Indignant at this unjust treatment, Columbus, whose wife had for some time been dead, secretly left Lisbon, taking with him his young son Diego. The reason for his leaving the city secretly is said by some to have been the fear of being prevented by the government; by others, the fear of being apprehended for debts which he was unable to pay. Proceeding to his native city of Genoa, he renewed an offer which he had previously made by letter, of conducting the enterprise under the patronage of the Genoese government - an offer which was contemptuously refused, Genoa being al ready in the decline of her fortunes, and too broken-spirited to engage in any more bold enterprises. It is said that Columbus' next offer was made to the Venetian government; which, however, is improbable. The usual account, also, of his sending his brother Bartholomew at this time to England to propose the scheme to Henry VII, is incorrect: it was not till the year 1488, when the negotiations with Spain had begun, that Bartholomew proceeded to England on this errand.