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to which he gave the name of Defeada, 'on account of the impatience of his crew to discover some part of the New World. After this he visited successively Dominica, Marigalante, Gua- , dalupe, Antigua, San Juan de Puerto Rico, and several other islands scattered in his way as he advanced towards the north - weft. All these he found to be inhabited by that fierce race of people whom Guacanahari had painted in such frightful colours. His descriptions appeared not to have been exaggerated. The Spaniards never attempted to land without meeting with such a reception, as discovered the martial and daring fpirit of the natives; and in their hàbitations were found relics of those horrid feasts which they had made upon the bodies of their enemies taken in war...
Àrrives at Hispaniola, Nov. 22.
But as Columbus was eager to know the ftate of the colony which he had planted, and to supply it with the necessaries of which he fupposed it to be in want, he made no stay in any of those islands, and proceeded directly to Hispaniola o). When he arrived to Navidad, the station in which he had left the thirty-eight men under the command of Arada, he was astonished that none of them appeared, and expected every moment to see them running with o) P: Martyr. dec. p.15. 18. Herrera, dec. I, lib. ii. c. ?. Life
of Columbus, C. 46. &c.
i transports of joy to welcome their countrymen.
Full of solicitude about their safety, and foreboding in his mind what had befallen them, he
rowed instantly to land. All the natives from a whom he might have received information had
flet. But the fort which he had built was entirely demolished, and the tattered garments, the broken arms and utensils scattered about it, left no room to doubt concerning the unhappy fate of the garrison p). While the Spaniards were shedding tears over those sad memorials of their fellow - citizens, a brother of the cazique Guacanahari arrived.
The fate of the men whom he left there. From him Columbus received a particular detail of what had happened after his departure from the island. The familiar intercourse of the Indians with the Spaniards tended gradually to diminish the superstitious veneration with which their first appearance had inspired that simple people. By their own indiscretion and ill conduct the Spaniards speedily effaced those favourable impressions, and soon convinced the natives, that they had all the wants, weaknesses, and paslions of men. As soon as 'the powerful restraint which the presence and authority of Columbus imposed was withdrawn, the garrison threw off all regard for the officer whom he had invested with command. Re
p) Hist, de Cura de los Palacios. MS.
gardless of the prudent instructions which he had given them, every man became independent, and gratified his desires without controul. The gold, the women, the provisions of the natives, were all the prey of those licentious oppressors. They roamed in small parties over the island, extending their rapacity and infolence to every corner of it. Gentle and timid as the people were, those unprovoked injuries at lenght exhausted their patience, and rouzed their courage. The cacique of Cibao, whose country the Spaniards chiefly infested on account of the gold which it contained, surprised and cut off several of them, while they ftraggled in as perfect security as if their conduct had been altogether inoffensive. He then assembled his
subjects, and surrounding the fort, set it on · fire. Some of the Spaniards were killed in defending it, the rest perished in attempting to make their escape by crossing an arm of the sea. Guacanahari, whom all their exactions had not alienated from the Spaniards, took arms in their behalf, and, in endeavouring to protect them, had received a wound, by which he was still confined 9).
Though this account was far from removing the suspicions which the Spaniards entertained 9) P. Märtyr. deoad. p. 22. &c. Herrera, decad. i. lib. ii. c. 7.9.
Life of Columbus, C; 49. 50.
with respect to the fidelity of Guacanahari, Columbus perceived so clearly that this was not a proper juncture for inquiring into his conduct with scrupulous accuracy, that he rejected the advice of several of his officers, who urged him to seize the person of that prince, and to revenge the death of their countrymen by attacking his subjects. He represented to them the necessity of securing the friendship of some potentate of the country, in order to facilitate the settlement which they intended, and the danger of driving the natives to unite in some desperate attempt against them, by such an illtimed and unavailing exercise of rigour. Instead of wasting his time in punishing past wrongs, he took precautions for preventing any future injury. With this view, he made choice of a situation more healthy and commodious than that of Navidad. He traced out the plan of a town in a large plain near a spacious bay, and obliging every person to put his hand to a work on which their common safety depended, the houses and ramparts were soon so far advanced by their united labour, as to afford them shelter and security. This rising city, the first 'that the Europeans founded in the New World, he named Isabella, in honour of his patroness the queen of Caftile r).
r) Life of Columbus. c.51. Herrera, dec. 1. lib. ii. c. 10,
Discontent of his followers. • In carrying on this necessary work, Columbus had not only to sustain all the hardihips, and to encounter all the difficulties, to which infant colonies are exposed when they settle in an uncultivated country, but he had to contend with what was more insuperable, the laziness, the impatience, and mutinous disposition of his followers. By the enervating influence of a hot climate, the natural inactivity of the Spaniards seemed to increase. Many of them were gentlemen, unaccustomed to the fatigue of bodily labour, and all had engaged in the enterprise with the fanguine hopes excited by the splendid and exaggerated descriptions of their countrymen who returned froin the first voyage, or by the mistaken opinion of Columbus, that the country which he had discovered was either the Cipango of Marco Polo, or the Ophir s), from which Solomon imported those precious commodities which suddenly diffufed such extraordinary riches through his kingdom. But when, inttead of that golden harvest which they had expected to reap without toil or pains, the Spaniards saw that their prospect of wealth was remote as well as uncertain, and that it could not be attained but by the slow and persevering efforts of industry, the disappointment of those chimerical hopes occafioned such dejection of mind as bordered on despair, and led to gene
s) P. Martyr, dec. p. 29.