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be far from Cape St. Vincent. They scoffed at his words, for they believed themselves as yet far from their desired haven. The next morning, however, proved the correctness of his calculations, for they made the very land he had predicted.

On the 11th of June the vessels anchored in the

bay of Cadiz. The populace crowded to witness the landing of the gay and bold adventurers, who had sailed from this very port animated by the most sanguine expectations. Instead, however, of a joyous crew, bounding on shore, flushed with success, and rich with the spoils of the golden Indies, a feeble train of wretched men crawled forth, emaciated by the diseases of the colony and the hardships of the voyage; who carried in their yellow countenances, says an old writer, a mockery of that gold which had been the object of their search; and who had nothing to relate of the new world but tales of sickness, poverty, and disappointment.

The appearance of Columbus himself was a kind of comment on his fortunes. Either considering himself in disgrace with the sovereigns, or having made some penitential vow, he was clad in the habit of a Franciscan monk, girded with a cord, and he had suffered his beard to grow like the friars of that order. But however humble he might be in his own personal appearance, he endeavoured to keep alive the public interest in his discoveries. On his way to Burgos to meet the sovereigns, he made a studious display of the coronets, collars, bracelets, and other ornaments of gold, which he had brought from the new world. He carried with him, also, several Indians, decorated with glittering ornaments, and among them the brother of Caonabo, on whom

he put a massive collar and chain of gold, weighing six hundred castillanos *, as being cacique of the golden country of Cibao.

The reception of Columbus by the sovereigns was different from what he had anticipated, for he was treated with distinguished favour; nor was any mention made either of the complaints of Margarite and Boyle, or the judicial inquiries conducted by Aguado. However these may have had a transient effect upon the minds of the sovereigns, they were too conscious of his great deserts, and of the extraordinary difficulties of his situation, not to tolerate what they may have considered errors on his part.

Encouraged by the interest with which the sovereigns listened to his account of his recent voyage along the coast of Cuba, bordering, as he supposed, on the rich territories of the Grand Khan, and of his discovery of the mines of Hayna, which he failed not to represent as the Ophir of the ancients, Columbus now proposed a further enterprise, by which he promised to make yet more extensive discoveries, and to annex a vast and unappropriated portion of the continent of Asia to their dominions. All he asked was eight ships, two to be despatched to Hispaniola with supplies, the remaining six to be put under his command for the voyage.

The sovereigns readily promised to comply with his request, and were probably sincere in their intentions to do so; but in the performance of their promise Columbus was doomed to meet with intolerable delay. The resources of Spain at this moment were tasked to the utmost by the ambition

* Equivalent to 3195 dollars of the present time.

of Ferdinand, who lavished all his revenues in warlike enterprises. While maintaining a contest of deep and artful policy with France, with the ultimate aim of grasping the sceptre of Naples, he was laying the foundation of a wide and powerful connexion, by the marriages of the royal children, who were now maturing in years. At this time rose that family alliance which afterwards consolidated such an immense empire under his grandson and successor, Charles V.

These widely extended operations both of war and amity put all the land and naval forces into requisition, drained the royal treasury, and engrossed the time and thoughts of the sovereigns. It was not until the spring of 1497 that Isabella could find leisure to enter fully into the concerns of the new world. She then took them up with a spirit that showed she was determined to place them upon a substantial foundation, as well as clearly to define the powers and reward the services of Columbus. To her protecting zeal all the provisions in favour of the latter must be attributed, for the king began to look coldly on him, and Fonseca, who had most influence in the affairs of the Indies, was his implacable enemy. As the expenses of the expeditions had hitherto exceeded the returns, Columbus was relieved of his eighth part of the cost of the past enterprises, and allowed an eighth of the gross proceeds for the next three years, and a tenth of the net profits. He was allowed also to establish a mayorazgo, or entailed estate, in his family, of which he immediately availed himself, devising his estates to his male descendants, with the express charge that his successor should never use any other title in


signature than simply "The Admiral." As he had felt aggrieved by the royal licence for general discovery, granted in 1495, it was annulled as far as it might be prejudicial to his interests, or to the previous grants made him by the crown. The titles and prerogatives of Adelantado were likewise conferred upon Don Bartholomew, though the king had at first been displeased with Columbus for investing his brother with dignities which were only in the gift of the sovereign.

While all these measures were taken for the immediate gratification of Columbus, others were adopted for the good of the colony. The precise number of persons was fixed who were to be sent to Hispaniola, among whom were several females; and regulations were made for their payment and support, and for the distribution of lands among them to be diligently cultivated. The greatest care was enjoined likewise by Isabella in the religious instruction of the natives, and the utmost lenity in collecting the tributes imposed upon them. With respect to the government of the colony, also, it was generally recommended that, whenever the public safety did not require stern measures, there should be manifested a disposition to indulgent and easy rule.

When every intention was thus shown on the part of the crown to despatch the expedition, unexpected difficulties arose on the part of the public. The charm was dispelled which, in the preceding voyage, had made every adventurer crowd into the service of Columbus; the new found world, instead of a region of wealth and enjoyment, was now considered a land of poverty and disaster. To supply

the want of voluntary recruits, therefore, Columbus proposed to transport to Hispaniola, for a limited term of years, all criminals condemned to banishment or the galleys, excepting such as had committed crimes of an atrocious nature. This pernicious measure shows the desperate alternative to which he was reduced by the reaction of public sentiment. It proved a fruitful source of misery and disaster to the colony; and having frequently been adopted by various nations, whose superior experience should have taught them better, has proved the bane of many a rising settlement.

Notwithstanding all these expedients, and the urgent representations of Columbus, of the sufferings to which the colony must be reduced for want of supplies, it was not until the beginning of 1498 that the two ships were despatched to Hispaniola, under the command of Pedro Fernandez Coronal. A still further delay occurred in fitting out the six ships that were to bear Columbus on his voyage of discovery. His cold-blooded enemy Fonseca, who was now bishop of Badajoz, having the superintendence of Indian affairs, was enabled to impede and retard all his plans. The various officers and agents employed in the concerns of the armament were most of them dependents and minions of the bishop, and sought to gratify him, by throwing all kinds of difficulties in the way of Columbus, treating him with that arrogance which petty and ignoble men in place are prone to exercise, when they think they can do so with impunity. So wearied and disheartened did he become by these delays, and by the prejudices of the fickle public, that he at one

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