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as celestial gifts, and were said by the Indians to have come from Turey, or heaven.

The extreme kindness of the cacique, the gentleness of his people, and the quantities of gold daily brought by the natives, and exchanged for trifles, contributed to console Columbus for his misfortunes. When Guacanagari perceived the great value which the admiral attached to gold, he assured him, by signs, that there was a place, not far off, among the mountains, where it abounded to such a degree as to be regarded with indifference; and he promised to procure him, from thence, as much as he desired. Columbus gathered many other particulars concerning this golden region. It was called Cibao, and lay among high and rugged mountains. The cacique who ruled over it owned many rich mines, and had banners of wrought gold. Columbus fancied that the name of Cibao must be a corruption of Cipango, and flattered himself that this was the very island productive of gold and spices, mentioned by Marco Polo.

Three houses had been given to the shipwrecked crew for their residence. Here, living on shore, and mingling freely with the natives, they became fascinated by their easy and idle mode of life. They were governed by their caciques with an absolute but patriarchal and easy rule, and existed in that state of primitive and savage simplicity which some philosophers have fondly pictured as the most enviable on earth. "It is certain," says old Peter Martyr, "that the land among these people is as common as the sun and water; and that mine and thine,' the seeds of all mischief, have no place with them. They are content with so little, that, in so large a country,

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they have rather superfluity than scarceness; so that they seem to live in a golden world, without toil, in open gardens, neither intrenched, nor shut up by walls or hedges. They deal truly with one another, without laws, or books, or judges." In fact, they seemed to disquiet themselves about nothing; a few fields, cultivated almost without labour, furnished roots and vegetables, their groves were laden with delicious fruit, and the coast and rivers abounded with fish. Softened by the indulgence of nature, a great part of the day was passed by them in indolent repose, in that luxury of sensation inspired by a serene sky and voluptuous climate, and in the evening they danced in their fragrant groves, to their national songs, or the rude sound of their sylvan drums.

When the Spanish mariners looked back upon their own toilsome and painful life, and reflected upon the cares and hardships that must still be their lot, should they return to Europe, they regarded with a wistful eye the easy and idle existence of these Indians, and many of them, representing to the admiral the difficulty and danger of embarking so many persons in one small caraval, entreated permission to remain in the island. The request immediately suggested to Columbus the idea of forming the germ of a future colony. The wreck of the caraval would furnish materials and arms for a fortress; and the people who should remain in the island could explore it, learn the language of the natives, and collect gold, while the admiral returned to Spain for reinforcements. Guacanagari was overjoyed at finding that some of these wonderful strangers were to remain for the defence of his

island, and that the admiral intended to revisit it. He readily gave permission to build the fort, and his subjects eagerly aided in its construction, little dreaming that they were assisting to place on their necks the galling yoke of perpetual and toilsome slavery.

While thus employed, a report was brought to Columbus, by certain Indians, that another ship was at anchor in a river at the eastern end of the island: he concluded it of course to be the Pinta, and immediately despatched a canoe in quest of it, with a letter for Pinzon, urging him to rejoin him immediately. The canoe coasted the island for thirty leagues, but returned without having heard or seen any thing of the Pinta, and all the anxiety of the admiral was revived: should that vessel be lost, the whole success of his expedition would depend on the return of his own crazy bark, across an immense expanse of ocean, where the least accident might bury it in the deep, and with it all record of his discovery. He dared not therefore prolong his voyage, and explore those magnificent regions which seemed to invite on every hand, but determined to return immediately to Spain.

So great was the activity of the Spaniards, and the assistance of the natives, that in ten days the fortress was completed. It consisted of a strong wooden tower, with a vault beneath, and the whole surrounded by a wide ditch. It was supplied with the ammunition and mounted with the cannon saved from the wreck, and was considered sufficient to overawe and repulse the whole of this naked and unwarlike people. Columbus gave the fortress and harbour the name of La Navidad, or The Nativity,

in memorial of having been preserved from the wreck of his ship on Christmas day. From the number of volunteers that offered to remain he selected thirty-nine of the most trustworthy, putting them under the command of Diego de Arana, notary and alguazil of the armament. In case of his death, Pedro Gutierrez was to take the command, and he, in like case, to be succeeded by Rodrigo de Escobido. He charged the men, in the most emphatic manner, to be obedient to their commanders, respectful to Guacanagari and his chieftains, and circumspect and friendly in their intercourse with the natives. He warned them not to scatter themselves asunder, as their safety would depend upon their united force, and not to stray beyond the territory of the friendly cacique. He enjoined it upon Arana, and the other commanders, to employ themselves in gaining a knowledge of the island, in amassing gold and spices, and in searching for a more safe and convenient harbour for that settlement.

Before his departure, he gave the natives another military exhibition, to increase their awe of the prowess of the white men. The Spaniards performed skirmishes and mock fights, with swords, bucklers, lances, crossbows, and fire-arms. The Indians were astonished at the keenness of the steeled weapons, and the deadly power of the crossbows and muskets; but nothing equalled their awe and admiration when the cannon were discharged from the fortress, wrapping it in smoke, shaking the forests with their thunder, and shivering the stoutest


When Columbus took leave of Guacanagari, the kind-hearted cacique shed many tears; for, while he


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