De Orbe Novo, Volume 1 (of 2) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 449 pages of information about De Orbe Novo, Volume 1 (of 2).

[Note 7:  Some of the principal colonists, including Valdiviesso and Diego de Escobar, favoured Roldan.  The sketchy description of this notable rebellion here given may be completed by consulting Herrera, Dec.  I., 3, i.; Fernando Columbus, Storia del Almirante; Irving, Columbus and his Companions, book xi., caps iv., v., etc.]

While these disturbances were in progress, the Spanish sovereigns finally granted the Admiral eight vessels, which Columbus promptly ordered to sail from the town of Cadiz, a city consecrated to Hercules.  These ships were freighted with provisions for the Adelantado.  By chance they approached the western coast of the island, where Ximenes Roldan and his accomplices were.  Roldan won over the crews by promising them fresh young girls instead of manual labour, pleasures instead of exertion, plenty in place of famine, and repose instead weariness and watching.

During this time Guarionex, who had assembled a troop of allies, made frequent descents upon the plain, killing all the Christians he surprised, ravaging the fields, driving off the workmen, and destroying villages.

Although Roldan and his followers were not ignorant that the Admiral might arrive from one day to another, they had no fears, since they had won over to their side the crews of the ships that had been sent on ahead.  In the midst of such miseries did the unfortunate Adelantado await from day to day the arrival of his brother.  The Admiral sailed from Spain with the remainder of the squadron but instead of sailing directly to Hispaniola, he first laid his course to the south.[8] What he accomplished during this new voyage, what seas and countries he visited, what unknown lands he discovered, I shall narrate, and I shall also explain at length the sequel of these disorders in the following books.  Fare you well.

[Note 8:  This was the third voyage of Columbus, concerning which some of the best sources of information are as follows:  Oviedo, Hist.  Gen. de las Indias, lib. iii., 2, 4; Navarrete, tom iii., Lettera di Simone Verde a Mateo Curi; Fernando Columbus, op. cit.; Herrera, dec. i., 7; R.H.  Major, Hakluyt Society, 1870, Select Letters of Columbus.]



On the third day of the calends of June, 1498,[1] Columbus sailed from the port of San Lucar de Barrameda, which is situated at the mouth of the Guadalquivir not far from Cadiz.  His fleet consisted of eight heavily freighted ships.  He avoided his usual route by way of the Canaries, because of certain French pirates who were lying in wait for him.  Seven hundred and twenty miles north of the Fortunate Isles he sighted Madeira, which lies four degrees to the south of Seville; for at Seville, according to the mariners’ report, the north star rises to the 36th degree, whereas at Madeira it is in the 32d. 

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