ePub 版

coast of Africa, was not inclined to encourage the underta king of Columbus; yet he meanly sought to rob him of the glory and advantages of his scheme, by privately dispatching a ship to make a discovery in the west.

11. When Columbus was acquainted with this perfidious transaction, he quitted the kingdom with indignation, and landed in Spain in 1484. Here after seven years painful solicitation at court, and surmounting every obstacle, which ignorance, timidity, jealousy and avarice could lay before him, he obtained his request; and Ferdinand and Isabella who then reigned together, agreed to be patrons of his en-, terprise.

12. It was stipulated between him and them, that he should be admiral in all those islands and continents he should discover, and have the office hereditary in his family; that he should be viceroy of the same for life, and enjoy a tenth of the merchandize which should be found.

13. Three small vessels were fitted out and victualled for twelve months, furnished with ninety men, and placed under his command. With this little fleet he set sail from Palos, on Friday the third of August, 1492; and taking a westerly course, boldly ventured into the unknown ocean.

14. He soon found that he had unforseen hardships and difficulties to encounter from the inexperience and fears of his men. To go directly from home into a boundless ocean, far from any hope of relief, if any accident should befal them, and where no friendly port nor human being were known to exist, filled the boldest seamen with apprehension.

15. What greatly added to their terror was a new and extraordinary phenomenon, which occurred on the 14th of September. The magnetic needle varied from the pole, Nature and as they advanced, the variation increased. seemed to be changed; and their only guide through the trackless waters to prove unfaithful.

16. After twenty days, the impatient sailors began to talk of throwing their commander into the sea, and of retu ning home. Their murmurs reached his ears; but his fertile mi d' suggested an expedient in every extremity, By soo hing, flattery & artifice; by inventing reasons for every uncommon



appearance, and deceiving them in the ship's reckoning, he kept them on sixteen days longer.

17. On the night of the 11th of October, he himself discovered a light, which appeared to move; and the next morning gave them the joyful sight of land. It proved to be the island Guanahana, one of the clusters, called Bahamas. Thus in the space of thirty-six days, and in the forty-fifth year of his age, Columbus completed a voyage, which he had spent twenty years in projecting; which opened to the Europeans a new world, and made the name of Columbus immortal.

18. With tears of joy, and transports of congratulation, the crews of the ships sang a hymn of thanksgiving to God. After touching at several islands, and leaving a small colony, he returned to spain. On his return he was overtaken by a storm, which became so furious that his destruction seemed inevitable. The crews abandoned themselves to despair, and expected every moment to be swallowed up in the


19. In this extremity, he gave an admirable proof of his calmness and foresight. He wrote a short account of his voyage on parchment, enclosed it in a cake of wax, which he put into a tight cask, and threw into the sea, in hopes that some fortunate accident would preserve a deposit of so much importance to the world. The storm however subsided, & he arrived at Palos, in Spain, on the 15th of March, 1493.

20. The populace received him with acclamations; and the King and Queen, no less astonished than delighted with his success,had him conducted to court with a pomp suitable to the event, which added such distinguished lustre to their reign. His family was ennobled; and his former privileges and offices confirmed to him.

21. He soon sailed on a second expedition to the new world, with a fleet of seventeen ships, having on board 1500 people, and all things necessary for establishing plantations. After discovering many islands of the West-Indies, & submitting to every labor and vexation in attempting to settle his colony, he returned to Spain in 1498, to counteract the intrigues and efforts of his enemies in the Spanish court.

22. He made two more voyages, in which he touched at most part of the West Indies, discovered the continent,


and coasted on its shores for 400 leaues. But the last part of his life was made wretched by the persecutions of his enemies.

23. Their pride and jealousy could not endure that a foreigner should obtain so high a rank as to be viceroy for life, and have the office of admiral hereditary in his family, to the exclusion of the Spanish nobles. They were, therefore, indefatigable in their endeavours to depreciate his merits, and ruin his fortune.

24. He was once carried home in irons; and, in viola tion of gratitude, humanity and justice, basely deprived of all the offices and possessions in the new world, to which he had a right by the solemn stipulations of Ferdinand. When he returned from his last voyage, in 1505, Queen Isabella, his only friend and patroness in the court of Spain, was dead.

25. Worn out with sickness and fatigue, disgusted with the insincerity of his sovereign, and the haughtiness of his courtiers, he lingered out a year in fruitless solicitations for his violated rights, till death relieved him from his sorrows. He ended his useful and active life at Valladolid, on the 20th of May, 1506, in the 59th year of his age.

26. In the life of this remarkable man, there was no deficiency of any quality, which can constitute a great character. He was grave though courteous in his deportment, circumspect in his words and actions, irreproachable in his morals, and exemplary in all the duties of religion.

27. The court of Spain were so just to his memory, that notwithstanding their ingratitude towards him during his life, they buried him magnificently in the Cathedral at Seville, and erected a tomb over him with this inscription. COLUMBUS HAS GIVEN A NEW WORLD TO THE KINGDOMS OF CASTILE AND LEON.



COLUMBIA, Columbia, to glory arise;

The queen of the world and the child of the skies;
Thy genius commands thee; with rapture hehold,
While ages on ages thy splendors unfold.


Thy reign is the last, and the noblest of time,
Most fruitful thy soil, most inviting thy clime;
Let the crimes of the east ne'er encrimson thy name,
Be freedom, and science, and virtue, thy fame.

2. To conquest and slaughter le. Europe aspire;.
Whelm nations in blood and wrap cities in fire;
Thy heroes the rights of mankind shall defend,
And triumph pursue them, and glory attend.
A world is thy ealm; for a world be thy laws,
Enlarg'd as thine empire, and just as thy cause;
On freedom's broad basis thy empire shall rise,
Extend with the main, and dissolve with the skies,

3. Fair science her gates to thy sons shall unbar,
And the east see thy morn hide the beams of her star
New bards, and new sages, unrivalled shall soar
To fame unextinguish'd, when time is no more.
To thee, the last refuge of virtue design'd,
Shall fly from all nations the best of mankind:
Here, grateful to Heaven, with transport shall bring
Their incense, more fragrant than odors of spring.
4. Nor less shall thy fair ones to glory ascend,
And genius and beauty in harmony blend;
The graces of form shali awake pure desire,
And the charms of the soul ever cherish the fire:
Their sweetness unmingled, their manners refin'd,
And virtue's bright image, instamp'd on the mind,
With peace and soft rapture, shall teach life to glow,
And light up a smile in the aspect of wo

5. Thy fleets to all regions thy power shall display, The nations admire, and the ocean obey;

Each shore to thy glory its tribute unfold,

And the east and the south yield their spices and gold.
As the day spring unbounded, thy splendor shall flow,
And earth's little kingdoms before thee shall bow,
While the ensigns of union, in triumph unfurl'd,
Hush the tumult of war, and give peace to the world.
6. Thus, as down a lone valley, with cedars o'erspread,
From war's dread confusion I pensively stray'd;
The gloom from the face of fair heaven retired;
The winds ceas'd to murmur; the thunders expir'd;


Perfumes, as of Eden, flow'd sweetly along, And a voice, as of angels, enchantingly sung, "Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise,

The queen of the world, and the child of the skies."



URING the Indian wars which preceded the American revolution, a young English officer was closely pursued by two savages, who were on the point of killing him, when an aged chief interfered, took the officer by the hand, encouraged him by his caresses, conducted him to his hut, and treated him with all the kindness in his power. 2. The officer remained during the winter with the old chief, who taught him their language, and the simple arts with which they were acquainted. But when spring returned, the savages again took up arms, and prepared for a more vigorous campaign. The old chief followed the young warriors until they approached the English camp, when turning to the young officer, he thus addressed him.

3. You see your orethren preparing to give us battle; I have saved thy life, I have taught thee to make a canoe, a bow, and arrows, to surprise the beasts of the forest, and to scalp your enemy; wilt thou now be so ungrateful as to join thy countrymen, and take up the hatchet against us? The Englishman declared that he would sooner perish himself than shed the blood of an Indian.

4. The old savage covered his face with both his hands, and bowed down his head. After remaining some time in this attitude, he looked at the young officer, and said in a tone of mingled tenderness and grief-Hast thou a father? He was living, said the young man, when I left my native country. O how happy he must be, said the savage.

5. After a moment's silence, he added, I have been a father, but I am one no longer; I saw my son fall by my side in battle. But I have avenged him, yes I have avenged him, said he with emphasis, while he endeavored to suppress the groans which escaped in spite of him. He calmed his emotions, and turning towards the east where the sun


« 上一頁繼續 »