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upon the table, broke one end, and left it standing on the broken part; illustrating, in this simple manner, that when he had once shown the way to the new world, nothing was easier than to follow it.
The joy occasioned by this great discovery was not confined to Spain; the whole civilized world was filled with wonder and delight. Every one rejoiced in it as an event in which he was more or less interested, and which opened a new and unbounded field for inquiry and enterprise. Men of learning and science shed tears of joy, and those of ardent imaginations indulged in the most extravagant and delightful dreams. Notwithstanding all this triumph, however, no one had an idea of the real importance of the discovery. The opinion of Columbus was universally adopted, that Cuba was the end of the Asiatic continent, and that the adjacent islands were in the Indian seas. They were called, therefore, the West Indies, and as the region thus discovered appeared to be of a vast and indefinite extent, and existing in a state of nature, it received the comprehensive appellation of " the New World."
Papal Bull of Partition-Preparations for a second Voyage of Discovery. [1493.]
In the midst of their rejoicings, the Spanish sovereigns lost no time in taking every measure to secure their new acquisitions. During the crusades, a doctrine had been established among the christian princes, according to which the pope, from his supreme authority over all temporal things, as Christ's vicar on earth, was considered as empowered to dispose of all heathen lands to such christian potentates as would undertake to reduce them to the dominion of the church, and to introduce into them the light of religion.
Alexander VI., a native of Valencia, and born a subject to the crown of Arragon, had recently been elevated to the papal chair. He was a pontiff whom some historians have stigmatized with every vice and crime that could disgrace humanity, but whom all have represented as eminently able and politic. Ferdinand was well aware of his worldly and perfidious character, and endeavoured to manage him accordingly. He despatched ambassadors to him, announcing the new discovery as an extraordinary triumph of the faith, and a vast acquisition of empire to the church. He took care to state, that it
did not in the least interfere with the possessions ceded by the holy chair to Portugal, all which had been sedulously avoided; he supplicated his holiness, therefore, to issue a bull, granting to the crown of Castile dominion over all those lands, and such others as might be discovered in those parts, artfully intimating, at the same time, his determination to maintain possession of them, however his holiness might decide. No difficulty was made in granting what was considered but a reasonable and modest request, though it is probable that the acquiescence of the worldly-minded pontiff was quickened by the insinuation of the politic monarch.
A bull was accordingly issued, dated May 2d, 1493, investing the Spanish sovereigns with similar rights, privileges, and indulgences, in respect to the newly discovered regions, to those granted to the Portuguese with respect to their African discoveries, and under the same condition of propagating the catholic faith. To prevent any conflicting claims, however, between the two powers, the famous line of demarcation was established. This was an ideal line drawn from the north to the south pole, a hundred leagues west of the Azores and the Cape de Verde islands. All land discovered by the Spanish navigators to the west of this line was to belong to the crown of Castile; all land discovered in the contrary direction was to belong to Portugal. It seems never to have occurred to the pontiff, that, by pushing their opposite discoveries, they might some day or other come again in collision, and renew the question of territorial right at the antipodes.
In the meantime, the utmost exertions were made to fit out the second expedition of Columbus. To
ensure regularity and despatch in the affairs relative to the new world, they were placed under the superintendence of Juan Rodriguez de Fonseca, archdeacon of Seville, who successively was promoted to the sees of Badajoz, Palencia, and Burgos, and finally appointed patriarch of the Indies. Francisco Pinelo was associated with him as treasurer, and Juan de Soria as contador, or comptroller. Their office was fixed at Seville, and was the germ of the royal India-house, which afterwards rose to such great power and importance. No one was permitted to embark for the newly discovered lands, without express licence from either the sovereigns, Columbus, or Fonseca. The ignorance of the age as to enlarged principles of commerce, and the example of the Portuguese in respect to their African possessions, have been cited in excuse for the narrow and jealous spirit here manifested; but it always, more or less, influenced the policy of Spain in her colonial regulations.
Another instance of the despotic sway exercised by the crown over commerce is manifested in a royal order, empowering Columbus and Fonseca to freight or purchase any vessels in the ports of Andalusia, or to take them by force, if refused, even though freighted by other persons, paying what they should conceive a reasonable compensation, and compelling their captains and crews to serve in the expedition. Equally arbitrary powers were given with respect to arms, ammunition, and naval
As the conversion of the heathen was professed to be the grand object of these discoveries, twelve ecclesiastics were chosen to accompany the expedi
tion, at the head of whom was Bernardo Buyl, or Boyle, a Benedictine monk, native of Catalonia, a man of talent and reputed sanctity, but a subtle politician, of intriguing spirit. He was appointed by the pope his apostolical vicar for the new world. These monks were charged by Isabella with the spiritual instruction of the Indians, and provided by her with all things necessary for the dignified performance of the rites and ceremonies of the church. The queen had taken a warm and compassionate interest in the welfare of the natives, looking upon them as committed by Heaven to her peculiar care. She gave general orders that they should be treated with the utmost kindness, and enjoined Columbus to inflict signal punishment on all Spaniards who should wrong them. The six Indians brought by the admiral to Barcelona were baptized with great state and solemnity, the king, the queen, and Prince Juan, officiating as sponsors, and were considered as an offering to Heaven of the first fruits of these pagan nations.
The preparations for the expedition were quickened by the proceedings of the court of Portugal. John II., unfortunately for himself, had among his councillors certain politicians of that short-sighted class who mistake craft for wisdom. By adopting their perfidious policy, he had lost the new world when it was an object of honourable enterprise; in compliance with their advice, he now sought to retrieve it by subtle stratagem. A large armament was fitting out, the avowed object of which was an expedition to Africa, but its real destination to seize upon the newly discovered countries. To lull suspicion, he sent ambassadors to the Spanish court, to