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being the patroness of all Columbus enterprises, but even upon Ferdinand, who having originally expressed his disapprobation of his schemes, was still apt to doubt of their success, that they resolved to supply the colony in Hifpaniola with every thing which could render it a permanent establishment, and to furnish Columbus with such a fleet, that he might proceed to search for those new countries, of whose existence he seemed to be confident. The measures most proper for accomplishing both these designs were concerted with Columbus. Discovery had been the fole object of the first voyage to the New World; and though, in the second settlement had been proposed, the precautions taken for that purpose had either been insufficient, or were rendered ineffetual by the mutinous fpirit of the Spaniards, and the unforeseen calamities arising from various causes. Now a plan was to be formed of a regular colony, that might serve as a model in all future establishments. Every particular was considered with attention, and the whole arranged with a scrupulous accuracy. The precise number of adventurers who should be permitted to embark was fixed. They were to be of different ranks and prosesions; and the proportion of each was established, according to their usefulness and the wants of the colony. A suitable number of women w::s to be chosen to accompany these new settlers. As it was the first object to raise provisons in a
ROBERTSON Vol. I.
country where scarcity of food had been the occasion of so much distress, a considerable body of husbandınen was to be carried over. As the Spaniards had then no conception of deriving any benefit from those productions of the New World which have fince yielded such large re. turn of wealth to Europe, but had formed magnificent ideas, and entertained fanguine hopes with respect to the riches contained in the mines which had been discovered, a band of workmen, skilled in the various arts employed in digging and refining the precious metals, was provided. All these emigrants were to receive pay and subsistence for some years, at the public expence k).
A defe& in it.
InL INVERSITY OF MICHIGAN LIBRARIES
Thus far the regulations were prudent, and well adapted to the end in view. But as it was foreseen that few would engage voluntarily to settle in a country, whose noxious climate had been fatal to so many of their countrymen, Columbus proposed to transport to Hispaniola fuch malefactors as had been convicted of crimes, which, though capital, were of a less atrocious nature; and that for the future a certain proportion of the offenders usually sent to the gala lies, should be condemned to labour in the mines which were to be opened. This advice, given without due reflection, was as inconfide
k) Herrera, dec, d. lib. iii. c. 2.
rately adopted. The prisons of Spain were drai. ned, in order to collect members for the intended colony; and the judges were instructed to recruit it by their future sentences. It is not, however, with such materials, that the foundations of a society, destined to be permanent, should be laid. Industry, fobriety, patience, and mutual confidence are indispensably requisite in an infant settlement, where purity of morals must contribute more towards establishing order, than the operation or authority of laws, But when such a mixture of what is corrupt is admitted into the original conftitution of the political body, the vices of those unfound and ina curable members will probably infect the whole, and must certainly be productive of violent and unhappy effects. This the Spaniards fatally experienced; and the other European nations having successively imitated the practice of Spain in this particular, pernicious consequences have followed in their settlements, which can be imputed to no other cause 1).
ry meand dispatch. Thus obtained
- Though Columbus obtained, with great facility and dispatch, the royal approbation of every measure and regulation that he proposed , his endeavours to carry them into execution were fo long retarded, as must have tired out the pa1) Herrera, dec. I, lib. iii. c. 2. Touron Hist. Gener. de l'Amerique , i. p. 51. .
GL UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN LIBRARIES
tience of any man, less accustomed to encouna ter and to surmount difficulties. Those delays were occasioned partly by that tedious formality and spirit of procrastination, with which the Spaniards conduct business, and partly by the exhausted ftate of the treasury, which was drai. ned by the expence of celebrating the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella's only fon with Margaret of Austria, and that of Joanna, their second daughter, with Philip archduke of Austria m); but must be chiefly imputed to the malicious arts of Columbus's enemies. Aftonified at the reception which he met with upon his return, and overawed by his presence, they gave way, for some time, to a tide of favour too îrong for them to oppose. Their enmity, however, was too inveterate to remain long inactive. They resumed their operations, and by the assistance of Fonseca, the minister for Indian affairs, who was now promoted to the bishopric of Badajos, they threw in so many obstacles to protract the preparations for Columbus's expedition, that a year elapsed before he n) could procure two ships to carry over a part of the supplies deftined for the colony, and almost two years were spent before the small squadron was equipped of which he himself was to take the command o).
m) P. Mart, epist. 168.
Herrera, dec, 1. lib, ilio G.
Third voyage of Columbus (1498) The squadron confifted of fix ships' only, of no great burden, and but indifferently -provided for a long or dangerous navigation. The voyage which he now meditated was in a course different from any he had undertaken. As he was fully persuaded that the fertile regions of India lay to the southwest of those countries which he had discovered, he proposed, as the most certain method of finding out these, to stand directly fouth from the Canary or Cape de Verd ifiands, until he came under the equinoctial line, and then to stretch to the weft before the favourable wind for such a course, which blows invariably between the tropics. (May 30.) With this idea he fet fail, and touched first at the Canary, and then at the Cape de Verd islands, (July 4.) From the former he dispatched three of his ships with a supply of provisions for the colony in Hispaniola: with the other three, he continued his voyage towards the south. No remarkable occurrence happened until they arrived within five degrees of the line. (July 19.) There they were becalmed, and at the same time the heat became so exceffive, that many of
their wine casks burst, the liquor in others four· ed, and their provisions corrupted p). The Spaniards, who had never ventured fo far to the south, were afraid that the ships would take fire, and began to apprehend the reality of what the • p) P. Martyr. dec. p. 75.