Imágenes de páginas

Gold Mining Redrawn from De Bry's "Tomuges."

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Charlevoix supposes that they were regularly married, as the female cacique appears to have been baptized, being always mentioned by the Christian name of Catalina.*

When the Adelantado returned with this favorable report, and with specimens of ore, the anxious heart of the Admiral was greatly elated. He gave orders that a fortress should be immediately erected on the banks of the Hayna, in the vicinity of the mines, and that they should be diligently worked. The fancied traces of ancient excavations gave rise to one of his usual veins of golden conjectures. He had already surmised that Hispaniola might be the ancient Ophir. He now flattered himself that he had discovered the identical mines whence King Solomon had procured his gold for the building of the temple of Jerusalem. He supposed that his ships must have sailed by the gulf of Persia, and round Trapoban to this island, † which, according to his idea, lay opposite to the extreme end of Asia, for such he firmly believed the island of Cuba.

It is probable that Columbus gave free license to his imagination in these conjectures, which tended to throw a splendor about his

* Oviedo, Cronica de los Ind., lib. ii., cap. 13. Charlevoix, Hist, St. Domingo, lib. ii., p. 146.

† Peter Martyr, decad. i., lib. iv.

« AnteriorContinuar »