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him comprehend by signs that gold abounded in countries situated in that quarter. Thither he directed his course, and discovered Cuba, and afterwards Hispaniola. The natives of the latter poileffed gold in greater abundance than their neighbours, which they readily exchanged for bells, beads, or pins; and in this unequal traflic both parties were highly pleased with each other, confidering themselves as gainers by the transaction. From the condition of his thips, as well as the temper of his men, Columbus at last found it necefl'ary to return to Europe. In his voyage he encountered a violent storm ; and fearful of being shipwrecked, and that all evidence of his discoveries 'would be lost, he wrote upon parchment a short account of what he had achieved, wrapped it up in an oiled cloth inclosed in a cake of wax, put it into a cask carefully stopped up, and threw it into the fea, in hopes that fome fortunate accident might preserve a deposit of so much importance to the world. He arrived, however, at length safe at Palos, seven months and eleven days from the time of his departure. His entrance into Barcelona was conducted, by order of Ferdinand and Itabella, with poinp fuitable to the great event. which added such distinguished lustre to their reign. The people he had brought with him from the coun-'. tries he had discovered, marched first, and by their fingular complexion, wild peculiarity of features, and uncouth finery, appeared like men of another fpecies; next to them were carried the ornaments of gold fashioned by the rude art of the natives, VOL. 1. Vn
the grains of gold found in the mountains, and the dust of the same metal gathered in the rivers. After these were displayed the various commodities and productions of the newly discovered countries, Columbus himself closed the procession, and attracted the eyes and the admiration of all spectators. Ferdinand and Isabella, feated on their thrones, received him with every mark of honour, and heard from hiin a circumftantial account of his whole voyage.
In his fecond voyage of full five months, he had a trial of almost every hardship to which mariners are exposed, without making any discovery of importance, except the island of Jamaica. On his return to Hifpanjola, he took measures for the fafety of the Spanish colony there, who, in his absence, had provoked the vengeance of the harmlefs natives, by acts of oppression and injury. He imposed a tribute upon all the inhabitants above the age of fourteen; each person who lived where gold was found, was obliged to pay quarterly as much gold dust as filled a hawk's bell; and from those in other parts, twenty-five pounds of cotton were demanded. This was the first regular taxation of the Indians, and served as a precedent for al} the extortions to which the natives of the New World have linee been compelled to submit. Columbus was led to adopt these measures in order to stop the intrigues and cabals which were carrying on against him; and he was under the neceffity ef producing such a quantity of gold as would not
only justify the reports he had made of the fertility of these countries, but encourage Ferdinand and Isabella to persevere in prosecuting his plans.
In his third voyage, in 1498, he pursued a course different from any he had before undertaken, as he was persuaded that the region of India lay to the south-west of the countries he had discovered ; he touched first at the Canaries, and then at the Cape de Verd islands. When he came under the line, the heat became so excessive, that many of his wine casks burst, the liquor in them foured, and the provisions corrupted. The Spaniards, who had never ventured so far to the south, were afraid that the ships would take fire, and began to apprehend the reality of what the ancients had taught concerning the destructive qualities of that torrid region of the globe. These circumstances, added to the illness of their commander, brought on by extreme vigilance and anxiety, induced him to alter his course to the north west, in order to reach some of the Carribbee islands, where he might refit, and be supplied with provisions.
On the first of August, the man stationed in the round top, furprised them with the joyful cry of land! They stood towards it, and the admiral gave it the name of Trinidad, which it still retains. It lies on the coast of Guiana, near the mouth of the river Oronooko. Columbus justly concluded that this vast body of water, so great as to freshen the ocean many leagues with its flood, could not a na
be supplied by any island, but must flow through a country of great extent; and of course that he was now arrived at that continent which had so long been the object of his wishes. Full of this idea, he stood to the west, and discovered those provinces of South America now known by the names of Paria and Cumana. He landed in several places, and had some friendly intercourse with the natives, who resembled those of Hispaniola, and wore as ornaments fimall plates of gold, and pearls of confiderable value, which they willingly exchanged for European toys. They seemed to poffefs better understandings and greater courage than the inhabitants of the islands. The admiral was so much delighted with the beauty and fertility of the country, that, with the warın enthusiasm of a difcoverer, he imagined it to be the Paradise described in Scripture, which the Almighty chose for the refidence of man while he retained the innocence, which rendered him worthy of such a habitation. lle carried off fix of the natives, and returned to liifpaniola. Thus had Columbus the glory of difcovering the existence of a new world, and was the first man who conducted the Spaniards to that vast continent, which has been the chief seat of their empire, and the source of their treasure in this quarter of tlie globe. Whilst Columbus was thus nobly employed, Ferdinand and Isabella listened to the complaints of his enemies, and Françis de Bovadilla, a knight of Calatrava, was appointed with full powers to inquire into his conduct in the illand of Hispaniola. This envious and unjust
governor treated him as a criminal, and actually Tent him and his two brothers in chains to Spain. The king and queen, ashamed of their conduct and their suspicions, ordered him to be fet at liberty as soon as he landed; exprefled their forrow for what had passed, and promised him their future protection.
In the year 1502, this adventurous and most enterprising navigator undertook a fourth voyage ; when he arrived at St. Doiningo, he had the mortification to be refused admission, by the Spanish governor, to enter the harbour; and he was thus excluded from a country of which he had so recently discovered the existence. A storm foon after arote, in which a fleet destined for Spain, confisting of eighteen thips, and commanded by Bovadilla, Roldan, and others, who had been active enemies to Columbus, perished with ncarly all their ships; together with them all the wealth acquired by their injustice and cruelty was fwallowed up. Among the ships that escaped, one had on board all the effects of Columbus, which had been recovered from the ruin of his fortune. This was a manifest instance of the interpolition of divine Providence to avenge the wrongs of an injured man, and to punish the opprefiors of an innocent people. Columbus discovered Guanaia, an island not far distant from the coast of Honduras, and all the coast of the continent froin cape Gracias a Dios to a harbour which, on account of its beauty, he called Porto Bello. After searching in vain for a passage to the Indian ocean, on his return he was