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the means were to secure from surprize her valuable posses sions, extending from Peru to the Philippine islands:-in short, to ascertain the existence and the nature of this Strait of Anian as marked in all the early charts, and now become an object of the first importance. For such a purpose Maldonado was a proper person to be employed; and that he was so employed, but proceeded round Cape Horn, we have very little doubt. No Spaniard, that we know of, ever entered, or attempted to enter, Hudson's Bay in search of the N. W. passage, except Estovan Gomez in 1525; but • of this Steven Gomez,' says Purchas, little is left us but a jest.' He reached only the coast of Newfoundland in the 50th parallel of latitude, and carried off some of the natives. Being asked, on his return, what he had brought home, he answered Esclavos, which the inquirer mistaking for clavos, or cloves, concluded that Gomez had discovered the north-west passage to the Moluccas; ' and so posted to the Court,' says Purchas, . to carry the first news of this spicy discovery.'
The object of Maldonado's voyage being that of reconnoitring rather than of making discoveries, it could not be expected that the Spaniards would publish it; they had, indeed, at that time, matters of far greater importance to attend to-the arms of England had just destroyed what the elements had spared of their • invincible Armada.'-Under these circumstances the precautionary voyage of Maldonado was likely to remain among those unpublished manuscripts which the Duc d'Almadover supposes to have been buried in the dust of the archives of Madrid,' and which Delisle says, have been so carefully concealed, that at this day the Spaniards themselves know nothing about them.' If by any means the spurious production in question was foisted into the records of the Council for the Indies, its members, by with:holding it from publication, have given a further proof of that sound discretion which induced them to bury in the dust of their archives' forty-nine of the fifty memorials which Capitan Pedro Fernandez de Quiros presented to the king, eight of which, by his own statement, related to a settlement which it behoved his majesty to make on a land then undiscovered (Australia incognita), and since known to have no existence.
But Maldonado probably discovered the strait he was sent in search of, and there are grounds for concluding that he describes it to lie about the 59th or 60th parallel of latitude, because the instructions of Malaspina directed him to look for it as far as 60° north. Now Maldonado, in coasting America from the southward, could not have reached that latitude before he fell in with Cook's Inlet, which extends from about 58[° to 611°, and is a strait of considerable magnijudę,the width between Cape Douglas and Cape Elizabeth being about
18 or 20 leagues : and as the Strait of Anian was laid down in the 60° of latitude in all the charts at the time of Maldonado, and as he found the land stretching on the one side to the south-east, and on the other to the south-west, it was most natural that this navigator should conclude that Cook's Inlet was the identical strait which he was sent to discover; and that it separated the two great continents of Asia and America. We must not forget that Cook, who, with all the advantage of Behring's discoveries and chart, was employed twelve days in ascertaining that it was not a strait, observes, that if he had not examined this very considerable inlet, it would have been assumed, by speculative fabricators of geography, as a fact, that it communicated with the sea to the north, or with Baffin's or Hudson's Bay to the east.' :- Destitute as we consider the Relation' of Maldonado to be both of veracity and authenticity,'we are by no means inclined to suppose that such a voyage as it describes is impracticable. We firmly believe, on the contrary, that a navigable passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific round the northern coast of America does exist, and may be of no difficult execution. Why, then, it may be asked, have all the attempts made at different times, from both sides the continent of America, failed ? Because not one of them was ever made near that part of the coast of America, round which it is most likely the passage would lead into the Frozen or Northern ocean. To prove this we must take a glance at what has been done; and if our readers should feel that pride and pleasure, which we do, in reviewing the daring enterprizes and the perilous and persevering efforts of our early navigators in the frozen regions of the North, ihey will not deem a brief survey of them tedious or misplaced* _ Resolute, gallant, glorious attempts !' exclaims that quaint but delightful old writer of the · Pilgrimage,'
“How,' continues he, “shall I admire your heroicke courage, ye marine worthies, beyond all names of worthiness! that neyther dread so long
* We owe much of the rapid growth of our infant navy to those voyages; and we may bere take occasion to observe, that the honourable appellation of Father of the British Navy has not been justly conferred on Henry VIII. The real founder of a permanent navy, distinct from the Cinque-port Marine, was the Conqueror of Agincourt. Among the many curious documents brought to light by the present able and industrious keeper of the records in the Tower, is a letter of Henry V. dated 12th August, 1417, directing the Lord Chancellor to issue letters-patent under the great seal, granting a sort of half-pay or annuity to certaine maistres for owr owne grete shippes, carrackes, barges and balyngers.' That this monarch had regular King's ships, distinct from the mercantile marine, is further corroborated by that curious poem in Hackluit's collection, called the English Policie, &c.' which complains of the neglect of the navy by Henry VI. and extols the policie of keeping the see in the time of the marveillous werriour and victorious prince, King Henrie the fift and of his grete shippes.'—We like the : policie' better than the poetry.
* And if I should conclude all by the King
eyther presence or absence of the sunne; nor those foggy mysts, tempestuous winds, cold blasts, snowes and hayle in the ayre: nor the unequall seas, which might amaze the hearer, and amate the beholder, where the Tritons and Neptune's selfe would quake with chilling feare, to behold such monstrous icie ilands, renting themselves with terrour of their own owne massines, and disdayuing otherwise both the seas sovereigntie, and the sunne's hottest violence, mustering themselves in those watery plaines where they hold a continual civill warre, and rushing one upon another, make windes and waves give backe; seeming to rent the eares of others, while they rent themselves with crashing and splitting their congealed armours.'
The fourishing commerce of the Portugueze and Spaniards in the Indian seas stimulated the merchants of England to a participation in that great source of wealth, by the discovery of a passage that would shorten the voyage to India and China to less than half the distance of that round the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn. Such a passage was, in fact, supposed to have been made by Caspar de Cortereal, a Portugueze of some rank, in the year 1500. He touched at Newfoundland, passed over to Terra Verde, afterwards called Terra de Cortereal, and gave to the southern part of it, which was fit for cultivation, the name of Terra de Labrador. Then coasting to the northward and opening out a wide passage (now called Hudson's Strait) he concluded he had discovered the so much desired passage round America, which he is said to have named the Strait of Anian ; not however, as we conceive, in honour of two brothers who accompanied him, but because he deemed it to be the eastern extremity of a strait, whose western end opening into the Pacitic, had already received that name. He hastened back to Portugal to communicate the agreeable intelligence, and was sent the following year to complete the discovery, but was never heard of more; and his brother Michael de Cortereal, who afterwards went in search of him, shared the same fate.
The first Englishman who undertook the discovery of a North
When at Hampton, he made the Greut Dromons
Lord round-about environ of the See. : Better indeed is Henry VII. entitled to be called the friend and founder of the • navy than his successor. It was he who caused the Great Hurry to be built at the
expense of 15,0001. an enormous sum in those days. It was he too who engaged the Cabots of Venice in the discovery of Newfoundland ; and it was accident only that prevented him from employing Columbus. Bui the spirit of discovery and foreign enterprize died away and revived only in full vigour after receiving the fostering hand of Elizabethi, whose long and flourishing protection of it has been exceeded only by that of George līl.
west passage to China, was Mr.(afterwards Sir Martin) Frobisher. He left England in the middle of July, 1576, with two small vessels and a pinnace, the largest only 25 tons; and proceeding to the entrance of a supposed strait in latitude 63° 10) N. he returned to Harwich on the 2d October, bringing back from an island on the coast of Greenland one of the salvages' and some bright stones. The wife of one of the adventurers threw one of these stones accidentally into the fire, and having quenched it with vinegar, it glistered with a bright marquisset of gold.' The following year Frobisher anchored on the west coast of Greenland, where the • stones be altogether sparkled, and glister in the sun like gold.' One of his people found the horn of a sea unicorn, into which soine spiders being put immediately died; and these spiders,' we are told, as many affirm, are signs of great store of gold! They also caught two women, one of whom was so ugly that the sailors suspected her to be the devil, and would not be convinced of the contrary, until they had stripped off her skin boots to see whether she had a cloven foot. Queen Elizabeth, it seems, was so much satisfied with the report of this voyage, that Frobisher was sent out for the third time the following year, to take possession of Meta incognita (Greenland) with 15 ships and 120 settlers; but the ice opposing their passage through the Strait, and the season being far advanced, they contented themselves with taking on board a large quantity of the glistering stones, and returned to England. These stones we suppose turned out to be pieces of that beautiful iridescent spar known by the name of Labrador spar.
The unfavourable result of Frobisher's third expedition seems for a while to have cast a damp on the spirit of enterprize in this quarter; which however was revived in 1585, when some noblemen and gentlemen formed an association for effecting the discovery of the North-west passage, and John Davis, of Sandridge in Devonshire, was engaged to conduct the expedition. He left England with two ships, passed the south point of Greenland on the 20th July, to which, from its horrid appearance, he gave the name of the · Land of Desolation,' then steered N. W. and making the land on the 6th August, in latitude 66° 40' N., he gave to a high mountain glittering like gold,' the name of · Mount Ralegh. Having doubled the South cape of this island, which he named · Cape of God's Mercy,' he proceeded up a strait (Cumberland Strait of modern charts) 20 leagues wide, to the distance of 60 leagues, when adverse winds and tides obliged him to return. In 1586, Davis was again sent with four ships, but made no discoveries of importance, and reached not beyond his former latitude. On his third voyage in 1587, he was more suc
cessful, having proceeded along the west coast of Greenland to the latitude of 72° 12' N. He then steered a westerly course towards the continent of America, but being opposed by fields and mountains of ice, which alarmed his people, he coasted to the southward along the same land he had discovered on his first voyage; saw Lumley's Inlet between 629 and 63°, and returned to Dartmouth by the 15th September. In his short letter to Mr. Saunderson, the great promoter of the undertaking, he says, “I have been in 73°, finding the sea all open, the passage most probable, the execution easy.
The failure of Davis, however, put an end to any further attempt in that century; and in 1591 Sir James Lancaster was sent with five ships by the usual but circuitous route of the Cape of Good Hope. This officer, or some person for him, having added to one of his letters a postscript, in which he says the passage to the Indies is in the N. W. of America in 62° 30' N. the report of it once more revived the question; and, in 1602, Captain Waymouth left England with two fly-boats in search of the North-west passage. He succeeded in passing all the straits, and in reaching the latitude of 63° 55' N. on the coast of America; (about Marble Island;) but here his crew mutinied, which obliged him to return to England. Knight and Hall, in 1606 and 1607, lost their lives in a scuffle with the natives before they had made any discovery of importance. .
Notwithstanding all these failures, a society of merchants still persevered in the attempt to discover a northern route to India and China; they engaged, for this purpose, Captain Henry Hudson, a man of approved skill in seamauship, of great experience, and daring intrepidity. He left England in 1607, but instead of entering any of the straits, he stood directly for the East coast of Greenland, which he made in 73°, and named the point Hold with Hope. The weather continued mild, and even warm, till he reached the latitude of 78°; the sea open, with much drift-wood. In 80° 23' N. he sent his boat on shore with the mate and boatswain, who quenched their thirst, the weather being hot, at two excellent streams of fresh water. He still advanced to the northward as high as 82° N. when falling in with mountains and fields of ice, he returned home, and arrived at Gravesend on the 15th September. The following year he made a second voyage, to attempt a passage between Spitzbergen and Nova Zembla, few particulars of which were made public, and these are not to our present purpose. The third, and, to him, the last and fatal voyage, was undertaken in 1610. Having passed the strait which now bears his name, and doubled the westernmost capes of Labrador, which he named Wolstenholme and Digges, he stood to the southward down the great