Infomotions, Inc.Peter Parley's Tales About America and Australia / Goodrich, Samuel G. (Samuel Griswold), 1793-1860



Author: Goodrich, Samuel G. (Samuel Griswold), 1793-1860
Title: Peter Parley's Tales About America and Australia
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Title: Peter Parley's Tales About America and Australia


Author: Samuel Griswold Goodrich

Editor: Rev. T. Wilson

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TALES ABOUT AMERICA AND AUSTRALIA.

by

PETER PARLEY.

A New Edition,

Brought Down to the Present Time.

Revised by The Rev. T. Wilson.

With Illustrations by S. Williams.







London:
Darton and Hodge, Holborn Hill.
1862.





CONTENTS.


                                                        PAGE

  PARLEY TELLS HOW AMERICA WAS FIRST DISCOVERED,
  AND ABOUT COLUMBUS                                      1

  PARLEY DESCRIBES THE INHABITANTS                       12

  COLUMBUS SETS SAIL TO RETURN TO SPAIN; ENCOUNTERS
  A DREADFUL STORM                                       21

  COLUMBUS PREPARES FOR ANOTHER VOYAGE                   35

  PARLEY TELLS HOW COLUMBUS DISCOVERED THE
  CONTINENT OF AMERICA                                   45

  PARLEY TELLS HOW COLUMBUS WAS ROBBED OF THE
  HONOUR OF GIVING HIS NAME TO AMERICA                   59

  PARLEY TELLS HOW COLUMBUS WAS SHIPWRECKED,
  AND OF HIS DEATH                                       65

  PARLEY TELLS OF OVANDO'S CRUEL TREATMENT OF
  ANACAONA, THE PRINCESS OF HAYTI                        73

  PARLEY DESCRIBES THE TREES, THE PLANTS, AND
  FLOWERS OF THE NEW WORLD                               79

  PARLEY TELLS OF THE CONQUEST OF MEXICO                 96

  PARLEY RELATES HOW PIZARRO DISCOVERED AND
  CONQUERED PERU                                        121

  PARLEY DESCRIBES THE BEAUTIES OF AMERICA              133

  PARLEY TELLS OF THE FIRST ENGLISH COLONY IN
  AMERICA                                               141

  PARLEY TELLS OF THE ORIGINAL NATIVE AMERICANS         150

  PARLEY SHOWS HOW THE UNITED STATES AROSE, AND
  WHAT FOLLOWED THEIR ESTABLISHMENT                     165

  PARLEY TELLS ABOUT NEW SOUTH WALES                    176

  PARLEY DESCRIBES THE INHABITANTS OF AUSTRALIA--THE
  BRITISH SETTLEMENTS--THE GOLD REGIONS--RECENT
  EXPLORATIONS                                          183

  CONCLUSION                                            205





CHAPTER I.

PARLEY TELLS HOW AMERICA WAS FIRST DISCOVERED, AND ABOUT COLUMBUS THE
DISCOVERER.


Now that I have given you an account of European cities in my "Tales
about Europe," I shall now furnish you with some description of America,
with its flourishing cities, and its multitude of ships, its fertile
fields, its mighty rivers, its vast forests, and its millions of happy
and industrious inhabitants, of which I am quite certain you must be
very curious to know something, when you are told that though the world
has been created nearly six thousand years, and many powerful nations
have flourished and decayed, and are now scarcely remembered, yet it is
only three hundred and seventy years ago since it was known that such a
country as America existed.

It was in the year 1492, which you know is only 370 years since, on the
third of August, a little before sunrise, that Christopher Columbus,
undertaking the boldest enterprise that human genius ever conceived, or
human talent and fortitude ever accomplished, set sail from Spain, for
the discovery of the Western World.

I will now give you a short account of Columbus, who was one of the
greatest men the world ever produced. He was born in the city of Genoa,
in Italy; his family were almost all sailors, and he was brought up for
a sailor also, and after being taught geography and various other things
necessary for a sea captain to know, he was sent on board ship at the
age of fourteen. Columbus was tall, muscular, and of a commanding
aspect; his hair, light in youth, turned prematurely grey, and ere he
reached the age of thirty was white as snow.

His first voyages were short ones, but after several years, desiring to
see and learn more of distant countries, and thinking there were still
new ones to be discovered, he went into the service of the King of
Portugal and made many voyages to the western coast of Africa, and to
the Canaries, and the Madeiras, and the Azores, islands lying off that
coast, which were then the most westerly lands known to Europeans.

In his visits to these parts, one person informed him that his ship,
sailing out farther to the west than usual, had picked up out of the sea
a piece of wood curiously carved, and that very thick canes, like those
which travellers had found in India, had been seen floating on the
waves; also that great trees, torn up by the roots, had often been cast
on shore, and once two dead bodies of men, with strange features,
neither like Europeans nor Africans, were driven on the coast of the
Azores.

All these stories set Columbus thinking and considering that these
strange things had come drifting over the sea from the west, he looked
upon them as tokens sent from some unknown countries lying far distant
in that quarter: he was therefore eager to sail away and explore, but as
he had not money enough himself to fit out ships and hire sailors, he
determined to go and try to persuade some king or some state to be at
the expense of the trial.

First he went to his own countrymen the Genoese, but they would have
nothing to say to him: he then submitted his plan to the Portuguese, but
the King of Portugal, pretending to listen to him, got from him his
plan, and perfidiously attempted to rob him of the honour of
accomplishing it, by sending another person to pursue the same track
which he had proposed.

The person they so basely employed did not succeed, but returned to
Lisbon, execrating a plan he had not abilities to execute.

On discovering this treachery, Columbus quitted the kingdom in disgust
and set out for Spain, to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. He was now
so poor that he was frequently obliged to beg as he went along.

About half a league from Palos, a sea-port of Andalusia in Spain, on a
solitary height, overlooking the sea-coast, and surrounded by a forest
of pines, there stood, and now stands at the present day, an ancient
convent of Franciscan friars.

[Illustration]

A stranger, travelling on foot, accompanied by a young boy, stopped one
day at the gate of the convent, and asked of the porter a little bread
and water for his child.--That stranger was Columbus, accompanied by his
son Diego.

While receiving this humble refreshment, the guardian of the convent,
Friar Juan Perez, happening to pass, was taken with the appearance of
the stranger, and being an intelligent man and acquainted with
geographical science, he became interested with the conversation of
Columbus, and was so struck with the grandeur of his project that he
detained him as his guest and invited a friend of his, Martin Alonzo
Pinzon, a resident of the town of Palos, to come and hear Columbus
explain his plan.

Pinzon was one of the most intelligent sea captains of the day, and a
distinguished navigator. He not only approved of his project, but
offered to engage in it, and to assist him.

Juan Perez now advised Columbus to repair to court. Pinzon generously
furnished him with the money for the journey, and the friar kindly took
charge of his youthful son Diego, to maintain and educate him in the
convent, which I am sure you will think was the greatest kindness he
could have done him at that time.

Ferdinand and Isabella gave him hopes and promises, then they made
difficulties and objections, and would do nothing. At last, after
waiting five years, he was just setting off for England, where he had
previously sent his brother Bartholomew, when he was induced to wait a
little longer in Spain.

This little longer was two years, but then at last he had his reward,
for queen Isabella stood his friend, and even offered to part with her
own jewels in order to raise money to enable him to make preparations
for the voyage, so that he contrived to fit out three very small vessels
which altogether carried but one hundred and twenty men.

Two of the vessels were light _barques_, or barges built high at the
prow and stern, with forecastles and cabins for the crew, but were
without deck in the centre; only one of the three, the Santa Maria, was
completely decked; on board of this, Columbus hoisted his flag. Martin
Alonzo Pinzon commanded the Pinta, and his brother, Vincente Yanez
Pinzon, the Nina. He set sail in the sight of a vast crowd, all praying
for the success, but never expecting and scarcely hoping to see either
him or any of his crews again.

Columbus first made sail for the Canaries, where he repaired his
vessels: then taking leave of these islands, he steered his course due
west, across the great Atlantic ocean, where never ship had ploughed the
waves before.

No sooner had they lost sight of land than the sailors' hearts began to
fail them, and they bewailed themselves like men condemned to die: but
Columbus cheered them with the hopes of the rich countries they were to
discover.

After awhile they came within those regions where the trade-wind, as it
is called, blows constantly from east to west without changing, which
carried them on at a vast rate; but he judiciously concealed from his
ignorant and timid crews the progress he made, lest they might be
alarmed at the speed with which they were receding from home. After
some time, they found the sea covered with weeds, as thick as a meadow
with grass, and the sailors fancied that they should soon be stuck
fast,--that they had reached the end of the navigable ocean, and that
some strange thing would befal them.

Still, however, Columbus cheered them on, and the sight of a flock of
birds encouraged them: but when they had been three weeks at sea and no
land appeared, they grew desperate with fear, and plotted among
themselves to force their commander to turn back again, lest all their
provisions should be spent, or, if he refused, to throw him overboard.

Columbus, however, made them a speech which had such an effect upon them
that they became tolerably quiet for a week longer; they then grew so
violent again that at last he was obliged to promise them that if they
did not see land in three days, he would consent to give it up and sail
home again.

But he was now almost sure that land was not far off: the sea grew
shallower, and early every morning flocks of land birds began to flutter
around them, and these all left the ship in the evening, as if to roost
on shore. One of the vessels had picked up a cane newly cut, and another
a branch covered with fresh red berries; and the air blew softer and
warmer, and the wind began to vary.

That very night, Columbus ordered the sails to be taken in, and strict
watch to be kept, in all the ships, for fear of running aground; he and
all his men remained standing on the deck, looking out eagerly: at
length he spied a distant light; he showed it to two of his officers,
and they all plainly perceived it moving, as if carried backwards and
forwards, from house to house.

Soon after the cry of "_Land! land!_" was heard from the foremost ship,
and, at dawn of day, they plainly saw a beautiful island, green and
woody, and watered with many pleasant streams, lying stretched before
them.

As soon as the sun rose, the boats of the vessel were lowered and
manned, and Columbus, in a rich and splendid dress of scarlet, entered
the principal one. They then rowed towards the island, with their
colours displayed, and warlike music, and other martial pomp.

[Illustration]

Columbus was the first to leap on shore, to kiss the earth, and to thank
God on his knees: his men followed, and throwing themselves at his feet
they all thanked him for leading them thither, and begged his
forgiveness for their disrespectful and unruly behaviour.




CHAPTER II.

PARLEY DESCRIBES THE INHABITANTS.


The poor inhabitants, a simple and innocent people, with copper-coloured
skins and long black hair, not curled, like the negroes, but floating on
their shoulders, or bound in tresses round their heads, came flocking
down to the beach and stood gazing in silent admiration.

The dress of the Spaniards, the whiteness of their skins, their beards,
their arms, and the vast machines that seemed to move upon the waters
with wings, which they supposed had, during the night, risen out of the
sea, or come down from the clouds; the sound and flash of the guns,
which they mistook for thunder and lightning: all these things appeared
to them strange and surprising; they considered the Spaniards as
children of the sun, and paid homage to them as gods.

The Europeans were hardly less amazed at the scene now before them.
Every herb, and shrub, and tree, differed from those which flourished in
Europe: the inhabitants appeared in the simple innocence of nature,
entirely naked; their features were singular, but not disagreeable, and
their manners gentle and timid.

[Illustration]

The first act of Columbus was to take solemn and formal possession of
the country in the name of his sovereign; this was done by planting the
Spanish flag on the coast, and other ceremonies, which the poor natives
looked upon with wonder, but could not understand.

Nor could there be an act of greater cruelty and injustice; for the
Spaniards could not have any right to drive these gentle and peaceful
inhabitants (as they afterwards did) from their peaceful abodes, which
had been theirs and their fathers before them, perhaps for thousands of
years, and in the end, utterly to destroy them, and take their land for
themselves.

After performing this ceremony, of which Columbus himself could not
foresee the consequences to the Indians, for he was very kind to them,
he made them presents of trinkets and other trifles, with which they
were greatly delighted, and brought him in return the fruits of their
fields and groves, and a sort of bread called cassada, made from the
root of the yuca; with whatever else their own simple mode of life might
afford.

Columbus then returned to his ship, accompanied by many of the
islanders in their boats, which they called canoes; these simple and
undiscerning children of nature having no foresight of the calamities
and desolation which awaited their country.

This island was called by the natives Guanahini, and by the Spaniards
St. Salvador: it is one of that cluster of West India Islands called the
Bahamas, and if you look on the map you will see that it is the very
first island that would present itself to a ship sailing direct from
Spain.

Columbus did not continue his voyage for some days, as he wished to give
all his sailors an opportunity of landing and seeing the wonders of the
new-discovered world, and to take in a fresh supply of water, in which
they were cheerfully assisted by the natives, who took them to the
clearest springs and the sweetest and freshest streams, filling their
casks and rolling them to the boats, and seeking in every way to gratify
(as they believed) their celestial visitors.

Columbus having thus refreshed his crews, and supplied his ships with
water, proceeded on his voyage. After visiting several smaller islands
he discovered a large island which the natives called Cuba, and which
still retains that name. This was so large an island that he at first
thought it to be a new continent.

In proceeding along the coast, having observed that most of the people
whom he had seen wore small plates of gold by way of ornament in their
noses, he eagerly inquired, by signs, where they got that precious
metal.

The Indians, as much astonished at his eagerness in quest of gold as the
Europeans were at their ignorance and simplicity, pointed towards the
east, to an island which they called Hayti, in which this metal was more
abundant.

Columbus ordered his squadron to bend their course thither, but Martin
Alonzo Pinzon, impatient to be the first who should take possession of
the treasure which this country was supposed to contain, quitted his
companions with his ship, the Pinta, and though Columbus made signals
to slacken sail, he paid no regard to them.

When they came in sight of Hayti, which you will see was no great
distance, if you look on the map, Columbus having had no sleep the night
before, had gone to his cabin to lie down and rest himself, having first
given the charge of the vessel to an experienced sailor.

This careless man, (this lazy lubber, the sailors would call him,)
instead of performing his duty, and watching over the safety of the ship
and the lives of his companions, which were entrusted to him, deserted
his post and went to sleep, leaving the vessel to the management of a
young and thoughtless boy.

The rapid currents which prevail on that coast soon carried the vessel
on a shoal, and Columbus was roused from his sleep by the striking of
the ship and the cries of the terrified boy.

They first endeavoured, by taking out an anchor, to warp the vessel off,
but the strength of the current was more than a match for them, and the
vessel was driven farther and farther on the shoal; they then cut away
the mast and took out some of the stores to lighten her; but all their
efforts were vain.

Before sunset the next evening the vessel was a complete wreck.
Fortunately the Nina was close at hand, and the shipwrecked mariners got
on board of her; the inhabitants of the island came in their canoes and
assisted them in preserving part of their stores.

They found Hayti a very beautiful island, and were treated with the
greatest kindness by the inhabitants; but, though delighted with the
beauty of the scenes which everywhere presented themselves, and amazed
at the luxuriance and fertility of the soil, Columbus did not find gold
in such quantities as was sufficient to satisfy the avarice of his
followers; he was nevertheless anxious to prolong his voyage, and
explore those magnificent regions which seemed to invite them on every
hand.

But as the Pinta had never joined them again after parting from them, he
had no vessel now left but the Nina; he did not therefore think it
prudent to pursue his discoveries with one small vessel, and that a very
crazy one, lest, if any accident should befal it, he might be left
without the means of returning to Europe, and both the glory and benefit
of his great discoveries might be lost; so he determined to prepare for
his return.

But as it was impossible for so small a vessel as the Nina to contain
the crew of the ship that was wrecked in addition to its own, Columbus
was greatly perplexed what to do.

Many of his men were so delighted with the island and its inhabitants,
that they begged of him to let them remain there, and Columbus consented
to leave forty of them on the island, while he and the remainder made
the voyage back.

He promised to return to them speedily. He now built them a fort with
the timber of the wreck, and fortified it with the guns of the Santa
Maria, and did every thing in his power to provide for their comfort
during his absence, particularly enjoining them to be kind and peaceful
towards the Indians.

This was the first colony of Europeans that settled in the new world,
and Columbus gave it the name of Navidad.

[Illustration]




CHAPTER III.

COLUMBUS SETS SAIL TO RETURN TO SPAIN, AND ENCOUNTERS A DREADFUL STORM.


Having obtained a certain quantity of the precious metals, and other
curious productions of the countries he had discovered, he set sail to
recross the wide Atlantic Ocean.

It was the second day after they had left the island that they saw a
sail at a distance, which proved to be the Pinta.

On joining the admiral, Pinzon made many excuses and endeavoured to
account for his desertion, saying he had been separated by stress of
weather. Columbus admitted his excuse, but he ascertained afterwards
that Pinzon parted company intentionally, and had steered directly east
in quest of a region where the Indians had assured him that he would
find gold in abundance.

They had guided him to Hayti, where he had been for some time, in a
river about fifteen leagues from the part of the coast where Columbus
had been wrecked.

He had collected a large quantity of gold by trading with the natives,
and on leaving the river he had carried off four Indian men and two
girls to be sold in Spain.

[Illustration]

Columbus immediately sailed back for this river, and ordered the four
men and two girls to be dismissed well clothed and with many presents,
to atone for the wrong they had experienced. This resolution was not
carried into effect without great unwillingness and many angry words on
the part of Pinzon.

Columbus, being now joined by the Pinta, thought he might pursue his
discoveries a little further, and on leaving this part of the coast he
took with him four young Indians to guide him to the Carribean Islands,
of which they gave him a very interesting account, as well as of another
island said to be inhabited by Amazons.

A favourable breeze, however, sprang up for the voyage homewards, and
seeing gloom and impatience in the countenances of his men, he gave up
his intention of visiting these islands, and made all sail for Spain,
the young Indians having consented to accompany him that they might
learn the Spanish language, and be his guides and interpreters when they
should return.

His voyage homeward was much more tedious; for those trade winds which
had wafted him so rapidly westward, across the Atlantic, still blew
from east to west, and Columbus did not then know that their influence
only extends to a certain distance on each side of the Equator, so that
if he had sailed a little farther north, on his return, he would very
likely have met with a south-west wind, which was just what he wanted.

On the 12th of February they had made such progress as led them to hope
they should soon see land. The wind now came on to blow violently; on
the following evening there were three flashes of lightning in the
north-east, from which signs Columbus predicted an approaching tempest.

It soon burst upon them with frightful violence. Their small and crazy
vessels were little fitted for the wild storms of the Atlantic; all
night they were obliged to scud under bare poles, at the mercy of the
elements; as the morning dawned there was a transient pause and they
made a little sail, but the wind rose with redoubled fury from the south
and increased in the night, threatening each moment to overwhelm them or
dash them to pieces.

The admiral made signal-lights for the Pinta to keep in company, but
she was separated by the violence of the storm, and her lights gleamed
more and more distant till they ceased entirely.

When the day dawned the sea presented a frightful waste of wild and
broken waves. Columbus looked round anxiously for the Pinta, but she was
nowhere to be seen, and he became apprehensive that Pinzon had borne
away for Spain, that he might reach it before him, and by giving the
first account of his discoveries, deprive him of his fame.

Through a dreary day the helpless bark was driven along by the tempest.

Seeing all human skill baffled and confounded, Columbus endeavoured to
propitiate heaven by solemn vows, and various private vows were made by
the seamen. The heavens, however, seemed deaf to their vows: the storm
grew still more furious, and every one gave himself up for lost.

During this long and awful conflict of the elements, the mind of
Columbus was a prey to the most distressing anxiety.

He was harassed by the repinings of his crew, who cursed the hour of
their leaving their country.

He was afflicted also with the thought of his two sons, who would be
left destitute by his death.

But he had another source of distress more intolerable than death
itself. In case the Pinta should have foundered, as was highly probable,
the history of his discovery would depend upon his own feeble bark. One
surge of the ocean might bury it for ever in oblivion, and his name only
be recorded as that of a desperate adventurer.

At this crisis, when all was given up for lost, Columbus had presence of
mind enough to retire to his cabin and to write upon parchment a short
account of his voyage.

This he wrapped in an oiled cloth, which he enclosed in a cake of wax,
put it into a tight cask, and threw it into the sea, in hopes that some
fortunate accident might preserve a deposit of so much importance to the
world.

But that being which had preserved him through so many dangers still
protected him; and happily these precautions were superfluous.

At sunset there was a streak of clear sky in the west; the wind shifted
to that quarter, and on the morning of the 15th of February they came in
sight of land.

The transports of the crew at once more beholding the old world, were
almost equal to those they had experienced on discovering the new. This
proved to be the island of St. Mary, the most southern of the Azores.

After remaining here a few days, the wind proving favourable he again
set sail, on the 24th of February.

After two or three days of pleasant sailing, there was a renewal of
tempestuous weather. About midnight of the 2nd of March the caravel was
struck by a squall, which rent all her sails and threatened instant
destruction. The crew were again reduced to despair, and made vows of
fasting and pilgrimages.

The storm raged through the succeeding day, during which, from various
signs they considered that land must be near. The turbulence of the
following night was dreadful; the sea was broken, wild, and mountainous,
the rain fell in torrents, and the lightning flashed and the thunder
pealed from various parts of the heavens.

In the first watch of this fearful night, the seamen gave the usual
welcome cry of land--but it only increased their alarm, for they dreaded
being driven on shore or dashed upon the rocks. Taking in sail,
therefore, they endeavoured to keep to sea as much as possible. At
day-break on the 4th of March they found themselves off the rock of
Cintra at the mouth of the Tagus, which you know is the principal river
of Portugal.

Though distrustful of the Portuguese, he had no alternative but to run
in for shelter. The inhabitants came off from various parts of the shore
to congratulate him on what they deemed a miraculous preservation, for
they had been watching the vessel the whole morning with great anxiety,
and putting up prayers for her safety. The oldest mariners of the place
assured him that they had never during the whole course of their lives
known so tempestuous a winter.

Such were the difficulties and perils with which Columbus had to contend
on his return to Europe. Had one tenth part of them beset his outward
voyage, his factious crew would have risen in arms against the
enterprise, and he never would have discovered the new world.

The king of Portugal must have been greatly mortified when he heard of
the arrival of Columbus and the wonderful discoveries he had made, for
he could not but reflect that all the advantages of these discoveries
might have belonged to him if he had not treated Columbus as he did.

But notwithstanding the envy which it was natural for the Portuguese to
feel, he was allowed to come to Lisbon, and was treated with all the
marks of distinction due to a man who had performed things so
extraordinary and unexpected. The king admitted him into his presence,
and listened with admiration to the account which he gave of his voyage,
while Columbus enjoyed the satisfaction of being able to prove the
solidity of his schemes to those very persons who had with disgraceful
ignorance rejected them as the projects of a visionary adventurer.

Columbus was so impatient to return to Spain that he remained only five
days in Lisbon. On the 15th of March he arrived at Palos, seven months
and eleven days from the time when he set out from thence upon his
voyage.

When the prosperous issue of it was known, when they beheld the strange
people, the unknown animals, and singular productions brought from the
countries he had discovered, the joy was unbounded; all the bells were
rung, the cannons were fired, and he was welcomed with all the
acclamations which the people are ever ready to bestow on great and
glorious characters. They flocked in crowds to the harbour to see him
land, and nothing but Columbus and the New World, as the Spaniards
called it, was talked of.

He was desired by Ferdinand and Isabella in the most respectful terms to
repair to court, that they might receive from his own mouth, an account
of his wonderful discoveries.

On his arrival at Barcelona the king and queen received him clad in
their royal robes, seated upon a throne, and surrounded by their nobles.

[Illustration]

When he approached, they commanded him to take his seat upon a chair
prepared for him, and to give a circumstantial account of his voyage,
which he related with a gravity suitable to the dignity of the audience
he addressed, and with that modesty which ever accompanies superior
merit.

Every mark of honour that gratitude or admiration could suggest, was
conferred upon him; his family was ennobled, and, as a mark of
particular favour, Isabella appointed his son Diego, the boy, who, you
remember, had been left at the convent, page to prince Juan, the heir
apparent, an honour only granted to sons of persons of distinguished
rank.

The king and queen, and, after their example, the courtiers treated him
with all the respect paid to persons of the highest rank. Yet some of
these courtiers were his bitterest enemies, and did every thing they
could, in his absence, to poison the minds of the king and queen against
him, and to cause his downfall.

The favour shown Columbus by the sovereigns insured him for a time the
caresses of the nobility, for in court every one is eager to lavish
attentions upon the man "whom the king delighteth to honour."

At one of the banquets which were given him occured the well known
circumstance of the egg.

[Illustration]

A shallow courtier present, impatient of the honours paid to Columbus,
and meanly jealous of him as a foreigner, abruptly asked him, whether he
thought that, in case he had not discovered the Indies, there would have
been wanting men in Spain capable of the enterprise.

To this Columbus made no direct reply but, taking an egg, invited the
company to make it stand on one end. Every one attempted it, but in
vain; whereupon he struck it upon the table, broke one end, and left it
standing on the broken part; illustrating, in this simple manner, that
when he had once shown the way to the new world, nothing was easier than
to follow it.

[Illustration]




CHAPTER IV.

COLUMBUS PREPARES FOR ANOTHER VOYAGE.


Columbus was now anxious to set out on another voyage to proceed with
his discoveries, and the king and queen gave orders that every thing
should be done to further his wishes.

By his exertions a fleet of seventeen sail, large and small, was soon in
a state of forwardness; labourers and artificers of all kinds were
engaged for the projected colonies, and an ample supply was provided of
whatever was necessary for the cultivation of the soil, the working of
the mines, and for traffic with the natives.

He now found no difficulty in getting sailors to accompany him, and the
account he gave of the countries he had discovered, and particularly
the intelligence that they abounded with gold, excited the avarice and
rapacity of the Spaniards, and numbers of needy adventurers of ruined
fortunes and desperate circumstances, were eager to share in the spoil.

Many persons of distinction, thinking to become rich by the same means,
also volunteered to enlist, and many got on board of the ships by
stealth, so that about 1500 set sail in the fleet, though only a
thousand were originally permitted to embark.

The departure of Columbus on his second voyage presented a brilliant
contrast to his gloomy embarkation at Palos.

There were three large ships of heavy burden and fourteen smaller
vessels, and the persons on board, instead of being regarded by the
populace as devoted men, were looked upon with envy as favoured mortals,
destined to golden regions and delightful climes, where nothing but
wealth, and wonder, and enjoyment awaited them.

At sunrise the whole fleet was under sail, on the 13th of October he
lost sight of the Island of Ferro, and, favoured by the trade winds, was
borne pleasantly along, till, on the 2nd of November, a lofty island was
descried to the west, to which he gave the name of Dominica, from having
discovered it on the Lord's day.

As the ships moved gently onward, other islands arose to sight, one
after another, covered with forests and enlivened by the flight of
parrots and other tropical birds, while the whole air was sweetened by
the fragrance of the breezes which passed over them.

In one of these islands, to which the Spaniards gave the name of
Guadaloupe, they first met with the delicious fruit, the Anana or
pine-apple.

Columbus now sailed in the direction of Hayti, to which he had given the
name of Hispaniola, where he shortly arrived.

In passing along the coast he set on shore one of the young Indians who
had been taken from that neighbourhood and had accompanied him to Spain.
He dismissed him finely apparelled, and loaded with trinkets, thinking
he would impress his countrymen with favourable feelings towards the
Spaniards, but he never heard anything of him afterwards.

When he arrived on that part of the island where he had built the fort
and taken leave of his companions, the evening growing dark, the land
was hidden from their sight. Columbus watched for the dawn of day with
the greatest anxiety; when at last the approach of the morning sun
rendering the objects on shore visible, in the place where the fort had
stood, nothing was to be seen. No human being was near, neither Indian
nor European; he ordered a boat to be manned, and himself went, at the
head of a party, to explore how things really were.

The crew hastened to the place where the fortress had been erected; they
found it burnt and demolished, the palisades beaten down, and the ground
strewed with broken chests and fragments of European garments.

The natives, at their approach, did not welcome them as they expected,
like friends, but fled and concealed themselves as if afraid to be seen.

Columbus, at length, with some difficulty, by signs of peace and
friendship, persuaded a few of them to come forth to him. From them he
learned, that scarcely had he set sail for Spain, when all his counsels
and commands faded from the minds of those who remained behind. Instead
of cultivating the good-will of the natives, they endeavoured, by all
kinds of wrongful means, to get possession of their golden ornaments and
other articles of value, and seduce from them their wives and daughters,
and had also quarrelled among themselves.

The consequences of this bad conduct were what might have been expected:
some died by sickness caused by intemperance, some fell in brawls
between themselves about their ill-gotten spoil, and others were cut off
by the Indians, whom they had so shamefully treated, and who afterwards
pulled dawn and burnt their fort.

The misfortunes which had befallen the Spaniards in the vicinity of
this harbour threw a gloom over the place, and it was considered by the
superstitious mariners as under some baneful influence. The situation
was low and unhealthy, and not capable of improvement; Columbus
therefore determined to remove the settlement.

With this view he made choice of a situation more healthy and commodious
than that of Navidad, and having ordered the troops and the various
persons to be employed in the colony to be immediately disembarked,
together with the stores, ammunition, and all the cattle and live-stock,
he traced out the plan of a town in a large plain near a spacious bay;
and obliging every person to put his hand to the work, the houses were
soon so far advanced as to afford them shelter, and forts were
constructed for their defence.

This rising city, the first that Europeans founded in the new world, he
named Isabella, in honour of his patroness the Queen of Castile.

As long as the Indians had any prospect that their sufferings might
terminate by the voluntary departure of the invaders, they submitted in
silence, and dissembled their sorrow; but now that the Spaniards had
built a town--now that they had dug up the ground and planted it with
corn--it became apparent that they came not to visit the country, but to
settle in it.

They were themselves naturally so abstemious and their wants so few,
that they were easily satisfied with the fruits of the island, which,
with a handful of maize or a little of the insipid bread made of the
cassava root, were sufficient for their support.

But it was with difficulty they could afford subsistence for the new
guests. The Spaniards, though considered an abstemious people, appeared
to them excessively voracious. One Spaniard consumed as much as several
Indians; this keenness of appetite appeared so insatiable, that they
supposed the Spaniards had left their own country because it did not
produce enough to gratify their immoderate appetites, and had come among
them in quest of nourishment.

Columbus having taken all the steps which he thought necessary to
ensure the prosperity of his new colony, entrusted the command of the
military force to Margaritta, and set sail with three vessels to extend
his discoveries; but, after a long and tedious voyage, in which he
endured every hardship, the most important discovery he made was the
island of Jamaica.

Having been absent much longer than he had expected, he returned to his
new settlement, but the colonists had become refractory and
unmanageable.

No sooner had he left the island on his voyage of discovery, than the
soldiers under Margaritta dispersed in straggling parties over the
island, lived at discretion upon the natives, wasted their property, and
treated that inoffensive race with the insolence of military oppression.

During the absence of Columbus, several unfavourable accounts of his
conduct had been transmitted to Spain, and these accusations gained such
credit in that jealous court, that Aguado, a person in every way
unsuited for the purpose, was appointed to proceed to Hispaniola to
observe the conduct of Columbus.

This man listened with eagerness to every accusation of the discontented
Spaniards, and fomented still further the spirit of dissension in the
island.

Columbus felt how humiliating it must be if he remained in the island
with such a partial inspector to observe his motions and control his
authority; he therefore took the resolution of returning to Spain, in
order to lay a full account of his transactions before Ferdinand and
Isabella.

Having committed the government of the colony during his absence to Don
Bartholomew, his brother, he appointed Roldan Chief Justice, a choice
which afterwards caused great calamities to the colony.

On his arrival in Spain, Columbus appeared at court with the confidence
of a man, not only conscious of having done no wrong, but of having
performed great services.

Ferdinand and Isabella, ashamed of having listened to ill-founded
accusations, received him with such marks of respect as silenced the
calumnies of his enemies, and covered them with shame and confusion.

The gold, the pearls, and other commodities of value which he had
brought home, and the mines which he had found, fully proved the value
and importance of his discoveries, though Columbus considered them only
as preludes to future and more important acquisitions.

[Illustration]




CHAPTER V.

PARLEY TELLS HOW COLUMBUS DISCOVERS THE CONTINENT OF AMERICA.


Columbus, having been furnished with six vessels of no great burden,
departed on his third voyage. He touched at the Canaries and at the Cape
de Verd islands; from the former he despatched three ships with a supply
of provisions for the colony of Hispaniola; with the other three he
continued his voyage to the south.

Nothing remarkable occurred till they were within five degrees of the
line; then they were becalmed, and the heat became so excessive, that
the wine casks burst and their provisions were spoiled.

The Spaniards, who had never ventured so far to the south, were afraid
the ships would take fire, but they were relieved in some measure from
their fear by a seasonable fall of rain.

This, however, though so heavy and incessant that the men could hardly
keep the deck, did not greatly mitigate the heat, and Columbus was at
last constrained to yield to the importunities of his crew, and to alter
his course to the north-west, in order to reach some of the Caribbee
islands, where he might refit and be supplied with provisions.

On the 1st of August, 1498, the man stationed at the round-top surprised
them with the joyful cry of "Land!" They stood towards it, and
discovered a considerable island, which the admiral called Trinidad, a
name it still retains, and near it the mouth of a river, rolling towards
the ocean such a vast body of water, and rushing into it with such
impetuous force, that when it meets the tide, which on that coast rises
to an uncommon height, their meeting occasions an extraordinary and
dangerous swell of the waves.

In this conflict, the irresistable torrent of the river so far
prevails, that it freshens the ocean many leagues with its flood.

Columbus, before he could perceive the danger, was entangled among these
adverse currents and tempestuous waves; and it was with the utmost
difficulty that he escaped through a narrow strait, which appeared so
tremendous, that he called it "The Dragon's Mouth."

As soon as his consternation permitted him to reflect on an appearance
so extraordinary, he justly concluded that the land must be a part of
some mighty continent, and not of an island, because all the springs
that could rise, and all the rain that could fall on an island, could
never, as he calculated, supply water enough to feed so prodigiously
broad and deep a river; and he was right, the river was the Oronoko.

Filled with this idea, he stood to the west, along the coast of those
provinces which are now known by the name of Paria and Cumana. He landed
in several places, and found the people to resemble those of Hispaniola
in their appearance and manner of life.

They wore as ornaments small plates of gold and pearls of considerable
value, which they willingly exchanged for European toys. They seemed to
possess greater courage and better understandings than the inhabitants
of the islands.

The country produced four-footed animals of several kinds, as well as a
great variety of fowls and fruits.

The admiral was so much delighted with its beauty and fertility, that,
with the warm enthusiasm of a discoverer, he imagined it to be the
Paradise described in Scripture.

Thus Columbus had the glory of discovering the new world, and of
conducting the Spaniards to that vast continent which has been the seat
of their empire and the source of their treasure, in that quarter of the
globe. The shattered condition of his ships and the scarcity of
provisions, made it now necessary to bear away for Hispaniola, where he
arrived wasted to an extreme degree with fatigue and sickness.

Many revolutions had happened in that country during his absence, which
had lasted more than two years.

His brother, whom he had left in command, had, in compliance with advice
which he had given him before his departure, removed the colony from
Isabella to a more commodious station on the opposite side of the
island, and laid the foundation of St. Domingo, which long continued to
be the most considerable town in the new world.

Such was the cruelty and oppression with which the Spaniards treated the
Indians, and so intolerable the burden imposed upon them, that they at
last took arms against their oppressors; but these insurrections were
not formidable. In a conflict with timid and naked Indians, there was
neither danger nor doubt of victory.

A mutiny which broke out among the Spaniards, was of a more dangerous
nature, the ringleader in which was Francisco Roldan, whom Columbus,
when he sailed for Spain, had appointed chief judge, and whose duty it
was to have maintained the laws, instead of breaking them.

This rebellion of Roldan, which threatened the whole country with ruin,
was only subdued by the most wise and prudent conduct on the part of
Columbus; but order and tranquillity were at length apparently restored.

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, and a description of the
new continent which he had discovered, and also a chart of the coast
along which he had sailed, and of which I shall have something more to
tell you presently.

He at the same time sent specimens of the gold, the pearls, and other
curious and valuable productions which he had acquired by trafficking
with the natives.

He also transmitted an account of the insurrection in Hispaniola, and
accused the mutineers of having, by their unprovoked rebellion, almost
ruined the colony.

Roldan and his associates took care to send to Spain, by the same
ships, apologies for their mutinous conduct, and unfortunately for the
happiness of Columbus, their story gained most credit in the court of
Ferdinand and Isabella.

By these ships Columbus granted the liberty of returning to Spain to all
those, who, from sickness or disappointment, were disgusted with the
country. A good number of such as were most dissatisfied, embraced this
opportunity of returning to Europe. The disappointment of their
unreasonable hopes inflamed their rage against Columbus to the utmost
pitch, and their distress made their accusations be believed.

A gang of these disorderly ruffians, who had been shipped off to free
the island from their seditions, found their way to the court at
Grenada. Whenever the king or queen appeared in public, they surrounded
them, insisting, with importunate clamours, on the payment of arrears
due to them, and demanding vengeance on the author of their sufferings.

These endeavours to ruin Columbus were seconded by Fonseca, who was now
made bishop of Badajos, and who was entrusted with the chief direction
of Indian affairs. This man had always been an implacable enemy of
Columbus, and with others of his enemies who were about the court,
having continual access to the sovereign, they were enabled to aggravate
all the complaints that were urged against him, while they carefully
suppressed his vindications of himself.

By these means Ferdinand was at last induced to send out Bobadilla, an
officer of the royal household, to inquire into the conduct of Columbus,
and if he should think the charges against him proved, to supersede him
in his command, that is, to send him home, and make himself governor in
his stead; so that it was the interest of the judge to pronounce the
person guilty whom he was sent to try.

On his arrival he found Columbus absent in the interior of the island;
and as he had, before he landed, made up his mind to treat him as a
criminal, he proceeded at once, without any inquiry, to supersede him
in his command.

He took up his residence in Columbus' house, from which the owner was
absent, seized upon his arms, gold, plate, jewels, books, and even his
letters and most secret manuscripts, giving no account of the property
thus seized, but disposing of it as if already confiscated to the crown;
at the same time he used the most unqualified language when speaking of
Columbus, and hinted that he was empowered to send him home in chains;
thus acting as if he had been sent out to degrade the admiral, not to
inquire into his conduct.

As soon as Columbus arrived from the interior, Bobadilla gave orders to
put him in irons and confine him in the fortress, and so far from
hearing him in his defence, he would not even admit him to his presence;
but having collected from his enemies what he thought sufficient
evidence, he determined to send both him and his brother home in chains.

The charge of conducting the prisoners to Spain was committed to Alonzo
Villejo, a man of honourable conduct and generous feelings. When Villejo
entered with the guard to conduct him on board the caravel, Columbus
thought it was to conduct him to the scaffold. "Villejo" said he,
"whither are you taking me?" "To the ship, your excellency, to embark,"
replied the other. "To embark!" repeated the admiral, earnestly,
"Villejo, do you speak the truth?" "By the life of your excellency,"
replied the honest officer, "it is true."

With these words the admiral was comforted, and felt as restored from
death to life, for he now knew he should have an opportunity of
vindicating his conduct. The caravel set sail in October, bearing off
Columbus shackled like the vilest criminal.

The worthy Villejo, as well as Andries Martin, the master of the
caravel, would have taken off his irons, 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 till
they shall order them to be taken off, and I will afterwards preserve
them as relics and memorials of the reward of my services."

[Illustration]

The arrival of Columbus, a prisoner and in chains, produced almost as
great a sensation as his triumphant return on his first voyage.

A general burst of indignation arose in Cadiz and in Seville, which was
echoed through all Spain, that Columbus was brought home in chains from
the world he had discovered.

The tidings reached the court of Grenada, and filled the halls of the
Alhambra with murmurs of astonishment.

On the arrival of the ships at Cadiz, Columbus, full of his wrongs, but
not knowing how far they had been authorized by his sovereigns, forbare
to write to them; but he sent a long letter to a lady of the court, high
in favour with the queen, containing, in eloquent and touching language,
an ample vindication of his conduct.

When it was read to the noble-minded Isabella, and she found how grossly
Columbus had been wronged, and the royal authority abused, her heart was
filled with sympathy and indignation.

Without waiting for any documents that might arrive from Bobadilla,
Ferdinand and Isabella sent orders to Cadiz, that he should be instantly
set at liberty, and treated with all distinction, and sent him two
thousand ducats to defray his expenses to court. They wrote him a
letter at the same time, expressing their grief at all that had
happened, and inviting him to Grenada.

He was received by their majesties with the greatest favour and
distinction. When the queen beheld this venerable man approach, and
thought on all he had deserved and all he had suffered, she was moved to
tears.

Columbus had borne up firmly against the injuries and wrongs of the
world, but when he found himself thus kindly treated, and beheld tears
in the benign eyes of Isabella, his long suppressed feelings 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.

Ferdinand and Isabella raised him from the ground and endeavoured to
encourage him by the most gracious expressions.

As soon as he had recovered his self-possession, he entered into an
eloquent and high-minded vindication of his conduct, and his zeal for
the glory and advantage of the Spanish crown.

The king and queen expressed their indignation at the proceedings of
Bobadilla, and promised he should be immediately dismissed from his
command.

The person chosen to supersede Bobadilla was Nicholas de Ovando. While
his departure was delayed by various circumstances, every arrival
brought intelligence of the disasterous state of the island under the
administration of Bobadilla.

He encouraged the Spaniards in the exercise of the most wanton cruelties
towards the natives, to obtain from them large quantities of gold. "Make
the most of your time," he would say, "there is no knowing how long it
will last;" and the colonists were not backward in following his advice.
In the meantime the poor Indians sunk under the toils imposed upon them,
and the severities with which they were enforced.

These accounts hastened the departure of Ovando, and a person sailed
with him, in order to secure what he could of the wreck of Columbus'
property.




CHAPTER VI.

PARLEY TELLS HOW COLUMBUS WAS ROBBED OF THE HONOUR OF GIVING HIS NAME TO
AMERICA.


I have told you that Columbus, as soon as he arrived at Hispaniola,
after discovering the new continent, sent a ship to Spain with a journal
of the voyage he had made, and a description of the new continent which
he had discovered, together with a chart of the coast of Paria and
Cumana, along which he had sailed.

This journal, with the charts and description, and Columbus' letters on
the subject, were placed in the custody of Fonseca, he being minister
for Indian affairs.

No sooner had the particulars of this discovery been communicated by
Columbus, than a separate commission of discovery, signed by Fonseca,
but not by the sovereigns, was granted to Alonzo de Ojeda, who had
accompanied Columbus on his second voyage, and whom Columbus had
instructed in all his plans. Ojeda was accompanied on this voyage by a
Florentine, whose name was Amerigo Vespucci.

To these adventurers Fonseca communicated Columbus' journal, his
description of the country, his charts, and all his private letters.

This expedition sailed from Spain while Columbus was still at
Hispaniola, and wholly ignorant of what was taking place; and Ojeda,
without touching at the colony, steered his course direct for Paria,
following the very track which Columbus had marked out.

Having extended their discoveries very little farther than Columbus had
gone before them, Vespucci, on returning to Spain, published an account
of his adventures and discoveries, and had the address and confidence
so to frame his narrative, as to make it appear that the glory of having
discovered the new continent belonged to him.

Thus the bold pretensions of an impostor have robbed the discoverer of
his just reward, and the caprice of fame has unjustly assigned to him an
honour far above the renown of the greatest conquerors--that of
indelibly impressing his name upon this vast portion of the earth, which
ought in justice to have been called Columbia.

Two years had now been spent in soliciting the favour of an ungrateful
court, and notwithstanding all his merits and services, he solicited in
vain; but even this ungracious return did not lessen his ardour in his
favourite pursuits, and his anxiety to pursue those discoveries in which
he felt he had yet only made a beginning.

Ferdinand at last consented to grant him four small vessels, the largest
of which did not exceed seventy tons in burden; but, accustomed to brave
danger and endure hardships, he did not hesitate to accept the command
of this pitiful squadron, and he sailed from Cadiz on his fourth voyage
on the 9th of May.

[Illustration]

Having touched, as usual, at the Canaries, he intended to have sailed
direct for this new discovered continent; but his largest vessel was so
clumsy and unfit for service, that he determined to bear away for
Hispaniola, in hopes of exchanging her for some ship of the fleet that
had carried out Ovando.

The fleet that had brought out Ovando lay in the harbour ready to put
to sea, and was to take home Bobadilla, together with Roldan and many of
his adherents, to be tried in Spain for rebellion. Bobadilla was to
embark in the principal ship, on board of which he had put an immense
amount of gold, which he hoped would atone for all his faults.

Among the presents intended for his sovereign was one mass of virgin
gold, which was famous in the Spanish chronicles; it was said to weigh
3600 castillanos. Large quantities of gold had been shipped in the fleet
by Roldan and other adventurers--the wealth gained by the sufferings of
the unhappy natives.

Columbus sent an officer on shore to request permission to shelter his
squadron in the river, as he apprehended an approaching storm. He also
cautioned them not to let the fleet sail, but his request was refused by
Ovando, and his advice disregarded.

The fleet put to sea, and Columbus kept his feeble squadron close to
shore, and sought for shelter in some wild bay or river of the island.

Within two days, one of those tremendous storms which sometimes sweep
those latitudes gathered up, and began to blow. Columbus sheltered his
little squadron as well as he could, and sustained no damage. A
different fate befel the other armament.

The ship in which were Bobadilla, Roldan, and a number of the most
inveterate enemies of Columbus, was swallowed up with all its crew,
together with the principal part of the ill-gotten treasure, gained by
the miseries of the Indians.

Some of the ships returned to St. Domingo, and only one was able to
continue her voyage to Spain; that one had on board four thousand pieces
of gold, the property of Columbus, which had been recovered by the agent
whom he sent out with Ovando.

Thus, while the enemies of the admiral were swallowed up as it were
before his eyes, the only ship enabled to pursue her voyage was the
frail bark freighted with his property.




CHAPTER VII.

PARLEY TELLS HOW COLUMBUS WAS SHIPWRECKED, AND ALSO OF THE MANNER OF HIS
DEATH.


Columbus soon left Hispaniola where he met with so inhospitable a
reception, and steering towards the west, he arrived on the coast of
Honduras. There he had an interview with some of the inhabitants of the
continent, who came off in a large canoe; they appeared to be more
civilized than any whom he had hitherto discovered.

In return to the inquiries which the Spaniards made with their usual
eagerness, where the Indians got the gold which they wore by way of
ornaments, they directed him to countries situated to the west, in which
gold was found in such profusion that it was applied to the most common
uses.

Well would it have been for Columbus had he followed their advice.
Within a day or two he would have arrived at Yucatan; the discovery of
Mexico and the other opulent countries of New Spain would have
necessarily followed, the Southern Ocean would have been disclosed to
him, and a succession of splendid discoveries would have shed fresh
glory on his declining age.

But the admiral's mind was bent upon discovering the supposed strait
that was to lead to the Indian Ocean. In this navigation he explored a
great extent of coast from Cape Gracios a Dios till he came to a
harbour, which on account of its beauty and security, he called Porto
Bello.

On quitting this harbour he steered for the south, and he had not
followed this course many days when he was overtaken by storms more
terrible than any he had yet encountered.

For nine days the vessels were tossed about at the mercy of a raging
tempest. The sea, according to the description of Columbus, boiled at
times like a cauldron, at other times it ran in mountain waves covered
with foam: at night the raging billows sparkled with luminous particles,
which made them resemble great surges of flame.

For a day and a night the heavens glowed like a furnace with incessant
flashes of lightning, while the loud claps of thunder were often
mistaken for signal guns of their foundering companions.

In the midst of this wild tumult of the elements, they beheld a new
object of alarm. The ocean, in one place, became strangely agitated; the
water was whirled up into a kind of pyramid or cone; while a livid
cloud, tapering to a point, bent down to meet it; joining together, they
formed a column, which rapidly approached the ship, spinning along the
surface of the deep, and drawing up the water with a rushing sound, it
passed the ship without injury.

His leaky vessels were not able to withstand storms like these. One of
them foundered, and he was obliged to abandon another.

With the remaining two he bore away for Hispaniola, but in the tempest
his ships falling foul of each other, it was with the greatest
difficulty he reached the island of Jamaica.

His two vessels were in such a shattered condition, that, to prevent
them from sinking, and to save the lives of his crews, he was obliged to
run them on shore.

Having no ship now left, he had no means of reaching Hispaniola, or of
making his situation known. In this juncture he had recourse to the
hospitable kindness of the natives, who, considering the Spaniards as
beings of a superior nature, were eager, on every occasion to assist
them.

From them he obtained two canoes, each formed out of a single tree
hollowed with fire. In these, which were only fit for creeping along the
coast, two of his brave and faithful companions, assisted by a few
Indians, gallantly offered to set out for Hispaniola; this voyage they
accomplished in ten days, after encountering incredible fatigues and
dangers.

By them he wrote letters to Ovando, describing his situation and
requesting him to send ships to bring off him and his crews; but what
will you think of the unfeeling cruelty of this man, when I tell you
that he suffered these brave men to wait eight months before he would
give them any hopes of relieving their companions: and what must have
been the feelings of Columbus during this period.

At last the ships arrived which were to take them from the island, where
the unfeeling Ovando had suffered them to languish above a year, exposed
to misery in all its various forms. When he arrived at St. Domingo,
Ovando treated him with every kind of insult and injustice. Columbus
submitted in silence, but became extremely impatient to quit a country
where he had been treated with such barbarity.

The preparations were soon finished, and he set sail for Spain with two
ships, but disaster still pursued him to the end of his course. He
suffered acutely from a painful and dangerous disease, and his mind was
kept uneasy and anxious by a continued succession of storms. One of the
vessels being disabled, was forced back to St. Domingo, and in the other
he sailed 700 leagues with jury-masts, and reached with difficulty the
port of St. Lucar in Spain, 1504.

On his arrival he received the fatal news of the death of his patroness
queen Isabella, from whom he had hoped for the redress of his wrongs.

He applied to the king, who, instead of confirming the titles and
honours which he had formerly conferred upon him, insulted him with the
proposal of renouncing them all for a pension.

Disgusted with the ingratitude of a monarch whom he had served with
fidelity and success, exhausted with the calamities which he had
endured, and broken with infirmities, this great and good man breathed
his last at Valladolid, a.d. 1506, in the 69th year of his age.

He was buried in the cathedral at Seville, and on his tomb was engraved
an epitaph commemorating his discovery of a New World.

  Christobal Colon, obiit 1506,

  AEtat 69.

  A Castilla y a Leon
  Neubo Mundo dio Colon.[A]

Thus much for Columbus; those who are the greatest benefactors of
mankind seldom meet with much gratitude from men in their lives; they
must look to God for their reward, and leave future generations to do
justice to their memory.

It was very unfortunate for the natives of America, that the country
fell into the hands of such a cruel, covetous, and bigoted nation as the
Spaniards were. Their thirst for gold was insatiable, and the cruelties
they exercised upon the natives are too horrible to recite. After the
death of Columbus, the Indians were no longer treated with gentleness,
for it was his defence of the property and lives of these harmless
natives that brought down upon his head such bitter hatred. You will now
look into your map and follow Columbus in some of his discoveries. You
will see a great number of islands extending in a curve from Florida,
which is the southernmost part of the United States, to the mouth of the
river Oronoko in South America; and, as Columbus firmly believed these
islands, when he discovered them, to be a part of India, the name of
Indies was given to them by Ferdinand and Isabella; and, even after the
error was detected, and the true position of the new world ascertained,
the name has remained, and the appellation of Indies is given to the
country, and that of Indians to the inhabitants.

[Footnote A: To Castile and to Leon Columbus gave a New World.]




CHAPTER VIII.

PARLEY TELLS OF OVANDO'S CRUEL TREATMENT OF ANACAONA, THE PRINCESS OF
HAYTI.


Columbus discovered and gave names to some of these islands, and on
several of them he settled colonies, and did all he could to make them
the abodes of peace and happiness.

On his taking leave of them for the last time, Ovando continued governor
of Hayti.

The cruelties exercised by this unfeeling man it would take a volume to
describe, but I will mention only one or two instances.

When the natives were unable to pay the tribute which he exacted from
them, he always accused them of insurrection, and it was to punish a
slight insurrection of this kind in the eastern part of the island that
he sent his troops, who ravaged the country with fire and sword. He
showed no mercy to age or sex, putting many to death with horrible
tortures, and brought off the brave Catabanama, one of the five
sovereign caziques of the island, in chains to St. Domingo, where he was
ignominiously hanged by Ovando, for the crime of defending his territory
and his native soil against usurping strangers.

But the most atrocious act of Ovando, and one that must heap odium on
his name, wherever the woes of the gentle natives of Hayti are heard of,
was the cruelty he was guilty of towards the province of Xaragua for one
of those pretended conspiracies.

Ovando set out at the head of nearly four hundred well armed soldiers,
seventy of whom were steel-clad horsemen; giving out that he was coming
on a visit of friendship, to make arrangements for the payment of
tribute.

Behechio, the ancient cazique of the province, was dead, and his
sister, Anacaona, wife of the late formidable chief Caonabo, had
succeeded to the government.

She was one of the most beautiful females in the island; of great
natural grace and dignity, and superior intelligence; her name in the
Indian language signified "Golden Flower."

[Illustration]

She came forth to meet Ovando, according to the custom of her nation,
attended by her most distinguished subjects, and her train of damsels
waving palm branches, and dancing to the cadence of their popular
ayretos.

All her principal caziques had been assembled to do honour to the
guests, who, for several days were entertained with banquets, and
national games and dances.

In return for these exhibitions, Ovando invited Anacaona, with her
beautiful daughter Higuenamata, and her principal subjects, to witness a
tilting match in the public square.

When all were assembled, and the square crowded with unarmed Indians,
Ovando gave a signal, and instantly the horsemen rushed into the midst
of the naked and defenceless throng, trampling them under foot, cutting
them down with their swords, transfixing them with their lances, and
sparing neither age nor sex.

Above eighty caziques had been assembled in one of the principal houses:
it was surrounded by troops, the caziques were bound to the posts which
supported the roof, and put to cruel tortures, until in the extremity of
anguish they were made to admit as true what their queen and themselves
had been charged with.

When they had thus been made, by torture, to accuse themselves, a
horrible punishment was immediately inflicted. Fire was set to the
house, and they all perished miserably in the flames.

As to Anacaona, she was carried to St. Domingo, where, after the mockery
of a trial, she was pronounced guilty on the testimony of the Spaniards,
and was barbarously hanged by the people whom she had so long and so
greatly befriended.

After the massacre of Xaragua, the destruction of its inhabitants went
on. They were hunted for six months amid the fastnesses of the
mountains, and their country ravaged by horse and foot, until, all being
reduced to deplorable misery and abject submission, Ovando pronounced
the province restored to order; and in remembrance of his triumph,
founded a town near the lake, which he called Santa Maria de la
Verdadera Pas (St. Mary of the true peace.)

Such was the tragical fate of the beautiful Anacaona, once extolled as
the Golden Flower of Hayti; and such the story of the delightful region
of Xaragua, which the Spaniards, by their own account, found a perfect
paradise, but which, by their vile passions, they filled with horror and
desolation.

After this work of destruction, they made slaves of the remaining
inhabitants, and divided them amongst them, and many of the sanguinary
contests among themselves arose out of quarrels about the distribution.

We cannot help pausing to cast back a look of pity and admiration over
these beautiful but devoted regions.

The white man had penetrated the land! In his train came avarice, pride,
and ambition; sordid care, and pining labour, were soon to follow, and
the paradise of the Indian was about to disappear for ever.




CHAPTER IX.

PARLEY DESCRIBES THE TREES, PLANTS, AND FLOWERS OF THE NEW WORLD.


When once the way had been pointed out, it was easy for other navigators
to follow, and accordingly many Spaniards undertook voyages of further
discovery.

Among others, Yanez Pinzon, one of the brave companions of Columbus,
undertook a voyage to the new world in 1499.

This navigator suffered much from storms, and having sailed southward,
he crossed the equator and lost sight of the polar star.

The sailors were exceedingly alarmed at this circumstance, as the polar
star was relied upon by them as one of their surest guides; not knowing
the shape of the earth, they thought that some prominence hid this star
from their view.

The first land that Pinzon discovered, after crossing the line, was Cape
St. Augustine, in eight degrees south latitude, the most projecting part
of the extensive country of Brazil.

As the fierceness of the natives made it unsafe to land on this coast,
he continued his voyage to the north-west, and fell in with the mighty
river Amazon, which is nearly under the equinoctial line.

The mouth of this river is more than thirty leagues in breadth, and its
waters enter more than forty leagues into the ocean without losing its
freshness.

He now recrossed the line, and coming again in sight of the polar star,
he pursued his course along the coast, passed the mouth of the Oronoko,
and entered the Gulph of Paria, after which he returned to Spain.

Ojeda also undertook a voyage expressly to found a settlement; but as
the character of the Spaniards was now well known to the inhabitants of
these parts, they determined to oppose their landing, and being a
numerous and warlike people, Ojeda nearly lost his life in the attempt.

Many of his companions were slain; the survivors, however, succeeding in
making good their retreat on board the ships.

Shortly afterwards he landed on the eastern side of the Gulph of Darien,
and built a fortress which they called San Sebastian.

Ojeda had with him in this expedition Francisco Pizarro, about whom I
shall have to tell you something more presently.

About the same time another Spaniard, of the name of Nicuessa, formed a
settlement on that part of the coast, and built a fortress there, which
he called Nombre de Dios, not very distant from the harbour of
Portobello.

Thus, by degrees, the whole coast of America, on the side of the
Atlantic, was discovered and explored.

But the Spaniards did not know that in the part where they were, it was
only a narrow neck of land (which you know is called an Isthmus) that
separated them from another vast ocean; and this, when they discovered
the ocean on the other side, was called the Isthmus of Darien.

I will now give you a short account of the discovery of this ocean.

Nothing having been heard of Ojeda and his new colony of San Sebastian,
another expedition, commanded by Enciso, set sail in search of them.

Among the ship's company was a man, by name Vasco Ninez de Balboa, who,
although of a rich family, had, by his bad habits, not only become very
poor, but also very much in debt.

To avoid being thrown into prison for the debts that he owed, he
contrived to get on board Enciso's ship, concealed in a cask, which was
taken on board the vessel as a cask of provisions.

When the ship was far from St. Domingo, Balboa came out from his cask to
the astonishment of all on board.

Enciso at first was angry at the way he had escaped from the punishment
which his bad conduct had deserved; yet, as he thought that he might be
of service to him, he pardoned him.

The settlement of St. Sebastian, however, had been broken up, the
Spaniards having suffered much from the repeated attacks of the natives,
who would no longer patiently submit to their unjust treatment.

Soon after Enciso arrived at Carthagena he was joined by Pizarro, with
the wretched remains of the colony; he determined nevertheless, to
continue his voyage to the settlement.

Upon his arrival there he found Pizarro's account was too true, for
where St. Sebastian had stood, nothing was to be seen but a heap of
ruins.

Here misfortune followed misfortune, his own ship was wrecked and then
he was attacked by the natives.

In despair at these disasters Enciso was at a loss what to do, or where
to go, when Balboa advised him to continue his course along the coast in
Pizarro's little vessel.

He stated that he had once before been on an expedition in this same
gulf, and on the western side he well remembered an Indian village, on
the banks of a river, called by the natives Darien.

Enciso pleased with Balboa's advice, resolved to take possession of this
village, and to drive out all the Indians.

Arrived at the river, he landed his men, and, without giving the
unfortunate people of the village any notice, he attacked them, killed
several, drove the rest out, and robbed them of all their possessions.

He then made the village the chief place of his new government, and
called it Santa Maria del Darien. Balboa assisted in this work of
cruelty and injustice.

The Spaniards had not been long here when they became tired with Enciso,
and they refused to obey him, and sent him off in a ship to Spain. Upon
his departure, Balboa took the command.

In one of his expeditions into the interior parts of the country in
search of gold, he first heard of a sea to the west, as yet unknown to
Europeans.

He had received a large quantity of gold from an Indian cazique, or
chief, and was weighing it into shares for the purpose of dividing it
among his men when a quarrel arose as to the exactness of the weight.

One of the sons of the Indian cazique was present, and he felt so
disgusted at the sordid behaviour of the Spaniards that he struck the
scales with his fist and scattered the glittering gold about the place.

[Illustration]

Before the Spaniards could recover from their astonishment at this
sudden act, he said to them, "why should you quarrel for such a trifle?
If you really esteem gold to be so precious as to abandon your homes,
and come and seize the lands and dwellings of others for the sake of it,
I can tell you of a land not far distant where you may find it in
plenty."

"Beyond those lofty mountains," he continued, pointing to the south,
"lies a mighty sea, all the streams that flow into which down the
southern side of those mountains, abound in gold, and all the utensils
the people have, are made of gold."

Balboa was struck with this account of the young Indian, and eagerly
inquired the best way of penetrating to this sea, and this land of gold.

The young Indian warned him of the dangers he would meet with from the
fierce race of Indians inhabiting these mountains, who were cannibals,
or eaters of human flesh, but Balboa was not to be deterred by accounts
of difficulties and dangers.

He was, besides, desirous of getting possession of the gold, and of
obtaining, by the merits of the discovery, the pardon of the King of
Spain, for taking from Enciso the command of the settlement.

He resolved, therefore, to penetrate to this sea, and immediately began
to make preparations for the journey.

He first sent to Hispaniola for an additional number of soldiers, to
assist him in the perilous adventure, but instead of receiving these,
the only news that reached him by the return of his messengers was, that
he would most probably have the command of Darien taken from him, and be
punished for assisting to dispossess Enciso.

This news made him determine no longer to delay his departure. All the
men he could muster for the expedition amounted only to one hundred and
ninety; but these were hardy and resolute, and much attached to him. He
armed them with swords and targets; cross-bows and arquebusses; besides
this little band, Balboa took with him a few of the Indians of Darien
whom he had won by kindness, to serve him.

On the 1st of September, 1513, Balboa set out from Darien, first to the
residence of the Indian cazique, from whose son he first heard of the
sea.

From this chief he obtained the assistance of guides and some warriors,
and with this force he prepared to penetrate the wilderness before him.

It was on the 6th of September that he began his march for the mountains
which separated him from the great Pacific Ocean, he set out with a
resolution to endure patiently all the miseries, and to combat boldly
all the difficulties that he might meet with, and he contrived to rouse
the same determination in his followers.

Their journey was through a broken rocky country covered with forest
trees and underwood, so thick and close as to be quite matted together
and every here and there deep foaming streams, some of which they were
forced to cross on rafts.

So wearisome was the journey, that in four days they had not advanced
more than ten leagues, and they began to suffer much from hunger.

They had now arrived in the province of a warlike tribe of Indians who,
instead of flying and hiding themselves, came forth to the attack. They
set upon the Spaniards with furious yells, thinking to overpower them at
once. They were armed with bows and arrows, and clubs made of palm-wood
almost as hard as iron. But the first shock of the report from the
fire-arms of the Spaniards struck them with terror. They took to flight,
but were closely pursued by the Spaniards with their blood-hounds. The
Cazique and six hundred of his people were left dead upon the field of
battle.

After the battle the Spaniards entered the adjoining village, which was
at the foot of the last mountain that remained to be climbed; this
village they robbed of every thing valuable. There was much gold and
many jewels.

Balboa shared the booty among his band of followers. But this victory
was not gained without some loss on the side of the Spaniards.

Balboa found that several of his men had been wounded by the arrows of
the Indians, and many also, overcome with fatigue, had fallen sick,
these he was obliged to leave in the village, while he ascended the
mountain.

At the cool and fresh hour of day-break he assembled his scanty band,
and began to climb the height, wishing to reach the top before the heat
of noon.

About ten o'clock they came out from the thick forest through which they
had been struggling ever since day-break: the change from the closeness
of the woods to the pleasant breeze from the mountain, was delightful.
But they were still further encouraged. "From that spot" exclaimed one
of the Indian guides, pointing to the height above them "may be seen the
great sea of which you are in search."

When Balboa heard this, he commanded his men to halt, and forbade any
one to stir from his place. He was resolved to be the first European who
should look upon that sea, which he had been the first to discover.

Accordingly he ascended the mountain height alone, and when he reached
the summit he beheld the wide sea glittering in the morning sun.

Balboa called to his little troop to ascend the height and look upon the
glorious prospect; and they joined him without delay.

"Behold, my friends," said he, "the reward of all our toils, a sight
upon which the eye of Spaniard never rested before."

He now took possession of the sea-coast and the surrounding country in
the name of the king of Spain.

He then had a tree cut down, and made into the form of a cross, and
planted it on the spot from which he had first beheld the sea. He also
made a mound by heaping up large stones upon which he carved the names
of the king of Spain.

The Indians saw all this done, and while they helped to pile the stones
and set up the cross, they little thought that they were assisting to
deprive themselves of their homes and their country.

You remember the noble reproof of Canute in the "History of England," to
his flatterers, when they assured him that even the waves of the sea
would obey him: but this arrogant and weak minded Spaniard waded into
the waves of the great Pacific Ocean, up to his knees, and absurdly took
possession of it in the name of the Spanish monarch.

[Illustration]

Balboa was some time employed in fighting with the Indian tribes that
inhabited the sea-coast, and in hunting them with blood-hounds.

He soon made these helpless people submit. From them he got some
further accounts of the rich country which the Indian prince had
mentioned, and which proved afterwards to be Peru.

He now quitted the shores of the Pacific Ocean on his return across the
mountains of Darien. His route homewards was different from that which
he had before pursued, and the sufferings of his troops much greater.

Often they could find no water, the heat having dried up the pools and
brooks. Many died from thirst, and those who survived, although loaded
with gold, were exhausted for want of food; for the poor Indians brought
gold and jewels, instead of food, as peace offerings to the Spaniards.

At length, after much slaughter of the Indians that dwelt in the
mountains, and burning of the villages, Balboa and his troops arrived at
Darien; having robbed the Indians of all the gold and silver they could
find. The Spaniards at Darien received with great delight and praise the
news of his success and discovery--a discovery gained at the expense of
much unnecessary cruelty and injustice.

He now despatched a ship to Spain, with the news of his discovery, and
by it he sent part of the gold he had carried off from the different
Indian tribes.

A few days before this ship reached Spain a new governor had been sent
out, by name Padrarias Davila, to take Balboa's place, and with orders
to punish Balboa for his conduct to Enciso.

But when he arrived at Darien, and saw how much the discoverer of the
Pacific was beloved by all the Spaniards of the settlement he hesitated
through fear, and finally resolved to defer the execution of the orders
which he had brought with him.

Davila permitted Balboa to depart from Darien for the purpose of
building brigantines with a view to navigate and explore the Pacific
Ocean. Three years had elapsed since he discovered this ocean, and with
joy he now prepared to build the ships which were to be the first
belonging to Europeans to sail upon it.

Balboa having overcome all his difficulties, had the satisfaction of
seeing two brigantines finished and floating on a river which they
called the Balsas.

As soon as they had been made ready for sea, he embarked with some of
his followers, and sailing down the river, was the first to launch into
the ocean that he had been the first to discover. But his death was now
about to put a stop to his further discoveries.

The new governor, Davila, who was a bad and cruel man, and envious of
Balboa, on account of the discoveries he had made, had long resolved to
put him to death.

The time having, as he thought, arrived, which was favourable for his
villanous design, he sent for Balboa to return, and on his arrival he
had him seized by one of his early friends and followers, Franciso
Pizarro, and then, after throwing him into prison, he ordered him to be
put to death by having his head cut off.

This unjust sentence was executed, and Balboa, after a mock trial, was
publicly beheaded, in the 48th year of his age.




CHAPTER X.

PARLEY TELLS OF THE CONQUEST OF MEXICO.


Not long after this another expedition sailed from Cuba, under the
command of Cordova, to make further discoveries on the new continent.

The first land they saw proved to be the eastern cape of that large
peninsula which you see in the map projecting into the gulf of Mexico,
and which still retains its original name of Yucatan.

As they approached the shore, five canoes came off full of people
decently clad in cotton garments; this excited the wonder of the
Spaniards, who had found every other part they had yet visited,
possessed by naked savages.

Cordova endeavoured to gain their good-will by presents, but perceived
they were preparing to attack him; and, as his water began to fail, he
sailed further along the coast in hopes of procuring a supply, but not a
single river did he find all along that coast till he came to Potonchon,
in the bay of Campeachy, which is on the western side of the peninsula.

Here Cordova landed all his troops, in order to protect the sailors
while filling their casks; but, notwithstanding, the natives rushed down
upon them with such fury and in such numbers, that forty-seven of the
Spaniards were killed upon the spot, and one man only of the whole body
escaped unhurt.

Cordova, though wounded in twelve places, led off his wounded men with
great presence of mind and fortitude, and with much difficulty they
reached their ships, and hastened back to Cuba. Cordova died of his
wounds soon after his arrival.

Notwithstanding the ill success of this expedition, another was shortly
after fitted out under the command of Grijalva, a young man of known
merit and courage. He directed his course to the bay of Campeachy, to
the part from which Cordova had returned, and as they advanced they saw
many villages scattered along the coast, in which they could distinguish
houses of stone that appeared white and lofty at a distance.

In the warmth of their admiration, they fancied these to be cities,
adorned with towers and pinnacles; and one of the soldiers happening to
remark that this country resembled Spain in appearance, Grijalva, with
universal applause, called it New Spain; the name which still
distinguishes this extensive and opulent province of the Spanish
dominions.

They landed to the west of Tabasco, where they were received with the
respect due to superior beings; the people perfumed them as they landed
with incense of gum copal, and presented to them offerings of the
choicest delicacies of their country.

They were extremely fond of trading with their new visitants, and in six
days, the Spaniards obtained ornaments of gold, and of curious
workmanship, to the amount of fifteen thousand pesoes, an immense sum,
in exchange for European toys of small price.

They learned from the natives that they were the subjects of a great
monarch, whose dominions extended over that and many other provinces.

Grijalva now returned with a full account of the important discoveries
he had made, and with all the treasure he had acquired by trafficking
with the natives.

The favourable account of New Spain brought by Grijalva, determined
Velasquez, the governor of Cuba, seriously to undertake the conquest of
that country, but as he did not wish to take the command himself, he
endeavoured to find a person who would act under his directions.

After much deliberation he fixed upon Fernando Cortez, a man of restless
and ardent spirit, on whom he had conferred many benefits; but these
Cortez soon forgot, and was no sooner invested with the command than he
threw off the authority of Velasquez altogether.

The greatest force that could be collected for the conquest of a great
empire, amounted to no more than five hundred and eight men, only
thirteen of whom were armed with muskets; thirty-two were cross-bowmen,
and the rest had swords and spears; they had only sixteen horses, and
ten small field-pieces.

With such a slender and ill provided force did Cortez set sail to make
war upon a monarch whose dominions were more extensive than all the
kingdoms subject to the Spanish crown.

On his voyage Cortez first landed on the island of Cozumel, where he
redeemed from slavery Jerome de Aguilar, a Spaniard, who had been eight
years a prisoner among the Indians, and having learned the Yucatan
language (which is spoken in all those parts), proved afterwards
extremely useful as an interpreter.

He then proceeded to the river of Tabasco, where the disposition of the
natives proved very hostile, and they showed the most determined
resistance; but the noise of the artillery, the appearances of the
floating fortresses which brought the Spaniards over the ocean, and the
horses on which they fought, all new objects to the natives, inspired
them with astonishment mingled with terror; they regarded the Spaniards
as gods, and sent them supplies of provisions, with a present of some
gold and twenty female slaves.

Cortez here learned that the native sovereign, who was called Montezuma,
reigned over an extensive empire, and that thirty vassals, called
caziques, obeyed him; that his riches were immense, and his power
absolute. No more was necessary to inflame the ambition of Cortez, and
the avarice of his followers.

He then proceeded along the coast till he came to St. Juan de Ulua,
where, having laid the foundation of Vera Cruz, he caused himself to be
elected Captain-general of the new colony.

Here he was visited by two native caziques, whose names were Teutile and
Pilpatoe, who entered his camp with a numerous retinue, and informed
him that they were persons entrusted with the government of that
province by a great monarch, whom they called Montezuma, and that they
were sent to inquire what his intentions were in visiting their coast,
and to offer him what assistance he might need.

Cortez received them with much formal ceremony, and informed them that
he came from Don Carlos of Austria, the greatest monarch of all the
east, with propositions of such moment, that he could impart them to
none but the emperor himself; and requested them to conduct him, without
loss of time, into the presence of their master.

Messengers were immediately despatched to Montezuma, with a full account
of everything that had passed.

The Mexican monarch, in order to obtain early information, had couriers
posted along the road, and the intelligence was conveyed by a very
curious contrivance called picture writing, persons being employed to
represent, in a series of pictures, everything that passed, which was
the Mexican mode of writing: Teutile and Pilpatoe were employed to
deliver the answer of their master, but as they knew how repugnant it
was to the wishes and schemes of the Spanish commander, they would not
make it known till they had first endeavoured to soothe and pacify him.
For this purpose they introduced a train of a hundred Indians loaded
with presents sent to him by Montezuma.

The magnificence of these far exceeded any idea which the Spaniards had
formed of his wealth.

They were placed on mats spread on the ground, in such order as showed
them to the greatest advantage. Cortez and his officers viewed with
admiration the various manufactures of the country. Cotton stuffs so
fine as to resemble silk. Pictures of animals, trees, and other natural
objects, formed with feathers of different colours, disposed with such
skill and elegance, as to resemble, in truth and beauty of imitation,
the finest paintings. But what chiefly attracted their eyes were two
large plates of circular form; one of massive gold, representing the
sun, the other of silver, an emblem of the moon. These were accompanied
with bracelets, collars, rings, and other trinkets of gold, and with
several boxes filled with pearls, precious stones, and grains of gold
unwrought, as they had been found in the mines or rivers.

Cortez received all these with an appearance of profound respect for the
monarch by whom they were bestowed; but when the Mexican informed him
that their master would not give his consent that foreign troops should
approach nearer to his capital, or even allow them to continue longer in
his dominions, the Spanish general declared that he must insist on his
first demand, as he could not, without dishonour, return to his own
country until he was admitted into the presence of the princes whom he
was appointed by his sovereign to visit.

He first caused all his vessels to be burnt, in order to cut off the
possibility of retreat, and to show his soldiers that they must either
conquer or perish. He then penetrated into the interior of the country,
drew to his camp several caziques, hostile to Montezuma, and induced
these native princes to assist him.

After surmounting every obstacle he arrived with his army in sight of
the immense lake on which was built the city of Mexico, the capital of
the empire.

In descending from the mountains of Chalco, the vast plain of Mexico
opened gradually to their view, displaying a prospect the most striking
and beautiful: fertile and cultivated fields, stretched out further than
the eye could reach, a lake resembling the sea in extent, encompassed
with large towns, and the capital city rising upon an island, adorned
with temples and turrets.

Many messengers arrived one after another from Montezuma, one day
permitting them to advance, on the next requiring them to retire, as his
hopes or fears alternately prevailed, and so wonderful was his
infatuation that Cortez was almost at the gates of the capital before
the monarch had determined whether to receive him as a friend or oppose
him as an enemy, but as no signs of hostility appeared, the Spaniards
continued their march along the causeway which led to Mexico through the
lake with great circumspection, though without seeming to suspect the
prince whom they were about to visit.

When they drew near the city, about a thousand persons who appeared to
be of distinction, came out to meet them, adorned with plumes and clad
in mantles of fine cotton.

Each of these as they passed Cortez, saluted him according to the mode
of their country; they announced the approach of Montezuma himself, and
soon his harbingers came in sight.

There appeared first two hundred persons in uniform dresses, with large
plumes of feathers, marching two and two in deep silence, barefooted,
with their eyes fixed on the ground.

Then followed a company of higher rank, in their most shewy apparel. In
the midst of these was Montezuma, in a chair or litter, richly
ornamented with gold and feathers of various colours. Four of his
principal favourites carried him on their shoulders; others supported a
canopy of curious workmanship over his head: before him marched three
officers with rods of gold in their hands, which they lifted on high at
certain intervals.

[Illustration]

At that signal all the people bowed their heads and hid their faces, as
unworthy to look on so great a monarch.

When he drew near, Cortez dismounted advancing towards him in
respectful posture; at the same time Montezuma alighted from his chair,
and leaning on the arm of two of his nearest relations, approached him
with a slow and stately pace, his attendants covering the way with
cotton cloths, that he might not touch the ground.

Cortez accosted him with profound reverence, after the European fashion.
He returned the salutation, according to the mode of his country, by
touching the earth with his hand and then kissing it.

This condescension, in so proud a monarch, made all his subjects believe
that the Spaniards were something more than human.

Montezuma conducted Cortez to the quarters which he had ordered for his
reception, and immediately took his leave, with a politeness not
unworthy of a court more refined.

"You are now," said he, "with your brothers, in your own house: refresh
yourselves after your fatigue, and be happy until I return."

The place allotted for the Spaniards was a magnificent palace built by
the father of Montezuma. It was surrounded by a stone wall with towers,
and its apartments and courts were so large as to accommodate both the
Spaniards and their Indian allies.

The first care of Cortez was to take precautions for his security, by
planting artillery so as to command the different avenues which led to
it, and posting sentinels at proper stations, with orders to observe the
greatest vigilance.

In the evening Montezuma returned to visit his guests, with the same
pomp as in their first interview, and brought presents of great value
not only to Cortez and his officers, but even to the private men. A long
conference ensued, in which Cortez, in his usual style, magnified the
power and dignity of his sovereign.

Next morning Cortez and some of his principal attendants were admitted
to a public audience of the emperor; the three following days were
employed in viewing the city, the appearance of which was so far
superior to any place the Spaniards had beheld in America, and yet so
little resembling the structure of an European city, that it filled them
with surprise and admiration.

Mexico, or Tenuchtitlan, as it was anciently called, is situated on some
small islands, near one side of a large lake, which is ninety miles in
circumference. The access to the city was by artificial causeways or
streets, formed of stones and earth, about thirty feet in breadth. These
causeways were of considerable length: that on the west extended a mile
and a half; that on the north-west three miles, and that towards the
south six miles. On the east, the city could only be approached by
canoes.

Not only the temples of their Gods, but the palaces belonging to the
monarch, and to persons of distinction, were of such dimensions that
they might be termed magnificent.

But, however the Spaniards might be amused or astonished at these
objects, they felt the utmost anxiety with respect to their situation.

They had been allowed to penetrate into the heart of a powerful
kingdom, and were now lodged in its capital without having once met with
open opposition from its monarch; but they had pushed forward into a
situation where it was difficult to continue, and from which it was
impossible to retire without disgrace and ruin.

They could not, however, doubt of the hostility of the Mexicans, more
especially as, on his march, Cortez received advice from Vera Cruz,
where he had left a garrison, that a Mexican general had marched to
attack the rebels whom the Spaniards had encouraged to revolt against
Montezuma, and that the commander of the garrison had marched out with
some of his troops to support the rebels, that an engagement had ensued,
in which, though the Spaniards were victorious, the Spanish general with
seven of his men, had been mortally wounded, his horse killed, and one
Spaniard taken alive, and that the head of his unfortunate captive had
been sent to Mexico, after being carried in triumph to different cities
in order to convince the people that their invaders were not immortal.

In this trying situation, he fixed upon a plan no less extraordinary
than daring; he determined to seize Montezuma in his palace and to carry
him a prisoner to the Spanish quarters. This he immediately proposed to
his officers, who, as it was the only resource in which there appeared
any safety, warmly approved of it, and it was agreed instantly to make
the attempt.

At his usual hour of visiting Montezuma, Cortez went to the palace,
accompanied by five of his principal officers, and as many trusty
soldiers; thirty chosen men followed, not in regular order, but
sauntering at some distance, as if they had no object but curiosity: the
remainder of his troops continued under arms, ready to sally out on the
first alarm.

Cortez and his attendants were admitted without suspicion, the Mexicans
retiring, as usual, out of respect.

He now addressed the monarch in a tone very different from that which he
had employed on former occasions, and a conversation ensued, very much
resembling that between the wolf and the lamb, in the fable, which you
no doubt remember.

Cortez bitterly reproached him as the author of the violent assault made
by the Mexican general upon the Spaniards, and with having caused the
death of some of his companions.

Montezuma, with great earnestness, asserted his innocence, but Cortez
affected not to believe him, and proposed that, as a proof of his
sincerity, he should remove from his own palace, and take up his
residence in the Spanish quarters.

The first mention of so strange a proposal almost bereaved Montezuma of
speech; at length he haughtily answered "That persons of his rank were
not accustomed voluntarily to give themselves up as prisoners, and were
he mean enough to do so, his subjects would not permit such an affront
to be offered to their sovereign."

Cortez now endeavoured to soothe, and then to intimidate him, and in
this way the altercation continued three hours, when Velasquez de Leon,
an impetuous young man exclaimed, "Why waste more time in vain? Let us
seize him instantly, or stab him to the heart." The threatening voice
and fierce gesture with which these words were uttered, struck Montezuma
with a sense of his danger, and abandoning himself to his fate, he
complied with their request: his officers were called, he communicated
to them his resolution. Though astonished and affected, they presumed
not to question the will of their master, but carried him in silent
pomp, all bathed in tears, to the Spanish quarters.

Cortez at first pretended to treat Montezuma with great respect, but
soon took care to let him know that he was entirely in his power. Being
thus master of the person of the monarch, he demanded that the Mexican
general who had attacked the Spaniards, his son, and five of the
principal officers who served under him, should be brought prisoners to
Mexico, and delivered into his hands.

As Cortez wished that the shedding the blood of a Spaniard should
appear the most heinous crime that could be committed, he then ordered
these brave men, who had only acted as became loyal subjects in opposing
the invaders of their country, to be burnt alive, before the gates of
the imperial palace.

The unhappy victims were led forth, and laid on a pile composed of the
weapons collected in the royal magazine for the public defence.

During this cruel execution, Cortez entered the apartments of Montezuma,
and caused him to be loaded with irons, in order to force him to
acknowledge himself a vassal of the king of Spain. The unhappy prince
yielded, and was restored to a semblance of liberty on presenting the
fierce conqueror with six hundred thousand marks of pure gold, and a
prodigious quantity of precious stones.

The Mexicans driven to desperation, all at once flew to arms, and made
so sudden and violent an attack that all the valour and skill of Cortez
was scarcely sufficient to repel them.

The Spaniards now found themselves enclosed in a hostile city, the
whole population of which was exasperated to the highest pitch against
them, and without some extraordinary exertion they were inevitably
undone. Cortez therefore made a desperate sally, but after exerting his
utmost efforts for a whole day, was obliged to retreat to his quarters
with the loss of twelve men killed, and upwards of sixty wounded; Cortez
himself was wounded in the hand.

The Spanish general now betook himself to the only resource which was
left, namely, to try what effect the interposition of Montezuma would
have to soothe and overawe his subjects.

[Illustration]

When the Mexicans approached next morning to renew the assault, that
unfortunate prince, who was now reduced to the sad necessity of becoming
the instrument of his own disgrace, and of the slavery of his people,
advanced to the battlements in his royal robes, and with all the pomp in
which he used to appear on solemn occasions. At the sight of their
sovereign, whom they had long been accustomed to reverence almost as a
god, the Mexicans instantly forebore their hostilities; and many
prostrated themselves on the ground; but when he addressed them in
favour of the Spaniards, and made use of all the arguments he could
think of to mitigate their rage, they testified their resentment with
loud murmurings, and at length broke forth with such fury, that before
the soldiers appointed to guard Montezuma had time to cover him with
their shields, he was wounded with two arrows and a blow on the temple
with a stone struck him to the ground.

On seeing him fall, the Mexicans instantly fled with the utmost
precipitation, and Montezuma was conveyed to his apartments, whither
Cortez followed in order to console him; but as the unhappy monarch now
perceived that he was become an object of contempt even to his own
subjects, his haughty spirit revived, and scorning to prolong his life
after this last humiliation, he tore the bandages from his wounds, in a
transport of rage, and refusing to take any nourishment, he soon ended
his wretched days; refusing with disdain all the solicitations of the
Spaniards to embrace the Christian faith.

The Mexicans having chosen his son Guatimozin emperor, attacked the head
quarters of Cortez with the utmost fury, and, in spite of the advantages
of fire-arms, forced the Spaniards to retire, which alone saved them
from destruction. Their rear guard was cut to pieces, and suffered
severely during the retreat, which lasted six days.

The Spaniards, however, having received fresh troops from Spain,
defeated the Mexicans, and took Guatimozin prisoner, and in the end
succeeded in totally subjugating this vast empire.

Guatimozin, before he was taken prisoner, being aware of his impending
fate, had ordered all his treasures to be thrown into the lake, and he
was now put to the torture, on suspicion of having concealed his
treasure. This was done by laying him on burning coals; but he bore
whatever the cruelty of his tormentors could inflict, with the
invincible fortitude of an American warrior. One of his chief
favourites, his fellow sufferer, being overcome by the violence of the
anguish, turned a dejected eye towards his master, which seemed to
implore his permission to reveal all he knew. But the high spirited
prince darted on him a look of authority mingled with scorn, and checked
his weakness by asking, "Am I reposing on a bed of flowers?"

Overawed by the reproach, he persevered in dutiful silence and expired.

Cortes, utterly regardless of what crimes and cruelties he committed,
added largely to the Spanish territory and revenue. But Spain was always
ungrateful. Pizarro was murdered; Columbus died of a broken heart, and
Balboa the death of a felon; so what could Cortez expect? He fell into
neglect and poverty when his work was done. One day he forced his way
through the crowd that had collected about the carriage of the
sovereign, mounted the door-step, and looked in. Astonished at so gross
a breach of etiquette, the monarch demanded to know who he was? "I am a
man," replied Cortez, "who has given you more provinces than your
ancestors left you cities!"




CHAPTER XI.

PARLEY RELATES HOW PIZARRO DISCOVERED AND CONQUERED PERU.


Peru, when first discovered by the Spaniards, was a large and
flourishing empire, including two kingdoms, Peru, and Quito, and
extended over nearly half of the widest part of the South American
Continent, as you will see if you look into the map, Brazil occupying
the other half of the wide part.

It had been governed by a long succession of Emperors, who were called
the Incas of Peru.

On the 14th of Nov. 1524, three Spanish adventurers whose names were
Francisco Pizarro, in early life a feeder of swine, Diego de Almagro,
and Hernando Luque, set sail from Panama for the discovery of Peru.

Panama was a new settlement which the Spaniards had formed on the
western side of the Isthmus of Darien, on the shores of the Pacific
Ocean.

Pizarro had only a single ship and one hundred and twenty men, to
undertake this discovery, and so little was he acquainted with the
climate of America, that the most improper season of the whole year was
chosen for his departure; the periodical winds which were then set in,
being directly opposite to the course he proposed to steer.

He spent two years in sailing from Panama to the northern extremity of
Peru, a voyage which is now frequently performed in a fortnight.

At Tumbez, a place about three degrees south of the line, Pizarro and
his companions feasted their eyes with the first view of the opulence
and civilization of the Peruvian empire.

This place was distinguished for its stately temple, and for one of the
palaces of the Incas, or sovereigns of the country.

But what chiefly attracted their notice, was such a show of gold and
silver, not only in the ornaments of their persons and temples, but in
the several vessels and utensils of common use, as left them no room to
doubt that these metals abounded in the greatest profusion.

Having explored the country sufficiently to satisfy his own mind,
Pizarro hastened back to Panama, and from thence to Spain, where he
obtained from Charles the Fifth the most liberal concessions, himself
being made chief governor of all the countries he should subdue;
Almagro, king's lieutenant, and Luque being appointed first bishop of
Peru.

Thus encouraged, Pizarro returned to Panama, whence he soon after sailed
with three small vessels, containing only one hundred and eighty-six
soldiers, and arrived at the Bay of St. Matthew; he then advanced by
land as quickly as possible towards Peru.

When Pizarro landed in the bay of St. Matthew, a civil war was raging
with the greatest fury between Atahualpa, who was then seated on the
throne of Peru, and his brother.

This contest so much engaged the attention of the Peruvians, that they
never once attempted to check the progress of the Spaniards, and Pizarro
determined to take advantage of these dissensions.

He directed his course towards Caxamalia, a small town at the distance
of twelve days' march from St. Michael, where Atahualpa was encamped
with a considerable body of troops.

Before he had proceeded far, an officer, despatched by the Inca, met him
with valuable presents from that prince, accompanied with a proffer of
his alliance, and his assurance of a friendly reception at Caxamalia.

Pizarro, according to the usual artifice of his countrymen, pretended to
come as the ambassador of a powerful monarch, to offer his aid against
those enemies who disputed his title to the throne.

The Peruvians were altogether unable to comprehend the object of the
Spaniards in entering their country, whether they should consider them
as beings of a superior nature, who had visited them from some
beneficent motive, as the Spaniards wished them to believe, or whether
they were sent as evil demons to punish them for their crimes, as the
rapaciousness and cruelty of the Spaniards led them to apprehend.

Pizarro's declaration of his pacific intentions, however, so far removed
all the Inca's fears, that he determined to give him a friendly
reception.

In consequence of this the Spaniards were allowed to march across a
sandy desert, which lay in their way to Metupe, where the smallest
efforts of an opposing enemy might have proved fatal to them, and then
through a defile so narrow, that a few men might have defended it
against a numerous army; but here, likewise, they met with no
opposition.

Pizarro, having reached Caxamalia with his followers, sent messengers,
inviting Atahualpa to visit him in his quarters, which he readily
promised. On the return of these messengers, they gave such a
description of the wealth which they had seen, as determined Pizarro to
seize upon the Peruvian monarch, in order that he might more easily
come at the riches of his kingdom.

The next day the Inca approached Caxamalia, without suspicion of
Pizarro's treachery; but, as he drew near the Spanish quarters, Vincent
Valverde, chaplain to the expedition, advanced with a crucifix in one
hand and a breviary in the other, and, in a long discourse, attempted to
convert him to the Roman Catholic faith.

This the monarch declined, avowing his resolution to adhere to the
worship of the sun; at the same time wished to know where the priest had
learned these extraordinary things he had related. "In this book!"
answered Valverde, reaching out his breviary.

The Inca opened it eagerly, and turning over the leaves, raised it to
his ear, "This," said he, "is silent, it tells me nothing;" and threw it
with disdain to the ground.

The enraged monk, running towards his countrymen, cried out, "To arms,
Christians! to arms! the word of God is insulted--avenge the profanation
of these impious dogs!"

Pizarro immediately gave the signal of assault, which ended in the
destruction of four thousand Peruvians, without the loss of a single
Spaniard. The plunder was rich beyond any idea which even the conquerors
had yet formed concerning the wealth of Peru. The Inca, who was taken
prisoner, quickly discovered that the ruling passion of the Spaniards
was the desire of gold; he offered therefore to recover his liberty by a
splendid ransom.

[Illustration]

The apartment in which he was confined was twenty-two feet long, by
sixteen in breadth; this he undertook to fill with vessels of gold as
high as he could reach.

Pizarro closed with the proposal, and a line was drawn upon the walls of
the chamber, to mark the stipulated height to which the treasure was to
rise.

During this confinement, Atahualpa had attached himself with peculiar
affection to Ferdinand Pizarro, and Hernando Soto; who, as they were
persons of birth and education, superior to the rough adventurers with
whom they served, were accustomed to behave with more decency and
kindness to the captive monarch.

Soothed with this respect, he delighted in their society; but in the
presence of the governor he was always uneasy and overawed, and this
dread soon became mingled with contempt.

Among all the European arts, what he admired most was that of reading
and writing, and he long deliberated with himself whether it was a
natural or an acquired talent. In order to determine this, he desired
one of the soldiers, who guarded him, to write the name of God on the
nail of his thumb. This he showed successively to several Spaniards,
asking its meaning, and to his amazement, they all, without hesitation
returned the same answer. At length Francisco Pizarro entered, and on
presenting it to him, he blushed, and with some confusion was obliged to
acknowledge that he could not read.

From that moment Atahualpa considered him as a mean person, less
instructed than his own soldiers, nor could he conceal the sentiments of
contempt with which this discovery inspired him. He, however, performed
his part of the contract, and the gold which his subjects brought in,
was worth three or four hundred thousand pounds sterling.

When they assembled to divide the spoils of this innocent people,
procured by deceit, extortion, and cruelty, the transaction began with a
solemn invocation to Heaven, as if they expected the guidance of God in
distributing the wages of iniquity. In this division, eight thousand
pesoes, at that time equal in value to L10,000 sterling, of the present
day, fell to the share of each soldier: Pizarro and his officers
received shares in proportion to the dignity of their rank.

The Spaniards having divided the treasure among them, the Inca insisted
that they should fulfil their promise of setting him at liberty. But the
Spaniards, with unparalleled treachery and cruelty had now determined to
put him to death; an action the most criminal and atrocious that stains
the Spanish name, amidst all the deeds of violence committed in carrying
on the conquest of the New World. In order to give some colour of
justice to this outrage, Pizarro resolved to try the Inca, according to
the forms of the criminal courts of Spain, and having constituted
himself chief judge, charges the most absurd, and even ridiculous, were
brought against him; but, as his infamous judges had predetermined, he
was found guilty, and condemned to be burnt alive.

Atahualpa, astonished at his fate, endeavoured to avert it by tears, by
promises, and by entreaties; but pity never touched the unfeeling heart
of Pizarro. He ordered him to be led instantly to execution, and the
cruel priest, after having prostituted his sacred office to confirm the
wicked sentence, offered to console, and attempted to convert him.

The dread of a cruel death, extorted from the trembling victim his
consent to be baptized. The ceremony was performed; and Atahualpa,
instead of being burnt alive, was strangled at the stake.

Pizarro then proceeded in his career of cruelty and rapacity, till, in
ten years, he subdued the whole of this great empire, and divided it
among his followers.

In making the division, he allotted the richest and finest provinces to
himself and his favourites, giving the less valuable to Almagro and his
friends.

This partiality highly offended Almagro, who thought his claims equal to
Pizarro's, and this led to open hostilities; when Almagro being taken
prisoner, he was beheaded in prison by order of Pizarro.

Soon after this, Pizarro himself was assassinated in his palace by a
party of Almagro's friends, headed by the son of Almagro, in revenge for
the death of his father.

Some time before this, the cruel and bigoted priest, Val de Viridi, had
been beaten to death with the butt end of muskets, in the island of
Puma, at the instigation of Almagro.

Thus retributive justice, in the end, overtook these unjust and cruel
men.

[Illustration]




CHAPTER XII.

PARLEY DESCRIBES THE NATURAL BEAUTIES OF AMERICA.


Let us now leave for a while the cruel Spaniards, and talk about the
beauties of nature, in these new discovered countries.

In these extensive regions, every thing appeared new and wonderful; not
only the inhabitants, but the whole face of nature was totally different
from anything that had been seen in Europe.

Grand ridges of mountains, numerous volcanoes, some of them, though
under the Equator, covered with perpetual snows. Noble rivers, whose
course, in several instances, exceeds three thousand miles.

Here are found the palm-tree, the cedar, the tamarind, the guaiacum,
the sassafras, the hickory, the chestnut, the walnut of many different
kinds, the wild cherry (sometimes a hundred feet high), and more than
fifty different sorts of oak.

The plane, of which there are two kinds, one found in Asia, which is
called the oriental plane: that found in America is called the
occidental plane; but the Americans call it button-wood, or sycamore.
Its foliage is richer, and its leaves of a more beautiful green than the
oriental. It grows to a great size.

The cypress is perhaps the largest of the American trees; it is a more
than a hundred and twenty feet high; and the diameter of the trunk at
forty or fifty feet from the ground is sometimes eight or ten feet.

Another tree of gigantic magnitude is the wild cotton or Cuba tree. A
canoe made from the single trunk of this tree has been know to contain a
hundred persons.

Above all these in beauty is the majestic magnolia which shoots up to
the height of more than a hundred feet; its trunk perfectly straight,
surmounted by a thick expanded head of pale green foliage, in the form
of a cone.

From the centre of the flowery crown which terminates each of its
branches, a flower of the purest white arises, having the form of a
rose, from six to nine inches in diameter.

To the flower succeeds a crimson cone; this, in opening, exhibits round
seeds of the finest coral red, surrounded by delicate threads, six
inches long.

Here, every plant and tree displays its most majestic form.

Upon the shady banks of the Madelina there grows a climbing plant which
the botanists call Aristolochia, the flowers of which are four feet in
circumference, and children amuse themselves with covering their heads
with them as hats.

The Banana which grows in all the hot parts of America, and furnishes
the Indians with the chief part of their daily food, producing more
nutritious substance, in less space, and with less trouble than any
other known plant.

[Illustration]

It is here that the ground produces the sugar-cane, the coffee, and the
cocoa-nut from which is produced the chocolate. The vanilla, the anana
or pine apple, and many other delicious fruits.

The cacao, though generally pronounced cocoa, must not be confounded
with the Cocoa Palm which produces that largest of all nuts, the
Cocoa-nut.

These trees and plants which I have mentioned, and many more equally
beautiful, are all natives of the American woods.

But the European settlers, when they came, brought over to Europe many
valuable kinds of fruit and plants, which they did not find here; and I
never was more delighted than once on passing through Virginia, to
observe the dwellings of the settlers shaded by orange, lemon, and
pomegranate trees, that fill the air with the perfume of their flowers,
while their branches are loaded with fruit.

Strawberries of native growth, of the richest flavour, spring up beneath
your feet; and when these are passed away, every grove and field looks
like a cherry orchard. Then follow the peaches, every hedge-row is
planted with them. But it is the flowers and the flowering shrubs, that,
beyond all else, render these regions so beautiful. No description can
give an idea of the variety, the profusion, and the luxuriance of them.

The Dog-wood, whose lateral fan-like branches are dotted all over with
star-like blossoms of splendid white, as large as those of the
gumcistus.

The straight silvery column of the Papan fig, crowned with a canopy of
large indented leaves; and the wild orange tree, mixed with the
odoriferous and common laurel, form striking ornaments of this
enchanting scene, with many other lovely flowers too numerous to
describe.

There is another charm that enchants the wanderer in the American woods.
In a bright day in the summer months you walk through an atmosphere of
butterflies, so gaudy in hue, and so varied in form, that I often
thought they looked like flowers on the wing.

Some of them are large, measuring three or four inches across the wing,
but many, and those of the most beautiful, are small. Some have wings
the most dainty lavender, and bodies of black; others are fawn and rose
colour, and others are orange and bright blue: but pretty as they are,
it is their numbers more than their beauty; and their gay, and
noiseless movement through the air, crossing each other in chequered
maze, that so delights the eye.

[Illustration]

That beautiful production, the humming bird, is also the sportive
inhabitant of these warm climates, and I think they surpass all the
works of nature in singularity of form, splendour of colour, and variety
of species.

They are found in all the West India islands and in most parts of the
American continent: the smallest species does not exceed the size of
some of the bees.

[Illustration]

There are so many different kinds, and each so beautiful, that it is
impossible to describe them. They are constantly on the wing, collecting
insects from the blossoms of the tamarind, the orange, or any other tree
that happens to be in flower: and the humming noise proceeds from the
surprising velocity with which they move their wings.




CHAPTER XIII.

PARLEY TELLS OF THE FIRST ENGLISH COLONY IN AMERICA.


In the beginning of the reign of James the First, who you know succeeded
Elizabeth, the first successful attempt was made by the English to found
a colony in America.

Three small vessels, of which the largest did not exceed one hundred
tons burden, under the command of Captain Newport, formed the first
squadron that was to execute what had been so long, and so vainly
attempted; and sailed with a hundred and five men destined to remain in
America.

Several of these emigrants were members of distinguished
families--particularly George Percy, a brother of the Earl of
Northumberland; and several were officers of reputation, of whom we may
notice Bartholomew Gosnald, the navigator, and Captain John Smith, one
of the most distinguished ornaments of an age that abounded with
memorable men.

Thus, after the lapse of a hundred and ten years from the discovery of
the continent by Cabot, and twenty-two years after its first occupation
by Raleigh, was the number of the English colonists limited to a hundred
and five; and this handful of men undertook the arduous task of peopling
a remote and uncultivated land, covered with woods and marshes, and
inhabited only by savages and beasts of prey.

Newport and his squadron did not accomplish their voyage in less than
four months; but its termination was rendered particularly fortunate by
the effect of a storm, which defeated their purpose of landing and
settling at Roanoak, and carried them into the bay of Chesapeak; and
coasting along its southern shore, they entered a river which the
natives called Powhatan, and explored its banks for more than forty
miles from its mouth.

The adventurers, impressed with the superior advantages of the coast and
region to which they had been thus happily conducted, determined to make
this the place of their abode.

They gave to their infant settlement, as well as to the neighbouring
river, the name of their king; and James Town retains the distinction of
being the oldest of existing habitations of the English in America.

Newport having landed the colonists, with what supplies of provisions
were destined for their support, set sail with his ships to return to
England, in the month of June, 1607.

The colonists soon found themselves limited to a scanty supply of
unwholesome provisions; and the heat and moisture of the climate
combining with the effect of their diet, brought on diseases that raged
with fatal violence.

Before the month of September, one half of their number had miserably
perished, and among these victims was Bartholomew Gosnald, who had
planned the expedition, and greatly contributed to its success.

This scene of suffering was embittered by dissensions among themselves.
At length, in the extremity of their distress, when ruin seemed to
threaten them, as well from famine as the fury of the savages, the
colonists obtained a complete and unexpected deliverance, which the
piety of Smith ascribed to the influence of God in their behalf.

The savages, actuated by a sudden change of feeling, not only refrained
from molesting them, but brought them, without being asked, a supply of
provisions so liberal, as at once to remove their apprehensions of
famine and hostility.

The colonists were now instructed by their misfortunes, and the sense of
urgent danger, led them to submit to the advice of the man, whose
talents were most likely to extricate them from the difficulties with
which they were surrounded.

Every eye was now turned on Captain Smith, whose superior talents and
experience, had so far excited the envy and jealousy of his colleagues,
that he had been excluded from a seat in the council.

Under Captain Smith's directions, James Town was fortified, so as to
repel the attacks of the savages, and its inhabitants were provided with
dwellings that afforded shelter from the weather, and contributed to
restore and preserve their health.

Finding the supplies of the savages discontinued, he took with him some
of his people and penetrated into the interior of the country, where by
courtesy and kindness to the tribes whom he found well disposed, he
succeeded in procuring a plentiful supply of provisions. In the midst of
his successes he was surprised during an expedition by a hostile body of
savages, who having made him prisoner, after a gallant and nearly
successful defence, prepared to inflict on him the usual fate of their
captives.

His genius and presence of mind did not desert him on this trying
occasion. He desired to speak with the sachem or chief of the tribe to
which he was a prisoner, and, presenting him with a mariner's compass,
expatiated on the wonderful discoveries to which this little instrument
had led, described the shape of the earth, the vastness of its land and
oceans, the course of the sun and the varieties of nations, wisely
forbearing to express any solicitude for his life.

The savages listened to him with amazement and admiration. They handled
the compass, viewing with surprise the play of the needle, which they
plainly saw, but were unable to touch; and he appeared to have gained
some ascendancy over their minds.

For an hour afterwards they seemed undecided; but their habitual
disposition returning, they bound him to a tree, and were preparing to
despatch him with their arrows.

But a deeper impression had been made by his harangue on the mind of
their chief, who, holding up the compass in his hand, gave the signal of
reprieve, and Smith, though still guarded as a prisoner, was conducted
to a dwelling, where he was kindly treated and plentifully entertained.

[Illustration]

But after vainly attempting to prevail on their captive to betray the
English colony into their hands, the Indian referred his fate to
Powhatan, the king or principal sachem of the country, to whose presence
they conducted him in pompous and triumphant procession.

This prince received him with much ceremony, ordered a rich repast to be
set before him, and then adjudged him to suffer death by having his head
laid on a stone and beaten to pieces with clubs.

[Illustration]

At the place appointed for his execution, Smith was again rescued from
impending destruction by Pocahontas, the favourite daughter of the
chief, who, finding her first entreaties disregarded, threw her arms
round the prisoner, and declared her determination to save him or die
with him.

Her generous compassion prevailed over the cruelty of her tribe, and the
king not only gave Smith his life, but soon after sent him back to James
Town, where the benificence of Pocahontas continued to follow him with
supplies of provisions that delivered the colony from famine.

This eminent commander continued for some time to govern the colony with
the greatest wisdom and prudence, when he received a dangerous wound
from the accidental explosion of some gunpowder. Completely disabled by
this misfortune, and destitute of surgical aid in the colony, he was
compelled to resign his command, and take his departure for England. He
never returned to Virginia again.




CHAPTER XIV.

PARLEY TELLS OF THE ORIGINAL NATIVE AMERICANS.


I recollect when I was staying in America, an old Delaware Indian came
to Boston to sell some skins and furs, and he called at the house where
I was stopping. He had once been a chief among the Indians, but was now
poor.

I went to this Indian's home, which was a little hut near Mount Holyoke.
We found his wife and his three children; two boys and a girl. They came
out to meet us, and were very glad to see their father and me.

I was very hungry and tired when I arrived. The Indian's wife roasted
some bear's flesh, and gave us some bread made of pounded corn, for our
supper.

I then went to bed on some bear skins, and slept very well. Early in the
morning I was called to go hunting with the Indian and his two sons. It
was a fine bright morning in October. The sun was shining on the tops of
the mountains; we climbed Mount Holyoke, through the woods, and ascended
a high rock, from which we could see a beautiful valley far below us, in
the centre of which was the little town of Northampton, much smaller
than it is now.

[Illustration]

"Do you see those houses?" said the Indian to me, "When my grandfather
was a boy, there was not a house where you see so many: that valley
which now belongs to white men, belonged to red men."

"Then the red men were rich and happy; now they are poor and wretched.
Then that beautiful river which you see running through the valley, and
which is called the Connecticut, was theirs. They owned these fine
mountains too, they hunted in these woods, and fished in that river, and
were numerous and powerful,--now they are few and weak."

"But how has this change happened?" said I, "who has taken your lands
from you, and made you so miserable?"

"I will tell you all about that to-night," said he, "when we return
home."

We proceeded cautiously through the woods, and had not gone far when the
Indian beckoned us all to stop. "Look yonder," said he to me, "on that
high rock above us!" I did so, but could see nothing. "Look again," said
he; I did, and saw a young hind standing upon the point of a rock which
hung over the valley; she was a beautiful little animal, full of spirit,
with large black eyes, slender legs and of a reddish brown colour.

He now selected a choice arrow, placed it on the bow, and sent it
whizzing through the air. It struck directly through the heart. The
little animal sprang violently forward, over the rock, and fell dead
many feet below, where Whampum's sons soon found it; we now returned to
the wigwam, carrying the fawn with us.

[Illustration]

In the evening I reminded him of his promise to tell me how the Indians
had been robbed of their lands and reduced to poverty. He accordingly
began as follows:--

"A great many years ago," said he, "when men with white skins had never
been seen in this land, some Indians who were out fishing at a place
where the sea widens, espied at a great distance something very large,
floating on the water, and such as they had never seen before.

"These Indians immediately returning to the shore, apprized their
countrymen of what they had observed, and pressed them to go out with
them and discover what it might be. They hurried out together, and saw
with astonishment what the others had described, but could not agree
upon what it was; some believed it to be an uncommonly large fish or
animal, whilst others were of opinion that it must be a very large house
floating on the sea.

"They sent off messengers to carry the news to their scattered chiefs
and warriors that they should come together immediately.

"The chiefs were soon assembled and deliberating as to the manner in
which they should receive the Manitou or Supreme Being on his arrival.
Every measure was taken to be well provided with plenty of meat for a
sacrifice, the women were desired to prepare the best victuals, all the
idols were examined and put in order, and a grand dance was supposed not
only to be agreeable to the Great Being, but it was believed that it
might tend to appease him if he was angry with them.

"Distracted between hope and fear, they were at a loss what to do; a
dance, however, commenced in great confusion; fresh runners arrive,
declaring it to be a large house, of various colours, and crowded with
living creatures.

"Many are for running off into the woods, but are pressed by others to
stay, in order not to give offence to their visitors, who might find
them out and destroy them. The house at last stops, and a canoe of small
size comes on shore, with a man clothed in red, and some others in it;
some stay with his canoe to guard it. The chiefs and wise men assembled
in council, form themselves into a large circle, towards which the man
in red approaches, with two others; he salutes them with a friendly
countenance, and they return the salute in the same manner; they are
lost in admiration, the dress, the manner, the whole appearance of the
unknown strangers is to them a subject of wonder; but they are
particularly struck with him who wore the red coat, all glittering with
gold, which they could in no manner account for.

"He surely must be the great Manitou; but why should he have a white
skin? Meanwhile a large Hack-hack is brought by one of his servants,
from which an unknown liquid is poured out into a small cup, and handed
to the supposed Manitou; he drinks,--has the cup filled again, and hands
it to the chief standing next to him; the chief receives it, but only
smells the contents and passes it on to the next chief, who does the
same.

"The glass or cup thus passes through the circle without the liquor
being tasted by any one, and is upon the point of being returned to the
red-clothed Manitou, when one of the Indians, a brave man and a great
warrior, suddenly jumps up and harangues the assembly, on the
impropriety of returning the cup with its content: It was handed to
them, said he, by the Manitou, that they should drink out of it as he
had done: to follow his example would be pleasing to him, but to return
what he had given to them, might provoke his wrath, and bring
destruction on them; and since the orator believed it for the good of
the nation, that the contents should be drunk, and as no one else would
do it, he would drink it himself, let the consequences be what they
might: it was better for one man to die, than that a whole nation should
be destroyed.

"He then took the cup, and bidding the assembly a solemn farewell, at
once drank up its whole contents. Every eye was fixed on the resolute
chief, to see what effect the unknown liquor would produce.

"He soon began to stagger, and at last fell prostrate on the ground;
his companions now bemoan his fate, he falls into a sound sleep, and
they think he is dead: he wakes again:--he asks for more, his wish is
granted; the whole assembly then imitate him, and all become
intoxicated.

[Illustration]

"After this general intoxication had ceased, the man with the red
clothes, who had remained in his great canoe while it lasted, returned
again and distributed presents among them, consisting of beads, axes,
shoes and stockings, such as white people wear.

"They soon became familiar with each other, and began to converse by
signs; the strangers made them understand that they would not stay here,
that they would return home again, but would pay them another visit next
year, when they would bring them more presents and stay with them
awhile.

"They went away, as they had said, and returned in the following season,
when both parties were much rejoiced to see each other; but the white
men laughed at the Indians, for they had the axes and hoes, which they
had given them the year before, hanging to their breasts, as ornaments,
and the stockings were made use of as tobacco pouches. The whites now
put handles to the axes for them, and cut down trees before their eyes,
hoed up the ground, and put the stockings on their legs: here, they say,
a general laughter ensued among the Indians, that they had remained
ignorant of the use of such valuable tools, and had borne the weight of
them hanging to their necks for such a length of time. They took every
white man they saw for an inferior attendant on the supreme Manitou in
the red laced clothes.

[Illustration]

"As they became daily more familiar with the Indians, the white men
proposed to stay with us, and we readily consented.

"It was we who so kindly received them in our country, we took them by
the hand and bade them welcome to sit down by our side and live with us
as brothers; but how did they requite our kindness? They first asked
only for a little land, on which to raise bread for themselves and their
families, and pasture for their cattle, which we freely gave them; they
soon wanted more, which we also gave them; they saw the game in the
woods, which the Great Spirit had given us for our subsistence, and they
wanted that too; they penetrated into the woods in quest of game; they
discovered spots of land which pleased them, that land they also wanted;
and because we were loath to part with it, as we saw they had already
more than they had need of, they took it from us by force, and drove us
to a great distance from our ancient homes; they looked everywhere for
good spots of land, and when they found one, they immediately, and
without ceremony, possessed themselves of it; but when at last they came
to our favourite spots, those which lay most convenient to our
fisheries, then bloody wars ensued. We would have been contented that
the white people and we should have lived quietly beside each other,
but these white men encroached so fast upon us, that we saw at once we
should lose all if we did not resist them. The wars that we carried on
against each other were long and cruel,--we were enraged when we saw the
white people put our friends and relatives, whom they had taken
prisoners, on board their ships, whether to drown or sell them as slaves
in the country from which they came, we know not; but certain it is,
that none of them have ever returned, or even been heard of.

"At last they got possession of the whole country, which the Great
Spirit had given us; one of our tribes was forced to wander far to the
north, others dispersed in small bodies, and sought refuge where they
could.

"How long we shall be permitted to remain in this asylum, the Great
Spirit only knows. The whites will not rest contented till they shall
have destroyed the last of us, and made us disappear entirely from the
face of the earth."

The old Indian said no more: he looked sad, and his two sons looked sad
also; and I shall never forget the impression his story made upon my
mind.

Thus, these good Indians, with a kind of melancholy pleasure, recite the
long history of their sufferings; and often have I listened to their
painful details, until I have felt ashamed of being a white man.

A few days after this we set out upon another hunting excursion, and
again climbed the mountains. We had proceeded some distance when we
heard the report of a gun, and coming round the point of a rock which
lay just before us, we saw a Delaware Indian hunter, who had just
discharged his carabine at a huge bear, and broken its backbone; the
animal fell, and set up a most plaintive cry; something like that of the
panther when he is hungry.

The Indian includes all savage beasts in the number of his enemies, and
when he has conquered one, he taunts him before he kills him, in the
same strain as he would a conquered enemy of a hostile tribe.

Instead of giving the bear another shot, the hunter stood close to him,
and addressed him in these words:--

[Illustration]

"Hark ye! bear; you are a coward, and no warrior, as you pretend to be.
Were you a warrior, you would show it by your firmness, and would not
cry and whimper, like an old woman. You know, bear, that our tribes are
at war with each other, and that yours were the aggressors." As you may
suppose, I was not a little surprised at the delivery of this curious
invective.




CHAPTER XV.

PARLEY TELLS ABOUT THE UNITED STATES.


The English settlements in America grew very rapidly into power and
importance. The French settlements also increased in extent and
influence, and a rivalry between the French and English, fostered and
nourished by the "_natural enmity_" which was said to subsist between
the Gauls and the Britons, broke out at last in terrible warfare. War is
very frightful under any circumstances. It looks very much like murder;
and, even at the best of times, a battle-field reminds us of Cain and
Abel. Brother slaughters brother, and the conqueror rejoices and
describes his sanguinary work as "a glorious victory." In the war
between the English and French settlers in America, a new and atrocious
feature was introduced. The Indians were engaged, for pay and powder,
on either side, to commit the most hideous cruelties; and things were
done which must not be told here, but the very thought of which should
make us shudder and turn pale.

The English got the better of the French, and they took Quebec, a strong
city in Canada. General Wolfe, a young man and an excellent soldier,
captured the city; but it cost him his life. During the heat of the
engagement, Wolfe was shot. "Support me," said he to an officer near
him; "do not let my brave fellows see my face!" He was removed to the
rear, and water was brought to quench his thirst. Just then a cry was
heard, "They run! they run!" "Who runs?" exclaimed Wolfe, faintly
raising himself. "The enemy!" was the reply. "Then," said he, "I die
content," and expired.

The result of the war in which General Wolfe perished, left a vast
amount of debt as a heavy weight upon the country. The English settlers
had fought very bravely all through the war, and they thought that the
English at home ought to pay the debt, and not tax them for its payment.
But the king and the parliament thought differently. They taxed the
American settlers very heavily; they would listen to no remonstrance;
and, when some signs were given of resistance, they were threatened with
punishment, like so many unruly schoolboys. Certain privileges which had
been granted them were taken away, and troops sent out to enforce
obedience. One very objectionable tax to the Americans was a stamp duty
on newspapers. Another was a tax on tea. They urged that it was unfair
for the British government to tax them without they were allowed to send
members to Parliament to look after their interests; but remonstrance
only tended to make the British government more determined; and so at
last they came to what somebody has called gunpowder law, that is to
say, fighting.

I need not enter on the events of the war. It ended in the triumph of
the American settlers, and in the declaration of American independence
and the formation of the United States. The foremost man, both as a
statesman and a soldier, in the conduct of the war, on the part of the
Americans, was George Washington. He was elected three times to the
presidency, and no name is more revered than his by the Americans.

Since the separation of America from England, more than one quarrel has
occurred between them. That which most vitally touches the future
prosperity of the states is the warfare which now rages between the
northern and southern sections of the republic. Most of you are aware
that slavery prevails to a great extent in America. The negroes or
blacks (the word _negro_ means _black_) are more particularly found in
the southern states. The northern states do not _hold_ slaves, but they
have so far _held_ with slavery as to give up runaways, and tolerate the
laws which make a man--because he was black--a mere beast of burden. A
quarrel, however, on this question, and others of minor importance, has
at last broken out between the north and south. The southerners have
separated from the northerners, and established a new republic of their
own. Their _right_ to do this has been denied by the north, and a civil
war has commenced in consequence. What may be the final result it is
impossible for any one to predict. The quarrel threatened at one time to
involve a war with England; but this is no longer apprehended. It seems
a very sad thing that a people so clever, so enterprising, so prosperous
as the Americans, should, by a quarrel and separation among themselves,
endanger--if they do not entirely overthrow--one of the most important
states in the world. We cannot forget what it is that lies at the bottom
of the mischief--SLAVERY.

  "O execrable crime! so to aspire
  Above our brethren, to ourselves assuming
  Authority usurped from God, not given.
  He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,
  Dominion absolute; that right we hold
  By his donation: but man over man
  He made not lord--such title to himself
  Reserving, human left from human free."

I may now tell you something about some of the chief cities in the
United States.

New York is the principal seaport and commercial metropolis of the
States. It is situated at the southern extremity of an island called
Manhattan Island, near the mouth of the Hudson river. Its progress has
been very rapid, and its population is more than double that of any
other city in the new world. The approach to the city is very fine--the
shores of the bay being wooded down to the water's edge, and thickly
studded with farms, villages, and country seats. New York measures about
ten miles round. It is triangular in form. The principal street is
Broadway, a spacious thoroughfare extending in a straight line through
the centre of the city. The houses have a clean, fresh, cheerful
appearance; many of the stores or shops are highly decorated; the public
buildings, including the churches, while they can make no pretension to
grandeur, are good of their kind; the university is probably the finest
building in the city. The hotels in New York are far more extensive
than anything of the kind in Europe, and they are fitted up and
conducted on a scale of princely grandeur. The city of New York was
founded by the Dutch in 1621, and called New Amsterdam; but it was given
to the Duke of York (afterwards James II.) in 1604, and was henceforth
called by his name. The first congress of the United States was held
there in 1789.

Washington is the government capital of the States, and is so called in
honour of the distinguished man--the father of the Republic--to whom I
have already alluded. The entrance to the city by the Pennsylvanian
avenue is 100 feet wide, and planted with some of the trees. The
president's residence is called the "White House." The chief public
offices and halls for the assembly of congress are contained in one
building known as the Capitol. It stands on a hill, and is said to be
the finest building in the Union. It is surrounded by ornamental
grounds, and overlooks the river Potomac.

BOSTON is a maritime city, and a great place of trade; it is
situated on an extensive bay, and is connected with the interior of the
country by canals, railways, and river navigation. It is the great seat
of the American ice trade. In the history of the war of independence it
occupies a conspicuous place, as the Bostonians displayed great energy
in asserting popular rights. At Boston, when the "taxed tea" was sent
over by the British government, a number of the citizens disguised
themselves as Mohawk Indians, boarded the ships in which it had been
brought over, seized upon and staved the chests, and threw their
contents into the sea. This affair was known as the Boston tea party.
Boston is the birth-place of Dr. Benjamin Franklin--the "Poor Richard"
of whom I have no doubt you have often heard, and whose excellent advice
cannot be too well remembered nor too carefully applied.

CHARLESTON is another of the principal sea-ports of the States.
It is the largest town in South Carolina, and is situated at a low point
of land at the confluence of two rivers. It is the stronghold of
slavery. One of the most recent events connected with it is that of the
Northerners blocking up the harbour by sinking several ships, laden with
stones, at the entrance. This is a very barbarous act, as it
closes--perhaps for ever--one of the first ports in America.

PHILADELPHIA is the last city I shall mention. It is the great
Quaker city; its streets are remarkable for their regularity, and the
houses and stores for the peculiar air of cleanness which they exhibit.
The public buildings are nearly all of white marble. It is distinguished
for its vast number of charitable institutions and religious edifices,
and it is a thriving place of business. The city was founded by William
Penn in 1682. There is a monument marking the site of the signing of
Penn's famous treaty with the Indians. With some little account of this
treaty I shall conclude my notice of America.

King Charles II. made a grant of land to Penn, but this good man would
not enter upon its possession until after he had arranged a treaty with
those to whom he justly thought it more fairly belonged than to the
King of England--namely, with the Indians. He consequently convened a
meeting--under the wide spreading branches of an elm tree, the Indian
chiefs assembled. They were unarmed; the old men sat in a half-moon upon
the ground, the middle aged in the same figure, at a little distance
from them; the younger men formed a third semicircle in the rear. Before
them stood William Penn,--a light blue sash, the only mark which
distinguished him from his friends, bound round his waist.

  "'Thou'lt find,' said the quaker, 'in me and mine,
  But friends and brothers to thee and thine,
  Who above no power, admit no line,
    Twixt the red man and the white.'

  And bright was the spot where the quaker came,
  To leave his hat, his drab, and his name,
  That will sweetly sound from the trumpet of fame,
    Till its final blast shall die."

It is to be regretted that the speeches of the Indians on this memorable
day have not come down to us. It is only known that they solemnly
pledged themselves to live with William Penn and his people in peace and
amity so long as the sun and moon should endure. This was the only
treaty, it has been said, between these people and the Christians that
was _not_ ratified by an oath, and that was _never_ broken.




AUSTRALIA.

CHAPTER XVI.

PARLEY TELLS ABOUT NEW SOUTH WALES.


At the termination of the American war, of which I have just given you a
short account, the United States of America, which had been called by
England her American Colonies, ceased to be any longer subject to Great
Britain.

The province of Virginia, in America, had for a long time been the only
authorized outlet for those criminals in Great Britain and Ireland, who
had been sentenced to transportation.

It now became necessary for the English government to fix upon some
other country, to which those of her subjects might be transported,
who were condemned to banishment for their crimes.

[Illustration]

After much deliberation in the British Parliament, it was determined to
form a penal settlement in New South Wales.

If you will look at a globe, or, if you have not a globe, at a map of
the world, turning the South Pole from you, or uppermost, and, supposing
yourself to be in a ship, sail across the Atlantic Ocean till you come
to the Equator, which is an imaginary line that divides the northern
half of the globe from the southern; then "cross the line," as it is
called, and sail along the South Atlantic, in the direction of the coast
of South America, till you arrive at its southern extremity, which you
will see is called Cape Horn; then sailing round Cape Horn, (which is
called doubling Cape Horn), and directing your course westward, right
across the Great Pacific Ocean. After having sailed across these three
great oceans, you will find yourself, if you have a prosperous voyage,
exactly on the opposite side of the globe, and before you, an extensive
chain of large islands, lying off the South-eastern extremity of the
continent of Asia.

This group of islands has been named Australasia, which means Southern
Asia, and the largest of these, which is the largest island in the whole
world, has been called Australia, or New Holland.

This is so large an island, that if you were to divide the whole of
Europe into ten parts, New Holland is as large as nine of them: and
hence, from its great extent, some geographers have dignified it with
the title of a continent.

The northern and western coasts of this vast island were discovered by a
succession of Dutch navigators, who gave them the name of New Holland.

The eastern coast, which has been explored, and taken possession of by
the English, was discovered by Capt. Cook, who gave it the name of New
South Wales.

At the southern extremity of Australia or New Holland, you will see
VAN DIEMEN'S LAND, which was discovered by Tasman, one of the
Dutch navigators, who was sent from Batavia by Anthony Van Diemen, the
Dutch governor-general of the Indies, to survey the coast of New
Holland.

In this voyage Tasman discovered an extensive country lying to the south
of New Holland; in giving a name to which, he immortalized his patron,
by calling it "Van Diemen's Land," having no suspicion at the time that
it was an island.

It was not till the year 1798 that it was discovered to be such; as in
all the old maps and charts it is represented as part of the main land
of New Holland.

This important discovery was effected in an open boat, by Mr. Bass, a
surgeon in the royal navy, who found it to be separated from Australia
by a broad strait, which has ever since borne the name of its
discoverer, "BASS' STRAITS."

A fleet of eleven sail was assembled at Portsmouth in March, 1783, for
the formation of the proposed settlement on the coast of New Holland.

On board of these vessels were embarked 600 male, and 250 female
convicts, with a guard consisting of about 200 soldiers, with their
proper officers. Forty women, wives of the marines, were also permitted
to accompany their husbands, together with their children.

Captain Arthur Phillip, an officer highly qualified in every respect for
the arduous undertaking, was appointed governor of the proposed colony.

The little fleet which was thus placed under the command of Captain
Phillip, and which has ever since been designated by the colonists "_the
first fleet_," set sail from Portsmouth on the 13th of May 1787, and
arrived at Botany Bay, in New South Wales, in January 1788, after a
long, but comparatively prosperous voyage of eight months and upwards.

Captain Phillip soon found, to his disappointment, that Botany Bay was
by no means an eligible harbour; nor was it, in other respects, suitable
for the establishment of a colony, and he determined, even before any
number of the convicts had been permitted to land, to search for a more
eligible site.

In Captain Cook's chart of the coast, another opening had been laid
down, a few miles to the northward of Botany Bay, on the authority of a
seaman of the name of Jackson, who had seen it from the
foretop-mast-head; and Captain Cook, conceiving it to be nothing more
than a harbour for boats, which it was not worth his while to examine,
called it Port Jackson.

It is no wonder that Captain Cook came to this conclusion; for no
opening of any kind can be perceived till you come close in with the
land.

This opening Captain Phillip examined, and the result of that
examination was the splendid discovery of Port Jackson,--one of the
finest harbours, whether for extent or security, in the world.

To this harbour the fleet was immediately removed, and the settlement
was ultimately formed at the head of Sydney Cove, one of the numerous
and romantic inlets of Port Jackson.

The labour and patience required, and the difficulties which the first
settlers must have had to encounter, are incalculable; but their
success has been complete.

The forest has been cleared away, the corn-field and the orchard have
supplanted the wild grass and the bush, and towns and villages have
arisen as if by magic. You may hear the lowing of herds where, a few
years before, you would have trembled at the wild whoop of the savage,
and the stillness of that once solitary shore is broken by the sound of
wheels and the busy hum of commerce.

[Illustration]




CHAPTER XVII.

PARLEY DESCRIBES THE INHABITANTS, VEGETABLES, AND ANIMALS OF AUSTRALIA.


The natives of this part of Australia are, beyond comparison, the most
barbarous on the surface of the globe.

They are hideously ugly, with flat noses, wide nostrils, eyes sunk in
the head, and overshadowed with thick eyebrows. The mouth very wide,
lips thick and prominent, hair black, but not woolly; the colour of the
skin varies from dark bronze to jet black. Their stature is below the
middle size, and they are remarkably thin and ill-made.

To add to their natural deformity, they thrust a bone through the
cartilage of the nose, and stick with gum to their hair matted moss, the
teeth of men, sharks, and kangaroos, the tails of dogs, and jaw-bones
of fish.

On particular occasions they ornament themselves with red and white
clay, using the former when preparing to fight, and the latter for the
more peaceful amusement of dancing. The fashion of these ornaments was
left to each person's taste, and some, when decorated in their best
manner, looked perfectly horrible: nothing could appear more terrible
than a black and dismal face, with a large white circle drawn round each
eye.

[Illustration]

They scarify the skin in every part with sharp shells.

The women and female children are generally found to want the first two
joints of the little finger of the left hand, which are taken off while
they are infants, and the reason they assign is, that they would be in
the way in winding the fish-lines over the hand.

The men all want one of their front teeth, which is knocked out when
they arrive at the age of fifteen or sixteen, with many ridiculous
ceremonies; but the boys are not allowed to consider themselves as men
before they have undergone that operation.

They live chiefly on fish, which they sometimes spear and sometimes net;
the women, on the parts of the coast, aiding to catch them with the hook
and line.

"The facility," (observes Captain Sturt), "with which they procured fish
was really surprising.

"They would slip, feet foremost, into the water, as they walked along
the bank of the river, as if they had accidentally done so; but, in
reality, to avoid the splash they would have made if they had plunged in
head foremost.

"As surely as a native disappeared under the surface of the water, so
surely would he re-appear, with a fish writhing upon the point of his
short spear.

"The very otter scarcely exceeds them in power over the finny race, and
so true is the aim of these savages, even under the water, that all the
fish we procured from them were pierced either close behind the lateral
fin or in the very centre of the head."

[Illustration]

If a dead whale happens to be cast on the shore, numbers flock to it,
from every part of the coast, and they feast sumptuously while any part
remains.

Those in the interior are stated to live on grubs, insects, ants and
their eggs, kangaroos, when they can catch them, fern roots, various
kinds of berries, and honey; caterpillars and worms also form part of
their food.

Captain Phillip took every possible pains to reclaim these ignorant
savages, and he once nearly lost his life in endeavouring to conciliate
a party of them, having ventured amongst them unarmed for that purpose;
one of the savages threw a spear which pierced the upper part of his
shoulder and came out at his back.

But all the efforts of the governor to effect the permanent civilization
of these miserable people proved utterly abortive.

They possess the faculty of mimickry or imitation to a very considerable
degree. I was walking with a friend, one beautiful evening, on the banks
of the Paramatta, when Bungarry, chief of the Sydney tribe of black
natives, was pulling down the river with his two jins, or wives, in a
boat which he had received as a present from the governor. My friend
accosted him on his coming up with us, and the good-natured chief
immediately desired his _jins_ to rest upon their oars, for he was rowed
by his wives. During the short conversation that ensued, my friend
requested Bungarry to show how governor Macquarrie made a bow.

[Illustration]

Bungarry happened to be dressed in the old uniform of a military
officer, and standing up in the stern of his boat, and taking off his
cocked hat, with the requisite punctilio, he made a low formal bow, with
all the dignity and grace of a general officer of the old school.

The rich variety of vegetation on the Illawarra mountain, which is a
lofty range running parallel with the coast, contrasts beautifully with
the richness of the scenery. The fern tree, shooting up its rough stem,
about the thickness of a small boat's mast, to the height of fifteen or
twenty feet, and then, all at once shooting out a number of leaves in
every direction, each at four or five feet in length, and exactly
similar in appearance to the leaf of the common fern; while palms of
various botanical species, are ever and anon shooting up their tall
slender branchless stems to the height of seventy or a hundred feet, and
then forming a large canopy of leaves, each of which bends gracefully
outwards and then downwards, like a Prince of Wales' feathers.

Another beautiful species met with in the low grounds of Illawarra, is
the fan palm, or cabbage tree, and another equally graceful in its
outline, is called by the natives Bangalo.

[Illustration]

The nettle tree, which is also met with in the bushes, is not only seen
by the traveller, but occasionally felt, and remembered, for its name is
highly descriptive.

Both the animal and vegetable creation in Australia, are wholly
different from those in every other part of the world.

To show that the existence of a thing was not believed in, it was
compared to a _black swan_, but in New Holland we find black swans, and
blue frogs; red lobsters, and blue crabs; flying opossums, and beasts
with bills like ducks; fish that hop about on dry land, and quadrupeds
that lay eggs.

The quadrupeds hitherto discovered, with very few exceptions, are all of
the kangaroo or opossum tribe; having their hinder legs long, out of all
proportion when compared with the length of the fore legs, and a sack
under the belly of the female for the reception of the young.

[Illustration]

They have kangaroo rats, and dogs of the jackal kind, all exactly alike;
and a little animal of the bear tribe, named the wombat, but the
largest quadruped at present discovered is the kangaroo.

These pretty nearly complete the catalogue of four-footed animals yet
known on this vast island.

There is, however, an animal which resembles nothing in the creation but
itself, and which neither belongs to beast, bird or fish.

This animal is called the Duck-billed Platypus.

[Illustration]

Of all the quadrupeds yet known, this seems the most extraordinary in
its conformation; exhibiting the perfect semblance of the beak of a duck
on the head of a quadruped.

The head is flattish, and rather small than large; the mouth or snout so
exactly resembles that of some broad-billed species of duck, that it
might be mistaken for one.

The birds and fish are no less singular than the beasts. There is a
singular fish, which when left uncovered by the ebbing of the tide,
leaps about like the grasshopper, by means of strong fins.

[Illustration]

The Moenura Superba, with its scalloped tail feathers, is perhaps the
most singular and beautiful of that elegant race of bird, known by the
name of Birds of Paradise.

Cockatoos, Parrots, and Parroquets, are innumerable, and of great
variety.

The Nonpareil Parrot is perhaps the most beautiful bird of the parrot
tribe in the whole world.

The Mountain Eagle is a magnificent creature; but the Emu, or New
Holland Cassowary, is perhaps the tallest and loftiest bird that exists.

[Illustration]

The capital of the colony, and the seat of the colonial Government is
Sydney. The Town of Sydney is beautifully situated in Sydney Cove, which
I told you is one of the romantic inlets of Port Jackson, about seven
miles from the entrance of the harbour. The headlands at the mouth of
the harbour form one of the grandest features in the natural scenery of
the country.

It is not, however, a distant or cursory glance that will give you a
just idea of the importance of this busy capital.

In order to form a just estimation of it, you should take a boat and
proceed from Sydney Cove to Darling Harbour, you will then see the whole
extent of the eastern shore of the latter capacious basin equally
crowded with warehouses, stores, dock-yards, mills, and wharfs; the
store-houses built on the most magnificent scale, and with the best and
most substantial materials. The population of Sydney is supposed now to
exceed 10,000 persons.

The second town in the colony is Paramatta. It is distant about fourteen
miles from Sydney, being pleasantly situated at the head of one of the
navigable arms of Port Jackson. It contains nearly 5,000 inhabitants.
The other towns in the colony, are Windsor, Liverpool, Campbell Town,
Newcastle and Maitland. The last will doubtless ere long be the second
in the colony, as it is situated at the head of the navigation of
Hunter's river.

Very fine roads have been formed in Australia, particularly one leading
across the Blue mountains to Bathurst, on the western side of that
range, which is 180 miles from Sydney.

The openness of the country around Bathurst is more favourable for
hunting and shooting than most other parts of the colony.

The Kangaroo and the Emu are both hunted with dogs; they are both feeble
animals, but they are not altogether destitute of the means of defence.

In addition to swiftness of foot, the Emu has a great muscular power in
his long iron limbs, and can give an awkward blow to his pursuer, by
striking out at him behind, like a young horse, while the Kangaroo, when
brought to bay by the dogs, rests himself on his strong muscular tail,
seizes the dog with his little hands or fore-feet, and thrusts at him
with one of his hind feet, which is armed for that purpose with a single
sharp-pointed hoof, and perhaps lay his side completely open.

[Illustration]

When hotly pursued, the kangaroo sometimes takes to the water, where, if
he happen to be followed by a dog, he has a singular advantage over all
other quadrupeds of his own size, from his being able to stand erect in
pretty deep water.

In this position he waits for the dog, and when the latter comes close
up to him, he seizes him with his fore-feet and presses him under water
till he is drowned.

The Bustard, or native turkey, is occasionally shot in the Bathurst
country. It sometimes weighs eighteen pounds, and is different from the
common turkey, in the flesh of the legs being white, while that of the
breast is dark-coloured.

Among the natives the old men have alone the privilege of eating the
Emu, and married people only are permitted to eat ducks.

The natives suffer no animal, however small, to escape them.

One of the blacks being anxious to get an Opossum out of a dead tree,
every branch of which was hollow, asked for a tomahawk, with which he
cut a hole in the trunk above where he thought the animal lay concealed.
He found, however, that he had cut too low, and that it had run higher
up. This made it necessary to smoke it out; he accordingly got some dry
grass, and having set fire to it, stuffed it into the hole he had cut.

[Illustration]

A raging fire soon kindled in the tree, where the current of air was
great, and dense columns of smoke issued from the end of each branch as
thick as that from the chimney of a steam-engine.

The shell of the tree was so thin, that I thought it would soon be
burnt through, and that the tree would fall; but the black had no such
fears, and, ascending to the highest branch, he waited anxiously for the
poor little wretch he had thus surrounded with dangers, and devoted to
destruction; and no sooner did it appear half singed and half roasted,
than he seized upon it and threw it down to us with an air of triumph.
The effect of the scene, in so lonely a forest, was very fine. The
roaring of the fire in the tree, the fearless attitude of the savage,
and the associations which his colour and appearance called up,
enveloped as he was in smoke, were singular, and still dwell in my
recollection. He had not long left the tree, when it fell with a
tremendous crash, and was, when we next passed that way, a mere heap of
ashes.

The territory of the colony has been divided into ten counties, named as
follows:--Cumberland, Camden, Argyll, Westmoreland, Londonderry,
Boxburgh, Northumberland, Durham, Ayr, and Cambridge.

I will now give you a short account of Van Diemen's Land.

This fair and fertile island lies, as I have told you, at the southern
extremity of New Holland, from which it is separated by Bass' Straits.

Its medial length from north to south is about 185 miles, and its
breadth from east to west is 166 miles.

Its surface possesses every variety of mountain, hill, and dale; of
forests and open meadows; of inland lakes, rivers and inlets of the sea,
forming safe and commodious harbours; and every natural requisite that
can render a country valuable or agreeable.

It enjoys a temperate climate, which is perhaps not very different from
that of England, though less subject to violent changes.

The island is intersected by two fine rivers, rising near the centre;
the one named the Tamar, falling into Bass' Straits, on the north, and
forming Port Dalrymple; the other the Derwent, which discharges itself
into the sea, on the south-eastern extremity. Hobart Town, the capital,
is situated on the right bank of the Derwent, about five miles from the
sea.

The natives of Van Diemen's Land are described by all the navigators, as
a mild, affable, good-humoured and inoffensive race.

Though they are obviously the same race of people as those of New
Holland, and go entirely naked, both men and women, yet their language
is altogether different.

The British settlements in Australia are both numerous and important.
The oldest, most extensive, and valuable, was founded, as we have shewn
already, at Sydney. The island of Tasmania was next occupied; within the
last few years we have established the colonies of Port Phillip,
Melbourne, Victoria, Cooksland, and others. The progress of these
settlements has been rapid.

An extraordinary increase to emigration to Australia was given by the
discovery of the Gold Regions.

For many years reports had been current that the Australian Alps and the
Snowy Mountains were full of gold, but it was not till after the
Californian discoveries that any was found in Australia.

Two shepherds were the first persons who found any gold, and for a long
time they successfully concealed the source from which they obtained it;
but being watched, their secret was discovered, and the news spread like
wild-fire over the colony. Everybody was mad to go gold hunting;
shepherds forsook their flocks; traders closed their stores; sailors ran
away from their ships; servants threw up their situations; everybody was
mad to visit this newly-discovered Tom Tiddler's ground, to pick up gold
and silver. A groom informed his master, in one instance, that he would
stop with him, as he had been in the family for five years, for a guinea
a day, if it would be any convenience to him. Another family was left
with only a boy of sixteen to attend them, and his stipulations
were--two pounds a week, and wine to his dinner! In one year the
population of Melbourne rose from 23,000 to 85,000 inhabitants; the town
of Geelong trebled its numbers; perhaps never in the whole history of
the world had there been so extraordinary an emigration.

As a monument of the golden wealth of Australia, there is in the
International Exhibition a wooden obelisk dead gilt on the outside. This
column is nearly seventy feet high, and some ten feet square at the
base. It represents exactly the bulk of gold which Australia has sent to
this country since 1851, and which in all amounts to nearly 800 tons.
Valuing the precious metal at its ascertainable worth, it appears that
gold to the value of upwards of L15,000 sterling was dug from the bowels
of the earth, washed from the sand of the rivers, or discovered by
fortunate diggers in various parts of Australia in a single year.

The interior of Australia is still comparatively unknown. Last year an
expedition was undertaken to discover a way across the Continent, and
entrusted to a vigilant and enterprising commander named Burke. Although
a certain amount of success attended the object of the expedition, the
fate of Burke and his immediate companions was most deplorable. They
perished by starvation!




CONCLUSION.


I have now told you all that my present limits will admit, of those
interesting portions of the globe, called America and Australia, and I
wish you to read again all that I have said, and I wish you also to view
the inhuman conduct of the first discoverers of the former with proper
feelings of aversion. If you have read an account of William Penn's
first colony of Pennsylvania, you will see that his was the only just
way of establishing himself among the Indians. You must rejoice within
yourselves on this occasion, that they were not Englishmen who practised
these acts of cruelty and treachery towards the unoffending Mexicans and
Peruvians. The workings of Providence are full of mystery, and I cannot
help thinking that the state of anarchy and civil war in which Spain and
Portugal are now and ever have been engaged, is an act of retribution
awarded to their barbarity in the great scheme of God's providence.

It makes one blush for the sake of Christianity, to think that the
perpetrators of the outrages upon the original possessors of the
Americas were persons professing that sublime religion,--and that in the
midst of their slaughter and plunder, they impiously held forth the
cross of Christ. The confiding but dignified nature of the idolatrous
Mexicans, did much more honour to the purity of the Christian religion
than did the base treachery of their invaders, who professed Christ but
knew him not.

Had they by mildness, perseverance, and reason convinced the inhabitants
of the truth of the Christian religion, they might have become faithful
converts, but it was unreasonable to expect that they should cast off
the religion which their forefathers had professed, for a religion which
they knew not at all, and the professors of which came with the sword to
deprive them of their lives and their property.

I wish you, my young friends, to weigh all these circumstances whenever
you read. It will impress the different subjects more thoroughly upon
your memory; and if your minds be properly constituted, it will
cultivate the good and eradicate the bad. I will again ask you to read
this book a second time, and refer occasionally to the maps. And now
good-bye!



THE END.




Billing, Printer and Stereotyper, Guildford, Surrey.



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