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with more than youthful vigor, in the breasts of On the 3rd of August all was ready—the sun those who a few days before meditated deeds of shone brightly on their ocean path—the sky was bloodshed and dishonor! But these cheering maniserene above. Gentle breezes filled their sails, and festations passed like sunbeams on an April sky, all nature promised them prosperity. But tears and again Columbus saw the cloud of discontent and lamentations alone met the ear. Those few and heard the muttered thunder. men were gazed upon by friends and relatives as The 11th of October dawned clear and bright; devoted victims to the wild and visionary schemes the endless sea still stretched its glassy bosom of a madman. No heartfelt joyous tones bade before them; the shades of night closed around them “God speed," but mournful cries and out- Columbus as he stood above the cabin of the Santa stretched hands, as the wind bore gallantly on their Maria, eagerly scanding the western horizon. fragile fleet. Stephano stood with folded arms on What would that morning bring to him? The realithe deck of the Santa Maria, seemingly uncon- zation of his theory and proud hopes, or the humiliascious of life. He gazed on the crowded shore, tion of a dreaming fanatic ? But though his noble none there wept for him, but in her splendid home, countenance bore traces of sorest anxiety it was he knew that Leonore wept bitter tears, and he felt oftener lighted up with the pride of imagined sucthat he might trust in her pure and fervent prayers. cess.
He watched the free, pure waves dashing But the thought of the months, years perhaps, that up their foam-wreaths around his vessel; those would pass ere he could again behold her! The waters never before divided by a ship's prow. agony of this separation, which might be eternal, Above him the bright watchers of the sky moved filled his soul with sorrow. He felt that her heart slowly to the west. Stephano placed himself bewould be true to him, but force might make her side Columbus, but did not break the silence his the wretched bride of Count Eccelino. Hope commander saw fit to preserve. His eyes were pointed to the enterprize in which he had engaged. fixed on a star that blazed brightly in the western His ardent mind exulted in the anticipation of pene-sky, but his heart was with Leonore. Love and trating into an unknown world. There was some- glory filled those two hearts, and silence brooded thing in the mystery peculiarly attractive to him: over all. he would win glory and Leonore might yet be his
“Look !" said Columbus suddenly, "at that light, own! Then, the visions in the tower of Fabricio it moves, now rising-now falling; it is a fisherrecurred to his mind, and he thought, perchance, man's torch on the waves, or a light carried by love had been thus denied him, and he forced to some person walking on shore; see! Colonna, seek the path of glory: yet he felt without Leo- what think you ?" nore's love, how valueless it would be, and gloom “ It is certainly a light, and carried in one of the again darkened his brow. The silent abstraction of ways you have mentioned." his youthful companion was not unheeded by the Ad- Columbus called Pedro Gutierrez, “ Signor, do miral, and he often joined him as he stood in mourn- you see a light out to the west ?" ful thought in the midnight watch. Stephano's obe- “Yes, my Lord Admiral." dience and devotion to himself attached Columbus “We may still be deceived by excited imaginsto him, and he unfolded to him his secret misgiv- tions, call Rodrigo Sanchez." ings, or painted his glowing hopes, and he found When he ascended, the light had disappeared: the enthusiastic dreamer ever ready to lend a wil- after a few moments Columbus said, " There! look ling ear, and aid where it could avail. In their first out towards the west, do you not see a light, Rodtrial in the calm which arrested them off the rigo?" Azores, he animated the drooping spirits of the Yes, my lord, what do you take it to be!" sailors with words of hope and his cheerful mien;
“We must be near land." and when, after many wearisome days and nights, “I fear not, my lord.” still no land appeared, and eager eyes were dim “ Nay? have we not in the last three days reand ached with straining, and longing hearts heavy ceived many strong proofs ? Remember the flocks and sick with repeated disappointment-when the of field-birds; they were too feeble of wing to fiy tensely drawn chords of spirits in suspense were far, and the green fish, and the wreaths of plants; ready to snap and recoil upon their leader, Co- trust me, good gentlemen, our hopes will soon be lonna put to shame the craven spirit of his ship- realized.” mates by his cheerful obedience, and sustained the “Our commander is right,” said Colonna, * see! anxious soul of his noble commander, with words there is the light again”—but the other gentlemez of hope and prophecies of success.
were incredulous and soon retired, leaving ColemWhen the curiously carved staff and those tan- bus and Stephano alone. gled weeds came floating lazily and carelessly by, “Now,” thought the Admiral, “shall my hopes how eagerly were they snatched from the briny and wishes be realized. The balıny odors which load wave, and how anxious was every heart and eye of these western breezes betray their wandering in the those despairing men ! how hope and fancy awoke'spicy groves of Cipango, where gold and gems are
profuse, and wealth and splendor reign. Now, shall, “ monarch of all he surveys," till they saw the I be able to recover the Holy Sepulchre from the women employed in all the labor, whilst the men impious hands which have profaned it. I shall have hunted, or lay at ease in the shade of the beautiful wealth enough to fit ont an invincible crusade—but trees that covered these islands. perhaps / approach a land of frightful monsters and The Spaniards spent several months in these awful scenes; all is unknown and mystic before delightful island homes, and the life there enjoyed me-yet I will give a world to mankind; those of luxurious ease and plenty, made them contrast cold scoffers shall yet worship the visionary and unfavorably the toil and care with which pleasure feel the humiliation that burns the cheek with and comfort were purchased in the old world, with blushes of shame, when the boasted wisdom of the innocent idlesse of this paradisean clime. presumptuous ignorance is refuted and proved false; Swiftly flew the days in that delicious land where whilst the trusting and wise will receive a world the air was so fresh and buoyant, that it was joy new and strange, as a recompense for their conside- but to breathe it, and sweet the siesta, that necesration of the despised Columbus. Nations yet sary luxury to the Spaniard, where the senses were unborn shall bless my name. Holy Mother, who lolled by singing birds, and the languid limbs hast thus far guided me, grant the fulfilment of my fanned by gentlest breezes. desires."
They had left San Salvador some months, and And Stephano, what were his thoughts ? of the were coasting among the islands. One day they glory of this enterprise in which he would be a entered a fine harbor, which Columbus called St. sharer ? Doubtless these things were present with Thomas, and were visited by a large canoe, bringhim, but there was an eye that beamed afar, which ing messengers and presents to Columbus from a was the pole-star of his trembling heart; a gentle grand cacique, who lived on the coast farther eastbeing whose slightest word was life or death to ward. His name was Guacanagari, and he rehim. Her approving smile, his wreath of glory; quested Columbus to visit him. Contrary winds her censure crushing shame.
prevented his compliance, but he sent an armed Morning dawned, and the fast sailing Pinta gave boat commanded by the notary of the squadron, the joyful signal of land! Land! how was that who returned with so favorable an account of the word echoed by every tongue! what rapture filled country and the hospitality of the chieftain, that each breast! Nearer and nearer they approach the Columbus determined to visit him. He soon after shore; nature beautiful and glorious bursts upon set sail. One night the helmsman left the ship in them, a realm of verdure, fragrance, bloom and charge of a boy, and retired to rest. Soon after fruit. A brilliant sun lights up the new and gor- the crew were awakened by a strong collision, and geous scene. The boats leave the ships. In the then came the rushing waters. Columbus was Admiral's is the green-cross flag. That banner has first on deck, and found that the ship had been waved over Moslem and Saracen fields wet with carried by the strong current ashore, and lay rolling gore and ghastly with death—what does it, midst on a sand bank. The terrified crew refused to aid these pure and peaceful shades?
Columbus and sought the Nina. Pinzon would not Columbus has reached the land. Well might suffer them to come on his vessel, but manned the natives and his crew regard him with reve- his own boat, and hastened to the Admiral's assisrence, as he kneels on the long-sought shore, his tance. Every effort to save the Santa Maria rich scarlet robe sweeping the wet sands, his noble proved vain, and Columbus finally abandoned her face now turned to Heaven with words of thanks- and took refuge in the Nina. giving and praise on his lips, now bent to earth as At daylight he sent messengers to Guacanagari, he kisses the virgin soil. His example is followed inforıning him of his misfortunes. The kindby the crews, and he takes possession of the country hearted cacique shed tears, and assembling his in the names of Ferdinand and Isabella.
people, sent off canoes to assist Columbus in The timid natives had fled at the first sight of bringing off stores from the wreck. When their the fast coming ships. When the boats landed effects were safely landed, he established a guard with strange beings of a “marvellous whiteness," over them, and entertained Columbus and his crew clad in gaudy robes, or glittering steel armor, awe- with the most munificent hospitality. So enchanted stricken and wondering, they sought refuge in were the Spaniards with this beautiful island, and their thick groves. But soon emboldened by the the mode of life, that many entreated permission of gentle manners and kind tones of the Spaniards, Columbus to remain. He had thought of planting they approach and reverently touch their white a colony in the new world, and gladly acceded to faces and hands, and handle their long beards, with their proposition. Preparations were immediately many gesticulations of wonder.
made for building a fortress, and with the assistance Nor did the Spaniards marvel less at the strange of the natives it was soon completed. The simple complexion and beardless faces of the natives; hearted cacique and natives did not oppose this they saw but one woman. The inhabitants of the movement, but rejoiced in it; so much enamored old world knew not how completely the Indian is' were they of their strange visiters, and with so
deep an awe had the feats and arms of the Span-stood, and the gestures and tones of Stephano had iards inspired them.*
strongly excited the maiden. What a vision of “Stephano," said the Admiral," you are banished innocence and beauty stood before him! Her long from your country, will you remain here? You silky hair was her only dress about the neck and shall be first in command of the garrison.” bust, and a white cotton robe fell gracefully from
- Accept my most grateful thanks, most noble the waist to the knee. Her slender and finely Admiral, for the high honor you offer me, but per- moulded form was elastic and agile as the wild deer mit me to decline it; I must see my home, my of the forest. She gazed a few minutes longer on Leonore again. The fame of this discovery in Colonna, and then her eye became humid; the which I am a small sharer, may cast in the shade animation on her face was subdued; she approached my faults and I may be pardoned.”
the astonished Colonna, folded her hands meekly “But may not the Princess already be the bride over her breast, and kneeling before him, attempted of another ?-Nay, be not angry Colonna,” he to place his foot on her bowed head. Colonna now continued, as the youth's brow became crimson,“I understood her actions, and raising her from the mean not to say the lady will be false, but the earth, placed her gently from him, laid his hand on father might compel."
his heart, and pointed to the east across the sea. Deep gloom overspread the face of Colonna, The girl rose, looked earnestly, mournfully upon as he said, " Then I will return to these islands him a moment, and then with a look of despair forever."
bounded like a wounded deer far into the depths of “Well, my young friend, we will hope for better the forest. things; and be assured, if needed, my influence shall not be wanting to aid you; you have ofttimes
CHAPTER VII. cheered and comforted my heart.” Colonna silently and reverently bent before Columbus and kissed his How had these months passed to Leonore !-In hand.
sorrow, amidst the pleasures and amusements of A few hours later he stood in the deep shade of her splendid home. In vain her father endeavored one of those beautiful groves. The sunbeams to interest her in them, in vain did the sanguine straggled through the thickly woven foliage and Fidele strive to rouse her. She sat listless in her formed a golden net-work on the rich green turf room, or wandered with a lingering step, that bebeneath ; a silver stream went splashing over the trayed the weary heart, along the shore of the smooth pebbles in its bed; fragrant flowers bent river. Prince Azzo knew not whither Colonna from its enamelled banks, to kiss the fleeting had gone, but Pietro Trono had faithfully though wavelets which bore on a lovely freight of fragrant secretly delivered his message to Leonore, and not bloom, scattered from orange and myrtle trees even to Fidele did she confide it. Thus her hopes, above; midst their glossy leaves sweet birds, her fears, were borne alone ; and who knows not warbled and fluttered, and one seemed crazed with how grievous a thing it is to bear sorrow and fear delight, as it poured forth its exulting and ever in silence ! varied notes. Stephano threw himself on the turf At her earnest request Prince Azzo had obtained entranced, and listened to the wild bird's song. He permission from the council to defer her marriage thought of his early dreams, and Fabricio's vision with Eccelino. of Love. “ Here,” said he, "might we realize all The last day of this allowed period had arrived, our fondest, purest hopes. Oh! Leonore, Leonore! and Leonore sat in her chamber in the stillness of if thou wert here, midst these peaceful, enchanting despair. Hitherto hope had whispered, though shades, how blissfully life would pass! These gentle but faintly. “Stephano will return and save thee." natives would love us and look to us for protection, But now, this star had gone down, and not a linand we would have a kingdorn of love! I will gering beam remained to brighten the darkness of seek my country and thee. Should the dark fate her gloom. Fidele had striven with gentle assiwhich threatened us pass away, we will be happy duity to cheer her hapless cousin. Now, even her there; if not—and thou art free-we will fly to hopeful spirit failed to brighten the falling shadow. this land of freedom and bliss. Oh! for the hour,
They sat by an open window. Leopore's check when I shall again feel that heart beating against was white and cold as the marble sill on which she mine own."
leaned; the full dark eyes beamed no more with In his earnestness of passion, he had risen, and lustrous light, but large tears gathered, and slowly extending his arms, he then clasped them to his swelled over their silken fringes. The beautifel breast. A slight rustling startled him, and turning mouth was painfully compressed, and the delicate he saw a young and beautiful Indian girl. She hands were clasped and rested moveless before stood looking earnestly on the youth, her bright her. Fidele sat gazing silently and mournfully dark eyes radiant with tenderness and awakened on her fair sad face. The door opened and Prince love. The language of passion is always under- Azzo entered. Leonore closed her eyes and sank
* For these details, see Irving's Life of Columbus. back in her chair.
“ Leonore ! my child, you are free! Eccelino friends, but mankind would pity them as victims, is dead!"
whilst they execrated his memory as a fanatic who "My father !"-and as though an iron hand had had “perished in pursuit of a chimera." The obloosened its grasp on her heart, she heaved a long ject of his hope and toil for years, seemed about to sigh, and half rising, sank down again insensible. elude his grasp when he had achieved bis design
Prince Azzo folded her to his bosom, and cover- and almost reaped his reward. The Pinta had ing her brow with kisses, franticly besought her to gone, and on his frail vessel hung his only hope of live and bless him. Fidele's aid and apt appli- proclaiming to the world the success of his bold ances soon restored Leonore to consciousness, and enterprize. In the midst of these torturing reflecwhen she saw her cousin quietly lying on her tions, a thought of consolation arose. Calling the couch, whilst a soft smile wreathed her lips, she still faithful Stephano, he prepared to write on turned to the Prince and said,
parchment an account of his discovery and his " But how, my uncle, did the wicked Count meet taking possession of the country in the name of the his death ?"
Spanish Sovereigns. The furious tossings of the " Irritated by the compliance of the ten, with my vessel rendered writing difficult, and Stephano held request, that his marriage might be deferred, he the parchment firmly outstretched upon the table uttered rash words against their justice, and whilst Columbus wrote. After writing a brief acthreatened to betray the city to the Turks. The count of his discovery and taking possession, he next morning when the palace doors opened, the sealed and directed it to the Sovereigns, superscriheadless body was seen with this proclamation, bing in their name a promise of a thousand ducats to Eccelino Di Romagno, beheaded for crimes whomever should deliver the packet unopened to against the state.' He has expiated a life of them. He wrapped this document in waxed bloody deeds and blackest crimes, by a frightful cloth, placed it in a cake of wax which he enclosed death."
in a cask, and cast into the sea. A similar memo" And you would have given your child to one rial thus preserved he placed on the poop of his you esteemed thus," said Fidele, with reproachful vessel.* indignation.
Strange was the spectacle on that helpless tossed " Knowest thou not, maiden, that magic arts and bark! The noble countenance of Columbus eardealings with spirits are punished by death? Could nestly bending over the trembling parchment, perI give my child, a Princess of D' Este, up to anseveringly striving to wrest the precious knowledge ignominious death? Proofs of her guilt were in of the success of his enterprize from the contemptuEccelino's possession, and I could not refute them.” ous oblivion that threatened it, and committing it
"My father, will not the council still enforce to the treacherous waves of a tempestuous ocean; their fearful threat,” said Leonore wildly. the face of his youthful friend expressing the
“* Fear not, my child, gold is their magic spell, sympathy he felt with the feelings of his comEccelino's threatened your life, mine has saved it.” mander, as he followed with anxious eye the wa
vering progress of the pen, and then, as some fiercer
wave, or louder war-note of the storm burst over CHAPTER VIII.
them, the shadowy fear of losing the cherished hope Gentle but steady breezes filled the sails of the of his heart, passing across his upturned face :homeward-bound adventurers. They had bidden and around them, the groans of despair, the wild adieu to their comrades who had chosen the new appeals for mercy, the penitential promises and world for their home, and though heaviness en- humiliating vows of the terrified crew!-Well dured for a moment, the bliss of again seeing friends might the storm-spirit poise on his wing and arrest and country soon filled every heart.
the lightning arrow that threatened the devoted After a few days these favorable winds ceased. ship. On the evening of the 13th of February, vivid The hour of despair passed. A single beam of flashes of lightning in the north north east fore- light in the western sky woke hope in their sinking boded a tempest. It soon burst upon them, and hearts. Hope came from that west, so much dreadtheir fragile vessels drifted at the mercy of wind ed and despised.
A few days after land was seen. Land! oh! For some time the ships kept together, but as the what a shout of joy swelled every heart—but sorstorm increased, the signal lights of the Pinta gra- row awaited them. The island was St. Mary's, dually disappeared, and the despairing crew in the one of the Azores, and belonged to Portugal. Afship of Columbus, left alone in an unknown and ter acts of inhospitality, and several ineffectual atstormy ocean, gave way to clamorous grief and exe-tempts on the part of the Governor to secure the crations of their commander. He bore a calm and person of Columbus, the weather becoming faself-possessed brow, whilst his heart was tortured vorable, they again made sail for Spain. Again by anxiety, deeper than that of those around him. tempests overwhelmed them. During the last fearLike them, he might never again see country or
* Irving's Columbus.
ful night the cry of land was heard; but fearing to celona had been that of a conqueror enjoying a strike a rock, Columbus kept to sea. Morning Roman triumph. Every village poured forth its infound them off the coast of Portugal opposite the habitants to hail him, and nobles and proud bidalmouth of the Tagus. Though rendered suspicious gos joined his cortége. Now, on it came to the of this people by his treatment at St. Mary's, he city, with music and waving banners, and nodding was obliged by the shattered condition of his ves- plumes, the tramp of mettled steeds, the gleaming sel, to run into the Tagus to make some repairs. of rich and many colored robes, and the flashing of He was joyfully and kindly welcomed by the Por- steel arms and armor. tuguese, and many nobles visited him. After re- Conspicuous among this splendid throng was ceiving the honors and princely entertainment of Columbus, mounted on a white charger, whose King John, at Valparaiso, Columbus set out for proud step and arched neck almost persuaded the Palos. Here his triumph was signal. To Palos beholder that the spirited animal was conscious of he first came a despised wanderer on foot, begging the noble burden he bore. Columbus' white hair bread and water for his child at the convent gate. was uncovered and floated back from his high brow, Now the honors of a conqueror awaited him! The and a smile of gratification dwelt on his benevoair was joyful with the sound of bells, and the rest lent countenance. In front of the procession, were of a Sabbath in all places of labor.
the six Indians decorated with chains and coronets Learning that the Court was at Barcelona, he of gold, and the animals, birds, and other curiosidespatched a letter to the Sovereigns, and repaired ties brought from the new world. But after the to Seville to await their commands. In due time, first rapid glance Leonore saw nothing of these. he received a gratifying response and an invitation Her eyes were rivetted on a noble youth who rode to proceed to Barcelona.
on a jet black steed by the side of Columbus. This discovery was matter for rejoicing through- He saw her not. They came nearer and bearer, out the world. Men of science and letters every till she could see the very waving of his raves where hailed it as presenting a new field for their hair. Then his eagle eye glanced rapidly over the labors. Among those who journeyed to Barcelona crowd and rested on the brilliant, joy-lit face of his to see the discoverer and hear his wondrous ac- Leonore. A flush of surprise and delight mounted count, were Prince Azzo and Leonore. The Prince to his brow, and with one earnest look on that was also led thither, by the to him mysterious en- loved one, he raised his eyes in mute thansgiving treaties of his daughter and the hope of making to Heaven. Now, amidst that busy and gorgeous still brighter the fresh roses that had begun to pageant, their eyes sought but each other; their bloom on her pale cheek. He wondered much hearts throbbed but with their own feelings. at her animation as they neared their journey's That day of glory and rejoicing was closing: the end. But fear sometimes whitened Leonore's soft twilight of April, beneath a Castilian sky, bad cheek, and silenced the joyful accents of her made the open air the favorite resort of most of tongue. She knew not whether Stephano had re- the revellers. Here and there in grove and garden turned with the victorious Columbus. That noble were groups, and couples, wandering 'neath the heart which had beat so warmly for her might be orange trees with lagging footsteps. Among these still forever, his head resting on its last low pillow, were Stephano and Leonore. They had waaunwept, in a strange land, or in sunless cavern be- dered farther and farther from all around, till neath the sea. Such thoughts haunted her, and they stood alone in a little dingle, shut in by the when the spires and domes of the city glittered in thick foliage of old orange trees. A pebbled stream the last rays of evening, her heart sickened with glided noiselessly along. The silvery beams of suspense and fear.
fair young moon” glimmered on the desy They arrived on the eve of Columbus' entrance blossoms and leaves. Here the lovers rested on a into the city. Busy and crowding thoughts drove moss-grown stone, and as Fabricio had shown long sleep from Leonore's pillow. With the gloom of before to Stephano, in the vision of trusting love, night came shadows over her soul, but as morn- thus rested the maiden on his throbbing heart. ing's roseate pencil painted the sky, so revived But they had forgotten magic and magician now, Hope spread roses on the face and brightened the beneath the potent spell of Love. Their bliss-inaspect of the trembling maiden. Its glorious light toxicated hearts beat wildly, and the overflowing and free fresh air chased away nights cold shades, happiness of confiding reciprocated affection nearly and the heart's despondency. All was bright and stopped the current of speech and thought. They beautiful.
but existed. But how priceless such eristence! To receive the noble Admiral with greater honor, It is felt but once. When first the fond heart has the sovereigns had the throne placed in the open borne separation, long and in silence, again to see the air under a canopy of cloth of gold. Beneath fervent light of unabated love burning in the eyes, this now sat Ferdinand and Isabella, with the youth- to hear the tender words of cherished affection ful prince Juan; around were noble princes and warm and true as at the parting hour, to see breathladies in rich attire. Columbus' progress to Bar-'ing and loving before us, the one in whose life our