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The career of Columbus

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The career of Columbus.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Charles Isaac Elton (Author)

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1892 edition. Excerpt: and very lustrous ore, and when he came home he said that he had seen three mermaids, lifting themselves high out of the water: ' but they were not so like fair ladies,' he said, ' as some people might suppose,' and he told the sailors that he had seen others like them in Guinea, when he was off the coast of Malaguette. There was an officer at the Spanish court in his time who declared that he had seen a merman, with a bluish skin and bristly beard and hands like fishes' fins, and that it had been brought over from Morocco, preserved in a cask of honey: and two great scholars of the next generation, George of Trebizond and Theodore Gaza, averred that they had seen similar ' tritons ' in the Mediterranean. These may have been specimens of the sea-wolf or monk-seal, well known to the Portuguese: but the animals seen by Columbus were evidently manatees, which are fond of haunting the shores near a river's mouth: the sailors call them ' sea-cows,' and say that when they lift their heads and breasts they have a very human appearance. Columbus made his last voyage to Guinea soon after ' John the Perfect' had come to the throne of Portugal. The factory at Saama, where the ivory and gold-dust was collected, was in a very unprotected condition, and information had been received about an impending invasion. The Duke of Medina Sidonia was lord of a maritime province: and it was said that he was gathering a fleet for a raid upon Guinea. Other ships were being fitted out in England with the same object, and it was suspected that Edward the Fourth was secretly encouraging the adventure. The Duke, as Columbus afterwards discovered, was never of a stable mind, so that his project was soon abandoned: and it was not difficult to persuade the English king to...
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