Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

a

the way was prepared for the moral unity of against the express wish of his brother the king the human race.

Dom Duarte, who, less inspired and less great The ruling passion, the idea that excited the but gentler and tenderer, was doomed to die of mind of Columbus and tyrannically possessed grief as the blows of the martyrdom of Fez rehim, was ditiused throughout his time. With- echoed in his pitying and lacerated heart. As out those mirage-like and fanciful imaginings, the falcon watches its prey, seeing no other and without the delusions born of fable, never creature or thing, so Henry watched his diswould the other hemisphere have been discov- tant lands from Cape Sagres, beholding nought ered from our own, and never would the Old beside. World have been completed by the New. Be- The longing to discover other and yet other sides all this, Portuguese navigation was attain- races had then a firm hold upon all minds. The ing such a degree of perfection through the infante, Dom Pedro himself, made a two years' application of the astrolabe to seamanship, pilgrimage to Cyprus, to Constantinople, to and the improvement of the compass, that coast- Cairo, to Mount Tabor, to Golgotha, and to ing-skitfs were becoming sea-going vessels and Sinai. Take away from Dom Henry of Aviz were venturing out upon the boundless deep. the exclusiveness of his natural calling and his

When Columbus reached Portugal, heat once intellectual self-concentration, and he would found himself in the midst of excited schemes not stand forth in history as the highest and of daring voyages and innumerable discoveries. first of the Lusitanian discoverers, among whom To grasp all Africa, and after Africa all Asia, shine the glorious names of Vasco da Gama was the one idea that throbbed in Dom Henry's and Albuquerque. For by his exertions there soul. For this he stood ready to sacrifice all were discovered for Portugal, upon the known earthly things. Handsome, powerfully built and African continent, Ceuta; on the untrodden refined, he was to know neither love nor family Gold Coast, Sierra Leone; between the Afrities. That heart of his could love only his mar- can and European shores, clusters of islands velous Africa. Hisindomitable will was to leave such as the Azores, and greater islands such no offspring save numberless discoveries, half as Madeira, seeming in their vegetation and trading-posts, half colonies. So, therefore, the fruitage like the loveliest of Asia ; on the coast image of Ceuta appeared to him nightly, for of Africa itself other isles, as those of Cape Ceuta meant to him a breach through which Verde; and besides all these was soon to come to seize the Libyan desert and subjugate Mo- the doubling of the Cape of Good Hope. rocco. After long nights passed in dreaming They who regard history as made up of miof Ceuta, he spent his days in reading the de- raculous chances attribute, as we have seen, to scriptions of the coveted city given by the Arabs. a disastrous shipwreck the coming of Colum

After having conquered Ceuta he attempted, bus to the Portuguese kingdom; and his good against the advice of all his followers, the con- luck in finding out new tracks upon the seas, quest of Tangiers. Certain it is that the irre- and in happening upon unknown lands, to parable disaster of his life there befell him, and his having won the confidence of other shipcaused the martyrdom and death of his brother wrecked seamen, led by accident to his hearthDom Fernando, the hero of Calderon's immor- stone. And they have wholly erred; as all those tal play “ The Faithful Prince,” which is re- perforce must err who rest their belief upon panied by Schlegel as the finished and perfect unlooked-for and abrupt improvisations in huprototype of the Catholic drama. Defeated man affairs. before Tangiers, he was forced to promise the The presence of Columbus at Lisbon is like restoration of Ceuta to the Sultan of Fez. As the presence of artists in Rome and archæoloa pledge of such restoration, he had to deliver gists in Athens. Mathematician, skilled marhis brother Dom Fernando as a hostage. But iner, navigator and pilot, the Mediterranean humanly it was impossible for him to restore must have seemed straitened to his generous Ceuta. Of no avail was the death of his mother, ambition, and he turned to the ocean. Reared s hom he tenderly loved, and who, in the ago- in those Italian cities which gazed toward the mes that preceded her end, gave him the crusa- Orient and the past, he came, perforce, hither der's sword and the reliquary of the true cross. where by a providential law the eyes of men Even before her funeral obsequies were over, looked to the West and the future. This was ne celebrated, in rich attire and with endless the paramount cause of his seeking Lisbon, rejoicings, the festival of his embarkation for but the incidental motive was the sojourn of (cula. Of no avail was the bondage of his bro- his brother, Bartholomew Columbus, among ther to the Moors of Fez and their demand the Portuguese. Very open to criticism are all but Ceuta as his ransom; he may suffer mar- the biographical dates in the life of Columbus tyrilom and death at their hands, but Ceuta before his achievement won him such high reshall not be lost to Portugal. In vain was his nown and world-wide fame; but we must asdefeat at Tangiers; he renewed the attempt sume that he arrived three or four years before Loodu Henry passed from this mortal of Behaim which depicted the fabled Atlantis halt hi in luo elemal. So fortunate a coinci- on the very spot where Columbus placed the there i pamitted him to learn the use of the East Indies; a thousand such details, many of Yolunt, invented by our mariners as an aux- them lost to history but all coincident with the Jus to the compass, and the application of focal center of what we may term the Columthe date olube to seamanship, an innovation by bian idea, made up the boundless nebula in the

des of which vessels were enabled to quit depths of time and space, from whose bosom the count and shape their course out into the was evolved, like a glorious sun, the wondrous mtumitudes of the sea; to witness the intrepidity discovery. Impossible it was, impossible from with which the explorers who put forth from every point of view, to ignore the more or less Capie Sagres had doubled the promontory of certain indications that swarmed on every side. Bojador, supposed to be the extremest verge Some told how they had seen the corpses of of earth; and to admire the western caravel, human beings in form and color wholly unlike small but so nimble that, in the words of a fa- the races of men then known; while others told mous Portuguese, its lateen sails seemed like how they had sighted floating pine-trees, very sea-gulls' wings and its hull like a fish, light of different from the pines of Europe. Certain draft for sailing on the coast and in shallow ship's-boys asserted that they had gathered waters, but strong and stout to encounter the upon western islands handfuls of sand for the waves and gales, an indispensable instrument galley fire, and had found it nearly all pure for the lofty task of exploration and discovery. gold. The pilots added to all these glamors Besides all this, no doubt now remained as of the imagination and of desire by tales, more to the sphericity of the earth. And, the earth’s or less probable, of phenomena more or less shape being no longer in question, neither was real. Those who had sailed the Icelandic seas there doubt with regard to the coessential con- were unanimous in agreeing that thousands of viction that the lands of the Orient would be signs announced a western land, toward which reached by sailing westward. And, there being they had shaped their course a thousand times, no doubt whatever on this point, so also could but had ever been driven back by irresistible there be none that neither the Azores, nor the hurricanes let loose upon them. Cape Verde Islands, nor Guinea, nor any spot A man born in Genoa, reared on the Riyet discovered by the Portuguese, could be the vieras, taught seamanship from childhood, falast western extremity of our globe.

miliar with the Mediterranean, accustomed to Admirable and profoundly true as all these deduce natural laws from the observation of propositions were, they did not, however, con- facts, versed in every branch of nautical knowtribute in so marked a degree toward the en- ledge, coming in the prime of life to the imterprise of Columbus as did a paramount error mense trading-mart which Portugal had then – that of supposing that the world was much become, possessed many a touchstone to test smaller than it is. He did not accept the popu- the native faculty of analysis, and to cause him lar ideas of his time concerning the Antipo- to heed the commands and obey the impulses des, which orthodoxy and tradition held to be of his providential calling. We cannot, then, impossible. He gave no heed to those who accept the fable, told by Herrera and by Oviedo, denied the rotundity of the earth because the which attributes the voyage of Columbus to inprophets had likened the canopy of heaven formation obtained from a pilot of Palos, who, to the roof of a tent. But he believed in the driven by a gale, landed upon the New World, dimensions assigned to the world by Ptolemy; and, after noting the features of the coast, and and, being possessed with this idea, he believed measuring the elevations, and calculating his that there must be very little sea, and, there- latitude with profound wisdom, came back with fore, but a short distance between the extrem- the greatest secrecy by way of Portugal. Here, est discoveries of Portugal and the East Indies. upon his return, having met Columbus upon one Inwardly assured of all this, and firm in his of the Portuguese islands, and feeling that death resolve to demonstrate its truth, he went about was near because of his exhaustion and his toil, beholding all things around him, and by ob- he recounted the treasures of his knowledge servation confirming his intimate convictions. and his experience to the Genoese, who, enTo illustrate : the teachings of Jaime of Mal- riched thereby, was thus enabled to carry into lorca; the charts of our Valseca ; the report of effect his long-cherished plan. It is scarcely one Vicente, who averred upon his soul and necessary, after mentioning all this, to add in God's name that he had found wooden car- that it lacks historical foundation. It is based vings of a strange fashion unknown among the upon no written record whatever, upon no docordinary industries; those giant reeds mentioned ument admissible in evidence, nor upon any by Dom John I., the great size of which op- trustworthy testimony. Wherefore we see that posed an invincible obstacle to all attempts to these historians simply repeat the tale without navigate the shadowy sea ; the terrestrial globe vouching for it, and that it rests on mere fables, with whose venom popular envy ever seeks to and active company organized in Sagres. The detract from merit.

origin and tendencies of her family explain Had Columbus possessed this legendary evi- Dona Felipa's knowledge, by intuition and edudence in support of his scheme, he would not cation, by hearing and sight, of many of the have hesitated as he so often hesitated; he things that deeply concerned her home circle, would not have endured the pangs that tor- and, to some extent, of the condition and govtured him through the weary space of twenty ernment of the islands. Laws like those which years; he would not have groped as he did in in chemistry govern the affinity of combining so many paths; nor have made so many pro- atoms in social intercourse produce personal posals; nor have relied upon the arguments affinities. The greatest of all discoverers was of intuition and science. It would have suf- himself destined to wed the daughter of a disficed to have collected the proofs of his asser- coverer. Columbus often went to mass on Suntions, the various papers left in his hands by days and other obligatory days. His residence the blind confidence of a friend, therewith to in Lisbon being near the convent of All Saints, overcome the general incredulity that so te- he resorted thither to perform his devotions, naciously and inimically thwarted his colossal and in his assiduous attendance there it was schemes. Some practical and tangible proofs his fate to be attracted by Dona Felipa Muñiz of what he maintained, some probable indica- until he sought and obtained her in marriage. tions, some evidence with a glimmering of real- The affection of Columbus for the young ity were demanded of him a thousand times; Lusitanian doubtless possessed practical feayet never was he able to present them to the tures also, in view of the sailor's desire to live thousand commissions appointed to consider for the realization in his riper age of the work his plan. When before them he appealed at already fully planned in the latter years of his one time to the catholic faith, at another to sci- exuberant youth. Moreover, crediting his conentific demonstrations; now as a philosopher, temporaries as we should, the incomparable pinow as an enthusiast; taking shelter behind lot displayed two traits capable of turning the illusions and calculations, but ever without be- head, I will not say of Dona Felipa Muniz, ing able to base the fabric of his dreams and but of every woman — eloquence and personal hopes upon any solid foundation.

attractiveness. His manly grace captivated her Columbus did not merely study out his idea sense, his eloquence her mind. Well-proporin Portugal. Being very poor, he was spurred tioned like all the Græco-Latin race, he had the on by the prickings of necessity to utilize his fair color and light hair of the Saxon and the mastery of map-drawing as a lucrative employ- Slav, a very attractive feature among the darkment. The biographies of Columbus relate skinned and black-haired races. With regard that, not content with satisfying his own wants to his eloquence, we must believe him capable so far as he might by means of his handicraft, of inspiring love, to judge from the easy tranhe hoarded up some slender savings to send to sitions seen in all his writings, whether from his aged father at home. Columbus allied him- popular speech to scientific language, or from self by marriage with an Italo-Portuguese fam- scientific language to religious diction; elegant ily. She whom he was to choose and take to without effort in the first, profound without obwife was named Felipa Muñiz Peretrello. Origi- scurity in the second, and impulsive without nating in Plasencia, the Peretrellos came in the extravagance in the last. Be this as it may, fourteenth century to Lusitania, where they at- Felipa Muñiz and Christopher Columbus were tained to the favor then often bestowed upon made one, in conformity with religion and law, Iulian families by the Portuguese kings, who in holy indissoluble wedlock. The year after were desirous to contribute to the common their union a son was born to them, who was work of the Renaissance with the assistance of baptized in Lisbon and named Diego. the eminent masters reared in that vast acad- Th first and most important results of this emy called Italy. Senhor Peretrello was ex- marriage to Columbus were that two of his empied from the royal taxes in the last year of wife's brothers-in-law exerted a signal influence the fourteenth century by the recognition in upon his career; one at Palos, a small SpanOporto of his rank and station as a hidalgo. ish port peopled by hardy sailors, the other in His name was Philippone.

Porto Santo, that island discovered, as we have Dona Felipa Muñiz y Peretrello belonged before said, by the exploring expeditions organto a noble house, associated with Dom Henry ized by the infante Dom Henry, and bestowed of Aviz in his explorations and discoveries, as as a fief upon the Peretrellos for reasons not well because of their family station as by the well explained in history. The brother-in-law grace and favor of the Infante. Upon this fam- at Porto Santo was named Pedro Correa. He ily had been bestowed, as a reward for such inherited the island by entail, because of its coperation, the island of Porto Santo, discov- having been conveyed to Bartholomew Pereered by the well-directed efforts of the noble trello, the father of his wife and of Felipa, by the congress and academy of Sagres. To this old traditions Columbus could not have been island, governed by his kinsfolk, Columbus was aware of the deeply rooted claim prevailing obliged to go soon after his marriage, in order in Scandinavian waters and lands, that the to look after certain matters touching the fam- unknown world had been discovered five cenily estate; and there, by the domestic hearth, he turies before the Columbian theories and prolearned how there had drifted to those shores jects. In truth, these cruises of the immortal strange products of other civilizations, corpses pilot qualified him in a high degree for the project of men of other races, plants of other floras, all to which his will and his thoughts were pledged. differing widely from the common and charac- Guinea and Iceland afforded the proofs he teristic types then known.

sought, and encouraged the undertaking upon Certain it is that, besides the mental labors which he was entering with such marvelous of Columbus in chartography, so favorable to an unity of purpose and object. Africa and Scanintellectual development of which the influences dinavia! The sun's rays slanting level in the were brightly apparent everywhere around him, one, and beating from the zenith in the other; he repeatedly engaged in practical voyages, there, a sky laden with flakes of snow, and here, thereby gaining experience and training in the rainless and unpitying; fields of ice like walls of art and office of an accomplished navigator. crystal on the one hand, and deserts torrid as the Thus he sailed up to the extreme north, and embers of an oven on the other; the boreal firdown to the southern limit of the lands then tree and the tropical palm; the reindeer, conknown, visiting Guinea and Iceland. The sci-fined to the polar circle, and the dromedary, entific purpose of all these voyages is found restricted to equatorial Asia and Africa; the ichfully set forth in the notes written by Columbus thyophagist, devouring half-cooked or frozen himself, which tend to demonstrate the inhabi- fish, and the anthropophagist, delighting in hutability of the various zones of the planet far man flesh; the fair-skinned and ruddy-haired beyond the bounds assigned by popular su- inhabitants ofone zone and the black and woolly perstition to the existence of human life. “I denizens of another, all told him with one acsailed,” he says, “in the year fourteen hundred cord, by their contrasts, how the whole planet and seventy-seven, in the month of Febru- appeared to be inhabitable and, consequently, ary, a hundred leagues beyond Thule Island, how the races of Cathay and the dominions of whereof the austral part is distant 73 degrees the Great Khan were to be conquered, contrary from the equinoctial, and not 63 as some say, to all the achievements of man hitherto, by and it is not within the line which bounds the following the westward track. “ I sojourned," occident, as Ptolemy says, but is much further says Columbus in his personal notes, “ in the to the westward; and to this island, which is Castle of La Mina of the King of Portugal, as large as England, go the Englishmen with which lies under the equinoctial, and therefore wares, especially those of Bristol; and at the am I a good witness that it is not uninhabitable time when I was there the sea was not con- as men say." Thus, as one of the results of this gealed, but there were very great tides, so much voyage, the judgment of Columbus had already so that in some places they rose twice in the shaped his marvelous scheme, and had dissiday 25 fathoms 1 in height, and fell as much.” pated the main arguments against the solid

By reason of the loss and oblivion of certain foundations on which it rested.

Emilio Castelar. 1 In Spanish, 25 brazas. (Las Casas : “ Historia de chia, claims that Columbus meant 25 ells, about 52 feet, las Indias,” I., 48.) Helps disputes the translation, and, and not 25 fathoms or 156 feet. But bracchia is Italian finding that in the extant Italian version the word is brac- for a fathom, as auna is for an ell. — TRANSLATOR.

[ocr errors]

A SEA GHOST.
ALZ night I heard along the coast
LL

And when from out the gray mist rolled
The sea ;

The sun above the town,
And with the dawn arose a ghost

A shipwrecked sailor came and told
To haunt the furrowed shore.

Of how the ship went down.

Then did I sudden understand

The sobbing of the sea;
And of that white ghost on the sand
I knew the mystery.

Frank Dempster Sherman.

THE NAULAHKA1

A STORY OF WEST AND EAST.

By RUDYARD KIPLING AND WOLCOTT BALESTIER.

XVIII.

him dryly but reassuringly, balancing on his

hip the captured rifle. He observed that it was HE palace on its red rock a very good rifle if properly used. seemed to be still asleep At the entrance to Sitabhai's wing of the as he cantered across the palace Juggut Singh dismounted and slunk empty plain. A man on a into the courtyard, the livid image of fear and camel rode out of one of shame. Tarvin clattered after him, and as the the city gates at right an- eunuch was about to disappear through a door, gles to his course, and Tar- called him back.

vin noted with interest how “ You have forgotten your gun, Juggut,” he swiftly a long-legged camel of the desert can said. “Don't be afraid of it.” Juggut was putmove. Familiar as he had now become with ting up a doubtful hand to take it from him. the ostrich-necked beasts, he could not help “It won't hurt anybody this trip. Take yourassociating them with Barnum's Circus and self back to the lady, and tell her you are boyhood memories. The man drew near and returned with thanks." crossed in front of him. Then, in the stillness No sound came to his ear from behind the of the morning, Tarvin heard the dry click of a green shutters as he rode away, leaving Juggut voice he understood. It was the sound made staring after him. Nothing fell upon him from by bringing up the cartridge of a repeating rifle. out of the arch, and the apes were tied seMechanically he slipped from the saddle, and curely. Sitabhai's next move was evidently yet was on the other side of the horse as the rifle to be played. spoke, and a puff of blue smoke drifted up and His own next move he had already conhung motionless above the camel.

sidered. It was a case for bolting. " I might have known she'd get in her work He rode to the mosque outside the city, early," he muttered, peering over his horses routed out his old friend in dove-colored satin, withers. “ I can't drop him at this distance with and made him send this message: a revolver. What's the fool waiting for?”

Then he perceived that, with characteristic “ Mrs. MUTRIE, DENVER.— Necklace is native inaptitude, the man had contrived to jam yours. Get throat ready, and lay that track into his lever, and was beating it furiously on the Topaz.

Tarvin." fore part of the saddle. Tarvin remounted hastily, and galloped up, revolver in hand, to Then he turned his horse's head toward Kate. cover the blanched visage of Juggut Singh. He buttoned his coat tightly across his chest,

"You! Why, Juggut, old man, this is n't and patted the resting-place of the Naulahka kind of you."

fondly, as he strode up the path to the mis- It was an order," said Juggut, quiveringsionary's veranda, when he had tethered Fibby with apprehension. “It was no fault of mine. outside. His high good humor with himself I- I do not understand these things." and the world spoke through his eyes as he

“ I should smile. Let me show you.” He greeted Mrs. Estes at the door. took the rifle from the trembling hand. “The “You have been hearing something pleascartridge is jammed, my friend; it don't shoot ant,” she said. “Won't you come in ? " as well that way.' It only needs a little knack “Well, either the pleasantest, or next to the -50. You ought to learn it, Juggut.” He pleasantest, I 'm not sure which,” he answered, jerked the empty shell over his shoulder. with a smile, as he followed her into the famil

* What will you do to me?” cried the eu- iar sitting-room. “I'd like to tell you all about nuch. “She would have killed me if I had not it, Mrs. Estes. I feel almightily like telling come."

somebody. But it is n't a healthy story for this Don't you believe it, Juggut. She 's a neighborhood." He glanced about him. "I'd Jumbo at theory, but weak in practice. Go hire the town crier and a few musical instruon ahead, please."

ments, and advertise it, if I had my way; and They started back toward the city, Juggut we'd all have a little Fourth of July celebraleading the way on his camel, and looking back tion and a bonfire, and I'd read the Declaraapprehensively every minute. Tarvin smiled at tion of Independence over the natives with a

1 Copyright, 1891, by Rudyard Kipling and Wolcott Balestier. All rights reserved.

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
« AnkstesnisTęsti »