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regarded them not; and not the Bull, but other compromise stayed them from open hostilitie.” By an agreement between the two nations of the Peninsula, concluded in 1494, it was covenanted, that the line of partition described in the ecclesiastical document should be extended 270 leagues farther to the west, and that all beyond this boundary should belong to Castile, and all to the eastward to Portugal.* Thus their territories were defined with sufficient certainty on one side of the globe; but the limits on the other were left perfectly vague, and became a fertile subject of dispute.

Meantime, the Portuguese had achieved the grand object which they had so long laboured to attain. In 1486, Bartholomew Diaz reached the southern extremity of Africa, which he named the Cape of Storms; but the Portuguese monarch gave it the more auspicious title of Good Hope. Eleven years after, Vasco de Gama doubled this dreaded promontory, and conducted a fleet to the rich shores of India,—an event which was destined to exercise on the career of American discovery more than an indirect influence, powerful as that was.

The vast * This agreement (sometimes called the treaty of Tordesillas) was concluded on 7th June, but was not subscribed by Ferdinand till 20 July 1493, and by John not till 27th February 1494. It was confirmed by a Bullin 1506. The late Admiral Burney, whose work we will have occasion so often to mention with respect, writes of this agreement,-“ At the instance of the Portuguese, with the consent of the Pope, in 1494 the line of partition was by agreement removed 270 leagues more to the west, that it might accord with their possessions in the Brazils.—Chronological History of the Discoveries in the South Sea, vol. i. p. 4. "It is impossible to admit the existence of the motive here assigned ; for Brazil was not discovered by Cabral until six years after the date of the agreement.-Purchas, vol. i. p. 30. Robertson's Hist. of America, book ii. Irving's Columbus, ii. 147, and authorities there quoted. -It is proper to mention that Burney is by no means singular in this mistake.

treasures which Portugal drew from countries where the harvest of the adventurer was prepared before he visited the field, mightily inflamed the avidity of Spain, and breathed a new spirit of ardour into her enterprises. Nor did the former kingdom fail to contribute her exertions towards extending the knowledge of the new continent. In the year 1500, the second expedition which was fitted out for India, under the command of Pedro Alvarez de Cabral, standing westward to clear the shores of Africa, discovered the coast of Brazil, and took possession of it in name of the Portuguese crown. It has been well observed by an eminent writer on this subject, “ that Columbus' discovery of the New World was the effort of an active genius, enlightened by science, guided by experience, and acting upon a regular plan, executed with no less courage than perseverance. But from this adventure of the Portuguese, it appears that chance might have accomplished that great design which it is now the pride of human reason to have formed and perfected. If the sagacity of Columbus had not conducted mankind to America, Cabral, by a fortunate accident, might have led them a few years later to the knowledge of that extensive continent.

We have seen that even Portugal yielded but a scanty deference to the right which the Pope had usurped of bestowing the world at his will; and England was still less inclined to acquiesce in such an as


* Robertson's History of America, book ii. Care must be taken not to overvalue the merits of Cabral. It should be recollected that his discovery was the result of chance; and farther, that Brazil had been visited some months previously by Diego Lepe, and still earlier by Vicente Yanez Pinzon, who was the first to cross the equator in the Atlantic.

sumption of power. So early as 1497, an armament sailed from this country, conducted, under letters. patent from Henry VII., by John Cabot, a native of Venice settled at Bristol, and by his three sons, Louis, Sebastian, and Sanchez.* The object appears to have been to find a western passage northwards of the new Spanish discoveries, and by this route to reach India. In prosecution of this great scheme, Cabot, on the 24th of June 1497, approached the American continent, probably at Newfoundland; and his son Sebastian, in two successive voyages, performed in 1498 and 1517, explored a large extent of the coast, from Hudson's Bay on the north as far as Florida on the south. Although unsuccessful in the attainment of their immediate purpose, these expeditions have justly entitled the English to the high distinction of being the first discoverers of the main-land of America,—Columbus not having seen any part of it till the lst of August 1498. In 1500, three years after the first voyage of Cabot, Gaspar Cortereal, a Portuguese gentleman, under the sanction of King Emanuel, pursued the track of the Cabots with the same views. Sailing along the east coast of Newfoundland, he reached the northern extremity of that island, and entered the mouth of the St Lawrence, which, with no small show of probability, he concluded to be the opening into the west that he was seeking. He proceeded also along the coast of Labrador, and appears to have advanced nearly as far as to Hudson's Bay.

* A Jate acute writer has started a question as to the comparative agency of John and Sebastian Cabot.. (Memoir of Sebastian Cabot. London, 1831 ; p. 42, et seq.) This point has been amply considered in a previous volume of this Library, to which reference is made for a minuter. lation of the discoveries of the Cabots.-Historical View of the Progress of Discovery on the more Northern Coasts of America, chap. i., and Appendix. Edinburgh Cabinet Library, No. IX.

While England and Portugal were thus examining the coasts of the New World, Spain, which had first opened the path, pursued it with unabated zeal and activity. The peculiar circumstances of that country afforded much encouragement to the spirit of adventure. The long war she had waged with the Moors, and the high and romantic feelings which animated that contest, fostered a strong desire of excitement, and an ardent love of enterprise, which found in the regions discovered by Columbus an ample and inexhaustible field. “ Chivalry left the land and launched upon the deep; the Spanish cavalier embarked in the caravel of the discoverer.” Year after year her ports poured forth fresh expeditions, while national enthusiasm was almost daily excited by rumours of new countries far richer and more fertile than any previously known. The details of these navigations, however, more properly belong to another work; and it will be sufficient in this place briefly to allude to their chief results. In 1500, Rodrigo de Bastides explored the northern coast of Tierra Firma, from the Gulf of Darien to Cape de Vela, from about the 73d to the 79th degree of west longitude. In the same year, Vi. cente Yanez Pinzon doubled Cape San Augustine, discovered the Maragnon or River of Amazons, and sailed northward along the coast to the island of Trinidad. The same active voyager engaged in several other expeditions ; and in one of these, in which he was accompanied by Diaz de Solis, made known to Europeans the province of Yucatan. Almost contemporaneously with the first voyage of Pinzon, his townsman, Diego Lepe, pursuing nearly the same path, added largely to the knowledge of the coasts of Brazil. In 1512, Juan Ponce de Leon set sail in quest of the fabled island of Bimini, where flowed the miraculous Fountain of Youth, whose waters were of such wonderful power that whosoever bathed in them was restored to the vigour of early manhood. Though this fairy region was in vain sought for, the important discovery of the blooming coast of Florida was achieved.

In the succeeding year, 1513, the Spaniards at length reached that ocean of which they had heard many vague rumours from the natives of Tierra Firma. The honour of this discovery is due to Vasco Nunez de Balboa, a man sprung from a decayed family, and who, first appearing in the New World as a mere soldier of fortune, of dissolute habits and of desperate hopes, had, by courage and intrigue, raised himself to the government of a small colony established at Santa Maria in Darien. In one of his forays against the native inhabitants, when in this command, he procured a large quantity of gold. While he was dividing the treasure among his followers, much disputing took place in the presence of a young cacique, who, disdaining brawls for what seemed to him so mean an object, struck the scales with his hand, and scattered the gold on the ground, exclaiming, “Why should you quarrel for such a trifle ? If this gold is indeed so precious in your eyes, that for it you forsake your homes, invade the peaceful lands of strangers, and expose yourselves to such sufferings and perils, I will tell you of a province where you may gratify your wishes to the utmost.

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