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consequences, unfolded to the view of mankind one half of the globe, diffused wealth and dignity over the other, and extended commerce and civilization through the whole.
14. To corroborate the theory which he had formed of the existence of a' vestern continent, his discerning mind, which always knew the application of every circumstance that fell in his way, had observed several facts, which by others would have passed unnoticed. In his voyage to the African islands, he had found, floating ashore after a long western storm, pieces of wood carved in a curious manner, canes of a size unknown in that quarter of the world, and human bodies with very singular features.
15. Fully confirmed in the opinion that a considerable portion of the earth was still undiscovered, his genius was too vige orous and persevering to suffer an idea of this importance to rest merely in speculation, as it had done in the minds of Plato and Seneca, who appear to have had conjectures of a similar nature,
16. He determined, therefore, to bring his favorite theory to the test of actual experiment. But an object of that magni. tude required the patronage of a prince; and a design so extraordinary met with all the obstructions, delay and disappointments, which an age of superstition could invent, and whick personal jealousy and malice could magnify and encourage.
17. Happily for mankind, in this instance, a genius capable of devising the greatest undertakings, associated in itself a degree of patience and enterprize, modesty and confidence, which rendered him superior, not only to these niisfortunes, but to all the future calamities of his life.
18. Prompted by the most ardent enthusiasm to be the discoverer of new continents; and fully sensible of the advantages that would result to mankind from such discoveries, he had the mortification to waste away eighteen years of his life, after his system was well established in his own mind, before he could obtain the means of executing his designs.
19. The greatest part of this period was spent in successive and fruitiess solicitations, at Genoa, Portugal and Spain. As a duty to his native country, he made bis first proposal to the senate of Germa; where it was soon rejected.
20. Conscious of the truth of his theory, and of his own ability to execute his design, le retired, without dejection, from a body of men who were incapable of forming any just
ideas upon the subject ; and applied with fresh confidence to Join the second, King of Portugal, who had distinguished him. self as a great patron of navigation, and in whose service Columbus had acquired a reputation which entitled him and his project to general confidence and approbation,
21. But here he suffered an insult much greater than a d. rect refusal. After referring the examination of his scheme to the council who had the direction of naval affairs, ani drawing from him his general ideas of the length of the voyage and the course he meant to take, that great monarch had the meanness to conspire with the council to rob Columbus of the glory and advantage he expected to derive from his undertaking
22. While Columbus was amused with this negociation, in hopes of having his scheme adopted and patronized, a vessel was secretly dispatched by order of the king, to make the intended discovery. Want of skill and perseverance in the pilot rendered the plot unsuccessful ; and Columbus, on discov. ering the treachery, retired, with an ingenuous indignation, from a court capable of such duplicity. .
23. Having now performed what was due to the country that gave him birth, and to the one that adopted him as a subject, he was at liberty to court the patronage of any prince who should have the wisdom and justice to accept his proposals.
24. He had communicated his ideas to his brother Barthol. omew, whom he sent to England to negociate with Henry the seventh ; at the same time that he went himself into Spain to apply in person to Ferdinand and Isabella, who governed the united kingdoms of Arragon and Castile.
25. The circumstance of his brother's application in Eng. land, which appears to have been unsuccessful, it is not to my purpose to relate ; and the limits prescribed to this sketch, will prevent the detail of all the particulars relating to his own negociation in Spain.
26. In this negociation Columbus spent eight years in the various agitations of suspense, expectation and disappointment; till at length his scheme was adopted by Isabella, who undertook, as Queen of Castile, to defray the expenses of the expedition; and declared herself, ever after, the frie: and patron of the hero who projected it.
27. Columbus, who, during all his ill success in the negociasion, never abated any thing of the honors and emoluments
which he expected to acquire in bis expedition ; obtaire from Ferdinand and Isabella a full stipulation of every article contained in his first proposal.
28. He was constituted high Admiral ard Viceroy of 11 the Scas, Islands, and Continents which he should discover, witi: power to receive one tenth of the profits arising from their productions and commerce. These offices and emoluinerte were to be hereditary in his family.
29. These articles being adjusted, the preparations for the voyage were brought forward with rapidity, but they were by no means adequate to the importance of the expedition. Three small vessels, scarcely sufficient in size to be employed in the coasting business, were appointed to traverse the vast Atlantic; and to encounter the storms and currents that might be expected in so lengthy a voyage, through distant and unknown seas.
30. These vessels, as might be expected, in the infancy of navigation, were ill constructed, in a poor condition, and inanned by seamen unaccustomed to distant voyages. But the tedious length of time which Columbus had spent in solicitatiot and suspense, and the prospect of being able soon to obtain tha object of his wishes, induced him to overlook what he could not easily remedy, and led him to disregard those circumstalices which would have intimidated any other mind.
31. He accordingly equipped his sniall squadron with as much expedition as possible, manned with ninety men, and victualled for one year.
With these, on the third of August, 1492, amidst a vast croud of anxious spectators, he set sail on an enterprise, which, if we consider theill condition of his ships, the inexperience of his sailors, the length and uncertainty of his voyage, and the consequences that Howed from it, was the most daring and important that ever was undertaken.
32. He touched at some of the Portuguese settlements i the Canary Isles, where, although he had but a few days run, he found his vessels 'needed refitting. He soon made the ne. cessary repairs, and took his departure from the westernmost islands that had been hitherto discovered. Here he left the former traok of navigation, and steered his course due west.
23. Not many days after he had been it sea, he began to experience a new scene of difficulty. The sailors now bega! to contemplate the dangers and uncertain issue of a voyage, the nature and length of which was left entirely to conjecture.
34. Besides fickleness and timidity, natural to nien unac.
customed to the discipline of a seafaring life, several circumstances contributed to inspire an obstinate and mutinous disposition, which required the most consummate art, as well as fortitude in the admiral to control.
35. Having been three weeks at sea, and experienced the uniform course of the trade winds, which always blow in a western direction, they contende:l, that should they continue the same course for a longer period, the same wind would never permit them to return to Spain.
36. The magnetic needle began to vary its direction. This being the first time that phenomenon was ever discovered, it was viewed by the sailors with astonishment, and considered as an indication that nature itself had changed her course, and that Providence was determined to punish their audacity, in venturing so far beyond the ordinary bounds of man.
37. They declared that the commands of their sovereign had lcen fully obeyed, in their proceeding so many days in the same direction, and so far surpassing the attempts of all former navigators, in quest of new discoveries. Every talent, requisite for governing, soothing and tempering the passions of mez,is conspicuous in the conduct of Columbus on this occasion.
38. The dignity and affability of his manners, his surprising knowledge and experience in naval affairs, his unwearied and zainute attention to the duties of his command, gave him a complete ascendency over the minds of his men, and inspired that degree of confidence which would have maintained his authority in almost any possible circumstances.
39. But here, from the nature of the undertaking, every man had leisure to feed his imagination with all the gloominess and uncertainty of the prospect. They found, every day, that the same steady gales carried them with great rapidity from their native country, and indeed from all countries of which they had any knowledge.
40. Notwithstanding all the variety of management with which Columbus addressed himself to their passions, sometimes by soothing them with the prognostics of discovering land; sometimes, by flattering their ambition and feasting their avarice with the glory and zealth they would acquire from discover. ing those rich countries beyond the Atlantic, and sometimes by threatening them with the displeasure of their sovereign, should timidity and disobedience defeat so great an object, their aneasiness still increased.
1. From secret whispering it arose to open mutiny and
dangerous conspiracy. At length they determined to rid themselves of the remonstrances of Columbus, by throwing. him into the sea. The infection spread from ship to stip, and involved officers as well as common sailors,
42. They finally lost all sense of subordination, and addressed their commander in an insolent manner, demanding to be conducted immediately back to Spain ; or, they assured bim, they would seek their own safety by taking away his life. CoJumbus, whose sagacity and penetration had discovered every symptom of the disorder, was prepared for the last stage of it, and was sufficiently apprised of the danger that awaited him. He found it in vain to contend with passions he could no longer control,
43. He therefore proposed that they should obey his orders .for three days longer; and should they not discover land in that time, he would then direct his course for Spain.
44. They complied with his proposal ; and, happily for mankind, in three days discovered land. This was a small island, to which Columbus gave the name of San Salvador. Their first interview with the natives was a scene of amusement and compassion on the one part, and of astonishment and adoration on the other.
45. The natives were entirely naked, simple and timorous ; and they viewed the Spaniards as a superior order of beings, descended from the sun, which in that island, and in most paris of America, was worshipped as a deity. By this. it was easy for Columbus to perceive the line of conduct proper to be ob. served toward that simple and inoffensive people.
46. Had his companions and successors, of the Spanish nation, possessed the wisdom and humanity of that discoverer, the benevolent mind would feel no sensations of regret, in contemplating the extensive advantages arising to mankind from the discovery of America.
47. In this voyage Columbus discovered the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola ; on the latter of which he erected a small fort;, and having left a garrison of thirty-eight men, under the command of an officer by the naine of Arada, he set sail for Spain. Returning across the Atlantic, he was overtaken by a violent storm, which lasted several days, and increasd to such a degree as bailed all his naval skill, and threatened immediate destruction.
48. In this siluation, when all were in a state of despair, and it was expected that every sea would swallow up the crazy