter these c ame the be auti ful .

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D ON B A R TH OL OM E

W

IN

X A RA G U A

2 27

.

Anacaona reclin ing on a litter born e by six I n d ians She w as light ly clad in a robe of various colored cotton w ith a fragrant garlan d of red an d w h ite flo w ers ro u n d her h ead an d w reaths of th e sam e ro u n d h er n eck and arms She received the ad e lan tado w ith that natu ra l grace and courtesy for wh ich she w as celebrated For several days Don Barth olom ew rem ain ed in Xara gua entertai n ed by th e caciqu e and h is Sister w ith ban s n ation al games and dances an d other fes t ivities ; u e t q then having arran ged for a period ical tribute to be paid in cotton hemp an d cassava bread the prod u ction s of the surrou nd ing cou n try he took a frien dly leave of his hospitable en tertainers an d set out w ith his little army for I sabella H e foun d th e settlem e nt in a sickly state an d su ff eri ng from a scarci t y of provision s ; b e distrib u t ed therefore all that were too feeble to labor or bear arms in to th e interior w here t hey m ight have bet t er air an d more abu n dant food and at t he sam e t im e h e established a chai n o f fortresses bet ween I sabella an d San Dom ingo I n s u r rect ions broke out amon g th e natives of the vega caused by the i r impatien ce of tribu te by th e outrages O f som e of the Span iards an d by a severe pun ishm ent infl icted on certain I nd ian s for the all eged violation of a chapel G u ario ne x a man natu rally m oderate and pacific was persuad ed by h is brother caciqu es to take up arms an d a combi n ation was form ed am ong th em to rise s u dden ly u pon th e Span iards massacre them an d destroy Fort Conception which was situated in the vega By som e m eans t he garriso n received i n timat ion of the conspiracy T hey im mediately w rote a letter to the adelantado im prompt assistance to convey the letter i n or i H o w l n p g safety was an anxious question for the natives had dis covered that these letters had a won derful po wer o f com .

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22 8

TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

.

mu n icat in g i ntelligen ce an d fan cied th at they could talk An I n dian u nd ertook to be the bearer of it H e in closed it i n a sta ff an d set out on his j ou rn ey Be ing inter cep t e d he pretend ed to be du mb an d lame lean ing upon his sta ff f or support H e was su ffered to d epart an d limped fo rward u nt il out O f sight w hen he resu m ed h is speed an d bore the letter safely an d exped itiously to San Dom ingo The adelan tado w ith his accustom ed promptn ess set ou t w ith a body of troop s for the fortress By a rapid an d w ell concerted stratagem he surprised the leaders i n the n ight i n a V illage in wh ich th ey w ere sleepi ng an d carried them all o ff captive seizing upo n Gu ario n ex w ith h is o wn han d H e co mp l eted h is en terprise w ith spirit sagacity an d m oderation I n forming h imself of the par t ic u l ars o f th e co n s piracy h e pu n ished t wo caciqu es th e prin c ipal movers o f it w ith death an d pardon ed all the rest Fin d i n g moreover tha t Gu ario n ex had been chiefly in cited to hostility by an outrage comm itted by a Span iard on h is favorite w i f e he inflicted pu n ishm en t on the o ffen der The heart of Gu ario n e x was subdued by the u nexpected clem e n cy O f the adelantado an d he m ad e a speech to his subj ec t s i n praise o f th e Span iards Th ey l istened to h im w ith attention an d when h e had con cl uded bore him o ff on th eir shou lders w ith songs an d Shouts o f j oy an d f or som e tim e the tranqu ill ity of the vega w as restored About this tim e receiving in form ation from B e he chio cacique o f X aragu a that his tribu te in cotton and pro visions was ready for delivery the adelantado marched there at the h ead of his forces to receive it SO large a quantity o f cotton and cassava bread w as collected to gether that Don Barth olom e w had to se n d to t he settle m en t o f I s abella for a caravel to be f reighted with it I n ,

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230

TH E

L I FE

COL U M B U S

OF

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vel fired a salute At the sou n d of the can non and the sight of volum es of smoke burstin g from the side of the Ship and rolling alon the sea An acaon a overcom e ith w g dismay fell in to the arm s of the adelantado an d her att en dants w ould have leaped overboard but w ere reas sured by the cheerfu l w ords of Don Bartholome w As they drew n earer the vessel several in st ru m ents of mar tial m usic st r uck up w ith w hich they w ere greatly de lighted T heir ad m iratio n increased o u entering o n board ; b il t w hen t he an chor w as w eighed the sails filled by a gen tle breeze an d they beheld th is vast mass veer i ng from side to side apparen tly by its o w n w ill and playing like a h uge m onster on the deep the brother and Sister remained gazi ng at each other in mute aston ish ment Nothi ng see ms ever to have filled th e min d of the sav age w ith more w on der than that beautiful trium ph of hu man i ngen uity— a sh ip u nd er sail While the ad elan tado w as thus absen t qu elling ins u r rections an d makin g skilful arrangem en ts for the pros rity of the colony an d the advan tage of the Cro w n n e w e p mischiefs w ere ferm en tin g i n the factious settlement of I sabella Th e pri m e mover w as Fran cisco Roldan a man who had bee n raised by Colu mbus from poverty an d obscurity and promoted from on e o ffi ce to an other u ntil he had appointed h im alcalde mayor or ch ief j udge of the island H e w as an un educated m an but of strong n atural talents great assid u ity and in trepid i mpuden ce H e had seen h is benefactor return to Spain apparen tly u nder a cloud of d isgrace and considering h i m a falle n man began to devise ho w he m ight pro fit by h is do w n fall H e was intrusted with an O ffi ce i n f eri or on ly to that o f the adelantado ; the brothers of Columbus w ere h i ghly u n popular ; he imagin ed it possibl e to ru i n them both w ith t he colon ists an d with the govern ment at home an d .

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SE D I TI ON S A N D A CT

OF R OLD A N

23 1

.

by dexterous man age ment to work his way i nto a com man d O f the colony For this purpose he m ingled amon g the com mo n people thre w ou t suggestions that the Adm iral w as in d isgrace an d w ould never return ; railed at the adelan tado an d Don Diego as foreig ners who took n o i n terest i n their wel f are bu t used them m erely as slaves to build houses an d fortresses for them or to s well their state an d secure their po w er as they m arched about the island en riching the mselves with th e spoils of the caciqu es By these seditious i nsin uatio n s h e ex asperated their feel ings to such a degree that they at on e tim e formed a conspiracy to assassin ate the adelantado but it w as happily d isconce rted by acciden t When the caravel retu rned fro m X aragu a lade n with provisions it was d isman tled by order of Don Diego and d ra wn upon the beach Roldan im m ed iately seized upo n this circu mstan ce to awaken n ew suspicions H e said the tru e reason for d isman t l in g th e caravel was to preven t any of the colonists return in g i n it to Spain to represent the oppression s u nder w hich they su ff ered H e advised th em to lau n ch an d take possessio n of the vessel as th e on ly m eans of regain ing their in depen den ce T hey m igh t then thro w o ff th e tyran ny o f these u p start for eign ers an d m ight lead a l i f e of ease an d qu i et em ploy i ng th e I n dian s as slaves an d enjoyin g un limited ind u l gen ce w ith respect to the I n dian w om en Don Diego w as in form ed of these seditious m ovem ents but he w as of a m ild pacific n ature an d deficient in en ergy Fearing to com e to an open ruptu re in th e m utin ous state of the colony h e though t to d ivert Rol dan from hiS sch em es by giving h im distan t an d active employm en t H e detached him sud den ly therefore w ith a sm all f o rce to overa w e th e I ndians of the vega who had sho w n a disposit io n to revolt Rolda n m ade .

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23 2

TH E

LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

use of this oppo rt u n ity to organ iz e an arm ed faction H e soon got seventy well arm ed an d resolu te m en at his co mmand d isposed to go al l d esperate lengths with him an d he made frien ds an d partisans among t he discon tented caciques prom ising to free them fro m tribu te H e no w thre w o ff the m ask and open ly set the adelan tado an d h is brother at defia n ce as me n who had no author i ty from the Crow n but w ere appointed by Colum bus who was himself in d isgrace H e pretended al ways to act i n h is O ffi cial capacity a n d to do everyth ing from loyal m otives an d every act of ope n rebell ion w as a ecom ” “ Sh outs of ith Lo g live the k i ng H aving i d n ! n w e a p en deavored repeatedly to lau nch the caravel bu t in vai n he broke open the royal stores and suppl ied his follo wers w ith arms clothin g an d provisions an d then marched o ff to th e vega an d attempted to surprise an d get possessio n of Fort Con ception but was happily foi led by its com man der M igu el Ballester a stanch old soldier both res olut e an d wary who kept the en emy at bay u ntil succor should arrive The con spiracy had attain ed a form idable head during the absen ce of the adelan tado several perso n s of co use w having j oin ed it among w hom as Adrian de n u e e c q M o x ica an d D iego de E scobar the lat t er bein g alcalde of the fo rtress of La M adalena Don Ba rtholome w w as perplexed at first an d cou ld n ot act w ith his usual vigo r an d d ecision not kno wing i n w hom h e could con fide or ho w far t h e conspiracy had extend ed O n receivi ng tid i n gs how ever fro m M iguel Balles t er of t he danger o f Fort Con ception he thre w h imself w ith what forces he could collect i n t o t hat fo rtress an d held a parley w ith Roldan from on e of the w i n do ws ordering hi m to surren der h is sta ff of o ffi ce as alcalde mayor an d subm i t pe ace a bly to su perior a u thority All t h reat s an d remonstrances .

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234

TH E

COL U M B U S

OF

LI FE

.

out with a po werful squad ron struck constern ation in to the rebels who had presu med upon h is having falle n into d isgrace T he adelan tado im m ed iat ely hasten ed to San Domingo n o r was t h ere any a t temp t made t o m olest h im on h is march When h e foun d h imself once more secure h is magnan imi ty prevailed over h is in d ign at ion and he sen t P edro H ernande z Coronal t o o ff er Roldan an d his ban d am nesty for all o ff en ces o n con di t ion of in stant obedi ence Roldan feared to ven t ure i n to h is po wer an d de t e rmin e d to preven t t he em issary from comm u n icating w i t h h i s follo wers lest they shou ld be in d uced t o ret u rn t o t heir all egiance Wh en Coron al approach ed the e n camp me nt of t he rebels therefore h e was opp osed in a n arro w pass by a body O f archers with their crossbo ws ” “ levelled H al t there t rai t or ! cried Roldan ; had you arrived eigh t days later we Should all have been ” un ited I t was i n vain tha t Coro n al en deavored to w in t his turbulen t man from h i s career H e professed to oppose o nly the tyran ny and m isrule of the adelantado but to be ready to sub mit to the Adm iral on h i s arrival and h e and his pr i ncipal co n federates wrote letters to that e ffect to thei r friends i n San Domingo When Coron al return ed w ith accou nts of Roldan s con t umacy the adelan tado proclaim ed him an d h is f ollo wers traitors T hat shre wd rebel ho wever d id n ot su ff er his me n to remain w ith in the reach either of prom ise or m en ace H e proposed to them t o march o ff an d estab lish themselves i n the remote provin ce of X aragu a T he Span i ards who had been there had given the m ost al lur i ng accou nts of the country an d its in habita n ts and above al l of the beauty of the wom en for they had been captivated by the naked charms o f the dancing nym phs ,

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I N S U RRE CTI ON

OF

TH E

23 5

N A TI VE S

.

o f X aragu a I n th i s d el i ght fu l region emanc i pated from the iron rule of t he a d ela ntado an d rel i eved from the n ecessity of irksome la b or th ey m ight lead a life of per fe et freedo m and in du lge nce w ith a worl d of b eauty at I n Short Roldan dre w a p i ctu re of th eir com man d loose sensual enjoym ent su ch as h e kn e w to be irre m en of idle an d d issolut e habits H is s is t i b l e w ith follo w ers acceded wi th j oy to his propos i tion so pu tting himself at their hea d h e m arche d a way for X aragu a S carcely had th e rebels departed when fresh in s u rre c tions broke ou t among the I ndians of the vega The cacique Gu arion ex moved by the i nstigat ions of Roldan and forgetful of h i s gratitu de to Don Bartholome w en tered in to a new l eague to d estroy the S pan iards an d surprise Fort Con cept i on T h e plot exp l oded b efore its tim e an d was defeated and Gu ario n ex h eari ng that th e adelantado was on the march for the vega fled to the mou ntai ns of Cigu ay with his fam i ly and a small ban d of f aith ful follo wers The in hab itan ts of th ese m ou ntains were the m ost ro b ust and hardy t ribe of the i sland an d th e sam e who had skirm ished w ith th e Span iards in th e G ulf of Sam an a i n th e course of th e fi rst voyage of Colum bu s T h e reader may re me mber the fran k and co nfi d in g faith w ith which their caciqu e t ru sted h imsel f on board O f th e carave l of the Adm iral the d ay after the skirmis h I t was to th is same caciqu e n amed May o na bex that the fugit i ve Ch ieftain of the ve ga applied for re f uge and h e rece i ved a prom ise of protectio n I ndign an t at fi n d ing h is former clem en cy of no avail the ad elantado pursue d Gu ario n ex to th e m ou ntai n s at the head of n i nety m en a fe w cavalry an d a body of I n dian s I t was a rugged an d di ffi cult enterprise ; the troo ps had to cl i m b rocks wad e rivers and make their w ay through tan gled forests al most i mperv i ous to men .

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236

TH E

OF COL U M B U S

LI FE

.

i n armor en c u m bered w ith targets cross b o ws and lan ces Th ey w ere con tin u ally exposed also to the am bu sh es of the I ndians who would rush forth w ith fu rious yells d is charge their weapon s an d then take refuge agai n am o ng rocks and thickets where it was in vai n to follo w th em Don Bartholom e w arrived at length in the neighborhood of Cape Cab ro n the resid ence of M ay onab ex and sent a m es senger deman ding the su rren der of Gu ario n e x prom ising frien dsh ip i n case o f complian ce but threaten i ng to lay w aste h is terr itory with fi re and s word in case “ o f r e fusal T ell th e Span iards said the cacique i n reply that they are tyra n ts usurpers and she d ders o f in nocen t blood an d I desi re n ot their friendsh ip Guario H e has fled to m e n e x is a good man an d my friend for refug e ; I hav e prom ised hi m protection an d I will keep my w ord T h e cacique in fact ad h ered to h is prom ise w ith ad m irable faith H is village s w ere bu rnt h is t e rritories were ravaged h i msel f an d his fam ily d rive n to d ens and caves o f th e m oun tai ns an d his subj ects assailed h im w ith clamors u rging h im to give up th e fugit ive who w as bringi n g such ru in upon their tribe I t was all in vain H e was ready he declared t o abide all evils rather than it s h ould ever be said M ay o nab e x betrayed his gu est For t h ree mon ths the adelan tado h u n ted these caciques am on g th e mou ntains during wh ic h t im e he an d his sol d iers were almost worn out w ith toil an d hu nger an d exposu res of all kin d The retreat of M ay o nab ex w as at len gth d iscovered T welve Span iards disgu isi n g them selves as I nd ian s an d w rapp in g th eir s w ords in pal m leaves cam e u pon him secretly an d su rprised and cap t ured h im w ith h is wife and ch ild ren and a fe w at t e n d ants T he adel antado retu rn e d w ith h is prisoners ,

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23 8

TH E L I FE

COL U M B U S

OF

.

to Fort Conception w here he after wards released them all except in g th e cacique whom he detain ed as a host T he u n fortun ate age for the subm ission of his tribe G uario n e x still lu rked among the cavern s of the mou n tains but was driven by h u nger to ventu re do w n occa s io n al ly into the p l ai n in quest of food H is h au n ts were discovered he w as waylaid an d captu red by a pa rt y of Span iards an d brought i n chains to Fort Conception After h is repeated insurrect ions and the extraord inary z eal displayed i n his p ursuit b e anticipated death from the vengean ce of th e adelan tado Do n Bartholome w ho w ever though stern in h is policy w as nei t her vin d ic t i ve n or cru el ; h e conten ted hi msel f w ith detaining h im a prison er to insure the tran qu illity of the vega ; an d then retu rn ed to San Dom i ngo w here shortly a fter wards he h ad the happin ess of welco min g th e arrival of his brother the Ad miral after a separatio n o f n early t wo years an d a half ,

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C HAPT E R X XX I RE B ELL I O N

OF

RO L D A N

.

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of the first m easures of Colu m bus , on h is arrival was t o issue a proclam ati on approving of all that th e ad elan tado had don e an d denou n cing Roldan and his associates That tu rbulent man had proceeded to Xara gua where he had been kin dly received by the natives A circu mstance occu rred to add to his party an d his re sources Th e t hree caravels d etached by C olumbus f rom the Canary I slands an d freighted w ith supplies having been carried far w est of thei r reckon i ng by the cu rren ts arrived on t he coast of X aragu a Th e rebels w ere at first ON E

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CRA F TI N E SS OF

ROI DA N

2 39

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alarm ed lest t h ere should be vessels d ispatch ed in pu rsu it of them Rold an w ho w as as sagacious as he was bold soon d ivined the truth Enj oi n ing the utmost secrecy on his m en h e w en t on board an d prete nd ing to be i n co m m an d at th at end of the island succeed ed i n procu ri ng a supply of arm s an d m ilitary stores an d i n making parti san s amon g th e cre ws many o f whom w ere crim inals an d vagabonds from Span ish prisons Sh ipped in com pl ian ce w ith th e Admira l s ill j udged proposition I t w as not u n til t he t h ird day that Alonzo San che z de Carvajal th e most in tel ligen t O f the three capta i ns d i scovered the real character o f the guests h e had en t ert ain ed b ut the m is ch ief was th en e ff ected As the sh ips were detai n e d by contrary w in ds it was arranged am on g th e captai ns that a large n u mber o f the peopl e should be conducted by land to San Dom ingo by J uan An ton io Co lo nb o capt ai n of on e O f t h e caravels an d a relation of th e Adm iral H e accord i ngly landed w ith f orty me n w ell arm ed but was aston ished to fi n d h imsel f sudden ly deserted by all h is party exc e pti ng eight The d eserters join ed t he rebels who received them w ith shouts O f exultation J ua n An ton io grieved and d isconcerted return ed on board w i th the fe w who remain ed faith ful Fearin g f u rth er desert i ons the sh ips im m ed iately put to sea but Carvajal givi ng h is vessel i n charge to h is offi cers lan ded and remained w ith the rebels fancyin g he had see n Signs of w avering i n Rold an and som e of h is associates a nd that by e arn est persuasion he might i ndu ce them to retu rn to t heir allegian ce The certai nty that Colum b u s w as actually on th e w ay to the islan d w ith add it ion al forces an d augm ented aut h ority had in fact operated strongly on their mi n ds ; but all attempts to prod uce i mm ed iate subm ission w ere in vain Roldan p romised that t he mo men t he heard of the .

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24 0

TH E

OF

LI FE

COL U M B U S

.

a rrival of Col u mbus he would repai r to th e n eighborh ood of San Dom ingo to b e at hand to state his g ri evan ces an d to en ter in to a n egotiatio n fo r th e adj ustm ent o f al l d i ff eren ces H e wrote a lett e r to the sam e p urport to be d e livered to the Adm iral With t his Ca rvaj al depa rt e d and w as escorted to w ith in six le agu e s o f San Dom in go by six of th e rebels O n reach ing t h at place h e foun d Colum bus already a rrived and d elivered to him th e lett e r of Roldan expressing at the sam e t im e an o pi n io n th at th e in surgen ts m ight easily be brought to their allegian ce by an assuran ce of am n esty I n f act the rebels soo n b e gan to assem ble at the village o f Bon a o in a fin e valley o f the sam e n am e about t w e n ty leagues f rom San Dom ingo and ten from Fort Con ception H ere t h ey made their h eadquarters at th e house of Ped ro Re gu e l me on e of the ringleaders Colu mbus i mm ed iately w rote to M igu el Ball e s ter th e com man der of Fort Con ception advising h im to be on his gu ard H e em po wered h im to have an int e rvie w w i t h Roldan to o ffer h im full pa rdon on cond ition o f his im m edi ate retur n to duty and to invite h im to repai r to San Do mingo to treat w ith th e Adm i ral u nd er a solemn a n d if requ i red a w ritt e n assuran ce of person al s afety At t he sam e tim e he issued a proclam at ion o fferin g f ree pas sage to a l l who w ished to retu rn t o Spain in five vessels abou t to be put to sea hO p ing by th is m eans to rel ieve t h e colo n y f rom all the idle an d d isa ffected Ballester w as an O ld an d ven erable m an grayheaded an d of a sold ier like d em ea n or ; h e w as loyal fra nk an d virtuous o f a serious d isposition an d great sim plicity of he art H is appearan ce and character com ma n ded the respect of the rebels ; bu t they treated the pro ffered p ar don w ith contem pt mad e ma ny dem an d s of an arrogan t natu re an d d eclared that in all fu rther n egotiat i on s they ,

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24 2

TH E

L I FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

By this opportu n ity Ro l dan and his friends like w is e se nt l etters to Spain endeavoring to j ust ify their rebel l io n by chargi ng Colum b u s an d h is brothers with o ppres s i on an d inj ustice an d pain ting their w hole co n d u ct i n I t w ould n aturally be supposed t he blackest colors that the representations of such me n would h ave little w eight i n the balance agai nst the tried m erits an d exalted serv ices of Col u mbus ; but th ey had n u m erous f rien ds an d relations i n Spai n to back them ; Colu mbus was a for eign er w ithou t i nflu e n ce in the cou rt and wit h active en em ies n ear the sovereigns ever re ady to place his con duct in an un favorable l ight The s h ips being d ispatched the Admi ral resum ed h is n egotiation w ith the rebels A s the burden of their complaint w as th e strict rule of h is broth er who w as accused of deali n g out j u stice w ith a rigorous han d b e resolved to try t h e alter n ative o f extrem e len ity an d w rote a letter to Roldan callin g to m in d past kin d n esses an d entreating h im f or the sake of his o w n reputation w hich stood w ell w i t h the sovereign not to persist i n h is presen t insubord in ation H e agai n r epeat ed his assu ran ce that he an d his compan ions m ight come to treat w ith h im at San Dom ingo u nder the f aith of h is w ord f or the i nviolabil ity o f their persons T here w as a d ifli c u lty as to wh o should be the bearer of this letter The rebels h ad d eclared that they w ould receive n o mediator but Alon z o San chez de Carvaj al Strong suspicion s existed i n the m i n ds of many as to the in tegrity of th at o ffi cer f rom h is tran saction s w ith t h e rebels at X aragu a an d his standing so h igh i n their favor Co l u mbus h o wever d iscarded all those s us picio u s and con fided implicitly in C arvaj al n o r had he ever any cause to repe nt of his con fid ence A pain fu l an d h u m il iat ing n egotiation was no w carried ,

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WI

N E GO TI A TI ON

TH R OL DA N

24 3

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for several d ay s in th e course of wh ich Roldan had an i ntervie w w ith Col u m bus at San Dom ingo an d several letters passed b et w e e n t hem The re b els f elt thei r po w er and presum ed in con sequen c e to dem and th e most e x t ravagan t con cessions M iguel Ballester w rote at the sam e tim e to the Adm iral ad visin g him to agree to wh at ever they might demand H e represented their forces as con tin ually augm en ting an d that the soldiers of his garrison w ere daily deserti ng to them an d gave it as h is O pin ion that u n less som e com prom ise w ere speed ily e ff ected an d th e rebels sh ipped o ff for Spain n ot merely the aut hority bu t even the person of th e Adm iral w ould be i n danger ; for th ough the hid algoe s and the im m ediate o ffi ce rs an d servants about him w ould d o ubtless die i n h is service yet h e f eared tha t th e com mon people w ere but little to be d epen ded up o n Th us urged by vet eran coun sel an d com p e lled by ci r Col um bus at length made an arrangement c u ms t an ce s w ith the rebels by w hic h it w as agreed that Rold an an d h is follo wers Sho u ld embark for Spain f rom th e port of X aragu a i n t wo Sh ips wh i ch should be fitted out an d victualled w ith in fi fty days That th e y should each re ce ive from the Admiral a certi ficate o f good cond uct an d an order for th e amoun t of their pay up to th e actual d ate T hat sl aves should be given them as had been given to colo n ists in consideration of services per f orm ed an d that s uch as had w ives natives o f the i s lan d m ight take th em w ith t h e m in place of slaves That s at is fac tion shou ld be m ad e for prop e rty o f som e o f the com pany which had bee n se q uestrated and for live stock wh i ch had belonged to Fran cis Roldan I t w as a grievous circu mstance to Col umbus that the v e ssels which should have born e his brot her to explor e th e n e w ly discovered continent had to be devoted to the on

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TH E

244

LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

tran sportat i on of this tur b u lent an d w orthless rabble ; b u t he consoled himsel f with th e idea that th e faction b ein g on ce sh ipped o ff th e islan d would again be restored to tranqu illity The articles of arran ge m ent bei ng signed Roldan an d h is follo wers departed f or X aragu a to a wait the arrival of th e sh ips ; an d Col u mbus p uttin g his broth er Don Di e go i n temporary com m and set o ff w ith the adelan tado on a tour to visit the various f ortresses an d restore everythi ng to ord er I n the m ean wh ile u navoidable d e lays t o ok place i n fitti ng out the ships an d they en cou ntered viol e n t storms in their voyage from San Dom i ngo to X aragu a so as to arrive the re lo n g a fter the stipulated tim e and that in a damaged cond ition The fo l lo we rs of Roldan sei zed u pon th is as a pretext to refu se to em bark a ffi rm i n g that t he ships had been purposely delayed and even tu ally s en t in a state n ot sea w ort hy an d Short o f provisions N e w n egotiations w ere there f or e set on foot a nd n e w term s d eman ded I t is probable that Roldan f eared to retu rn to Spai n an d h is follo w ers w ere loth to give up their riotous and licen t ious l i f e I n the m idst of his pe rplex i ties Col um bus received a letter from Spain i n reply to the earn est represen tati ons w hich he had m ade of the d istracted state of the colony and o f the outrages of th ese licen tious m en I t was w ritten by his invidious enemy the Bishop Fon seca superin ten dent of I n dia n a ff airs I t in formed hi m th at his represen tat ions of the al lege d rebell ion h ad been received b ut that the matter m ust he su ff ered to remain i n suspe n se as the sovereigns w ould in vestigate an d rem edy it presen tly This cold reply had t he most di shearten in g e ff ect u pon Colu mbus w hile it increased the insolence of the rebels who s aw that h is complain ts had l ittle w eight w ith the govern m ent Full of z eal ho wever for the prosecution ,

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24 6

TH E

LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

C ol um bus had a d i ffi cult an d pai nfu l task i n hearin g with the in solence of this m an an d o f the shameless ra b ble that returned u nd er his auspice s to San Dom ingo I n complian ce w ith th e terms of agreem en t he assign ed them liberal portions of land an d n um erous I nd i an slaves taken i n the wars an d co n trived to d istribu te them i n various pl aces some i n Bonao others i n di ff eren t parts o f the vega H e made an arrangemen t also by wh ich the ca ciq u e s i n their vici n ity instead o f paying tribu te Sh ould furn ish part ies o f th eir su bj ects at stated tim es to assist in the cultivation of th eir lan ds ; a kin d o f feudal service wh ich was th e orig i n of the re part imie nt os or d is t ri b u tion s of free I nd ian s amon g the colon ists afterwards gen erally adopted and sham efu lly a b used th roughou t th e Span ish colon ies and which greatly contributed to e x t e rm inate th e natives from the island of H ispan iola H avin g obtain ed such am ple provision s for h is f ollo w ers Roldan was not m ore modest in makin g dem ands for him self Besides certain lan ds i n the vicin ity of I sabella w h ich he claim ed as h aving belonged to h im be f ore h is rebellion h e received a royal farm called La E speran z a i n the vega an d extensive tracts in X aragu a w ith live stock an d re part imie nt o s o f I nd ia n s O n e of th e first m easures o f Roldan as alcalde m ayor was to appoi nt Ped ro Re gu e lme on e of h is m ost active con federates alcalde of Bon ao an appoin tm en t wh ich gave great displeasure to Colu mbus being an assu mption o f po wer n ot vested in the o ffi ce of Roldan T h e Adm i ral receiv e d private i n form ation also that Regu e l me was bu ildi ng a u nder prete x t of erecti ng a farmhouse strong ed ifice on a h ill capable of b eing con verted in to a fortress ; this it was wh ispered was d on e i n con cert w ith Roldan by way of secu ring a stronghold i n case of n eed The Adm iral imm ediately sen t peremptory ord ers for ,

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D I SORD E R OF

TH E

24 7

COLON Y

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Re gu e l me to desist from proceeding w ith the constru e

tion of th e edifi ce Col um bus had proposed to re t urn to S pain havi ng experienced the in e ffi cien cy of lett e rs in expla i n ing the aff airs of the island ; but the feverish state of th e colony obliged him to gi ve up th e in ten tion T he t wo caravels w ere dispatched i n O ctober taki ng such of the colon ists as cho se to return an d amon g th em several of the parti s an s o f Roldan som e of whom took I n dian slaves w ith them an d others carried aw ay th e daugh ters of caciques whom th ey h ad b egu iled from th eir hom es an d fam ilies Colu mbus w rot e by th is opport u n ity to the sovereigns giving it as h is opin ion that th e agreem en t he had made w it h the rebels was by no means obligatory o n the Cro wn having been i n a man n er e x tort ed by violence H e re d e a e h is reques th t le ar ed man m ight be sent out t n t a a p as j udge an d desired moreover tha t d iscreet persons m ight be appoin ted to form a cou n cil an d others for certai n fiscal employm en t s ent reating ho wever that their po wers might be so lim ited and d efin ed as n ot to i nter fere w ith his dign it ies an d priv i le ges Findin g age an d in fi rm ity creepin g upon h i m he began to think of h is son Diego as an act i ve coadj utor being dest in ed to succeed H e was still a page at court bu t gro w n to t o h is o ffi ces man s es t ate an d capabl e o f en tering i nto the im portan t con cern s of life ; h e begged therefore that h e m ight be s en t ou t to assist h im .

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portrai t of Columbus h ere p resented is f om a pic tu e pai nt d by Sir Marga e t of P ma Go v n s An t n i ab o u t 1 5 4 2 f r Sir An th ony Mor f th N e th erl and The p ai n ti n g w b ugh t to Engl nd ab t th y ar 1 590 nd had b en i n th p s i n f ne family until b t 1 8 4 8 wh n it w p u ch ased by a M C ibb f K i ng St et C v n t G d L n d n I vi n g had an pp rtun i ty f ex ami i g the p trai t d u i ng his j n in o L nd n nd ay s f i t Th ch a ac te i t ics o f the min d and f tur s o f C l umbu a forci bly d picted i n thi s pic tu e that no d oubt an remai n b t t h at i t i a t u e and pe fe c t r s mbl n c Th p i t f th g eat n avi gat i ng w as p u ch as ed by M C F G un th i n th p i ng f 1 8 9 1 f Chic ag A cc di g t the e c rd giv n t M C ibb M o had b d th p t i t p n tw mi ni atu e exi ting in th y l c ll c ti n in th p l c f El Pa d n ar M ad id which mi i atu pp a to hav p i h d wh n th t pal ac w d st yed by fi p d Th y 1 5 9 0 i n which th pic t v r to E gl and wa th y a in which the Duk of Pa ma b k n in h al th l f t the Neth e l nd nd th U n i ted P o vi nces S c u d th ei fi st u re d u cc s es i n the co nt st f r th i f eed m I t i p ible en ugh th e f b l eft behi nd by th d k wi th t hat th p ai n t i ng m y h v o th p op ty not eas ily tr n po ted an d that it then f ll i n t th h n d i th f th Dutch o s m e f the En gli h adven tur wh v d wi th th m nd th us wand e ed ac l a pa t f the p il f w th Ch Th fr m in which the pic t i i ncl sed i s a m k bl pi c f an t i q ca vi ng At the ba i a t phy of c os d c nn n m u t d n ca i g t umpets c annon c a t idg a m d um or th i n ign f f w c nti nu d wi th cl u t O n i th er si d e the wa li k t phi s pi t l band l ee s carryin g l ad d c t idg e I n dian a w w cl b n ch t w i t h f ur cupidon s u pp t i ng hi ld an d an t n each s id s u pp ort i g a ach c n f the b ase The f m i t pped by two c upid hi ld t pped wi th a c o wn agai n t a g upi ng of tan d d n d nn n hip und sail a nak d m T he hi ld b a s a q uarte i ng an n ch n d t W h en C l u mb brandi hi ng sword and i l nd i n th f m hi fi t voyag Fe di n n d c f d u pon him at B c l n a — i g l a c t i i n which th roy al arm the c tl an d li n at s a o a m I vn an d f u d i t h hi p p b r i g w hich w a p i l t w e u we q g W he n th y l f v o was em v ed f om hi m h su rr un d d by wav es lly sub ti tuted th ese m app p i ate q ua te i ngs fo tho which h n atu g an ted the graci ou r gal p ivil ge to hea T h ca vi ng f wa n l on g the f am i in high reli ef and in th Sp an i h styl e of the i x t nt h c n tu y n u pp os d j e w l s of the s c on d i n g On x ami ni ng the setti ng o f th f t he i n d e x fi n ger th i n tere t i n g f c t is d v l p d th at t h ey a e t he arm T hi s di sc ve y Fe d i nan d and I sab ell a e x qu i i t ly p ai n t d in mi ni atu r p sents th Th pic tu f vid enc co mpl e tes a v e y i mpo rtant ch ai n w an d the arms of the cou t n am of C l umb us t he I n di n r I t appears th at no oth er p t ai t in ex i ten ce ha o many evid en c s f it aut h en tici ty a an ac tual p ortray al f th g t di scov ere r The

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2 50

TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

.

C HAPT E R XXX I I W E ST

J

VI SI T O F O ED A T o T H E

P

CO N S I RA CY

OF

.

E N D O F T H E I SLA N D

M O X I CA

[

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]

14 9 9

A BO U T th is tim e reports were brought to Colu mbu s that fou r sh ips had anch ored at the w estern part of th e island a littl e belo w J acq u e me l apparen tly with the de sign o f cutting dye woods an d carrying O ff the n atives for slaves They w ere com manded by Alonzo de Oj eda the sam e hot headed and bold h earted cavalier w ho had dis Kn o w ing t in gu is he d h imsel f by the capture of Caon abo the daring and adven tu r o us spirit o f th is m an the Adm iral w as disturbed at h is visiting the i s lan d i n th is clan destin e m an n er To call h im to accoun t ho w ever requ ired a man of spirit an d address N o on e seem ed fitter for the pu rpo s e than Ro ldan H e was as darin g as Oj eda an d o f a m ore crafty character An exped ition o f this kin d would occupy th e attention o f h imself and his partisans an d di vert th em f rom any sch em es of m ischief Roldan gladly un dertook th e en terprise H e h ad noth ing further to gain by sedit ion an d w as anx ious to secu re his ill gotten possessions by pub l ic s e rvices w hich should aton e for past o ff en ces D e parti n g f rom San D o m ingo with t wo caravels he arrived on the 26t h of September with in t wo leagues of the harbor Where the vessels o f Oj eda we re a n chored H ere lan di n g wit h fi ve an d t wenty resol ute me n he in tercepted Oj eda w ho w as on an excu rsion several leagues f rom h is ships an d d e man d e d his m otives f or landing on that rem ote and lon ely part o f the isla n d without first report ing h is arrival ,

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A M E RI GO

VE SP U CCI

25 1

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to the Ad m i ral Ojeda repl ied that he had been On a voyage of d iscovery and had pu t i n there i n distress to repair h is ships and o b t ain provision s O n further i n qu iry it appe ared that Oj eda had h appen ed to be i n Spain at the tim e that the letters arriv e d from Columbu s givi ng an accou n t of h is d iscovery o f the coast o f Paria acco m i e d by specim ens of the pearls to n be fou nd there a p Oj eda w as a favorite w ith Bishop Fonseca and obtain ed a sight of the letter and the charts an d m aps of the route of Col um bus H e im mediately con cei ved the idea of an exped i t ion to those parts i n which h e was encouraged by Fon seca who f urnished him w ith copies of th e papers and charts an d granted hi m a letter of licen s e sign ed by himsel f b u t not by the sovereign s Oj eda fitted out four ships at Seville assisted by many eager an d w ealthy speculators ; an d i n th is squadron sailed Amerigo Ves pucci a Floren tin e m erchan t w ell acquain ted w ith geog w ho eventu ally gave his n am e to rap hy an d n avigation the whole of the N e w World The exped ition sailed i n May 14 9 9 The adven turers arrived on the southe rn co n tin en t an d ranged along it from t wo h undred l e ag u es east of the Orin oco to the G ul f of Paria Gu id ed by the chart s o f Colu mbus they passed through th is gulf an d through the Boca del Drago kept along w est w ard to Cape de la Vela visitin g the islan d of M argarita and the adj acent con tin ent an d d iscovering the gulf of Ve n e z u ela They had subsequently touched at the Caribbee I slan ds W here th ey h ad f ought w ith the fierce natives and made m any captives w ith the d esign of selling them in th e slave markets o f S eville From then ce they had sailed for H ispan iola to procure supplies havin g per form ed the m ost exten s ive voyage hitherto made along the Sh ores of the N e w World O j ed a assu red Rolda n t h at h e i ntended as soo n as .

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252

TH E

L I FE

COL UM B U S

OF

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h is s hi ps were ready to go to San Dom in go an d pay h is hom age to th e Ad m iral Trusting to thi s assur an ce an d satisfied W ith the i n form ation h e had obtain ed Roldan sailed for S an Dom ingo to m ake his report Nothing h o wever was farther f rom the i ntention of Oj eda than to keep h is prom ise As soo n as h is ships were ready for sea h e sail e d ro un d to th e coast o f X aragu a H er e h e w as w ell received by the Span iards residen t i n that prov i nce among whom w ere many of th e late comrades of Roldan Kn o wing the ras h an d fea rless character of Oj eda an d fi nd in g that there w ere j e al ou s ies bet ween h im an d the Ad m iral they m ade cla morous complain ts of the inj ust ice of the latter w hom they accused of w ith h old ing from them th e arrears o f th ei r pay Oj eda w ho kn ew the tottering state of th e Ad m i ral s favor at co u rt and felt secu re i n the po w erful protection of Fonseca immediat ely proposed to put h im self at their h ead march at once to San Domin go and oblige the Adm iral to sat i sfy th eir j ust d em a n ds Th e proposition was re c e ive d w ith tran sport by som e of the rebels ; but others de m urred and a f urious bra w l e nsued in w h ich several w ere killed an d w oun d ed on both Sid e s ; th e party for th e exped it i on to San Dom in go rem ain ed t ri um phant Fortu nately for the peace an d sa f ety of the Adm iral Roldan who had received n e w s of the m ovemen ts of Oj eda arrived in the n eigh borhood at this critical j u n et u re with a band of resol u te follo w ers an d was re en forced on th e follow i n g day by h is old con f ederate Diego de Esco bar w ith additional forces Oj eda retired to his sh ips a long cou rs e of m an oe uvri n g took place bet w ee n these w ell m atched adversaries eac h strivi n g to gain an advan tage of th e other Oj eda at length was o b liged to aban don the coast an d m ade sai l for so me ot her islan d to make up his cargo of I nd i a n slaves ,

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2 54

TH E LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

self attached to the you ng I n d i an beauty an d j e alous of her preferen ce of his rival H e exerte d h i s authority to separate the lovers an d ban ished G uevara to the province of Cab ay T he latter soon returned and con cealed h im self in the d well i n g of Anacaon a Bei ng d i scovered an d fi ndi ng Roldan implacable in his opposition to h is pas sion he n o w m ed i t ated revenge H e soon m ade a party among the old com rades o f Rold an who detest e d as a magistrate the m an they had idoli z ed as a leader I t w as con certed to rise s udden ly upon h im an d either to kill T he plot was d iscovered ; h im or pu t ou t h is eyes Guev ara was sei z ed in the d well ing O f An acaon a in the presen ce of his i n ten ded bri de ; seven of h is accom plices were like w ise arrested an d the prison ers were sen t to the fort ress of San Dom i ngo When Adri an de M o x ica h eard that h is cousin Guevara w as arrested an d that too by h i s form er con fed erate Roldan he was highly exasperated H e hasten ed to the old hau nt of rebel lion at Bonao an d clai m ed th e co o p c rati on of Ped ro Regu e l me th e n e wly appoin ted alc alde I t was read ily yield ed They wen t roun d among their late f ellow rebels who w ere settled in th e vega an d had soon a dari ng body of reckless m en ready w it h hors e an d weapon for any desperate enterprise M o x ica i n his fu ry m ed itated n ot m er e ly the rescu e o f h is cousin but the d eath of Roldan an d the Adm iral Colu m b u s was at Fort Con cept i on w ith an inco nsid er able f orce wh en he h eard of th is d angerous plot con H e s aw that h i s safety ce rt e d i n h is very n eighborhood d epen ded u pon prom pt and vigorous measu res Tak i ng with h im but six or seven trusty servan ts an d th ree e s quires all well arm ed he cam e sudd en ly u pon the con Sp irat o rs in th e n ight sei z e d M o x ica an d several of his pr i ncip al con federates an d bore th em off to Fort Con ,

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FA TE

OF M OX I CA

25 5

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Resolving to set an exam ple that sho u ld strike terror into the factions h e ord ered that M o x ica should be hanged on the top of the fortress T he latter e n treated to be allo wed a con f essor A priest was sen t for The m iserable culprit who had been so daring i n rebel lion lost all courage at the near approach o f death H e delayed an d hesitated i n his con fession as i f h oping by w h iling a w ay tim e to give a chan ce f or rescue I n ste ad of co n fessin g h is o wn sin s he began to accuse others un til Colum bu s losin g all patien ce in h is m ingled ind ig n ation and s corn ordered th e dastard wretch to be flung from the battlem ents Th is sud den act of severity was prom ptly follo wed up Pedro Re gue l me w as taken w ith several of his compeers in h is ru ffi an den at Bon ao an d conveyed to th e fortress o f San Dom i ngo Th e conspirators fled for th e m o st part to X aragu a where th ey w ere pu rsued by the ad elan tado second ed by Roldan an d hunted out of all thei r old retreats Thus i n a little wh ile th e po wer of faction was com pletely subd ued Colum bus con sidered this happy even t as brought abou t by the special in terven tion of H eaven an d gives in proof o f it an instance o f on e of those visionary fanc ies by w hic h he seem s to have been visited at times In wh en his m in d w as distem pered by illn ess or anxiety the precedi ng w in ter d uring the h eight of his cares an d t roubles he had sunk in to a stat e of despon dency I n on e o f h is gloomy moods he heard he says a voice wh ich thu s add ressed him : 0 man of little faith ! fear n oth ing he not c ast do wn I will provid e for thee The ! seven years of the term of gold are n ot expi red In ce pt io n

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ll udi n g t hi v w that w i thi my f r c u d f m hi h f Wo ld !

A

ar

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a

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e,

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ro

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are

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v en y a gold to th

se

e

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rs

ld fu n i h an f und in the New

he wo u

be

o

r

s

2 56

TH E LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

that an d in all other things I w il l take care of thee On that very day he adds he recei ved in telligen ce of the d iscove ry of a n um b er of gold m in es T he imagi n a ry promise of divin e aid appeared to him st ill to b e perform ing T he t roubles a n d dan gers which had su r rou n ded h im were breaking a way an d order was com in g out of con fu s ion H e n o w looked for ward to the pros e c u t io n of his gran d enterprises the e x ploring the coast o f P aria and the establ ishm en t of a pearl fishery i n its H o w ill us i ve w ere his hopes ! At this ve ry waters m om ent those even ts w ere maturin g that were to over whelm hi m w ith d istress strip him of h is h on ors an d ren der him com paratively a wreck for the rem ain d er of h is days .

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C H A PT E R XXX I I I I N T RI GU E S

AGA I NST

CO L U M BU S

— A P PO I N T M E N T CO U RT .

OF

.

IN

B O BA DI L LA

— H I S A RRI VA L A T SA N SI O N E R

P

TH E

S A N I SH CO M M I S

As

DO M I N G O

.

W H I LE Colum bus had been in volved i n a series of d i ffi culties in th e factious is la n d of H ispan i ola h is en e m ies had been b ut too successfu l in un derm i n i ng h is reputation i n the court o f Spai n E very vessel that retu rned from th e N e w World cam e freighted w i th com plai nts represent in g th e ch aracter an d con duct of Co lum bus an d h is brothers i n th e most odi ous point of V ie w and re i terat ing the ill iberal b u t m isch i ev ous i n sin n ation that they were foreign ers who h ad noth in g b u t their o wn i nterest and gratifi cation i n vie w I t was even alle ged that Colu m b us in tended to cast o ff all allegiance to Spain and eith er to make h i mself s overeign of th e ,

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2 58

TH E LI F E

COL UM B U S

OF

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they the whelps of h im who discovered the lan d of van ity an d delusion the grave of S pan ish hid algo es T he incessan t repeti tion of falsehood w ill gradua ll y w ear its w ay into the most can did m i nd Isabella h er self began to en tertain doubts respecting the con duct of Colu mbus I f h e and h is brothers w ere uprigh t they m ight be inj ud icious ; and m ischief is often er produ ced in govern me n t th rough error of ju dgm ent than in iqu ity of design Isabella dou b ted but th e j ealous Ferdina n d felt convin ced H e had n ever regarded Colu mbus w ith real cord iality an d ever sin ce he had ascertain ed the i mportanc e of h is d iscoveries had regretted the extensive po wers he had vested in h i s hands H e n o w resolved to sen d out some person to investigate the a ff ai rs of the colo n y and if n ecessa ry for its safety to assu m e the com mand T his m easu re h ad actu ally bee n decided upon an d the papers draw n out early i n 149 9 ; bu t from various reaso n s had been postpon ed I t is probable I sabe lla opposed so harsh a step against a m an for whom she entertain ed an arden t grat i tud e and h i gh ad miration The arrival of the ships w i t h th e late fo llo wers of Rolda n brought matters to a crisis T he king listened en tirely t o the represen tation s of th e rebels and a circum stance took place w h ich for a tim e suspen ded the friendship o f Isab e l la th e great safeguard of Colum bus Th e follo wers of Roldan brought w ith t hem a num ber of slaves som e of whi ch Colu mbus had been co mpelled to gran t th em by th e articles of capitu lation oth ers had been con veyed a w ay clan d esti n e ly Am ong th em were several dau ghters of caciques who had been seduced from their hom es by these pro fl igat es S om e were in a state of pregn an cy others had n e w born in fan t s T h e gifts an d trans f ers o f these u nhappy beings w ere all rep resen t ed as volu ntary acts o f Colu mbus T he s ensibility ,

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D ON FRA N CI SCO DE B OB A DI L LA

2 59

.

of I sa b ella as a woman and her d ign ity as a q u een w ere ” inst an t ly i n arms Wh at r i ght excla i m ed she in d ig “ n an t ly has the Adm iral to g i ve a way my v as sals ? Sh e im m ed iat ely ordered all the I n d i ans to be restored to the i r hom es ; nay m ore sh e comm an ded that those which had form erly bee n sent to Spain by the Adm iral shou ld be sough t out an d resh ipped to H ispan i ola U nfo rt u n at e ly for Colu mbu s at th is very j u nctu re i n on e of h is let ters he advised th e con tin ua n ce of I n dian slavery for some t im e longer as a m easu re i m portan t to the w e l fare o f the colony T h is con tribu ted to heighte n t he in dign at i on of I s abella and in d uced her n o longer to o ppose the sen d ing out a com m issioner to in vesti gate h is cond uct and if necessary to supersede h im in com man d T he perso n ch o sen for this most mom en tous o ffi ce was Don Francisco d e Bobad ill a an o fli ce r of th e royal house hold an d a comm an der of the m ilitary a n d reli giou s ord er of Calatrava H e is represen ted b y som e as a very h onest an d rel i g i ous man ; by oth e rs and w ith ap — parent j ustice as n eedy pass i on ate an d ambitiou s three po werful obj ec t i ons to h is act i ng as j udge in a case w here the utmost caution and can dor were requ ired an d w here h e was to derive w ealth and p o wer from the convictio n o f on e of the parties Bobadil la arrived at S an Dom in go on th e 2 3 d of Aug ust 1 500 Before enter i ng the harbor he l earn t f rom a canoe wh i ch came o ff from the shore th at th e Adm iral and the adelantado were absen t i n the i nterior of the island and Do n Diego in comm an d H e w as told o f the recen t insu rrection of Mox ica and the pun i shm e n ts w hich had follo wed S eve n of the rebels had been hanged that week an d five more were in the fortress of S an Dom i ngo n e d to s u ffer th e same fat e Amon g the s e w ere co ndem ,

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260

OF COL UM B U S

TH E LI FE

.

Pedro Regu e lme the fact i ous alcalde of Bonao and Fer n ando de G u e vara the you ng caval ier w hose passion for the daughter of Anacaona had been the origin al cause of the rebellion A S th e vessels en tered t he river Boba dill a beh el d on either bank a gibbet w ith the body of a S pan iard hangi n g on it H e co nsidered al l these cir c u ms t an c e s as con cl usive proofs of the alleged cru elty of Colu mbus T he report h ad already circulated i n the city th at a com mission er had arrived to make inqu isi tion in to the late troubles M any hasten ed on board the sh ip t o pay early court to th is public censor ; an d as those who sought to secure his favor w ere those who had most to fear from h is scru tiny it is evident that the n atu re of t heir com mu n ication s was gen erally u n favorable to the Adm i ral I n fact before Bobadilla lan ded i f n ot before he arrived th e culpabi l it y of the Adm iral was decid ed i n h is m in d H e ac t ed accordin gly H e m ade proclam ation at the chu rch door i n presen ce of Don D iego and the other persons i n authority of h is letters paten t autho r izi ng him to invest igate th e rebellion an d proceed again st deli nqu en ts ; and in virtue of th ese h e d em an ded that Guevara Re gu e lme an d the other prison ers should be d el ivered up to h im w ith the depositions taken i n th eir cases Don Diego declared h e could do n oth ing o f the kin d w ithout th e au thority of the Ad m iral an d requested a copy of t h e letters paten t that h e m ight se nd it to his brother T his Bo b adilla refused an d added that si nce the o fli c e he proclaim ed appeared to h ave n o w eight he w ould try what e ffi cacy there was i n the n am e of gov O n the follo w i ng day therefore he h ad ano ther c r uor royal patent read i nvesting h im w ith the govern m en t of the isla nds an d of T erra Firm a ; an authority which he ,

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262

TH E LI FE

OF

COL U MB U S

.

n ot to i n q u ire i nto his con duct H e took up h i s res i dence i n the house of Co lp mbu s sei z ed upon his arms old plate j e els horses books letters an d most secret w g man uscripts giving n o accou nt of the property thus sei z ed payi ng out of it the wages of those to w hom th e Adm iral was in arrears an d disposing of th e rest as if already co n fi scat ed t o th e Cro w n To in crease his favor w ith th e people he proclaimed a gen eral license for t wen ty years to seek for gold exactin g m erely on e eleven th for govern m en t in stead of a th ird as here t ofore At th e sam e tim e he u sed the most u nqualifi ed l anguage i n speakin g of Colu mbus h in ted that he was empo w ered to sen d h im hom e i n chain s an d d eclared that n eith er he n o r any of his l in eage would ever again be perm itted to govern the islan d .

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C HA PT E R XXX I V

.

CO L U M B U S A RRE ST E D A N D SE N T T O S A I N

P

.

[

1 500

]

W H E N Columbus re ceived t id in gs at Fort Concept i o n of the high h an ded proceedi ngs of Bobad illa he cons id ered them the un authori z ed act of som e rash adven tu rer ; bu t th e proclam at ion of his letters patent wh ich im m e d iat e ly took place throughout th e islan d soon convin ced h im he w as acting u n der au thority H e endeavored th en to persuade himsel f that Bobadilla was sen t ou t to e x e r cise the fu nction s of ch ief j udge i n comp l ian ce w ith th e requ est co n tain ed i n on e of h is o w n letters to th e sov e re igns an d that he was pe rhaps in trusted w ith provis io n al po w ers to i nquire into the late trou b les of the i sland All beyon d t hese p o we rs h e tried to believe -

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A RRE S T OF

26 3

COL U M B U S

.

m ere as sumpt i o ns and exaggerations of au thority as i n the case o f Aguado H is consciousn ess of h is o wn services an d i ntegrity and h is faith i n t he j ustice of the soverei gn s forb ad e him to th ink oth er w ise H e pro c e e d e d to act on this id ea ; w rit i ng temperate and con c il iat o ry letters to Bobadilla caution in g him again st his precipitate m easures w hile h e en deavored by coun ter proclam ations to preven t th e m ischief he was producing M essengers soon arrived ho w ever who d el i vered to h im a royal letter o f cred en ce com man di ng h im to give im i l i faith an d obed ien ce to Bobad illa they gave c t a n d p h im at the sam e time a sum mon s fro m th e latter to appear b efore him im m ed iately at S an Dom ingo T his laconic letter f rom the sov e rei gn s stru ck at o nce at the root of his dign ity an d po wer ; he made no longer any hesitat ion or dem u r but departed alon e an d alm ost n u attended to obey the peremptory su m mon s of Bobad il la Th e latter in the m eantim e had m ad e a b ust le of prep aration an d m ustered the troops aff ecting to believe a vulgar ru mor that Colu mbus h ad called on th e caciques of th e ve ga to aid h im in resisting the com man ds o f the govern men t H e mo reover arrested Don Diego thre w him in iron s an d confi n ed him on board of a caravel w ithout assign ing any cause for his i mprison m en t No soon er d i d he hear of the arrival of Colum b us than he gave o rders to put hi m also in iro ns an d to con fin e him in the fortress T his outrage to a person of such dignifi ed an d ven era ble appearan ce and such em in en t m erit seem ed for a t im e to shock even his enem ies When th e i ron s were brought every o ne prese n t sh ru nk from the t ask of put ti ng them o n him either o ut of a sen timen t of compas sion at so great a reverse of fortu n e or out of habitu al r everenc e for h i s person T o fi ll t he meas u re o f i ngrati w ere

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264

TH E L I FE

COL U M B U S

OF

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tude m e t ed out to him i t w as on e of his o wn serva nt s th at volu nteered to rivet h is fett ers Col u m b us co ndu cted h imself w i t h charact eris tic mag T here is n an imit y u nder the inj u ri es heaped upo n h1m a n oble scorn wh ich s wells an d su pp o rts the heart an d silen ces the tongu e o f the tru l y great when endu ring t he in s u lts of the u n worthy Colu mbus could not sto o p to d eprecat e t he arrogance of a weak an d violen t man l ike Bobadilla H e looked beyond this shallo w agent and all h is pet ty tyran ny to th e sovereigns who had e mployed h im I t was t he ir inj ustice and ingratitud e alon e that could w ou n d his spirit ; an d he fe lt assured tha t when the truth came to be kno w n they w ou ld blush to fin d ho w greatly t hey had w ronged him With t h is proud as s ur an ce he bore all present ind ign ities in Silence H e even w rote at the deman d of Bobad illa a lett er to the adelan tado who w as still i n X aragu a at t he head of an arm e d force exhortin g him t o subm it qu ietly to the w ill of the sovereign s Don Bartholom e w im media t ely compl ied Rel in qu ish ing h is com mand he h a stened peacefully to San Dom ingo and on arriving experi e nced t he same treatm en t w ith h is brothers being p ut in irons and con fin ed on board of a caravel T hey w ere kept separate from each other an d n o com mun icat ion p e r mitted b e t ween them Bobad illa did not see them himsel f n or d id he allo w others to visi t them ; an d t hey w e re kept i n total ignoran ce of t he crim es w ith wh ich they w ere charged and t he proceedi ngs th at w ere i n stitut e d against them T he old scenes of t he tim e of Ag u ad o w ere n o w re n e w ed w i th tenfold virulen ce All the old charg e s were revived an d others add ed still more extravag an t in their n atu re Col um bus was accused of h avi ng preven ted t he conversion of th e I nd ians that th e y m ight be sold as ,

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266

TH E L I F E

OF

COL U M B

US

.

slaves ; w ith havi ng secreted pearls collected on th e coast of Paria and kept the sovereigns in ignorance of the n atu re o f his discoveries there in order to exact n e w privileges from them E ven the late tum ults w ere tu rned into matt ers o f accusati on an d the rebels adm itted as evid ence T he w ell m erited pu n ishm ents inflicted upon certai n of t he ringleaders were cited as proofs of a cruel and revengefu l d isposit ion an d a secret hat red o f Span iard s Guevara Re gu e lme an d th eir fello w convicts w ere discharged almost w ithou t the form of a trial Rol dan from th e very fi rst had been treated with con fidence by Bobadilla ; all the othe rs whose con d u ct had rendered them liable to j ustice received either a special ac q uittal or a gen eral pardon Bobad illa had n o w collected testim ony s u fli c ie n t as he t hought to i nsu re the con dem n ati on of th e prisoners an d h is o wn con tin u an ce in comm and H e d eterm i n ed therefore to sen d hom e the Admiral an d h is broth ers in chains i n th e vessels w h ich w ere ready for sea wit h the i nquest taken in their case and p ri vate lett ers en forci ng th e charges m ad e agai n st them S an Domingo n o w s warm ed w ith m iscr e an ts j ust de l ivered from the d u ngeon an d the gibbet Every base spirit w hich had been ov e ra w ed by Colum bus an d his brothers wh e n in po w er n o w hasten ed to revenge itself upon the m w hen i n chain s T h e m ost inj u rious slanders w ere loudly proclaim ed in the streets pas q u in ades an d libels were posted u p at the corn ers an d horns blo wn in the n eighborhood of their prisons to tau n t th em with the ex ult ings of the rabble T he ch arge of condu cting the prison ers to S p ai n was given to Alon zo d e V il lej o an o fli cer who was in the em ploy of Bishop Fon seca H e was in struc t ed on ar riving at Cad i z to deliver his prisoners into th e han ds of ,

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COL U M B U S TA K E N

TO SP AI N

267

.

the bi shop which circum stance has caused a b el i ef that Fonseca was the secret instigator of all these violent proceedings V ill ej o ho wever w as a man of ho n orable charac ter and gen erous feelings an d sho wed h imself su perior to the lo w m al ign ity of h is patrons When h e arrived w ith a guard to con du ct the Ad miral from th e prison to th e ship he foun d h im in chains in a stat e of eep desponden cy S o violently had he been treated d and so savage were the passions let loose against h im he had begun to f ear he shou ld be sacrificed w ithout an O pportun ity of being heard an d that h is n am e w ou ld go do wn to posterity sull ied with im puted crim es When the o fli ce r entered with the guard he thought “ it was to cond uct h im to th e sca ff old said Vi ll ej o ” h e mourn fully T o the wh ither are you t aking m e ? ship you r excelle n cy to embark replied the oth er “ “ T o em bark ! repeated the Adm iral earnestly Vil lejo do you speak the truth ? By the life of your ex ” ‘ ' replied th e hon est o fl i ce r it is t ru e With ce l l e n cy these words th e Adm iral was com forted and felt as on e restored from death t o li fe The caravels se t sail early in Octo b er bearing o ff Co lu mbus shackled like th e vilest of cu lprits am idst th e sco ff s an d shouts of a miscreant ra b ble who took a brutal j oy in heapin g insults on his ven erable h ead and sen t curses a fter him f rom the isl an d he had so recently add ed to the civili z ed world Fort u n ately the voyage w as fa vo rabl e an d of m oderate du ration and was ren dered less irksom e to Co l umbus by the con d uct of those to w hom he w as given in custody The wo rt hy V illej o as w ell as An dreas M arti n the mast er o f th e carav e l f elt deeply grieved at his Situation an d al ways tr e ated h im w ith pro found respect an d assidu ous attention T hey would have t aken o ff h is iron s but to th is he w ould not conse nt ,

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268

TH E LI F E

OF COL U M B U S

N o sa i d he proud l y their maj est ies com man d ed m e by letter t o subm it to w hatever Bobad i lla Should order i n th eir n am e ; by their authority h e has pu t upon m e these chains I w ill wear th em u ntil they shall order them to be taken o ff an d I wi ll a fter wards preserve them as relics and memorials of the re w ard of my services ” “ H e did so adds his son Fernan do in his h istory ; I saw them al ways hangin g in his cabin et an d he requ ested that when he died th ey m ig ht be bu ried with ” h im ! ,

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C H APT E R X XX V A RRI VA L

W I TH

CO L U M B U S

OF

.

SPA I NJ — H I S

I N T E RVI EW

PP O I N T M ENT H I SP AN I O LA

O F O VA N DO

IN

T H E SovE REI GN s — A .

T O TH E GO VE RN M E N T O F

.

arr i val of Col u mb u s at Cadi z a prison er and in chain s prod uced almos t as great a sen sation as his tri u mphan t retu rn from his first voyage A general b urst of i ndign ation arose in Cadiz an d in the po w erful and O pulen t Seville w h ich w as imm ed iat e ly echoed through out all Spai n No o n e st o pped to reason on the subj ect It w as su ffi cient to be told that Col u m bus w as brough t hom e in chain s f rom th e wor l d he had d iscovered Th e t idings reached the cou rt of Gra n ada an d filled the halls of t he Alhambr a w ith mu rm u rs of asto n ishm en t On the arrival of th e ships at Cadiz An dreas M arti n the captai n had perm itted Colu mbus to sen d o ff letters pri T he Admiral f ull of h is w rongs but vat e ly by expres s ign oran t ho w far they had b een authorized by the s o ve r e ign s forbore to w rite to th em H e sen t a long letter TH E

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270

TH E

LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

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tim e could n ot u tter a word f or th e violence o f his t ears a n d sobbi ngs Ferd in an d an d I sabella raised h im from the grou n d an d en deavored to en cou rage h im by the most gracious expression s As Soo n as h e regai ned h i s sel f possession he en tered in to an eloqu en t an d high min ded vi nd icat io n of his loyalty an d the zeal h e had ever felt for the glory and advantage of the Span ish cro wn ; if at any tim e he had erred it had b een he said through in e x perien ce in the art o f govern i ng an d through t he e x trao rdina ry d ffff c u l t i e s by wh ich h e had been surrou nd ed There was n o n eed of vind ication on his part H e stood in the presence of his sovereign s a deeply inj ured m an and it remain ed f or them to vind icate themselves to the world from the charge of in grat i tud e to ward s their m ost d eserv i n g subj ect T hey expressed their ind ign a tion at t he proceed ings of Bobad i lla wh i ch th ey d isa vo wed as contrary t o his in struction s ; they prom ised th at he sh oul d be im m edi ately d ism issed from h is com m an d an d Colu mbus reinstated in all h is pri vileges and d ign it ies an d ind emn ified for the losses h e had sustain ed T he latter expected of cou rse to be i m m ediately sent back in trium ph to San Dom ingo as Viceroy and Adm iral of th e I n dies ; bu t in th is h e was doom ed to experience a d isappoin tment which thr e w a gloom over the remaind er of his d ays The f ac t w as that Ferdin an d ho w ever he m ay have d isapproved of th e violen ce of Bobadilla was secretly well pleased with its e ffects It had produced a temporary exclusion of C ol u mbus from h is high o ffi ces an d the pol itic monarch determ in ed in h is heart that he should never be restored to them H e had long repen ted havin g vested su ch great po wers and prerogatives in any su bject partic u larly i n a foreign er ; bu t at the time of granting them he had n o idea of the e x ten t o f the coun .

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SE L F I SH

P OLI C Y OF FE RD I N A N D

27 1

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tries over wh ich they would be exerc i sed Recen t d i s co ve ries m ad e by va r ious ind i vid uals sho w ed them to be alm ost boun dle ss Vicen te Ya ne z Pin z on on e o f the brave and i n telligent family of nav i gators that had sailed w ith Colum bus in h i s fi rst voya ge h ad late l y crossed th e lin e an d explored the shores of the southern conti nent as far as Cape St Augusti n e D iego Lepe an other b old n av igator of Palos had dou bled that cape and be held the con tin en t stretch i ng a way out of s ight to the south w est The repo rt o f every d iscoverer put it beyon d a doubt that these cou ntri es m ust be in exhaust ible in Yet w ea l th as they appeared to be boun dless i n exten t over all these Colu m bus was to be Viceroy with a Share in their produ ction s and the profits O f th eir trade tha t m ust yield hi m an incalculable reven ue T he selfish mon arch appeared alm ost to co nsider h imself out w i t ted i n th e arra n ge men t he had made ; an d every n e w dis instead of in creasin g h is feeling of grati t ude to co ve ry Colu mbus seem ed only to make h im repin e at the gro w ing magn it ud e of his re ward Another gran d con sid eration w ith the mon arch was that Co l umbus was no lo nger in dispen sable to him H e had m ade h is great discovery ; he had stru ck out th e route to the N e w World an d n o w any on e could f ollo w it A n u mber of able n avigator s had spru ng up u nder h i s auspices who w e re daily besieging the th ron e w ith o ffers to fit ou t expeditions at th eir o wn cost an d to yield a Share o f the profits to th e Cro wn Why sh ould he therefore con fer pri n cely d ign i ties an d prerogatives for that wh ich me n w ere daily o ff ering to perform gra .

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t u it o u sl y

Such from his after con duct appears to h ave been the j ealous an d selfish policy wh ich actu ated Ferdina nd in forbeari ng to reinstate Colu mbus in those di gn ities and ,

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27 2

TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

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privileges wh ich had been solem nly granted to him by treaty an d whi ch it was ackno wledged he had n ever for fe it e d by m iscon du ct Plausible reasons ho w ever we re given f or d elay ing h is reappoi n tm en t I t was obse rv e d that th e elem en ts of those factions wh ich had recently been in arms yet existed in th e islan d and might pro du ce fresh troubles sh ou ld Columbus return imme d i ately I t w as rep resen ted as advisable there f ore to se n d som e o ffi cer o f tal ent and d iscretion to supersed e B o ba d illa an d to ho ld the govern m ent for t wo years by w hich tim e all angry passions would be a l l ayed and turbulen t i ndivid uals removed Colu m bus m ight then resu m e the c o m mand w ith com f ort to h im self an d advan tage to th e Cro w n With th is arrangemen t the Admiral w as obliged to con ten t h imself T h e person chosen to su persed e Bobad illa was Don Nich olas de O van do com man d e r of Lares , o f the order of Alcan t ara H e is d escribed as bei ng o f th e m iddle size w it h a fair complexion a red h e ard a mod e st lo o k yet a ton e of authority ; flu ent in speech cou rteous in m an n ers prud ent j us t tem pe rate and of great hum ili ty h is the pictu re dra w n o f h i m by som e o f his contem Su C rari e s h o e yet appears from his actions to have been p plausible an d subtle as we ll as flu ent an d cou rteous ; h is h u m il ity con cealed a great love of com man d ; he was a m ercil ess scourge to the I n d ians an d i n his deali ngs w ith Colum bus he was b o th u ngen erous and u nj ust Whil e the departure o f Ovan do w as de layed by vari ous circu mstan ces every arrival brought i n telligence of the disastrous state of the isla nd u nder the adm in istra tion of Bobad i lla The latter was not so much a bad as an impruden t an d a weak man I magin ing rigorous rule to be the rock on wh ich h is predecessor h ad spli t he had at t h e ve ry out se t r ela x ed th e rei ns of j ustice an d moral ,

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2 74

TH E

LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

d aughte rs and fem ale relatives of caciqu es for th eir s er van ts or their con cu b in e s I n t ravellin g th ey obliged the n atives to transport them on t heir shoulders in litters or h am mocks wh ile others held u m brellas of palm leaves over th ei r heads an d cool ed th em w ith fan s of feathers Som et im es the backs an d sh ou lders o f th e u nfort u nate I nd ians who bore the litters were raw an d bleed ing from th e t ask When these arroga n t u pstarts arrived at an I nd ia n village they capriciously seized upon and lavished the provisions of the in habita n ts an d obliged th e caciqu e They an d h is su bj ects to dance for their am usemen t n ever add ressed th e natives but in the most degrad ing term s ; an d for th e least o ffence or i n a m ere freak of ill hu m or they would inflict blo ws and lashes and e ven death itsel f The tid ings of these abuses an d o f the w ro n gs of the n atives grieved the spirit of Isabella and in duced her to urge the depar t u re of Ovan do H e was em po wered to assume the command i m m ed iately on h is arriv al and to send home Bobad illa by the return fleet H i s pan iola w as to be the metropolis of th e colon ial govern m en t w hich w as to ex ten d over the islan ds an d Te rra Firma Ovando was to correct the late abuses to revoke the im proper l ice n ses gran ted by Bobad illa to lighten th e burdens imposed u pon the I nd ians and to promot e their religious i nstruction H e was at the same t ime to as certain the i nj u ry sustain ed by Colum b u s ih h is late arrest and im prison men t an d the arrears o f reven u e that w ere due to h im that h e m ight receive am ple redress and compensatio n T h e Adm iral w as to be al lo w ed a residen t agen t in the island to atten d to his a ffairs and guard his interests to w h ich O ffi ce Colum b u s imm ediately appoint ed Alonzo San chez d e Carvaj al Am on g various decrees on th i s occasion we fi nd th e .

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SA I LI N G OF

275

O VA N D O

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first t race of n egro slavery in th e N e w World I t was perm itted to transport to the colony negro slaves born in Spai n the ch ildre n and desce n dan ts of n atives brought from Gu in ea w here th e slave trad e had for som e ti m e been carr i ed on by the Span iards an d Port uguese T h ere are signal events i n th e course of history w hich som etimes bear the appearan ce o f temporal j udgm en ts I t is a fact worthy o f observation that H ispan iola the plac e w here this flagran t sin again st natu re an d h u man ity was fi rst in trod uced in to the N e w World has been the first to exhibit an i nsta n ce of a w ful retribution The fleet appoin ted to con vey Ovan d o to h is govern m ent put to sea on the 1 3 th o f Februa ry 1 50 2 I t w as th e largest armam en t that had yet s ail e d to the N e w World con sisting o f th i rty sail o f various Sizes provided T wenty fi ve with all kin ds of su pplies for the colony hun dred souls embarked i n th is fleet many of them per sons o f rank w ith their fam ilies Ovando was allo wed a brillian t retin ue a body guard of horsem e n an d th e use of silks brocades and precious st o nes at that time for Such was the h idd e n by the su mptuary la w s of Spai n style in wh ich a f avorite of Ferdin and a n ative subject of rank w as fitted out to en ter u pon th e govern m en t w ithheld from C olu mbu s .

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C H A P T E R X X XVI

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P RO PO SI T I O N O F C O LU M B U S FO R A P RE PA RAT I O N S FO R A FO U RT H VO Y A GE

— A HI S CRU S D E .

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1 500—1 5O I

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C O LU M B U S remain ed in the city of Gran ad a up wards of n i ne mon ths a waiting employm en t and e ndeavoring ,

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TH E

COL U M B U S

OF

L I FE

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to retrieve h is a ffairs from the c on fusion in to wh ich they had been th ro w n Du ring th is gloomy period he called to m in d his vo w t o furn ish w ith in seven years from th e tim e of his d isc o very of the N ew World an army of fi f t y thousan d foot an d five thous an d horse for the recovery of the H oly Sep u lch re The t im e had e l apsed the vo w remain ed u n fulfilled an d the expected t reasu res that were to pay the army had never been realized Destitute t here fore of the m ean s of accom pl ishi ng h is pious pu r pose he consid ered it his d uty to in ci te the sovereign s to the enterpri s e an d he f elt em bolden ed to do so from having origi n a l ly proposed it as the great obj ect to whi ch the profi ts of his d iscoveries should b e directed He set to w ork therefore w ith h is accustomed zeal to pre pare argume nts fo r th e pu rpose Aid ed by a Carth usian friar he collected into a m an uscript v olum e all the pas sages in th e Sacred Scriptu res an d in the writings o f the Fathers wh ich b e con ceived to con tain mystic portents an d prophecies of the d iscovery of th e N e w World the conversion of the Gen t iles and the recovery o f the H oly Sepulchre ; thr e e great events w hich he considered des tined to succeed each other and to be accomplished th rough his agen cy H e prepared at th e sam e tim e a lon g letter to th e sovereig n s written w ith h is usu al f ervor of spirit an d simplicity of heart u rgi n g th e m to s e t on foot a crusade for the con q u est of J erusalem I t is a si n gular com position w h ich lays open the vision ary part of h is character an d sh o ws the mystic an d speculative reading with wh ich he w as acc ust om ed to n u rture h is ! solem n and soaring imagin ation I t m ust be recollected that th i s was a sch em e med i .

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vol ume i ncl udi ng bi an libra y f th c ath ed al of S ville i nte e t by th w i t of this h isto y The

man usc rip t r

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ill x i t in the C l um b n i n pect d with g at

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2 78

TH E LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

bu t d iscover such a pa ssage and t hus li n k the N e w Worl d he had d iscovered with the op ulen t orien t al coun tri e s of the old he felt that h e should make a magn ificen t close to h is labors H e u n folded his plan to the sove reigns and though i t met w ith som e n arro w min ded oppositio n on the pa rt of certain of the royal cou nsellors it w as prom ptly adopte d an d he w as em po wered to fi t o u t an armam ent to carry it i nto e ffect H e accordingly departed for Seville i n the autumn of 1 50 1 to m ake th e n ecessary preparations but such w ere t he delays caused by the art ifi ces of Fon seca an d his age n ts that it was not u nt il the follo wi ng mo nth of M ay that he w as able to put to sea Befo re sailin g h e took m easu res to pr o vide agai nst any m isfort u n e that m ight happ e n to h imself in so distant an d perilous an exped ition H e caused copies to be made and auth enti cated of all the royal letters pate n t of h i s d ig n ities a n d privil eg es ; of h is l etter to the n urse of P rin ce J u an con tai n ing a vindi cat ion o f h is con duct ; an d of t wo letters assign i n g to t he Bank of St George at Ge n oa a t en th of his revenu es to be em ployed i n d im in These i s h ing th e du ties on provision s in his n ative city t wo sets of docum ents he sent by di ff eren t hands to his friend Doctor N icolo O d o rigo w ho had been Genoese am bassador to the court of Spain requesti n g him to d e posit them i n som e safe place at Gen oa and to apprise his s o n Di ego of the sam e H e wrote also to Pope Alexan d e r th e Seventh m en t io n ing his vo w to furn ish an army for a crusade but in forming h im of h is bein g preven ted fro m fulfilling it by being d ivested of h is govern m ent H e promised his H ol in ess h o wever on h is retu rn from h is presen t voyage to repair imm ed iately to Rom e and ren der h im an ac cou nt O f all his exped it ion s ,

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TH E F O U R TH

VO YA GE

C HA P T E R XX XVI I

27

9

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— T R H Y VO AGE EVE NT S AT CO L U M B U S SAI LS O N H I S FO U — H I S SEA RCH T H E I SLA ND O F H I SPA N I O LA A N I M A G I NA RY ST RA I T

[

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1 502

A FT E R

]

rapid l y m aking its advances upon Colu m bus He when he u ndertook h i s fou rth voyage o f d i scovery H is con stitu tion was n o w abou t si x ty Six years old origin ally vigorous i n the extreme had been impai red by hardships an d e x posures in every cl im e an d by the m en tal su fferings he had un dergon e H is in tellectual po wers alon e retai ned their won ted en ergy prom pting him at a period of li fe when most m en seek repose to sally forth with you th fu l ardor on the m ost to i lsom e and ad ve n t u r ous of e nterprises I n t h is ard uous voyage he was ac compan ied by h is b rother Do n Bartholome w who com man d e d on e of the vessels an d by h is son Fern an do then i n h i s fourteenth y ear Columbus sai l ed from Cadiz on th e 9 t h of M ay 1 50 2 H is squadron con sisted of fou r caravels th e largest of but seventy ton s bu rden the smallest of fi fty ; the cre ws am oun ted i n all to on e h un dred an d fi fty m en With th is little armam e nt an d th ese slen d er b arks b e u n der took the search after a strait wh i ch i f fou n d m u st con d uct h im i nto the most remote sea s an d l ead to a com p iete circum n avi gat i on of th e globe After touching at the Canaries h e had a prosperous voyage to t he Cari b bee I slands arriv i ng on th e 1 st h of J u n e at M ant in in o at prese n t called M artin i que H e had ori gi nally in tende d to steer to J amaica and from th ence for the con tin en t i n se arch of th e supposed strait ; but on e of h is vessels A C E w as

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28 0

TH E

LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

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proving a dull sailer he b o re a way fo r H ispa n iola to ex change it for on e of the fleet w hich had rece n t ly taken ou t Ova ndo This was con trary to h is o rders w hich had e xpressly forbidden h im to touch at H ispan iola u nt il his return hom e w ards lest h is presen ce s houl d cause s om e a gitat ion in the island ; h e trusted ho w ever the circum sta n ces o f t he case w ould plead h is excus e Colu mbus arrived 0 3 the h arbor of San Dom i n go at an u npropitious m om en t The place w as filled w ith the most v irulen t of his en e mie s m any o f wh o m w ere in a h igh state of e x aspera t ion fro m recen t proceed i n gs w h ich had taken place against th e m Th e fleet wh ich had brought o u t Ovan do lay in the harbor rea d y to pu t to sea ; and w as to take o u t R o lda n an d many of h is late adherents som e of w ho m w ere u nder arrest an d to be tried i n Spain Bobad illa w as to emba rk i n the prin cipal sh ip on board of w h ich he h ad put an im m e n se am ou n t of gold th e rev e n u e collected fo r th e govern men t d urin g h is ad ministrat ion and wh ich he con fidently expected Amo n g th e presen ts he wou ld aton e for all h i s fa u lts i n ten ded for th e s o vereig n s w as o n e mas s of v irgi n gold I t w as which is f am ous in the old Span ish chron i cles said to w eigh th ree th o u s a n d six h u n dre d castill an os Large quantities of gold h ad a l so b e en s h ipped in the fleet by the follo w ers of Rol dan and other adventurers ; the w ealth gain ed by the su ff erings of the u nhappy natives I t was on th e 29 t h of J u n e that Colum bus arrived at the mouth o f th e river and sen t an o ffi c e r on shore to explai n to the govern or the purpose of his visit ; b e re quested perm ission m oreover to shelter hi s squadron in the river as he apprehended an approachin g storm H is reque s t was refused by Ovan do who probably h ad orde rs from the sovereigns to that e ffect and perhaps was fu r ,

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28 2

OF COL U M B U S

TH E LI F E

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m anship enabled h im to keep h er afloat ; h e lost h is long boat and all the oth er vessel s s ustain ed more or less inj ury At length after vario us vici s situdes th ey all ar rived safe at Po rt H ermoso to the w est o f San Dom i ngo A di fferent fate be fell the oth er arm am en t The sh ip o n board o f wh ich w ere Bobadilla Rold a n and a n u mber of the most inveterate en em ies of Col umbu s was s w al lo wed u p with all its cre w and w ith the celebrated mass of gold an d the prin cipal part of the ill gotten treasure gain ed by the miseri es of the I nd ians Many of the other Sh ips w e re e n tirely lost som e return ed to San Dom ingo i n shattered cond it ion an d only o ne was e n abled to con That one it is said was the t i n u e her voyage to Spai n w eakest o f the flee t and had on board of it four thousand pieces o f gold th e property o f th e Adm iral rem itted to Spain by h is age nt Carvaj al Both Fern ando Colum bus an d the ven erable h istorian Las Casas looked u pon this even t as one of those a wfu l j udg me n ts which seem at They notice t imes to deal forth tem poral retribution the circu msta n ce that w h ile the en em ies of th e Adm iral w ere thus as it were before h is eyes s wallo w ed up in the r aging sea the only ship en abled to pu rsue he r voyage M any of w as the frail bark freigh ted w ith his property the s uperstitious seam e n who from the sagacity d isplayed by C olu mbus i n j udging o f th e signs of the elem en ts an d h is variety o f scien tific kn o w ledge looked upon h im as e ndo wed with supernat u ral po w ers fan cied h e had con j ured u p th is storm by magic spells for the destru ction of h is en em ies Th e evils i n th is as in most of the cases called t e mporal ju dgmen ts overwh elm ed the i nn ocen t w ith the gu ilty I n the sam e ship with Bobadilla and Roldan perish ed the captive Gu ario ne x the u n fortu nate caciqu e of the vega A f ter repai ring the damages sustain ed by his ships in ,

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28 4

TH E

L LF E

OF

COL U M B U S

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the storm Col um bus steered for T erra Fi rma ; but the w eather fallin g perfectly calm he was s wept a way to the north w est by th e curren ts u n til h e arrived on the sout h T he win d sprin gi ng u p fair b e re e rn coast of Cu ba sumed h is cou rse an d stan d ing to th e sou th w est w as en abled o n the 3 ot h of J uly to m ake th e islan d of G ua naga a fe w leagues d ista nt from the coast o f H ond u ras Wh ile the adelantado was on shore at this islan d a canoe arrived of an i mm ense size on board of w h ich sat a ca ciq u e w ith his w ives and ch ildren under an a w n ing of pal m leaves The canoe w as paddled by t wen ty fi ve I n d ians and freighted with various m erchan dise the rude man u factu res an d natural prod uctio n s of the adj acent cou n tries T here were hatchets an d oth er uten sils of copper with a kin d of crucible for the melt i n g of that metal Various vessels neatly form ed of clay marble m an tles of cotton w orked an d dy e d with a n d hard w ood various colors an d m any other art icles wh ich in d icate d a superior degree of art an d civili z ation than had h itherto b een discovered i n th e N e w World The I n d ians as far as t hey could be u n derstood in formed the Adm iral that they had com e from a coun try rich cu ltivated an d i n dustrious situa t ed to the w est and u rged him to steer in that direction Well w ould it have been for Colum bus had he follo wed t heir advice With in a day or t w o he would h ave arrived at Yucatan the d iscovery of M exico and th e other opu lent cou n tries of N e w Spai n would have n ecessarily follo wed th e So u th ern O cean wou ld have been d iscl o sed to h im an d a su ccession of splen d id discoveries w ould have Shed fresh glory on h is d eclin i ng age instead of i ts sink i ng am idst gloom neglec t and d isappoi n tm en t The Adm iral s w hole m in d ho wever was at presen t i nten t upon discoveri ng the supposed strait that was to ,

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28 6

TH E L I F E

OF

COL U M E U s

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en t called the M osqu ito shore in the c o urse of which a boat w ith its cre w was s wallo wed u p by th e su dd en s well i ng of a river H e had occasion al intervie ws with the n atives but a m utual d istrust p revailed bet w ee n them an d the Span iards T he I nd ians were frighten ed at seeing a n otary of th e fleet take out pen in k an d paper an d pro ce e d to w rite do wn the in format ion they w ere com mun i cating ; they supposed he was worki ng som e magic spell an d to coun teract it they scat tered a f ragra n t po wd er in the arr an d bu rnt it so that the sm oke sh ould be borne to w ards the Span iards The superstitious seam en looked upo n these cou nter charm s with equal distrust They s uspected th e people o f th is coast to be great enchan ters and that all the delays and hardships they had e x pe ri e n ce d w ere in co n sequ ence of the ships be i n g u n de r som e evil spell wrought by their magic arts E ven Colu mbus an d h is son an d h istorian Fernand o appear to have been ti nctu red w ith th is superstition w hich i ndeed is char act e ris t ic of the age On the st h o f October Colu mbus arrived at what is at present called Costa Rica ( or the Rich Coast ) f rom the gold an d silver min es fo u nd in after years among its mou n tains H ere he began to find orn am ents of pure gold amo n g the n at ives These in creased in quan tity w hen he came to w hat has sin ce been called t he co ast of Veragu a w here h e was assu red that the richest min es I n sailing along these co asts he re were to be fou n d c e ive d repeated accou n ts of a great kingdom i n th e w est called Cigu are at the distan ce of several days j ou rn ey where as far as h e cou ld u nd erstand the imperfect explanation s of h is i n terpreters t he in habitants w ore cro wns an d bracelets and anklets of gold an d employed it i n em broidering their garm ents and orn am en ting and em bossin g the i r furn iture T hey w ere arm ed also l i ke ,

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28 8

TH E

LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

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the S pan i ards w ith s w ords bucklers and cu i rasses an d The coun try w as described were mou nted on horses also as being com mercial w ith seaports in w h i ch ships arrived arm ed with can non Above all Col umbus un der stood that th e sea con ti n ued rou n d to thi s kin gdo m o f Cigu are an d that ten days beyon d it w as t he Gang e s T hese were evid ently rumors o f the d istant kin gdo m o f M exico imper f ectly i nterpreted to Columbus an d shaped an d colored by h is im agin atio n H e concluded that this country m ust be som e province belonging to the Gran d Khan an d m ust li e on the opposite side of a pen in s ula an d th at he would soon arrive at a strait l e ad ing in to the I nd ian Sea which w ashed its shores The supposed vicin ity of th e Ganges caused no surprise as he had adopted the opin ion o f certain ancien t philosophers w ho gave the w orld a smaller circu m feren ce than w as gen er ally im agin ed an d but fi ft y s ix m iles an d t w o thirds to a degree of the equ in octial lin e With these erroneous bu t ingen ious ideas Colum bus con tin u ed to press f orw ard in search of the imaginary strait contending w ith adverse w in ds an d currents and m eeting w ith great hostil ity f rom th e n atives ; for the I n d ian s of these coasts w ere fierce and w arlike and m any of the tri bes are supposed to have been o f Carib origin At sight of th e ships the forests woul d resoun d w ith yells and w ar w hoops with w ooden drums an d the blasts o f conc hs an d on lan ding the shores would be lin ed with savage w arriors arm ed w ith clubs an d lan ces an d s words o f pal m w ood At l ength hav i ng d iscovered an d n am ed Puerto Bello an d contin ued beyon d Cape N om b re de Dios Colum bus arrived at a sm all an d n arro w har b or to which he gave H ere he had t he n ame of El Retrete or T h e Cabin et re ached the poin t to wh ich Bastides an en terprising ,

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29 0

TH E

O F COL U M B U S

L I FE

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the w ind sudden ly veered to the w est th e poin t fro m w hence for three m on th s h e had been wishing i t to blo w but from wh en ce it n o w cam e on ly to con trad ict I n a little wh i le it becam e so variable an d furious h im as to ba ffle all seaman ship For n in e days th e vessels w ere tossed abou t at the m ercy o f a ragi ng tempest i n an unkn o w n sea an d o f ten exposed to the a w f ul pe rils of a lee shore T h e sea accord ing to th e description of Col umbus boiled at ti mes like a a caldron ; at other tim es it ran in m ou ntai n w aves covered w ith foam At n ight the ragin g billo ws sparkl ed w i th l u min ous parti cles w h ich m ad e th em resem b le great surges of flam e For a d ay an d a n ight the heavens glo w ed like a f u rn ace with in cessan t flashes of lightn ing ; wh ile the loud claps of th u n der w ere often m istake n by the m arin ers f or signal gu n s of distress f rom th eir f oun deri ng co mpan ions Du rin g the w hole tim e there was such a deluge of rain that the seam en w ere almost d ro wn ed in their open vessels I n the m idst of th is wild tu mult of the e lemen ts th ey beheld a n ew obj ect of alarm The ocean i n on e place becam e strangely agi t ated The w at er w as wh irl e d up i n t o a kin d of pyramid or con e wh ile a l ivid cloud ta perin g to a point bent dow n to m eet it J oin ing to gether they formed a colu mn wh ich rap idly approach ed t he ships spin n ing along the su rface of the deep an d dra w ing up th e waters w i th a rushing soun d The af frighted mari n ers when they beheld th is w aterspout advan cing to wards them d espaired of averting it by h u man m eans an d began to repeat certain passages from St J oh n the Ev angelist T h e waterspou t passed close by their shi ps w ithout i nj urin g them an d th ey attributed their escape to th e m iraculous e ffi cacy of their quotation s from th e S criptu res ,

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A RRI VA L A T

VE RA G U A

29 1

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An interval of calm succeede d, b u t even th i s a fforded but little con sola t ion to the te mpest tost marin ers ; they looked upon i t as deceitful an d beheld w ith alarm great n u mbers o f sharks so abun dan t and ravenous in those lat itudes roam i ng about the ships Among th e s upe rs t i t ion s of the seas is th e belie f that these voracious fish h ave n ot on ly th e faculty of smellin g dead bod ies at a d istan ce bu t have a prese ntiment of their prey an d keep about vessels w hich have sick persons on board or w hich are in dan ger of bein g wrecked For three w eeks longer th ey contin ued to be driven to an d fro by chan geable an d tempestuous wi n ds en deavor ing to m ake a d istan ce of m erely th irty l e agues in so m uch that Colu mbus gave this line of seaboard the n am e of La Costa de l as Cont rastes or the Coast of Contra dictions At length to his great joy he arrived on the day of Epiphany (the 6th of J an uary ) on t he coast of Vera gua an d anc hored in a river to wh ich in honor of th e day he gave the nam e of Belen or Bethlehem T he nat ives of t he n eighborh ood man ifested the sam e fierce and w arl ike character t hat gen erally prevailed along this co ast T h ey were soon con cil iated how ever an d brought many orn am en ts o f fi ne gold to t rafl i c ; but assu red th e Adm iral tha t the m in es lay n ear the river Veragua which was abo u t two lea gues distan t The ad e l an t ad o had an i n te rvi e w w ith Q u i b ian the caciqu e of Veragua who afte rwards visited the ships H e was a stern w arr i or of tall an d po w erful frame an d tacitur n and cautious character A few d ays a fter wards th e ade lan t ad o atten ded by si x ty eight m en w ell arm ed pro explore the Veragua an d seek its reputed ce e d e d to m in es Th ey ascen d ed t he r i ver about a leagu e an d a hal f to th e village of Q u ib ian wh ich was situated on a hill T he caciqu e desc en ded with a n um erous trai n of -

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29 4

TH E

LI FE

COL U M B U S

OF

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ion an d agreed to remai n here w ith the greater part of the people wh ile the Adm iral should return to S pai n f or supplies and rei n forcem ents T h ey im mediately proceeded to carry thei r plan into operatio n Eighty m en w ere selected to remain H ouses of w ood t hatched w ith palm leaves were erected on the h igh bank of a creek about a bo wshot w ithi n the mo uth of the river Belen A storehouse w as bu ilt to receive part o f the am m un ition artillery an d stores ; the rest w as pu t o n board o f one of t h e caravels w hich w as to be le ft for the use of the colony T h e houses being s u fli cie n tly fi n ished to be habitable the Adm i ral prepared for h is departure w hen he f ou n d to his surprise that the river wh ich on h is arrival h ad been s wollen by rai n had subsided to such a degre e that there was not above hal f a f athom o f water on the bar T hough h is vessels w ere sm all it w as impossible to draw them over the san ds at th e m ou th of the river on accou nt of a h eavy sur f H e was obl iged there fore to w ai t u n til t he rain s should again s well the river I n the m eantim e Q u ib ian beheld with secret i nd i gn a tion these strangers i ntrudi n g themselves i n to his dom i n ions Colum bus h ad sough t to secure his frien dship by various presen ts but in vain T he cacique ignoran t o f the vast sup e riority of the Eu ropeans i n t he art of w ar though t it easy to overw helm an d destroy them H e sen t m essengers arou n d an d ordered all his fight ing men to assemble at h is residence u n der pretext o f making T he move me nts of war upon a n eigh boring provin ce the I n dian s a waken ed the suspicion s of on e Diego M en de z ch ief n ot ary of th e armam ent H e w as a m an of z eal an d spirit of a sh re wd an d p rying character an d entirely devoted to the Adm iral H e m ingled among t he I n d i a ns and observed c ircum sta n c es wh i ch satisfied ,

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S U SP I CI O/VS OF M E N D E Z

29

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5

him that they were m ed itat ing an attack T h e Adm iral w as loth to bel i eve it and was d esirous of clearer in f ormation before he t ook any s t e p that m igh t i n terrupt the p a c i f i c i n t e rc o u rs e t h a t yet prevailed Th e i n d e fat igabl e M e n dez n o w un der took a service of life A cco m and d e at h d by a s i n gl e n i a e p compan ion h e pen e t rat e d as a spy to the very residen ce o f Qui bian who they heard h ad been w ou n ded in the leg by an arro w M endez gave himself out as a surgeon com e to cure the w oun d and m ade h is way to t he m ansion of the gri m w arrior w h ich w as sit uat e d on the crest of a hill an d surrou n ded by three h u n d r e d A CA CI Q U E — heads on stakes dis W t [ M i h Sf i gk l R d w f mI g mal trophies of the en emies he had vanquish ed in battle U n dism ayed by th is sight M en dez en deavored to e nter but was met at .

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29 6

TH E

LI FE

COL U M B U S

OF

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the threshold by th e son of the caciqu e who repulsed h im with a viole n t blo w that made hi m recoil several paces H e m anaged to paci fy the f urious you n g savage by taki n g ou t a box o f oin tmen t an d assuring hi m that he o n ly ca me for t he purpose of cu ri n g his f ather s wou n d s H e the n m ade h im presen ts o f a comb scis s ors an d m ir ror taught h i m an d h is I n dians the use o f them i n cut ti ng an d arrangi ng their hair an d thus i ngratiated h im self w ith th em by ad m in istering to their van ity I t w as impossible ho wever to gai n adm itta n ce to the caciqu e ; but M e n de z s aw e n ough to convin ce him t hat the at tack w as about to be carried i nto e ffect an d that it was m erely delay ed by the w o u n d of the caciq u e ; he h as te n ed back therefore to Colu mbus w ith th e intel ligen c e An I n dian i n terpreter a native o f t he n eighborhood corroborated t he report o f M e nd e z H e in f ormed the Ad miral th at Q u ib ia n i n te n ded to co me secr e tly i n the dead o f the n ight w ith all h is w arriors to s e t fi re to the sh ips and houses and massacre the Spa n iard s Whe n the adelan tado h e ard o f th is pl o t he co n ceived a cou n terplot to d e f eat i t wh ich he ca rri e d i n to e ff ect Taki n g w ith w ith his usual prom pt n e s s an d resolutio n h i m s e venty f ou r m en w ell arm ed a mong whom w as Diego M en d e z an d bei n g acco mpan i e d by t h e I n d ia n in t e rp re t e r w ho h ad revealed t h e c o n s p ir acy h e s e t o ff i n boats to the mouth o f the Verag u a as ce n ded it rapidly an d lan ded i n the n ight at th e villag e o f the cac ique be fore the I n d ia n s co u ld have n o t ice of h is approach Lest Q u ib ian should take the alarm an d fly h e ascen ded to his hous e a c com pa n ied o n ly by Diego M e n dez an d fou r other m en ordering the rest to com e o n g rad ually and secretly an d at the d ischarge of an arqu e bu s e to ru s h up an d surrou n d t he house an d s u ffer n o o n e to e s cape ,

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TH E

COL U M B U S

OF

LI F E

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pportu n i ty an d plu nged sudden ly into th e water with si m violen ce that the pilot had to let go the cord lest h he should be dra wn I n after h im The darkness of the n ight an d th e bustle w hich took place in preven ting th e es cape o f t h e other prison ers ren dered it impossible to pu rsue the cacique or even to ascertai n his f ate J u an San ch ez hasten ed to the sh ips w ith the resid u e o f the captives deeply mortified at bei ng th us out witted by a savage T he adelantado remain ed all n ight on shore but on the follo w ing m orn ing seeing the w ild an d rugged n ature o f the cou ntry he gave up all f u rth er pursu it o f the I n d ian s an d return ed to the ships w ith the spo ils of the cacique s man sion consisting of bracelets anklets an d massive plates o f gold and t wo golden coron ets One fi ft h of th e booty was set apart for the Cro wn the resi d ue was shared among those con cern ed in the en terprise an d on e of the coron ets w as assign ed to th e adelan tado as a trophy of h i s exploit O

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C HA P T E R X XX I X

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D I SA ST E RS O F T H E SET TL E M EN T

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S ATI SFI ED that the vigorou s measure of th e adelan tad o had struck terror i nto th e I nd ians an d crushed their h ostile designs Columbus took adv an tage of a s welli n g of the river to pass t he bar w ith th ree o f h is caravels leaving th e fo u rth for the use o f th e settlement H e th en anch ored withi n a league of the shore u ntil a favor able w in d should sprin g up for H ispan iola Th e cacique Q u ib ian had not perish ed i n the river as ,

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E SCA P E

OF

U I Q E I AN

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som e h ad supposed Pl unging to the b ottom he s wam for som e d i stance b elo w the su rface and then em ergi ng escaped to the shore H is h ome ho wever was desolate and to com plete h is despai r he s aw the vessels stan di ng out to sea bearing a way his w ives and child ren captives Fu rious for reven ge he gathered t ogether a great n um ber of his warr i ors an d assailed the settlem en t wh en the Span iards were scattered and o ff th eir guard T he I n dian s laun ch ed their javelins t hrough the roofs of t he houses which were of pal m leaves or hu rled them i n at the w in do ws or thrust the m bet ween th e logs wh ich composed th e walls and w ou n ded several of th e Span iard s O n th e first alarm the adelantado sei z ed a lance an d sallied forth with seven or ei ght of h is m en ; Diego Men de z brou gh t several others to h i s assistan ce T h ey had a short skirm i sh : o n e S pan iard was k i lled an d eight w oun ded ; the adelantado rece ived a th rust in t he breast w ith a javel i n ; but they succeede d i n repu lsin g the I n dians w ith con sidera b le loss an d driv i n g the m into the forest Durin g the skirm ish a boat cam e on shore from th e sh ips to procu re wood an d w ater I t was commanded by Diego T r i stan a capta i n of on e of the carav els When the I n d i an s w ere pu t to fl i ght he proceeded up the river i n qu est of fresh w ater d i sregard i ng the warn i ng coun sels of those on shore T he boat had ascen ded abo u t a leagu e a b ove the vil lage to a part of the river oversha do wed by lofty banks an d spread in g t rees Su dd e n ly the forest resoun ded A w ith yells a n d war whoops and th e blasts of con chs sho w er of m issiles was rain ed from the sh ores an d c anoes darted out from creeks an d coves filled w i th warriors bran dish ing t hei r weapons T he S pan iards losing all prese n ce of m ind n eglected to use th eir fi rearm s an d .

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TH E LI F E

0 0 3

COL U M B U S

OF

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on ly sought to sh elter themselves w ith their bucklers The captai n Diego Tristan tho ugh covered w ith w ou nds endeavored to an i mat e his m en w hen a j avel i n pie rced The cano e s n o w his right eye a n d s t ruck h im dead closed u pon th e boat an d massacred the cre w O n e Span iard alon e escaped w ho havin g fallen overboard d ived to the bottom s wam un der water an d escaped u n perceived to shore beari n g t id ings o f the massacre to the settleme n t The Span i ards were so alarmed at the i n t e ll ige n c e an d at th e though ts o f the dangers that w ere thickeni n g aroun d th e m th at n ot withstand ing the re monstra n ces o f the ad elantado t hey determ i n ed to e m bark in t he caravel and ab a ndon th e place altogether O n maki n g the atte mpt ho we ver th ey f o un d that th e to rrents havi ng subsid ed the river w as agai n s hallo w an d it w as im possible for th e caravel to pass over t he bar A high sea an d boisterous su rf also prevented th e i r sen d ing o ff a boat to the Admiral w ith i n telligence of th eir da n ger While thus cut o fl fro m al l retreat or succor horrors increased upon them The mangled bodi es of Diego Tristan an d his m en ca me floa t in g do w n the stream an d dri f ting about the h arbor w ith flights of cro ws an d other carrion birds feeding on them a n d hov eri n g an d s cream ing and fig hting about their prey I n th e me an tim e the d ismal soun d of conc hs an d w ar drum s was heard i n every direction i n th e bosom of the su rrou n d ing f orest sho w in g t hat the en emy w as aug me n t ing i n n u mber an d prep arin g f or f u rther h ostilitie s The adelan tado therefore dee med it u ns afe to remai n in th e village wh ich w as adjacen t to the w oods H e chose an open place on th e shore w he re he c aused a k in d o f bul w ark to be m ade of the boat of the caravel an d of casks and sea ch ests Tw o places were left open as em brasu res i n w hic h w ere m oun ted a couple of falcon ets .

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TH E LI FE

OF COL U M B U S

.

or small p i eces of artillery I n th i s little fortress the S pan i ards sh ut th e mselves up and kept t he I n d ian s at a d istance by the terror of their fi rearm s ; b ut they were exh austed by watch i ng an d by i ncessant a l arm s an d loo k ed for ward with despond en cy t o the t i m e when their am m un ition shoul d be e xhausted or they should be driven forth by hu nger to seek for food While the Span iards w ere exposed to such im m i nent peril on shore great anxiety prevailed on b oard of the sh ips Day after d ay el apsed w ith out the return of D iego T ristan an d his party an d it was feared that som e disaster had befallen th em But on e boat re main ed for th e service of th e sh ips an d t hey dared n ot risk it i n th e rough sea and h eavy su rf t o send i t on shore for in te lli gence A circu mstan ce occu rred to i n crease th e anxiety of the cre w s T h e I nd i an prison ers were con fi n ed i n the forecastle of one of the caravels I n the n ight they sud d e n ly bu rst open th e h atch several flung themselves into th e sea an d s wam to th e shore ; th e rest were secu red and forced back into the forecastle but such was th eir u n con querable spirit an d their despa i r that they h anged or strangled themselves w ith en ds of cords wh i ch lay about i n thei r prison an d in the m orn i ng were all fou n d dead T he escape of som e o f th e prison ers gave great u n e as i n ess to the Adm iral fearin g they would st i m u late th e i r countrymen to som e n e w act of ven gea nce Still it was impossibl e to sen d a boat on shore At l ength on e Pedro Ledesma a m an of great strength an d resolution vol u n teered i f th e boat would take him to the edge of the su rf to plu nge in t o the sea s wim to the shore and bring o ff i ntelligen ce H e succeed ed an d on his return i n formed the Adm iral of all th e d isasters of th e settle ment ; th e at t ack by th e I nd ians an d the m assacre of .

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A B A N D ON M E /VT OF

SE T TLE M E I VT

TH E

0 3 3





Die go T ristan an d h is boat s cre w H e fou nd the Sp an iard s i n their forlorn fortress i n a complete state of insubordin ation T hey were prepa rin g can oes to take them to the ships w h en the w eather should mod erate They threaten ed that i f the Ad m i ral refused to tak e them on board they would embark i n the remain ing car avel as soon as i t could be extricated from the river an d w ould abandon themselves to the m ercy of the seas rather than conti n u e on that fatal coast T h e Admi ral w as deeply a ffl icted at this i ntelligen ce but there appeared n o alternat ive bu t to embark all the people abandon th e settlement fo r the present and re turn at a future day w i th a force competen t to take secure possess i on of th e cou n try The stat e of th e weather ren dered th e execution eve n of th i s plan doubtfu l The h igh win d an d boisterous w aves still preven t ed com m u n i cation and the situatio n of those at sea i n crazy and feebly man n ed sh ips on a lee shore was scarcely less perilous th an that of their comrades o n the lan d E very hou r i ncreased the anxiety of the Ad miral Days of con stant perturbation an d n ights of sleepless angu ish preyed upon a constit u tion broken by age an d hardships Am idst the acute maladies o f the body an d th e fever of th e mind h e appears to have been visited by partial deliriu m I n a letter to the sovereig ns he gives an accou n t of a kind of vision wh ich com forted him wh e n full o f despon den cy an d tossing upon a couch of pain I n the silen ce of the n ight when weari ed an d sigh ing he had fallen into a sl umber he thought h e heard a voice reproaching h im w ith his wa nt of con fidence i n God Oh fool an d slo w to believe thy God l exclaim ed the “ vo i ce ; what did h e m ore for Moses or for h is servant Dav i d ? From the tim e that thou wert born he has ever taken care o f th ee Whe n h e s aw thee of a fitting age .

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TH E

0 3 4

LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

he made thy nam e to resou n d marvellously throu ghout the w orld The I ndies t hose rich parts of the earth he gave th ee for thi ne o w n an d em po wered thee to dispose of them to oth ers accord in g to thy pleasur e H e delivered thee the keys of the gates of th e ocean s e a sh ut up by such m ighty chain s and thou wert obeyed i n many lands and d idst acq u ire hon orable f am e among Christian s T hou dost call despon dingly for succor Ans w er ! w ho h as a fflicted thee ? God or the world ? T h e privileges an d prom ises w h ich God has made thee he has n ever broken H e f ulfills all that h e prom ises an d w ith in crease T hy presen t troubles are the re ward of the ” toils an d perils thou hast end u red i n servin g others Am idst its reproaches the voice m ingled promises of furth er protection an d assuran ces that h is age should be no i mp e d i me ht to any great un d ertaki ng Suc h is th e vision whi ch Colu mbus circumstantially relates in a letter to the sovereigns The words here spoken by a supposed voice are truths w h ich d welt upon h is m i n d an d agitated h is spi rit i n h is waking hours I t is n atural that th ey should recu r vividly in his feve rish dreams H e had a solem n belief that he was a p eculiar in stru me n t i n th e hands o f Providence w h ich t ogether with a deep tinge of superstit ion , co mmon to the age mad e h im pro n e to mistake every striking dream for a rev e lation H is error was probably con fi rm ed by subsequen t ci r I m m ediately a fter th e supposed vision and c u ms t an ce s after n in e days of boisterous w eather the w in d subside d the s e a becam e calm an d the adelantado an d his com pa n ions were happily rescu ed from th eir perilous s itu ation and embarked on board of the sh ips E verythi ng of val ue was l ike w ise brought on board an d n othin g remai n ed but the h ull of th e caravel which could n ot be .

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6 0 3

TH E

LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

.

sible to keep her afloat H e then proceeded about ten l ea gues beyond P oin t Blas n ear to w hat is at present called the Gul f of Darien an d wh ich he supposed to be the provin ce of M angi in the territories of the Gran d Khan H ere h e bade fare well to th e mainland and stood north ward on the I st of M ay in ques t o f H is pan i ola N ot w ithstan di ng all h is precautions ho wever h e w as carried so far w est by the cu rrents as to arrive on the 3 ot h of May am ong th e cl uster of isla nds called the Qu een s Garden s on the south sid e of Cuba Du ring this time h is cre w s had su ff ered excessively from h u nger an d fatigu e Th ey w ere cro wded i nto t wo caravels little better than m ere w recks and wh ich were scarcely kept afloat by in cessan t labor at the p ump T hey were e n feebled by scan ty d iet an d dej ected by a variety of hardships A v iolent storm on the coast of Cuba drove the vessels upon each other and shattered them to su ch a d egree that th e Ad m iral after str u ggling as far as Cape Cruz gave up all further attempt to n avigate them to H ispan iola and stood over i n search of a secure port on H ere on the 24 t h of J u n e they t h e i slan d o f J am aica anch ored in a harbor to w h ich the Admiral gave the n am e o f P ort San Gloria Seeing that h is sh ips w ere n o longer capable o f stan d ing th e sea and w ere in d anger of fou n derin g even in port Colu mbus ran th em agrou nd w ith i n bo wshot of the shore wh ere th ey w ere fasten ed together side by side They soon filled w ith water That ched cabi n s were then erected at th e p ro w an d stern to shelter the cre ws an d the wreck was placed in th e best possible state of de fen ce ; th us castled in the sea Colu mbus trusted to be able to repel any sudden attack of the n a t ive s an d at the sam e t im e to keep h is m en u nder proper rest rain t No on e was p erm itted to go on shore w ithou t .

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0 3 7

A P E RI L O U S SI T U A TI OI V .

especial l i cense and th e utmost pre caution was taken to preven t any o ffence being g i ven to th e I ndians who soon s war med to the h arbor w ith provis i ons as any exaspera tion of them m i gh t be fatal to the S pan i ards in their presen t forlorn situation T wo persons w ere appoi nted to superinten d all bargai ns and the provis i ons thu s o b t ai n e d were d ivided every even in g amo ng th e people As the i mm ed iate n eighborhood ho wever m i ght soon be exhausted th e z ealous and in trepid D i ego M endez mad e a tour in the i n ter i or accompan ied by three m en an d made arrangem en ts for th e caciqu es at a d ist a n ce to furn ish daily suppli es at th e harbor in exchan ge for E u ropean tri nkets H e re t ur n ed in tri um ph in a canoe which h e had purchased from the I nd i an s an d which he had f reighted with provisi ons an d th rough h is able arrangem en t the S pan iards were regularly supplied Th e imm ed iate wants of his people b eing thus pro vid e d f or Colu mbus revolved in h i s anx i ous m i nd t he m eans of gett in g from th is islan d H is sh i ps were b e yon d th e possibility of repair ; there was n o hope of a chan ce sail arriving to his relief on the shores of a sav age islan d i n an u n frequen ted sea At len gth a mode of relief occurred to h im th rough the m e an s of th is sam e Diego M en de z wh ose cou ra ge an d loyalty h e had so often proved H e took h im aside to soun d him on th e subj ect and M en dez h im sel f has wr i tten an accou nt o f th is int e restin g conversation wh ich is full o f ch ar acter Diego Me n d ez my son said the venerable Adm iral o f all those who are here you an d I alon e kn o w the great peril in w hich we are placed We are few in n um ber an d th ese savage I ndian s are m any an d of fickle an d irritabl e natu res O n th e least provocat ion they may th ro w fi reb rand s from th e shore and consum e us i n ,

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8 6 3

TH E

LI FE

COL U M B U S

OF

.

our st ra w thatched cabi ns Th e ar rangem ent which y o u h ave m ad e for provisions and wh ich at present th ey ful fill so cheerfully they may capriciously break to morrow an d may refuse to brin g us anythi ng ; n or have w e th e m ean s of com pelli ng them I have thought of a rem edy i f it meets your vie ws I n th is canoe wh ich you h ave purchased some on e may pass over to H isp ani ola an d procu re a sh ip by which w e shall all be d c liv ered f rom th is great peril Tell m e your opin ion on th e m atter “ “ Se nor repl ied D iego M en dez I well k n o w ou r danger to be far greater than is easily conceived ; but as to passin g to H ispan iol a i n so small a vessel as a can oe I hold it n o t m erely d i fficult bu t i mpossible Sin ce it is n ecessary to traverse a gul f o f forty l eagu es and b e t ween islan ds wh ere th e sea is impetuous an d seldom i n repose I kno w n ot w ho there is would venture upon so extrem e a peril Colu mbu s made n o reply but from his looks an d the n atu re o f his silen ce M en dez plain ly percei ved h im s el f to be th e person whom th e Ad m iral had in vie w Re “ r s u mi n : e there f ore th e conversat ion said he S fi o g “ I have many times put my l ife i n peril to save you and my co mrades an d God has h itherto preserved m e i n a miraculous man n er T h ere are n e vertheless m u rm u rers who say that you r excellen cy in tru sts to m e e v ery a ffair wh erei n honor is to be gain ed while there are others in com pa ny who w ould execute them as w ell as I I beg therefore that you would assem ble the peop le an d pro pose th is enterprise to see i f any on e w ill u n dertake it I f all d eclin e I will t he n co me for ward wh ich I doubt an d risk my li fe i n you r service as I h ave m any t imes d one alrea d y The Adm iral w illi ngly h u mored th e w ishes of the -

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I O 3

TH E

LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

.

con fin ed to his bed and shut up in a w reck on the coast o f a remote an d savage island The dispatches being ready Diego M en dez embarked with his Span ish comrade an d his six I n dian s an d coasted the island east ward The i r voyage was toilsom e and perilous When arrived at the end of the islan d th ey w ere sudden ly surrou nd ed an d tak e n prison ers by the I n d ians who carried them three leagues i nto the i nterior w h ere th ey d eterm in ed to kill them A dispute arising abou t the d ivision o f the spoils they agreed to settle it after the I nd ian fashion by a gam e of ball Wh ile th u s engaged Di ego M en dez escaped regain ed his canoe an d mad e h is w ay back to the harbor in it alon e after fi fteen days absen ce Nothi ng daun ted by the perils an d hardsh ip s he had u n de rgon e he o ff ered to depart imm e d iat e ly on a secon d attem pt provided he could be e s co rt e d to the e n d of the is l a n d by an ar med force H is o fl e r w as accepted an d Barth olom e w Fiesc o a Genoese who had com m a nded on e of th e caravels an d was strongly attached to the Ad m i ra l w as assoc i ated w ith h im i n th is secon d expedition E ach had a ca noe w ith six Span i ard s an d t e n I ndian s un der his com man d On reaching H ispan iola Fiesco was to return imm ediately to J a maica to bri ng tidi n gs to th e Ad miral of th e safe arrival o f h is messenger ; while D iego M en dez w as to proceed to San Dom ingo an d after purchasing and d ispatching a ship was to depart for Spain w ith th e letter to th e sovereign s All arrangements bein g mad e the I n dians placed i n the canoes a supply of cassa va bread an d each h is cala bash o f water Th e Span iards besides their provisions had each his sw o rd and targe t The adelan tado w ith an armed band k e pt pace w ith t hem along th e coast un til they re ach ed the end of the islan d where w aitin g ,

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M U TI /VY OF P ORRA S

3

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11

for three days u n til the weath e r was perfectly seren e they lau nched forth on t he broad bosom of the sea Th e ad elantado rem ain ed watch ing th em u ntil they becam e m ere specks on the ocean and the even ing hid them from h is vie w an d the n re turned to the harbor ,

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C HA PT E R X LI M U TI N Y O F A GE M

P O RRA S

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[

T H E I N D I AN S

.

I

M O O N — ST RAT

P SE O F T H E T O P RO CU RE SU PP LI ES

ECL I

-

CO LU M B U S

OF

.

O S3

.

.

F RO M

]

M O NTH S elapsed and n othing was heard of M endez and Fiesco The Span iards en feebled by pas t su ff erin gs cro wded in close quarters i n a moist an d sul t ry cli mate and red uced to a vegetable die t to wh ich they were un accustom ed becam e extrem ely s i ckly and their mala dies were h eigh t en ed by anxiety an d s u spense Day after day and week after w eek th ey kept a w istful lookout upon the sea for the expected ret u rn of Fiesco flattering themsel ves that e very I ndian can oe gli ding at a d istan ce m ight be the harbin ger of deliveran ce I t was all i n vai n and at length they began to fear that th eir m essen gers had perished Som e gradually sank i nto d espond e n cy ; others becam e peevish an d im patient and in their un re ason able heat railed at their ven erable an d infirm comman der as the cause of all their m isfortu n es Among the o fli ce rs of Colu mbus w ere t wo brothers Francisco and Diego Porras relatio n s of the royal treas T o grati fy th e latter the Adm iral had u re r Morales appoi nted on e of them captain of a caravel and th e other notary and accou ntan t general of th e expedi tion They ,

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TH E

2 1 3

COL U M B U S

OF

L I FE

.

and i n sol ent m en and like many others whom Colu mbus h ad ben efited requ ited his kin d ness w ith the gratitude M inglin g w ith the people they b lackest i n assured them that Colu mb us had n o i n ten tion of retu rn i ng to Spain havi ng i n reality be en ban ished then ce by the sovereigns H ispan iola they said w as equally closed against h im an d i t was h is design to remain i n J amaica u n t il his friends could make interest at court to procu re his recall As to M en dez an d Fiesco they h ad been sent t o S pain by Colu mbus on his o wn private con cern s ; if this w ere n ot the case why d id n ot th e prom ised ship arrive ? or w hy did not F iesco ret u rn O r i f the can oes had really been sent for succor the long time that had elapsed without tid ings gave reason to believe that they had perished by the w ay I n such case th eir on ly alter nat ive w ould be to take I nd ia n canoes an d endeavor to reach H i span iola ; but th ere was n o hope of persuadin g the Adm iral to do this ; h e w as too old an d too in firm to u n dertake such a voyage By t hese insi d ious suggestions they gradually prepared t he people for revolt ass u ring them o f the protection of their o wn relatives i n Spain an d of the cou n ten an ce of Ovando an d Fon seca i f n o t of the favor of the so ve r e ign s themselves wh o had sho w n their ill will to wards Colu mbus by strippi ng h im of part o f his d ign it ies and privil eges O n the 2 d of J an uary 1 504 th e m utiny broke out Francisco Porras sudden ly entered th e cabi n where Co lumb u s w as con fin ed to his bed by the gout reproached him v ehem en tly w ith keeping them i n that desolat e place to perish an d accused h i m of h avi n g no inten tion to return to S pain The Adm iral raised h imself i n bed an d mai ntain i ng h is calmn ess endeavored to reason w ith the traitor ; but Porras was deaf t o all argum ent Em w er e vain

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TH E LI F E

I4

OF

COL U M B U S

.

leagues when the w ind came ahead w ith a s well of the sea t hat t hreate n ed to over whelm the deeply laden can oes They im m ed iately tu rned f or lan d an d i n their alarm thre w overboard the greater part of th eir e ffects Th e dan ger still contin u ing they dre w th eir s words an d com pelled most of the I n dians to leap i nto the sea The latter w ere skil f ul s wi m mers but the distan ce to lan d was too great f or their strengt h ; i f ho wever they at any tim e took hold of th e canoes to rest themselves and reco ver breath the Spaniards fearful of their overtu r n in g th e slight barks w ould stab th em or cu t o ff their hand s Som e we re th us slai n by the s word oth ers sunk exhausted ben eath th e waves ; eigh t een perish ed miser ably ; and non e su rvived but a fe w who had been retained to ma n age th e canoes H avi ng reached th e shore in safety P orras and his m en waited u n til th e w eather becam e favorable an d then m ade an other e ffort to cross to H ispan iola b u t w i t h n o bett e r su ccess They then abandon ed the attempt in despair an d returned w est w ard to wards th e harbor rov ing from village to village livin g upon th e provision s o f th e I nd ian s w hich they took by f orce if n ot readily given an d con d ucti n g themselves in the m ost licentious man n er I f th e n atives remon strated they told th em to seek redress at the h an ds of the Adm iral wh om at the same tim e th ey represe n ted as the implacable foe of the I nd ian race an d bent upon gain ing a tyran n ical s way over their island I n the m eant im e Colu mbus w hen aban don ed by th e m uti neers and left i n the w reck w ith a m ere han dful of sick and despon d ing m en exerted hi m self to th e u tmos t to restore this rem nant to an e ffi cient state of h ealth and spirits H e ordered that th e small stock of biscu it w hich remain ed an d the most n ourish in g articl es of the provis ,

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TH RE A TE N E D

WI TH

FA M I N E

3

.

15

io ns fu rn ish ed by the I n d ian s s hou ld be appropr i ated t o th e invalids ; he visited them i nd ivid ually cheered them w ith hopes of speedy deliveran ce an d prom ised that on his ret urn to Spain h e would in tercede w ith the soverei gn s that th eir loyalty m i ght be mu n ifi cent ly re I n this way by kin d an d carefu l treatm en t and warded encou raging words h e succeed ed i n restoring them from a state of sickn ess an d despon dency and r e ndering t hem o nce m ore fi t for service Scarcely h o w ever h ad the l i t t le garrison of the wreck recovered from the sh ock of the m u t iny when it was m e naced b y a n ew and appalling ev i l T he scanty number of the Span i ards preven ted them from foraging abroad for provision s an d re nd ered them depe n den t on the volu ntary supplies of the natives The latter began to gro w n egligent T h e E uropean tr i nkets on ce so in estimable in t heir ey e s by becom i ng com mon h ad sunk in va l u e an d w ere almost treated with i n d i fferen ce The arran gem en ts mad e by D iego M endez were irre gu l arly at t en ded to and at lengt h en tirely disregarded Many of the cac i ques had been incensed by th e con d uct of Porras an d h is follo w ers wh ich they suppos ed j u sti fied by the Ad m iral ; others had been secretly i nstigated by the rebels to w ithhold provision s in hopes of starvi ng Col umbus an d h is peop l e or of d riving them f rom the islan d T h e h orrors of fam in e began to th reaten the terrified cre w w hen a fortun ate id ea prese nted itself to Col u m bus From kn o wledge of astron omy h e ascert ain ed that w ith i n ree days there w oul d be a tot al eclipse of the moon i n th e early part of the n ight H e summon ed there fore th e prin cipal caciq u es to a grand con f eren ce app o i n tin g for it the day of the ecl i pse When all w ere assembl e d h e told th em by his interpreter that he an d ,

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3

16

TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

.

his follo wers w ere worshipers o f a Deity wh o lived in T hat t he skies and held th em u nd er h is protection th is great Deity was i ncen sed again st th e I n dians who had re f used or neglected to fu rn ish h is faith ful worship ers w ith provisions an d in ten ded to chastise them w ith fam i n e and pestilen ce Lest they sh ould disbelieve this w arn ing a sign al would be give n that very n ight i n the heavens T hey w ould behold the moon change its color an d grad ually lose its light ; a token of the fear f ul p u n is hme nt w h ich a waited them Ma ny of the I n d ian s w ere alarm ed at th e solem n i t y o f th i s pred ict ion others treated it w ith derision all h o w ever a waited with solicitu de the com ing of the n ight Wh en they behe l d a black sh ado w stealing over th e m oon an d a mysterious gloom gradually covering the whole f ace of n atu re th ey w ere seized w ith th e u tmost constern at ion H u rryi n g w ith provisio n s to th e Ships and thro w ing themselves at the feet o f Columbus t hey implore d h im to in t ercede w ith his God to w ithhold the th reatened calam ities assuring h im that then ceforth they Colu mbu s re w o u ld bring him what ever h e requ ired t ired to his cabin u n der pretence of comm u n ing w ith th e Deity th e forests an d shores all th e wh ile resou n ding H e retu rned shortly w ith the h o wling of th e savages an d i n form ed the n atives that th e Deity h ad deign ed to p ardon them on con d itio n o f their f ulfilling thei r prom in sign of which he would withdraw the d arkn ess is e s from th e moon When the I n d ian s s aw that plan et re stored presen tly to its brightn ess and rolling in all i ts beauty th rough the fi rmame nt they overwhelm ed the Ad m iral with thanks for h is intercession They n o w re gard ed h im w ith awe an d reveren ce as on e in pecul iar favor an d con fid en ce o f the Deity sin ce he kne w u pon earth what w as passin g i n t he heavens T hey hast en ed ,

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3

18

TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

.

to prop i tiate h im w ith gifts ; supplies agai n arrived daily at th e harbor an d from th at tim e forward there w as no wan t of provision s ,

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C H APT E R XL I I A RRI V AL

DE

D I EGO

OF

BA TT L E

W I TH

E SCO B A R

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AT

H A RB O R

TH E

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T H E REB E L S

.

E I GH T m on ths had n o w elapsed sin ce the departu re o f M endez and Fiesco yet no t idi ngs had been received of their fate Th e hopes o f the mo s t sangu in e w ere n early extin ct and m any consid erin g them selves aban don ed and forgotten by the w orld gre w w ild an d desperate i n their plan s An other con spiracy si milar to that of Porras w as on the poin t of breaki n g out w hen on e even ing to w ards d usk a sail w as s een stan d i n g to wards the h arbor I t w as a s mall caravel w h ich kept ou t at sea and sen t its boat on shore I n th is came Diego de Esc o bar on e of the late con federates o f Roldan who had been cond em n ed to d eath u n der the adm in istration o f Colum bus and pardon ed by h is successor Bobadilla There was bad om en in such a m essenger Escob ar w as t h e bearer o f a mere letter of com plim e n t and con dolence from Ova ndo accom pan ied by a barrel o f w i n e an d a si d e of baco n Th e govern or expressed great con cern at his m is fort u nes an d regret at n ot having in port a vessel of s u ffi cie n t size to bring o ff h im sel f an d people but prom ised to sen d on e as soon as possible Escobar d re w o ff w ith the boat an d kept at a distan ce from the w reck aw aiting any letters the Adm iral m ight have to send in reply and hol d ing n o conversation w ith any of t h e Span iards Colu m bu s hasten ed to write to ,

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3

D E SE R TE D B V 0 VA N D O

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19

O van d o depictin g th e horrors of h is situation an d u rg ing the pro mised relief As soon as E scobar received this letter h e returned on board of his caravel whic h made all sail an d d i sappeared in th e gath eri ng gloom of th e n ight Th e mysterious cond uct o f E scobar caused great wo n der an d consternation amon g the people Col um bus sought to d ispel their u n easi ness assurin g the m that ves sels would soon arrive to take them a w ay I n con fidence o f this h e said h e had declin ed to d epart w i t h E scobar because his vessel was too small to take the whole an d had dispatched him in such hast e that n o tim e m i ght be l ost in send ing the requ isite sh ips These assu rances an d the certainty that their situation was kno wn in San Dom i ngo ch eered the hearts of th e people an d put an end to the conspiracy Col umbus ho w ever w as secretly in dign an t at the con d uct o f Ovando bel ievin g that he had pu rposely delayed sending relie f in the hopes that h e would perish on the islan d being apprehensive that should h e return i n sa f e t y he w oul d be rein stated i n t he govern ment of H ispa n iola H e considered E scobar m erely as a spy sen t by th e govern or to asc ertain whether he an d his cre w w ere yet i n existen ce St ill h e end eavored to tu rn the event to som e advantage with the rebels H e sen t t wo of his people to in f or m them o f th e prom ise o f O vando to sen d ships for h is relie f an d h e o ffered them a f ree pardon an d a passage to H ispan iol a on con d ition of their im m ed iate return to obed ien ce O n th e approach of the am bassadors Porras came forth to meet th em accom pan ied solely by a fe w of the ringleaders of h is party an d preven ted their hold ing any co mm u n ication w ith the m ass of h is people I n reply to th e gen erou s o ffer o f th e Adm iral they refused to re tur n ,

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TH E

LI FE

OF

COL U M B U S

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to th e wreck but agreed t o cond uct themselves peaceably and am icably on receiving a sol em n prom ise th at should t wo vessels arrive they should have on e to depart in ; should but on e arrive th e hal f of it should be gran ted to th em ; and that in the m ean tim e the Adm iral should share with th em the sea stores and articles of I n d ian When it was t raflfic which remain ed in h is possession observed that these d eman ds were extravagan t an d in adm issi ble th ey replied th at i f th ey were n ot peaceably con ceded they w oul d take the m by force ; an d w ith th is men ace they d ism issed the ambassadors The con feren ce was not con du cted so priv ately but that the rest of th e rebels learn t the w hole pu rport o f the m i ssion Porras seeing them m oved by th e o ff er of pard o n and del iveran ce resort ed to th e m ost d esperate falsehoods to delud e them H e told them that these o ffers o f the Ad miral were all deceit f ul ; an d that he on ly sought to get th e m i nto his po wer that he m igh t wr eak on them his ve ngean c e As to th e pretend ed caravel whic h had visited the harbor h e assu red them that it was a m ere phantasm conj u red up by th e Admi ral who w as deeply versed in magic I n proof of th is h e adverted to its arri v ing in the dusk o f th e even ing ; its holding co mm u n ication w ith n o on e but th e Ad m iral an d its sudden disappearan ce i n th e n ight H ad it been a real caravel th e cre w w ou ld have sought to converse w ith their cou ntry m en ; the Adm iral his son an d brother would have eagerly embarked on board ; at any rate it w ould have rem ain ed a little while i n port an d n ot have van ished so sudd en ly and mysteriously By these an d sim ilar delusions Porras su cceeded i n w orking u pon the feelings an d credulit y o f h is follo wers and persuaded them that i f th ey persisted in thei r rebel l ion t hey would ultimately trium ph an d perhaps sen d ,

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TH E

2 2 3

OF COL U M B U S

LI F E

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mo ng w hom was J uan Sanch e z the sam e po werful m arin er w ho had car ried o ff the caciqu e Q u ib ian I n th e midst of the affray the adelan tad o w as assailed by Francisco Porras who w ith a blo w of his s w ord cleft his buckler an d w ou n ded the han d which grasped it Th e S wo r d rem ain ed wedged i n th e sh ield ; an d before it could be w ithdra w n the adelan tado closed upon Porra s grappled him an d being assisted by o t hers succeeded i n taki n g hi m prisoner T he rebels seei n g t h eir l e ader a captiv e fl e d in con fusio n but w ere n ot pu rsu ed th rough fear o f an a t SPA N I SH SO L D I E R h e I nd ians t a ck f ro m t w h had o r e R d w f m D B y m ai n ed d ra w n up in bat t le array gaz i ng w ith aston ishm e n t at th is figh t bet w een wh ite m en bu t withou t offering to aid eith er party The adelan tado retu r n ed i n tri umph to th e wreck with Porras an d s everal ot h er prison ers On ly t wo of h is o w n m en had been woun ded on e o f w hom d ied On th e follo wing day the rebels sen t in a letter to th e Adm iral signed by all their n a mes con fessing all their m isdeeds i mplo r ing pardon and maki n g a sole mn oath of obed ien ce an d imprecating the most a wful cu rs e s o n thei r heads should they break it The Adm iral s aw by t he abject n atu re of the letter ho w completely th e spirit of these m is gu ided m en was broken ; w i t h his won ted m agn an im ity h e par d on ed th ei r o ffen ces m erely reta in ing their ring leader Fran cisco Porras a prison er to be tried in Spai n for his m isd eeds a

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M I SSI ON

OF D I E G O M E N DE Z

C HAPT E R X LI I I VO Y A G E

D I E GO

OF

B RA N CE

M A I CA

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M E N D Ez

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— D E L1V H I SPA N I O LA

To

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F RO M

CO L U M B U S

2 3 3

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I SLA N D O F

THE

J

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is proper here to give som e accou nt of the m ission o f D iego M en dez an d Bartholom ew Fiesco When they had taken leave o f the adelantado at the east en d of t he islan d of J amaica they cont in ued al l day in a d irect course there was n o w i nd th e sky was w ithout a Cloud and the sea l ike a m irror re fl ected the bu rn ing rays o f the sun The I ndian s who paddled th e can o es w ould often leap in to th e water t o cool thei r gl ow ing bodies and re f resh th emselves f rom their toil At th e going do w n of t he su n th ey lost sight O f land Du ring th e n ight the I n dians took tu rn s on e half to ro w w h ile th e others slept The Sp a n iards in like m a n n er divided their forces ; whi le so me took repose the ot h ers s at w ith their weapon s i n their han ds ready to d efen d themselves in case O f any perfi d y on th e part O f their savage com pan ion s Watchi n g an d toil ing i n this w ay through the n ight they w e re excessively f atigued on th e follo w in g day ; and to add to th eir distress they began to experie nce th e torm en ts o f thi rst ; f or the I n dian s parched w ith h eat had already drain ed the con t en ts of their calab ash es I n proport io n as the su n rose their m isery in creased an d — n oth ing bu t w as irritated by the prospect arou n d them Abou t w ater while they w er e perish ing w ith th irst m id day whe n th eir st re ngth w as failin g them the com manders produ ced t wo smal l kegs o f wa t er w hich they IT

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TH E

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COL U M E U S

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[

had probably re s erved in secret for such an extrem ity Adm in istering a cool ing m ou t h f ul occasionally they e n abled the I n dia n s to r e su m e thei r toils They held out the hopes O f soon arriving at a s m all islan d called N a vasa which lay d irectly i n their way about eight leagues dista n t fro m H ispan iola H ere th ey wou ld fi n d water to assuage their thirst and w ould be able to take repose The n ight Closed upon them w ithou t any sight O f the island ; they feared that they had deviated from their course ; if so they s hould m iss the islan d entirely and w erish ith th irst before they could reach H ispan iola p O n e of th e I ndian s died O f the accum ulated sufferings of labor heat an d raging thi rst others lay pa nti ng an d gasping at th e bottom O f th e canoes Th eir c o mpan ion s were scarcely able to con tin u e th eir toils Sometim es they endeavored t o cool their parch ed palat es by t aking sea w ater i n th eir mouths ; but its bri ny bittern ess only in creased their thirst O ne after an other gave up and i t seem ed i mpossible that they should live to reach H is

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T he comm an ders by adm irable m an agemen t had h itherto kept up this w eary struggle w ith su fferi ng an d despair ; but th ey too bega n to despond D iego M en dez sat w atching the horizon wh ich was grad ually l ight ing up w ith those faint rays wh ich preced e the rising o f the m oon As that plan et arose h e percei ved it to em erge from behind a dark m ass elevated above the level of the ocean I t proved to be the i slan d O f N avasa but so lo w and smal l and distan t t hat had it not been thus revealed by the rising moon he w ould n ever have d is covered it H e im med ia t ely gave the an imatin g cry O f Lan d ! H is alm ost expiring co mpan i ons w ere roused to n e w l if e an d exerted themselves w ith feverish im pa By the da wn of day they sprang o n s hore and t ie n ce ,

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TH E L I F E

COL U M B U S

OF

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sh ips o f su ffi cie nt burden i n the islan d to bring o ff Co lum bus an d his men At length by daily i mportu n ity M e n dez obtain ed perm ission to go to San Dom ingo and a wait th e arrival of certain Ships wh ich were exp ected H e i mm ediately set ou t on foot ; th e distan ce was sev e nty leagu es an d part O f h is to ilsome j ou rn ey lay through forests a nd mou n tai n s in fested by hostile an d exasperated I n dians I m mediately a f ter h is d eparture Ovand o d is patched from X aragu a the pardon ed rebel Escobar on t hat recon n oitring visit w hich caused so m uch w on der and suspicion am on g the compan ions of Columbus I f the gover n or had really en tertai n ed hopes that dur in g t he delay of relie f Colu mbus m igh t p eri sh in th e islan d the report brought back by E scobar m ust have completely d isappoin ted h im No t i m e w as n o w to be lost i f h e w ished to clai m any m erit i n his d eliverance or to avoid the disgrace O f havin g t otally n eglected him H is lo ng d elay had already roused the public i ndigna tion i n som uch that animadversion s had been mad e u pon his con duct even i n the pul pits D iego M en dez also had h ired an d victualled a vessel at th e expense of Co l umbu s an d w as on the poin t O f dispatch in g it The govern or there f ore exerted him self at the eleven th hou r and fitted out a caravel wh ich h e pu t u n der the com m and O f Diego de Sal cedo the a gent em ployed by Colum bus to collect h is ren ts in San D omingo I t was these t wo vessels wh ich arrived at J amaica shortly after th e battle w ith Porras an d brought relief to the Adm iral an d his faith ful adheren t s after a long year O f d ism al ! con finemen t to the w reck .

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b ief n tic f the fu t h e fortu ne f Di g M e d may b e r ti g t th e d vic h b t w d When Ki ng Fe di nand h a d f hi fai th fu l Some

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27

D O M I N GO

COL U I l/B U S A T SA N

.

O n the 2 8 t h of J u n e all the Span iards embarked f riend an d foe on board of the vessels an d m ade sail joyfully for San Dom ingo ; but f rom adverse w inds and curre n ts they d id not arrive there u ntil th e 1 3 th of Aug ust Whatever lurking en mity t he re m ight be to Co lu mbus in the place it w as overpo wered by popu lar sym pathy for h is late d isas t ers Whatever had been den ied to h is m erits was granted to his m isfortu n es ; and even t h e envious appeased b y h is presen t reverses seem ed to forgive hi m for havi ng once been so tri u mphan t T he governor an d the pri n cipal in habi t an ts cam e forth to m ee t h im an d received him w i t h sign al d istin ction H e was lodged i n th e house O f O van do who t reated h im w ith the u t mos t cou rtesy an d atte n tio n ; bu t t here w ere too d eep causes of j ealousy an d d istrust bet w een them for th eir i ntercou rse to be cord ial Their po wers too w ere so d efi n ed in their several paten t s as to clash with each other and to cause qu estions of j urisdiction O van do assum ed a right to take cogn izance O f all t ransactions at J am aica as happen ing w ithin the lim its O f his govern men t H e set at liberty the t raitor Porras and talked ,

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p mi tt d him t b a a can i hi c at f m a f hi h a dy d d ev t dly ttach d t te p i H e c n ti a mem n t fte hi et n t Sp i n and d u i ng hi the A d mi al e vi ng him zeal ou ly l a t ill n ss C l umbu tain d a g tefu l nd aff c ti nat se f hi fi d eli ty O n hi d th be d he p mi d M en d z th t h Sh u ld b ap p i nt d p i n ci pal alg uaz il f th i l nd f H i pa i l a The p omi e how ve wa n t p fo med by the h i f C l u mb u M ndez wa aft ward ng ag ed in v a i u and v yag f di c v y m t wi t h ma y vici s i t ud died p I n hi l t w ill h requ st d t h t hi m i al b a i ng f a I n di an c n h uld be ng av d n hi t mb t n and u nd r it th f ll w i ng w d s H li the h on abl C v lie Di g M en d z wh e ved g eatly th oy l c wn f Spai i the c onque t f the I ndi wi th Ad mi al Ch i to ph Col mb f gl i m m y wh m d th di c v y ; and af t wa d by h i m l f i hip t hi wn c t B st w in h ty a ward s

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2 8 3

TH E

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OF

COL U M B U S

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of pun ishing the follo w ers o f Colu mbus for t he d eaths O f t he mu t in eers whom they h ad slai n in ba t t le Colum b u s on th e o t her han d asserted the absolu t e j ur isd ic t ion given h im by th e sovereigns i n his let t er O f in struc t ions over all persons who h ad sailed in h is exped i t ion from the time of their d epart u re f rom Spain u n til t heir retu rn T h e governor heard h im w ith great courtesy an d a sm il in g cou n tenan ce bu t observed that t he letter gave hi m no au t hority wi t hin the bou n ds O f h is govern m en t H e relin qu ished the id ea ho wever O f t rying the faith ful ad h e re n ts of Col um bus an d sen t Porras to Spain t o be exam ined by the board wh ich had charge of the a ff airs of the I nd ies .

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C H AP T E R XLI V

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A FFA I RS A T H I S A N I O LA D U RI N G T H E A D M I N I ST RAT I O N

OF

— RET U RN O VA N D O .

CO L U M B U S

OF

TO

P

S AI N

.

soj ou rn of Colu m bus at San Domingo was bu t little calcu lated to y ield him satisfaction H e was grieved at th e desolation o f the island through th e oppressive treat men t o f th e n atives an d the h orrible massacres w hich had taken place u nder the adm i n istration of O van do An d here let us tu rn f or a m om en t from pursu ing the story of the Adm iral to n o t ice som e of the prin cipal occurren ces wh ich had taken place in H ispan iola du ri ng h is absen ce A great cro wd of adven tu rers of various ranks had thron ged the fleet O f O van do all confiden tly expec t in g to make sud de n fo rt un es T h ey had scarcely lan d ed whe n th ey all hu rried o ff to the min es wh ich were abou t TH E

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TH E

0 33

LI FE

COL U M B U S

OF

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he had b e e n s e nt out to supersede Bobadilla the q u een shocked at t he crue l bon dage which had been inflicted The con o n the I n dians had pro n o u n ced them all free sequ en ce was they immediately refused to labor i n th e m i nes O van do in 1 503 represented that this en t ire l iberty gran ted to the nat i ves w as no t m erely ru inous to th e colony but detrim en ta l to themselves as it prod uced habits of idle ness pro fl igacy and n e glect of all religion T he sovereign s perm i tted therefore that th ey should b e obliged t o labor m od erately i f essen tial to thei r well being bu t that they should be paid re gularly an d fairly and i nstructed i n religion on certa i n days an d tha t all c ompulsory m easures should be t em pered w ith p e rs u a sion an d kin dn ess U n der cov er of th is hired labor th us i ntend ed for the health O f soul an d b ody more in t o le r able toil was exacted from them and more horrible cru el ties inflicted than i n th e w orst days of Bobadilla M any perished from h u nger or sank u nder th e lash ; many killed themselves in d espair ; an d eve n m others over came th e po werfu l insti nc t of nature an d d estroyed the in fan ts at th ei r breasts to spare th em a l i fe of wretched n ess E ven those who survived t he exac t ed terms of labor an d w ere per mitted to return to their hom es wh ich w ere O ften sixty an d eighty leagu es d istan t were d is m issed so worn do wn by toil an d hardship and so scantily furn ish ed with provisions that th ey perished by the w ay Som e sank do wn an d d ied by the side O f a brook others u n der th e shad e of a tree wh ere they had cra wled for shelter fro m the su n I have foun d m any ” dead on th e road says th e ven erable Bishop Las Casas ; others gaspi n g u n d er the trees an d others in the pa n gs o f death faintly cryin g H u nger ! hu nge r ! T he w ars of O vando were equally d esolat ing To pun '

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CR U E L T Y OF O VA N D O

1 3

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ish a sli ght i n surrection in th e provin ce of H i guey at the eastern en d of the islan d h e sen t h is troops who ra va ged the cou n t ry with fire and s word sho wed n o mercy to age or sex p ut m any to death with th e m ost wanton ingen ious an d horrible tortures an d brought off the brave Co t ab an ama on e of t he five soverei gn caciqu es of the i s lan d in chains to San Dom ingo where h e was ign o min io u sly hanged by O vando for th e crim e of defen di ng his territo ry an d his n ative soil against usu rping strangers But th e most atrocious act of O vando an d one that m ust heap O diu m o n h is n am e wh erever the woes of th e gentle n atives of H ayti create an i nterest was th e pun is hmen t h e in flicted on th e p ro vi nce o f X aragu a for a pretended conspiracy T h e exactions of tribute i n this o n ce happy an d hospitable provin ce had caused occa in ferior caci q u es and the s iOn al quarrels b et wee n the Span iards ; th ese were magn ified by alarm ists and O van do was persuaded that there was a deep laid plot among th e n atives to rise upon th eir oppressors H e immed i ately set ou t for X aragu a at th e head O f n early fou r hu ndred well arm ed soldiers seven ty of whom were steel clad horsemen H e gave ou t that he was going o n a visit o f friendship to make arran gemen ts abou t the pay ment of tri b ute B e he c hio the an cien t caciqu e of th e provi n ce was d ead an d h is sis t er An acaona had su cceeded to the go vernm en t S he cam e forth to m eet O vando accord ing to the custom of h er n ation attend ed by her m ost disti ngu ished subj ects an d her train O f damsels waving palm branches and dan c i ng to th e ca d ence of their popular arey t os All her pri nc i pal caciques had been assembled to do honor t o h er gu ests who for sev eral days were en tertain ed w ith ban q u ets an d n ation al gam es an d dance s I n return for t hese exh ibitions ,

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2 33

TH E

L I FE

OF

COL U M B U S

.

O van do i nv i ted Anacaona with her beauti ful daugh te r H igu e namo t a and h er prin c i pal subj ects to w it n ess a til t i ng match by th e caval ry in the public square When all w e re assem bled the s q uare cro wded with u n armed I nd ians O va ndo gave a signal an d i nstan tly the horse men rush ed into the m idst of the naked and defen celess throng tra mpl in g them u n der foot cu ttin g them do wn w ith their s words t rans fi x ing the m w ith t heir lan ces an d sparing n either age nor sex Above eighty caciqu es had been assembled in on e of the prin cipal houses I t w as s urroun ded by troops th e caciques were boun d to th e posts wh ich supported th e roof an d put to cruel tortu res u n til in th e e x trem ity O f an guish t hey w ere m ade to adm it th e truth of the plo t with wh ich th e ir qu een an d themselves had bee n c harged When sel f accusation h ad thus been tortu red from them a horri ble pu n ishm e n t w as im m ed iately inflicted ; fi re w as set to the h ouse and they all perished m iserably in the flam es As to A nacaona she was carried to San Dom in go wh ere the m ockery of a t rial w as give n h er in w hich she was foun d gu ilty on th e con fessions w run g by tortu re from h er subj ects and on th e testimony o f th eir bu tch ers an d sh e was barbarously h anged by the people whom she had so long and so signally be fri en ded After the massacre at X aragu a t he d est ru ctio n of its i nhabitan ts still we n t on they were hu n ted for six m on ths am i dst the fastn esses of the m ou ntains and their cou n try ravaged by horse an d foot un til all bei n g red uced to d eplorabl e misery and abj ect subm ission O vando pro an d in com no u n ce d the province restored to ord er m emoration O f h is trium ph found ed a tow n n ear th e lake which he called Santa M aria de la Verdadera Paz h St M ar f T ru e Peace O e t y ) ( Such w as the tragical fate o f th e beauti fu l A nacaona ,

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D E P AR T U RE F R OM

D OM I N GO

SA N

33 5

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he could n o t obtain a clear accou nt and a fu ll l i q uidation of th em an d he complain ed that Ovan do had im peded his agents in t heir managem ent of his con cern s T he conti nual m isu nderstand ings w h ich took place bet wee n h m and the govern or though al ways q ualified o n the i part of the latter with courtly complaisan ce i nd uced Columbus to haste n h is departure H e caused th e sh ip i n wh ich h e had returned from J am a i ca to be repaired and fitted out and another hired i n which h e o ff ered a passage to such of his l ate cre w as chose to retu rn T h e greater part preferred to rem ai n in San Dom i ngo ; as t hey w ere i n great poverty b e relieved th ei r necessities from h is o w n purse and advan ced m oney to th ose who accompan ied him for th e expenses of their voyage Al l the fu nds h e could collect were exhausted in th ese d is b u rs e me n t s an d m any o f the m en t hus relieved by h is g e n e rosity had been am ong the m ost violen t of the rebels On the 1 2t h of Sept e m ber h e set sail ; but had scarce ly le f t t he harbor when the m ast of his Sh ip was carried a w ay i n a sudd en s q u all H e e m barked therefore w i th h is fam ily i n the other vesse l com manded by the ade F o rt l ant ad o and sen t back the dam a ged sh ip to port un e co n tin ued to persecute him to the en d of this h is T hro u gho u t t he la s t an d most d isastrous e xped ition voyage he experien ced tempestuous weather su ff ering at the sam e tim e the excruciating torm en ts of th e gout u nt il o n t he 7t h of N ovember h is crazy an d shattered ba rk an chored i n t he harbor of San Lucar From th ence h e proceeded to Seville to enjoy a littl e tran qu ill ity of m i nd and body and to recru it h is h ealth after his long series of fatigu es anxieties an d h ardships .

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TH E

L I FE

COL U M B U S

OF

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C H A PT ER X LV F RU I TLE SS

STA T ED

APPLI CATI O N IN

D E A TH

AND

HI S

.

CO LU M BU S

OF

GOVE RN M ENT

.

— HIS

TO

REI N

BE

I LLN ESS

LA ST

.

res id en ce of Columbu s du r i ng the w in ter at Seville has gen erally been represen ted as an in terval of repose : never was honorable repose more m erited more desired an d less enjoyed Care and sorro w w ere des tin ed t o follo w h i m by sea an d land ; and i n varying the scen e he but var i ed th e n atu re of h is a ffl ictions E ver sin ce his m em orable arrest by Bobadilla h is a ff ai rs had remain ed in con fus i on and h is rents an d dues had bee n but partially an d i rregularly collected and were d e tain ed i n i n t erm ediate han ds Th e last voyage had exhau st ed his fi nan ces an d involved h i m in embarrassm en t s All t h at h e had been able to collec t o f the money d ue to h im in H ispan iola had been expend ed in bringin g hom e m any of his late cre w and for the greater part the cro w n rem ain ed h is debtor Th e w orld thought him possessed of cou n tless w ealth wh il e in fact h e was su f fering a de gree of pen u ry I n letters w ritten at th is tim e to his son Diego he repeatedly urges to h im the n ecessity of practicing e xtrem e econ omy u ntil th e arrears d ue to h im should be paid I rece i ve n oth ing of t he reven ue du e to me “ says h e on anoth er occasion bu t live by b orro w ing Little have I profi ted by t wenty years O f to i ls and perils si n ce at p resen t I do n ot ow n a roof i n S pain I have n o reso rt b u t an i n n ; and for the most ti me s have not wh ere withal to pay my bill THE

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8 33

TH E LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

.

Colu m b u s the same e x traord i n ary man who but a fe w years b efore had been idolized at t his court as a be n e fact or and rece i ved with almost roy al hon ors H is anxiety to have a person al in tervi e w w ith th e sov ere ign s becam e every day m ore i n tense ; he felt th e in e ffi c acy of letter writi ng ; an d ind eed even that resource began to f ail h im for the severity of his m alady for a great part o f the tim e deprived h i m of the use of his hands H e m ad e repeated attem pts to set o ff for the court ; a litter w as o n ce actu ally at the door to convey hi m thither but h is increasi ng in fi rmit ies an d the in cl e m ency of the season obliged h im to aban do n th e jou rney I n th e m eanti me the in trigu es of h is en em ies appeared to be prevailing ; t he cold h earted Ferd in an d treated all his applications with in d i ffere n ce ; on th e j ustice an d magnan im ity of I s abella alo n e he relied for the redress of h is grievan ces ; but she lay da n gerously ill M ay it please th e H oly Trin ity says h e to restore ou r so ve r e ign q uee n to he alth ; for by he r w ill everything be ad j usted wh ich is n o w i n con fusio n Alas ! wh ile writ i n g th at letter his n oble ben e factress was a corpse ! T he h ealth o f I sabella had long been u n derm in ed by repeat ed shocks of domestic cala mities Th e death o f her on ly son th e Pri n ce J u an of h er bel oved d aughter an d bosom frien d th e Prin cess I sabella ; an d o f h er ran dson an d prospective heir th e Prin ce M igu el had g been th ree cruel wou nd s to her matern al h eart To these were added the con stan t grie f caused by th e in fi rmity o f in t ellect of her daught e r J uan a and the do me st ic un happin ess of that princess w ith h er husb and the Archd uke Ph ilip Th e d esolation which walks through pal aces adm its n ot the familiar sympathies and s weet consolati o n s wh ich all eviate the sorro ws of com mon life I sabella pin ed in state am idst the O b ,

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DE A TH OF I SA B E L LA

3 39

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hom age of a c ourt surrou nded by th e trophies of a glorious and successf ul reign an d placed at the sum m it o f earthly gran deur A deep an d i n curable m el w hi ch underm in ed h er con an ch o ly settled upon her s t it u t io n an d gave a fatal acuten es s to her bod ily mala s e q u io u s

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T MB O

I A ND

O F FE RD N

AN D

I AB LLA G RA NADA S

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d ies A fter fou r m onths of illn ess she d ied on the 26t h of Novem ber 1 504 at M ed in a del Cam po in the fi fty fourth year of her age ; bu t long before her eyes closed u pon the w orld h e r heart h ad closed u pon all its pom ps ” and van it ies Let my body said she i n h er will be .

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0 34

TH E

L I FE

COLU M B U S

OF

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i nterred in the monastery of San Francisco in the A l hambra of the city of Gran ada i n a lo w sepu lch re w ith n o other mo n u m en t than a plain ston e and an in s crip tion But I desire and com ma n d that i f the king my lord should choose a sepulchre i n any Church or mon as t e ry in any other part or place o f these my ki ngdoms that my body be transpo rted thit h er an d bu ried beside th e body o f his h igh n ess ; so that th e u n ion we h ave e n joyed wh ile living an d wh ich through the mercy of Go d w e hope our souls wi l l experie n ce in h eaven may be rep re s ented by our bodies in th e earth Such w as on e o f s e veral passages i n t he w ill o f this a dm irable w om an hich bespoke the chastened h u m ility w ! o f h er heart an d i n w hich as has been well observed t he a ffection s o f co nj ug al l o ve w ere delicately en t w in ed with fervent religion and the m ost ten der m ela n choly She was one of th e purest spirits th at ever ruled over the d e stin ies of a n at io n H ad she been spared h er b e n ign an t vigilan ce w ould have preven ted many a scen e of horror in th e colon ization of th e N e w World an d m ight have soften ed the lot of its n ative i n h abitant s As it is h e r fair n ame w ill ever sh in e with celestial radian ce in t h e é arly da wn i ng o f its h istory The n e ws of the death o f I sabella reached Colum bus H e notices it whi l e he w as w riting a letter to h is s o n i n a postscript or m emor and u m w ritten in th e h aste and brevity of the m om en t but in be au ti f ully touchi ng an d “ “ mou rn f ul terms A m em orial h e w rites for thee ,

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mmand of I sabe ll a has been ob eyed T he author of thi s work has see n he r t o mb i n the roy al ch ap e l o f the c ath ed ral o f Gran ada i n which her remai n s are i n terred w i th th ose o f Fe rdi n an d T h ei r e ffigi es o n a mag n i fic en t se pu lch re s c u lp t u re d in wh i te marbl e l ie s id e by s id e !

T he

dying c

o

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q

al t

ar o f

th e

ue st an d s u rren

d

ch pe l a

er o f

is

Gran

d ad a

a o rn e .

d

ih

wt

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has

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li ef

s

re

p

i g

resen t n

the

co n

TH E LI FE

2 34

COL U M B U S

OF

.



takin g w ith h im the Adm iral s you nger son Fe rn a n do then aged about seven teen T he latter the a ffection ate father repeatedly represents to h is son D iego as a ma n in un derstan d ing an d con duct though b u t a s t ripling in years an d i nculcates the strongest frater n al attac hmen t all uding to h is o w n brethren w ith o n e O f those w arm an d a ff ecti ng touches which speak the ki n dn ess o f h is heart : “ T o thy broth e r con duct thy s elf as the elder brother Thou hast n o oth er a n d I Should u n to the younger praise God that this is such a on e as thou d o st n e e d T en brothers w ould n o t be too many for thee N ever have I fou nd a better fri e nd to right or left t han my broth ers Am ong th e pers o ns whom Col u mbu s employed at this tim e in his m ission s to th e cou rt was Am e r igo V espucci H e d e s cribes hi m as a worthy but un for t u nate man who had not profited as m uch as he deserved by h is u n der takings an d who had al ways been disposed to ren der him se rvice I t was not u ntil th e m on t h o f May th at Col umbus was able to accom pl ish his journey to cou rt w hich was at that tim e at Segovia H e w ho but a fe w years be fore had en tered th e city of Barc e lo n a i n tri um ph atten ded by the ch i valry of Spain an d hailed w ith rapt ure by the m ultitu de no w arriv e d at the gates o f Se govia a way worn m elancholy and n eglected man ; oppressed even more by sorro ws tha n by h is years an d i n fi rmit ie s Wh en he prese n ted h imsel f at court he w as m ade lam e n t ab ly se n sible o f the lo s s o f h is protectres s the ben ig H e met w ith n o n e of th at d istinguished n an t Isabell a atten tion that cordial kin d n e ss that cherish i ng sym pa thy which h is un paralleled services and his recent su f Ferd in and it is tru e received fe rin gs had m erite d him w ith m any pro f essions o f ki ndn ess ; bu t with those ,

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AM RIG V P U CI O

E

Red r a w n f

m

ro

Vz t a

ES

C

L ett r e d z A mer igo ’

'

e

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TH E

LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

.

cold in e ff ect ual sm iles wh ich pass like w in try su nsh in e over the cou ntenan ce an d convey n o w ar mth to the h eart M any mo n ths w ere passed by Colu mbus i n pain ful and hum iliating solicitation H is m ain obj ect was to O btain the restitution o f h is h igh o ffi ces as V iceroy an d Govern or o f the I ndies : as to the m e re pecun ia ry claims for reve n ues an d arrears h e con sid ere d the m o f m inor im por t an c e an d nobly o ffered to l e ave them to t he disposit ion of t he king ; but h is o ffi cial d ign ities belon ged to h is reputation ; they had bee n granted als o by solemn treaty a nd w ere n ot to be made a m atter of arbitra ment A S the latt er ho w ever wer e precisely the claims w h ich the j ealous m on arch w as the le ast d isposed to grant they s to o d con tin u ally in the w ay o f all arrange m e n t The whole mat ter was at on e time referred to a “ tribu nal called th e J u n ta de Descargos w hich h ad charge o f the s et t lemen t o f the a ffai rs of the late qu een but noth ing resulted from th eir del ibe rat ion s ; th e wishes of t h e king w ere too well kn o wn to be th w arted C o lu mbus end eavored to b ear th e se delays w ith pa t i e n ce ; bu t h e had no longer the p hysical stren gt h an d t h e glorious anticipatio n s w hich h ad on ce sustai n ed h i m th rough h is long applicatio n at this court H e was again con fi n e d to h is bed by a retu r n o f the gout aggravated by th e irritatio n s of h is spi rit From this cou ch of an guish he addressed on e more appeal to th e j ustice of th e ki n g H e n o lo n ger petitio n ed for h imsel f but for his son Diego H e en treated that he m igh t be appoin ted in h is place to t he govern me n t of wh ich he had been ” “ “ so wrongfully deprive d Th is said he is a matter which con cerns my hon or ; as to all th e rest do as your maj esty thinks proper ; give or w ithhold as may be most for your in terest and I sh all be con ten t I believe it is ,

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6 34

TH E

LI F E

OF

COL U M B U S

.

e s tates ; an d assured them that though cruelly tort ured at presen t by disease h e w ou ld yet be able to ren d er them services the like of w h ich had n ever been w it ,

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Such w as t he last sally of his sa n gu ine an d un con q uer able spirit ; wh ich disregarding age and i n fi rmit ie s an d all past sorro ws an d disappointm en ts spoke f rom h is dying bed w ith all th e confi dence of youthful hope an d talked of still greater enterprises as i f he had a long and vigorous l ife before him Th e adelantado took an aff e c t i o n at e leave of h is brothe w hom h e w as n ever to b e hold again an d set out on his m ission to the ne w so ve r e i ns c ed th e m ost gracious rec e ption an d H e experien g flatterin g ho pe s w ere given him that the claims o f the Adm iral would speed ily be satisfied I n t he m eanti me the c ares an d troubles of Columbus The transient fi re wh ich had w ere dra w in g to a clo se rec e n tly rean im ated h im w as soon qu en ched by ac C u mu I mmed iately a f ter the departure of l ating i n fi rmi t ie s th e adelantado h is illn ess in creased in violen ce Fin d i ng that h is end was approaching h e arranged all his earthly a ffairs for the ben efit of his successors I n a codicil mad e o n th e eve o f h is decease he en forced his origi n al testam en t constit utin g his son Diego his un i versal h ei r en tailing h is h o nors and estates on the male li n e o f h is fam ily and provi d i n g for his broth ers Don Bartholom e w an d Don Diego an d h is nat u ral s o n Don Fernan do I n h is w ill h e enj oin ed that a portion of his reven u es shou l d be an n u ally deposited in th e ban k of St George at G enoa u n til a s u ffi cien t sum sho u ld be accum ulated t o set on foot a crusade to th e H oly Land for the rescue of th e H oly S epulchre w as to the last the great obj ect O f his ambition and he le f t a solem n charge upon his h eirs to aid personally in the pious en terprise ,

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M ONU MENT

U US

TO COL MB

IN

GENOA

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8 34

TH E LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

.

O ther p ro v i si on s we re m ad e for the foundation of ch urches the supp o rt of Beatri x E n r i q ue z th e m other of Fern an do t he relief o f h is poor relat ion s an d the payment of the m ost trivia l debts H avi ng t hu s scru pulously attende d to all the cla i ms of a ffec t io n loyalty an d j ust ice upon eart h , he t urn ed his thoughts to h eaven con fe ss i ng h imself partaking of the H oly Sacrament an d complying w ith th e other ce remo n ies o f a devout Catholic I n his la st mom ents h e w as atten ded by his son Diego an d a fe w faith ful follo w ers amon g w hom was Bartholom e w Fiesco w ho had acco m n i e Diego M endez i n th e perilous e xpedition f rom a d p J amai ca to H ispan iola Surroun ded by these d evoted f riends h e expired w ith great resi gnat ion on the 20th of M ay 1 506 b eing about seven ty years of age H is “ last words were I n man us tuas Dom ine com mendo ” s p iri t u m m eum I nto thy han ds 0 L ord I com men d ” my sp i rit ,

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C HAPT E R X LVI

.

O B SERVATI O N S O N T H E C H A RACTE R O F CO L U M B U S

.

C O L U M BU S w as a man of great and i n ven tive ge n ius T h e operat i ons of h is m in d w ere en ergetic but irregular bursting forth at tim es w ith that i rresistible fo rce whic h c haracter i z es i ntellec ts of su ch an order H is ambition was lofty and n oble i nspiri ng hi m wi t h h igh thoughts and an an x i ety to d isti ngu ish hi mself by great ach ieve m ents H e a i m ed at dign i ty an d weal th in the same elevated sp i r i t wi t h which he sou ght reno wn they w ere to r i se from the territori es h e should d iscover an d be com m ensu rate i n i mportance T he vast gain s that he .

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0 35

TH E

LI FE

COL U M B U S

OF

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authority foiled in h i s plans an d endan gere d in his per son by the sed itions of turbulent an d worth less m en an d t hat too at t i m es w hen su ff eri ng u nder an gu ish o f body and an xiety of m in d enough t o exasperate th e m ost patient yet he restrai ned h is val i an t and in dign an t spirit and bro u ght himself to forbear and reason an d even to supplicate N or should we fail to n otice ho w free h e was from all feeling of reve nge ho w ready t o forgive and forget on th e least Sign s o f repen tan ce an d aton em e nt H e has bee n extolled for h is skill in controlli n g others bu t far greater praise is du e to him for th e fi rm n ess h e d isp layed in govern i ng h imsel f H is piety was gen u in e an d ferven t ; rel i g i on m ingled w ith t he wh ole course of his thoughts and action s an d shon e f orth in his most private an d u nstudied w ritings W h en ever h e m ad e any great d iscovery he devou tly ret urn ed tha n ks to G od T he voice of prayer an d th e m elody of p raise rose f rom his sh ips o n d is co ve ring the N e w World an d h is first act i on on landi n g was to prostrate h imsel f upo n the earth an d offer u p tha nks givings Every even ing the Sal ve Reg ina and other vesper hym n s w ere chanted by his cre w an d masses w ere perform ed in th e beautiful groves that bordered th e w ild sh ores O f this heath en land A ll h is great en t erprises were un dertaken i n the n am e of the H oly Tri n ity an d h e partook o f the H oly Sacram ent previ ous to em barkation H e obs e rved the festivals of th e Church in th e w ild est situ ations The Sab b ath was to him a day of sacred rest on w hich h e w ould n ever sail f rom a port unless in case of extrem e n ecessity The rel ig i on thus deeply seated in his soul d i ff used a sober d ign ity a nd a ben i gn com posu re over h is wh ole d eport m e nt ; h is very lan guage was pure and guarded an d f ree from all gross or i rreveren t expressions ,

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COL U M B U S

CH A RA CTE R OF

1 35

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I t can not be den ied ho wever that h is p i e ty was m in gled w ith superstition an d darken ed by the bigo try of ‘ the age H e eviden tly concurred i n t he o p inio n that all the nation s w ho di d not ackn o wledge the Ch ristian faith w ere destitute of natural rights ; and that the stern est m easures m ight be used for t heir conversion an d the severest pu n ish m en ts i nflicted upon th em i f obstinate i n u n belief I n th is spirit O f bigotry h e con sidered him se l f j ustified i n making captives of th e I ndians an d trans porting them to Spain to have th em taugh t the doctrin es o f Christian i ty an d inselling them for slaves if they pre tended to resist h is i nvasions I n doing the latter he sin n ed again st the natu ral good n ess of h is heart an d against the feelings he had origi n ally entertain ed an d ex pressed to wards this gen tle an d hospitable people ; bu t h e w as goaded on by the mercenary i m patience of the cro w n an d by the sn eers of h is en em ies at t he u n p ro fi t able result o f h is enterpri ses I t is bu t j ustice to h is character to O bserv e that th e enslavem ent o f the I ndians thus taken i n battle w as at first openly cou n tenan ced by the cro w n an d t hat wh en th e q uestion of right came to be d iscussed at the re q uest of the queen several of the most d isti ngu ished j urists and t heologian s advocated the practice ; so that the qu estion was fin ally settled in favor o f the I nd ians solely by the hu m an ity of I sabell a As the ve n erable Bisho p Las Casas observe s where the most learn ed m en have doubted it is not su rprisi ng that an u nlearn ed mari ner should err These remarks i n palliation of the cond uct of Colum bus are req u i red by candor I t is proper to sho w hi m in con n ection w ith the age i n whic h h e lived lest the errors of the t im es sh ould be co nsidered his individ u al faults I t is not i nten ded ho w ever to j usti fy h im on a point w here it is inexcusable to err Let it rem ai n a ,

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2 35

TH E LI F E

COL U M B U S

OF

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blot o n his illu st rious nam e an d let others derive a lesso n from it A pecu liar t tait in h is rich and varied character re m ai ns to be noticed ; nam ely that a rden t and e nt hu s i h thre w a mag n ificence over his ast ic imagin at i on whi c whole course of thought A poetical temperam en t is dis c e rn ib l e throughout all h is w ritings and in all h is action s We see it in all h i s descriptions of th e beauties of the w ild lands h e w as d iscoveri n g ; i n th e en thusiasm w ith w h ich he extols the verd ure of th e forests t h e gran deu r of the m ou n tains and th e c rystal Clearness of the ru n n ing stream s ; the bla n d ness of t h e temperature the p u rity of the atmosphere an d th e fragra n ce of the air full of d e w and s weetness I t spread a go ld e n an d glorious w orld arou nd him and t in ged everythi ng with i ts own gorgeous colors I t b etrayed h im i nto vision ary speculat ions w h ich subjected h im to the Sn eers an d cavils of me n of cooler an d safer but more grovelling min ds Su ch w ere the conj ectures formed on the coast of Par i a abou t the form O f th e earth and the situation O f the terrestr i al Parad ise ; abou t t he m in es of O ph ir an d the Au rea Chers o nes u s of th e an c i en ts ; an d such was th e heroic schem e of a crusade for the recovery of the H oly Sepulchre I t filled his m i nd with solem n and visiona ry m editations on mystic passages of the Script ures and on th e Shado wy porten ts O f the prophecies I t e x alted h is o wn o ffice i n his eyes and m ade h im con ce i v e h i mself an agent se nt forth upon a su b l ime an d aw ful m ission and su bj ect to mysterious i ntim ation s from the Deity ; such as the voice which he i magin ed spoke to h im in com fort am idst th e t roubles of H is l and in the silen ce of the n ight on th e d isas n i o a a p trous coast o f Vera gua as deci dedly a vision ary w H e but a vision ary of an J ,

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3 54

TH E

L I FE

OF

COL U M B U S

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a ffl ict i on s of age and the cares o f pen ury the neg lect of a fi ckle public and the i nj ust i ce of an u ngrat e f ul king co u ld he have antic i pated the sp l endid empires wh ich wo u ld arise in the bea u ti ful world he had d is co v ered ; an d the nation s an d ton gues an d lan guages w h ich were to fi ll its lan ds with h is re n o wn and to revere an d bless h is name to the latest posterity !

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A VI SI T T O PA LO S

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f ll wi g

ive was ac tu lly comm nced by the auth r of this w ork as a lette to a f ri end b ut u n ex pec tedly welled to its p re en t si e H e ha been i n d uc ed to i n se rt i t h ere f m t he id ea th at many wil l feel the ame c u i si ty t kn w s methi ng of the p e ent state of Palos an d its i nhabi tants that l ed him to make the j urn y ] T E H [

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S EVI LLE

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1 8 28

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S I N CE I last wrote t o you I have mad e what I m ay t erm an American Pilgri mage to visit t he little port of Palos in An dalusia where Colu mbus fitted out his ships an d whe n ce he sailed for t he discovery of the N e w World N eed I tell you ho w deeply i nteresting and gratify ing it has bee n to m e ? I had long m edit ated this excu rsio n as a kin d of p i ous an d i f I may so say filial d u ty of a n Am erica n an d my i n tentio n was q uicken ed when I learn t that m an y of th e edifi ces m ention ed i n the H istory of ” Colu mbus s t ill rem ai n ed in n e arly t he same state in w hich they existed at the tim e of his sojou rn at Palos and that the descendan ts of the in trepid Pi n z ons w ho aid ed h i m with ships and mon ey an d sailed with h im on th e great voyage of discovery still flou rished i n the n eighborhood The very even ing before my departure from Seville on the excu rsion I heard that there was a you ng gen tle man o f the P in z on f am i ly stu dyi ng law in t he City I r e introd uced to h im and fou n d him of most o s o t p p g sessing appearan ce and m an ners H e gave m e a letter of in t rod uc tion to h is father Don J uan Fern andez Pin ,

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6 35

TH E

LI FE

OF COL U M B U S

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z on res i d en t of M ogu er an d the presen t head of the fam ily As it was in the m iddle of August an d the weather in te nsely hot I h ired a cales a for the jou rn ey T his is a t wo w heeled carriage resem bling a cabri olet but of the most prim iti ve and rude constru ctio n; t he harn ess is profusely ornamen ted wi th brass and the horse s head decorated with tu fts an d tassels an d d angling bobs o f scarlet and yello w w orsted I had for calas e ro a tall long legged An dalu sian i n short jacket little roun d cro wn ed hat breeches d ecorated w ith bu t ton s from th e hip to th e kn ees an d a pair of russet leather b o t t in as or spatterdashes H e was an ac t ive fello w though u n com monly taciturn for an Andalusian an d strode along be s ide h is horse rousi ng h im occasio n ally t o greater speed by a loud maled ictio n or a hearty th wack O f his cudgel I n this style I set o ff late in the day to avoid the n oontid e heat an d after ascen din g the lofty range of h ills that borders th e great valley of the Guadal q u ivir and having a rough ride among their heights I descended about twilight into on e of those vast si lent melan ch oly plain s fre q uen t i n Spain w here I beh eld n o oth er signs o f li f e than a roaming flock of bustards an d a d istan t herd of cat t le guarded by a solitary herdsm an who w i t h a long pike plan ted i n the eart h stood m otion less i n the m idst o f the d reary lan dscape resem bling an Arab of the desert T he n ight had som e w hat ad van ced whe n w e stopped to repose for a fe w hou rs at a solitary venta or i nn i f it m ight so be called bei ng n o t h i ng m ore than a vast lo w roofed stable divided in to several compart m ents for the reception of t he troops o f m ules an d arri eros (or carriers) who car ry on the internal trade of Spain — Accom mod ation for the tr aveller th ere was n on e n ot even f or a traveller so ea s ily accommodated as my s elf ,

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8 35

TH E

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COL U M B U S

OF

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t o me d t o

sleep on th e ground w ith th eir m ule c loths fo r beds an d pack s ad d l es for pillo ws I t w as a hard ca s e bu t there w as n o better posada in the plac e Fe w pe ople t ravel for pleasure or curiosity in these out o f t h e w ay parts o f Spain a nd th ose of any n ote are ge n e ral ly re ce i ve d into private houses I had t ravelled su fficiently i n Spai n to fi n d out that a bed after all is n ot an article O f i n dispe n sable n ecessity an d w as abou t to besp e ak some qu iet corn er w here I m ight spread my c loak w he n fo rt u hately the lan dlord s w ife cam e f orth She cou ld not have a m ore obliging d isposition than her husban d but then — God bless th e w om en — they al ways kno w ho w to carry their good w ishes i nto e ffect I n a l ittle while a Small room abou t ten f eet square th at had f orm ed a thorough fare bet w ee n th e stables and a ki n d o f shop or bar room was Cleared O f a variety o f l um ber an d I w as assu red that a bed should be p ut up t h ere f or m e From the consultations I s aw my hostess holding w ith some of her neighbor gossips I f ancied the bed w as to be a kin d of piecem eal contribution among them for t he credit of th e house As soon as I could change my dress I com m en ced the historical researches w hich w ere the O bj ect o f my jo u r ney an d inquired for th e abode o f Don J uan Fernandez Pinzon My oblig i ng lan dlord h im self volu n teered to conduct m e thither an d I set O ff f u ll of an im ation at t he thoughts of m eeting w ith a lineal represen tative O f on e o f the coadj u tors of Colu mbus A short w alk brought us to the house which w as m ost respectable i n its appearan ce indicati ng easy i f not affl u ent ci rcum stan ces T he door as is custom ary in Span ish villages du ring su m m er stood w ide O pen We e n Ave t e re d w ith the u s ual s alutation or rather sum mons M aria ! A trim A n d alusi an handm aid answ ered to the -

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A

VI SI T TO P A L OS

3 59

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call and on ou r i n q uiring for the m aster of th e house l e d the way across a little patio or court i n the centre of the edifice cooled by a foun tai n surrou nded by Shrubs an d flo wers to a back co u rt or terrace like w ise set out w ith flo wers where Don J uan Fernandez was seated w ith h is fam ily enjoyi n g t h e seren e even ing in the ope n air I was m uch pleased w ith his appearan ce H e w as a venerable old gen tlem an tall an d som e wh a t th i n with fair complexion and gray hair H e received m e with great u rban ity an d on read ing the letter from his son appeared struck w ith s u rpri se to fi nd I had com e qu ite to M ogu er m erely to visit th e scen e of the em barkation o f Columbus ; an d still m ore so on my telling hi m t hat on e of my leading O bj ects of cu riosity w as h is o w n fam ily con n ection for it w ould seem that the w orthy cavalier had troubled h is head bu t little about the enterprises of his an cestors I no w took my seat in the dome stic Circle an d soon felt mysel f qu ite at home for there is gen era lly a frank n ess i n the hospitali t y of the Span iards that soon puts a stranger at his ease ben eath th eir roo f T h e w i fe of Do n J u an Fern an dez w as extremely am iable an d a ff able possessing m u ch O f that natural aptn ess f or w h ich the Span ish w omen are rem arkable I n the cou rse of con versation w ith th em I learn t that Don J u an Fern an dez w ho is seven ty t wo years of age is the eldest o f five brothers all o f wh om are married have n umerous o ff spring an d l ive i n M ogu er an d its vicin ity in n early the sam e cond ition an d rank o f li f e as at th e tim e o f th e dis This agreed w ith what I had previo us ly h eard co ve ry respecting the f am ilies o f the discoverers O f Colum bus no lin eal an d direct descendant exists ; his w as an exotic s tock that n eve r took deep an d lasting root i n the coun ,

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TH E

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COL U M B U S

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try ; but the race of the Pi n z ons con tin ues to thrive and m ultiply i n its native soil Wh ile I w as yet c on versing a gentlem an entered who w as introd uced to m e as Don Lu is Fern an dez Pin zon the you ngest of the brothers H e appeared to be b e t ween fifty an d sixty years o f age som e what robust w ith fair com pl exion and gray hair an d a frank and m an ly deportm ent H e is th e on ly on e of th e present gen era t ion that has follo wed the an cien t profes sion of th e fam ily havin g served w ith great applause as an o ffi cer of the royal n avy from wh ich h e retired on hi s marriage abou t t w enty t wo years sin ce H e is the on e also who t akes th e greatest interest an d pride in the h istorical honors of h is house carefu lly p reserving all the legen ds an d docu m ents of the achievements and d isti n ctions of his fam ily a m an uscript volu me of w hich h e len t to me for my i n sp ectio n Do n J u an n o w expressed a w ish that d u ring my resi de n ce in M oguer I would make h is house my home I en d e avored to excuse mysel f alleging that the good peo ple at the posada had been at such extraordi nary tr o uble in preparing quarters for m e that I did n ot like to dis a ppoi n t th em The worthy old gen tlem an un dertook to arrange all th is and w h ile su pper w as prepari ng w e w alked togeth er to th e posada I fou n d that my o b l ig ing host an d hostess had i ndeed exerted th em selves to an u ncom mon degree An O ld rickety table had been sp read ou t i n a corner of t h e little room as a bedstead on top of which was propped up a gran d Ga ma de 1212 0 or s t ate bed wh ich appeared to be the ad m i ration o f the hou se I could n o t for the s oul of m e appear to u nder valu e what the poor peop l e had prepared w ith such h earty good wil l and considered such a triu m ph o f art and luxu ry ; so I again en treate d Don J u an to d ispense .

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6 2 3

TH E

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OF COL U M B U S

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appe llation of cabal /er a a mark o f respect ever grati fy ing to the poor but proud Sp an iard when y i eld e d by a superior As the tide was out we d rove along t h e fl at groun ds bordering th e Tinto Th e river was on ou r righ t w hile on our le f t was a ra n ge of hills j utt ing out into promon torie s on e beyon d th e oth er an d covered with vi n eyards an d fi g trees The w eat h er was seren e th e air so ft an d balmy an d the lan dscape o f that gen tle kin d calculated to put on e in a qu iet and happy h u mor We passed close by th e ski rts o f Palos and drove to the hacien da w hich is situated at som e little d istance from the village bet wee n it and the r i ver The house is a l o w ston e building w ell w h ite w ash ed an d O f great l ength ; on e en d being fitt ed up as a sum m er re s id en ce and the w ith saloons bedroom s and a dom estic chapel oth er as a bod ega or magazin e for the reception o f the w in e produ ced on t h e estate The hou s e stan ds on a h ill am i dst V in eyards w hich are supposed to cov e r a part of the Site of the an cient to w n of Palos n o w sh ru nk to a m iserable V i llage Be yond these vineyards on the crest of a distant hill are seen the w hite walls of the Con ven t o f La Rabida rising above a dark w ood O f pin e trees Belo w the hacienda flo w s the river T in to on wh ich Col u mbus em barked I t is divid ed by a lo w tongu e of lan d or rather the san d bar o f Sa ltes f rom the river O d ie l w ith w hich it soon mingles its w aters an d flo ws on to the ocea n Besid e this sand bar w here the Chan n el o f th e river ru ns d eep th e squadron of Colu m bus w as anchored an d from hen ce he m ad e sail on the m orn ing of his d eparture T he so ft breeze that was blo w ing scarcely ru ffl ed th e sur face of this beauti f ul river ; t wo or th ree picture s q ue

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T O P A LOS

VI SI T

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bark s called my s t i cks with long lateen sails were glid ing do w n it A little aid o f the imagination m ight su ffi ce to picture them as the l ight c aravels O f Colum bus sallying forth on their even tful expedition wh ile the d istan t bells of the to wn of H uelva wh ich were ringing m elod iously m ight be sup posed as cheering the voyagers with a far e w ell pea ] I can not express to you what w ere my feelings on t reading the sh ore which had on ce been an imated by the bustl e of departu re an d w hose san ds had been print e d by the last footstep of Colu mbus T he solem n an d sub lim e n ature o f th e even t that had follo wed together w ith the fate an d fortu n es of those con cern ed i n it fi lled the m in d with vague yet m elancholy ideas I t was like vie w ing the silent an d empty sta ge of some great dram a The very aspect of wh en all th e actors had departed the lan dscape so tranqu illy beau tiful had an e ff ect upon m e ; an d as I paced th e deserted shore by the side of a descendan t of on e O f th e d iscoverers I felt my h eart s well ing w ith emotions an d my eyes filling w ith tears What su rprised m e w as to fi n d n o sem blan ce of a seaport ; there was n eith er wharf n or lan din g place noth i ng but a n aked river bank w ith the hulk of a ferry boat wh ich I w as to l d carri ed passengers to H uelva lying high an d d ry on the sands deserted by the tide Palos thou gh it h as doubtle s s d w indled a way from its former size can n ever have bee n importan t as to extent an d populat ion I f it possessed w areh ouses on the beach th ey h ave d isappeared I t is at prese n t a m ere village of the poorest ki n d an d lies nearly a quarter O f a m ile from th e river in a h ollo w amo ng h ills I t con t ai ns a fe w h u nd red i nh abitants who subsist principally by labori ng i n th e fields an d vin eyards I ts race o f mer chants and ma rin ers are exti nct Th ere are no vessels ,

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TH E LI FE

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belonging to the place n or any sho w o f tra ffic except ing at th e season o f fru it an d w in e w hen a fe w my s t icks and other l igh t barks anchor i n the river to collect th e produce of t he n eighborhood T he people are totally ign orant an d it is probable that the greater part of the m scarce kno w even t h e n am e of Am erica Su ch is the p l ace from wh e n ce sallied forth the e n terprise for th e discovery of th e Western World We w ere n o w su m m on ed to break fast in a littl e saloo n o f the hacienda The table w as covered w ith natural — luxu ries produ ced upon the spot fi ne pu rple and mu s cat e l grapes f rom the adj ac e n t vi n e yard deliciou s m elon s from the garde n an d g e n erous w in es made on the esta te The repast w as heighten ed by th e g e n ial man n ers o f my hospitable host w ho app e a red to possess the most e nvi ab l e ch e er f u ln ess o f spirit an d Simplicity o f h eart A f t e r break fa s t w e set o ff in the cal e sa to visit the Conve n t o f La Rabida w h ich is about half a leag ue dis ta n t Th e road for a part o f t he w ay lay through th e vi n eyards an d was deep an d sa n dy The calas ero had been at h is w it s e n d to conceive w h at mot i ve a stranger like mys e l f appare n tly trave lli n g for m ere am usem en t cou l d h ave in com i n g so far to s e e so miserab l e a place as Palo s w h ich he s e t do w n as o n e o f t h e very poorest place s in th e w hole w o rld ; but thi s add ition al toi l an d struggle th rough d eep sa n d to vi s it t he O l d Co n ven t O f La Rabida completed h is con f usion H om bre ! ex cl ai med he es u n a ruin a ! n o hay m as q u e d o s f railes Z ou n d s ! w hy it s a ru in ! There are on ly t wo friars there ! Don J uan laugh ed an d told h im that I had com e all the way f rom Sevi lle precisely to see that O ld ru in an d th os e t wo friars T he cal ase ro m ad e t he Spa n — r l s d h i s a t reply when e s perplex e d he shrugged his ia shoulders an d cro s sed h i ms e l f ,

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66 3

TH E

COL U M B U S

OF

LI F E

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no living t h i ng except a solitary cat stealin g across a distan t corridor wh ich fled i n a pan ic at the u n usual sight of strangers At l ength after patroll ing n early the w hole of the empty bu ildi ng to the ech o of our o wn foot steps we came to where the door of a cell bei ng partly open gave us th e sight o f a monk w ith in seated at a table w riting H e rose an d rec eived u s w ith m uch civility an d con ducted u s to the su perior who was read ing i n an adj acen t cell They w ere both rath er you ng m en and together w ith a n ovit iate and a lay broth e r who o ffi ciated as cook formed the whole comm u n ity of the con vent Don J uan Fernandez comm u nicated to them th e o b of my visit a n d my desire also to i nspect the ar e t c j ch ives o f the conven t to fi n d if there was any record of the sojou rn of Col umbus They in form ed us that the arch ives had been entirely destroyed by the French T he you nger monk ho wever who h ad perused them had a vague recoll ection o f various particulars con cern ing th e tra n sactions o f Col u mbus at Palos h is visit to the conven t an d the sailing of h is expedi t ion From all that h e cited h o wever it appeared to me that all the in format ion on the subj ect contain ed in the archives had been extracted from H errera an d other w ell kn ow n au thors T he m onk w as talkative and eloquent an d soon d iverged from the subj ect of Colu mbus to on e wh ich he — co nsid ered of in fin itely greater importance the mirac u lous image o f th e Virgin possessed by their convent an d ” kno wn by the n am e of O ur Lady of La Rabida He gave u s a h istory of the w on derful w ay in wh ich the image had been fou n d buried in the earth w h ere it had lain h idden for ages si n ce the tim e of the conquest of Spai n by the M oors ; th e d isputes bet w een th e conven t a nd di fferen t places i n the n eighborhood for the p o sses s aw

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VI SI T

6 3 7

T O P A L OS

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sion o f it ; the marvellous protecti o n i t e xt en ded to t he adj acen t cou ntry especially i n preven ting all madn ess either i n man or dog— for this malady was an cien tly so prevalent in th is place as to gai n it the appel lation of La Rabia by wh ich it was origi nally called ; a n ame w hich thanks to th e b e n e fi ce nt i nflu en ce of th e Virgin it n o longer merit ed or retain ed Such are th e lege n ds an d re l ies w ith w h ich every convent in Spain is en riched which are zeal ously cried up by t he m onks an d devoutly cre d ited by th e populace T wice a year on the festival of O u r Lady of La Ra bida and on that of the patron sai nt o f the ord e r the solitu de an d silence of the co n ven t are interrupted by the i ntrusion of a s warm i ng multitu de com posed o f the in h abi tan ts of M oguer and H u elva an d the neighboring plain s an d mou ntains The open esplan ade i n fron t of th e ed ifice re sembles a fair the adj acent forest t eems w ith the motley th rong an d the image o f O u r Lady of La Rabida is born e f orth in trium phant procession Wh ile the f riar was thus d ilating upon th e m erit s a n d reno w n o f t h e i mage I am us e d myself w ith thos e day dreams or conj urings of th e imagin ation to w h ich I am a little giv e n As the in ternal arrangem ents o f convents are apt to b e the same from age to age I pictu red to mysel f th is chamber as the same in habited by th e guard ian J uan Perez de M archena at the ti me o f the visit of Colu mbus Why m ight n ot the old an d ponderous table befor e m e b e the very on e on wh ich he d isplayed h is co nj ectural m aps an d expou n ded h is theory of a western route to I ndi a ? I t requ ired but an other stretch of th e imagin ation to as s em ble th e little con c lave aroun d the table ; J uan Perez the friar Garcia Fern an dez the phy s ic ian an d M artin Alonzo Pinzon the bold n avigator all lis ten ing with rap t atten tion to Colu mbus or to the ta l e ,

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6 8 3

LI F E OF COL U M B U S

TH E

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of som e o l d seaman of Palos ab ou t isl an ds seen i n t he western parts of the ocean Th e friars as far as their poor m ean s and scan ty kno wl edge exte n ded were d ispose d to do every thing to pro mote th e obj ect o f my v isit They sho wed us all parts of the conv e n t which ho w ever h as littl e to boast of exceptin g th e h istorical associations co n n ected w ith it The library w as reduced to a fe w vol um es ch i efly o n ecclesiastical subj ects pi l e d prom iscu ously in the corn er of a vaulted cham ber and covered w i th d ust T he cha m ber itself was cu rious being the m ost an cient part of th e edifice an d s upposed to have form ed part of a temple in the tim e of the Romans W e ascen ded to the roo f o f the conven t to enj oy the exten sive prospect it com man ds I m mediately belo w the prom on tory on wh ich it is situat ed ru n s a n arrow but tolerably deep river cal l ed the Dom ingo Rubio w hi ch em pties itsel f i n to the Tin to I t is the opin ion of Don Lu is Ferna ndez Pin z on that the ships of Col u m b u s w ere careened an d fitted out i n this river as i t a ffords better sh elter than the Tin to an d it s shores are n ot so shallo w A lon ely bark o f a fisherman w as lying in this stream an d not far o ff on a s an dy poin t w ere th e ru in s of a n an cien t watchto wer From the roof o f th e conven t all the win d ings o f the O d ie l an d th e Tin to w ere to be seen and their j un ction in to th e main stream by which Co lumbus s allied f orth to sea I n fact the conven t se rves as a lan dmark being from its lofty an d solitary situation visible for a considerable d istance to vessels com ing on th e coast On the opposite side I looked do wn u pon th e lon ely road th rough the w ood of pin e trees by wh ich the z ealou s guar d ian of the convent F ray J uan P erez departed at mid n ight on h is m ule w hen he sought the cam p of Ferd i nand an d I sabella i n the vega of ,

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TH E

0 37

LI FE

OF

COL U M E U S

.

from the good h um ored old gen tlem an w hen ever they add ressed him The din n er w as se rved up about t wo o clock an d was a most agreeabl e m eal The f r u its an d w in es w ere f rom the est ate and w e r e excellent ; the rest of the provisions w ere from M ogu er for the adjacen t village o f P alos is too poor to f u rn ish anything A gen tle breeze from the sea play ed through the hall a n d tem pered t h e sum m er heat I nd e ed I do n ot kno w w hen I have seen a more e n viab le spot than th is cou ntry retreat o f the Pi n zons Its sit uat i o n on a breezy hill at n o great distance f rom the sea an d in a souther n climate pro d uces a happy t e m p e r at u re neither h o t i n sum m er n o r cold i n w i n ter I t com m a n ds a beauti f ul prospect an d is surrou nded by n atural luxu ri e s The cou ntry abou nds w ith game the adj acen t river a ffords abu n da n t sport i n fish ing both by day an d n ight an d delight f ul excu rsion s for those fond of saili n g Du ri n g th e busy s e a s o ns o f ru ral lif e an d especially at the joy ous period o f vintage the f am ily pass s ome ti me h ere accompa n ied by n um e r o u s gu e sts at w hich tim e s Don J uan a s sured m e there w as n o l ack o f am usemen t s both by la n d an d water When we had di n ed and taken the siesta or a f terno o n n ap acc o rd i ng to th e Span i sh custom in summ er tim e w e set o u t on our r e tu rn to M ogu er visiting t h e villag e of Palos i n the way Don Gabriel had bee n sen t in ad van c e to procu re the keys of th e village chu rch and to apprise th e curate o f ou r w is h to i nspect th e arch ives T h e vi llage con s ists prin cipally O f t wo streets of l o w M any of the inhabitants have w h ite w ashed houses ve ry d ark complexion s betraying a m ixt ure of A f rican blood O n en teri n g the village we repai red to th e lo wly m an sion o f th e curat e I had hoped to fin d him som e su ch person age as the cu rate i n Do n Quixote possessed of -

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1 37

VI SI T T O P A L OS

A

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shre w dn ess and in format i on in his l im ited sphere an d that I m ight gai n som e a n ecdot es from h im concern i ng h is parish its worthie s it s ant iqu it ies an d its h istorical even ts Per haps I m ight h ave do n e so at any other time but u n f o rtu n ately the curate was som ethi ng of a Sportsman an d had heard of som e gam e am on g the n eighboring hills We m et h im j ust sallying forth from his house and I m ust co n fess h is appearance was pict u re sq u e H e w as a short broad sturdy l ittle m an and h ad do ffed h is cassock and broad cle rical beaver f or a s hort j acket a n d a little rou n d An dalu sian hat ; he had h is gu n in han d an d was on the poin t of m ou n ting a do nkey wh ich had been l ed forth by an ancie n t w ithered Fear f ul O f bei ng detain ed from his f oray he h an dm aid acco s ted my compan ion th e m om ent h e cam e i n sight God preserve you Se nor Don J uan ! I have received your m essage an d h a ve bu t one a n s wer to make Th e archive s h ave all bee n destroyed We have no trace of — — e anything you se k for n oth ing n oth ing Don Ra fael has the keys o f the Chu rch You can exam i n e it at you r leisure Adios caballero ! With th ese words the gal l iard l ittl e cura t e mou n t e d h is do n key th u mped h is ribs w ith the but e n d o f his gun an d trotted o ff to the h il l s I n ou r way to the ch u rch we passed by the ru ins o f w h at had once bee n a f air an d spacious d w elling gre atly superior to t he other hous e s of the vill age Th is Don J uan in form ed m e w as an old fam i ly possession but si n ce they had remov e d f rom Palos it had fallen to decay for want Of a tenan t I t w as pr o bably t h e fam ily residence o f M ar t in Alonzo o r V ice n t e Ya nez Pi n zo n i n the ti me o f Colum bus W e now arrived at th e Church o f St George in t he po rch o f which Colu mbus first proclai med to th e in habit ants o f Palos t he order o f the sovereign s that th ey ,

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TH E L I F E

OF

COL U M B U S

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sho ul d fu rn ish h im with ships for h is great voyage of dis This ed ifice has l ately been thoroughly repaired c o v e ry an d bei ng of solid mason w ork prom ises to stan d for ages a mon u ment of the discoverers I t stands outside o f the vil l age on the bro w o f a h ill look i ng a l ong a litt le vall ey to wa rd th e river The remai ns o f a M oorish arch prove it to h ave been a mosqu e in former times ; j ust above it on the crest of th e h ill is t h e ru i n of a M oorish c astl e I pau sed in the porch an d endeavored t o r e call the in terest ing scene that had take n plac e th e re w hen Co lu m bu s accom pan ied by th e zealous f riar J uan Perez cau s e d th e public n otary to read t he royal order in pres e nce o f the asto n ished alcaldes re gid o rs an d algu azil s ; bu t it is d i ffi c u lt to con ceive th e consternati o n that m ust have been stru ck i n t o s o rem ote a l itt l e com m u n ity by thi s su dd en apparition o f an entire strang e r am on g them beari n g a com man d t hat they should put thei r perso n s an d sh ips a t his d isposa l an d sail w ith h im a way into th e u nk n o wn w ildern es s o f th e ocean T he i n t e rior o f the ch u rch h as n othi n g remarkab le excepting a w ooden i mag e o f St George vanquishing th e Dragon which is e rected over the h igh a l tar and is the ad m i ration o f t h e g o od people o f Palos w ho bear it about th e streets i n gr an d procession on the an n iversary o f the sain t Thi s group exist ed in th e t im e o f Colum bus and n o w flourish es in r e n ovated youth and splen dor hav i ng been n e w ly pai nted an d gi l ded an d th e cou ntenan ce of t he sain t re n d ered pecu l iarly bloomi ng an d l ustrous H avi ng fin i s h ed t h e exam in atio n o f t h e Ch urch w e re su med our seats in the calesa an d r e turn ed to M oguer O n e th ing only remai n ed to fulfill the obj ect of my pil gri m age Th is was to visit the chapel o f the Co n vent of Santa C lara Wh e n Col u mbus was i n da n ger o f bein g .

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3 74

TH E L I FE

COL U M B U S

OF

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rem oved from the main thoro u gh f ares th e lapse of time produces but fe w violen t revolutions Nothing ho wever had surprised an d grati fied me m ore th a n the con ti n ued stability of the Pi nzon f am ily O n the m orn i n g a f ter my excursion to Palos chan ce gave m e an opportu n ity o f seei n g something of the in terior of most o f thei r h ouse holds H aving a cu riosity to visit th e rema i n s of a M oorish castle once the ci tadel of Moguer Don Ferna n dez u ndertook to Sho w me a to w er wh ich served as a magazi n e o f w in e to on e o f the Pinzon fam ily I n seek ing for th e key w e were sen t from house to h ouse o f n early the w hole con n ection A l l appeared to be living i n that golden m ean equally removed f rom th e wants an d s u p e rfl u it ies o f l ife an d all to be happily in t e r woven by ki n d and cord ial habits o f in timacy We fou n d th e females of the f am ily ge n erally seated i n the patios or cen tral courts o f th eir d well i n gs ben eath the shad e o f a w n ings an d am ong s hru bs and flo w ers H e re th e A n d al u s i an lad ies are accustom ed t o pa ss th e ir morn i ng s at work surrou n ded by t he ir h andm aids in th e prim i tive or rath er orie n ta l styl e I n the porches of som e o f the houses I observed t h e coat o f arms g ra n ted to t he fa mily by Cha rles the Fif t h h ung up l ike a picture ‘ i n a fram e Over the door O f Do n Lu is the n aval o fl i cer it w as ca rved o n an escutcheon o f stone and colored I had gathered m a ny particulars o f the fami ly also f rom c o nvers ation w ith Don J uan an d f rom the fam ily lege n d len t me by Don Luis F rom all that I could learn it w ould appear t hat the l apse of n early t hree cen tu ries and a hal f has m ade but l ittle change i n th e con dition of th e Pinzons From gen eration to gen eration they have retain ed the sam e f air stan d i ng and reputable n ame th roughout the n e i ghborhood filling o ffi c e s of pub lic t ru st an d dig n ity an d possessi ng g reat i n fluen ce ov e r ,

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A

VI SI T

3 75

T O PA LOS

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their fel l o w citizens by their good sense and good co n d u ct H o w ra re is it to see such an i nstance Of stability o f fortune i n this fluctuati ng w orld and h o w truly hon or able is this hered itary respectability which has b e en se cu red by n o titles O r entails but perpetuated m erely by the i nnate worth of the race ! I dec l are to you that the most illustrio us descents of mere titled rank could ne ver command th e sin cere respect a nd cordial regard w ith whic h I co n t emplated t his stanch an d en during fam ily w hich for th r e e centuries and a half has stood merely u pon its v irtu es As I w as to set O ff o n my retu rn t o Seville b e f ore t wo o clock I partook of a fare well repast at the house of Don J ua n bet ween t welve an d one an d the n to o k leave o f h is household with sincere regret T h e good old gen tlem an w ith the courtesy or rather the cordiality o f a true Span iard accom pan ied me to th e posada to s e e me O ff I had dispe n sed but l ittle mon ey i n the posada — thank s to the h ospitality o f the Pin zons — yet the Sp an ish pride of my host an d hostess seemed pleased that I had preferred their h u m ble chamber and the scanty bed they had provided me to th e s pacious m an sion of Don J uan ; an d whe n I expressed my thanks for their kindn es s an d att e nt io n an d regaled m in e h ost w ith a fe w choice Cigars the h eart o f t he poor man was ov e rc o me H e seized m e by both h an ds an d gav e m e a parting ben e d ict io n and th en ran a f te r the c al as e ro to e njoi n h im t o take particular care o f m e du ri ng my j o u rn ey Taking a h earty leave o f my excellent f rie n d Don J uan who had bee n u n rem i tting in h is atten tion s to m e to the last mom en t I n o w set o ff on y wayfari n g grati fi e d to th e u tmost w ith my v isit and f ull o f ki n d an d grateful feeli ngs to wards M oguer and its hospitable in habitan ts -

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A PPEN DI X .

O BSE

Q U I ES

OF

CO L U M B U S

.

body of Colum bus was deposited in the con ven t of San Fran c i sco an d h is obsequ i es were celebrated w ith fun eral pom p in the parochial chu rch of Santa M aria de la An tigua i n Vallad olid H is rem ain s were transported i n 1 5 1 3 to the Carth usian Co nvent of Las Cuevas at Sevil l e an d depo s ited in th e chapel of Santa Christo I n the year 1 5 3 6 they w ere rem oved to H ispan iola an d i n terred by th e side of the gran d altar of the cathe dral o f the city o f San Dom ingo But even here they d id n ot rest in quiet O n the session o f H ispan iola to th e French i n 1 79 5 i t w as determ in ed by th e Span iards to bear them O ff t o the island of Cu ba as pre cious relics con nect ed with the most glorious epoch of Sp a n ish his tory Accord ingly o n the 20t h Decem ber 1 79 5 i n th e presence of an august assemblage of the dign itaries of the ‘ Chu rch an d the civil an d m ilitary o fl i ce rs the vault w as open ed beside th e h igh altar of th e cathedral ; w ithi n w ere f ou n d th e fragm ents of a l ead en co ffi n a n u m ber of bones and a quantity of mould evidently th e rem ains of a hu ma n body T h ese w ere careful ly coll ected an d p ut in to a case of gi l ded lead secu red by an i ron lock the case was en closed in a co ffi n covered with black velvet an d the wh ole placed i n a t e mporary mausoleu m On th e follo wi n g day th ere was another gran d con vocatio n at th e cath ed ral ; the vigils and m asses for the d ead were TH E

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8 37

TH E

LI F E

COL U M E U S

OF

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sorro ws it may have su ff ered ; but they speak vol um es o f com f ort to the ill ustrious yet slandered an d pe rs e en couraging them brav ely to bear w ith c ut e d livi n g presen t i nj u ries by Sho w ing them ho w true m erit out lives all calu mny and receives its glorious re w ard i n the admirat io n O f after age s ,

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— W hil e N OT E

b idgment wa g ing t p e th uth ec e iv ed a l tt men t i n i g a ec n t ci c um t n c which may b e f T he ma c i p ati n of th Sp n i h m i nt t to the e ad w k o f t hi c l i in A me ic h d t ipp d the h i f C l umb u f al l th i p op ty i n m ch that hi la t di ec t d e c nda t and r p es n tativ the D k f V ag as a yo g n bl eman of wo th nd t l n t w d c d t xt m p ve ty H i n ti tuted a cl i m upo n th g v n m n t f i nd mni fi c ti w hich has j s t b en ll w d A p e i n f t w n ty f r th ou a d d ll h b n as ig n d him n th v e ue of C ba and P to Rico I t i a ci c m tanc highly to h is c di t th at in th ti me f hi g at t di t h fu d m th t we ffe d him f v i d c m n t i th a chives f hi f mily nd p ly fo autog aph f hi ill u tri u a c e to tic l er

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d w i th man y i lan d s th nam g n ally p pli ed t the IEgean Sea s i tuated b twe n Eur pe and A i b ut i th i v olume referri ng to th island i the Ca ib bean Sea ph e born thr h und d n d A i t tl a di sti ngui h ed G ci n phil ighty f u y ars be f Ch i t at Stagi in M aced o nia ; henc h i call d th Stagy i t om t i m car i rs A i a sol di er arm d w i th an a que b use a ki nd f fi A q b i rm f m ly i n u e which wa c ock d wi th wh eel M an y f t he a ci n t A tl n ti pp d th t th ere ex i t d in th Atl nti c O c e n a l g i sl and to which th b v nam was giv n W i ter di ff r i th i d s c ip ti on and l c t i n f i t an d as n s uch i l nd i n w k n wn th g n ral opi ni n is th t it ex i stence was i m gi na y S m h ow v c nj c tu e th at the igi n l accounts we e t ue b ut th at i nst d f an islan d the ea ly v yag had vi i ted the A m ican c n i

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8 3 3

GL OSSA R Y

.

Em

pero of Ge many an d Kin g of Spai n (in the l atte capac was bo n at Gh t in th e Neth land s ity he i c all ed Ch rl e the “ nd re fi ne d man e s ; s pok e He had a n bl ai F b rua y 24 1 5 00 li ttl an d mil d s ld o m; w s fi m f p u p o low to d cid ; p romp t x c u te ; q ually rich in es u ce an d ag acious in th ch o ic f t co l j udgment and al w y ma t of hi m l f he th e m ; gi f te d wi t h and ea ily t i umph d ov er b stacl ue d hi p u p st eadily p h m gr at A n acu te Ci c umstan c e d v l p d his g n i us n d m d j udge f men he k n w h w t u th m fo hi pu p es I n mi f tun h appe ed great th an in p os perity H protec ted and an d i s id t h v picked up a b u h art s an d s ci n c ag d th nc T i t i an w i th th which had fal l n fr m the h and f th c l e b at d p ai n t He i w ds T i ti an i w thy of b i n g s ve d by an mpe lo k d u p n as ne f the m t ma k abl cha c ters in hi s t ry H xhibite d no talent in his youth and in afte li f wh n hi mi s in he e mai n d q u i t ly in Spai n w i n n i n g b at tl e af t r batt l I taly w pparen tly not much i n t re t d in th se vict i e b ut v n in hi a ly y u th hi m tto was (N nd m) N t y t B t f om hi thi rti eth y a No h w d hi msel f a mon a ch e h t the ti me f abdic at i ng h i s th mi n i te h ad a ma k ed i n fl uen c ov r him h was i d fatigabl in b si f v ry c ase wi t h gr at mi ute w ighi ng the eas ns on bo th s id ne l ow in d ecidi ng ; nch ang bl e of p urp se Whe ev r he n s ; v ry w s h i mi tate d the c ust ms o f the c un t y and won the fav r f v e y p ple ex cep t the Ge man H w s l w in pun i hi ng a wel l as in w a ding ; b ut w h en h did p un i h i t wa wi th s v i ty ; wh n he H e r li nq ui h ed h i igh t t th ward ed it wa wi th mu n i fi n c 1 5 5 6 an d d n Philip J nua y 1 5 et i Span i h t h n i n fav r f h i monast y f St J u tu ne Placencia in the pr vi nc f to th H e h x ch an g d ov reig n t y d mi n i n and E t mad u a i n Spai n p mp fo the q i et a d o li t d f Cloi t r H i amu m nt w r con f a ga d n an d t mech anical fi n d to h t rid t the c ul tiv ati n labo rs I t i id th at h mad e w od en cl ck and b i ng u abl t make xac tly alik h w mi nd d f th folly f his e ff ts to tw f th m g bri ng a n umb er f m n t the m s nti men t H atten d ed ligi us vic s t wice d ily ead book f d ev oti n and g adually f ll i nt such s d j c ti n th at hi fac ulti seem d to s ff r f om it H en un ced th m t i n n c e t pl ea res and b v d t h rul o f th mona tic li f in l l th i igo I n d t p fo m a x t ao di na y t f pi ty he cel e W app d in a sh ud a d rr u d d by his b t d his wn ob q ui e he l aid hi ms l f i n a c ffi n w h i ch wa pl ac e d i th middl e f eti n ch u ch T h funer l e vic w p e f m d and th m na ch th him mi ngl ed hi v ice wi t h th f t h cl e gy wh p aye d f A ft

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l ast s pri nkli ng all wi thd ew nd the doo were cl sed H mai n d s m ti m in th c fli n th n o e th w h i mse l f b f th lta and r t n d t his cell wh ere h p nt th n ig ht i d p medita T hi c e e mon y h a t n d hi d th which occ u ed fr m f v ti on Se p te mb r 2 1 1 5 5 8 i th fi fty n i n th y r f hi age a di tric t i n t h i nt i o of H i pan i l a m d f m it t v Ci b pp an ce t ril cl e gyman h t Cl i l B v mbl matic b adg f famil y igi n lly w m p t C t f A m h n c it n m f th p s n a m i n in th R man Cath lic Ch rch n ckno wl dgme t f i n C nf l t to a p i t t ob t i n a mi i n f th m an d f a muggl ; n w h c ri n t d i g d C t b di t th x p ti g r i mporti ng f whic h i p hibi ted by law nativ p vi n c in th c nt of C ba n a n m giv en by t h t C ba i th i l gu ag ign i fyi g in th mid t na D i (I th mus of) a na o w n eck o f l nd which c n n c ts N o th and S t h Am ic a w hich c n n c t th V s l h avi n g pl an k d fl o id tog th D k d v pl atf m t supp t th a t ill y lodg the m n nd l to d p v th cargo f m a d ai said t b d ck d d e p te fell w d D p o f m nk f und ed by St Domi nic d Guz m d D mi n i n n f th i n O ld C t il e wh w i q ui i t gen ral f th fi t a Cal ah i ti H e wa bor in 1 1 70 and d ie d at B l gna i 1 22 I nq Th p i ncip l bj c t o f thi s d f m nks wa t p e ch agai n t h etic r s pp s d to th R m Cath lic f i th wh h ld and t ugh t pi n i th At ne t i m it x t n iv ely p ev ailed i n E u pe an d n th c ast of Asi a I t n w flo u i h A f ic n d Am ic a chi fly in Sp i Po t gal and an d v il T h m n k d s in bl ack wi th w hi t man t l Sicily the n n i an wi th bl ck man tl F n d v e il S in whi t f) a v y c l b t d w k w i t t n by C v an te D n Q i x t (Adv t e d i s ti g i h d Sp n i sh w i t r wh was b n n 1 5 4 7 and d i d i 1 6 1 6 h li e b u i d wi th ou t a t n e to i dic ate th t M d id wh t o p Th bj c t h d i Vi ew by th a th in thi wo k w f m th t f his c ou nt ym n H wi sh d to id ta t a d pi i n leth t d ven i m wi th ll i ts evil con eq u n ce the u c of which w th tu u he i nnum bl v el s on k night a try Whil he tr ggl s ag ai n t th p revaili ng fal ma c of t he ti m h di plays th m st t uly m ntic Th b gmn i ng f t he w k wa at fi t c ldly r c iv ed b t s pi i t n m t wi th th g e t st ppl au i wh ich at a l t p i d th wh l o f E u nd i t h s n w b n t an l at d i nt ev e y E u pe n l ngu g e op j oi n d the

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TH E

0 39

LI F E

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OF

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pan i a d s wh n gagi ng the M oors w s S ti g Th k n igh ts u t v t n i d p o h i d c e t f m f m ili es t h t h a v b n bl w e q id f f g n rati n nd th t thei an c t rs h d n i th n b th b en J w S c ns no h etic n called in qu ti n by t h I nq i i Th i v w b di n c c j ug l fi d li ty nd f po v ty ti n e t h se c f the i mmacul at nc pti n f th H oly Vi gi th d e f L dy n m by which th Vi gi M y i meti m call d by R man O C th lic n in t m nt di na ce o d c e f the P pe l ting to P ap l B l l f f i th p ch m tt the aff i o f the R mi h Ch u c h w i t t go ld n seal Th n m f m th I t li n m nt d h a vi n g a l ad e igi n lly pplied to th al i t l f b ll w n P pal C/ i th th f th P pe giv by th p op a th i ty a d d ly auth nticat d w i t i ng P at t g anti g a p ivil g t m p n p son d praye ; call d f m th fi t tw Lati n w d N t th L P t ig ni f yi g O u Fath c u t r op n p c in fron t of b hi nd h u P ti ffi c h i th Ch ch dign i t y up i t th a chbi h p P t i ph i mplyi ng t d ub a int P y d f o m p y a n ut ic l f ny b dy i n de t pr e v e i t f m i j y by wat th u f ac w th i ng en d d a x p io n of ep n tan ce f i n u ff P nit n t y f eak c p ic Pi i nh abi ta t f Ph ici t i t y in Sy i a n the a t n c a t P li n i i n d n th w t f Pal esti n th p i cipal ci ti f an an f the M di t T h Ph ici an w ly c l b at d Ty an d Sid n which w i t trib u t d t th m ma i n s nd th i v t io n f l t t adv n tur f th M di t n h p t ic ul ly n th T h y pl an t d c lon i d U t ica an d th i m n fac tu ac q ui d H ipp C rth ag M a eill f th n ti n th t m n g th n ci n ts i i ty v t h up u ch a t ple i ng i th i ppa l d om tic l g t g w wh t v I n th ti m f S lo m n it i t n il s wa c all d Sid n i n aid th wh w kill d h w to h w t i mbe lik th Sido ni a n w l m auth s tw pill a e aid t h av A cc di ng t P i ll r f H b n c t d by H c ul e c l b ated h p n i n an ci n t myth o logy n ch id e of th t ai t n am d aft h im (now k now th m un tai point t th li mi t f hi w nd th St ai ts f Gibral t ) i t nd ed t i ngs t th wes t By th auth o the mo tai ns th emselv c all ed Pill T h at n th As i atic id e i c all d A byl a th at n th E u th t i id C lp T h l t r n ib a l t a s w G e p k phil osoph b n about 4 29 B C H e d ied n his P l t a c l eb at d G S

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GL OSSAR Y

39

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1

igh ty econd bi rt hday H is nam wa giv en him ( f om a G eek wo d ig ni fying b ad ) n account f the b ad th of hi ch est and f e head H i b s t kn wn and P l i ny a di t i ngu h d Ro m n ch ol ar and hi t i an t i tl e d N tu al H i t y r H i to y f th m t valu d w rk i that A ll t i m t qui d f ffi al H fi ll d m ny p u bl ic fli W ld H w d uti e h d v t d t hi l t y pur u i t v y a ly i v i n wi n t f ten did n t eti e t b d at all nd u d t ad whil n e to had so m d t him H diligen tly at m al s an d i n the b th ythi n g of i mpo tan c ; and ft n aid th at n book “ s n ted d wn ev Wh n n t abl to methi g migh t b l ea n ed f m it b d b u t t h at H e f ll a sac i fi c e t his spi i t o f i n q ui ry th e w it e h dic t ted t in th y a 79 ; wh e n b i n g n e Vesu vi u d uri g t i b l e u p ti n f he wa i nd uc ed t app oach i t i n ord t e xami e i t the th at v lc n mo closely and whil t ngaged in hi sci n ti fi c i n v tigati ons on the h p i h ed by a s uff o cati n g v ap which p ad ov r th ec n d d y wh l cou n t y i nn d t v n P an cien tly c all d C na n I t e ce iv d the n ame P mi d Land P l st i n f Lan d f P mi ( e H b x i 9 ) n acc nt f h vi ng b n p r mi ed I t mb c s t he c as t f Sy i o n th t the po t i ty of A b ah am M dit rran an f om Leb anon so uth t t h li mi t f E gyp t an d was n o f the ld w ld f th m s t f til c ou nt i m th ematici an and a tronome b n in P t l my a c el eb t d geog ph f n ti q ui ty Egy p t in th y ar 70 wh i c on id e d the fi st ast on me ugh t to fi x t he i tuati n f pl ac by H wa the arli s t w i te wh th e i l t i tu d e and l ngi tud e n n f p i h p i h n o t S Pu d ) ( m gi t at s f a c ty R gi d R p ti mi n t (Sp n i h ) p ti ti o n di vi i n di t i b ti n pi at f ebo t R S g I c l andic h r ic tal s m st en wn ed fath s o f th Ch i ti an Ch ch n e o f th Sai n t A g ti n 13 H wa b rn at Taga te a s mall ci ty in A f ic N v emb 3 54 ; a d di d at H ipp Aug u t 28 403 acc o di g t the h ly k n igh t an ci n t l ge nd p i nc f S i n t Ge g which wa f rm rly n o f th m t i mp t nt p vi c Capp adoci a th f A si a H is g at s t achi v em n t w c nq t f a dragon by wh i ch he e ff c te d th d liv e an c o f H i co mmon ly ki ng s d ugh t p sent d h seb ack in full a mo wi th the fo midable d ragon w i thi n g at hi f e t T he d aw i n g i f un d e d n t h t adi ti n th at Aj t he d augh te of an an ci en t mon arc h was met by a d ragon which attack d e

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By P F W i LLE RT Henry of N avarre , an d t he Hugue not s i n F ran ce M A Fe ll ow o f E e te r Col le ge O ford W i ll i am of Ora nge , the F oun er of t he Dutch Re p ubl i c .

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T he N ew Germa n E mpi re : H ow I t A ros e ; Re p ace ; A nd W hat I t St an s F or B y J M ES Sl M E ” A L i e of Les si ng , etc .

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T o be follo wed by Han ni b a l a n d t he St ruggl e b et w ee n Cart hage an d Rome L L D Regi u P ro f B y E A FRE EM A N f H i t y i n t he U n iv r i ty of O xf d A lfred t he Great a n d t he F i rs t K i n gd om i n E ngl a n d B y F Y O RK P O WE LL M A Sen i o Stud en t of Ch i t Ch urc h C ll ge O xf d Ch arl e s t he B o l d a n d t he At t e mp t t o F ou n d a M i dd l e K i n gd om By R LO D G E M A Fell o w o f B a en C ll eg e O xf rd h h n a v n t e H e r o l i o o f t h n h P r t a n t s B W r s C e F e o t e E N c O M y J E D W A RDS F ll o w of L i n co l n C ll g e O xfo d O l i ve r Cromw e ll an d t h e Ru l e of t he P u ri t ans i n E n gl and By CH A RL E S F I RT H Bal li l C ll eg O xford M arlb orough an d E ngl a n d as a M i l i t ary P ow er By C W C O MA N A M F ll w o f All Sou l C l l ege Oxf rd n s e s a r a d t h n u u z n l i e r i C O a t i o o f t h a e o m m R a n E i r e g J p By W WA RD E Fo wLE R M A F ll w o f Li n c l n Co l l g O xf rd G P P U T N A M S SO N S ,

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27 AN D 29

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TWE N TY THI RD STRE ET -

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an n ou ncing that they have i n cou rse of pu bli cation i n T Fisher U n wi n o f London a c o operatio n w ith Mr series of historical studies i ntended to p rese nt in a graph i c mann er the stories of the di fferent n ation s t hat have attained prom in ence i n history I n the story f orm the curre n t of each nat i onal l i fe i s d istinctly i n dicated and its pictu resque and not ewo rthy periods an d episodes are presented for the read er in their philosophical relatio n to each other as well as to u n ive rsal history I t is the plan of the w ri ters of the di fferen t volu mes to e nter i nto the real life of the peoples and to bring them be fore the reader as they actually lived labored and — struggled as they studied an d w rote and as they amused themselves I n car ryi ng out this plan the myths w ith w hich the history of all lands begins w ill not b e over looked though these w i ll be carefully disti ngu ished from the actual history so far as the labors of the accepted historical authorities have resu lted i n defin ite conclusions T he su bj ects of the di fferent volu mes have been plan ned to cover con necting and as far as possible consecut ive epochs or periods so that the s e t w hen completed w ill pre sen t i n a comprehensive n arrat ive the ch ief events i n ,

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the great S TO RY O F T H E N AT I O N S ; but it is of cou rse not al ways practicable to issu e the several volu mes in t he in ch ro n o lo gical order ” The Stories are prin ted in go o d readable type and in handsome I z mo form They are adequately illustrated Price per vol an d furn ished w ith maps an d i n dexes cloth H alf morocco gi lt top T he follow ing volumes are no w ready (November 1 8 9 1) T H E ST O RY O F G RE E CE Prof J AS A H ARRi SO N RO M E ART H U R Gi LM AN Pr f AM Es K H O SM E R T H E J E WS ,

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Z A Go z i N CH A L D EA S B R N GO D GE RM A N Y N O RWAY H J ALM A R H B OY ESEN Rev E E an d S SAN H LE S AI N ro A VAM BERY H U N GA RY CA RT H A GE Pro A FRE D CH U RC T H E SA RACE N S AR R G i LM AN T H E M OO RS I N S A I N S N E L NE OO LE T H E N O RM A N S S R O RN E E E N E RSI A S G W B E NJ AN CI E NT E GY PT Pro GEO R N SO N ’ ALE X AN DE R S EM I RE M A H Am Pro A SSY RI A Z A RA G o z i N T H E GO T H S H EN RY BR DLE I RE L AN D H on EM i LY L E SS T U RK E Y S N EY L N E O O E M E DI A , B ABY LO N , A N D E RSI A Z A R O Z N M E DI IEVAL FRAN CE Pro G S M SSO N H OL L AN D Pro J T O RO D RO ERS M E X I CO E S S N H PH CE N I CI A Pro GEO RA W Li NSO N T H E H A N SA TO WN S H E EN Z ERN E ARLY B RI T AI N ro A FRED J C RC T H E B ARBA RY CO RSA I RS S N E L NE OO LE W R M O RFI LL RU SSI A T H E EW S U N DE R RO M E W D M o RRi sO N SCO T LA N D O N M C N S O J SWI TZ E RLA N D R S E D and M rs A RNO D H U G O RT U GA L H M O RSE S E E N S T H E BY Z A N T I N E E M I RE C W C O AN .

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