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journal of his last voyage, and his charts of the countries which he had discovered. (1499 May.) Ojeda struck out into no new path of navigation, but adhering servilely to the route which con lumbus had taken, arrived on the coast of Paria. He traded with the natives, and standing to the west, proceeded as far as Cape de Vela, and ranged along a considerable extent of coast beyond that on which Columbus had touched. Having thus ascertained the opinion of Columbus, that this country was a part of the continent, Ojeda returned (1499. October) by way of Hifpaniola to Spain, with some reputation as a discoverer, but with little benefit to those who had raised the funds for the Expedition b).
Is accompanied by Amerigo Vespucci.
Amerigo Vespucci, a Florentine gentleman, accompanied Ojeda in this voyage. In what station he served, is uncertain; but as he was an experienced sailor, and eminently skilful in all the sciences subservient to navigation, he seems to have acquired such authority among his companions, that they willingly allowed him to have a chief share in directing their operations during the voyage. Soon after his return, he transmitted an account of his adventures and discoveries to one of his countrymen; and labouring with the vanity of a traveller to magnify his own exploits, he had the address and confidence to fra
b) Herrera, dec. 1, lib. iv. C, 1-3,
me his narrative, so as to make it appear that he had the glory of having first discovered the continent in the New World. Amerigo's account was drawn up not only with art, but with fome elegance. It contained an amusing history of his voyage, and judicious observations upon the natural productions, the inhabitants, and the customs of the countries which he had visited. As it was the first description of any part of the New World that was published, a performance so well calculated to gratify the paffion of mankind for what is new and marvellous, circulated rapidly, and was read with admiration.
From whom the name of America is given to the New World.
• The country of which Amerigo was supposed to be the discoverer, came gradually to be called by his name. The caprice of mankind, often as unaccountable as unjust, has perpetuated this error. By the universal consent of nations, America is the name bestowed on this new quarter of the globe. The bold pretensions of a fortunate impoftor have robbed the discoverer of the New World of a distinction which belonged to him. The name of Amerigo has supplanted that of Columbus; and mankind may regret an act of injustice, which, having received the sanction of time, it is now too late to redress c). ¢). See NOTE XXII.
Voyage of Alonso Niguo.
. During the same year, another voyage of discovery was undertaken. Columbus not only introduced the spirit of naval enterprise into Spain, but all the first adventurers who distinguished themselves in this new career were formed by his instructions, and acquired in his voyages the skill and information which qualified them to imitate his example. Alonso Nigno, who had served under the Admiral in his last expedition, fitted out, in conjunction with Christopher Guerra, a merchant of Seville, a single ship, and failed to the coast of Paria. This voyage seems to have been conducted with greater attention to private emolument, than to any general or national object. Nigno and Guerra made no discoveries of any importance; but they brought home such a return of gold and pearls, as inflamed their countrymen with the desire of engaging in similar adventures d).
• Of Vincent Yanez Pinzon.
(1500. January 13.) Soon after, Vincent Yanez Pinzon, one of the Admiral's companions in his first voyage, failed from Palos with four ships. He stood boldly towards the fouth, and was the first Spaniard who ventured to cross the equinoEtial line; but he seems to have landed on no part of the coast beyond the mouth of the Ma
. d) P. Martyr. dec. p. 87. Herrera, dec, 1. lib. iv. c. 5.
ragnon, or river of the Amazons. All these navigators adopted the erroneous theory of Columbus, and believed that the countries which they had discovered were part of the vast continent of India e).
• The Portuguese discover Brasil. During the last year of the fifteenth century, that fertile district of America, on the confines of which Pinzon had ftope short, was more fully discovered. The successful voyage of Gama to the East Indies having encouraged the king of Portugal to fit out a fleet so powerful, as not only to carry on trade, but to attempt conquest, he gave the command of it to Pedro Alvarez Cabral. It order to avoid the coast of Africa, were he was certain of meeting with variable breezes, or frequent calms, which might retard his voyage , Cabral 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 imagined, at first, that it was some island in the Atlantic ocean hitherto unobserved; but, proceeding along its coaft for several days, he was led gradually to believe, that a country fo extensive formed a part of some great continent. This latter opinion was well founded. The country with which he fell in belongs to that province in South America
e) Herrera, dec. 1. lib. iv. c. 6. P. Martyr, dec. p. 95,
now known by the name of Brasil. He landed; and having formed a very high idea of the fertility of the soil, and agreeableness of the climate, he took possession of it for the crown of Portugal, and dispatched a ship to Lisbon with an account of this event, which appeared to be no less important than it was unexpected f). Columbus's discovery of the New World was the effort of an active genius, enlightened by science, guided by experience, and acting upon a regular plan, executed with no less courage than perseverance. But from this adventure of the Portuguese, it appears that chance might have accomplifned that great design, which it is now the pride of human reason to have formed and perfected. If the fagacity of Columbus had not conducted mankind to America, Cabral, by a fortunate accident, might have led them a few years latter, to the knowledge of that extensive continent g).
Machinations against Columbus. While the Spaniards and Portuguese, by those successive voyages, were daily acquiring more enlarged ideas of the extent and opulence of that quarter of the globe which Columbus had made known to them, he himself, far from enjoying the tranquillity and honours with which his services should have been recompensed, was
f) Herrera, dec. 1. lib. iv. c. 7. g) Herrera, dec. 1. lib. vii. c. 5.