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• Providence at length interposed to save so valtrable a life.
The wind abated, the sea became calm, and on the evening of the fifteenth they discovered land, which they soon knew to be St. Mary, one of the Azores, or Western Islands, subject to the crown of Portugal. There' lie ob. tained a supply of provisions, and such other things as he had need of. There was one circumstance that greatly disquieted him : La Pinta had separated from him during the hurricane ; he was apprehensive that she had foun. dered, and that all her crew had perished: afterwards, his former suspicions revived, that Pinzon had borne away for Spain, that he might reach it before him, and give the first account of his discoveries. In order to prevent this he proceeded on his voyage as soon as the weather would permit.
At no great distance from the coast of Spain, another storm arose, little inferior to the former in violence; and after driving before it, during two days and two nights, he was forced to take shelter in the river Tagus. Upon ap. plication to the king of Portugal, he was allowed to come up to Lisbon ; Colunibus was received with all the marks of distinction due to a man who had performed things so extraordinary and unexpected. The king admilied bim into his presence, treated him with great respect, and listened to the account he gave of his voyage, with admiration mingled with regret.
Columbus was now able to prove the solidity of his schemes, to those very persons, who with an ignorance disgraceful to themselves, and fatal to their country, had lately rejected thein as the projects of a visionary adven. torer. Columbus was so impatient to return to Spain, tha€ he remained only five days at Lisbon, and on the fifteenth of March, he arrived at the port of Palos just seven months and eleven days from the time he set out from thence upon his voyage. The inhabitants all ran eagerly to the shore to welcome their relations, and fellow citizens, and to hear tidings of their voyage.
When the successful issue of it was known, when they beheld the strange appearance of the Indians, the unknown animals, and singular productions, of the newly discovered sountries, the effusion of joy was unbounded. The bells were rung, the cannon fired; Columbus was received at landing with royal honors, and all the people accompanieck him, and his crew, in solemn procession to church, where they returned thanks to heaven, which had so wonderfully conducted, and crowned with success, a voyage of greater length, and of more importance, than had been attempted in any former age. To add to the general joy La Pinta on the evening of the day entered the harbour. Ferdinand and Isabella were at Barcelona, they were no less as, tonished than delighted, with this unexpected event : sent a messenger requesting him in terms the most respectful, to repair immediately to court, that from himself they might receive a full detail of his extraordinary services, and discoveries.
During his journey to Barcelona, the people flocked from the adjacent country, following him with admiration and applause. His entrance into the city, was conducted, by order of Ferdinand and Isabella with extreme pomp, suitable to the great event which added such distinguishing lustre to their reign. The people whom he brought along with him, the natives of the countries he had discovered, marched first, and by their singular complexion, the wild peculiarities of their features, and uncouth finery, appeared like men of another species. Next to them were carried the ornaments of gold, fashioned by the rude art of the natives, grains of gold found in the mountains and rivers ; after these appeared the various commodities of the new world and its, curious productions : Columbus closed the procession and attracted the eyes of all the spectators, who could not sufficiently admire the man whose superior sa. gacity and fortitude, had conducted their countrymen by a route unknown to past ages, to the knowledge of a new country, abounding with riches and fertile as the best cul. tivated lands in Spain.
Ferdinand and Isabella received him in their royal robes, seated upon a throne under a magnificent canopy. They stood up as he approached, and raised him as he kneeled to kiss their hands. He then took his seat on a chair prepared for him, and by their majesties order's, gave a circumstantial account of his voyage. He delivered it with that com posure and dignity, so suitable to the Spanish nation, and with that modest simplicity so characteris. tic of great minds, that satisfied with having performed great actions, seeks not an ostentatious display of words to set them forth. When his narration was finished, the kirgi and queen kneeled down and offered upthanks to Almighty God, for the discovery of those new icgions, from which
they expected so many advantages to flow into the kingdoms, subject to their government. · Columbus was invested with every mark of honour, that gratitude or admiration could suggest, confirming to him and his heirs the agreement made at Santa Fě. His family was ennobled, the king and queen and the whole court treated him on every occasion with all the ceremonious respect, usually paid to persons of the highest rank - An order was immediately made to equip, without delay, art arinament of such force, as might enable him to take possession of those countries which he had already discovered, as well as to search for those more opulent regi. ons, which he still confidently expected to find. Colum. bus's fame now quickly spread over Europe ; his successo fül voyage had excited general attention.
Men of science spoke of it with raplure, and congratu lated one another upon their felicity, in having lived at a period when the boundaries of human knowledge, were so much extended ** Various opinions were formed, concerning the new found countries, and what division of the earth they beo longed to." Columbus erroneously and tenaciously adhered to his original idea, that they were part of those vast regions of Asia, comprehended under the general name of India : this sentiment gained strength from the productions of the countries he had discovered. Gold was known to abound in India, of which precious metal he had brought some samples from the islands he had visito ed.
Cotton, another production of the cast, was common there. The' pimento of the islands, he imagined to be a species of the East Indian pepper. He' mistook a root, somewhat resembling rhubarb, for that valuable drug, which was then supposed to be a plant peculiar to the East Indies; the birds were adorned with the same rich plumame, that distinguishes those of India. The alligator of the one country, was considered as the crocodile of the other. After weighing all these circumstances, the different nations of Europe, adopted the opinion of Colum: bus ; they considered the countries he had discovered, ás a part of India i
The name of West Indies, was therefore given to them by Ferdinand and Isabella even after the error was detected, and the true position of the new world known ;
the navie still remains, and the appellation of West Indies is given by all the people of Europe to the country, and that of Indians to its inhabitants.
The specimens of the riches and the productions of the neix country which Columbus produced were so alluring; and the exaggerated accounts of bis companions (so natui. ral to travellers) excited a wonderful spirit of enterprize among the Spaniards. Though unaccustomed to naval expeditions they were eager to set out upon another voyage. Volunteers of all ranks were anxiously solicitous to be employed. The vast prospect which opened to their imagination, flattered their ambition and their avarice; neither the danger, nor length of the navigation intimidated them. Perdinand's natural caution gave way to the torrent of public opinion : he seemed to have caught the same spirit with his subjects.
Another expedition was carried on with a rapidity unusual to the Spaniards. · A fleet consisting of seventeen ships was equipped; some of which were of good burden ; they had on board fifteen hundred persons, among whom were many of noble families, who had served in honourar ble stations. Most of these intending to remain in the country, were furnished with every thing necessary for conquest or settlement, with all kinds of domestic animals, and also seeds and plants, that were likely to thrive in the climate of the West Indies, together with such utensils as might be useful in an infant colony : and artificers were engaged to attend the expedition.
But formidable and well provided as this fleet was, Ferdinand and Isabella, (slaves to the superstition of the fourteenth century) were not willing to rest their title to the possession of the newly discovered countries, until they applied tu the Roman pontiff, who, in that age was supposed to have a right of dominion over all the kingdoms of the earth,
Alexander VI. a pontiff, infamous for every crime that disgraces humanity, filled the papal throne at that time : as he was born Ferdinand's subject, and solicitous to procure that monarch's protection, in prosecuting his ambi. tious schemes, in favour of his own family, he instantly complied with his request. By an act of liberality which cost him nothing, he bestowed upon Ferdinand and Isabella all the countries inhabited by infidels which they hai' discovered, or should discover, And by virtue of that powe
which he pretended he derived from Jesus Christ; he vest td in the crown of Castile a right to vast regions, to the possession of which he was so far from having any title, that he was unacquainted with their situation, and even with their existence ; but that this grant should not seem to interfere with one he had made to the crown of Portugal, he appointed that a line supposed to be drawn from pole to pole one hundred leagues to the westward of the Azores should serve as a limit between them : and in the plenitude of his power, conferred all on the east of this imaginary line on the Portuguese, and all on the west of it upon the Spaniards. Zeal for propagating the Christian faith was the consideration employed by Ferdinand in soli. citing this Bull, and pretended by Alexander to be his chief motive for granting it. Several friars, under the direction of Father Boyle, a Catalonian monk of great re. putation, as apostolical vicar, were appointed to accompany Columbus in this second expedition, who were to devote themselves to the instruction and conversion of the natives. Those who came over with Columbus, after being imperfectly instructed in the Christian knowledge, were baptized with great solemnity; the king himself, his son, and the chief persons of his court, standing as their sponsors.
Ferdinand and Isabella having now acquired a title, which in that age was deemed completely valid, there was nothing now retarded the departure of the feet. Columbus was impatient to re-visit the colony he had left, and pur. sue that career of glory, upon which he had entered. He set sail from the bay of Cadiz on the twenty fifth day of September, 1493, and steered farther towards the south than in his first expedition : by which he enjoyed more steadily the benefit of the regular winds which predomi. nate between the tropics, and was carried towards a large cluster of islands, situated considerably to the east of those which he had formerly discovered..
On the second of November he made land, it was one of the Caribee or Leeward islands, to which he gave the name of Deseada, on account of the impatience of his crew to discover some part of the New World. Aftec this he touched successively at Dominica, Marigalante, Guadaloupe, Antigua, St. John de Porto Rico, and several other islands as he advanced towards the northwest. All these he found inhabited by that fierce race of people