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he furnysshed twoo shippes at his owne charges, or (as sum say) at the Kynges, whome be persuaded that a passage might be founde to Cathay by the North Seas, and that spices might be brought from thense soner by that way, then by the vyage

the Portugales vse by the sea of Sur. He went also to knowe what maner of landes those Indies were to inhabite. He had with hym three hundreth men, and directed his course by the tracte of Islande vppon the cape of Labrador at lviii. degrees: affirmynge that in the monethe of July there was such could and heapes of ise that he durst passe no further : also that the dayes were very long and in maner without nyght, and the nyghtes very clear. Certayne it is, that at the lx. degrees, the longest day is of xviii. houres. But consyderynge the coulde and the straungeness of the unknowen lande, he turned his course from thense to the West, followynge the coast of the lande of Baccalaos vnto the xxxviii. degrees from whense he returned to England.”

On the return of Sebastian Cabot to England, at the close of the year 1498, after making the daring attempt to penetrate to the north-west, above narrated, he found the whole kingdom in a state of uproar, occasioned by the rising in favour of the notorious Perkin Warbeck, and the preparations for a war with Scotland. If, therefore, he made any proposition to undertake another voyage of discovery in the arctic regions, (and doubtless a man of his indomitable spirit and energy would not let the matter rest after so favourable a commencement) it was not very likely to receive much attention from a king who had his hands full of such serious matters. Let us allow, however, the following note to

B“Eden's Decades," fol. 318 ; “Memoir,” p. 87.

have any weight in the enquiry, and it would appear that his love of adventure surmounted all difficulties. In the Rev. Mr. Seyer's “Memoirs, Historical and Topographical, of Bristol and its neighbourhood, from the earliest period to the present time,” it is stated (p. 208, vol. ii.) that some of the ancient Calendars of Bristol, under the date of 1499, contain the following entry: “ This yeare Sebastian Cabot, borne in Bristoll, proffered his service to King Henry for discovering new countries; which had noe greate or favorable entertainment of the king, but he, with no extraordinary preparation, sett forth from Bristoll, and made greate discoveries.”

Couple with this memorandum the extraordinary statement made by Alonzo de Ojeda to the Spanish court, “that he found certain Englishmen in the neighbourhood of Coquibacoa,” and we have probably a clue to the manner in which Cabot passed some portion of his time, from the period of his return from the arctic seas, in 1498, to the date of his entering the service of Spain, (13th September, 1512); but as we have as yet no further evidence on this point, great faith must not be placed in this assertion.?

For many succeeding years we look around in vain for an indication of any further attempt at a northern voyage out of England. But Portugal, at this period of history, the great maritime power of the world, and subsequently the most formidable of England's rivals on the sea, was not so unwise

? This is the view taken by Washington Irving, in his delightful Voyages of the Companions of Columbus,” who likewise says, that the reason Ojeda was vested with such full powers, in his second voyage to colonize Coquibacoa, was in consequence of the rumour that he had formerly met with the English at that place, and the government was very desirous of having a man of such known courage as Ojeda to make good the Spanish claim in that quarter.

as to allow so promising a field of honour and emolument to remain unexplored. The daring intrepidity of her sons had opened out a passage round the tempestuous extremity of Africa, while countless numbers of her adventurers were flocking to the luxuriant shores of the New World; and we may therefore readily imagine that she looked with no very favourable eye upon the proceedings of England, which threatened to wrest from her some of her brightest laurels. Accordingly, Gaspar Cortereal, a member of the noble family of that name, with the sanction of King Emanuel, (in whose household he had been educated while he was yet the Duke de Beja,) fitted out two ships at his own expense, and sailed from Lisbon in the year 1500, with the intention of following up Sebastian Cabot's discoveries. He touched at the Azores, and then pursued a course which, as far as he knew, had never been traversed by any former navigator, until he made a land which he named Terra Verde. This was part of the coast of Labrador, and he proceeded to explore it for upwards of six hundred miles. We derive a remarkably clear and minute account of this expedition from a letter, dated 19th October, 1501, written by Pietro Pasquiligi, the Venetian ambassador at the court of Portugal, to his brothers in Italy, only eleven days after the return of Cortereal from his northern voyage, a translation of which is subjoined.

On the 8th of the present month one of the two Caravels which his most Serene Majesty dispatched last year on a voyage of discovery to the North, under the command of Gaspar Cortereal, arrived here, and reports the finding of a country dis

8 Carefully to be distinguished from Greenland. See Sir John Barrow's“ Chronological History of Arctic Voyages,” 1818, p. 39.

tant hence West and North-West two thousand miles, heretofore quite unknown. They proceeded along the coast between six and seven hundred miles without reaching its termination, from which circumstance, they conclude it to be of the mainland connected with another region which last year was discovered in the North, but which the Caravel could not reach on account of the ice and the vast quantity of snow; and they are confirmed in this belief by the multitude of great rivers they found which certainly could not proceed from an island. They say that this country is very populous, and the dwellings of the inhabitants are constructed with timber of great length and covered with the skins of fishes. They have brought hither of the inhabitants, seven in all, men, women, and children, and in the other Caravel which is looked for every hour there are fifty more.

They are of like colour, figure, stature, and aspect, and bear the greatest resemblance to the Gypsies; are clothed with the skins of different animals, but principally the otter; in summer the hairy side is worn outwards, but in winter the reverse; and these skins are not in any way sewed together or fashioned to the body, but just as they come from the animal are wrapped about the shoulders and arms: over the part which modesty directs to be concealed is a covering made of the great sinews of fish. From this description they may appear mere savages, yet they are gentle and have a strong sense of shame, and are better made in the arms, legs, and shoulders, than it is possible to describe. They puncture the face, like the Indians, exhibiting six, eight, or even more marks. The language they speak is not understood by any one, though every possible tongue has been tried with them. In this country there is no iron, but they make swords of a kind of stone, and point


their arrows with the same material. There has been brought thence a piece of a broken sword, which is gilt, and certainly came from Italy. A boy had in his ears two silver plates, which beyond question, from their appearance, were made at Venice, and this induces me to believe that the country is a Continent; for had it been an Island, and visited by a vessel, we should have heard of it. They have great plenty of salmon, herring, cod, and similar fish; and an abundance of timber, especially the pine, well adapted for masts and yards, and hence His Serene Majesty contemplates deriving great advantage from the country, not only on account of the timber of which he has occasion, but of the inhabitants, who are admirably calculated for labour, and are the best slaves I have ever seen.'


» Memoir, p. 239—241. This valuable document is preserved (lib. vi. cap. cxxvi ) in the precious volume entitled “ Paesi novamente retrovati et Novo Mondo da Alberico Vesputio Florentino intitulato,” published at Vicenza in 1507, and now a work of the greatest rarity. (The original and French translation are in the library of Havard College.—“ Bancroft's United States,” p. 4.) The “Paesi” was translated into Latin by Madrignanon, in a book entitled, “ Itinerarium Portugallensium é Lusitania in Indiam,” &c., and this translation is perhaps one of the most deliberate frauds ever perpetrated ; and the misfortune is, that it has misled a host of ancient and modern writers, who have treated of Cortereal's voyage, until exposed by the author of the “ Memoir of S. Cabot,” (p. 249–255.) Some of the principal perversions are as follows :—“Instead of a region discovered last year,' we have 'a region formerly visited by our countrymen.' The distance sailed along the coast becomes almost eight hundred miles. There is created amongst the natives a preference of Venetian manufactures. This region, very populous,' according to the original, is converted into one admirably cultivated,' and instead of the pine, &c., well suited for the spars of vessels, we have the natives actually engaged in ship building! The captives 'adapted' to labour, become 'habituated' to it, and at length ‘born' to it; and in speaking of the King of Portugal, the ambassador is made to call him, 'our king.' And this is a professed translation, by an ecclesiastic, dedicated to a high public functionary !" It would be useless to offer any arguments to prove that the country further north which Cortereal could not reach, but of which he rightly conjectured he had found a continuation, was that discovered by Cabot.

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