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opinion or reports of such a fabulous author as Mandeville. Columbus and the other discoverers were obliged to follow such guides as they could find; and it appears from several passages in the manuscript of Andr. Bernaldes, the friend of Columbus, that no inconsiderable degree of credit was given to the testimony of Mandeville in that age. Bernaldes frequently quotes him, and always with respect.
It is remarkable, that neither Gomara nor Oviedo , the most ancient Spanish historians of America , nor Herrera, consider Ojeda, or his companion Vespucci, as the first discoverers of the continent of America. They uniformly ascribe this honour to Columbus. Some have supposed that national resentment against Vefpucci, for deserting the service of Spain, and entering into that of Portugal, may have prompted these writers to conceal the actions which he performed. But Martyr and Benzoni, both Italians, could not be warped by the same prejudice. Martyr was a contemporary author; he resided in the court of Spain, and had the best opportunity to be exactly informed with refpect to all publick transactions; and yet, neither in his Decads, the first general history published of the New World, nor in bis Epiftles, which contain an account of all the remarkable events
of his time, does he ascribe to Vespucci the honour of having first discovered the continent. Benzoni went as an adventurer to America in the year 1541, and resided there a considerable time. He appears to have been animated with a warm zeal for the honour of Italy, his native country, and yet does not mention the exploits and discoveries of Vespucci. Herrera, who compiled his general history of America from the most authentick records, not only follows those early writers, but accuses Vespucci of falsifying the dates of both the voyages which he made to the New World, and of confounding the one with the other, in order that he might arrogate to himself the glory of having discovered the continent. Herrera, dec. I. lib. iv. C. 2. He asserts, that in a judicial inquiry into this matter by the royal fiscal, it was proved by the testimony of Ojeda himself, that he touched at Hispaniola when returning to Spain from his first voyage; whereas Vespucci gave out that they returned directly to Cadiz from the coast of Paria, and touched at Hispaniola only in their second voyage; and that he had finished the voyage in five months; whereas, according to Vespucci's account; he had employed seventeen months in perforining it. Viaggio primo de Am. Vespucci, p. 36. Viag. secundo, p. 45. Herrera gives a more full account of this inquest in another part of his book, and to the same effect. Herrera, dec. 1. lib. vii. c. 5. Columbus was in Hispaniola when Ojeda arrived there, and had by that time come to an agreement with Roldan, who opposed Ojeda's attempt to excite a new insurrection, and, of consequence, his voyage muft have been posterior to that of the admiral. Life of Columbus, c. 84. According to Vespucci's account, he set out on his first voyage, May 10, 1497. Viag. primo , p. 6. At that time Columbus was in the court of Spain preparing for his voyage, and seems to have enjoyed a considerable degree of favour. The affairs of the New World were at this juncture ander the direction of Antonio Torres, a friend of Columbus. It is not probable , that at that period a commission would be granted to another person, to anticipate the admiral, by undertaking a voyage which he himself intended to perform. Fonseca, who patronized Ojeda, and granted the licence for his voyage, was not recalled to court, and reinstated in the direction of Indian affairs, until the death of prince John, which happened September 1497, P. Martyr, Ep. 182. several months posterior to the time at which Vespucci pretends to have set out upon his voyage. A life of Vespucci was published at Florence by the Abato Bandini , A. D. 1745, 4to. It is a work of no merit, written with little judgment, and less candour. He contends for his countryman's title to the discovery of the continent with all
the blind zeal of national partiality, but produces no new evidence to support it. We learn from him, that Vespucci's account of his voyage was published as early as the year 1510, and probably sooner. Vita di Am. Vesp. p. 52. At what time the name of AMERICA came to be first given to the New World, is not certain.
Note XXIII. p. 253.
The form employed on this occafion served as a model to the Spaniards in all their subsequent conquefts in America. It is so extraordinary in its nature , and gives us such an idea of the proceedings of the Spaniards, and the principles upon which they founded their right to the extensive dominions which they acquired in the New World, that it well merits the attention of the reader. „ I Alonso de Ojeda , servant. of the most high and powerful kings of Castile and Leon, the conquerors of barbarous nations, their messenger and captain, notify to you and declare, in as ample form as I am capable, that God our Lord, who is one and eternal, created the heaven and the earth, and one man and one woman, of whom you and we, and all the men who have been or shall be in the world, are descended. But as it has come to pass, through the number of generations during more than five thousand years, that they have been
dispersed into different parts of the world, and are divided into various kingdoms and provinces, because one country was not able to contain them, nor could they have found in one the means of fubfifience and preservation; therefore God our Lord gave the charge of all those people to one man, named St. Peter, whom he constituted the lord and head of all the human race, that all men, in whatever place they are born, or in whatever faith or place they are educated, might yield obedience unto him. He hath subjected the whole world to his jurisdiction, and commanded him to establish his residence in Rome, as the most proper place for the government of the world. He likewise promised and gave him power to eftablish his authority in every other part of the world, and to judge and govern all Christians, Moors, Jews, Gentiles, and all other people, of whatever sect or faith they may be. To him is given the name of Pope, which fignifies admirable, great father and guardian , because he is the father and governor of all men. Those who lived in the time of this holy father obeyed and acknowledged him as their lord and king, and the superior of the universe. The fame has been obferved with respect to them who, fince his time, have been chosen to the pontificate. Thus it now continues, and will continue to the end of the world. “