Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/71

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circuit to the westward. In so doing he lost sight as might be anticipated, of one of his ships; while seeking her he lost his course, and unexpectedly descried land. It was the Brazilian coast, the mountain range called Pascoal, in the State of Bahia, to the south of the spot where Pinzon had landed three months previously. Having discovered a safe harbour, named by him Porto Seguro, Cabral proceeded on his voyage to the Cape and India. Thus was America discovered for the second time, and independently of the enterprise of Colombo. The discovery was rapidly followed up. In May, 1501, Manoel despatched three vessels commissioned to explore from Porto Seguro southwards, as far as the coast within the Portuguese line might extend. They returned in September, 1502, having discovered it as far south as 32 degrees of south latitude. Adding this coast to what had already been discovered by Colombo and others in the Caribbean Sea, it will be seen that at the time of Colombo's death in 1506, and in the course of fourteen years from his first voyage, about seven thousand miles of the Atlantic coast of America had been revealed. As a mere matter of measurement, this fell short of the length of coast-line which Portuguese enterprise had added to, or rather, had accurately traced on, the map of Africa since the year 1426. But its geographical importance and general significance were far greater, for it became more and more doubtful whether this immense coast could possibly be the eastern shore of Asia. Colombo himself, in writing of the lands reached by him, occasionally referred to them as constituting "Another world (orfti?)" or "A new world." The former expression had been commonly employed in late Roman times to denote regions separated, or apparently separated, by the ocean from the continent of Europe, such as the British Islands were, and the Scandinavian peninsula was supposed to be. The latter expression came into general use. It was employed by Vespucci in the narrative of his voyages, which he circulated in manuscript with a view to his own promotion in the maritime profession; a narrative which fell into the hands of an obscure printer, one Walzmiiller of St Die in Lorraine, and was embodied in a brief outline of geography compiled by him and printed in 1507. Half in jest, half seriously, Walzmiiller proposed to denominate the New World from the seaman whom he supposed to be its discoverer, and gave it the name AMERICA.

By similar steps proceeded the final stage of the great discovery, in which the New World was revealed in something nearly approximating to its real extent, and its discontinuity with Asia proved everywhere except in the northernmost parts of the Pacific. From the Caribbean Sea Spanish explorers advanced northwards to the Gulf of Mexico, circumnavigated Cuba, reached the peninsula of Florida and the mouth of the Mississippi, proved the continuity of these northern shores with the "America" of the South, and showed them to be probably