STATUARY AT SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA.
One of the principal features in the State capitol at Sacramento is a beautiful and artistic group of statuary, cut from a solid block of purest white marble. It represents Columbus pleading the cause of his project before Queen Isabella of Spain. The Spanish sovereign is seated; at her left hand kneels the First Admiral, while an attendant page on the right watches with wonder the nobly generous action of the Queen. Columbus, with a globe in his hand, contends that the world is round, and pleads for assistance to fit out an expedition to discover the New World. The royal reply is, "I will assume the undertaking for my own crown of Castille, and am ready to pledge my jewels to defray its expense, if the funds in the treasury shall be found inadequate," The group, which is said to be a masterpiece of work, the only piece of its kind in the United States, was executed in Florence, Italy, by Larkin G. Mead of Vermont, an American artist of known reputation. Costing $60,000, it was presented to the State of California, in 1883, by Mr. D. O. Mills.
A MONUMENT NEAR SALAMANCA.
At Valcuebo, a country farm once belonging to the Dominicans of Salamanca, Columbus was entertained by Diego de Deza—prior of the great Dominican convent of San Esteban and professor of theology at Salamanca—while the Junta [committee] of Spanish ecclesiastics considered his prospects. His residence there was a peaceful oasis in the stormy life of the great discoverer. The little grange still stands at a distance of about three miles west of Salamanca, and the country people have a tradition that on the crest of a small hill near the house, now called "Teso de Colon" (i. e., Columbus' Peak), the future discoverer used to pass long hours conferring with his visitors or reading in solitude. The present owner, Don Martin de Solis, has erected a monument on this hill, consisting of a stone pyramid surmounted by a globe; it commemorates the spot where the storm-tossed hero enjoyed a brief interval of peace and rest.
HONOR TO WHOM HONOR IS DUE.
MANOEL FRANCISCO DE BARROS Y SOUZA, VISCOUNT SANTAREM, a noted Portuguese diplomatist and writer. Born at Lisbon, 1790; died, 1856.
If Columbus was not the first to discover America, he was, at least, the man who rediscovered it, and in a positive and definite shape communicated the knowledge of it. For, if he verified what the Egyptian priest indicated to Solon, the Athenian, as is related by Plato in the Timoeus respecting the Island of Atlantis; if he realized the hypothesis of Actian; if he accomplished the prophecy of Seneca in the Medea; if he demonstrated that the story of the mysterious Carthaginian vessel, related by Aristotle and Theophrastus, was not a dream; if he established by deeds that there was nothing visionary in what St. Gregory pointed at in one of his letters to St. Clement; if, in a word, Columbus proved by his discovery the existence of the land which Madoc had visited before him, as Hakluyt and Powell pretended; and ascertained for a certainty that which for the ancients had always been so uncertain, problematical, and mysterious—his glory becomes only the more splendid, and more an object to command admiration.
THE SANTIAGO BUST.
At Santiago, Chili, a marble bust of Columbus is to be found, with a face modeled after the De Bry portrait, an illustration of which latter appears in these pages. The bust has a Dutch cap and garments.
THE ST. LOUIS STATUE.
In the city of St. Louis, Mo., a statue of Columbus has been erected as the gift of Mr. Henry D. Shaw. It consists of a heroic-sized figure of Columbus in gilt bronze, upon a granite pedestal, which has four bronze basso relievos of the principal events in his career. The face of the statue follows the Genoa model, and the statue was cast at Munich.
SOUTHERN AMERICA'S TRIBUTE.
At Lima, Peru, a fine group of statuary was erected in 1850, representing Columbus in the act of raising an Indian girl from the ground. Upon the front of the marble pedestal is the simple dedication: "A Cristoval Colon" (To Christopher Columbus), and upon the other three faces are appropriate nautical designs.
THE STATUE IN BOSTON.
In addition to the Iasigi statue, Boston boasts of one of the most artistic statues to Columbus, and will shortly possess a third. "The First Inspiration of the Boy Columbus" is a beautiful example of the work of Signor G. Monteverde, a celebrated Italian sculptor. It was made in Rome, in 1871, and, winning the first prize of a gold medal at Parma, in that year, was presented to the city of Boston by Mr. A. P. Chamberlain of Concord, Mass. It represents Columbus as a youth, seated upon the capstan of a vessel, with an open book in his hand, his foot carelessly swinging in an iron ring. In addition to this statue, a replica of the Old Isabella statue (described on page 171, ante), is, it is understood, to be presented to the city.
STATUE AT GENOA.
In the Red Palace, Genoa, a statue of Columbus has been erected representing him standing on the deck of the Santa Maria, behind a padre with a cross. The pedestal of the statue is ornamented with prows of caravels, and on each side a mythological figure represents Discovery and Industry.
THE STATUE AT PALOS.
Now in course of erection to commemorate the discovery, and under the auspices of the Spanish government, is a noble statue at Palos, Spain. It consists of a fluted column of the Corinthian order of architecture, capped by a crown, supporting an orb, surmounted by a cross. The orb bears two bands, one about its equator and the other representing the zodiac. On the column are the names of the Pinzon brothers, Martin and Vicente Yanez; and under the prows of the caravels, "Colon," with a list of the persons who accompanied him. The column rests upon a prismatic support, from which protrude four prows, and the pedestal of the whole is in the shape of a tomb, with an Egyptian-like appearance.
THE STATUE IN PHILADELPHIA.
In Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pa., there is placed a statue of Columbus, which, originally exhibited at the Centennial Exposition, at Philadelphia, in 1876, was presented to the Centennial Commission by the combined Italian societies of Philadelphia.
THE STEBBINS STATUE.
In Central Park, New York City, is located an artistic statue, the gift of Mrs. Marshall O. Roberts, and the work of Miss Emma Stebbins. The figure of Columbus is seven feet high, and represents him as a sailor with a mantle thrown over his shoulder. The face is copied from accepted portraits of the Giovian type.
SANTO DOMINGOAN CANNON.
When Columbus was made a prisoner in Santo Domingo, the governor, who arrested him, feared there might be an attempt at rescue, so he trained a big gun on the entrance of the citadel, or castle, in which Columbus was confined. That cannon laid in the same place until Mr. Ober, a World's Fair representative, recovered it, and, with the permission of the Governor of Santo Domingo, brought it to the United States. It is on exhibition at the World's Fair.
THE SANTA MARIA CARAVEL.
A very novel feature of the historical exhibit at the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition will be a fac-simile reproduction of the little ship Santa Maria, in which Columbus sailed. Lieut. McCarty Little of the United States navy was detailed to go to Spain to superintend the construction of the ship by the Spanish government at the Carraca yard at Cadiz. The keel was laid on March 1, 1892. The caravel's dimensions are: Length at keel, 62 feet 4 inches; length between perpendiculars, 75 feet 5 inches; beam, 22 feet; draught, 14 feet 8 inches. Great care is being taken with details. It is manned by Spanish sailors in the costume of the time of Columbus, and is rigged as Columbus rigged his ship. There are on board copies of the charts that Columbus used, and fac-similes of his nautical instruments. The crew are of the same number, and included in it are an Englishman and an Irishman, for it is a well-founded historical fact that William Harris, an Englishman, and Arthur Lake, an Irishman, were both members of Columbus' crew. In fact, the reproduction is as exact as possible in every detail. The little ship, in company with her sisters, the Pinta and the Nina, which were reproduced by American capital, will make its first appearance at the naval review in New York, where the trio will be saluted by the great cruisers and war-ships of modern invention from all of the navies of the world. They will then be presented by the government of Spain to the President of the United States, and towed through the lakes to Chicago, being moored at the Exposition. It is proposed that the vessels be taken to Washington after the Exposition, and there anchored in the park of the White House.
The Spanish committee having the matter in charge have made careful examinations of all obtainable data to insure that the vessels shall be, in every detail which can be definitely determined, exact copies of the original Columbus vessels. In connection with this subject, La Ilustracion National of Madrid, to whom we are indebted for our first-page illustration, says:
"A great deal of data of very varied character has been obtained, but nothing that would give the exact details sought, because, doubtless, the vessels of that time varied greatly, not only in the form of their hulls, but also in their rigging, as will be seen by an examination of the engravings and paintings of the fifteenth century; and as there was no ship that could bear the generic name of 'caravel,' great confusion was caused when the attempt was made to state, with a scientific certainty, what the caravels were. The word 'caravel' comes from the Italian cara bella, and with this etymology it is safe to suppose that the name was applied to those vessels on account of the grace and beauty of their form, and finally was applied to the light vessels which went ahead of the ships as dispatch boats. Nevertheless, we think we have very authentic data, perhaps all that is reliable, in the letter of Juan de la Cosa, Christopher Columbus' pilot. Juan de la Cosa used many illustrations, and with his important hydrographic letter, which is in the Naval Museum, we can appreciate his ability in drawing both landscapes and figures. As he was both draughtsman and mariner, we feel safe in affirming that the caravels drawn in said letter of the illustrious mariner form the most authentic document in regard to the vessels of his time that is in existence. From these drawings and the descriptions of the days' runs in the part marked 'incidents' of Columbus' log, it is ascertained that these vessels had two sets of sails, lateens for sailing with bowlines hauled, and with lines for sailing before the wind.
"The same lateens serve for this double object, unbending the sails half way and hoisting them like yards by means of top ropes. Instead of having the points now used for reefing, these sails had bands of canvas called bowlines, which were unfastened when it was unnecessary to diminish the sails."
From the Saturday Review, August 6, 1892.
It was a happy notion, and creditable to the ingenuity of the Spaniards, to celebrate the auspicious event, which made Palos famous four hundred years ago, by a little dramatic representation. The caravel Maria, manned by appropriately dressed sailors, must be a sight better than many eloquent speeches. She has, we are told, been built in careful imitation of the flagship of Columbus' little squadron. If the fidelity of the builders has been thorough, if she has not been coppered, has no inner skin, and has to trust mainly to her caulking to keep out the water, we hope that she will have unbroken good weather on her way to New York. The voyage to Havana across the "Ladies' Sea" is a simple business; but the coast of the United States in early autumn will be trying to a vessel which will be buoyant enough as long as she is water-tight, but is not to be trusted to remain so under a severe strain. She will not escape the strain wholly by being towed. We are not told whether the Maria is to make the landfall of Columbus as well as take his departure. The disputes of the learned as to the exact spot might make it difficult to decide for which of the Bahamas the captain ought to steer. On the other hand, if it were left to luck, to the wind, and the currents, the result might throw some light on a vexed question. It might be interesting to see whether the Maria touched at Turk Island, Watling's Island, or Mariguana, or at none of the three.
The event which the Spaniards are celebrating with natural pride is peculiarly fitted to give an excuse for a centenary feast. The complaints justly made as to the artificial character of the excuses often chosen for these gatherings and their eloquence do not apply here. Beyond all doubt, when Columbus sailed from Palos on August 3, 1492, he did something by which the history of the world was profoundly influenced. Every schoolboy of course knows that if Columbus had never lived America would have been discovered all the same, when Pedro Alvarez Cabral, the Portuguese admiral, was carried by the trade-winds over to the coast of Brazil in 1500. But in that case it would not have been discovered by Spain, and the whole course of the inevitable European settlement on the continent must have been modified.
When that can be said of any particular event there can be no question as to its importance. There is a kind of historical critic, rather conspicuous in these latter days, who finds a peculiar satisfaction in pointing out that Columbus discovered America without knowing it—which is true. That he believed, and died in the belief, that he had reached Asia is certain. It is not less sure that Amerigo Vespucci, from whom the continent was named, by a series of flukes, misprints, and misunderstandings, went to his grave in the same faith. He thought that he had found an island of uncertain size to the south of the equator, and that what Columbus had found to the north was the eastern extremity of Asia. But the world which knows that Columbus did, as a matter of fact, do it the service of finding America, and is aware that without him the voyage from Palos would never have been undertaken, has refused to belittle him because he did not know beforehand what was only found out through his exertions.
The learned who have written very largely about Columbus have their serious doubts as to the truth of the stories told of his connection with Palos. Not that there is any question as to whether he sailed from there. The dispute is as to the number and circumstances of his visits to the Convent of Santa Maria Rabida, and the exact nature of his relations to the Prior Juan Perez de Marchena. There has, in fact, been a considerable accumulation of what that very rude man, Mr. Carlyle, called the marine stores of history about the life of Columbus, as about most great transactions. He certainly had been at La Rabida, and the prior was his friend. But, with or without Juan Perez, Columbus as a seafaring man would naturally have been in Palos. It lies right in the middle of the coast, which has always been open to attack from Africa and has been the starting point for attack on Africa. It is in the way of trade for the same reason that it is in the way of war. What are now fishing villages were brisk little trading towns in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Palos did not only send out Columbus. It received Cortez when he came back from the conquest of Mexico. Palos does very well to remember its glories. And Spain does equally well to remember that she sent out Columbus. In spite of the platitudes talked by painfully thoughtful persons as to the ruinous consequences of the discovery to herself, it was, take it altogether, the greatest thing she has done in the world. She owes to it her unparalleled position in the sixteenth century, and the opportunity to become "a mother of nations." The rest of the world has to thank her for the few magnificent and picturesque passages which enliven the commonly rather colorless, not to say Philistine, history of America.
A REMINISCENCE OF COLUMBUS.
RANDALL N. SAUNDERS, Claverack, N. Y., in the School Journal.
* * * What boy has not felt a thrill of pride, for the sex, at the dogged persistence with which Columbus clung to his purpose and to Isabella after Ferdinand had flung to him but stony replies.
* * * * *
Methinks I am starting from Palos. I see the pale, earnest face set in its steadfast resolution from prophetic knowledge. I see the stern lines of care, deeper from the contrast of the hair, a silver mantle refined by the worry; the "midnight oil" that burned in the fiery furnace of his ambition. I see the flush of pleasure at setting out to battle with the perilous sea toward the consummation of life's grand desire. I feel the waverings between hope and despair as the journey lengthens, with but faint promise of reward, and with those around who would push us into the overwhelming waves of defeat and remorse. Amid all discouragements, amid the darkest gloom, I am inspired by his words, "Sail on, sail on"; and sailing on with the grand old Genoese, I yet hope to know and feel his glorious success, and with him to return thanks on the golden strand of the San Salvador of life's success.
THE DENSE IGNORANCE OF THOSE DAYS.
The Reverend MINOT JUDSON SAVAGE, an American clergyman. Born at Norridgewock, Maine, June 10, 1841. Pastor of Unity Church, Boston. From his lecture, "The Religious Growth of Three Hundred Years."
Stand beside Columbus a moment, and consider how much and how little there was known. It was commonly believed that the earth was flat and was flowed round by the ocean stream. Jerusalem was the center. With the exception of a little of Europe, a part of Asia, and a strip of North Africa, the earth was unknown country. In these unknown parts dwelt monsters of every conceivable description. Columbus indeed cherished the daring dream that he might reach the eastern coast of Asia by sailing west; but most of those who knew his dreams regarded him as crazy. And it is now known that even he was largely impelled by his confident expectation that he would be able to discover the Garden of Eden. The motive of his voyage was chiefly a religious one. And, as a hint of the kind of world in which people then lived, the famous Ponce de Leon searched Florida in the hope of discovering the Fountain of Perpetual Youth. At this time Copernicus and his system were unheard of. The universe was a little three-story affair. Heaven, with God on his throne and his celestial court about him, was only a little way overhead—just beyond the blue dome. Hell was underneath the surface of the earth. Volcanoes and mysterious caverns were vent-holes or gate-ways of the pit; and devils came and went at will. Even after it was conceded that the earth revolved, there were found writers who accounted for the diurnal revolution by attributing it to the movements of damned souls confined within, like restless squirrels in a revolving cage. On the earth's surface, between heaven and hell, was man, the common battleground of celestial and infernal hosts. At this time, of course, there was none of our modern knowledge of the heavens, nor of the age or structure of the earth.
LUCIUS ANNAEUS SENECA, an eminent Roman stoic, philosopher, and moralist. Born at Corduba, Spain, about 5 B. C.; committed suicide 65 A. D.
Venient annis Saecula seris, quibus Oceanus Vincula rerum laxet, et ingens Pateat teilus, Tethysque novos Detegat orbes, nec sit terris Ultima Thule.
THE TOMB IN SEVILLE.
The following inscription is placed on the tomb of Hernando Columbus in the pavement of the Cathedral of Seville, Spain:
Aqui yaze el. M. Magnifico S. D. Hernando Colon, el qual aplico y gasto toda su vida y hazienda en aumento de las letras, y juntar y perpetuar en esta ciudad todas sus libros de todas las ciencias, que en su tiempo hallo y en reducirlo a quatro libros.
Fallecio en esta ciudad a 12 de Julio de 1539 de edad de 50 anos 9 meses y 14 dias, fue hijo del valeroso y memorable S. D. Christ. Colon primero Almirante que descubrio las Yndias y nuevo mundo en vida de los Cat. R. D. Fernando, y. D. Ysabel de gloriosa memoria a. 11 de Oct. de 1492, con tres galeras y 90 personas, y partio del puerto de Palos a descubrirlas a 3 de Agosto antes, y Bolvio a Castilla con victoria a 7 de Maio del Ano Siguente y torno despues otras dos veces a poblar lo que descubrio. Fallecio en Valladolid a 20 de Agosto de 1506 anos—
Rogad a Dios por ellos.
(In English.) Here rests the most magnificent Senor Don Hernando Colon, who applied and spent all his life and estate in adding to the letters, and collecting and perpetuating in this city all his books, of all the sciences which he found in his time, and in reducing them to four books. He died in this city on the 12th of July, 1539, at the age of 50 years, 9 months, and 14 days. He was son of the valiant and memorable Senor Don Christopher Colon, the First Admiral, who discovered the Indies and the New World, in the lifetime of their Catholic Majesties Don Fernando and Dona Isabel of glorious memory, on the 11th of October, 1492, with three galleys and ninety people, having sailed from the port of Palos on his discovery on the 3d of August previous, and returned to Castille, with victory, on the 7th of May of the following year. He returned afterward twice to people that which he had discovered. He died in Valladolid on the 20th of August, 1506, aged ——.
Entreat the Lord for them.
Beneath this is described, in a circle, a globe, presenting the western and part of the eastern hemispheres, surmounted by a pair of compasses. Within the border of the circle is inscribed:
A Castillo, y a Leon Mundo nuevo dio Colon.
(To Castille and Leon, Columbus gave a new world.)
ONWARD! PRESS ON!
JOHANN CHRISTOPH FRIEDRICH SCHILLER, one of Germany's greatest poets. Born at Marbach (about eight miles from Stuttgart), November 11, 1759; died, May 9, 1805, at Weimar.
Steure, muthiger Segler! Es mag der Witz dich verhoehen Und der Schiffer am Steur senken die laessige Hand. Immer, immer nach West! Dort muss die Kueste sich zeigen, Liegt sie doch deutlich und liegt schimmernd vor deinen Verstand. Traue dem leitenden Gott und folge dem schweigenden Weltmeer! War sie noch nicht, sie stieg' jetzt aus dem Fluten empor. Mit dem Genius steht die Natur in ewigem Bunde Was der Eine verspricht leistet die Andre gewiss.
Metrically translated (1843) by SIR EDWARD GEORGE EARLE LYTTON, BULWER-LYTTON, Baronet (afterward first Lord Lytton. Born at Heydon Hall, Norfolk, May 25, 1803; died, January 18, 1873), in the following noble lines:
STEER on, bold sailor! Wit may mock thy soul that sees the land, And hopeless at the helm may droop the weak and weary hand, YET EVER, EVER TO THE WEST, for there the coast must lie, And dim it dawns, and glimmering dawns before thy reason's eye; Yea, trust the guiding God—and go along the floating grave, Though hid till now—yet now, behold the New World o'er the wave. With Genius Nature ever stands in solemn union still, And ever what the one foretells the other shall fulfill.
Senor EMILIO CASTELAR, the talented Spanish orator and statesman, in the fourth of a series of most erudite and interesting articles upon Christopher Columbus, in the Century Magazine for August, 1892, thus masterly refers to the above passages:
He who pens these words, on reading the lines of the great poet Schiller upon Columbus, found therein a philosophical thought, as original as profound, calling upon the discoverer to press ever onward, for a new world will surely arise for him, inasmuch as whatever is promised by Genius is always fulfilled by Nature. To cross the seas of Life, naught suffices save the bark of Faith. In that bark the undoubting Columbus set sail, and at his journey's end found a new world. Had that world not then existed, God would have created it in the solitude of the Atlantic, if to no other end than to reward the faith and constancy of that great man. America was discovered because Columbus possessed a living faith in his ideal, in himself, and in his God.
THE NORSEMAN'S CLAIM TO PRIORITY.
Mrs. JOHN B. SHIPLEY'S "Leif Erikson."
Father Bodfish, of the cathedral in Boston, in his paper, read a year ago before the Bostonian Society, on the discovery of America by the Northmen, is reported to have quoted, "as corroborative authority, the account given in standard history of the Catholic Church of the establishment of a bishopric in Greenland in 1112 A. D., and he added the interesting suggestion that as it is the duty of a bishop so placed at a distance to report from time to time to the Pope, not only on ecclesiastical matters, but of the geography of the country and character of the people, it is probable that Columbus had the benefit of the knowledge possessed. It is [he said] stated in different biographies of Columbus that when the voyage was first proposed by him he found difficulty in getting Spanish sailors to go with him in so doubtful an undertaking. After Columbus returned from a visit to Rome with information there obtained, these sailors, or enough of them, appear to have had their doubts or fears removed, and no difficulty in enlistment was experienced."
COLUMBUS BEFORE THE UNIVERSITY OF SALAMANCA.
LYDIA HUNTLEY SIGOURNEY, an American poet and miscellaneous writer. Born at Norwich, Conn., September 1, 1791; died, June 10, 1865.
St. Stephen's cloistered hall was proud In learning's pomp that day, For there a robed and stately crowd Pressed on in long array. A mariner with simple chart Confronts that conclave high, While strong ambition stirs his heart, And burning thoughts of wonder part From lip and sparkling eye.
What hath he said? With frowning face, In whispered tones they speak; And lines upon their tablet's trace Which flush each ashen cheek. The Inquisition's mystic doom Sits on their brows severe, And bursting forth in visioned gloom, Sad heresy from burning tomb Groans on the startled ear.
Courage, thou Genoese! Old Time Thy splendid dream shall crown. Yon western hemisphere sublime, Where unshorn forests frown; The awful Andes' cloud-rapt brow, The Indian hunter's bow. Bold streams untamed by helm or prow, And rocks of gold and diamonds thou To thankless Spain shalt show.
Courage, world-finder, thou hast need. In Fate's unfolding scroll, Dark woes and ingrate wrongs I read, That rack the noble soul. On, on! Creation's secrets probe. Then drink thy cup of scorn, And wrapped in fallen Caesar's robe, Sleep like that master of the globe, All glorious, yet forlorn.
COLUMBUS A MARTYR.
SAMUEL SMILES, the celebrated British biographer. Born at Haddington, Scotland, about 1815. From his volume, "Duty."
Even Columbus may be regarded in the light of a martyr. He sacrificed his life to the discovery of a new world. The poor wool-carder's son of Genoa had long to struggle unsuccessfully with the petty conditions necessary for the realization of his idea. He dared to believe, on grounds sufficing to his reason, that which the world disbelieved, and scoffed and scorned at. He believed that the earth was round, while the world believed that it was flat as a plate. He believed that the whole circle of the earth, outside the known world, could not be wholly occupied by sea; but that the probability was that continents of land might be contained within it. It was certainly a Probability; But the Noblest Qualities of the Soul Are Often Brought Forth by the Strength of Probabilities That Appear Slight To Less Daring Spirits. In the Eyes of His Countrymen, Few Things Were More Improbable Than That Columbus Should Survive the Dangers of Unknown Seas, and Land On The Shores of a New Hemisphere.
DIFFICULTIES BY THE WAY.
ROYALL BASCOM SMITHEY, in an article. "The Voyage of Columbus," in St. Nicholas, July, 1892.
So the voyage progressed without further incident worthy of remark till the 13th of September, when the magnetic needle, which was then believed always to point to the pole-star, stood some five degrees to the northwest. At this the pilots lost courage. "How," they thought, "was navigation possible in seas where the compass, that unerring guide, had lost its virtue?" When they carried the matter to Columbus, he at once gave them an explanation which, though not the correct one, was yet very ingenious, and shows the philosophic turn of his mind. The needle, he said, pointed not to the north star, but to a fixed place in the heavens. The north star had a motion around the pole, and in following its course had moved from the point to which the needle was always directed.
Hardly had the alarm caused by the variation of the needle passed away, when two days later, after nightfall, the darkness that hung over the water was lighted up by a great meteor, which shot down from the sky into the sea. Signs in the heavens have always been a source of terror to the uneducated; and this "flame of fire," as Columbus called it, rendered his men uneasy and apprehensive. Their vague fears were much increased when, on the 16th of September, they reached the Sargasso Sea, in which floating weeds were so densely matted that they impeded the progress of the ships. Whispered tales now passed from one sailor to another of legends they had heard of seas full of shoals and treacherous quicksands upon which ships had been found stranded with their sails flapping idly in the wind, and manned by skeleton crews. Columbus, ever cheerful and even-tempered, answered these idle tales by sounding the ocean and showing that no bottom could be reached.
DESIGN FOR THE SOUVENIR COINS.
A decision has been reached by the World's Fair management in relation to the designs for the souvenir coins authorized by Congress at its last session, and a radical change has been determined upon regarding these coins. Several days ago Secretary Leach of the United States Mint sent to the Fair officials a copy of the medal struck recently at Madrid, Spain, in commemoration of Columbus' discovery of America. This medal was illustrated in a Spanish-American paper of July, 1892, and showed a remarkably fine profile head of the great explorer. It was deemed superior to the Lotto portrait previously submitted for the obverse of the coin, and the Fair directors have concluded that the Madrid medal furnishes the best head obtainable, and have accordingly adopted it. For the reverse of the coin a change has also been decided upon by the substitution of a representation of the western continent instead of a fac-simile of the Government building at Jackson Park, as originally intended. It was suggested by experts, artists, and designers at the Philadelphia mint that the representation of a building would not make a very good showing on a coin, and in consequence of these expressions of opinion it was decided to make the change proposed. Now that the Director of the Mint knows what the Fair management wishes for a souvenir coin, he will inaugurate the preparations of the dies and plates as promptly as possible. Just as soon as the designs are finished, work will be begun on the coins, which can be struck at the rate of 60,000 daily, and it is quite likely that the deliveries of the souvenir coins will be completed early in the spring.
The announcement that the Director of the Mint has decided upon the Madrid portrait of Columbus for the obverse side of the souvenir coin, with this hemisphere on the reverse, was a surprise to many interested in the designs. When the design was first presented, C. F. Gunther's portrait, by Moro, and James W. Ellsworth's, by Lotto, were also presented. Then a controversy opened between the owners of the two last-named portraits, and, rather than extend this, Mr. Ellsworth withdrew his portrait, with the suggestion that whatever design was decided upon should first be submitted to the artists at the World's Fair grounds. This was done, and they severely criticised the Madrid picture. Notwithstanding this, the design was approved and sent to Washington to be engraved. While Mr. Ellsworth, who is a director of the Fair, will not push his portrait to the front in this matter, he regrets that the Madrid portrait was selected. He said, "I think that the opinion of the World's Fair artists should have had some weight in this matter and that a portrait of authenticity should have been selected."
THE DARKNESS BEFORE DISCOVERY.
CHARLES SUMNER, an American lawyer and senator. Born in Boston, Mass., January 6, 1811; died, March 11, 1874. From his "Prophetic Voices Concerning America." By permission of Messrs. Lee & Shepard, Publishers, Boston.
Before the voyage of Columbus in 1492, nothing of America was really known. Scanty scraps from antiquity, vague rumors from the resounding ocean, and the hesitating speculations of science were all that the inspired navigator found to guide him.
The discovery of America by Christopher Columbus is the greatest event of secular history. Besides the potato, the turkey, and maize, which it introduced at once for the nourishment and comfort of the Old World, and also tobacco—which only blind passion for the weed could place in the beneficent group—this discovery opened the door to influences infinite in extent and beneficence. Measure them, describe them, picture them, you can not. While yet unknown, imagination invested this continent with proverbial magnificence. It was the Orient, and the land of Cathay. When, afterward, it took a place in geography, imagination found another field in trying to portray its future history. If the golden age is before, and not behind, as is now happily the prevailing faith, then indeed must America share, at least, if it does not monopolize, the promised good.—Ibid.
THE DOUBTS OF COLUMBUS.
Prof. DAVID SWING, a celebrated American preacher. Born in Cincinnati in 1830; graduated at Miami University in 1852; was for twelve years Professor of Languages at this university. In 1866 he became pastor of a Presbyterian church in Chicago. He was tried for heresy in 1874, was acquitted, and then withdrew from the Presbyterian church, being now independent of denominational relations.
Columbus was not a little troubled all through his early life lest there might be over the sea some land greater than Spain, a land unused; a garden where flowers came and went unseen for ages, and where gold sparkled in the sand.
THE ERROR OF COLUMBUS.
From a sermon by Prof. SWING, printed in Chicago Inter Ocean,1892.
The present rejoices in the remembrance that Columbus was a student, a thinker; that he loved maps and charts; that he was a dreamer about new continents; but after enumerating all these attractive forms of mental activity, it comes with pain upon the thought that he was also a kind of modified pirate. His thoughts and feelings went away from his charts and compasses and touched upon vice and crime. Immorality ruins man's thought. Let the name be Columbus, or Aaron Burr, or Byron, a touch of immorality is the death of thought. "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are beautiful, whatsoever things are of good report," these seek, say, and do, but when the man who would discover a continent robs a merchant ship or steals a cargo of slaves, or when a poet teaches gross vulgarity, then the thinker is hemmed and degraded by criminality. It is the glory of our age that it is washing white much of old thought. What is the emancipation of woman but the filtration of old thought? Did not Columbus study and read and think, and then go out and load his ship with slaves? Did not the entire man—man the thinker, the philosopher, the theologian—cover himself with intellectual glory and then load his ship with enslaved womanhood? Was not the scholar Columbus part pirate? What was in that atmosphere of the fifteenth century which could have given peculiar thoughts to Columbus alone? Was he alone in his piracy? It is much more certain that the chains that held the negro held also all womanhood. All old thought thus awaited the electric process that should weed ideas from crime. Our later years are active in disentangling thought from injustice and vulgarity.
THE TRIBUTE OF TASSO.
TORQUATO TASSO, a celebrated Italian epic poet. Born at Sorrento March 11, 1544; died in Rome, April, 1595.
Tu spiegherai, Colombo, a un novo polo Lontane si le fortunate antenne, Ch'a pena seguira con gli occhi il volo La Fama ch' ha mille occhi e mille penne Canti ella Alcide, e Bacco, e di te solo Basti a i posteri tuoi ch' alquanto accenne; Che quel poco dara, lunga memoria Di poema degnissima e d'istoria.
—Gerusalemme Liberata, canto XV
KNOWLEDGE OF ICELANDIC VOYAGES.
BAYARD TAYLOR, a distinguished American traveler, writer, and poet. Born in Chester County, Pa., in 1825; died at Berlin, December 19, 1878. From a description of Iceland.
It is impossible that the knowledge of these voyages should not have been current in Iceland in 1477, when Columbus, sailing in a ship from Bristol, England, visited the island. As he was able to converse with the priests and learned men in Latin, he undoubtedly learned of the existence of another continent to the west and south; and this knowledge, not the mere fanaticism of a vague belief, supported him during many years of disappointment.
GLORY TO GOD.
The Rev. GEORGE L. TAYLOR, an American clergyman of the present century. From "The Atlantic Telegraph."
Glory to God above, The Lord of life and love! Who makes His curtains clouds and waters dark; Who spreads His chambers on the deep, While all its armies silence keep; Whose hand of old, world-rescuing, steered the ark; Who led Troy's bands exiled, And Genoa's god-like child, And Mayflower, grandly wild, And now has guided safe a grander bark; Who, from her iron loins, Has spun the thread that joins Two yearning worlds made one with lightning spark.
ALFRED TENNYSON, Baron Tennyson D'Eyncourt of Aldworth, the poet laureate of England. Born, 1809, at Somerby, Lincolnshire; raised to the peerage in 1883. From his poem, "Columbus."
There was a glimmering of God's hand. And God Hath more than glimmer'd on me. O my lord, I swear to you I heard his voice between The thunders in the black Veragua nights, "O soul of little faith, slow to believe, Have I not been about thee from thy birth? Given thee the keys of the great ocean-sea? Set thee in light till time shall be no more? Is it I who have deceived thee or the world? Endure! Thou hast done so well for men, that men Cry out against thee; was it otherwise With mine own son?" And more than once in days Of doubt and cloud and storm, when drowning hope Sank all but out of sight, I heard his voice, "Be not cast down. I lead thee by the hand, Fear not." And I shall hear his voice again— I know that he has led me all my life, I am not yet too old to work His will— His voice again.
Sir, in that flight of ages which are God's Own voice to justify the dead—perchance Spain, once the most chivalric race on earth, Spain, then the mightiest, wealthiest realm on earth, So made by me, may seek to unbury me, To lay me in some shrine of this old Spain, Or in that vaster Spain I leave to Spain. Then some one standing by my grave will say, "Behold the bones of Christopher Colon, "Ay, but the chains, what do they mean—the chains?" I sorrow for that kindly child of Spain Who then will have to answer, "These same chains Bound these same bones back thro' the Atlantic sea, Which he unchain'd for all the world to come."
The golden guess is morning star to the full round of truth.—Ibid.
[Footnote 30: Copyright 1892 and by permission of the author.]
[Footnote 31: Lope de Vega has been variously termed the "Center of Fame," the "Darling of Fortune," and the "Phoenix of the Ages," by his admiring compatriots. His was a most fertile brain; his a most fecund pen. A single day sufficed to compose a versified drama.]
[Footnote 32: By permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Publishers.]
[Footnote 33: For the above particulars and inscription the compiler desires to acknowledge his obligation to the Hon. Thomas Adamson, U. S. Consul General at Panama, and Mr. George W. Clamman, the able clerk of the U. S. Consulate in the city of Colon.]
[Footnote 34: Copernicus has also been so styled.]
[Footnote 35: Senor Emilio Castelar, the celebrated Spanish author and statesman, in his most able series of articles on Columbus in the Century Magazine, derides the fact of an actual mutiny as a convenient fable which authors and dramatists have clothed with much choice diction.]
[Footnote 36: Galileo, the great Italian natural philosopher, is here referred to by the author.]
[Footnote 37: By permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Publishers.]
[Footnote 38: By permission of Messrs. Ginn & Co., Publishers.]
[Footnote 39: The Rock of Gibraltar is referred to.]
[Footnote 40: The location of the church at Old Isabella has been exactly determined, and a noble monument (fully described in these pages) has been erected there under the auspices of the Sacred Heart Review of Boston.]
[Footnote 41: Since changed to a life-size statue of Columbus.]
[Footnote 42: A replica is erected in Boston.]
[Footnote 43: Copyright, 1892, by permission of the publishers.]
[Footnote 44: Copyright, 1892, by Harper & Brothers.]
[Footnote 45: Copyright, and by permission of Chas. Scribner's Sons, Publishers, New York.]
[Footnote 46: Copyright, 1892, by Harper & Brothers.]
[Footnote 47: Docuit quae maximus Atlas. Hic canit errantem Lernam, Solisque labores. Virgil, AEneid, I, 741.]
[Footnote 48: Navarrete thought that Turk Island was the island, the most southern of the Bahama group, because he erroneously assumed that Columbus always shaped a westerly course in sailing from island to island; and Turk Island, being farthest east, would give most room for such a course. This island has large lagoons, and is surrounded by a reef. So far it resembles Guanahani. But the second island, according to Navarrete, is Caicos, bearing W. N. W., while the second island of Columbus bore S. W. from the first. The third island of Columbus was in sight from the second. Inagua Chica (Little Inagua), Navarrete's third island, is not in sight from Caicos. The third island of Columbus was 60 miles long. Inagua Chica is only 12 miles long. The fourth island of Columbus bore east from the third. Inagua Grande (Great Inagua), Navarrete's fourth island, bears southwest from Inagua Chica.
Cat Island was the landfall advocated by Washington Irving and Humboldt, mainly on the ground that it was called San Salvador on the West India map in Blaeu's Dutch atlas of 1635. But this was done for no known reason but the caprice of the draughtsman. D'Anville copied from Blaeu in 1746, and so the name got into some later atlases. Cat Island does not meet a single one of the requirements of the case. Guanahani had a reef round it, and a large lagoon in the center. Cat Island has no reef and no lagoon. Guanahani was low; Cat Island is the loftiest of the Bahamas. The two islands could not be more different. Of course, in conducting Columbus from Cat Island to Cuba, Washington Irving is obliged to disregard all the bearings and distances given in the journal.]
[Footnote 49: The cross-staff had not then come into use, and it was never of much service in low latitudes.]
[Footnote 50: It was also resolved to establish in the city of Washington a Latin-American Memorial Library, wherein should be collected all the historical, geographical, and literary works, maps, and manuscripts, and official documents relating to the history and civilization of America, such library to be solemnly dedicated on the day on which the United States celebrates the fourth centennial of the discovery of America.]
[Footnote 51: Published by A. C. McClurg & Co., Chicago.]
[Footnote 52: Copyright, 1892, by Harper & Brothers.]
[Footnote 53: NOTE.—Those marked * were left behind, in the fort, at La Navidad, and perished there.]
[Footnote 54: NOTE.—The names of the crew are on the Madrid monument.]
[Footnote 55: Randolph Rogers, an American sculptor of eminence, was born in Waterloo, N. Y., in 1825; died at Rome, in the same State, aged sixty-seven, January 14, 1892.]
[Footnote 56: Mr. George Sumner, a painstaking investigator, states that after diligent search he is unable to find any other inscription to the memory of Columbus in the whole of Spain.
At Valladolid, where he died, and where his body lay for some years, there is none, so far as he could discover; neither is there any trace of any at the Cartuja, near Seville, to which his body was afterward transferred, and in which his brother was buried. It is (he writes in 1871) a striking confirmation of the reproach of negligence, in regard to the memory of this great man, that, in this solitary inscription in old Spain, the date of his death should be inaccurately given.—Major's "Letters of Columbus," 1871.
(The Madrid and Barcelona statues were erected in 1885 and 1888 respectively.)—S. C. W.]
[Footnote 57: Since writing this the Lotto portrait has been selected.]
[Footnote 58: For an English metrical translation, see post, WIFFEN.]
[Footnote 59: Died at Aldworth October 6, 1892.]
NEW YORK CELEBRATED THE TERCENTENARY.
The managers of the World's Columbian Exposition have prided themselves upon being the first to celebrate any anniversary of the Columbian discovery, but this credit really belongs to the Tammany Society of New York, and the second place of honor belongs to the Massachusetts Historical Society of Boston. The Tammany Society met in the great wigwam on the 12th day of October, 1792 (old style), and exhibited a monumental obelisk, and an animated oration was delivered by J. B. Johnson, Esq.
The Massachusetts Historical Society met at the house of the Rev. Dr. Peter Thacher, in Boston, the 23d day of October, 1792, and, forming in procession, proceeded to the meeting-house in Brattle Street, where a discourse was delivered by the Rev. Jeremy Belknap upon the subject of the "Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus." He gave a concise and comprehensive narrative of the most material circumstances which led to, attended, or were consequent on the discovery of America. The celebration commenced with an anthem. Mr. Thacher made an excellent prayer. Part of a psalm was then sung, and then Mr. Belknap delivered his discourse, which was succeeded by a prayer from Mr. Eliot. Mr. Thacher then read an ode composed for the occasion by Mr. Belknap, which was sung by the choir. This finished the ceremony.
The facts were brought to light by World's Fair Commissioner John Boyd Thacher, New York. The account is taken from "a journal of a gentleman visiting Boston in 1792." The writer is said to have been Nathaniel Cutting, a native of Brookline, Mass., and who, in the following year, was appointed by Washington, upon the recommendation of Thomas Jefferson, on a mission to the Dey of Algiers.
It is interesting to note that the Massachusetts Historical Society, in assuming to correct the old style date, October 12th, was guilty of the error of dropping two unnecessary days. It dropped eleven days from the calendar instead of nine, and at a subsequent meeting it determined to correct the date to October 21st, "and that thereafter all celebrations of the Columbian discovery should fall on the 21st day of October."
The proclamation of the President establishing October 21st as the day of general observance of the anniversary of the Columbian discovery, and the passage of Senator Hill's bill fixing the date for the dedication of the buildings at Chicago, it is believed will forevermore fix October 21st as the Columbian day.
COLUMBUS' SUPREME SUSPENSE.
MAURICE THOMPSON, an American poet and novelist. Born at Fairfield, Ind., September 9, 1844. From his "Byways and Bird-notes."
What a thrill is dashed through a moment of expectancy, a point of supreme suspense, when by some time of preparation the source of sensation is ready for a consummation —a catastrophe! At such a time one's soul is isolated so perfectly that it feels not the remotest influence from any other of all the universe. The moment preceding the old patriarch's first glimpse of the promised land; that point of time between certainty and uncertainty, between pursuit and capture, whereinto are crowded all the hopes of a lifetime, as when the brave old sailor from Genoa first heard the man up in the rigging utter the shout of discovery; the moment of awful hope, like that when Napoleon watched the charge of the Old Guard at Waterloo, is not to be described. There is but one such crisis for any man. It is the yes or no of destiny. It comes, he lives a lifetime in its span; it goes, and he never can pass that point again.
HENRY DAVID THOREAU, an American author and naturalist. Born in Concord, Mass., in 1817; died, 1862. From his "Excursions," published by Houghton, Mifflin & Co.
Every sunset which I witness inspires me with the desire to go to a west as distant and as far as that into which the sun goes down. He appears to migrate westward daily, and tempt us to follow him. He is the Great Western Pioneer whom the nations follow. We dream all night of those mountain ridges in the horizon, though they may be of vapor only, which were last gilded by his rays. The Island of Atlantis, and the islands and gardens of the Hesperides, a sort of terrestrial paradise, appear to have been the Great West of the ancients, enveloped in mystery and poetry. Who has not seen in imagination, when looking into the sunset sky, the gardens of the Hesperides, and the foundation of all those fables?
Columbus felt the westward tendency more strongly than any before. He obeyed it, and found a new world for Castille and Leon. The herd of men in those days scented fresh pastures from afar.
And now the sun had stretched out all the hills, And now was dropped into the western bay; At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue; To-morrow to fresh woods and pastures new.
THE ROUTE TO THE SPICE INDIES.
PAOLO DEL POZZO TOSCANELLI, a celebrated Italian astronomer. Born at Florence, 1397; died, 1482. From a letter to Columbus in 1474.
I praise your desire to navigate toward the west; the expedition you wish to undertake is not easy, but the route from the west coasts of Europe to the spice Indies is certain if the tracks I have marked be followed.
A VISIT TO PALOS.
GEORGE ALFRED TOWNSEND. In a letter to the Philadelphia Times.
From one of the hillocks behind the hotel at Huelva you can see in the distance East Rabida, Palos, Moguer, San Juan del Porto, and the sea, where the three birds of good omen went skimming past in the vague morning light 400 years ago, lest they might be seen by the Portuguese. Columbus means dove, and the arms of Columbus contained three doves. From Huelva I sailed to Rabida first. Rabida is on the last point of the promontory, nearest the sea, and Palos is inland from it three miles north, and is near half a mile from the Tinto. Passing down the oozy Odiel, we soon saw a watering place on the beach outside just where Columbus put to sea. We could also see the scaffolding around the Columbus monument they were building by Rabida.
After inspecting the convent at Rabida, I bade my skipper wait for flood tide to sail round to Palos, while I proceeded by land.
They brought me at Palos an old man who was extremely polite, but not one word could we understand of each other, until finally I took him by the arm and walked him in the direction of the church, whereupon suppressed exclamations of delight broke forth; the American savage had guessed the old man out. In point of fact, this old man was waiting all the time to take me to the church, and was the father of the boy behind whom I had ridden. Between the church and the beach rose a high hillock covered with grass, and as high as the church tower. In old times this was a mosque of military work, and it had not very long been Christian when Columbus came here; possibly it had been Christian in his day 150 years. It stands quite alone, is of rude construction, and has at the back of it some few graves—perhaps of priests. In the back part is a very good Moorish arch, which they still show with admiration. The front proper has a big door, barred strongly, as if the church might have been in piratical times a place of refuge for the population up in the hills. To the right of the entrance is the tower, which is buttressed, and its spire is made of blue and colored tiles, which have thoroughly kept their colors. A bell in this tower may have rung the inhabitants to church when Columbus announced that he meant to impress the Palos people to assist him in his voyage. I entered the church, which was all whitewashed, and felt, as I did at Rabida, that it was a better monument than I had reason to expect.
Its walls were one yard thick, its floors of tiles laid in an L form. As I measured the floor it seemed to me to be sixty-six feet wide and sixty-six feet long, but to the length must be added the altar chapel, bringing it up to ninety feet, and to the width must be added the side chapels, making the total width about eighty feet. The nave has a sharper arched top than the two aisles, which have round arches. The height of the roof is about thirty-five feet. The big door by which I entered the church is fifteen feet high by eight feet wide. Some very odd settees which I coveted were in the nave. The chief feature, however, is the pulpit, which stands at the cross of the church, so that persons gathered in the transepts, nave, or aisles can hear the preacher. It has an iron pulpit of a round form springing from one stem and railed in, and steps lead up to it which are inclosed. It looks old, and worn by human hands, and is supposed to be the identical pulpit from which the notary announced that, as a punishment of their offenses, the Queen's subjects must start with this unknown man upon his unknown venture. Those were high times in Palos, and it took Columbus a long while to get his expedition ready, and special threats as of high treason had to be made against the heads of families and women. But when Columbus returned, and the same day Pinzon came back after their separation of weeks, Palos church was full of triumph and hosannas. The wild man had been successful, and Spain found another world than the apostle knew of.
The grown boy, as he showed the building, went into an old lumber room, or dark closet, at one corner of the church, and when I was about to enter he motioned me back with his palm, as if I might not enter there with my heretic feet. He then brought out an image of wood from four to five feet high, or, I might say, the full size of a young woman. It was plain that she had once been the Virgin worshiped here, but age and moisture had taken most of the color from her, and washed the gilt from her crown, and now we could only see that in her arm she bore a child, and this child held in its hand a dove or pigeon. The back of the female was hollow, and in there were driven hooks by which she had once been suspended at some height. This was the image, I clearly understood, which Columbus' men had knelt to when they were about to go forth upon the high seas.
Strangely enough, the church is named St. George, and St. George was the patron saint of Genoa, where Columbus was born; and the Genoese who took the Crusaders to Jaffa had the satisfaction of seeing England annex their patron saint.
The Rev. LUTHER TRACY TOWNSEND, D. D., an American divine. Born at Orono, Maine, September 27, 1838. From "The Bible and the Nineteenth Century."
When Luther in the sixteenth century brought the truths of the Bible from the convent of Erfurth, and gave them to the people, he roused to mental and moral life not only the slumbering German nationality, but gave inspiration to every other country in Europe. "Gutenburg with his printing press, Columbus with his compass, Galileo with his telescope, Shakspere with his dramas, and almost every other man of note figuring during those times, are grouped, not around some distinguished man of science, or man of letters, or man of mechanical genius, or man famous in war; but around that monk of Wittenberg, who stood with an unchained Bible in his hand."
TESTIMONY OF A CONTEMPORARY AS TO THE TREATMENT OF COLUMBUS.
From a letter of ANGELO TRIVIGIANO, of Granada, Spain, dated August 1, 1501.
I have seen so much of Columbus that we are now on a footing of great friendship. He is experiencing at present a streak of bad luck, being deprived of the King's favor, and with but little money.
THE VALPARAISO STATUE.
At Valparaiso, Chili, a bronze statue of Columbus has been erected on a marble pedestal. The figure, which is of heroic size, stands in an advancing attitude, holding a cross in the right hand.
COLUMBUS AND THE EGG.
Dr. P. H. VAN DER WEYDE. In an article in the Scientific American, June, 1892.
The stupid anecdote of the egg was a mere trifling invention, in fact a trick, and it is surprising that intelligent men have for so many years thoughtlessly been believing and repeating such nonsense. For my part, I can not believe that Columbus did ever lower himself so far as to compare the grand discovery to a trick. Surely it was no trick by which he discovered a new world, but it was the result of his earnest philosophical convictions that our earth is a globe, floating in space, and it could be circumnavigated by sailing westward, which most likely would lead to the discovery of new lands in the utterly unknown hemisphere beyond the western expanse of the great and boisterous Atlantic Ocean; while thus far no navigator ever had the courage to sail toward its then utterly unknown, apparently limitless, western expanse.
THE MAN OF THE CHURCH.
Padre GIOCCHINO VENTURA, an eloquent Italian preacher and theologian. Born at Palermo, 1792; died at Versailles, August, 1861.
Columbus is the man of the Church.
ATTENDANT FAME SHALL BLESS.
The Venerable GEORGE WADDINGTON, Dean of Durham, an English divine and writer. Died, July 20, 1869. From a poem read in Cambridge in 1813.
And when in happier days one chain shall bind, One pliant fetter shall unite mankind; When war, when slav'ry's iron days are o'er, When discords cease and av'rice is no more, And with one voice remotest lands conspire, To hail our pure religion's seraph fire; Then fame attendant on the march of time, Fed by the incense of each favored clime, Shall bless the man whose heav'n-directed soul Form'd the vast chain which binds the mighty whole.
* * * * *
Columbus continued till death eager to extend his discoveries, and by so doing to promote the glory of his persecutors.
VANDERLYN'S PICTURE AT WASHINGTON.
The first of the eight pictures in the rotunda of the Capitol at Washington, D. C., and the first in point of event, is the "Landing of Columbus at San Salvador in 1492," by John Vanderlyn; its cost was $12,000. This picture represents the scene Washington Irving so admirably describes in his "Voyages of Columbus," occurring the morning the boats brought the little Spanish band from the ships to the shore of Guanahani. "Columbus first threw himself upon his knees; then, rising, drew his sword, displayed the royal standard, and, assembling around him the two captains, with Rodrigo de Escobedo, notary of the armament; Rodrigo Sanchez (the royal inspector), and the rest who had landed, he took solemn possession of the island in the name of the Castilian sovereigns." The picture contains the picture of Columbus, the two Pinzons, Escobedo, all bearing standards; Sanchez, inspector; Diego de Arana, with an old-fashioned arquebus on his shoulder; a cabin-boy kneeling, a mutineer in a suppliant attitude, a sailor in an attitude of veneration for Columbus, a soldier whose attention is diverted by the appearance of the natives, and a friar bearing a crucifix.
COLUMBUS STATUE AT WASHINGTON, D. C.
The Columbus statue stands at the east-central portico of the Capitol, at Washington, D. C., above the south end of the steps, on an elevated block. It consists of a marble group, by Signor Persico, called "The Discovery," on which he worked five years, and is composed of two figures: Columbus holding the globe in his hand, triumphant, while beside him, wondering, almost terror-stricken, is a female figure, symbolizing the Indian race. The suit of armor worn by Columbus is said to be a faithful copy of one he actually wore. The group cost $24,000.
THE WATLING'S ISLAND MONUMENT RAISED BY THE CHICAGO "HERALD."
With true Chicago enterprise, the wideawake Chicago Herald dispatched an expedition to the West Indies in 1891 to search out the landing place of Columbus. The members of the party, after careful search and inquiry, erected a monument fifteen feet high on Watling's Island bearing the following inscription:
ON THIS SPOT CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS FIRST SET FOOT ON THE SOIL OF THE NEW WORLD.
* * *
Erected by The Chicago Herald, June 15, 1891.
* * *
COLUMBUS. FOR THE FESTIVAL AT HUELVA.
A Castillo, y a Leon Nuevo Mundo dio Colon.
THEODORE WATTS, in the Athenaeum (England).
To Christ he cried to quell Death's deafening measure, Sung by the storm to Death's own chartless sea; To Christ he cried for glimpse of grass or tree When, hovering o'er the calm, Death watch'd at leisure; And when he showed the men, now dazed with pleasure, Faith's new world glittering star-like on the lee, "I trust that by the help of Christ," said he, "I presently shall light on golden treasure."
What treasure found he? Chains and pains and sorrow. Yea, all the wealth those noble seekers find Whose footfalls mark the music of mankind. 'Twas his to lend a life; 'twas man's to borrow; 'Twas his to make, but not to share, the morrow, Who in love's memory lives this morn enshrined.
WEST INDIAN STATUES.
CARDENAS, CUBA.—At Cardenas, Cuba, a statue by Piguer of Madrid has been erected by a Cuban lady, an authoress, and wife of a former governor.
CATHEDRAL OF HAVANA, CUBA.—In the Cathedral of Havana there is a plain marble bas-relief, about four feet high, representing in a medallion a very apocryphal portrait of Columbus, with an inscription as follows:
O restos e Ymajen del grande Colon! Mil siglos durad guardados en la urna Y en la remembranza de nuestra Nacion.
(O remains and image of the great Columbus! For a thousand ages endure guarded within this urn And in the remembrance of our nation.)
PROPOSED TOMB—HAVANA CATHEDRAL.—In February, 1891, by royal decree, all Spanish artists were invited to compete for a design for a sepulcher in which to preserve the Havana remains of Columbus; several were submitted to a jury, who awarded the first prize to Arthur Melida, with a premium of $5,000.
The sepulcher is now being erected in the cathedral. The design represents a bier covered with a heavily embroidered pall, borne upon the shoulders of four heralds, in garments richly carved to resemble lace and embroidered work. The two front figures bear scepters surmounted by images of the Madonna and St. James, the patron saint of Spain. On the front of their garments are the arms of Castille and Leon.
The two bearers represent Aragon and Navarre, the former being indicated by four red staffs on a gold field, and the fourth has gold-linked chains on a red field. The group is supported on a pedestal ornamented about its edge with a Greek fret.
HAVANA, CUBA.—In the court-yard of the Captain-General's palace, in Havana, is a full-length figure of Columbus, the face modeled after accepted portraits at Madrid.
HAVANA, CUBA.—In the inclosure of the "Templete," the little chapel on the site of which the first mass was celebrated in Cuba, there is a bust of Columbus which has the solitary merit of being totally unlike all others.
NASSAU.—At Nassau, in the Bahamas, a statue of Christopher Columbus stands in front of Government House. The statue, which is nine feet high, is placed upon a pedestal six feet in altitude, on the north or seaward face of which is inscribed:
It was presented to the colony by Sir James Carmichael Smyth, Governor of the Bahamas, 1829-1833, was modeled in London in 1831, is made of metal and painted white, and was erected May, 1832.
SANTO DOMINGO CATHEDRAL.—Above the boveda, or vault, in the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, from which the remains of Columbus were taken in 1877, is a marble slab with the following:
Reposaron en este sitio los restos de Don Cristobal Colon el celebre descrubridor del Nuevo Mundo, desde el ano de 1536, en que fueron trasladados de Espana, hasta el 10 de Setiembre 1877, en que se desenterraron para constatar su autenticidad. Y a posteridad la dedica el Presbitero Billini.
(There reposed in this place the remains of Christopher Columbus, the celebrated discoverer of the New World, from the year 1536, in which they were transferred from Spain, until the 10th September, 1877, in which year they were disinterred for the purpose of identification. Dedicated to posterity by Padre Billini) (curate in charge when the vault was opened.)
In the cathedral there is also preserved a large cross of mahogany, rough and uneven, as though hewn with an adze out of a log, and then left in the rough. This, it is claimed, is the cross made by Columbus and erected on the opposite bank of the Ozama River, where the first settlement in the West Indies was made. In a little room by itself they keep a leaden casket, which Santo Domingoans claim contains the bones of Christopher Columbus, and, in another, those of his brother.
PLAZA OF SANTO DOMINGO.—Humboldt once wrote that America could boast of no worthy monument to its discoverer, but since his time many memorials have been erected, not only in the New World, but the Old. In the plaza in front of the cathedral, in the city of Santo Domingo, stands a statue, heroic, in bronze, representing Columbus pointing to the westward. Crouched at his feet is the figure of a female Indian, supposed to be the unfortunate Anacaona, the caciquess of Xaragua, tracing an inscription:
Yllustre y Esclarecido Varon Don Cristoval Colon.
The statue was cast in France, a few years ago, and stands in the center of the plaza, in front of the cathedral.
COLUMBUS LORD NORTH'S "BETE NOIR."
EDWIN PERCY WHIPPLE, a distinguished American critic and essayist. Born at Gloucester, Mass., 1819; died, June 16, 1886.
Lord North more than once humorously execrated the memory of Columbus for discovering a continent which gave him and his ministry so much trouble.
HARDY MARINERS HAVE BECOME GREAT HEROES.
DANIEL APPLETON WHITE, a distinguished American jurist and scholar. Born at Lawrence, Mass., June 7, 1776; died, March 30, 1861.
Hardy seamen, too, who have spent their days in conflict with the storms of the ocean, have found means to make themselves distinguished in science and literature, as well as by achievements in their profession. The life of Columbus gloriously attests this fact.
TASSO'S TRIBUTE IN ENGLISH SPENSERIAN STANZA.
JEREMIAH HOLMES WIFFEN, an English writer and translator. Born at Woburn, 1792. Many years librarian and private secretary to the Duke of Bedford. Died, 1836. From his translation of Tasso's "Jerusalem Delivered" (1830). (See ante, TASSO.)
The time shall come when ship-boys e'en shall scorn To have Alcides' fable on their lips, Seas yet unnamed and realms unknown adorn Your charts, and with their fame your pride eclipse; Then the bold Argo of all future ships Shall circumnavigate and circle sheer Whate'er blue Tethys in her girdle clips, Victorious rival of the sun's career, And measure e'en of earth the whole stupendous sphere.
A Genoese knight shall first the idea seize And, full of faith, the untracked abyss explore. No raving winds, inhospitable seas, Thwart planets, dubious calms, or billows' roar, Nor whatso'er of risk or toil may more Terrific show or furiously assail, Shall make that mighty mind of his give o'er The wonderful adventure, or avail In close Abyla's bounds his spirit to impale.
'Tis thou, Columbus, in new zones and skies, That to the wind thy happy sails must raise, Till fame shall scarce pursue thee with her eyes, Though she a thousand eyes and wings displays; Let her of Bacchus and Alcides praise The savage feats, and do thy glory wrong With a few whispers tossed to after days; These shall suffice to make thy memory long In history's page endure, or some divinest song.
NOAH AND COLUMBUS.
EMMA HART WILLARD, an American teacher and educational writer. Born at Berlin, Conn., 1787; died, 1870.
Since the time when Noah left the ark to set his foot upon a recovered world, a landing so sublime as that of Columbus had never occurred.
A GRAND PROPHETIC VISION.
The Rev. ELHANAN WINCHESTER, an American divine. Born at Brookline, Mass., 1751; died, 1797. From an oration delivered in London, October 12, 1792, the 300th anniversary of the landing of Columbus in the New World. The orator, previous to a call to a pastorate in London, had lived many years in America, being at one time pastor of a large church in the city of Philadelphia. This oration should be prized, so to speak, for its "ancient simplicity." It is a relic of the style used in addresses one hundred years ago.
I have for some years had it upon my mind that if Providence preserved my life to the close of the third century from the discovery of America by Columbus, that I would celebrate that great event by a public discourse upon the occasion.
And although I sincerely wish that some superior genius would take up the subject and treat it with the attention that it deserves, yet, conscious as I am of my own inability, I am persuaded that America has not a warmer friend in the world than myself.
The discovery of America by Columbus was situated, in point of time, between two great events, which have caused it to be much more noticed, and have rendered it far more important than it would otherwise have been. I mean the art of printing, which was discovered about the year 1440, and which has been and will be of infinite use to mankind, and the Reformation from popery, which began about the year 1517, the effects of which have already been highly beneficial in a political as well as in a religious point of view, and will continue and increase.
These three great events—the art of printing, the discovery of America, and the Reformation—followed each other in quick succession; and, combined together, have already produced much welfare and happiness to mankind, and certainly will produce abundance more.
* * * * *
By the discovery of America there was much room given to the inhabitants of the Old World; an asylum was prepared for the persecuted of all nations to fly to for safety, and a grand theater was erected where Liberty might safely lift up her standard, and triumph over all the foes of freedom. America may be called the very birthplace of civil and religious liberty, which had never been known to mankind until since the discovery of that country.
But the importance of the discovery will appear greater and greater every year, and one century to come will improve America far more than the three centuries past.
The prospect opens; it extends itself upon us. "The wilderness and solitary place shall rejoice, the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose." I look forward to that glorious era when that vast continent shall be fully populated with civilized and religious people; when heavenly wisdom and virtue, and all that can civilize, adorn, and bless the children of men, shall cover that part of the globe as the waters cover the seas.
Transported at the thought, I am borne forward to days of distant renown. In my expanded view, the United States rise in all their ripened glory before me. I look through and beyond every yet peopled region of the New World, and behold period still brightening upon period. Where one contiguous depth of gloomy wilderness now shuts out even the beams of day, I see new states and empires, new seats of wisdom and knowledge, new religious domes, spreading around. In places now untrod by any but savage beasts, or men as savage as they, I hear the voice of happy labor, and behold beautiful cities rising to view.
Lo, in this happy picture, I behold the native Indian exulting in the works of peace and civilization; his bloody hatchet he buries deep under ground, and his murderous knife he turns into a pruning fork, to lop the tender vine and teach the luxuriant shoot to grow. No more does he form to himself a heaven after death (according to the poet), in company with his faithful dog, behind the cloud-topped hill, to enjoy solitary quiet, far from the haunts of faithless men; but, better instructed by Christianity, he views his everlasting inheritance—"a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
Instead of recounting to his offspring, round the blazing fire, the bloody exploits of their ancestors, and wars of savage death, showing barbarous exultation over every deed of human woe, methinks I hear him pouring forth his eulogies of praise, in memory of those who were the instruments of heaven in raising his tribes from darkness to light, in giving them the blessings of civilized life, and converting them from violence and blood to meekness and love.
Behold the whole continent highly cultivated and fertilized, full of cities, towns, and villages, beautiful and lovely beyond expression. I hear the praises of my great Creator sung upon the banks of those rivers unknown to song. Behold the delightful prospect! see the silver and gold of America employed in the service of the Lord of the whole earth! See slavery, with all its train of attendant evil, forever abolished! See a communication opened through the whole continent, from north to south, and from east to west, through a most fruitful country! Behold the glory of God extending, and the gospel spreading, through the whole land!
O my native country! though I am far distant from thy peaceful shores, which probably mine eyes may never more behold, yet I can never forget thee. May thy great Creator bless thee, and make thee a happy land, while thy rivers flow and thy mountains endure. And, though He has spoken nothing plainly in His word concerning thee, yet has he blest thee abundantly, and given thee good things in possession, and a prospect of more glorious things in time to come. His name shall be known, feared, and loved through all thy western regions, and to the utmost bounds of thy vast extensive continent.
O America! land of liberty, peace, and plenty, in thee I drew my first breath, in thee all my kindred dwell. I beheld thee in thy lowest state, crushed down under misfortunes, struggling with poverty, war, and disgrace. I have lived to behold thee free and independent, rising to glory and extensive empire, blessed with all the good things of this life, and a happy prospect of better things to come. I can say, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation," which thou hast made known to my native land, in the sight, and to the astonishment, of all the nations of the earth.
I die; but God will surely visit America, and make it a vast flourishing and extensive empire; will take it under His protection, and bless it abundantly—but the prospect is too glorious for my pen to describe. I add no more.
DE MORTUIS, NIL NISI BONUM.
JUSTIN WINSOR, a celebrated American critical historian. Born, 1831.
No man craves more than Columbus to be judged with all the palliations demanded of his own age and ours. It would have been well for his memory if he had died when his master work was done.
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His discovery was a blunder; his blunder was a new world; the New World is his monument.
ON A PORTRAIT OF COLUMBUS.
GEORGE E. WOODBERRY, in the Century Magazine, May, 1892. By permission of the author and the Century Company.
Was this his face, and these the finding eyes That plucked a new world from the rolling seas? Who, serving Christ, whom most he sought to please, Willed his one thought until he saw arise Man's other home and earthly paradise— His early vision, when with stalwart knees He pushed the boat from his young olive trees And sailed to wrest the secret of the skies?
He on the waters dared to set his feet, And through believing planted earth's last race. What faith in man must in our new world beat, Thinking how once he saw before his face The west and all the host of stars retreat Into the silent infinite of space.
JOSEPH EMERSON WORCESTER, a celebrated American lexicographer. Born at Bedford, N. H., 1758; died, 1865.
The discovery of America was the greatest achievement of the kind ever performed by man; and, considered in connection with its consequences, it is the greatest event of modern times. It served to wake up the unprecedented spirit of enterprise; it opened new sources of wealth, and exerted a powerful influence on commerce by greatly increasing many important articles of trade, and also by bringing into general use others before unknown; by leading to the discovery of the rich mines of this continent, it has caused the quantity of the precious metals in circulation throughout the world to be exceedingly augmented; it also gave a new impulse to colonization, and prepared the way for the advantages of civilized life and the blessings of Christianity to be extended over vast regions which before were the miserable abodes of barbarism and pagan idolatry.
The man to whose genius and enterprise the world is indebted for this discovery was Christopher Columbus of Genoa. He conceived that in order to complete the balance of the terraqueous globe another continent necessarily existed, which might be reached by sailing to the west from Europe; but he erroneously connected it with India. Being persuaded of the truth of his theory, his adventurous spirit made him eager to verify it by experiment.
THE FATE OF DISCOVERERS.
It is remarkable how few of the eminent men of the discoverers and conquerors of the New World died in peace. Columbus died broken-hearted; Roldan and Bobadilla were drowned; Ojeda died in extreme poverty; Encisco was deposed by his own men; Nicuesa perished miserably by the cruelty of his party; Balboa was disgracefully beheaded; Narvaez was imprisoned in a tropical dungeon, and afterward died of hardship; Cortez was dishonored; Alvarado was destroyed in ambush; Pizarro was murdered, and his four brothers cut off; Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded by an ungrateful king; the noble and adventurous Robert La Salle, the explorer of the Mississippi Valley, was murdered by his mutinous crew; Sir Martin Frobisher died of a wound received at Brest; Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Raleigh's noble half-brother, "as near to God by sea as by land," sank with the crew of the little Squirrel in the deep green surges of the North Atlantic; Sir Francis Drake, "the terror of the Spanish Main," and the explorer of the coast of California, died of disease near Puerto Bello, in 1595. The frozen wilds of the North hold the bones of many an intrepid explorer. Franklin and Bellot there sleep their last long sleep. The bleak snow-clad tundra of the Lena delta saw the last moments of the gallant De Long. Afric's burning sands have witnessed many a martyrdom to science and religion. Livingston, Hannington, Gordon, Jamieson, and Barttelot are golden names on the ghastly roll. Australia's scrub-oak and blue-gum plains have contributed their quota of the sad and sudden deaths on the earth-explorers' roll.
Columbus and Columbia.
Hail, Columbia! happy land! Hail, ye heroes! heaven-born band!
Joseph Hopkinson, 1770-1842.
And ne'er shall the sons of Columbia be slaves, While the earth bears a plant, or the sea rolls its waves.
Robert Treat Paine, 1772-1811.
Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise. The queen of the world, and child of the skies! Thy genius commands thee; with rapture behold While ages on ages thy splendors unfold.
Timothy Dwight, 1752-1817.
JOHN ADAMS, second President of the United States. Born October 19, 1735; died July 4, 1826.
A prospect into futurity in America is like contemplating the heavens through the telescopes of Herschel. Objects stupendous in their magnitudes and motions strike us from all quarters, and fill us with amazement.
AMERICA THE OLD WORLD.
LOUIS JEAN RODOLOPHE AGASSIZ, the distinguished naturalist. Born in Motier, near the Lake of Neufchatel, Switzerland, in 1807; died at Cambridge, Mass., December 14, 1873. From his "Geological Sketches." By permission of Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Publishers, Boston.
First-born among the continents, though so much later in culture and civilization than some of more recent birth, America, so far as her physical history is concerned, has been falsely denominated the New World. Hers was the first dry land lifted out of the waters, hers the first shore washed by the ocean that enveloped all the earth beside; and while Europe was represented only by islands rising here and there above the sea, America already stretched an unbroken line of land from Nova Scotia to the far West.
DISCOVERY OF THE BIRD OF WASHINGTON.
JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, an American ornithologist. Born in Louisiana May 4, 1780. Died in New York January, 1851. From his "Adventures and Discoveries."
My commercial expeditions, rich in attraction for scientific observation, were attended also with the varied pleasures which delight a passenger on the waters of the glorious Mississippi. Fresh scenes are continually disclosed by the frequent windings of the river, as you speed along its rapid current. Thousands of birds in the adjacent woods gratify the ear with their sweet mellow notes, or dazzle the sight, as in their gorgeous attire they flash by. It was while ascending the Upper Mississippi, during the month of February, 1814, that I first caught sight of the beautiful Bird of Washington. My delight was extreme. Not even Herschel, when he discovered the planet which bears his name, could have experienced more rapturous feelings. Convinced that the bird was extremely rare, if not altogether unknown, I felt particularly anxious to learn its species. I next observed it whilst engaged in collecting cray fish on one of the flats of the Green River, at its junction with the Ohio, where it is bounded by a range of high cliffs. I felt assured, by certain indications, that the bird frequented that spot. Seated about a hundred yards from the foot of the rock, I eagerly awaited its appearance as it came to visit its nest with food for its young. I was warned of its approach by the loud hissing of the eaglets, which crawled to the extremity of the cavity to seize the prey—a fine fish. Presently the female, always the larger among rapacious birds, arrived, bearing also a fish. With more shrewd suspicion than her mate, glaring with her keen eye around, she at once perceived the nest had been discovered. Immediately dropping her prey, with a loud shriek she communicated the alarm, when both birds, soaring aloft, kept up a growling to intimidate the intruders from their suspected design.
Not until two years later was I gratified by the capture of this magnificent bird. Considering the bird the noblest of its kind, I dignified it with the great name to which this country owed her salvation, and which must be imperishable therefore among her people. Like the eagle, Washington was brave; like it, he was the terror of his foes, and his fame, extending from pole to pole, resembles the majestic soarings of the mightiest of the feathered tribe. America, proud of her Washington, has also reason to be so of her Great Eagle.
ONE VAST WESTERN CONTINENT.
Sir EDWIN ARNOLD, C. S. I., an English poet and journalist. Born, June 10, 1832.
I reserve as the destiny of these United States the control of all the lands to the south, of the whole of the South American continent. Petty troubles will die away, and all will be yours. In South America alone there is room for 500,000,000 more people. Some day it will have that many, and all will acknowledge the government at Washington. We in England will not grudge you this added power. It is rightfully yours. With the completion of the canal across the Isthmus of Nicaragua you must have control of it, and of all the surrounding Egypt of the New World.
THE RISING OF THE WESTERN STAR.
Land of the mighty! through the nations Thy fame shall live and travel on; And all succeeding generations Shall bless the name of Washington. While year by year new triumphs bringing, The sons of Freedom shall be singing— Ever happy, ever free, Land of light and liberty.
Columbus, on his dauntless mission, Beheld his lovely isle afar; Did he not see, in distant vision, The rising of this western star— This queen, who now, in state befitting, Between two ocean floods is sitting? Ever happy, ever free, Land of light and liberty.
THE AMERICAN FLAG.
HENRY WARD BEECHER, a distinguished American writer and preacher. Born in Litchfield, Conn., June 24, 1813; died, March 8, 1887, in Brooklyn, N. Y. From his "Patriotic Addresses." By permission of Messrs. Fords, Howard & Hulbert, Publishers, New York.
When a man of thoughtful mind sees a nation's flag, he sees not the flag only, but the nation itself; and whatever may be its symbols, he reads chiefly in the flag the government, the principles, the truth, the history, which belong to the nation which sets it forth. When the French tricolor rolls out to the wind, we see France. When the newfound Italian flag is unfurled, we see Italy restored. When the other three-cornered Hungarian flag shall be lifted to the wind, we shall see in it the long-buried, but never dead, principles of Hungarian liberty. When the united crosses of St. Andrew and St. George on a fiery ground set forth the banner of old England, we see not the cloth merely; there rises up before the mind the noble aspect of that monarchy which, more than any other on the globe, has advanced its banner for liberty, law, and national prosperity. This nation has a banner, too, and wherever it streamed abroad men saw daybreak bursting on their eyes, for the American flag has been the symbol of liberty, and men rejoiced in it. Not another flag on the globe had such an errand, or went forth upon the seas carrying everywhere, the world around, such hope for the captive and such glorious tidings. The stars upon it were to the pining nations like the morning stars of God, and the stripes upon it were beams of morning light. As at early dawn the stars stand first, and then it grows light, and then, as the sun advances, that light breaks into banks and streaming lines of color, the glowing red and intense white striving together and ribbing the horizon with bars effulgent, so on the American flag stars and beams of many-colored lights shine out together. And wherever the flag comes, and men behold it, they see in its sacred emblazonry no rampant lion and fierce eagle, but only light, and every fold indicative of liberty. It has been unfurled from the snows of Canada to the plains of New Orleans; in the halls of the Montezumas and amid the solitude of every sea; and everywhere, as the luminous symbol of resistless and beneficent power, it has led the brave to victory and to glory. It has floated over our cradles; let it be our prayer and our struggle that it shall float over our graves.
NATHANIEL S. S. BEMAN, an American Presbyterian divine. Born in New Lebanon, N. Y., 1785; died at Carbondale, Ill., August 8, 1871. For forty years pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Troy, N. Y.
The western continent has, at different periods, been the subject of every species of transatlantic abuse. In former days, some of the naturalists of Europe told us that everything here was constructed upon a small scale. The frowns of nature were represented as investing the whole hemisphere we inhabit. It has been asserted that the eternal storms which are said to beat upon the brows of our mountains, and to roll the tide of desolation at their bases; the hurricanes which sweep our vales, and the volcanic fires which issue from a thousand flaming craters; the thunderbolts which perpetually descend from heaven, and the earthquakes, whose trepidations are felt to the very center of our globe, have superinduced a degeneracy through all the productions of nature. Men have been frightened into intellectual dwarfs, and the beasts of the forest have not attained more than half their ordinary growth.
While some of the lines and touches of this picture have been blotted out by the reversing hand of time, others have been added, which have, in some respects, carried the conceit still farther. In later days, and, in some instances, even down to the present period, it has been published and republished from the enlightened presses of the Old World, that so strong is the tendency to deterioration on this continent that the descendants of European ancestors are far inferior to the original stock from which they sprang. But inferior in what? In national spirit and patriotic achievement? Let the revolutionary conflict—the opening scenes at Boston and the catastrophe at Yorktown—furnish the reply. Let Bennington and Saratoga support their respective claims. Inferior in enterprise? Let the sail that whitens every ocean, and the commercial spirit that braves every element and visits every bustling mart, refute the unfounded aspersion. Inferior in deeds of zeal and valor for the Church? Let our missionaries in the bosom of our own forest, in the distant regions of the East, and on the islands of the great Pacific, answer the question. Inferior in science and letters and the arts? It is true our nation is young; but we may challenge the world to furnish a national maturity which, in these respects, will compare with ours.
The character and institutions of this country have already produced a deep impression upon the world we inhabit. What but our example has stricken the chains of despotism from the provinces of South America—giving, by a single impulse, freedom to half a hemisphere? A Washington here has created a Bolivar there. The flag of independence, which has waved from the summit of our Alleghany, has now been answered by a corresponding signal from the heights of the Andes. And the same spirit, too, that came across the Atlantic wave with the Pilgrims, and made the rock of Plymouth the corner-stone of freedom, and of this republic, is traveling back to the East. It has already carried its influence into the cabinets of princes, and it is at this moment sung by the Grecian bard and emulated by the Grecian hero.
ST. GEORGE BEST. In Kate Field's Washington.
Puissant land! where'er I turn my eyes I see thy banner strewn upon the breeze; Each past achievement only prophesies Of triumphs more unheard of. These Are shadows yet, but time will write thy name In letters golden as the sun That blazed upon the sight of those who came To worship in the temple of the Delphic One.
THE FINAL STAGE.
HENRY HUGH BRACKENRIDGE, a writer and politician. Born near Campbellton, Scotland, 1748; died, 1816. From his "Rising Glory of America," a commencement poem.
This is thy praise, America, thy power, Thou best of climes by science visited, By freedom blest, and richly stored with all The luxuries of life! Hail, happy land, The seat of empire, the abode of kings, The final stage where time shall introduce Renowned characters, and glorious works Of high invention and of wondrous art, Which not the ravages of time shall waste, 'Till he himself has run his long career!
BRIGHT'S BEATIFIC VISION.
The Right Honorable JOHN BRIGHT, the celebrated English orator and radical statesman. Born at Greenbank, Rochdale, Lancashire, November 16, 1811; died, March 27, 1889. From a speech delivered at Birmingham, England, 1862.
I have another and a far brighter vision before my gaze. It may be but a vision, but I will cherish it. I see one vast confederation stretching from the frozen North in unbroken line to the glowing South, and from the wild billows of the Atlantic westward to the calmer waters of the Pacific main; and I see one people and one language, and one faith and one law, and, over all that wide continent, the home of freedom, and a refuge for the oppressed of every race and every clime.
BROTHERS ACROSS THE SEA.
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, one of the most gifted female poets. Born near Ledbury, Herefordshire, England, in 1807; died at Florence, Italy, in June, 1861.
I heard an angel speak last night, And he said, "Write— Write a nation's curse for me, And send it over the western sea." I faltered, taking up the word: "Not so, my lord! If curses must be, choose another To send thy curse against my brother.
For I am bound by gratitude, By love and blood, To brothers of mine across the sea, Who stretch out kindly hands to me." "Therefore," the voice said, "shalt thou write My curse to-night; From the summits of love a curse is driven, As lightning is from the tops of heaven."
THE GRANDEUR OF DESTINY.
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT, an eminent American poet. Born at Cummington, Mass., November 3, 1794; died, June 12, 1878.
Oh, Mother of a mighty race, Yet lovely in thy youthful grace! The elder dames, thy haughty peers, Admire and hate thy blooming years; With words of shame And taunts of scorn they join thy name.
They know not, in their hate and pride, What virtues with thy children bide; How true, how good, thy graceful maids Make bright, like flowers, the valley shades; What generous men Spring, like thine oaks, by hill and glen;
What cordial welcomes greet the guest By the lone rivers of the West; How faith is kept, and truth revered, And man is loved, and God is feared, In woodland homes, And where the solemn ocean foams.
Oh, fair young Mother! on thy brow Shall sit a nobler grace than now. Deep in the brightness of thy skies, The thronging years in glory rise, And, as they fleet, Drop strength and riches at thy feet.
AMERICAN NATIONAL HASTE.
JAMES BRYCE, M. P. Born at Belfast, Ireland, May 10, 1838. Appointed Regius Professor of Civil Law to the University of Oxford, England, 1870. From his "American Commonwealth."
Americans seem to live in the future rather than in the present; not that they fail to work while it is called to-day, but that they see the country, not merely as it is, but as it will be twenty, fifty, a hundred years hence, when the seedlings shall have grown to forest trees. Time seems too brief for what they have to do, and result always to come short of their desire. One feels as if caught and whirled along in a foaming stream chafing against its banks, such is the passion of these men to accomplish in their own lifetimes what in the past it took centuries to effect. Sometimes, in a moment of pause—for even the visitor finds himself infected by the all-pervading eagerness—one is inclined to ask them: "Gentlemen, why in heaven's name this haste? You have time enough. No enemy threatens you. No volcano will rise from beneath you. Ages and ages lie before you. Why sacrifice the present to the future, fancying that you will be happier when your fields teem with wealth and your cities with people? In Europe we have cities wealthier and more populous than yours, and we are not happy. You dream of your posterity; but your posterity will look back to yours as the golden age, and envy those who first burst into this silent, splendid nature, who first lifted up their axes upon these tall trees, and lined these waters with busy wharves. Why, then, seek to complete in a few decades what the other nations of the world took thousands of years over in the older continents? Why do rudely and ill things which need to be done well, seeing that the welfare of your descendants may turn upon them? Why, in your hurry to subdue and utilize nature, squander her splendid gifts? Why allow the noxious weeds of Eastern politics to take root in your new soil, when by a little effort you might keep it pure? Why hasten the advent of that threatening day when the vacant spaces of the continent shall all have been filled, and the poverty or discontent of the older States shall find no outlet? You have opportunities such as mankind has never had before, and may never have again. Your work is great and noble; it is done for a future longer and vaster than our conceptions can embrace. Why not make its outlines and beginnings worthy of these destinies, the thought of which gilds your hopes and elevates your purposes?"