It was at this very period - the close of the 15th and commencement of the 16th century - that the genius and daring of a Genoese mariner, Christopher Columbus, gave to Spain that new world, which might have become the possession of his native state, had Genoa been able to supply him with the ships and seamen which he so earnestly entreated her to furnish.
From this sprang the Lyrical Ballads, to which Coleridge contributed The Ancient Mariner, the Nightingale and two scenes from Osorio, and after much cogitation the book was published in 1798 at Bristol by Cottle, to whose reminiscences, often indulging too much in detail, we owe the account of this remarkable time.
At this time American whalers frequented the neighbouring waters and, in the same year, an American named Lambert " late of Salem, mariner and citizen thereof " and a man named Williams made Tristan their home.
It is no doubt conceivable - as Sprenger supposes - that Mahomet might have returned at intervals to his earlier mariner; but since this group possesses a remarkable similarity of style, and since the gradual formation of a different style is on the whole an unmistakable fact, the assumption has little probability; and we shall therefore abide by the opinion that these form a distinct group.
Christabel and the Ancient Mariner have so completely taken possession of the highest place, that it is needless to do more than allude to them.
Hence, however carefully a compass may be placed and subsequently compensated, the mariner has no safety without constantly observing the bearings of the sun, stars or distant terrestrial objects, to ascertain its deviation.
The early exploration of the western coast of North America grew out of the search for a supposed passage, sometimes called the " Strait of Anian " between the Pacific and the Atlantic. In Purchas his Pilgrimmes (1625) was published the story of Juan de Fuca, a Greek mariner whose real name was Apostolos Valerianos, who claimed to have discovered the passage and to have sailed in it more than twenty days.