ePub 版

CHAP. and children from their parents. Thus the seeds of II. war were lavishly scattered, where peace only had 1520. prevailed, and enmity was spread through the re

gions, where friendship had been cherished. The crime was unprofitable, and was finally avenged. One of the returning ships foundered at sea, and the guilty and guiltless perished; many of the captives in the other sickened and died.

The events that followed, mark the character of the times. Vazquez, repairing to Spain, boasted of his expedition, as if it entitled him to reward, and the emperor, Charles V., acknowledged his claim. In those days, the Spanish monarch conferred a kind of appointment, which, however strange its character may appear, still has its parallel in history. Not only were provinces granted; countries were distributed to be subdued; and Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon begged to be appointed to the conquest of Chicora. After long entreaty he obtained his suit. The issue of the new and bolder enterprize was disastrous to the undertaker. He wasted his fortune 1525. in preparations; his largest ship was stranded in the river Jordan; many of his men were killed by the natives, whom wrongs had quickened to active resistance; he himself escaped only to suffer from wounded pride; and, conscious of having done nothing worthy of being remembered, the sense of humiliation is said to have hastened his death.1


1 Peter Martyr, d. vii. c. ii. Gomara, c. xlii. Herrera, d. iii. l. viii. c. viii. Herrera's West Indies, in Purchas, v. iv. p. 869. Galvano, in Hakluyt, v. iv. p. 429. Ensayo

Cronologico, p. 4, 5, 6. 8, 9, and 160. Roberts' Florida, p. 27, 28. Virginia richly valued, &c. &c., the Portuguese Relation, chapter xiv. Hakluyt, v. v. p. 503.




The love of adventure did not wholly extinguish CHAP. the desire for maritime discovery. When Cortes was able to pause from his success in Mexico, and 1524. devise further schemes for ingratiating himself with the Spanish monarch, he proposed to solve the problem of a northwest passage; the secret which has so long baffled the enterprize of the most courageous and persevering navigators. He deemed the existence of the passage unquestionable, and by simultaneous voyages along the American coast, on the Pacific and on the Atlantic, he hoped to complete the discovery, to which Sebastian Cabot had pointed the way.1

The design of Cortes remained but the offer of loyalty. A voyage to the northwest was really un- 1525. dertaken by Stephen Gomez, an experienced naval officer, who had been with Magellan in the first memorable passage into the Pacific Ocean. The expedition was decreed by the council for the Indies, in the hope of discovering the northern route to India, which, notwithstanding it had been sought for in vain, was yet universally believed to exist. His ship entered the bays of New-York and NewEngland; on old Spanish maps, that portion of our territory is marked as the land of Gomez. Failing to discover a passage, and fearful to return without success and without a freight, he filled his vessel with robust Indians, to be sold as slaves. Brilliant expectations had been raised; and the conclusion

1 Quarta Carta, o Relacion de Don Fernando Cortes. S. xix. in Barcia's Historiadores Primitivos,

tom. i. p. 151, 152. The same may
be found in the Italian of Ramu-
sio, v. iii. fol. 294, ed. 1665.



CHAP. was esteemed despicably ludicrous. The Spaniards scorned to repeat their voyages to the cold and frozen north; in the south, and in the south only, they looked for "great and exceeding riches." The adventure of Gomez had no political results. It had been furthered by the enemies of Cabot, who was, at that time, in the service of Spain; and it established the reputation of the Bristol mariner.2

But neither the fondness of the Spanish monarch for extensive domains, nor the desire of the nobility for new governments, nor the passion of adventurers for undiscovered wealth, would permit the abandon1526. ment of the conquest of Florida. Permission to invade that territory was next sought for and obtained by Pamphilo de Narvaez, a man of no great virtue or reputation. This is the same person, who had been sent by the jealous governor of Cuba to take Cortes prisoner, and who, after having declared him an outlaw, was himself easily defeated. He lost an eye in the affray, and his own troops deserted him. When brought into the presence of the man, whom he had promised to arrest, he said to him, "Esteem it great good fortune, that you have taken me captive." Cortes replied, and with truth, "It is the least of the things I have done in Mexico."

The territory, placed at the mercy of Narvaez, extended to the river of Palms; further, therefore, to the west, than the territory which was after

1 Peter Martyr, d. viii. l. x.

2 Peter Martyr, d. vi. l. x., and d. viii. l. x. Gomara, c. xl. Herrera, d. iii. l. viii. c. viii.

3 Cortes, Carta de Relacion, c. i. s. xxxv -xxxvii. in Barcia, v. i. p. 36-44. Gomara, Cronica de la Nueva España, c. xcvi—ci.





wards included in Louisiana. His expedition was as CHAP. unsuccessful as his attempt against Cortes, but it was memorable for its disasters. Of three hundred men, of whom eighty were mounted, but four or five returned. The valor of the natives, thirst, famine and pestilence, the want of concert between the ships and the men set on shore, the errors of judgment in the commanders, rapidly melted away the unsuccessful company. It is not possible to ascertain, with exactness, the point where Narvaez first landed in April. Florida; probably it was at a bay, a little east of the meridian of Cape St. Antony, in Cuba; it may have been, therefore, not far from the bay now called Appalachee. The party soon struck into the interior; they knew not where they were, nor whither they were going; and followed the directions of the natives. These, with a sagacity, careful to save themselves from danger, described the distant territory as full of gold; and freed themselves from the presence of troublesome guests, by exciting a hope that covetousness could elsewhere be gratified. The town June. of Appalachee, which was thought to contain immense accumulations of wealth, proved to be an inconsiderable collection of wigwams. It was probably in the region of the bay of Pensacola, that the remnant of the party, after a ramble of eight hundred miles, finally came again upon the sea, in a condition of extreme penury. Here they manufactured rude Sept. boats, in which none but desperate men would have embarked; and Narvaez and most of his companions, after having passed nearly six months in Florida,


CHAP. perished in a storm near the mouth of the MississipII. pi.1 One ship's 'company was wrecked upon an island;





most of those who were saved, died of famine. 1528, The four who ultimately reached Mexico by land, 1536. succeeded only after years of hardships. The simple narrative of their wanderings, their wretchedness, 1536. and their courageous enterprize, could not but have been full of marvels; the story, which one of them published, and of which the truth was affirmed, on oath, before a magistrate, is disfigured by bold exaggerations and the wildest fictions. The knowledge of the bays and rivers of Florida on the gulf of Mexico, was not essentially increased; the strange tales of miraculous cures, of natural prodigies and of the resuscitation of the dead, were harmless falsehoods; the wanderers, on their return, persevered in the far more fatal assertion, that Florida was the richest country in the world.3

The assertion was readily believed, even by those, to whom the wealth of Mexico and Peru was familiarly known. To no one was credulity more disas

1 Prince, p. 86, is a safe interpreter.

2 On Narvaez, the original work is, Naufragios de Alvar Nuñez Cabeça de Vaca, en la Florida; in Barcia, t. ii. p. 1-43. There is an Italian version in Ramusio, v. iii. fol. 310-330. The English version in Purchas, v. iv. p. 14991528, is from the Italian. Compare Gomara, c. xlvi.; Herrera, d. iv. l. iv. c. iv-vii., and d. iv. l. v. c. v.; Purchas, v. i. p. 957, 958962. Examen Apologetico, in Barcia, v. i. at the end, does not confer authority on Nuñez. The

scepticism of Benzo, in Calveto's Novæ Novi Orbis Historiæ, l. ii. c. xiii. p. 206, is praiseworthy. Compare, also, Roberts' Florida, p. 28 -32, and a note in Holmes' Annals, v. i. p. 59; Ensayo Cronologico, p. 10; Vega, l. ii. p. ii. c. vi. Hints may also be found scattered through Vega's Historia de la Florida, and in the Portuguese account in Hakluyt, v. v.

3 Virginia Valued; The Portuguese Account; Dedication in Hakluyt, v. v. p. 479; Herrera, d. iii. 1. viii. c. viii.; Hakluyt, v. v. p. 484.; Vega, l. i. c. v.

« 上一頁繼續 »