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fteersman, contrary to the distinct orders of the Admiral, gives the helm to a common sailor, a youth. All of the sailors go to sleep. The sea is as calm “as water in a dish,” says Columbus. Little by little the ship is drifted on to a shoal. Directly they touch, the failor-boy at the helm starts from his dream, haply about his mother, and cries out : the Admiral jumps up first, (for the responsibility of command seldom goes quite to sleep) then the officer whose watch it ought to have been, hurries up and the Admiral orders him to lower the boat which they carried on the poop and throw out an anchor astern. Instead of obeying the Admiral, this cowardly villain, with others like him, jumped into the boat and made off for the other vessel, which was about half a Columbus

is shipleague off. The other vessel would not receive wrecke them and they rowed back again. But it was too late. The Admiral did what he could: he cut down the mast, lightened the vessel as beft he might, took out his people and went with them to the other vessel, sending his boat to Guacanagari to tell of the misfortune. The good Guacanagari was moved to tears by this sad affair. He not only gives sympathy, however, but assistance. His people go out in canoes, and in a moment clear the vessel of all the goods in it.

Guacanagari is very careful that nothing should be lost. He himself stands guard over the things taken out of the ship. He sends comforting messages to the Admiral, saying that he would give him what he had to make up for the loss. He puts all the effects under shelter and places guards round them. The Admiral, as well he might be, is evidently touched to the heart by

the kindness of these Indians. He goes on to say, Character “ they are a loving, uncovetous people, so docile of the In

« in all things, that I assure your Highnesses that “ I believe in all the world there is not a better “ people, or a better country: they love their “ neighbours as themselves, and they have the “ sweetest and gentlest way of talking in the “ world, and always with a smile."*

dians.

The Admiral resolves to found a colony in Guacanagari's land, “having found such good will and such signs of gold,” | Upon this our Spanish historian, Herrera, makes some curious reflections. He looks upon the loss of the vessel III as providential, in order that the true faith might be preached in that country. Then he says how Providence not only causes his work to be done on high motives, but also on the ordinary ones which influence mankind. Then he concludes by saying that Providence dealt with the Spaniards and the Indians as a prudent father who has an ugly daughter, but makes up for her ugliness by the help of a good dowry. By the ugliness in this case he means the seas to be traversed, the hunger to be endured, and the labours to be undertaken, which he considers no other nation but the Spaniards would have encountered, even with the hope of greater booty. There we may venture to differ from him.

* Son gente de amor y sin cudicia, y convenibles para toda cosa, que certifico a vuestras Altezas que en el mundo creo que no hay mejor gente ni mejor tierra : ellos aman á sus prójimos como á sí mismos, y tienen una habla la mas dulce del mundo, y mansa, y siempre con risa--Navarrete, Col. vol. 1, p. 113.

+ Herrera, dec. 1, lib. 1, c. 18.

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Columbus builds a fort and calls it La Navi- Columbus

builds a dad because he entered the port near there on fort, Christmas-day. He remains on very friendly terms with the good cacique Guacanagari ; and might have established himself very comfortably in that part of the country, if he could have been content to be a settler. But from the first moment of his discovery, he, doubtless, had an anxious desire to get back to Spain and tell what he knew; and at times, perhaps, was fearful left his great secret, through some mischance to the

expedition, should still perish with him. Our great discoverer must now, therefore, think about returning homewards. He mans his fort with. thirty-nine men, commends his people to Guacanagari, gives them excellent advice—to do no violence to man or woman, and, in short, to make their actions conformable to the idea (which the Indians first entertained of them) that they had come from heaven—then, having received the necessary provisions for his vessel from Guacanagari, the Admiral sets fail for Spain the fourth of January, 1493.

CHAPTER IV.

ADMINISTRATION OF COLUMBUS IN THE INDIES.

A s we are not investigating the life of Co

A s lumbus, we need not go into any of the ZOBRA minor discoveries which he made after leaving La Navidad, or the troubles and difficulties he had on his voyage homewards; or his reception at Lisbon, where he was obliged to take refuge from a storm, and where, displaying the signs of a new world at a court which had refused the discovery, must have been almost too much of a triumph for a generous mind. Suffice it to say, that he arrived at Palos, the port he had set out from, on the 15th March, 1493, and forthwith commenced his journey to Barcelona where the court then was. Herrera tells us that the Admiral now “ entered into the greatest reputa« tion,” and the historian goes on to explain to his readers what the meaning of “ reputation” is. It does not confift, he tells us, in success,

1493.

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