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Christian philosopher.” If we advert to the irrefragable proofs of the virulent properties of this plant, and the various arguments which have been urged against its habitual use, we cannot fail to be struck with the extraordinary fact, that so large a portion of mankind should voluntarily struggle through its repugnant qualities, both of taste and effect, until by habit its stimulus grows pleasurable, and the system becomes mithridated against its poison ! It would almost seem as if the use of some substance of this class were necessary to the intellectual and physical economy of man, since no nation nor age, of which we have any account, has been found without. Of the various masticatories which have been in general use, if we except opium, tobacco is unquestionably the most pernicious. Although its moderate use may not shorten life, or prove perceptibly hurtful to health, yet its excessive employment certainly generates many formidable disorders, particularly of the nerves and stomach, and subjects its votary to innumerable inconveniences and sufferings. Our space will not permit us to expatiate any further; and we shall therefore conclude our article by relating from Rush a very interesting anecdote of Dr. Franklin, which places the commonsense view of this matter in the strongest possible light. A few months before Franklin's death, he declared to one of his friends, that he had never used tobacco in the course of his long life, and that he was disposed to believe there was not much advantage to be derived from it, for that he had never known a man who used it, who advised him to follow his example.
ART. VII.-Voyages and Discoveries of the Companions of
Columbus. By WASHINGTON IRVING : Philadelphia : Carey & Lea: 1831.
When we noticed, three years since, a former production of Mr. Irving, we took occasion to express an opinion of its merits, which has been fully confirmed. No work of the present era appears to have afforded more general and unmingled gratification to its readers, than his Life of Columbus; and he has received, in the approbation, not only of his own countrymen, but of Europeans, the most gratifying reward an author can desire. The fame which he had acquired, and that most justly, by the happy works of fiction in which he was introduced to the public, is now changed into one of higher character ; and he becomes entitled to take his stand among those writers who have done more than amuse the fancy, or even gratify the heart. He is to be classed with the historians of great events; for if the
period of which he has treated is limited, or the persons whose actions he has described are not numerous, yet the one included within it, short as it was, circumstances that have produced an effect which long ages have not always surpassed in importance or wonderful consequences; and the others embrace individuals whose actions have more deeply affected the human race than many of the revolutions of great and populous nations.
Having these feelings in regard to the former work of Mr. Irving, we open the present volume with mingled apprehension and pleasure. We rejoice that we are to follow again the same guide in adventurous voyages among the clustering Antilles; but we almost fear that the narrative may want much of that interest, novelty, and beauty, which make the story of Columbus among the most attractive ever recorded. The followers of the Admiral were, it is true, brave, adventurous, gallant men ; the skies beneath which they sailed were as blue, clear, and tranquil as when he first admired their delightful serenity; the islands they visited were as flowery and as fertile as when they first blessed the sight of the enterprising sailor; if the iron hand of Christian civilization had, here and there, broken down the gentle and benevolent spirit of the naked beings who wandered through a life of inglorious bliss, in their remote and peaceful regions, there were yet haunts undiscovered where they might roam in undisturbed security—there were yet bays over which they might dart unobstructed their light canoes -green and shady forests beneath which they might chant their songs, and rich valleys not yet searched for gold. But yet with all this, he, the master spirit, is no longer among the voyagers. There is no longer the novelty of a vast discovery. The way has been opened by the daring pioneer, and we are now only to follow in the plain track his genius conceived, discovered, and marked out. We can merely watch the footsteps of those who followed the triumphal chariot; the hero of the ovation has already passed along, and our eyes are still dazzled with his splendour-our minds are still filled with admiration of his genius, his enterprise, his undaunted and noble spirit. We are to turn from those loftier efforts of human intellect and perseverance, which mark, now and then, a human being, as a beacon in the midst of his fellow men, to the more common, though it is true, the bold and spirited adventures which attend the fortunes of many in the career of life. The story of these adventures is indeed full of interest, but it is an interest less in degree ; and we can no more venture to compare it with that which attends the actions and fortunes of him who seeks and finds a new world, than we can compare the patient inquirer, who nightly searches through his telescope for new stars in the vast firmament, with him who proclaimed and proved the theory of the universe
than we can see in every military exploit of Parmenio and Seleucus, the master spirit that planned and effected the subjugation of the world.
Yet the pen which has described with so much felicity the life of Columbus, cannot fail to impart great attraction to an account of those who followed in the career they had commenced with him ; who were emboldened by the energy they had witnessed, and the success in which they had partaken; and who completed the discovery of those regions, which he was permitted scarcely to see, and of whose vast extent he had no conception. While they were yet his associates, these voyagers had become acquainted with the pearl fisheries of Paria and Cubaga ; they learned to believe that they had approached the confines of the golden regions of the east, described by the ancients in glowing colours ; and they had heard something of a vast ocean to the south, in which they expected to find the oriental islands of spice and perfumes. All that they thus collected from tradition or partial observation, they treasured up to form the groundwork of schemes for future adventures, which they might pursue for the purposes of individual gain, or from motives of individual ambition, when no longer sailing under the ensign of their great commander. The more selfish objects of these exploits, their want of connexion with the lofty views that inspired Columbus, the comparatively small scale on which they were conducted, gave to them a sort of daring and chivalrous character, which much resembles the warfare of the predatory nobles of Europe during the middle ages. While they were as far removed from the treacherous rapine of the buccaneers, as the inroads of the armed bands of knights were from the secret attacks of the robber and assassin; they were yet the offspring of personal interest, and were distinguished by innumerable incidents of personal valour. They offered new fields where the burning desire for romantic achievement might be gratified ; and the old spirit of Castile, which no longer found scope among the fastnesses of Andalusia, or the rich valleys of Granada, was delighted to embark on the waves of an ocean scarcely known, and to seek beyond it wealth and glory in golden regions, of which the discovery had already made one man the object of unmingled admiration and applause.
Of these voyagers, the first to whom Mr. Irving directs our attention is Alonzo de Ojeda-a man whose daring exploits, enterprising spirit, and headlong valour, cannot be forgotten by those who have already read the History of Columbus. He was his companion in the second voyage, and, it may be remembered, attracted the admiration of the bold cacique Caonabo, who paid that reverence to his undaunted prowess, which he refused to the superior rank of Columbus. Whether his restless and ambitious spirit could not bear the control of a supe
rior, or whether he had formed, during the voyage he had made, some plan of individual enterprise, he did not accompany the admiral in his subsequent expeditions. He could not, however, long endure the irksome life of a courtier ; and he could less bear to hear, without desiring to partake of the discoveries which were announced by every returning vessel, of new coasts and islands, abounding with drugs, spices, precious stones, and pearls, said to surpass in size and clearness those gathered in the East. Through the influence of a relative, he obtained the patronage of the bishop Don Juan Rodriguez Fonseca, who had the chief management of the affairs of the Indies, and was permitted to fit out an expedition to visit any territories in the new world, except such as appertained to Portugal, or such as had been discovered in the name of Spain previous to the year 1495. The latter part of the exception being craftily intended to leave open to him the coast and pearl fisheries of Paria, notwithstanding the rights reserved to Columbus. Destitute of wealth, the young adventurer contrived, by his reputation for boldness and enterprise, and by his confident promises of rich rewards, to obtain money from the merchants of Seville. He united with him as associates, Juan de la Cosa, a hardy veteran who had already navigated the new seas with the admiral, and Amerigo Vespucci, who seems then to have been distinguished by little but a roving disposition and a broken fortune, but who is now known from the accident which has forever attached his name to the discoveries of Columbus.
Ojeda sailed from Port St. Mary on the 20th of May 1499 ; he reached land on the coast of Surinam; thence he steered along the shore of South America, passed and beheld with wonder the mouths of the mighty rivers that there flow into the Atlantic, and first landed among the natives on the island of Trinidad. He then kept his course along the coast of Terra Firma, until he arrived at Maracapana, where he unloaded and careened his vessels, and built a small brigantine. He found the natives hospitable and well disposed, but differing greatly in character from the gentle and peaceful inhabitants of the islands within the gulf. They were tall, well made, and vigorous; expert with the bow, the lance, and the buckler, and ready for the wars in which they delighted to engage. The martial spirit of Ojeda was soon roused, and he readily proffered his aid to the savages, in an expedition against a hostile tribe of cannibals, in a neighbouring island. As soon as his ships were refitted, he attacked and defeated, with great slaughter, the savage warriors, who, decorated with coronets of gaudy plumes, their bodies painted, and armed with bows, arrows, and lances, gallantly met and resolutely fought him on the beach. He then pursued his voyage along the coast, passed the island of Cura
coa, and penetrated into the deep gulf to the south. On the eastern shore he found an Indian village which struck him with surprise. The houses were built on piles, and the communication was carried on in canoes. From these resemblances to the Italian city, he called it Venezuela, or little Venice, a name it still bears, and which is now extended to the bay and the province around. The natives made a treacherous attack on Ojeda, but manning his boats, the gallant Spaniard charged among the thickest of the enemy, and soon drove them to the shore, whence they fled into the woods. Not desiring to cause useless irritation, he continued his voyage as far as the port of Maracaibo, which still retains its Indian name. In the territory beyond, called Coquibacoa, he found a gentler race of inhabitants, who received the Spaniards with delight, and solicited them to visit their towns.
Ojeda, in compliance with their entreaties, sent a detachment of twentyseven Spaniards on a visit to the interior. For nine days they were conducted from town to town, and feasted and almost idolized by the Indians, who regarded them as angelic beings, performing their national dances and games, and chanting their traditional ballads for their entertainment.
“The natives of this part were distinguished for the symmetry of their forms; the females in particular appeared to the Spaniards to surpass all others that they had yet beheld in the new world for grace and beauty ; neither did the men evince, in the least degree, that jealousy which prevailed in other parts of the coast.
“ By the time the Spaniards set out on their return to the ship, the whole country was aroused, pouring forth its population, male and female, to do them honour. Some bore them in litters or hammocks, that they might not be fatigued with the journey, and happy was the Indian who had the honour of bearing a Spaniard on his shoulders across a river. Others loaded themselves with the presents that had been bestowed on their guests, consisting of rich plumes, weapons of various kinds, and tropical birds and animals. In this way they returned in triumphant procession to the ships, the woods and shores resounding with their songs and shouts.
“ Many of the Iudians crowded into the boats that took the detachment to the ships; others put off in canoes, or swam from shore, so that in a little while the vessels were thronged with upwards of a thousand wondering natives. While gazing and marvelling at the strange objects around them, Ojeda ordered the cannon to be discharged, at the sound of which, says Vespucci, the Indians (plunged into the water like so many frogs from a bank.' Perceiving, however, that it was done in harmless mirth, they returned on board, and passed the rest of the day in great festivity; The Spaniards brought away with them several of the beautiful and hospitable females from this place, one of whom, named by them Isabel, was much prized by Ojeda, and accompanied him in a subsequent
Leaving these friendly Indians, Ojeda pursued his way along the coast to the westward, until he reached cape de la Vela. During his long voyage he had been disappointed in finding the ready treasures of gold and pearls which he had expected, and now, wearied with his fruitless efforts, and embarrassed by the crazy state of his vessels, he resolved reluctantly to return to Spain. On his way, he stopped, in spite of the clause in his