The Adelantado said, “Both you and the Queen will get well. What, brother, your voyages are just begun! But let us sail now for Spain. I think well of that.”
And the son Fernando, Yes, yes, let us go home, father, and see Diego!
IT was Seville, and an inn there, and the Admiral of the Ocean-Sea laid in a fair enough room. His gout manacled him, and another sickness crept upon him, but he could think, talk and write, and at times, for serenity and a breath of pleasure, read. He was ever a reader.
About him, all day long, came people. They called themselves friends, and many were friends. But some used that holy word for robber-mask. Others were the idlest wonder-seekers, never finding wonder within, always rushing for it without. His heart, for all his much experience, or perhaps because of that, was a simple heart. He took them for what they said they were, for friends, and he talked of the Indies and all his voyages past and to come, for he would yet find Ciguarre and retake the Sepulchre.
He had not much money. All his affairs were tangled. Yet he rested Admiral of the Ocean-Sea, and in name, at least, Viceroy of the Indies. He was much concerned over his mariners and others who had returned with him to Spain. All their pay was in arrears. He wrote begging letters for them, and with his sons forever in his mind, for himself. Don Diego, Don Fernando, they were pleasant, able youths.
Fray Juan Perez came to Seville. He was worldly comfort, but ghostly comfort too. The Admiral talked of Ciguarre and Jerusalem, but also now of the New Jerusalem and the World-to-come.
Late in November, at Medina del Campo Santo died the
He told me a dream or a vision that day. There was, he said, a fair, tranquil shore, back of a fair, blue haven, and his wife and his mother, long dead, walked there in talk. Back of the shore rose, he said, a city with wonderful strong walls and towers and a perpetual sweet ringing of church bells. It seemed to climb to one great palace and church, set about with orchards, with many doves. The whole mounted like Monsalvat. The city seemed to be ready for some one. They were hanging out tapestries and weaving garlands and he heard musicians. Everywhere shone a light of gladness. He returned to the seashore, and walking with his wife and mother, asked them about the city. They said that it was the Queen’s City. Then, he said, he seemed to hear trumpets, and far on the horizon made out a sail.— Then city and shore and all were gone, and it was dark, starry night, and he was in the Azores, alone, with a staff in his hand that he had drawn from the sea.
It was Fray Juan Perez who brought him news of her death. “Queen Isabella!” he said and turned to the wall and lay there praying.
One day there came to see him Amerigo Vespucci who sailing with Ojeda, knew Paria. They talked of that Vastness to the south. The Venetian thought it might be a continent wholly unknown alike to the ancients and the moderns. “Known,” answered the Genoese, “in the far, far past! But unknown, I grant, for so long that it has become again new. All a New World.”