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an oar in his hand. The ship is well drawn, the castle on the poop being well wrought out. Above, we read Oceanica Classis ; but from the form of some of the letters it may be inferred that the characters are not cut in the wood, but doubtless printed from movable types inserted into a space prepared for them in the upper part of the block. This view is also confirmed by the observation that the letters project beyond the line of the woodcut, and in the same place the line surrounding it is broken.
On the face of the second leaf appears the inscription, printed in the same types as those of the preceding cut, De insulis inventis. After which we find, printed in types somewhat smaller, which continue through the entire volume, the other title, Epistola Christoferi Colom, &c., as is given in full in the reprint of the letter. On the reverse of this
page is found another engraving, representing the island of Hispaniola, or St. Domingo. (Fig. 4.) The island is girded by rocks; but certain plants may be discerned, rudely designed. Near the island is seen the caravel, moved by oars, on which may be discovered cer. tain animals which one hardly knows how to describe. A boat, with two Spaniards in it, the foremost of whom, covered with a cap more ornamented than the other, may perhaps be Columbus himself, draws near to the land in an inlet of the sea. A troop of Indians, of whom a part manifest fear and grief, and another make as if they wished to fly, whilst a third seems to issue from the throat of a mountain; and he who is nearest to the sea holds out, with both hands, a fruit-perhaps a cocoanut — to the more notable person who stands in the boat, and who, in turn, presents to the Indian a vase or a cup, perhaps full of some liquor. Rocks and mountains in the distance. Above may be read, printed likewise with movable types, Insula Hyspanae.
The text of the letter is continued on the third leaf; and on the reverse is found another plate representing the islands St. Salvadore, Hispaniola, Isabella, Fernanda, and Conception. (Fig. 3.) In the foreground is represented, pretty roughly, the caravel under sail, and upon it a man standing with a sword by his side, who is probably Columbus himself, in the act of meditation. In a similar attitude Columbus is seen, far more nobly figured, in a plate of De Bry. In that which we are now describing, there is placed on the right an island, or a portion of an island, with the inscription Salvatoris; higher up, on the same side, another portion of an island with the inscription with the name Hyspana ; another island in the middle, with the namo Ysabella. On the left side, at the upper part, is seen a portion of an island denominated Fernanda ; and below it, another portion of an island, with the words Conceptois Marie. Before this latter is found a kind of city, with a gate, a tower, and battlemented walls. In all the islands may be observed indications of verdure and some vestiges of buildings. The letters representing the names of the different islands in this plate have no resemblance to those of the text, and seem cut in wood like the picture itself.
The fourth leaf is entirely occupied with text, even on the reverse side. But on the front of the fifth is seen again repeated the same plate printed on the reverse of the first leaf, with the title Oceana Classis. On the reverse of this leaf the text is continued, as also on the whole of the sixth succeeding, and on the first page of the seventh.
On the reverse of the seventh leaf we have another plate, (Fig. 5,) representing the building of a city, (probably that of Isabella,) different edifices, and certain battlemented walls with a gate; certain workmen are raising, by means of a pulley, a large bucket, or box of materials. At the foot of the walls stand divers cubical blocks, probably stones prepared for the buildings. The sea bathes the walls of the new city. In the distance are two soldiers, who seem to be armed with halberts. Above may be read, as in the second plate, Insula Hyspanae, which title is printed with movable types, the line being interrupted by a high tree, which rises as it were in the middle of the plate, and wbich may be conjectured to be of that species which the French naturalists have denominated chou palmiste.
The eighth and ninth leaves contain nothing but text, which is finished on the reverse of the ninth, with the date Pridie ydus Marcii, and the subscription Cristoforus Colom Oceane Classis Perfectus.
This letter was the first authentic document which made known through Europe the discoveries made by Columbus.
Respecting the PORTRAIT of COLUMBUS, (Page III.) De Bry, in his celebrated book, says, in the preface, –
“Theodore de Bry sends health to the reader:
"In a former part of the History of America, containing not only a written account of wonderful and extraordinary matters relating to the recently-discovered New World, but also pictorial representations,
by means of drawings of many scenes, it was stated that the discovery had been by the persevering industry of Christopher Columbus, a Genoese, contrary to the expectations of all those whom he had consulted on the subject. As Columbus was a man of intelligence, and endowed with great genius and spirit, the King and Queen of Castile, before his departure, directed his portrait to be painted by a skilful artist, that they might have a memorial of him in case he should not return from his expedition. Of this portrait I have had the good fortune to obtain a copy, since finishing the fourth book of this work, through a friend who had received it from the artist himself; and it has been my desire, kind reader, to share this pleasure with you ; for which
purpose I have caused it to be engraved, in a reduced form, on copper, by my son, with as much care as possible, and now offer it for your inspection in this book. And, in truth, the portrait of one possessing such excellence deserves to be seen by all good men; for he was upright and courteous, pure and noble-minded, and an earnest friend of peace and justice.”
The portrait engraved on steel as a frontispiece for this volume, is copied from a picture now in the Bibliothèque du Roi, Paris ; a lithograph of which was sent to Mr. Irving by the librarian, who had great confidence in its authenticity. This, however, may be reasonably doubted. Both engravings are given for what they are worth: that from De Bry is evidently the most characteristic, and the most likely to be the true one.
The undersigned takes this opportunity to say, that for all pictorial illustrations in Mr. Irving's Works, the publisher only is responsible Sept. 1860.
G. P. PUTNAM. (sxii)