The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus

By Washington Irving | Go to book overview

to persecute Columbus to the end of this, his last and most disastrous expedition. For several weeks he was tempesttossed—suffering at the same time the most excruciating pains from his malady—until, on the seventh day of November, his crazy and shattered bark anchored in the harbor of San Lucas. Hence he had himself conveyed to Seville, where he hoped to enjoy repose of mind and body, and to recruit his health after such a long series of fatigues, anxieties, and hardships.*


CHAPTER II.
ILLNESS OF COLUMBUS AT SEVILLE—APPLICATION TO THE CROWN
FOR A RESTITUTION OF HIS HONORS—DEATH OF ISABELLA.

[ 1504.]

Broken by age and infirmities, and worn down by the toils and hardships of his recent expedition, Columbus had looked forward to Seville as to a haven of rest, where he might repose awhile from his troubles. Care and sorrow, however, followed him by sea and land. In varying the scene he but varied the nature of his distress. "Wearisome days and nights" were appointed to him for the remainder of his life; and the very margin of his grave was destined to be strewed with thorns.

On arriving at Seville, he found all his affairs in confusion. Ever since he had been sent home in chains from San Domingo, when his house and effects had been taken possession of by Bobadilla, his rents and dues had never been properly collected; and such as had been gathered had been retained in the hands of the governor Ovando. "I have much vexation from the governor," says he in a letter to his son Diego. "All tell me that I have there eleven or twelve thousand castellanos; and I have not received a quarto. * * * I know well that, since my departure he must have received upward of five thousand castellanos." He entreated that a letter might be written by the king, commanding the payment of these arrears without delay; for his agents would not venture

____________________
*
Hist. del Almirante, cap. 108. Las Casas, Hist. Ind., lib. ii. cap. 36.
Let. Seville, 13 Dec., 1504. Navarrete, v. i. p. 343.

-612-

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