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been the result of chance. Having, then, negatived the possibility that Cortereal could have penetrated into it, we revert, with perfect confidence, to the belief that Cabot's Map, which the geographer expressly states to have been before him, must have been made use of. No difficulty remains if we suppose that Ortelius was anxious to employ all his materials, so as not to appear behind the knowledge of his time, and that having adopted the configuration of the English Navigator he affixed, conjecturally, the names found in profusion on the maps got
up at Lisbon.
However this may have been, we quit the voyage of Cortereal with the certainty that he claimed for it neither originality of purpose nor success of execution, but admitted, on the contrary, that he had completely failed in an effort to reach the point attained by his predecessor.
PROJEOT OF CORTES IN 1524.
A CONSIDERABLE interval now occurs without any materials for the present review; and the second Expedition of Cabot from England, in 1517, has already been considered at large.
Proceeding to the year 1524 we reach the project of the celebrated Cortes, of which the history is, fortunately, much less involved than that of Cortereal. As it was attended, indeed, with no interesting results, even a passing notice would be superfluous were it not that the spirit of misrepresentation has here also been perversely active and successful.
We must be indebted again to Mr Barrow, whose work, indeed, is invaluable in reference to our present task, as it not only embodies, in a cheap and convenient form, all the mistakes of its predecessors, but generally supplies a good deal of curious original error:
“Cortez, the conqueror and viceroy of Mexico, had received intelligence of the attempt of Cortereal to discover a Northern passage from the Atlantic into the Pacific, and of his having entered a strait to which he gave his name. Alive to the importance of the information, he lost not a moment in fitting out three ships well manned, of which he is said to have taken the command in person, though Dominally under the orders of Francisco Ulloa, to look out for the opening of this strait into the Pacific, and to oppose the progress of the Portuguese and other Europeans who might attempt the pagsage. Little is known concerning this er. pedition of Cortez, but that it soon returned without meeting with Cortereal, &c." From all this the reader naturally infers, that while the eyes of Europe were turned, at that period, on Cortereal, no one had heard of the discoveries of Cabot, or at least that they were deemed of minor importance, After what has been said, in the preceding Chapter, of the subordinate and unsuccessful
Barrow's Chronological History of Voyages, p. 54.
character of the Portuguese enterprise, it will no doubt be thought extraordinary that such an erroneous estimate should have been made at that early day. There is no difficulty in clearing the matter up from the very letter of Cortes himself, in which he apprises the Emperor of his views on the subject. The letter, dated 16th of October, 1524, will be found in Barcia's Historiadores Primitivos, tom. i. p. 151, and is faithfully rendered by Ramusio (vol. iii. fol. 294). After expressing great zeal for the service of the Emperor, he remarks that it seemed to him no other enterprise remained by which to manifest his devotion than to examine the region between the river Panuco (in Mexico) and Florida recently discovered by the Adelantado Ponce de Leon, and also the Coast of the said Florida towards the North until it reaches the Baccalaos, holding it for certain that along this coast is a strait conducting to the South Sea (“ descubrir entre el Rio de Panuco i la Florida, que es lo que descubrio el Adelantado Juan Ponce de Leon, i de alli la Costa de la dicha Florida por la parte del Norte hasta llegar a los Bacallaos ; porque se tiene cierto que en aquella costa ai estrecho que pasa a la Mar del Sur”). He states as a part of his plan that certain vessels in the Pa. cific should sail concurrently along the western coast of America, while the others, “ as I have said, proceed up to the point of junction with the Baccalaos, so that on the one side or the other we cannot fail to ascertain this secret” (“como he dicho hasta la juntar con los Bacallaos ; asi por una parte i por otra no se deja de saber el secreto”).
The reader can now judge of Mr Barrow's correctness. The Viceroy " receives intelligence of the attempt of Cortereal ;" of his having " entered a strait” which Mr Barrow pronounces Hudson's Strait, and 6 loses not a moment” in endeavouring to follow up that alarming success, when it appears that in point of fact the interval thus measured by a “ moment” was at least twenty-three years, and the proposed survey of Cortes from Florida point expressly stops short at the Baccalaos. There is not the slightest reason for supposing that Cortes had ever heard of Cortereal's voyage which amounted, as we have seen, to an unsuccessful effort, at first, to tread in the steps of Cabot, and was afterwards turned into a mere kidnapping speculation. But it is material to remark that Cortes has no other designation for the region in the North than that which Peter Martyr, in his Decades, published eight years before, had stated to have been conferred on it by Cabot.
We will not fatigue and disgust the reader by quoting from other writers passages having the same tendency to obscure the just fame of the English Navigator.
VOYAGE OF STEPHEN GOMEZ IN THE SERVICE OF SPAIN.
The expedition next in order, in point of time, is that of Stephen Gomez, fitted out by order of the Emperor Charles V. There is a very slight and unsatisfactory notice of it in Purchas who, instead of resorting to the original sources of information which are many and copious, contents himself with referring to a small tract by Gaspar Ens, published at Cologne in 1612. It would be ungenerous to treat this obscure writer with harshness, for he very modestly states that the accounts at large being in foreign languages or in bulky volumes (“ peregrinis linguis aut magnis voluminibus”), his humble object was to prepare a brief digest of the principal heads (“quocirca operæ pretium putavi si præcipua variorum navigationum et descriptionum Occidentalis India Capita lectori communicarem”). Such is the authority on which Purchas gravely relies, and it is curious to note how completely Mr Barrow has, in consequence, been misled (p. 52).
“In point of time, however, there is one solitary voyage on record though the particulars of it are so little known as almost to induce a suspicion whether any such voyage was ever performed, which takes precedence of any foreign voyage on the part of English Navigators (?): it is that of a Spaniard, or rather, perhaps, judging from the name, of a Portuguese. To what part of the coast of America or (?) Newfoundland or Labrador he directed his course is not at all known. It is evident, however, that he returned without bringing back with him any hope of a passage into the Eastern Seas, having contented himself with seizing and bringing off some of the natives of the coast on which he had touched. It is said that one of his friends, accosting him on his return, inquired of him with eagerness what success he had met with and what he had brought back, to which Gomez replying shortly 'esclavos' (slaves), the friend concluded he had accomplished his purpose and brought back a cargo of (cloves). On this, says Purchas, he posted to the court to carry the first news of this spicy discovery, looking for a great reward, but the truth being known caused hereat great laughter. Gaspar, in his History of the Indies, is the only authority for this voyage!"