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tion could not remain long in obscurity, when once brought under the penetrating eye of Cardinal Ximenes, and notwithstanding the secret intrigues of their own countrymen, both were received into favour and exalted in rank.
The first expedition of the Spaniards across the newly discovered continent, opened to their view the Great South Sea, and hopes were entertained that a passage might be found, either through the Rio de la Plata, or some other opening into the Coast, whereby they would be enabled to enter it from the westward, and thus claim all discoveries under the grant of the pope's bull, as well as open a communication with the Molucca Islands. To execute this project, Magellan seemed eminently gifted, and accordingly he sailed from Seville, with five ships and about two hundred and fifty men, on the 11th August, 1519 ; and after encountering innumerable perils, from the want of experience and subordination in his crews, (some of whom he hanged for mutiny in Port St. Julian, on the coast of Patagonia,) he passed through the Straits, now bearing his name, and accomplished bis object by entering into the Southern Ocean, giving it the appellation of Pacific, which it still retains. From thence, they pursued their course for nearly four months without once gaining sight of land, and during this time their numbers were greatly diminished, by being literally starved to death. After visiting the Ladrones, and many of the Islands in the South Seas, they repaired to one of the Phillipine Islands, where Magellan lost his life in an engagement with the natives. Leaving these, they continued for some months among the numerous islands, in the Eastern Archipelago; and out of two hundred and fifty men, not more than twenty returned to Spain,—the rest were either starved, killed, or taken prisoners. By this voyage, geography was greatly enriched, and the spherical form of the earth determined ; beside, it opened a mart for European produce, and though the accounts were much exaggerated, yet experience has since convinced us of the value and importance of the Spice and other islands. The whole was performed in three years and twenty-seven days. Many attempts were made by other able commanders, but all without effect, till the time of Elizabeth (1577,) when Drake circumnavigated the globe, after having made many important discoveries, and plundered the Spaniards of immense wealth. From this hour, the prosperity of the British Navy may be dated ; from that time its theoretical knowledge and practical ability have been constantly increasing.
The success of Drake stimulated others to follow his example; and Sir Thomas Candish, encouraged by Elizabeth, was the next who sailed round the world, quitting England in 1586, and returning in 1588. Three years afterwards he made
a second attempt, but this adventure terminated disastrously to his people and fatal to himself. About this period, the Hollanders, who had thrown off the yoke of Spain, were sadly, distressed for means to carry on the war against their implacable foe, Philip the Second, and in defence of their national freedom. The treasures of the Spanish colonies, poured into the bosom of the mother country, wrought more powerfully against the United Provinces than could have been accomplished by the force of arms; till the Dutch, roused by a sense of the injuries which were heaped upon them, determined to draw their resources from the Spaniards themselves, and literally fight them with their own weapons. Encouraged by the successful enterprises of the English, they resolved to send an expedition in the same direction, for the purpose of making large drafts upon the Spanish funds, and endeavour to promote a commercial intercourse with the East and West Indies. In September, 1598, having completed the equipment of two stout ships, and two yachts, they sailed under the command of Oliver Van Noort, and, directed by the nautical skill of an English pilot, completed a circuit of the globe in something less than three years. Previous to their departure, a fleet had sailed with similar intentions, under De Weert, (the discoverer of the Falkland Isles, originally named after him) but after encountering severe hardships and appalling distresses in the Straits of Magellan, they were compelled to relinquish the design and return home. The cause of failure was principally attributed to their want of confidence, and to their rejecting the counsels of the English pilots.
The Dutch East India Company, still anxious to perform the voyage to India by the Straits of Magellan, fitted out another feet in 1614, consisting of six ships, and George Spilbergen, a man of high reputation for experienced knowledge, took the supreme command, and arrived in the South Seas, May 6th, 1615. The Spaniards, alarmed at these unceremonious visits of the Hollanders, equipped an armament of eight ships of war, to give them a warm reception, according to the usual mode of a Spanish welcome; and though the admiral was warned of the superior ability and determined bravery of the Dutch, yet, with the characteristic haughtiness of the Don, he boastingly replied, that “two of his ships, independent of the rest, were sufficient to take all England, and much more the insignificant Hollanders, who must be spent with the fatigues of the voyage, and would certainly yield, with trembling alarm, without honouring him with a shot." In this, however, he was most wofully deceived, for, on the meeting of the adverse fleets, Mynheer singed the Don's whiskers in a deplorable manner, and then sunk his ships to cool his ears. In short, the whole fleet was defeated, with an amazing loss, and three of the largest sent to the bottom. This brave man (Spilbergen) as sisted in the reduction and conquest of the Moluccas, and by his prudence, gallantry, and skill, materially contributed to the grandeur and freedom of his country, where he arrived July 1st, 1617. The States General having granted a charter to the East India Company, by which they claimed the exclusive privilege of trading to the eastward, beyond the Cape of Good Hope, and to the westward, through the Straits of Magellan, it naturally gave great dissatisfaction to the other merchants, (as such fetters on the operations of commerce must at all times produce,) and they prepared, not only to find some hole to creep out at and evade the charter, but also some other opening to creep into the Southern Ocean. Men capable of the undertaking were readily embarked, and Schouten and Le Maire sailed on the enterprise, which led to the discovery of Cape Horn, and the Straits of Le Maire, (the usual tract of ships in the present day,) and by their intrepidity and perseverance, they sailed round the world in two years and eighteen days. In 1622, the Dutch dispatched another armament (called the Nassau fleet) of eleven sail, to harass the Spaniards in their wealthy colonies; and the western coast of America, as well as the Gulf of Mexico, soon began to swarm with desperate characters of all nations, who thought as little of circum-navigating the globe as if it had been a mere ordinary voyage. Such were the first discoverers, who “ fetched a compass of the earth," and opened a communication with distant and hitherto unknown regions.
The great success of Columbus induced other nations to attempt similar enterprises. Cabot sailed from England to the northward : Cabral was appointed by the King of Portugal to the command of a fleet, and directed to follow the course of De Gama in the east, round the Cape of Good Hope, (then recently discovered,) butmeeting with adverse winds, he was driven so far to the westward, as to make the coast of Brazil, and took possession of the country, in the name and for the crown of Portugal, although it had been previously visited by Pinçon, (a companion of Columbus,) and claimed for the court of Spain. Cabral'immediately dispatched intelligence to Lisbon, announcing the discovery, and then continued his course to India. When the information arrived in Europe, it was hailed with considerable gratification by Emanuel, who immediately invited Americus Vespucius from Seville, and dispatched him, with three ships, to explore the new additions to his power. After encountering many and severe hardships, he sailed as far south as 52 deg., without effecting any thing of very great importance, and then returned home; but though his discoveries were few, he had the honour of naming the New World, to the
great prejudice and injustice of the first discoverers. The following year he sailed again, and made a settlement on the coast, and thus laid the foundation of the Portuguese possessions in Brazil, now erected into an empire. There is, perhaps, no harbour in the world more beautiful in its appearance, or more commodious in its anchorage, than Rio Janeiro; the original inhabitants of whose shores were cannibals, and of whom scarcely a trace is left. Cruel was the work of devastation. Every method which infernal malice could suggest was put in practice to exterminate the natives. The engines of war were not considered sufficient for the purpose. Disease, in almost every shape, was spread amongst them; and that pest, the small-pox, destroyed more than the sword. It was the practice to distribute clothes and toys infected with the matter where the Indians were most likely to find them; and the plan succeeded but too well. Solis was the first discoverer of this fertile spot, but he quitted it, and proceeded to the river Plata, where he was murdered by the natives, and most probably devoured. Many attempts were made to settle a colony, for nearly fifty years, without effect; and when it was accomplished, the Portuguese suffered very severely from the repeated attacks of the Spaniards, French, and Dutch, to drive them from Brazil. With the Spaniards a treaty was concluded, and an agreement made, that the Portuguese should possess all the country between the two great rivers Amazon and Plata. The French and Dutch were defeated, and compelled to abandon their designs, though the latter continued to harass the Portuguese commerce by sea ; but, in 1661, the Dutch accepted eight tons of gold, as an equivalent for yielding up all interest in Brazil. Previous to this, in 1580, Don Sebastian, the King of Portugal, was killed in an expedition against the Moors, in Africa, and the kingdom and its dependencies became annexed to the crown of Spain; but on the Portuguese asserting their independence, and gaining their freedom, the boundaries of Brazil were restored, from the Amazon to the. Rio Grande. In the first instance, the colonies offered but little emolument, except from the fertility of the soil and the valuable timber; but the discovery of mines, containing the precious metal most coveted by all nations, and likewise diamonds, soon produced an opulence among the colonists; and, for some time afterward, the produce of the country was impoverished, through the neglect of the inhabitants, who rather sought for artificial wealth than permanent advantage. To remedy this evil, and relieve the Portuguese from a toil they were unable to support, the poor descendants of Ham were dragged from their African home, and at once immured within the mines for the residue of their lives, to dig for that treasure they were not permitted to en
hade, that the
greater red and con
asional contemplarence of foule up in tobeny prison is abode be
joy. Dreadfully revolting even to the obdurate heart have been the cruelties and oppressions practised on the unoffending negro ; and in no part of the globe was it carried to a greater extent, than in the vicinity of the mines. The slave who was purchased to cultivate the ground, to fish, or other laborious duty, still enjoyed the light of the sun, and was indulged, oco casionally, with a cessation from toil; but humanity sickens when it contemplates the fate of a fellow creature, whose only crime was a difference of colour, doomed to drag on a short and miserable existence; shut up in the bowels of the earth, without a beam of day to cheer his gloomy prison; and resting solely on the hope, that when his spirit quitted its abode he should return to his native land-to the spot where the days of his childhood passed in tranquillity and joy. In the dark ages, when ignorance fostered cruelty, and the inordinate thirst for gold stifled every feeling of compassion, the poor African could not expect to find an advocate or friend; but when the light of knowledge spread its influence over the nations of the earth, and man became more civilized, the unfriended negro derived no benefit from its operations, his sufferings and degradation continued the same. We have seen the slave ship, with its hundreds, anchor in the harbour of Rio Janeiro, before the palace and under the eye of royalty, and the victims have been immediately transported to the mines, where a few months have terminated their mortal career. We have visited those mines, and witnessed the wretched state of their inhabitants. The first sight that greeted our arrival was a sufferer in the agonies of death, which shortly relieved him from his oppressors; and the appearance of the living spectres that remained behind promised an early release from tyranny and wrong. In the course of time the mines became a receptacle for criminals and state prisoners, worse than the Inquisition or Bastile. The fate of one individual is still fresh in our memory: A French officer, contrary to the faith pledged him by a British admiral, was condemned to end his days in one of these miserable abodes. We can recollect his last look at quitting the protection of the English flag, when anguish, despair, and heroism, struggled for the mastery. He went, and we heard of him no more.
But to return to our subject. Upon the discovery of the mines of Brazil, the seat of government was fixed at Rio Janeiro, and the city of San Sebastian began to display the marks of wealth, as far as the outward show of gold, silver, and jewels, in their pompous processions and fêtes, are indications of it; but the arts and sciences remained in total obscurity. Literature was no where cultivated, except in the depths of monastic solitude ; and even among the ecclesi