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When they arrived at St. Domingo, on the thirteenth of August, the governor, with the mean artifice of a vulgar mind, that labours to atone for infolence by fervility, fawned on the man whom he envied, and had attempted to ruin. · He received Columbus with the most studied respect, lodged him in his own house, and distinguished him with every mark of honour. Bat amidst these overacted demonstrations of regard, he could not conceal the hatred and malignity latent in his heart. He set at liberty the captain of the mutineers, whom Columbus had brought over in chains, to be tried for his crimes, and threatened such as had adhered to the admiral with proceeding to a judicial enquiry into their conduct. Columbus submitted in silence to what he could not redress; but discovered an extreme impatience to quit a country which was under the jurisdiction of a man who had treated him, on every occasion, with inhumanity and injustice. His preparations were soon finished, and he set fail for Spain with two ships, on September the twelfth, 1504. Disasters similar to those which had accompanied him through life continued to to pursue him to the end of his career. One of his vessels being disabled, was foon forced back to St. Domingo; the other, hattered by violent storms, failed seven hundred leagues with jury-mafts, and reached with difficulty the port of St. Luear in the month of December.
There he received the account of an event the most fatal that could have befallen him, and which completed his misfortunes. This was the death, on the ninth of November, 1504, of his patronefs queen Isabella, in whose justice, humanity, and favour, he confided as his laft resource. None now remained to redress his wrongs, or to reward him for his services and sufferings, but Ferdinand, who had so long opposed and so often injured him. To solicit a prince thus prejudiced against him, was an occupation no less irksome than hopeless. In this, however, was Colombus doomed to employ the close of his days.
As soon as, his health was in some degree re-established, he repaired to court; and though he was received there with civility barely decent, he plied Ferdinand with petition after petition, demanding the punishment of his oppressors, and the restitution of all the privileges bestowed upon bim by the capitulation of one thousand four hundred and ninety-two. Ferdinand amused him with fair words and unmeaning promises. Instead of granting his claims, he proposed expedients in order to elude them, and spun out the affair with such apparent art, as plainly discovered his Columbus flattered Ferdinand with the hopes of being soon delivered from an importunate fuitər, and encouraged him to persevere in this liberal plan. Nor was he deceived in his expectations. Disgusted
with the ingratitude of a monarch whom he had served with such fidelity and success, exhausted with the fatigues and hardships which he had endured, and broken with the infirmities which these brought upon him, Columbus ended his life at Valladolid on the twentieth of May, one thousand five hundred and fix, in the fifty-ninth year of his age. He died with a composure of mind suitable to the magnanimity which distinguished his character, and with sentiments of piety becoming that fupreme respect for religion, which he manifested in every occurrence of his life.
Having thus given an Account of the first Discovery of America, we shall now proceed to lay before the Reader, a GENERAL DESCRIPTION of that Country, its Soil, Climate, Productions, Original Inhabitants, &c. &c.
DESCRIPTION OF AMERICA,
BOUNDARIES AND EXTENT.
THIS vaft country extends from the Both degree of north, to the
56th degree of south latitude; and, where its breadth is known, from the 35th to the 136th degree west longitude from London; stretching between 8000 and gooo miles in length, and in its greatest breadth 3690. It sees both hemispheres, has two summers and a double winter, and enjoys all the variety of climates which the earth affords. It is washed by the two great oceans.
To the eastward it has the Atlantic, which divides it from Europe and Africa; to the west it has the Pacific or Great South Sea, by which it is separated from Asia. By these feas it
may, and does, carry on a direct commerce with the other three parts of the world.
NORTH AND SOUTH CONTINENT. America is not of equal breadth throughout its whole extent; but is divided into two great continents, called North and South America, by an isthmus 1500 miles long, and which at Darien, about Lat. 9° N. is only 60 miles over. This isthmus forms, with the northern and southern continents, a vast gulph, in which lie a great number of islands, called the West Indies, in contradistinction to the eastern parts of Alia, which are called the East Indies.
CLIMATE. Between the New World and the Old, there are several very striking differences ; but the most remarkable is the general predominance of cold throughout the whole extent of America. Though we cannot, in any country, determine the precise degree of heat merely by the distance of the equator, because the elevation above the sea, the nature of the soil, &c. affect the climate; yet, in the ancient continent, the heat is much more in proportion to the vicinity to the equator than in any part of America. Here the rigour of the frigid zone extends ovec half that which should be temperate by its position. Even in those
latitudes where the winter is scarcely felt on the Old continent, it reigns with great severity in America, though during a Mort period. Nor does this cold, prevalent in the New World, confine itself to the temperate zones; but extends its influence to the torrid zone, also, confiderably mitigating the excess of its heat. Along the eastern coast, the climate, though more similar to that of the torrid zone in other parts of the earth, is nevertheless considerably milder than in those countries of Asia and Africa which lie in the same latitude. From the southern tropic to the extremity of the American continent, the cold is said to be much greater than in parallel northern latitudes even of America itself,
For this fo remarkable difference between the climate of the New continent and the Old, various causes have been alligned by different authers. The following is the opinion of the learned Dr. Robertson on this subject. Though the utmost extent of America towards the north be not yet discovered, we know that it advances nearer to the pole than either Europe or Afia. The latter have large seas to the north, which are open during part of the year; and, even when covered with ice, the wind that blows over them is less intensely cold than that which blows over land in the same latitudes. But, in America, the land stretches from the river St. Laurence towards the pole, and spreads out immensely to the west. A chain of enormous mountains, covered with snow and ice, runs through all this dreary region. The wind pasting over such an extent of high and frozen land, becomes so impregnated with cold, that it acquires a piercing keenness, which it retains in its progress through warmer climates; and is not entirely mitigated until it reach the gulph of Mexico. Over all the continent of North America, a north-westerly wind and excessive cold are synonymous terms. Even in the most sultry weather, the moment that the wind veers to that quarter, its penetrating influence is felt in a transition from heat to cold no less violent than sudden, To this powerful cause we may ascribe the extraordinary dominion of cold, and its violent in-roads into the southern provinces in that part of the globe.
" Other causes, no less remarkable, diminish the active power of heat in those parts of the American continent which lie between the tropics, In all that portion of the globe, the wind blows in an invariable direction from east to weit. As this wind holds its course across the ancient continent, it arrives at the countries which stretch along the western shore of - Africa, inflamed with all the fiery particles which it hath collected from the sultry plains of Asia, and the burning fands in the African desarts, The coast of Africa is accordingly the region of the earth which feels
the most fervent heat, and is exposed to the unmitigated ardour of the
But this fame wind, which brings such an accession of warmth to the countries lying between the river of Senegal and Cafraria, traverses the Atlantic ocean before it reaches the American shore. It is cooled in its passage over this vast body of water; and is felt as a refreshing gale along the coasts of Brafil and Guiana, rendering those countries, though amongst the warmest in America, temperate, when compared with those which lie opposite to them in Africa. As this wind advances in its course across America, it meets with immense plains covered with impenetrable forests; or occupied by large rivers, marshes, and stagnating waters, where it can recover no considerable degree of heat. At length it arrives at the Andes, which run from north to fouth through the whole continent. In passing over their elevated and frozen summits, it is so thoroughly cooled, that the greater part the countries beyond them hardly feel the ardour to which they feem exposed by their fituation. In the other provinces of America, from Terra Firma westward to the Mexican empire, the heat of the climate is tempered, in some places, by the elevation of the land above the fea; in others, by their extraordinary humidity; and in all, by the enormous mountains scattered over this tract. The islands of America in the torrid zone are either small or mountainous, and are fanned alternately by refreshing sea and land breezes.
“ The causes of the extraordinary cold towards the southern limits of America, and in the seas beyond it, cannot be ascertained in a manner equally fatisfying. It was long supposed, that a vast continent, diftinguished by the name of Terra Australis Incognita, lay between the fouthern extremity of America and the antarctic pole. The same principles which account for the extraordinary degree of cold in the northern regions of America, were employed in order to explain that which is felt at Cape Horn and the adjacent countries. The immense extent of the southern continent, and the rivers which it poured into the ocean, were mentioned and admitted by philosophers as causes sufficient to occafion the unusual sensation of cold, and the still more uncommon appearances of frozen feas in that region of the globe. But the imaginary continent to which such influence was ascribed having been searched for in vain, and the space which it was supposed to occupy having been tound to be an open sea, new conjectures must be formed with respect to the causes of a temperature of climate, fo extremely different from that which we experience in countries removed at the same distance from
the opposite pole.