« AnteriorContinuar »
him and his crew to the principal church, where solemn thanksgivings were offered up for their return; while every bell in the village sent forth a joyous peal in honor of the glorious event.
6. The admiral was too desirous of presenting himself before the sovereigns, to protract his stay long at Palos. He took with him on his journey specimens of the multifārious products of the newly-discovered regions. He was accompanied by several of the native islanders, arrayed in their simple barbaric costūme', and decorated, as he passed through the principal cities, with collars, bracelets, and other ornaments of gold, rudely fashioned: he exhibited, also, considerable quantities of the same metal in dust, or in crude masses, numerous vegetable exotics,' possessed of aromatico or medicinal virtue, and several kinds of quadrupeds unknown in Europe, and birds, whose varieties of gaudy plumage gave a brilliant effect to the pāgeant.
7. The admiral's progress through the country was évèrywhere impeded by the multitudes thrõnging forth to gaze at the extraordinary spectacle, and the more extraordinary man, who, in the emphatic language of that time, which has now lost its force from its familiarity, first revealed the existence of a “New World." As he passed through the busy, populous city of Sěv'ille, every window, băl'cony, and housetop, which could afford a glimpse of him, is described to have been crowded with spectators.
8. It was the middle of April before Columbus reached Barcelona. The nobility and cavaliers in attendance on the court, together with the authorities of the city, came to the gates to receive him, and escorted him to the royal presence. Ferdinand and Isabella were seated, with their son, Prince John, under a superb canopy of state, awaiting his arrival. On his approach, they rose from their seats, and extending their hands to him to salute, caused him to be seated before them.
9. These were unprecedented marks of condescension to a erson of Columbus's rank, in the haughty and ceremonious court of Castile (kas tēl'). It was, indeed, the proudést moment in the life of Columbus. He had fully established the truth of his lõng-contested theory, in the face of argument, sõphistry, sneer, skepticism, and contempt. He had achieved this, not by chance, but by calculation, supported through the most adverse circumstances by consúm'māte conduct. The honors paid l.im, whicb. had hitherto been reserved only for rank, or fortune, or military success, purchased by the blood and tears of thousands, were, in his case, a homage to intellectual power, successfully exerted in behalf of the noblèst interests of humanity.
Exotic, (egz 8t' ik) a foreign ? Ar o măt' ic, spicy; fragrant; plant or production.
10. After a brief interval, the sovereigns requested from Columbus a recital of his adventures. His manner was sedate and dignified, but warmed by the glow of natural enthusiasm. He enumerated the several islands which he had visited, expatiated on the temperate character of the climate, and the capacity of the soil for every variety of agricultural production, appealing to the samples imported by him, as evidence of their natural fruitfulness. He dwelt more at large on the precious metals to be found in these islands, which he inferred, less from the specimens actually obtained, than from the uniform testimony of the natives to their abundance in the unexplored regions of the interior. Lastly, he pointed out the wide scope afforded to Christian zeal, in the illumination of a race of men, whose minds, far from being wedded to any system of idolatry, were prepared, by their extreme simplicity, for the reception of pure and uncorrupted doctrine.
11. The last consideration touched Isabella's heart most sensibly; and the whole audience, kindled with various emotions by the speaker's eloquence, filled up the perspective with the gorgeous coloring of their own fancies, as ambition, or avarice, or devotional feeling predominated in their bosoms. When Columbus ceased, the king and queen, together with all present, prostrated themselves on their knees in grateful thanksgivings, whilo the solemn strains of the Te Deum' were poured forth by the choir of the royal chapel, as in commemoration of some glorious victory.
WILLIAM H. PRESCOTT. WILLIAM H. PRESCOTT, the eminent historian, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, on the 4th of May, 1796. His father, William Prescott, LL.D., a distinguished lawyer and judge, noted for intellectual and moral worth, died in the last month of 1844, at the advanced age of 84. His grandfather was the celebrated Colonel William Prescott, who commanded the American forces at Bunker Hill on the memorable 17th of June, 1775. But Mr. Prescott needs none of the pride of ancestry to stamp him as one of nature's noblemen. An untoward accident in college, by which he lost the sight of one eye, and the sympathy subsequently excited in the other, rendered him almost totally blind; but, not
'Te Deum, (te dé'um), a hymn of thanksgiving, so called from the first words, “ Te Deum laudamus," Thee, God, we praise.
withstanding, his indefatigable industry, united with fine taste and a well-stored mind, elevated him to the highest rank in that difficult department, historical composition. Indeed, it is the concurrent judgment of the best European critics that he had no superior, if he had an equal, among contemporary historians. His first work, “Ferdinand and Isabella," was published in the beginning of 1838, and was soon republished in nearly all the great cities of Europe. That, with his second work, “The Conquest of Mexico," are not only among the finest models of historical composition, but in a very genuine sense they are national works. The choicest words of panegyric can not do injustice to the exquisite “beauty of Mr. Prescott's descriptions, the just proportion and dramatic interest of his narrative, his skill as a character writer, the expansiveness and completeness of his views, and that careful and intelligent research which enabled him to make his works as valuable for their accuracy as they are attractive by all the graces of style." In private life Mr. Prescott was as much admired for his amiability, simplicity, and highbred courtesy as for his remarkablc abilities and acquirements. He died January 28th, 1859.
39. THE REVOLUTIONARY ALARM.
ARKNESS closed upon the country and upon the town,
but it was no night for sleep. Heralds on swift relāys of horses transmitted the war-message from hand to hand, till village repeated it to village ; the sea to the backwoods; the plains to the highlands; and it was never suffered to droop, till it had been borne North, and South, and East, and West, throughout the land.
2. It spread over the bays that receive the Saco' and the Penobscot. Its loud reveille broke the rest of the trappers of New Hampshire, and ringing like bugle-notes from peak to peak, overlēapt the Green Mountains, swept onward to Móntreäl, and descended the ocean river, till the responses were echoed from the cliffs of Quebec. The hills along the Hudson told to one another the tale.
3. As the summons hŭrried to the South, it was one day at New York ; in one more at Philadelphiä; the next it lighted a watchfire at Baltimore; thence it waked an answer at Annapolis. Crossing the Potomac near Mount Vernon, it was sent forward without a halt to Williamsburg. It traversed the Dismal Swamp to Nansemond, along the route of the first emiSaco, (så' ko),
to rise, and for the sentinels to stop ? Reveille, (re vál' ya), the beat of challenging. drum about break of day, to give * Swamp, (sw&p). notice that it is time for the soldiers * Routs (rôt).
grants to North Carolina. It moved onwards and still onwards through boundless groves of evergreen to Newbern and to Wilmington.
4. “For God's sake, forward it by night and by day,” wrote Cornēliüs Harnett, by the express which sped for Brunswick. Patriots of South Carolina caught up its tones at the border and despatched it to Charleston, and through pines and palmettos and moss-clad live oaks, further to the South, till it resounded among the New England settlements beyond the Savannah.
5. The Blue Ridge took up the voice and made it heard from one end to the other of the valley of Virginiä. The Al'leghánies, as they listened, opened their barriers that the “loud call” might pass through to the hardy riflemen on the Holston, the Watauga and the French Broad. Ever renewing its strength, powerful enough even to create a commonwealth, it breathed its inspiring word to the first settlers of Kentucky ; so that hunters who made their halt in the matchless valley of the Elkhorn, commemorated the 19th day of April, 1776, by naming their encampment Lexington.
6. With one impulse the colonies sprung to arms; with one spirit they pledged themselves to each other “to be ready for the extreme event.” With one heart the continent cried, “LIBERTY OR DEATH.”
BANCROFT. GEORGE BANCROFT, thc eminent historian, was born in 1800, in Worcester, Massachusetts. He graduated at Harvard College at the early age of seventeen. The next year he went to Europe, and studied for four ycars at Gottingen and Berlin, and traveled in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and England. On his return, in 1823, he published a volume of poems, which were principally written while he was abroad. He soon after established the academy at Round Hill, at Northampton. He was appointed collector of Boston in 1838; was made secretary of the nary in 1845; was sent as minister plenipotentiary to England in 1846; and on his return, in 1819, became a resident of New York, where he has since devoted himself principally to the composition of his “ History of the United States,” the ninth volume of which appeared in 1806. He has also lately published a volume of “Literary and Historical Miscellanies." His “ History of the United States " has been published in its original language in London and Paris, and has been translated into several foreign languages. It is a work of great labor, originality, and ability, and eminently American, in the best sense of that word as used in regard to literature. It is the most accurate and philosophical account that has been given of the United States; and is elaborately and strongly, yet elegantly written,
UT of the North the wild news came,
Far flashing on its wings of flame,
The fife's shrill note, the drum's loud beat,
The answering tread of húrrying feet;
And swelled the discord of the hour. 2. Within its shade of elm and oak
The church of Berkley Mănor stood ;
And some esteemed of gentle blood.
In vain their feet with loitering tread
In that republic of the dead.
The vale with peace and sunshine full,
Decked in their homespun flax and wool!
Where youth's gay hats with blossoms bloom ;
A bud whose depths are all perfume ;
Is breathing rose and lavender.
Hăllowed his brow of thought and care ; · Bõ' re al, northern ; pertaining to the north, or the north wind.