According to some accounts, Columbus once had a desperate battle with a vessel off the coast of Portugal. The fight lasted, it is said, all day. At length both vessels were found to be on fire. Columbus jumped from his blazing ship into the sea, and catching hold of a floating oar, managed, with its help, to swim to the shore, about six miles away.
He then went to the port of Lisbon. There he married the daughter of a famous sea-captain. For a long time after his marriage Columbus earned his living partly by drawing maps, which he sold to commanders of vessels visiting Lisbon, and partly by making voyages to Africa, Iceland, and other countries.
While living in Lisbon, Columbus made up his mind to try to do what no other man, at that time, dared attempt,—that was to cross the Atlantic Ocean. He thought that by doing so he could get directly to Asia and the Indies, which, he believed, were opposite Portugal and Spain. If successful, he could open up a very profitable trade with the rich countries of the East, from which spices, drugs, and silk were brought to Europe. The people of Europe could not reach those countries directly by ships, because they had not then found their way round the southern point of Africa.
Directions: Answer the following multiple choice questions. Also, answer the following questions on a sheet of paper: