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from a disgraceful source, from the jewels and other valuables, the sequestrated property of the unfortunate Jews banished from the kingdom according to a bigoted edict of the preceding year. As these resources were still
inadequate Pinelo was authorized to supply the deficiency by a loan. Requisitions were likewise made for provisions of all kinds, as well as for artillery, powder, muskets, lances, corselets, and cross-bows. This latter weapon, notwithstanding the introduction of firearms, was still preferred by many to the arquebuse, and considered more formidable and destructive; the
other having to be used with a match-lock, and being so heavy as to require an iron rest. The military stores which had accumulated during the war with the Moors of Granada, furnished a great part of these supplies. Almost all the preceding orders were issued by
the 23d of May, while Columbus was yet at Barcelona. Rarely has there been witnessed such a scene of activity in the dilatory offices of Spain.
As the conversion of the heathen was professed to be the grand object of these discoveries, twelve zealous and able ecclesiastics were chosen for the purpose, to accompany the expedition. Among these was Bernardo Buyl or Boyle, a Benedictine monk, of talent and reputed sanctity, but one of those subtle politicians of the cloister, who in those days glided into all temporal concerns. He had acquitted himself with success in recent negotiations with France, relative to the restitution of Rousillon. Before the sailing of the fleet he was appointed by the Pope his apostolical vicar for the New World, and placed as superior over his ecclesiastical brethren. This pious mission was provided with all things necessary for the dignified performance of its functions; the Queen supplying from her own chapel the ornaments and vestments to be used in all solemn ceremonies. Isabella, from the first, took the most warm and compassionate interest in the welfare of the Indians. Won by the accounts given by Columbus of their gentleness and simplicity, and looking upon them as committed by Heaven to her especial care, her heart was
filled with concern at their destitute and ignorant condition. She ordered that great care should be taken of their religious instruction; that they should be treated with the utmost kindness; and enjoined Columbus to inflict signal punishment on all Spaniards who should be guilty of outrage or injustice towards them.
By way, it was said, of offering to Heaven the first-fruits of these pagan nations, the six Indians whom Columbus had brought to Barcelona were baptized with great state and ceremony; the King, the Queen, and Prince Juan. officiating as sponsors. Great hopes were entertained that, on their return to their native country, they would facilitate the introduction of Christianity among their countrymen. One of them, at the request of Prince Juan, remained in his household, but died not long afterwards. A Spanish historian remarked that, according to what ought to be our pious belief, he was the first of his nation that entered Heaven.*
Before the departure of Columbus from Barcelona, the provisional agreement made at Santa Fé was confirmed, granting him the titles, emoluments, and prerogatives of admiral, viceroy, and governor of all the countries he *Herrera, Hist. Ind., decad. i., lib. ii., cap. 5.
had discovered, or might discover. He was also intrusted with the royal seal, with authority to use the name of their majesties in granting letters-patent and commissions within the bounds of his jurisdiction; with the right, also, in case of absence, to appoint a person in his place, and to invest him, for the time, with the same powers.
It had been premised in the agreement, that for all vacant offices in the government of the islands and mainland he should nominate three candidates, out of which number the sovereign should make a choice; but now to save time and to show their confidence in Columbus, they empowered him to appoint at once such persons as he thought proper, who were to hold their offices during the royal pleasure. He had likewise the title and command of captain-general of the armament about to sail, with unqualified powers as to the government of the crews, the establishments to be formed in the New World, and the ulterior discoveries to be undertaken.
This was the honeymoon of the royal favor, during which Columbus enjoyed the unbounded and well-merited confidence of his sovereigns, before envious minds had dared to insinuate a doubt of his integrity. After receiving every mark of public honor and private