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gold in such quantity as was sufficient to satisfy either the avarice of his followers, or the expectations of the court to which he was to return. The people of the country, as, much astonished at his eagerness in queft of gold, as the Europeans were at their ignorance and fimplicity, pointed towards the east, where an ifland which they called Hayti was situated, in which that metal was more abundant than among them. Columbus ordered his squadron to bend its course thither; but Martin Alonso Pinzon, impatient to be the first who should take possefa fion of the treasures which this country wag fupposed to contain , quitted his companions, regardless of all the admiral's signals to slacken fail until they should come up with him.
Discovers the island Hispaniola. Columbus, retarded by contrary winds, did not reach Hayti till the sixth of December. He called the port where he first touched St. Nicho. las, and the island itfelf Efpagnola, in honour of the kingdom by which he was employed; and it is the only country, of those he had yet discovered, which has retained the name that he gave it. As he could neither meet with the Pinta, nor have any intercourse with the inha. bitants, who fled in great consternation towards the woods, he foon quitted St. Nicholas and failing along the northern coaft of the is and, he entered another harbour, which he called
Conception. Here he was more fortunate; his people overtook a woman who was flying from them, and after treating her with great gentle. ness, dismissed her with a present of such toys, as they knew were most valued in those regions. The description which she gave to her countrymen of the humanity and wonderful qualities of the strangers; their admiration of the trinkets, which she shewed with exaltation; and their eagerness to participate of the same favours; removed all their fears, and induced many of them to repair to the harbour. The strange objects which they beheld, and the baubles which Columbus bestowed upon them, amply gratified their curiosity and their wishes. They nearly resembled the people of Guanahani and Cuba. They were naked like them, ignorant, and fimple, and seemed to be equally unacquainted with all the arts which appear most necessary in polished societies; but they were gentle, credulous, and timid, to a degree which rendered it easy to acquire the ascendant over them espe. cially as their excessive admiration led them into the same error with the people of the other islands, in believing the Spaniards to be more than mortals, and defcended immediately from Heaven. They possessed gold in greater abundance than their neighbours, which they readely exchanged for bells, beads, or pins; and, in this unequal traffic, both parties were highly pleased, each considering themselves as gainers
by the transaction. Here Columbus was visited by a prince or cazique of the country. He appeared with all the pomp known among a simple people, being carried in a sort of palanquin upon the shoulders of four men, and attended by many of his subjects, who served him with great respect. His deportment was grave and stately, very reserved towards his own people, but with Columbus and the Spaniards extremely courteous. He gave the admiral fome thin plates of gold, and a girdle of curious workmanship, receiving in return presents of small value, but highly acceptable to him y).
Columbus, still intent on discovering the mines which yielded gold, continued to inter: rogate all the natives with whom he had any intercourse concerning their situation. They concurred in pointing out a mountainous country, which they called Cibao, at some distance from the sea, and farther towards the east. Struck with this found, which appeared to him the fame with Cipango , the name by which Marco Polo, and other travellers to the east, distinguished the islands of Japan, he no longer doubted with respect to the vicinity of the countries which he had discovered to the remote parts of Asia ; and, in full expectation of reaching soon those regions which had been the object of his voyage, he directed his course towards the east, y) Life of Columbus , C. 32. Herrera, dec. I. lib. i. c. 15. &e, ROBERTSON Vol. I. I .
He put into a commodious harbour, which he called St. Thomas , and found that district to be under the government of a powerful cazique, named Guacanahari, who, as he afterwards learned, was one of the five sovereigns among whom the whole island was divided. He immediately sent messengers to Columbus, who, in his name, delivered to him the present of a mask curiously fashioned, with the ears, nose, and mouth of beaten gold, and invited him to the place of his residence, near the harbour now called Cape François, some leagues towards the east. Columbus dispatched some of his officers to visit this prince, who, as he behaved himself with greater dignity, seemed to claim more ata tention. They returned, with such favourable accounts both of the country and of the people, as made Columbus impatient for that interview with Guicanahari to which he had been invited.
One of his ships lot. He failed for this purpose from St. Thomas, on the twenty-fourth of December, with a fair wini, and the fea perfect!y calm; and as, amidst the multiplicity of his occupations, he had not frut his eyes for two days, he retired at midnight, in order to take some repore, having committed the helin to the pilot, with ftrict injunctions not to quit it for a moment. The pia lot, dreiding no danger, carelesly left the he'm to an unexperienced cabin-boy, and the faiz,
earried away by a current, was dashed against e a rock. The violence of the shock awakened
Columbus. He ran up to the deck. There, all
was confusion and despair. He alone retained 3.presence of mind. He ordered some of the faii lors to take a boat, and carry out an anchor
aftern; but, instead of obeying, they made off towards the Nigna, which was about half a league dikant. He then commanded the masts to be cut down, in order to lighten the ship, but all his endeavours were too late; the vefiel opened near the keel, and filled fo fast with water, that its lofs was inevitable. The smoothness
of the sea, and the timely aslistance of boats : from the Nigna, enabled the crew to save their
lives. As foon as the islanders heard of this disaster, they crowded to the shore, with their prince Guacanahari at their head. Instead of taking advantage of the distress in which they beheld the Spaniards, to attempt any thing to their detriment, they lamented their misfortune with tears of sincere condolance. Not fatisfied with this unavailing expression of their fympathy, they put to sea a vast number of canoes, and, under direction of the Spaniards, assisted in saving whatever could be got out of the wreck, and, by the united labour of so many hand, almost every thing of value was carried afnore. As fast as the goods were landed, Guacanahari, in perfon took charge of them. By his orders, they were all deposited in one place, and armed