Spanish Voyages of Discovery

By Washington Irving | Go to book overview

MICER CODRO, THE ASTROLOGER.

THE fate of the Italian astrologer, Micer Codro, who predicted the end of Vasco Nuñez, is related by the historian Oviedo, with some particulars that border upon the marvelous. It appears that after the death of his patron, he continued for several years rambling about the New World in the train of the Spanish discoverers; but intent upon studying the secrets of its natural history, rather than searching after its treasures.

In the course of his wanderings he was once coasting the shores of the Southern ocean in a ship commanded by one Geronimo de Valenzuela, from whom he received such cruel treatment as to cause his death, though what the nature of the treatment was, we are not precisely informed.

Finding his end approaching, the unfortunate astrologer addressed Valenzuela in the most solemn manner: "Captain," said he, "you have caused my death by your cruelty; I now summon you to appear with me, within a year, before the judgment seat of God!"

The captain made a light and scoffing answer, and treated his summons with contempt.

They were then off the coast of Veragua, near the verdant islands of Zebaco, which lie at the entrance of the Gulf of Paria. The poor astrologer gazed wistfully with his dying eyes upon the green and shady groves, and entreated the pilot or mate of the caravel to land him on one of the islands, that he might die in peace. " Micer Codro," replied the pilot, "those are not islands, but points of land; there are no islands hereabout."

"There are, indeed," replied the astrologer, "two good and pleasant islands, well watered, and near to the coast, and within them is a great bay with a harbor. Land me, I pray you, upon one of these islands, that I may have comfort in my dying hour."

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