Page:The life of Christopher Columbus.djvu/25

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INTRODUCTION.




Errors inevitable until the present time in regard to the Person, the Civil Status, and the Character of Columbus. — Sympathies of the Holy See. — Prejudices caused by Protestant Writers. — Exposure of the Calumny in regard to Columbus and his Wife, Doña Beatrix Enriquez. — A new History of this Hero of Catholicity needed.


SECTION I.


ON Ascension Day, the twentieth of May, 1506, in an inn at Valladolid, the Viceroy of the Indies, the great Admiral of the Ocean, Don Christopher Columbus, assisted by some Franciscan priests, and surrounded by his two sons and seven officers of his household, rendered his soul back to God.

The death of the man who had doubled the known span of the earth appeared to leave no void, to cause no sadness. In the city it did not seem to be an event, much less a loss, for Spain, where it occasioned neither noise nor sensation ; and it remained completely ignored abroad. At that moment public attention was engrossed by the arrival of Princess Jane, daughter of Isabella the Catholic, coming, accompanied by her consort, the Archduke Philip of Austria, to take possession of the Kingdom of Castile, which had become her heritage. All the grandees had set out to meet the august sovereigns, having learned their landing at Corunna, after the perilous incidents of a passage interrupted by a kind of shipwreck on the coast of England. The enthusiasm was general. The devoted brother of

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