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the fort at St. Domingo. This was preserved by the vigilance and courage of Don Diego Columbus. The mutineers were obliged to retire to the province of Xaragua, where they continued not only to disclaim the adelantado's authority themselves, but excited the Indians to throw off the yoke.
Such was the distracted ftate of the colony when Columbus. landed at St. Domingo. He was astonished to find that the three ships which he had dispatched from the Canaries were not yet arrived. By the unkkila fulness of the pilots, and the violence of currents, they had been carried a hundred and fixty miles to the west of St. Domingo, and forced to take thelter in a harbour of the province of Xaragua, where Roldan and his feditious followers were cantoned. Roldan carefully concealed from the commanders of the ships his insurrection against the adelantado, and employing his utmost address to gain their confidence, persuaded them to set on shore a considerable part of the new settlers whom they brought over, that they might proceed by land to St. Domingo. It required but few arguments to prevail with those men to espouse his cause. They were the refuse of the jails of Spain, to whom idleness, licentious. ness, and deeds of violence were familiar; and they returned eagerly to a course of life nearly resembling that to which they had been accustomed. The commanders of the ships perceiving, when it was too late, their imprudence in disembarking so many of their men, stood away for St. Domingo, and got safe into the port a few days after the admiral; but their stock of provisions was so wasted during a voyage of such long continuance, that they brought little relief to the colony.
By this junction with a band of such bold and desperate associates, Roldan became extremely formidable, and no less extravagant in his demands. Columbus, though filled with resentment at his ingratitude, and highly exasperated by the infolence of his followers, made no hafte to take the field. He trembled at the thoughts of kindling the flames of a civil war, in which, whatever party prevailed, the power and strength of both must be so mach waited, as might encourage the common enemy to unite and complete their destruction. At the same time, he observed, that the prejudices and passions which incited the rebels to take had so far infected those who still adhered to him, that many of them were adverse, and all cold to the service. From such sentiments with respect to the public interest, as well as from this view of his own fituation, he chose to negociate rather than to fight. By a seasonable proclamation, offering free pardon to such as should meric it by return. ing to their duty, he made impression upon some of the malcontents. By engaging-to grant such as should desire it the liberty of returning to No. II. I
Spain, he allured all those unfortunate adventurers, who, from fickness and disappointment, were disgusted with the country. By promising to te-eftablish Roldan in his former office, he foothed his pride ; and by complying with most of his demands in behalf of his followers, he fatisfied their avarice. Thus, gradually and without bloodshed, but after many tedious negociations, he dissolved this dangerous combination which threatened the colony with ruin ; and reftored the appear. ance of order, regular government, and tranquillity.
In consequence of this agreement with the mutineers, lands were alloted them in different parts of the island, and the Indians settled in each district were appointed to cultivate a certain portion of ground for the use of those new masters *. The performance of this work was substituted in place of the tribute formerly imposed; and hov necessary foever such a regulation might be in a fickly and feeble colony, it introduced among the Spaniards the Repartimientos, or distributions of Indians established by them in all their settlements, which brought numberless calamities upon that unhappy people, and subjected them to the most grievous oppression. This was not the only bad effect of the infurrection in Hispaniola; it prevented Columbus from prosecuting his discoveries on the continent, as self-preservation obliged him to keep near his person his brother the adelantado, and the sailors whom he intended to have employed in that service. As soon as his affairs would permit, he sent some of his ships to Spain with a journal of the voyage which he had made, a description of the new countries which he had discovered, a chart of the coast along which he had failed, and specimens of the gold, the pearls, and other curious or valuable productions which he had acquired by trafficking with the natives. At the same time he transmitted an account of the insurrection in Hispaniola ; he accused the mutineers not only of having thrown the colony into such violent convulsions as threatened its dissolution, but of having obstructed every attempt towards discovery and improvement, by their un: provoked rebellion against their superiors, and proposed several regulations for the better government of the island, as well as the extinction of that mutinous fpirit, which, though suppressed at present, might soon burst out with additional rage. Roldan and his associates did not neglect to convey to Spain, by the same ships, an apology for their own conduct, together with their recriminations upon the admiral and his brothers. Unfortunately for the honour of Spain, and the happiness of Columbus, the latter gained most credit in the court of Ferdinand and Isabella, and produced unexpected effects.
But, previous to the relating of these, it is proper to take a view of some events, which merit attention, both on account of their own im. portance, and their connection with the history of the New World. While Columbus was engaged in his successive voyages to the west, the spirit of discovery did not languish in Portugal, the kingdom where it frit acquired vigour, and became enterprising. Self-condemnation and regret were not the only sentiments to which the success of Columbus; and reflection upon their own imprudence in rejecting his proposals, gave rise among the Portuguese. They excited a general emulation to furpass his performances, and an ardent desire to make some reparation to their
country for their own error. With this view, Emmanuel, who inherited the enterprising genius of his predecessors, persisted in their grand scheme of opening a passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope; and soon after his accession to the throne, equipped a squadron for that important voyage. He gave the command of it to Vasco de Gama, a man of noble birth, poflefied of virtue, prudence, and courage, equal to the station. The squadron, like all those fitted out for discovery in the infancy of navigation, was extremely feeble, confifting only of three vessels, of neither burden nor force adequate to the service. As the Europeans were at that time little acquainted with the course of the trade-winds and periodical monsoons which render naviga, tion in the Atlantic ocean, as well as in the sea that separates Africa from India, at some seasons easy, and at others not only dangerous, but almost impracticable, the time chosen for Gama's departure was the most improper during the whole year. He fet fail from lifbon on the ninth of July, 1497, and standing towards the fouth, had to struggle for four months with contrary winds, before he could reach the Cape of Good Hope. On November 20, their violence began to abate; and during an interval of calm weather, Gama doubled that formidable promontory, which had so long been the boundary of navigation, and directed his course towards the north-east, along the African coast. He touched at several ports; and after various adventures, which the Portuguese historians relate with high but just encomiums upon his conduct and intrepidity, he came to anchor before the city of Melinda. Throughout all the vast countries which extend along the coast of Africa, from the river Senegal to the confines of Zanguebar, the Poruguese had found a race of men rude and uncultivated, strangers to letters, to arts and commerce, and differing from the inhabitants of Europe no less in their features and complexion, than in their manners and inftitutions. As they advanced from this, they observed, to their inexpressible joy, that the human form gradually altered and improved, the Asiatic features I 2
began to predominate, marks of civilization appeared, letters were known, the Mahometan religion was established, and a commerce, far from being inconsiderable, was carried on. At that time several vessels from India were in the port of Melinda. Gama now pursued his voyage with almost absolute certainty of success, and, under the conduct of a Mahometan pilot, arrived at Calecut, upon the coast of Malabar, on the twenty-second of May one thousand four hundred and ninety-eight. What he beheld of the wealth, the populousness, the cultivation, the induftry and arts of this highly civilized country, far surpassed any idea that he had formed, from the imperfect accounts which the Europeans had hitherto received of it. But as he possessed neither sufficient force to attempt a settlement, nor proper commodities with which he could carry on commerce of any consequence, he hastened back to Portugal, with an account of his success in performing a voyage the longest, as well as most difficult, that had ever been made fince the first invention of navigation. He landed at Lifbon on the fourteenth of September, one thousand four hundred and ninety-nine, two years two months and five days from the time he left that port,
Thus, during the course of the fifteenth century, mankind made greater progress in exploring the fate of the habitable globe, than in all the ages which had elapsed previous to that period. The spirit of difcovery, feeble at first and cautious, moved within a very narrow sphere, and made its efforts with hesitation and timidity. Encouraged by success, it became adventurous, and boldly extended its operations. In the course of its progression, it continued to acquire vigour, and advanced at length with a rapidity and force which burst through all the limits within which ignorance and fear had hitherto circumscribed the activity of the human race. Almost fifty years were employed by the Portuguese in creeping along the coast of Africa from Cape Non to Cape de Verd, the latter of which lies only twelve degrees to the south of the former. In less than thirty years they ventured beyond the equinoctial line into another hemisphere, and penetrated to the southern extremity, of Africa, at the distance of forty-nine degrees from Cape de Verd. During the last seven years of the century, a New World was discovered in the west, not inferior in extent to all the parts of the earth with which mankind wc:2 at that time acquainted. In the east, unknown feas and countries were found out, and a communication, long desired, but hitherto concealed, was opened between Europe and the opulent regions of India. In comparison with events so wonderful and unexpected, all that had hitherto been deemed great or splendid, faded away and disappeared. Vaft objects now presented themselves. The
human mind, roused and interested by the prospect, engaged with ardour in pursuit of them, and exerted its active powers in a new direction.
This fpirit of enterprise, though but newly awakened in Spain, began foon to operate extensively. All the attempts towards discovery made in that kingdom, had hitherto been carried on by Columbus alone, and at the expence of the sovereign. But now private adventurers, allured by the magnificent descriptions he gave of the regions which he had yifited, as well as by the specimens of their wealth which he produced, offered to fit out squadrons at their own risk, and to go in quest of new countries. The Spanish court, whose scanty revenues, were exhausted by the charge of its expeditions to the New World, which, though they opened alluring prospects of future benefit, yielded a very sparing return of present profit, was extremely willing to devolve the burden of discovery upon its subjects. It seized with joy an opportunity of rendering the avarice, the ingenuity, and efforts of projectors, instrumental in promoting designs of certain advantage to the public, though of doubtful success with respect to themselves. One of the first proposițions of this kind was made by Alonso de Ojeda, a gallant and active officer, who had accompanied Columbus in his second voyage. His tank and character procured him such credit with the merchants of Seville, that they undertook to equip four ships, provided he could ob. tain the royal licence, authorising the voyage. The powerful patronage of the bishop of Badajos easily secured success in a suit fo agreeable to the court. Without consulting Columbus, or regarding the rights and jurisdiction which he had acquired by the capitulation in one thousand four hundred and ninety-two, Ojeda was permitted to set out for the New World. In order to direct his course, the bishop communicated to him the admiral's journal of his last voyage, and his charts of the countries which he had discovered. Ojeda ftruck out into no new path of navigation, but adhering servilely to the route which Columbus had taken, arrived on the coast of Paria. He traded with the natives, and standing to the west, proceeded as far as Cape de Vela, and ranged along a confiderable extent of coast beyond that on which Columbus had touched. Having thus ascertained the opinion of Columbus, that this country was a part of the continent, Ojeda returned in October, by way of Hispaniola to Spain, with some reputation as a discoverer, but with little benefit to those who had raised the funds for the expedition.
Amerigo Vespucci, a Florentine gentleman, accompanied Ojeda in this voyage.
In what station he served, is uncertain ; but as he was an experienced failor, and eminently skilful in all the sciences subfervient