Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/70

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there pay to the Crown, in money or merchandise, one-fifth of their net profits: that they shall be allowed to import their goods free of customs : and that no English subject shall frequent the continents, islands, villages, towns, castles, and places generally frequented by them without their licence. While the Cabot grant disregards the Pope's supposed partition of the globe between Portugal and Spain, it forbids, by implication, any intrusion into those southern seas in which each of these powers had already acquired territory by actual occupation. Colombo's discoveries were as yet limited to the chain of islands separating the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic; the Portuguese had not as yet set foot on American soil. The voyage of Cabot, which had no practical results, and was soon well-nigh forgotten, will be briefly noticed in our next chapter. Englishmen, eminently practical, saw in the intelligence brought back by him no promise of a profitable commerce, or indeed of commerce at all; nor did English colonial ideas take a definite shape until nearly a century later.

Meanwhile the Spanish monarchs, anxious to ascertain the extent > of their trans-oceanic possessions and to secure them from intrusion, licensed Vicente Yafiez Pinzon, who had commanded a vessel under Colombo in his first voyage, to prosecute the discovery of the supposed coast of Eastern Asia. Pinzon was directed to avoid interference with the private rights acquired by Colombo, and to visit only the coast to southward of the Orinoco, the limit of Colombo's explorations. Starting from the Cape Verde Islands on November 14, 1499, and having on board Americo Vespucci, through whose narrative the voyage became well known, though the name of the captain who conducted it was suppressed, Pinzon stood to the south-west and struck the coast of Brazil near Cape St Augustin in the State of Pernambuco. Sailing northwards along the coast, he rounded Cape San Roque, the north-western promontory of South America, coasted along the north-eastern shore of Brazil and the coasts of Guiana and Venezuela, passing the mouth of the Amazon river, the rivers of Guiana, and the Orinoco, and reached the Gulf of Paria, whence he made his way back to Europe, bringing with him thirty Indian captives and a quantity of strange vegetable products, including various dye-woods, whence the coast ultimately obtained its permanent name of " Brazil." When these new discoveries were laid down on the chart, it became manifest that a considerable part of them were to the east of the 370 leagues' line, agreed on in 1494 as the boundary between the Spanish and Portuguese areas of enterprise; and by a singular accident these very coasts were reached in the last year of the fifteenth century by Pedro Alvarez Cabral, the commander of the second Portuguese expedition to India and the Far East. Like Da Gama himself, Cabral proposed to cross from the Cape Verde Islands to the Cape of Good Hope athwart the open sea, making, for the reason already given in our description of Da Gama's voyage, an immense