Abbildungen der Seite

Dr. Clarke's Travels in the Holy Land - - -
H. M. Williams' Tour in Switzerland - - -
Southey's Letters from Spain and Portugal - -
Travels through the North of Europe, by Acerbie -

Anson's Voyage round the World - - -
History of the Settlements in New South Wales -
Bligh's Voyage in the South Seas - - -

Phipp's Voyage towards the North Pole - -
Missionary Voyage to the South Seas - - -
Wood's Travels to Palmyra -

Dr. Clarke's Travels in Russia

[merged small][ocr errors]


Vol. I.

Map of North America

Taking of Nombre de Dios

Training Blood Hounds

Execution of a Negro






Skinning of the Boa Serpent 266

Vol. II.

Bank of the United States -

Map of Africa - -

Priest of Turkey -

Abyssinian Princess -

Vol. III.

Map of Asia - -

Kamschadale - -

Chinese Waterman -

Map of the East Indies

Vol. IV.

Birman Horsenan -
Banian Tree - -
Fort William : -
Arab and Goat - -







Finlander's Singing -

Lapland Fishermen -

Lapland Peasants -

Watering Place at Tinian

Chart of Botany Bay

Night Scene at Sidney

Knocking out Teeth -

Boy of New Guinea -

Esquimaux - -

Singing Combat -

Baptiste Cabri - - -

Family of Dusky Bay

War Canoe of New Zealand

Inhabitants of Luconia

Maldivians - -

Ruins of Palmyra -

Temple of the Sun, N. W.

from the E.

Russian Travellers -

View of Moscow -

Cossack Watch Tower

























* T. j. +
to the PRESENT timE.


THE discovery of the mariner's compass has been productive of greater events than any other recorded in the annals of the human race. It opened to them a grand and ample field to display their talents, their enterprize, and courage. It invested them with the dominion both of the sea and the earth, by facilitating the communication between the most distant parts. Navigators gradually abandoned their ancient, timid, and lingering course along the shore, ventured boldly into the ocean, and relying on this new guide, could steer in the darkest nights, and under the most cloudy sky, with a security and precision hitherto unknown. But this beneficial invention did not produce its full effect instantaneously. Sailors, unaccustomed to quit sight of land, durst not launch at once and commit themselves to unknown seas. Accordingly, near half a century elapsed before navigators ventured to proceed much beyond the ancient limits of navigation. The first appearance of a bolder spirit may be dated from the voyages of the Spaniards to the Canary or Fortunate islands. The glory, however, of leading the way in this new course of enterprize and discovery was reserved for Portugal, one of the smallest and least powerful of the European kingdoms. The exploits of the Portuguese opened a new sphere to navigation, and roused such a spirit of curiosity and enterprize as led to the discovery of the NEw World. It was in this school that the immortal discoverer of America was trained. The history of the illustrious name with which we commence our work, is so connected with his voyages and discoveries, that it is best delineated from them. Of the parentage and early education of Coluxinus, little is authentically known. He was born at Genoa in 1442, and will ever be one of the most distinguished honours of that state. His father, it is supposed, was a wool-comber, and that himself was at first destined for the same occupation. Be that as it may, it appears that he studied mathematics with assiduity and success at the university of Pavia; and this study, afterwards carried into action by the practice of navigation, led him to form juster notions of the figure of the earth, than any of his contemporaries, and to extend the boundaries of knowledge and of the world. The correct idea this great mind had conceived of the terraqueous globe gave birth to his design; but the imperfection of all the maps then to be consulted, made him mistake the object. He proposed to find a nearer passage to the Indies and China by sailing westward. Venice and Genoa at that time engrossed almost the whole trade of Europe; and, in consequence, a rivalry and jealousy, which had given rise to frequent wars, always existed between them. Venice, however, maintained her superiority: she had drawn to herself nearly the collected commerce of the East, which had been hitherto carried on by way of Egypt and the Red sea. As Columbus was a native of the rival state, it is probable that a spirit of patriotism first animated his views of discovering a more direct passage to India; and, by that means, of transferring this lucrative trade to his own country. But timid

caution, reinforced by incredulity, deprived Genoa of the advantages intended for her. Columbus having discharged the duty of a good citizen, by making in vain his first proposal of prosecuting discoveries for the benefit of his country, felt himself free from the obligation which nature had imposed on his services. His next application was to the court of France, but with no better success. Henry VII. then filled the throne of England, and to that prince Columbus dispatched his brother Bartholomew on the same business. This ill-fated adventurer was taken and plundered by pirates on his passage, and, on his arrival in London, was reduced to such extreme poverty, that he could not make a sufficiently decent appearance to demand an audience of the king. But persevering diligence seems to have been characteristic of this family. Bartholomew, by drawing and selling maps and charts, soon acquired some reputation; and having equipped himself in a proper style for gaining access to the English sovereign, obtained this honour in 1448; and met with such encouragement, that he actually entered into an agreement with Henry on behalf of his brother, several years before Christopher had finally secured a patron. It is well known, however, that this country lost the honour that was put within its grasp. While Bartholomew was soliciting the English court, the great projector, his brother, had made a personal application to the government of Portugal, where he experienced nothing but ridicule and contempt. In superior minds there is a firmness that rises above ordinary disappointments, and in all projectors there is an enthusiasm, absolutely necessary to give efficacy to their schemes. Columbus was not to be depressed. He now repaired to Castile, and offered his services to Ferdinand and Isabella. For eight days he submitted to delays, to insults, and to the presumption of ignorance, till his patience was at last exhausted; and he had actually taken leave of Castile, in order to proceed to England in quest of his brother, with whose fortune he was totally unacquainted. He was, however, unexpectedly recalled by the queen, Isabella, at the earnest importunity of her confessor; and her majesty was now preVol. I. B

valled on to accede to the demand of Columbus, and to furnish him with money for his expedition.

The patient projector was raised to the rank of admiral; and it was stipulated that all civil employments, in the islands and continent to be discovered, should be wholly at his disposal; that he should nominate judges in Spain for India affairs; and over and above the salaries and perquisites of admiral, viceroy, and governor, he should have a certain share in the profits of the foreign trade and the domestic imports from his discoveries.

These preliminaries being adjusted, he repaired to Palos, to superintend the equipment of the little fleet entrusted to his command. This consisted of three small vessels, the Santa Maria, carrying the admiral's flag; the Pinta, commanded by Martin Alonzo Pinzon; and the Nina, captain Vincent Yanez Pinzon, the brother of the former, both natives of Palos.

The fleet being furnished with provisions and necessaries, and manned with 97 men, set sail on Saturday the 3d of August, 1492; and, humble as the strength and equipment of this squadron would appear in modern times, it has led to more important events than any expedition ever undertaken by man, and was pregnant with the fate of both worlds. Next morning the rudder of the Pinta broke loose, which disaster was supposed to have arisen from some who were averse to the voyage; but Pinzon, the captain, being an able seaman, soon repaired the damage, and they proceeded on their voyage till Tuesday, when the rudder again gave way, and forced the admiral a second time to lie by. This accident the superstitious and the fearful interpreted as an ill omen; but Columbus rightly observed, that no omen could be evil where men were engaged in a good design. With some difficulty they steered the disabled ship as far as the Canaries, which they discovered early on Thursday morning. Columbus refitted them, however, to the best of his power; and having supplied himself with fresh provisions, he took his departure from Gomera, one of the most westerly of the Canary islands, on the 6th of September.

« ZurückWeiter »