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becoming more idle, more ignorant, more proud, and more despicable, than any other people of Europe.
The way that the Spaniards came to possess these mines was this.
DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.
ABOUT three hundred and thirty years ago, there lived a wise man named Christopher Columbus. He was the son of a wool-comber of the city of Genoa in Italy. He was instructed, when a boy, in Latin, drawing, and mathematics, besides reading and writing. He excelled so much as a scholar, that when he first grew to be a man, he was capable of earning a livelihood in teaching, or practising, any of the arts or sciences which he had learned. Columbus's favourite study was geography.
The people of Europe in that age were well acquainted with the navigation of the Mediterranean Sea, and some vessels had gone out into the Atlantic, as far west as the Azore Islandsbut no vessel had sailed any farther to the westward.
The Venetians, and many other people among the Europeans, had goods brought over land from Asia to Egypt, and other countries on the Mediterranean, and then taken up in ships, and carried to different cities. Columbus thought a way to bring goods from Asia might be found by sailing westward in search of it.
He thought much of the shape of the earth. He knew it was a globe, or a body round like an orange; and as a fly could creep all round an orange, and arrive at the very place from
which he set out, Columbus believed that if he sailed west, he must at length arrive at the part of Asia which was known to lie east of Europe, and that he could return to Europe by sailing in that direction. In order to ascertain this fact, he determined if possible to sail in that direction.
At that time, Europe, Asia, and Africa, were known they all lie on one side of the globe.What was on the other side, none of the people knew. Columbus wanted to go and see, but he could not go, unless he had several ships and many men with him. These things cost a great deal of money. No person had so much money to give away, so Columbus was obliged to ask the king of some country to procure him the men, money, and ships, that he wanted. Kings can have the use of such things, in the countries which they govern.
Columbus applied to the government of his own country first-afterwards to the king of England, and the king of Portugal. This government, and these kings, did not choose to assist Columbus.-At last he went to Spain. The name of the king of Spain was Ferdinand, the name of the queen was Isabella. Queen Isabella was very much pleased with the plan of Columbus; she hoped he would find the countries he expected to find, and she persuaded the king to give Columbus such things as he wanted.
The king promised to give Columbus what was necessary, if Columbus would promise to give him the greater part of the valuable things he might find. Columbus promised to do this.
The king gave him three ships, and what he wanted besides. In the month of August the ships sailed a great number of people went to the water side, to see them set sail. They felt very curious to know whither they would go, and what they would find.
When the sailors got far out of the sight of land, a great way into the Atlantic Ocean, they began to be afraid; they wanted to go back to Spain, and refused to obey Columbus. But Columbus persuaded them to wait a little longer, and a few weeks after they left Spain, they came to the Bahama Islands, and afterwards to the larger islands, now called Cuba and Hispaniola.
The people of these islands were not white, like the men of Europe, nor black, like the natives of Africa. These men were surprised when they saw the Spaniards. Columbus returned to Spain.-The king and queen were very glad when they heard of the new country he had found. They sent him back again, and sent many other ships; these discovered all the islands now called the West Indies, and the large country of South America.
The Spaniards took these countries for their own, and every thing they could find in them. They found great quantities of gold and silver, and treated the poor natives very cruelly, in hopes that the natives would tell them of still more gold and silver than they had found.
The kings of other countries sent out ships to America, till in time America was all known to the people of Europe.
People came from the different countries of
Europe, to different parts of America. They found no towns, and pleasant fields, and fine gardens; they found only woods, and wild men, and wild animals.
There were a great many Indians then-now there are a very few. In two hundred years, there have become more and more white men-fewer and fewer Indians.
The Spaniards were not only cruel to the poor Indians, but they were cruel also to Columbus, who had made them so rich.
Columbus was fifty-six years old when he commenced his first voyage. He made four different voyages to the new world, as the western continent was called. In the third voyage he discovered what has since been called South America. Columbus had not time to make extensive voyages along the coasts of the countries which he discovered. While he lived, the islani of Cuba was never circumnavigated ; and he presumed that when he arrived at Cuba he was come to part of India, a country in Asia.
The natives of the West India islands, and, afterwards, those of the whole continent of America, were called Indians, because it was thought that they indeed lived in India; but, in 1522, thirty years after Columbus had discovered America, Ferdinand Magellan completed a voyage round the world, crossing the great Pacific Ocean, and demonstrating that America is a vast continent, separated from Asia by the broadest expanse of water on the globe.
This continent was called America from Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian, who, immediately after Columbus, made voyages to the western
world, and extended discoveries along the coast of Brazil. Columbus died, poor and afflicted, at the age of seventy years, at the city of Valladolid in Spain, in 1506. His remains were afterwards disinterred from the grave in which he was first buried, and now lie in the city of Havanna in the island of Cuba.
Gobernment. It is not easy to give children an idea of government. That which governs us, is that which causes us to obey. In a school, the master, or mistress, tells the scholars what they must do, and they do what they are told to do.-The master governs, the children obey.
In a large country like the United States of America, where we live, there are a great number of people; they obey laws, which are made by some wise men among them. The wise men are the rulers. The people choose the rulers, and then they do what the rulers command them to do.
The rulers form the government.
THERE are different kinds of oil. Animals produce oil. Vegetables produce oil; and there is fossil oil.
The oil which is burnt in the lamp, is found in the whale. The whale is a very large fish. More than sixty barrels of oil have been taken