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her treasury, without an army, without a general to command it, and encompassed on all sides by a victorious and active enemy, seemed to be on the very

brink of destruction." 3 All idea, therefore, of the advantages to be derived from a settlement in the country newly discovered by Verazzano, was, for a time, utterly forgotten; and it is ten years before we find a similar expedition leave her shores.

In the same year that France made her first attempt in the north, an expedition under Gomez left Spain, with the view of finding a northern and shorter passage to the Moluccas. He appears to have reached the latitude of 40°, and without making any material discovery, returned, after a voyage of ten months.

On the 20th of May, 1527, in the nineteenth year of the reign of the eighth Henry, an expedition" of two faire ships wel manned and victualled, having in them divers cunning men, set forth out of the Thames to seek strange regions.” The project was undertaken at the earnest suggestion of Mr. Robert Thorne, of Bristol, a great patron of naval enterprise. Hakluyt (iii. 129) laments that he was unable to learn the names either of the vessels or their commanders, or any details of the voyage,“ by reason of the great negligence of the writers of those times, who should have used more care in preserving of the memories of the worthy acts of our nation.” There was only an indistinct idea abroad that one of the ships was named the “ Dominus Vobiscum.”

This version has passed down to the most modern writers, and each succeeding one has not failed to lament the want of more information, until the author of the “ Memoir” pointed out in Purchas (iii. 890), a letter, written by one John Rut, the commander of one of the identical vessels engaged in the enterprise, addressed to Henry VIII., which states that the ships' names were “the Mary of Guildford,” and the “Samson ;” that they reached the latitude of 53', where they were arrested by the ice; that they afterwards met with a “marvailous greate storm," in which the Samson foundered; and, that they subsequently put into the haven of St. John, where they found Spanish, French, and Portuguese vessels fishing. From this place the letter is dated, the 3rd August, 1527.

3 Robertson's “ Charles V." Book 4.

On the subsequent proceedings of Rut, the author of the “ Memoir of Cabot” has compiled a very pretty narrative.

He maintains that Verazzano, (whose voyage in the French service we have before noticed,) was the pilot of the “ Mary of Guildford," and that he met with his death at the hands of the natives at Baccalaos. To his assertion, he adduces the following evidence:Ramusio says, that in his last voyage, (naming no date,) Verazzano having gone ashore with some of his companions, they were all killed, roasted, and eaten by the natives, in the sight of those who remained on board; and the anthor of the “Memoir” wishes to connect with this, the statement made by the captain of a caravel, named Navarro, who was at Porto Rico in 1527, when an English ship arrived there, and her commander, in answer to his questions, said that he, with another vessel, had been despatched to seek the land of the great Cham; that they had been repulsed by the ice in the northern seas; that the other ship had foundered; and that his pilot, a Piedmontese by birth, had been killed by the natives at Baccalaos. The whole of this statement, at least, all that refers to the supposed dreadful death of Verazzano, falls to

To prove the ground, when we find that, beyond all doubt, he was alive in 1537, as already stated at page 31. It seems extremely probable that Sebastian Čabot and Sir John Pert, did not touch at Porto Rico in 1517, as has been hitherto imagined; but that Rut visited it in 1527, and was the adventurer who caused so much alarm to the Spanish government.

After an interval of ten years, the French, at the instigation of Philip Chabot, Admiral of France, again

set forth on the career of northern discovery. The command of two ships, of sixty tons each, was accepted by Jacques Cartier, to whom the little fishing-town of St. Malo is proud of having given birth. He sailed on the 20th April, 1534, and the account of his voyage in Ramusio, and also in the “Histoire de la Nouvelle France,” by L'Escarbot, is very interesting. It is written in the third person, and it does not appear that he was himself the author. It represents him to have circumnavigated Newfoundland, and to have proceeded for some time in his course up the Bay of St. Lawrence, being the first European that visited it; but the season being far advanced, he appears to have thought it better to reserve, for another voyage,

the further examination of what promised to be a glorious field for exploration. He returned, therefore, by the straits of Belle Isle to St. Malo, where he arrived on the 5th September, 1534.

Cartier was received, on his return, with the consideration due to the importance of his discovery; and, through the influence of the ViceAdmiral of France, a warm patron of the undertaking, obtained a new commission, with much more extensive powers than before. On the 19th May, 1535, he again sailed, with three ships, respectively of a hundred-and-twenty, sixty, and forty tons burden, which, soon after their departure, were separated in a storm, and did not meet with each other until the 26th of July, when they proceeded to examine the large gulf which he had formerly entered. “ It was,” to use the words of Cartier, a very fair gulf, full of islands, passages, and entrances, to what wind soever you pleased to bend, having a great island, like a cape of land, stretching somewhat further forth than the others."

This island they named L'Isle de l'Assumption, it was that now known as Anticosti, a corruption of Natiscotec, the Indian name for it to this day. To the channel between it and the opposite coast of Labrador, Cartier gave the name of St. Lawrence, which has since been extended to the whole gulf. The French ascended the river as far as the Indian city of Hochelaga, receiving on all sides expressions of friendly feeling from the aborigines, indeed, so much so, that on arriving at that city, their credulity and admiration were such, that they brought their paralytic old king, Agonhanna, to be touched, and as they believed, cured by the Admiral.

Shortly after, the French were attacked by the scurvy, since so fatally familiar to the seamen, but happily discovered, through the Indians, a cure for it, in a decoction of the leaves and bark of the North American white pine. They also now, for the first time, became acquainted with tobacco; and their astonishment may well be conceived, at seeing the natives “suck so long, and fill their bodies so full of smoke, that it came out of their mouths and nostrils, even as out of the tunnel of a chimney.”

Preparations were now made for leaving Hoche

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laga, which name the French had changed to that of Mont Royale, since corrupted into Montreal. “ Time has now swept away every trace of Hochelaga :-on its site the modern capital of Canada has arisen; 50,000 people of European race, and stately buildings of carved stone, replace the simple Indians and the huts of the ancient town. But before their departure, by a piece of duplicity which calls for the strongest reprobation, they seized the Indian chief who had received them so kindly, and setting sail, arrived safely at St. Malo on the 6th July, 1536.5

Though this discovery was of such importance, it does not appear that the French, until some years afterwards, thought Canada worthy of another visit, although it offered so many advantages for colonization. 66 The weak and shallow prejudice, which at this time prevailed in most of the nations of Europe, that no countries were valuable except such as produced gold and silver, threw a damp over the project, and for nearly four years the French monarch would listen to no proposals for the establishment of a colony."

In April, 1536, an expedition left England, consisting of two ships, named the Trinitie and the Minion. The scheme originated with “ Master Hore, of London, a man of goodly stature, and of great courage, and given to the study of cosmographie; and among the company were many ' gentlemen of the Inns of Court and of Chan

After a tedious passage, the gentlemen reached Cape Breton; but they were soon arrested in their progress by famine, and their privations eventually became such, that one individual, in order to prolong his own miserable existence,

4 Warburton's "Conquest of Canada.” 5 Ramusio, v. iii., p. 453.


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