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Shipwrecked on the coast of Jamaica. Being driven to great distress in consequence of the natives withholding a supply of provisions, he had recourse to a happy artifice, which not only produced the desired relief, but heightened the favourable ideas the Indians had originally entertained of the Spaniards. By his skill in astronomy, he knew that there would shortly be a total eclipse of the moon. He assembled all the principal perfons of the district the day before it happened, reproached them for their fickleness in withdrawing their assistance from men whom they had lately fo highly respected, and told them that the Great Spirit was so offended at their want of humanity to the Spaniards, his faithful servants, that, in order to punish them with extreme severity, that very night the moon should withhold her lighit, and appear of a bloody hue, as a sign of divine wrath, and an emblem of his vengeance ready to fall on them. Some of them heard this denunciation with indifference, and others with astonishment. But when the moon began gradually to be darkened, all were struck with terror; they ran with consternation to their houses, and returned instantly loaded with provisions, which they laid at the feet of Columbus, and requested him to intercede with the Great Spirit to avert the impending destruction. Columbus promised to comply with their desire; and from that time the Spaniards were not only supplied with provisions, but the natives avoided everything which could give them offence. After experiencing many hardships from the mutiny of his crew, and the dangers of the sea,
he he reached at length the harbour of St. Lucar. There he heard of the death of his patronefs queen Isabella, in whose justice and humanity he expected to have found redrefs for all his grievances. As soon as his health would allow he went to court; but from Ferdinand he received only fair words and unmeaning promises. Disgusted with the ingratitude of this monarch, whom he had ferved with such fidelity and success, and exhausted with fatigue, he died at Valladolid, aged only 59, A. D. 1506. He closed his life with a magnanimity which suited his character, and with such sentiments of piety and respect for religion, as he had manifested in eyery occurence of his life.
While Columbus had been thus engaged, the fpirit of naval adventure did not languish in Portugal, the kingdom where it first acquired vigour, Emmanuel the king, who inherited the enterprising character of his predecessor, persisted in the grand scheme of opening a passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope, and equipped a squadron for that important voyage. He gave the command of it to Vasco de Gama, a man of noble birth, courage, and prudence, equal to the undertaking. He failed from Lisbon, and had the glory, after encountering violent storms and contrary winds from failing at an improper season of the year, to double the Cape of Good Hope. He touched at several ports, and came to anchor before the city of Melinda, where he found several vessels from India. Gaina then pursued his voyage » ņ 4
with almost abfolute certainty of success, and under the coniuft of a Mahometan pilot, arrived at Calecut, upon the coast of Malabar, May 22, 1498. He here beheld the wealth, population, industry, and arts of a highly civilized country. But as he poffeffed neither force to attempt a settlement, nor commodities with which he could carry on commerce, he haficned back to Portugal, with an account of his success in performing a voyage the longest as well as the most difficult that had ever been made since the invention of navigation. He had been absent from Lisbon, whither he returned, two years two months and five days. He brought specimens of the wealth and produce of the coun, try. The Portuguese afterwards made every advantage of this discovery; they foon conquered alt the coast of Malabar, took the city of Goa by storm, and made it the capital of their Indian lettlements; and from one of the least considerable, became one of the richest powers in Europe, gained extensive dominions in Asia and Africa, and raised a great naval power.
Thus was a new world discovered in the west pot inferior in extent to all the other parts of the terraqueous globe. In the east, unknown feas and countries were found out; and a communication so long desired was opened between Europe and the opulent regions of India. Vaft objects now presented themselves, and a field was opened for the display of every species of enterprise.
Private adventurers allured by the descriptions which Columbus had given of the new regions which he had visited, offered the court of Spain to fit out squadrons, and go in quest of new countries. One of the first adventurers of this kind was Alonso de Ojeda, an active officer who had accompanied Columbus in his second voyage. Without consulting Columbus, but taking advantage of his charts and his journal, he fet fail; he adhered servilely to the direction Columbus had taken, pursued his course to the west, proceeded as far as Cape de Vela, and ranged along a considerable part of the coast where Columbus had touched. Having thus afcertained that this country was part of the continent, Ojeda returned by way of Hispaniola to Spain. In this voyage Ojeda was accompanied by a Florentine gentleman, Amerigo Vespucci by naine. He had a chief thare in directing the operations during the voyage, as he was an experienced failor. On his return, he had the address and confidence to frame a narrative in such a manner as to make it appear, that he had first discovered the continent of the New World. As it was the first defcription of any part of it that had been published, it circulated rapidly, and was read with eagerness and admiration. The country of which Amerigo was fupposed to be the discoverer, was called by his narne. The error has been continued, and by the universal consent of nations, America is the name bestowed upon this new quarter.of the globe, to the great
injury of Columbus, thus robbed of the glory, to which his labours had so juftly entitled him.
In the first year of the sixteenth century, the fuccessful voyoge of Gama to the East Indies, encouraged the king of Portugal to fit out a fleet, with a view not only to carry on trade, but to attempt conquests; and he gave the command of it to Pedro Alvarez Cabral. He avoided the coast of Africa, where he was sure to meet with variable breezes or frequent calms to retard his voyage ; boldly stood out to sea, and kept so far to the west, that to his surprise he found himself upon the shore of an unknown country, in the tenth degree. beyond the line. He fell in with a country belonging to that province in South America, now known by the name of Brasil. This adventure was the efi'ect of accident, that of Columbus of design, in a man acting upon a regular plan, and that plan executed with no less courage than perseverance.
Thus have we given a concise account of the discovery of the New World. The subject is highly interesting, because it displays a series of skill, activity, and enterprise, exerted to surmount the dangers of the ocean, and directed to the discovery of new, and surprising objects. But if we advance farther, and pursue the course of conqueft and colonization, sentiments of regret will mingle with our researches, when we find that the European adventurers, and particularly the Spaniards, were