Puslapio vaizdai

the way was prepared for the moral unity of the human race.

The ruling passion, the idea that excited the mind of Columbus and tyrannically possessed him, was diffused throughout his time. Without those mirage-like and fanciful imaginings, and without the delusions born of fable, never would the other hemisphere have been discovered from our own, and never would the Old World have been completed by the New. Besides all this, Portuguese navigation was attaining such a degree of perfection through the application of the astrolabe to seamanship, and the improvement of the compass, that coasting-skiffs were becoming sea-going vessels and were venturing out upon the boundless deep. When Columbus reached Portugal, he at once found himself in the midst of excited schemes of daring voyages and innumerable discoveries. To grasp all Africa, and after Africa all Asia, was the one idea that throbbed in Dom Henry's soul. For this he stood ready to sacrifice all earthly things. Handsome, powerfully built and refined, he was to know neither love nor family ties. That heart of his could love only his marvelous Africa. His indomitable will was to leave no offspring save numberless discoveries, half trading-posts, half colonies. So, therefore, the image of Ceuta appeared to him nightly, for Ceuta meant to him a breach through which to seize the Libyan desert and subjugate Morocco. After long nights passed in dreaming of Ceuta, he spent his days in reading the descriptions of the coveted city given by the Arabs. After having conquered Ceuta he attempted, against the advice of all his followers, the conquest of Tangiers. Certain it is that the irreparable disaster of his life there befell him, and caused the martyrdom and death of his brother Dom Fernando, the hero of Calderon's immortal play "The Faithful Prince," which is regarded by Schlegel as the finished and perfect prototype of the Catholic drama. Defeated before Tangiers, he was forced to promise the restoration of Ceuta to the Sultan of Fez. As a pledge of such restoration, he had to deliver his brother Dom Fernando as a hostage. But humanly it was impossible for him to restore Ceuta. Of no avail was the death of his mother, whom he tenderly loved, and who, in the agomes that preceded her end, gave him the crusader's sword and the reliquary of the true cross. Even before her funeral obsequies were over, ne celebrated, in rich attire and with endless rejoicings, the festival of his embarkation for Ceuta. Of no avail was the bondage of his brother to the Moors of Fez and their demand for Ceuta as his ransom; he may suffer martyrdom and death at their hands, but Ceuta shall not be lost to Portugal. In vain was his defeat at Tangiers; he renewed the attempt

against the express wish of his brother the king Dom Duarte, who, less inspired and less great but gentler and tenderer, was doomed to die of grief as the blows of the martyrdom of Fez reechoed in his pitying and lacerated heart. As the falcon watches its prey, seeing no other creature or thing, so Henry watched his distant lands from Cape Sagres, beholding nought beside.

The longing to discover other and yet other races had then a firm hold upon all minds. The infante, Dom Pedro himself, made a two years' pilgrimage to Cyprus, to Constantinople, to Cairo, to Mount Tabor, to Golgotha, and to Sinai. Take away from Dom Henry of Aviz the exclusiveness of his natural calling and his intellectual self-concentration, and he would not stand forth in history as the highest and first of the Lusitanian discoverers, among whom shine the glorious names of Vasco da Gama and Albuquerque. For by his exertions there were discovered for Portugal, upon the known African continent, Ceuta; on the untrodden Gold Coast, Sierra Leone; between the African and European shores, clusters of islands such as the Azores, and greater islands such as Madeira, seeming in their vegetation and fruitage like the loveliest of Asia; on the coast of Africa itself other isles, as those of Cape Verde; and besides all these was soon to come the doubling of the Cape of Good Hope.

They who regard history as made up of miraculous chances attribute, as we have seen, to a disastrous shipwreck the coming of Columbus to the Portuguese kingdom; and his good luck in finding out new tracks upon the seas, and in happening upon unknown lands, to his having won the confidence of other shipwrecked seamen, led by accident to his hearthstone. And they have wholly erred; as all those perforce must err who rest their belief upon unlooked-for and abrupt improvisations in human affairs.

The presence of Columbus at Lisbon is like the presence of artists in Rome and archæologists in Athens. Mathematician, skilled mariner, navigator and pilot, the Mediterranean must have seemed straitened to his generous ambition, and he turned to the ocean. Reared in those Italian cities which gazed toward the Orient and the past, he came, perforce, hither where by a providential law the eyes of men looked to the West and the future. This was the paramount cause of his seeking Lisbon, but the incidental motive was the sojourn of his brother, Bartholomew Columbus, among the Portuguese. Very open to criticism are all the biographical dates in the life of Columbus before his achievement won him such high renown and world-wide fame; but we must assume that he arrived three or four years before

the goo1 Dom Henry passed from this mortal fox to the life eternal. So fortunate a coincidere permitted him to learn the use of the quitant, invented by our mariners as an auxly to the compass, and the application of the astrolabe to seamanship, an innovation by means of which vessels were enabled to quit the coast and shape their course out into the munitudes of the sea; to witness the intrepidity with which the explorers who put forth from Cape Sagres had doubled the promontory of Bojador, supposed to be the extremest verge of earth; and to admire the western caravel, small but so nimble that, in the words of a famous Portuguese, its lateen sails seemed like sea-gulls' wings and its hull like a fish, light of draft for sailing on the coast and in shallow waters, but strong and stout to encounter the waves and gales, an indispensable instrument for the lofty task of exploration and discovery. Besides all this, no doubt now remained as to the sphericity of the earth. And, the earth's shape being no longer in question, neither was there doubt with regard to the coessential conviction that the lands of the Orient would be reached by sailing westward. And, there being no doubt whatever on this point, so also could there be none that neither the Azores, nor the Cape Verde Islands, nor Guinea, nor any spot yet discovered by the Portuguese, could be the last western extremity of our globe.

Admirable and profoundly true as all these propositions were, they did not, however, contribute in so marked a degree toward the enterprise of Columbus as did a paramount error -that of supposing that the world was much smaller than it is. He did not accept the popular ideas of his time concerning the Antipodes, which orthodoxy and tradition held to be impossible. He gave no heed to those who denied the rotundity of the earth because the prophets had likened the canopy of heaven to the roof of a tent. But he believed in the dimensions assigned to the world by Ptolemy; and, being possessed with this idea, he believed that there must be very little sea, and, therefore, but a short distance between the extremest discoveries of Portugal and the East Indies. Inwardly assured of all this, and firm in his resolve to demonstrate its truth, he went about beholding all things around him, and by observation confirming his intimate convictions. To illustrate the teachings of Jaime of Mallorca ; the charts of our Valseca; the report of one Vicente, who averred upon his soul and in God's name that he had found wooden carvings of a strange fashion unknown among the ordinary industries; those giant reeds mentioned by Dom John I., the great size of which opposed an invincible obstacle to all attempts to navigate the shadowy sea; the terrestrial globe

of Behaim which depicted the fabled Atlantis on the very spot where Columbus placed the East Indies; a thousand such details, many of them lost to history but all coincident with the focal center of what we may term the Columbian idea, made up the boundless nebula in the depths of time and space, from whose bosom was evolved, like a glorious sun, the wondrous discovery. Impossible it was, impossible from every point of view, to ignore the more or less certain indications that swarmed on every side. Some told how they had seen the corpses of human beings in form and color wholly unlike the races of men then known; while others told how they had sighted floating pine-trees, very different from the pines of Europe. Certain ship's-boys asserted that they had gathered upon western islands handfuls of sand for the galley fire, and had found it nearly all pure gold. The pilots added to all these glamors of the imagination and of desire by tales, more or less probable, of phenomena more or less real. Those who had sailed the Icelandic seas were unanimous in agreeing that thousands of signs announced a western land, toward which they had shaped their course a thousand times, but had ever been driven back by irresistible hurricanes let loose upon them.

A man born in Genoa, reared on the Rivieras, taught seamanship from childhood, familiar with the Mediterranean, accustomed to deduce natural laws from the observation of facts, versed in every branch of nautical knowledge, coming in the prime of life to the immense trading-mart which Portugal had then become, possessed many a touchstone to test the native faculty of analysis, and to cause him to heed the commands and obey the impulses of his providential calling. We cannot, then, accept the fable, told by Herrera and by Oviedo, which attributes the voyage of Columbus to information obtained from a pilot of Palos, who, driven by a gale, landed upon the New World, and, after noting the features of the coast, and measuring the elevations, and calculating his latitude with profound wisdom, came back with the greatest secrecy by way of Portugal. Here, upon his return, having met Columbus upon one of the Portuguese islands, and feeling that death was near because of his exhaustion and his toil, he recounted the treasures of his knowledge and his experience to the Genoese, who, enriched thereby, was thus enabled to carry into effect his long-cherished plan. It is scarcely necessary, after mentioning all this, to add that it lacks historical foundation. It is based upon no written record whatever, upon no document admissible in evidence, nor upon any trustworthy testimony. Wherefore we see that these historians simply repeat the tale without vouching for it, and that it rests on mere fables,

with whose venom popular envy ever seeks to detract from merit.

Had Columbus possessed this legendary evidence in support of his scheme, he would not have hesitated as he so often hesitated; he would not have endured the pangs that tortured him through the weary space of twenty years; he would not have groped as he did in so many paths; nor have made so many proposals; nor have relied upon the arguments of intuition and science. It would have sufficed to have collected the proofs of his assertions, the various papers left in his hands by the blind confidence of a friend, therewith to overcome the general incredulity that so tenaciously and inimically thwarted his colossal schemes. Some practical and tangible proofs of what he maintained, some probable indications, some evidence with a glimmering of reality were demanded of him a thousand times; yet never was he able to present them to the thousand commissions appointed to consider his plan. When before them he appealed at one time to the catholic faith, at another to scientific demonstrations; now as a philosopher, now as an enthusiast; taking shelter behind illusions and calculations, but ever without being able to base the fabric of his dreams and hopes upon any solid foundation.

Columbus did not merely study out his idea in Portugal. Being very poor, he was spurred on by the prickings of necessity to utilize his mastery of map-drawing as a lucrative employment. The biographies of Columbus relate that, not content with satisfying his own wants so far as he might by means of his handicraft, he hoarded up some slender savings to send to his aged father at home. Columbus allied himself by marriage with an Italo-Portuguese family. She whom he was to choose and take to wife was named Felipa Muñiz Peretrello. Originating in Plasencia, the Peretrellos came in the fourteenth century to Lusitania, where they attained to the favor then often bestowed upon Italian families by the Portuguese kings, who were desirous to contribute to the common work of the Renaissance with the assistance of the eminent masters reared in that vast academy called Italy. Senhor Peretrello was exempted from the royal taxes in the last year of the fourteenth century by the recognition in Oporto of his rank and station as a hidalgo. His name was Philippone.

Dona Felipa Muñiz y Peretrello belonged to a noble house, associated with Dom Henry of Aviz in his explorations and discoveries, as well because of their family station as by the grace and favor of the Infante. Upon this family had been bestowed, as a reward for such cooperation, the island of Porto Santo, discovered by the well-directed efforts of the noble

and active company organized in Sagres. The origin and tendencies of her family explain Dona Felipa's knowledge, by intuition and education, by hearing and sight, of many of the things that deeply concerned her home circle, and, to some extent, of the condition and government of the islands. Laws like those which in chemistry govern the affinity of combining atoms in social intercourse produce personal affinities. The greatest of all discoverers was himself destined to wed the daughter of a discoverer. Columbus often went to mass on Sundays and other obligatory days. His residence in Lisbon being near the convent of All Saints, he resorted thither to perform his devotions, and in his assiduous attendance there it was his fate to be attracted by Dona Felipa Muñiz until he sought and obtained her in marriage.

The affection of Columbus for the young Lusitanian doubtless possessed practical features also, in view of the sailor's desire to live for the realization in his riper age of the work already fully planned in the latter years of his exuberant youth. Moreover, crediting his contemporaries as we should, the incomparable pilot displayed two traits capable of turning the head, I will not say of Dona Felipa Muñiz, but of every woman eloquence and personal attractiveness. His manly grace captivated her sense, his eloquence her mind. Well-proportioned like all the Græco-Latin race, he had the fair color and light hair of the Saxon and the Slav, a very attractive feature among the darkskinned and black-haired races. With regard to his eloquence, we must believe him capable of inspiring love, to judge from the easy transitions seen in all his writings, whether from popular speech to scientific language, or from scientific language to religious diction; elegant without effort in the first, profound without obscurity in the second, and impulsive without extravagance in the last. Be this as it may, Felipa Muñiz and Christopher Columbus were made one, in conformity with religion and law, in holy indissoluble wedlock. The year after their union a son was born to them, who was baptized in Lisbon and named Diego.

The first and most important results of this marriage to Columbus were that two of his wife's brothers-in-law exerted a signal influence upon his career; one at Palos, a small Spanish port peopled by hardy sailors, the other in Porto Santo, that island discovered, as we have before said, by the exploring expeditions organized by the infante Dom Henry, and bestowed as a fief upon the Peretrellos for reasons not well explained in history. The brother-in-law at Porto Santo was named Pedro Correa. He inherited the island by entail, because of its having been conveyed to Bartholomew Peretrello, the father of his wife and of Felipa, by

the congress and academy of Sagres. To this island, governed by his kinsfolk, Columbus was obliged to go soon after his marriage, in order to look after certain matters touching the family estate; and there, by the domestic hearth, he learned how there had drifted to those shores strange products of other civilizations, corpses of men of other races, plants of other floras, all differing widely from the common and characteristic types then known.

Certain it is that, besides the mental labors of Columbus in chartography, so favorable to an intellectual development of which the influences were brightly apparent everywhere around him, he repeatedly engaged in practical voyages, thereby gaining experience and training in the art and office of an accomplished navigator. Thus he sailed up to the extreme north, and down to the southern limit of the lands then known, visiting Guinea and Iceland. The scientific purpose of all these voyages is found fully set forth in the notes written by Columbus himself, which tend to demonstrate the inhabitability of the various zones of the planet far beyond the bounds assigned by popular superstition to the existence of human life. "I sailed," he says, "in the year fourteen hundred and seventy-seven, in the month of February, a hundred leagues beyond Thule Island, whereof the austral part is distant 73 degrees from the equinoctial, and not 63 as some say, and it is not within the line which bounds the occident, as Ptolemy says, but is much further to the westward; and to this island, which is as large as England, go the Englishmen with wares, especially those of Bristol; and at the time when I was there the sea was not congealed, but there were very great tides, so much so that in some places they rose twice in the day 25 fathoms1 in height, and fell as much." By reason of the loss and oblivion of certain

1 In Spanish, 25 brazas. (Las Casas: "Historia de las Indias," I., 48.) Helps disputes the translation, and, finding that in the extant Italian version the word is brac

old traditions Columbus could not have been aware of the deeply rooted claim prevailing in Scandinavian waters and lands, that the unknown world had been discovered five centuries before the Columbian theories and projects. In truth, these cruises of the immortal pilot qualified him in a high degree for the project to which his will and his thoughts were pledged. Guinea and Iceland afforded the proofs he sought, and encouraged the undertaking upon which he was entering with such marvelous unity of purpose and object. Africa and Scandinavia! The sun's rays slanting level in the one, and beating from the zenith in the other; there, a sky laden with flakes of snow, and here, rainless and unpitying; fields of ice like walls of crystal on the one hand, and deserts torrid as the embers of an oven on the other; the boreal firtree and the tropical palm; the reindeer, confined to the polar circle, and the dromedary, restricted to equatorial Asia and Africa; the ichthyophagist, devouring half-cooked or frozen fish, and the anthropophagist, delighting in human flesh; the fair-skinned and ruddy-haired inhabitants of one zone and the black and woolly denizens of another, all told him with one accord, by their contrasts, how the whole planet appeared to be inhabitable and, consequently, how the races of Cathay and the dominions of the Great Khan were to be conquered, contrary to all the achievements of man hitherto, by following the westward track. “I sojourned," says Columbus in his personal notes, “in the Castle of La Mina of the King of Portugal, which lies under the equinoctial, and therefore am I a good witness that it is not uninhabitable as men say." Thus, as one of the results of this voyage, the judgment of Columbus had already shaped his marvelous scheme, and had dissipated the main arguments against the solid foundations on which it rested.

Emilio Castelar.

chia, claims that Columbus meant 25 ells, about 52 feet, and not 25 fathoms or 156 feet. But bracchia is Italian for a fathom, as auna is for an ell.- TRANSLATOR.

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HE palace on its red rock seemed to be still asleep as he cantered across the empty plain. A man on a camel rode out of one of the city gates at right angles to his course, and Tarvin noted with interest how swiftly a long-legged camel of the desert can move. Familiar as he had now become with the ostrich-necked beasts, he could not help associating them with Barnum's Circus and boyhood memories. The man drew near and crossed in front of him. Then, in the stillness of the morning, Tarvin heard the dry click of a voice he understood. It was the sound made by bringing up the cartridge of a repeating rifle. Mechanically he slipped from the saddle, and was on the other side of the horse as the rifle spoke, and a puff of blue smoke drifted up and hung motionless above the camel.

"I might have known she 'd get in her work early," he muttered, peering over his horse's withers. "I can't drop him at this distance with a revolver. What's the fool waiting for?"

Then he perceived that, with characteristic native inaptitude, the man had contrived to jam his lever, and was beating it furiously on the fore part of the saddle. Tarvin remounted hastily, and galloped up, revolver in hand, to cover the blanched visage of Juggut Singh.

"You! Why, Juggut, old man, this is n't kind of you."

"It was an order," said Juggut, quivering with apprehension. "It was no fault of mine. I-I do not understand these things."

"I should smile. Let me show you." He took the rifle from the trembling hand. "The cartridge is jammed, my friend; it don't shoot as well that way. It only needs a little knack -so. You ought to learn it, Juggut." He jerked the empty shell over his shoulder.

"What will you do to me?" cried the eunuch. "She would have killed me if I had not come."

him dryly but reassuringly, balancing on his hip the captured rifle. He observed that it was a very good rifle if properly used.

At the entrance to Sitabhai's wing of the palace Juggut Singh dismounted and slunk into the courtyard, the livid image of fear and shame. Tarvin clattered after him, and as the eunuch was about to disappear through a door, called him back.

"You have forgotten your gun, Juggut," he said. "Don't be afraid of it." Juggut was putting up a doubtful hand to take it from him. "It won't hurt anybody this trip. Take yourself back to the lady, and tell her you are returned with thanks."

No sound came to his ear from behind the green shutters as he rode away, leaving Juggut staring after him. Nothing fell upon him from out of the arch, and the apes were tied securely. Sitabhai's next move was evidently yet to be played.

His own next move he had already considered. It was a case for bolting.

He rode to the mosque outside the city, routed out his old friend in dove-colored satin, and made him send this message:

"MRS. MUTRIE, DENVER.- Necklace is yours. Get throat ready, and lay that track into Topaz.



Then he turned his horse's head toward Kate. He buttoned his coat tightly across his chest, and patted the resting-place of the Naulahka fondly, as he strode up the path to the missionary's veranda, when he had tethered Fibby outside. His high good humor with himself and the world spoke through his eyes as he greeted Mrs. Estes at the door.

"You have been hearing something pleasant," she said. "Won't you come in?"

"Well, either the pleasantest, or next to the pleasantest, I 'm not sure which," he answered, with a smile, as he followed her into the familiar sitting-room. "I'd like to tell you all about it, Mrs. Estes. I feel almightily like telling somebody. But it is n't a healthy story for this neighborhood." He glanced about him. "I'd hire the town crier and a few musical instruments, and advertise it, if I had my way; and we 'd all have a little Fourth of July celebration and a bonfire, and I'd read the Declaration of Independence over the natives with a 1 Copyright, 1891, by Rudyard Kipling and Wolcott Balestier. All rights reserved.

"Don't you believe it, Juggut. She's a Jumbo at theory, but weak in practice. Go on ahead, please."

They started back toward the city, Juggut leading the way on his camel, and looking back apprehensively every minute. Tarvin smiled at

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