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montory which terminated' his voyage Cabo Tor- BOOK
1. mentoso, or the stormy Cape ; but the king, his in master, as he now entertained no doubt of having found the long desired route to India, gave it a name more inviting, and of better omen, The Cape of Good Hope. "
THOSE fanguine expectations of success were More cerconfirmed by the intelligence which John re- fpeces of ceived over land, in consequence of his embassy success. to Abyssinia. Covillam and Payva, in obedience to their master's instructions, had repaired to Grand Cairo. From that city, they travelled along with a caravan of Egyptian merchants, and embarking on the Red Sea, arrived at Aden in Arabia. There they separated ; Payva failed directly towards Abyssinia ; Covillam embarked for the East Indies, and having visited Calecut, Goa, and other cities on the Malabar coast, returned to Sofala, on the east side of Africa, and thence to Grand Cairo, which Payva and he had fixed upon as their place of rendezvous. Unfortunately the former was cruelly murdered in Abyssinia, but Covillam found at Cairo two Portuguese Jews, whom John, whose provident sagacity attended to every circumstance that could facilitate the execution of his schemes,
Faria y Sousa Port. Afia, vol.i. p.26.
BOOK had dispatched after them, in order to receive J.
a detail of their proceedings, and to communicate to them new instructions. By one of these Jews, Covillam transmitted to Portugal a journal of his travels by fea and land, his remarks upon the trade of India, together with exact maps of the coasts on which he had touched ; and from what he himself had observed, as well as from the information of skilful seamen in different countries, he concluded, that by failing round Africa, a passage might be found to the East Indies d.
Preparations for another voyage.
THE happy coincidence of Covillam's opinion and report, with the discoveries which Diaz had lately made, left hardly any shadow of doubt with respect to the possibility of failing from Europe to India. But the vast length of the voyage, and the furious storms which Diaz had encountered near the Cape of Good Hope, alarmed and intimidated the Portuguese to such a degree, although by long experience they were now become adventurous and skilful mariners, that some time was requisite to prepare their minds for this dangerous and extraordinary voyage. The courage, however, and authority
Faria y Sousa Port. Afia, vol. i. p.27. Lafitau Decokv. i. 48.
of the monarch, gradually dispelled the vain BOOK fears of his subjects, or made it necessary to m conceal them. As John thought himself now upon the eve of accomplishing that great design, which had been the principal object of his reign, his earnestness in profecuting it became so vehement, that it occupied his thoughts by day, and bereaved him of sleep through the night. While he was taking every precaution that his wifdom and experience could suggest, in order to ensure the success of the expedition, which was to decide concerning the fate of his favourite project, the fame of the vast discoveries which the Por- The attentuguese had already made, the reports concern- kind fixed ing the extraordinary intelligence which they upon it ; had received from the East, and the prospect of the voyage which they now meditated, drew the attention of all the European nations, and held them in suspence and expectation. By some, the maritime skill and navigations of the Portuguese were compared with those of the Phenicians and Carthaginians, and exalted above them. Others formed conjectures concerning the revolutions which the success of the Portuguese schemes might occafion in the course of trade, and the political state of Europe. The Venetians began to be disquieted with the apprehension of losing their Indian commerce, the monopoly of which was the chief source of their VOL, I.
K power as well as opulence, and the Portuguese s already enjoyed in fancy the wealth of the East.
But, during this interval, which gave such scope
to the various workings of curiosity, of hope, fuddonly and of fear, an account was brought to Europe turned to a new object. of an event no less extraordinary than unex
pected, the discovery of a New World fituated in the west, and the eyes and admiration of mankind turned immediately towards that great object.
Birth and education
MONG the foreigners whom the fame of the BOOK
II. discoveries made by the Portuguese had al. lured into their service, was Christopher Colon, or Columbus, a subject of the republic of Ge- of Colume noa. Neither the time nor place of his birth are known with certainty a; but he was descended of an honourable family, though reduced to indigence by various misfortunes. His ancestors having betaken themselves for subsistence to a sea-faring life, Columbus discovered, in his early youth, the peculiar character and talents which mark out a man for that profefsion. His parents, instead of thwarting this original propensity of his mind, seem to have encouraged and confirmed it, by the education which they gave him. After acquiring fome.
See NOTE XI.