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months, he had a trial of almost all the numea rous hardships to which persons of his profession are exposed, without making any discovery of importance, except the island of Jamaica. As he ranged along the southern coast of Cuba y), he was entangled in a labyrinth formed by an incredible number of small islands, to which he gave the name of the Queen's Garden. In this unknown course, among rocks and shelves, he was retarded by contrary winds, assaulted with furious storms, and alarmed with the terrible thunder and lightning which is often almost incessant between the tropics. At length his provisions fell short; his crew, exhausted with fatigue as well as hunger, murmured and threatened, and were ready to proceed to the most desperate extremities against him. Befet with danger in such various forms, he was obliged to keep, continual watch, to observe every occurrence with his own eyes, to issue every order, and to superintend the execution of it. On no occasion was the extent of his skill and experience as a navigator so much tried. To these the squadron owed its safety. But this unremitted fatigue of body and intense application of mind, overpowering his conftitution, though naturally vigorous and robust , brought on a feverish disorder, which terminated in a lethargy,
y) See NOTE XIX,
that deprived him of sense and memory, and had almost proved fatal to his life z).
Sept. 27. On his return, finds his brother Bartholomew
But, on his return to Hispaniola, the sudden emotion of joy which he felt upon meeting with his brother Bartholomew at Isabella, occafioned such a flow of spirits as contributed greatly to his recovery. It was now thirteen years since the two brothers, whom similarity of talents united in close friendship, had separated from each other, and during that long period there had been no intercourfe between them.' Bartholomew, after finishing his negociation in the court of England, had set out for Spain by the way of France. At Paris he received an account of the extraordinary discoveries which his brother had made in his first voyage, and that he was then preparing to embark on a second expedition. Though this naturally induced him to pursue his journey with the utmost dispatch, the Admiral had failed for Hispaniola before he reached Spain. Ferdinand and Isabella received him with the respect due to the nearest kinsman of a perfon whose merit and services rendered him so conspicuous; and as they knew what confolation his presence
2) Life of Columbus, c. 54. &c. Herrera, dec. 1. lib. ii. C. 13. 14, P, Martyr, dec, p. 34. & co sie si cranian
would afford to his brother, they persuaded him to take the command of three ships, which they had appointed to carry provisions to the colony at Isabella *).
The Indians take arms against the Spaniards.
He could not have arrived at any juncture when Columbus stood more in need of a friend capable of assisting him with his counsels, or of dividing with him the cares and burden of government. For although the provisions now brought from Europe, afforded a temporary relief to the Spaniards from the calamities of famine, the supply was not in such quantity as to support them long, and the island did not hitherto yield what was sufficient for their fuftenance. They were threatened with another danger, still more formidable than the return of scarcity, and which demanded more immediate attention. No sooner did Columbus leave the island on his voyage of discovery, than the fol. diers under Margarita, as if they had been fet
free from discipline and subordination, scornet “all restraint. Instead of conforming to the prudent instructions of Columbus, they dispersed in ftraggling parties over the island, lived at discretion upon the natives, wasted their provisions, seized their women, and treated that
*) Herrera, dec. 1. lib. ii. 6.15.
inoffensive race of men with all the infolence of military oppression a).
As long as the Indians had any prospect that their sufferings might come to a period by the voluntary departure of the invaders, they submitted in silence, and diffembled their forrow; but they now pergeived that the yoke would be as permanent as it was intolerable. The Spaniards had built a town, and surrounded it with ramparts. They had erected forts in different places. They had enclosed and sown several fields. It was apparent that they came not to visit the country, but to settle in it. Though the number of those strangers was inconsiderable, the state of cultivation among this rude people was so imperfect, and in such exact proportion to their own consumption, that it was with difficulty they could afford fubfiftence to their new guefts. Their own mode of life was so indolent and inactive, the warmth of the climate so enervating, the conftitution of their bodies naturally fc feeble, and so unaccustomed to the laborious exertions of indu. ftry, that they were satisfied with a proportion of food amazingly small. A handful of maize, or a little of the insipid bread made of the caffada root, was sufficient to support men, whose ftrength and spirits were not exhausted by any vigorous efforts either of body or mind. The. Spaniards, though the most abstemious of all the European nations, appeared to them excef
a) P. Martyr, dec. p.47.
fively voracious. One Spaniard consumed as much as several Indians. This keenness of appetite surprised them so much, and seemed to them to be so insatiable, that they supposed the Spaniards had left their own country, because it did not produce as much as was requisite to gratify their immoderate defire of food, and had come among them in quest of nourishment b). Self - preservation prompted them to wish for the departure of guests who wasted fo fast their flender stock of provisions. The injuries which they suffered, added to their impatience for this event. They had long expected that the Spaniards would retire of their own accord. They now perceived that, in order to avert the destruction with which they were threatened, either by the flow consumption of famine, or by the violence of their oppressors, it was necef
sary to assume courage, to attack those formi:: dable invaders with united force, and drive
them from the settlements of which they had yiolently taken possession,
War with them.
Such were the sentiments which universally prevailed among the Indians, when Columbus returned to Isabella. Inflamed by the unpro-, voked outrages of the Spaniards, with a degree of race of which their gentle natures, formed to suffer and submit, seemed hardly susceptible,
b) Herrera, dec. i. lib. ii, c. 17.