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the public eye could not be sated with gazing on these trophies of an unknown world, or on the remarkable man by whom it had been discovered.
7. There was a sublimity in this event, that mingled a solemn feeling with the public joy. To receive him with suitable pomp and distinction, the sovereigns had ordered their throne to be placed in public, under a rich canopy of brocade of gold, in a vast and splendid saloon. Here the king and queen awaited his arrival, seated in state with the prince Juan beside them, and attended by the dignitaries of their court, and the principal nobility of Castile."
8. At length Columbus entered the hall, surrounded by a brilliant crowd of cavaliers. A modest smile lighted up his features, showing that he enjoyed the state and glory in which he came; and certainly nothing could be more deeply moving to a mind inflamed by noble ambition, and conscious of having greatly deserved, than were these testimonials of the admiration and gratitude of a nation, or rather of a world.
9. As Columbus approached, the sovereigns rose as if receiving a person of the highest rank. Bending his knees, he requested to kiss their hands; but there was some hesitation on the part of their majesties to permit this act of vassalage. Raising him in the most gracious manner, they ordered him to seat himself in their presence; a rare honor in this proud and punctilious court.
10. At the request of their majesties, Columbus now gave an account of the most striking events of his and a voyage, description of the islands which he had discovered. He displayed the specimens he had brought of unknown birds and other animals; of rare plants, of medicinal and aromatic virtue; of native gold, in dust, in crude masses, or labored into barbaric ornaments; and, above all, the natives of these countries, who were objects of intense and inexhaustible interest; since there is nothing to man so curious as the varieties of his own species.
11. All these he pronounced mere harbingers of great
a Saloon'; a spacious room. b Castilė, (kas teel;) a province in Spain. liers, (kav-a-leers' ;) knights. d Harbingers; forerunners.
discoveries he had yet to make, which would add realms of incalculable wealth to the dominions of their majesties, and whole nations of proselytes" to the true faith. The words of Columbus were listened to with profound emotion by the sovereigns.
12. When he had finished, they sunk on their knees, and raised their clasped hands to heaven; their filled with eyes tears of joy and gratitude, they poured forth thanks and praises to God for so great a providence; all present followed their example; a deep and solemn enthusiasm pervaded that splendid assembly, and prevented all common acclamations of triumph.
13. Such was the solemn and pious manner in which the billiant court of Spain celebrated this sublime event. When Columbus retired from the royal presence, he was attended to his residence by all the court, and followed by the shouting populace. For many days he was the object of universal curiosity, and wherever he appeared, he was surrounded by an admiring multitude.
SUFFERINGS OF THE PILGRIMS.
1. FROM the dark portals of the star-chamber, and in the stern text of the acts of uniformity, the pilgrims received a commission more efficient than any that ever bore the royal seal. Their banishment to Holland was fortunate; the decline of their little company in the strange land was fortunate; the difficulties which they experienced in getting the royal consent to banish themselves to this wilderness were fortunate; all the tears and heart-breakings of that ever memorable parting at Delfthaven,' had the happiest influence on the rising destinies of New England.
2. All this purified the ranks of the settlers. These rough
a Pros'elytes; converts. b Populace; the people. c Pil'grims; wanderers, the first settlers in New England. d Portals; gates or doors. e Star-Chamber; an Eng lish court. f Delfthaven, (Dëlft-ha’vn ;) a town in Holland.
touches of fortune brushed off the light, uncertain, selfish spirits. They made it a grave, solemn, self-denying expedition, and required of those who engaged in it to be so too. They cast a broad shadow of thought and seriousness over the cause; and if this sometimes deepened into melancholy and bitterness, can we find no apology for such a human weakness?
3. Their trials of wandering and exile, of the ocean, the winter, the wilderness, and the savage foe, were the final assurances of success. It was these that put far away from our fathers' cause, all patrician" softness, all hereditary claims to preeminence. No effeminate nobility" crowded into the dark and austere ranks of the pilgrims.
4. Methinks I see one solitary, adventurous vessel, the Mayflower, of a forlorn hope, freighted with the prospects of a future state, and bound across the unknown sea. I behold it pursuing, with a thousand misgivings, the uncertain, the tedious voyage. Suns rise and set, and weeks and months pass, and winter surprises them on the deep, but brings them not the sight of the wished-for shore. I see them now scantily supplied with provisions, crowded almost to suffocation in their ill-stored prison; delayed by calms, pursuing a circuitous route; and now driven in fury before the raging tempest, on the high and giddy waves. The awful voice of the storm howls through the rigging.
5. The laboring masts seem straining from their base; the dismal sound of the pumps is heard; the ship leaps, as it were madly, from billow to billow; the ocean breaks, and settles with ingulfing floods over the floating deck, and beats with deadening, shivering weight, against the staggering vessel. I see them escaped from these perils, pursuing their all but desperate undertaking, and landed at last, after a five months' passage, on the ice-clad rocks of Plymouth; weak and weary from the voyage, poorly armed, scantily provisioned, depending on the charity of their ship-master for a draught of beer on board, drinking nothing but water on shore, with out shelter, without means, surrounded by hostile tribes.
a Patri'cian; noble, of noble family or state. b Nobility; persons of rank in a monarchy. Plymouth; a town in Massachusetts, where the Pilgrims first settled.
6. Shut now the volume of history, and tell me, on any principle of human probability, what shall be the fate of this handful of adventurers? Tell me, man of military science, in how many months were they all swept off by the thirty savage tribes, enumerated within the early limits of New England? Tell me, politician, how long did a shadow of a colony, on which your conventions and treaties had not smiled, languish on the distant coast? Student of history, compare for me the baffled projects, the deserted settlements, the abandoned adventures of other times, and find the parallel of this.
7. Was it the winter's storm, beating upon the houseless heads of women and children? was it hard labor and spare meals? was it disease? was it the tomahawk? was it the deep malady of a blighted hope, a ruined enterprise, and a broken heart, aching in its last moments at the recollection of the loved and left, beyond the sea? was it some, or all of these united, that hurried this forsaken company to their melancholy fate? And is it possible, that neither of these causes, that not all combined, were able to blast this bud of hope? Is it possible, that from a beginning so feeble, so frail, so worthy not so much of admiration as of pity, there has gone forth a progress so steady, a growth so wonderful, an expansion so ample, a reality so important, a promise, yet to be fulfilled, so glorious?
1. How slow yon tiny vessel plows the main !
Moons wax and wane,
a Tom'ahawk; an Indian hatchet.
I see an ice-bound coast, toward which she steers
Forth they come
From their long prison, hardy forms, that brave
To this drear desert?
What could lure their steps
Is severed? Can ye tell what pangs were there,
But yon lone bark
Hath spread her parting sail. They crowd the strand,
Long, with straining eyes
Sank down into their bosoms? No! they turn
a Shrouds; ropes that support the masts of vessels. b Peer; to look narrowly Ha'ran; the place in which Abraham and his father dwelt.