[Footnote 9: Fernandez, lib. ii. c. 63.]
[Footnote 10: B. Diaz, c. 203.]
[Footnote 11: ‘After the death of Guatimotzin,’ says B. Diaz, ’he became gloomy and restless; rising continually from his bed, and wandering about in the dark.’.—’Nothing prospered with him; and it was ascribed to the curses he was loaded with.’]
A circumstance, recorded by Herrera, renders this visit not improbable. ’In May, 1528, Cortes arrived unexpectedly at Palos; and, soon after he had landed, he and Pizarro met and rejoiced; and it was remarkable that they should meet, as they were two of the most renowned men in the world.’ B. Diaz makes no mention of the interview; but, relating an occurrence that took place at this time in Palos, says, ’that Cortes was now absent at Nuestra Senora de la Rabida.’ The Convent is within half a league of the town.
Sung ere his coming—
In him was fulfilled the antient prophecy,
- — — — — venient annis
Secula seris, quibus Oceanus
Vincula rerum laxet, &c.
SENECA in Medea, v. 374.
Which Tasso has imitated in his Giemsalemme Liberata.
Tempo verra, chie fian d’Ercole i segui
Favola vile, &c.
c. xv. 30.
To lift the veil that cover’d half mankind!
An introductory couplet is here omitted.
Dying, to-night I would fulfill my vow.
Praise cannot wound his generous spirit now.
The Poem opens on Friday, the 14th of September, 1402.
_——the great Commander_
In the original,’ El Almirante.’ In Spanish America, says M. de Humboldt, when El Almirante is pronounced without the addition of a name, that of Columbus is understood; as, from the lips of a Mexican, El Marchese signifies Cortes.
"Thee hath it pleas’d—Thy will be done!” he said,
’It has pleased our Lord to grant me faith and assurance for this enterprize—He has opened my understanding, and made me most willing to go.’ See his Life by his son, Ferd. Columbus, entitled, Hist. del Almirante Don Christoval. Colon, c. 4 & 37.
Whose voice is truth, whose wisdom is from heav’n,
The compass might well be an object of superstition. A belief is said to prevail even at this day, that it will refuse to traverse when there is a dead body on board. Hist. des Navig. aux Terres Australes.
COLUMBUS err’d not.
When these regions were to be illuminated, says Acosta, cum divino consilio decretum esset, prospectum etiam divinitus est, ut tarn longi itineris dux certus hominibus praeberetur. De Natura Novi Orbis.
A romantic circumstance is related of some early navigator in the Histoire Gen. des Voyages, I. i. 2. “On trouva dans l’isle de Cuervo une statue equestre, couverte d’un manteau, mais la tete nue, qui tenoit de la main gauche la bride du cheval, et qui montroit l’occident de la main droite. Il y avoit sur le bas d’un roc quelques lettres gravees, qui ne furent point entendues; mais il parut clairement que le signe de la main regardoit l’Amerique.”