Christopher Columbus and the New World of His Discovery — Volume 8 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 72 pages of information about Christopher Columbus and the New World of His Discovery — Volume 8.
brought on an illness from which she really never recovered, a kind of feverish distress of mind and body in which her only alleviation was the transaction of such business as was possible for her in the direction of humanity and enlightenment.  She still received men of intellect and renown, especially travellers.  But she knew that her end was near, and as early as October she had made her will, in which her wishes as to the succession and government of Castile were clearly laid down.  There was no mention of Columbus in this will, which afterwards greatly mortified him; but it is possible that the poor Queen had by this time, even against her wish, come to share the opinions of her advisers that the rule of Columbus in the West Indies had not brought the most humane and happy results possible to the people there.

During October and November her life thus beat itself away in a succession of duties faithfully performed, tasks duly finished, preparations for the great change duly made.  She died, as she would have wished to die, surrounded by friends who loved and admired her, and fortified by the last rites of the Church for her journey into the unknown.  Date, November 26, 1504, in the fifty-fourth year of her age.

Columbus had evidently received the news from a public source, and felt mortified that Diego should not have written him a special letter.

Letter written by CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS to DON DIEGO, his Son, December 3, 1504.

Very dear son,—­I wrote you at length day before yesterday and sent it by Francisco Pinelo, and with this letter I send you a very full memorandum.  I am very much astonished not to receive a letter from you or from any one else, and this astonishment is shared by all who know me.  Every one here has letters, and I, who have more reason to expect them, have none.  Great care should be taken about this matter.  The memorandum of which I have spoken above says enough, and on this account I do not speak more at length here.  Your brother and your uncle and Carbajal are going yonder.  You will learn from them what is not said here.  May our Lord have you in His Holy keeping.

“Done in Seville, December 3.

“Your father who loves you more than himself.


Document of Columbus addressed to his Son, Diego, and intended to
accompany the preceding letter.

“A memorandum for you, my very dear son, Don Diego, of what occurs to me at the present time which must be done:—­The principal thing is, affectionately and with great devotion to commend the soul of the Queen, our Lady, to God.  Her life was always Catholic and Holy and ready for all the things of His holy service, and for this reason it must be believed that she is in His holy glory and beyond the desires of this rough and wearisome world.  Then
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