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lumbus could not stoop to deprecate the arrogance of a weak and violent man like Bobadilla. He looked beyond this shallow agent, and all his petty tyranny, to the sovereigns who had employed him. It was their injustice and ingratitude alone that could wound his spirit; and he felt assured that when the truth came to be known, they would blush to find how greatly they had wronged him. With this proud assurance, he bore all present indignities in silence. He even wrote, at the demand of Bobadilla, a letter to the Adelantado, who was still in Xaragua, at the head of an armed force, exhorting him to submit quietly to the will of the sovereigns. Don Bartholomew immediately complied. Relinquishing his command, he hastened peacefully to San Domingo, and on arriving experienced the same treatment with his brothers, being put in irons, and confined on board of a caraval. They were kept separate from each other, and no communication permitted between them. Bobadilla did not see them himself, nor did he allow others to visit them; and they were kept in total ignorance of the crimes with which they were charged, and the proceedings that were instituted against them.
The old scenes of the time of Aguado were now renewed, with tenfold virulence. All the old charges were revived, and others added, still more extravagant in their nature. Columbus was accused of having prevented the conversion of the Indians, that they might be sold as slaves; with having secreted the pearls collected on the coast of Paria, and kept the sovereigns in ignorance of the nature of his discoveries there, in order to exact new pri
vileges from them. Even the late tumults were turned into matters of accusation, and the rebels admitted as evidence. The well-merited punishments inflicted upon certain of the ringleaders were cited as proofs of a cruel and revengeful disposition, and a secret hatred of Spaniards. Guevara, Reguelme, and their fellow convicts, were discharged almost without the form of a trial. Roldan, from the very first, had been treated with confidence by Bobadilla; all the others, whose conduct had rendered them liable to justice, received either a special acquittal or a general pardon.
Bobadilla had now collected testimony sufficient, as he thought, to ensure the condemnation of the prisoners, and his own continuance in command. He determined, therefore, to send home the admiral and his brothers in chains, in the vessels which were ready for sea, with the inquest taken in their case, and private letters enforcing the charges made against them.
San Domingo now swarmed with miscreants, just delivered from the dungeon and the gibbet. Every base spirit which had been overawed by Columbus and his brothers when in power now hastened to revenge itself upon them when in chains. The most injurious slanders were loudly proclaimed in the streets, pasquinades and libels were posted up at the corners, and horns blown in the neighbourhood of their prisons, to taunt them with the exultings of the rabble.
The charge of conducting the prisoners to Spain was given to Alonzo de Villejo, an officer who was in the employ of Bishop Fonseca. He was instructed, on arriving at Cadiz, to deliver his prisoners into the
hands of the bishop, which circumstance has caused a belief that Fonseca was the secret instigator of all these violent proceedings. Villejo, however, was a man of honourable character, and generous feelings, and showed himself superior to the low malignity of his patrons. When he arrived with a guard to conduct the admiral from the prison to the ship, he found him in chains in a state of deep despondency. So violently had the latter been treated, and so savage were the passions let loose against him, that he had began to fear he should be sacrificed without an opportunity of being heard, and that his name would go down to posterity sullied with imputed crimes.
When the officer entered with the guard, he thought it was to conduct him to the scaffold. Villejo," said he mournfully, "whither are you taking me?" "To the ship, your excellency, to embark," replied the other. To embark!" repeated the admiral earnestly. "Villejo, do you speak the truth?” “ By the life of your excellency," replied the honest officer, "it is true!" With these words the admiral was comforted, and felt as one restored from death to life.
The caravals set sail early in October, bearing off Columbus shackled like the vilest of culprits, amidst the scoffs and shouts of a miscreant rabble, who took a brutal joy in heaping insults on his venerable head, and sent curses after him from the island he had so recently added to the civilized world. tunately the voyage was favourable and of moderate duration, and was rendered less irksome to Columbus, by the conduct of those to whom he was given in custody. The worthy Villejo, as well as Andreas Martin, the master of the caraval, felt deeply grieved
at his situation, and always treated him with profound respect and assiduous attention. They would have taken off his irons, but to this he would not consent. "No," said he, proudly, "their majesties commanded me by letter to submit to whatever Bobadilla should order in their name; by their authority he has put upon me these chains; I will wear them until they shall order them to be taken off, and I will afterwards preserve them as relics and memorials of the reward of my services."
"He did so,” adds his son Fernando, in his history; "I saw them always hanging in his cabinet, and he requested that when he died they might be buried with him!"
Arrival of Columbus in Spain-His Interview with the Sovereigns-Appointment of Ovando to the Govern→ ment of Hispaniola.
THE arrival of Columbus at Cadiz, a prisoner, and in chains, produced almost as great a sensation as his triumphant return from his first voyage. A general burst of indignation arose in Cadiz, and in the powerful and opulent Seville, which was immediately echoed throughout all Spain. No one stopped to reason on the subject. It was sufficient to be told that Columbus was brought home in chains from the world he had discovered.
The tidings reached the court of Granada, and filled the halls of the alhambra with murmurs of astonishment. On the arrival of the ships at Cadiz, Andreas Martin, the captain, had permitted Columbus to send off letters privately by express. The admiral, full of his wrongs, but ignorant how far they had been authorized by the sovereigns, forbore to write to them. He sent a long letter, however, to a lady of the court, high in favour with the queen, and who had been nurse to Prince Juan. It contained an ample vindication of his conduct, couched in eloquent and dignified and touching language. When it was read to the noble-minded