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der at a blow, under whose yoke their posterity should be subdued. These ballads, or areytos, they sang with mournful tunes and doleful voices, bewailing the loss of their liberty and their painful servitude.'
There is an interest of another kind in following the daring route of Columbus along the shores of Cuba and Jamaica, and through the turbulent seas that boil among the keys in the gulf of Paria. The shores still afforded the same beauty of aspectthe people the same marks of submission and delighted wonder.
• They came off swimming, or in their canoes, to offer the fruits and productions of the land, and regarded the white men almost with adoration. After the usual evening shower, when the breeze blew from the shore and brought off the sweetness of the land, it bore with it also the distant songs of the natives and the sound of their rude music, as they were probably celebrating, with their national chants and dances, the arrival of the white men. So delightful were these spicy odours and cheerful sounds to Columbus, who was at present open to all pleasurable influences, that he declared the night passed away as a single hour.
• It is impossible to resist noticing the striking contrasts which are sometimes forced upon the mind. The coast here described as so populous and animated, rejoicing in the visit of the discoverers, is the same that extends westward of the city of Trinidad, along the gulf of Xagua. All is now silent and deserted. Civilization, which has covered some parts of Cuba with glittering cities, has rendered this a solitude. The whole race of Indians has long since passed away, pining and perishing beneath the domination of the strangers whom they welcomed so joyfully to their shores. Before me lies the account of a night recently passed on this very coast, by a celebrated traveller, (Humboldt,) but with what different feelings from those of Columbus ! “ I past,” says he, “ a great part of the night upon the deck. What deserted coasts! not a light to announce the cabin of a fisherman. From Batabano to Trinidad, a distance of fifty leagues, there does not exist a village. Yet in the time of Columbus this land was inhabited even along the margin of the sea. When pits are digged in the soil, or the torrents plough open the surface of the earth, there are often found hatchets of stone and vessels of copper, relics of the ancient inhabitants of the island.”
We cannot resist the temptation of adding the following fulllength picture, which has all the splendour of a romance, with the additional charm of being true.
One morning, as the ships were standing along the coast, with a light wind and easy sail, they beheld three canoes issuing from among the islands of the bay. They approached in regular order; one, which was very large and handsomely carved and painted, was in the centre, a little in advance of the two others, which appeared to attend and guard it. In this were seated the cacique and his family, consisting of his wife, two daughters, two sons, and five brothers. One of the daughters was eighteen years of age, beautiful in form and counte.
nance ; her sister was somewhat younger; both were naked, according to the custom of these islands, but were of modest demeanour. In the prow of the canoe stood the standard-bearer of the cacique, clad in a kind of mantle of variegated feathers, with a tuft of gay plumes on his head, and bearing in his hand a fluttering white banner. Two Indians, with caps or helmets of feathers of uniform shape and colour, and their faces painted in a similar manner, beat upon tabors ; two others, with hats curiously wrought of green feathers, held trumpets of a fine black wood, ingeniously carved; and there were six others, in large hats and white feathers, who appeared to be guests to the cacique. This gallant little armada having arrived alongside of the admiral's ship, the cacique entered on board with all his train. He appeared in his full regalia. Around his head was a band of small stones of various colours, but principally green, symmetrically arranged, with large white stones at intervals, and connected in front by a large jewel of gold. Two plates of gold were suspended to his ears by rings of small green stones. To a necklace of white beads, of a kind deemed precious by them, was suspended a large plate, in the form of a fleur-de-lys, of gaunin, an inferior species of gold; and a girdle of variegated stones, similar to those round his bead, completed his regal decorations. His wife was adorned in a similar manner, having also a very small apron of cotton, and bands of the same round her arms and legs. The daughters were without ornaments, excepting the eldest and handsomest, who had a girdle of small stones, from which was suspended a tablet, the size of an ivy leaf, composed of various-coloured stones, embroidered on net-work of cotton.
· When the cacique entered on board the ship, he distributed presents of the productions of his island among the officers and men. The admiral was at this time in his cabin, engaged in his morning devotions. When he appeared on deck, the chieftain hastened to meet him with an animated countenance. “My friend,” said he, “ I have determined to leave my country, and to accompany thee. I have heard from these Indians who are with thee, of the irresistible power of thy sovereigns, and of the many nations thou hast subdued in their name. Whoever refuses obedience to thee is sure to suffer. Thou hast destroyed the canoes and dwellings of the Caribs, slaying their warriors, and carrying into captivity their wives and children. All the islands are in dread of thee; for who can withstand thee now, that thou knowest the secrets of the land, and the weakness of the people ? Rather, therefore, than thou shouldst take away my dominions, I will embark with all my household in thy ships, and will go to do homage to thy king and queen, and to behold their marvellous country, of which the Indians relate such wonders.” When this speech was explained to Columbus, and he beheld the wife, the sons and daughters of the cacique, and thought upon the snares to which their ignorance and simplicity would be exposed, he was touched with compassion, and determined not to take them from their native land. He replied to the cacique, therefore, that he received him under his protection as a vassal of his sovereigns, but having many lands yet to visit before he returned to his country, he would at some future time fulfil his desire. Then, taking leave with many expressions of amity, the cacique, with his wife and daughters, and all his retinue, re-embarked in the canoes, returning reluctantly to their island, and the ships continued on their course.'
But we must turn from these bright legends; and hurry onward to the end of our extracts. It is impossible to give any abstract of the rapid succession of plots, tumults, and desertions, which blighted the infancy of this great settlement, or of the disgraceful calumnies, jealousies, and intrigues, which gradually undermined the credit of Columbus with his sovereign, and ended at last in the mission of Bobadilla, with power to supersede him in command-and in the incredible catastrophe of his being sent home in chains by this arrogant and precipitate adventurer. When he arrived on board the caravel which was to carry him to Spain, the master treated him with the most profound respect, and offered instantly to release him from his fetters.
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 preserve them afterwards as relics and memorials of the reward of my services.”
«« He did so," adds his son Fernando ; “ I saw them always hanging in his cabinet, and he requested that when he died they might be buried with him !"!
If there is something in this memorable brutality which stirs the blood with intense indignation, there is something soothing and still more touching in the instant retribution.
• The arrival,' says Mr Irving, of Columbus at Cadiz, a prisoner and in chains, produced almost as great a sensation as his triumphant return from his first voyage. It was one of those striking and obvious facts, which speak to the feelings of the multitude, and preclude the necessity of reflection. No one stopped to inquire into the case. It was sufficient to be told that Columbus was brought home in irons from the world he had discovered! A general burst of indignation arose in Cadiz, and in the powerful and opulent Seville, which was immediately echoed throughout all Spain.'
• Ferdinand joined with his generous queen in her reprobation of the treatment of the admiral, and both sovereigns hastened to give evidence to the world, that his imprisonment had been without their authority, and contrary to their wishes. Without waiting to receive any documents that might arrive from Bobadilla, they sent orders to Cadiz that the prisoners should be instantly set at liberty, and treated with
all distinction. They wrote a letter to Columbus, couched in terms of gratitude and affection, expressing their grief at all he had suffered, and inviting him to court. They ordered, at the same time, that two thousand ducats should be advanced to defray his expenses.
• The loyal heart of Columbus was again cheered by this declaration of his sovereigns. He felt conscious of his integrity, and anticipated an immediate restitution of all his rights and dignities. He appeared at court in Granada on the 17th of December, not as a man ruined and disgraced, but richly dressed, and attended by an honourable retinue. He was received by their majesties with unqualified favour and distinction. When the queen beheld this venerable man approach, and thought on all he had deserved and all that he had suffered, she was moved to tears. Columbus had borne up firmly against the stern conAlicts of the world,- he had endured with lofty scorn the injuries and insults of ignoble men, but he possessed strong and quick sensibility. When he found himself thus kindly received by his sovereigns, and beheld tears in the benign eyes of Isabella, his long-suppressed feel. ings burst forth: he threw himself upon his knees, and for some time could not utter a word for the violence of his tears and sobbings !'
In the year 1502, and in the sixty-sixth year of his age, the indefatigable discoverer set out on his fourth and last voyage. In this he reached the coast of Honduras, and fell in with a race somewhat more advanced in civilization than any he had yet encountered in these remote regions. They had mantles of woven cotton, and some small utensils of native copper. He then ran down the shore of Veragua, and came through tremendous tempests to Portobello, in search, it appears, of a strait or inlet, by which he had persuaded himself he should find a ready way to the shores of the Ganges. The extreme severity of the season, and the miserable condition of his ships, compelled him, however, to abandon this great enterprise; the account of which Mr Irving winds up with the following quaint and not very felicitous observation. If he was disappointed in his expectation of • finding a strait through the Isthmus of Darien, it was because • nature herself had been disappointed-for she appears to have attempted to make one, but to have attempted it in vain.'
After this he returned to the coast of Veragua, where he landed, and formed a temporary settlement, with a view of searching for certain gold mines which he had been told were in the neighbourhood. This, however, was but the source of new disasters. The natives, who were of a fierce and warlike character, attacked and betrayed him-and his vessels were prevented from getting to sea, by the formation of a formidable bar at the mouth of the river. He had here to sustain many attacks from the exasperated natives. But having fortunately captured the family and attendants of a powerful cacique, he expected to deter his subjects
from farther violence, when his prisoners effected their escape in a very remarkable manner.
They were shut up at night in the forecastle of the caravel, the hatchway of which was secured by a strong chain and padlock. As several of the crew slept upon the hatch, and as it was so high as to be considered out of reach of the prisoners, they neglected to fasten the chain. The Indians discovered their negligence, and formed a plan of escape. Collecting together a quantity of stones from the ballast of the vessel, they made a great heap directly under the hatchway. Several of the most powerful warriors mounted upon the top, and bending their backs, by a sudden and simultaneous effort burst open the covert, flinging the seamen who slept upon it to the opposite side of the ship. In an instant the greater part of the Indians sprang forth, plunging into the sea, and swam for shore. The alarm being given, several were prevented from sallying forth ; others were seized on the deck, and forced back into the forecastle ; the hatchway was carefully chained down, and a guard was set for the rest of the night. In the morning, when the Spaniards went to examine the captives, they were all found dead! Some had hanged themselves with the end of ropes, their knees touching the floor; others had strangled themselves by straining the cords tight with their feet. The most inflexible determination on death was visible in the mode in which they had destroyed themselves; and the whole presented a picture of the fierce and unconquerable spirit of these people, and their horror of the white men.
At last, by prodigious exertions, and the heroic spirit of some of his officers, he was enabled to get away. But his altered fortune still pursued him. He was harassed by perpetual storms, and after having beat up nearly to Hispaniola, was assailed by
• A sudden tempest, of such violence, that, according to the strong expression of Columbus, it seemed as if the world would dissolve. They lost three of their anchors almost immediately, and the caravel Bermuda was driven with such violence upon the ship of the admiral, that the bow of the one, and the stern of the other, were greatly shattered. The sea running high, and the wind being boisterous, the vessels chafed and injured each other dreadfully, and it was with great difficulty that they were separated. One anchor only remained to the admiral's ship, and this saved him from being driven upon the rocks ; but at daylight the cable was found nearly worn asunder. Had the darkness continued an hour longer, he could scarcely have escaped shipwreck.
"At the end of six days, the weather having moderated, he resumed his course, standing eastward for Hispaniola : “ his people," as he says, “ dismayed and down-hearted, almost all his anchors lost, and his vessels bored as full of holes as a honeycomb."
His proud career seemed now to be bastening to a miserable end. Incapable of struggling longer with the elements, he was obliged to run before the wind to Jamaica, where he was not even in a condition to attempt to make any harbour.
· His ships, reduced to mere wrecks, could no longer keep the sea,