Christopher Columbus and the New World of His Discovery — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 476 pages of information about Christopher Columbus and the New World of His Discovery Complete.

But in the meanwhile the Chapter of the cathedral in San Domingo had made new discoveries and examinations; had found another box of bones, which bore to them authentic signs that the dust it contained was the Admiral’s and not his grandson’s; and in spite of the Academy of History at Madrid, it is indeed far from unlikely that the Admiral’s dust does not lie in Spain or Cuba, but in San Domingo still.  Whole books have been written about these boxes of bones; learned societies have argued about them, experts have examined the bones and the boxes with microscopes; and meantime the dust of Columbus, if we take the view that an error was committed in the transference to Cuba, is not even collected all in one box.  A sacrilegious official acquired some of it when the boxes were opened, and distributed it among various curiosity-hunters, who have preserved it in caskets of crystal and silver.  Thus a bit of him is worn by an American lady in a crystal locket; a pinch of him lies in a glass vial in a New York mansion; other pinches in the Lennox Library, New York, in the Vatican, and in the University of Pavia.  In such places, if the Admiral should fail to appear at the first note of their trumpets, must the Angels of the Resurrection make search.

CHAPTER X

THE MAN COLUMBUS

It is not in any leaden box or crystal vase that we must search for the true remains of Christopher Columbus.  Through these pages we have traced, so far as has been possible, the course of his life, and followed him in what he did; all of which is but preparation for our search for the true man, and just estimate of what he was.  We have seen, dimly, what his youth was; that he came of poor people who were of no importance to the world at large; that he earned his living as a working man; that he became possessed of an Idea; that he fought manfully and diligently until he had realised it; and that then he found himself in a position beyond his powers to deal with, not being a strong enough swimmer to hold his own in the rapid tide of events which he himself had set flowing; and we have seen him sinking at last in that tide, weighed down by the very things for which he had bargained and stipulated.  If these pages had been devoted to a critical examination of the historical documents on which his life-story is based we should also have found that he continually told lies about himself, and misrepresented facts when the truth proved inconvenient to him; that he was vain and boastful to a degree that can only excite our compassion.  He was naturally and sincerely pious, and drew from his religion much strength and spiritual nourishment; but he was also capable of hypocrisy, and of using the self-same religion as a cloak for his greed and cruelty.  What is the final image that remains in our minds of such a man?  To answer this question we must examine his life in three dimensions.  There was its

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Christopher Columbus and the New World of His Discovery — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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