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miserably, while the almost casual work | true and the right, and of forbidding of his hand, the colonization of Virginia, thereby what Christians are bound to congrew in the end to a splendid success. sider fratricidal war. It has been mainly Those who believe in the Divine Leader but an idea ; but if we dig deep enough, of men, seem to see clearly here the work we shall find that it lies at the root of the of the higher Hand.
kind of authority which the Christian RoThe discoveries of Columbus of course man Emperors, the Holy Roman Empire, necessitated a new Papal distribution of and the Holy Roman Church, which rose the sovereignty of the world. The mat- to the supremacy on the wreck of the Imter was at once urged by Ferdinand, and perial endeavour to rule Christendom, considered in the Papal councils. It ap- successively enjoyed. To some limited pears to have been handled in a fair and extent these successive institutions exerjust spirit. A meridian line was drawn, cised a kind of sacred authority in Eupassing through a point 100 leagues west rope, and when the Teutonic peoples of the Azores ; and Alexander VI., - a found at length that the Roman Church man to whom the most terrible incests and as a sacred authority was as dire a failure murders were freely attributed by the gos- as the rest, and threw off her yoke, they sip of every Court in Europe, - took up were sorely perplexed as to how they on himself, in the exercise of his supreme might find or found something which right, to decide that all unknown lands should stand forth in the room of that inwhich might be discovered lying to the stitution which had for ages claimed to be east of the line should belong to Portu- the organ of Christ in the Christian world. gal, and all to the west, to Spain. The King James was not a very wise or deeplanguage of the Bull is very large and ab-hearted man, but he had some sense that solute, * but it is amusing that it contains there was a great want to be supplied, a no hint of a reflection that the empires great gap to be filled, which had been left would meet and clash on the other side by the subsidence of Rome, when he forof the world. It is easy, of course, formulated the doctrine, which Elizabeth us Protestants to speak sharply of the who, whatever she was, was not doctriPapal arrogance, and there is something naire - did not formulate, of the Divine truly amazing in the language of the pro- right of kings. The Puritans tried hard clamation which Ferdinand founds on it, in their turn to supply it by the letter of and which Ojeda was to publish to the the Divine word. Both having failed to Indians. But perhaps we should do more make the kind of order which men dream wisely to consider the fearful expenditure of and long for in a Christian realm, since of blood and treasure which it probably the Restoration we have had to rely on spared. It was recognized on both sides the enlightened conscience of Christian as an authoritative settlement ; and, while society. That conscience being still but it gave birth to some conflicts, on the dimly enlightened and in need of culture, whole it made something like peace all we find ourselves in sore perplexities. along the line. So valid was it esteemed The want of an order with a recognized that our Edward IV., a keen trader, felt sacred sanction is the cause of the deep himself precluded from enterprises on the spiritual unrest of our times. Rome ofAfrican Coast when the Bull — the earlier fers her authority as its basis. We smile one, of course, of Martin V., of 1441 - at the vain imagination ; but sadly : for was pleaded in bar; while the Moluccas, while we see what must be the principle being found after a good deal of conten- of the order, the realization of it seems tion to fall within the Spanish hemisphere, far away. It is strange that Mazzini, at were purchased peacefully by Portugal, at the opposite end of the scale to the Pope a cost of 350,000 ducats, from Spain. I lor King James, seemed to claim the same
The truth is, that ever since Christen- kind of inspiration, carrying a Divine audom was fairly constituted, there has been thority, for the free public judgment of the idea in Christian hearts that there the people. But we must return to the ought to be some organ of authority ca- | North-West. pable of declaring and maintaining the The Reformation opened the eyes of
Englishmen, and took the Papal bugbear * The material portions will be found in a note to p. out of their way. But very substantial 32, vol. iii., of Humboldt's “Examen Critique," &c. difficulties remained. The Indian comThe line was afterwards drawn by agreement further to
merce had developed immensely the naval + Helps, i. 242, note.
skill and resources of the Spanish and Not that at any time it would bear very much strain, as the expeditions of Catholic France, and the picas offered for them, show.
fell into one hand through the acquisition
of the Portuguese throne by Philip of Sebastian Cabot gave of the enterprise is Spain: and this made the crisis which the well known and need not detain us here. Armada fight terminated, so desperate for The discovery preceded by about a year England. But till then the two monarch- that of the mainland of America by Coies divided between them the dominion lumbus. To the English belongs the of the broad seas. England found her-honour of the modern discovery of that self cut off from the vast advantages great continent, on which their race was which the new commerce afforded. The destined to play such a distinguished matter was very earnestly considered by part. We say modern discovery; for the English statesmen and merchants dur- there is no doubt that the daring Scandiing the earlier years of the 16th century; navian sailors were there before them, and expeditions were organized for the and that from about the year 1000 to the purpose of conducting such explorations year 1347, there was frequent intercourse as were possible, without trenching on between Greenland and America. It is established rights in the newly-discovered not easy either to disprove the truth of a regions of the earth. The idea of wrest- Welsh discovery, though the evidence ing the sceptre of the broad ocean from for it is poor ; but there seems less reathe Catholic powers belongs to Elizabeth's son to doubt the tale of the voyage of reign. To us, as to Spain, the first in the Venetian Zeno from. Friseland (the spiration came from Italy. Cabot is the Færroe Isles), towards the end of the name of our patriarchs of discovery. 14th century. But the voyage of the There were two, John and Sebastian, Portuguese Cortereal to the Land of father and son, but it was with Sebastian Codfish in 1463 or 1464, which Sir John that English maritime adventure had Barrow accepts as authentic, belongs to chiefly to do. John Cabot was a Vene- the world of fables, or perhaps, to speak tian *; Columbus was a Genoese ; at plainly, of lies. The Cortereals were not least we have the evidence of his will to there till the year 1500.* The expedithat effect, “ Siendo yo nacido en Ge- tions of Cabot bore little immediate fruit. nova." They were equally famous as Henry the Seventh was cold and caupilots, and were probably the ablest mar- tious, and much occupied with domestic iners of their time. It is remarkable troubles; while, as Mr. Beste, writing in that, as in art, literature, politics, and the reign of Elizabeth, quaintly observes, commerce, so too in discovery, Italy led “ Navigation in the time of Henry VII., the way for Europe, though she could was very rawe, but it is now in her not keep the lead. She lit the torch of Majestie's reign growen to his highest modern civilization at the old hearth perfection.” fires, whose embers were still glowing in But in the reign of Henry VIII. the her great cities, and then passed it on to subject was stirred in earnest by Mr. hardier peoples, who had to play their Robert Thorne, a merchant of Bristol part, not on the landlocked Mediterrane- and a most able man. He addressed a an of Europe, but on the Atlantic, the remarkable and closely reasoned paper Mediterranean of the world.
to the king, some portions of which I exThe fact of the discovery of the North tract in full. The whole may be read in American continent by Cabot in 1497, Hakluyt. It is of deep interest, for it under the auspices of Henry VII., though really opens up the question, the solution with little help from him, is now generally of which has been sought with daring accepted. It has been keenly disputed, courage and indomitable energy for three and is not without its difficulties ; but hundred years, and eludes us still. The the balance of evidence is clearly on the North-West passage has been found, and affirmative side.t The account which has proved an utterly barren discovery.
But the open Polar sea of which Mr. * At least he was a naturalized Venetian, probably he Thorne also had vision has yet to be extoo was born on Genoese territory.
† Lorenzo Pasqualigo, a Venetian merchant in Lon-plored, and its exploration may yield to don, wrote an account of Cabot's discovery to his brothers in Venice. The letter is dated 23 August, 1497, a few days aíter Cabot's return. In the course of it he the English discovery of the American Continent-in savs, “ His name is Zuan Cabot, and he is styled the which he proves conclusively that it was 1497 -- in the great admiral. Vast honour is paid him, and these "Archeologia," 1871. English run after him like mad people, so that he can The reader will find a brief but able discussion of enlist as many of them as he pleases, and a number of the whole subject in Mr. Major's Iutroduction to the our rogucs besides. The discoverer of these places 1 "Select Letters of Columbus," published for the Hakplanted on his new found land a large cross, with one luyt Society. Second Edit. 1870. In an appendix to flag of England and another of St. Mark, by reason of Mr. Laing's translation of the Heimskringla, there is a his being a Venetian; so that our banner hath floated very interesting narrative of the Scandinavian Expedie very far afield." See Mr. Major's paper on the date of Itions referred to above.
us very remarkable results. Mr. Thorne routes he adds: “ Without doubt they writes thus to King Henry :
shall finde there (under the Equinoctiali) "Now I considering this your noble the richest landes and Islands of the courage and desire, and also perceiving worlde of golde, precious stones, balmes, that your grace may at your pleasure, to spices, and other things that we here esyour greater glory, by a godly meane, teeme most : which come out of strange with little cost, perill or labour, to your countries and may returne the same way. grace or any of your subjects, amplifie By this it appeareth that your grace hath and inrich this your sayd Realme, I know not only a great advantage of the riches, it is my bounden duety to manifest this but also your subjects shall not travell secret unto your Grace, which hitherto, halfe of the way that others doe, which as I suppose, hathe beene hid ; which is goe round about as aforesaid.” — Hakthat with a small number of ships there luyt, i. 257. may be discovered divers new lands and In a letter to Dr. Lev, Henry's ambaskingdomes, in the which without doubt sador with the Emperor, he deals with your grace shall winne perpetuall glory, distances, and opens as fair and false a and your subjectes infinite profite. To dream as ever beguiled mankind, of a which places there is left one way to dis-near way by the Polar seas to Cathay: cover, which is into the North : for that “ Now if from the sayd Newfoundlands of the foure partes of the worlde, it seem- the sea be navigable, there is no doubt eth three parts are discovered by other but sayling Northward and passing the Princes. For out of Spaine they have | Pole, descending the Equinoctiall line, discovered all the Indies and seas occi- we shall hit these islands (the Spice isldentall, and out of Portingall all the ands), and it should be a much shorter Indies and seas orientall, so that by this way than the Spaniards or the Portingalls part of the orient and occident they have have. For we be distant from the Pole compassed the world. So that now rest but 30 and 9 degrees, and from the Pole to be discovered the sayd north parts, the to the Equinoctiall be 90°, the which addwhich it seemeth to mee is onely your ed together be an hundred twenty and charge and duty. Because the situation nine degrees, leagues 2489, miles 7440, of this your Realme is thereunto nearest where we should find these islands.” – and aptest of all other; and also for that Hakluyt, i. 243. you have already taken it in hand." These representations had weight with Then speaking of the ease of the naviga- the King. In 1527 “ two faire ships” tion he says, “ For they being past this were sent out, but the result was disaslittle way which they named so dangerous trous. The ships were cast away on New(which may be two or three leagues be foundland, and but little is known of the fore they come to the Pole, and as much fate of their crews. In 1536 one Master more after they passe the Pole), it is Henry Hore, “a man of goodly stature, cleere that from thence foorth the seas great courage, and given to the study of and landes are as temperate as in these cosmographie," sailed on the same quest partes, and that then it may be at the with results more disastrous still. It is will and pleasure of the mariners to notable that one fourth of the expedition choose whether they will sayl by the was composed of gentlemen of the Inns coastes that be colde temperate or hotte. of Court, and from the upper ranks of If they will goe towards the Orient they society. The history of the voyage is a shall enjoy the region of all the Tarta- sad and shameful one. There were dark rians that extend towards the mid-day, tales of cannibalism and other horrors. and from thence they may goe and pro- But the captain behaved nobly. Hakluyt ceede to the land of the Chinas, and from has preserved the record. (Vol. iii. 169, thence to the land of Cathaio orientall | 4to ed.) which is of all the maine land most orien- The next expedition was that of the tall that can be reckoned from our habi-| gallant Sir Hugh Willoughby, to which tation. And if from thence they doe we have already referred. In its organcontinue their navigation following the ization and equipment we are able to trace coasts that returne towards the occident Sebastian Cabot's masterly hand. Its they shall fall in with Malaca, and so with object was to discover a passage along all the Indies which we call orientall, and the northern sea-board of Asia. It is the following the way, may returne hither by first of a series of brave attempts to force the Cape of Buona Speranza and thus that ice-bound passage, in which the they shall compasse the whole worlde.” Dutch chiefly distinguished themselves, Then giving the alternative of two other and the hapless Barents earned for him
self an immortal fame. The ships, off north-east. He was not destined to make whose sailing there is a picturesque de- the experiment; his noble life was sacriscription in the narrative of Clement ficed in another though kindred enterAdams, parted company. Chancellor, the prise. The last glimpse which we have pilot, landed in Russia, reached the Court, of him before his little bark went down is and laid the foundation of that commer- one of the loftiest and most beautiful cial intercourse which became so fruitful passages of Elizabethan history.* There in this and the following reigns. Wil can be no question that his treatise exerloughby met a darker fate. The next cised a very powerful influence in stimuyear some Russian fishermen found the lating enterprise towards the north-west. ships frozen in and the crew frozen to He is its true patriarch, while Martin Frodeath. His journals were recovered. It bisher, a man of the same heroic temper, seems that he reached Nova Zembla, and though of coarser fibre, is its pioneer. possibly Spitzbergen ; but that depends Frobisher was probably a South Yorkvery much on the exact sense in which a shire man from Doncaster, of good midtechnical nautical term is employed. Pur-dle-class family. We know little about chas is clearly perversely wrong about the him save through the “actions” which voyage. Those interested in the subject are part of his country's history. It ap. will find an able discussion of it in the pears that he was sent to school in Lonintroduction to “ Voyages to the North don under the care of “ Sir John Yorke, West,” edited by Mr. Rundall for the knight, his kinseman, who perceiving him Hakluyt Society in 1849. Another north- to be of great spirit and bolde courage, eastern attempt was made by Borrough in and natural hardness of body, sent him to 1553. He reached Nova Zembla, but be- the hote Countrye of Guinea," on a voying driven back by east winds, returned, age. We next meet with him scheming and reached England safely. The ac- a voyage to the north-west. We have a count of the sailing of the expedition is narrative of the three expeditions which well known, but it is worth quoting, as it he commanded, by Mr. George Beste, who brings Sebastian Cabot in his lusty old served in the second and third ; and there age upon the scene. “The 27th, being are other subsidiary narratives preserved Monday, the right worshippful Sebastian in Hakluyt. There is too a curious MS. Cabota came aboord, with divers gentle-l a good deal defaced, in the British Muse. men and gentlewomen, who after they um, by one Michael Lok, who seems to had viewed our pinnesse and tasted of have borne to his cost a large part of the such cheere as we could make them expense of the equipment, from which aboord, they went on shore, giving to the we gather several interesting details mariners right liberall rewards ; and the about the first voyage, which is our presgood old gentleman Master Cabota, gave ent subject. Rear-Admiral Collinson has to the poore most liberall almes, wishing collected from the Public Records a great them to pray for the good fortune and deal of very minute and curious informaprosperous successe of the Serchthrift, tion concerning the details of the expediour pinnesse. And then at the sign of tions, which he has published in his adthe Christopher, he and his friends ban-mirable edition of “ Frobisher's Three ketted and made me and them that were in Voyages” (Hakluyt Society, 1867).t Mr. the company great cheere : and for very Beste prefaces his narrative by an elabojoy that he had to see the towardnes of rate and curious, though wearisome, our intended discovery, he entred into the treatise on geographical matters in gens dance himselfe, amongst the rest of the eral, as understood in his day; always, young and lusty company. Which being however, with the north-west expedition ended, he and his friends departed most in view ; and he offers, moreover, a very gently, commending us to the governance comfortable but fallacious demonstration of Almighty God." — Hakluyt, i. 306. Meanwhile some of the more thought-l* There is surely something almost prophetic in the of "the commodious and moderate heat, weary discourse about the climate of the of the region under the Poles.” The ge- Polar regions, he thus brings Frobisher Ographical part is dry reading enough ; on the scene, and the first north-western but there are some touches in the exor- expedition gets under way. “ Which dium on the wider aspects of the matter, thing being well considered, and familwhich it is worth while to extract; much iarly knowen to our generall Captaine of it is hardly obsolete yet. It takes a Frobisher, as well for that he is thoroughvery lofty view “ of the invincible mindsly furnished of the knowledge of the of our Englishe nation, who have never sphere, and all other skilles appertaining left anye worthy thing unattempted nor to the art of navigation, as also for the anye parte almoste of the whole world un-confirmation he hath of the same by many searched. ... The Englishman in these yeares experience, both by sea and land, oure dayes, in his notable discoveries to and being persuaded of a new and neerer the Spaniard and Portingale is nothing passage to Cataya, than by Capo d'buona interior, and for his hard adventures and Speranza, which the Portugalles yeerly valiarit resolutions greatly superior.” He use. He began first with himselfe to denumbers among the fruits of the expe- vise, and then with his friendes to condition : “Christ's name spread ; the gos- ferre, and layde a playne platte unto them, pell preached ;... shipping and sea- that that voyage was not onely possible fairing men have bin employed ; naviga- by the north-weast, but also, as he could tion and the navie (which is the chief prove, easie to be performed. And furstrength of our realm) maintayned ; and ther, he determined and resolved wythe gentlemen in the sea service, for the bet- himselfe, to go make full proofe thereof, ter service of their country, wel experi- and to accomplishe, or bring true certifienced.” “ Hyr Most Excellent Majestie cate of the truth, or else never to remay now stand assured to have many tourne againe, knowing this to be the more tried, able and sufficient men onely thing of the worlde that was left against time of need, that are of valour yet undone, whereby a notable mind gret, for any gret adventure, and of gov- mighte be made famous and fortunate. ernment good for any good place of ser- But although his will were greate to pervice.” He betrays the sore feeling which forme this notable voyage, whereof hee Henry VII., by his hesitating policy with had conceyved in his mind a great hope regard to Columbus, had left in the minds by sundry sure reasons and secret intelof thoughtful Englishmen, in the follow-ligence, whiche heere, for sundry causes, ing passage: “Which sundry countreys I leave untouched --- yet he wanted altoto possess and obteyne, as it is an easie gether meanes and abilitie to set forward thing, so I would not have our Englishe and performe the same. Long tyme he nation to be slacke therein, leaste perhaps conferred with his private friendes of agayne they overshoote in refusing oc- these secrets, and made also many offers casion offered, as it was in the time of K. for the performing of the same in effect Henry VII., when all the West Indies unto sundrie merchants of our countrey, were first proffered to the Englishmen to above fifteen yeares before he attempted be given into their hands, which they lit- the same. ... But perceyving that hardtle regarding, was afterwards offered to ly he was hearkened unto of the merthe Spaniards, who presently accepted the chants, whiche never regarde vertue withoccasion, and now enjoye the infinite treas-oute sure, certaine, and present gaynes, ure and commoditie thereof.* I would hee repayred to the courte,* (from whence, not wishe Englishmen to be nowe unlike as from the fountain of our commonthemselves, for in all the later discoveries wealth, all good causes have theyr chiefe the English nation hath bin as forward encrease and mayntenance), and there as any other." All which surely may af- | layde open to manye great estates and ford to us matter of fruitful reflection at I learned men, the plot and summe of hys the present day. After a great deal of devise. And amongst manye honour
noble words with which he concludes his treatise ...
this mind, that he is not worthy to live at all, that for the northwest. Sir Humphrey Gilbert, feare or danger of death shunneth his countries service,
and his owne honoure; seeing death is inevitable and
the fame of virtue immortal. Wherefore in this be tise to prove, according to the notions
halfe, Mutare vel timore sporno." available for proof in his day, that the There is a very interesting and complete account of
the voyage and the equipment in Mr. Fox Bourne's momwo! Passag© wurdenumunun, “English Seamen under the Tudors." He has thrown easier, nearer, and in every way more by his researches, much additional light on many points commodious for England than that by the of interest.
able myndes whyche favoured hys hon* It was an unspeakable blessing, to England at any
est and commendable enterprise, he was rate, that she missed the opportunity; and that her lot in the new world was cast by Providence in regions whose treasuries, not the pick and the melting-pot, but # Frobisher was not unknown to the Queen and the the axe and the ploughshare would open. How it would Court. He was evidently regarded as a man of action have fared with the poor Indians is another matter. It who might be trusted on difficult enterprises. As early is sell that we were not tempted as the Spaniards were. as 1574, the Queen wrote to the Muscovy Company, reBut there are passages in the history of Hawkins and minding them that it was twenty years since they had others, which deepen our thankfulness that the oppor- sent an expedition to search for Cathay. The bearer of tunity was lost.
| that letter was Martin Frobisher.