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all his writings, and in all his actions. It spread a golden and glorious world around him, and tinged every thing with its own gorgeous colours. It betrayed him into visionary speculations, which subjected him to the sneers and cavillings of men of cooler and safer, but more grovelling minds. Such were the conjectures formed on the coast of Paria, about the form of the earth, and the situation of the terrestrial paradise ; about the mines of Ophir, in Hispaniola, and of the Aurea Chersonesus, in Veragua; and such was the heroic scheme of the crusade, for the recovery of the holy sepulchre. It mingled with his religion and filled his mind with solemn and visionary meditations, on mystic passages of the scriptures, and the shadowy portents of the prophecies. It exalted his office in his eyes, and made him conceive himself an agent sent forth upon a sublime and awful mission, subject to impulses and supernatural visions from the Deity ; such as the voice he imagined spoke to him in comfort, amidst the troubles of Hispaniola, and in the silence of the night, on the disastrous coast of Veragua.
781. He was decidedly a visionary, but a visionary of an uncommon and successful kind. The manner in which his ardent imagination and mercurial nature were controlled by a powerful judgment, and directed by an acute sagacity. is the most extraordinary feature in his character. Thus governed, his imagination, instead of wasting itself in idle soarings, lent wings to his judgment, and bore it away to conclusions at which common minds could never have arrived ; nay, which they could not perceive when pointed out.
To his intellectual vision it was given, to read in the signs of the times, and the reveries of past ages, the indications of an unknown world, as soothsayers were said to read predictions in the stars, and to foretell events from the visions of the night. “ His soul,” observes a Spanish writer, was superior to the age in which he lived. For him was reserved the great enterprise to plough a sea which had given rise to so many fables, and to decipher the mystery of his time.”
782. With all the visionary fervour of his imagination, its fondest dreams fell short of the reality. He died in ignorance of the real grandeur of his discovery. Until his last breath he entertained the idea, that he had merely opened a new way to the old resorts of opulent commerce, and had discovered some of the wild regions of the east. He supposed Hispaniola to be the ancient Ophir which had been visited by the ships of Solomon, and that Cuba and Terra Firma were but remote parts of Asia. What visions of glory would have broken upon his mind, could he have known that he had indeed discovered a new continent, equal to the whole of the old world in magnitude, and separated by two vast oceans from all the earth hitherto known by civilized man; and how would this magnanimous spirit have been consoled, amidst the chills of age, and cares of penury, the neglect of a fickle public, and the injustice of an ungrateful king, could he have anticipated the splendid empires which were to spread over the beautiful world he had discovered, and the nations and tongues and languages which were to fill its lands with his renown, and to revere and bless his name to the latest posterity !-Washington Irving.
APOSTROPHE TO THE QUEEN OF FRANCE.
783. It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the Queen of France, then the Dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in: glittering, like the morning star; full of life, and splendour, and joy.
Oh! what a revolution ! and what a heart must I have, to contemplate, without emotion, that elevation and that fall.
784. Little did I dream that when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fall upon her in a nation of gallant men; in a nation of men of honour and of cavaliers. I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards, to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult.
785. But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters,
economists, and calculators, has succeeded ; and the glory of Europe is extinguished for ever. Never, never more, shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom. The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise is gone! It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honour, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched ; and under which vice itself lost half its evil, by losing all its grossness.- Burke.
None but the brave,
Amid the tuneful choir,
With flying fingers touch'd the lyre:
And heavenly joys inspire.
When he to fair Olympia press’d,
With ravish'd ears
Affects to nod,
The jolly god in triumph comes !
Bacchus, ever fair and young,
Rich the treasure,
Sweet the pleasure;
Soft pity to infuse :
sung Darius great and good !
Fallen from his high estate,
The various turns of fate below;
* There should be a transition in the voice here, as in the strain of Timotheus, from heroic to pathetic; as rapid too.