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genealogy of the Saxon kings could be given, up to Adam ; but it may excite our mirthful surprise that the conscientious Spanish chronicles could rise no higher than to Tubal, the grandson of Noah. The divisions of the Old World— Asia, Africa, and Europe—were assigned to the three sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth ; and the parentage of those continents was given to those patriarchs respectively. In this manner all mankind were brought into a family relationship, all equally the descendants of Adam, equally participators in his sin and fall. As long as it was supposed that the lands of Columbus were a part of Asia, there was no difficulty; but when the true position and relations of the American continent were discovered, that it was separated from Asia by an impassable waste of waters of many thousand miles, how did the matter stand with the new-comers thus suddenly obtruded on the scene? The voice of the Fathers was altogether against the Indiant the possibility of their Adamic descent. St. Augustine had are men, denied the globular form and the existence of antipodes ; for it was impossible that there should be people on what was thus vainly asserted to be the other side of the earth, since none such are mentioned in the Scriptures. The lust of gold was only too ready to find its justification in the obvious conclusion; and the Spaniards, with an appalling atrocity, proceeded to act toward these unfortunates as though they did not belong to the human race. Already their lands and goods had been taken from them by apostolic authority. Their persons were The Ameri, next seized, under the text that the heathen are given as an in
gedy. heritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession. It was one unspeakable outrage, one unutterable ruin, with discrimination of age or sex. They who died not under the lash in a tropical sun, died in the darkness of the mine. From sequestered sandbanks, where the red flamingo fishes in the grey of the morning; from fever-stricken mangrove thickets, and the gloom of impenetrable forests ; from hiding-places in the clefts of the rocks, and the solitude of invisible caves; from the eternal snows of the Andes, where there was no witness but the all-seeing sun, there went up to God a cry of human despair. By millions upon millions, whole races and nations
were remorselessly cut off. The Bishop of Chiapa affirms that more than fifteen millions were exterminated in his time!
From Mexico and Peru a civilization that might have inThe crime structed Europe was crushed out. Is it for nothing that of Spain.
Spain has been made a hideous skeleton among living nations, a warning spectacle to the world ? Had not her punishment overtaken her, men would have surely said, “There is no retribution; there is no God !” It has been her evil destiny to ruin two civilizations, Oriental and Occidental, and to be ruined thereby herself. With circumstances of dreadful barbarity she expelled the Moors, who had become children of her soil by as long a residence as the Normans have had in Englan from William the Conqueror to our time. In America she destroyed races more civilized than herself. Expulsion and emigration have deprived her of her best blood, her great cities have sunk into insignificance, and towns that once had more than a million of inhabitants can now only show a few scanty thousands.
The discovery of America agitated Europe to its deepest foundations. All classes of men were affected. The populace went wild at once with a lust of gold and a love of adventure. Well might Pomponius Lætus, under process for his philosophical opinions in Rome, shed tears of joy when tidings of the great event reached him; well might Leo X., a few years later, sit up till far in the night reading to his sister and his cardinals the 'Oceanica’ of Anghiera.
Vasco de If Columbus failed in his attempt to reach India by sailing Gama. African to the west, Vasco de Gama succeeded by sailing to the south. coasting. He doubled the Cape of Good Hope, and retraced the track of voyages.
the ships of Pharaoh Necho, which had accomplished the same undertaking two thousand years previously. The Portuguese had been for long engaged in an examination of the coast of Africa under the bull of Martin V., which recognized the possibility of reaching India by passing round that continent. It is an amusing instance of making scientific discoveries by contract, that King Alphonso made a bargain with Ferdinand Gomez, of Lisbon, for the exploration of the African coast; the
Doubling the Cape of Good Hope.
163 stipulation being that he should discover not less than three hundred miles every year, and that the starting-point should be Sierra Leone.
We have seen that a belief in the immobility of the line of Papal conno magnetic variation had led Pope Alexander VI. to establish Spain and a perpetual boundary between the Spanish and Portuguese
Portugal. possessions and fields of adventure. That line he considered to be the natural boundary between the eastern and western hemispheres. An accurate determination of longitude was therefore a national as well as a nautical question. Columbus had relied on astronomical methods ; Gilbert, at a subsequent period, proposed to determine it by magnetical observations. The variation itself could not be accounted for on the doctrine vulgarly received, that magnetism is an effluvium issuing forth from the root of the tail of the Little Bear, but was scienti. fically, though erroneously, explained by Gilbert's hypothesis that earthy substance is attractive—that a needle approaching a continent will incline toward it; and hence, that in the midst of the Atlantic, being equally disturbed by Europe and America, it will point evenly between both.
Pedro de Covilho had sent word to King John II., from News that Cairo, by two Jews, Rabbi Abraham and Rabbi Joseph, that might be there was a south cape of Africa which could be doubled. They brought with them an Arabic map of the African coast. This was about the time that Bartholomew Diaz had reached the Cape in two little pinnaces, of fifty tons apiece. He sailed in August, 1486, and returned in December, 1487, with an account of his discovery. Covilho had learned from the Arabian mariners, who were perfectly familiar with the east coast, that they had frequently been at the south of Africa, and that there was no difficulty in passing round the continent that way.
A voyage to the south is even more full of portents than De Gama's one to the west. The accustomed heavens seem to sink away, voyage. and new stars are nightly approached. Vasco de Gama set sail July 9, 1497, with three ships and one hundred and sixty men, having with him the Arab map. King John had employed his Jewish physicians, Roderigo and Joseph, to devise
A commercial revolu. tion the
what help they could from the stars. They applied the astrolabe to marine use, and constructed tables. These were the same doctors who had told him that Columbus would certainly succeed in reaching India, and advised him to send out a secret expedition in anticipation, which was actually done, though it failed through want of resolution in its captain. Encountering the usual difficulties, tempestuous weather and a mutinous crew, who conspired to put him to death, De Gama succeeded, Novenaber 20, in doubling the Cape. On March 1 he met seven small Arab vessels, and was surprised to find that they used the compass, quadrants, sea-charts, and “had divers maritime mysteries not short of the Portugals.”
With joy he soon after recovered sight of the northern stars, He reaches for so long unseen. He now bore away to the north-east, and India.
on May 19, 1498, reached Calicut, on the Malabar coast.
The consequences of this voyage were to the last degree im.
portant. The commercial arrangements of Europe were comresult, pletely dislocated; Venice was deprived of her mercantile
supremacy; the hatred of Genoa was gratified; prosperity left the Italian towns; Egypt, hitherto supposed to possess a pre-eminent advantage as offering the best avenue to India, suddenly lost her position; the commercial monopolies so long in the hands of the European Jews were broken down. The discovery of America and passage of the Cape were the first steps of that prodigious maritime developement soon exhibited by Western Europe. And since commercial prosperity is forthwith followed by the production of men and concentration of wealth, and moreover implies an energetic intellectual condition, it appeared before long that the three centres of population, of wealth, of intellect, were shifting westwardly. The front of Europe was suddenly changed; the British islands, hitherto in a sequestered and eccentric position, were all at once put in the van of the new movement.
Commercial rivalry had thus passed from Venice and Genoa to Spain and Portugal. The circumnavigation of the earth originated in a dispute between these kingdoms respecting the Molucca Islands, from which nutmegs, cloves, and mace were
165 obtained. Ferdinand Magellan had been in the service of the Ferdinand King of Portugal; but an application he had made for an increase enters the of half a ducat a month in his stipend having been refused, service. he passed into the service of the King of Spain, along with one Ruy Falero, a friend of his, who, among the vulgar, bore the reputation of a conjuror or magician, but who really possessed considerable astronomical attainments, devoting himself to the discovery of improved means for finding the place of a ship at sea. Magellan persuaded the Spanish government that the Spice Islands could be reached by sailing to the west, the Portuguese having previously reached them by sailing to the east; and, if this were accomplished, Spain would have as good a title to them, under the bull of Alexander VI., as Portugal. Five ships, carrying 237 men, were accordingly equipped, and His great on August 10, 1519, Magellan sailed from Seville.
The commenced, Tripitie was the admiral's ship, but the San Vittoria was destined for immortality. He struck boldly for the south-west, not crossing the trough of the Atlantic as Columbus had done, but passing down the length of it, his aim being to find some cleft or passage in the American continent through which he might sail into the Great South Sea. For seventy days he was becalmed under the line. He then lost sight of the north star, bu courageously held on toward the “pole antartike.” He nearly foundered in a storm, “which did not abate till the three fires called St. Helen, St. Nicholas, and St. Clare appeared playing in the rigging of the ships.” In a new land, to which he gave the name of Patagoni, he found giants “ of good corporature” clad in skins; one of them, a very pleasant and tractable giant, was terrified at his own visage in a lookingglass. Among the sailors, alarmed at the distance they had come, mutiny broke out, requiring the most unflinching resolution in the commander for its suppression. In spite of his watchfulness, one ship deserted him and stole back to Spain. His perseverance and resolution were at last rewarded by the He penediscovery of the strait named by him San Vittoria in affection- trates the ate honour of his ship, but which, with a worthy sentiment, continent. other sailors soon changed to “the Strait of Magellan.” On Reaches the November 28, 1520, after a year and a quarter of struggling, Ocean.