資料彙整   /  概念  /  [美]十六世紀:1. 重要文獻 The Sixteenth Century: Major Texts
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Early American Literature
The Age of Exploration(1492-1620)

Major Texts

1. Christopher Columbus
2. Fray Marcos de Niza
3.The Gentleman of Elvas
4. Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá
5. Samuel Purchas
6. Handsome Lake (of the Seneca people)


Christopher Columbus

Narrative of his third voyage to the Americas, 1498-1500

. . . I believe that the earthly Paradise [the Garden of Eden] lies here, which no one can enter except by God 's leave. I believe that this land which your Highnesses have commanded me to discover is very great, and that there are many other lands in the south of which there have never been reports. . . . I do believe, however, that, distant though it [the summ it of the Earthly Paradise] is, these waters may flow from there to this place which I have reached, and form this lake. All this provides great evidence of the earthly Paradise. . . . For I have never read or heard of such a quantity of fresh water flow ing so close to the salt And flowing into it, and the very temperate climate provides further confirmation. . . .


Fray Marcos de Niza

A Relation . . . Touching His Discovery of the Kingdom of. . . Cíbola (ca.. 1535)

[Father de Niza and many other Spaniards were searching for legendary cities of Gold they believed to exist in Mexico and the Southwest. Father de Niza with two chiefs and interpreters, come to the city of Cíbola, a large Aztec city which he has been seeking]:

It appears to be a very beautiful city, the best that I have seen in these parts; the houses are of the type that the Indians described to me, all of stone with their storeys and terraces, as it appeared to me from a hill whence I could see it. The town is bigger than the city of Mexico [a clear exaggeration by Father de Niza]. . . . When I said to the chiefs who were with me how beautiful Cíbola appeared to me, they told me it was the least of the seven cities, and that Totonteac is much bi gger and better than all the seven, and that it has so many houses and people that there is no end to it. Viewing the situation of the city, it occurred to me to call that country the new kingdom of St. Francis, and there, with the aid of the Indians, I made a heap of stones and on top of it I placed a small, slender cross. . . [and] declared that I placed that cross and landmark in the name of Don Antonio de Mendoza, viceroy and governor of New Spain for our Emperor, our Lord, in sign of possession. . . that I took possession there of all the seven cities and of the kingdoms of Totonteac and Acus and Marata. . . .


The Gentleman of Elvas

The Discovery and Conquest of Terra Florida (1557)


Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá

Historia de la Nueva México (1610)

I sing of arms and the heroic man, . . . the feats,

The deeds, of those brave Spaniards. . .

In the far India of the West,

Discovering in the world that which was hid. . . .

Beneath the Arctic Pole, in height,

Some thirty-three degrees, which the same

Are, we know, of sainted Jerusalem,

Not without mystery and marvel great,

Are spread, extended, sown and overflow

Some nations barbarous, remote

From the bosom of the Church. . .

Whose greatness it is a shame it should be held

About the blood of Christ, whose holiness

It causes pain to think so many souls know not. . . . .

From La Historia de la Nueva México, Canto I, 1-13
"Since its first printing in 1610, La Historia de la Nueva México has been published in Spain and Mexico and in the United States, where it is becoming recognized as one of the earliest accounts of America's European heritage." (source: http://www.nmoca.org/CuartoCentenario/lahistoria.html)


Samuel Purchas

Hakluytus Posthumus (1628)

God goeth before us, and hath given Virginia so rich a portion, to allure and assure our loves; . . . in endowing Virginia with so large a jointure, so temperate, so commodious for the climate compared with other Countries, beyond [i.e., better than] other Countries in her own diversified lands, Seas, Rivers; in so fertile a soyle, in so str ong, sweete, stately, delicate Woods and Timbers, in her naturell hopes of Wines, of Silkes, of the bodies of Natives servile and serviceable; in Drugges, Irons, and probability also of other Mines; in all materials for Shipping, and other buildings. . . .

Though Hakluyt took holy orders, he devoted his time and energies to the intense study of geography and travel. . . . The results of [his] studies [at Oxford] was this first edition of the Pricipal Navigations. Ten years later a much larger three-volume set was produced. In 1606, he was one of the chief promoters to the King of England for the colonization of Virginia. DNB
. . .
In Hakluyt's old age, Purchase served as the great historian's assistant and eventually inherited Hakluyt's manuscripts, which, when gathered together, became the basis of this work Hakluytus Posthumus (1625).
(info source:http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/holland/masc/masctour/earlyprinting/ )


Handsome Lake (of the Seneca people)

"Vision [in 1799] of How America Was Discovered" [Told by his brother Cornplanter; recorded and published in 1923 by Arthur C. Parker, a Senecan ethnographer]

A great queen [the queen of Spain] had among her servants a young minister. Upon a certain occasion she requested him to dust some books that she had hidden in an old chest. Now when the young man reached the bottom of the chest, he found a wonderful bo ok which he opened and read. It told that the white men had killed the son of the Creator and it said, moreover, that he had promised to return in three days and then again in forty but that he never did. All his followers then began to despair but some said., "He surely will come again in time." When the young preacher read the book he was worried because he had discovered that he had been deceived and that his Lord was not on earth and had not returned as promised. So he went to some of the chief preachers and asked them about the matter a nd they answered that he had better seek the Lord himself and find if he were not on the earth now. So he prepared to find the Lord. . . . [He sees a castle of gold on a beautiful island, and while others are fearfully praying and raising crosses, he bol dly crosses over the bridge and knocks on the door. A man tells him he has been waiting for him to come.] "Listen to me [says the man to the young preacher] and you will be rich. Across the ocean there is a great country of which you have never heard. The people there are virtuous, they have no evil habits or appetites but are honest and single-minded. A great reward is yours if you enter into my plans and carry them out. Here are five things. Carry them over to the people across the ocean and never shall you want for wealth, position or power. Take these cards, this money, this fiddle, this whiskey and this blood corruption and give them all to the people across the water. The cards will make them gamble away their goods and idle away their time, the money will make them dishonest and covetous, the fiddle will make them dance with women and their lower natures will command them, the whiskey will excite their minds to evil doing and will turn their minds, and the blood corruption will eat their strength and rot their bones." [The young minister meets Columbus and tells his story. Columbus fits out some boats, sails to the West, finds America, returns to his people, and tells what he has seen. Soon many ships come, and the white men swarm from their boats to the shore, bringing their cards, money, fiddles, whiskey, and blood corruption. The man in the gold castle was the devil, and when he saw what his words had done, even he was sorry.]

* "Handsome Lake" was a Native American who lived in the Pittsburgh region around 1800.
See explanation of the text here (http://college.hmco.com/english/lauter/heath/4e/students/author_pages/eighteenth/


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