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Title: Ocean's Story; or Triumphs of Thirty Centuries - Maritime Adventures, Achievements, Explorations, Discoveries - and Inventions etc.
Author: Rowland, Edward
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: GIGANTIC CUTTLE FISH. _See page 649._]

                            OCEAN'S STORY;

                     Triumphs of Thirty Centuries;
                       A GRAPHIC DESCRIPTION OF

                         MARITIME ADVENTURES,
                              AND OF THE



                    THE ARK TO THE IRON STEAMSHIPS,


                        FRANK B. GOODRICH, Esq.


                  &c., &c., PREPARED WITH GREAT CARE_


                         EDWARD HOWLAND, Esq.

                     AUTHOR OF MANY POPULAR WORKS.

                   OVER 200 SPIRITED ILLUSTRATIONS.

                         SOLD BY SUBSCRIPTION.

             W. E. ERSKINE & CO., ST. JOHN'S, N. B.; JNO.
                  KILLAM, SR., YARMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA;
                     M. M. BURNHAM, SYRACUSE, N.Y.

        Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1878.

                           BY HUBBARD BROS.,

      In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.





 CHAPTER I.--The Purpose of this Work--The Ocean in the Scriptural
 Period--The Marvels of the Sea--The Classic Legends--The Fantastic
 Notions entertained of the North and the Equator--The Giant of the
 Canaries--The Sea of Sea-Weed--The Spectre of the Cape--The Gradual
 Surrender of the Secrets of the Sea--It becomes the Highway of
 Nations--Its Present Aspect--Its Poetical Significance--Its Moral
 Lessons                                                                19

 CHAPTER II.--The Origin of Navigation--The Nautilus--The Split Reed
 and Beetle--The Beaver floating upon a Log--The Hollow Tree--The First
 Canoe--The Floating Nutshell--The Oar--The Rudder--The Sail--The
 Tradition of the First Sail-Boat                                       31

 CHAPTER III.--The Flood and the Building of the Ark--The Arguments of
 Infidelity against a Universal Deluge--The Material of which the Ark
 was built--Its Capacity, Dimensions, and Form--Its Proportions copied
 in Modern Ocean-Steamers                                               36

 CHAPTER IV.--The Ships, Commerce, and Navigation of the
 Phoenicians--Their Trade with Ophir--Sidon and Tyre--Their Voyage
 round Africa--New Tyre--A Patriotic Phoenician Captain--The Egyptians
 as a Maritime People--Their Ships and Commerce--The Jews--Their
 Geography--Ideas upon the Shape of the Earth--The World as known to
 the Hebrews                                                            46

 CHAPTER V.--The Early Maritime History of the Greeks--The Expedition
 of the Argonauts--The Vessels used in the Trojan War--Ship-Building in
 the Time of Homer--The Poetic Geography of the Greeks--The Palace of
 the Sun--The Marvels of a Voyage out of Sight of Land--The Geography
 of Hesiod--Of Anaximander--Of Thales, Herodotus, Socrates, and
 Eratosthenes--The Great Ocean is named the Atlantic                    54

 CHAPTER VI.--Construction of Greek Vessels--The Prow, Poop,
 Rudder, Oars, Masts, Sails, Cordage, Bulwarks, Anchors--Biremes,
 Triremes, Quadriremes, Quinqueremes--The Grand Galley of Ptolemy
 Philopator--Roman Vessels--Their Navy--Mimic Sea-Fights--The Five
 Voyages of Antiquity                                                   65

 CHAPTER VII.--The Voyage of Hanno the Carthaginian--He sees
 Crocodiles, Apes, and Volcanoes--The Voyage of Himilcon to
 Al-Bion--The Voyage and Ignominious Fate of Sataspes the
 Persian--The Voyage of Pytheas the Phocian--The Sacred Promontory--A
 New Atmosphere--Amber--Return Home--The Veracity of Pytheas'
 Narrative--The Expedition of Nearchus the Macedonian--Strange
 Phenomena in the Heavens--The Icthyophagi--Houses built of the
 Bones of Whales--Fish Flour--A Battle with Whales--An Unexpected
 Meeting--The Distance traversed by Nearchus--The Voyage of Eudoxus
 along the African Coast--State of Navigation at the Opening of the
 Christian Era                                                          75



 CHAPTER VIII.--Navigation during the Roman Empire--The Rise of Venice
 and Genoa--The Crusades--Their Effect upon Commerce--Wedding of the
 Adriatic--Creation of the French Navy--Introduction of Eastern Art
 into Europe--Maps of the Middle Ages--Remote Effect of the Crusades
 upon Geographical Science                                              92

 CHAPTER IX.--The Scandinavian Sailors--Their Piracies and
 Commerce--The Anglo-Saxons--Alfred the Great a Ship-Builder--The
 Voyage of Beowulf--Discovery of Iceland by the Danes--Discovery
 of Greenland--The Voyage of Bjarni and Leif to the American
 Continent--Their Discovery of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Nantucket,
 and Massachusetts--Adventures of Thorwald and Thorfinn--Comparison of
 the Discoveries of the Northmen with those of Columbus                 99

 CHAPTER X.--The Travels of Marco Polo--The First Mention of
 Japan in History--Kublai Khan--Marco Polo's Voyage from Amoy to
 Ormuz--Malacca--Sumatra--Pygmies--Singular Stories of Diamonds--The
 Roc--Polo not recognised upon his Return--His Imprisonment--The
 Publication of his Narrative--The Interest awakened in China, Japan,
 and the Islands of Spices                                             108

 CHAPTER XI.--The First Mention of the Loadstone in History--Its Early
 Names--The First Mention of its Directive Power--A Poem upon the
 Compass Six Hundred Years Old--Friar Bacon's Magnet--The Loadstone
 in Arabia--An Eye-Witness of its Efficiency in the Syrian Waters in
 the Year 1240--The Magnet in China--Early Mention of it in Chinese
 Works--The Variation noticed in the Twelfth Century--Other Discoveries
 made by the Chinese--Modern Errors--Flavio Gioia--The Arms of
 Amalfi--All Records lost of the First Voyage made with the Compass by
 a European Ship                                                       113



 CHAPTER XII.--The Portuguese on the Coast of Africa--The Spaniards and
 the Canary Isles--Don Henry of Portugal--The Terrible Cape, now Cape
 Bojador--The Sacred Promontory--Discovery of the Madeiras--A Dreadful
 Phenomenon--A Prolific Rabbit and a Wonderful Conflagration--Hostility
 of the Portuguese to further Maritime Adventure--The Bay of
 Horses--The First Gold-Dust seen in Europe--Discovery of Cape Verd
 and the Azores--The Europeans approach the Equator--Journey of
 Cada-Mosto--Death of Don Henry--Progress of Navigation under the
 Auspices of this Prince                                               122

 CHAPTER XIII.--The Portuguese cross the Equator from Guinea to
 Congo--John II. conceives the idea of a Route by Sea to the
 Indies--His Artifices to prevent the Interference of other
 Nations--The Overland Journey of Covillam to India--The Voyage of
 Bartholomew Diaz--The Doubling of the Tremendous Cape--Its Baptism by
 the King--Injurious Effects of Success upon Portuguese Ambition       133

 CHAPTER XIV.--Birth of Christopher Columbus--His Early Life
 and Education--His First Voyage--His Marriage--His Maritime
 Contemplations--He makes Proposals to the Senate of Genoa, the
 Court of Venice, and the King of Portugal--The Duplicity of the
 latter--Columbus visits Spain--Juan de Marchena--Columbus repairs
 to Cordova--His Second Marriage--His Letter to the King--The Junto
 of Salamanca--Columbus resolves to shake the dust of Spain from his
 feet--Marchena's Letter to Isabella--The Queen gives Audience to
 Columbus--The Conditions stipulated by the latter--Isabella accepts
 the Enterprise, while Ferdinand remains aloof                         137

 CHAPTER XV.--The Port of Palos--The Superstition of its Mariners--The
 Hand of Satan--A Bird which lifted Vessels to the Clouds--The Pinta
 and the Nina--The Santa Maria--Capacity of a Spanish Caravel--The
 three Pinzons--The Departure--Columbus' Journal--The Helm of the Pinta
 unshipped--The Variation of the Needle--The Appearance of the Tropical
 Atlantic--Floating Vegetation--The Sargasso Sea--Alarm and threatened
 Mutiny of the Sailors--Perplexities of Columbus--Land! Land! a False
 Alarm--Indications of the Vicinity of Land--Murmurs of the Crews--Open
 Revolt quelled by Columbus--Floating Reeds and Tufts of Grass--Land at
 last--The Vessels anchor over-night                                   147

 CHAPTER XVI.--Discovery of Guanahani--Ceremonies of taking
 Possession--Exploration of the Neighboring Islands--Search
 for Gold--Cuba supposed by Columbus to be Japan--The
 Cannibals--Haiti--Return Homewards--A Storm--An Appeal to the
 Virgin--Arrival at the Azores--Conduct of the Portuguese--Columbus at
 Lisbon--At Palos--At Barcelona--Columbus' Second Voyage--Discovery
 of Guadeloupe, Antigoa, Santa Cruz, Jamaica--Illness of
 Columbus--Terrible Battle between the Spaniards and the
 Savages--Columbus returns to Spain--His Reception by the Queen--His
 Third Voyage--The Region of Calms--Discovery of Trinidad and of the
 Main Land--Assumpcion and Margarita--Columbus in Chains               158

 CHAPTER XVII.--The Failing Health of Columbus--His Fourth
 Voyage--Martinique, Porto Rico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama--His
 Search for a Channel across the Isthmus--He predicts an Eclipse of
 the Moon at Jamaica--His Return--The Death of Isabella--Columbus
 Penniless at Valladolid--His Death--His Four Burials--The Injustice of
 the World towards Columbus--Christopher Pigeon--Amerigo Vespucci--The
 New World named America--Errors of Modern Historians--The District
 of Columbia--John Cabot in Labrador--Sebastian Cabot in Hudson's
 Bay--Vincent Yanez Pinzon at the Mouths of the Amazon                 168

 CHAPTER XVIII.--Portuguese Navigation under Emmanuel--Popular
 Prejudices--The Lusind of Camoens--Vasco da Gama--Maps of Africa
 of the Period--Preparations for an Indian Voyage--Religious
 Ceremonies--The Departure--Rendezvous at the Cape Verds--Landing
 upon the Coast--The Natives--An Invitation to Dinner, and its
 Consequences--A Storm--Mutiny--The Spectre of the Cape                179

 CHAPTER XIX.--Da Gama and the Negroes--The Hottentots and
 Caffres--Adventure with an Albatross--The River of Good
 Promise--Mozambique--Treachery of the Natives--Mombassa--Melinda, and
 its Amiable King--Festivities--The Malabar Coast--Calicut--The Route
 to the Indies discovered                                              189

 CHAPTER XX.--The Moors in Hindostan--Condition of the Country upon
 the Arrival of Da Gama--Hostility of the Moors--They prejudice the
 King of Calicut against the Portuguese--Consequent Hostilities--Da
 Gama sets out upon his Return--Wild Cinnamon-A Moorish Pirate
 disguised as an Italian Christian--A Tempestuous Voyage--Wreck
 of the San Rafael--Honors and Titles bestowed upon Da Gama--An
 Expedition fitted out under Alvarez Cabral--Accidental Discovery
 of Brazil--Comets and Water-Spouts--Loss of Four Vessels--A Bazaar
 established at Calicut--Attack by the Moors--Cabral withdraws to
 Cochin--Visits Cananor and takes in a Load of Cinnamon--Is received
 with Coldness upon his Return--Vasco da Gama recalled into the Service
 by the King--His Achievements at Sofala, Cananor, and Calicut--He
 hangs Fifty Indians at the Yard-Arm--Protects Cochin and threatens
 Calicut--Withdraws to Private Life                                    197

 CHAPTER XXI.--Spread of the Portuguese East Indian Empire--Alphonzo
 d'Albuquerque--Immense Sacrifice of Life--Ancient Route of
 the Spice-Trade with Europe--Commerce by Caravans--Revolution
 produced by opening the New Route--Francesco Almeida--Discovery
 of Ceylon--Tristan d'Acunha--The Portuguese Mars--His Views of
 Empire--An Arsenal established at Goa--Reduction of Malacca--Siam and
 Sumatra send Embassies to Albuquerque--The Island of Ormuz--Death of
 Albuquerque--Extent of the Portuguese Dominion--Ormuz becomes the
 great Emporium of the East--Fall of the Portuguese Empire             207

 CHAPTER XXII.--Ponce de Leon--The Fountain of Youth--Discovery of
 Florida--The Martyrs and the Tortugas--The Bahama Channel--Vasco
 Nuñez de Balboa--He goes to Sea in a Barrel--Marries a Lady of the
 Isthmus--His Search for Gold--Hears of a Mighty Ocean--Undertakes
 to reach it--Preparations for the Expedition--Leoncico the
 Bloodhound--Battle with a Cacique--Ascent of the Mountains--Balboa
 mounts to the Summit alone--The First Sight of the Pacific--Ceremonies
 of taking Possession--Balboa up to his Knees in the Ocean--Every
 one tastes the Water--A Voyage upon the Pacific, and a Narrow
 Escape--Ignominious Fate of Balboa--Juan Diaz de Solis--Discovers the
 Rio de la Plata--His Horrible Death by Cannibals                      213

 CHAPTER XXIII.--Remarkable Foresight of the Court of Rome--A Papal
 Bull--Ferdinand Magellan--He offers his Services to Spain--His
 Plans--His Fleet--Pigafetta the Historian--An Inauspicious
 Start--Teneriffe and its Legends--St. Elmo's Fire--The Crew make
 Famous Bargains with the Cannibals--Heavy Price paid for the King of
 Spades--Patagonian Giants--Pigafetta's Exaggerations--The Healing Art
 in Patagonia--The Tragedy of Port Julian--Discovery of a Strait--The
 Open Sea--Cape Deseado--The Ocean named Pacific--Ravages of the
 Scurvy--A Patagonian Paul--The Needle becomes Lethargic--Discovery of
 the Ladrones--The First Cocoanut--A Catholic Ceremony upon a Pagan
 Island                                                                225

 CHAPTER XXIV.--Discovery of the Philippines--The King of Zubu
 wishes the King of Spain to pay Tribute--He finally abandons the
 idea--A whole Island converted to Christianity--Magellan performs
 a Miracle--A Dumb Man recovers his Speech--Magellan invades a
 Refractory Island--His Death--Attempts to recover his Body--The
 Christian Island returns to Idolatry--The Ships arrive at Borneo--The
 Sailors drink too freely of Arrack--Festivities and Treachery--Vivid
 Imagination of Pigafetta--The Fleet arrives at the Moluccas--The
 King of Tidore--A Brisk Trade in Cloves--The Spice-Tariff--The
 Vittoria sails Homeward--Pigafetta is again imaginative--Arrival at
 the Cape Verds--Loss of One Day--Completion of the First Voyage of
 Circumnavigation--Pigafetta's Romance becomes Veritable History       236



 CHAPTER XXV.--Voyage of Jacques Cartier--Maritime Projects
 of Francis I. of France--Gulf of St Lawrence--A Quick
 Trip Home--Second Voyage--Canada, Quebec, Montreal--A
 Captive King--Voyage of Sir Hugh Willoughby and Richard
 Chancellor--Discovery of Nova Zembla--Disastrous Winter--Fate of the
 Expedition--Martin Frobisher--His Voyage in Quest of a Northwest
 Passage--Greenland--Labrador--Frobisher's Straits--Exchange of
 Captives--Supposed Discovery of Gold--Second Voyage--A Cargo of
 Precious Earth taken on Board--Meta Incognita--Third Voyage--A
 Mortifying Conclusion                                                 245

 CHAPTER XXVI.--Origin of English Piracy--Sir John Hawkins--Francis
 Drake--His First Voyage to the Spanish Main--Commission granted by
 Queen Elizabeth--Expedition against the Spanish Possessions--Exploits
 at Mogador and Santiago--Crossing the Line--Arrival in
 Patagonia--Trial and Execution of Doughty--Passage through
 Magellan's Strait--Adventures of William Pitcher and Seven Men--Cape
 Horn--Arrival at Valparaiso--Rifling of a Catholic Church             256

 CHAPTER XXVII.--Drake's Exploit with a Sleeping Spaniard--His
 Achievements at Callao--Battle with a Treasure-Ship--Drake gives
 a Receipt for her Cargo--Indites a Touching Epistle--His Plans
 for Returning Home--Fresh Captures--Performances at Guatulco and
 Acapulco--Drake dismisses his Pilot--Exceeding Cold Weather--Drake
 regarded as a God by the Californians--Sails for the Moluccas--Visits
 Ternate and Celebes--The Pelican upon a Reef--The Return
 Voyage--Protest of the Spanish Ambassador--He styles Drake the
 Master-Thief of the Unknown World--Queen Elizabeth on board the
 Pelican--Drake's Use of his Fortune--His Death--The Voyage of John
 Davis to the Northwest                                                267

 CHAPTER XXVIII.--Policy of Queen Elizabeth--Thomas Cavendish--His
 First Voyage--Exploits upon the African and Brazilian Coasts--Port
 Desire--Port Famine--Battles with the Araucanians--Capture of
 Paita--Robbery of a Church--Repeated Acts of Brigandage--Capture
 of the Santa Anna--The Return Voyage--Cavendish's Account of the
 Expedition--The Spanish Armada--Preparations in England--The
 Conflict--Total Rout of the Invincibles--Procession in Commemoration
 of the Event                                                          276

 CHAPTER XXIX.--The Fiction of El Dorado--Manoa--Description of its
 Fabled Splendors--Attempts of the Spaniards to Discover it--Sir
 Walter Raleigh--His Voyage to Guiana--His Account of the Orinoco--His
 Description of the Scenery--His Return--His Second Voyage--Expedition
 to Newfoundland--His Death--Modern Interpretation of the Legend of El
 Dorado                                                                285

 CHAPTER XXX.--Discovery of the Solomon Islands by Mendana--He seeks
 for them again Thirty Years later--Quiros--The Marquesas Islands--The
 Women compared with those of Lima--Strange Fruits--Conversions to
 Christianity--Arduous Voyage--Santa Cruz--Mendana exchanges Names with
 Malopé--Hostilities--War, and its Results--Death of Mendana--Quiros
 conducts the Ships to Manilla                                         291

 CHAPTER XXXI.--Attempts of the Dutch to discover a Northeast
 Passage--Voyage of Wilhelm Barentz--Arrival at Nova Zembla--Winter
 Quarters--Building a House--Fights with Bears--The Sun Disappears--The
 Clock Stops, and the Beer Freezes--The House is Snowed up--The
 Hot-Ache--Fox-Traps--Twelfth Night--Return of the Sun--The Ships
 prove Unseaworthy--Preparations to Depart in the Boats--Death of
 Barentz--Arrival at Amsterdam--Results of the Voyage                  297

 CHAPTER XXXII.--The Five Ships of Rotterdam--Battle at the Island of
 Brava--Sebald de Weert--Disasters in the Strait of Magellan--The Crew
 eat Uncooked Food--The Fleet is scattered to the Winds--Adventures of
 De Weert--A Wretched Object--Return to Holland--Voyage of Oliver Van
 Noort--Barbarous Punishment--The Emblem of Hope becomes a Cause of
 Despair--Fight with the Patagonians--Arrest of the Vice-Admiral--His
 Punishment--Description of a Chilian Beverage--Capture of a Spanish
 Treasure-Ship--A Pilot thrown Overboard--Sea-Fight off Manilla--Return
 Home, after the First Dutch Voyage of Circumnavigation                304

 CHAPTER XXXIII.--Quiros' Theory of a Southern Continent--His Arguments
 and Memorials--His First Voyage--Discoveries--Encarnaçion--Sagittaria,
 or Tahiti--Description of these Islands--Manicolo--Espiritu Santo--Its
 Productions and Inhabitants--Quiros before the King of Spain--His
 Belief in his Discovery of a Continent--His Disappointment--Renewed
 Solicitations--Death of Quiros--Discoveries of Torrès--The Muscovy
 Company of London--Henry Hudson--His Voyages to Spitzbergen and Nova
 Zembla--His Voyage to America--Casts Anchor at Sandy Hook--Ascends the
 Hudson River as far as the Site of Albany--His Voyage to Iceland and
 Hudson's Bay--Disastrous Winter--Mutiny--Hudson set adrift--His
 Death                                                                 316

 CHAPTER XXXIV.--The Fleet of Joris Spilbergen--Arrival in
 Brazil--Adventures in the Strait of Magellan--Trade at Mocha
 Island--Treachery at Santa Maria--Terrible Battle between the Dutch
 and Spanish Fleets--Ravages of the Coast--Skirmishes Upon the
 Land--Spilbergen sails for Manilla--Arrival at Ternate--His Return
 Home--The Voyage of Schouten and Lemaire--Lemonade at Sierra Leone--A
 Collision at Sea--Discovery of Staten Land--Cape Horn--Lemaire's
 Strait--Arrival at Batavia--Confiscation of the Ships--General Results
 of the Voyage--The Voyage of William Baffin--Arctic Researches during
 the Seventeenth Century                                               326


 NAVIGATION: 1616-1807.

 CHAPTER XXXV.--A Famous Vessel--The Mayflower--Her
 Appearance--The Speedwell--Departure of the Two Ships--Alleged
 Unseaworthiness of the Speedwell--The Mayflower sails alone--The
 Equinoctial--Consultations--A Remedy applied--First View of the
 Land--Subsequent History and Fate of the Mayflower                    339

 CHAPTER XXXVI.--Discovery of New Holland--Tasman ordered to survey the
 Island--Discovery of Van Diemen's Land--Of New Zealand--Murderers'
 Bay--The Friendly Islands--The Feejees--New Britain--An Earthquake at
 Sea--A Copious Language--Circumnavigation of New Holland--Return to
 Batavia--Results of the Voyage--Dutch Opinions of Tasman's Merit      346

 CHAPTER XXXVII.--Piracy--Origin of the Buccaneers--Their
 Manner of Life--Dress--Occupation-The Island of Tortuga their
 Head-Quarters--Their Religious Scruples--Manner of dividing
 Spoils--The Exterminator--The Observance of the Sabbath--Exploits
 of Henry Morgan--Impotence of the Spaniards--Career of William
 Dampier--His First Piratical Cruise--Adventures by Land and
 Sea--Description of the Plantain-Tree--Lingering Deaths by
 Poison--Reproaches of Conscience--The New-Hollanders--Dampier's
 Dangerous Voyage in an Open Boat--Piracy upon the American
 Coast--William Kidd sent against the Pirates--He turns Pirate
 himself--His Exploits, Detection, and Execution--His Buried
 Treasures--Wreck of the Whidah Pirate-Ship                            351

 CHAPTER XXXVIII.--The Voyage of Woodes Rogers-Desertion checked by a
 Novel Circumstance--A Light seen upon the Island of Juan Fernandez--A
 Boat sent to Reconnoitre--Alexander Selkirk discovered--His History
 and Adventures--His Dress, Food, and Occupations--He ships with
 Rogers as Second Mate--Turtles and Tortoises--Fight with a Spanish
 Treasure-Ship--Profits of the Voyage--The South Sea Bubble--Its
 Inflation and Collapse--Measures of Relief                            373

 CHAPTER XXXIX.--The Dutch West India Company--Renewed Search for
 the Terra Australis Incognita--Jacob Roggewein--His Voyage of
 Discovery--Brush with Pirates--Arrival at Juan Fernandez--Easter
 Island--Its Inhabitants--Entertainment of one on board the Ship--A
 Misunderstanding--Pernicious and Recreation Islands--Glimpse
 of the Society Islands--A Famine in the Fleet--Arrival at New
 Britain--Confiscation of the Ship at Batavia--Decision of the
 States-General--Vitus Behring--Behring's Strait--Description of the
 Scene--Death of Behring--Subsequent Survey of the Strait              383

 CHAPTER XL.--Piratical Voyage under George Anson--Unparalleled
 Mortality--Arrival and Sojourn at Juan Fernandez--A
 Prize--Capture of Paita--Preparations to attack the Manilla
 Galleon--Disappointment--Fortunate Arrival at Tinian--Romantic Account
 of the Island--A Storm--Anson's Ship driven out to Sea--The Abandoned
 Crew set about building a Boat--Return of the Centurion--Battle with
 the Manilla Galleon--Anson's Arrival in England--The Proceeds of the
 Cruise                                                                393

 CHAPTER XLI.--The First Scientific Voyage of Circumnavigation--The
 Dolphin and Tamar--Byron in Patagonia--Falkland Islands--Islands of
 Disappointment--Arrival at Tinian--Byron versus Anson--The Voyage
 Home--Wallis and Carteret--Their Observations in Patagonia--Wallis
 at Tahiti--A Desperate Battle--Nails lose their Value--A Tahitian
 Romance--Pitcairn's Island--Queen Charlotte's Islands--New
 Britain--The Voyage Home--A Man-of-War Destroyed by Fire              410

 CHAPTER XLII.--Colonization of the Falkland Islands--Antoine
 de Bougainville--His Voyage around the World--Adventure
 at Montevideo--The Patagonians--Taking Possession of
 Tahiti--French Gallantry--Ceremonies of Reception--Sojourn at
 the Island--Aotourou--The First Female Circumnavigator--Famine
 on Board--Remarkable Cascade--Arrival at the Moluccas--Incidents
 there--Return Home                                                    426

 CHAPTER XLIII.--Expedition despatched at the Instance of the Royal
 Society--Lieutenant James Cook--Incidents of the Voyages--A Night on
 Shore in Terra del Fuego--Arrival at Tahiti--The Natives pick their
 Pockets--The Observatory--A Native chews a Quid of Tobacco--The
 Transit of Venus--Two of the Marines take unto themselves Wives--New
 Zealand--Adventures there--Remarkable War-Canoe--Cannibalism
 demonstrated--Theory of a Southern Continent subverted--New
 Holland--Botany Bay--The Endeavor on the Rocks--Expedient to stop
 the Leak--A Conflagration--Passage through a Reef--Arrival at
 Batavia--Mortality on the Voyage Home--Cook promoted to the Rank of
 Commander                                                             435

 CHAPTER XLIV.--Cook's Second Voyage--A Storm--Separation of the
 Ships--Aurora Australis--New Zealand--Six Water-Spouts at once--Tahiti
 again--Petty Thefts of the Natives--Cook visits the Tahitian
 Theatre--Omai--Arrival at the Friendly Islands--The Fleet witness
 a Feast of Human Flesh--The New Hebrides--New Caledonia--Return
 Home--Honors bestowed upon Cook                                       451

 CHAPTER XLV.--Cook's Third Voyage--The Northwest Passage--Omai--His
 Reception at Home--The Crew forego their Grog--Discovery of the
 Sandwich Islands--Nootka Sound--The Natives--Cape Prince of Wales--Two
 Continents in Sight--Icy Cape--Return to the Sandwich Islands--Cook
 is deified--Interview with Tereoboo--Subsequent Difficulties--A
 Skirmish--Pitched Battle and Death of Cook--Recovery of a Portion of
 his Remains--Funeral Ceremonies--Life and Services of Cook            461

 CHAPTER XLVI.--Louis XVI. and the Science of Navigation--Voyage
 of Lapérouse--Arrival at Easter Island--Address of the
 Natives--Owhyhee--Trade at Mowee--Survey of the American
 Coast--A Remarkable Inlet--Distressing Calamity--Sojourn at
 Monterey--Run across the Pacific--The Japanese Waters--Arrival at
 Petropaulowski--Affray at Navigators' Isles--Lapérouse arrives at
 Botany Bay, and is never seen again, alive or dead--Voyages made
 in Search of him--D'Entrecasteaux--Dillon--D'Urville--Discovery of
 numerous Relics of the Ships at Manicolo--Theory of the Fate of
 Lapérouse--Erection of a Monument to his Memory                       480

 CHAPTER XLVII.--The Transplantation of the Bread-Fruit Tree--The
 Voyage of the Bounty--A Mutiny--Bligh, the Captain, with Eighteen Men,
 cast adrift in the Launch--Incidents of the Voyage from Tahiti to
 Timor--Terrible Sufferings and a Marvellous Escape--Arrival of the
 Mutineers at Tahiti--Their Removal to Pitcairn's Island--Subsequent
 History--Voyage of Vancouver--Algerine Piracy--Burning of the
 Philadelphia--Proud Position of the United States                     492

 CHAPTER XLVIII.--Application of Steam to Navigation--Robert
 Fulton--Chancellor Livingston--Launch of the Clermont--She crosses the
 Hudson River--Her Voyage to Albany--Description of the Scene--Fulton's
 own Account--Legislative Protection granted to Fulton--The
 Pendulum-Engine--Construction of other Steamboats--The Steam-Frigate
 Fulton the First--The First Ocean-Steamer, the Savannah--Account of
 her Voyage--Misapprehensions upon the Subject                         508


 ATLANTIC CABLE: 1807-1858.

 CHAPTER XLIX.--Arctic Explorations--Russian Researches under
 Krusenstern and Kotzebue--Freycinet--Ross--The Crimson
 Cliffs--Lancaster Sound--Buchan and Franklin--Parry--The Polar
 Sea--Winter Quarters--Return Home--Duperrey--Episodes in the
 Whale-Fishery--Parry's Polar Voyage--Boat-Sledges--Method of
 Travel--Disheartening Discovery--82° 43' North                        519

 CHAPTER L.--Ross's Second Voyage--The North Magnetic
 Pole--D'Urville--Enderby's Land--Back's Voyage in the Terror--The
 Great Western and Sirius--United States' Exploring Expedition--The
 Antarctic Continent--Sir John Franklin's Last Voyage in the Erebus
 and Terror--Efforts made to relieve him--Discovery of the Scene of
 his First Winter Quarters--The Grinnell Expedition--The Advance and
 Rescue--Lieutenant de Haven--Dr. Kane--Return of the Expedition 535

 CHAPTER LI.--Kennedy's Expedition--Sir Edward
 Belcher--McClure--Discovery of the Northwest Passage--Junction of
 McClure and Kellett--Episode of the Resolute--Commodore Perry's
 Expedition--Decisive Traces of the Fate of Sir John Franklin--The
 Leviathan                                                             553

 CHAPTER LII.--The Second Grinnell Expedition--The Advance in
 Winter Quarters--Total Darkness--Sledge-Parties--Adventures--The
 First Death--Tennyson's Monument--Humboldt Glacier--The Open
 Polar Sea--Second Winter--Abandonment of the Brig--The Water
 again--Upernavik--Rescue by Captain Hartstene--Death and Services of
 Dr. Kane--Attempt to lay the Atlantic Cable                           561

 CHAPTER LIII.--Second and Third Attempts to lay the Atlantic
 Cable--The Failure in the Month of June--Description of the
 Cable--The Voyage of the Niagara--The Continuity--All Right
 again--Change from one Coil to Another--The Knights of the Black
 Hand--Unfavorable Symptoms--The Insulation broken--The Third of
 August--An Anxious Moment--Land discovered--Trinity Bay--Mr. Field
 visits the Telegraph Station--The Operators taken by Surprise--Landing
 of the Cable--Impressive Ceremony--Captain Hudson returns Thanks
 to Heaven--The Voyage of the Agamemnon--The Queen's Message--The
 Sixteenth of August--Deep-Sea Telegraphing--The Equator and the
 Cable                                                                 576

 CHAPTER LIV.--Diving--The first diving-bell--Fixed apparatus supplied
 with compressed air--The submarine hydrostat--Operations at Hell
 Gate--Diving apparatus--Submarine explosions--Improved diving
 dresses--Their use--Work of various kinds done with them--Instances
 of this--Seeking the treasure of the Hussar--Sunken ships in
 Sebastopol--Operations in Mobile--The Dry Dock at Pensacola Bay--The
 beauties of the submarine world--Habits of the fish--Possible depth of
 descent                                                               594

 CHAPTER LV.--Fishing--The ocean as a field--The crops it yields--The
 sponge--Transplanting sponges--Coral fisheries--The coral an
 animal--The discovery of this--Oyster fishery--The oyster a social
 animal--The young oyster--Oyster culture--Dredging for oysters--The
 American oyster fishery--Pearl oysters--The value of the pearl
 fishery--Shark fishing--Cuttle fish                                   627

 CHAPTER LVI.--Dredging in modern times--What it has taught
 us--Deep sea soundings--First attempts--Implements used for
 it--The chance for inventors--The temperature of the sea--Deep
 sea temperature--Self-regulating thermometers--Serial temperature
 soundings--Animal life of the sea--Deep sea dredging--The dredging
 apparatus of the Porcupine                                            652

 CHAPTER LVII.--The development of ship building--New models
 for ships--Steam ship navigation--Monitors--Iron-plated
 frigates--Tin-clads--Rams--Torpedo boats--Their use in the
 Confederacy--Life Rafts--Yacht building--Ocean yacht race--The cost of
 a yacht                                                               673

 CHAPTER LVIII.--Our knowledge of the earth and sea--How it has
 increased--The earth the daughter of the ocean--The opinion of
 science--The mean depth of the ocean--The extent of the ocean--Its
 volume--Specific gravity of sea-water--Constitution of salt-water--The
 silver in the sea--The waves of the sea--The currents of the
 ocean--The tides--The aquarium--The commerce of modern times--The
 spread of peace                                                       696


   No.                                                                Page

    1. Gigantic Cuttle Fish                                _Frontispiece._

    2. Asiatic Deluge                                                   18

    3. Hand of Satan                                                    19

    4. Stormy Petrel                                                    30

    5. The First Navigator                                              31

    6. Modern Row Boat                                                  33

    7. The Deluge and the Ark                                           35

    8. Noctulius Miliaris                                               45

    9. Supposed form of the ship _Argo_                                 54

   10. The World, according to Homer                                    61

   11. The Earth, according to Anaximander                              62

   12. The Great Penguin                                                64

   13. Greek Vessel of the 6th Century                                  65

   14. The Ptolemy Philopator                                           72

   15. Common Penguin                                                   74

   16. The Sacred Promontory                                            78

   17. Plan of Pythias' Voyage                                          79

   18. Plan of the Voyage of Nearchus                                   83

   19. Supposed form of the ships of Nearchus                           91

   20. Venetian Galley of the 10th Century                              92

   21. Wedding the Adriatic                                             95

   22. Danish vessel of the 10th Century                                99

   23. The Northmen of America                                         104

   24. Fishing for Herrings                                            107

   25. Ancient Chinese Compass                                         113

   26. Chinese Junk                                                    119

   27. Ship of the 14th Century                                        121

   28. Teneriffe                                                       122

   29. Cape Bojador                                                    124

   30. Cape Verd                                                       130

   31. Sea Swallow                                                     132

   32. Christopher Columbus                                            137

   33. Violet Asteria                                                  145

   34. The Fleet of Columbus                                           146

   35. Head of the Merganser                                           147

   36. The _Nina_ homeward bound                                       157

   37. Columbus taking possession of Guanchani                         158

   38. Reception of Columbus by Ferdinand, etc.                         162

   39. Columbus in chains at Cadiz                                     168

   40. Water Spout                                                     170

   41. The Phaeton                                                     178

   42. Vasco de Gama                                                   179

   43. Map of Africa, drawn 1497                                       182

   44. Spectre of the Cape                                             187

   45. Phosphorescence                                                 188

   46. The Man overboard, and the Albatross                            189

   47. Calicut in the 16th Century                                     196

   48. Wreck of the _San Raphael_                                      197

   49. De Gama's Flag Ship                                             204

   50. Vessels employed in the Spice Trade in the 16th Century         207

   51. Ponce de Leon and the Fountain of Youth                         213

   52. Balboa and the Indian                                           217

   53. Balboa discovering the Pacific Ocean                            219

   54. Balboa taking possession of the Pacific Ocean                   221

   55. Fate of De Solis and his companions                             224

   56. Ferdinand Magellan                                              225

   57. Cape Virgin, east end Magellan's Strait                         231

   58. Laminaria                                                       235

   59. Natives of Borneo prepare to attack Magellan                    236

   60. Tidore                                                          242

   61. Scene on the Canadian Coast                                     246

   62. Henry VIII. Embarking at Dover                                  255

   63. Francis Drake                                                   256

   64. Drake and his Raft                                              260

   65. Drake and the Patagonians                                       261

   66. Drake condemning Doughty                                        262

   67. Sea Anemones                                                    266

   68. Drake interrupting Justin at Acopulco                           270

   69. Queen Elizabeth knighting Drake                                 274

   70. British Ship of War. 1578                                       276

   71. Cavendish in Brazil                                             277

   72. Port Famine                                                     278

   73. Hull of a vessel of the Armada                                  282

   74. Procession in honor of the defeat of the Armada                 284

   75. Sir Walter Raleigh                                              285

   76. Native of the Solomon Islands                                   291

   77. Islanders before a Breeze                                       296

   78. The Dutch at Walrus Island                                      297

   79. The Dutch in Winter quarters                                    299

   80. The female Otter and her young                                  303

   81. Funeral of Mahu at Brava Island                                 304

   82. Affray between the Dutch and Patagonians                        310

   83. The Two Admirals at close quarters                              314

   84. A Dutch Pic-Nic in the Mauritius                                315

   85. Turtles Head                                                    315

   86. Woman and Child of Espiritu Santu                               316

   87. Scene at Tahiti                                                 318

   88. Hudson's vessel, _The Half Moon_, off Sandy Hook                323

   89. Dutch vessel trading at the Ladrones                            326

   90. Conflict between the Dutch and Spanish Fleets                   330

   91. The Dutch surprised by the Spaniards                            331

   92. Cape Horn                                                       335

   93. The _Concord_ at Fly Island                                     336

   94. Arctic Gull                                                     338

   95. _Speedwell_ and _Mayflower_                                     339

   96. Cod Fish                                                        345

   97. Tasman's vessel, _The Zeehaan_                                  346

   98. Murderer's Bay                                                  349

   99. Natives of Murderer's Bay                                       349

  100. A Buccaneer                                                     351

  101. Boats used in the Philippian Islands                            360

  102. Surf Bathing by Natives                                         362

  103. Polynesian Canoe with its Outrigger                             364

  104. Dampier's Boat in a Storm                                       365

  105. Wreck of the Pirate Ship, _Whidah_                              372

  106. Home of Alexander Selkirk                                       373

  107. Selkirk and his Family                                          376

  108. Catching Turtles                                                378

  109. The Hammer-headed Shark                                         382

  110. The Eagle and the Pirate                                        383

  111. Mirage at Behring's Straits                                     391

  112. Lord Anson                                                      393

  113. Bombardment of Paita                                            397

  114. Anson's Encampment at Firman                                    401

  115. The Centurion and the Treasure Ship                             407

  116. Byron at King George's Island                                   410

  117. Parting of Wallis and Oberea                                    418

  118. Burning of the _Le Prince_                                      423

  119. Chain of Phosphorescent Salpas                                  425

  120. Bougainville                                                    426

  121. A Ferry Boat at Buenos Ayres                                    428

  122. Bougainville at Magellan's Straits                              429

  123. Cascade at Port Praslin                                         433

  124. Capt. James Cook                                                435

  125. A New Zealand Canoe                                             443

  126. Cape Pigeon                                                     450

  127. Cook's ship beset by Water Spouts                               451

  128. King Otoo's sister dancing                                      455

  129. Reception of Cook at the Friendly Islands                       456

  130. Canoes of the Friendly Islands                                  458

  131. New Caledonian double Canoe                                     460

  132. Sandwich Island King to visit Cook                              461

  133. Omai                                                            465

  134. Habitations in Nootka Sound                                     467

  135. Man of the Sandwich Islands                                     469

  136. Woman of Sandwich Islands                                       470

  137. Fight with the Natives                                          472

  138. Death of Capt. Cook                                             474

  139. Lapérouse                                                       480

  140. Lapérouse's Disaster at Frenchport                              485

  141. Remnants of the wreck                                           490

  142. Consecration of the Cenotaph                                    491

  143. Scene in Terra del Fuego                                        492

  144. Colonists of Pitcairn's Island                                  498

  145. A Deserted Village                                              501

  146. The _Discovery_ on a Rock                                       502

  147. Burning of the _Philadelphia_                                   506

  148. The _Clermont_, the first steamboat                             508

  149. The _Savannah_, the first ocean steamer                         517

  150. Head of a White Bear                                            519

  151. Reception of Otzebue at Otdia                                   520

  152. Sea Lions upon the Ice                                          523

  153. Attacked by Walruses                                            524

  154. White Bears                                                     526

  155. Cutting In                                                      529

  156. Cutting Out                                                     529

  157. The Whale of Capt. de Blois                                     531

  158. The Navigators frozen in                                        535

  159. The _Victory_ in a Gale                                         536

  160. Dr. Kane                                                        547

  161. Dr. Kane passing through Devil's Nip                            548

  162. The Seal                                                        552

  163. Japanese Vessel                                                 558

  164. The Leviathan                                                   559

  165. Cape Alexander, the Arctic Gibraltar                            561

  166. Chaos                                                           563

  167. Wild Dog Team                                                   565

  168. Open Polar Sea                                                  566

  169. Seeking Eider Down                                              570

  170. The Telegraphic Fleet                                           571

  171. Hauling the Cable ashore                                        573

  172. Landing the Cable                                               574

  173. A hollow Wave                                                   575

  174. The Cable in the bed of the Ocean                               576

  175. Sections of Atlantic Cable                                      577

  176. The Telegraphic Plateau                                         584

  177. The _Agamemnon_ in a Gale                                       590

  178. The Seal                                                        594

  179. Diving Bell                                                     595

  180. Fixed Apparatus supplied with Compressed Air                    596

  181. Payerne's Submarine Hydrostat                                   598

  182. Mushroom Drill                                                  601

  183. Ready to go down                                                603

  184. Putting in the Charges                                          605

  185. Grappling Machine                                               606

  186. Divers dressed in their Apparatus                               607

  187. Divers finding a Box of Gold                                    608

  188. Arming the Diver                                                611

  189. Casting off the Diver                                           612

  190. Diver down                                                      613

  191. Cannon, bell, and bones, brought up from the Wreck              615

  192. Salvage of Russian Ships                                        616

  193. Caulking a Vessel                                               617

  194. The Northern Diver                                              625

  195. Star Fish                                                       627

  196. Sponge fishing                                                  628

  197. Coral fishing off coast of Sicily                               631

  198. Faggots suspended to receive Oyster Spat                        636

  199. Dredging for Oysters                                            639

  200. A Shell containing Chinese Pearls                               640

  201. Pearl Fisher in danger                                          642

  202. Shark fishing                                                   646

  203. Cuttle fish making his Cloud                                    648

  204. Ideal Scene                                                     650

  205. Red Coral                                                       651

  206. Dredging                                                        652

  207. Brook's Deep Sea Sounding Apparatus                             657

  208. Bull Dog Sounding Machine                                       659

  209. Massey's Sounding Machine                                       660

  210. The stern of the _Porcupine_                                    668

  211. Sail boat in a Gale                                             673

  212. _Pennsylvania_ and _Ohio_ on the Stocks                         675

  213. Monitors                                                        678

  214. Plans of the Monitors                                           679

  215. St. Louis                                                       680

  216. Double Ender                                                    681

  217. _Minnehaha_, or Tin Clad                                        683

  218. The Ram Ironsides                                               685

  219. Torpedo Explosion                                               687

  220. Life Raft         691

  221. Ocean Yacht Race, _Henrietta_, _Vesta_ and _Fleetwing_          694

  222. Fancy Sail Race                                                 695

  223. Appearance of Ice at the Poles                                  710

  224. Light Ship                                                      711

  225. A Coral Island                                                  712

[Illustration: ASIATIC DELUGE.]


Section I.




A history of the ocean from the Flood to the Atlantic Telegraph, with
a parallel sketch of ship-building from the Ark to the Iron Clad; a
narrative of the rise of commerce, from the days when Solomon's ships
traded with Ophir, to the time when the steam whistle is heard on every
open sea; a consecutive chronicle of the progress of navigation, from
the day when the timid mariner hugged the coast by day and prudently
cast anchor by night, to the time when the steamship, apparently
endowed with reason, or at least guided by instinct, seems almost to
dispense with the aid of man,--such a theme seems to offer topics of
interest which it would be difficult to find in any other subject. The
reader will readily perceive its scope when we have briefly rehearsed
what the sea once was to man, and what it now is,--the purpose of the
work being to narrate how from the one it has become the other.

In early times, in the scriptural and classic periods, the great
oceans were unknown. Mankind--at least that portion whose history has
descended to us--dwelt upon the borders of an inland, mediterranean
sea. They had never heard of such an expanse of water as the Atlantic,
and certainly had never seen it. The land-locked sheet which lay spread
out at their feet was at all times full of mystery, and often even of
dread and secret misgiving. Those who ventured forth upon its bosom
came home and told marvellous tales of the sights they had seen and the
perils they had endured. Homer's heroes returned to Ithaca with the
music of the sirens in their ears and the cruelties of the giants upon
their lips. The Argonauts saw whirling rocks implanted in the sea, to
warn and repel the approaching navigator; and, as if the mystery of the
waters had tinged with fable even the dry land beyond it, they filled
the Caucasus with wild stories of enchantresses, of bulls that breathed
fire, and of a race of men that sprang, like a ripened harvest, from
the prolific soil. If the ancients were ignorant of the shape of the
earth, it was for the very reason that they were ignorant of the ocean.
Their geographers and philosophers, whose observations were confined
to fragments of Europe, Asia, and Africa, alternately made the world a
cylinder, a flat surface begirt by water, a drum, a boat, a disk. The
legends that sprang from these confused and contradictory notions made
the land a scene of marvels and the water an abode of terrors.

At a later period, when, with the progress of time, the love of
adventure or the needs of commerce had drawn the navigator from the
Mediterranean through the Pillars of Hercules into the Atlantic, and
when some conception of the immensity of the waters had forced itself
upon minds dwarfed by the contracted limits of the inland sea, then
the ocean became in good earnest a receptacle of gloomy and appalling
horrors, and the marvels narrated by those fortunate enough to return
told how deeply the imagination had been stirred by the new scenes
opened to their vision. Pytheas, who coasted from Marseilles to the
Shetland Isles, and who there obtained a glance at the bleak and
wintry desolation of the North Sea, declared, on reaching home, that
his further progress was barred by an immense black mollusk, which
hung suspended in the air, and in which a ship would be inextricably
involved, and where no man could breathe. The menaces of the South were
even more appalling than the perils of the North; for he who should
venture, it was said, across the equator into the regions of the Sun,
would be changed into a negro for his rashness: besides, in the popular
belief, the waters there were not navigable. Upon the quaint charts
of the Middle Ages, a giant located upon the Canary Islands forbade
all farther venture westward, by brandishing his formidable club in
the path of all vessels coming from the east. Upon these singular maps
the concealed and treacherous horrors of the deep were displayed in
the grotesque shapes of sea-monsters and distorted water-unicorns,
which were represented as careering through space and waylaying the
navigator. Even in the time of Columbus, and when the introduction
of the compass into European ships should have somewhat diminished
the fantastic terrors of the sea, we find that the Arabians, the best
geographers of the time, represented the bony and gnarled hand of Satan
as rising from the waves of the Sea of Darkness,--as the Atlantic was
then called,--ready to seize and engulf the presumptuous mariner. The
sailors of Columbus, on reaching the Sargasso Sea, where the collected
weeds offered an impediment to their progress, thought they had arrived
at the limit of navigation and the end of the world. Five years later,
the crew of da Gama, on doubling the Cape of Good Hope, imagined they
saw, in the threatening clouds that gathered about Table Rock, the form
of a spectre waving off their vessel and crying woe to all who should
thus invade his dread dominion. The Neptune of the classics, in short,
who disported himself in the narrow waters of the Mediterranean, and of
whose wrath we have read the famous mythologic accounts, was a deity
altogether bland and debonnaire compared to the gloomy and revengeful
monopolist of the seas, such as the historians and geographers of the
Middle Ages painted him.

And now Columbus had discovered the Western Continent, da Gama had
found an ocean route to the Indies, and Magellan, sailing around the
world, had proved its sphericity and approached the Spice Islands from
the east. For centuries, now, the two great oceans were the scenes of
grand and useful maritime expeditions. The tropical islands of the
Pacific arose, one by one, from the bosom of the sea, to reward the
navigator or relieve the outcast. The Spanish, by dint of cruelty
and rapacity, filled their famous Manilla galleons and Acapulco
treasure-ships with the spoils of warfare and the legitimate fruits of
trade. The English, seeking to annoy a nation with whom, though not
at war, they were certainly not at peace, sent against their golden
fleets the piratical squadrons of Anson, Drake, and Hawkins. For years
property was not safe upon the sea, and trading-ships went armed,
while the armed vessels of nations turned buccaneers. The Portuguese
and Dutch colonized the coasts and islands of India, Spain sent Cortez
and Pizarro to Mexico and Peru, and England drove the Puritans across
a stormy sea to Plymouth. Commerce was spread over the world, and
Civilization and Christianity were introduced into the desert and the
wilderness. Two centuries more, and steam made the Atlantic Ocean
a ferry-transit, and the electric telegraph has now made its three
thousand miles of salt water but as one link in that girdle which
Shakspeare foresaw and which Puck promised to perform. The cable is
complete and in working-order from New Orleans to Sebastopol.

Having thus rapidly described what the ocean once was in man's
estimation, and having cursorily traced the steps by which it has taken
its place in the world's economy, it remains for us to say what the
ocean now is, and what place it now holds. It is the peaceful Highway
of Nations,--a highway without tax or toll. Were the noble idea of
the late Secretary Marcy adopted by all nations, private property
upon the sea would be sacred even in time of war. If the distances
be considered, the sea is the safest and most commodious route from
spot to spot, whether for merchandise or man. It has given up its
secrets, with perhaps the single exception of its depth, and, like the
lightning and the thunderbolt, has submitted to the yoke. Though still
sublime in its immensity and its power, it has lost those features
of character which once made it mysterious and fantastic, and has
become the sober and humdrum pathway of traffic. Mail-routes are as
distinctly marked upon its surface as the equator, or the meridian of
Greenwich: steamships leave their docks punctually at the stroke of
noon. The monsters that plough its waters have been hunted by man till
the race is well nigh exhausted; for the leviathan which frightened
the ancients is the whale which has illuminated the moderns. The chant
of the sirens is hushed, and in its place are heard the clatter of
rushing paddle-wheels, the fog-whistle on the banks, the song of the
forecastle, the yo-ho of sailors toiling at the ropes, the salute in
mid-ocean,--sometimes--alas!--the minute-gun at sea. The romance and
fable that once had here their chosen home, have fled to the caves and
taken refuge amid the grottos; and the legends that were lately told of
the ocean would now be out of place even in a graveyard or a haunted

The sailor, to whom once the route was trackless and untrodden, now
consults a volume of charts which he has obtained from the National
Observatory, and finds his course laid out upon data derived from
analogy and oft-repeated experience. He takes this or that direction in
accordance with known facts of the prevalence of winds or the motion of
currents. He keeps a record of his own experience, that in its turn it
may be useful to others. He has plans and surveys which give him the
bearings of every port, the indentations of every coast, the soundings
of every pass. Beacons warn him of reefs and sunken rocks, and buoys
mark out his course through the shallows of sounds and straits. A
modern light-house costs a million dollars, and a breakwater involves
the finances of a state. If a new light-house is erected, or is the
warning lamp for any reason discontinued, upon any coast, the fact is
made known to the commerce of all nations by a "Notice to Mariners,"
inserted in the marine department of the newspapers most likely to
meet their eye. A vessel at sea is safer from spoliation than is the
traveller upon the high road or the sojourner in a city; for there
are robbers and depredators everywhere upon the land, while there is
not a pirate on the ocean. There are well-laden treasure-ships in the
Panama and California waters, as in the times of Drake and Anson; but
the world is much older than it was, and buccaneers and flibustiers now
only infest the land.

In short, the ocean, once a formidable and repellant element, now
furnishes Christian food and healthful employment to millions. Instead
of serving to affright and appall the dwellers upon the continents
which it surrounds, it renders their atmosphere more respirable,
it affords them safe conveyance, and raises for them a school of
heroes. The ocean, then, has a history: it has a past worth narrating,
adventures worth telling, and it has played a part in the advancement
of science, in the extension of geographical knowledge, in the spread
of civilization and the progress of discovery, which it is eminently
worth our while to ponder and digest. Its gradual submission to
invasion from the land, its successive surrender of the islands in
the tropics and the ice-mountains at the poles, its slow but certain
release of its secrets, its final abandonment of its exclusiveness,
form--with a multitude of attendant incidents, accidents, battles,
disasters, shipwrecks, famines, robberies, mutinies, piracies--the
theme and purpose of these pages.

Although the ocean has lost its terrors and has given up its dominion
of dread over the mind of man, it is still poetic, and has been often
made to assume a profound moral significance and furnish apt religious
illustrations. In this connection, we cannot do better than to quote,
from Dr. Greenwood's "Poetry and Mystery of the Sea," a passage which
strongly and beautifully enforces this view:--

"'The sea is his, and He made it,' cries the Psalmist of Israel, in one
of those bursts of enthusiasm in which he so often expresses the whole
of a vast subject by a few simple words. Whose else, indeed, could it
be, and by whom else could it have been made? Who else can heave its
tides and appoint its bounds? Who else can urge its mighty waves to
madness with the breath and wings of the tempest, and then speak to it
again in a master's accents and bid it be still? Who else could have
peopled it with its countless inhabitants, and caused it to bring forth
its various productions, and filled it from its deepest bed to its
expanded surface, filled it from its centre to its remotest shores,
filled it to the brim with beauty and mystery and power? Majestic
Ocean! Glorious Sea! No created being rules thee or made thee.

"What is there more sublime than the trackless, desert,
all-surrounding, unfathomable sea? What is there more peacefully
sublime than the calm, gently-heaving, silent sea? What is there
more terribly sublime than the angry, dashing, foaming sea?
Power--resistless, overwhelming power--is its attribute and its
expression, whether in the careless, conscious grandeur of its deep
rest, or the wild tumult of its excited wrath. It is awful when its
crested waves rise up to make a compact with the black clouds and the
howling winds, and the thunder and the thunderbolt, and they sweep
on, in the joy of their dread alliance, to do the Almighty's bidding.
And it is awful, too, when it stretches its broad level out to meet
in quiet union the bended sky, and show in the line of meeting the
vast rotundity of the world. There is majesty in its wide expanse,
separating and enclosing the great continents of the earth, occupying
two-thirds of the whole surface of the globe, penetrating the land
with its bays and secondary seas, and receiving the constantly-pouring
tribute of every river, of every shore. There is majesty in its
fulness, never diminishing and never increasing. There is majesty in
its integrity,--for its whole vast substance is uniform in its local
unity, for there is but one ocean, and the inhabitants of any one
maritime spot may visit the inhabitants of any other in the wide world.
Its depth is sublime: who can sound it? Its strength is sublime: what
fabric of man can resist it? Its voice is sublime, whether in the
prolonged song of its ripple or the stern music of its roar,--whether
it utters its hollow and melancholy tones within a labyrinth of
wave-worn caves, or thunders at the base of some huge promontory, or
beats against a toiling vessel's sides, lulling the voyager to rest
with the strains of its wild monotony, or dies away, with the calm and
fading twilight, in gentle murmurs on some sheltered shore.

"The sea possesses beauty, in richness, of its own; it borrows it
from earth, and air, and heaven. The clouds lend it the various dyes
of their wardrobe, and throw down upon it the broad masses of their
shadows as they go sailing and sweeping by. The rainbow laves in it
its many-colored feet. The sun loves to visit it, and the moon and
the glittering brotherhood of planets and stars, for they delight
themselves in its beauty. The sunbeams return from it in showers of
diamonds and glances of fire; the moonbeams find in it a pathway of
silver, where they dance to and fro, with the breezes and the waves,
through the livelong night. It has a light, too, of its own,--a soft
and sparkling light, rivaling the stars; and often does the ship
which cuts its surface leave streaming behind a Milky Way of dim and
uncertain lustre, like that which is shining dimly above. It harmonizes
in its forms and sounds both with the night and the day. It cheerfully
reflects the light, and it unites solemnly with the darkness. It
imparts sweetness to the music of men, and grandeur to the thunder
of heaven. What landscape is so beautiful as one upon the borders of
the sea? The spirit of its loveliness is from the waters where it
dwells and rests, singing its spells and scattering its charms on all
the coasts. What rocks and cliffs are so glorious as those which are
washed by the chafing sea? What groves and fields and dwellings are so
enchanting as those which stand by the reflecting sea?

"If we could see the great ocean as it can be seen by no mortal eye,
beholding at one view what we are now obliged to visit in detail
and spot by spot,--if we could, from a flight far higher than the
eagle's, view the immense surface of the deep all spread out beneath
us like a universal chart,--what an infinite variety such a scene
would display! Here a storm would be raging, the thunder bursting, the
waters boiling, and rain and foam and fire all mingling together; and
here, next to this scene of magnificent confusion, we should see the
bright blue waves glittering in the sun and clapping their hands for
very gladness. Here we should see a cluster of green islands set like
jewels in the bosom of the sea; and there we should see broad shoals
and gray rocks, fretting the billows and threatening the mariner. Here
we should discern a ship propelled by the steady wind of the tropics,
and inhaling the almost visible odors which diffuse themselves around
the Spice Islands of the East; there we should behold a vessel piercing
the cold barrier of the North, struggling among hills and fields of
ice, and contending with Winter in his own everlasting dominion. Nor
are the ships of man the only travellers we shall perceive upon this
mighty map of the ocean. Flocks of sea-birds are passing and repassing,
diving for their food or for pastime, migrating from shore to shore
with unwearied wing and undeviating instinct, or wheeling and swarming
around the rocks which they make alive and vocal by their numbers and
their clanging cries.

"We shall behold new wonders and riches when we investigate the
sea-shore. We shall find both beauty for the eye and food for the body,
in the varieties of shell-fish which adhere in myriads to the rocks
or form their close dark burrows in the sands. In some parts of the
world we shall see those houses of stone which the little coral-insect
rears up with patient industry from the bottom of the waters, till they
grow into formidable rocks and broad forests whose branches never wave
and whose leaves never fall. In other parts we shall see those pale,
glistening pearls which adorn the crowns of princes and are woven in
the hair of beauty, extorted by the relentless grasp of man from the
hidden stores of ocean. And spread round every coast there are beds of
flowers and thickets of plants, which the dew does not nourish, and
which man has not sown, nor cultivated, nor reaped, but which seem to
belong to the floods alone and the denizens of the floods, until they
are thrown up by the surges, and we discover that even the dead spoils
of the fields of ocean may fertilize and enrich the fields of earth.
They have a life, and a nourishment, and an economy of their own; and
we know little of them, except that they are there, in their briny
nurseries, reared up into luxuriance by what would kill, like a mortal
poison, the vegetation of the land.

"There is mystery in the sea. There is mystery in its depths. It is
unfathomed, and, perhaps, unfathomable. Who can tell, who shall know,
how near its pits run down to the central core of the world? Who can
tell what wells, what fountains, are there, to which the fountains of
the earth are but drops? Who shall say whence the ocean derives those
inexhaustible supplies of salt which so impregnate its waters that all
the rivers of the earth, pouring into it from the time of the creation,
have not been able to freshen them? What undescribed monsters, what
unimaginable shapes, may be roving in the profoundest places of the
sea, never seeking--and perhaps, from their nature, never able to
seek--the upper waters and expose themselves to the gaze of man! What
glittering riches, what heaps of gold, what stores of gems, there must
be scattered in lavish profusion in the ocean's lowest bed! What spoils
from all climates, what works of art from all lands, have been engulfed
by the insatiable and reckless waves! Who shall go down to examine and
reclaim this uncounted and idle wealth? Who bears the keys of the deep?

"And oh! yet more affecting to the heart and mysterious to the mind,
what companies of human beings are locked up in that wide, weltering,
unsearchable grave of the sea! Where are the bodies of those lost ones
over whom the melancholy waves alone have been chanting requiem? What
shrouds were wrapped round the limbs of beauty, and of manhood, and of
placid infancy, when they were laid on the dark floor of that secret
tomb? Where are the bones, the relics, of the brave and the timid, the
good and the bad, the parent, the child, the wife, the husband, the
brother, the sister, the lover, which have been tossed and scattered
and buried by the washing, wasting, wandering sea? The journeying winds
may sigh as year after year they pass over their beds. The solitary
rain-cloud may weep in darkness over the mingled remains which lie
strewed in that unwonted cemetery. But who shall tell the bereaved to
what spot their affections may cling? And where shall human tears be
shed throughout that solemn sepulchre? It is mystery all. When shall
it be resolved? Who shall find it out? Who but He to whom the wildest
waves listen reverently, and to whom all nature bows; He who shall
one day speak, and be heard in ocean's profoundest caves; to whom the
deep, even the lowest deep, shall give up its dead, when the sun shall
sicken, and the earth and the isles shall languish, and the heavens be
rolled together like a scroll, and there shall be NO MORE SEA!"

It now remains for us to investigate the origin of navigation, as
preliminary to our subject, and then to commence the task before us
with the history of Noah, the first seaman, and the Ark, the vessel he

[Illustration: THE STORMY PETREL.]

[Illustration: THE FIRST NAVIGATOR.]



The origin of navigation is unknown. It has baffled the research of
antiquaries, for the simple reason that men sailed upon the sea before
they committed the records of their history to paper, or that such
records, if any existed, were swept away and lost in the periods of
anarchy which succeeded. Imagination has suggested that the nautilus,
or Portuguese man-of-war, raising its tiny sail and floating off before
the breeze, first pointed out to man the use which might be made of the
wind as a propelling force; that a split reed, following the current of
some tranquil stream and transporting a beetle over its glassy surface,
was the first canoe, while the beetle was the first sailor. Mythology
represents Hercules as sailing in a boat formed of the hide of a lion,
and translates ships to the skies, where they still figure among the
constellations. Fable makes Atlas claim the invention of the oar, and
gives to Tiphys, the pilot of the Argo, the invention of the rudder.
The attributing of these discoveries and improvements to particular
individuals doubtless afforded pastime to poets in ages when poetry
was more popular than history. Instead of trusting to these fanciful
authorities, we may form a very rational theory upon the matter in the
following manner:--

Whether it was an insect that floated on a leaf across a rivulet and
was stranded on the bank, or a beaver carried down a river upon a log,
or a bear borne away upon an iceberg, that first awakened man to the
conception of trusting himself fearlessly upon the water, it is highly
probable that he learned from animals, whose natural element it is, the
manner of supporting his body upon it and of forcing his way through
it. A frog darting away from the rim of a pond and striking out with
his fore-legs may have suggested swimming, and the beaver floating on a
log may have suggested following his example. The log may not have been
sufficiently buoyant, and the adventurer may have added to its buoyancy
by using his arms and legs. Even to this day the Indians of our own
country cross a rapid stream by clasping the trunk of a tree with the
left leg and arm and propelling themselves with the right. Thus the
first step was taken; and the second was either to place several logs
together, thus forming a raft, and raising its sides, or to make use
of a tree hollowed out by nature. Many trees grow hollow naturally,
such as oaks, limes, beeches, and willows; and it would not require a
degree of adaptation beyond the capacity of a savage, to fit them to
float and move upon the water. The next step was probably to hollow out
by art a sound log, thus imitating the trunk which had been eroded by
time and decay. And, in making this step from the sound to the hollow
log, the primitive mariners may have been assisted by observing how an
empty nut-shell or an inverted tortoise-shell floated upon the water,
preserving their inner surface dry and protecting such objects as their
size enabled them to carry. It has been aptly remarked that this first
step was the greatest of all,--"for the transition from the hollow tree
to the ship-of-the-line is not so difficult as the transition from
nonentity to the hollow tree."

The first object for obtaining motion upon the water must evidently
have been to enable the navigator to cross a river,--not to ascend or
descend it; as it is apparent he would not seek the means of following
or stemming its current while the same purpose could be more easily
served by walking along the shore. It is not difficult to suppose that
the oar was suggested by the legs of a frog or the fins of a fish. The
early navigator, seated in his hollow tree, might at first seek to
propel himself with his hands, and might then artificially lengthen
them by a piece of wood fashioned in imitation of the hand and arm,--a
long pole terminating in a thin flat blade. Here was the origin of the
modern row-boat, one of the most graceful inventions of man.


From the oar to the rudder the transition was easy, for the oar is in
itself a rudder, and was for a long time used as one. It must have
been observed at an early day that a canoe in motion was diverted from
its direct course by plunging an oar into the water and suffering it
to remain there. It must have been observed, too, that an oar in or
towards the stern was more effective in giving a new direction to the
canoe than an oar in any other place. It was a natural suggestion of
prudence, then, to assign this duty to one particular oarsman, and to
place him altogether at the stern.

The sail is not so easily accounted for. An ancient tradition relates
that a fisherman and his sweetheart, allured from the shore in the
hope of discovering an island, and surprised by a tempest, were in
imminent danger of destruction. Their only oar was wrenched from the
grasp of the fisherman, and the frail bark was thus left to the mercy
of the waves. The maiden raised her white veil to protect herself and
her lover from the storm; the wind, inflating this fragile garment,
impelled them slowly but surely towards the coast. Their aged sire,
the tradition continues, suddenly seized with prophetic inspiration,
exclaimed, "The future is unfolded to my view! Art is advancing
to perfection! My children, you have discovered a powerful agent
in navigation. All nations will cover the ocean with their fleets
and wander to distant regions. Men, differing in their manners and
separated by seas, will disembark upon peaceful shores, and import
thence foreign science, superfluities, and art. Then shall the mariner
fearlessly cruise over the immense abyss and discover new lands and
unknown seas!" Though we may admire the foresight of this patriarch,
we cannot applaud him for choosing a moment so inopportune for
exercising his peculiar gift: it would certainly have been more natural
to afford some comfort to his weather-beaten children. The legend
even goes on to state that he at once fixed a pole in the middle of
the canoe, and, attaching to it a piece of cloth, invented the first
sail-boat. Mythology assigns a different, though similar, origin to the
invention:--Iris, seeking her son in a bark which she impelled by oars,
perceived that the wind inflated her garments and gently forced her in
the direction in which she was going.

No research would bring the investigator to conclusions more
satisfactory than these. The fact would still remain, that the first
mention in profane history of constructions moving upon the water, is
many centuries subsequent to the period in which the idea of building
such constructions must be presumed to have been first conceived. It
would consequently be idle to devote more space to this subject; and we
proceed at once, therefore, to the first of recorded ventures upon the

[Illustration: THE DELUGE AND THE ARK.]



The earliest mention of the sea made in history occurs in the first
chapter of Genesis. During the period of chaos, and before the creation
of light, darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God
moved upon the face of the waters. Upon the third day the waters under
the heavens were gathered together in one place and were called Seas;
the dry land appeared and was called Earth. The waters were commanded
to bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life; and, upon
the creation of man in the image of God, dominion was given him over
the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, and every creeping thing that
creepeth upon the earth.

In the year of the world 1556--according to the generally accepted
computation--God determined to destroy man and all creeping things
and the fowls of the air, for He said, "It repenteth me that I have
made them." Noah alone found grace in the eyes of the Lord, and was
instructed to build him an ark of gopher-wood three hundred cubits in
length, fifty in breadth, and thirty in height. It was to consist of
three stories, divided into rooms, to contain one door and one window,
and was to be smeared within and without with pitch. Noah was engaged
one hundred years in constructing the ark,--from the age of five
hundred to that of six hundred years,--and when it was fully completed
he gathered his family into it, with pairs of all living creatures.
Then were the fountains of the great deep broken up and the windows of
heaven opened. The rains descended during forty days and forty nights.
The waters arose and lifted up the ark from the earth. The mountains
were covered to a depth of twenty-two feet, and all flesh died that
moved upon the earth: Noah alone remained alive, and they that were
with him in the ark.

The flood commenced in the second month of Noah's six hundredth year.
During five months the waters prevailed; in the seventh the ark rested
upon the summit of Mount Ararat. In the tenth month the tops of the
mountains were seen; in the eleventh Noah sent forth a dove, which
speedily returned, having found no rest for the sole of her foot; on
the seventeenth day he again sent forth the dove, which returned,
bringing an olive-leaf in her bill, and, being again sent forth,
returned no more. On the first day of the first month of his six
hundred and first year, Noah removed the covering of the ark and saw
that the face of the ground was dry. Toward the close of the second
month the earth was dried, and Noah went forth with his sons, his wife,
and his sons' wives. He built an altar and offered burnt-offerings of
every beast and fowl to the Lord. God then made a promise to Noah that
he would no more destroy the earth by flood, and stretched the rainbow
in the clouds in token of this solemn covenant between himself and the
children of men.

Such is the scriptural history of the Deluge,--the first great
chronological event in the annals of the world after the Creation.
The investigations of philosophy and of infidelity into the accuracy
of the Mosaic account have resulted in furnishing confirmation of the
most direct and positive kind. The principal objections of cavillers
turn upon three points: 1st, the absence of any concurrent testimony
by the profane writers of antiquity; 2d, the apparent impossibility of
accounting for the quantity of water necessary to overflow the whole
earth to the depth stated; and, 3d, the needlessness of a universal
deluge, as the same purpose might have been answered by a partial one.
These objections may be briefly considered here.

1. The absence of positive testimony from profane historians. However
true it may be that there is no consecutive account of the Deluge
except that given in the Bible, it is certain that records relating
to the ark had been preserved, among the early nations of the world
and in the general system of Gentile mythology. Plutarch mentions the
dove that was sent forth from the ark. The Greek fable of Deucalion
and Pyrrha is absolutely the same as the scriptural narrative of Noah
and his wife. The Egyptians carried their deity, upon occasions of
solemnity, in an ark or boat, and this ark was called "Baris," from
the name of a mountain upon which, doubtless, in their own legend, the
Egyptian ark had rested, as did the scriptural ark upon Mount Ararat.
The Temple of Sesostris was fashioned after the model of the ark, and
was consecrated to Osiris at Theba. This name of Theba given to a city
is an important point, for Theba was the appellation of the ark itself.
The same name was borne by numerous cities in Boeotia, Attica, Ionia,
Syria, and Italy; and the city of Apamea, in Phrygia, was originally
called Kibotos, or Ark, in memory of the Deluge. This fact shows that
the tradition of the Deluge was preserved in Asia Minor from a very
remote antiquity. In India, ancient mythological books have been shown
to contain fragmentary accounts of some great overflow corresponding
in a remarkable degree with that given by Moses. The Africans, the
Chinese, and the American Indians even, have traditions of a flood in
the early annals of the world, and of the preservation of the human
race and of animated nature by means of an ark. It is impossible to
account for the universality of this legend, unless the fact of the
Deluge be admitted.

2. The apparent material impossibility of producing water in sufficient
quantity to overflow the earth. The means by which the flood was
produced are stated in the Mosaic narrative: the fountains of the
great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened;
that is, the water rushed out from the bowels of the earth, where
it had been confined, and the clouds poured forth their rains. This
would seem to be a sufficient explanation, if any explanation of an
event clearly miraculous and supernatural be necessary at all. It has
been discovered, however, that the Deluge might have been caused, and
might at any time be repeated, by a very simple process. It has been
demonstrated that the various seas and oceans which invest the two
principal hemispheres, contain water enough to overflow the land and
cover the highest mountains to the depth of twenty-two feet, were their
temperature merely raised to a degree equal to that of the shallow
tropical seas! Were the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans suddenly warmed to
a point perfectly compatible with the maintenance of animal life, they
would expand sufficiently to overflow the Cordilleras and the Alps.

3. The needlessness of a universal deluge, as a partial one would have
answered all purposes. That the Deluge was universal is distinctly
stated by Scripture. Had not God intended it to be so, he would hardly
have instructed Noah to spend a hundred years in the construction of
an ark: a spot of the earth yet uninhabited by man might have been
designated, where Noah could have gathered his family; there would
have been no necessity for shutting up pairs of all animals in the
ark with which to re-stock the earth, for they could have been easily
brought from the parts of the earth not overflowed into those that
were. Then we are told that the water ascended twenty-two feet above
the highest mountains,--a distinct physical proof that the whole earth
was inundated, for water then, as now, would seek its level, and must,
by the laws of gravity, spread itself over the rest of the earth,
unless, indeed, it were retained there by a miracle; and in this case
Moses would certainly have mentioned it, as he did the suspension of
the laws of nature in the case of the waters of the Red Sea. Then,
again, had the Deluge been partial and confined to the neighborhood of
the Euphrates and Tigris, it would be impossible to account for the
fact that in remote countries--in Italy, France, Germany, England, the
United States--there have been found, in places far from the sea, and
upon the tops of high mountains, the teeth and bones of animals, fishes
in an entire condition, sea-shells, ears of corn, &c., petrified. The
explanation of this has always been derived from the circumstance of a
universal deluge. The fact, too, already mentioned, that the Chinese,
the Greeks, and the Indians have traditions of a deluge, seems to be
conclusive evidence that that terrible dispensation was not confined to
the district which was at that period scriptural ground, but visited
alike Palestine and Peru, Canaan and Connecticut.

We now return to the ark, the period of whose completion we have
already given,--the year of the world 1656, or the year before Christ
2348. Three points are now to be considered:--the material of which it
was built, its capacity and dimensions, and its form.

1. _The Material of which it was built._ The Mosaic account says
expressly that it was built of gopher-wood; but it has never been
satisfactorily determined what wood is meant by the term "gopher."
Numerous interpretations have been placed upon it: by one authority it
is rendered "timber squared by the workman;" by another, "timber made
from trees which shoot out quadrangular branches in the same horizontal
line," such as cedar and fir; by another, "smoothed or planed timber;"
by another, "wood that does not readily decay," such as boxwood or
cedar; by another, "the wood of such trees as abound with resinous,
inflammable juices," as the cedar, fir, cypress, pine, &c. That the ark
was built of cedar would seem to be probable, from the fact that this
wood corresponds more than any other with the numerous significations
given to the term "gopher," as it is quadrangular in its branches,
durable, almost incorruptible, resinous, and highly inflammable; from
the fact, too, that it is abundant in Asia, and known to have been
employed by the Assyrians and Egyptians in the construction of ships.
One or two authorities, however, maintain that the ark was made of
the wood of the cypress, their grounds being that the cypress was
considered by the ancients the most durable wood against rot and worms;
that it abounded in Assyria, where the ark was probably built; and that
it was frequently employed in the construction of ships, especially
by Alexander, who built a whole fleet from the cypress groves in the
neighborhood of Babylon.

2. _Its Capacity and Dimensions._ The proportions of the ark, as given
in the sacred volume, have been examined and compared with the greatest
precision by the most learned and accurate calculators; and, assuming
the cubit to have been of the value of eighteen inches of the present
day, it follows that the ark was four hundred and fifty feet long, by
seventy-five wide, by forty-five high. From these data its burden has
been deduced, and is now understood to have been forty-two thousand
four hundred and thirteen tons. Such a construction would have allowed
ample room for the eight persons who were to inhabit it,--Noah and
his wife, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives,--about two hundred
and fifty pair of four-footed beasts, the fowls of the air, such
reptiles and insects as could not live under water, together with the
food necessary for their subsistence for a twelvemonth. It has been
doubted whether Noah took with him into the ark specimens of all living
creatures. It is reasonable to suppose that, as the world was nearly
seventeen centuries old, the animal creation had spread itself over a
large portion of the antediluvian earth, and that certain species had
consequently become indigenous in certain climates. It is therefore
probable that many species were not to be found in the country where
Noah dwelt and where he built the ark. We are not told in the Bible
that any kind of animals were brought from a distance,--a fact which
renders it probable that Noah only saved pairs of the species which had
become natives of the territory which he inhabited. This would be to
suppose that many species perished in the flood and were consequently
never renewed,--a supposition which derives strong support from the
numerous discoveries made in modern times of the exuviæ of animals
which no longer exist, and whose destruction is attributed to the
Deluge. A list of such extinct species was drawn up by Cuvier.

The presumptive evidence which may be adduced in support of the
scriptural history of the preparation of the ark is very strong; it is,
indeed, the only solution of an otherwise insuperable difficulty. The
early records of the whole Gentile world, as has been stated, concur in
declaring the fact of a universal deluge; and yet the human race and
all the more useful and important species of animals survived it. Now,
the people of those times had no ships and were totally unacquainted
with navigation: it is evident, therefore, that they were not saved by
vessels in ordinary use. Even though we were to suppose them possessed
of shipping, it is impossible to believe that they would or could have
provisioned them for a year's cruise, unless we suppose them to have
been forewarned precisely as Moses relates; and it is certainly as
easy to believe the whole of the Bible narrative as a portion. Such a
structure as the ark, for the preservation and sustenance of the human
race and of the animal kingdom, seems, then, to have been absolutely

3. _Its Form._ From the dimensions given in the sixth chapter of
Genesis, it is evident that the ark had the shape of an oblong square,
with a sloping roof and a flat bottom; that it was furnished with
neither helm, mast, nor oars; that it was intended to lie upon the
water without rolling, and formed to float rather than to sail. Its
proportions, it has been remarked, nearly agree with those of the human
figure,--three hundred cubits in length being six times its breadth,
fifty cubits, and the average length of the human frame being to its
width as six is to one. Now, the body of a man lying in the water flat
on his back will float with little or no exertion. It would appear,
therefore, that similar proportions would suit a vessel whose purpose
was floating only. It is not necessary to suppose that the ark had to
contend with either storm or wind. The waves of water lying to the
depth of a few fathoms upon a submerged continent could not, at any
rate, be compared in violence to those of the ocean. The gathering
of the flood lasted but forty days, and although the ark floated for
a year, nearly eleven months were occupied in the subsidence of the
water. It is probable that the ark was gradually and slowly surrounded
by the advancing tide, was quietly lifted up upon its surface, that
it hovered about the spot where it was constructed, and finally, upon
the disappearance of the water, settled as quietly back upon its broad
basis and projecting supports.

It is a curious fact that many minds which have refused to accept the
evidences of a communication between God and man in the instances
of Moses and of our Savior, admit the strong probability of a
communication having passed from God to Noah. The chain of argument
is indeed exceedingly strong. Mr. Taylor thus seeks to establish
the fact that the Deity did, in the case of Noah, condescend to
make known his intentions to man. "Was the Deluge," he asks, "a
real occurrence? All mankind acknowledge it. Wherever tradition has
been maintained, wherever written records are preserved, wherever
commemorative rites have been instituted, what has been their subject?
The Deluge:--deliverance from destruction by a flood. The savage and
the sage agree in this: North and South, East and West, relate the
danger of their great ancestor from overwhelming waters. But he was
saved: and how? By personal exertion? By long-continued swimming? By
concealment in the highest mountains? No: but by enclosure in a large
floating edifice of his own construction. But this labor was long:
it was not the work of a day: he must have foreseen so astonishing an
event a considerable time previous to its actual occurrence. Whence
did he receive this foreknowledge? Did the earth inform him that at
twenty, thirty, forty years' distance it would disgorge a flood? Surely
not. Did the stars announce that they would dissolve the terrestrial
atmosphere in terrific rains? Surely not. Whence, then, had Noah his
foreknowledge? Did he begin to build when the first showers descended?
It was too late. Had he been accustomed to rains, formerly? Why think
them now of importance? Had he never seen rain? What could induce him
to provide against it? Why this year more than last year? Why last
year more than the year before? These inquiries are direct: we cannot
flinch from the fact. Erase it from the Mosaic records, still it is
recorded in Greece, in Egypt, in India, in Britain; it is registered in
the very _sacra_ of the pagan world. Go, infidel, take your choice of
difficulties: either disparage all mankind as fools, as willing dupes
to superstitious commemoration, or allow that this fact, this one fact,
is established by testimony abundantly sufficient; but remember that if
it be established, it implies a _communication from God to man_. Who
could inform Noah? Why did not that great patriarch provide against
fire? against earthquakes? against explosions? Why against water? why
against a deluge? Away with subterfuge! confess frankly it was the
dictation of Deity. Say that He only who made the world could predict
the time and causes of this devastation, that He only could excite the
hope of restoration, or suggest a method of deliverance."

It is a remarkable fact, and one which goes far to support the argument
often urged to combat the opinions of atheists, that the ark could
not have been built by man, unassisted by the divine intelligence, at
that age of the world,--that the ark, the first and largest ship ever
built, had precisely the same proportions as the ocean steamers of our
own day. Its dimensions were, as we have said, three hundred cubits,
by fifty, by thirty. Those of several of the fleetest Atlantic mail
steamers are three hundred feet in length, fifty feet in breadth of
beam, and twenty-eight and a half in depth. They have, like the ark,
upper, lower, and middle stories. It is, to say the least, singular,
that the ship-builders of the present day, neglecting the experience
acquired by man from forty-two centuries spent more or less upon the
sea, should so directly and unreservedly return to the model of the
vessel constructed to outride the Flood. It was therefore with obvious
propriety that, at one of the late convivial meetings in England during
the preparations for laying the telegraphic cable, after due honor had
been paid to the celebrities of the occasion and the moment, after
the health of the Queen and the memory of Columbus had been pledged
and drunk, a toast was offered to our great ancestor Noah. Though the
proposition was received with hilarity and the idea seemed to savor
somewhat of a jest, yet the patriarch's claims, as the first admiral
on record, to being the father of seamen and the great originator of
navigation, were willingly and vociferously acknowledged. After this
recognition--which must, from the circumstances, be regarded as in
some measure official and conclusive--we could not consistently have
ventured to withhold from him the first place in this record of the
triumphs of thirty centuries.




It is upon the shores of the Mediterranean, alike the sea of the
Bible and of mythology, of Mount Ararat and Mount Olympus,--among
the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, and the Hebrews,--that we must look
for the earliest traces of navigation and commerce. The most cursory
inspection of a map of Palestine, Phoenicia, and Egypt will show how
admirably these countries were situated for trade both by land and sea.
The Phoenicians, though confined to the narrow slip of land between
Mount Lebanon and the Mediterranean, possessed a safe coast and the
admirable harbor of Sidon, while their mountains furnished them an
abundant supply of the best woods for ship-building. The confined
limits of their own territory prevented them from being themselves
producers or manufacturers,--a circumstance which naturally led them to
be the carriers of producing and manufacturing nations whose maritime
advantages were inferior to their own. The fact, also, that the Jews
were prevented by their government, laws, and religion from engaging
extensively in commerce, and that the Egyptians were characteristically
averse to the sea, augmented the commercial supremacy of the
Phoenicians,--a supremacy recognised both in the sacred writings and in
profane records.

It is now generally conceded that the date of the maritime enterprises
which rendered the Phoenicians famous in antiquity must be fixed
between the years 1700 and 1100 before Christ. The renowned city of
Sidon was the centre from which their expeditions were sent forth. What
was the specific object of these excursions, or in what order of time
they took place, is but imperfectly known: it would appear, however,
that their adventurers traded at first with Cyprus and Rhodes, then
with Greece, Sardinia, Sicily, Gaul, and the coast of Spain upon the
Mediterranean. About 1250 B.B., their ships ventured cautiously beyond
the Straits of Gibraltar, and founded Cadiz upon a coast washed by the
Atlantic. A little later they founded establishments upon the western
coast of Africa. Homer asserts that at the Trojan War, 1194 BC., the
Phoenicians furnished the belligerents with many articles of luxury and
convenience; and we are told by Scripture that their ships brought gold
to Solomon from Ophir, in 1000 B.C. Tyre seems now to have superseded
Sidon, though at what period is not known. It had become a flourishing
mart before 600 B.C. who lived at that time, has left a glowing and
picturesque description of its wealth, which must have proceeded from
a long-established commerce. He enumerates, among the articles used
in building the Tyrian ships, the fir-trees of Senir, the cedars of
Lebanon, the oaks of Bashan, the ivory of the Indies, the linen of
Egypt, and the purple of the Isles of Elishah. He mentions, as brought
to the great emporium from Syria, Damascus, Greece, and Arabia, silver,
tin, lead, and vessels of brass; slaves, horses, mules; carpets, ebony,
ivory, pearls, and silk; wheat, balm, honey, oil, and gum; wine, wool,
and iron.

It is about this period--600 B.C.--that the Phoenicians, though
under Egyptian commanders, appear to have performed a voyage which,
if authentic, may justly be regarded as the most important in their
annals,--a circumnavigation of Africa. The extent of this unknown
region, and the peculiar aspects of man and nature there, had
already drawn toward it in a particular degree the attention of the
ancient world. The manner in which its coasts converged, south of the
Mediterranean and the Red Sea, suggested the idea of a peninsula,
the circumnavigation of which might be effected even by the limited
resources of the early naval powers. The first attempt in this
direction originated in a quarter which had been accustomed, from
its agricultural avocations, to hold itself aloof from every species
of maritime enterprise. It was undertaken by order of Necho, king
of Egypt,--the Pharaoh Necho of the Scriptures,--and is recorded by
Herodotus as follows:

"When Necho had desisted from his attempts to join the Red Sea with the
Mediterranean by means of a canal at the Isthmus of Suez, he despatched
some vessels, under the guidance of Phoenician pilots, with orders to
sail down the Red Sea and follow the coast of Africa: they were to
return to Egypt by the Pillars of Hercules and the Mediterranean. The
Phoenicians, therefore, taking their course by way of the Red Sea,
sailed onward to the Southern Ocean. Upon the approach of autumn they
landed in Libya and planted corn in the place where they first went
ashore. When this was ripe they cut it down and set sail again. Having
in this manner consumed two years, in the third they passed the Pillars
of Hercules and returned to Egypt. This story may be believed by
others, but to me it appears incredible, for they affirm that when they
sailed round Libya they had the sun on their right hand."

In the time of Herodotus, the Greeks were unacquainted with the
phenomenon of a shadow falling to the south,--one which the Phoenicians
would naturally have witnessed had they actually passed the Cape of
Good Hope, for the sun would have been on their right hand, or in the
north, and would thus have projected shadows to the south. As this
story was not one likely to have been invented in the time of Necho,
it is the strongest proof that could be adduced of the reality of the
voyage. Doubts have been raised in modern times upon the accuracy
of the narrative; but the objections are considered as having been
refuted by Rennell and Heeren. Bartholomew Diaz has the credit of
having discovered and having been the first to double the Cape of Good
Hope, in 1486: it is clear that, if the claims of the Phoenician pilots
are to be regarded, Diaz was preceded in this path at least twenty

Soon after the date of this voyage, Tyre was besieged and destroyed
by Nebuchadnezzar. The inhabitants succeeded in escaping with their
property to an island near the shore, where they founded New Tyre,
which soon surpassed, both in commerce and shipping, the city they
had abandoned. The Phoenicians seem now to have advanced with their
system of colonization farther to the south upon the coast of Africa,
and farther to the north upon the coast of Spain. They discovered the
Cassiterides--now the Scilly Islands--upon the coast of Cornwall,
and retained the monopoly of the trade in the tin which they found
there. They carried spices and perfumes, obtained from Arabia, to
Greece, where they were employed for sacrifice and incense. They
also sold there the manufactures, purple, and jewels of Tyre and
Sidon. From Spain they obtained silver, corn, wine, oil, wax, wool,
and fruits. They procured amber in some place which they visited in
the North,--doubtless the shores of the Baltic. As the value of this
article was equal to that of gold, they desired to retain the monopoly
of the trade and to keep all knowledge of the regions yielding it from
their commercial rivals. Hence the secret was most carefully hoarded.

A remarkable circumstance connected with the maritime history of the
Phoenicians was their jealousy of the influence of foreigners. When
a strange ship was observed to keep them company at sea, they would
either outsail her, or at night change their course and disappear. On
one occasion a Phoenician captain, finding himself pursued by a Roman
vessel, ran his ship aground and wrecked her, rather than lose the
secret which a capture would have revealed. This act was deemed so
patriotic that the government rewarded him, and compensated him for the
loss of his vessel. New Tyre was destroyed by Alexander the Great, 324
B.C. The inhabitants were either put to death or sold as slaves, and
thus the maritime glory of the Phoenicians came to an untimely end.

Little is known of the construction and equipment of Phoenician
ships. All that can be said with certainty is, that there were
two kinds,--those employed in commerce and those used for war,--a
distinction, indeed, which all nations, both ancient and modern, have
found it convenient to make. The hulls of the trading-vessels were
round, that they might carry more goods, while the fighting-ships
were longer and sharp at the bottom. In other respects they probably
resembled the vessels of Greece and Rome, for which they undoubtedly
furnished models. Of these fuller details have reached us, and we
shall speak of them in their place. The Phoenicians were better
astronomers than the unskilful navigators who had preceded them; for,
while these attempted to guide their course by the imperfect aid of
the constellation known as the Great Bear,--some of whose stars are
forty degrees from the pole,--the Phoenicians were the first to apply
to maritime purposes the Lesser Bear,--the group which has furnished to
more modern navigation the North or Polar Star. It is not probable that
they fixed upon this particular star, for at that period--1250 years
B.C.--it was eighteen degrees from the pole, too distant to serve any
positive astronomical purpose.

We come now to the Egyptians as a maritime people in the earliest
historical periods, of whom we have incidentally said that they were
characteristically disinclined to enter with spirit into any maritime
enterprises, whether for commerce or war. This may have been owing to
the want of proper timber, to the insalubrity of the sea-coasts, and
to the absence of good harbors; while the advantages presented by
the Nile for intercourse and traffic with the interior precluded the
necessity of resorting to commerce by sea. Sesostris, who lived about
1650 years before Christ, is supposed to have been the first king who
overcame the dislike of the Egyptians to the water. Herodotus assigns
him a large fleet in the Red Sea, and other historians attribute to him
fleets upon the Mediterranean. Upon his death, his subjects relapsed
into their former aversion for commerce. Bocchoris, 700 B.C., imitated
and revived his legislation upon the subject; and during the reign of
Psammeticus the ports of Egypt were first opened to foreign ships,
and intercourse with the Greeks was for the first time encouraged. It
was Necho, the successor of Psammeticus, who employed, 600 B.C., the
Phoenicians in the voyage around Africa of which we have spoken; and
this enterprise bespeaks a monarch bent on maritime discovery. Apries,
the grandson of Necho, took the city of Sidon by storm and defeated
the Phoenicians in a sea-fight. It is probable that the Egyptians,
had they continued independent, would have become distinguished as a
commercial people; but seventy years afterwards they were conquered by
the Persians, and became successively subject to the Macedonians and

We possess but little knowledge of the construction and equipment of
the Egyptian ships. According to Herodotus, they were built of planks
of the thorn-tree, fastened together, like tiles, with a great number
of wooden pins, and were entirely without ribs. On the inside papyrus
was used for stopping the crevices. The sails were made of the papyrus,
or of twisted rushes. These vessels were always towed up the Nile,
while they descended the stream in the following manner. The current
not acting with sufficient force upon their flat bottoms, the sailors
hung a bundle of tamarisk over the prow and let it down under the keel
by a rope: the stream, bearing upon this bundle, carried the boat along
with great celerity.

The Jews, whose country was ill situated for commerce by sea, were
even more averse than the Egyptians to intercourse with foreigners
and to maritime occupations. Joppa was the only seaport of Judea and
Jerusalem, and into it many of the articles used by Solomon in the
construction of the Temple were imported. During Solomon's reign, he
employed the ships of his ally, Hiram, King of Tyre, in commercial
avocations, for which his own people were not fitted. It is among the
Jews, whose history is given in the Scripture with so much detail,
that we should naturally look for the earliest geographical records.
The sacred writers, however, seem to have entertained no idea of any
system of geography, having been occupied with the affairs of the world
to come, to the total exclusion of the concerns of the mundane earth.
They do not even allude to any such branch of learning as being then
in existence. It is clear that the Hebrews never attempted to form any
theory upon the structure and shape of the globe. Their ideas with
regard to the boundaries of the known world may be vaguely inferred
from the tenth chapter of Genesis, from the chapters treating of the
commerce of Tyre, and from various detached allusions in the prophets.

The idea, common to all uninstructed people, that the earth is a flat
surface and the heaven a firmament or curtain spread over it, prevails
throughout the Bible. The abode of darkness and of the shadow of death
was conceived to be a deep pit beneath it. One sacred writer speaks of
the earth as being "hung upon nothing;" another speaks of the "pillars
of the earth," and another of the "pillars of heaven." These allusions
show sufficiently that, though the writers of those days were impressed
by the external view of the grand scenes of nature, they did not
endeavor to group them into any regular system.

The localities always alluded to as being at the farthest bounds of
their geographical knowledge are Tarshish, Ophir, the Isles, Sheba,
Dedan, The River, Gog, Magog, and the North. The first has given rise
to infinite discussion. The best theory makes it the name of Carthage,
and gives it, by extension, to the whole continent of Africa. Ophir is
probably Sofala, on the eastern coast of Africa. The Isles are thought
to have been the southern coasts and promontories of Europe, Greece,
Italy, &c., which were supposed at that period to be insular. Sheba was
Sabæa, or Arabia Felix. Dedan is supposed to have been a port in the
Persian Gulf. The River was the Euphrates, beyond which were tracts
indefinitely known as Elam and Media, and still beyond a region known
as "The Ends of the Earth." Gog, Magog, and the North have been usually
supposed to refer to the inhabitants of Scythia and Sarmatia, and the
hyperborean nations in general, though a later and more natural theory
makes them refer to the migratory shepherds and warriors of Cappadocia,
Phrygia, and Galatia. It thus appears that the primitive Israelites
knew little beyond the limits of their own country, Egypt, and the
regions lying between the Mediterranean, or the Sea, and the Euphrates.
A knowledge of the water, we have already remarked, is essential to
the formation of any correct and adequate idea of the shape and extent
of the land. The Jews had never ventured forth upon the sea for the
discovery of new regions, and were, in consequence, ignorant even of
that in which they dwelt. We shall find that the Greeks and Romans,
whose maritime history we shall now briefly narrate, approached the
truth in regard to the form and extent of the world, precisely as their
commerce expanded and their ambition for conquest and colonization




At what period the Greeks began to build vessels and to venture
upon the waters washing their coasts and girding their numerous
archipelagoes, is not known: it is certain, at any rate, that the
commencement of navigation with them, as with all other nations, must
be referred to a time much anterior to the ages of which we have any
record. Long voyages are mentioned as having taken place at periods
so early that they must be considered mythical. The first maritime
adventure which lays any claim to authenticity, and the most celebrated
in ancient times, is the expedition of the Argonauts to Colchis.
Though this enterprise is by many learned authorities deemed fabulous,
we shall nevertheless consider three points connected with it,--the
probable era of the voyage, its supposed object, and the various routes
by which the adventurers are said to have returned.

The date of the expedition, if it took place at all, may be safely
fixed at the year 1250 B.C. A theory propounded by Sir Isaac Newton
would connect it with the year 937; but this is regarded with less
favor than the earlier date. Its alleged object was the Golden Fleece;
but what this was can only be conjectured. It is hardly likely that
the people of that age would have been tempted by the prospect of
commercial advantages by opening a trade with the Euxine Sea. It is
quite as unlikely that they would have undertaken so dangerous a voyage
for the purpose of plunder, better opportunities for which existed much
nearer home. The supposition that the Golden Fleece was a parchment
containing the secret of transmuting the baser metals into gold, and
the opinion that the Argonauts went in quest of skins and rich furs,
hardly require discussion. There seems, indeed, no adequate motive
but a desire to obtain the precious metals, which were believed to be
furnished in abundance by the mines near the Black Sea. Why these mines
were symbolized under the appellation of a golden fleece it is not easy
to say, and no satisfactory reason has ever been suggested. The most
probable is that the gold dust was supposed to be washed down the sides
of the Caucasus Mountains by torrents, and caught by fleeces of wool
placed among the rocks by the inhabitants.

Jason, the son of the King of Thessaly, being deprived of his
inheritance, and having resolved to seek his fortune by some remote and
hazardous expedition, was induced to go in quest of the Golden Fleece
in Colchis. He enlisted fifty men, and employed a person named Argus to
build him a ship, which from him was called Argo, the adventurers being
named Argonauts. The Argo is described as a pentecontoros,--that is, a
vessel with fifty oars. The number of the Argonauts is usually stated
at fifty, though one authority asserts that they numbered one hundred.
They started from Iolcos in Thessaly, and with a south wind sailed
east by north. The narrative of the expedition is full of wonders.
They landed at the island of Lemnos, where they found that the women
had just murdered their husbands and fathers. The Argonauts supplied
the place of the assassinated relatives, and Jason had two sons by
one of the bereaved Lemnians. When the vessel arrived at the entrance
to the Euxine,--the narrow strait now called the Bosphorus,--they
built a temple, and implored the protection of the gods against the
Symplegades, or Whirling Rocks, which guarded the passage. A seer named
Phineas was consulted upon the probability of their sailing through
unharmed. The rocks were imagined to float upon the waves, and, when
any thing attempted to pass through, to seize and crush it. According
to Homer,--

  "No bird of air, no dove of swiftest wing,
  That bears ambrosia to th' ethereal king,
  Shuns the dire rocks: in vain she cuts the skies:
  The dire rocks meet, and crush her as she flies."

Phineas advised them to loose a dove, to mark its flight, and to judge
from its fate of the destiny reserved for them. They did so, determined
to push boldly on if the bird got through in safety. The pigeon escaped
with the loss of some of its tail-feathers. The Argo dashed onward,
and cleared the formidable rocks with the loss of a few of its stern
ornaments. From this time forward, the legend adds, the Symplegades
remained fixed, and were no longer a terror to navigators.

The Argonauts, after entering the Black Sea, sailed due east, to the
mouth of the river Phasis, now the Rione. Æetes, the king, promised to
give Jason the fleece upon certain conditions. These he was enabled to
fulfil by the aid of Medea, a sorceress, and daughter of Æetes. They
then fled together to Greece. The route followed by the Argonauts upon
their return is differently given by the various poets who have told
the story and the commentators who have illustrated it. By one they
are represented as sailing up some river across the continent to the
Baltic, and thence homeward along the coasts of France and Spain, and
through the Straits of Gibraltar. It is needless to say that there is
no river which flows between the Euxine and the Baltic. Other tracks
laid down are equally preposterous in the eyes of modern geography.
Herodotus adopts the tradition that they returned by the same way they
went,--the only way, indeed, they could have returned,--by water. The
reader, in view of the romantic embellishments with which this story
is loaded, and of the strong doubts resting upon it as an historical
event, must choose, from among the various theories, we have given, the
one he deems the most satisfactory.

One generation after the date we have assigned to this expedition
occurred the Trojan War. In the year 1194 B.C., all the Greek states,
with Agamemnon at their head, united to revenge the insult offered
to Menelaus, King of Sparta, by the Trojan prince Paris, who had
carried off the king's wife Helen. During the interval the Greeks,
if the Homeric account is to be believed, had made great advances in
the arts of ship-building and navigation; for in a very short time
eleven hundred and fifty ships were collected at Aulis, the general
rendezvous. The Boeotians furnished fifty, and the other states
contributed in proportion. Each of them contained one hundred and
twenty warriors; they must therefore have been vessels of considerable
magnitude. All the ships are described as having masts which could
be taken down as occasion required. The sail could only be used when
the wind was directly astern. The delicate art of sailing in the
wind's eye, or of making to the north with a north wind, was not yet
understood. The principal propelling power lay in the oars, which
turned in leathern thongs as a key in its hole. Homer represents the
ships to have been black, from the color of the pitch with which they
were smeared. The sides near the prow were often painted red, whence
vessels are sometimes called by the poets red-cheeked. On their arrival
upon the Trojan coast, the Greeks drew their fleet up on the land and
anchored them by means of large stones. They then surrounded them with
fortifications, to protect them from the enemy.

Homer, who lived two centuries later,--1000 B.C.,--has left us a
tolerably full account of the ship-building, navigation, and geography
of his time. The following passage from the Odyssey, as rendered into
English by Cowper, is regarded by antiquaries as important, showing, as
it does, the point at which the art of ship-building had now arrived.
Ulysses, having been wrecked upon an island, is enabled to build a ship
by the aid of the nymph Calypso.

  "She gave him, fitted to the grasp, an axe
  Of iron, ponderous, double-edged, with haft
  Of olive-wood inserted firm, and wrought
  With curious art. Then, placing in his hand
  A polish'd adze, she led herself the way
  To her isle's utmost verge, where loftiest stood
  The alder, poplar, and cloud-piercing fir,
  Though sapless, sound, and fitted for his use
  As buoyant most. To that once verdant grove
  His steps the beauteous nymph Calypso led,
  And sought her home again. Then slept not he,
  But, swinging with both hands the axe, his task
  Soon finish'd: trees full twenty to the ground
  He cast, which dextrous with his adze he smoothed,
  The knotted surface chipping by a line.
  Meantime the lovely goddess to his aid
  Sharp augers brought, with which he bored the beams,
  Then placed them side by side, adapting each
  To other, and the seams with wadding closed.
  Broad as an artist skill'd in naval works
  The bottom of a ship of burthen spreads,
  Such breadth Ulysses to his raft assign'd.
  He decked her over with long planks, upborne
  On massy beams: he made the mast, to which
  He added, suitable, the yard: he framed
  Rudder and helm to regulate her course:
  With wickerwork he border'd all the length
  For safety, and much ballast stow'd within.
  Meantime Calypso brought him, for a sail,
  Fittest materials, which he also shaped,
  And to it all due furniture annex'd
  Of cordage strong, foot-ropes, and ropes aloft;
  Then heaved her down with levers to the deep."

Besides the facts contained in this passage, it is worth remarking
that Homer seems to regard ship-builders with no little consideration,
inasmuch as he calls them "artists."

The Greeks, like the Hebrews, were ignorant of the real figure of
the earth. It is in Homer that we find the first written trace of
the widely prevalent idea that the earth is a flat surface begirt on
every side by the ocean. This was a natural belief in a region almost
insular, like Greece, where the visible horizon and an enveloping sea
suggested the idea of a flat circle. Homer took the lead among the
poetic geographers of Greece, and his authority gave to the subject a
fanciful cast, the traces of which are not yet obliterated. Beneath the
earth he placed the fabled regions of Elysium and Tartarus: above the
whole rose the grand arch of the heavens, which were supposed to rest
on the summits of the highest mountains. The sun, moon, and stars were
believed to rise from the waves of the sea, and to sink again beneath
them on their return from the skies.

Homer's distribution of the land was even more fantastic. Beyond the
limits of Greece and the western coasts of Asia Minor his knowledge
was uncertain and obscure. He had heard vaguely of Thebes, the mighty
capital of Egypt, and in his verse sang of its hundred gates and of
the countless hosts it sent forth to battle. The Ethiopians, who lived
beyond, were deemed to be the most remote dwellers upon the habitable
earth. Towards the centre of Africa were the stupendous ridges of the
Atlas Mountains: Homer deified the highest peak, and made it a giant
supporting upon his shoulders the outspreading canopy of the heavens.
The narrow passage leading from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic,
and now known as the Straits of Gibraltar, was believed to have been
discovered by Hercules, and the mountains on either side--Gibraltar and
Ceuta--were, from him, called the Pillars of Hercules.

Colchos, upon the Black Sea, was believed to be an ocean-city; and
here Greek fancy located the Palace of the Sun. It was here that the
charioteer of the skies gave rest to his coursers during the night,
and from whence in the morning he drove them forth again. Colchos,
therefore, was Homer's eastern confine of the globe. On the north,
Rhodope, or the Riphean Mountains, were supposed to enclose the
hyperborean limits of the world. Beyond them dwelt a fabled race,
seated in the recesses of their valleys and sheltered from the contests
of the elements. They were represented as exempt from all ills,
physical and moral, from sickness, the changes of the seasons, and even
from death. A race directly the converse of the ideal hyperboreans
were the Cimmerians, located at the mouth of the Sea of Azof, who are
described by Homer as dwelling in perpetual darkness and never visited
by the sun. He imagined the existence of numerous other nations, who
long continued to hold a place in ancient geography. The Cyclops, who
had but one eye, were placed in Sicily; the Arimaspians, similarly
afflicted, inhabited the frontiers of India; the Pigmies, or Dwarfs,
who fought pitched battles with the cranes, were supposed to dwell in
Africa, in India, and, in fact, to occupy the whole southern border of
the Earth.

In the time of Homer, all voyages in which the mariner lost sight of
land were considered as fraught with the extremest peril. No navigator
ever visited Africa or Sicily from choice, but only when driven there
by tempest and typhoon, and then his woes usually terminated in
shipwreck: a return was not merely a marvel, but a miracle. Homer made
Sicily the principal scene of the lamentable adventures of Ulysses, and
sufficient traces are furnished by the Odyssey of the distorted and
exaggerated notions entertained in the poet's time of the character
of places reached by a voyage at sea. The existence of monsters of
frightful form and size, such as Polyphemus, who watched for the
destruction of the mariner and even roasted and devoured his quivering
limbs; of treacherous enchantresses, such as Circe, who lured but to
ensnare; of amiable goddesses, like Calypso, who offered immortality
in exchange for love,--was doubtless believed by Homer, though we must
make some allowance for poetical license. At any rate, the invention of
these fables is not to be attributed to Homer, who, at the most, gave
a highly-colored repetition of the terrific reports brought back from
those formidable coasts by the few who had been fortunate enough to
return. It was thus that an ideal and poetic character was communicated
to the science of geography by the fables with which Homer tinged his
narrative. In the early ages of the world, science and poetry were twin
sisters: every poet was a savant, and every savant was a poet.


As far as his ideas can be reduced to a system, the earth was a flat
disk, around which flowed the river Ocean. The accompanying plan
will enable the reader to form an adequate conception of the Homeric
geography. The radius of the territories described by Homer with any
degree of precision was hardly three hundred miles in length.

Hesiod, who lived a century after Homer, thus states the scientific
attainments of his time:--"The space between the heavens and the earth
is exactly the same as that between the earth and Tartarus beneath it.
A brazen anvil, if tossed from heaven, would fall during nine days and
nine nights, and would reach the earth upon the tenth day. Were it to
continue its course towards the abode of darkness, it would be nine
days and nine nights more in accomplishing the distance." It is worth
while remarking that this statement is at variance with that of Homer,
who makes Vulcan, when precipitated from heaven by Jupiter, land at
Lemnos in a single day: he had travelled, therefore, nearly twenty
times faster than one of his own anvils. Hesiod intended to convey, by
this illustrations, an imposing idea of the loftiness of the heavens.
In the eyes of modern astronomy, nothing can be more paltry. The time
that an anvil thrown from Halcyon, the brightest star of the Pleiades,
towards our globe, would require to reach it, may perhaps be imagined
from the fact that the rays of light emitted by Halcyon travel five
centuries before they strike the earth! It is thus that the positive
revelations of modern science surpass in marvels the most daring
inventions of ancient fable.


Anaximander, four hundred years after Homer, held that the earth,
instead of being flat, was in the form of a cylinder, convex upon its
upper surface. Its diameter was three times greater than its height;
and its form was round, as if it had been shaped by a turner's lathe.
The Oracle of Delphi was the centre of his system.

Somewhat later, Thales, one of the Seven Sages, declared his belief
that the earth was spherical, and remained suspended in mid air without
support of any kind. This frightful doctrine made few proselytes: it
was not likely, indeed, that any one but a sage would adopt a theory
which made him the inhabitant of a globe abandoned and isolated in the
midst of space.

In the fifth century before Christ, Herodotus, the most celebrated
traveller of antiquity, and consequently capable of forming rational
ideas upon the subject of geography, rectified many errors which had
crept into the popular belief, though Homer was still considered
infallible by the masses of the people. "I know of no such river as
the ocean," he says, ironically: "this denomination seems to be a pure
invention of Homer and the old poets. I cannot help laughing when
I hear of the river Ocean, and of the spherical form of the earth,
as if it were the work of a turner." He displaced the centre of the
inhabited surface, which the Greeks had at first made Mount Olympus
and afterwards Delphi, making Rhodes the fortunate possessor of the
privilege. Socrates, a century later, (400 B.C.,) asserted that the
earth was in the form of a globe, sustained in the middle of the
heavens by its own equilibrium.

About the year 230 B.C., Eratosthenes, a Greek of Cyrene, succeeded in
reducing geography to a system, under the patronage of the Ptolemies of
Egypt, which gave him access to the immense mass of materials gathered
by Alexander and his successors and accumulated at the Alexandrian
Library. The spherical form of the earth was now quite generally
considered by scientific men to be the correct theory, though it could
never be substantiated till some navigator, sailing to the east, should
return by the west. Eratosthenes, proceeding upon this principle, made
it his study to adjust to it all the known features of the globe. The
great ocean of Homer and Herodotus, surrounding the world, still
remained in his system. He compared, however, the magnitude of the
regions known in his time with what he conceived to be the whole
circumference, and became convinced that only a third part of the space
was filled up. He conjectured that the remaining space might consist of
one great ocean, which he called the Atlantic, from Mount Atlas, which
was fancifully believed to support the globe. He supposed, too, that
lands and islands might be discovered in it by sailing towards the west.

We shall now proceed to give such a description of the vessels used by
the Greeks after the time of Homer, as the confused and incomplete data
which have reached us will enable us to furnish.

[Illustration: THE GREAT PENGUIN.]




The prow or foredeck of Greek vessels was ornamented on both sides by
figures in mosaic or painted. An eye on each side of the cutwater, as
is represented above, was a very common embellishment. A projection
from the head of the prow, pointed or covered with brass, and intended
to damage an enemy upon collision, was often in the shape of a wild
beast, or helmet, or even the neck of a swan. Below this was the
rostrum or beak, which consisted of a beam armed with sharp and solid
irons. They were at first above the water; but their efficiency was
afterwards increased by putting them below the water-line and rendering
them invisible. The commanding officer of the prow was next in rank
to the helmsman, and had charge of the rigging and the control of the

The deck proper, or middle deck, appears to have been raised above the
bulwark, or at least upon a line with its upper edge, thus enabling the
soldiers to see far around them and hurl their darts at the enemy from
a commanding position.

The POOP, or stern, was usually higher than the rest of the vessel, and
upon it the helmsman had his elevated seat. It was rounder than the
prow, though its extremity was likewise sharp. It was embellished in
various ways, but especially with the figure of the tutelary goddess
or deity of the vessel. Over the helmsman was a roof, and above that
an elegant ornament, rising from the stern and bending gracefully over
him. In consequence of its conspicuous place and beautiful form, this
ornament, named an aplustre, was considered emblematic of the sea, and
was carried off by the victor in a naval engagement, as a standard or a
scalp in more modern times.

The RUDDER was a singular contrivance. The origin of this very useful
invention is attributed by Pliny, as we have said, to Tiphys, of the
Argo,--a doubtful pilot of a doubtful vessel. Previous to this, vessels
must have been guided by the same oars which propelled them. The
Grecian rudder was a long oar with a very broad blade, inserted, not
at the extremity of the stern, but at either side where it begins to
curve; and a ship usually had two, both being managed by the same man.
In large ships they were connected by a pole which kept them parallel
and gave to both the position in which either was turned. The rudder
seems to have been considered an emblem, as it frequently occurs on
gems, coins, and cameos. Thus a Triton is found represented as blowing
a shell and holding a rudder over his shoulder. A tiller and cornucopia
are frequently seen in juxtaposition. A cameo, still preserved, shows
a Venus Anadyomene leaning with her left arm upon a rudder the same
height as herself, and thereby indicating, as is supposed, her own
maritime origin.

The OARS, bearing a name which at first signified only the blade, but
was afterwards applied to all oars except the rudder, varied in size
as they were used by a higher or lower rank of rowers. A trireme may
be said to have had one hundred and seventy oars, a quinquereme three
hundred, and even four hundred. The lower part of the holes through
which the oars passed appears to have been covered with leather, which
also extended a little way outside the hole. In vessels mounting five
ranks of oars, the upper ones were of course much larger than the lower
ones, and we therefore find it stated by Greek authors that the lower
rank of rowers, having the shortest oars and consequently the easiest
work, received the smallest salary, while those who had the largest
oars and the heaviest work received the largest salary. They sat upon
benches attached to the ribs of the vessel, each oar being managed by
one man.

The MASTS of Grecian vessels, of which there were one, two, and three,
were usually made of the fir-tree. A vessel with thirty rowers had two
masts, the smaller being near the prow. In three-masted vessels the
largest mast was nearest the stern. The part of the mast immediately
above the yard formed a structure similar to a drinking-cup, and the
sailors ascended into it in order to manage the sails, to obtain a
wider view, and to discharge missiles. In large ships these were
made of bronze and would hold three men: they were furnished with
pulleys for hoisting stones and projectiles from below. The portion
of the mast above the cup, or _carchesium_, was called the distaff,
and corresponded to the modern topmast. The sail was hoisted, as at
present, by means of pulleys and a hoop sliding up and down the mast.

The SAILS were usually square. It was not common to furnish more than
one sail to one ship, and it was then attached with the yard to the
great mast. Sometimes each of the two masts of a trireme had two sails,
which were spread the one over the other, those of the foremast being
used only on occasions when great speed was required. It does not
appear that the triangular or lateen sail, so prevalent afterwards
among the Romans, was ever used by the Greeks. In Homer's time, sails
were of linen. Subsequently, sail-cloth was made of hemp, rushes, and
leather. Originally white, the sails of the ancients were afterwards
dyed of various colors. Those of Alexander's Indus fleet, of which we
shall hereafter speak more particularly, were blue, white, and yellow.
Those of pirates were sea-green, and those of Cleopatra, at the battle
of Actium, were purple.

The CORDAGE used was of various sizes and strength. In the first
place, thick and broad ropes ran in a horizontal direction around the
ship from stem to stern, for the purpose of binding the whole fabric
strongly together. They ran around in several circles and at fixed
distances from each other. Their number varied according to the size
of the ship, a trireme usually requiring four, and six in case they
were intended for very boisterous weather. These ropes were always
held in readiness in the Attic arsenals. A second-sized rope was used
for the anchors, while those attached to the masts, sails, and yards
were altogether lighter and made with greater care. One of these ran
from the top of the mainmast to the prow, corresponding to the modern

The BULWARKS were artificially elevated beyond the height intended by
the builder of the frame by means of a wickerwork covered with skins.
These served as a protection from high waves, and also as a breastwork
against the enemy. They appear to have been fixed upon the upper edge
of the wooden bulwark, and to have been removed when not wanted. Each
galley had four, two of which were "white," and two "made of hair."
What these distinctions were is quite unknown.

The ANCHORS of Greek vessels, in the earlier periods, were stones or
crates of sand, but soon came to be made of iron, and to be formed with
teeth or flukes. The Greeks used the several expressions of lowering,
casting, and weighing anchor precisely as we do, and the elliptical
phrase "to weigh" meant then, as now, to "set sail." Each ship had
several anchors: we learn, from the twenty-seventh chapter of Acts,
that the vessel of St. Paul had four. The last and heaviest anchor
was considered "sacred," in the same way as it is now regarded as "a
last hope." The sailors, in casting it, recommended themselves to the
protection of the gods; and it was rather a pretext for resorting to
prayer than an instrument reliable from its strength and weight. "In
our day," says an eminent writer upon the art of ship-building, "when
every thing is calculated and weighed, and, even in this most poetic of
professions, tends to the driest and most prosaic materialism, instead
of the sacred anchor, cast in the midst of prayer and sacrifice, we
have the anchor of eight thousand pounds." With all proper deference
to the religious spirit of this learned commentator, we may remark,
without irreverence, that even the most "poetic" of mariners would
prefer a single modern best bower to a dozen of the sacred anchors of
the Greeks; and it can hardly be doubted that, if the latter themselves
had been acquainted with the "anchor of eight thousand pounds," they
would have dispensed with both prayer and sacrifice. Heaven helps those
who help themselves.

Every Greek vessel had a distinctive name, which was usually of the
feminine gender, and often that of some popular heroine. In many cases,
the name of the builder was added.

After the Trojan War, the establishment of Greek colonies upon foreign
coasts, the commercial intercourse with these colonies, and the very
prevalent practice of piracy, contributed largely to the improvement
of ships and of navigation. For many years no innovation was made upon
the custom of employing ships with one rank of rowers on each side. The
Erythræan Greeks are supposed to have invented the biremes, with two
ranks, and the Corinthians the triremes, with three. Themistocles, in
the fifth century B.C., persuaded the Athenians to build two hundred
triremes, for the purpose of attacking Ægina. Even at this period,
vessels were not provided with complete decks, some having partial
decks, and some none at all, the only protection for the men consisting
in the bulwark. The invention of decked ships is ascribed to the
Thasians. After Alexander the Great, the Rhodians became the greatest
maritime power in Greece. The Colossus of Rhodes, a brazen statue of
Apollo, one hundred feet high, seems to have been erected in assertion
of their commercial supremacy, for the legend is that it stood across
the mouth of the harbor, and that vessels passed between its legs.

Navigation still remained what it had been before, the Greeks seldom
venturing into the open sea, and considering it necessary to remain in
sight of the coast by day and to observe the rising and setting of the
stars by night, in order to replace the landmarks no longer visible in
the darkness. In winter, navigation was suspended altogether. Rather
than double a cape, they would drag their vessel across a neck of land
from one sea to another, by machines contrived for the purpose. This
was frequently done across the Isthmus of Corinth. The ordinary size
of a war-galley or trireme may be inferred from the fact that its
complement of men was two hundred and thirty; and its speed in smooth
water and with a favorable wind may be stated as very nearly that of a
modern steamboat.

Dionysius of Syracuse (405 B.C.) is said to have built the first
quadrireme and quinquereme in Greece,--inventions which he probably
obtained from the Carthaginians and Salaminians. Alexander the Great
built ships with twelve and thirty ranks of oars. Ptolemy Philopator,
of Egypt, is said to have constructed one of forty, after a Greek
model. Callixenus has left a description of this vessel; and this,
having been transcribed by Plutarch and Athenæus, was, until very
lately, thus supported by competent authority, regarded as quite
authentic. Late investigations have shown conclusively that the vessel,
with the proportions given, never could have existed. She was said to
have had forty tiers of oars, one above the other. It is clear that the
uppermost tiers must have been of enormous length to reach the water,
and we find their length stated, in consequence, at seventy feet.
Sixty feet of this length must naturally have been without the vessel,
leaving ten feet of handle within. As the strength of no one man would
be sufficient to manage an oar thus unequally poised, the fabulists
assert that the handles were made of lead, that the equilibrium might
be restored. What the story thus gains in weight, however, it certainly
loses in credibility. Oars of seventy feet were out of the question,
even in the heroic ages. Their number was equally extraordinary, for
they counted no less than four thousand, and were managed by four
thousand men. Besides these, there were two thousand eight hundred and
fifty combatants collected in castles and behind her bulwarks. She
had four rudders, each forty-five feet long, and a double prow. This
last feature would have been an impediment instead of an advantage,
as the re-entering angles of the two prows would have presented a
very violent resistance to the water, which, in its turn, would have
exerted a great power to separate them. Her stern was said to have
been decorated with resplendent paintings of terrible and fantastic
animals, her oars to have protruded through masses of foliage, and,
as if she was not already overladen, her hold was declared to have
contained huge quantities of grain. A critical comparison has shown
that this famous galley could not have turned her head from west to
east without describing an enormous orbit and occupying a full hour in
the manoeuvre. Indeed, had the Egyptians been foolish enough to build
such a ship, they would not have been fortunate enough to navigate her.

Nevertheless, as it is quite clear that Ptolemy did construct a galley
of unusual size and capacity, modern commentators have earnestly sought
to explain away the glaring exaggerations and impossibilities of the
description given by Callixenus. The chief difficulty lay in the forty
tiers of oars and in the four thousand oarsmen. The engraving upon
the opposite page gives a representation of the Ptolemy, as she may
reasonably be supposed to have appeared. Instead of forty _tiers_,
she has, when thus restored, forty _groups_ of oars: with this
substitution, and a liberal diminution in the aggregate number, it is
not improbable that she may have existed, and floated even. It is not,
however, pretended by Callixenus that she was ever useful in war: she
seems to have been regarded as a curiosity and a spectacle. She was,
in fact, the Leviathan of antiquity,--the original "Triton among the


The Romans obtained the models of their vessels from the Greeks, though
they remained almost entirely unacquainted with the sea till the third
century before Christ. They then had no fleet, and few or no ships
for any peaceful or commercial use. Livy mentions the appointment of
naval decemvirs about the year 300 B.C. But it was not till 260 B.C.
that Rome became a maritime power. It was now seen that she could
not maintain herself against Carthage without a navy, and the senate
ordered the immediate construction of a fleet. Triremes would have
been of little avail against the high-bulwarked quinqueremes of the
Carthaginians. It so happened, very fortunately for them, that a
vessel of the largest class, belonging to Carthage, was wrecked upon
the coast of Bruttium, and thus furnished them a model. They built,
after this design, over one hundred vessels, the greater part of
them quinqueremes, the whole being completed in sixty days after the
trees were cut down. Thus built of green timber, they were unsound
and clumsy. Still, to their own astonishment, they achieved a naval
victory, capturing fifty of the enemy's vessels. Seventeen of their
own were taken and destroyed by the Carthaginians off Messina. It was
not long before the Romans completely crippled the maritime power of
their African foe. From this time forward they continued to maintain a
powerful navy, and built vessels with six and even ten ranks of oars.
The construction of their vessels differed little from that of the
Greeks, with the exception of the destructive engines of war and the
towers and platforms with which they furnished them.

During the Imperial period, the Romans took great delight in witnessing
representations of fights at sea, and their emperors were equally fond
of exhibiting them. The first spectacle of this kind, or _naumachia_,
was given by Julius Cæsar upon a lake dug for the purpose in the Campus
Martius. Augustus caused a lake or "stagnum" to be made for a similar
use. This remained as the permanent scene of such exhibitions. The
combatants in these fights were usually captives or criminals condemned
to death, who fought as in gladiatorial combats, until one side was
exterminated or spared by imperial clemency. In a naumachia given by
Nero, there were sea-monsters swimming about in the artificial lake.
Claudius ordered a naval battle upon Lake Fucinus, in which one hundred
ships and nineteen thousand combatants were engaged. Troops of nereids
were seen swimming about, and the signal for attack was given by a
silver Triton, who was made, by means of machinery, to blow the alarum
upon a trumpet.

We now proceed to narrate, in chronological order, the very few voyages
of discovery made previous to the Christian era. These were those of
Hanno to Sierra Leone, of Sataspes to Sahara, of Nearchus from the
Indus to the Tigris, of Pytheas from Massilia to Shetland, and of
Eudoxus from Cadiz to the Equator.

[Illustration: THE COMMON PENGUIN.]



At a period which it is no longer possible to settle with precision,
but certainly anterior to the fifth century B.C., the Carthaginians,
then in the height of their maritime and commercial prosperity, ordered
a navigator by the name of Hanno to make a voyage beyond the Pillars
of Hercules, and to found cities along the western shore of Africa. He
set sail with a fleet of sixty vessels, each of which was impelled by
fifty oars. He carried with him thirty thousand men and women, with
abundant supplies and provisions. Within a week after passing the
straits, they founded a city and erected a temple to Neptune; they also
established five trading stations along the coast. They saw a race
of people called Lixitæ, with whom they formed ties of friendship,
and by whom they were furnished with interpreters. Continuing their
course, they found another race dressed in the skins of wild beasts,
who repelled them from the shore with stones and other missiles. They
next came to the mouth of a river which was filled with crocodiles and
hippopotami. They soon arrived at a coast edged with high mountains
covered with trees, the wood of which was odoriferous and variously
tinted. Beyond was an immense opening of the sea, bordered by plains
on which they saw many blazing fires. Then they came to a large bay,
in which was an island enclosing a salt-water lake, in which, again,
was another island. Entering this lake in the night, they saw huge
fires burning and heard the sounds of musical instruments and the cries
of innumerable human beings. They next reached the fiery region of
Thymiamata, whence torrents of flame poured down into the sea. Here the
heat of the earth was such that the foot could not rest upon it. After
four days' farther sail, they again found the land at night enveloped
in flames. In the midst of these fires appeared one much more lofty
than the rest: this, when seen by daylight, proved to be a very tall
mountain, called the Chariot of the Gods. They soon met with a rude
description of people, who had rough skins, and among whom the females
were much more numerous than the males: the interpreters called them
_Gorillæ_. They endeavored to catch some of them, but only succeeded in
capturing three females, who made so violent a resistance, that they
were obliged to kill them and strip off their skins, which they carried
back to Carthage. Being out of provisions at this point, they were
unable to pursue their voyage, and returned home.

This narrative, as given by Hanno himself, hardly fills two octavo
pages: volumes of commentaries have been written upon it by geographers
and antiquaries. The most probable of the various hypotheses formed
upon it, is, that Hanno's voyage extended to Sherbro Sound, a little
south of Sierra Leone. The features of man and nature, as described by
Hanno, are to be found in Tropical Africa only: Ethiopians or negroes;
Gorillæ, who are clearly apes, or orang-outangs; rivers so large as to
contain crocodiles and river-horses. The great conflagrations of the
grass, too, and the music and dancing prolonged through the night, are
phenomena which have been observed only in the negro territories. But
this hypothesis is not accepted by all geographers, one of whom gives
to Hanno's course an extent of three thousand miles, while another
limits it to less than seven hundred.

While Hanno was thus exploring the western coast of Africa, another
Carthaginian, named Himilcon, was sent by his countrymen to the North
of Europe. From a very vague description of his voyage given in a Latin
poem entitled _Ora Maritima_, it is plain that he crossed the Bay of
Biscay, and found, upon islands, as is asserted, but probably upon the
mainland, a race of athletic people who went fearlessly to sea in barks
made of skins sewed together. They crossed, in the space of two days,
to a place called the Sacred Island, (Ireland,) which was not far from
another island, named Al-Bion, (England.) No further details of this
expedition have been preserved.

Upon the establishment of the Persian sway over the eastern coasts
of the Mediterranean, towards the close of the fifth century B.C.,
the exploration of Africa became the peculiar province of the Persian
monarchs. But this nation labored under an unconquerable aversion for
the sea, and the only maritime effort of theirs on record was entirely
casual in its origin, and futile in its results. It was as follows, as
recorded by Herodotus:

Sataspes, a Persian nobleman, having committed a crime punishable
with death, was condemned by Xerxes to be crucified. One of his
friends persuaded the monarch to commute the sentence into a voyage
around Africa, which, he said, was much more severe, and might result
advantageously to the nation. Sataspes obtained a vessel and recruited
a crew in Egypt, and, sailing through the Pillars of Hercules, bent
his course southward. He is represented as having beat about for many
weeks, and probably reached the shores of the Great Saharan Desert. The
aspect of this formidable and tempest-lashed coast might well appall
an amateur navigator accustomed to the luxurious indolence of a Persian
court. He seems to have preferred crucifixion to circumnavigation,
for he at once measured back his course to the Straits. He gave an
incoherent account of his adventures to Xerxes, attributing his failure
to the interference of an insurmountable obstacle, the nature of
which he was unable to explain. Xerxes would listen to no excuse, and
ordered the original sentence to be executed forthwith. Authorities
differ as to the fate of Sataspes,--one asserting that he suffered the
ignominious death to which he was condemned, and another alleging that
he made his escape to the island of Samos.


A colony which had been established at Massilia--now Marseilles--about
six hundred years before Christ, by the Phocians, was, in the year 340
B.C., at the height of its commercial prosperity. The citizens, being
desirous of extending their maritime relations, sent, at this period,
upon an expedition to the North of Europe, through the Pillars of
Hercules, a learned geographer and astronomer by the name of Pytheas.
He started with a single ship, the finances of the city not permitting
a larger outlay of means.

He passed the Pillars on the sixteenth day from Massilia; and on the
twentieth he arrived at the Sacred Promontory, the extreme western
point of Iberia or Spain. A temple to Hercules had been erected at this
spot. The inhabitants of the promontory declared, during the time of
Pytheas, and, indeed, for two hundred years afterwards, that as the sun
plunged at evening into the sea, they heard a hissing like that of a
red-hot body suddenly dropped into water.

[Illustration: PLAN OF PYTHEAS' VOYAGE.]

Following the coasts of Iberia and of Celtica, he came to the point of
land now known as Finisterre, in France, and the promontory Calbium.
Turning to the east, he was surprised to find himself in a wide gulf,
with Celtica on his right, and an immense island on his left. The gulf
was the British Channel, and the island the Al-Bion that Himilcon had
vaguely discerned some centuries before. It was at this point that
Pytheas may be said to have begun his career; and the discovery of
Great Britain may safely be attributed to him.

He described the island as having the form of an isosceles triangle,
as may be seen upon the foregoing plan. Three promontories formed the
three angles,--Belerium being now Land's End, Cantium Cape Pepperness,
and Orcas Duncansby Head. He found the inhabitants of the southern
coast industrious and sociable, peaceable, honest, and sober. They
raised wheat and worked rich mines of tin. As he sailed northward,
along the eastern coast, he noticed that the days grew sensibly
longer; and at Point Orcas, nineteen hours elapsed between the rising
and the setting of the sun. He sailed still northward, and six days
after leaving Orcas he came to an island, or a continent--he knew not
which,--which he called Thule. As he found he could go no farther to
the north, he spoke of this spot as _Ultima Thule_, an expression which
has passed into the figurative language of all modern nations as one
denoting any remote point. Thule is generally considered to have been
Shetland, although theories have been ardently advocated making it
respectively Iceland, Sweden, and Jutland.

The narrative of Pytheas, which has been thus far clear and reliable,
assumes at this point a very fabulous aspect. He declares that north
of Thule there was neither earth, nor sea, nor air. A sort of dense
concretion of all the elements occupied space and enveloped the world.
He compared it to the thick, viscid animal substance called _pulmo
marinus_, a sort of mollusk or medusa. He said that this substance was
the basis of the universe, and that in it earth, air, and sky hung,
as it were, suspended. This illusion has been explained by the dreary
spectacle of fogs, mists, rains, and tempests which at this point of
his voyage must have met the gaze of the daring navigator. It would
have been difficult for any mind, in those early ages, to have been
on its guard against the sinister impressions likely to result from
the contemplation of a scene so appalling. It must be remembered that
Pytheas was accustomed to the pure and transparent atmosphere, the
dazzling sky, and the phosphorescent waters of the Mediterranean. It
would have been astonishing if a man educated among the splendors of
an almost tropical climate had not been oppressed by influences so
gloomy. It was the belief of all early navigators that a point would
be found somewhere without the Pillars of Hercules beyond which it
would be impossible to penetrate. While timid adventurers declared they
had arrived at this point hardly a week's sail from the Straits, and
declared that an atmosphere of mist, darkness, and gigantic sea-weed
barred their passage, Pytheas did not allow his imagination to be
affected or his courage to be shaken till he found himself in presence
of the sombre and formidable scenery of what, with true geographical
propriety, he denominated "Thule and her utmost isles."

Leaving his animal atmosphere behind him, Pytheas returned to Orcas and
from thence to Cantium. Instead of following his former track through
the British Channel homeward, he turned to the eastward, and arrived,
in a few days' sail, at the mouth of the Rhine. He found the country
here inhabited by a race of fierce barbarians. Upon the shores of a
vast gulf, beyond, dwelt the Teutons and the Guttones. In this gulf
was an island named Abalcia, upon whose shores the waves deposited,
in spring, immense quantities of yellow amber, which the inhabitants
burned instead of wood, or sold for fuel to their neighbors the
Teutons. Pytheas pursued his voyage as far as a river named Tanais, now
supposed to be either the Elbe or the Oder. He considered this stream
to be the eastern boundary of Celtica, in which he included Germania.
He now turned his face homeward, and, coasting along the shores of
Celtica and Iberia, arrived without accident or adventure at Massilia.
He had sailed one hundred and eighty-six thousand stadia, or eleven
thousand miles: the duration of the expedition was less than a year.

Geographers subsequent to Pytheas strove zealously to discredit his
assertions. One denied the voyage altogether; another questioned the
veracity of the narrative. Strabo was particularly hostile to Pytheas,
whom he said he would prove "a liar of the first magnitude." He was
thus led to make long quotations from his descriptions for the purpose
of refuting them. As the original account given by Pytheas is not
extant, the world is indebted to the skepticism of Strabo for all that
it knows of one of the most interesting and daring maritime enterprises
of antiquity.

In the year 326 before Christ, Alexander of Macedon, having
accomplished the conquest of Persia, and having invaded Hindostan by
the north, found himself compelled, by a mutiny of his troops, to
arrest his course upon the eastern bank of the river Indus. He was here
seized with a desire to explore the lower course of that river, and
afterwards the southern shores of Asia, a tract of coast with which the
Greeks were entirely unacquainted. The object of the expedition was
partly exploration, and partly to convey a portion of the army back
to Babylon upon the river Euphrates. The dangers of the enterprise
and the improbability of success deterred the greater part of the
naval officers from attempting it, as neither the Arabian Sea nor the
Persian Gulf had ever been traversed before. Nearchus, the admiral
of the fleet, proposed several candidates for the perilous honor,
who variously excused themselves. Nearchus at last proffered his own
services, which, after some hesitation, were accepted. This selection
of a commander tranquillized the soldiers and sailors intended for
the expedition; for they felt that Alexander would not have sent his
intimate friend upon a voyage from which he would not be likely to
return. The splendor of the preparations, the beauty of the vessels,
the confidence of the officers, also went far towards dissipating their
fears. At the word of Alexander, says a modern poet,--

  "The pines descend; the thronging masts aspire;
  The novel sails swell beauteous o'er the curves
  Of Indus: to the moderator's song
  The oars keep time, while bold Nearchus guides
  Aloft the gallies. On the foremost prow
  The monarch from his golden goblet pours
  A full libation to the gods, and calls
  By name the mighty rivers through whose course
  He seeks the sea."

Alexander accompanied his fleet to the delta of the Indus, from whence
he obtained a view of the gulf. He then returned to lead his men across
Gedrosia, Caramania, and Persis to Babylon. Nearchus then set sail,
after offering sacrifices to Neptune and Jupiter Salvator, and ordering
a series of games and gymnastic exercises. The voyage thus undertaken
was an event of real importance in the history of navigation: it opened
a route between Europe and the extremities of Asia. It was the source
of the discoveries made in later times by the Portuguese, and the
primary, though remote, cause of the successful establishment of the
British in India.


At the very mouth of the river they met a formidable obstacle,--a
rocky bar over which the waves broke with extreme violence. Through
this bar, in its softest parts, they cut a canal one-third of a mile
in length, and at high tide passed through it with the fleet. They
had hardly reached the open ocean before a heavy gale drove them into
an indentation of land protected by an island: to this natural harbor
Nearchus gave the name of Alexander. Here he caused a camp to be laid
out and entrenched, and remained for twenty-four days, the soldiers
subsisting chiefly on shell-fish. When the gale abated they again
embarked, meeting with constant adventures and difficulties upon their
way. One day they would pass through huge menacing rocks, so near
that they touched them with their oars on either side. On another
they would be compelled, on landing for water, to ascend for miles
into the interior before finding fresh-water sources. A storm caused
two galleys and a vessel to founder, the crews of which, however,
succeeded in swimming to shore. Nearchus caused his whole army to land
at this point, for they needed repose, and his shattered fleet required
repairs. He met with Leonatus, whom Alexander had detached from the
main body of the army to follow the coasts and keep up a communication
with Nearchus. Wheat was also sent to this spot by Alexander for the
fleet, and each vessel took a supply sufficient for ten days. Nearchus
exchanged such sailors and soldiers as had proved inefficient, for
fresh men selected from the division of Leonatus.

At this point the narrative becomes strongly tinged with the usual
exaggerations of the early navigators. Nearchus asserts that he
observed strange phenomena in the heavens. When the sun was in the
meridian, he says, no shadow was projected, and the stars which they
were accustomed to see above them were now crouching close to the
horizon; others, that had never before disappeared from the sky, now
rose and set at intervals. The assertion in regard to shadows at noon
is evidently a fabrication. Enough was known of astronomy and the
motions of the heavenly bodies, in the time of Nearchus, to convince
the learned that there must be a point where no shadow would be cast by
a body directly beneath the sun at the summer solstice; and Nearchus,
with a vanity quite usual in the conquerors and adventurers of those
times, chose to assert, and he perhaps believed, that he had seen this
singular phenomenon. Two circumstances will show the inaccuracy of his
statement. The alleged appearance took place in the middle of the month
of November, and twenty-five degrees north of the equator. Even had
Nearchus been at this spot in midsummer, he would have seen shadows of
very respectable length. Upon the coast of Gedrosia he found a people
called Icthyophagi, or Fish-eaters. The mutton here tasted of fish, and
Nearchus discovered that the sheep eat fish as well as the inhabitants,
for the land yielded no pasturage.

In one of the villages of the Fish-eaters Nearchus engaged a pilot who
undertook to guide him as far as Caramania. The aspect of the coast now
became less repulsive, and palm-trees, myrtles, and flowers grew wild
upon the hill-sides. Such was the delight of the Macedonians at this
sight, that they landed and wove garlands and wreaths of the foliage
for the wives and daughters of the natives. Farther on, at a spot where
the inhabitants made them presents of roasted tunny-fish--the first
cooked fish they had yet received from the Icthyophagi--and where they
noticed wheat-fields, they landed, and, after taking possession of the
village, demanded the surrender of all their wheat. The people made a
feeble resistance, and then gave up all the flour they possessed,--not
wheat flour, but fish flour,--flour made by reducing fish to powder, as
we make flour by pulverizing the kernels of wheat.

The coast again becoming almost desert, the crew were obliged to eat
the tender buds of palm-trees, and on one occasion were glad to devour
seven camels which they were fortunate enough to encounter. Besides
the dangers of famine, Nearchus had to contend with legions of whales,
many of them one hundred and fifty feet long,--a prodigious size for
inland seas like the Persian Gulf. One day he noticed a jet of water
of great height and violence, and soon the air was filled with spray
tossed up by a sportive herd of these monsters. The frightened sailors
let drop their oars: but Nearchus encouraged them and dissipated their
fears. He placed the vessels of the fleet abreast in a single line, and
ordered them to advance simultaneously at full speed, as in a naval
combat, and, upon approaching the whales, to terrify them by shouts
and the din of trumpets. At a given signal, the vessels started and
dashed forward upon the cetaceous army: the whales plunged into the
abysses of the water, and, reappearing at the sterns of the fleet, sent
up a shower of spurts in derision of their timorous enemy. Nearchus
found these fish so abundant that large numbers of them were stranded
in every storm: the inhabitants built houses of their bones, using the
larger bones for posts, planks, and doors; the jawbones furnished an
excellent thatch, or roofing material. He also saw huts constructed of
the back-bones of smaller fish.

The fleet now reached the coast of Caramania, after passing an island
supposed to be inhabited by an enchantress very much like the Circe
of the Greek fable, who was said to seduce navigators by the promise
of voluptuous pleasures and then change them into fish. Nearchus now
found his distresses nearly at an end, as the soil was productive of
grain and fruit, and as the streams yielded an abundance of water.
He soon came in view of a vast promontory on the Arabian side, (Cape
Mussendoun,) which seemed completely to close the entrance to the
Persian Gulf. The sailors, weary of their long voyage, earnestly
besought Nearchus to land here and to march across the country to
Babylon. Nearchus insisted that this would not be fulfilling the
intentions of Alexander, whose command it was to survey every portion
of the coast from the Indus to the Euphrates. They doubled the cape,
therefore, and entered the Persian Gulf. Keeping close to the northern
shore, they came at last to a tract of territory inhabited by friendly
races and yielding an abundance of every fruit except the olive. They
landed at the mouth of the Anamis,--the modern Minab,--and refreshed
themselves after their long hardships. They reposed under the shade
of palms, and conversed gayly of the dangers they had escaped and the
wonders they had seen. A party wandered from the coast towards the
interior, and, to their surprise and joy, met a man clothed in the
Greek chlamys and speaking the Greek language. They asked him who
he was and what country he was from. He replied that he belonged to
the army of Alexander, and that the camp was not far off. Transported
with delight, they took the stranger to Nearchus, whom he told that
Alexander was at five days' journey from the sea.

Nearchus, upon receiving this intelligence, caused his ships to be
drawn on shore, a rampart to be built round them, and repairs to be
commenced upon them, while he, Archius, a lieutenant, and six sailors
should set out to find the camp of the king. As they approached the
outposts, soldiers sent forward to meet them by Alexander, who had
been informed of their coming, did not recognise them, on account of
their changed dress and haggard aspect. Alexander received them with
kindness, but in deep sorrow, for he had conceived the idea that the
eight persons before him were all that had survived the perils of the
sea. "You two have returned," he said, "you and Archius, safe and
sound, and this alone renders the loss of my fleet endurable: tell
me in what manner perished my vessels and my army." Upon learning
the safety of the entire expedition, he is said to have burst into
a flood of tears, and to have sworn that he derived more pleasure
from this event than from the entire conquest of Asia. He offered
sacrifices to Jupiter, Hercules, Apollo, and Neptune. He then proposed
that Nearchus should repose from his trials, and that another should
conduct the fleet to Susa, the capital of Susiana. Nearchus thought it
unjust, however, that the glory of completing a task which he had so
successfully begun should be taken from him, and retained the command.
He was obliged to fight his way back to the sea through warlike and
hostile tribes.

The rest of the voyage, along the coasts of Caramania and Persis,--the
modern Fars,--was comparatively easy, orders having been given by
Alexander that Nearchus should find at intervals supplies of every
species of provisions. On the 24th of February, in the year 325 B.C.,
the fleet arrived at the mouth of the Euphrates. Nearchus learned
that Alexander had already reached Susa, which was situated some forty
miles towards the interior upon the borders of the Tigris. He therefore
ascended that river, and, at a bridge newly thrown over it for the
passage of Alexander's army, the junction of the long-separated naval
and land forces took place. Nearchus received a crown of gold for his
success in the expedition; the pilot was rewarded with a crown of
smaller size, and the debts of the army were discharged by Alexander.

The voyage had occupied nearly five months, and the distance sailed was
not far from fifteen hundred miles, if the sinuosities and indentations
of the coast are included, and twelve hundred in a straight line. Half
of this period of five months must be considered to have been spent
upon the land, in surveys of the coast, in repairs of the vessels, and
in forays in search of food and water. The same route is now usually
traversed by merchant vessels in the space of three weeks. Nothing can
give a better idea of the immense service Nearchus was thought to have
rendered the state, than the fact that it was in the convivialities of
a banquet in his honor, a year later, that Alexander abandoned himself
to the excesses which resulted in his death.

Eudoxus, the next navigator in chronological order, was a native of
Cyzicus, in Mysia, and was sent by its citizens, in the third century
B.C., upon a mission connected with the promotion of geographical
science, to Alexandria, then the seat of maritime enterprise. He became
strongly imbued with the spirit of exploration and investigation
which reigned there, and succeeded in inducing Ptolemy Euergetes, the
reigning king, to fit out a naval armament, and to send it under his
command upon an expedition down the Arabian Gulf or Red Sea. He appears
to have made a successful voyage, for he returned with a cargo of
aromatics and precious stones. It is supposed that he sailed down the
Red Sea, and, passing out by the Straits of Babelmandel, followed the
southern coast of Arabia as far as the Persian Gulf: it is altogether
unlikely that he reached the shores of India. Euergetes plundered him
of his wealth upon his return, but died soon after, leaving the throne
to his widow Cleopatra.

The queen took Eudoxus into favor, and sent him upon a fresh voyage.
He seems to have been driven by unfavorable winds upon the coast of
Abyssinia, where he made advantageous bargains with the inhabitants.
He rescued from the water a fragment of a wreck,--the prow of a vessel
which, from a sculpture representing the figure of a horse, seemed to
have come from the West. This prow was exhibited by Eudoxus in the
harbor of Alexandria, and was declared by some mariners from Cadiz to
be of the precise form peculiar to large vessels which went from that
port to fish upon the coast of Mauritania, or Morocco. It was evident,
therefore, to the ardent mind of Eudoxus, that this fragment of a
wrecked vessel, left to the mercy of the waves, had performed the grand
maritime problem of antiquity,--the circuit of Africa. He abandoned
himself with enthusiastic credulity to the enticing hope that he might
himself succeed in achieving this darling object of the ambition of
princes, kings, and states.

He determined to renounce the deceitful patronage of courts, and
to start with a new expedition from Cadiz. He went thither by way
of Massilia and other trading settlements, and urged all who were
animated by the spirit of progress to follow him. He thus succeeded in
equipping an armada, consisting of one ship and two large boats, on
board of which were not only goods and provisions and the necessary
crews, but artisans, scientific men, and musicians. The very ardor and
extravagance of their hopes, and perhaps, too, the undue gayety in
which they took their departure, unfitted them to encounter the dangers
and hardships of African discovery. The crew were frightened at the
swell of the open sea through which Eudoxus wished to make his way, and
insisted upon following the shore, according to the usual cautious
method of those days. The consequence was that the ship was stranded,
and the cargo was with difficulty saved. Eudoxus prosecuted the voyage
in a single ship of lighter construction, till he came to a race of
people who spoke, as he thought, the same language as those he had met
on the opposite side of the continent. Thinking this discovery enough
for the expedition in its now enfeebled state, he returned to Spain and
equipped another small fleet, better fitted to buffet the waves of the
open sea.

He again set forth; but the narrative, as handed down by Strabo, breaks
off at this point, and we are without information upon the results of
the enterprise. It is true that rumor and fable have supplied the place
of authentic facts, and that Eudoxus is described by one version as
having actually circumnavigated Africa; by another, as having come to
a race of people who were born dumb; and by another, as having fallen
in with a nation who had no mouths, but received their food through
an orifice in the nose. These exaggerations are unworthy of notice;
and they do not seem to have thrown discredit upon the account of the
earlier experience of Eudoxus, which ranks among the most esteemed
narratives of ancient maritime adventure.

We have thus given, in some detail, descriptions of all the noteworthy
experiments in navigation previous to the birth of Christ. Two
features, it will be at once remarked, characterized all these
efforts:--1st, The only reliable propelling force continued to lie in
the oars; and, 2d, no sailor ventured out of sight of land, unless,
as when crossing the Mediterranean, he knew that other lands lay
beyond the visible horizon. We close this division of the subject
with the general observation, that the opening of the Christian era
found the world almost entirely under Roman dominion,--one which
preferred extending its sway by land to prosecuting discovery by sea.
The Mediterranean was, thus far, the only seat of commerce and the
exclusive scene of navigation. Though Hanno and Eudoxus had indeed
passed the Pillars of Hercules, and had coasted along the African
shore as far as the negro territories, and though Pytheas, proceeding
to the north, had visited--still hugging the land--the Baltic and
the British Channel, their expeditions must be considered as at once
venturesome and futile, for the age was not able to repeat them, and
totally failed to make them useful either to geography or commerce. As
long as the centre of power, of luxury, of wealth, remains within the
Mediterranean, as long as Tyre, Sidon, Rome, Carthage, successively
control the destinies of the world, so long shall we find mankind
lacking both the motive and the means to seek new worlds, by sea,
beyond. Time, however, will furnish both the motive and the means:
we shall find the one, as we proceed, in the Spice Islands of the
East, the other in the Mariner's Compass. The next division of our
subject will narrate how the contests between the Crescent and the
Cross over the tomb of Christ brought Europe and Asia into contact
and acquaintanceship; and how the commerce and intercourse which were
the immediate consequences led to that general and absorbing interest
in the sea and ships which eventually produced Columbus and Magellan.
The influence of nutmeg and cinnamon upon the spread of the gospel and
the development of science is a theme which we shall show to be not
unworthy of earnest and philosophical inquiry.



Section II.




We have taken the birth of Christ as a point of departure in the
history of navigation, merely because of the prominence of that event
in the annals of the world, not on account of any connection that it
has with the chronicles of the sea. So far from that, the first five
centuries of the Christian era are an absolute blank in all matters
which pertain to our subject. The Roman Empire rose and fell; and its
rise and fall concerned the Mediterranean only. Not even Julius Cæsar,
the greatest man in Roman history, has a place in maritime records;
unless, when crossing the Adriatic in a fishing-boat during a storm,
his memorable words of encouragement to the fisherman, "Fear nothing!
you carry Cæsar and his fortunes!" are sufficient to connect him with
the sea. Neither Pompey, nor Sylla, nor Augustus, nor Nero, nor Titus,
nor Constantine, nor Theodosius, nor Attila, can claim part or lot in
the dominion of man over the ocean. And so we glide rapidly over five

Upon the invasion of Italy by the barbarians, A.D. 476, the Veneti, a
tribe dwelling upon the northeastern shores of the Adriatic, escaped
from their ravages by fleeing to the marshes and sandy inlets formed by
the deposits of the rivers which there fall into the gulf. Here they
were secure; for the water around them was too deep to allow of an
attack from the land, and too shallow to admit the approach of ships
from the sea. Their only resource was the water and the employments it
afforded. At first they caught fish; then they made salt, and finally
engaged in maritime traffic. Early in the seventh century their traders
were known at Constantinople, in the Levant, and at Alexandria. Their
city soon covered ninety islands, connected together by bridges.
They established mercantile factories at Rome, and extended their
authority into Istria and Dalmatia. In the eighth century they chased
the pirates, and in the ninth they fought the Saracens. At this period
Genoa, too, rose into notice, and the Genoese and the Venetians at once
became commercial rivals and the monopolists of the Mediterranean.

And now Peter the Hermit, barefooted and penniless, inveighing against
the atrocities of the Turks towards Christians at Jerusalem, exhorted
the warriors of the Cross to take up arms against the infidels. He
inspired all Europe with an enthusiasm like his own, and enlisted
a million followers in the cause. The passion of the age was for
war, peril, and adventure; and fighting for the Sepulchre was a more
agreeable method of doing penance than wearing sackcloth or mortifying
the flesh. The First Crusade, a motley array of knights, spendthrifts,
barons, beggars, women, and children, set out upon their wild career.
Then came the Second, the Third, and the Fourth. Crusading was the
amusement and occupation of two centuries. Two millions of Europeans
perished in the cause before it was abandoned. A few words concerning
its effect upon the civilization of Europe are necessary here, in
direct pursuance of our subject.

During their stay in Palestine the Crusaders learned, and in a measure
acquired, the habits of Eastern life. They brought back with them
a taste for the peculiar products of that region,--jewels, silks,
cutlery, perfumes, spices. A brisk commerce through the length and
breadth of the Mediterranean was the speedy consequence. Genoa, Pisa,
Florence, Venice, covered the waters of their inland sea with sails,
trafficking from the ports of Italy to those of Syria and Egypt. In
every maritime city conquered by the Crusaders, trading-stations
and bazaars were established. Marseilles obtained from the kings of
Jerusalem privileges and monopolies of trade upon their territory.
Venice surpassed all her rivals in the splendor and extent of her
commerce, and it was for this that the Pope, Alexander III., sent
the Doge the famous nuptial ring with which, in assertion of his
naval supremacy, "to wed the Adriatic." The ceremony was performed
from the deck of the Bucentaur, or state-galley, with every possible
accompaniment of pomp and parade. The vessel was crowned with flowers
like a bride, and amid the harmonies of music and the acclamations of
the spectators the ring was dropped into the sea. The Republic and the
Adriatic, long betrothed, were now indissolubly wedded. This ceremony
was repeated from year to year.

The Normans, the Danes, the Dutch, imitated the example of the
Italians, or, as they were then called, the Lombards, but were rather
occupied in conveying provisions to the armies than in trading for
their own account.

It was during the Crusades that the French navy was created. Philip
Augustus, who, on his way to Syria, and thence home again, could not
have remained insensible to the advantages of possessing a strong force
upon the ocean, formed, upon his return, the nucleus of a national
fleet, for the purpose of defending his coasts either against pirates
or foreign invasion.


While the necessity of transporting articles from the East to supply
the demand thus created in the West gave a stimulus to commerce and
navigation, manufactures were encouraged and developed by the operation
of the same cause. The Italians learned from the Greeks the art of
weaving silk, which soon resulted in the weaving of cloth of gold and
silver. They learned to mould glass in a multitude of new and curious
forms. From the manufactories of Syria, where stuffs were made of
camels' hair, improvements were introduced into the manufactures of
Europe, where they were woven of no other material than lambs' wool.
Palestine also suggested to crusaders returning home the advantages of
windmills for grinding flour. Arabia furnished the art of tempering
arms and polishing steel, of chasing gold and silver, of mounting
stones in rich and massive settings. Constantinople furnished the
Christians with many splendid specimens of ancient art,--groups,
statues, and the Corinthian horses, and thus awakened European taste.

Nearly all the Gothic monuments of Europe which still excite the
admiration of the tourist owe their existence to this communication
with the Greeks by means of the Crusades, and to the wonder which
seized the Frank and Lombard at the sight of the churches and palaces
of Byzantium. The Europeans carried back with them the architecture
of the Saracens. Saint Mark's at Venice was built from the plans,
and under the direction, of an unbeliever. The Cathedral and Spire
of Strasburg, with their gigantic and yet delicate proportions, the
Minster of Amiens, the Sainte Chapelle of Paris, were constructed in
close imitation of the chef-d'oeuvres of Eastern art. Painting upon
glass was also brought from Constantinople, and the early painters of
Christendom were speedily employed in tracing in colors, upon the
windows of abbeys and cathedrals, the exploits of the Crusaders and the
triumphs of the Cross.

From the Arabs and the Greeks, too, the Europeans received their first
lessons in the natural and exact sciences. Imperfect and incomplete
as were the astronomy, the botany, the mathematics, and the geography
of the Arabians, they were far in advance of the same professions as
understood and practised in Europe. The languages were improved and
enriched by the association and exchange of ideas into which English,
Germans, Italians, and French were forced. The confusion of tongues,
which was as complete as at Babel, was somewhat corrected by the
harmony of interest and oneness of purpose which animated all, of
whatever name and lineage, who gathered around the Sepulchre.

It is obvious, therefore, that the effect of the Crusades, so far as
it is the object of a work like the present to trace and delineate
it, was to give the people of Europe a new motive for maintaining an
intercourse with the people of Asia. They had seen their superior
civilization, and sought to introduce it among themselves. They
had learned to appreciate their skill in the arts, and resolved to
acclimate those arts at home. They had accustomed themselves to many
articles of luxury, which had become articles of necessity, and which
it was now essential, therefore, to transport from the Levant, from the
Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf, to the Bay of Venice and the Gulf of
Genoa. There was a demand, in short, in the West, for the products, the
manufactures, the arts, of the East. Here was the origin of the immense
Eastern commerce which now fell into the hands of the Genoese and
Venetians, and which, resulting from the Crusades, compelled us to the
digression we have made. It is not our purpose, however, to refer more
at length to this commerce, as it was carried on upon seas which had
been navigated for twenty centuries; and we must hasten forward to the
period when new paths were laid out over the immensity of the waters.

A map, published just anterior to the First Crusade, fully displays
the ignorance which then prevailed in geographical science. The sea,
as in the age of Homer, is made to surround the world as a river, the
land being divided into three parts, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Africa
and Asia are joined together in the South, and the Indian Ocean is an
inland sea. Asia is as large as the other two continents combined.
On the east there is a small spot indicated as the position of the
Garden of Eden by the words _Hic est Paradisus_. Europe and Africa
are separated from Asia by a long canal, which may be either the Nile
or the Hellespont. Africa is still considered the land of mystery and
fable: its northern part only is considered inhabitable, the south
being even unapproachable, on account of the torrents of flame poured
on it by the sun. The Frozen Ocean, the Baltic, the White Sea, and
the Caspian, are all united. The Northern regions are represented as
forming one single island. Scandinavia is made the birthplace and
residence of the Amazons, the famous women-warriors to whom antiquity
had given a home in the Caucasus.

We shall, in due order, proceed to show that the indirect and remote
effect of the Crusades, and of the intercourse produced by them
between two totally separated regions, was to induce the _Discovery of
America_, the _Doubling of the Cape of Good Hope_, and the _Passage
of the Straits_ at the southern extremity of Patagonia,--results due
to COLUMBUS, VASCO DA GAMA, and MAGELLAN, every one of whom were
seeking, in the voyages which have rendered them immortal, another
passage to the Indies than that held by the Italians--so far as they
could prosecute it in vessels upon the Mediterranean. But, before we
can proceed from the coasting enterprises of the Lombards upon the
land-locked waters of their inland sea, to the daring ventures of the
Portuguese and Spaniards upon the raging billows of the Tropical and
South Atlantic, we must turn for a moment to the North of Europe, and
inquire into the maritime achievements of the Anglo-Saxons and the
Northmen during the Dark and Middle Ages.




The nations inhabiting the borders of the Baltic and the coasts of
Norway, as well as those dwelling on the shores of the German Ocean,
were situated quite as favorably for maritime enterprise as those upon
the banks of the Mediterranean. Though their earliest expeditions by
sea were not stimulated by the same cause,--the desire for commercial
intercourse,--they arose from causes equally active. While the
Mediterranean countries possessed a fruitful soil and a balmy climate,
those of the North, under a sky comparatively ungenial, afforded their
inhabitants but a few of the articles which they needed: they were
led, therefore, to increase their power by sea, in order to establish
themselves in more favored climes, or at least to obtain from them by
plunder what their own country could not furnish. Thus they neglected
the arts of agriculture, and became inured to a life of piracy upon
the sea. They spent their lives in planning and executing maritime
expeditions. Fathers gave fleets to their sons, and bade them seek
their fortune on the ocean-highway. The ships, at first small,--being
mere barks propelled by twelve oars,--came at last to be capable of
carrying one hundred or one hundred and twenty men. They were supplied
with stones, arrows, ropes with which to overset small vessels, and
grappling-irons with which to come to close quarters.

It would be remote from our purpose to notice these piratical
excursions, were it not that they sometimes resulted in discovery or
commerce. Many of the marauders settled permanently in England in
the seventh century, and established there the Anglo-Saxon dominion.
Alfred, their most celebrated king, obliged to defend his territory
from the Danes, turned his attention zealously to every thing connected
with ships, commerce, discovery, and geography, and became the first
founder of that naval power which was at a later period to be the
world's dread and admiration. The idea of ship-building once conceived,
it was prosecuted with astonishing vigor. Alfred not only multiplied
their number, but introduced material improvements. Towards the latter
part of his reign, his fleet numbered one hundred sail: it was divided
into small squadrons and stationed at various places along the coast.

The oldest epic in any modern language, the Anglo-Saxon poem of
"Beowulf," the Sea-Goth, written in forty-three cantos, and containing
some six thousand lines, is occupied mainly in narrating the marvellous
exploits of its hero, his combats with a pestilential fire-drake, and
his slaying of "a grim giant named Grendel, a descendant of Cain." It
incidentally describes a voyage made by Beowulf previous to the ninth
century, and from this we may gather a few details, at best barren and
unsatisfactory, of the equipments of a vessel in those days. In the
extract which we give, the word "sea-nose" will readily be understood
as meaning headland, or promontory:

  "When the king had awaited
  The time he should stay,
  Came many to fare
  On the billows so free.
  His ship they bore out
  To the brim of the ocean,
  And his comrades sat down
  At their oars as he bade.
  A word could control
  His good fellows, the Shylds.
  On the deck of the ship
  He stood, by the mast.
  Ne'er did I hear
  Of a vessel appointed
  Better for battle,
  With weapons of war,
  And waistcoats of wool,
  And axes and swords.
  * * * *
  The ship was on the waves,
  Boat under the cliffs.
  The barons ready
  To the prow mounted.
  The chieftains bore
  On the naked breast
  Bright ornaments,
  War-gear, Goth-like.
  The men shoved off,
  Men on their willing way,
  The bounden wood.
    Then went over the sea-waves,
  Hurried by the wind,
  The ship with foamy neck,
  Most like a sea-fowl,
  Till about one hour
  Of the second day
  The curved prow
  Had passed onward.
  So that the sailors
  The land saw,
  The shore-cliffs shining,
  Mountains steep,
  And broad sea-noses.
  Then was the sea-sailing
  Of the Earl at an end.
  God thanked he
  That to him the sea-journey
  Easy had been."

In the year 863, a Dane of Swedish origin, named Gardar, adventurously
pushing off into the Northern Ocean, though upon an object which
history has not recorded, discovered the island-rock whose appropriate
name is Iceland. Eleven years later, a navigator named Ingolf colonized
the country, the colonists, many of whom belonged to the most esteemed
families in the North, establishing a flourishing republic. The
situation of these people, isolated in the midst of an Arctic ocean,
and their relation to the mother-country, compelled them to exert and
develop their hereditary maritime proclivities. In 877, a sailor named
Gunnbjörn saw a mountainous coast far to the west, supposed to be
now concealed or rendered inaccessible by the descent of Arctic ice.
Erik the Red, who had been banished from Norway for murder and had
settled in Iceland, was in his turn outlawed thence in 983: he sailed
to the west and discovered a land which he called Greenland, because,
as he said, "people will be attracted hither if the land has a good
name." He returned to Iceland, and, in the year 985, a large number of
ships--according to some authorities, thirty-five--followed him to the
new settlement and established themselves on its southwestern shore.

In 986, Bjarni Herjulfson-Bjarni, the son of Herjulf, in a voyage from
Iceland to Greenland, was driven a long distance from the accustomed
track. He at last saw land to the west, and took counsel with his men
as to what land it could be. Bjarni declared it his opinion that it was
not Greenland. They sailed close in shore, and noticed that there were
no mountains, but that the land was undulating and well wooded. They
left the land on their larboard side, and sailed away for two days,
when they saw land again. They asked Bjarni if he thought this was
Greenland; and he replied that "he thought it as little to be Greenland
as the other, as he saw no high ice-hills." The sailors wished to
wood and water there, but Bjarni would not consent. They sailed for
three days to the north, and saw a bold shore with high mountains and
ice-hills. Bjarni would not land, saying, "To me this land appears
little inviting." Sailing for four days more to the northeast, they
came to a country which Bjarni confidently pronounced to be Greenland,
where he landed and afterwards settled. Various data furnished by this
narrative, in the original Icelandic records, have enabled geographers
to determine the various coasts thus dimly seen by Bjarni, but upon
which he did not land. They are supposed to have been those of Long
Island, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.

In the year 994, Leif Erikson--Leif the son of Erik the Outlaw--bought
Bjarni's ship, and engaged thirty-five men to navigate it, as he
intended to sail upon a voyage of discovery. He asked his father
Erik to be the captain; but Erik declined, being, as he said, well
stricken in years. They sailed away into the sea, and discovered first
the land which Bjarni had discovered last. They went ashore, saw no
grass, but plenty of icebergs, and an abundance of flat stones. From
the latter circumstance they named the place _Helluland_, _hellu_
signifying a flat stone. There can be no doubt that the spot thus named
is the modern Newfoundland. They went on board again, and proceeded
on their way. They went ashore a second time, where the land was flat
and covered with wood and white sand. "This," said Leif, "shall be
named after its qualities, and called Markland," (woodland.) This is
undoubtedly Nova Scotia. They sailed again to the south for two days
and came to an island which lay to the eastward of the mainland. They
observed dew upon the grass, and this dew, upon being touched with the
finger and raised to the mouth, tasted exceedingly sweet. This appears
to have been Nantucket, where honey-dew is known to abound.


They proceeded on through a tract of shoal water, which corresponds
with the sound between Nantucket and Cape Cod, and appear to have run
across the mouth of Buzzard's Bay, and to have ascended the Pocasset
River as far as Mount Hope Bay, which they took for a lake. Here they
cast anchor, and, "bringing their skin cots from the ship, proceeded
to make booths." They remained during the winter, finding plenty of
salmon in the river and lake. "The nature of the country was, as they
thought, so good, that cattle would not require housefeeding in winter,
for there came no frost, and little did the grass wither there." Their
statement that on the shortest day the sun was above the horizon from
half-past seven till half-past four enables geographers to fix the
latitude of the place where they were at 41° 43' 10", which is very
nearly that of Mount Hope Bay.

One evening a man of the party was missing,--a German named Tyrker,
whom Leif regarded as his foster-father. He determined to seek for him,
and for this purpose chose twelve reliable men. Tyrker soon returned
and said that he had been a long distance into the interior, and had
found vines and grapes. "But is this true, my fosterer?" said Leif.
"Surely is it true," he returned; "for I was bred up in a land where
there is no want of either vines or grapes." The next morning Leif
said to his sailors, "We will now set about two things, in that the
one day we gather grapes, and the other cut vines and fell trees, so
from thence will be a loading for my ship." The record states that the
long-boat was filled with grapes. Leif gave the country the name of
Vinland, from its vines.

To the reader of the present day it may seem that the wild vines of
Massachusetts and Rhode Island can hardly have been so prominent a
feature of the native products as to have given a name to the whole
region. But it is certain that six centuries later the Puritans found
wild maize and grapes growing there in profusion, while the neighboring
island of Martha's Vineyard received its name from the English for a
precisely similar reason.

Upon the return of Leif to Greenland, his brother Thorwald thought that
"these new lands had been much too little explored." Leif gave him his
ship, and he put out to sea, with thirty men, in the year 1002. Nothing
is known of their voyage till they came to Leif's booths in Vinland.
They laid up their ship, caught fish for their support, and spent a
pleasant winter. They passed two years in exploring the interior, and
then returned by the north, where Thorwald was killed in a battle with
the Esquimaux.

But a more successful discoverer than any of these was Thorfinn
Karlsnefne,--that is, Thorfinn the Predestined Hero. He was a wealthy
merchant of Iceland, the heir of Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian
princes. He visited Greenland in 1006, where he married Gudrida, the
widow of an Icelandic adventurer, and in 1007 sailed, in three ships
and with one hundred and sixty men, upon a voyage to Vinland. His wife
went with him, and, in the autumn of the same year, bore him a son
named Snorri, who was, of course, the first of European blood born
in America. From him the celebrated Swedish sculptor Thorwaldsen was
lineally descended. Thorfinn remained here three years, and had many
communications with the aborigines. A singular result of this relation
may perhaps be traced in the names successively given to one spot. The
Northmen called one of their settlements Hóp, and the Puritans, six
centuries later, found that the Indians called it Haup. It would appear
that they had continued, in their own tongue, the appellation bestowed
upon the place in the Norse language. The Puritans anglicized it, and
called it Mount Hope.

We have no accounts of any further voyages made by the Northmen to
America. The records were preserved in the literature of the island,
but the memory of them gradually faded away from the popular mind.

Several writers claim for these early navigators a degree of merit
beyond that which they are willing to accord to Columbus. They reply to
the argument that Bjarni's discovery of the American coast was merely
accidental, as he had started in search of Greenland, that Columbus'
discovery of America was accidental also, as he started in search of
Asia, and as he believed the land to be Asia to the day of his death.
"Besides," they say, "how different were the circumstances under which
the two voyages were made! The Northmen, without compass or quadrant,
without any of the advantages of science, geographical knowledge,
personal experience, or previous discoveries, without the support of
either kings or governments,--which Columbus, however discouraged at
the outset, eventually obtained,--but guided by the stars, and upheld
by their own private resources and a spirit of adventure which no
dangers could repress, crossed the broad Northern ocean and explored
these distant lands."

This is all true; and doubtless our wonder at the success with which
these early voyages were prosecuted would be augmented tenfold, could
we obtain authentic information upon the character and capacity of
the ships in which they were made. Nothing reliable exists upon this
subject, except a few rude inscriptions; and from these, as reproduced
in the engravings we have given, it would actually appear that the
vessels used had no decks, and that they were partly propelled by oars.
However navigation may have improved since the days of the Northmen, it
is certain that no sailor would now attempt an Arctic voyage in an open
boat; and when we read of the perils and sufferings of our modern Polar
adventurers, it is impossible not to be amazed at the success with
which the Danes and Norwegians, with their slender appliances, endured
and outlived them.

[Illustration: FISHING FOR HERRING.]



The call to arms against the Moslems fixed, as we have said, the
attention of Europe upon the East. The travels of Carpini, Rubruquis,
and Ascelin, in Tartary and in China, revealed the existence of
numerous tribes in localities believed to be occupied by the ocean.
Hordes of savages, we are told, and whole nations of powerful and
warlike people, emerged from the imaginary waters of Eoüs, the fabulous
sea of antiquity and bed of Aurora. Marco Polo, whose celebrated
journey was performed during the twenty years closing the thirteenth
century, made known the centre and eastern extremity of Asia, Japan,
a portion of the islands of the Indian Archipelago, a part of the
continent of Africa, and, by hearsay, the large island of Madagascar.
We subjoin a brief account of that portion of his travels which was
prosecuted by sea.

He became a great favorite with Kublai Khan, whose winter capital
was Khanbalik or Pekin, and served him for many years as one of his
confidential officers. He was the first European who heard of the
island of Japan, of which he speaks thus:--"Zipangu, or Cipango, is
an island in the Eastern Ocean, situated about fifteen hundred miles
from the mainland. It is quite large. The inhabitants have fair
complexions, are civilized in their manners, though their religion is
idolatry. They have gold in the greatest abundance, but its exportation
is forbidden. The entire roof of the sovereign's palace is stated to
be covered with a plating of gold, as we cover churches and other
buildings with lead. So famous is the wealth of this island that Kublai
Khan was fired with the desire of annexing it to his dominions. He
sent out a numerous fleet and a powerful army; but a violent storm
dispersed and wrecked the ships, and thirty thousand men were thrown
upon a desert island a few miles from Cipango. They expected nothing
but death or captivity, as they could obtain no means of subsistence.
Being attacked from Cipango, they got in the rear of the enemy, took
possession of their fleet, and put off for the main island. They
kept the colors flying from the masts, and entered the chief city
unsuspected. All the inhabitants were gone except the women. They took
possession, but were closely besieged for six months, until, despairing
of relief, they surrendered, on condition of their lives being spared.
This took place in the year 1284." Such was the first intelligence of
the island of Japan which ever reached the ears of Europeans.

After a stay of seventeen years in China, Marco and his companions
resolved to make an attempt to return to their native land. Kublai
Khan, however, was unwilling to part with them; and they owed their
final release to a circumstance wholly unexpected. An embassy
from Persia had visited Pekin, and had selected one of Kublai's
grand-daughters for the wife of their prince. They set out with her on
their journey to Persia, but, after meeting with incredible obstacles,
were obliged to return to the Chinese capital. Marco had, at this
time, just returned from a voyage among the islands of the Indian Sea,
and had laid before the khan his observations upon the feasibility of
navigation in those waters. The ambassadors sought an interview with
Marco Polo, and found that they had all a common interest,--that of
getting away as speedily as possible. The khan was forced to facilitate
the departure of the envoys, though it deprived him of his friends
the Venetians. Preparations were made upon a grand scale for the
expedition. Fourteen four-masted ships, a part of them with crews of
two hundred and fifty men, were equipped and victualled for two years.
The khan bade the Polo party an affectionate adieu, making them his
ambassadors to the principal courts of Europe, and extorting from them
a promise to return to his service after a visit to their own country.

Thus honorably dismissed, they set sail from the port of Amoy, in
1291. They coasted along the shores of Cochin China, and came in sight
of the islands of Borneo and Java, though they did not land there.
At the island of Bintan, near the Straits of Malacca, they obtained
some knowledge of the kingdom of the Malays at the southern extremity
of the peninsula. They landed upon Sumatra, and visited many parts
of the island. Marco thus speaks of one branch of the trade of the
inhabitants:--"It should be known that what is reported respecting the
mummies of pygmies sent to Europe from India is only an idle tale,
these pretended human dwarfs being manufactured in this island in the
following manner. The country produces a large species of monkey having
a countenance resembling that of a man. The Sumatrans catch them, shave
off their hair, dry and preserve their bodies with camphor and other
drugs, and prepare them generally so as to give them the appearance
of little men. They then pack them in wooden boxes and sell them to
traders, by whom they are vended for pygmies in all parts of the world.
But there are no such things as pygmies in India or anywhere else. It
is mere monkey-trade."

From Sumatra, Marco and his companions sailed into the Bay of Bengal,
touched at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, arrived at Ceylon, and,
doubling the southern point of Hindostan, continued to the northward
along its western coast. The pearl-fishery here attracted their
attention; and Marco, in his description of the diamonds of a kingdom
named Murphili, narrates, as a fact, a story which was afterwards
incorporated in the Adventures of Sinbad the Sailor,--that of pieces
of meat being thrown by the jewel-hunters into inaccessible valleys,
whence they were brought back again by eagles and storks with
quantities of diamonds clinging to them. But the story occurs in the
writings of one of the Christian Fathers of the fourth century, and
Marco Polo only gives it as a legend which he heard. He also alludes to
the bird called the roc, which was so large that it lifted elephants
into the air; its feathers measured ninety spans. The locality
frequented by these monstrous ornithological specimens was the island
of Madagascar.

The voyage appears to have ended at Ormuz, at the mouth of the Persian
Gulf, after a navigation of a year and a half. Six hundred men of
the various crews had died upon the way. There is no mention made in
history of the return of the fleet to China, though Kublai Khan is
known to have died three years after the departure of the Venetians.
After various adventures, Marco Polo and his companions arrived in
Venice, in 1295. They had been absent twenty-one years, and their
nearest relatives did not know them. When they attempted to converse in
Italian, their use of foreign idioms and barbarous forms of expression
rendered their language hardly intelligible. Possession had been taken
of their houses by some of their kindred, and they found it difficult
to expel them. Their statements were disbelieved, till, by displaying
their immense wealth and their priceless collections of jewels and
precious stones, they forced their countrymen to give credit to
adventures which must clearly have been extraordinary, to have resulted
in such acquisitions of treasure. Marco's riches gave him the name of
Milione; and he is designated, in the records of the Venetian Republic,
and upon the title-page of his work,--still extant,--as Messer Marco

He was induced to write an account of his adventures in the following
manner. A war between the Venetians and the Genoese resulted in the
capture of the galley of which he was commander. He was imprisoned
during four years at Genoa. His surprising history becoming known,
he was visited by all the principal inhabitants, who were anxious to
listen to his narrative. The frequent necessity of repeating the same
story became intolerably irksome to him, and he resolved to commit
it to writing. He thus gave the first impulse to the promotion of
geographical science. He procured from Venice the original notes he
had made in the course of his travels, and, with their assistance
and that of a Genoese amanuensis, the narrative was composed in his
cell. It is a work of great research and deep interest. Formerly
read for its marvels, it is now perused as the earliest authentic
account of a region which still remains a _terra incognita_, and whose
inhabitants repel curiosity and decline mingling with other nations
upon the usual reciprocal terms of fellowship and good-will. Marco
Polo is now justly considered the founder of the modern geography of
Asia. It was long before any new discoveries were added to those of
the illustrious Venetian, but his original statements were confirmed
in many quarters:--by Oderic, who visited India and China in 1320; by
Schiltberger, of Munich, who accompanied Tamerlane in his expeditions
through Central Asia; by Pegoletti, an Italian merchant who went to
Pekin, through the heart of Asia, in 1335; and by Clavijo, in 1403, who
was sent by Spain as ambassador to Samarcand.

Thus, a European had been to the regions of spices and had returned.
From this time forward the world was to know no rest till the route by
sea had been discovered.




We have arrived at a momentous epoch in the history of the sea. It
was at this period that the mariner's compass was--we do not say
invented--but introduced into European navigation. That this admirable
instrument, which, in half a century, changed the face of the earth,
by leading to the discovery of America and thus proving the sphericity
of the world, should remain unclaimed by its author, and that we
are unable to point to him who thus blessed and benefited his race;
must always be a subject of regret. So far from being able to name
the individual to whom the invention is due, it has long been deemed
impossible to fix even upon the nation who first used the needle at
sea. We hope, however, by availing ourselves of recent researches
made in France, to arrive at a conclusion not only satisfactory, but
inevitable. In tracing the history of the compass, we must naturally
begin with the magnet.

The ancients were fully acquainted with the loadstone, and with its
power of attracting iron, though they were totally ignorant of its
polarity. That they were so, is evident from the fact that the classic
authors and ancient works upon navigation and kindred subjects do not
furnish one word upon the subject. Claudian has left, in one of his
idyls, a long description of the stone, and of its peculiar, indeed,
magical, affinity for iron. Had he entertained the most distant idea
that this stone could communicate to a steel needle the power of
indicating the north, it is not to be supposed for an instant that he
would have omitted mentioning it. The earliest name of the loadstone
was Hercules' Stone, which was soon changed to _magnes_, from the fact
that it was found in abundance in a region called Magnesia, in Lydia.
Hence our word magnet. It was not till the fourth century of our era
that the quality of repelling as well as of attracting iron seems to
have been discovered. Marcellus, the physician of Theodosius the Great,
is the first author who mentions this new quality.

The Romans, who acquired a knowledge of the magnet from the Greeks,
preserved the name, though several of their authors, and Pliny
among them, mention a tradition, that the magnet was so called from
a shepherd named Magnes, who was the first to discover a mine of
loadstone, by the nails in his shoes clinging to the metal.

The first mention in European history of the polarity of the magnetized
needle, and of its importance to mariners, occurs in a satirical French
poem written in 1190 by one Guyot de Provins. His object was to level,
by implication, an invective against the Court of Rome; and he did it
in the following neat manner. The translator has endeavored to preserve
the quaint style of the original:

  "As for our Father the Pope,
  I would he were like the star
  Which moves not. Very well see it
  The sailors who are on the watch.
  By this star they go and come,
  And hold their course and their way.
  They call it the Polar Star.
  It is fixed, very unchangeable:
  All the others move,
  And alter their places and turn,
  But this star moves not.
  They make a contrivance which cannot lie,
  By the virtue of the magnet.
  An ugly and brownish stone,
  To which iron spontaneously joins itself,
  They have: and they observe the right point,
  After they have caused a needle to touch it,
  And placed it in a rush:
  They put it in the water, without any thing more,
  And the rush keeps it on the surface;
  Then it turns its point direct
  Towards the star with such certainty,
  That no man will ever have any doubt of it;
  Nor will it ever for any thing go false.
  When the sea is dark and hazy,
  That they can neither see star nor moon,
  Then they place a light by the needle,
  And so they have no fear of going wrong:
  Towards the star goes the point,
  Whereby the mariners have the skill
  To keep the right way.
  It is an art which cannot fail."

It may be very properly inferred, from the fact that the poet does not
merely allude to the compass, but describes it and the polar star at
some length, that it was not generally known, and, in fact, had been
lately introduced into the Mediterranean. Whence it had been introduced
there, we shall learn as we proceed.

The second historical mention of the compass occurs in a description
of Palestine by Cardinal Jacques de Vitry, in the year 1218, in which
is the following passage:--"The loadstone is found in India, to which,
from some hidden cause, iron spontaneously attaches itself. The moment
an iron needle is touched by this stone, it at once points towards the
North Star, which, though the other stars revolve, is fixed as if it
were the axis of the firmament: from whence it has become necessary to
those who navigate the seas."

Brunetto Latini, a grammarian of Florence, and preceptor of Dante,
settled in Paris about the year 1260, and composed a work entitled
the "Treasure," in which he distinctly describes the process and the
consequence of magnetizing a needle. He also went to England, and, in
a letter of which fragments have been published, writes thus:--"Friar
Bacon showed me a magnet, an ugly and black stone, to which iron doth
willingly cling: you rub a needle upon it, the which needle, being
placed upon a point, remains suspended and turns against the Star, even
though the night be stormy and neither star nor moon be seen; and thus
the mariner is guided on his way."

The Italian Jesuit Riccioli, in his work upon Geography and
Hydrography, states, that before 1270, the French mariners used "a
magnetized needle, which they kept floating in a small vessel of water,
supported on two tubes, so as not to sink."

All these authors agree in fixing the period at which the use of the
needle was popularized in Europe, at the latter part of the twelfth
and the commencement of the thirteenth century. Not one of them
mentions the inventor by name, or even indicates his nation. This
circumstance leads to the conviction that it was unknown to them, and
that, consequently, the inventor was not a European. The theory that
the Europeans obtained it from the Arabians, and the Arabians from the
Chinese, is supported by the following facts:

A manuscript work, written by an Arabian named Bailak, a native of
Kibdjak, and entitled "The Merchant's Guide in the Purchase of Stones,"
thus speaks of the loadstone in the year 1242:--"Among the properties
of the magnet, it is to be noticed that the captains who sail in the
Syrian waters, when the night is dark, take a vessel of water, upon
which they place a needle buried in the pith of a reed, and which thus
floats upon the water. Then they take a loadstone as big as the palm
of the hand, or even smaller. They hold it near the surface of the
water, giving it a rotary motion until the needle turns upon the water:
they then withdraw the stone suddenly, when the needle, with its two
ends, points to the north and south. I saw this with my own eyes, on my
voyage from Tripoli, in Syria, to Alexandria, in the year 640. [640 of
the Hegira, 1240 A.D.]

"I heard it said that the captains in the Indian seas substitute for
the needle and reed a hollow iron fish, magnetized, so that, when
placed in the water, it points to the north with its head and to the
south with its tail. The reason that the fish swims, not sinks, is that
metallic bodies, even the heaviest, float when hollow, and when they
displace a quantity of water greater than their own weight."

It may fairly be inferred, from this passage, that, at the time spoken
of, (1240,) the practice was already of long standing in this quarter,
and that the needle and its polarity had been long known and employed
at sea. That is, the Arabs had become familiar with the loadstone in
1240, while Friar Bacon regarded it, in England, as a huge curiosity
in 1260,--twenty years afterwards. The priority of the invention would
seem to be thus incontestably proven for the Arabs. But we shall see
speedily that it derived its origin from a region situated still
farther to the east, and many centuries earlier.

A famous Chinese dictionary, terminated in the year 121 of our era,
thus defines the word magnet:--"The name of a stone which gives
direction to a needle." This is quoted in numerous modern dictionaries.
One published during the Tsin dynasty--that is, between 265 and
419--states that ships guided their course _to the south_ by means
of the magnet. The Chinese word for magnet--_Tchi nan_--signifies,
Indicator of the South. It was natural for the Chinese, when they first
saw a needle point both north and south, to take the Antarctic pole for
the principal point of attraction, for with them the south had always
been the first of the cardinal points,--the emperor's throne and all
the Government edifices invariably being built to face the south. A
Chinese work of authority, composed about the year 1000, contains this
passage:--"Fortune-tellers rub the point of a needle with a loadstone
to give it the power of indicating the south."

A medical natural history, published in China in 1112, speaks even of
the variation of the needle,--a phenomenon first noticed in Europe by
Christopher Columbus in 1492:--"When," it says, "a point of iron is
touched by a loadstone, it receives the power of indicating the south:
still, it declines towards the east, and does not point exactly to
the south." This observation, made at the beginning of the twelfth
century, was confirmed by magnetic experiments made at Pekin, in 1780,
by a Frenchman; only the latter, finding the variation to be from the
north, set it down as from 2° to 2° 30' to the west, while the Chinese,
persisting in calling it a variation from the south, set it down as
being from 2° to 2° 30' to the east.

Thus, the Chinese, who were acquainted with the polarity of a
magnetized needle as early as the year 121, and who noticed the
variation in 1112, may be safely supposed to have employed it at sea in
the long voyages which they made in the seventh and eighth centuries,
the route of which has come down to us. Their vessels sailed from
Canton, through the Straits of Malacca, to the Malabar coast, to the
mouths of the Indus and the Euphrates. It is difficult to believe that,
aware of the use to which the needle might be applied, they did not so
apply it.

While thus claiming for the Chinese the first knowledge and application
of the polarity of the needle, we may say, incidentally, that it is
now certain that they made numerous other discoveries of importance
long before the Europeans. They knew the attractive power of amber in
the first century of our era, and a Chinese author said, in 324, "The
magnet attracts iron, and amber attracts mustard-seed." They ascribed
the tides to the influence of the moon in the ninth century. Printing
was invented in the province of Chin about the year 920, and gunpowder
would seem to have been made there long before Berthold Schwartz mixed
it in 1330. Still, it is not necessary to resort to the argument
of analogy to support the claims of the Chinese to this admirable
invention: the direct evidence, as we have rehearsed it, is amply

[Illustration: CHINESE JUNK.]

A century ago, Flavio Gioia, a captain or pilot of Amalfi, in the
kingdom of Naples, was recognised throughout Europe as the true
inventor of the compass. He lived in the beginning of the fourteenth
century, and biographers have even fixed the date of the memorable
invention at the year 1303. The principal foundation for this assertion
was the following line from a poem by Antonio of Bologna, who lived
but a short time after Gioia:--

  "Prima dedit nautis usam magnetis Amalphis."
  Amalfi first gave to sailors the use of the magnet.

The tradition was subsequently confirmed by the statement made by
authors of repute, that the city of Amalfi, in order to commemorate
an invention of so much importance, assumed a compass for its coat
of arms. This was believed till the year 1810, when the coat of arms
of Amalfi was found in the library at Naples. It did not answer at
all to the description given of it: instead of the eight wings which
were said to represent the four cardinal points and their divisions,
it had but two, in which no resemblance to a compass could be traced.
Later investigations have, as we have said, completely demolished all
the arguments by which the compass was maintained to be of European
origin and of modern date. The curious reader will find the extracts
from Chinese works which substantiate the Chinese claim, in a volume
upon the subject published in 1834, at Paris, by M. J. Klaproth, and
composed at the request of Baron Humboldt.

In the sketch which we are now about to give of the Portuguese voyages
to the African coast, it will be remarked that the compass was already
introduced and acclimated. No mention whatever is extant of the first
venture made upon the Atlantic under the auspices of this mysterious
but unerring guide. Science and history must forever regret that the
first European navigator who employed it did not leave a record of
the experiment. What would be more interesting to-day than the log of
the earliest voyage thus accomplished in European waters? The modern
reader would surely give his sympathy, unreservedly, to a narrative
in which the navigator should describe his wonder, his terror, his
joy, when, throughout the voyage, he saw the tremulous index point
invariably north; when, upon the dispersion of the clouds which had
concealed the Star from view, it was found precisely where the needle
indicated: when, upon its being diverted from the line of direction
by some curious and perhaps incredulous experimenter, it slowly but
surely returned, remaining fixed and constant through storm and
calm, at midnight and at noon. What would be more interesting than
the speculations of such a captain upon the cause of the marvellous
dispensation? And what more amusing than the commentaries of the
forecastle, and the learned explanations of the veteran salts to the
raw recruits? But all this absorbing lore has hopelessly disappeared,
and the mariner's compass will forever remain mysterious in its
principle, mysterious in its origin, mysterious in its history. We
shall have occasion to return to the subject from another point of
view, when, in describing the Arctic voyages of the present century, we
shall find James Clarke Ross standing upon the North Magnetic Pole.


[Illustration: TENERIFFE.]

Section III.




We are now to consider at some length a series of voyages, tedious
and fruitless at first, successful in the end, undertaken by the
Portuguese, in their age of maritime heroism, to discover a passage
by sea to the famous commercial region of the Indies, some general
knowledge of which had been preserved since the Persian, Macedonian,
and Roman Empires. The achievements which we are about to narrate
were so surprising, so significant, and so complete, that, as has
been aptly remarked, they can never happen again in history, unless,
indeed, Providence were to create new and accessible worlds for
discovery and conquest, or to replunge mankind for ages into ignorance
and superstition. But, before proceeding with the discoveries of the
Portuguese, we must mention a previous discovery made by accident in
the same region by the French and Spanish.

About the year 1330, a French ship was driven among a number of islands
which lay off the coast of the Desert of Sahara. These had been known
to the ancients as the Fortunate Islands, and Juba of Mauritania, who
is quoted by Pliny, calls two of them by name,--Trivaria, or Snow
Island, and Canaria, or Island of Dogs. They had been lost to the
knowledge of the Europeans for a thousand years, and it was a storm
which revealed their existence, as we have said, to a vessel forced
by stress of weather to escape from the coast into the open sea. The
Spaniards profited by the vicinity of the group to make discoveries
and settlements among them. Trivaria became Teneriffe, and Canaria the
Grand Canary. It was here that superstition now placed the limits of
navigation, and expressed the idea upon maps, by representing a giant
armed with a formidable club, and dwelling in a tower, as threatening
ships with destruction if they ventured farther out to sea. It is in
this immediate neighborhood that we are now about to follow the flaring
and patient enterprises of the Portuguese.

[Illustration: CAPE BOJADOR.]

Don Henry, the fifth son of John I. of Portugal, was placed by his
father, in 1415, in command of the city of Ceuta, in Africa, which
he had just conquered from the Moors. During his stay here, the
young prince acquired much information relative to the seas and
coasts of Western Africa, and this first suggested in his mind a plan
for maritime discovery, which afterwards became his favorite and
almost exclusive pursuit. He sent a vessel upon the first voyage of
exploration undertaken by any nation in modern times. The commander was
instructed to follow the western coast of Africa, and, if possible, to
pass the cape called by the Portuguese Cape Non, Nun, or Noun. This
had hitherto been considered the utmost southern limit of navigation
by the Europeans, and had obtained its name from the negative term in
the Portuguese language--implying that there was _nothing_ beyond. A
current proverb expressed the idea thus:

  Whoe'er would pass the Cape of Non
  Shall turn again, or else begone.

The fate of this vessel has not been recorded; but Don Henry continued
for many years to send other vessels upon the same errand. Several
of them proceeded one hundred and eighty miles beyond Cape Non, to
another and more formidable promontory, to which they gave the name
of Bojador--from _bojar_, to double--on account of the circuit which
must be made to get around it, as it stretches more than one hundred
miles into the ocean. The tides and shoals here formed a current
twenty miles wide; and the spectacle of this swollen and beating
surge, which precluded all possibility of creeping along close to the
coast, filled these timid navigators with terror and amazement. They
dared not venture out of sight of land, and, seized with a sudden
remembrance of the fabulous horrors of the torrid zone, they regarded
the interposition of this terrific cape as a providential warning,
and sailed hastily back to Portugal. There, with that fancy for
embellishment peculiar to sailors of all ages, they narrated stories,
or, as would be said in the present day, yarns, calculated forever
to dissuade from further ventures in the latitudes of Capes Non and

Don Henry, who had returned from Ceuta, resolved, in spite of these
obstacles, to employ a portion of his revenue as Grand Master of
the Order of Christ, in further maritime experiments. He fixed his
residence upon the Sacrum Promontorium of the Romans, of which we have
given a representation in the chapter describing the voyage of Pytheas.
Here he indulged that passion for navigation and mathematics which he
had hitherto been compelled to neglect. In 1418, two naval officers of
his household volunteered their lives in an attempt to surmount the
perils of Bojador. Juan Gonzalez Vasco and Tristan Vax Texeira embarked
in a vessel called a _barcha_ and resembling a brig with topsails, and
steered for the tremendous cape.

Before reaching it, however, a violent storm drove them out to sea,
and the crew, on losing sight of their accustomed landmarks, gave
themselves up to despair. But, upon the abatement of the tempest,
they found themselves in sight of an island four hundred miles to the
west of the coast. Thus was discovered Porto Santo, the smallest of
the group of the Madeiras, and thus was the feasibility and advantage
of abandoning coasting voyages and venturing boldly out to sea made
manifest. The adventurers returned to Portugal, and gave glowing
accounts of the fertility of the soil, of the mildness of the climate,
and the character of the inhabitants. Vessels were fitted out to
colonize and cultivate the island; but a singular and most untoward
event rendered it useless as a place of refreshment for navigators. A
single rabbit littered during the voyage, and was let loose upon the
island with her progeny: these multiplied so rapidly that in two years
they eat every green thing which its soil produced. Porto Santo was
therefore, for a time, abandoned.

During their residence there, however, Gonzalez and Vax noticed with
wonder a strange and perpetual appearance in the horizon to the
southwest. A thick, impenetrable cloud hovered over the waves, and
thence extended to the skies. Some believed it to be a dreadful abyss,
and others a fabulous island, while superstition traced amid the gloom
Dante's inscription on the portal of the Inferno:

  Abandon hope, all ye who enter here!

Gonzalez and Vax bore this state of suspense with the impatience of
seamen, while from dawn to sunset the meteor, or the portent, preserved
its uniform sullen aspect. At last they started in pursuit. It was
urged, by a Spaniard named Juan de Morales, that the shadows hanging in
the air could be accounted for by supposing that the soil of an island
in the vicinity, being shaded from the sun by thick and lofty trees,
exhaled dense and opaque vapors, which spread throughout the sky. As
the ship advanced, the towering spectre was observed to thicken and
to expand until it became horrible to view. The roaring of the sea
increased, and the crew called on Gonzalez to flee from the fearful
scene. But soon the weather became calm, and deeper shadows were
observed through the portentous gloom. Faint images of rocks seemed
to the excited crew the menacing figures of giants. The atmosphere
was now transparent; the hoarse echo of the waves abated; the clouds
dispersed, and the woodlands were unveiled. The seamen rested on their
oars, while Gonzalez admired the wild luxuriance of nature in a spot
which superstition had so long dreaded to approach. A rivulet, issuing
from a glen, whose paler verdure formed a striking contrast with the
deep green of venerable cedars, seemed to pour a stream of milk into a
spacious basin. They searched in vain for traces of either inhabitants
or cattle. The abundance of building-wood which the island furnished
suggested the name of Madeira; and a tract covered with fennel (funcha)
marked the site of the future town of Funchal.

A modern poet thus describes in verse the scene which we have narrated
in prose:

                      "Bojador's rocks
  Arise at distance, frowning o'er the surf,
  That boils for many a league without. Its course
  The ship holds on, till, lo! the beauteous isle
  That shielded late the sufferers from the storm
  Springs o'er the wave again. Then they refresh
  Their wasted strength, and lift their vows to Heaven.
  But Heaven denies their further search; for ah!
  What fearful apparition, pall'd in clouds,
  Forever sits upon the western wave,
  Like night, and, in its strange portentous gloom
  Wrapping the lonely waters, seems the bounds
  Of nature? Still it sits, day after day,
  The same mysterious vision. Holy saints!
  Is it the dread abyss where all things cease?
  The favoring gales invite: the bowsprit bears
  Right onward to the fearful shade: more black
  The cloudy spectre towers: already fear
  Shrinks at the view, aghast and breathless. Hark!
  'Twas more than the deep murmur of the surge
  That struck the ear; whilst through the lurid gloom
  Gigantic phantoms seem to lift in air
  Their misty arms. Yet, yet--bear boldly on:
  The mist dissolves: seen through the parting haze,
  Romantic rocks, like the depicted clouds,
  Shine out: beneath, a blooming wilderness
  Of varied wood is spread, that scents the air;
  Where fruits of golden rind, thick interspersed
  And pendent, through the mantling umbrage gleam

Gonzalez and Vax returned at once to Lisbon, where a public day of
audience was appointed by the king to give every celebrity to this
successful voyage. Madeira was at once colonized and cultivated; and
it is said that Gonzalez, in order to clear a space for his intended
city of Funchal, set the shrubs and bushes on fire, and that the
flames, being communicated to the forests, burned for seven years. The
sugarcane was planted, and its cultivation yielded immense sums until
sugar-plantations were established in Brazil and thus interfered with
the monopoly. The attention of the islanders was then transferred to
the grape, and from that time to this Madeira has supplied the world
with a favorite--nay, almost indispensable--brand of wine.

Don Henry had now, it would appear, surmounted the principal obstacles
opposed by ignorance or prejudice to the object of his laudable
ambition. But there were many interests threatened by a continuance
of discovery by sea. The military beheld with jealous dislike the
distinction obtained by, and now willingly accorded to, a profession
they held inferior to their own. The nobility dreaded the opening of a
source of wealth which would raise the mercantile character, and in an
equal degree lower the assumptions and pretensions of artificial social
rank. Political economists suggested that there were barren spots in
Portugal as capable of cultivation as any desert islands in the sea
or any sandy coasts within the tropics. It was urged, too, that any
Portuguese who should pass Cape Bojador would inevitably be changed
into a negro, and would forever retain this brand of his temerity.

While Henry was resisting the arguments of his detractors, his father
died, and was succeeded upon the throne by his son Edward. The latter
gave every encouragement to the maritime projects of his brother,
and, in 1433, one Gilianez, having incurred the displeasure of Henry,
determined to regain his favor by doubling Cape Bojador. Though we are
without details of the voyage, we know at least that it was successful,
and that the historians of the time represent the feat as more
remarkable than any of the labors of Hercules. Gilianez reported that
the sea beyond Bojador was quite as navigable as the Mediterranean,
and that the climate and soil of the coast were agreeable and fertile.
He was sent the next year, with Henry's cup-bearer, Baldoza, over
the same route, and they advanced ninety miles beyond the cape with
the conscious pride of being the first Europeans who had ventured so
far towards the fatal vicinity of the equator. Though they saw no
inhabitants, they noticed the tracks of caravans.

They were ordered, in 1435, to resume their discoveries, and to prolong
their voyage till they should meet with inhabitants. In latitude 24°
north, one hundred and thirty miles beyond Bojador, two horses were
landed, and two Portuguese youths, sixteen years of age, were directed
to mount them and advance into the interior. They returned the next
morning, saying that they had seen and attacked a band of nineteen
natives. A strong force was despatched to the cave in which they were
said to have taken shelter: their weapons only were found. This spot
was called _Angra dos Cavallos_, or Bay of Horses. The two vessels
continued on forty miles farther, to a place where they killed a large
number of seals and took their skins on board. Their provisions were
now nearly exhausted, and the expedition, having penetrated nearly two
hundred miles beyond the cape, returned to Lisbon.

[Illustration: CAPE VERD.]

The Portuguese war with Tangiers now absorbed the entire naval and
maritime resources of the country, and the plague of Lisbon stayed for
a time the patriotic enterprises of Don Henry. In 1440-42, expeditions
sent in the same direction resulted in the capture and transfer of
several Moors to Portugal, and in the payment to their captors, as
ransom, of the first GOLD DUST ever beheld by Europeans. A river, or
arm of the sea, near the spot where this gold was paid, received, from
that circumstance, the name of _Rio del Ouro_. This gold dust at once
operated as a sovereign panacea upon the obstinacy and irritation of
the public mind. It has been well remarked that "this is the primary
date to which we may refer that turn for adventure which sprang up in
Europe, and which pervaded all the ardent spirits in every country
for the two succeeding centuries, and which never ceased till it had
united the four quarters of the globe in commercial intercourse. Henry
had stood alone for almost forty years; and, had he fallen before
those few ounces of gold reached his country, the spirit of discovery
might have perished with him, and his designs have been condemned as
the dreams of a visionary." The sight of the precious metal placed
the discoveries and enterprises of Don Henry beyond the reach of
detraction or prejudice. Numerous expeditions were successively fitted
out:--that of Nuno Tristan, in 1443, who discovered the Arguin Islands,
thirty miles to the southeast of Cape Blanco; that of Juan Diaz and
others in 1444; that of Gonzalez da Cintra in 1445, who, with seven
others, was killed fifty miles south of the Rio del Ouro,--this being
the first loss of life on the part of the Portuguese since they had
undertaken their explorations. In 1446, a gentleman of Lisbon, by the
name of Fernandez, determined to proceed farther to the southward than
any other navigator, and accordingly fitted out a vessel under the
patronage of the prince. Passing the Senegal River, he stood boldly
on till he reached the most western promontory of Africa, to which,
from the number of green palms which he found there, he gave the name
of Cape Verd. Being alarmed by the breakers with which this shore
is lined, he returned to Portugal with the gratifying news of his
discovery. In 1447, Nuno Tristan sailed one hundred and eighty miles
beyond Cape Verd, and reached the mouth of a river, which he called
the Rio Grande, now the Gambia. He was attacked by the natives with
volleys of poisoned arrows, of the effects of which all his crew and
officers died but four; and the ship was at last brought home by these
four survivors, after wandering two months upon the Atlantic. The next
expedition, under Alvaro Fernando, carried out an antidote against the
poisoned shafts of the enemy, which successfully combated the venom, as
all who were wounded recovered.

The Açores, or Azores, were now discovered, about nine hundred miles to
the west of Portugal; but some doubts exist both as to the discoverer
and the date. They doubtless received their name from the number of
hawks which were seen there, Açor signifying hawk in Portuguese. Santa
Maria and San Miguel were named from the saints upon whose days they
were first seen. Terceira obtained its name from the circumstance
that it was the third that was discovered. Fayal was so called from
the beech-trees it produced; Graciosa, from its agreeable climate and
fertile soil; Flores, from its flowers; and Corvo, from its crows. The
various clusters of islands which thus arose in the Atlantic, from the
Azores to Cape Verd, now formed a succession of maritime colonies and
nurseries for seamen, and thus enabled navigators to avoid the coast,
where the outrages they endured from Moors and negroes threatened to
exhaust their patience. The ships of Don Henry had now penetrated
within ten degrees of the equator, and the outcry against venturing
into a region where the very air was fatal broke out afresh. In this
point of view, therefore, the settlement of the Azores was a matter of
no little importance. In 1449, King Alphonso gave his uncle, Don Henry,
permission to colonize these islands. In 1457, Henry obtained for them
several important privileges, the principal of which was the exemption
of their inhabitants from any duties upon their commerce in Portuguese
and Spanish ports.

In the years 1455-56-57, a Venetian, by the name of Cada-Mosto,
undertook, under the patronage of Don Henry, two voyages of discovery
along the African coast. The narrative of his adventures, being in the
first person, is the oldest nautical journal extant, with the single
exception of one of Alfred the Great, still in existence. But, as it
is principally occupied with descriptions of the manners and customs
of the Africans, and as he did not proceed beyond the Rio Grande, thus
adding little or nothing to maritime discovery, an account of his
voyage would be out of place here. Don Henry died shortly after the
return of Cada-Mosto from his second voyage, and for a season this
calamity palsied the naval enterprise of his countrymen. They had been
accustomed to derive from him, not only the encouragement necessary
for the prosecution of such attempts, but even sailing directions and
instructions upon all matters of detail. It can easily be conceived
that the demise of this illustrious prince should temporarily
dishearten navigators and paralyze discovery. Under his auspices
the Portuguese had pushed their discoveries from Cape Non to Sierra
Leone,--from the twenty-ninth to the eighth degree of north latitude.
He died at Sagres--the city, half ship-yard, half arsenal, which he had
founded upon the Sacrum Promontorium.

[Illustration: SEA SWALLOW.]



During the remainder of the reign of Alphonso V.--which terminated in
1481--the Portuguese advanced over the coast and Gulf of Guinea and
the adjacent islands to the northern boundary of the great kingdom of
Congo, and had therefore arrived within six hundred and fifty marine
leagues of the cape which forms the southern point of the African
continent. They had crossed the equator, and not a man had turned
black. They had entered into a brisk gold-trade with the savages
of Guinea. John II., the son and successor of Alphonso, determined
to fortify a point called Mina, from its abundant mines, and sent
out twelve vessels with building materials and six hundred men. The
negroes at first resisted, but finally yielded their consent. The fort
was constructed and named St. Jorge da Mina; the quarry from which
the first stone was taken being the favorite god of the tribe that
inhabited the coast.

John II. now added to his other titles that of Lord of Guinea. In
the hope of opening a passage by sea to the rich spice-countries of
India, he asked the support and countenance of the different states of
Christendom. But the established mercantile interest of these countries
was naturally hostile to a project which aimed at changing the route
of Eastern commerce. John next applied to the Pope for an increase of
power, and obtained from his holiness a grant of all the lands which
his navigators should discover in sailing _from west to east_. The
grand idea of sailing from east to west--one which implied a knowledge
of the sphericity of the globe--had not yet, to outward appearance,
penetrated the brain of either pope or layman. One Christopher
Columbus, however, was already brooding over it in secret and in

It had hitherto been customary for Portuguese navigators to erect
wooden crosses upon all lands discovered by them. John II. now
commanded them to employ stone pillars six feet high, and to inscribe
upon them, in the Latin and Portuguese languages, the date, the name
of the reigning monarch, and that of the discoverer. Diego Cam was the
first to comply with this command; he set up a column at the mouth of
the river Congo, at which he arrived in 1484. An ambassador was sent by
the chief of the territory to Portugal, where he embraced Christianity
and was baptized by the name of John. The anxiety of the king now
increased in reference to interference by other nations: he therefore
sent to King Edward, of England, an earnest request that he would
prevent the intended voyage to Guinea of two of his subjects, John
Tintam and William Fabian, with which request Edward saw fit to comply.
The Portuguese monarch now carefully concealed the progress of his
navigators upon the African coast, and on all occasions magnified the
perils of a Congo voyage. He declared that every quarter of the moon
produced a tempest; that the shores were girt with inhospitable rocks;
that the inhabitants were cannibals, and that the only vessels which
could live in the waters of the torrid zone were caravels of Portuguese
build. Suspecting that three sailors who had left Portugal for Spain
intended to sell the secret to the foreign king, he ordered them to
be pursued and taken. Two were killed, and the third was broken upon
the wheel. "Let every man abide in his element:" said John; "I am not
partial to travelling seamen."

We now approach an era of great achievements. John determined, in 1486,
to assist the attempts made on sea by journeys over land. Accordingly
a squadron was fitted out under Bartholomew Diaz, one of the officers
of the royal household, while Pedro de Covillam and Alphonso de Payra,
both well versed in Arabic, received the following order respecting a
land journey:--"To discover the country of Prester John, the King of
Abyssinia, to trace the Venetian commerce in drugs and spices to its
source, and to ascertain whether it were possible for ships to sail
round the extremity of Africa to India." They went by way of Naples,
the Island of Rhodes, Alexandria, and Cairo, to Aden in Arabia. Here
they separated, Covillam proceeding to Cananor and Goa, upon the
Malabar coast of Hindostan, and being the first Portuguese that ever
saw India. He went from there to Sofala, on the eastern coast of
Africa, and saw the Island of the Moon, now Madagascar. He penetrated
to the court of Prester John, the King of Abyssinia, and became so
necessary to the happiness of that potentate, that he was compelled
to live and die in his dominions. An embassy sent by Prester John to
Lisbon made the Portuguese acquainted with Covillam's adventures.
Long ere this, however, Bartholomew Diaz had sailed upon the voyage
which has immortalized his name. He received the command of a fleet,
consisting of two ships of fifty tons each, and of a tender to carry
provisions, and set sail towards the end of August, 1486, steering
directly to the south. It is much to be regretted that so few details
exist in reference to this memorable expedition. We know little more
than the fact that the first stone pillar which Diaz erected was placed
four hundred miles beyond that of any preceding navigator. Striking
out boldly here into the open sea, he resolved to make a wide circuit
before returning landward. He did so; and the first land he saw, on
again touching the continent, lay one hundred miles to the eastward
of the great southern cape, which he had passed without seeing it.
Ignorant of this, he still kept on, amazed that the land should now
trend to the east and finally to the north. Alarmed, and nearly
destitute of provisions, mortified at the failure of his enterprise,
Diaz unwillingly put back. What was his joy and surprise when the
tremendous and long-sought promontory--the object of the hopes and
desires of the Portuguese for seventy-five years, and which, either
from the distance or the haze, had before been concealed--now burst
upon his view!

Diaz returned to Portugal in December, 1487, and, in his narrative to
the king, stated that he had given to the formidable promontory he had
doubled the name of "Cape of Tempests." But the king, animated by the
conviction that Portugal would now reap the abundant harvest prepared
by this cheering event, thought he could suggest a more appropriate
appellation. The Portuguese poet, Camoens, thus alludes to this

  "At Lisboa's court they told their dread escape,
  And from her raging tempests named the Cape.
  'Thou southmost point,' the joyful king exclaimed,
  'CAPE OF GOOD HOPE be thou forever named!'"

Successful and triumphant as was this voyage of Diaz, it eventually
tended to injure the interests of Portugal, inasmuch as it withdrew
the regards of King John from other and important plans of discovery,
and rendered him inattentive to the efforts of rival powers upon the
ocean. It caused him, amid the intoxication of the moment, to refuse
the services and reject the science of one who now offered to conduct
the vessels of Portugal to the Indies by an untried route. It caused
him, as we shall soon have occasion to narrate, to turn a deaf ear to
the proposals of Columbus, who had humbly brought to Lisbon the mighty
scheme with which he had been contemptuously repulsed from Genoa. We
have arrived at the Great Era in Navigation,--the age of Columbus, da
Gama, and Magellan.




Cristofero Colombo (in Spanish Colon, in French Colomb, in Latin and
English Columbus) was born in Genoa, in the year 1435.[1] His father
was a wool-comber, and Christopher followed, for a time, the same
occupation. He was sent, however, at the age of ten years, to the
University of Pavia, where he seems to have studied, though with little
advantage, natural philosophy and astronomy, or, as it was then called,
astrology. Returning to his father's bench, he worked at wool-combing,
with his brother Bartholomew, till he was fourteen years of age. By
this time the natural influence of the situation, the atmosphere,
and the traditions of Genoa had awakened in him the tastes and the
ambition of a sailor. The sea had long been the home and the life of
the Genoese: it was the theatre of their glory, and their avenue to
wealth. Christopher's great-uncle, Colombo, commanded a fleet intrusted
to him by the king, and with which he carried on a predatory warfare
against the Venetians and Neapolitans. His nephew joined his ship, and
thus became acquainted with the whole extent of the Mediterranean,
which was at that period ploughed by the pirates of the Archipelago and
the corsairs of the Barbary States. As the vessel went armed to the
teeth, the young sailor not only learned the art of navigation, but
acquired those habits of discipline and subordination, of self-command
and presence of mind, which afterwards served him in so good stead.
This manner of life lasted for many years, till Columbus, at the age of
thirty, was wrecked off the coast of Portugal, and reached, with some
difficulty, the city of Lisbon. Here he found his brother Bartholomew
settled, and occupying himself in drawing plans, charts, and maps for
the use of navigators. Christopher joined him, and gained a sufficient
livelihood by copying manuscripts and black-letter books, and aiding
his brother in his avocations. He soon married an Italian lady named
Felippa di Perestrello, whose father, now dead, had been Governor of
the island of Porto Santo, one of the Madeiras. This union between the
humble son of a wool-comber and the daughter of an Italian gentleman
is deemed, by several of the biographers of Columbus, a strong proof
of the nobility of his ancestry. After his marriage, he left for Porto
Santo,--the sterile dowry of his wife,--where his first son, Diego, was

We have already seen that the period was one of the greatest excitement
and expectancy in regard to maritime discovery. Columbus had long
reflected upon the existence of land in the west, upon the sphericity
of the earth, and upon the possibility of crossing the Atlantic. He had
already conceived the idea of reaching Asia by following the setting
sun across the immensity of the waters. His mind, too, was kindled to
religious enthusiasm by the allusions in the Bible to the universal
diffusion of the gospel, and, in his dreams of nautical discovery,
the belief that he was destined to be an apostle, sent to extend the
dominion of the cross, predominated over more worldly aspirations. For
years, while struggling with disappointment and harassed by poverty,
he pursued this idea with the pertinacity of a monomaniac. When forty
years old, and residing at Lisbon, he proposed to the Senate of Genoa
to leave the Mediterranean by the Straits of Gibraltar and to proceed
to the west, in the sea known as the Ocean, as far as the "lands
where spices bloom," and thus circumnavigate the earth. The Genoese,
whose maritime knowledge was confined to the Mediterranean, and who
had no fancy for adventures upon the ocean, declined listening to the
proposition, pretexting the penury of the treasury. It would also seem
that overtures made by Columbus to the Council of Venice were similarly
rejected. For a time, therefore, he abandoned all efforts to further
his desires. In 1477, he made a voyage to Iceland, in order to discover
whether it was inhabited, and even sailed one hundred leagues beyond
it,--where, to his astonishment, he found the sea not frozen.

Upon the accession of John II. to the throne of Portugal,--a sovereign
whom we have already shown to be deeply interested in the progress of
the art of navigation,--Columbus made known to him his opinions and his
plans, assigning the extension of the gospel as the avowed and final
object of the expedition. The subject was referred to a maritime junto
and to a high council, by both of whom it was rejected as visionary
and absurd. The king was induced, however, by one of his councillors,
to equip a caravel and send it on a voyage of discovery upon the
route traced out by Columbus, and thus obtain for himself the glory
of the expedition, if successful. Columbus was invited to hand in to
the Government his maps and charts, together with his written views
upon the whole subject. This he did, supposing, in his simplicity,
that another examination was to be made of the practicability of the
venture. The king despatched a caravel, under the command of one of
the ablest pilots of his marine, to follow the track indicated. The
vessel left, but soon returned, her crew having been appalled at sight
of the boundless horizon, and her captain having lost his courage in
a storm. Columbus, indignant at this duplicity, secretly left Lisbon
and returned home to Genoa. At this period he had the misfortune to
lose his wife Felippa, who had shared his confidence in the existence
of unknown lands, and whose encouragement had sustained him in his
disappointments. This was in the year 1484. He renewed his proposal to
the Senate of Genoa, which was again rejected. He now cast his eyes
upon the other European powers, among whom the two sovereigns of Spain,
Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, seemed to deserve the

Not far from Palos, upon the Spanish coast, and in sight of the ocean,
stood, upon a promontory half hidden by pine-trees, a monastery--known
as La Rabida--dedicated to the Virgin, and inhabited by Franciscan
friars. The Superior, Juan Perez de Marchena, offered an example of
fervent piety and of theological erudition, at the same time that he
was a skilful mathematician and an ardent practitioner of the exact
sciences. He was at once an astronomer, a devotee, and a poet. During
the hours of slumber, he often ascended to the summit of the abbey,
and, looking out upon the ocean,--known as the Sea of Darkness,--would
ask himself if beyond this expanse of waters there was no land yet
unclaimed by Christianity. He rejected as fabulous the current idea
that a vessel might sail three years to the west without reaching a
hospitable shore. The ocean, formidable to others and intelligible to
few, was to him the abode of secrets which man was invited to unfold.

One day a traveller rang at the gate and asked for refreshment for
himself and his son. Being interrogated as to the object of his
journey, he replied that he was on his way to the court of Spain
to communicate an important matter to the king and queen. The
traveller was Christopher Columbus. How he came to pass by this
obscure monastery--which lay altogether off his route--has never been
explained. A providential guidance had brought him into the presence
of the man the best calculated to comprehend his purpose, in a country
where he was totally without friends and with whose language he was
completely unacquainted. A common sympathy drew them together; and
Columbus, accepting for a period the hospitality of Marchena, made him
the confidant of his views. Thus, while the colleges and universities
of Christendom still held the childish theory that the earth was flat,
and that the sea was the path to utter and outer darkness, Columbus and
Marchena, filled with a spontaneous and implicit faith, intuitively
believed in the sphericity of the globe and the existence of a nameless
continent beyond the ocean. In theory they had solved the great
question whether the ship which should depart by the west would come
back by the east.

Marchena gave Columbus a letter of recommendation to the queen's
confessor, and, during his absence, promised to educate and maintain
his son Diego. Thus tranquillized in his affections, and aided in his
schemes, Columbus departed for Cordova. Here he was destined to undergo
another disappointment; for the queen's confessor, his expected patron,
treated him as a dreaming speculator and needy adventurer. He soon
became again isolated and forgotten. In the midst of his indigence,
however, a noble lady, Beatrix Enriquez, young and beautiful, though
not rich, noticed his manners and his language, so evidently above
his condition, and detained him at Cordova long after his hopes were
extinguished. He married her: she bore him a son, Fernando, who
afterwards became his father's biographer and historian.

Columbus now wrote to the king a brief and concise letter, setting
forth his desires. It was never answered. After a multitude of similar
deceptions and disappointments, Geraldini, the ambassador of the Pope,
presented him to Mendoza, the Grand Cardinal, through whose influence
Columbus obtained an audience of Ferdinand, who appointed a junto
of wise men to examine and report upon his scheme. This junto, made
up of theologians and not of navigators and geographers, and which
sat at Salamanca, opposed Columbus on biblical grounds, declared the
theory a dangerous if not heretical innovation, and finally reported
unfavorably. This decision was quite in harmony with public opinion in
Salamanca, where Columbus was spoken of as "a foreigner who asserted
that the world was round like an orange, and that there were places
where the people walked on their heads." Seven years were thus wasted
in solicitation, suspense, and disappointment. From time to time
Columbus had reason to hope that his proposals would be reconsidered;
but in 1490 the siege of Baza, the last stronghold of the Moors, and in
1491 the marriage of Isabella, the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella,
with Don Alonzo of Portugal, absorbed the attention of their majesties
to the exclusion of all scientific pre-occupations. Finally, when the
matter was reopened, and the junto was reassembled, its president,
Fernando de Talavera, was instructed to say that the exhaustion of the
treasury necessitated the postponement of the whole subject until the
close of the war with Grenada. At last, Columbus, reflecting upon the
delays, refusals, affronts, and suspicions of which he had been the
object, the time he had wasted, and the antechambers in which he had
waited the condescension of the great, resolved to shake the dust of
Spain from his feet, and returned to the abbey of his friend Marchena.
He arrived there bearing upon his person the impress of poverty,
fatigue, and exhausted patience. Marchena was profoundly annoyed by
the reflection that the glory of the future discoveries of Columbus
would be thus taken from Spain and conferred upon some rival power.
Fearing, however, that he had too readily lent his ear to theories
which had been twice rejected as puerile by a competent junto, he sent
for an eminent mathematician of Palos, Garcia Hernandez, a physician
by profession. They then conferred together upon the subject and
pronounced the execution of the project feasible. The assertion that
the famous sailor Martin Alonzo Pinzon was a party to the conference
would appear to be an error. Pinzon was at this period at Rome, and did
not see Columbus for a year or more afterwards.

Marchena at once wrote an eloquent letter to Queen Isabella, and
intrusted it to a pilot whose relations with the court rendered him
a safe and reliable messenger. He gave the missive into the hands of
the queen, and returned to the monastery the bearer of an invitation
to Marchena to repair at once to Santa Fe, where the court then was,
engaged in investing Grenada. Columbus borrowed a mule for the friar,
who left secretly at midnight and arrived safely at Santa Fe. That
Isabella should, at such a moment, when engaged in war and harassed by
financial embarrassments, listen to a proposition which had been twice
condemned by a learned body of men, is a circumstance which entitles
her in the highest degree to a share in the glory which her protégé
Columbus was, through her, destined to obtain. She received Marchena
graciously, and instructed him to summon Columbus, to whom she sent
twenty thousand maravedis--seventy dollars, nearly--with which to
purchase a horse and a proper dress in which to appear before her.

Columbus arrived at Santa Fe just before the surrender of Grenada
and the termination of the struggle between the Crescent and the
Cross. He was present at the delivery of the keys of the city and the
abandonment of the Alhambra to Isabella by the Moorish king, Boabdil
el Chico. After the official rejoicings, the queen gave audience to
Columbus. As she already believed in the practicability of the scheme,
the only subjects to be discussed were the means of execution, and the
recompense to be awarded to Columbus in case of success. A committee
was appointed to consider this latter point. Columbus fixed his
conditions as follows:

He should receive the title of Grand Admiral of the Ocean:

He should be Viceroy and Governor-General of all islands and mainlands
he might discover:

He should levy a tax for his own benefit upon all productions--whether
spices, fruits, perfumes, gold, silver, pearls, or diamonds--discovered
in, or exported from, the lands under his authority:

And his titles should be transmissible in his family, forever, by the
laws of primogeniture.

These conditions, being such as would place the threadbare solicitor
above the noblest house in Spain, were treated with derision by the
committee, and Columbus was regarded as an insolent braggart. He would
not abate one tittle of his claims, though, after eighteen years of
fruitless effort, he now saw all his hopes at the point of being again
dashed to earth. He mounted his mule, and departed for Cordova before
quitting Spain forever.

Two friends of the queen now represented the departure of Columbus
as an immense and irreparable loss, and, by their supplications and
protestations, induced her once more to consider the vast importance
of the plans he proposed. Moved by their persuasions, she declared
that she accepted the enterprise, not jointly, as the wife of the King
of Spain, but independently, as Queen of Castile. As the treasury was
depleted by the drains of war, she offered to defray the expenses
with her own jewels. A messenger was despatched for Columbus, who was
overtaken a few miles from Grenada. He at first hesitated to return;
but, after reflecting upon the heroic determination of Isabella,
who thus took the initiative in a perilous undertaking, against the
report of the junto, the advice of her councillors, and in spite of
the indifference of the king, he obeyed with alacrity, and returned to
Santa Fe.

He was received with distinction by the court and with affectionate
consideration by the queen. Ferdinand remained a stranger to the
expedition. He applied his signature to the stipulations, but caused it
to be distinctly set down that the whole affair was undertaken by the
Queen of Castile, at her own risk and peril,--thus excluding himself
forever from lot or parcel in this transcendent enterprise.

[Illustration: VIOLET ASTERIA.]

[Illustration: THE FLEET OF COLUMBUS.]

[Illustration: HEAD OF MERGONSER.]



Columbus received his letters-patent, granting him all the privileges
and titles he had demanded, on the 30th of April, 1492. His son
Diego was made page to the prince-royal,--a favor only accorded to
children of noble families. The harbor of Palos was chosen as the
port of departure; and its inhabitants, whose annual taxes consisted
in furnishing two caravels, armed and manned, to the Government, were
instructed to place them, within ten days, at the orders of Columbus.
Persons awaiting trial or condemnation were to have the privilege of
escaping verdict and punishment by embarking upon this terrible and
perhaps fatal voyage.

The mariners of Palos received these tidings with dismay. Nothing
was certainly in those days more calculated to strike with terror
the cautious coaster than a voyage upon the boundless, endless MARE
TENEBROSUM, which, in the imagination not only of the ignorant, but
even of the educated, was the home of chaos, if not the seat of
Erebus. Upon the maps of the world designed at this period, the words
Mare Tenebrosum were surrounded with figures of imps and devils,
compared to which the Cyclops, griffins, and centaurs of mythology
were modest and benign creations. The Arabians, who were forbidden by
the Koran to depict the forms of animals, gave, as they thought, a
fitting character to the sea, by representing the hand of Satan upon
their charts, ready to clutch and drag beneath the waves all who should
be so rash as to brave the displeasure of Bahr-al-Talmet. Besides
Satan, besides the Leviathan and Behemoth, and other similar submarine
terrors, the adventurer upon the open sea would find adversaries in the
air; and, if he escaped the blast and the thunderbolt, it would be to
fall a victim to the roc, that gigantic bird which lifted ships into
the air and crunched them in the clouds. This roc, from terrifying the
companions of Columbus, has descended to amuse children in the nautical
romance of Sinbad the Sailor.

Time passed, and the authorities of Palos had yet furnished nothing
towards the voyage. Owners of vessels hid them in distant creeks,
and the port became gradually a desert. The court ordered stringent
measures, and at last a caravel named the Pinta was seized and laid
up for repairs. All the carpenters turned sick, and neither rope,
wood, nor tar were to be found. In vain did Marchena, the zealous
Franciscan of Palos, who was beloved by all its inhabitants, undertake
a crusade among the seafaring population in favor of the project: the
whole Andalusian coast considered it chimerical and a temptation of

Martin Alonzo Pinzon, one of three brothers, all seamen, and who had
at this period lately returned from Rome, where the Pope's librarian
had shown him a map bearing the representation of land in the Atlantic
to the west, was introduced by Marchena to Columbus. The report soon
became current that the brothers, whose credit and influence at Palos
were very great, intended to risk the adventure on board of the
caravel Nina, belonging to the younger of the three. The mariners took
courage, and the city of Palos contributed its second caravel, the
Gallega, making three in all. This Gallega, though old and heavy and
unfit for the service, was stout and solid, and Columbus chose her
for his flag-ship, rebaptizing her, however, the Santa Maria. Towards
the end of July, the vessels were nearly ready for sea, and Columbus
retired for a period to the monastery, where he passed his days in
prayer and his nights in contemplation. On one occasion he left the
convent and appeared among the workmen: he surprised the sailors,
condemned by the city to accompany him to the west, engaged in putting
the rudder of the Pinta together in such a manner that the first storm
would unship it. Marchena redoubled his exhortations, and at last the
expedition was ready.

Popular belief has, in modern times, represented these vessels as much
smaller than they probably really were. The term _caravel_, of doubtful
etymology, affords no indication of their tonnage or capacity. Caravels
were used, however, to transport troops, provisions, and artillery,
and even to fight upon the high seas. They were sent by Portugal to
the coast of Africa. John II. had, as we have narrated, sent a vessel
to the west in order to anticipate Columbus; and this vessel was a
caravel. The smallest of the three--the Nina--subsequently, when at
sea, took on board fifty-six men, in addition to her own crew, a number
of cannon, and a portion of the rigging of the Santa Maria, without
lowering her water-line; and Columbus once threatened a Portuguese
officer to take one hundred of his men on board the Nina and carry them
to Castile. Neither she, nor the other two caravels, were the "light
barks" or "shallops" which historians have delighted to represent them.
The importance of the subject requires that we describe the three
vessels with all the minuteness which the late researches of which we
have spoken will authorize.

The Santa Maria measured about ninety feet at the keel. She had
four masts, two of them square-rigged, and two furnished with the
lateen-sails of the Mediterranean. She had a deck extending from
stem to stern, and a double deck at the poop, twenty-six feet
long,--one-third, nearly, of her entire length. The double deck was
pierced for cannon, the forward-deck being armed with smaller pieces,
used for throwing stones and grape. From the journal of Columbus we
know that he employed, in the manoeuvres, quite a complicated system of
ropes and pulleys. Eight anchors hung over her sides. She represented
in her general characteristics a modern vessel of twenty guns. She
was manned by sixty-six men, not one of whom was from Palos,--one of
them being an Englishman, and one an Irishman,--and was commanded by

The Pinta and the Nina were decked only forward and aft, the space in
the middle being entirely uncovered. Their armament was equal to that
of sloops of sixteen and ten guns respectively. Alonzo Pinzon commanded
the Pinta, whose total crew, including the officers, numbered thirty
men. The youngest of the three Pinzons, Vincent Yanez, commanded the
Nina, with twenty-three men. The provisions of the fleet consisted
of smoked beef, salt pork, rice, dried peas and other vegetables,
herrings, wine, oil, vinegar, &c., sufficient for a year.

As the day approached and the danger grew more imminent, the
apprehension increased, and the sailors expressed a desire to reconcile
themselves with Heaven and obtain absolution for their sins. They went
in procession to the monastery of La Rabida, with Columbus at their
head, and received the Eucharist from the hands of the Franciscan
Marchena. Columbus, while waiting for the land-breeze, retired for a
last time to the convent, to meditate upon the duties before him and
to peruse his favorite book, the Gospel of St. John. At three o'clock
in the morning of the 3d of August he was awakened by the murmuring of
the long wished for wind in the tops of the pine-trees which bordered
his cell. The coming day was Friday, a day inauspicious to sailors,
but to him a day of good omen. He arose, summoned Marchena, from whom
he received the communion, and then descended, on foot, the steep
declivity which leads to Palos.

The Santa Maria at once sent her boat to receive the admiral, and
at the sound of the preparations and the orders of the pilots, the
inhabitants awoke and opened wide their windows. Mothers, wives and
sisters, fathers and brothers, ran in confusion to the shore, to bid
a last farewell to those whom they might perhaps never see again.
The royal standard, representing the Crucifixion, was hoisted at the
main; and Columbus, standing upon the quarterdeck, gave the order to
spread the sails in the name of Jesus Christ. Thus commenced the most
memorable venture upon the ocean that man had then made or has made
since,--the record of whose shortest day is more stored with incident
than was the whole voyage of Jason, from the Whirling Rocks to the
Golden Fleece.

Columbus commenced his journal at once, and it is from the passages of
this narrative which are still extant, that we shall derive an account
of the voyage. He begins by declaring the object of the expedition to
be to extend the blessings of the gospel to nations supposed to be
without it. He adds, that he shall write at night the events of the
day, and each morning the occurrences of the night. He will mark the
lands he shall discover upon the chart, and will banish sleep from his
eyelids in order to watch the progress of his vessel.

All went well till Monday, when the helm of the Pinta fell to
pieces,--this accident having been a second time prepared by her
refractory owners. The fleet made the best of their way to the
Canaries, where the Pinta was repaired. They sailed again on the 6th
of September, narrowly escaping attack from three Portuguese caravels
that King John had sent against Columbus, indignant that he should have
transferred to another power the proposal he had once made to himself.

Thus far the route had lain over the beaten track between the continent
and the Canaries, along the coast of Africa. As they now launched into
the open sea, and as the Peak of Teneriffe sank under the horizon
behind them, the heart of Columbus beat high with joy, while the
courage of his officers and men died away within them. The Admiral kept
two logs, one for himself and one for the crew, the latter scoring a
distance less than that which they had really made, and thus keeping
them in ignorance of their actual distance from home. His course was
to the southwest. The sky, the stars, the horizon, the water, changed
visibly as they advanced. Familiar constellations disappeared, others
took their place. On the 13th of September, Columbus observed a
strange and fearful phenomenon. The needle, which till then had been
infallible, swerved from the Polar star, and tremblingly diverged to
the northwest. The next day, this variation was still more marked.
Columbus took every precaution to conceal a discovery so discouraging
from the fleet, and one which alarmed even him. The water now became
more limpid, the climate more bland, and the sky more transparent.
There was a delicate haze in the air, and a fragrance peculiar to the
sea in the fresh breeze. Aquatic plants, apparently newly detached from
the rocks or the bed of the ocean, floated upon the waves. For the
first time in the history of the world, the tranquil beauties and the
solemn splendors of the tropical Atlantic were passing before the gaze
of human beings. According to the journal of Columbus, "nothing was
wanting in the scene except the song of the nightingale to remind him
of Andalusia in April."

The proximity of land seemed often to be indicated by the odor with
which the winds were laden, by the abundance of marine plants, and
the presence of birds. Columbus would not alter his course, as he did
not wish to abate the confidence of his men in his own belief that
land was to be found by steering west. The floating vegetation now
became so abundant that it retarded the passage of the vessels. The
sailors became seriously alarmed. They thought themselves arrived
at the limit of the world, where an element, too unstable to tread
upon, too dense to sail through, admonished the rash stranger to take
warning and return. They feared that the caravels would be involved
beyond extrication, and that the monsters lying in wait beneath the
floating herbage would make an easy meal of their defenceless crews.
The trade-winds, then unknown, were another cause of anxiety; for,
if they always blew to the westward, as they appeared to do, how
could the ships ever return eastward to Europe? In the midst of the
apprehensions excited by these causes, which nearly drove the terrified
men to mutiny, a contrary wind sprang up, and the revolt was thus
providentially quelled. Columbus wrote in his journal, "this opposing
wind came very opportunely, for my crew was in great agitation,
imagining that no wind ever blew in these regions by which they could
return to Spain."

But the terrors of the ignorant men soon broke out afresh. Seaweed and
tropical marine plants reappeared in heavy masses, and seemed to shut
in the ships among their stagnant growth. The breeze no longer formed
billows upon the surface of the waters. The sailors declared that they
were in those dismal quarters of the world where the winds lose their
impulse and the waters their equilibrium, and that soon fierce aquatic
monsters would seize hold of the keels of the ships and keep them
prisoners amid the weeds. In the midst of the perplexities to which
Columbus was thus exposed, the sea became suddenly agitated, though
the wind did not increase. This revival of motion in the element they
thought relapsed into sullen inactivity, again cheered the crew into a
temporary tranquillity.[2]

At sunset on the 25th, Alonzo Pinzon, rushing excitedly upon the
quarterdeck of the Pinta, shouted, "Land! land! My lord, I was the
first to see it!" The sailors of the Nina clambered joyfully into the
tops, and Columbus fell upon his knees in thanksgiving. But the morn
dissipated the illusion, and the ocean stretched forth its illimitable
expanse as before. On the 1st of October, one of the lieutenants
declared with anguish that they were seventeen hundred miles from the
Canaries, intelligence which terribly alarmed the crew, though they had
really made a much greater distance, being actually twenty-one hundred
miles from Teneriffe, according to Columbus' private reckoning.

The indications of the vicinity of land had been so often deceitful,
that the crew no longer put faith in them, and fell from discouragement
into taciturnity, and from taciturnity into insubordination. The
discontent was general, and no efforts were made to conceal it. In
their mutinous conversations, they spoke contemptuously of Columbus
as "the Genoese," as a charlatan and a rogue. Was it just, they said,
that one hundred and twenty men should perish by the caprice and
obstinacy of one single man, and that man a foreigner and an impostor?
If he persisted in proceeding "towards his everlasting west, which
went on and on, and never came to an end," he ought to be thrown into
the sea and left there. On their return they could easily say that
he had fallen into the waves while gazing at the stars. A revolt was
agreed upon between the crews of the three ships, who were on several
occasions brought into communication by the sending of boats from the
one to the other. The captains of the Pinta and the Nina were aware
of what was transpiring, but for the time being maintained a cautious
neutrality. The sea continued calm as the Guadalquivir at Seville,
the air was laden with tropical fragrance, and in twenty-four hours
the fleet, apparently at rest, glided imperceptibly over one hundred
and eighty miles. This motionless rapidity, as it were, thoroughly
terrified the crew, and, breaking out into open mutiny, they refused,
on the 10th of October, to go any farther westward. The Nina and the
Pinta rejoined the Santa Maria; the brothers Pinzon, followed by their
men, leaped upon her deck, and commanded Columbus to put his ship about
and return to Palos.

At this most vital point of the narrative, our authorities are
contradictory, while the journal of Columbus himself is silent.
According to Oviedo,--a writer who obtained his information from an
enemy of Columbus,--the latter yielded to his men so far as to propose
a compromise, and to consent to return unless land was discovered in
three days' sail. To say the least, such a submission to the menaces
and behests of his infuriated subalterns was not an act compatible with
the character of Columbus, with his well known self-reliance, and his
openly expressed and constantly reiterated confidence in the Divine
protection. The Catholic biography, which we have quoted, attributes
the pacification of the revolt directly to the Divine interference,
asserting that no human philosophy can explain this sudden and complete
suspension of the prevailing exasperation and animosity. It is certain,
at any rate, that the demonstration, which began at nightfall, had
ceased long before the morning's dawn.

And now pigeons flew in abundance about the ships, and green canes and
reeds floated languidly by. A bush, its branches red with berries, was
recovered from the water by the Nina. A tuft of grass and a piece of
wood, which appeared to have been cut by some iron instrument, were
picked up by the Pinta. Such indications were sufficient to sustain
the most dejected. Still the sun sank to rest in a horizon whose pure
line was unbroken by land and unsullied by terrestrial vapor. The
caravels were called together, and, after the usual prayer to the
Virgin, Columbus announced to them that their trials were at an end,
and that the morrow's light would bring with it the realization of all
their hopes. The pilots were instructed to take in sail after midnight,
and a velvet pourpoint was promised to him who should first see land.
The crews which, two days before, considered Columbus as a trickster
and a cheat, now received his word as they would a gospel from on high.
The expectation and impatience which pervaded the three ships were
indescribable. No eye was closed that night. The Pinta, being the most
rapid sailer, was a long way in advance of the others. The Nina and the
Santa Maria followed slowly, for sail had now been shortened, in her
track. Suddenly a flash and a heavy report from the Pinta announced
the joyful tidings. A Spaniard of Palos, named Juan Rodriguez Bermejo,
had seen the land and won the velvet pourpoint. Columbus fell upon his
knees, and, raising his hands to heaven, sang the Te Deum Laudamus. The
sails were then furled and the fleet lay to. Arms and holiday dresses
were prepared, for they knew not what the day would bring forth,
whether the land would offer hospitality or challenge to combat. The
great mystery of the ocean was to be revealed on the morrow: in the
meantime, the night and the darkness had in their keeping the mighty
secret--whether the land was a savage desert or a spicy and blooming





On Friday, the 12th of October, 1492, the kindling dawn revealed to the
wondering eyes of our adventurers the bright colors and early-morning
beauties of an island clothed in verdure, and teeming with the fruits
and vegetation of mid-autumn in the tropics. Its surface undulated
gently, massive forests skirted the spots cleared for cultivation,
and the sparkling water of a fresh lake glittered amid the luxuriant
foliage which encircled it. An anchorage was easily found, and
Columbus, dressed in official costume, and bearing the royal standard
in his hand, landed upon the silent and deserted shore. He planted the
standard, and, prostrating himself before it, kissed the earth he
had discovered; he then uttered the since famous prayer, the opening
lines of which were, by order of the Spanish sovereigns, repeated
by subsequent discoverers upon all similar occasions. He drew his
sword, and, naming the land San Salvador, in memory of the Saviour,
took possession of it for the Crown of Castile. The crews recognised
Columbus as Admiral of the Ocean and Viceroy of the Indies. The most
mutinous and outrageous thronged closely about him, and crouched at the
feet of one who, in their eyes, had already wealth and honors in his

The island at which Columbus had landed was called by the natives
Guanahani, and is now one of the archipelago of the Bahamas. The
inhabitants had retreated to the woods at the arrival of the strangers;
but, being gradually reassured, suffered their confidence to be won,
and received from them fragments of glass and earthen-ware as presents
possessing a supernatural virtue. Columbus took seven of them on
board, being anxious to convey them to Spain and offer them to the
king, promising however to return them. Then he weighed anchor and
explored the wonderful region in which these lovely islands lie. New
lands were constantly, as it were, rising from the waves; the eye
could hardly number them, but the seven natives called over a hundred
of them by name. He landed successively at Concepçion, la Fernandine,
and Isabella; at all of which he was enchanted by the magnificence of
the vegetation, the superb plumage of the birds, and the delicious
fragrance with which the forests and the air were filled. He sought
everywhere for traces of gold in the soil, for he hoped thus to
interest Spain in a continuance of his explorations. Such was his
desire to obtain a sight of the precious metal, that he passed rapidly
from island to island, indifferent to every other subject. At last,
the natives spoke of a large and marvellous land, called Cuba, where
there were spices, gold, ships, and merchants. Supposing this to be the
wonderful Cipango, described by Marco Polo, he set sail at once. It was
now the 24th of October.

On the 28th, at dawn, Columbus discovered an island, which, in its
extent and in its general characteristics, reminded him strongly of
Sicily, in the Mediterranean. As he approached, his senses underwent a
species of confusion from the miraculous fertility and luxuriance of
the vegetation. In his journal, he does not attempt to describe his
emotions, but, preserving the silence of stupefaction, says simply that
"he never saw any thing so magnificent." He no longer doubted that this
beautiful spot was the real Cipango. He landed, gave to the island
the name of Juana, and commenced a search for gold, which resulted in
a complete disappointment. On leaving Cuba, he gave it a name which
he thought more appropriate than Juana, styling its eastern extremity
Alpha and Omega, being, as he thought, the region where the East Indies
finished and where the West Indies began. This error of Columbus was
the cause of the North American savages being called Indians--an error
which has been perpetuated in spite of the progress of geographical
discovery, and which will doubtless endure forever.

On the 6th of December, he discovered an island, named Haiti by
the natives, and which he called Hispaniola, as it reminded him
of the fairest tracts of Spain. He found that the inhabitants had
the reputation with their neighbors of devouring human flesh; they
were called _Caniba_ people, an epithet which, after the necessary
modifications, has passed into all European languages. The Caribs were
the nation meant. At this point, the captain of the Pinta deserted the
fleet, in order to make discoveries on his own account. Soon after, the
Santa Maria was wrecked upon the coast of Haiti, and Columbus, thinking
that this accident was intended as an indication of the Divine will
that he should establish a colony there, built a fort of live timber,
in which he placed forty-two men. He weighed anchor in the Nina, on the
11th of January, 1493, and shortly after fell in with the Pinta. He
pretended to believe and accept the falsehoods and contradictions which
Pinzon alleged as the reasons for his abandonment of the fleet. The
two vessels now turned their heads east, Columbus hoping to discover a
cannibal island on his way, as he wished to carry a professor of the
disgusting practice to Spain.

No event of moment happened until the 12th of February, a month
afterwards, when a terrible storm burst over the hitherto tranquil
waters. Its violence increased to such a degree that nothing remained
but a desperate appeal to "Mary, the Mother of God." A quantity of
dried peas, equal in number to the number of men on board the Nina,
were placed in a sailor's woollen cap, one of them being marked with
a cross. He who should draw this pea, was to go on a pilgrimage to
the church of Saint Mary at Guadeloupe, bearing a candle weighing
five pounds, in case the ship were saved. Columbus was the first
to draw, and he drew the marked pea. Other vows of this sort were
made, and, finally, one to go in procession, and with bare feet, to
the nearest cathedral of whatever land they should first reach. The
admiral, fearing that his discovery would perish with him, withdrew to
his cabin, during the fiercest period of the tumult, and wrote upon
parchment two separate and concise narratives of his discoveries. He
enclosed them both in wax, and, placing one in an empty barrel, threw
it into the sea. The other, similarly enclosed, he attached to the
poop of the Nina, intending to cut it loose at the moment of going
down. Happily, the storm subsided; and, on the 17th, the shattered
vessels arrived at the southernmost island of the Azores, belonging
to the King of Portugal. Here half the crew went in procession to the
chapel, to discharge their vow; and, while Columbus was waiting to go
with the other half, the Portuguese made a sally, surrounded the first
portion, and made them prisoners. After a useless protest, Columbus
departed with the men that remained, having with him, in the Nina, but
three able-bodied seamen. Another storm now threw him upon the coast of
Portugal, at the mouth of the Tagus. Here he narrowly escaped shipwreck
a second time, but, with the assistance of the wonder-stricken
inhabitants, reached in safety the roads of Rostello. The king, though
jealous of the maritime renown he was acquiring for Spain, received him
with distinction and dismissed him with presents. Columbus arrived,
in the Nina, at Palos on Friday, the 15th of March, seven months and
twelve days after his departure. Alonzo Pinzon had already arrived in
the Pinta, and, believing Columbus to have perished in the storm, had
written to the court, narrating the discoveries made by the fleet, and
claiming for himself the merit and the recompense.


It is not our province to relate the history of the career of Columbus
upon land, nor have we space so to do. We can only briefly allude to
his discharge, by pilgrimages to holy shrines, of the vows, which,
three times out of four, had, by lot, devolved upon him: to the week he
spent with Marchena, and in the silence of the cloister, at la Rabida;
to the princely honors he received in his progress to Barcelona,
whither the court had gone; to his reception by the king and queen,
in which Ferdinand and Isabella rose as he approached, raised him as
he kneeled to kiss their hands, and ordered him to be seated in their

The Spanish sovereigns soon fitted out a new expedition; and, on the
25th of September, 1493, Columbus left the port of Cadiz with seventeen
vessels, five hundred sailors, soldiers, citizens and servants, and
one thousand colonists, three hundred of whom had smuggled themselves
on board. He sailed directly for the Carib or Cannibal Islands, and
on the 3d of November arrived in their midst. He named one of them
Maria-Galanta, from his flag-ship; another, Guadeloupe, from one of the
shrines of Spain where he had discharged a vow. He here found numerous
and disgusting evidences of the truth of the story that these people
lived on human flesh. The island which he named Montserrat, in honor of
the famous sanctuary of that name, had been depopulated by the Caribs.
He gave to the next land the name of Santa Maria l'Antigoa; it is
now known as Antigoa, simply. Another he called Santa Cruz, in honor
of the cross. Returning to Hispaniola, he found the fort destroyed
and the garrison massacred. Having founded the city of Isabella upon
another part of the island, he sent back twelve of his ships to Spain,
and with three of the remaining five, one of which was the famous
Nina, started upon a voyage of discovery in the surrounding waters. He
touched at Alpha and Omega, and inquired of the savages where he could
find gold. They pointed to the south. Two days afterwards, Columbus
descried lofty mountains, with blue summits, upon an island to which
he gave the name of Jamaica, in honor of St. James. Then returning
to Cuba, and following the southern coast a distance sufficient to
convince the three crews that it was a continent and not an island, he
took possession of it as such. He then wished to revisit the Caribbean
Islands and destroy the boats of the inhabitants, that they might no
longer prey upon their neighbors, but the direction of the winds would
not permit him to sail to the west. Returning to Isabella, he met his
brother Bartholomew, who had just arrived from Spain, bearing a letter
from the queen. He also found, to his extreme regret, that the officers
he had left in charge of the colony had transcended their authority
and had abandoned their duties. Margarit, the commander, and Boil, the
vicar, had departed in the ship that had brought Bartholomew. Overcome
by the toils and privations he had undergone, and sick at heart at the
sight of the disasters under which the colony was laboring, he fell
into a deep lethargy, and for a long time it was doubtful whether he
would ever awake again.

He did awake, however, but only to a poignant consciousness of the
miseries the Spanish invasion had brought upon the island. The
Spaniards and Indians had become, through the treachery of the former,
hostile during his absence, and battles, surprises, and murders were of
daily occurrence. Seeing the necessity of a vigorous effort in order
to maintain his authority over the natives, he led his two hundred
and twenty men against a furious throng of naked, painted savages,
whose numbers were declared by the Spaniards to be no less than one
hundred thousand. The Indians were defeated with great slaughter,
and were subjected to the payment of tribute and to the indignity of
taxation. At this period, an officer, named Juan Aguado, sent out by
Ferdinand and Isabella upon the malicious representations of Margarit
and Father Boil, to inquire into the state of the colony and the
conduct of Columbus, arrived in the island. Columbus determined to
return himself to Spain, to present in person a justification of his
course. A violent storm having destroyed all the vessels except the
Nina, Columbus took the command of her, Aguado building a caravel for
himself from the wrecks of the others. They both left Isabella on the
10th of March, 1496, taking with them the sick and disappointed, to the
number of two hundred and twenty-five, and thirty-two Indians, whom
they forced to accompany them. They touched at Guadeloupe for wood and
water, and, after repulsing an attack of Caribs, contrived to gain
their confidence, and to obtain the articles of which they stood in
need. They left again on the 20th of April. After a long and painful
voyage, in the course of which it was proposed to throw the Indians
overboard in order to lessen the consumption of food, they arrived,
without material damage, at the port of Cadiz. Columbus wrote to the
king and queen, and during the month that elapsed before their answer
was received, allowed his beard to grow, and, disgusted with the world,
assumed the garments and the badges of a Franciscan friar. He was soon
summoned to Burgos, then the residence of the court, where Isabella,
forgetting the calumnies of which he had been the object and the
accusations his enemies had heaped upon him, loaded him with favors and

Numerous circumstances prevented Columbus from requesting the immediate
equipment of another expedition. It was not till the 30th of May,
1498, that he sailed again for his discoveries in the West. He left San
Lucar with six caravels, three laden with supplies and reinforcements
for the colony at Isabella, and three intended to accompany himself
upon a search for the mainland, which he believed to exist west of
Hispaniola, Cuba, and Jamaica. On the 15th of July, in the latitude
of Sierra Leone, they came into the region of calms, where the water
seemed like molten silver beneath a tropical sun. Not a breath of air
stirred, not a cloud intercepted the fiery rays which fell vertically
upon them from the skies. The provisions decayed in the hold, the pitch
and tar boiled upon the ropes. The barrels of wine and water opened in
wide seams, and scattered their precious contents to waste. The grains
of wheat were wrinkled and shrivelled as if roasting before the fire.
For eight days this incandescence lasted, till an east wind sprang up
and wafted them to a more temperate spot in the torrid zone.

On the 31st of July land was discovered in the west,--three mountain
peaks seeming to ascend from one and the same base. Columbus had made
a vow to give the name of the Trinity to the first land he should
discover, and this singular triune form of the land now before them
was noticed as a wonderful coincidence by all on board. It was named,
therefore, Trinidad; it lies off the northern coast of Venezuela, in
the Continent of South America. The innumerable islands, formed by
the forty mouths of the Orinoco, were next discovered, and shortly
afterwards the continent to the north, which Columbus judged to be the
mainland from the volume of water brought to the sea by the Orinoco.
Columbus was not the first to set foot upon the New World he had
discovered: being confined to his cabin by an attack of ophthalmia, he
sent Pedro de Terreros to take possession in his stead. This discovery
of the Southern portion of the Western Continent was, however, as we
shall soon have occasion to show, subsequent to that of the Northern
portion by John Cabot, who visited Labrador in 1497.

The fleet was unable to remain in these seductive regions, owing to the
scarcity of provisions and the increasing blindness of the admiral.
He would have been glad to stay in a spot which, in his letter to his
sovereigns, he describes as the Terrestrial Paradise, the Orinoco
being one of the four streams flowing from it, as described in the
Bible. The fact that this river throws from its forty issues fresh
water enough to overcome the saltness of the sea to a great distance
from the shore, was one of the circumstances which gave to this
portion of the world the somewhat marvellous and fantastic character
with which the imagination of Columbus invested it. He sailed at once
from the continent to Hispaniola, discovering and naming the islands
of Assumpcion and la Margarita. At Hispaniola he again found famine,
distress, rebellion, and panic on every side. Malversation and mutiny
had brought the colony to the very verge of ruin.

We have not space to detail the manoeuvres and machinations by
which the mind of Ferdinand was prejudiced towards Columbus, and,
in consequence of which, Francesco Bobadilla was sent by him in
July, 1500, to investigate the charges brought against the admiral.
Arrogant in his newly acquired honors, Bobadilla took the part of the
malcontents, and, placing Columbus in chains, sent him back to Spain.
He arrived at Cadiz on the 20th of November, after the most rapid
passage yet made across the ocean. The general burst of indignation
at the shocking spectacle of Columbus in fetters, compelled Ferdinand
to disclaim all knowledge of the transaction. Isabella accorded him
a private audience, in which she shed tears at the sufferings and
indignities he had undergone. The king kept him waiting nine months,
wasting his time in fruitless applications for redress, and finally
appointed Nicholas Ovando Governor of Hispaniola in his place.




Columbus was now advanced in years, and his sufferings and labors had
dimmed his eyesight and bowed his frame; but his mind was yet active,
and his enthusiasm in the cause of discovery irrepressible. He had
convinced himself, and now sought to convince the queen, that to the
westward of the regions he had visited the land converged, leaving
a narrow passage through which he hoped to pass, and proceed to the
Indies beyond. This convergence of the land did in reality exist,
but the strait of water he expected to find was, and is, a strait
of land--the Isthmus of Panama. However, the queen approved of the
plan, and gave him four ships, equipped and victualled for two years.
Columbus had conceived the immense idea of passing through the strait,
and returning by Asia and the Cape of Good Hope, thus circumnavigating
the globe and proving its spherical form. He departed from Cadiz on the
8th of May, 1502.

He touched at, and named, Martinique early in June, and afterwards
at St. Jean, now Porto Ricco. Ovando refused his request to land at
Isabella to repair his vessel and exchange one of them for a faster
sailer. Escaping a terrible storm, which wrecked and utterly destroyed
the splendid fleet in which the rapacious pillagers of the island
had embarked their ill-gotten wealth, he was driven by the winds to
Jamaica, and thence by the currents to Cuba. Here a strong north wind
enabled him to sail south southwest, towards the latitude where he
expected to find the strait. He touched the mainland of North America
at Truxillo, in Honduras, and coasted thence southward along the
Mosquito shore, Nicaragua, Costa Ricca, and Panama. Here he explored
every sinuosity and indentation of the shore, seeking at the very spot
where civilization and commerce now require a canal, a passage which
he considered as demanded by Nature and accorded by Providence. He
followed the isthmus as far as the Gulf of Darien, and then, driven by
a furious tropical tempest, returned as far as Veragua, in search of
rich gold mines of which he had heard. The storm lasted for eight days,
concluding with a terrible display of water-spouts, which Columbus is
said to have regarded as a work of the devil, and to have dispelled by
bringing forth the Bible and exorcising the demon.

One of the water-spouts passed between the ships without injuring them,
and spun away, muttering and terrible, to spend its fury elsewhere.

[Illustration: THE WATERSPOUT.]

On reaching Veragua, Columbus sent his brother up a river, which he
called Bethlehem, or by contraction Belem, to seek for gold. His
researches seeming to indicate the presence of the precious metal,
Columbus determined to establish a colony upon the river, an attempt
which was defeated by the hostility of the natives. Their fierce
resistance and the crazy state of his vessels forced Columbus, in
April, 1503, to make the best of his way to Hispaniola with two crowded
vessels, which, being totally unseaworthy, he was obliged to run
ashore at Jamaica. There Columbus awed the natives and subdued them to
obedience and submission, by predicting an eclipse of the moon.

Thus left without a single vessel, he had no resource but to send to
Hispaniola for assistance. After a period of fifteen months lost in
quelling mutinies and in opposing the cruelties and exactions of the
new masters of the island, he obtained a caravel, and again sailed
for Spain on the 12th of September, 1504. During the passage, he was
compelled, by a severe attack of rheumatism, to remain confined to
his cabin. His tempest-tossed and shattered bark at last cast anchor
in the harbor of San Lucar. He proceeded to Seville, where he heard,
with dismay, of the illness, and then of the death, of his patroness
Isabella. Sickness now detained him at Seville till the spring of 1505,
when he arrived, exhausted and paralytic, before the king. Here he
underwent another courtly denial of redress. He was now without shelter
and without hope. He was compelled to borrow money with which to pay
for a shabby room at a miserable inn. He lingered for a year in poverty
and neglect, and died at last in Valladolid, on the 20th of May, 1506.
The revolting ingratitude of Ferdinand of Spain thus caused the death,
in rags, in destitution, and in infirmity, of the greatest man that has
ever served the cause of progress or labored in the paths of science.
Had we written the life of Columbus, and not thus briefly sketched the
history of his voyages, we should have found it easy to assert and
maintain his claim to this commanding position.

The agitation of the life of Columbus followed his remains to the
grave,--for he was buried four successive times, and his dead body made
the passage of the Atlantic. It was first deposited in the vaults of
the Franciscan Convent of Valladolid, where it remained seven years.
In 1513, Ferdinand, now old and perhaps repentant, caused the coffin
to be brought from Valladolid to Seville, where a solemn service was
said over it in the grand cathedral. It was then placed in the chapel
belonging to the Chartreux. In 1536, the coffin was transported to the
city of St. Domingo, in the island of Hispaniola. Here it remained
for two hundred and sixty years. In 1795, Spain ceded the island to
France, stipulating that the ashes of Columbus should be transferred
to Spanish soil. In December of the same year, the vault was opened,
and the fragments which were found--those of a leaden coffin, mingled
with bones and dust returned to dust--were carefully collected. They
were carried on board the brigantine Discovery, which transported them
to the frigate San Lorenzo, by which they were taken to Havana, where,
in the presence of the Governor-General of Cuba and in the midst of
imposing ceremonies, they were consigned to their fourth and final

It will not be altogether out of place to group together here the
numerous and remarkable instances of the world's injustice and
ingratitude towards Columbus. We have said that he died in penury at
Valladolid. A publication, issued periodically in that city from 1333
to 1539, chronicling every event of local interest--births, marriages,
deaths, fires, executions, appointments, church ceremonies--did not
mention, or in any way allude to, the death of Columbus. Pierre Martyr,
a poet of Lombardy, once his intimate friend, and who had said, at
the time of his first voyage, that by singing of his discoveries he
would descend to immortality with him, seemed to think, later in
life, that he should peril his chances of immortality were he to sing
of his death, for his muse held her peace. In 1507, a collection of
voyages was published by Fracanzo de Montalbodo, in which no mention
was made of Columbus' fourth voyage, and in which Columbus himself was
alluded to as still alive. In 1508, a Latin translation of this work
was published, in the preface to which Columbus was mentioned as still
living in honor at the court of Spain. Another famous work of the time
attributes the discovery of the New World, not to the calculations and
science of a man, but to the accidental wanderings of a tempest-driven
caravel. Not ten years after the death of Columbus, the chaplain of
one of the kings of Italy, in a work upon "Memorable Events in Spain,"
stated that a New World had been discovered in the West by one PETER
COLUMBUS. And, in the same taste and spirit, a German doctor, in the
first German book which spoke of the New World, did not once mention
the name of Columbus, but, translating the proper name as if it were a
common noun, calls him Christoffel Dawber, which, being translated back
again, signifies CHRISTOPHER PIGEON.

We shall now speak of that signal instance of public ingratitude and
national forgetfulness which is universally regretted, yet will never
be repaired,--the giving to the New World the name of America and not
that of Columbia,--a substitution due to an obscure and ignorant French
publisher of St. Dié, in Lorraine.

Amerigo Vespucci, born at Florence fifteen years after Columbus, and
the third son of a notary, appears to have been led by mercantile
tastes to Spain in 1486, where he became a factor in a wealthy house
at Seville. He abandoned the counter, however, for navigation and
mathematics, and took to the sea for a livelihood. He was at first a
practical astronomer, and finally a pilot-major. He went four times on
expeditions to the New World, in 1499, 1500, 1501, 1502. During the
first, he coasted along the land at the mouths of the Orinoco, which
had been discovered by Columbus the preceding year. Even had he been
the first to discover the mainland,--which he was not,--there would
have been no merit in it, for he was merely a subordinate officer on
board a ship following in the track of Columbus, seven years after
the latter had traced it upon the ocean and the charts of the marine.
He published an account of his voyage. But it does not appear that he
ever claimed honor as the first discoverer, and the friendly relations
he maintained with the family of Columbus after the death of the
latter show that they did not consider him as attempting to obtain a
distinction which did not belong to him. The error flowed from another
and more distant source.

Columbus had died in 1506, and had been forgotten. In 1507, a Frenchman
of St. Dié republished Vespucci's narrative, substituting the date
of 1497 for that of 1499,--thus making it appear that Vespucci had
preceded, instead of followed, Columbus in his discovery of the
mainland. He did not once mention Columbus, and attributed the whole
merit of the western voyages to Vespucci. He added that he did not
see why from the name of Amerigo an appellation could not be derived
for the continent he had discovered, and proposed that of America, as
having a feminine termination like that of Europa, Asia, and Africa,
and as possessing a musical sound likely to catch the public ear.
This work was dedicated to the Emperor Maximilian, and passed rapidly
through editions in various languages.

Thus far no specific name had been given to the continent. Its
situation was sometimes indicated upon maps by a cross, and sometimes
by the words TERRA SANCTÆ CRUCIS, SIVE MUNDUS NOVUS, often printed in
red capitals. In 1522, for the first time, the name of America, under
its French form of _Amérique_, was printed upon a map at Lyons. Germany
followed, and the presses of Basle and Zurich aided the usurpation.
Florence was but too eager to accept a name which flattered her vanity;
and, as Genoa did not protest in the name of Columbus, Italy yielded
to the current, and did a large share in the labor of injustice. In
1570, the name of America was for the first time engraved upon a metal
globe, and from this time forward the spoliation may be regarded as
accomplished. Columbus had been twice buried and twice forgotten; and
now his very name was lost,--the continent he had found having been
baptized in honor of another, and his race in the male line being
extinct,--for Diego and Fernando had died without heirs.

In modern times, in our own day even, it has been a common practice to
depreciate the services of Columbus, and eminent writers have thought
it no disgrace to profess and testify ignorance of his history and
life. Raynal, a French philosopher of distinction, declared, about
the year 1760, that the passage of the Cape of Good Hope by Vasco da
Gama was a greater achievement than the crossing of the Atlantic by
Columbus. He offered a prize for disquisitions upon the question, "Has
the discovery of America been useful or prejudicial to the human race?"
Buffon seems, too, to have considered the discoveries of the Portuguese
in the East as more important than those of Columbus in the West.
Robertson, in his History of America, says that even without Columbus
some happy accident would have discovered the New World a few years
later. Fontenelle, and many others, attribute the first notice of the
variation of the compass to Cabot in 1497, though Columbus distinctly
mentions noticing it in his journal on the 13th of September, 1492. A
late Spanish historian writes:--"Columbus made nothing but discoveries
in these regions; conquest was reserved for Cortez and Pizarro."
Lamartine makes an error of fifteen years in stating the period of the
return of Columbus to Spain. Dumas asserts that Columbus passed "a
portion of his life in prison,"--an expression he would not probably
have used, knowingly, to designate a period of three months. Granier de
Cassagnac places the last voyage of Columbus in 1493, instead of 1502.
St. Hilaire makes the celebrated Las Casas cross the sea with Columbus
nine years too soon. These mis-statements, though not resulting in
distortion or misrepresentation of character, are the effects of that
indifference which for centuries history has manifested towards the
life, services, and death of Columbus.

Columbia is the poetic and symbolical name of America, occurring in
the National Anthem and in numerous effusions of patriotic verse. An
effort to avenge the memory of the discoverer was made by giving his
name, officially, to a tract borrowed from Virginia and Maryland,
and measuring one hundred miles square,--the seat of the American
Government. So far from this tardy acknowledgment being a reparation,
however, it is probable that the spirit of the departed benefactor,
if summoned to speak, would declare it the last, and by no means the
least, of the long line of insults that an ungrateful posterity had
heaped upon his memory.

It will be proper to add to this view of the voyages of Columbus a
brief account of those effected immediately afterwards by John and
Sebastian Cabot, and by Vincent Yanez Pinzon.

In the year 1496, Henry VII. of England, stimulated by the success of
Columbus, granted a patent to one Giovanni Gabotto, a Venetian dwelling
in Bristol, to go in search of unknown lands. Little is known of this
person, whose name has been Anglicized into John Cabot, except that he
was a wealthy and intelligent merchant and fond of maritime discovery.
He had three sons, one of whom, named Sebastian, was nineteen years
old at the time of the voyage, upon which, with his brothers, he
accompanied his father. They sailed in a ship named the Matthew,
and on the 24th of June, 1497, discovered the mainland of America,
eighteen months before Columbus set foot upon it at the mouths of the
Orinoco. For a long time it was supposed that Cabot had landed upon
Newfoundland, but it is now considered settled that Labrador was the
portion of the continent first discovered by a European. No account
of the further prosecution of the voyage has reached us, and the only
official record of Cabot's return is an entry in the privy-purse
expenses of Henry, 10th August, 1497:-"To hym that found the New Isle,
10_l._" Thus, fifty days had not elapsed between the discovery and its
recompense in England,--a fact which shows that Cabot returned home at
once. He is supposed to have died about the year 1499.

Sebastian Cabot, the second son, who is regarded as by far the most
scientific navigator of this family of seamen, appears to have lived
in complete obscurity during the following twelve years. Disgusted,
however, by the want of consideration of the English authorities
towards him, he accepted an invitation from King Ferdinand to visit
Spain in 1512. Here, for several years, he was employed in revising
maps and charts, and, with the title of Captain and a liberal salary,
held the honorable position of Member of the Council of the Indies. The
death of Ferdinand and the intrigues of the enemies of Columbus induced
him to return to England in 1517. He was employed by Henry VIII., in
connection with one Sir Thomas Perte, to make an attempt at a Northwest
passage. On this voyage he is said to have gained Hudson's Bay, and to
have given English names to sundry places there. So few details of the
expedition have been preserved, that the latitude reached (67 1/2 degrees)
is referred by different authorities both to the north and the south.
The malice or cowardice of Sir Thomas Perte compelled Cabot to return
without accomplishing any thing worthy of being recorded. It was often
said afterwards, that if the New World could not be called Columbia, it
would be better to name it Cabotiana than America.

Vincent Yanez Pinzon, the youngest of the three brothers who had
accompanied Columbus upon his first voyage, determined, upon hearing,
in 1499, that the continent was discovered, on trying his fortunes at
the head of an expedition, instead of in a subordinate position. He
found no difficulty in equipping four caravels, and in inducing several
of those who had seen the coast of Paria to embark with him as pilots.
He sailed from Palos in December, 1499, and proceeded directly to the
southwest. During a storm which obscured the heavens he crossed the
equator, and on the disappearance of the clouds no longer recognised
the constellations, changed as they were from those of the Northern to
those of the Southern hemisphere. Pinzon was thus the first European
who crossed the line in the Atlantic. The sailors, unacquainted with
the Southern sky, and dismayed at the absence of the polar star,
were for a time filled with superstitious terrors. Pinzon, however,
persisted, and, on the 20th of January, 1500, discovered land in eight
degrees of south latitude. He took possession for the Crown of Spain,
and named it Santa Maria de la Consolaçion. We shall soon have occasion
to mention why this name was superseded by that of Brazil.

Pinzon explored with amazement the huge mouths of the Amazon, whose
immense torrents, as they emptied into the sea, freshened its waters
for many leagues from the land. Sailing to the north, he followed the
coast for four hundred leagues, and then returned to Palos, carrying
with him three thousand pounds' weight of dye-woods and the first
opossum ever seen in Europe.

And now, having closed the fifteenth century with the achievements
of the Spanish in the West, we open the sixteenth with those of the
Portuguese in the East.


[Illustration: VASCO DA GAMA.]



In the year 1495, John II. of Portugal was succeeded by his cousin,
Emmanuel, into whose mind he had a short time before his death
instilled a portion of his own zeal for maritime discovery and
commercial supremacy. He had especially dwelt upon the necessity of
continuing the progress of African research beyond the point which
Bartholomew Diaz had lately reached, into the regions where lay the
East Indies with their wealth and marvellous productions, and thus
substituting for the tedious land-route a more expeditious track by
sea. Upon his accession, Emmanuel found that a strong opposition
existed to the extension of Portuguese commerce and discovery.
Arguments were urged against it in his own councils, and had a marked
effect upon the public mind by heightening the danger of the intended

In our narrative of the first East Indian expedition, we shall often
have occasion to quote from a poem written in commemoration of it,--the
Lusiad of Camoens, a semi-religious epic and the masterpiece of
Portuguese literature,--Lusiade being the poetic and symbolical name of
Portugal. Camoens describes at the outset the hostility of the nation
to further maritime adventure, and places in the mouth of a reverend
adviser of the king the following forcible appeal:

  "Oh, frantic thirst of Honor and of Fame,
  The crowd's blind tribute, a fallacious name;
  What stings, what plagues, what secret scourges cursed,
  Torment those bosoms where thy pride is nursed!
  What dangers threaten and what deaths destroy
  The hapless youth whom thy vain gleams decoy!
  Thou dazzling meteor, vain as fleeting air,
  What new dread horror dost thou now prepare?
  Oh, madness of Ambition! thus to dare
  Dangers so fruitless, so remote a war!
  That Fame's vain flattery may thy name adorn,
  And thy proud titles on her flag be borne:
  Thee, Lord of Persia, thee of India lord,
  O'er Ethiopia vast, and Araby adored!"

Never was any expedition, whether by land or water, so unpopular as
this of King Emmanuel. The murmurs of the cabinet were re-echoed by the
populace, who were wrought upon to such an extent that they believed
the natural consequence of an invasion of the Indian seas would be
the arrival in the Tagus of the wroth and avenging Sultan of Egypt.
But Emmanuel, who, we are told, "regarded Diffidence as the mark of a
low and grovelling mind, and Hope the quality of a noble and aspiring
soul," discerned prospects of national advantage in the scheme, and
determined to pursue it to a prosperous issue.

King John, before his death, and shortly after the return of Diaz,
had ordered timber to be purchased for the construction of ships
fit to cope with the storms of the redoubtable Cape. Emmanuel now
sought a capable commander, and, after much deliberation, fixed upon
a gentleman of his own household, Vasco da Gama by name, a native of
the seaport of Sines, and already favorably known for enterprise and
naval skill. We are told that "he was formed for the service to which
he was called,--violent indeed in his temper, terrible in anger, and
sudden in the execution of justice, but at the same time intrepid,
persevering, patient in difficulties, fertile in expedients, and
superior to all discouragement. He devoted himself to death if he
should not succeed, and this from a sense of religion and loyalty."
When the king acquainted him with the mission intrusted to his charge,
Vasco replied that he had long aspired to the honor of conducting such
an undertaking. Camoens makes da Gama thus describe his acceptance of
the honor:

                      "'Let skies on fire,
  Let frozen seas, let horrid war, conspire:
  I dare them all,' I cried, 'and but repine
  That one poor life is all I can resign.'"

The most distinguished members of the Portuguese nobility were present
at this interview. The king gave da Gama, with his own hands, the flag
he was to bear,--a white cross enclosed within a red one,--the Cross of
the military Order of Christ. Upon this he took the oath of allegiance.
Emmanuel then delivered him the journal of Covillam, with such charts
as were then in existence, and letters to all the Indian potentates
who had become known to the Portuguese. Among these was of course one
addressed to the renowned Prester John.

[Illustration: MAP OF AFRICA DRAWN IN THE YEAR 1497.]

A map of Africa had been lately designed, in accordance with the
discoveries made by land, as we have mentioned, by Covillam. The
accompanying specimen is a fac-simile of one which belonged to Juan
de la Cosa--the pilot of Columbus. Upon it the principal cities are
indicated by a roughly sketched house or church; the government is
denoted by a picture of a king, closely resembling the royal gentry in
a pack of cards; while flags, planted at intervals, indicate boundary
lines and frontier posts. The winds are represented by fabulous
divinities sitting round the world upon leathern bottles, whose sides
they are pressing to force out the air. The celebrated statue of the
Canaries is often seen flourishing his club at the top of his tower.
Abyssinia figures with its Prester John, his head being adorned with a
brilliant mitre. Other kingdoms are marked out by portraits of their
kings in richly embroidered costumes. The inhabitants of Africa,
in maps of the world, are represented as giraffes, black men, and
elephants. Portuguese camps are denoted by colored tents, while groups
of light cavalry, splendidly caparisoned, dotting the territory at
numerous points, indicate that the Portuguese army is making the tour
of that mysterious continent. These quaint specimens of chartographical
art are, in short, the faithful expression of the geographical science
of the age.

The fleet equipped for da Gama's voyage consisted of three ships and a
caravel,--the San Gabriel, of one hundred and twenty tons, commanded
by da Gama, and piloted by Pero Dalemquer, who had been pilot to
Bartholomew Diaz; the San Rafael, of one hundred tons, commanded by
Paulo da Gama, the admiral's brother; a store-ship of two hundred
tons; and the caravel, of fifty tons, commanded by Nicolao Coelho.
Besides these, Diaz, who had already been over the route, was ordered
to accompany da Gama as far as the Mina. The crews numbered in all
one hundred and sixty men, among whom were ten malefactors condemned
to death, and who had consequently nothing to hope for in Portugal.
Their duty in the fleet was to go ashore upon savage coasts and attempt
to open intercourse with the natives. In case of rendering essential
service and escaping with their lives, their sentence was to be
remitted on their return home.

A small chapel stood upon the seaside about four miles from Lisbon.
Hither da Gama and his crew repaired upon the day preceding that
fixed for their departure. They spent the night in prayer and rites
of devotion, invoking the blessing and protection of Heaven. On the
morrow, the adventurers marched to their ships in the midst of the
whole population of Lisbon, who now thronged the shore of Belem. A long
procession of priests sang anthems and offered sacrifice. The vast
multitude, catching the fire of devotion and animated with the fervor
of religious zeal, joined aloud in the prayers for their safety. The
parents and relatives of the travellers shed tears, and da Gama himself
wept on bidding farewell to the friends who gathered round him.

Camoens thus describes the emotions of the adventurers as they gazed at
the receding shore:

  "As from our dear-loved native shore we fly,
  Our votive shouts, redoubled, rend the sky:
  'Success! Success!' far echoes o'er the tide,
  While our broad hulks the foaming waves divide.
  When slowly gliding from our wistful eyes,
  The Lusian mountains mingle with the skies;
  Tago's loved stream and Cintra's mountains cold,
  Dim fading now, we now no more behold;
  And still with yearning hearts our eyes explore,
  Till one dim speck of land appears no more."

The admiral had fixed upon the Cape Verd Islands as the first place
of rendezvous in case of separation by storm. They all arrived safely
in eight days at the Canaries, but were here driven widely apart by a
tempest at night. The three captains subsequently joined each other,
but could not find the admiral. They therefore made for the appointed
rendezvous, where, to their great satisfaction, they found da Gama
already arrived; "and, saluting him with many shots of ordnance, and
with sound of trumpets, they spake unto him, each of them heartily
rejoicing and thanking God for their safe meeting and good fortune in
this their first brunt of danger and of peril." Diaz here took leave of
them and returned to Portugal. Then, on the 3d of August, they set sail
finally for the Cape of Good Hope.

They continued without seeing land during the months of August,
September, and October, greatly distressed by foul weather, or, in the
quaint language of those days, "by torments of wind and rain." At last,
on the 7th of November, they touched the African coast, and anchored
in a capacious bay, which they called the Bay of St. Helena, and which
is not far to the north of the Cape. Here they perceived the natives
"to bee lyttle men, ill favored in the face, and of color blacke; and
when they did speake, it was in such manner as though they did alwayes
sigh." Camoens rhapsodizes at length over this approach to the land;
and it must be remembered that, having followed in da Gama's track as
early as the year 1553, his descriptions of scenery are those of an

  "Loud through the fleet the echoing shouts prevail:
  We drop the anchor and restrain the sail;
  And now, descending in a spacious bay,
  Wide o'er the coast the venturous soldiers stray,
  To spy the wonders of the savage shore
  Where strangers' foot had never trod before.
  I and my pilots, on the yellow sand,
  Explore beneath what sky the shores expand.
  Here we perceived our venturous keels had pass'd,
  Unharmed, the Southern tropic's howling blast,
  And now approached dread Neptune's secret reign:
  Where the stern power, as o'er the Austral main
  He rides, wide scatters from the Polar Star
  Hail, ice, and snow, and all the wintry war."

Trade was now commenced between da Gama and the natives, and, by means
of signs and gestures, cloth, beads, bells, and glass were bartered for
articles of food and other necessaries. But this friendly intercourse
was soon interrupted by an act of imprudent folly on the part of a
young man of the squadron. Being invited to dine by a party of the
natives, he entered one of their huts to partake of the repast. Being
disgusted at the viands, which consisted of a sea-calf dressed after
the manner of the Hottentots, he fled in dismay. He was followed by his
perplexed entertainers, who were anxious to learn how they had offended
him. Taking their officious hospitality for impertinent aggression,
he shouted for help; and it was not long before mutual apprehension
brought on open hostilities. Da Gama and his officers were attacked,
while taking the altitude of the sun with an astrolabe, by a party of
concealed negroes armed with spears pointed with horn. The admiral was
wounded in the foot, and with some difficulty effected a retreat to the
ships. He left the Bay of St. Helena on the 16th of November.

He now met with a sudden and violent change of weather, and the
Portuguese historians have left animated descriptions of the storm
which ensued. During any momentary pause in the elemental warfare, the
sailors, worn out with fatigue and yielding to despair, surrounded da
Gama, begging that he would not devote himself and them to a fate so
dreadful. They declared that the gale could no longer be weathered,
and that every one must be buried in the waves if they continued to
proceed. The admiral's firmness remained unshaken, and a conspiracy was
soon formed against him. He was informed in time of this desperate plot
by his brother Paulo. He put the ringleaders and pilots in irons, and,
assisted by his brother and those who remained faithful to their duty,
stood night and day to the helm. At length, on Wednesday, the 20th of
November, the whole squadron doubled the tremendous promontory. The
mutineers were pardoned and released from their manacles.

The legend of the Spectre of the Cape is given by Camoens in full; and
it is so characteristic of the age, and, as an episode, is itself so
interesting, that we cannot refrain from quoting it entire. Da Gama is
supposed to be relating his experience in the first person:

  "I spoke, when, rising through the darken'd air,
  Appall'd, we saw a hideous phantom glare.
  High and enormous o'er the flood he tower'd,
  And thwart our way with sullen aspect lower'd;
  An earthly paleness o'er his cheeks was spread,
  Erect uprose his hairs of wither'd red;
  Writhing to speak, his sable lips disclose,
  Sharp and disjoin'd, his gnashing teeths' blue rows;
  His haggard beard flow'd quivering in the wind;
  Revenge and horror in his mien combined;
  His clouded front, by withering lightnings sear'd,
  The inward anguish of his soul declared.
  Cold, gliding horrors fill'd each hero's breast;
  Our bristling hair and tottering knees confess'd
  Wild dread. The while, with visage ghastly wan,
  His black lips trembling, thus the fiend began:
    'Ye sons of Lusus, who, with eyes profane,
  Have view'd the secrets of my awful reign,
  Have pass'd the bounds which jealous nature drew
  To veil her secret shrine from mortal view;
  Hear from my lips what direful woes attend,
  And, bursting soon, shall o'er your race descend:
  With every bounding keel that dares my rage,
  Eternal war my rocks and storms shall wage.
  The next proud fleet that through my drear domain
  With daring hand shall hoist the streaming vane,
  That gallant navy, by my whirlwinds toss'd,
  And raging seas, shall perish on my coast.
  Then he who first my secret reign descried,
  A naked corpse, wide floating o'er the tide,
  Shall drive. Unless my heart's full raptures fail,
  O Lusus, oft shalt thou thy children wail!
  Each year thy shipwreck'd sons shalt thou deplore,
  Each year thy sheeted masts shall strew my shore!'"

[Illustration: THE SPECTRE OF THE CAPE.]

The cut upon previous page--a copy from an antique original--represents
da Gama's ship and the Spectre of the Cape. The table-land of the
promontory is seen through the drift of the tempest, towards the east.
The ship is broached to, her sails close-furled, with the exception
of the foresail, which has broken loose and is flapping wildly in
the hurricane. Both the engraving and the description we have quoted
from Camoens are strikingly illustrative of those visionary horrors
which pervaded the minds of the navigators of the period, and are also
characteristic of that peculiar cloud whose sudden envelopment of the
Cape is the sure forerunner of a storm. The artist seems to have chosen
the moment when the spectre, having uttered his dreadful prophecy, is
vanishing into air.

[Illustration: PHOSPHORESCENCE.]




Da Gama landed some two hundred miles beyond the Cape, and, discharging
the victualling-ship of her stores, ordered her to be burned, as the
king had directed. He then entered into commercial relations with the
natives, and exchanged red nightcaps for ivory bracelets. "Then came
two hundred blacke men, some lyttle, some great, bringing with them
twelve oxen and four sheep, and as our men went upon shore they began
to play upon four flutes, according with four sundry voices, the music
whereof sounded very well. Which the generall hearing, commanded the
trumpets to sound, and so they danced with our men. In this pastime
and feasting, and in buying their oxen and sheep, the day passed
over." Da Gama had reason before long to suspect treachery, however,
and withdrew his men and re-embarked. It was in this place that a man
falling overboard, and swimming for a long time before the accident was
observed, was followed by an albatross, who hovered in the air just
above him, waiting the propitious moment when he could make a quiet
meal upon him. The man was subsequently rescued, and the albatross

Da Gama now passed the rock de la Cruz, where Diaz had erected his
last pillar, and by the aid of a brisk wind escaped the dangers of the
currents and shoals. Losing sight of land, he recovered it again on
Christmas-day, and in consequence named the spot Tierra da Natal,--a
name which it still preserves. From this point his course was nearly
north, along the eastern coast of the continent. Farther on he landed
two of his malefactors, with instructions to inform themselves of
the character and customs of the inhabitants, promising to call for
them on his return. On the 11th of January, 1498, he anchored off
a portion of the coast occupied by people who seemed peaceably and
honestly disposed. They were, in fact, Caffres,--the fleet having
passed the territory of the Hottentots. One of the sailors, Martin
Alonzo, understood their language,--a circumstance very remarkable,
yet perfectly authenticated. As he had not been lower than the Mina,
on the western coast, and of course never upon the eastern at all,
the inference seems inevitable that some of the negro tribes of
Africa extend much beyond the limits usually assigned them in modern
geography. After two days spent in the exchange of civilities of the
most courteous nature, the ships proceeded on their way,--da Gama
naming the country _Tierra da Boa Gete_,--Land of Good People.

He next found, at the mouth of a large river, a tribe of negroes
who seemed to have made greater progress in civilization than their
neighbors. They had barks with sails made of palm-leaves,--the only
indication of any knowledge of navigation the Portuguese had yet met
with upon the African coast. No one--not even Martin Alonzo--understood
their language: as far as could be gathered from their pantomime, they
had come from a distance where they had seen vessels as large as the
San Gabriel, whence da Gama conjectured that the Indies were not far
off. He gave to the river the name of _Rio dos bos Sinaes_, or River
of Good Promise. The crew suffered greatly here from the effects of
scurvy,--many of them dying of the disease and others succumbing under
the consequences of amputation. The ships were careened and repaired:
thirty-two days were spent in this labor. These incidents are thus
graphically described in the Lusiad:

  "Far from the land, wide o'er the ocean driven,
  Our helms resigning to the care of Heaven,
  By hope and fear's keen passions toss'd, we roam;
  When our glad eyes behold the surges foam
  Against the beacons of a shelter'd bay,
  Where sloops and barges cut the watery way.
  The river's opening breast some upward plied,
  And some came gliding down the sweepy tide.
  Quick throbs of transport heaved in every heart,
  To view this knowledge of the seaman's art;
  For here we hoped our ardent wish to gain,
  To hear of India's strand,--nor hoped in vain:
  Though Ethiopia's sable hue they bore,
  No look of wild surprise the natives wore;
  Wide o'er their heads the cotton turban swell'd,
  And cloth of blue the decent loins conceal'd.
  Their speech, though rude and dissonant of sound,
  Their speech a mixture of Arabian own'd.
  Alonzo, skill'd in all the copious store
  Of fair Arabia's speech and flowery lore,
  In joyful converse heard the pleasing tale,
  'That o'er these seas full oft the frequent sail,
  And lordly vessels, tall as ours, appear'd,
  Which to the regions of the morning steer'd:
  Whose cheerful crews, resembling ours, display
  The kindred face and color of the day.'
  Elate with joy, we raise the glad acclaim,
  And RIVER OF GOOD SIGNS the port we name.

  "Our keels, that now had steer'd through many a clime,
  By shell-fish roughen'd, and incased with slime,
  Joyful we clean; while bleating from the field
  The fleecy dams the smiling natives yield.
  Alas! how vain the bloom of human joy!
  How soon the blasts of woe that bloom destroy!
  A dread disease its rankling horrors shed,
  And death's dire ravage through mine army spread.
  Never mine eyes such dreary sight beheld!
  Ghastly the mouth and gums enormous swell'd;
  And instant, putrid like a dead man's wound,
  Poison'd with fetid steam the air around.
  Long, long endear'd by fellowship in woe,
  O'er the cold dust we give the tears to flow;
  And in their hapless lot forebode our own,--
  A foreign burial, and a grave unknown."

The fleet joyfully left the River of Good Promise on the 24th of
February, and not long after discovered two groups of islands. Near
the coast of one of these they were followed by eight canoes, manned
by persons of fine stature, less black than the Hottentots, and
dressed in cotton cloth of various colors. Upon their heads they
wore turbans wrought with silk and gold thread. They were armed with
swords and daggers like the Moors, and carried musical instruments
which they called sagbuts. They came on board as if they had known
the strangers before, and spoke in the Arabic tongue, repelling with
disdain the supposition that they were Moors. They said that their
island was called Mozambique; that they traded with the Moors of the
Indies in spices, pearls, rubies, silver, and linen, and offered to
take the ships into their harbor. The bar permitting their passage,
they anchored at two crossbow-shots from the town. This was built of
wood and thatch,--the mosques alone being constructed of stone. It was
occupied principally by Moors, the rest of the island being inhabited
by the natives, who were the same as those of the mainland opposite.
The Moors traded with the Indies and with the African Sofala in
ships without decks and built without the use of nails,--the planks
being bound together by cocoa fibres, and the sails being made of
palm-leaves. They had compasses and charts.

The Moorish governor of Mozambique and the other Moors supposed the
Portuguese to be Turks, on account of the whiteness of their skin.
They sent them provisions, in return for which da Gama sent the shah
a quantity of red caps, coral, copper vessels, and bells. The shah
set no value upon these articles, and inquired disdainfully why the
captain had not sent him scarlet cloth. He afterwards went on board
the flag-ship, where he was received with hospitality, though not
without secret preparations against treachery. The Portuguese learned
from him that he governed the island as the deputy of the King of
Quiloa; that Prester John lived and ruled a long distance towards the
interior of the mainland; that Calicut, whither da Gama was bound, was
two thousand miles to the northeast, but that he could not proceed
thither without the guidance of pilots familiar with the navigation. He
promised to furnish him with two. Discovering subsequently, however,
that the strangers were Christians, the shah contrived a plot for
their destruction. The vessels escaped, but with only one pilot, whose
treachery throughout the voyage was a source of constant annoyance and
peril. On departing, da Gama gave the traitors a broadside, which did
considerable damage to their village of thatch.

On the 1st of April, da Gama gave to an island which he discovered
the name of Açoutado, in commemoration of a sound flagellation which
was there administered to the pilot for telling him it formed part
of the continent,--upon which he confessed that his purpose in thus
misrepresenting the case was to wreck and destroy the ships. On the
7th, they came to the large island of Mombassa, where they found rice,
millet, poultry, and fat cattle, and sheep without tails. The orchards
were filled with fig, orange, and lemon trees. This island received
honey, ivory, and wax from a port upon the mainland. The houses were
built of stone and mortar, and the city was defended by a small fort
almost even with the water. "They have a king," says the chronicle,
"and the inhabitants are Moores, whereof some bee white. They goe
gallantly arrayed, especially the women, apparelled in gownes of silke
and bedecked with jewells of golde and precious stones. The men were
greatly comforted, as having confidence that in this place they might
cure such as were then sick,--as in truth were almost all; in number
but fewe, as the others were dead."

The King of Mombassa, however, was as great a rogue as the Shah of
Mozambique, from whom he had heard, by overland communication, of
what had happened in his island. During the night following a grand
interchange of civilities and of protestations, da Gama was informed
that a sea-monster was devouring the cable. It turned out that a number
of Moors were endeavoring to cut it, that the ship might be driven
ashore. Anxious to quit this inhospitable coast, the fleet profited by
the first wind to continue their course to the north. They captured
a zambuco, or pinnace, from which they took seventeen Moors and a
considerable quantity of silver and gold. On the same day they arrived
off the town of Melinda, situated three degrees only to the south of
the equator. The city resembled the cities of Europe, the streets
being wide, and the houses being of stone and several stories high.
"The generall," we are told, "being come over against this citie, did
rejoyce in his heart very much, that he now sawe a citie lyke unto
those of Portingale, and rendered most heartie and humble thanks to God
for their good and safe arrival." The chief of the captured zambuco
offered to procure da Gama a pilot to take the fleet to Calicut, if
he would permit him to go ashore. He was landed upon a beach opposite
the city. The chief performed his promise, and induced the King of
Melinda to treat the strangers with courtesy and respect. Camoens thus
describes the festivities upon the alliance:

  "With that ennobling worth whose fond employ
  Befriends the brave, the monarch owns his joy;
  Entreats the leader and his weary band
  To taste the dews of sweet repose on land,
  And all the riches of his cultured fields
  Obedient to the nod of Gama yields.
  'What from the blustering winds and lengthening tide
  Your ships have suffer'd, here shall be supplied;
  Arms and provisions I myself will send,
  And, great of skill, a pilot shall attend.'
  So spoke the king; and now, with purpled ray,
  Beneath the shining wave the god of day
  Retiring, left the evening shades to spread,
  When to the fleet the joyful herald sped.
  To find such friends each breast with rapture glows:
  The feast is kindled, and the goblet flows;
  The trembling comet's irritating rays
  Bound to the skies, and trail a sparkling blaze;
  The vaulting bombs awake their sleeping fire,
  And, like the Cyclops' bolt, to heaven aspire;
  The trump and fife's shrill clarion far around
  The glorious music of the night resound.
  Nor less their joy Melinda's sons display:
  The sulphur bursts in many an ardent ray,
  And to the heavens ascends in whizzing gyres,
  Whilst Ocean flames with artificial fires."

During the interview which followed, the king remarked that he had
never seen any men who pleased him so much as the Portuguese,--a
compliment which da Gama acknowledged by setting at liberty the sixteen
Moors of the captured pinnace. The king sent the promised pilot on his
return; he proved to be as deeply skilled in the art of navigation as
any of the pilots of Europe. He was acquainted with the astrolabe,
compass, and quadrant. The fleet set sail from Melinda on the 24th
of April. As they had now gone far enough towards the north, and as
India lay nearly east, they bade farewell to the coast, of which they
had hardly lost sight since leaving Lisbon, and struck into the open
sea, or rather a wide gulf of the Indian Ocean, seven hundred and
fifty leagues across. A few days after, having crossed the line, the
crew were delighted to behold again the stars and constellations of
the Northern hemisphere. The voyage was rapid and fortunate; for in
twenty-three days they arrived off the Malabar coast, and, after a day
or two of southing, discovered the lofty hills which overhang the city
of Calicut. Da Gama amply rewarded the pilot, released the malefactors
from their fetters, and summoned the crew to prayer. The anchor was
then thrown, and a feast was spread in honor of the day. The route by
sea had been discovered from the Tagus to the Ganges: da Gama had laid
out the way from Belem to Golconda.


[Illustration: WRECK OF THE SAN RAFAEL.]



Some two hundred years before this time, the Malabar coast of Hindustan
was united under one single native prince--named Perimal--whose capital
was in the interior. It was at this period that the Arabians discovered
India. Perimal embraced the Mohammedan religion, and resolved to make
a pilgrimage to Mecca and to finish his days there. He intrusted the
government to other hands, and embarked for Arabia from the spot where
Calicut now stands. The Arabians were led by this circumstance to
regard Calicut with peculiar veneration, and by degrees abandoned the
former capital: it was thus that Calicut gradually became the great
spice and silk market of the East.

In the time of Vasco da Gama, India Proper, or Hindostan, was divided
into several independent kingdoms, such as Moultan, Delhi, Bengal,
Orissa, Guzarate or Cambaia, Deccan, Canara, Bisnagar, and Malabar.
The divisions of Farther India were Ava, Brama, Pegu, Siam, Cambodia,
Cochin-China, and Tonkin. The Portuguese fleet had arrived upon the
coast of Malabar, which is the edge of the southwestern promontory of
Hindostan. It was here, and upon the western coast generally, that
the Portuguese were now enabled to plant establishments and to form
treaties of alliance and commerce.

The Moors of Arabia had already, as we have said, a foothold in
the country, and were alarmed at seeing Europeans arrive by sea at
the scene of a trade of which they had hitherto held the exclusive
monopoly. They succeeded in throwing obstacles in the way of the
Portuguese admiral, and in poisoning the ear of the Indian zamorin, or
king, against him. They even laid a plot for the destruction of the
fleet and all on board, that no one might return to Europe to tell of
the new route to the Indies. The native monarch was induced by them to
testify dissatisfaction with the presents da Gama had brought, and to
ask for the golden statue of the Virgin that ornamented the admiral's
ship, as a more suitable offering to one of his rank. Da Gama replied
that it was not a golden Virgin, but a wooden one gilt; that it had
nevertheless preserved him from the perils of the sea, and that he
could not part with it. After many proofs of the hostility of the Moors
and the treachery of the natives, da Gama obtained from the zamorin
the following laconic epistle to his sovereign:--"Vasco da Gama, a
gentleman of thy house, has visited my country. His arrival has given
me pleasure. My land is full of cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and precious
stones. What I desire to obtain in return from yours is gold, silver,
coral, and scarlet." With this missive da Gama set sail upon his return
early in September. The zamorin sent sixty armed barks to attack him,
but a broadside or two and a favorable wind enabled him to make good
his escape. Upon a neighboring island some of the crew discovered a
large forest of wild cinnamon. Not far from here, da Gama discovered
the Angedive, or Five Islands, and in the vicinity had a brush with
Indian pirates. An elderly person, differing in appearance from the
natives, came on board and represented himself as an Italian Christian.
He had come from the Indians of the island of Goa, he said, to beg the
admiral to go thither and trade. This well-behaved old gentleman proved
to be a sort of Moorish buccaneer, and, upon being put to the torture,
confessed that he was a spy, and that he had been sent to reconnoitre
the fleet and count their numbers. Da Gama retained him as a trophy to
present to King Emmanuel. He finally left the Indian coast on the 15th
of October.

When they were fairly out at sea, the pirate-prisoner made a complete
confession, and his evident sincerity quite won da Gama's heart. He
gave him clothes and a supply of money. The Moor repented of his evil
ways and of his pagan faith, and forthwith embraced Christianity. He
was baptized by the name of Gaspardo da Gama.

The voyage back to Melinda, across the gulf, was disastrous in every
sense. The weather was tempestuous and hot. The scurvy carried off
thirty men in the first week, and consternation seized the officers
and crew. After four months' navigation, when hardly sixteen men able
to work were left on each vessel, they descried the African coast,
thirteen leagues above Melinda. Descending to the latter city, they
were received with joy by the king, who was anxiously awaiting their
return. They took on board an ambassador sent by him to King Emmanuel.
The San Rafael was lost upon this coast, and the fleet thus reduced to
two vessels. Da Gama discovered the island of Zanzibar, and received
offers of service from the sovereign. He doubled the Cape successfully
on the 20th of March, and anchored soon after at the Cape Verds. Here,
during the night, Nicolao Coelho, the captain of the caravel, slipped
away, and made all haste to Portugal, in order to be the first to carry
to Europe the intelligence of the grand discovery.

Da Gama now found that he could prosecute the voyage no further in his
disabled vessel, the San Gabriel, and chartered a caravel in which to
proceed to Lisbon. On the way his brother Paulo died, and was buried
at the island of Terceira. Vasco arrived at Belem in September, 1499,
two years and two months after his departure. The king, informed of his
approach by the previous arrival of Coelho, sent a magnificent cortège
to conduct him to court. He overwhelmed him with honors, wealth, and
distinctions. He himself took the title of Lord of the Conquest of
Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia, and the Indies. Coelho was ennobled, and a
pension of one thousand ducats secured to him. Of the one hundred and
sixty men who departed upon this voyage, only fifty-five had returned,
and all these were munificently rewarded for their share in the
brilliant achievements of their commander. The king ordered a series
of public festivities, which were preceded by a solemn service of
thanksgiving to Heaven for the glory vouchsafed to the Portuguese name
and nation.

Emmanuel allowed not a week to pass before he directed the necessary
preparations to be made for fitting out another and more powerful
fleet, to follow in da Gama's track and attempt to colonize the Indies.
He determined that da Gama should enjoy his dignities and renown
in peace, however, and intrusted the command to one Pedro Alvarez
Cabral, a gentleman of merit and distinction. The fleet numbered
thirteen vessels, manned by twelve hundred men, among whom were
eight Franciscans to convert the pagans, and some thirty condemned
malefactors to undertake communications with the savages. Cabral
carried a hat blessed by the Pope and deemed to possess miraculous
virtues. Among the captains were Bartholomew Diaz and his brother
Diego. The specific object of the expedition was to obtain permission
from the Zamorin of Calicut to establish a trading station there, the
Portuguese promising in return to furnish him the same articles which
the Moors furnished him, and on more advantageous terms.

The squadron set sail on the 9th of March, 1500. It will appear almost
incredible that, in order to avoid the calms known to prevail at that
season off the coast of Guinea, they proceeded so far to the west
that, late in April, they touched at the continent now known as South
America; where, however, Yanez Pinzon had been before them. Cabral gave
to it the name of Land of the Holy Cross; but this, as well as the name
given by Pinzon, was subsequently changed to that of Brazil, from a
species of dye-wood which grew in abundance there. The inhabitants were
friendly, and exchanged parrots of brilliant plumage for bits of paper
and cloth. Cabral put two of his criminals ashore and left them, with
instructions to inquire into the history of the country and the customs
of its inhabitants. He also sent one of his vessels back to Lisbon with
intelligence of the discovery.

The fleet left Brazil on the 2d of May, steering to the southeast,
in order to double the Cape. A terrible comet visible day and night,
a storm which lasted three weeks, a water-spout reaching to the
clouds,--this latter being a phenomenon which the Portuguese had never
before seen,--now menaced and harrassed them in quick succession. Four
vessels were lost, and among them that of Bartholomew Diaz, with all
on board. The rest were severely injured; but Cabral was rejoiced to
find that during the storm he had weathered the redoubtable promontory.
Encountering some Moorish vessels laden with gold, he seized them,
but not until the crews had thrown a portion of the precious metal
into the sea. At Mozambique he took a pilot for the island of Quiloa,
three hundred miles to the north, whose sovereign was enriched by his
gold-trade with the African port of Sofala. Here he attempted to enter
into a treaty of commerce; but the prejudices entertained against
Christians prevented any concessions on the part of the Moors. At
Melinda Cabral landed two criminals and the presents for the king sent
out by Emmanuel. Obtaining pilots for the Indian coast, he departed on
the 7th of August, and arrived at Calicut on the 13th of September.

From this point dates the first European establishment in the East
Indies. Stimulated by considerations of interest, the zamorin, after
many delays, granted the admiral an interview, in which the latter
stated the ardent desire of his master, the King of Portugal, to
furnish the zamorin's subjects with all articles of European production
or manufacture, taking in exchange the spices and jewels of the
East. A market or bazaar was at once opened, and the cargoes of the
ships, being transferred to it, were rapidly converted into cinnamon,
diamonds, and drugs.

The Moors now became seriously jealous of the activity, power, and
success of their rivals. They resorted to every means to excite the
hostility of the zamorin and his subjects against them. They attacked
and destroyed the Portuguese market, plundering it of goods to the
amount of four thousand ducats. The inconstant zamorin offering neither
apology nor restitution, Cabral determined on vengeance. He boarded two
large Moorish vessels, killed six hundred men, and salted down three
elephants for food. He then bombarded the town: palaces, temples, and
store-houses crumbled to dust beneath the thunders of the artillery.
The zamorin fled, and Cabral withdrew with his victorious fleet to
Cochin, a rich capital one hundred and fifty miles to the south of
Calicut, where pepper was abundant and the king was poor. Trimumpara,
the monarch, was informed of the summary vengeance wreaked by the
fleet upon his brother of Calicut, and at once offered the strangers
hospitality and protection. The admiral sent him a silver basin full
of saffron and a silver vial filled with rose-water. Trade and barter
rapidly loaded the ships with the fragrant commodities of the country.
A fleet of twenty-five sail now appeared in the offing, and Trimumpara
told Cabral that their object was to attack him, and that they were
sent by the zamorin of Calicut. Cabral, having been separated from
his most efficient ship, determined not to venture a combat, and
made for the north, casting anchor before Cananor, a town a little
above Calicut. Here he found a commodious roadstead, an independent
prince, and a soil abounding in ginger, cardamom-seeds, tamarinds,
and cinnamon. Of the latter article he took four hundred quintals.
The king, judging, from the insignificance of this purchase, that he
was short of money, offered him a further supply upon credit. Cabral
expressed his sense of appreciation of this generosity, but declined
the proposition. The fleet now sailed homewards: one of the vessels was
lost upon the African coast, and, taking fire, was destroyed with its
contents. The six ships remaining of the twelve which had left Brazil,
arrived at Lisbon on the 31st of July, 1501. Cabral was received with
coldness by the king, partly on account of the loss of ships and men
he had met with, and partly on account of his failure at Calicut, to
which place he,--the king,--relying on Cabral's success, had sent out,
three months previous to his return, a fleet of four vessels under Juan
de Nueva. This expedition was singularly happy in its results,--Nueva
lading his vessels to great advantage at Cananor, and discovering the
island of St. Helena upon his homeward voyage.

[Illustration: DA GAMA'S FLAG-SHIP.]

It was now evident to the Portuguese that without the employment of
force it would be impossible to obtain a permanent foothold in the
Indies. After listening to a deliberation as to whether it were not
best to abandon the attempt altogether, Emmanuel ordered the equipment
of a grand fleet of twenty vessels, to be placed under the command
of Vasco da Gama, who consented to resume active life. It was to be
divided into three portions: the first, consisting of ten sail, under
da Gama, was to undertake the subjugation of the refractory kings
of Malabar; the second, of five sail, under Vincent Sodrez, was to
guard the entrance of the Red Sea into the Indian Ocean, and thus
prevent the Turks and Moors from trading with the ports of Africa and
Hindostan; and the third, of five vessels, under Stefano da Gama, was
to be detailed upon any service the admiral might direct. They sailed
early in 1502, and formed a treaty of alliance and commerce with the
king of Sofala, without difficulty. Da Gama obtained from the king of
Quiloa an engagement to pay to the crown of Portugal an annual tribute
in gold fresh from the mine. Upon the Indian coast near Cananor,
he fell in with an Egyptian vessel of the largest size, laden with
costly merchandise and crowded with Moors of high rank on their way
to Mecca. He attacked, plundered, and burned her: three hundred men
and women perished in the flames, in the sea, or by the sword. Twenty
children were saved and conveyed to the ship of da Gama, who made a vow
to educate them as Christians, in atonement for the apostasy of one
Portuguese who had become a Mohammedan. After this sanguinary lesson,
da Gama found no obstacles to the establishment of a trading station
at Cananor, where his fleet landed a portion of their cargoes. He then
sailed to Calicut, determined to inflict summary vengeance upon the
faithless and treacherous zamorin.

Not far from the coast he seized a number of boats in which were fifty
Indians. He sent word to the zamorin that, unless satisfaction were
given for the late destruction of the Portuguese bazaar before noon,
he would attack the city with fire and sword, and would begin with his
fifty prisoners. The time having expired, the unfortunate captives were
hung simultaneously at the yard-arms of the various vessels. The town
was then reduced to ashes. A squadron was left to sweep the Moorish
vessels from the seas, and da Gama proceeded down the coast to Cochin,
the city of the friendly Trimumpara. Presents and compliments were
here exchanged,--the offerings of the King of Portugal being a golden
crown, vases of embossed silver, a rich tent, a piece of scarlet satin,
and a bit of sandal-wood, while those of his majesty of Cochin were a
Moorish turban of silver thread, two gold bracelets set with precious
stones, two large pieces of Bengal calico, and a stone said to be a
specific against poison, and taken from the head of an animal called
bulgodolph,--a fabulous creature, declared by some to be a serpent and
by others to be a quadruped.

An apology was now received from the zamorin, and da Gama returned
to Calicut with only one vessel. Seeing him thus single-handed, the
zamorin sent thirty-three armed canoes against him, and, without
the prompt assistance of Sodrez' cruising squadron, da Gama would
inevitably have perished. The zamorin now threatened Trimumpara with
his vengeance if he continued to harbor the Portuguese and to trade
with Christian infidels. Da Gama promised Trimumpara the assistance and
alliance of the King of Portugal, and set sail with well-laden vessels.
He met the zamorin's fleet of twenty-nine sail, and, having captured
two, put the rest to flight with great slaughter. In the two that were
taken he found an immense quantity of porcelain and Chinese stuffs,
together with an enormous golden idol, with emeralds for eyes, a robe
of beaten gold for a vestment, and rubies for buttons. Leaving Sodrez
and his fleet to defend Cochin against Calicut and to exterminate the
traders from Mecca, da Gama returned with thirteen vessels to Portugal.
The king conferred upon him the titles of Admiral of the Indian Ocean
and Count de Vidigueira. He again withdrew to privacy, and did not
a second time emerge into public life till the year 1524, when the
interests of the country under John III. again reclaimed his services
in the East.




Having narrated, in the preceding chapters, the incidents which led
to the circumnavigation of Africa, and having described the several
voyages which introduced the Europeans into the East, by the new route
of the Indian Ocean and the Cape of Tempests, we must briefly allude
to the sequel,--the spread of European commerce among the islands
and seaports of this highly favored region. Alphonzo and Francesco
d'Albuquerque, with a fleet of nine vessels, and Edoardo Pacheco,
with three vessels, carried terror and revenge to the Malabar coast:
forts were built to protect the Portuguese commerce, kings were forced
to pay tribute, fleets were swept from the seas; and, as a proverb
of the time expressed it, pepper began to cost blood. Again the King
of Portugal sent out a formidable squadron,--thirteen ships of the
line, the largest yet constructed, under Lopez Soarez. Sea-battles now
took place, in which the proportions of the slain were one thousand
infidels to seventy-five Portuguese,--in which a single European vessel
contended successfully with myriads of the native barks. The sacrifice
of life was truly awful; but gradually the whole eastern coast of
Africa, and, opposite to it, the whole western coast of India, fell
under Portuguese sway.

The entire commerce of this quarter of the world was of course
revolutionized by these discoveries and conquests. Before this period
the productions of the East had been carried to Europe in the following
manner. The city of Malacca, in the peninsula of the same name, was
the central market to which came the camphor of Borneo, the cloves of
the Moluccas, the nutmegs of Banda, the pepper of Sumatra, the gums,
drugs, and perfumes of China, Japan, and Siam. These products were
taken by water, either in the clumsy boats of the natives or the more
solid vessels of the Moors, to the ports of the Red Sea, were landed at
Tor or at Suez, whence they were transported by caravans to Cairo, and
thence by the Nile to Alexandria, where they were placed on board of
vessels bound to all the ports of Europe. Those intended for Armenia,
Trebizonde, Aleppo, Damascus, were taken by the Persian Gulf to
Bassorah, and thence distributed by caravans. The Venetians and Genoese
took their portion at Beyrout, in Syria. The East Indians preferred the
manufactures of Europe to gold and silver, and consequently the trade
was generally in the form of barter and exchange. In addition to the
products of Farther India which we have mentioned must be added those
of India Proper,--the fabrics of Bengal, the pearls of Orissa, the
diamonds of Golconda, the cinnamon of Ceylon, the pepper of Malabar.

Thus, not only thousands of laborers, sailors, conductors of caravans,
saw themselves suddenly deprived of their livelihood by this
diversion of the traffic into the hands of the Portuguese, but rich
cities lost their revenues and princes lost their tribute. While the
Venetians resolved to appeal to arms, the Sultan of Egypt addressed
a protestation to Rome. But the King of Portugal tranquillized the
Pope by declaring his intention of extending the jurisdiction of the
apostolic faith, and he prepared to resist violence by sending out,
in 1507, Don Francesco Almeida, with twenty-two ships and fifteen
hundred regular soldiers: he bestowed upon the new commander the title
of Viceroy of the Indies. Almeida deposed the King of Quiloa, and
crowned another of his own appointment; he built a fort in twenty days,
garrisoned it with one hundred and fifty men, and left a brigantine and
a caravel to scour and protect the coast. He bombarded Mombassa, killed
fifteen hundred men and lost five. He erected forts and established
trading stations at Onor, Cananor, Surat and Calicut, upon the Malabar
coast. To the important point of Sofala, upon the African coast,
Emmanuel sent a distinct expedition of six ships, under Pedro da Nayha
and Juan da Quiros, who compelled the king to admit their nation to a
share in the famous gold mines which constituted his kingdom and his
wealth. In 1508, Lorenzo, the son of Almeida, while chasing the flying
Moors with six men-of-war, discovered the island of Ceylon, to the
south of Hindustan. Here he found the Moors and natives loading vessels
with elephants and cinnamon.

Again King Emmanuel, drawing upon resources which seemed almost
inexhaustible, sent out thirteen vessels, with thirteen hundred
men, under Tristan d'Acunha. This fleet was driven to the coast of
Brazil, and upon the way thence to the Cape of Good Hope the commander
discovered the islands which now bear his name. He burned and pillaged
the town of Oja, near Melinda; he reduced a neighboring shah to the
payment of an annual tribute of six hundred golden ducats. His soldiers
would not give the captured women of Brava time to remove their
bracelets and ear-rings, but in their ruthless haste cut off their arms
and ears.

It was now evident to the King of Portugal that his rule in the East
could not be consolidated and extended by the same means which had
obtained him his first foothold upon the coast,--chance, intrepidity,
and unscrupulous violence. What was required was a carefully conceived
system of government, and a man capable of administering it. Emmanuel's
choice fell upon Alphonzo d'Albuquerque, whose services in the East
had already been meritorious, and to whom, in 1509, he gave the title
and power of viceroy. Albuquerque, whose courage obtained for him the
name of the Portuguese Mars, ranks, by his talents, his severe virtues,
and his disinterested zeal, among the greatest men whom the world
has produced. He at once formed the plan of founding an empire which
should extend from the Persian Gulf to the peninsula of Malacca; and,
determining to abandon Calicut, which had thus far been looked upon as
the best point for an arsenal, he selected the island of Goa, a little
to the north, captured it, and made its admirable harbor a Portuguese
roadstead and its town a Portuguese capital. He built bazaars and
citadels along the coast from north to south, and then turned his
eyes towards Malacca,--a magnificent country, ruled by a despot and
inhabited by slaves. As we have said, its principal seaport was the
central resort of the ships of China, Japan, Bengal, the Philippines
and the Moluccas, Coromandel, Persia, Arabia, and Malabar.

The Portuguese had first visited Malacca two years previously, Emmanuel
having sent one Siguiera to make a treaty with the king. He had been
perfidiously treated, and Albuquerque now, in 1511, appeared before
the city to call the monarch to account. A long and obstinate battle
resulted in the defeat of the natives and the unconditional surrender
of the peninsula. The Kings of Siam, Sumatra, and Pegu sent ambassadors
to Albuquerque, asking the honor of his friendship. He built a citadel
and returned to Cochin. But, as he left one spot to repair to another,
revolt was sure to follow; and, as the Venetians now joined the Moors
to repel the Portuguese, he saw that his dominion could not be complete
till he controlled the navigation of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.
The city of Aden, in Arabia, was the key to the Red Sea, commanding, as
it did, the Straits of Babelmandel; and the island of Ormuz was the key
to the Persian Gulf. He failed to take Aden, but he succeeded easily
with Ormuz, whose king acknowledged himself the vassal of Emmanuel.
Albuquerque then formed a gigantic plan in reference to the Red Sea.
Unable to command it by the capture of Aden, he determined to ruin
Suez, at the other extremity of the sea, by forming an alliance with
the King of Ethiopia, and inducing that monarch to dig a new course
for the Nile and make it empty into the Red Sea instead of into the
Mediterranean, thus rendering Egypt uninhabitable and Suez desert. The
invasion of Egypt by the Turks, however, prevented the accomplishment
of this undertaking. Thus the people and kings of the East everywhere
gave way before the grand plans and deeds of Albuquerque, whom they
both feared for his energy and loved for his justice. When, in 1515, he
died at Goa, disgraced by his king and worn out by a thankless service,
the heathen monarchs wept over his grave, and for many years went in
pilgrimage to his tomb, asking his protection against the cruelty or
injustice of his successors.

The Portuguese, in little more than fifty years from the first
expedition of Vasco da Gama, had established an empire in these seas
of truly wonderful extent and power. They held exclusive possession of
the Malabar and Coromandel coasts of India Proper, were masters of the
Bay of Bengal, ruled the peninsula of Malacca, and held tributary the
islands of Ceylon, Sumatra, Java, and the Moluccas. To the westward,
towards Africa, their authority extended as far as the Persian
boundary, and over all the islands of the Persian Gulf. In Arabia,
even, they had tributaries and allies, and no Arabian prince dared
confess himself their enemy. They exercised an influence in the Red
Sea: and upon the eastern coast of Africa, they were the masters of
Quiloa, Sofala, Mozambique, and Melinda.

As Albuquerque had foreseen, Ormuz--from its fortunate situation, as
an emporium of trade, at the mouth of the Persian Gulf--became the
most important of the Portuguese conquests. The island was by nature
little more than a barren rock, and was entirely destitute of water.
Its wealth and splendor, however, during the period of its commercial
supremacy, gave the world an example of the power of trade which had
never yet been witnessed. The trading season lasted from January to
March and from August to November: during these months, the houses
fronting on the streets were opened like shops, and decorated with
piles of porcelain and Indian curiosities, and perfumed with fragrant
dwarf shrubs set in gilded vases. Camels laden with skins of water
stood at the corners of the streets. The richest wines of Persia and
the most costly odors of Asia were offered in profusion to those who
visited the city to trade. Thick awnings stretched from roof to roof
across the promenades, excluding the rays of the sun. The luxury
and magnificence of the place seemed to flow rather from the lavish
extravagance of an idle prince than from the legitimate pomp of a
stirring and active commercial population.

In 1580, Portugal was conquered and annexed to Spain, and the
Portuguese Empire in the East at once declined, and the Dutch Empire
sprang up upon its ruins. Ormuz was plundered by the Persians and
English united in 1662: the very stones of which its edifices were
built were carried away as ballast, and it speedily sank back into
its primitive state--a barren and desolate rock. Hardly a vestige of
the proud city now remains to vindicate history in its record that
here once stood one of the most famous emporiums of commerce and most
frequented resorts of man.




We now return, in due chronological progression, to the discoveries of
the Spaniards in the West. We have not space to describe, or even to
mention, all the successive expeditions made to various points of the
great American Continent: we select, therefore, only the more important
and interesting episodes among the Spanish maritime achievements. Three
heroes will occupy our attention from 1510 to 1514,--Ponce de Leon,
Juan Diaz de Solis, and Vasco Nuñez de Balboa.

Juan Ponce, surnamed de Leon from his native province, was one of
the Spanish captains who emigrated to Hispaniola shortly after its
discovery by Columbus. After an active and prosperous career, he found
himself, in 1510, by the withdrawal of the king's favor, without place
or occupation. He was, however, rich, and resolved to attempt to regain
his credit by means of discoveries. He was avaricious, too, and would
willingly have augmented his already large possessions. He had heard
from the Indians of Cuba of the existence, to the north of Hispaniola,
of an island named Bimini, where, they asserted, was a spring whose
waters had the virtue of restoring youth to the aged and vigor to
the decrepit. Ponce thought that if he could discover and seize this
fountain it would be an inexhaustible source of revenue to him, as he
could levy a tax upon all who derived benefit from its influence. He
determined to set out in search of it, and fitted out two stout ships
at his own expense. With these he left St. Genevieve, in Porto Rico,
on the 1st of March, 1512, and steered boldly through the intricate
group of the Lucayos. Wherever he stopped, he drank of all the running
streams and standing pools, whether their waters were fresh or
stagnant, that he might not miss the famous spring. He inquired of all
the natives he met where he could find the wondrous Fountain of Youth.

At last he discovered a land till then unknown to Europeans. Early in
April, and in Easter week, he touched what he supposed was an island,
but what in reality was a portion of the continent. As the landscape
was covered with flowers, he named the spot "Florida." He had several
severe fights with the Indians, one of whom he made prisoner, that he
might learn Spanish and give him information concerning the country.
He now sailed to the south and doubled Cape Florida on the 8th of May,
which, on account of the currents, he named Cabo de las Corrientes. On
the 15th, he sailed along a line of small islands as far as two white
ones, and called the whole group Los Martyros, or The Martyrs, from the
high rocks at a distance which had the appearance of men undergoing
crucifixion. The name was singularly applicable, for the large number
of seamen who have since been wrecked upon these islands has made them
in reality a place of martyrdom. He discovered another group to the
southwest, which he called the Tortugas, as his men took one hundred
and seventy tortoises upon one of them in a short time, and might have
had more if they would. Ponce de Leon continued ranging about here till
September, when he returned to Porto Rico, sending one of his ships to
Bimini--the smallest of the Bahamas--to see if he could discover the
spring. The vessel went and returned, the captain, Perez de Ortubia,
reporting that the island was pleasantly diversified with hills,
groves, and rivers, but that none of the latter possessed any unusual

One great advantage which resulted from the voyage of Ponce de Leon
was the discovery, by his second captain, Ortubia, of the passage now
known as the Bahama Channel, by which ships bound from Havana to Spain
pass out into the Atlantic Ocean. This new passage became the universal
track even during Ponce de Leon's life. Upon his return to court, he
was well rewarded for his discoveries both by land and sea, but his
gathering years caused him often to regret that he had missed the
Fountain of Youth.

We have now to relate the manner in which the Pacific Ocean, which had
rolled for centuries in its accustomed bed, unknown to Europeans, was
first seen by Continental eyes. The islands discovered by Columbus were
still under the exclusive dominion of the Spaniards; Hispaniola was the
central point of their operations of discovery and conquest. Settled
here, upon a farm, was a man, still in the prime of life, named Vasco
Nuñez de Balboa. He was a native of Xeres, in Spain, and had eagerly
enlisted in the late voyages of adventure. He was known to be a mere
soldier of fortune, and of loose, prodigal habits, and is described as
an "egregius digladiator," or adroit swordsman. His farm had involved
him in debt; and, to escape his embarrassments and elude his creditors,
he caused himself, in 1511, to be nailed up in a cask, to be labelled
"victuals for the voyage," and to be conveyed on board a ship starting
upon an expedition to the mainland. When the vessel was out of sight of
the shore, he emerged from the cask, and appeared before the surprised
captain, Hernandez de Enciso. Being tall and muscular, evidently
inured to hardships and of intrepid disposition, he found favor with
the captain, especially when he told him that a venerable priest had
asserted "that God reserved him for great things."

In the course of two years, Balboa had acquired authority over a tract
of the Isthmus of Darien, and had married the young and beautiful
daughter of the Cacique of Coyba. After a victory obtained over one of
the neighboring monarchs, from whom four thousand ounces of gold and a
quantity of golden utensils had been extorted, Balboa ordered one-fifth
to be set apart for himself and the rest to be shared among his
followers. While the Spaniards were dividing it by weight, a dispute
arose respecting the fairness of the award, when the Indian who had
given the gold spoke to the disputants as follows:

"Why should you quarrel for such a trifle? If gold is to you so
precious that you abandon your homes for it and invade the peaceful
lands of others, I will tell you of a region where you may gratify
your wishes to the utmost. Beyond those lofty mountains lies a mighty
sea, which from their summits may be easily discerned. It is navigated
by people who have vessels almost as large as yours, and, like them,
furnished with sails and oars. All the streams which flow from these
mountains into the sea abound in gold: the kings who reign upon its
borders eat and drink out of golden vessels. Gold, in fact, is as
common there as iron among you Spaniards."

[Illustration: BALBOA AND THE INDIAN.]

Fired by this discourse, Balboa inquired whether it would be difficult
to penetrate to this sea and its golden shores. "The task," the prince
replied, "is arduous and dangerous. Powerful caciques will oppose you
with their warriors; fierce cannibals will attack you, and devour
those whom they kill. To accomplish your enterprise, you will require
at least a thousand men, armed like those you have with you now." To
prove his sincerity, the prince offered to accompany Balboa upon the
expedition, at the head of his warriors. This was the first intimation
received by a European of the splendid expanse of water which was
so soon to receive the name of Pacific. It exerted an immediate and
radical change upon the character and conduct of Balboa. The soldier
of fortune became animated by an honorable and controlling ambition;
the restless and reckless desperado saw before him a glorious path to
immortality. He baptized the prince who had given him information so
priceless, and proceeded to Darien to obtain the means of accomplishing
his scheme.

For a long time he was baffled. A terrific tempest laid waste the
fields and devastated the harvests. He sent to Hispaniola for men and
provisions; but the emissary was wrecked upon the coast of Jamaica. He
wrote to Don Diego Columbus, who governed at San Domingo, informing
him of the existence of a new ocean, bordered with shores of gold, and
asking for a thousand men with whom to prosecute its discovery. He
forwarded the sum of fifteen thousand crowns in gold, to be transmitted
to the king as his royal fifths. Many of his followers, too, sent sums
intended for their creditors in Spain.

While waiting for a reply, Balboa learned indirectly that he had fallen
into disfavor with the king. One brilliant achievement might restore
him to consideration and forever fix him in the good graces of the
monarch. He chose one hundred and ninety of the most vigorous and
resolute of his men, and took with him a number of bloodhounds. His
own peculiar bodyguard was a dog named Leoncico,--one of the numerous
progeny sired by the famous warrior-dog of Juan Ponce de Leon. Leoncico
was covered with scars received in his innumerable fights with the
natives. Balboa often lent him to others, and received for his services
the same share of booty an able-bodied man would have claimed. Leoncico
had earned for his master in this way several thousands of dollars.


On the 1st of September, 1513, Balboa embarked with his followers
in a light brigantine and nine canoes, and ascended a stream which
was navigable as far as Coyba. Here he received accessions of men,
and, having sent back those who were ill or disabled, prepared to
penetrate the wilderness on foot. In a battle with a cacique named
Quaragua, he slew six hundred of the natives. Some were transfixed with
lances, others hewn down with swords, and others torn to pieces by the
bloodhounds. He advanced hardly seven miles a day, but at last reached
a village lying at the foot of the mountain that commanded the long
wished for prospect. Only sixty-seven men out of two hundred remained
to make this last grand effort. Balboa ordered them to retire early to
repose, that they might be ready at the cool hour of dawn. They set
forth at daybreak on the morning of the 26th of September. In a short
time they emerged from the forests, and arrived at the upper regions
of the mountain, leaving the bald summit still to be ascended. Balboa
ordered them to halt, that he might himself be alone to enjoy the scene
and the first to discover the ocean. He reached the peak, and there
the magnificent sight burst upon his view. The water was still at the
distance of two days' journey; but there it lay, beyond the intervening
space, grand, boundless, and serene. He fell upon his knees, and
returned thanks to God. He summoned his followers to ascend, and thus
addressed them:--"Behold, my friends," he said, "the glorious sight
which we have so ardently longed for. Let us pray to God that he will
aid and guide us to conquer the sea and land which we have discovered,
and in which no Christian has ever entered to preach the holy doctrine
of the Evangelists. By the favor of Christ you will thus become the
richest Spaniards that have ever come to the Indies." The priest
attached to the expedition chanted that impressive anthem, the Te Deum;
and the Spaniards, in whom religious fervor and the thirst for pillage
seemed to be mingled in equal proportions, joined in the chorus with
heart and voice.

Balboa now called upon all present to witness that he took possession
of the sea, its islands and surrounding lands, in the name of the
sovereigns of Castile; and the notary of the expedition made a record
to that effect, to which all present, to the number of sixty-seven men,
signed their names. Balboa then caused a tall tree to be cut down and
fashioned into the form of a cross: this he erected on the spot whence
he had first beheld the ocean. A mound of stone was likewise piled up
as a monument, and the names of Ferdinand and Juana were carved upon
the neighboring trees.

A scouting party under Alonzo Martin, sent by Balboa to discover the
best route to the sea, came after two days' journey to a beach, upon
which were two canoes, stranded as it were, and apparently out of the
reach of water. But the tide soon came rushing in, and floated them;
upon which Alonzo Martin stepped into one of them, and was thus the
first European who embarked upon the ocean which Balboa had discovered
and which Magellan was to name. Balboa soon arrived upon the coast: the
tide had ebbed, and the water was nearly two miles distant. But it soon
returned, invading the place where the Spaniards were seated. Upon this
Balboa arose, and, taking a banner representing the Virgin and Child
and bearing the arms of Castile and Leon, marched knee-deep into the
water, and, waving the flag, pronounced the following act of taking

"Long live the high and mighty monarchs Don Ferdinand and Donna
Juana, sovereigns of Castile, Leon, and Aragon, in whose name I take
real and actual and corporeal possession of these seas, and lands,
and coasts, and ports, and islands of the South, and all thereunto
annexed; and of the kingdoms and provinces which do or may appertain
to them in whatever manner or by whatever right or title, ancient or
modern, in times past, present, or to come, without any contradiction;
and if other prince or captain, Christian or infidel, or if any law,
condition, or sect whatsoever, shall pretend any right to these lands
and seas, I am ready to maintain and defend them in the name of the
Castilian sovereigns, whose is the empire and dominion over these
Indies, islands, and terra firma, Northern and Southern, with all their
seas, both at the Arctic and Antartic poles, on either side of the
equinoctial line, whether within or without the tropics of Cancer and
Capricorn, both now and in all time, as long as the world endure, and
until the final day of judgment of all mankind."


As may be supposed, no one appeared to dispute these formidable
pretensions, and no champion entered the lists in behalf of the
original owners of the seas, islands, and surrounding lands in
question; so that Balboa called upon his companions to bear witness
that he had duly and uninterruptedly taken possession. The notary drew
up the necessary legal document, which was signed by all present. Then
they all tasted the water, which, from its saltness, they felt assured
was the ocean. Balboa carved a cross on a tree whose roots were below
high-water mark, and, lopping off a branch with his sword, bore it away
as a trophy.

Balboa now wished to perform a voyage upon the bosom of the new-found
ocean. In spite of the advice of friendly Indians, who represented the
season as stormy, he embarked with sixty of his men in nine canoes. A
tempest compelled them to seek refuge upon an island. In the night the
tide completely submerged it, and rose to the girdles of the Spaniards.
Their canoes were broken to pieces, and at low tide they managed with
great difficulty to effect their escape to the mainland. After numerous
forays against the caciques ruling the neighboring tribes, Balboa
arrived at the Darien River, on the 19th of January, 1514, after having
accomplished one of the most remarkable feats on record, and after an
expedition which must ever be memorable among deeds of intrepidity and

The king created him Adelantado of the South Sea, and Governor of
Panama and Coyba, but subject to Pedrarias, the Governor of Darien.
The latter regarded him as his rival, and, by a successful series
of treacherous arts, brought against him a well-contrived charge of
treason to the king. He was reluctantly found guilty by the alcalde,
and by Pedrarias condemned to be beheaded, as a traitor and usurper of
the territories of the crown. The execution took place in the public
square of a small town near Darien, and was witnessed by Pedrarias
from between the reeds of the wall of a house some twelve paces from
the scaffold. Balboa and four of his officers were beheaded in quick
succession during the brief twilight of a tropical evening. Pedrarias
confiscated Balboa's property, and ordered his head to be impaled upon
a pole and exposed upon the public square till decomposition should

Thus perished, at the age of forty-two years,--the victim of the
meanest envy and the most odious treachery,--a man who will be ever
remembered as one of the most illustrious of the early discoverers.
Events transformed him from a rash and turbulent adventurer into a
discreet and patriotic captain; and, from the moment when he felt that
he had drawn the attention of the world upon him, his conduct was that
of a man born and predestined to greatness. He fell in the zenith of
his glory, a worthy contemporary? of Columbus, da Gama, and Magellan.

Juan Diaz de Solis, who, with Yanez Pinzon, Amerigo Vespucci, and Juan
de la Cosa, the pilot of Columbus, was a member of the Spanish council
appointed to deliberate upon discoveries yet to be made, sailed to
South America in 1514, and, doubling Capes St. Roque, St. Augustin, and
Frio, entered the bay upon which now stands the city of Rio Janeiro,
and was probably the first European to set foot upon the coast thus far
to the south. He supposed the bay to be the mouth of a passage through
to the South Sea so lately discovered by Balboa. He proceeded to the
south, ascertaining the position of every headland and indentation
with all the precision the instruments and science of the time would
permit. At last he found a great opening of the sea towards the west:
he took possession of the northern coast for the King of Spain, and
named the gulf Fresh-Water Sea. Subsequently, finding that it was a
river, and that silver-mines existed there, he named the stream Rio de
la Plata. The Indians called it Paraguaza. He found the country fertile
and attractive, and an abundance of the wood which had given to the
whole region the name of Brazil. He went on shore with a small party,
but soon fell into an ambuscade laid for them by the natives. Solis
and five of his companions were taken, killed, roasted, and devoured
by the horrible cannibals who inhabited the country. The Spaniards who
remained on board the ships witnessed the shocking catastrophe, which
so appalled and horrified them that they fled in dismay and sailed
hastily back to Spain.





The Pope of Rome, whose authority was at this period supreme among the
princes who were in communion with the Church, now thought proper to
anticipate a possible collision between Spain and Portugal, the two
monopolists of commerce and discovery. He declared by a bull, or papal
decree, that all new countries which should be thereafter discovered
to the east of the Azores were to belong to the crown of Portugal,
while all that were discovered to the west should be the property of
Spain. Thus, a potentate who claimed to be infallible issued a decree
based upon the pontifical conviction that the world was flat, even
after the very solid arguments to the contrary of Columbus and da
Gama. His Holiness, in his wisdom, imagined that one nation might sail
to the right, the other to the left, and go on forever: he did not
foresee, what was now almost palpable to every eye but that of Roman
infallibility, that the Spaniards and the Portuguese would at last meet
at the antipodes. There, in time, they did meet, and the very pretty
dispute which arose in consequence we shall narrate in the sequel. But
a more immediate effect of the decree was this:--a Spaniard, if he felt
himself neglected or maltreated by his own sovereign, would offer his
services to the Portuguese king, confident of employment at his hands,
as the latter would thus weaken Spain and profit by discoveries made
by her subjects. A Portuguese, if similarly aggrieved, would in the
same way desert to the Spanish king and accept service from the Spanish

It so happened that one Fernâo Magalhaens, known in English as
Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese by birth, and who had served with
distinction in the East Indies under Albuquerque, addressed himself
to the court of Lisbon for the recompense which was his due. His
application was treated with disdain. He forthwith withdrew to Spain
with a learned man who had been similarly neglected, one Ruy Falero, an
astronomer, whom the Portuguese regarded as a conjurer and charlatan.
Magellan made overtures for new discoveries to Cardinal Ximenes, then
Prime Minister of Spain, and in reality its ruler during the absence of
Charles V. The Portuguese ambassador sought by every means in his power
to baffle his designs, and demanded of the court that he and Falero
should be given up as deserters. He even offered Magellan a reward
if he would desist from his purpose, or, at least, execute it in the
service of Portugal. But the cardinal listened with favor to the plan
presented by Magellan, which was briefly as follows:

Columbus, who started upon his voyage to the west in order to reach the
East Indies by a western route, had failed in his object, discovering
instead an intermediate continent. Magellan now proposed to seek the
Portuguese Moluccas, or Spice Islands, by sailing, if possible, from
the Atlantic Ocean into the South Sea, discovered by Balboa five years
before. His idea was to attempt to find a passage through the mainland
of South America by the Rio de la Plata, or some other channel opening
upon its eastern coast. Should this succeed, Spain would possess the
East Indies as well as the West, since, if the Moluccas were discovered
by way of the west, even though situated to the east, they would fall
expressly within the allotment made by the late papal bull. Magellan
thought the world was round, in defiance of the pontifical declaration
that it was flat.

In accordance with this proposal, the Spanish crown agreed to equip a
fleet of five vessels and to give the command of it to Magellan. It
was furthermore agreed that he should have a twentieth part of the
clear profit of the expedition, and that the government of any islands
he might discover should be vested in him and his heirs forever, with
the title of Adelantado. The five vessels were accordingly fitted
out at Seville, Magellan's flag-ship being named the Trinidada. They
were manned by two hundred and thirty-seven men, thirty of whom were
able-bodied Portuguese seamen, upon whom Magellan principally relied.
The astronomer Falero declined accompanying him, having, in his
astrological calculations, foreseen that the voyage would be fatal to
him. A certain San Martino, of Seville, who went in his stead, was,
as will be seen, assassinated in his place at the island of Zubu. An
Italian gentleman, named Pigafetta, was permitted by the cardinal to
form part of Magellan's suite. He afterwards became the historian of
the voyage.

The fleet set sail from Seville on the 10th of August, 1519, its
departure being announced by a discharge of artillery. Seville is
nearly one hundred miles from the sea, by the river Guadalquivir, the
seaport of which is San Lucar, whence they finally departed on the
20th of September. It would be difficult to imagine circumstances more
inauspicious than those under which Magellan left the shores of Europe.
The course he was to follow was unexplored: so rash was the attempt
considered, that he dared not communicate to his men the real object of
the expedition. The season was already advanced, and he would in all
probability arrive in high southern latitudes at the coldest period of
the year. To the perils naturally incident to such a voyage was to be
added the unfortunate fact that the commanders of the other four ships
were Spaniards, and consequently inimical to Magellan, who, though in
the service of Spain, was of Portuguese birth.

In six days the squadron reached Teneriffe; of this island Pigafetta
relates several curious legends current at that time. It never rained
there, he says, and there was neither river nor spring in the island.
The leaves of a tree, however, which was constantly surrounded by a
thick mist, distilled excellent water, which was collected in a pit at
its foot, whither the inhabitants and wild beasts repaired to quench
their thirst. Early in October the fleet passed between Cape Verd and
its islands, and coasted along the shores of Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Here they met with contrary winds, sharks, and dead calms. One dark
night, during a violent tempest, the St. Elmo fire blazed for two
hours upon their topmast. This, which is now known to be an effect of
electricity, which the ancient idolaters believed to be Castor and
Pollux, which Catholics in Magellan's time regarded as a saint, and
which English sailors call Davy Jones, was a great consolation to
the Portuguese during the storm. At the moment when it disappeared
it diffused a light so resplendent that Pigafetta was almost blinded
and gave himself up for lost; but, he adds, "the wind ceased

Passing the equinoctial line and losing sight of the polar star,
Magellan steered south-southwest, and in the middle of December struck
the coast of Brazil. His men made excellent bargains with the natives.
For a small comb they obtained two geese; for a piece of glass, as much
fish as would feed ten men; for a ribbon, a basket of potatoes,--a root
then so little known that Pigafetta describes it as resembling a turnip
in appearance and a roasted chestnut in taste. A pack of playing-cards
was a fortune, for a sailor bought six fat chickens with the king of
spades. The fleet remained thirteen days at anchor, and then pursued
its way to the southward along the territory of the cannibals who had
lately devoured de Solis. Stopping at an island in the mouth of a river
sixty miles wide, they caught, in one hour, penguins sufficient for the
whole five ships. Magellan anchored for the winter in a harbor found in
south latitude 49° and called by him Port Julian. Two months elapsed
before the country was discovered to be inhabited. At last a man of
gigantic figure presented himself upon the shore, capering in the sands
in a state of utter nudity, and violently casting dust upon his head. A
sailor was sent ashore to make similar gestures, and the giant was thus
easily led to the spot where Magellan had landed. The latter gave him
cooked food to eat and presented him, incidentally, with a large steel
mirror. The savage now saw his likeness for the first time, and started
back in such fright that he knocked over four men. He and several of
his companions, both men and women, subsequently went on board the
ships, and constantly indicated by their gestures that they supposed
the strangers to have descended from heaven. One of the savages became
quite a favorite: he was taught to pronounce the name of Jesus and to
repeat the Lord's prayer, and was even baptized by the name of John by
the chaplain. This profession of Christianity did the poor pagan no
good, for he soon disappeared,--murdered, doubtless, by his people, in
consequence of his attachment to the foreigners.

The whole description given by Pigafetta of these savages, whom
Magellan called Patagonians,--from words indicating the resemblance
of their feet, when shod with the skin of the lama, to the feet of a
bear,--is now known to be much exaggerated. It is certain that they
were by no means so gigantic as he represented them. He adds that
they drank half a pail of water at a draught, fed upon raw meat, and
swallowed mice alive; that when they were sick and needed bleeding they
gave a good chop with some edged tool to the part affected; when they
wished to vomit they thrust an arrow half a yard down their throat. The
headache was cured by a gash in the forehead.

A fearful tragedy was enacted in Port Julian. The four Spanish
captains conspired to murder Magellan. The plot was discovered and
the ringleaders were brought to trial. Two were hung, another was
stabbed to the heart, while a number of their accomplices were left
among the Patagonians. Magellan quitted Port Julian in August, 1520,
having planted a cross on a neighboring mountain and taken solemn
possession of the country in the name of the King of Spain. On the 14th
of September, he discovered a fresh-water river, which he named Santa
Cruz, in honor of the anniversary of the exaltation of the cross. Here
the crew, by Magellan's order, made confession and received the holy

On the 21st of October, Magellan made the great discovery which has
immortalized his name. He reached a strait communicating between the
Atlantic Ocean and the South Sea: consulting the calendar for a name,
he called it in honor of the day, the Strait of the Eleven Thousand
Virgins. It is now Magellan's Strait. It was enclosed between lofty
mountains covered with snow; the water was so deep that it afforded
no anchorage. The crew were so fully persuaded that it possessed
no western outlet, that, had it not been for Magellan's confidence
and persistence, they would never have ventured to explore it. The
strait was found to vary in breadth from one mile to ten, and to be
four hundred and forty miles in length. During the first night spent
in the strait, the Santo Antonio, piloted by one Emmanuel Gomez, who
hated Magellan, found her way back into the Atlantic, and returned at
once to Spain. The pilot's object was principally to be the first to
tell the news of the discovery, and to carry to Europe a specimen of a
Patagonian giant, one of whom he had on board of his vessel. On his way
he stopped at Port Julian and took up two of the conspirators who had
been abandoned there. The Patagonian was unable to bear the change of
climate, and died of the heat on crossing the line.


One of Magellan's remaining four vessels was sent on in advance of the
others to reconnoitre a cape which seemed to terminate the channel.
The vessel returned, announcing that the strait indeed terminated
at this cape and that beyond lay the open sea. "We wept for joy,"
says Pigafetta: "the cape was denominated Cabo Deseado,--Wished-for
Cape,--for in good truth we had long wished to see it." The sight
gave Magellan the most unbounded joy, for he was now able practically
to demonstrate the truth of the theory he had advanced,--that it was
possible to sail to the East Indies by way of the west. He now named
the famous strait the Strait of the Patagonians, but a sense of justice
induced the Europeans to change its name and to call it the Strait of
Magellan. At every mile or two he found a safe harbor with excellent
water, cedar-wood, sardines, and shell-fish, together with an abundance
of sweet celery,--a specific against the scurvy.

On the 28th of November, the squadron, reduced to three ships by the
loss of the Santiago, left the strait and launched into the Great South
Sea, to which, from the steady and gentle winds that propelled them
over waters almost unruffled, Magellan gave the name of Pacific,--a
name which it has ever since retained. They sailed on and on during
the space of three months and twenty days, seeing no land, with the
exception of two sterile and deserted islands which they named the
Unfortunate. During all this time they tasted no fresh provisions.
Their biscuit was little better than dust and smelled intolerably,
being impregnated with the effluvia of mice. The water was putrid and
offensive. The crew were so far reduced that they were glad to eat
leather, which they were obliged to soak for four or five days in the
sea in order to render it sufficiently supple to be broiled, chewed,
and digested. Others lived on sawdust, while mice were sought after
with such avidity that they were sold for half a ducat apiece.

Scurvy now began to make its appearance, and nineteen of the sailors
died of it. The gums of many were swollen over their teeth, so that,
unable to masticate their leathern viands, they perished miserably of
starvation. Those who remained alive became weak, low-spirited, and
helpless. The Patagonian taken on board the Trinidada at Port Julian
was attacked by the disease. Pigafetta, seeing that he could not
recover, showed him the cross and reverently kissed it. The Patagonian
besought him by gestures to forbear, as the demon would certainly enter
his body and cause him to burst. When at death's door, however, he
called for the cross, which he kissed: he then begged to be baptized,
and was received into the bosom of the Church under the name of Paul.

The vessels kept on and on, seeing no fish but sharks, and finding no
bottom along the shores of the stunted islands which they passed. The
needle was so irregular in its motion that it required frequent passes
of the loadstone to revive its energy. No prominent star appeared to
serve as an Antarctic Polar guide. Two stars, however, were discovered,
which, from the smallness of the circle they described in their diurnal
course, seemed to be near the pole. "We traversed," says Pigafetta,
"a space of from sixty to seventy leagues a day; and, if God and His
Holy Mother had not granted us a fortunate voyage, we should all have
perished of hunger in so vast a sea. I do not think any one for the
future will venture upon a similar voyage." It was, indeed, nearly
sixty years before Drake, the second circumnavigator, entered the
Pacific Ocean.

Early in March, 1521, Magellan fell in with a cluster of islands, where
he and his men went ashore to refresh themselves after the fatigues
and privations of their voyage. The inhabitants, however, were great
thieves, penetrating into the cabins of the vessels and taking every
thing on which they could lay their hands. Magellan, exasperated at
length, landed with forty men, burned a village and killed seven of the
natives. The latter, when pierced with arrows through and through,--a
weapon they had never seen before,--would draw them out by either end
and stare at them till they died. Magellan gave the name of Ladrones to
these islands,--a name which they retain in modern geography, though,
in the time of Philip IV. of Spain, they were called the Marianne
Isles, in honor of Maria, his queen.

At another island the crew received from the inhabitants the first
present of cocoanuts made to a European of which any record exists.
Pigafetta describes this now world-famous fruit in a manner which shows
that he considered it a most wonderful novelty. We extract a portion of
his description:--"Cocoanuts," he says, "are the fruit of a species of
palm-tree, which furnishes the people with bread, wine, oil, vinegar,
and physic. To obtain wine, they make an incision in the top of the
tree, penetrating to the pith, from which drops a liquor resembling
white must, but which is rather tart. This liquor is caught in the
hollow of a reed the thickness of a man's leg, which is suspended to
the tree and is carefully emptied twice a day. The fruit is of the
size of a man's head, and sometimes larger. Its outward rind is green
and two fingers thick: it is composed of filaments of which they make
cordage for their boats. Beneath this is a shell harder and thicker
than that of the walnut. This they burn and pulverize, using the powder
as a remedy in several distempers. Within, the shell is lined with a
white kernel about as thick as a finger, which is eaten, instead of
bread, with meat and fish. In the centre of the nut, encircled by the
kernel, a sweet and limpid liquor is found, of a corroborative nature.
This liquor, poured into a glass and suffered to stand, assumes the
consistence of an apple. The kernel and liquor, if left to ferment
and afterwards boiled, yield an oil as thick as butter. To obtain
vinegar, the liquor itself is exposed to the sun, and the acid which
results from it resembles that vinegar we make from white wine. A
family of ten persons might be supported from two cocoanut-trees, by
alternately tapping each every week, and letting the other rest, that a
perpetual drainage of liquor may not kill the tree. We were told that a
cocoanut-tree lives a century."

At another island, Pigafetta asserts that, by sifting the earth he
found lumps of gold as large as walnuts and some as big as eggs even,
and that all the vessels used by the king at his table were of the same
precious metal. These are believed to have been gross falsehoods of
Pigafetta's invention, in a view to procure for himself the command of
a subsequent voyage of discovery. Magellan gratified two island-kings
with the spectacle of a grand Catholic ceremony. He sprinkled them
with sweet-scented water, and offered them the cross to kiss. On the
elevation of the host he caused them to adore the Eucharist with joined
hands. At this moment a discharge of artillery, arranged beforehand,
was fired from the ships. The entertainment concluded with a hornpipe
and sword-dance,--an exhibition which seemed to please the two kings
highly. A large cross was then brought, garnished with nails and a
crown of thorns. It was set up upon a high mountain, as a signal to all
Christian navigators that they would be well treated in the island. The
kings were also assured that if they prayed to it devoutly it would
defend them from lightning and tempests. They had evidently suffered
severely from the vagaries and violence of the electric fluid, and
were delighted to be thus easily protected against its pernicious and
destructive influence.

[Illustration: LAMONARIA.]




On the 7th of April the squadron entered the harbor of the island
of Zubu, one of a group which has since been named the Philippines.
Magellan sent a messenger to the king to ask an exchange of
commodities. The king observed that it was customary for all ships
entering his waters to pay tribute, to which the messenger replied that
the Spanish admiral was the servant of so powerful a sovereign that
he could pay tribute to no one. The king promised to give an answer
the next day, and, in the mean time, sent fruit and wine on board the
ships. Magellan had brought with him the king of Massana, a neighboring
island, and this monarch soon convinced the king of Zubu that, instead
of asking tribute, he would be wise to pay it. A treaty of peace and
perpetual amity was soon established between his majesty of Spain and
his royal brother of Zubu.

Pigafetta here introduces a ridiculous and incredible story of the
conversion of these islands to Christianity by Magellan. It is as
follows:--Magellan, being much displeased at learning that parents
attaining a certain age in this island were treated disrespectfully by
their children, told them that the Almighty, who created heaven and
earth, had strictly commanded children to honor their parents and had
threatened with eternal fire those who transgressed this commandment.
He added other observations from Holy Writ, which afforded the
islanders much pleasure, and inspired them with the desire of being
instructed in the true religion. Magellan assured them that before
departing he would baptize them all, if they could convince him that
they accepted the boon, not through any dread with which he might have
inspired them, or through any expectation of temporal advantage, but
from a spontaneous emotion, and of their own will. They convinced him
easily of the spontaneity of their feelings, whereupon Magellan wept
for joy and embraced them all. Sunday, the 16th of April, was fixed
upon for the ceremony. A scaffold was raised and covered with tapestry
and branches of palm. A general salute was fired by the squadron.
Magellan then told the king that one of the advantages which would
accrue to him from embracing Christianity would be that he would be
strengthened, and would more easily overcome his enemies. The king
replied that even without this consideration he felt disposed to
become a Christian. Eight hundred persons were then baptized, the
queen receiving the name of Jane, after the mother of the Emperor of
Spain. She begged an infant Jesus of Pigafetta, with which to replace
her idols. This remarkable story concludes with a statement that one
village of idolaters absolutely refused to be converted, and that
Magellan therefore burned their houses, erecting a cross upon the
ruins. Not content with this, Pigafetta next makes Magellan perform a
miracle. The king's brother was very sick, and had totally lost his
speech. The admiral said that if all the idols remaining in the island
were burned, and if the prince were baptized, he would pledge his head
that he would recover. Magellan then baptized the invalid, together
with his two wives and ten daughters. The captain "then asked him how
he found himself, and he answered, of a sudden recovering his speech,
that, thanks to the Lord, he found himself very well. We were all of us
ocular witnesses of this miracle. The captain then, with greater fervor
than the rest of us, returned praise to God." Idols were now committed
to the flames in vast numbers, and temples built upon the margin of the
sea were demolished. The new Christians went about the island crying,
at the top of their voice, "Viva la Castilla!" in honor of the King of

On the 26th of April, Magellan learned that a neighboring chief, named
Cilapolapu, refused to acknowledge the authority of the King of Spain,
and remained in open profession of paganism in the midst of a Christian
community. He determined to lend his assistance to the converted chiefs
to reduce and subjugate this stubborn prince. At midnight, boats
left the ships, bearing sixty men armed with helmets and cuirasses.
The natives followed in twenty canoes. They reached the rebellious
island--Matan by name--three hours before daybreak. Cilapolapu was
notified that he must obey the Christian King of Zubu or feel the
strength of Christian lances. The islanders replied that they had
lances too. The invaders waited for daylight, and then, jumping into
the water up to their thighs, waded to shore. The enemy was fifteen
hundred in number, formed into three battalions: two of these attacked
them in the flank, the third in the front. The musketeers fired for
half an hour without making the least impression. Trusting to the
superiority of their numbers, the natives deluged the Christians with
showers of bamboo lances, staves hardened in the fire, stones, and even
dirt. A poisoned arrow at last struck Magellan, who at once ordered a
retreat in slow and regular order. The Indians now perceived that their
blows took effect when aimed at the nether limbs of their foe, and
profited by this observation with telling effect. Seeing that Magellan
was wounded, they twice struck his helmet from his head. He and his
small band of men continued fighting for more than an hour, standing in
the water up to their knees. Magellan was now evidently failing, and
the islanders, perceiving his weakness, pressed upon him in crowds. One
of them cut him violently across the left leg, and he fell on his face.
He was immediately surrounded and belabored with sticks and stones till
he died. His men, every one of whom was wounded, unable to afford him
succor or avenge his death, escaped to their boats upon his fall.

"Thus," says Pigafetta, "perished our guide, our light, and our
support. But his glory will survive him. He was adorned with every
virtue: in the midst of the greatest adversity, he constantly possessed
an immovable firmness. At sea he subjected himself to the same
privations as his men. Better skilled than any one in the knowledge of
nautical charts, he was a perfect master of navigation, as he proved
in making the tour of the world,--an attempt on which none before him
had ventured." Though Magellan only made half the circuit of the earth
on this occasion, yet it may be said with reason that he was the first
to circumnavigate the globe, from the fact that the way home from
the Philippines was perfectly well known to the Portuguese, and that
Magellan had already been at Malacca.

An attempt was made in the afternoon to recover the body of Magellan by
negotiation; but the islanders sent answer that no consideration could
induce them to part with the remains of a man like the admiral, which
they should preserve as a monument of their victory. Two governors were
elected in his stead, Odoard Barbosa and Juan Serrano. The latter,
together with San Martino, the astronomer, and a number of officers,
having been decoyed on shore by the converted king, were murdered by
him in cold blood. He had seen the inferiority of Christians to savages
in war, and, being doubtless disgusted with the boastful pretences of
Christianity, had, upon Magellan's death, renounced it and returned
again to idolatry. Juan Serrano was seen upon the shore, bound hand and
foot: he begged the people in the ships to treat for his release; and,
upon this being refused, he uttered deep imprecations, and appealed to
the Almighty to call to account on the great day of judgment those who
refused to succor him in his hour of need. They put to sea, leaving the
unfortunate Serrano to his miserable fate.

Odoard Barbosa, now sole commander, ordered the Concepçion, one of
the three ships, to be burned, transferring its men, ammunition, and
provisions to the other two. After landing at various islands, he
came to the rich settlement of Borneo, on the 9th of July. The king,
who was a Mohammedan and kept a magnificent court, sent out to them a
beautiful canoe, adorned with gold figures and peacocks' feathers. In
it were musicians playing upon the bagpipe and drum. Eight officers
of the island brought to the captain a vase full of betel areca to
chew, a quantity of orange-flowers and jessamine, some sugarcane, and
three goblets of a distilled liquor which they called arrack, and
upon which the sailors became intoxicated. Permission was granted the
visitors to wood and water on the island and to trade with the natives.
An interview with the king was likewise accorded, which took place
with every possible ceremony,--processions of elephants, presents of
cinnamon, and illuminations of wax flambeaux. Notwithstanding these
professions of friendship, the squadron was obliged to leave Borneo
very suddenly, in consequence of the appearance of one hundred armed
canoes, which they imagined to be bent upon a hostile expedition.

Among the wonders of Borneo, Pigafetta mentions two pearls as large
as hens' eggs, and so round that if placed upon a polished table they
never remained at rest, and cups of porcelain possessing the power to
denote the presence of poison, by breaking if any were put into them.
At a neighboring island where the fleet remained undergoing repairs
for six weeks, Pigafetta saw a sight which he thus describes:--"We
here found a tree whose leaves, as they fall, become animated and
walk about. They resemble the leaves of the mulberry-tree. Upon being
touched they make away, but when crushed they yield no blood. I kept
one in a box for nine days, and, on opening the box, found the leaf
still alive and walking round it. I am of opinion they live on air."
Pigafetta's mistake here was in stating that a leaf resembled an
insect: he should have spoken of the curiosity as an insect resembling
a leaf. It is now known to naturalists as a species of locust.

On the 6th of November, they espied a cluster of five islands, which
their pilots, obtained at their last station, declared to be the famous
Moluccas. They had therefore proved the world to be round, for vessels
sailing to the west from Spain had now met vessels sailing thence to
the east. They returned thanks to God, and fired a round from their
great guns. They had been at sea twenty-six months, and had at last,
after visiting an infinity of islands, reached those in quest of which
they had embarked in the expedition. On the 8th, three hours before
sunset, they entered the harbor of the island of Tidore. They came to
anchor in twenty fathoms' water, and discharged all their cannon. The
king, shaded by a parasol of silk, came the next day to visit them,
said he had dreamed of their approaching visit, had consulted the moon
in reference to this dream, and was now delighted to see it confirmed.
He added, that he was happy in the friendship of the King of Spain,
and was proud to be his vassal. This potentate, whose name was Rajah
Soultan Manzour, was a Mohammedan: he was "an eminent astrologer," and
had numerous wives and twenty-six children.

[Illustration: TIDORE.]

On the 12th, a shed was erected in the town of Tidore by the Spaniards,
whither they carried all the merchandise they intended to barter for
cloves. A tariff of exchange was then drawn up. Ten yards of red cloth
were to be worth four hundred pounds of cloves, as were also fifteen
yards of inferior cloth, fifteen axes, thirty-five glass tumblers,
twenty-six yards of linen, one hundred and fifty pairs of scissors,
three gongs, or a hundredweight of copper. As the stock of articles
brought by the strangers diminished, however, their Value naturally
rose, and a yard of ribbon would buy a quintal of cloves: in fact,
every thing with which the ships could dispense on their return voyage
was bartered for cloves. They were soon so deeply laden that they
hardly had room in which to stow their water. The Trinidada, becoming
leaky, was left behind, Juan Carvajo, her pilot, and fifty-three of
the crew, remaining with her. The Vittoria bade adieu to her consort
on the 21st of December, the two vessels exchanging a parting salute.
The number of Europeans on board of the Vittoria was now reduced to
forty-six; and the fleet, which formerly consisted of five sail, was
now reduced to one.

As the Vittoria made her way through the thick archipelagoes of islands
which dot the seas in these latitudes, her Molucca pilot told Pigafetta
amazing stories of their inhabitants. In Aracheto, he said, the men
and women were but a foot and a half high; their food was the pith of
a tree; their dwellings were caverns under ground; their ears were as
long as their bodies; so that when they lay down one ear served as a
mattress and the other as a blanket!

In order to double the Cape of Good Hope, the captain ascended as high
as the forty-second degree of south latitude: he remained wind-bound
for nine weeks opposite the Cape. The crew were now suffering from
sickness, hunger, and thirst. After doubling the Cape, they steered
northwest for two months, losing twenty-one men on the way. Pigafetta
noticed that, on throwing the dead into the sea, the Christians floated
with their faces turned towards heaven, while the Mohammedans they had
engaged turned their faces the other way! At last, on the 9th of July,
1522, the vessel made the Cape Verds. These were in the possession of
the Portuguese; and it was a very hazardous thing for the Spaniards to
put themselves in their power. However, they represented themselves
as coming from the west and not from the east, and made known their
necessities. Their long-boat was laden twice with rice in exchange
for various articles. On its third trip the crew was detained,--the
Portuguese having discovered that the Vittoria was one of Magellan's
fleet. She was compelled to abandon the men as prisoners, and sailed
away,--her whole equipment now numbering eighteen hands, all of them,
except Pigafetta, more or less disabled. The latter, to discover if his
journal had been regularly kept, had inquired at the islands what day
it was, and was told it was Thursday. This amazed him, as his reckoning
made it Wednesday. He was soon convinced there was no mistake in his
account; as, having sailed to the westward and followed the course of
the sun, it was evident that, in circumnavigating the globe, he had
seen it rise once less than those who had remained at home, and thus,
apparently, had lost a day.

On Saturday, the 6th of September, the Vittoria entered the Bay of
San Lucar, having been absent three years and twenty-seven days, and
having sailed upwards of fourteen thousand six hundred leagues. On
the 8th, having ascended the Guadalquivir, she anchored off the mole
of Seville and discharged all her artillery. On the 9th, the whole
crew repaired, in their shirts and barefooted, and carrying tapers
in their hands, to the Church of Our Lady of Victory, as in hours of
danger they had often vowed to do. The captain of the Vittoria, Juan
Sebastian Cano, was knighted by Charles V., who gave him for his coat
of arms the terrestrial globe, with a motto commemorating the voyage.
Pigafetta presented to Charles V. of Spain, to King John of Portugal,
to the Queen Regent of France, and to Philippe, Grand Master of Rhodes,
journals and narratives of the expedition. From the latter, the most
complete, we have extracted the foregoing account,--taking care,
however, to correct its errors, and to point out the numerous instances
in which its author was indebted to his imagination for his facts.

Section IV.




It would appear natural for the Spaniards to have sought to derive
immediate profit from their discovery of a western passage to the South
Sea. They did not do so, however; and a generation was destined to pass
away before a second European vessel should enter Magellan's Strait.
We must for a time, therefore, leave the Spanish and Portuguese in
quiet possession of their Indian and American commerce, and turn to the
several transatlantic and Arctic enterprises undertaken at this period
by the French and English.


Jacques Cartier, a native of St. Malo in France, had, in 1534, finished
his apprenticeship as a sailor. He conceived the idea of seeking a
passage to China and the Spice Islands to the north of the Western
Continent, and in the vicinity of the Pole. This was the origin of the
various efforts made in quest of the renowned Northwest Passage. He
also thought it incumbent upon France to assert her right to a share in
the explorations and discoveries which were making Portugal and Spain
both famous and rich. He caused his project to be laid before Francis
I., who had long viewed with jealousy the successful expeditions of
other powers, and who is said once to have exclaimed, "Where is the
will and testament of our father Adam, which disinherits me of my
share in these possessions in favor of Spain and Portugal?" He at once
approved the proposition; and, on the 20th of April, 1534, Cartier
left St. Malo with two ships of sixty tons each. No details of the
outward voyage have reached us. It was rapid and prosperous, however,
for the ships anchored in Bonavista Bay, upon the eastern coast of
Newfoundland, on the twentieth day.

Proceeding to the north, he discovered Belle Isle Straits, and through
them descended to the west into a gulf which he called St. Lawrence,
having Newfoundland on his left and Labrador on his right. He thus
assured himself of the insular character of Newfoundland. He discovered
many of the islands and headlands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and some
of them bear to this day the names he gave them. He had interviews with
several tribes of natives, and took possession of numerous lands in the
name of the King of France. In the middle of August east winds became
prevalent and violent, and it was impossible to ascend the St. Lawrence
River, at the mouth of which they now were. A council was held, and a
return unanimously decided upon. They arrived safely at St. Malo, after
a rapid and prosperous voyage.

Francis I. immediately caused three ships, respectively of one hundred
and twenty, sixty, and forty tons, to be equipped, and despatched
Cartier upon a second voyage of exploration, with the title of Royal
Pilot. He started in May, 1535, and after a stormy voyage of two months
arrived at his anchorage in Newfoundland. From thence he proceeded
to the mouth of the St. Lawrence, which, he calls by its Indian
name of Hochelaga. Here he was told by the savages that the river
led to a country called _Canada_. He ascended the stream in boats,
passed a village named Stadacone,--the site of the present city of
Quebec,--and arrived at the Indian city of Hochelaga, which, from a
high mountain in the vicinity, he named Mont Royal,--now Montreal. He
went no farther than the junction of the Ottawa and the St. Lawrence,
and then returned. He remained at Stadacone through the winter, losing
twenty-five of his men by a contagious distemper then very little
known,--the scurvy.

Cartier returned to France in July, 1536, taking with him a Canadian
king, named Donnaconna, and nine other natives, who had been captured
and brought on board by compulsion. They were taken to Europe, where
Donnaconna died two years afterwards: three others were baptized in
1538, Cartier standing sponsor for one of them. They seem to have all
been dead in 1541, the date of Carrier's third voyage. The king ordered
five ships to be prepared, with which Cartier again started for the
scene of his discoveries. The narrative of this expedition is lost; but
it appears to have resulted in few or no incidents of interest. Cartier
was ennobled upon his return in 1542, and lived ten years to enjoy his
new dignity. His descriptions of the scenery, products, and Indians of
Canada are graphic and correct.

In the year 1553, "the Mystery and Company of English merchants
adventurers for the discovery of regions, dominions, islands, and
places unknown"--at the head of whom was Sebastian Cabot--fitted out
an expedition of three vessels, and gave the chief command to Sir
Hugh Willoughby, "by reason of his goodly personage, as also for his
singular skill in the services of war." King Edward VI. confirmed the
appointment in "a license to discover strange countries."

The fleet consisted of the Buona Speranza, of one hundred and seventy
tons, commanded by Sir Hugh, with thirty-eight men, the Edward
Buonaventura, of one hundred and sixty tons, commanded by Richard
Chancellor, pilot-major of the expedition, with fifty-four men, and the
Buona Confidentia, of ninety tons, with twenty-four men. The ships were
victualled for fifteen months. On board of them were eighteen merchants
interested in the discovery of a northeast passage to India,--a route,
therefore, attempted by the English previous to that by the northwest,
as the voyage of Sebastian Cabot can hardly be considered a serious
effort. A council of twelve, in whom was vested the general direction
of the voyage, was composed of the admiral, pilot-major, and other

The squadron sailed from Deptford on the 10th of May, 1553, and fell
in with the Norwegian coast on the 14th of July. On the 30th, while
near Wardhus, the most easterly station of the Danes in Finmark,
Chancellor's vessel was driven off in a storm, and was not seen again
by the two others. The latter appear to have been tossed about in the
North Sea for two months, in the course of which they landed at some
spot on the western coast of Nova Zembla, being the first Europeans to
visit that uninhabited waste. On the 18th of September they entered a
harbor in Lapland formed by the mouth of the river Arzina. Here they
remained a week, seeing seals, deer, bears, foxes, "with divers strange
beasts, such as ellans and others, which were to us unknown and also
wonderful." It was now the 1st of October, and the Arctic winter was
far advanced. They resolved to winter there, first sending out parties
in search of inhabitants. Three men went three days' journey to the
south-southwest, but returned without having seen a human being. Others
who went to the west and the southeast returned equally unsuccessful.
This is the last positive intelligence we have of the fate of these
hardy and unfortunate explorers. A will, however, alleged to have been
made by one Gabriel Willoughby, and signed by Sir Hugh, bearing the
date of January, 1554, shows, if authentic, that at least two of the
party were alive at that period. Purchas, one of the oldest authorities
upon navigation and travels extant, says that the Buona Speranza
was discovered in the following spring by a party of Russians, who
found all the crew frozen to death. In 1557, a Drontheim skipper told
an Englishman, at Kegor, that he had bought the sails of the Buona
Confidentia; but it is not known where she was lost, or what was the
fate of the crew. The will of which we have spoken, and a fragmentary
diary attributed to Sir Hugh, were found by the Russians, and were
restored to the kinsmen of the adventurers in England.

The Edward Buonaventura, commanded by Chancellor, and which was
separated from her consorts off Wardhus, reached Archangel, on
the White Sea, in Russia, in safety, and laid the foundation of a
commercial intercourse between Russia and England. On his return, his
ship was lost on the coast of Scotland, and he himself, with several of
his crew, drowned. Thus, of the three ships despatched, not one ever
reached home; and of the officers, merchants, and men, none survived to
revisit their country, except a few of the common seamen of the Edward
Buonaventura. The advantages acquired at such a cost of human life were
limited to the barren discovery of the ice-clad coast of Nova Zembla.
Nothing had been effected towards the accomplishment of a Northeast

Martin Frobisher, a seaman of experience and enterprise, was the
first Englishman to cherish the project of attempting to penetrate
to Asia by the channel supposed to exist to the north of America.
He communicated his design to his friends, and spent fifteen years
in fruitless efforts to enlist capital and energy in the cause.
Sailors, financiers, merchants, statesmen,--all regarded the scheme as
visionary and hopeless. At last Lord Dudley, the favorite of Elizabeth,
interested himself in Frobisher's success, and from that moment he
experienced little difficulty in accomplishing his object. He formed
a company, amassed the requisite sums of money, and purchased three
small vessels,--two barks of twenty-five tons each, the Gabriel and
the Michael, and a pinnace of ten tons. This valiant little fleet
weighed anchor at Deptford on the 8th of June, 1576, and, passing the
court assembled at Greenwich, discharged their ordnance, and made as
imposing an appearance as their limited outfit would allow. Queen
Elizabeth waved her hand at the commander from a window, and, bidding
him farewell, wished him success and a happy return. On the 25th he
passed the southern point of Shetland,--known as Swinborn Head. He
anchored here to repair a leak and to take in fresh water. On the 10th
of July, he descried the coast of Greenland, "rising like pinnacles
of steeples, and all covered with snow." The crew made efforts to go
ashore, but could find no anchorage for the vessels, or landing-place
for the boats. On the 28th, Frobisher saw dimly, through the fog, what
he supposed to be the coast of Labrador, enveloped in ice. On the 31st
he saw land for the third time, and on the 11th of August entered a
strait to which he gave his name.

He ascended this strait a distance of one hundred and fifty miles. It
was not till the eighth day that he saw any inhabitants. He then found
that the country was sparsely settled by a race resembling Tartars.
He went ashore and established friendly relations with a colony of
nineteen persons, to each one of whom he gave a "threaden point,"--in
other words, a needle and thread. A few days afterwards, five of the
crew were taken by the natives and their boat destroyed. The inlet in
which this happened was called Five Men's Sound. The next morning the
vessels ran in-shore, shot off a fauconet and sounded a trumpet, but
heard nothing of the lost sailors. However, Frobisher caught one of the
natives in return, having decoyed him by the tinkling of a bell. When
he found himself in captivity, we are told that "from very choler and
disdain he bit his tongue in twain within his mouth: notwithstanding,
he died not thereof, but lived until he came to England, and then
he died of cold which he had taken at sea." On the 26th of August,
Frobisher weighed anchor and started to return to England, the snow
lying a foot deep upon the decks. He arrived at Yarmouth on the 1st of

One of Frobisher's sailors had brought with him a bit of shining black
stone, which, upon examination, was found to yield an infinitesimal
quantity of gold. The Northwest Passage became now a matter of
secondary interest, the mines of Frobisher's Strait promising a more
speedy and abundant return. The society he had formed determined to
send him out anew, in vessels better equipped and provisioned for a
longer period. He left Blackwall on the 26th of May, 1577, in her
Majesty's ship Aide, of one hundred and eighty tons, followed by the
Gabriel and Michael, his ostensible object being to discover "America
to be an island environed with the sea, wherethrough our merchants
may have course and recourse with their merchandise, from these our
northernmost parts of Europe to those oriental coasts of Asia, to their
no little commodity and profit that do or shall frequent the same." The
fleet passed the Orkneys on the 8th of June.

For a month they sailed to the westward, the season of the year being
that when, in those latitudes, a bright twilight takes the place of the
light of day during the few hours that the sun is below the horizon; so
that the crew had "the fruition of their books and other pleasures,--a
thing of no small moment to such as wander in unknown seas and long
navigations, especially when both the winds and raging surges do pass
their common and wonted course." Throughout the voyage they met huge
fir-trees, which they supposed to have been uprooted by the winds,
driven into the sea by floods, and borne away by the currents.

On the 4th of July they made the coast of Greenland. The chronicler
of this voyage, who had doubtless lately visited tropical latitudes,
remarks that here, "in place of odoriferous and fragrant smells of
sweet gums and pleasant notes of musical birds, which other countries
in more temperate zones do yield, we tasted in July the most boisterous
boreal blasts." In the middle of the month they entered Frobisher's
Strait. On either side the land lay locked in the embrace of winter
beneath a midsummer sun. Frobisher would not believe that the cold
was sufficiently severe to congeal the sea-water, the tide rising and
falling a distance of twenty feet. Ten miles from the coast he had seen
fresh-water icebergs, and concluded that they had been formed upon the
land and by some accidental cause detached. He reconnoitred the coast
in a pinnace, and penetrated some distance into the interior, returning
with accounts of supposed riches which he had discovered in the bowels
of barren and frozen mountains. A cargo of two hundred tons of the
precious earth was taken on board of one of the vessels. On the 20th of
August, says the narrative, "it was high time to leave: the men were
well wearied, their shoes and clothes well worn; their basket-bottoms
were torn out and their tools broken. Some, with overstraining
themselves, had their bellies broken, and others their legs made lame.
About this time, too, the water began to congeal and freeze about our
ships' sides o' nights." The fleet, which had troubled itself very
little with the Northwest Passage, at once set sail to the southeast,
and arrived in England towards the end of September.

The specimens of ore were assayed and found satisfactory, and
Frobisher's report's upon the route to China were received with favor.
The queen gave the name of _Meta Incognita_, or Unknown Boundary, to
the region explored. The Government determined to build a fort in
Frobisher's Strait and send a garrison and a corps of laborers there.
In the mean time, Frobisher was despatched a third time with the same
three vessels, and with a convoy of twelve freight-ships which were
to return laden with Labrador ore. They set sail on the 31st of May,
1578, and made Greenland on the 20th of June. In July they entered the
strait, where they were in imminent danger from storms and ice. The
bark Denis, being pretty well bruised and battered, became "so leaky
that she would no longer tarry above the water, and sank; which sight
so abashed the whole fleet that we thought verily we should have tasted
the same sauce." Boats were, however, manned, and the drowning crew
were saved. The storm increased, and the ice pressed more and more upon
them, so that they took down their topmasts. They cut their cables to
hang overboard for fenders, "somewhat to ease the ships' sides from the
great and dreary strokes of the ice. Thus we continued all that dismal
and lamentable night, plunged in this perplexity, looking for instant
death; but our God, who never leaveth them destitute which faithfully
call upon him, although he often punisheth for amendment sake, in the
morning caused the wind to cease and the fog to clear. Thus, after
punishment, consolation; and we, joyful wights, being at liberty,
hoisted our sails and lay beating off and on."

At last, at the close of July, such of the vessels as had not been
separated from Frobisher's ship entered the Countess of Warwick's
Sound, and commenced the work of mining and lading. The miners were
from time to time molested by the natives, but lost no lives. They
put on board of their several ships five hundred tons of ore, and, on
the 1st of September, sailed with their precious freight to England,
where they arrived in thirty days. The ore turned out to be utterly
valueless,--a result so mortifying, that it disgusted the English for
many years with mining enterprises and with voyages of discovery. We
shall hear of Frobisher again, in connection with Francis Drake, and in
the conflict with the Spanish Armada.

The engraving upon the opposite page, which is copied from an original
of the period, represents a portion of the royal fleet of England in
the time of Henry VIII. The king is embarking at Dover previous to
meeting Francis of France at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. This
pageantry at sea was a fitting prelude to the festivities which
followed upon the land.


[Illustration: FRANCIS DRAKE.]



We have thus shown that, while the Spanish and Portuguese had
succeeded triumphantly in their maritime expeditions, the English had
disastrously failed in theirs. The tropics were held in exclusive
possession by the two former nations; and the only two known routes
by which ships could sail thither were also in their power. These
two nations were Catholic: England was Protestant, and disinherited
therefore, as it seemed, of her lawful share in the riches of the
world. She had thus far wasted her means and endangered the lives of
her citizens in fruitless attempts to find a route for herself, by the
northwest or the northeast, to the lands of gold and gums. Baffled
in these efforts, she permitted, if she did not encourage, a certain
class of her subjects to engage in a system of warfare against Spain
which can be characterized by no milder term than piracy. Still, those
who resorted to it adduced ready arguments to prove that, so far from
engaging in piratical practices, they were employed in open warfare and
an honest cause. Spain and England were in a state of manifest enmity,
they urged, more bitter on both sides than if they had been avowedly
at war. No English subject trading in the Spanish dominions was safe
unless he were a Roman Catholic, or unless, being a heretic, he
succumbed to the menaces or the tortures of the Holy Inquisition. These
outrages were resented by the English people before they were taken up
by the British Government; and the injured parties, calling to their
aid all persons of adventurous spirit or shattered fortunes, set out
upon the sea, if not with the commission, at least with the connivance,
of the crown, to avenge their wrongs themselves. They did not consider
themselves to be pirates, because of this tacit sanction given by the
Government, because of the fact that they carried on hostilities, not
against all who traversed the sea, but against the Spaniards only,
and because of the risk they ran,--for if taken by the enemy they had
no mercy to expect. It thus became the fashion in England for men of
desperate fortunes and damaged character to seek to retrieve the one
and redeem the other by cruising against the Spaniards.

Among the earlier adventurers of this stamp was one Sir John Hawkins.
His exploits were for a time brilliant and successful: at last,
however, they were disastrous, and one of his young kinsmen, Francis
Drake by name, was discreditably involved. The latter had embarked his
whole means in this adventure, and lost in it all his money and no
little reputation,--for he disobeyed orders and deserted his benefactor
and superior in the hour of need. He brought his vessel,--the Judith,
of fifty tons,--however, safely home.

Drake now resolved to engage permanently in the lawless but exciting
career of which he had lately witnessed several interesting episodes.
It was long before he could obtain the means of fitting out an
expedition under his own command. He at last bought and equipped
two vessels,--one of two hundred and fifty tons, the other of
seventy,--manned them with seventy-three men, and sailed for the
Spanish dominions in America. He attacked and took the town of Nombre
de Dios, on the Isthmus of Darien, but was soon obliged to retreat.
He afterwards took Venta Cruz, on the same isthmus, and had the good
fortune to fall in with three convoys of mules laden with gold and
silver, going from Panama to Nombre de Dios. He carried off the gold
and buried the silver. From the summit of a mountain he obtained
a sight of the Pacific Ocean or South Sea, which so kindled his
enthusiasm that he uttered a fervent prayer that he might be the first
Englishman who should sail upon it. He was already the first Englishman
who had beheld it.

On his return to England with his treasure, he entered for a time
the volunteer service against Ireland, while waiting an opportunity
to execute the grand project he had formed. At last, Sir Christopher
Hutton, Vice-Chamberlain and Counsellor of the Queen, presented him to
Elizabeth, to whom Drake imparted his scheme of ravaging the Spanish
possessions in the South Sea. The queen listened; but whether she gave
him a commission, or merely assured him of her favorable sentiments,
is a disputed point. It is alleged that she gave him a sword and
pronounced these singular words:--"We do account that he which striketh
at thee, Drake, striketh at us!" He fitted out an expedition, at his
own cost and with the help of friends and partners in the enterprise,
consisting of five ships,--the largest, the Pelican, his flag-ship,
of one hundred tons, and the smallest of fifteen. These vessels were
manned by one hundred and fifty-four men. They carried out the frames
of four pinnaces, to be put together as occasion required, and, after
the example of the Portuguese in their first Eastern voyages, took with
them specimens of the arts and civilization of their country, with
which to operate upon the minds of the people with whom they should
come in contact. They sailed in November, 1577, but were driven back by
a tempest. The expedition finally got to sea on the 13th of December.

At the island of Mogador, off the coast of Barbary, Drake attempted to
traffic with the Moors, and in an exchange of hostages lost a man, who
was taken by the natives: they then refused to trade, and Drake, after
a vain effort to recover the sailor, left the island, and followed the
African coast to the southward. Between Mogador and Cape Blanco he took
several Spanish barks called canters,--one of which, measuring forty
tons, he admitted into his fleet, sending his prisoners off in the
Christopher, the pinnace of fifteen tons and one of the original five
vessels. He landed on the island of Mayo, where the inhabitants salted
their wells, forsook their houses, and drove away their goats. Off
the island of Santiago he took a Portuguese vessel bound for Brazil,
carrying numerous passengers and laden with wine. He kept the pilot,
Nuno da Sylva, gave the passengers and crew a pinnace, and transferred
the wine to the Pelican. The prize he made one of the fleet, having
given her a crew of twenty-eight men.

At Cape Verd Drake left the African shore, and, steering steadily
to the southwest, was nine weeks without seeing land. When near the
equator, he prepared his men for the change of climate by bleeding
them all himself. He made the coast of Brazil on the 4th of April,
1578,--the savage inhabitants making large bonfires at their approach,
for the purpose, as he learned from Sylva, of inducing their devils to
wreck the ships upon their coast. On the 27th he entered the Rio de
la Plata, and, sailing up the stream till he found but three fathoms'
water, filled his casks by the ship's side. The same night, the
Portuguese prize, now named the Mary, and commanded by John Doughty,
parted company, as did two days afterwards the Spanish canter, which
had been named the Christopher, after the pinnace for which she had
been exchanged. Drake, believing them to have concealed themselves in
shoal water, built a raft and set sail in quest of them.

[Illustration: DRAKE AND HIS RAFT.]

Early in June, Drake landed on the coast of Patagonia, where he broke
up the Swan, of fifty tons, for firewood, having taken every thing
out of her which could be of any use,--his object being to lessen the
number of ships and the chances of separation, and to render his force
more compact. His men easily killed two hundred and fifty seals in an
hour, which furnished them with very tolerable eating. They entered
into very pleasant relations with the natives, delighting them with
the sound of their trumpets, intoxicating them with Canary wine, and
dancing with them in their own savage and extravagant manner. The
natives gave Drake a vexatious proof of their agility and address,
by stealing his hat from his head and baffling every effort made to
recover it. Shortly after sailing from this spot, named by Drake Seal
Bay, the fleet fell in with the Christopher again, which Drake ordered
to be unloaded and set adrift. He soon met the Portuguese Mary, and on
the 20th the whole squadron anchored in the harbor named Port Julian by
Magellan. Intercourse was attempted with the Indians, but was stopped
on account of a fray begun by the savages, in which two of the English
and one of their own party were killed. The natives made no further
attempt to molest the strangers during their two months' stay in the


A very tragical event now followed. Magellan had in this place, as
we have stated, quelled a dangerous mutiny, by hanging several of a
disobedient and rebellious company. The gibbet was still standing,
and beneath it the bones of the executed were now bleaching. Drake
apprehended a similar peril, and was led to inquire into the actions
of John Doughty. He found, in his investigations, that Doughty had
embarked in the enterprise rather in the hope of rising to the chief
command than of remaining what he started,--a gentleman volunteer:
he had views, it seemed, of supplanting Drake by exciting a mutiny,
and of sailing off in one of the ships upon his own account. The
company were called together and made acquainted with the particulars;
Doughty was tried for attempting to foment a mutiny, found guilty, and
condemned to death by forty commissaries chosen from among the various
crews. Doughty partook of the communion with Drake and several of his
officers, dined at the same table with them, and, in the last glass
of wine he ever raised to his lips, drank their healths and wished
them farewell. He walked to the place of execution without displaying
unusual emotion, embraced the general, took leave of the company,
offered up a prayer for the queen and her realm, and was then beheaded
near Magellan's gibbet. Drake addressed the company, exhorting them to
unity and obedience, and ordered them to prepare to receive the holy
communion on the following Sabbath, the first Sunday in the month.


This tragedy has been embellished by many fanciful additions on the
part of Drake's apologists, and upon the part of his calumniators
by many false statements. It is said by the former that Drake,
after Doughty's condemnation, offered him the choice of three
alternatives,--either to be executed in Patagonia, to be set ashore
and left, or to be sent back to England, there to answer for his acts
before the Lords of her Majesty's Council; and that Doughty replied
that he would not endanger his soul by being left among savage
infidels; that, as for returning to England, if any one could be found
willing to accompany him on so disgraceful an errand, the shame of the
return would be more grievous than death; that he therefore preferred
ending his life where he was,--a choice from which no argument could
persuade him. These assertions can hardly be correct, as nothing of
the kind is set forth in the account of the voyage given by Fletcher,
the chaplain of the expedition. It is highly improbable that Doughty,
if conscious of innocence, would have rejected the offer of a trial in
England; while it is unlikely that the offer was ever made, as Drake
could ill spare a ship in which to send the prisoner home. Different
opinions are held in the matter by different writers. Admiral Burney
thought the statements too imperfect for forming, and the whole matter
too delicate to express, an opinion. Dr. Johnson wrote thus on the
subject:--"What designs Doughty could have formed with any hope of
success, or to what actions worthy of death he could have proceeded
without accomplices, it is difficult to imagine. Nor, on the other
hand, does there appear any temptation, from either hope, fear, or
interest, that might induce Drake, or any commander in his state, to
put to death an innocent man on false pretences." Southey, in his Lives
of the Admirals, is disposed to consider Drake as justified in making
a severe example. Harris is of opinion that the act was "the most rash
and blameworthy of the admiral's career." Sylva, Drake's Portuguese
pilot, once said that Doughty was punished for attempting to abandon
the expedition and return to England, and thus evidently thought that a
sufficient motive existed for his execution. And it is worth remarking
that the Spaniards, who never neglected an opportunity of loading Drake
with obloquy, extolled him in this case for his vigilance and decision.
Doughty was buried on an island in the harbor, together with the bodies
of the two men slain in the fray with the savages.

The Portuguese prize, being now found leaky and troublesome, was
broken up, the fleet being thus reduced to three. On the 21st of
August, Drake entered Magellan's Strait,--being the second commander
who ever performed the voyage through it. He cleared the channel in
sixteen days, and entered the South Sea on the 6th of September. Here
the Marygold was lost in a terrible storm, and the Elizabeth, being
separated from Drake's vessel, wandered about in search of him for
a time and then sailed for England, where her captain was disgraced
for having abandoned his commander. Drake was driven from the Bay of
Parting of Friends, as he named the spot in which he lost sight of the
Elizabeth, and was swept southward to the coast of Terra del Fuego,
where he was forced from his anchorage and obliged to abandon the
pinnace, with eight men in it and one day's provisions, to the mercy of
the winds.

The miseries endured by these eight men are hardly equalled in the
annals of maritime disaster. They gained the shore, salted and dried
penguins for food, and coasted on till they reached the Plata. Six
of them landed, and, of these six, four were taken prisoners by the
Indians. The other two were wounded in attempting to escape to the
boat, as were the two who were left in charge. These four succeeded
in reaching an island nine miles from the coast, where two of them
died of their wounds. The other two lived for two months upon crabs
and eels, and a fruit resembling an orange, which was the only means
they had of quenching their thirst. One night their boat was dashed to
pieces against the rocks. Unable longer to endure the want of water,
they attempted to paddle to land upon a plank ten feet long. This was
the laborious work of three days and two nights. They found a rivulet
of fresh water; and one of them, William Pitcher, unable to resist the
temptation of drinking to excess, died of its effects in half an hour.
His companion was held in captivity for nine years by the Indians, when
he was permitted to return to England.

Drake, after the loss of the pinnace, was driven again to the
southward, and, in the quaint language of the times, "fell in with
the uttermost part of the land towards the South Pole, where the
Atlantic Ocean and the South Sea meet in a large and free scope." He
saw the cape since called Cape Horn, and anchored there: he gave the
name of Elizabethides to all the islands lying in the neighborhood.
As he neither doubled nor named this cape, it remained for the daring
navigators Schouten and Lemaire to demonstrate its importance, by
passing around it from one ocean into the other, which Drake, it will
be observed, had not done. He went ashore, however, and, leaning over
a rock which extended the farthest into the sea, returned to the ship
and told the crew that he had been farther south than any man living.
He anchored at the island of Mocha on the 29th of November, having
coasted for four weeks to the northward along the South American shore.
He landed with ten men, and was attacked by the Indians, who took them
for Spaniards. Two of his men were killed, all of them disabled, and he
himself badly wounded with an arrow under the right eye. Not one of the
assailants was hurt. Drake made no attempt to take vengeance for this
unprovoked attack, as it was evident it was begun under the mistaken
idea that they were Spaniards, whose atrocities had made every native
of the country their enemy. He sailed for Peru on the same day.

Early in December he learned, from an Indian who was found fishing
in his canoe, that he had passed twenty miles beyond the port of
Valhario,--now Valparaiso; and that in this port lay a Spanish ship
well laden. Drake sailed for this place, where he found the ship riding
at anchor, with eight Spaniards and three negroes on board. These,
taking the new-comers for friends,--for the Spaniards had never yet
seen an enemy in this ocean,--welcomed them with drum and trumpet,
and opened a jar of Chili wine in which to drink their health. Thomas
Moore, the former captain of the Christopher pinnace, was the first to
board the unsuspecting craft. He laid lustily about him, upon which
the principal Spaniard crossed himself and jumped overboard. The rest
were easily secured under the hatches. The prize was rifled, and one
thousand seven hundred and seventy jars of Chili wine, sixty thousand
pieces of gold, and a number of strings of pearls, were taken from
her. The miserable town, consisting of nine families, who at once fled
to the interior, was next ransacked. A poor little church was robbed
of a silver chalice, two cruets, and a cloth with which the altar was
spread. A warehouse was forced to disgorge its store of Chili wine and
cedar planks. Thus did Drake, armed with the sanction of Elizabeth,
Queen of England, plunder a handful of inoffensive men securely
anchored in a peaceful roadstead, who saluted their coming with music
and with wine. Thus did Drake commit sacrilege in a Christian church,
and furnish the mess-room of his ship from the spoils of a Catholic
altar. Even Southey admits that, in this affair, Drake deserves no
other name than that of pirate. And we shall see that he deserved it
equally well throughout his stay upon the coast.

[Illustration: SEA ANEMONES.]



A fortnight after leaving Valparaiso, Drake anchored at the mouth of
the Coquimbo. The watering party sent ashore had barely time to escape
from a body of five hundred horse and foot. At another place, called
Tarapaca, the waterers found a Spaniard lying asleep, and took from him
thirteen bars of silver of the value of four thousand ducats. Southey
states, as if it were a trait of magnanimity, that no personal injury
was offered to the sleeping man. They next captured eight lamas, each
carrying a hundred pounds of silver. At Arica they found two ships at
anchor, a single negro being on board of each: from the one they took
forty bars of silver, and from the other two hundred jars of wine.
As the Pelican was more than a match for the two negroes, the latter
wisely offered no resistance. Drake arrived at Callao, the port of
Lima,--Lima being the capital of Peru,--before it was known that an
enemy's ship had entered the waters of the Pacific. He immediately
boarded a bark laden with silk, which he consented to leave unmolested
on condition that the owner would pilot him into Callao, which he
did. Here Drake found seventeen ships, twelve of which had sent their
sails ashore, so that they were as helpless as logs. He rifled them of
their silver, silk, and linen, and then cut their cables and let them
drift out to sea. Learning that a richly-laden treasure-ship, named
the Cacafuego, had lately sailed for Paita, he at once gave chase. He
stopped a vessel bound for Callao; and such was his thirst for gain,
that he took from it a small silver lamp, the only article of value
on board. In a ship bound to Panama he found forty bars of silver,
eighty pounds of gold, and a golden crucifix set with large emeralds.
Soon after crossing the line, the Cacafuego was discovered ten miles
to seaward, by Drake's brother John. The Pelican's sailing qualities
were now improved by what Sylva, the pilot, calls a "pretty device."
Empty jars were filled with water and hung with ropes over the stern,
in order to lighten her bow. The Spaniard, not dreaming of an enemy,
made towards her, whereupon Drake gave her three broadsides, shot her
mainmast overboard, and wounded her captain. She then surrendered.
Drake took possession, sailed with her two days and two nights from
the coast, and then lay to to rifle her. He took from her an immense
quantity of pearls and precious stones, eighty pounds of gold,
twenty-six tons of silver in ingots, a large portion of which belonged
to the king, and thirteen boxes of coined silver. The value of this
prize was not far from one million of dollars. Then, as if he had been
engaged in a legal commercial transaction, Drake asked the captain for
his register of the cargo, and wrote a receipt in the margin for the
whole amount!

The prize, thus lightened of her metallic cargo, was then allowed to
depart. Her captain received from Drake a letter of safe conduct in
case he should fall in with the Elizabeth or the Mary. This letter is
remarkable for its deep and touching piety. After recommending the
despoiled captain to the friendly notice of Winter and Thomas, Drake
concludes thus:--"I commit you all to the tuition of Him that with
his blood hath redeemed us, and am in good hope that we shall be in no
more trouble, but that he will help us in adversity; desiring you, for
the passion of Christ, if you fall into any danger, that you will not
despair of God's mercy, for he will defend you and preserve you from
all peril, and bring us to our desired haven: to whom be all honor, and
praise, and glory, forever and ever. Amen.

  "Your sorrowful captain,
  Whose heart is heavy for you,

Drake now considered his object in these seas as accomplished: the
indignities offered by the Spaniards to his queen and country were
avenged, and their commerce was well-nigh annihilated. He next examined
the various plans of returning home with his booty. He thought it
impossible to go back by the way he had come: the whole coast of Chili
and Peru was in alarm, and ships had undoubtedly been despatched to
intercept him. Moreover, the season (for it was now February, 1579)
was unfavorable either for passing the Strait or for doubling the
Cape. He might have followed the course of Magellan, and thus have
circumnavigated the globe; but this seemed but a paltry imitation to
his daring and inventive mind. He conceived the idea of discovering
a Northwest Passage and returning to England by the North Polar Sea.
He therefore sailed towards the north, making the coast of Nicaragua
in the middle of March. Here he captured a small craft laden with
sarsaparilla, butter, and honey. A neighboring island supplied him with
wood and fish: alligators and monkeys also abounded there. A vessel
from Manilla, which he captured while her crew were asleep, contributed
to his stores large quantities of muslin, Chinese porcelain, and silks.
A negro taken from this vessel piloted him into the haven of Guatulco,
on the coast of Mexico, inhabited by seventeen Spaniards and a few
negroes. Drake ransacked this place, but boasts of no other booty
than a bushel of silver coins and a gold chain that Thomas Moon took
from the person of the escaping governor. At Acapulco he found a few
Spaniards engaged in trying and condemning a parcel of the unhappy
natives. He broke up the court, and sent both judges and prisoners on
board his vessel.


Before leaving Acapulco, Drake put the pilot, Nuno da Sylva, whom he
had taken at the Cape Verds, on board a ship in the harbor, to find his
way back to Portugal as best he could. He then sailed four thousand
five hundred miles in various directions, till he found himself in a
piercingly cold climate, where the meat froze as soon as it was removed
from the fire. This was in latitude forty-eight north. So he sailed
back again ten degrees and anchored in an excellent harbor on the
California coast. This harbor is considered by numerous authorities as
the present Bay of San Francisco. The natives, who had been visited but
once by Europeans,--under the Portuguese Cabrillo, thirty-seven years
before,--had not learned to distrust them, and readily entered into
relations of commerce and amity with Drake's party. From the Indians
the latter obtained quantities of an herb which they called _tabak_,
and which was undoubtedly tobacco. The Californians soon came to regard
the strangers as gods, and did them religious honors. The king resigned
to Drake all title to the surrounding country, and offered to become
his subject. So he took possession of the crown and dignity of the
said territory in the name and for the use of her majesty the queen.
The Californians, we are told, accompanied this act of surrender with
a song and dance of triumph, "because they were not only visited of
gods, but the great and chief god was now become their god, their king
and patron, and themselves the only happy and blessed people in all
the world." Drake named the country New Albion, in honor of Old Albion
or England. He set up a monument of the queen's "right and title to
the same, namely, a plate nailed upon a fair great post, whereon was
engraved her majesty's name, with the day and year of arrival." After
remaining five weeks in the harbor, Drake weighed anchor, on the 23d of
July, resolved to abandon any further attempt in northern latitudes,
and to steer for the Moluccas, after the example of Magellan.

On the 13th of October he discovered several islands in latitude
eight degrees north, and was soon surrounded with canoes laden with
cocoanuts and fruit. These canoes were hollowed out of a single log
with wonderful art, and were as smooth as polished horn, and decorated
throughout with shells thickly set. The ears of the natives hung down
considerably from the weight of the ornaments worn in them. Their nails
were long and sharp, and were evidently used as a weapon. Their teeth
were black as jet,--an effect obtained by the use of the betel-root.
These people were friendly and commercially inclined. Drake visited
other groups, where the principal occupation of the natives was selling
cinnamon to the Portuguese. At Ternate, one of the Moluccas, the king
offered the sovereignty of the isles to Drake, and sent him presents
of "imperfect and liquid sugar,"--molasses, probably,--"rice, poultry,
cloves, and meal which they called sagu, or bread made of the tops of
certain trees, tasting in the mouth like sour curds, but melting like
sugar, whereof they made certain cakes which may be kept the space of
ten years, and yet then good to be eaten." Drake stayed here six days,
laid in a large stock of cloves, and sailed on the 9th of November. At
a small island near Celebes, where he set up his forge and caused the
ship to be carefully repaired, he and his men saw sights which they
have described in somewhat exaggerated terms:--"tall trees without
branches except a tuft at the very top, in which swarms of fiery worms,
flying in the air, made a show as if every twig had been a burning
candle; bats bigger than large hens,--a very ugly poultry; cray-fish,
or land-crabs, one of which was enough for four men, and which dug
huge caves under the roots of trees, or, for want of better refuge,
would climb trees and hide in the forks of the branches." This spot was
appropriately named Crab Island.

On the 9th of January, 1580, the ship ran upon a rocky shoal and stuck
fast. The crew were first summoned to prayers, and then ordered to
lighten the ship. Three tons of cloves were thrown over, eight guns,
and a quantity of meal and pulse. One authority says distinctly that no
gold or silver was thrown into the water, though it was the heaviest
part of the cargo; another authority asserts the contrary in the
following passage:--"Conceiving that the best way to lighten the ship
was to ease their consciences, they humbled themselves by fasting,
afterwards dining on Christ in the sacrament, expecting no other than
to sup with him in heaven. Then they cast out of their ship six great
pieces of ordnance, threw overboard as much wealth as would break the
heart of a miser to think of it, with much sugar and packs of spices,
making a caudle of the sea round about." The ship was at last freed,
and started again on her way. Her adventures from this point offer no
very salient features: she stopped at Java, the Cape of Good Hope, and
Sierra Leone. In the latter place Drake saw troops of elephants, and
oysters fastened on to the twigs of trees and hanging down into the
water in strings.

Drake arrived at Plymouth after a voyage of two years and ten
months. Like Magellan, he found he had lost a day in his reckoning.
He immediately repaired to court, where he was graciously received,
his treasure, however, being placed in sequestration, to answer
such demands as might be made, upon it. Drake was denounced in
many quarters as a pirate, while in others collections of songs and
epigrams were made, celebrating him and his ship in the highest terms.
The Spanish ambassador, Bernardino de Mendoza, who called him the
Master-Thief of the Unknown World, demanded that he should be punished
according to the laws of nations. Elizabeth firmly asserted her right
of navigating the ocean in all parts, and denied that the Pope's
grant of a monopoly in the Indies to the Spaniards and Portuguese
was of any binding effect upon her. She yielded, however, so far as
to restore, to the agent of several of the merchants whom Drake had
despoiled, large sums of money. Enough remained, however, to make the
expedition a remunerating one for the captors. The queen then, in a
pompous and solemn ceremony, gave to the entire affair an official and
governmental ratification. She ordered Drake's ship to be drawn up in
a little creek near Deptford, to be there preserved as a monument of
the most memorable voyage the English had ever yet performed. She went
on board of her, and partook of a banquet there with the commander,
who, kneeling at her feet, rose up Sir Francis Drake. The Westminster
students inscribed a Latin quatrain upon the mainmast, of which the
following lines are a translation:

  "Sir Drake, whom well the world's end knows, which thou didst compass
  And whom both poles of heaven saw--which north and south do bound,--
  The stars above will make thee known, if men here silent were:
  The sun himself cannot forget his fellow-traveller."

The ship remained at Deptford till she decayed and fell to pieces: a
chair was made from one of her planks and presented to the University
of Oxford, where it is still to be seen.


Such was the first voyage around the world accomplished by an
Englishman. Drake's success awakened the spirit and genius of
navigation in the English people, and may be said to have contributed
in no slight degree to the naval supremacy they afterwards acquired.
If, in accordance with the manner of the times, he was quite as much
a pirate as a navigator, and mingled plunder and piety, prayer and
pillage, in pretty equal proportions, and is to be judged accordingly,
he at least made a noble use of the fortune he had acquired, in aiding
the queen in her wars with Spain, and in encouraging the construction
of public works. He built, with his own resources, an aqueduct twenty
miles in length, with which to supply Plymouth with water. He died at
sea, while commanding an expedition against the Spanish West India
Islands. He wrote no account of his adventures and discoveries.
A volume published by Nuno da Sylva, his Portuguese pilot, whose
statements were confirmed by the officers, has served as the basis of
the various narratives in existence.

We may briefly allude here to an attempt made in 1585, under the
auspices of the English Government, by John Davis, a seaman of
acknowledged ability, with two ships,--the Sunshine and Moonshine,--to
discover the Northwest Passage. After a voyage of six weeks, he saw,
in north latitude 60°, a mountainous and ice-bound promontory. It was
the southwestern point of Greenland, and he gave it the name of Cape
Desolation, which it still retains. He now sailed to the northwest,
discovered islands, coasts, and harbors, to which he gave appropriate
appellations. He thus was the first to enter the strait which bears
his name, and beyond which Baffin, thirty years later, was to discover
the vast bay which, in its turn, was to bear his name. Davis made two
subsequent voyages to these waters in search of a passage across the
continent, but, with the exception of the discovery of Davis' Strait,
effected nothing which needs to be chronicled here. This single
discovery, however, was one of the utmost importance, as it served to
stimulate research and to encourage further effort in this direction.
More than two centuries were nevertheless destined to elapse before
success was to be attained.




Queen Elizabeth had found it to her advantage to encourage displays
of public spirit in private individuals, and to excite the nobles and
persons of fortune who were ambitious of distinction, as well as the
indigent in search of employment, to hazard, the one their wealth, the
other their lives, in the national service. She thus derived benefit
from a class of people who had been of little use in any other reign.
Many gentlemen of rank and position devoted a portion of their means
to harassing the Spanish at sea, to prosecuting discovery in distant
quarters, and to planting colonies upon savage coasts. Among the most
distinguished of these was Thomas Cavendish, of Trimley, near Ipswich.

[Illustration: CAVENDISH IN BRAZIL.]

This gentleman was of an honorable family, and possessed a large
estate. He equipped, in 1586, three ships of the requisite burden,--the
largest, the Desire, being of one hundred and forty tons, the lesser,
the Content, being of sixty, and the least, the Hugh Gallant, a bark
of forty tons. He provisioned them for two years, and manned them
with one hundred and twenty-three officers and men, some of whom had
served under Sir Francis Drake. His patron, Lord Hunsdon, procured him
a commission from Queen Elizabeth, thus assimilating his vessels to
those of the navy, and rendering his contemplated piracies legitimate.
Cavendish sailed from Plymouth on the 21st of July, directing his
course to the south and touching upon the coasts of Guinea and Sierra
Leone. Here the crew destroyed a negro town, in revenge for the death
of one of their men, whom the inhabitants had killed with a poisoned
arrow. Their course across the Atlantic to the Brazilian shore offers
no remarkable features. They erected their forge upon an island, where
they healed their sick and built a pinnace. Anchoring in a harbor
on the Patagonian coast, Cavendish named it Port Desire, after his
flag-ship,--a name which it still retains. He seems to have considered
the savages to be giants, and asserts that he saw footprints eighteen
inches long. He entered the Strait at the commencement of January,
1587, and soon discovered a miserable and forlorn settlement of
Spaniards. These numbered twenty-three men, being all that remained of
four hundred who had been left there three years before, by Sarmiento,
to colonize the Strait. They had lived in destitution for the last
eighteen months, being able to procure no other food than a scanty
supply of shell-fish, except when they surprised a thirsty deer or
seized an unsuspecting swan. They had built a fortress, in order to
exclude all other nations but their own from the passage of the Strait,
but had been compelled to leave it, owing to the intolerable stench
proceeding from the carcasses of their unhappy companions who died of
want or disease. Cavendish took the survivors on board, and named the
spot upon which the fortress was built Port Famine.

[Illustration: PORT FAMINE.]

Cavendish entered the Pacific late in February, after a tempestuous
passage from the Atlantic side. Landing upon the Chilian coast, in
the country of the Araucanians, he received a warm reception from the
natives, who mistook his men for Spaniards, by whom the territory had
been repeatedly invaded in search of gold. He afterwards undeceived
them, and found them willing to satisfy his wants when convinced that
they did not belong to that avaricious and cruel people. In another
place, inhabited by a Spanish colony, he fought a pitched battle with
two hundred horsemen, driving those who were not slain back to the
mountains. At another spot farther north, the Indians brought him
wood and water on their backs. In May he captured two prizes, taking
out of them twenty thousand pounds' worth of sugar, molasses, calico,
marmalade, and hens, and then burning them to the water's edge. He
seized upon the town of Paita, which he ransacked and burned, carrying
off a large quantity of household goods and twenty-five pounds' weight
of pieces-of-eight, or Spanish dollars. Off the island of Puna he fell
in with a ship of two hundred and fifty tons; but, being disappointed
at finding her empty, he sank her out of sheer spite. The inhabitants
of Puna were Christians, having followed the example of their cacique,
who had married a Spanish woman and had thereupon made a profession
of her religion. They were rich and industrious. Cavendish pillaged
the island, burned the church, and carried off its five bells. Being
attacked by the Spaniards and natives combined, he fought a long and
bloody battle, after which he ravaged the fields and orchards, burned
four ships on the stocks, and left the town of three hundred houses a
heap of rubbish. He took a coasting-ship, rifled and scuttled her, and
compelled her captain to become his pilot. He continued this course of
brigandage and piracy all along the South American and Mexican coasts,
destroying towns, pillaging custom-houses, and burning vessels.

Early in November, Cavendish, who had been told by the pilot he had
taken that a vessel from the Philippines was expected, richly laden, at
Acapulco, lay in wait for her off the headland of California. She was
discovered on the 4th, bearing in for the Cape. She was the Santa Anna,
of seven hundred tons, belonging to the King of Spain, and commanded
by the Admiral of the South Sea. Cavendish gave chase, and, after a
broadside and a volley of small-arms, boarded her. He was repulsed,
but renewed the action with his guns and musketry. The Spaniard was
soon forced to surrender, and her officers, going on board the Desire,
gave an account of her contents,--which they stated at thirty thousand
dollars in gold, with immense quantities of damasks, silks, satins,
musk, and provisions. This glorious prize was divided by Cavendish,
a mutiny being very nearly the result: it was, however, prevented by
the generosity of the commander. The prisoners were set on shore with
sufficient means of defence against the Indians; the Santa Anna was
burned, together with five hundred tons of her goods; and Cavendish
then set sail for the Ladrone Islands, five thousand five hundred miles

He arrived at Guam, one of the group, in forty-five days, and from
thence prosecuted his homeward voyage, through the Philippine Islands
and the Moluccas, to Java. He passed the months of April and May, 1588,
in crossing the Indian Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope. He touched at
St. Helena early in June, and, when near the Azores, in September,
heard from a Flemish ship the news of the total defeat of the great
Spanish Armada. He lost nearly all his sails in a storm off Finisterre,
and replaced them by sails of silken grass, which he had taken from
his prizes in the South Sea. The voyage of Cavendish was the third
that had been performed round the world, and was the shortest of the
three,--being accomplished in eight months' less time than that of

Cavendish at once wrote a letter to Lord Hunsdon, in which occurs the
following brief relation of his achievements:--"It hath pleased the
Almighty to suffer me to encompass all the whole globe of the world.
I navigated along the coasts of Chili, Peru, and New Spain, where I
made great spoils. I burned and sank nineteen sail of ships, great
and small. All the towns and cities that ever I landed at I burned
and spoiled, and, had I not been discovered upon the coast, I had
taken a great quantity of treasure.... All which services, together
with myself, I humbly prostrate at her majesty's feet, desiring the
Almighty long to continue her reign among us; for at this day she is
the most famous and victorious prince that liveth in the world. Thus,
humbly desiring pardon for my tediousness, I leave your lordship to the
tuition of the Almighty."

Cavendish spent his immense wealth in equipping vessels for a second
voyage, which ended disastrously, and in which, after being beaten by
the Portuguese off the coast of Brazil, he died of shame and grief. He
ranks as one of the most enterprising, diligent, and cautious of the
early English navigators, though, of course, he must be regarded as an
arrant buccaneer.

From what we have said of the piracies of the English, and of their
encroachments upon the domain of the Spanish, and of the ardent desire
of the latter to retain the monopoly of the trade with the natives of
America and to hold the exclusive right to rob and slay them at their
pleasure, the reader will be prepared for the imposing but bombastic
attempt made by Spain against England in 1588. Philip II. determined to
put forth his strength, and his fleet was named, before it sailed, "The
most Fortunate and Invincible Armada." It was described in official
accounts as consisting of one hundred and thirty ships, manned by
eight thousand four hundred and fifty sailors, and carrying nineteen
thousand soldiers, two thousand galley-slaves, and two thousand six
hundred pieces of brass. The vessels were named from Romish saints,
from the various appellations of the Trinity, from animals and
fabulous monsters,--the Santa Catilina, the Great Griffin, and the
Holy Ghost being profanely intermixed. In the fleet were one hundred
and twenty-four volunteers of noble family, and one hundred and eighty
almoners, Dominicans, Franciscans, and Jesuits. Instruments of torture
were placed on board in large quantities, for the purpose of assisting
in the great work of reconciling England to Romanism. The Spaniards
and the Pope had resolved that all who should defend the queen and
withstand the invasion should, with all their families, be rooted out,
and their places, their honors, their titles, their houses, and their
lands, be bestowed upon the conquerors.

Elizabeth and her councillors heard these ominous denunciations
undismayed, and adequate preparations were made to receive the
crusaders. London alone furnished ten thousand men, and held ten
thousand more in reserve: the whole land-force amounted to sixty-five
thousand. The fleet numbered one hundred and eighty-one vessels,--fifty
more in number than the Armada, but hardly half as powerful in tonnage.
Eighteen of these vessels were volunteers, and but one of the one
hundred and eighty-one was of the burden of eleven hundred tons. The
Lord High-Admiral of England, Charles, Lord Howard of Effingham,
commanded the fleet, with Drake, Hawkins, and Frobisher in command of
the various divisions. A form of prayer was published, and the clergy
were enjoined to read it on Wednesdays and Fridays in their parish
churches. In this, Elizabeth was compared to Deborah, preparing to
combat the pride and might of Sisera-Philip. The country awaited the
arrival of the Spaniards in anxiety, and yet with confidence.


The Armada sailed from the Tagus late in May, with the solemn blessing
of the Church, and patronized by every influential saint in the
calendar. A storm drove it back with loss, and it did not sail again
till the 12th of July. It was descried off Plymouth on the 20th, "with
lofty turrets like castles, in front like a half-moon; the wings
thereof spreading out about the length of seven miles, sailing very
slowly, though with full sails, the winds being as it were weary with
wafting them, and the ocean groaning under their weight." The English
suffered them to pass Plymouth, that they might attack them in the
rear. They commenced the fight the next day, with only forty ships.
The Spaniards, during this preliminary action, found their ships "very
useful to defend, but not to offend, and better fitted to stand than
to move." Drake, with his usual luck, captured a galleon in which
he found fifty-five thousand ducats in gold. This sum was divided
among his crew. Skirmishing and detached fights continued for several
days, the Spanish ships being found, from their height and thickness,
inaccessible by boarding or ball. They were compared to castles pitched
into the sea. The lord-admiral was consequently instructed to convert
eight of his least efficient vessels into fire-ships. The order arrived
as the enemy's fleet anchored off Calais, and thirty hours afterwards
the eight ships selected were discharged of all that was worth removal
and filled with combustibles. Their guns were heavily loaded, and their
sides smeared with rosin and wild-fire. At midnight they were sent,
with wind and tide, into the heart of the invincible Armada. A terrible
panic seized the affrighted crews: remembering the fire-ships which
had been used but lately in the Scheldt, they shouted, in agony, "The
fire of Antwerp! The fire of Antwerp!" Some cut their cables, others
slipped their hawsers, and all put to sea, "happiest they who could
first be gone, though few could tell what course to take." Some were
wrecked on the shallows of Flanders; some gained the ocean; while the
remainder were attacked and terribly handled by Drake. The discomfited
Spaniards resolved to return to Spain by a northern circuit around
England and Scotland. The English pursued, but the exhausted state
of their powder-magazines prevented another engagement. The luckless
Armada never returned to Spain. A terrific storm drove the vessels
upon the Irish coast and upon the inhospitable rocks of the Orkneys.
Thirty of them were stranded near Connaught: two had been cast away
upon the shores of Norway. In all, eighty-one ships were lost, and but
fifty-three reached home. Out of thirty thousand soldiers embarked,
fourteen thousand were missing. Philip received the calamity as a
dispensation of Providence, and ordered thanks to be given to God that
the disaster was no greater.


A day of thanksgiving was proclaimed in England, inasmuch as "the
boar had put back that sought to lay her vineyard waste." Some time
afterwards, the queen repaired in public procession to St. Paul's.
The streets were hung with blue cloth; the royal chariot was a throne
with four pillars and a canopy overhead, drawn by white horses.
Elizabeth knelt at the altar and audibly acknowledged the Almighty as
her deliverer from the rage of the enemy. The people were exhorted
to render thanks to the Most High, whose elements--fire, wind, and
storm--had wrought more destruction to the foe than the valor of their
navy or the strength of their wooden walls.

[Illustration: SIR WALTER RALEIGH.]



The mines of the precious metals which the Spaniards had discovered in
Peru, the wealth which they annually brought home in treasure-ships to
the mother-country, together with the exaggerated accounts given by
Spanish authors respecting the splendor and the civilization of the
empire of the Incas, had now begun to excite the cupidity and inflame
the imagination of every other people in Europe. It was known that, at
the time of the conquest of Peru by Pizarro, a large number of the
natives escaped into the interior; and rumor added that one of the sons
of the reigning Inca had withdrawn across the continent to a region
situated between the Amazon and the Orinoco and called by the general
name of Guiana. Here he had founded, it was added, an empire more
splendid than that of Peru: its capital city, Manoa, only one European
had seen. This was a Spaniard, a marine on board a man-of-war, who,
according to the legend, had allowed a powder-magazine to explode and
was condemned to death for his carelessness. This penalty was commuted,
however, and he was placed in a boat at the mouth of the Orinoco, with
orders to penetrate into the interior. He stayed seven months at Manoa,
and then escaped to Porto Rico. He gave the following account of the
city and kingdom, the latter being called, he said, El Dorado, or The

The columns of the emperor's palace were of porphyry and alabaster,
the galleries of ebony and cedar, and golden steps led to a throne
of ivory. The palace, which was built of white marble, stood upon
an island in a lake or inland sea. Two towers guarded the entrance:
between them was a pillar twenty-five feet in height, upon which was
a huge silver moon. Beyond was a quadrangle planted with trees, and
watered by a silver fountain which spouted through four golden pipes.
The gate of the palace was of copper. Within, four lamps burned day and
night before an altar of silver upon which was a burnished golden sun.
Three thousand workmen were employed in the Street of the Silversmiths.

The name of El Dorado, as applied to the kingdom of which Manoa was the
metropolis, may refer to its wealth and splendor, or it may be derived
from a habit attributed by some to the emperor, by others to the
high-priests, and even to the inhabitants generally when in a state of
intoxication. This custom was to cause themselves to be anointed with a
precious and fragrant gum, after which gold-dust was blown upon them
through tubes, till they were completely incrusted with gold. This
attire was naturally considered sumptuous, and, in connection with the
abundance of precious metals afforded by the country, may have given
rise to the title of El Dorado. The legend, in either case, is a worthy
companion to Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth.

No geographical fiction ever caused such an expenditure of blood and
treasure as this. The Spaniards alone lost, in their attempts to
discover the city of Manoa, more lives and money than in effecting
any of their permanent conquests. New adventurers were always ready
to start, upon the discomfiture or destruction of those who had gone
before; and no disappointment suffered by the latter could daunt the
hopes of those who believed the discovery reserved for them. The
Spanish priests regarded the mania as a device of the Evil One to lure
mankind to perdition.

The greater portion of these persons were adventurers, soldiers of
fortune, and Quixotic knights-errant. The most distinguished of the
converts to a belief in the existence of an El Dorado, however, it
would be unjust to class among them. Sir Walter Raleigh, an Englishman
of the highest talent and character, after having enjoyed the favor of
Queen Elizabeth for twenty years, lost it by an intrigue with a lady
of the palace. Though he repaired the injury by marrying the lady, he
found he could not expect to be restored to grace except by performing
some exploit which should add new lustre to his name. He had long been
filled with admiration at the courage and perseverance exhibited by the
Spaniards in the pursuit of their romantic and brilliant chimera. As he
himself firmly believed it to be a reality, he determined to make an
attempt himself. A part of his design was to colonize Guiana, and thus
to extend the sphere of the industrial and commercial arts of England.
He was familiar with the sea, as he had already sent out several
expeditions for the colonization of Virginia in America.

He sailed from Plymouth in February, 1595, with five vessels and a
hundred soldiers. In order to reach the capital city of Guiana, it was
necessary to ascend the Orinoco, the navigation of which was completely
unknown to the English. As the ships drew too much water, a hundred
men embarked with Raleigh in boats and proceeded up the stream. In
these they remained for a month, exposed to all the extremes of a
tropical climate,--sometimes to the heats of a burning sun, and again
to violent and torrential rains. Raleigh's account of their progress
through the labyrinth of islands and channels at the river's mouths,
of their precarious supplies of food and water, the appearance of the
country and the manners of the natives, and, finally, of their entrance
into the grand bed of the superb Orinoco, has been admired for its
descriptive beauty as well as ridiculed for its extravagant credulity.
Indeed, it is doubted by many whether Raleigh really believed the
stories which he put in circulation. We quote a passage:

"Those who are desirous to discover and to see many nations," he
writes, "may be satisfied within this river; which bringeth forth so
many arms and branches leading to several countries and provinces,
above two thousand miles east and west, and of these the most either
rich in gold, or in other merchandises. The common soldier shall here
fight for gold, and pay himself, instead of pence, with plates of
gold half a foot broad, whereas he breaketh his bones in other wars
for provant and penury. Those commanders and chieftains who shoot at
honor and abundance shall find here more rich and beautiful cities,
more temples adorned with golden images, more sepulchres filled
with treasure, than either Cortez found in Mexico or Pizarro in
Peru; and the shining glory of this conquest will eclipse all those
so-far-extended beams of the Spanish nation. There is no country which
yieldeth more pleasure to the inhabitants, for those common delights
of hunting, hawking, fishing, fowling, and the rest, than Guiana does.
I am resolved that, both for health, good air, pleasure, and riches,
it cannot be equalled by any region in the East or West. To conclude:
Guiana is a country that hath yet her maidenhead, never sacked, turned,
nor wrought. The face of the earth hath not been torn, nor the virtue
and salt of the soil spent; the graves have not been opened for gold,
the mines not broken with sledges, nor the images pulled down out of
their temples. It hath never been entered by any army of strength, nor
conquered by any Christian prince.... I trust that He who is Lord of
lords will put it into her heart who is Lady of ladies to possess it.
If not, I will judge those most worthy to be kings thereof that by her
grace and leave will undertake it of themselves."

Raleigh ascended the stream nearly two hundred miles, when the rapid
and terrific rise of its waters compelled him to return. He took formal
possession of the country, and made the caciques swear allegiance to
Queen Elizabeth. He returned to England during the summer, having been
but five months absent. It was then that he published the narrative
from which we have quoted.

His restoration to favor precluded any further prosecution of his
designs on Guiana during the reign of Elizabeth. He was imprisoned for
thirteen years during the reign of James, her successor, for the crime
of high-treason and supposed participation in the plot to place Lady
Arabella Stuart on the throne. In 1617, he equipped a fleet of thirteen
vessels in which to proceed to Guiana for the purpose of again seeking
El Dorado. The fleet arrived in safety, but Raleigh was too unwell to
ascend the Orinoco in person. Captain Keymis led the exploring party,
and, upon being compelled to return to the ship without success, and
with the news of the death in battle of Sir Walter's eldest son,
committed suicide. Raleigh sailed to Newfoundland to victual and refit;
but a mutiny of the crews forced him to return to England, where
he was beheaded for the crime already punished by thirteen years'

Modern historians and travellers, and men of judgment and intelligence
who have inhabited the regions at the mouth of the Orinoco, have
not hesitated to avow their opinion that the story of El Dorado is
not without some sort of foundation in fact. Humboldt accounts for
it geologically, and holds the ardent imagination of the Indians
to be answerable for the fable. He conjectures that there may be
islands and rocks of micaslate and talc in and around Lake Parima,
which, reflecting from their surfaces and angles the glowing rays of
the sun, may have been transformed by the extravagant fancy of the
natives into the gorgeous temples and palaces of a gilded metropolis.
He attempted to penetrate to the spot, but was prevented by a tribe
of Indian dwarfs. No European has ever yet visited this celebrated
locality: its great distance from the sea, the trackless forests,
the wild beasts and barbarian inhabitants, have repelled both the
conqueror and the explorer, so that it is not known to this day what
degree or what kind of authority exists for the extraordinary story
in question. But, inasmuch as Cortez passed within ten miles of the
wonderful city of Copan without hearing of it, the supposition that
there may be aboriginal cities in the unexplored regions of South
America, affording, perhaps, basis sufficient for the tale of El Dorado
without its exaggerations, is neither impossible nor improbable. The
magnificent ruins lately discovered in Yucatan, where they were not
expected, seem to argue the existence of others in regions where
positive and persistent tradition has located them.




The progress of discovery now recalls us to Spain. About the year
1567, one Alvaro Mendana de Neyra, who had thus far lived in complete
obscurity, followed his uncle Don Pedro de Castro to Lima, in Peru,
where he had been appointed governor. Mendana, disdaining commerce,
and feeling little inclination to lead a monotonous life on shore,
after the taste he had had during the passage of a roving existence
upon the water, resolved to undertake the discovery of new lands in the
name of the King of Spain. His uncle encouraged him in his design and
furnished him with the necessary funds. Mendana set sail from Callao
on the 11th of January, 1568. He proceeded fourteen hundred and fifty
leagues to the west, and discovered a group of islands in about 10°
south latitude. One of them, to which he gave the name of Isabella,
is distinguished as having been the scene of the first celebration
of a Catholic mass in the Pacific Ocean. He sailed round another of
the group, St. Christopher, and, after several disastrous encounters
with the natives, returned to Callao. This voyage, the most important
undertaken by the Spanish since the discovery of America, gave rise
to multitudes of fables, with which the historians and chroniclers of
Spain filled the minds of the people during the century which followed.
The islands discovered by Mendana were represented as enormously rich
in gold and the precious metals. The name of Solomon was given to the
group,--a name which was thought to be eminently suited to so luxurious
an archipelago, having formerly been that of a luxurious prince. As
in those days the art of scientific navigation was in its infancy,
and as latitude and longitude were not fixed with any great degree of
precision, the position of the Solomon Islands was very loosely marked
down by Mendana, and the question of their locality became, and for a
long time remained, one of the most puzzling questions in geography.

Mendana sent home to the Spanish Government brilliant accounts of his
discoveries, and solicited the means of prosecuting them still further.
War and other engagements prevented the ministry from attending to
his requests till the year 1595, when he obtained the command of an
expedition having for its object the colonization of St. Christopher.
He sailed from Callao in April with four ships carrying four hundred
men: his wife, Isabel de Barretos, and three of his brothers-in-law,
accompanied him. Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, of whom we shall afterwards
speak more particularly, was the pilot of the fleet. They stopped at
Paita, where they watered and enlisted four hundred additional men, and
on the 16th of June finally started in quest of the long-lost islands.
A month afterwards, being in latitude 11° south, Mendana discovered a
group of three islands, to which he gave a collective name as well as
individual names. He called them Las Marquesas de Mendoça, in honor of
the Marquis of Mendoça, a Spaniard of distinction. They are still known
as the Marquesas Islands. The natives manifested a remarkably thievish
disposition, and received several rounds of grape for pilfering the
jars of the watering party who had gone ashore. Though the chronicler
draws a comparison in speaking of the women, he yet skilfully contrives
to compliment all parties mentioned. He says, "Very fine women were
seen here. Many thought them as beautiful as those of Lima, but whiter
and not so rosy; and yet there are very beautiful at Lima. They have
delicate hands, genteel body and waiste, exceeding much in perfection
the most perfect of Lima; and yet there are very beautiful at Lima. The
temperament, health, strength, and corpulency of these people tell what
is the climate they live in: clothes could well be borne with night
and day; the sun did not molest much; there fell some small showers of
rain. Our people never perceived lightning or dew, but great dryness,
so that, without hanging up, they found dry in the morning the things
which were left wet on the ground at night." A singular fruit was
noticed, which the men eat green, roasted, boiled, and ripe. It had
neither stone nor kernel, and the Spaniards called it blanc-mange. They
likewise admired another fruit "inclosed in prickles like chestnuts,
and which resembled chestnuts in taste, but was much bigger than six
chestnuts together." Mendana ordered a grand mass to be said, during
which the islanders remained on their knees with great silence and

Mendana took possession of the islands in the king's name, and sowed
maize in many spots which he thought favorable to its growth. The
chaplain taught one of the natives to bless himself and say Jesus
Maria. This being done, the shallop being refitted, three crosses
erected, and wood and water having been stored, the squadron set sail
again for the still-missing archipelago. The soldiers soon became
despondent, and the crews were placed upon short allowance. Fourteen
hundred leagues from Lima they saw a desert island, which they called
St. Bernardo; and at fifteen hundred and thirty-five leagues' distance
they named an island the Solitary, "as it was alone." Thus they
continued their course, "many people giving their sentiments, and
saying they knew not whither they were going nor what they were coming
to, and other such things, which could not fail of giving pain." At
last, when eighteen hundred leagues from Lima, they fell in with a
large island, one hundred miles in circuit, which Mendana named Santa
Cruz--since called Egmont Island by Carteret. Here was a volcano, "of a
very fine-shaped hill, from the top whereof issues much fire, and which
often makes a great thundering inside." Fifty small boats rigged with
sails came out to the ship. The men were black, with woolly hair, dyed
white, red, and blue. Their teeth were tinged red, and their faces and
bodies marked with streaks. Their arms were bound round with bracelets
of black rattan, while their necks were decorated with strings of beads
and fishes' teeth. Mendana at once took them for the people he sought.
He spoke to them in the language he had learned upon his first voyage;
but they neither understood him, nor he them. Without provocation, they
discharged a shower of arrows at the ship, which lodged in the sails
and the rigging,--without, however, doing any mischief. The soldiers
fired in return, killing one and wounding many more.

Friendly relations were soon restored, and a savage, apparently of high
rank, visited the admiral in his ship. He was lean and gray-headed, and
his skin was of the "color of wheat." He inquired who was the chief
of the new-comers. The admiral received him with cordiality, and gave
him to understand that he was. The Indian said his name was Malopé.
The admiral replied that his was Mendana. Malopé at once rejoined
that he would be Mendana, and that the admiral should be Malopé. He
manifested much gratification at this exchange, and, whenever he was
called Malopé, said, "No: Mendana;" and, pointing to the admiral, said
that was Malopé. This was probably the first instance of an exchange of
names--one of the most solemn acts of friendship with certain tribes of
the Pacific Islanders--being effected between a European and a savage.
The natives soon learned to shake hands, to embrace, to say "friend,"
to shave with razors, and to pare their nails with scissors. This state
of amity did not last long, however, and a trivial circumstance caused
suspicion, and finally hostility. The savages commenced with arrows,
and the Spaniards retaliated with fire and sword. In the evening,
Malopé came to the shore, and, in a loud voice, called the admiral by
the name of Malopé, and, smiting his breast, declared himself to be
Mendana. He said the attack had been begun by another tribe, not his,
and proposed they should all sally forth against them. To this Mendana
did not accede, but, landing his men, proceeded to found a colony.

At this point the details furnished by the several chroniclers of the
expedition become vague and unsatisfactory. It appears that Malopé was
killed in a skirmish; that the natives were not content with merely
lamenting his death, but withheld all supplies from the Spaniards;
that Mendana caused two mutineers to be beheaded and another to be
hung. A war of extermination now commenced, and a state of sedition,
misery, and want ensued, which brought Mendana rapidly to the grave.
He died of disappointment and regret, in October, 1595. His successor,
being wounded, died in November. The crew, worn out with fatigue and
sickness, and being reduced to such an extent that twenty resolute
Indians could have destroyed them, resolved to suspend the enterprise
and re-embark. They took in wood and water, and sailed on the 7th of
November. Quiros maintained discipline among a mutinous crew, and,
after almost superhuman efforts to navigate his crazy ships upon an
unknown sea, arrived with the remains of the expedition at Manilla.
From thence Quiros--whose adventures and discoveries we shall soon have
occasion to narrate--returned to Acapulco, in Mexico, and thence to
Lima, where he petitioned the viceroy for the means of continuing the
researches of Mendana. As he did not set sail till 1606, we must first
attend to the various enterprises undertaken in the interval.





In the year 1514, the Dutch resolved to seek a northeast passage
by water to the Indies, across the Polar regions of Europe. Their
first two attempts were attended with so little success that the
States-General abandoned the undertaking, contenting themselves with
promising a reward to the navigator who should find a practicable
route. In 1596, the city of Amsterdam took up the matter where the
Government had left it, and equipped two vessels, the chief command of
which was given to Wilhelm Barentz. He started on the 10th of May, and
passed the islands of Shetland and Feroë on the 22d. Not long after,
the fleet saw with wonder one of the phenomena peculiar to the Arctic
regions,--three mock suns, with circular rainbows connecting them by
a luminous halo. On the 9th of June, they discovered two islands, to
which they gave the names of Bear and Walrus Islands. They kept on,
to the usual Arctic accompaniment of icebergs, seals, auroræ boreales,
whales, and white bears, till they came to a land which they named
Spitzbergen, or Land of Sharp-peaked Mountains.

On the 17th of July, they arrived at Nova Zembla,--discovered in 1553
by Willoughby,--and here the two ships were accidentally separated.
In August, the vessel of Barentz was embayed in drifting ice, and no
efforts could release her from her dangerous position. Winter was
coming on, and the crew, despairing of saving the ship, which was now
groaning and heaving under the pressure of the ice, resolved to build
a house upon the land, "with which to defend themselves from the colde
and wilde beasts." They were fortunate enough to find a large quantity
of drift-wood, which had evidently floated from a distance, as the icy
soil around them yielded neither tree nor herb. The work began and
continued in the midst of constant fights with bears and the arduous
labor of dragging stores from the ship upon hand-sleds. The cold was
so extreme that their skin peeled off upon touching any iron utensil.
Snow storms interrupted the progress of the house, for which they were
soon obliged to obtain materials by breaking up the ship. One of the
men, being pursued by a bear, was only saved by the latter's waiting to
contemplate the body of one of his fellow-bears, which the sailors had
killed and left to freeze stiff in an upright position.

On the 12th of October, half the crew slept in the house for the
first time: they suffered greatly from cold, as they had no fire,
and because, as the narrative quaintly remarks, "they were somewhat
deficient in blankets." The roof was thatched, by the end of October,
with sail-cloth and sea-weed. On the 2d of November, the sun raised but
half his disk above the horizon: the bears disappeared with the sun,
and foxes took their place. The clock having stopped, and refusing to
proceed, even with increased weights, day could not be distinguished
from night, except by the twelve-hour-glass. The beer, freezing in
the casks, became as tasteless as water. Half a pound of bread a day
was served out to each man: the provisions of dried fish and salt meat
remained still abundant. The chimney would not draw, and the apartment
was filled with a blinding smoke,--which the crew were obliged to
endure, however, or die of cold. The surgeon made a bathing-tub from a
wine-pipe, in which they bathed four at a time. They were several times
snowed up, and the house was absolutely buried. Though half a league
from the sea, they heard the horrible cracking and groaning of the ice
as the bergs settled down one upon the other, or as the huge mountains
burst asunder. On one occasion, unable to support the cold, they made a
fire in their house with coal brought from the ship. It was the first
moment of comfort they had enjoyed for months. They kept up the genial
heat until several of the least vigorous of the men were seized with
dizziness and with the peculiar pains known as the hot-ache. Gerard de
Veer, the chronicler of the expedition, caught in his arms the first
man that fell, and revived him by rubbing his face with vinegar. He
adds, "We had now learned that to avoid one evil we should not rush
into a worse one."


They set traps all around their cabin, with which they caught on an
average a fox a day. They eat the flesh, and with the skins made caps
and mittens. They had the good fortune to kill a bear nine feet
long, from which they obtained one hundred pounds of lard. This they
found useful, not as pomatum, but as the means of burning their lamp
constantly, day and night, as if it were an altar and they the vestal
virgins. On the 19th of December, they congratulated themselves that
the Arctic night was just one-half expired; "for," says the narrative,
"it was a terrible thing to be without the light of the sun, and
deprived of the most excellent creature of God, which enliveneth the
entire universe." On Christmas eve it snowed so violently that they
could not open the door. The next day there was a white frost in
the cabin. While seated at the fire and toasting their legs, their
backs were frozen stiff. They did not know by the feeling that they
were burning their shoes, and were only warned by the odor of the
shrivelling leather. They put a strip of linen into the air, to see
which way the wind was: in an instant the linen was frozen as hard as a
board, and became, of course, perfectly useless as a weathercock. Then
the men said to each other, "How excessively cold it must be out of

The 5th of January was Twelfth Night, and the hut was buried under the
snow. In the midst of their misery, they asked the captain's leave
to celebrate the hallowed anniversary. With flour and oil they made
pancakes, washing them down with wine saved from the day before and
borrowed in advance from the morrow. They elected a king by lot, the
master gunner being indicated by chance as the Lord of Nova Zembla. On
the 8th, the twilight was observed to be slightly lengthening, and,
though the cold increased with the returning sun, they bore it with
cheerfulness. They noticed a tinge of red in the atmosphere, which
spoke of the revival of nature. They visited the ship, and found the
ice a foot high in the hold: they hardly expected ever to see her float
again. The difficulty of obtaining fuel was now such, that many of the
men thought it would be easier and shorter to lie down and die than
make such dreadful efforts to prolong life. To save wood during the
daytime, they played snow-ball, or ran, or wrestled, to keep up the

On the 24th of January, Gerard de Veer declared he had seen the edge
of the sun: Barentz, who did not expect the return of the luminary for
fourteen days, was incredulous, and the cloudy state of the weather
during the succeeding three days prevented the bets which were made
upon the subject from being settled. On the 27th, they buried one of
their number in a snow grave seven feet deep, having dug it with some
difficulty, the diggers being constantly obliged to return to the
fire. One of the men remarking that, even were the house completely
blocked up fifteen feet deep, they could yet get out by the chimney,
the captain climbed up the chimney, and a sailor ran out to see if
he succeeded. He rushed back, saying he had seen the sun. Everybody
hastened forth and "saw him, in his entire roundness," just above the
horizon. It was then decided that de Veer had seen the edge on the
24th, and they "all rejoiced together, praising God loudly for the

Another season of snow now set in, while, at the same time, the ice
that bound the ship began to break up, so that the men feared she would
escape and float away while they were blockaded in the house. They were
obliged to make themselves shoes of worn-out fox-skin caps, as the
leather was frozen as hard as horn. On the night of the 6th of April,
a bear ascended to the roof of the house by means of the embankments
of snow, and, attacking the chimney with great violence, was very near
demolishing it. On the 1st of May, they eat their last morsel of meat,
relying henceforth on what they might entrap or kill.

It was now decided that even if the ship should be disengaged she would
be unfit to continue the voyage. Their only hope lay in the shallop
and the long-boat, which they endeavored to prepare for the sea, in
the midst of interruptions from bears, who "were very obstinate to
know how Dutchmen tasted." As late as the 5th of June, it snowed
so violently that they could only work within-doors, where they got
ready the sails, oars, rudder, &c. On the 12th, they set to work with
axes and other tools to level a path from the ship to the water,--a
distance of five hundred paces. On the 13th, Barentz wrote a brief
account of their voyage and sojourn, placed it in a musket-barrel,
and attached it to the fireplace in the house, for the information of
future navigators. They then dragged, with infinite labor, the boats
to the water, together with barrels and boxes of such stores as their
now impoverished ship could yield. They bade adieu to their winter
quarters on the 14th, at early morning, "with a west wind and under
the protection of Heaven." Barentz, who had been a long time ill, died
on the 20th, while opposite Icy Cape, the northernmost point of Nova
Zembla. His loss was deeply regretted; but their "grief was assuaged by
the reflection that none can resist the will of God."

The men were often obliged to drag the boats across intervening fields
of ice; and sometimes, when the wind was contrary, they drew them up
on a floating bank, and, making tents of the sails, camped out, as
if on military service. The sentinels frequently challenged bears,
and, on one occasion, three coming together and one being killed, the
surviving two devoured their fallen companion. Through dangers and
difficulties then unparalleled in navigation, they struggled hopefully
on, descending the western coast of Nova Zembla towards the northern
shores of Russia and Lapland. On the 16th of August, they met a Russian
bark, which furnished them with such provisions as the captain could
spare. On the 20th, they touched the coast of Lapland upon the White
Sea, where they found thirteen Russians living in miserable huts upon
the fish which they caught. On the 2d of September, they arrived at
Kola, in Lapland, where they found three Dutch ships, one of which was
their consort, which had been separated from them ten months before.
Having no further use for their boats, they carried them with ceremony
to the "Merchants' House," or Town-Hall, where they dedicated them to
the memory of their long voyage of four hundred leagues over a tract
never traversed before, and which they had accomplished in open boats.
They started at once for home, and arrived on the 1st of November at
Amsterdam, twelve in number. The city was greatly excited by the news
of their return, for they had long since been given up for dead. The
chancellor and the "ambassador of the very illustrious King of Denmark,
Norway, the Goths and the Vandals" were at that moment at dinner. The
voyagers were summoned to narrate their adventures before them,--which
they did, "clad in white fox-skin caps."

No voyage had hitherto been so fruitful in incident, peril, and
displays of persevering courage and fortitude. Though it resulted
in no discovery except that of the western coast of Nova Zembla, it
served the useful purpose of demonstrating the difficulty, if not the
impossibility, of effecting a northeast passage.





The Dutch, who had now succeeded the Portuguese in the possession and
control of the East Indies, had, up to the year 1598, made all their
voyages thither by the Portuguese route,--the Cape of Good Hope. In
this year, two fleets fitted out by them were directed to proceed by
the Strait of Magellan and across the South Sea. The first of these
expeditions is known as that of the Five Ships of Rotterdam, one of the
five, however, becoming separated, and forming a distinct enterprise,
under Sebald de Weert: the second was the voyage of Oliver Van Noort.
We shall narrate them in order of time.

The Five Ships of Rotterdam were equipped at the charge of several
merchants called the Company of Peter Verhagen. The flag-ship,
commanded by Jacob Mahu, was named the Hope; another, commanded
by Sebald de Weert, was the Good News, or Glad Tidings, or Merry
Messenger,--all these names being given in the various translations.
They sailed from Goree, in Holland, on the 27th of June, 1598.

They were off the island of Brava--one of the Cape Verds,--on the 11th
of September, and sent boats ashore with empty casks in search of
water. The men were accosted by some Portuguese and negroes, who told
them that French and English ships were accustomed to water there,
but always remained under sail. Sebald de Weert noticed four or five
ruinous huts, and found them full of maize, which he at once proceeded
to appropriate,--an act which the Portuguese endeavored to resent; but
the Dutch flag-ship silenced their feeble resistance with her guns. The
death of Mahu now caused a transfer of captains, by which Sebald de
Weert left the Glad Tidings for the Good Faith. The fleet lost thirty
men by the scurvy during the passage across the Atlantic. They anchored
off the Rio de la Plata early in March, 1599, and observed the sea to
be as red as blood. The water was examined, and found to be full of
small worms, which jumped about like fleas, and which were supposed to
have been shaken off by whales in their gambols, as the lion shakes
dew-drops from his mane.

On the 6th of April, they entered the Strait of Magellan, and were
compelled to pass the Antarctic winter there,--that is, till late in
August. Gales of wind followed each other in quick succession; and the
anchors and cables were so much damaged that the crews were kept in
continual labor and anxiety. The scarcity of food was such that the
people were sent on shore every day at low water, frequently in rain,
snow, or frost, to seek for shell-fish or to gather roots for their
subsistence. These they devoured in the state in which they were found,
having no patience to wait to cook them. One hundred and twenty men
were buried during this disastrous winter.

On the evening of September the 3d, the whole fleet, including a
shallop of sixteen tons, named the Postillion, which had been put
together in the Strait, entered the South Sea. A storm soon separated
them, leaving the Fidelity and Faith as consorts, and scattering the
rest in every direction. The adventures of the Fidelity and Faith,
however, require that we should follow them in their fortunes around
the world. De Weert found his ship almost unseaworthy, without a
master, short of hands, and with two pilots quite too old to be
efficient. After weathering another storm, which nearly sent the
vessels to the bottom, both captains resolved to return to the Strait
and to wait there in some safe bay for a favorable wind. On the 27th,
they arrived at the mouth of the Strait, and were drifted by the
current some seven leagues inland.

As the Antarctic summer was now approaching, they were in hopes of
fair weather; yet during the two months of their stay they hardly
had a day in which to dry their sails. The seamen began to murmur,
alleging that there would not be sufficient biscuit for their return to
Holland if they remained here longer. Upon this de Weert went into the
bread-room, as if to examine the store, and, on coming out, declared,
with a cheerful countenance, that there was biscuit enough for eight
months, though in reality there was barely enough for four. On the
3d of December, they succeeded in leaving the Strait, but, by some
mismanagement, anchored a league apart, with a point of land between
them which intercepted the view. A gale of wind forced the Fidelity
from her anchors, and she was compelled to proceed upon the voyage
alone. On her arrival at the Moluccas she was attacked and captured by
the Portuguese.

Sebald de Weert was thus left without a consort and almost without
a crew. When leaving the Strait, and towing the only remaining boat
astern, the rope broke, and the boat went adrift and was not again
recovered. The next morning they saw a boat rowing towards them, which
proved to belong to another Dutch fleet, under Oliver Van Noort,
bound to the South Sea and the East Indies. De Weert endeavored to
sail in company with them; but the reduced condition of his crew--but
forty-eight men remaining out of one hundred and ten--rendered it
impossible. He finally abandoned all attempts to prosecute the voyage,
and, profiting by the west winds, returned through the Strait to the
Atlantic. He anchored at the Penguin Islands, where a large number
of birds were taken and salted. Some of the seamen who were on shore
discovered a Patagonian woman among the rocks, where she had endeavored
to conceal herself. The chronicle thus speaks of her:--"A state more
deeply calamitous than that to which this woman was reduced, the
goodness of God has not permitted to be the lot of many. The ships of
Van Noort had stopped at this island about seven weeks before, where
this woman was one of a numerous tribe of Patagonians; but they were
savagely slaughtered by Van Noort's men. She was wounded at the same
time, but lived to mourn the destruction of her race, the solitary
inhabitant of a rocky, desolate island." De Weert presented her with
a knife, but left her without any means of changing her situation,
though she made it understood that she wished to be transported to the

On the 21st of January, 1600, he left the Strait by the eastern
entrance, and bent his course homewards. Six months afterwards he
entered the channel of Goree, in Holland, having lost sixty-nine men
during the voyage. The ship had been absent two years and sixteen
days, the greater part of which had been misemployed. She had been
only twenty-four days in the South Sea, and had spent nine months in
the Strait of Magellan and the remainder in the passage out and back.
The Faith was, nevertheless, more fortunate than her companions; for
she was the only ship of the five which sailed under Jacob Mahu which
ever reached home again. The Charity was abandoned at sea; the Hope
was plundered by the Japanese at Bungo; the Glad Tidings was taken by
the Spaniards at Valparaiso; and, as we have said, the Fidelity fell
into the hands of the Portuguese at the Spice Islands. The Postillion
shallop, which had been launched in the Strait, was never heard of
after she entered the Pacific Ocean.

The plan of the South Sea Expedition under Oliver Van Noort was in all
respects similar to that of Mahu and de Weert, and the equipment was
made at the joint expense of a company of merchants. The vessels fitted
out were the Mauritius, whose tonnage is not mentioned,--in which
sailed, as admiral, Van Noort, who was a native of Utrecht, and an
experienced seaman,--the Hendrick Frederick, and two yachts, the whole
being manned by two hundred and forty-eight men. The instructions to
the admiral were to sail through Magellan's Strait to the South Sea, to
cruise off the coast of Chili and Peru, to cross over to the Moluccas
to trade, and then, returning home, to complete the circumnavigation of
the globe. He sailed on the 13th of September, three months after the
departure of the Five Ships of Rotterdam.

At Prince's Island, near the coast of Guinea,--a station held by
the Portuguese,--Van Noort's flag of truce was not respected by the
garrison, and two Hollanders were killed and sixteen wounded. Van Noort
revenged this outrage by burning all the sugar-mills which he dared
to approach. He set one of his pilots ashore upon Cape Gonçalves for
mutinous practices. He made the coast of Brazil early in February,
1519; but it was determined in council that, as the Southern winter
was so near at hand, they would hibernate at St. Helena. They sailed
eastward, and spent three months in searching for the island; but in
vain. At the end of May, they unexpectedly found themselves again upon
the coast of Brazil; but the Portuguese opposed their landing. On the
18th of June, the council of war sentenced two men, a constable and
a gunner, "to be abandoned in any strange country where they could
hereafter be of service," for mutiny; and another seaman was sentenced
to be fastened, by a knife through the hand, to the mast, there to
remain till he should release himself by slitting his hand through the
middle. This barbarous sentence was carried into execution.

After burning one of the yachts which proved unfit for service, the
fleet proceeded towards the Strait, and, on the 4th of November,
anchored off Cape Virgin. Here Van Noort's ship lost three anchors,
and the admiral wrote to the vice-admiral to furnish him one of his.
The latter refused, saying that he was as much master as Van Noort,--a
piece of impertinence which the admiral declared he would punish upon
the first convenient opportunity. The vessels entered the Strait four
times, and were as often forced back by the violence of the wind. On
the 27th, they arrived at the two Penguin Islands. It was here that the
transaction occurred to which we have alluded under Sebald de Weert. It
happened as follows:

On the smallest of the islands some natives were seen, who made
signs to the Dutch not to advance, and threw them some penguins from
the cliffs. Seeing that the strangers continued to approach, they
shot arrows at them, which the Dutch returned with bullets. The
savages fled for refuge to a cavern where they had secreted their
women and children. The Dutch pursued them, and used their fire-arms
with unrelenting ferocity, receiving little or no damage from the
feeble missiles of the natives. The latter continued to fight in
defence of their women and children with undiminished courage, and
not till the last man of them was killed did the Hollanders obtain
an entrance. Within they found a number of wretched mothers who had
formed barricades of their own bodies to protect their children. Of
these they killed several and wounded more. Seven weeks after, as has
been said, Sebald de Weert found the tribe exterminated and but one
woman surviving. Six children were taken by Van Noort on board of the
fleet. One of the boys afterwards learned to speak the Dutch language,
and from him were obtained several slender items of information
respecting the tribe to which he had belonged, but which were far from
compensating for the flagrant act of cruelty which had led to the
capture of his fellow-exiles and himself.


The men went ashore near Cape Froward, and some of them ate of an herb
which drove them "raging mad." During an anchorage here, the carpenters
built a boat thirty-seven feet long in the keel; the blacksmith set
up his forge, while the wooders made charcoal from trees which they
felled. A light wind springing up, the vice-admiral, without receiving
orders, fired a gun and got under way, and, though the admiral
remained stationary, continued sailing on and firing guns, as if he had
been commander-in-chief. Such, said Van Noort, is the effect, upon a
vice-admiral, of having a larger number of anchors than his superior.
He caused him to be arrested and to be tried upon the charge of
exciting mutiny by insubordinate conduct, and allowed him three weeks
to prepare his defence. At this period the number of deaths in the
fleet had amounted to ninety-seven persons.

When the three weeks expired, the vessels were still in the Strait, and
the council was assembled on board the admiral's vessel, to hear the
defence of the prisoner, which proved insufficient for his acquittal,
and he was condemned to be set on shore and abandoned in the Strait.
This sentence was publicly read on board the different ships, and, on
the 26th of January, 1600, Jacob Claesz was carried in a boat to the
shore, with a small stock of bread and wine. He was thus left to shift
for himself among the wild beasts and still more savage inhabitants.
Van Noort ordered a prayer and exhortation to be read in the fleet
during the execution of this terrible verdict.

Being still at anchor in the Strait in the middle of February, the
admiral announced his determination to persevere two months longer,
and, if it were still impossible to reach the Pacific by the west,
to turn eastward and reach it by the Cape of Good Hope. On the 29th,
the wind having veered, Van Noort, with two ships and a yacht, after
a tedious navigation of a year and a half, finally entered the Great
South Sea. A storm compelled the admiral to cast loose and abandon the
long-boat which had been built at Cape Froward, and forced the new
vice-admiral to part company. His ship was never seen again. During
an anchorage upon the coast of Chili, one of the sailors whom we have
already mentioned as sentenced to be abandoned upon any coast where
they could be of service, was sent ashore to open negotiations with
the natives. If he succeeded and returned in safety, his sentence was
to be remitted. He was favorably received, and a regular trade was
established. The official narrative of the voyage thus describes the
hospitality of the people:--"An elderly woman brought us an earthen
vessel full of a drink of a sharp taste, of which we drank heartily.
This drink is made of maize and water, and is brewed in the following
manner: old women who have lost their teeth chew the maize, which,
being thus mixed with their saliva, is put into a tub, and water is
added to it. They have a superstitious opinion that the older the women
are who chew the maize, by so much will the beverage be the better.
And with this drink the natives get intoxicated and celebrate their

Soon after, Van Noort's ship gave chase to a Spaniard, which it was
important to take, lest she might spread the alarm along the coast. She
proved to be the Good Jesus, and to be stationed there expressly to
give early notice of the arrival of strange sails. She was taken, and
a prize-master placed on board to navigate her. One of the prisoners
stated afterwards, that ten thousand pounds' weight of gold had been
thrown overboard during her flight; and this was corroborated by the
pilot, who at first denied it, but, upon being put to the torture,
confessed. Van Noort now steered for the Philippines, by way of the
Ladrones. On the 30th of June, the pilot of the Good Jesus, who ate at
the admiral's table, was taken ill, and accused Van Noort of wishing to
poison him, and maintained the charge in presence of the officers. He
was sentenced to be cast head foremost into the sea,--the established
Dutch mode of punishing pirates. "We therefore threw him overboard,"
says the journal, "and left him to sink, to the end that he should not
ever again reproach us with any treachery." The Good Jesus now lost her
rudder, and, being very leaky, was abandoned in mid-ocean.

While Van Noort was thus making his way towards Manilla, preparations
were making at that place for defence. Cavite, the port, was fortified;
two galleons were ordered to be armed and equipped. The Dutch squadron
arrived off the entrance of the bay on the 24th of November, and Van
Noort determined to remain there till February, to intercept all
vessels bound in. He soon stopped a Japanese vessel, laden with iron
and hams. He allowed her to proceed, having first purchased a wooden
anchor. He remarks in the journal that he saw Japanese scimetars which
could cut through three men at a blow, and that slaves were kept for
the purpose of furnishing the necessary proof of their temper to
purchasers. He next took a Spanish vessel laden with cocoanut wine, and
a Chinese junk laden with rice. The cargoes were transferred and the
vessels sunk.

Early on the morning of the 14th of December, the two galleons
were seen bearing down upon the Dutch squadron, now reduced to two
sails,--the Mauritius, with fifty-five men, and the Concord, with
twenty-five. The Spanish ships are supposed to have had two hundred
men apiece. They steered directly for the enemy, but could not return
their fire, as the wind from the starboard compelled them to keep their
lee ports shut. The Spanish admiral ran his ship directly upon the
Dutch admiral, and his men at once overpowered the latter by the mere
force of numbers. The Dutch retreated from the deck, and harassed the
Spaniards from their close quarters. The colors of the Mauritius were
struck, upon which the captain of the Concord, thinking his superior
had surrendered, endeavored to escape, being closely pursued by the
Spanish vice-admiral.

The Dutch admiral, however, was not captured yet. The Spaniards having
remained masters of the open deck for six hours, Van Noort told his
men they must go up and expel the enemy, or he would fire the magazine
and blow up the ship. The Spanish account says that they were at this
moment themselves forced to disengage their ship and withdraw their
men, as the after-part of the Hollander had taken fire. At all events,
the two vessels were cleared and the engagement renewed with cannon.
The Spanish vessel took in water so fast that she went down not long
after. The Dutch rowed about in boats among the struggling Spaniards,
stabbing and knocking them on the head. In retaliation for this, the
officers and crew of the Concord, which was easily taken by the Spanish
vice-admiral, were conveyed to Manilla and executed as pirates and
rebels. In Van Noort's ship only five men were killed, twenty-six being
wounded more or less severely. He continued on his way with one vessel
only, touching at Borneo, Java, and Mauritius. At the latter place,
where he found other vessels at anchor, his men met with very pleasant
entertainment, and on one occasion ten of them dined in an inverted
tortoise-shell, the first inhabitant having withdrawn to furnish the
new occupants with both soup and sitting-room.


Van Noort arrived at Rotterdam on the 26th of August, 1601, where he
was received with the utmost joy, having been absent a fortnight short
of three years. His was the first Dutch vessel that circumnavigated the
globe, and the only one of the nine ships that sailed from Holland
in 1598 in that design which succeeded in fulfilling it. The voyage
contributed nothing to geography, but, in spite of the instances of
barbarity with which it abounded, added to the warlike and commercial
reputation of the country, and therefore met with favor from both
Government and people.


[Illustration: HEAD OF A TURTLE.]




We have said, in a preceding chapter, that Pedro Fernandez de Quiros
was the pilot of Mendana's second expedition. During the voyage he had
reflected deeply upon the probability of the existence of a Southern
continent: on his return to Peru, he asserted it, and devoted the
remainder of his life to the prosecution of a plan of discovery.
He was the first to bring forward scientific arguments in support
of the theory,--one which, by the way, was destined to agitate and
interest the world for two centuries, till its final overthrow by
Cook. He presented two memorials to Don Luis de Velasco, the viceroy,
praying for ships, men, and other necessaries, with which "to plough
up the waters of the unknown sea, and to seek out the undiscovered
lands around the Antarctic Pole, the centre of that horizon." His
arguments were many of them profound, and made a deep impression upon
the viceroy, who replied, however, that Quiros' desires exceeded the
limits of his authority. He nevertheless despatched him with strong
recommendations to the court of Spain. Philip III. gave favorable
attention to his projects, and ordered that Quiros should go in
person upon an expedition "among these hidden provinces and severed
regions,--an expedition destined to win souls to heaven and kingdoms
to the crown of Spain." Quiros returned to Lima "with the most
honorable schedules which had ever passed the Council of State." He
presented his papers to the viceroy, and, forgetting the obstacles and
discouragements he had met with during eleven years, entered on his new
and arduous labors. He built three ships, and embarked on the 20th of
December, 1605, holding his course west by south.

One thousand leagues from Peru, he discovered a small island which he
named Encarnaçion: to others, of little importance and uninhabited, he
gave the names of Santelmo, St. Miguel, and Archangel: the tenth he
called Dezena. On the 10th of February, 1606, land was seen from the
topmast-head, and, to the joy of all, columns of smoke--an unmistakable
sign that the land was inhabited--were perceived ascending at
numerous points. A boat advanced to the surf, through which it seemed
impossible to gain the shore. A young man, Francisco Ponce by name,
stripped off his clothes, saying that, if they should thus turn their
faces from the first danger which offered, there would be no hope of
eventual success. He threw himself into the sea, and, after a fierce
struggle with the receding waves, clambered up a rock to a spot where
one hundred Indians were awaiting him. They seemed pleased with his
resolution, and frequently kissed his forehead. Peace was made, and a
safe anchorage was pointed out. The island thus discovered subsequently
became, for many reasons, the most famous in the whole Pacific Ocean.
Quiros called it Sagittaria; but it is now known as Tahiti or Otaheite.
We shall have occasion hereafter to describe at length this lovely
oasis in the desert of the waters.

[Illustration: SCENE IN TAHITI.]

The fleet stayed here but two days, and then continued on its way.
Quiros discovered several islands which have not been seen again from
that time to this. To one of them he gave the name of Isla de la Gente
Hermosa,--Island of Handsome People. Convinced that the mainland must
be near, he kept on in search of what he called the "mother of so many
islands." At one named Taumaco he seized four natives to serve him
as guides and interpreters, and carried them away. He has been much
blamed for this act of treachery towards a people who treated him with
kindness and hospitality. Three of the four jumped overboard during
the two days following, and escaped to islands in the vicinity. The
chief of the island where he had taken them had informed him that, if
he would change his course from the west to the south, he would come to
a large tract, fertile and inhabited, named Manicolo. Following this
advice, he discovered the islands of Tucopia and Nuestra Señora de la
Luz. It is doubtful whether either of these has been seen by subsequent
navigators. On the 26th of April, he made a land which he took to be
the continent of which he was in search, and to which he gave the
name of Tierra Austral del Espiritu Santo. Bougainville and Cook,
who arrived here a century and a half afterwards, thought themselves
justified, by acquiring the certitude that it was a group of islands
and not a continent, in christening them anew,--Bougainville naming
them the Grandes Cyclades, and Cook the New Hebrides.

Quiros has left an admirable picture of this fertile and delightful
spot. "The rivers Jordan and Salvador," he says, "give no small beauty
to their shores, for they are full of odoriferous flowers and plants.
Pleasant and agreeable groves front the sea in every part: we mounted
to the tops of mountains and perceived fertile valleys and rivers
winding amongst green meadows. The whole is a country which, without
doubt, has the advantage over those of America, and the best of the
European will be well if it is equal. It is plenteous of various and
delicious fruits, potatoes, yams, plantains, oranges, limes, sweet
basil, nutmegs, and ebony, all of which, without the help of sickle,
plough, or other artifice, it yields in every season. There are
also cattle, birds of many kinds and of charming notes, honey-bees,
parrots, doves, and partridges. The houses wherein the Indians live
are thatched and low, and they of a black complexion. There are
earthquakes,--sign of a mainland." The Spaniards found it impossible to
make peace with the natives, and the few days which they spent there
were passed in wrangling and bloodshed.

The achievements and discoveries of Quiros properly end here. His ships
were separated, and his own crew disabled by the effects of poisonous
fish which they had eaten. He called a council of his officers, and
asked their opinion upon a choice of courses,--a prosecution of the
voyage to China, or a return to Mexico. The latter was decided upon.
Quiros arrived at Acapulco nine months after his departure from Callao.

He soon returned to Spain, where he presented a memorial to Philip III.
upon the results of his voyage, and the advantage of further efforts
in the same direction. His grand argument in favor of the theory that
he had discovered an Austral continent was drawn from the statements
of Pedro,--the only one of the four kidnapped savages of Taumaco who
had remained on board. A subsequent memorial shows the fate with which
all his representations to Philip met:--"I, Captain Pedro Fernandez
de Quiros, say that with this I have presented to your majesty eight
memorials touching the country of Australia Incognita, without to this
time any resolution being taken with me, nor any reply made me, nor
hope given to assure me that I shall be despatched,--having now been
fourteen months in this court, and having been fourteen years engaged
in this cause without pay or any other advantage in view but the
success of it alone; wherewith, and through infinite contradictions, I
have gone by land and sea twenty-two thousand leagues, spending all my
estate and incommoding my person, suffering so many and such terrible
things that even to myself they appear incredible: and all this has
come to pass, that this work of so much goodness and benevolence should
not be abandoned. In whose name, and all for the love of God, I beg
your majesty not to neglect these innumerable benefits, which shall
last as long as the world subsists, and then be eternal."

Quiros then enters into a detailed description of the islands and the
continent he had seen. Their extent, he said, was as much as that of
Europe, Asia Minor, England, and Ireland. They had no such turbulent
neighbors as the Turks or the Moors. The people were intelligent and
capable of civilization. Bread grew upon the trees. The palm yielded
spirits, vinegar, honey, whey, and toddy. The green cocoanut served
instead of artichoke; when ripe, for meat and cream; and, when old,
for oil, wax, and balsams. The shells furnished cups and bottles. The
fibres afforded oakum, cordage, and the best slow match. The leaves
furnished sails, matting, and thatch. The garden-stuffs of the country
were pumpkins, parsley, "with intimation of beans." The flesh was hogs,
fowls, capons, partridges, geese, turkeys, ringdoves, and goats, "with
intimation of cows and buffaloes." The riches were silver, pearls,
and gold. The spices were nutmegs, mace, pepper, and ginger, "with
intimation of cinnamon and cloves." There was ebony, and infinite
woods for ship-building. At daybreak the harmony of thousands of birds
trembled upon the air,--nightingales, blackbirds, larks, goldfinches,
and swallows,--besides the chirping of grasshoppers and crickets.
Every morning and evening the breeze was laden with fragrant scents
wafted from orange-flowers and sweet basil. This enthusiastic document
concludes thus:--"I can show this in a company of mathematicians, that
this land will presently accommodate and sustain two hundred thousand
Spaniards. None of our men fell sick from over-work, or sweating, or
getting wet. Fish and flesh kept sound two or more days. I saw neither
sandy ground, nor thistles, nor prickly trees, nor mangrovy swamps, nor
snow on the mountains, nor crocodiles in the rivers, nor ants in the
dust, nor mosquitos in the night.

"Acquire, sire, since you can with a little money, which will be
required but once,--acquire heaven, eternal fame, and that new world
with all its promises. Order the galleons to be ready, sire; for I have
many places to go to, and much to provide and to do. Let it be observed
that in all I shall be found very submissive to reason, and will give
satisfaction in every thing."

These stirring appeals were disregarded by the feeble successor of
Charles V.; and Quiros, who, though a Portuguese by birth, is often
styled the last of the Spanish heroes, died at Panama on his way back
to Lima.

We mentioned the dispersion of Quiros' fleet after leaving Espiritu
Santo. We must recur for a moment to this incident, in order to follow
the ship of Luis Vaez de Torrès, the second in command. He proceeded
on his voyage to the southwest, and saw enough of Espiritu Santo to
convince him that it was not a continent. He would have circumnavigated
it had the season permitted. Standing finally to the northward, he
fell in with numerous islands rich in pearls and spices, and "coasted
for eight hundred leagues along the southern shore of some land to him
unknown." This can have been no other shore than that of Papua or New
Guinea; and it is considered positive that he was the first European
to see this since famous and remarkable island. He found this whole
sea to be filled with groups of islands producing spices and the usual
tropical fruits. He made his way to the Philippines, where he rendered
an account of his adventures since his separation from Quiros.

While these distinguished navigators were thus searching the regions
lying about the equator, another adventurer, equally enterprising,
was endeavoring to reach the Pole. Henry Hudson, a seaman renowned
for his hardy and daring achievements, was appointed, in 1607, by
the Muscovy Company of London, to the command of a vessel intended
to penetrate to China by the Arctic seas to the north of Europe. His
crew consisted of ten men and a boy. He advanced as far as Greenland,
and returned by Spitzbergen,--being convinced that the ice formed an
insurmountable barrier against farther progress. He again set out in
1608, and, keeping more to the eastward, passed to the north of Norway,
Sweden, and Russia as far as Nova Zembla. The ice again stopped him,
and he returned,--persuaded that the northeastern passage did not
exist. The next year he was again sent upon the same errand; but, being
still unsuccessful, he crossed the Atlantic to America. He coasted
along the continent as far as Chesapeake Bay, and then returned to the
north, entering Delaware Bay and arriving in sight of the highlands
of Neversink on the 2d of September. This he pronounced a "good land
to fall in with, and a pleasant land to see." The next morning he
passed Sandy Hook, and came to anchor in what is now the Lower Bay of
New York. "What an event," says Everett, "in the history of American
population, enterprise, commerce, intelligence and power, was the
dropping of that anchor at Sandy Hook!"


"Here he lingered a week," continues the same author, "in friendly
intercourse with the natives of New Jersey, while a boat's
company explored the waters up to Newark Bay. And now the great
question:--Shall he turn back, or ascend the stream? Hudson was of a
race not prone to turn back, by sea or land. On the 11th of September,
he raised the anchor of the Half-Moon, and passed through the Narrows,
beholding on both sides 'as beautiful a land as one could tread on;'
the ship floating cautiously and slowly up the noble stream,--the first
that ever rested on its bosom. He passed the Palisades, Nature's dark
basaltic Malakoff; forced the iron gateway of the Highlands; anchored
on the 14th near West Point; swept around and upwards the following
day, by grassy meadows and tangled slopes, hereafter to be covered with
smiling villages, by elevated banks and woody heights, the destined
sites of towns and cities,--of Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Catskill; on the
evening of the 15th arrived 'opposite the mountains which rise from the
river's side,' where he found 'a very loving people and very old men;'
and, the day following, sailed by the spot hereafter to be honored by
his own illustrious name. One more day wafts him up between Schodac
and Castleton; and here he landed and passed a day with the natives,
greeted with all sorts of barbarous hospitality,--the land 'the finest
for cultivation he ever set foot on.' On the following morning, with
the early flood-tide, the Half-Moon ran higher up, and came to anchor
in deep water, near the site of the present city of Albany. Happy if
he could have closed his gallant career on the banks of the stream
which so justly bears his name, and thus have escaped the sorrowful and
mysterious catastrophe which awaited him the next year."

He soon after returned to England; and, not being discouraged, nor
finding it difficult to obtain the means of continuing his maritime
adventures, he set sail, in 1610, in a vessel of fifty-five tons'
burden, manned by twenty-three men and victualled for six months. He
touched at the Orkneys and anchored at Iceland. Mount Hecla revealed
to him the magnificence of a volcano in travail, and the Hot Springs
obligingly cooked his food. He passed Greenland, where the sun set in
the north. In the course of June and July, he passed to the northward
of Labrador, and followed the strait which now bears his name. In spite
of ice and disturbances among his crew, which at times assumed the
character of a mutiny, he pushed on into the great inland sea known as
Hudson's Bay. For a long time he did not know that it was a bay, and
naturally was led to hope that he was on the point of attaining the
object of all his efforts,--a passage by the northwest to China. The
extent of its surface amply justified him in these expectations, for
it is the largest inland sea in the world, with the exception of the

On the 1st of November, after seeking winter quarters, his men found
a suitable spot for beaching their vessel. Ten days afterwards, they
were frozen in, with provisions hardly sufficient to last, upon the
most meagre allowance, till they could expect a release from the ice. A
reward was offered to those who added to the general stock by catching
either birds or fish, or animals serviceable for food. A house was
built; but the season was so far advanced that it could not be rendered
fit to dwell in. The winter was severe, and the men lived at first upon
partridges, then upon swans and teal, and finally upon moss and frogs.
They assuaged the pain of their frozen limbs by applying to them a hot
decoction made from buds containing a balsam-like substance resembling
turpentine. Towards spring, they obtained furs from the natives, in
exchange for hatchets, glass, and buttons.

When the ice broke up, they prepared to return,--the last ration of
bread being exhausted on the day of their departure. A report was
circulated among the crew that Hudson had concealed a quantity of bread
for his own use, and a mutiny, fomented by a man named Green, broke out
on the 21st of June. Hudson was seized and his hands bound. Together
with the sick, and those whom the frost had deprived of the use of
their limbs, he was put into the shallop and set adrift. Neither he,
nor the boat, nor any of its crew, were ever heard of again.

The wretched mutineers made the best of their way home in the ship they
had thus foully obtained. Not one of the ringleaders lived to reach the
land. The rest, after suffering the most awful extremities of famine,
finally gained the shore.




We have said, in a former chapter, that the Dutch succeeded the
Portuguese in the possession of the East Indies. During the struggle
between these two powers for supremacy over the Spice Islands, the
Dutch East India Company resolved to make a vigorous effort to reach
the Moluccas by the Strait of Magellan. They equipped a fleet of six
ships, for the purpose of exploring a new route. These vessels were
named the Great Sun, the Half-Moon, the Morning Star, the Huntsman,
and the Sea Mew, and were placed under the command of Joris Spilbergen
as admiral, who had already conducted a Dutch fleet to the Indies. He
received his commission from their Mightinesses the States-General. He
sailed from the Texel on the 8th of August, 1614.

While upon the South American coast, a mutiny broke out in the Sea Mew,
and the two ringleaders were condemned to be cast into the sea,--a
sentence which was rigorously executed. They entered the Strait of
Magellan on the 28th of February, 1615, but were forced out again by
adverse currents. They entered again on the 2d of April, and saw men
of gigantic stature upon the hills, dead bodies wrapped in the skins
of penguins, and shrubs producing sweet blackberries. The mountains
were covered with snow, yet the woods were filled with parrots.
Water-cresses, and a tree whose bark had a biting taste, induced them
to give to an inlet the name of Pepper Haven. The natives bartered
ornaments of mother-of-pearl for knives and wine. The vessels entered
the South Sea on the 6th of May, and on the 25th anchored off Mocha
Island, half a league from the coast of Chili.

The natives were delighted to learn that the strangers were the enemies
of the Spaniards their oppressors, and to see that their ships were so
large and well armed. The chief of the island visited the admiral's
ship and remained his guest all night. A hatchet was the price fixed
upon for two fat sheep; and a hundred were obtained at this rate. The
natives would not permit the Dutch to see their women, and at last,
when they had disposed of all the provisions and live stock they had
to spare, made signs for them to re-enter their ships and depart, with
which reasonable request Spilbergen at once complied.

On the 29th, the vessels anchored off the island of Santa Maria,
and, though there were Spaniards upon it, negotiations were opened.
The Dutch officers were invited by a Spaniard to dine on shore, and,
having accepted and assembled for the purpose, were either led to
suspect treachery, or were convinced that they were strong enough to
help themselves without negotiation. They summoned soldiers from the
ships, burned a number of houses, and carried off five hundred sheep.
The Spaniard who was to have been their host, but who was now their
prisoner, informed them that the Viceroy of Peru had been for some
months aware of their approach, and that a strong force was prepared
at Lima to attack them. Spilbergen determined to go in search of
the Spanish fleet: the gunners were ordered to have every thing in
readiness for battle, and military regulations were promulgated,--every
one, from the admiral to the swabs, being determined to do or die.
One of the orders was that "during the action the decks were to be
continually wetted, that accidents might not happen from ignited

At Concepçion, the Dutch landed and set fire to a number of houses; at
Valparaiso, the Spaniards burned one of their own vessels, that she
might not fall into the enemy's hands. At Arica--the seaport to which
the Potosi silver was brought to be shipped to Panama--they took a
small ship laden with treasure. On the evening of the 16th of July, the
Spanish fleet, of eight sail, appeared in sight. The Jesu Maria, the
flag-ship, had no less than four hundred and sixty men, and mounted
twenty-four guns; and the whole squadron were in the same proportion
better provided with men than artillery. Don Rodrigo de Mendoça was
the commander. He insisted upon an immediate attack by night, saying
that "any two of his ships could take all England, and much more
these hens of Holland, who must be spent and wasted by so long a
voyage." About ten at night, the Spanish admiral and the Dutch admiral
closed,--the Jesu Maria and the Great Sun. They hailed each other,
and some conversation passed before a shot was fired. The attack was
then commenced by the musketry, seconded by the great guns. The ships
of both fleets came up in succession and joined battle. The pomp and
circumstance of war were not neglected, for the braying of the cannon
was accompanied by the sounding of tambours and trumpets. The Spanish
San Francisco received a broadside which the Great Sun could spare
from the Jesu Maria, and soon after went to the bottom. The Sun sent
out one of her boats for a rescue; but it was mistaken by the Huntsman
for an enemy's boat, and was blown out of the water by a cannon-shot.
The night becoming very dark, the fleets were gradually separated.
The next morning five of the Spanish ships sent word to their admiral
that they were going to escape if they could. The Spanish admiral and
vice-admiral were lashed together for mutual support, and were, in this
condition, attacked by the Great Sun and the Half-Moon. The Spanish
seamen several times hung out a white flag in token of surrender, which
was as often cut down by their officers, who chose rather to die than
yield, especially as they had sworn to the Viceroy of Peru to bring him
all the Hollanders in chains. At nightfall, the Jesu Maria cut herself
loose and fled from pursuit; but her leaks and damages were so serious
that she went to the bottom before dawn. This decided the victory in
favor of the Dutch, who are accused of allowing many of the enemy to
drown who might easily have been saved.

The victorious fleet sailed directly for Callao; but the Spanish
shipping in the port was so well protected by batteries that it was
not thought prudent to attack them. Soon after, a vessel laden with
salt and sugar was captured and the cargo distributed. The town of
Paita was plundered and burned. No money or treasure is mentioned among
the booty. Keeping a sharp watch for the fleet of Panama, which the
Dutch did not care to meet or engage, they proceeded to the north,
and, on the 11th of October, entered the harbor of Acapulco, in Mexico
or New Spain. Negotiations were entered into and a treaty was made,
the Dutch agreeing to release all their prisoners, and the Spanish to
furnish them with oxen, sheep, poultry, fruit, water, and wood. Thus
the Spaniards saved their town at a small expense, and the Dutch found
refreshments which they could have obtained in no other way.


On the 10th of November, they anchored at the mouth of a river reported
by their prisoners to abound in fish, while its banks produced citron
and other fruit trees. Boats were sent to examine it. The Dutch noticed
that the footprints upon the shore were the prints of shoes, and not
of feet as Nature made them. Suspecting, therefore, the presence of
Spaniards, they did not disembark, but returned to the ship. The next
day the admiral landed with two hundred men, and was at once attacked
by a strong body of Spaniards concealed in the woods. The latter were
repulsed with loss, but Spilbergen withdrew his men to the ships, as
his ammunition was nearly exhausted.


On the 2d of December, the fleet left the American coast and directed
their course west by south for the Ladrone Islands. The next
year--1616--was ushered in with distempers that proved fatal to many of
the seamen. On the 23d of January, they came in sight of the Ladrones,
where they stopped two days to traffic with the natives for flesh,
fish, fruit, and fowl. The savages were, as usual, treacherous and
given to thieving, and at times required the chastisement of powder
and ball. The fleet touched at the Philippines early in February, but
the Indians refused to trade with them, as they were enemies of the
Spaniards. They entered the Straits of Manilla, and anchored before
the island of Mirabelles, remarkable for two rocks which tower to a
vast height into the air. The Dutch took several barks laden with the
tribute of numerous adjacent places to the city of Manilla. They gained
intelligence of a fleet of twelve ships and four galleys, manned by
two thousand Spaniards, besides Indians and Chinese, sent to drive
their countrymen from the Moluccas and to reduce those islands to the
dominion of Spain. On this news, they discharged all their prisoners,
and made preparations to meet the Manilla fleet and to proceed to the
assistance of their friends. They arrived on the 29th of March at
Ternate, one of the principal islands of the group, where the Dutch
possessed a trading-station. They were received with joy by their

Spilbergen was now detained nine months in the Molucca and neighboring
islands, in the service of the East India Company. A narrative of his
transactions here would be foreign to the purpose of this work. He
left the ships in which he had hitherto sailed in India, and returned
to Holland in the Amsterdam. His voyage produced no new discoveries
in the South Sea; but the Directors of the Company bestowed upon him
the highest praise for his prudent management and timely energy. The
Company may be said to have dated their grandeur from the day of his
return, both as regards power and wealth,--the first resulting from
his successful circumnavigation of the globe, the latter from their
conquests in the Moluccas, in which he took a prominent part, and of
which he brought home the first intelligence.

The Dutch East India Company held from the Government the exclusive
privilege of trading in the Great South Sea,--all private citizens
being prohibited from entering those waters by the Cape of Good Hope
on the east or the Strait of Magellan on the west. This prohibition
stimulated rather than checked the commercial ardor of the country,
and it soon became the study of navigators and merchants to discover
some safe means of eluding the law, it being hard, they said, that
Government should close up the channels which Nature had left free.
Isaac Lemaire, a rich trader of Amsterdam, was the first to whom the
idea occurred of seeking another passage from the Atlantic to the
Pacific than the Strait of Magellan. He imparted his views to William
Cornelison Schouten, who had been three times to the East Indies in
the different capacities of supercargo, pilot, and master. He too was
convinced that to the south of Terra del Fuego lay another passage
from one ocean to the other. Could they find this passage, they might
legally trespass upon the monopoly held by the Company. They determined
to attempt the discovery, and Lemaire advanced half the necessary
funds, Schouten and his friends furnishing the other half. Two ships
were fitted out, the larger,--the Concord,--of three hundred and sixty
tons, being manned by sixty-five men, and pierced for twenty-nine guns
of small calibre; the Horn, of one hundred and ten tons, carrying
eight cannons, four swivels, and twenty-two men. Schouten was master
and pilot of the expedition, and James Lemaire, the son of Isaac,
supercargo. The object of the voyage was kept a profound secret, the
officers and men being bound by their articles to go wherever they
should be required, and, in compensation for this unusual condition,
receiving a considerable advance upon the ordinary wages. The little
fleet was equipped in the port of Horn, and left the Texel on the 14th
of June, 1615, proceeding towards the coast of Africa.

On the 30th of August, they cast anchor in the roads of Sierra Leone,
where they drove a brisk trade in lemons, easily purchasing a thousand
for a handful of worthless glass beads. Fresh water was obtained by
holding casks under a bountiful cascade, and thus easily were the
materials for lemonade procured in this favored spot. They then made
directly for the southwest. While in the middle of the Atlantic, the
crew of the Concord were startled by her receiving a violent blow
upon her bottom, although no rock was visible. The color of the sea
around them changed suddenly to red, as if a fountain of blood had been
discharged into it. A large horn, of a substance resembling ivory, and
solid, not hollow, was subsequently found in the ship's side, having
passed through three of her planks and entered the wood to the depth
of a foot, leaving at least a foot more upon the outside. The vessel
had evidently been in collision with a narwhal or sea-unicorn, and the
broken horn and the crimsoned water plainly showed which had suffered
most from the shock.

Late in October, the ships' companies were informed of the design of
the voyage, and readily consented to engage in a scheme which promised
both distinction and emolument. Early in December, they made the coast
of Patagonia, some three hundred miles to the north of Magellan's
Strait. Here the Horn, the smaller of the two vessels, caught fire
by accident and was destroyed. Her iron-work, guns, and anchors were
transferred to the Concord. On the 24th, the Concord passed the Strait
of Magellan, and was soon in the latitude where Schouten and Lemaire
hoped to make their grand discovery. While Terra del Fuego was still
in sight upon their right hand, they noticed a high, rugged island
upon their left, which they named Staten Land, or Land of the States.
The ship passed between the two, and soon after rounded the promontory
which advanced the farthest into the sea, to which, in honor of the
port from which the expedition had sailed, Schouten gave the name of
Cape Horn. He then launched into the South Sea, being the first who
passed completely round the South American continent. Lemaire claimed
the honor of giving his name to the strait which had brought them to
the Cape,--one which clearly belonged to Schouten, as the leader and
pilot of the expedition. The strait is still known by the name of the
supercargo, geographers having consecrated, by silence, this manifest
act of injustice.

[Illustration: CAPE HORN.]

Altering their course to the northward, they soon recognised the mouth
of Magellan's Strait,--which rendered their discovery complete. They
returned thanks to God for their success, and passed the wine cup three
times round the company. Schouten then made for the island of Juan
Fernandez, where he hoped to give rest and refreshment to his sickly
and wearied crew. The currents and the winds would not permit him to
land; and he was compelled to start across the Pacific in a crazy ship
and with a disabled company. Like Magellan, who traversed this ocean
without seeing any of the important islands which, just below the
line, extend from America to Asia, forming, as it were, a girdle from
shore to shore, Schouten discovered but a few insignificant rocks and
reefs, passing between and at a distance from the great archipelagoes
which dot the Pacific in this latitude. At one of these spots his men
met an enemy more numerous and formidable than any tribe of savages.
Innumerable myriads of flies followed them from the shore to the ship,
so that they came on board absolutely black with the winged and buzzing
infliction. The flies enveloped the vessel in a thick and melodious
cloud, from which the sailors were glad to escape with the first
favoring breeze. Schouten consulted geographical propriety by naming
the scene of this adventure Fly Island.


Early in July, 1616, they arrived at the Moluccas, and went ashore upon
the island of Gilolo, where they procured poultry, tortoises, rice, and
sago. They next touched at Ternate, where they were kindly entertained
by the Dutch authorities. They sold their two pinnaces, still upon
the deck of the Concord, together with what had been saved from the
Horn; they received in return thirteen hundred and fifty reals. With
this they purchased a large quantity of rice, a ton of vinegar, as
much Spanish wine, and three tons of biscuit. They then sailed for
Java, and cast anchor in the harbor of Jacatra--now Batavia--sixteen
months after quitting the Texel, having lost but three men upon the
voyage. The expedition properly terminates here; for Jan Petersen
Coen, President for the Dutch East India Company at Bantam, in Java,
confiscated their ship and cargo as forfeited for illegally sailing
within the boundaries of the Company's charter. He sent Schouten and
Lemaire to Holland, however, that they might plead their cause before a
competent court. Lemaire died on his way home, overcome with grief and
vexation at the disastrous end of a voyage which had been so successful
till the seizure of the ship. Schouten made several subsequent voyages
to the East Indies, and died, in 1625, in the island of Madagascar.
His name is little known, and his memory has almost passed away,
although to him clearly belongs the credit of improving upon Magellan's
discovery by furnishing a safer route to the commerce of the world and
substituting the doubling of Cape Horn for the threading of the Strait.

During this same year, the English made their last attempt for nearly
two centuries in the Arctic waters of America. William Baffin, who
had accompanied Hudson in one of his earlier voyages, embarked in the
capacity of pilot on board the Discovery,--a vessel bound for the
northwest and commanded by one Robert Bylot. The crew consisted of
fourteen men and two boys. Passing through Davis' Strait, they came to
the vast bay which now bears Baffin's name. They found it to be eight
hundred miles long and three hundred wide. They ascended to the north
as far as the seventy-eighth degree of latitude, where the bay seemed
to taper off in a strait or sound, which they called Thomas Smith's
Sound. Here Baffin observed the greatest variation of the needle known
at that time,--fifty-six degrees to the west. The charts of Baffin are
lost; but several of his journals are extant, and contain numerous
astronomical and hydrographic observations, which have since been fully
verified by the superior instruments of modern science. Baffin saw
the opening to the west which Ross, two centuries later, was to call
Lancaster Sound, and through which Parry was to penetrate to Melville
Island and to the Polar Sea. He was convinced that a northwest passage
existed, though he never made a second voyage in search of it. For
one hundred and sixty years, now, the Arctic waters of the American
continent were left undisturbed by adventurers from Europe. Their icy
coasts remained unvisited till the middle of the eighteenth century,
when the energies of English navigators were roused into activity by
the reward offered by Parliament,--twenty thousand pounds to him who
should sail to China by the northwest.


Section V.

NAVIGATION; 1616-1807.



We have now to narrate the incidents of a voyage without precedent, in
one point of view, in maritime annals, and to chronicle the adventures
of a ship which may be safely said to have achieved a fame beyond that
of any other that ever ploughed the ocean. When we mention the name of
the Mayflower, in which the Pilgrim Fathers proceeded from Southampton
Water to Plymouth Rock, we are sure that the distinction which we
claim for this feeble vessel will be contested by none,--not even by
those who would gladly accord the supremacy of the seas to the Nina of
Columbus or the Vittoria of Magellan. The details of the voyage are few
and unsatisfactory; but the vivid imagination of historians and orators
has amply supplied their place.


The Mayflower was built in England, at a time when English commerce
could bear no comparison with that of Holland, and when the trade with
the latter power employed six hundred Dutch ships to one hundred of
English build. They were picturesque in appearance, though tub-like
and clumsy, the hull being broad-bottomed and capacious, while the
lofty cabins, towering high both fore and aft,--a style now obsolete
in Europe, but still prevailing in the Red Sea and the Levant,--caused
them to roll heavily in rough water. The Mayflower was a high-sterned,
quaint, but staunch little vessel of one hundred and eighty tons, and
was built for one of the trading companies lately chartered by the
Government. The Dutch portion of the emigration had already embarked
at Delfthaven in the Speedwell, of sixty tons, and both vessels
were, on the 1st of August, 1620, anchored before the old towers of
Southampton. The pilgrims were then regularly organized for the voyage,
being distributed according to rules laid down and accepted by all.
The larger number were of course received on board the Mayflower. On
the 5th of August, both vessels weighed anchor, and sailed down the
beautiful estuary of Southampton Water: passing the Isle of Wight and
the rocks known as the Needles, they entered the English Channel.

They were no sooner launched upon the fretful waters of this confined
strait than their disasters began. The captain of the Speedwell, who
had engaged to remain a year abroad with the vessel, actuated either by
cowardice or by dissatisfaction with the enterprise, declared that his
ship was leaky, and that she could not proceed to sea. Dartmouth Harbor
offered an opportunity for effecting the necessary repairs, and here a
week was spent: the Speedwell was then pronounced quite sound by the
carpenters and surveyors. They again set sail; but the captain of the
Speedwell soon profited by the vicinity of Plymouth to assert a second
time that he was ready to founder. He ran into port, and the Mayflower
followed. No special cause was discovered for the apprehensions of
the captain; but it was decided that the Speedwell should be sent
back to London as unseaworthy, with such of her passengers as were
disheartened, the remainder being transferred to the larger ship. One
hundred and one persons--some of them aged and infirm, and several of
them women soon to become mothers--were thus imprisoned, as it were,
in a vessel much too small to accommodate them; while the delays
resulting from the treachery or stratagem practised by the captain of
the Speedwell had already proved so serious, that it was the 6th of
September before the Mayflower, with her crowd of suffering passengers,
could continue the voyage thus inauspiciously commenced.

The wind was east by north, blowing, according to the journal, "a fine
small gale," when the Mayflower started from Plymouth upon her lonely
way. The solitude of the ocean--in this latitude almost a trackless
waste--lay stretched out before them. The prosperous gale soon gave way
to the equinoctial storm, and a terrible head-wind from the northwest
compelled the little bark to struggle anxiously with waves which
threatened to engulf her. She was soon sorely shattered: her upper
works were strained, and one of the main beams amidships was bent and
cracked. A consultation was held between the seamen and passengers,
and the question was seriously debated whether it would not be better
to put back. It was fortunately discovered, however, that one of the
Dutch pilgrims had accidentally brought on board a large iron screw,
and this served to rivet the defective beam. The ship proceeded on her
course, struggling with westerly gales and tempestuous seas. For whole
days together she was compelled to lie to, or to scud with bare poles.
"Methinks," says Everett, "I see the adventurous vessel, the Mayflower
of a forlorn hope, freighted with the prospects of a future State and
bound across the unknown sea. I behold it pursuing, with a thousand
misgivings, the uncertain, tedious voyage. Suns rise and set, weeks and
months pass; and winter surprises them on the deep, but brings them not
the sight of the wished-for shore. I see them now, scantily supplied
with provisions, crowded almost to suffocation in their ill-stored
prison, delayed by calms, pursuing a circuitous route, and now driven
in fury before the raging tempest on the high and giddy waves. The
awful voice of the storm howls through the rigging; the laboring masts
seem straining from their base; the dismal sound of the pumps is heard;
the ship leaps, as it were, madly from billow to billow; the ocean
breaks and settles with engulfing floods over the floating deck, and
beats, with deadening, shivering weight, against the staggered vessel."
Only one death occurred during this terrible voyage,--a loss in numbers
which was made good by the birth of a boy, to whom was given the name
of Oceanus Hopkins.

Sixty-four days had passed, and the 9th of November had dawned. Upon
this date the tempest-tossed pilgrims obtained their first view of the
American coast. "To the storm-ridden voyager," writes one of their
descendants, "exhausted by confinement and suffering, the sight of any
shore, however wild, the aromatic fragrance that blows from the land,
are inexpressibly sweet and refreshing:

  Lovely seems any object that shall sweep
  Away the vast--salt--dread--eternal deep!

And thus we find that the low sand-hills of Cape Cod, covered with
scrubby woods that descended to the margin of the sea, seemed, at the
first glance, a perfect paradise of verdure to the eyes of these poor
sea-beaten wanderers."

The orator and statesman from whom we have already quoted thus
eloquently alludes to the providential circumstances attending the
arrival of the Mayflower upon the American shore:--"Let us go up in
imagination to yonder hill and look out upon the November scene. That
single dark speck, just discernible through the perspective glass on
the waste of waters, is the fated vessel. The storm moans through
her tattered canvas, as she creeps, almost sinking, to her anchorage
in Provincetown Harbor; and there she lies, with all her treasures,
not of silver and gold,--for of them she has none,--but of courage,
of patience, of zeal, of high spiritual daring. So often as I dwell
in imagination on this scene,--when I consider the condition of the
Mayflower, utterly incapable as she was of living through another
gale,--when I survey the terrible front presented by our coast to the
navigator who, unacquainted with its channels and roadsteads, should
approach it in the stormy season,--I dare not call it a mere piece of
good fortune that the general north and south wall of the shore of
New England should be broken by this extraordinary projection of the
Cape, running out into the ocean a hundred miles, as if on purpose to
receive and encircle the precious vessel. As I now see her, freighted
with the destinies of a continent, barely escaped from the perils of
the deep, approaching the shore precisely where the broad sweep of
this most remarkable headland presents almost the only point at which,
for hundreds of miles, she could with any ease have made a harbor,
and this perhaps the very best on the sea-board, I feel my spirit
raised above the sphere of mere natural agencies. I see the mountains
of New England rising from their rocky thrones: they rush forward
into the ocean, settling down as they advance; and there they range
themselves, a mighty bulwark, around the Heaven-directed vessel. Yes!
the everlasting God himself stretches out the arm of his mercy and his
power in substantial manifestations, and gathers the meek company of
his worshippers as in the hollow of his hand."

"I see the pilgrims," he continues, "escaped from their perils,
landed at last, after a two months' passage, on the ice-clad rocks of
Plymouth, weak and weary from the voyage,--without shelter, without
means, surrounded by hostile tribes. Shut now the volume of history,
and tell me, on any principle of human probability, what shall be the
fate of this handful of adventurers. Tell me, man of military science,
in how many months were they all swept off by the thirty savage tribes
enumerated within the early limits of New England? Tell me, politician,
how long did this shadow of a colony, on which your conventions and
treaties had not smiled, languish on the distant coast? Student of
history, compare for me the baffled projects, the deserted settlements,
the abandoned adventures, of other times, and find the parallel of
this. Was it the winter's storm, or disease, or labor and spare meals,
or the tomahawk--that hurried this forsaken company to their melancholy
fate? And is it possible that neither of these causes, that not all
combined, were able to blast this bud of hope? Is it possible that from
a beginning so feeble, so frail, so worthy not so much of admiration
as of pity, there has gone forth a progress so steady, a growth so
wonderful, an expansion so ample, a reality so important, a promise,
yet to be fulfilled, so glorious?"

The Mayflower remained in Plymouth Harbor, and was the home of the
women and children during the severe winter of 1620-21. She rode out
the storm at her anchorage,--though she was placed in great danger by
a gale upon the 4th of February, her want of ballast--unladen as she
was--rendering her light as a cockle-shell. With the opening of spring,
the captain determined to return to England, and offered to carry
back any of the colonists who might be disheartened by the calamities
which had overtaken them,--for they had buried half their number. But
their sufferings had endeared the soil to them, and not one embraced
the opportunity of returning. The Mayflower left Plymouth on the 5th
of April, 1621, and made the run home to London in thirty days. She
seems to have performed several voyages back and forth, and, in 1630,
arrived in the harbor of Charlestown, with a portion of Winthrop's
company of emigrants. Her subsequent history is very uncertain; and all
attempts to ascertain it have been baffled by the circumstance that
several ships bore the name of Mayflower, and no reliable means exist
of distinguishing her of Pilgrim celebrity from others of obscurer fame.

[Illustration: THE COD.]




The Council of the Dutch East India Company thought proper, in 1642,
to order a complete and precise survey of the lands accidentally
discovered during the previous fifty years by vessels trading between
Holland and Batavia, in Java. These had touched, at intervals, at
numerous points upon the continental island of New Holland,--Hertog at
Endracht's Land in 1616, and De Witt, Van Nuyts, and Carpenter at other
points, somewhat later. It was eminently desirable that a scientific
navigator should visit and render an account of this region, of which
only casual glimpses had thus far been obtained. Captain Abel Jansen
Tasman was intrusted with this duty by Van Diemen, Governor-General of
the Company. He left Batavia in August with two vessels, the Zeehaan
and the Heemskirk, and proceeded towards the south and southeast.
During this portion of the voyage the needle was in such continual
agitation, unwilling to remain in any of the eight points and boxing
the whole compass in twenty-four hours, that Tasman was led to believe
large mines of loadstone to exist in the vicinity. On the 24th of
November he discovered land, and gave to it the name of Van Diemen's
Land,--a name which it has retained, though in honor of its discoverer
it is often, of late years, called Tasmania. He saw no inhabitants,
though he fancied he heard human voices. He noticed two trees, fifteen
feet in girth and sixty feet in height from the ground to the branches.
Up the trunks of these trees steps, five feet apart, had been cut in
the bark. By these the natives, apparently of prodigious size, had
climbed into the foliage and robbed the birds' nests of their eggs.
Though a sound resembling that of a trumpet had been heard, though
tracks of wild beasts were fresh in the sand, and though smoke ascended
from the interior in several places, no living creature was seen.
Tasman set up a post, upon which every man of the company cut his name,
and upon the top of which a flag was hoisted, and then set out in quest
of the Solomon Islands, which he supposed to lie to the east.

On the 13th of September he discovered a high, mountainous country,
to which he gave the name of Staten Land,--Land of the States, [of
Holland.] Its present name is New Zealand. He coasted along the shore
to the northeast, and anchored in a fine bay, though he did not
disembark. The savages, who were shy at first, at last ventured on
board the Heemskirk, in order to trade. Tasman, suspicious of their
intentions, sent a boat with seven men from the Zeehaan, to put the
crew of his consort upon their guard. These seven men, being without
arms, were attacked: three of them were killed, and the other four
forced to swim for their lives. The two vessels opened their fire upon
the canoes of the islanders, and Tasman branded the spot with a name
which still exists upon the charts,--Murderers' Bay.

[Illustration: MURDERERS' BAY.]

On the 21st of January, 1643, he saw three islands, in latitude 21°
south: he named them Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Middlebourg. The
inhabitants were peaceable and friendly, were unacquainted with the use
of weapons, and very skilful in stealing. The natives called Amsterdam
Tonga-Tabou; Rotterdam, Ana-Mocka; and Middlebourg, Eoa. These are now
the principal members of the group known as the Friendly Islands. They
remained unvisited by Europeans from the time of Tasman, in 1643, to
the second voyage of Cook, in 1773,--a space of one hundred and thirty
years. Cook found traditions still existing respecting Tasman's ships;
and a nail was shown him which had been left by the Dutch navigator.
Proceeding to the north and then to the west, Tasman discovered a
group of twenty islands, girt with shoals and sands. He named them
Prince William's Islands and Heemskirk's Shallows. These now form the
eastern portion of the Feejee archipelago. They remained unvisited for
a century and a half, until the people of the Friendly Islands spoke of
them to Cook and his successors and induced them to visit them.

Tasman now feared that the currents and winds had driven him more to
the westward than he had supposed; for he had not seen the sun for
many weeks, and was consequently without reliable observations. He
resolved to make for the north, and then for the western coast of New
Guinea, in order not to be driven to the south of the island and pass
it without seeing it.


On the 1st of April, he saw the coast of what he supposed was New
Guinea, but which was in reality New Britain. Here an earthquake
terrified the seamen, for the shock caused them to fear they had
struck upon a rock; but the lead did not reach the bottom. On the
20th, they passed a burning island, noticed by late navigators, and
perceived flames issuing from lofty mountains. The water was full of
shrubs, bamboos, and small trees, carried by the rivers to the sea.
The discharge of fresh water by these rivers was such that it almost
corrected the salt of the ocean. The natives showed Tasman some ginger,
and sold him hogs and cocoanuts. At the island of Moa he found the
inhabitants speaking a language so copious, that they could at once
repeat, intelligibly, the words of any other language. Tasman did not
find it so easy to speak theirs, however, as the letter _r_ occurred
once or more in every syllable. He purchased, for knives made of the
iron hoops of water-casks, six thousand cocoanuts and a hundred bunches
of bananas, or Indian figs.

On the 18th of May, Tasman reached the western extremity of New Guinea,
having sailed entirely round the continent or island of Australia. He
arrived at Batavia, whence he had started, after an absence of ten
months. His expedition was the clearest and most precise of the several
voyages which had been made for the discovery of the Terra Australis
Incognita: few voyages, since that of Magellan, had contributed more
to geographical science; for, by reducing the limits of the Terra
Australis, as he did by circumnavigating the supposed continent, he did
much to rid geography of its most important error.

Tasman made a second voyage in 1644; but his journals and his track
have been completely lost,--probably by design, as the Dutch did
not make geographical researches in the interest of the world, but
exclusively in that of the East India Company. By his second voyage
he is believed to have determined the extent of the great Gulf of
Carpentaria, which so profoundly indents the northern coast of New
Holland. The portion of his discoveries relative to New Zealand and
the Friendly Islands has been completed by Cook; that relative to Van
Diemen's Land by d'Entrecasteaux, in his voyage in search of Lapérouse.
The fragments which remain of Tasman's journals attest his reasoning
powers, his nautical experience, and his unerring judgment. The Dutch
never published his own account of his adventures, and the few extracts
which have become public crept by accident and stealth into later
works and journals of discovery. A Dutch writer thus alludes to the
indifference manifested by his countrymen in regard to Tasman:--"We
do not know when he was born, when he went to India, or when he
returned. In our grand biographical dictionaries, where you will find
every puerile detail respecting such and such musty savant, only known
as a professor at some university or as a quarrelsome skirmisher of
the Republic of Letters, there is no room, it seems, for the first
navigator of his age." The English have proposed of late to substitute
a name of their own for that of Van Diemen's Land; but the appellation
of Tasmania is beginning, as we have said, for evident reasons of
propriety to find a place upon modern charts and maps.

[Illustration: A BUCCANEER.]



It is necessary to pause at this period in our review of the grand
maritime expeditions which successively left the various seaports of
the world, in order to refer to a practice which was now rendering
commerce hazardous and the whole highway of the seas insecure,--piracy.
Besides the numerous isolated adventurers who preyed upon the vessels
of any and every nation which fell in their way, a powerful association
or league of robbers, who infested particularly the West India Islands
and the Caribbean Sea, and who bore the name of Buccaneers, became,
during the century of which we are now speaking, the peculiar dread of
Spanish ships. We shall describe this fraternity in some detail. The
term buccaneer is a corruption of the French word boucanier, which in
its turn was made from the Caribbean noun _boucan_, being the flesh
of cattle dried and preserved in a peculiar manner. The French also
called them flibustiers, this word being a corruption of the English
word freebooters; and this French word has been still further tortured
into "Filibusters,"--a term now applied to such Americans as desire
violently to extend the area of freedom.

The buccaneers were principally natives of Great Britain and France,
and first attract notice in the island of St. Domingo. The Spaniards
would not allow any other nation than their own to trade in the West
Indies, and pursued and murdered the English and French wherever they
found them. Every foreigner discovered among the islands or on the
coast of the American continent was treated as a smuggler and a robber;
and it was not long before they became so, and organized themselves
into an association capable of returning cruelty by cruelty. The
Spaniards employed coast-guards to keep off interlopers, the commanders
of which were instructed to massacre all their prisoners. This tended
to produce a close alliance, offensive and defensive, among the
mariners of all other nations, who in their turn made descents upon
the coasts and ravaged the weaker Spanish towns and settlements. A
permanent state of hostilities was thus established in the West Indies,
independent of peace or war at home. After the failure of the mines
of St. Domingo and its abandonment by the Spaniards, it was taken
possession of, early in the sixteenth century, by a number of French
wanderers who had been driven out of St. Christopher; and their numbers
were soon augmented by adventurers from all quarters.

As they had neither wives nor children, they generally lived together
by twos for mutual protection and assistance: when one died, the
survivor inherited his property, unless a will was found bequeathing it
to some relative in Europe. Bolts, locks, and all kinds of fastenings
were prohibited among them, the maxim of "honor among thieves" being
considered a more efficient safeguard. The dress of a buccaneer
consisted of a shirt dipped in the blood of an animal just slain, a
leathern girdle in which hung pistols and a short sabre, a hat with
feathers,--but without a rim, except a fragment in guise of a visor to
pull it on and off,--and shoes of untanned hide, without stockings.
Each man had a heavy musket and usually a pack of twenty or thirty
dogs. Their business was, at the outset, cattle-hunting; and they
sold hides to the Dutch who resorted to the island to purchase them.
They possessed servants and slaves, consisting of persons decoyed
to the West Indies and induced to bind themselves for a certain
number of years. They treated them with great severity. The following
epigrammatic conversation is reported as having taken place between
an apprentice and a buccaneer. "Master," said the servant, "God has
forbidden the practice of working on the Sabbath: does he not say, 'Six
days shalt thou labor; and on the seventh shalt thou rest'?" "But I say
unto thee," returned the buccaneer, "six days shalt thou kill cattle;
and on the seventh shalt thou carry their hides to the shore."

The Spaniards inhabiting other portions of St. Domingo conceived the
idea of ridding the island of the buccaneers by destroying all the wild
cattle; and this was carried into execution by a general chase. The
buccaneers abandoned St. Domingo and took refuge in the mountainous and
well-wooded island of Tortuga, of which they made themselves absolute
lords and masters. The advantages of the situation brought swarms of
adventurers and desperadoes to the spot; and from cattle-hunters the
buccaneers became pirates. They made their cruises in open boats,
exposed to all the inclemencies of the weather, and captured their
prizes by boarding. They attacked indiscriminately the ships of every
nation, feeling especial hostility and exercising peculiar cruelty
towards the Spaniards. They considered themselves to be justified in
this by the oppression of the Mexicans and Indians by Spanish rulers,
and, quieting their consciences by thus assuming the character of
avengers and dispensers of poetic justice, they never embarked upon an
expedition without publicly offering up prayers for success, nor did
they ever return laden with spoils without as publicly giving thanks
for their good fortune.

They seldom attacked any European ships except those homeward
bound,--which were usually well freighted with gold and silver.
They pursued the Spanish galleons as far as the Bahamas; and if, on
the way, a ship became accidentally separated from the convoy, they
instantly attacked her. The Spaniards held them in such terror that
they usually surrendered on coming to close quarters. The spoil was
equitably divided, provision being first made for the wounded. The
loss of an arm was rated at six hundred dollars, and other wounds in
proportion. The commander could claim but one share,--although, when
he had acquitted himself with distinction, it was usual to compliment
him by the addition of several shares. When the division was effected,
the buccaneers abandoned themselves to all kinds of rioting and
licentiousness till their wealth was expended, when they started in
pursuit of new booty.

The buccaneers now rapidly increased in strength, daring, and numbers.
They sailed in larger vessels, and undertook enterprises requiring
great energy and audacity. Miguel de Baseo captured, under the guns
of Portobello, a Spanish galleon valued at a million of dollars. In
Europe, immense editions of books were published, giving accounts of
the barbarities committed by the Spaniards and of the holy reprisals
waged against them by the buccaneers. A Frenchman by the name of
Montbars, on reading these narratives, conceived so deadly a hatred for
the Spaniards, and, after becoming a buccaneer, killed so many of them,
that he obtained the title of "The Exterminator." His audacity was only
equalled by his love of shedding Spanish blood, by which he believed
himself to be avenging the unhappy victims of Spanish colonization.

Other men joined the "Brethren of the Coast"--as they were sometimes
called--from less ferocious motives. Raveneau de Lussan joined the
association because he was in debt, and in consequence of a conviction
entertained by him that "every honest man ought in conscience to
pay his creditors." Many of the buccaneers were men of a religious
temperament; or, at least, they thought that proper respect should
be paid to appearances, and that due deference should be had towards
the prejudices of society. It was doubtless from such sentiments as
these that Captain Daniel shot one of his crew in church for behaving
irreverently during mass, that Captain Sawkins threw a pair of dice
overboard on finding them contributing to a game of chance on Sunday,
and that Captain Watling ordered his men to regard, as the very first
rule of their association, that which instructed them to keep holy the
Sabbath day.

But the fame of all the buccaneer commanders was eclipsed by that of
Henry Morgan, a Welshman. The boldest and most astonishing of his
exploits was his forcing his way across the Isthmus of Darien from
the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. His object was to plunder the rich
city of Panama: his expedition, however, opened the way to the great
Southern Sea, where the buccaneers laid the foundation of much of our
geographical knowledge of that ocean. He first took the castle of
San Lorenzo, at the mouth of the river Chagres, where out of three
hundred and fourteen Spaniards he put two hundred to death. He left
five hundred men in the castle, one hundred and fifty on board of his
thirty-seven ships, and with the rest--who, after deducting the killed
and wounded, amounted to about twelve hundred men--began his progress
through a wild and trackless country which was then known only to
the native Indians. On the tenth day, after a desperate combat with
the Spaniards, he took and plundered Panama, which then consisted of
about seven thousand houses. His cruelties here were abominable. He
imprisoned one of his female captives, with whom he had fallen in love
but who repelled his advances, causing her to be cast into a dungeon
and to be insufficiently supplied with food. But his men murmured at
the delay, and he was compelled to depart. He returned to the mouth of
the Chagres with an enormous booty, and, after defrauding the fleet of
their share of the spoils, sailed for Jamaica, which was already an
English colony. He was made Deputy Governor of the island by Charles
II., by whom he was also knighted. He proved an efficient officer, and
gave no quarter to the buccaneers!

Morgan's expedition had pointed out a short way to the South Sea;
and in 1680, some three hundred English buccaneers started from the
Atlantic side to cross the isthmus. They formed an alliance with the
Darien Indians, who furnished them a quantity of canoes upon the
Pacific side. They launched out in these into the Bay of Panama,
attacked three large armed ships, took two of them, and began cruising
in them. They captured vessels and plundered towns along the coast.
Some of them remained a long time in the South Sea, and made many
discoveries of undoubted benefit to mankind.

The Spaniards never dared to defend themselves unless they greatly
outnumbered their assailants, and even then they were usually routed
with ease. They had become so enervated by luxury that they had lost
all military spirit and had well-nigh forgotten the use of arms. They
had acquired from the monks the idea that the buccaneers were devils,
cannibals, and beings of monstrous form. They revenged themselves upon
the enemy whom they dared not meet by mangling and subjecting to mimic
tortures such dead bodies of the invaders as were left behind,--an
exhibition of impotent rage which only excited the buccaneers to fresh

One of the English buccaneers--William Dampier--became subsequently
an eminent discoverer, author, and philosopher. After receiving a
collegiate education, he went to sea in northern latitudes, which for a
time disgusted him with a maritime life. A voyage to the East Indies,
the superintendence of a plantation in Jamaica, and three years spent
among the logwood-cutters of Campeachy, gave him a strong bias for
the tropical waters. In Campeachy he became acquainted with some of
the buccaneers, whose descriptions of their adventures kindled in him
a fondness for a roving and piratical life. He joined an expedition
under Captain John Cooke: an English pilot named Cowley was engaged
as master, and embarked in complete ignorance of the nature of the
voyage. They sailed in August, 1683, in the Revenge, mounting eight
guns and manned by fifty-two men. Cowley was told the first day that
the vessel's mission was trade and her destination St. Domingo; on
the second, he was informed that piracy was her object and Guinea her

Stopping at the Cape Verd Islands, they resolved to go to Santiago, in
the hope of finding some ship in the road, and intending to cut her
cable and run away with her. They saw a ship at anchor, and approached
her with hostile intent. They were not far off when her company struck
her ports and ran out her lower tier of guns. Cooke bore away as fast
as he could, convinced that he was unable to cope with a Dutch East
Indiaman of fifty guns and four hundred men. Some time after, when
off Sierra Leone, they fell in with a newly built ship of forty guns,
well furnished with water, provisions, and brandy, which they boarded
and captured. They named her the Revenge, and continued their voyage
in her, destroying their original vessel. From here they crossed the
Atlantic, to the Patagonian coast. They doubled Cape Horn during a
tremendous storm of rain, which furnished them with twenty-three
barrels of fresh water. The weather was at this time so cold that the
men could drink three quarts of burnt brandy in twenty-four hours
without being intoxicated. They joined company in the Pacific with
the Nicholas, of twenty-six guns, Captain John Eaton, and started
together upon an attempt against the Peruvian coast. They captured
three flour-ships, and learned from the prisoners that their presence
was known to the Peruvian authorities. Their design upon the coast was
therefore abandoned. They carried their prizes to the Gallapagos or
Tortoise Islands, where they might store their captured provisions in a
secure place. They arrived and anchored there on the 31st of May, 1684.

Proceeding to the northward, they descried the coast of Mexico early
in July, where Cooke, who had been ill for some months, died and
was buried. Edward Davis, quartermaster, was elected captain in his
stead. The two ships separated on the 2d of September, the Nicholas
withdrawing from the partnership. Davis and Dampier remained in the
Revenge, and were soon joined by the Cygnet, a richly-loaded vessel
designed for trading on this coast. Her captain lightened her by
throwing his unsalable cargo overboard. They attacked Paita in the
month of November, but found it evacuated. They held the town for six
days, hoping the inhabitants would ransom it; but, as this hope was
disappointed, they set the town on fire. On the 1st of January, 1685,
they captured a package of letters sent by the President of Panama to
hasten the captains of the silver-fleet from Lima, as the coast was
believed to be clear. Being particularly desirous that the silver-fleet
should share this belief, they suffered the letter-bearers to continue
their voyage and resolved to lie in wait for the ships. In the mean
time they captured several prizes, and manned them with buccaneers that
they met, from time to time, engaged in small enterprises on separate
accounts. By the end of May, their fleet consisted of ten sail, two of
them being ships of war, carrying fifty-two guns and nine hundred and
sixty men. The Spanish fleet--consisting of fourteen sail, eight of
them men-of-war, and two of them fire-ships, the whole manned by three
thousand men--now hove in sight. The admiral of the fleet deceived
the buccaneers at night, by hoisting a light upon the topmast of an
abandoned bark, by which they were decoyed into a position which gave
the Spaniards the next day all the advantage of the wind. Thus was the
grand scheme adroitly frustrated.

Having thus failed at sea, they agreed to try their fortune on land,
and chose the city of Leon, on the coast of Nicaragua. Four hundred and
seventy men were landed for this purpose. They were met and opposed
by five hundred foot and two hundred horse, both of which arms of
the service retreated in confusion at the first collision. As they
refused to ransom the city for thirty thousand dollars, it was set on
fire. A Spanish gentleman, who had been captured by the buccaneers,
was released upon his promise to deliver one hundred and fifty oxen
at Realejo, the next place which they intended to attack. Realejo was
taken, but yielded them little of value except five hundred bags of
flour, with some pitch, tar, and cordage, and the one hundred and fifty
promised oxen. Captains Davis and Swan now agreed to separate,--the
former wishing to return to Peru, and the latter desiring to visit the
northern coasts of Mexico. Dampier remained with Swan in the Cygnet.

Towards the middle of September they came in sight of the city and
volcano of Guatemala. Dampier landed at the port of Guatulco with one
hundred and forty men, and marched fourteen miles to attack an Indian
village, where they found nothing but vanilla beans drying in the sun.
They endeavored to cut out a Lima bullion-ship lying off Acapulco,
but failed. Not far from here they robbed a caravan of sixty mules,
laden with flour, chocolate, cheese, and earthen-ware. They found
and appropriated an abundance of maize, sugar, salt, and salt fish.
Dampier, being afflicted with the dropsy, was cured--or, at least, much
benefited--by being buried up to his neck for half an hour in the sand
in California. A profuse perspiration, which was thus brought on, was
the commencement of his convalescence.

Swan and Dampier were now convinced that the commerce of this region
was not carried on by sea, but by land, by means of mules and caravans.
They therefore resolved to try their fortune in the East Indies. They
sailed from California on the 31st of March, 1686. They made the
island of Guam, after a voyage of six thousand miles, in seven weeks,
having but three days' provisions left, and the men having begun to
talk of eating Captain Swan when these were exhausted. They found the
island defended by a small fort mounting six guns, and containing a
garrison of thirty men with a Spanish governor,--this being solely for
the convenience of the Manilla galleons on their annual voyages from
Acapulco to Manilla. The governor, being deceived as to the character
of the ship, sent the captain some hogs, cocoanuts, and rice, and fifty
pounds of Manilla tobacco.


They learned here, from the friar belonging to the garrison, that
Mindanao, one of the Philippine Islands, was very fertile and
productive, and that the natives, who were Mohammedans, were at war
with the Spaniards. They therefore resolved to go there, and left Guam
on the 2nd of June. After seeing Luzon, (Matan,) where Magellan was
killed, they anchored off Mindanao, the largest of the Philippines with
the exception of Luzon. Though mountainous, Dampier found its soil
"deep, black, and extraordinary fat and fruitful." The valleys were
moistened with pleasant brooks "and small rivers of delicate water, and
in the heart of the country were mountains that yielded good gold."

Dampier's description of the plantain-tree is often quoted as a fine
specimen of descriptive writing. "It is," he says, "the king of all
fruit, not excepting the cocoanut. The tree is three feet round and
twelve feet high: it is not raised from seed, but from the roots of old
trees. As soon as the fruit is ripe the tree decays; but suckers at
once spring up and bear in a twelvemonth. It comes up with two leaves,
within which, by the time it is a foot high, two more spring up, and
in a short time two more, and so on. When full grown, the leaves are
seven or eight feet long and a foot and a half broad. The stem of the
leaf is as big as a man's arm. The fruit-stem shoots out at the top of
the full-grown tree,--first blossoming, and then bearing. The Spaniards
give it the pre-eminence over all other fruit, as most conducive to
life. It grows in a cod about seven inches long and three inches thick.
The shell or rind is soft, and, when ripe, yellow. The fruit within
is of the consistency of butter in winter. It has a very delicate
flavor, and melts in the mouth like marmalade. It is pure pulp, without
kernel, seed, or stone. A large plantation of these trees will yield
fruit throughout the year, and will furnish the exclusive food of a
family. The markets of Havana, Carthagena, Portobello, &c. are full of
the fruit; and they are sold at the price of threepence a dozen. When
used as bread, it is roasted or boiled before it is quite ripe; and
sometimes a roasted plantain is, as it were, buttered with a ripe raw
plantain. An English bag-pudding may be made with half a dozen ripe
fruit; and, again, plantains sliced and dried in the sun taste like
figs, and may be preserved in any climate. Green plantains dried and
grated furnish an excellent flour for bread or puddings. The Mosquito
Indians squeeze a plantain into a calabash of water and drink it: they
call it mishlaw, and it resembles lambs'-wool made of apples and ale.
It drinks brisk and cool, and is very pleasant." Such was the plantain
two centuries ago.

The Sultan of Mindanao received the strangers with favor, and would
gladly have induced them to settle upon the island and form the nucleus
of an English trading station. Dampier would have remained, but the
majority were against him. After a time, a mutiny broke out,--the
principal cause being the want of active employment; and, as Captain
Swan manifested no energy or address in quelling it, he and thirty-six
men were left at Mindanao, the rest escaping with the ship. Dampier
here remarks that they had buried sixteen men upon the island, who had
died by poison,--the natives revenging the slightest dalliance with
their women with a deadly, though lingering, dose or potion. Some of
the mutineers that ran off with the vessel died of poison administered
at Mindanao four months afterwards.


Read, the new captain, and Dampier, cruised for some time among the
Philippine Islands. At one of these they saw an extraordinary display
of surf-bathing on the part of the natives. The art seemed to be
practised as well by the women as the men, and children in arms were
taught to gambol in the water as if it were their native element, and
as if they were born web-footed.

On the 4th of January, 1688, they touched at New Holland,--then known
to be a vast tract of land, and by all except the Dutch supposed to
be a continent. Here they found a miserable race of people, compared
to whom Dampier declares the Hodmapods, though a nasty race, to be
gentlemen and Christians. They lived wretchedly on cockles, muscles,
and shell-fish. They were tall, straight-bodied, and thin, with small,
long limbs. They had bottle noses, big lips, and wide mouths. They
held their eyelids half closed, to keep the flies out. Their hair was
not long and lank, like that of Indians, but black, short, and curled,
like that of negroes. A bit of the rind of a tree and a handful of
grass formed their only clothing. The crew landed several times, and
brought the natives to some degree of familiarity by giving them a few
old clothes; but they could not prevail upon them to assist them in
carrying water or any other burden. When the savages found that the
ragged jackets and breeches which had been given them were intended to
induce them to work, they took them off and laid them down upon the

Dampier was now tired of wandering about the world with this mad
crew, none of whom--not even the captain--had any settled purpose
or object in view. Read was afraid that Dampier would desert, and
when off Sumatra executed a scheme which he hoped would render it
impossible. He gave chase to a small sail which was discovered making
for Acheen in Sumatra. Taking on board the four Malays who manned
her and the cocoanuts with which she was laden, he cut a hole in her
bottom and turned her loose. This he did in order to render Dampier
and any others who might be disaffected afraid to trust themselves
among a people who had been thus robbed and abused. At one of the
Nicobar Islands, however, Dampier escaped, and two Englishmen and one
Portuguese followed him. The four sailors of Acheen were also put
ashore. The whole eight joined company, purchased a canoe, for which
they gave an axe in exchange, and set off to row to Acheen. They had
not proceeded half a mile before the canoe overset. They swam ashore,
dragging the canoe and their chests, and spent three days in making
repairs. The Acheenese fitted the canoe with that universal Polynesian
apparatus,--an outrigger, or balancer, on each side,--by which
capsizing is rendered impossible. They felled a mast in the woods and
made a substantial sail with mats. They put off again, following the
shore for several days. At length they ventured forth upon the open
sea, with one hundred and fifty miles of dangerous navigation before
them. They rowed with four oars, taking their turns,--Dampier and Hall,
one of the Englishmen, relieving each other at the tiller, none of the
rest being able to steer. The current against them was very strong,
so that, when looking in front for Sumatra, Nicobar, to their dismay,
was still visible behind them. A dense halo round the sun, portending
a storm, now caused great anxiety to Dampier. The wind freshened till
it blew a gale, and they reefed the sail one-half of its surface. The
light bamboo poles supporting the outriggers bent as if they would
break; and, if they had broken, the destruction of the boat would have
been inevitable. Putting away directly before the wind, they ran off
their course for six hours, the outriggers being very much relieved by
this change of direction.



Dampier's description of this storm is graphic and quaint. "The sky
looked very black," he writes, "being covered with dark clouds. The
winds blew hard and the seas ran high. The sea was already roaring in
a white foam about us,--a dark night coming on, and no land in sight
to shelter us, and our little ark in danger to be swallowed by every
wave; and, what was worst of all, none of us thought ourselves prepared
for another world. I had been in many eminent dangers before now; but
the greatest of them all was but a play-game compared to this. I must
confess that I was in great conflicts of mind at this time. Other
dangers came not upon me with such a leisurely and dreadful solemnity:
a sudden skirmish or engagement or so was nothing when one's blood
was up and pushed forward with eager expectations. But here I had a
lingering view of approaching death, and little or no hopes of escaping
it; and I must confess that my courage, which I had hitherto kept up,
failed me here. I had long ago repented me of my roving course of life,
but never with such concern as now. I composed my mind as well as I
could in the hope of God's assistance; and, as the event showed, I was
not disappointed of my hopes."

The preceding representation of the storm is copied from an engraving
one hundred and fifty years old, which appeared in the narrative
published by Dampier himself. Were it not for this fact, we should not
have reproduced it,--as it is very inaccurate, and does not give the
outriggers, by which alone the canoe was maintained afloat.

About eight o'clock in the morning one of the Malays cried out, _Pulo
Way_, which Dampier and Hall took to be good English, meaning "Pull
away." He pointed to the horizon, where land was just appearing in
sight. This was the island of Pulo Way, at the northwest end of
Sumatra. It lay to the south; and, in order to make it with a strong
west wind, "they trimmed their sail no bigger than an apron," and,
relying upon their outriggers, made boldly for the shore, which they
reached the next morning, the 21st of May. The supposed island turned
out to be the Golden Mountain of Sumatra. They landed, and, after being
hospitably received by the natives, arrived at Acheen early in June.

At this point the history of Dampier's adventures as a circumnavigator
comes properly to an end. He published a narrative of his career, which
he dedicated to Charles Montague, President of the Royal Society, and
which brought him into favorable notice. His descriptions have been
long admired for their graphic force; while his treatises on winds,
tides, and currents show a remarkable degree of observation and science
for that age of the world. His account of the Philippine Islands and of
New Holland is still printed complete in the numerous collections of
voyages that are constantly thrown off by the English and Continental
presses. Such was the remarkable career of a man who, though without
the ferocity and barbarous habits of the buccaneers, was in every sense
of the word a pirate and a freebooter. We shall shortly have occasion
to mention him again.

We must now refer to another species of piracy,--privateering. This
did not enjoy the same repute as in the days of Drake and Hawkins; but
several circumstances conspired to render it a calling permissible,
if not legitimate. England and France were at war; and private armed
vessels, bearing commissions from James II. and William III. against
the French, roved the seas and robbed all defenceless ships which fell
in their way. They attacked even the vessels of Great Britain, and
from privateers became pirates. Many of the Colonial Atlantic ports
of America received them and shared in their spoils. Fletcher, the
Governor of New York, was bribed to befriend and protect them, while
the officers under him were regular contributors to the funds with
which corsairs were bought and equipped.

The English Government determined to suppress this nefarious practice,
and removed Fletcher in 1695, sending the Earl of Bellamont to replace
him. The latter suggested that a frigate be fitted out to assist him
in the attempt; but England could spare none of her naval force from
the war with France. A proposition, however, to purchase and arm a
private ship for the service was received with favor, and several
nobles, together with Bellamont and Colonel Richard Livingston,
of New York, contributed a fund of six thousand pounds sterling.
Livingston recommended, to command the vessel, one William Kidd, who
had been captain of a merchant-vessel sailing between London and
New York, and of a privateer against the French. Kidd was placed in
command, and Livingston became his security for the share he agreed
to contribute,--six hundred pounds sterling. To give character to the
enterprise, a commission was issued under the great seal of England
and signed by the king, William III., directed to "the trusty and
well-beloved Captain Kidd, commander of the ship Adventure Galley."
This vessel carried thirty guns and sixty men. Kidd departed from
Plymouth in April, 1696, and arrived off the American coast in July
following. He occasionally entered the port of New York, where he
was cordially received, as he was considered useful in protecting
its commerce. For this service the Assembly voted him the sum of two
hundred and fifty pounds sterling.

He now added ninety-five men to his crew, who shipped to go to
Madagascar in pursuit of pirates. He then sailed for the East Indies,
and, while on his way, resolved, possessing as he did a vessel manned
and equipped like a frigate, to turn pirate himself. He seems to have
found ready listeners in the licentious creatures of whom he had
composed his crew. He arrived off the Malabar coast, in Hindostan,
where he pillaged vessels manned by Indian, Arab, and Christian
crews. He lay in wait for a convoy laden with treasure, but, finding
it well guarded, abandoned the attempt. He landed from time to time,
burned settlements, murdered and tortured the inhabitants, and placed
a price upon the heads of such persons as he thought their friends
would ransom. He was once pursued by two Portuguese men-of-war, whom
he fought and then contrived to elude. He captured a merchantman named
the Quedagh, and, refusing the offered ransom of thirty thousand
rupees, sold her and her cargo at a pirates' rendezvous for forty
thousand dollars. He exchanged the Adventure for a larger vessel, and
established himself at Madagascar. Here he lay in ambush, plundering
the flags of every nation. He made himself dreaded, as a bloody,
cruel, and remorseless bandit, from Malabar and the Red Sea across the
Atlantic to the West Indies and the American coast. He arrived at New
York in 1698, laden, it is asserted, with more spoil than ever fell
to the lot of any other individual. He found Bellamont Governor in
place of Fletcher, and deemed it necessary to conceal his treasures.
He sailed along the shore of Long Island as far as Gardiner's Island,
at the eastern end. He here disembarked, and, in the presence of Mr.
John Gardiner, the owner of the island, whom he placed under the most
solemn injunction to secrecy, buried a quantity of gold, silver, and
precious stones.

After satisfying his crew by such a division of the remainder as they
considered equitable, he dismissed them, and had the audacity to appear
in the streets of Boston in the dress of a gentleman of leisure.
Bellamont, who was Governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire as well
as of New York, met him, caused his arrest, and sent him to England for
trial. He was arraigned for the murder of the gunner of his ship, whom
he had killed with a bucket. Being convicted, he was hung in chains at
Execution Dock on the 12th of May, 1701. The ballad which was written
upon his death has survived, and is a favorable specimen of doggerel
versification. We subjoin the most striking stanzas:

  My name was William Kidd when I sail'd, when I sail'd;
    My name was William Kidd when I sail'd;
  My name was William Kidd, God's laws I did forbid,
    And so wickedly I did, when I sail'd.

  I cursed my father dear when I sail'd, when I sail'd;
    I cursed my father dear when I sail'd;
  I cursed my father dear, and her that did me bear,
    And so wickedly did swear, when I sail'd.

  I'd a Bible in my hand when I sail'd, when I sail'd;
    I'd a Bible in my hand when I sail'd;
  I'd a Bible in my hand, by my father's great command,
    And I sunk it in the sand, when I sail'd.

  I murder'd William Moore as I sail'd, as I sail'd;
    I murder'd William Moore as I sail'd;
  I murder'd William Moore, and left him in his gore,
    Not many leagues from shore, as I sail'd.

  And being cruel still, as I sail'd, as I sail'd,
    And being cruel still, as I sail'd,
  And being cruel still, my gunner I did kill,
    And his precious blood did spill, as I sail'd.

  My mate was sick and died as I sail'd, as I sail'd;
    My mate was sick and died as I sail'd;
  My mate was sick and died, which me much terrified,
    When he call'd me to his bedside, as I sail'd.

  And unto me he did say, See me die, see me die;
    And unto me he did say, See me die;
  And unto me he did say, Take warning now by me,
    There comes a reckoning day: you must die.

  I thought I was undone, as I sail'd, as I sail'd;
    I thought I was undone, as I sail'd;
  I thought I was undone, and my wicked glass had run,
    But my health did soon return, as I sail'd.

  My repentance lasted not as I sail'd, as I sail'd;
    My repentance lasted not as I sail'd;
  My repentance lasted not; my vows I soon forgot;
    Damnation's my just lot, as I sail'd.

  I spied three ships of Spain as I sail'd, as I sail'd;
    I spied three ships of Spain as I sail'd;
  I spied three ships of Spain, I fired on them amain,
    Till most of them were slain, as I sail'd.

  I'd ninety bars of gold as I sail'd, as I sail'd;
    I'd ninety bars of gold as I sail'd;
  I'd ninety bars of gold, and dollars manifold,
    With riches uncontroll'd, as I sail'd.

  Then fourteen ships I saw as I sail'd, as I sail'd;
    Then fourteen ships I saw as I sail'd;
  Then fourteen ships I saw, and brave men they were,
    Ah, they were too much for me, as I sail'd.

  Thus being o'ertaken at last, I must die, I must die;
    Thus being o'ertaken at last, I must die;
  Thus being o'ertaken at last, and into prison cast,
    And sentence being pass'd, I must die.

  Farewell the raging sea, I must die, I must die;
    Farewell the raging main, I must die;
  Farewell the raging main, to Turkey, France, and Spain,
    I shall ne'er see you again: I must die.

  To Newgate now I'm cast, and must die, and must die;
    To Newgate now I'm cast, and must die;
  To Newgate now I'm cast, with a sad and heavy heart,
    To receive my just desert: I must die.

  To Execution Dock I must go, I must go;
    To Execution Dock I must go;
  To Execution Dock will many thousands flock,
    But I must bear the shock: I must die.

  Come, all you young and old, see me die, see me die;
    Come, all you young and old, see me die;
  Come, all you young and old, you're welcome to my gold,
    For by it I've lost my soul, and must die.

Bellamont, having in some way learned that treasure had been concealed
upon Gardiner's Island, sent commissioners to secure it. They found a
box containing seven hundred and thirty-eight ounces of gold, eight
hundred and forty-seven ounces of silver, a bag of silver rings, a
bag of unpolished stones, a quantity of agates, amethysts, and silver
buttons. For this they gave a receipt to Mr. Gardiner, which is still
preserved by the family. Other sums were discovered at various periods
in the possession of persons who had had relations with Kidd; but the
soil of Long Island never yielded up any other booty than the box which
we have mentioned.

It was natural that the knowledge that Kidd had buried a portion of
his spoil, that his companions had shared his good fortune according
to their rank, that the vicinity of New York was the rendezvous of
pirates for years,--it was natural that this knowledge should induce
the prevalent belief that it was the custom among them thus to conceal
their booty, and that the spot chosen by Kidd was, perhaps, the scene
of the deposits of the entire gang. It was evident, too, that, unless
rumor had greatly exaggerated the value of Kidd's ill-gotten gains, the
box of gold and silver reckoned in ounces was but a tithe of what he
had buried. It was thus that was created that feverish excitement which
stimulated eager searchers for piratical store along the coasts of New
York and Massachusetts, and particularly among the islets of the Sound.
This search has been again and again renewed, and even now, at the
distance of a century and a half, the hope of discovering the abandoned
wealth of the great pirate is not altogether extinct.

Romances, ballads, and tales without number have been written upon
the adventures of Captain Kidd, his fate, and his money. The most
remarkable of these is the "Gold-Bug" of Edgar A. Poe, which details
the incidents of an imaginary effort made to recover the treasure the
corsair had entombed.


Piracy did not disappear with Kidd. The coasts of the Carolinas were
for a long time infested with freebooters, though at various times
some fifty of them were hung in Charleston. In 1717, the famous and
dreaded privateer Whidah was wrecked upon the shores of Cape Cod. This
vessel carried twenty-three guns, one hundred and thirty men, and was
commanded by Samuel Bellamy. The dead bodies of all but six floated
ashore: these six were taken alive and executed. This was a severe
loss to the pirates. But the decisive blow against them was not struck
till 1723. The British man-of-war Greyhound captured a craft with
twenty-five men and carried them into Rhode Island. They were tried,
found guilty, and hung, at Newport, in July. This was the end of piracy
in the American waters.




A company of merchants of Bristol fitted out two ships in 1708--the
Duke and Duchess--to cruise against the Spaniards in the South Sea. The
Duke was commanded by Woodes Rogers, the Duchess by Stephen Courtney.
William Dampier, whose name had long been a terror to the Spaniards,
was pilot to the larger ship. They left Bristol on the 14th of July,
with fifty-six guns and three hundred and thirty-three men, and with
double the usual number of officers, in order to prevent the mutinies
so common in privateers.

Nothing of moment occurred till the vessels anchored at Isola Grande,
off the coast of Brazil. Here two men deserted, but were so frightened
in the night by tigers, as they supposed, but in reality by monkeys
and baboons, that they took refuge in the sea and shouted till they
were taken on board. The two ships passed through Lemaire's Strait and
doubled Cape Horn, and, on the 31st of January, 1709, made the island
of Juan Fernandez. During the night a light was observed on shore,
and Captain Rogers made up his mind that a French fleet was riding at
anchor, and ordered the decks to be cleared for action. At daylight
the vessels stood in towards the land; but no French fleet--not even a
single sail--was to be seen. A yawl was sent forward to reconnoitre.
As it drew near, a man was seen upon the shore waving a white flag;
and, on its nearer approach, he directed the sailors, in the English
language, to a spot where they could best effect a landing. He was clad
in goat-skins, and appeared more wild and ragged than the original
owners of his apparel. His name has long been known throughout the
inhabited world, and his story is familiar in every language. We need
hardly say that his name was Alexander Selkirk, and that his adventures
furnished the basis of the romance of Robinson Crusoe.

Alexander Selkirk was a Scotchman, and had been left upon the island
by Captain Stradling, of the Cinqueports, four years and four months
before. During his stay he had seen several ships pass by, but only two
came to anchor at the island. They were Spaniards, and fired at him;
but he escaped into the woods. He said he would have surrendered to
them had they been French; but he chose to run the risk of dying alone
upon the island rather than fall into the hands of Spaniards, as he
feared they would either put him to death or make him a slave in their
mines. "He told us," says Rogers, "that he was born in Largo, in the
county of Fife, and was bred a sailor from his youth. The reason of
his being left here was a difference with his captain, which, together
with the fact that the ship was leaky, made him willing to stay behind;
but when at last he was inclined to go with the ship the captain would
not receive him. He took with him his clothes and bedding, with a
firelock and some powder and bullets, some tobacco, a knife, a kettle,
a Bible, with other books, and his mathematical instruments. He
diverted himself and provided for his sustenance as well as he could,
but had much ado to bear up against melancholy for the first eight
months, and was sore distressed at being left alone in so desolate a
place. He built himself two huts of pimento-trees, thatched with long
grass and lined with goat-skins,--killing goats as he needed them with
his gun, as long as his powder lasted. When that was all spent, he
procured fire by rubbing two sticks of pimento wood together. He slept
in his large hut and cooked his victuals in the smaller, and employed
himself in reading, praying, and singing psalms,--so that, he said
he was a better Christian during his solitude than he had ever been
before, or than, he was afraid, he should ever be again.

"At first he never ate but when constrained by hunger,--partly from
grief, and partly for want of bread and salt. Neither did he go to
bed till he could watch no longer,--the pimento wood serving him both
for fire and candle, as it burned very clear and refreshed him by
its fragrant smell. His fish he sometimes boiled, and at other times
broiled, as he did his goats' flesh, of which he made good broth; for
they are not as rank as our goats. Having kept an account, he said
he had killed five hundred goats while on the island, besides having
caught as many more, which he marked on the ear and let them go. When
his powder failed, he ran them down by speed of foot; for his mode of
living, with continual exercise of walking and running, cleared him of
all gross humors, so that he could run with wonderful swiftness through
the woods and up the hills and rocks.


"He came at length to relish his meat well enough without salt. In
the proper season he had plenty of good turnips, which had been sowed
there by the crew of the ship and had now spread over several acres of
ground. The cabbage-palm furnished him with cabbage in abundance, and
the fruit of the pimento--the same as Jamaica pepper--with a pleasant
seasoning for his food. He soon wore out his shoes and other clothes
by running in the woods; and, being forced to shift without, his feet
became so hard that he ran about everywhere without inconvenience, and
could not again wear shoes without suffering from swelled feet. After
he had got the better of his melancholy, he sometimes amused himself
with carving his name on the trees, together with the date of his
arrival and the duration of his solitude. At first he was much pestered
with cats and rats, which had bred there in great numbers from some of
each species which had got on shore from ships that had wooded and
watered at the island. The rats gnawed his feet and clothes when he was
asleep, which obliged him to cherish the cats, by feeding them with
goats' flesh, so that many of them became so tame that they used to
lie beside him in hundreds, and soon delivered him from the rats. He
also tamed some kids, and, for his diversion, would sometimes sing and
dance with them and his cats. So that by the favor of Providence and
the vigor of youth--for he was now only thirty years of age--he came
at length to conquer all the inconveniences of his solitude, and to be
quite easy in his mind.

"When his clothes were worn out, he made himself a coat and a cap of
goat-skins, which he stitched together with thongs of the same cut out
with his knife,--using a nail by way of a needle or awl. When his knife
was worn out, he made others as well as he could of old hoops that had
been left upon the shore, which he beat out thin between two stones
and grinded to an edge on a smooth stone. Having some linen cloth, he
sewed himself some shirts by means of a nail for a needle, stitching
them with worsted which he pulled out from his old stockings; and he
had the last of his shirts on when we found him. At his first coming on
board, he had so much forgotten his language, for want of use, that we
could scarcely understand him, as he seemed to speak his words only by
halves. We offered him a dram, which he refused, having drunk nothing
but water all the time he had been upon the island; and it was some
time before he could relish our provisions. He had seen no venomous or
savage creature on the island, nor any other animal than goats, bred
there from a few brought by Juan Fernandez, a Spaniard who settled
there with a few families till the opposite continent of Chili began to
submit to the Spaniards, when they removed there as more profitable."

Captain Rogers remained here a fortnight, refitting his ship. The
"governor," as his men called Selkirk, never failed to procure two
or three goats a day for the sick. They boiled up and refined eighty
gallons of seal-oil, in order to save their candles. On the 13th of
February, it was determined that two men from the Duke should sail on
board the Duchess, and two from the Duchess on board the Duke, to see
that justice was reciprocally done by each ship's company to the other
in the division of prizes; and on the 14th the anchors were weighed,
Alexander Selkirk shipping on board the Duke as second mate.

When off the Lobos Islands, they took a prize, which they named The
Beginning. They learned from their prisoners that the widow of the late
Viceroy of Peru was soon to embark at Callao for Acapulco, with her
family and riches; and they determined to lie in wait for her. In the
mean time they landed and took the town of Guayaquil, but consented to
its ransom for thirty thousand dollars. They also seized thirteen small
vessels, from which they took meal, onions, quinces, pomegranates, oil,
indigo, pitch, sugar, gunpowder, and rice.

[Illustration: CATCHING TURTLE.]

At the Gallapagos Islands they laid in a large stock of sea-turtles
and land-tortoises, some of the former weighing four hundred pounds,
while the latter laid eggs in profusion upon the decks. Some of the
men affirmed that they had seen one four feet high, that two of their
party had mounted on its back, and that it easily carried them at its
usual slow pace, not appearing to regard their weight. This monster was
supposed to weigh seven hundred pounds at least.

Having made the coast of Mexico, and having determined to wait only
eight days either for the Manilla galleon or the ship of the viceroy's
widow, they were rejoiced to descry, on the morning of the 22d of
December, the Spanish treasure-ship on the weather bow. Preparations
were made for action, and a large kettle of chocolate was boiled for
the crew in lieu of spirituous liquor. Prayers were then said, but were
interrupted, before they were concluded, by a shot from the enemy. She
had barrels hung at her yard-arm, which seemed to warn the English of
an explosion if they attempted to board. The engagement commenced at
eight, and lasted an hour, after which she struck and surrendered. She
bore the imposing name of Nuestra Señora de la Encarnaçion Disenganio,
and mounted twenty guns. Nine of her men were killed and nine wounded.
Of the men of the Duke--the only ship of Rogers' fleet engaged--but two
were wounded, Captain Rogers himself, who lost a portion of his upper
jaw and two of his teeth, being one. The name of the prize was changed
from Our Lady, &c. to The Bachelor, and she was equipped as a member of
the squadron, which now sailed immediately for the Ladrone Islands.

They arrived at Guam on the 10th of March, 1710, where their wants were
amply supplied, cocoanuts being furnished in abundance at the rate of
one dollar a hundred. Captain Rogers bought one of the sailing proas
of the islanders, which he had seen sail at the rate of twenty miles
an hour. He carried it to England, intending to put it in the canal at
St. James' Park as a curiosity. At the Cape of Good Hope they joined a
number of homeward-bound ships, and sailed in company, early in April,
forming a fleet of sixteen Dutch and nine English ships. Rogers and his
consorts anchored at Erith, in the Thames, on the 14th of October.

This voyage is the last in which Dampier is known to have been engaged,
and what became of him afterwards has never been ascertained. It would
not be easy to name, before the time of Cook, a navigator to whom the
merchant and mariner are so much indebted. His style was unassuming, as
free from affectation as was the narrative itself from invention. Dean
Swift made Captain Lemuel Gulliver hail Dampier as cousin.

The outfit of this voyage amounted to £15,000, and the gross profits to
£170,000. One third of this, or £57,000, was divided among the officers
and seamen. In view of this enormous return for a two years' voyage,
we can hardly wonder at the fact that in this age, and during a long
succeeding period, nearly all navigation was privateering, and that
all ventures upon the seas appear to the reader of the present day as
little better than the marauding excursions of corsairs and buccaneers.

This is the proper place for speaking of the famous Company formed for
carrying on trade with the Spanish possessions in the Pacific, which
received, upon its calamitous failure, the name of South Sea Bubble.
This Company was formed, chartered, and prospered and fell, soon after
the return of Rogers and Dampier. It originated in 1711, with Harley,
the Lord Treasurer, his object being to improve public credit, and to
provide for the payment of the floating debt, amounting to £10,000,000.
He allured the nation's creditors by promising them the monopoly of
trade with the Spanish coast in America. They greedily swallowed the
glittering bait, and dreamed of El Dorado and Peruvian Golcondas. This
spirit spread throughout the nation, and, in 1719, rose to a fever heat
of speculation. Sir John Blunt, once a scrivener, now a prominent South
Sea Director, conceived the idea of consolidating all the public funds
into one, and made the proposal to the Government. The Bank of England
and the South Sea Company displayed the utmost eagerness to outbid
each other in the offers made for this magnificent privilege. The
South Sea Company finally bid seven millions and a half, and the bill
then passed the two houses of Parliament triumphantly. The Directors
immediately opened a subscription of a million, and then a second, both
of which were eagerly filled. Every engine was set at work to delude
the public: mysterious rumors were rife of secret treasures in America,
of overtures made to Stanhope to exchange Gibraltar for a diamond-mine
in Peru, and of inexhaustible piles of wealth which were only waiting
to be snatched up by the fortunate subscribers to the South Sea
stock. The Directors began to quote dividends of twenty, thirty,
fifty per cent. They claimed that, being the only national creditor,
they could soon dictate to Parliament and rule the country. The stock
rose from one hundred and twenty-six to one thousand. The mania was
universal,--statesmen, washerwomen, Churchmen, Dissenters, ladies of
high and low degree, being all smitten alike.

Other bubbles were started by other companies, some of them for the
most extravagant objects, such as The Company to make Salt Water Fresh,
to Build Hospitals for Bastards, to Obtain Silver from Lead, to Extract
Oil from the Seeds of Sunflowers, to Import Jackasses from Spain and
thus improve the Breed of English Mules, to Trade in Human Hair, and
for a multitude of other equally absurd purposes. The subscriptions
thus opened amounted at one period to no less than three hundred
millions sterling.

These projects, which rose rapidly one after another and danced in
prismatic radiance before the public view, were regarded with jealous
eyes by the South Sea Directors, who wished to have a monopoly of the
trade in public credulity. They therefore applied for writs of "scire
facias" against their managers, and, by showing them to be frauds,
suppressed them. But in thus destroying the national confidence in
bubbles generally they seriously undermined that enjoyed by their own.
Distrust was now excited, and every one became anxious to convert his
bonds into money; and then the enormous disproportion between the
promises to pay on paper and the means to redeem in coin became evident
to all. The stock fell at once, as the basis which sustained it was
proved to be altogether imaginary. Thousands of families were reduced
to beggary, and the rage, resentment, and disappointment were bitter
and universal. The Company sank into nothingness as rapidly as it had
risen to notoriety. Parliament passed a bill by which public confidence
was in a measure restored, while the estates of the Directors and
officers were confiscated and applied to the relief of the sufferers.
The proposed commerce with the Spanish American provinces was naturally
never opened, and the next expedition of the English to that quarter,
so far from being a voyage for trade, was a very formidable excursion
for plunder,--that of Lord Anson, in 1740. We shall refer to this at
length in its proper place.

[Illustration: HAMMER HEAD SHARK.]




The monopoly of the Dutch East India Company had been somewhat
disturbed, as early as the year 1621, by the formation and charter of
the Dutch West India Company. The latter held the exclusive commerce
of the African coast from the tropic of Cancer to the Cape of Good
Hope, and that of the American coast both upon the Atlantic and Pacific
Oceans. In 1674, its power and influence were somewhat extended by a
fresh grant of privileges and an increase of capital. It was necessary
for any one proposing a new scheme of commerce within the limits under
their control, to apply to the Company for permission to execute it.
A mathematician by the name of Roggewein, a native of the province
of Zealand, formed a project, in 1696, for the discovery of the vast
continent and islands supposed to exist in the South under the name
of _Terra Australis Incognita_. He died, however, before any step was
taken by the Company in furtherance of his designs. His son, Jacob
Roggewein, renewed the application in 1721, presenting a memorial,
in accordance with which immediate orders were given for equipping
three vessels,--the Eagle, of thirty-six guns, the Tienhoven, of
twenty-eight, and the African galley, of fourteen. Roggewein was made
admiral, and two hundred and seventy-one men were embarked upon the
three ships. They sailed from the Texel on the 21st of August, 1721.

When approaching the Canaries, they saw a fleet of five sail, carrying
white, red, and black colors, which caused the admiral to suspect them
to be pirates. He gave the signal for action, when the enemy struck
their red flag and hoisted a black one, on which was a death's-head
with a powder-horn and crossbones. A brisk encounter succeeded; and,
after two hours, the pirates spread their canvas and bore away with
all speed. Roggewein did not follow them,--as all ships of the West
and East India Companies had strict orders to pursue their course and
never to give chase. He had a long and painful passage across the
Atlantic,--the crews suffering from heat, hunger, thirst, and the
scurvy. Many of the men had high fevers, and some of them fits like the

During a terrible hurricane on the 21st of December, the Tienhoven
parted company, and the Eagle and the African galley kept on together
as far as the Strait of Magellan. In this latitude, Roggewein saw the
group of islands which a French privateer had named Islands of St.
Louis, but which some Dutch traders had subsequently called the New
Islands. Roggewein baptized the group anew, and, thinking that if it
should ever be inhabited the people would be the antipodes of the
Dutch, gave it the name of Belgia Australis. He determined to make the
passage through Lemaire's Strait, and, being propelled by a favorable
wind and rapid currents, attained the western coast of America in six
days' time. Whenever the weather was clear the nights were exceedingly
short; for, though it was the middle of January, the Antarctic summer
was at its height. On arriving at the island of Juan Fernandez,
Roggewein was surprised and rejoiced to see the Tienhoven safe at the
rendezvous. The three captains dined together the next day, and made
merry over their mutual convictions of each others' unhappy shipwreck.

After a considerable run to the westward, Roggewein discovered, on
the 14th of April, 1722, an island sixteen leagues in extent, to
which he gave the name of Easter Island, in commemoration of the
day. This was one of the most important discoveries ever made in the
Pacific; and Easter Island is, for many reasons, one of the most
famous oases in that desert of water. Roggewein thus speaks of his
first adventure there:--"One of the inhabitants came out to us, two
miles from shore, in a canoe. We gave him a piece of cloth, for he was
quite naked. He was also offered beads and other toys: he hung them
all, with a dried fish, about his neck. His body was all painted with
every kind of figures. He was brown: his ears were extremely long and
hung down to his shoulders, occasioned, doubtless, by wearing large,
heavy ear-rings. He was tall, strong, robust, and of an agreeable
countenance. He was gay, brisk, and easy in his behavior and manner of
speaking. A glass of wine was given to him: he took it, but, instead
of drinking it, threw it in his eyes, which surprised us very much.
We then dressed him and put a hat upon his head; but he wore it very
awkwardly. After he was regaled with food, the musicians were ordered
to play on different instruments: the symphony made him very merry,
and he began to leap and dance. We sent him back with presents, that
the others might know in what manner we had received him. He seemed to
leave us with regret, praying with great violence and uttering the word
'Odorraga! odorraga!' The next day large numbers of his countrymen came
to our new anchorage, bringing us fowls and roots. At sunrise they
prostrated themselves with their faces towards the east, and lighted
fires as morning burnt-offerings to their idols, of which there were
many upon the coast." Of these supposed idols we shall speak hereafter.

During the landing, in which one hundred and fifty of the crew took
part, an islander was accidentally shot; and subsequently, as some of
them touched, from curiosity, the Dutch fire-arms, a volley of bullets
was discharged at them, and among the killed was the man who had first
gone on board the admiral's ship. The consternation and grief of the
natives was very great: they brought all kinds of provisions as ransom
for the dead bodies. They threw themselves upon their knees, and
offered branches of palms in sign of peace. The Dutch carried their
outrages no further, but exchanged assurances of good will. They gave
sixty yards of painted cloth for eight hundred fowls, some bundles of
sugarcane, and a large quantity of plantains, cocoanuts, figs, and
potatoes. Roggewein was of opinion that the island might be colonized
to advantage, as the air was wholesome and the soil rich: the low lands
seemed fitted to produce corn, and the higher grounds well adapted
to vineyards. He intended to land with a sufficient force to make a
general survey; but, in the mean time, a west wind forced him from his
anchorage and drove him out to sea.

He soon found himself in the wide tract which had obtained the name
of Bad Sea, on account of the brackish water of one of its islands.
Through this region he sailed eight hundred leagues, and, by a change
of wind, was driven with his consorts among a number of islands, by
which they were considerably embarrassed. The Africa, which drew the
least water, was sent in advance, but soon got upon the rocks and fired
signals of distress. Night came on, and the natives, alarmed by the
reports, kindled fires and came in crowds to the shore. The Dutch,
whose confusion of mind seems to have been extreme, fired upon them
without ceremony, that they might have as few dangers as possible
to contend with at once. In the morning the Africa was found to be
jammed between two rocks, from whence she could not be disengaged. She
was therefore abandoned. The island upon which she was lost was named
Pernicious Island. Five men deserted here, and were left behind. Eight
leagues from Pernicious, an island, discovered at daybreak, was named
Aurora; and another, seen at sunset, was called Vesper. At another,
which they named the Island of Recreation, a party sent on shore for
salad and scurvy-grass for the sick had so desperate an encounter with
the natives, that, when a second landing was proposed, not a man could
be prevailed upon to make the dangerous attempt.

Roggewein was now convinced that no Terra Incognita was to be
discovered in the latitude he had kept, and therefore resolved, in
accordance with his instructions, to return home by way of the East
Indies. His crews were so reduced that a further loss of twenty men
would compel him to abandon one of his remaining vessels. The officers
regretted this decision; for they were anxious to visit the lands named
Solomon's Islands by Mendana on account of their supposed wealth; but
they were now compelled to return by way of New Britain, the Moluccas,
and the East Indies.

Not far from Recreation Island, a group was discovered by the captain
of the Tienhoven, and was named, from him, Bowman's Islands. The
natives came off to the ships with fish, cocoanuts, and plantains. They
were generally white, except that some were bronzed by the heat of the
sun. They appeared gentle and humane: their bodies were not painted,
and were clothed from the waist downward with fringes of woven silk.
Around their necks they wore strings of odoriferous flowers. Roggewein
describes them as altogether the most civilized and honest nation he
had seen in the South Sea:--"Charmed with our arrival, they received
us as divinities, and testified afterwards great regret when they
perceived we were preparing to depart: sadness was painted in their
countenance as we left." These islands are supposed to have been the
most northerly of the group now known as the Society Islands.

During the long run to New Britain, the frightful effects of bad
provisions were made painfully manifest, for the salt meat had long
been decayed, the bread was full of maggots, and the water intolerably
putrid. The scurvy began to cut off four and five men a day. Cries
and groans were incessantly heard in all parts of the ship: those who
were well fainted at the stench of the carcasses. Some were reduced
to skeletons, so that the skin cleaved to their bones, while others
swelled to a monstrous and disgusting size. The journal says that
"an anabaptist of twenty-five years old called out continually to be
baptized, and when told, with a sneer, that there was no parson on
board, became quiet, and died with great resignation." At last the high
land of New Britain put an end to their miseries,--for which there was
no cure on earth except fresh meat, green vegetables, and pure water.

The expedition intrusted to Roggewein having proved abortive by the
failure to find a Southern continent, we shall follow his adventures
no farther. It will suffice to say that his ships were confiscated at
Batavia by the Dutch East India Company,--a proceeding which the West
India Company resented by commencing an action for damages. After a
long litigation, the States-General decreed that the former Company
should furnish the latter with two ships better than those confiscated,
should refund the full value of their cargoes, should pay the wages of
both crews to the day of their return to Holland, together with the
costs, and a heavy fine by way of punishment for having so manifestly
abused their authority.

We come now to the first expedition at sea made by Russia for the
purpose of extending and promoting the science of geography. Vitus
Behring was a Dane in the Russian service, having been tempted by the
encouragements held out to foreign mariners by Peter the Great. He
had risen to the rank of captain in 1725, when the Empress Catherine,
who was anxious to promote discovery in the Northeast of Asia and to
settle the question, then doubtful, as to the existence of a strait
between Asia and America, appointed him to the command of an expedition
fitted out for that purpose. During a period of seven years, having
travelled overland to Kamschatka, he explored rivers, sounded and
surveyed the coasts, and sailed as far to the northward as the season
and the strength of his very inferior boats would permit. In 1732, he
was made captain-commander, and the next year was ordered to conduct
an expedition fitted out on a very extensive scale for purposes of
discovery. In 1740, he reached Okhotsk, where vessels had previously
been built for him. He sailed for Awatska Bay, where he founded the
settlement of Petropaulowski, known in English as the Harbor of Peter
and Paul. Sailing to the northward, he landed upon the American coast,
giving name to Mount St. Elias, and then, returning to the westward,
struck the continent of Asia, finding a strait fifty miles wide between
the two continents at the point where they approach each other the
nearest. This, in honor of its discoverer, is called Behring's Strait.

The following description of this scene of desolation, as it first
broke upon Behring's eye, is due to the imagination of Eugene
Sue:--"The month of September," he says, "is at its close. The equinox
has come with darkness, and sullen night will soon displace the
short and gloomy days of the Pole. The sky, of a dark violet color,
is feebly lighted by a sun which dispenses no heat, and whose white
disk, scarcely elevated above the horizon, pales before the dazzling
brightness of the snow. To the north, this desert is bounded by a
coast bristling with black and gigantic rocks. At the foot of their
Titanic piles lies motionless the vast ice-bound ocean. To the east
appears a line of darkish green, whence seem to creep forth numerous
white and glassy icebergs. This is the channel which now bears the name
of Behring. Beyond it, and towering above it, are the vast granitic
masses of Cape Prince of Wales, the extreme point of North America.
These desolate latitudes are beyond the pale of the habitable world.
The piercing cold rends the very stones, cleaves the trees, and bursts
the ground, which groans in producing the germs of its icy herbage. A
few black pines, the growth of centuries, pointing their distorted tops
in different directions of the solitude, like crosses in a churchyard,
have been torn up and hurled around in confusion by the storm. The
raging hurricane, not content with uprooting trees, drives mountains
of ice before it, and dashes them, with the crash of thunder, the one
against the other.

"And now a night without twilight has succeeded to the day,--dark,
dark night! The heavy cupola of the sky is of so deep a blue that
it appears black, and the Polar stars are lost in the depths of an
obscurity which seems palpable to the touch. Silence reigns alone.
But suddenly a feeble glimmer appears in the horizon. At first it
is softly brilliant, blue as the light which precedes the rising
of the moon; then the effulgence increases, expands, and assumes a
roseate hue. Strange and confused sounds are heard,--sounds like the
flight of huge night birds as they flap their wings heavily over the
plain. These are the forerunners of one of those imposing phenomena
which strike with awe all animated nature. An aurora borealis, that
magnificent spectacle of the Polar regions, is at hand. In the horizon
there appears a semicircle of dazzling brightness. From the centre of
this glowing hemisphere radiate blazing columns and jets of light,
rising to measureless heights and illumining heaven, earth, and sea.
They glide along the snows of the desert, empurpling the blue tops
of the ice-mountains and tinging with a deepened red the tall black
rocks of the two continents. Having thus reached the fulness of its
splendor, the aurora grows gradually pale, and diffuses its effulgence
in a luminous mist. At this moment, from the fantastic illusions of
the mirage, frequent in those latitudes, the American coast, though
separated from that of Asia by the interposition of an arm of the sea,
suddenly approaches so near it that a bridge might be thrown from one
world to the other. Did human beings inhabit those regions and breathe
the pale-blue vapors which pervade them, they might almost converse
across the narrow inlet which serves to divide the continents. But now
the aurora fades away, and the deceptive mirage sinks back into the
shadowy realms from whence it came. Fifty miles of sullen waters roll
again between the continents, and a three months' night settles over
the ghastly and appalling scene."


It is not improbable that Behring passed to the north of East Cape,
the promontory on the Asiatic side, into the Arctic Ocean beyond.
He was soon compelled to return, owing to the disabled condition of
his vessel, which was wrecked upon an island on the 3d of November,
1741. This island, which was little better than a naked rock, afforded
neither food nor shelter; and Behring, suffering from the scurvy and
sinking from disappointment, lay down in a cleft of the rock to die.
The sand collected and drifted about him, half burying him alive.
He would not suffer it to be removed, as it afforded him a grateful
warmth. He died in this wretched condition on the 8th of December. The
next summer, the few of his crew who survived the winter built a vessel
from the timber of the wreck: in this they reached Kamschatka and made
known the miserable fate of their commander.

Though Behring settled the fact of the existence of the strait which
bears his name, it was reserved for Captain Cook to survey the entire
length of both coasts. This he did with a precision and accuracy which
left nothing for after-voyagers to perform, and which has made the
geography of this remote and barbarous region as familiar as that of
the Atlantic shores of America. The island upon which Behring died, and
which was then uninhabited and without a shrub upon its surface, is now
an important trading station, and affords comfortable winter quarters
to vessels from Okhotsk and Kamschatka.

[Illustration: LORD ANSON.]



The statesmen of England had now become penetrated with the idea that,
in order to consolidate their territorial supremacy, they must make
their country the undisputed mistress of the seas. War was declared
against Spain in 1739, and the king determined to attack that power
in her distant settlements and deprive her, if possible, of her
possessions in America, and especially in Peru. It was supposed that
the principal resources of the enemy would be by this means cut off,
and that the Spanish would be reduced to the necessity of suing for
peace, deprived as they would be of the returns of that treasure by
which alone they could be enabled to support the drains of a foreign
war. A fleet of six vessels, manned by fourteen hundred men and
accompanied by two victualling-ships, was placed under the command of
George Anson, a captain in the naval service. The flag-ship was the
Centurion, mounting sixty guns and carrying four hundred men. On their
way out from Spithead, on the 18th of September, 1740, the fleet was
joined by an immense convoy of trading ships, which were to keep them
company a portion of the way,--numbering in all eleven men-of-war and
one hundred and fifty sail of merchantmen.

The squadron passed through Lemaire's Strait on the 7th of March, 1741.
"We could not help persuading ourselves," writes Anson, "that the
greatest difficulty of our voyage was now at an end, and that our most
sanguine dreams were upon the point of being realized; and hence we
indulged our imaginations in those romantic schemes which the fancied
possession of the Chilian gold and Peruvian silver might be conceived
to inspire. Thus animated by these flattering delusions, we passed
those memorable straits, ignorant of the dreadful calamities which were
then impending and just ready to break upon us,--ignorant that the time
drew near when the squadron would be separated never to unite again,
and that this day of our passage was the last cheerful day that the
greater part of us would ever live to enjoy."

The sternmost ships were no sooner clear of the Strait, than the
tranquillity of the sky was suddenly disturbed, and all the presages
of a threatening storm appeared in the heavens and upon the waters.
The winds were let loose upon the unfortunate fleet, and for three
long months blew upon them with unrelenting fury. The Severn and Pearl
parted company and were never seen again. During the month of April,
forty-three of the crew of the Centurion died of the scurvy; and
during the passage from the Strait to the island of Juan Fernandez
the flag-ship lost, by this disease, by accident, and by tempest, two
hundred and fifty men; and she could not at last muster more than six
foremast-men capable of doing duty. On the 22d of May, all the various
disasters, fatigues, and terrors which had previously attacked the
Centurion in succession now combined in a simultaneous onset, and
seem to have conspired for her destruction. A terrific hurricane from
the starboard quarter split all her sails and broke all her standing
rigging, endangered the masts, and shifted the ballast and stores. The
air was filled with fire, and the officers and men upon the decks were
wounded by exploding flashes which coursed and darted from spar to spar.

Thus crippled and disabled, with five men dying every day, and not
ten of the crew able to go aloft, the Centurion, separated from her
consorts, and supposing them to have perished in the storm, made the
best of her weary way to the island of Juan Fernandez, where she
arrived at daybreak on the 9th of June, after losing eighty more men
from the scurvy.

"The aspect of this diversified country would at all times," says
Anson, "have been delightful; but in our distressed situation,
languishing as we were for the land and its vegetable productions,--an
inclination attending every stage of the sea-scurvy,--it is scarcely
credible with what transport and eagerness we viewed the shore,
and with how much impatience we longed for the greens and other
refreshments which were then in sight, and particularly the water.
Even those among the diseased who were not in the very last stages
of the distemper exerted the small remains of strength which were
left them, and crawled up to the deck to feast themselves with this
reviving prospect. Thus we coasted the shore, fully employed in the
contemplation of this enchanting landskip."

In his description of the island, Anson speaks of the former residence
of Alexander Selkirk upon it, and says, "Selkirk tells us, among
other things, that, as he often caught more goats than he wanted, he
sometimes marked their ears and let them go. This was about thirty-two
years before our arrival at the island. Now, it happened that the
first goat that was killed by our people had his ears slit; whence
we concluded that he had doubtless been formerly under the power of
Selkirk. He was an animal of a most venerable aspect, dignified with an
exceeding majestic beard and with many other symptoms of antiquity."

The Centurion was soon joined by the Tryal sloop of war, by the
Gloucester, and the victualler Anna Pink: the other members of the
squadron were never heard of again. Upon the island, which was entirely
deserted, Anson thought he discovered appearances which indicated the
recent presence there of a Spanish force; and, as they might return,
every effort was made to get the ships and the men in position to cope
with them on equal terms. While refitting, a sail was discovered upon
the distant horizon, and the Centurion started out in pursuit of her.
Anson took her for a Spanish man-of-war, and ordered the officers'
cabin to be knocked down and thrown overboard, and the decks to be
cleared for action. She proved, however, to be an unarmed merchantman
sailing under Spanish colors. She surrendered without delay, and
proved to be the Monte Carmelo, bound from Callao to Valparaiso,
with a cargo of sugar and blue cloth, and, what was infinitely more
acceptable to Anson and his crew, eighty thousand dollars in Spanish
coin. The Centurion then returned with her prize to Juan Fernandez.
The spirits of the English were greatly raised by this capture, and
their despondency dissipated by so tangible an earnest of success.
The repairs upon all the vessels were hastily completed, and, while
they were sent to cruise in different directions in search of Spanish
merchantmen, the Centurion and the Carmelo sailed, on the 19th of
September, for the general rendezvous at Valparaiso.


In November, Anson determined to attack, with the force of his two
vessels, the unfortunate seaport of Paita, in Peru,--which, as may be
seen from our narrative, was invariably attacked by every successive
depredator. The town was taken with the utmost ease,--the governor,
who was in bed at the time of the surprise, running away half naked in
the utmost precipitation, and leaving his wife, hardly seventeen years
old, and to whom he had been married but three days, to take care of
herself. The custom-house, where the treasure lay, was seized upon and
its contents transported to the ship. Anson, not satisfied with this,
sent word to the governor, who had come to a halt on a distant hill,
that he would listen to proposals for ransom. The governor, who was
somewhat arrogant for a magistrate who had made so signal a display of
poltroonery, did not deign to return an answer to these overtures: he
collected together his people, however, and prepared to storm the city,
but, upon second thoughts, prudently abstained. Pitch, tar, and other
combustibles were now distributed by Anson's men among the houses of
Paita; the cannon in the fort were spiked, and fire was then set to the
town, which was speedily reduced to ashes. The loss of the Spaniards
by the fire, in broadcloths, silks, velvets, cambrics, was represented
by them to the court of Madrid as amounting to a million and a half
of dollars. Anson's ships carried away with them, in plate, coin,
and jewels, about one hundred and fifty thousand dollars more. Soon
after leaving Paita, they fell in with a launch laden with jars of
cotton. The people on board said they were very poor; but, as they were
found dining on pigeon pie served up in silver dishes, it was thought
advisable to search for the sources of this opulence. The jars of
cotton were found to contain sixty thousand dollars in double doubloons.

Anson now determined to steer for the southern parts of California,
there to cruise for the galleon due at Acapulco from Manilla towards
the middle of January. He did not arrive there till the 1st of
February, 1742; but, being assured by some of his Spanish prisoners
that the galleon was often a month behind her average time, he stood on
and off, waiting with feverish impatience for an arrival whose value he
estimated in round millions. He soon learned, from some negroes whom
he captured, that the galleon had arrived on the 9th of January. They
added, however, that she had delivered her cargo, and that the Viceroy
of Mexico had fixed her departure from Acapulco, on her return, for the
14th of March. This news was joyfully received by Anson and his men, as
it was much more advantageous for them to seize the specie which she
had received for her cargo than to seize the cargo itself.

It was now the 19th of February, and the galleon was not to leave
port till the 14th of March, or, according to the old style followed
by Anson, the 3d of March. The interval was employed in scrubbing the
ships' bottoms, in bringing them into the most advantageous trim,
and in regulating the orders, signals, and positions to be observed
when the famous ship should appear in sight. The positions held were
as follows: The squadron was stationed forty miles from shore,--an
offing quite sufficient to escape observation: it consisted of the
Centurion, the Gloucester, and three armed prizes: these were arranged
in a circular line, and each ship was nine miles distant from the next,
the two vessels at the extremes being, therefore, thirty-six miles
apart. As the galleon could be easily discerned twenty miles outside
of either extremity, the whole sweep of the squadron was seventy-five
miles, the various vessels composing it being so connected by signals
as to be readily informed of what was seen in any part of the line.
The Centurion and the Gloucester were alone intended to come to close
quarters, or, indeed, to engage in the action at all: they were
therefore strengthened by accessions from the others.

The calls of hunger and all other duties were neglected on the 3d of
March: all eyes were strained in the direction of Acapulco, and voices
continually exclaimed that they saw one of the cutters returning with
a signal. To their extreme vexation and dismay, both that day and the
next passed without bringing news of the galleon. A fortnight went by;
and Anson at last came to the melancholy conclusion that his presence
upon the coast had been discovered, and that an embargo had been laid
upon the object of all their hopes. He afterwards discovered that his
presence was suspected, but not known, but that the wary Spaniards had
frustrated his schemes by detaining the galleon till the succeeding
year. With a heavy heart, the admiral gave orders for the departure of
the fleet from the American coast, in prosecution of the plans drawn
up previous to his leaving England. He sailed early in May with the
Centurion and Gloucester only, having scuttled and destroyed his three
prizes on the enemy's coast.

A terrible attack of scurvy soon reduced both vessels to half their
working force, and a storm of unusual violence completely disabled the
Gloucester. She held out, however, till the middle of August, when
her stores, her prize-money, and her sick were with great difficulty
removed to the Centurion, which was herself in a crazy and well-nigh
desperate condition. The Gloucester was set on fire, lest her wreck
might fall into the hands of the Spaniards: she continued burning
through the night, firing her guns successively as the flames reached
them: the magazine exploded at daylight.

The Centurion kept on her way, losing eight, nine, and ten men every
twenty-four hours. A leak was discovered, which all the skill of
the carpenters failed to stop. The ship and men were in a condition
bordering on positive despair. Under these circumstances, the sight
of two distant islands revived for a time their drooping spirits.
But these islands were bare and uninhabited rocks, affording neither
anchorage nor fresh water. The reaction produced by this disappointment
was evident in the renewed ravages of the relentless scurvy. "And now,"
says Anson, "the only possible circumstance which could secure the few
of us which remained alive from perishing, was the accidental falling
in with some other of the Ladrone Islands better prepared for our
accommodation; but, as our knowledge of them was extremely imperfect,
we were to trust entirely to chance for our guidance. Thus, with the
most gloomy persuasion of an approaching destruction, we stood from the
island-rock of Anatacan, having all of us the strongest apprehensions
either of dying of the scurvy, or of being destroyed with the ship,
which, for want of hands to work her pumps, might in a short time be
expected to founder."

On the 27th of August, the Centurion came in sight of a fertile and,
as Anson supposed, inhabited island, which he afterwards found to
be one of the Ladrones and named Tinian. Fearing the inhabitants to
be Spaniards, and knowing himself to be incapable of defence, Anson
showed Spanish colors, and hoisted a red flag at the foretopmast head,
intending by this to give his vessel the appearance of the Manilla
galleon, and hoping to decoy some of the islanders on board. The trick
succeeded, and a Spaniard and four Indians were easily taken, with
their boat. The Spaniard said the island was uninhabited, though it was
one of an inhabited group: he affirmed that there was plenty of fresh
water, that cattle, hogs, and poultry ran wild over the rocks, that the
woods afforded sweet and sour oranges, limes, lemons, and cocoanuts,
besides a peculiar fruit which served instead of bread; that, from the
quantity and goodness of the productions of the island, the Spaniards
of the neighboring station of Guam used it as a storehouse and granary
from whence they drew inexhaustible supplies.

A portion of this relation Anson could verify upon the spot: he
discovered herds of cattle feeding in security upon the island, and
it was not difficult to fill, in imagination, the rich forests which
clothed it, with tropical fruits and all the varied productions of
those beneficent climes. On landing, he at once converted a storehouse
filled with jerked beef into an hospital for the sick: in this he
deposited one hundred and twenty-eight of his invalids. The salutary
effect of land-treatment and vegetable food was such that, though
twenty-one died on the first day, only ten others died during the two
months that the Centurion remained at anchor in the harbor.


Anson gives a romantic account of the happy island of Tinian. The
vegetation was not luxuriant and rank, but resembled the clean and
uniform lawns of an English estate. The turf was composed of clover
intermixed with a variety of flowers. The woods consisted of tall and
wide-spreading trees, imposing in their aspect or inviting in their
fruit. Three thousand cattle, milkwhite with the exception of their
ears, which were black, grazed in a single meadow. The clamor and
paradings of domestic poultry excited the idea of neighboring farms
and villages. Both the cattle and the fowls were easily run down and
captured, so that the Centurion husbanded her ammunition. The hogs
were hunted by dogs trained to the pursuit, a number of which had been
left by the Spaniards of Guam: they readily transferred their services
and their allegiance to the English invaders. The island also produced
in abundance the very best specifics for scorbutic disorders,--such as
dandelion, mint, scurvy-grass, and sorrel. The inlets furnished fish of
plethoric size and inviting taste; the lakes abounded with duck, teal,
and curlew, and in the thickets the sportsmen found whole coveys of
whistling plover.

On the night of the 22d of September a violent storm drove the
Centurion from her anchorage, sundering her cables like packthread.
Anson was on shore, down with the scurvy; several of the officers, and
a large part of the crew, amounting in all to one hundred and thirteen
persons, were on shore with him. This catastrophe reduced all, both at
sea and on land, to the utmost despair: those in the ship were totally
unprepared to struggle with the fury of the winds, and expected each
moment to be their last; those on shore supposed the Centurion to be
lost, and conceived that no means were left them ever to depart from
the island. As no European ship had probably anchored here before, it
was madness to expect that chance would send another in a hundred ages
to come. Besides, the Spaniards of Guam could not fail to capture them
ere long, and, as their letters of marque were gone in the Centurion
they would undoubtedly be treated as pirates.

In this desperate state of things, Anson, who preserved, to all outward
appearance, his usual composure, projected a scheme for extricating
himself and his men from their forlorn situation. In case the Centurion
did not return within a week, he said, it would be fair to conclude,
not that she was wrecked, but that she had been driven too far to the
leeward of the island to be able to return to it, and had doubtless
borne away for Macao. Their policy, therefore, was to attempt to join
her there. To effect this, they must haul the Spanish bark, which they
had captured on their arrival, ashore, saw her asunder, lengthen her
twelve feet,--which would give her forty tons' burden and enable her
to carry them all to China. The carpenters, who had been fortunately
left on the island, had been consulted, and had pronounced the
proposal feasible. The men, who at first were unwilling to abandon all
hope of the Centurion's return, at last saw the necessity of active
co-operation, and went zealously to work.

The blacksmith, with his forge and tools, was the first to commence
his task; but, unhappily, his bellows had been left on board the ship.
Without his bellows he could get no fire; without fire he could mould
no iron; and without iron the carpenters could not rivet a single
plank. But the cattle furnished hides in plenty, and these hides
were imperfectly tanned with the help of a hogshead of lime found in
the jerked-beef warehouse: with this improvised leather, and with a
gun-barrel for a pipe, a pair of bellows was constructed which answered
the intention tolerably well. Trees were felled and sawed into planks,
Anson working with axe and adze as vigorously as any of his men. The
juice of the cocoanut furnished the men a natural and abundant grog,
and one which had this advantage over the distilled mixture to which
that name is usually applied,--that it did not intoxicate them, but
kept them temperate and orderly. When the main work had been thus
successfully started, it was found, on consultation, that the tent on
shore, some cordage accidentally left by the Centurion, and the sails
and rigging already belonging to the bark, would serve to equip her
indifferently when she was lengthened. Two disheartening circumstances
were now discovered: all the gunpowder which could be collected by
the strictest search amounted to just ninety charges,--considerably
less than one charge apiece to each member of the company: their only
compass was a toy, such as are made for the amusement of school-boys.
Their only quadrant was a crazy instrument which had been thrown
overboard from the Centurion with other lumber belonging to the dead,
and which had providentially been washed ashore. It was examined by the
known latitude of the island of Tinian, and answered in a manner which
convinced Anson that, though very bad, it was at least better than

On the 9th of October--the seventeenth day from the departure of the
ship--matters were in such a state of forwardness that Anson was able
to fix the 5th of November as the date of their putting to sea upon
their voyage of two thousand miles. But a happier lot was in store
for them. On the 11th, a man working upon a hill suddenly cried out,
in great ecstasy, "The ship! the ship!" The commodore threw down his
axe and rushed with his men--all of them in a state of mind bordering
on frenzy--to the beach. By five in the afternoon the Centurion--for
it was she--was visible in the offing: a boat with eighteen men to
reinforce her, and with meat and refreshments for the crew, was sent
off to her. She came happily to anchor in the roads the next day, and
the commodore went on board, where he was received with the heartiest
acclamations. The vessel had, during this interval of nineteen days,
been the sport of storms, currents, leakages, and false reckonings;
she had but one-fourth of her complement of men; and when, by a happy
accident of driftage, she came in sight of the island, the crew were so
weak they could with difficulty put the ship about. The reinforcement
of eighteen men was sent at the very moment when, in sight of the long
wished-for haven, the exhausted sailors were on the point of abandoning
themselves to despair.

Fifty casks of water, and a large quantity of oranges, lemons, and
cocoanuts were now hastily put on board the Centurion. On the 21st of
October, the bark (so lately the object of all the commodore's hopes
and fears) was set on fire and destroyed. The vessel then weighed
anchor, and took leave of the island of Tinian,--an island which, in
the language of Anson, "whether we consider the excellence of its
productions, the beauty of its appearance, the elegance of its woods
and lawns, the healthiness of its air, and the adventures it gave rise
to, may in all these views be justly styled romantic." After a smooth
run of twenty days, the Centurion came to an anchor on the 12th of
November, in the roads of Macao,--thus, after a fatiguing cruise of two
years, arriving at an amicable port and in a civilized country, where
naval stores could be procured with ease, and, above all, where the
crew expected the inexpressible satisfaction of receiving letters from
their friends and families.

The Centurion remained more than five months at Macao, where she was
careened, thoroughly overhauled, and refitted. The crew was reinforced
by entering twenty-three men, some of them being Lascars, or Indian
sailors, and some of them Dutch. On the 19th of April, the admiral
got to sea, having announced that he was bound to Batavia and from
thence to England, and, in order to confirm this delusion, having
taken letters on board at Canton and Macao directed to dear friends in
Batavia. But his real design was to cruise off the Philippine Isles
for the returning Manilla galleon. Indeed, as he had the year before
prevented the sailing of the annual ship, he had good reason to believe
that there would this year be two. He therefore made all haste to reach
Cape Espiritu Santo, the first land the galleons were accustomed to
make. They were said to be stout vessels, mounting forty-four guns and
carrying five hundred hands; while he himself had but two hundred and
twenty-seven hands, thirty of whom were boys. But he had reason to
expect that his men would exert themselves to the utmost in view of the
fabulous wealth to be obtained.

The Centurion made Cape Espiritu Santo late in May, and from that
moment forward her people waited in the utmost impatience for the happy
crisis which was to balance the account of their past calamities. They
were drilled every day in the working of the guns and in the use of
their small-arms. The vessel kept at a distance from the cape, in order
not to be discovered. But, in spite of all precautions, she was seen
from the land, and information of her presence was sent to Manilla,
where a force consisting of two ships of thirty-two guns, one of twenty
guns, and two sloops of ten guns, was at once equipped: it never
sailed, however, on account of the monsoon.

On the 20th of June, at sunrise, the man at the mast-head of the
Centurion discovered a sail in the southeast quarter. A general joy
spread through the ship, and the commodore instantly stood towards
her. At eight o'clock she was visible from the deck, and proved to be
the famous Manilla galleon. She did not change her course, much to
Anson's surprise, but continued to bear down upon him. It afterwards
appeared that she recognised the hostile sail to be the Centurion, and
resolved to fight her. She soon hauled up her foresail, and brought to
under topsails, hoisting Spanish colors. Anson picked out thirty of his
choicest hands and distributed them into the tops as marksmen. Instead
of firing broadsides with intervals between them, he resolved to keep
up a constant but irregular fire, thus baffling the Spaniards if they
should attempt their usual tactics of falling down upon the decks
during a broadside and working their guns with great briskness during
the intermission. At one o'clock, the Centurion, being within gunshot
of the enemy, hoisted her pennant. The Spaniard now, for the first
time, began to clear her decks, and tumbled cattle, sheep, pigs, goats,
and poultry promiscuously into the sea. Anson gave orders to fire with
the chase-guns: the galleon retorted with her sternchasers. During
the first half-hour he lay across her bow, traversing her with nearly
all his guns, while she could bring hardly half a dozen of hers to
bear. The mats with which the galleon had stuffed her netting now took
fire, and burned violently, terrifying the Spaniards and alarming the
English, who feared lest the treasure would escape them. However, the
Spaniards at last cut away the netting and tossed the blazing mass into
the sea among the struggling and roaring cattle. The Centurion swept
the galleon's decks, the topmen wounding or killing every officer but
one who appeared upon the quarter, and totally disabling the commander
himself. The confusion of the Spaniards was now plainly visible from
the Centurion. The officers could no longer bring the men up to the
work; and, at about three in the afternoon, she struck her colors and


The galleon, named the Nostra Signora de Cabadonga, proved to be
worth, in hard money, one million and a quarter of dollars. She lost
sixty-seven men in the action, besides eighty-four wounded; while the
Centurion lost but two men, and had but seventeen wounded, all of whom
recovered but one. "Of so little consequence," remarks Anson, "are
the most destructive arms in untutored and unpractised hands." The
seizure of the Manilla treasure caused the greatest transport to the
Centurion's men, who thus, after reiterated disappointments, saw their
wishes at last accomplished.

The specie was at once removed to the Centurion, the Cabadonga being
appointed by Anson to be a post-ship in his majesty's service, and
the command being given to Mr. Saumarez, the first lieutenant of the
Centurion. The two vessels then stood for the Canton River, and arrived
off Macao on the 11th of July. On the way, Anson reckoned up not only
the value of the prize just captured, but the total amount of the
losses his expedition had caused the crown of Spain since it left the
English shores. The galleon was found to have on board one million
three hundred and thirteen thousand eight hundred and forty-three
dollars, and thirty-five thousand six hundred and eighty-two ounces of
virgin silver, besides cochineal and other commodities. This, added
to the other treasure taken in previous prizes, made the sum total of
Anson's captures in money not far from two millions,--independent of
the ships and merchandise which he had either burned or destroyed, and
which he set down as three millions more; to which he added the expense
of an expedition fitted out by the court of Spain, under one Joseph
Pizarro, for his annoyance, and which, he learned from the galleon's
papers, had been entirely broken up and destroyed. "The total of all
these articles," he writes, "will be a most exorbitant sum, and is the
strongest proof of the utility of my expedition, which, with all its
numerous disadvantages, did yet prove so extremely prejudicial to the

At Macao, Anson sold the galleon for six thousand dollars, which was
much less than her value. He was very anxious to get to sea at once,
that he might be himself the first messenger of his good fortune and
thereby prevent the enemy from forming any projects to intercept him.
The Centurion weighed anchor from Macao on the 15th of December, 1743:
she touched at the Cape of Good Hope on the 11th of March, 1744, where
the commodore sojourned a fortnight, in a spot which he considered as
not disgraced by a comparison with the valleys of Juan Fernandez or the
lawns of Tinian. The fortuitous escapes and remarkable adventures which
had characterized the career of his famous ship continued till she
saluted the British forts. The French had espoused the cause of Spain;
and a large French fleet was cruising in the Chops of the Channel at
the moment when the Centurion crossed it. The log afterwards proved
that she had run directly through the hostile squadron, concealed from
view by a dense and friendly fog. She arrived safe at Spithead, on the
15th of June, after an absence of three years and nine months. Anson
caused the captured wealth to be transported to London, upon thirty-two
wagons, to the sound of drum and fife. The two millions were divided,
according to the laws which regulate the distribution of prize-money,
between Anson, his officers and men,--the crown abandoning every penny
to those who had suffered and fought for it. Anson was now the richest
man in the naval service. The sympathy and applause bestowed upon him
by the public may be imagined from the fact that the narrative of
his voyage went through four immense editions in a single year, was
translated into seven European languages, and met with a far greater
success than had ever fallen to the lot of any maritime journal.




In the year 1764, England was at peace with all the world, and his
majesty George III. conceived an idea which till then had penetrated
no royal brain,--that of sending out vessels upon voyages of discovery
in the single view of extending the domain of science and contributing
to the advance of geographical knowledge. Voyages had previously been
undertaken for purposes either of conquest, colonization, pillage, or
privateering; and discovery had usually been the result of accident,
and was generally subordinate to the grand business of plunder and
rapine. The king at once executed his design by giving the command of
the Dolphin and Tamar--the former a man-of-war of twenty-four guns,
and the latter a sloop of sixteen--to Commodore John Byron, who had
been one of the wrecked captains of Anson's fleet in 1740. The vessels
sailed from Plymouth on the 3d of July. Nothing of moment occurred
during their passage to Rio Janeiro, if we except the fact that Byron
noticed that no fish would come near his ship, though the sea was alive
with them at a little distance,--a circumstance which he attributed to
the Dolphin's copper sheathing. She was the first vessel upon which the
experiment of coppering the bottom had been tried.

Upon the Patagonian coast, Byron saw a party of the natives on
horseback, one of whom, who dismounted, he describes as follows:--"He
was of a gigantic stature, and seemed to realize the tales of monsters
in human shape: he had the skin of some wild beast thrown over his
shoulders, as a Scotch Highlander wears his plaid. Round one eye was
a large circle of white; a circle of black surrounded the other, and
the rest of his face was streaked with paint of different colors. His
height could not be less than seven feet. This frightful Colossus and
his whole company conducted themselves in a peaceable and orderly
manner which certainly did them honor." Byron entered Magellan's
Strait in December. During an anchorage here, a part of the men slept
on shore: they were always awakened from their first slumber by the
roaring of wild beasts, which the darkness of the night and the
loneliness of their situation rendered horrible beyond description. The
animals were prevented from invading the tent by the kindling of large

Having determined to await the arrival of the Florida,--a store-ship
which was to follow him,--Byron returned into the Atlantic and
discovered a group of islands, of which he took possession for King
George III. by the name of the Falkland Islands. Here the seals and
penguins were so numerous that it was impossible to walk upon the beach
without first driving them away. The men were also compelled to do
battle and fight hand-to-hand encounters with enormous and formidable
sea-lions, and with animals as large as a mastiff and as fierce as a
wolf. On returning to Port Desire, in February, 1765, the whales about
the ship rendered the navigation dangerous, and one of them blew a jet
of water over the quarterdeck. The Florida arrived about the same time,
and the Dolphin and Tamar took from her all the provisions they could
store. They then entered the Strait, and, for seven weeks and two days,
struggled with the terrible weather which at the period of the spring
equinox prevails in that tempestuous region. They made Cape Deseado on
the 8th of April, and soon after entered the South Sea.

Turning to the north as far as Juan Fernandez, and then making a long
stretch to the west, Byron discovered, on the 7th of June, in 14° 5'
south latitude and in 145° west longitude, a group of islands covered
with delightful groves and evidently producing cocoanuts and bananas in
abundance. Turtles were seen upon the shore; and the whole aspect of
the island was tropical and attractive in the extreme. But a violent
surge broke upon every point of the coast, and the steep coral rocks
which formed the shore rendered it unsafe to anchor. The sailors,
prostrated with scurvy, stood gazing at this little paradise with
sensations of bitter regret; and Byron accordingly named the group
the Islands of Disappointment. Two days later, however, he discovered
another group, to which he gave the name of King George's Islands.
Here the savages, in attempting to repel an invasion of their domain,
provoked reprisals, and two or three of them were killed: one, being
pierced by three balls which went quite through his body, took up a
large stone and died in the act of throwing it. Byron obtained several
boatloads of cocoanuts and a large quantity of scurvy-grass. After
discovering and naming Prince of Wales' and Duke of York's Islands,
Byron bore away for the Ladrones, a month's sail to the west.

In due time, and after a voyage accomplished without incident, the
two vessels arrived at the Ladrone island of Tinian, already famous
from the glowing description given of it by Lord Anson. They anchored
not far from the spot where the Centurion had lain, and in water so
clear that they could see the bottom at the depth of one hundred and
forty-four feet. Byron gives a very different account of the island
from that furnished by Anson,--a fact attributable to the circumstance
that he visited it during the rainy season. The undergrowth in the
woods was so thick, he says, that they could not see three yards before
them: the meadows were covered with stubborn reeds higher than their
heads, and which cut their legs like whipcord. Every time they spoke
they inhaled a mouthful of flies. In the Centurion's well they found
water that was brackish and full of worms. Centipedes bit and scorpions
bled. The ships rolled at anchor as never ships rolled before. The
rains were incessant. The heat was suffocating, being only nine degrees
less than the heat of the blood at the heart. Anson's cattle were very
shy; for it took six men three days and three nights to capture and
kill a bullock, whose flesh, when dragged home to the tents, invariably
proved to be fly-blown and useless.

After a stay of nine weeks at Tinian, Byron weighed anchor on the 30th
of September, with a cargo of two thousand cocoanuts. On the 5th of
October, he touched at the Malay island of Timoan. The inhabitants were
inclined to drive hard bargains and to part with as few provisions as
possible. They were even offended at the sailors hauling the seine and
taking fish upon their coast. Leaving this ungenerous island, they met
with a fortnight of light winds, dead calms, and violent tornadoes,
accompanied with rain, thunder, and lightning. On the 19th of October,
they hailed an English craft belonging to the East India Company and
bound from Bencoolen to Bengal. The master sent them a sheep, a turtle,
a dozen fowls, and two gallons of arrack. With this assistance Byron
easily reached Java, where he took in stores of rice and arrack.
Nothing of moment occurred during the run home, except the incident
of a collision between the Dolphin and a whale, in which the latter
appeared to be the greatest sufferer, as the water was deeply tinged
with blood. Byron arrived at Deal on the 7th of May, 1766. Each ship
had lost six men, including those that were drowned. This number was
so inconsiderable that it was deemed probable that more of them would
have died had they remained on shore. Byron, having discharged all the
duties devolving on him during this voyage with prudence and energy,
could not be held responsible for the poverty of the scientific results
obtained,--a circumstance owing to the absence of scientific men,
naturalists, mathematicians, astronomers, &c. The Government resolved
to make another effort, and to equip the expedition in a style more
adequate to its necessities. The Dolphin was immediately refitted and
furnished for a voyage to be made in the same seas under Captain Samuel
Wallis. The Swallow, a sloop of fourteen guns, was appointed to be her
consort, instead of the lumbering Tamar, and Captain Carteret, who had
accompanied Byron, was ordered to command her. The Prince Frederick
was appointed to accompany them as store-ship. They left Plymouth in
company on the 22d of August, 1766.

The run to Magellan's Strait offers no points of interest. They entered
into amicable relations with the Patagonians. These people, who, from
Magellan's and Byron's accounts, had obtained the reputation of being
giants of seven feet, were measured with a rod by Wallis. The tallest
were six feet six, while their average height was from five feet ten
to six feet. He invited several of them on board, where, following the
example of Magellan, he showed one of them a looking-glass. "This,
however," he says, "excited little astonishment, but afforded them
infinite diversion." The Prince Frederick took on board, by Wallis'
order, several thousand young trees, which had been carefully removed
with their roots and the earth about them, and transported them to the
Falkland Islands, where there was no growth of wood. Captain Carteret
climbed a mountain in the hope of obtaining a view of the South Sea: he
erected a pyramid, in which he deposited a bottle containing a shilling
and a paper,--a memorial which, he remarked, might possibly remain
there as long as the world endured. At other points the land was bare,
covered with snow, or piled to the clouds with rocks, looking like the
ruins of nature doomed to everlasting sterility and desolation.

A storm now disabled both ships, and Carteret found the Swallow to be
almost unmanageable. From this time forward, during the passage of the
Strait, the inhabitants they met seemed to be the most miserable of
human beings,--half frozen, half fed, half clothed. After four months'
dangerous and tedious navigation, they issued from the Strait into the
ocean on the 11th of April, 1767, bidding farewell to a region where in
the midst of summer the weather was tempestuous, "where the prospect
had more the appearance of chaos than of nature, and where, for the
most part, the valleys were without herbage and the hills without
wood." A storm here separated the Dolphin and the Swallow, and from
this point the adventures of Wallis and Carteret form two distinct
narratives. We shall follow the course of the Dolphin, and then return
to that of the Swallow.

Wallis sailed to the northwest for two months without incident,
discovering Whitsun Island and Queen Charlotte's Island in mid-ocean.
At last, on the 19th of June, he touched at Quiros' island of
Sagittaria: it had been lost for a century and a half, and its
existence even was doubted. The Dolphin was soon surrounded by hundreds
of canoes, containing at least eight hundred people. They did not
manifest hostile intentions, however, contenting themselves with
petty thefts. Wallis sent his boats to sound for an anchorage, and,
observing the canoes gather around them, fired a nine-pounder over
their heads. A skirmish followed, which resulted in the wounding of
several on both sides. But, on Wallis' attempting to enter the Bay of
Matavai, the islanders offered a determined resistance: three-hundred
canoes, manned by two thousand warriors, surrounded him and attacked
him with a hail of stones. Repulsed for a time, they twice rallied,
and hurled stones weighing two pounds on board, by means of slings. At
last a cannon-ball cut the canoe bearing the chief in halves, whereupon
canoes and warriors disappeared with the utmost precipitation. The
ship was now warped up to the shore, and the boats landed without
opposition. Mr. Furneaux, the lieutenant, took possession of the island
for his majesty, in honor of whom he called it King George the Third's
Island. The water proving to be excellent, rum was mixed with it, and
every man drank his majesty's health. The natives choosing to make a
demonstration at midnight, Wallis cleared the coast with his guns, and
sent the carpenters ashore with their axes, to destroy all the canoes
which in their precipitation they had left. Fifty canoes, some of
them sixty feet long, were thus broken up. These measures brought the
savages to terms, and boughs of plantains were soon exchanged and vows
of friendship pantomimically expressed. Trade was established, and a
tent erected at the watering place. The crew now lived sumptuously upon
fruits and poultry, and in a fortnight the commander hardly knew them
for the same people. This, as we have said, was the island which Cook
was to render famous under the name of Tahiti.

It was not long before it was discovered that nails, the principal
medium of exchange, seemed to have lost their value with the islanders.
Bringing forth large spikes from their pockets, they intimated
that they desired nails of a similar size and strength. It was now
ascertained that the sailors, having no nails of their own, had drawn
all the stout hammock-pins, and had ripped out the belaying cleats.
Every artifice was practised to discover the thieves, but without

On the 11th of July, a tall woman of pleasing countenance and majestic
deportment came on board. She proved to be Oberea, sovereign of the
island. She seemed quite fascinated by Wallis, who was recovering
from a severe illness, and invited him to go on shore and perfect his
convalescence. He accepted the invitation, and the next day called upon
her at her residence,--an immense thatched roof raised upon pillars.
She ordered four young girls to take off his shoes and stockings and
gently chafe his skin with their hands. While they were doing this,
the English surgeon who accompanied Wallis took off his wig to cool
himself. Every eye was at once fixed upon this prodigy of nature. The
whole assembly stood motionless in silent astonishment. They would
not have been more amazed, says Wallis, had they discovered that the
surgeon's limbs had been screwed on to the trunk. Oberea accompanied
Wallis on his way back to the shore, and whenever they came to a little
puddle of water she lifted him over it.

It was now discovered that one Francis Pinckney, a seaman, had drawn
the cleats to which the main-sheet was belayed, and had then removed
and bargained away the spikes. Wallis called the men together,
explained the heinousness of the offence, and ordered Pinckney to be
whipped with nettles while he ran the gauntlet three times round the
deck. To prevent the ship from being pulled to pieces and the price of
provisions from being disproportionately raised, he directed that no
man should go ashore except the wooders and waterers.

Oberea now became romantic and tender. She tied wreaths of plaited
hair around Wallis' hat, giving him to understand that both the hair
and workmanship were her own. She made him presents of baskets of
cocoanuts, and of sows big with young. She said he must stay twenty
days more; and, when he replied that he should depart in seven days,
she burst into tears, and was with great difficulty pacified. When the
fatal hour arrived, she threw herself down upon the arm-chest and wept
passionately. She was with difficulty got over the side into her canoe,
where she sat the picture of helpless, unutterable woe. Wallis tossed
her articles of use and ornament, which she silently accepted without
looking at them. He subsequently bade her adieu more privately on
shore. A fresh breeze sprang up, and the Dolphin left the island on the
27th of July.


On his way to Tinian he discovered several islands, one of which the
officers did their commander the honor of calling Wallis' Island. At
Tinian they found every article mentioned by Lord Anson, though it
required no little time and labor to noose a bullock or bag a banana.
When they left, each man had laid in five hundred limes. On the passage
to Batavia, and thence to Table Bay, the sick-list was very large,
and several men were lost by disease and accident. At the Cape, the
crew were attacked by the small-pox, and a pest-tent was erected upon
a spacious plain. The infection was not fatal in any instance. The
Dolphin anchored in the Downs on the 20th of May, 1768. Wallis was
enabled to communicate a paper to the Royal Society in time for that
body to give to Lieutenant Cook, then preparing for his first voyage,
more complete instructions by which to govern his movements.

We must now return to the Swallow, commanded by Philip Carteret,
and, as far as the Strait of Magellan, the consort of the Dolphin. A
storm, as we have said, separated them; and, while Wallis sailed to
the northwest, Carteret was driven due north. He was surprised to find
Juan Fernandez fortified by the Spanish, and did not think it prudent
to attempt a landing. Sailing now due west, he discovered an island to
which he gave the name of Pitcairn, in honor of the young man who first
saw it. This island we shall have occasion to mention more particularly
hereafter, as it became the scene of the romantic adventures of the
mutineers of the Bounty. The vessel had now become crazy, and leaked
constantly. The sails were worn, and split with every breeze. The men
were attacked by the scurvy; and Carteret began to fear that he should
get neither ship nor crew in safety back to England.

At last, on the 12th of August, land was discovered at daybreak, which
proved to be a cluster of islands, of which Carteret counted seven.
Ignorant that Mendana had discovered them in 1595, nearly two centuries
previously, and had given them the name of Santa Cruz, Carteret took
possession of them, naming them Queen Charlotte's Islands and giving a
distinctive appellation to each member of the archipelago. Cocoanuts,
bananas, hogs, and poultry were seen in abundance as they sailed along
the shore; but every attempt to land ended in bloodshed and repulse.
They now steered to the northwest, and, on the 26th of August, saw
New Britain and St. George's Bay, discovered and named by Dampier.
Anchoring temporarily, and again wishing to weigh anchor, Carteret
found, to his dismay, that the united strength of the whole ship's
company was insufficient to perform the labor. They spent thirty-six
hours in fruitless attempts, but, having recruited their strength by
sleep, finally succeeded. They had neither the strength to chase turtle
nor the address to hook fish. Cocoanut-milk gradually revived the men,
who also received benefit from a fruit resembling a plum.

The wind not allowing Carteret to follow Dampier's track around New
Britain, the idea struck him that St. George's Bay might in reality
be a channel dividing the island in twain. This the event proved to
be correct. On his way through, he noticed three remarkable hills,
which he called the Mother and Daughters, the Mother being the
middlemost and largest. Leaving the southern portion of the island
in possession of its old name, New Britain, he called the northern
portion New Ireland. On leaving the channel, the vessel was in such a
state that no time or labor could be any longer devoted to science or
geography: the essential point was to reach some European settlement.
Carteret discovered numerous islands and groups, and, after touching
at Mindanao, arrived at Macassar, on the island of Celebes, in March,
1768. He had buried thirteen of his men, and thirty more were at
the point of death: all the officers were ill, and Carteret and his
lieutenant almost unfit for duty. The Dutch refused him permission
to land, and Carteret determined to run the ship ashore and fight
for the necessaries of life, to which their situation entitled them,
and which they must either obtain or perish. A boat, bearing several
persons in authority, put out to them, and commanded them to leave at
once, at the same time giving them two sheep and some fowls and fruit.
Carteret showed them the corpse of a man who had died that morning,
and whose life would probably have been saved had provisions been
at once afforded him. This somewhat shocked them; and they inquired
very particularly whether he had been among the Spice Islands, and,
upon receiving a negative reply, which they appeared to believe,
directed him to proceed to a bay not far distant, where he would find
shelter from the monsoon and provisions in abundance. He proceeded,
therefore, to Bonthain, where he altered his reckoning, having lost
about eighteen hours in coming by the west, while the vessels that had
come by the east had gained about six. He stayed here two months, with
difficulty obtaining natives to replace the many seamen he had lost.
On the passage from Bonthain to Batavia, the ship leaked so fast that
the pumps, which were kept constantly at work, were hardly able to
keep her free. He arrived at Batavia on the 2d of June. Here the Dutch
authorities again placed every obstacle in his way; and it was the last
week in July before he could heave down the ship for repairs. These
being completed, he set sail for England.

On the 30th of January, 1769, he touched at Ascension, where it was the
custom, as the island was uninhabited, for every ship to leave a letter
in a bottle, with the date, name, destination, &c. With this custom
Carteret of course complied. Three weeks afterwards, he was overhauled
by a ship bearing French colors and sailing in the same direction as
himself. Carteret was very much surprised to hear the French captain
call him and his ship by name: he was still more surprised to hear
that the Dolphin had already returned to England, and had reported
his--Carteret's--probable loss in Magellan's Strait. "How did you learn
the name of my ship?" shouted Carteret through his trumpet. "From the
bottle at Ascension," was the reply. "And how did you hear of the
opinion formed in England of our fate?" "From the French gazette at
the Cape of Good Hope." "And who may you be, pray?" "A French East
Indiaman, Captain Bougainville." The vessel was La Boudeuse, whose
voyage round the world we shall narrate in the following chapter. The
Swallow anchored at Spithead on Saturday, the 20th of March, having
been absent three years wanting two days. No navigator had yet done
so much with resources so insufficient: Carteret's discoveries were
of the highest interest in a geographical point of view. He was a
worthy predecessor of Cook; and his achievements with a crazy ship
and a disabled crew prepared the public mind for the researches which
his already distinguished successor would be enabled to make with
the carefully equipped expedition which had lately started under his

A harrowing incident which occurred at sea about this time produced a
painful sensation throughout Europe. The French man-of-war Le Prince,
being on her way from Lorient to Pondicherry by way of Cape Horn,
was discovered to be on fire. Smoke was noticed ascending almost
imperceptibly from one of the hatchways. The usual measures were
promptly taken, eighty marines being placed on duty with loaded muskets
to enforce obedience from the crew. The pumps and buckets were totally
inadequate to master the now raging flames; while the fresh water,
set running from the casks, was of equally little service. The yawl,
by the captain's orders, had been lowered: seven men seized it and
rowed rapidly away. Of the other boats, two were burned, and one was
swamped as it touched the water. The consternation now became general;
and the despairing shrieks of the dying, mingled with the cries of
the affrighted animals on board, rendered the scene one of terrible
confusion. The chaplain went about, granting a general absolution,
and extending the remission of their sins even to those who, to avoid
death by fire, committed suicide by leaping into the sea. There were
six women on board, two of them the cousins of the captain. They were
lowered into the water upon hen-coops, the captain bidding them an
eternal farewell, as it was his duty and his determination to perish
with the ship.


The water was now alive with human beings, clinging to spars, oars,
barrels, and other floating materials. Upon one spar were nine men,
who had escaped the fury of one element, and were calmly awaiting
the fate which they were expecting from another. They were destined
to die by neither, but in a manner, if any thing, more horrible. The
flames, reaching the cannon, which by some fatal coincidence were
loaded, discharged them one by one. A ball, striking the spar by which
these nine devoted men were kept afloat, ploughed its way through them
all, killing several outright and mortally wounding the rest. Not
one escaped. The mast now fell into the sea, making terrible havoc
among those within its reach; while at every moment a gun launched
its reckless metal upon the water. The chaplain, clinging to a bit of
charred wood, edified all who heard him by his piety and resignation.
Once he tried to sink, but was brought back by the first lieutenant.
"Let me go," said he; "I am full of water, and it cannot avail to
prolong my sufferings." "In his holy company," says the lieutenant, in
his narrative, "I passed three hours: during which time I saw one of
the captain's cousins give up the effort to keep herself afloat, and
fall back and drown." This lieutenant, surviving the rest, hailed the
seven men in the yawl, by whom he was taken in, as were also the pilot
and the quartermaster. These ten persons were all that were saved out
of the three hundred who composed the vessel's crew. The frigate soon
blew up; and, after this frightful scene of her expiring agony, all
relapsed into silence.

The lieutenant assumed the command of the boat, and, rowing to the
remains of the wreck, ordered a search for stores and other articles
of which they had pressing need. They found a keg of brandy, fifteen
pounds of salt pork, a piece of scarlet cloth, twenty yards of coarse
linen, and a quantity of staves and ropes. With the scarlet and an
oar they made a mast and sail, with a key they made a pulley, and
with a stave a rudder. With this equipment, and without astronomical
instruments, they started upon their adventurous voyage, being six
hundred miles distant from the coast of Brazil.

Favored by a brisk breeze, they sailed during eight days, making
seventy-five miles every twenty-four hours. They were nearly naked,
and suffered terribly from exposure to the rays of a tropical July
sun. On the sixth day, a light rain gave them the hope of satisfying
their devouring thirst. They licked the drops from the sail, but
found them already bitterly impregnated with salt. They suffered as
much from hunger as thirst; for the salt pork, which had been found
to cause blood-spitting, had been abandoned on the fourth day. A
draught of brandy from time to time revived them somewhat, but burned
their stomachs without moistening them, causing them pain rather than
satisfaction. On the eighth night, the lieutenant passed ten hours at
the helm, not one of the remaining nine having the strength to relieve
him. It was not possible they could survive another day. The dawn
of the 3d of August brought with it the blessed sight of land, and,
collecting all their strength, to avoid being wrecked by the currents,
tides, and reefs, they landed in safety late in the afternoon. The
men rushed upon the beach, and, in their joy, rolled in the sand, and
mingled thanksgivings with their shouts of joy. They no longer appeared
like human beings, suffering having rendered their faces frightful to
behold. The lieutenant twisted a piece of red cloth about his loins
to show his rank to such inhabitants as they might fall in with. A
rapidly-flowing stream being discovered, they all rushed into it, and
lapped, rather than drank, its beneficent waters.

The place where they were was a Portuguese settlement, and they were
hospitably received by the colonists, who gave them shirts and manioc
in abundance. Proceeding to Pernambuco, where a Portuguese fleet was
stationed, they were welcomed with kindness by the officers, the
lieutenant being admitted to the admiral's mess, and the men being
distributed among the ships and placed on full pay. They were soon
restored to their country, and the lieutenant communicated to the
Government an official account of the disaster.


[Illustration: BOUGAINVILLE.]



Several years before the period of which we are speaking, the French
Government had colonized the Falkland Islands, lying off the eastern
coast of Patagonia. The establishment lasted barely three years,
and, in an agricultural point of view, was a complete and disastrous
failure. The Spanish crown subsequently claimed these islands as
belonging to the continent of South America, and the King of France was
easily induced to abandon them. Captain Louis-Antoine de Bougainville
was instructed, in 1766, to proceed to the islands, and there, in the
name of his French majesty, cede them to the Spanish authorities who
would be sent out for the purpose. He was then to continue on, by the
Strait of Magellan and the Pacific, to the East Indies, and thence to
return home. Should he accomplish this task, he would be the first
French circumnavigator of the globe.

Bougainville received the command of the frigate La Boudeuse, carrying
twenty-six twelve-pounders, and was to be joined at the Falklands by
the store-ship l'Étoile. He sailed from Brest on the 5th of December,
the Prince of Nassau-Singhen, who had been allowed to accompany the
expedition, being on board. They arrived at Montevideo early in
February, 1767, and found there the two Spanish frigates to whose
commander Bougainville was to surrender the Falkland Islands, and with
whom he sailed in company on the 28th of the month. They met with
severe weather, but arrived safely at their destination towards the
close of March. The settlement was made over to the Spaniards on the
1st of April: the Spanish colors were planted and saluted at sunrise
and sunset. The French inhabitants were informed they might either
remain or return: a portion embarked with the garrison for Montevideo,
on their way back to France.

Bougainville waited at the islands till the end of May for the
store-ship, which was to join him at this point, and then returned to
Rio Janeiro, where he hoped to get tidings of her. She had but just
arrived, bringing salt meat and liquor sufficient for fifteen months,
but no bread or vegetables. So he was forced to go, in quest of these
provisions, back to Montevideo. From here he went to Buenos Ayres, on
the opposite side of the bay formed by the mouths of the La Plata,
making the journey, however, overland, as a contrary wind prevented
his proceeding by water. At night, he and his party slept in leathern
tents, while tigers howled around them on every side. Coming to the
river St. Lucia, which is wide, deep, and rapid, they were at a loss
how to cross it. At last their guide procured a hollow canoe, the
master of which fastened a horse on each side of the bow, and then
boldly assumed the reins. He supported the heads of the horses above
the water and drove them safely across it. The Frenchmen landed on the
opposite side dry-shod.


It was not till the 14th of November that the Boudeuse and Étoile,
having taken in supplies of biscuit and bread, sailed, for the last
time, from Montevideo. They made the entrance of the Strait of Magellan
a fortnight afterwards. On the 8th of December, they saw a number of
Patagonians, who had kept up fires all night, hoisting a white flag
on an eminence,--a flag which some European ship had evidently given
them as a pledge of alliance. Bougainville went on shore, where some
thirty natives received him with every mark of good will. They embraced
him and his party, shook hands with them, and imitated the report
of muskets with their mouths, showing that they were accustomed to
fire-arms. They aided the botanist in collecting plants and simples,
and one of them applied to the physician for a prescription for his
inflamed eye. They asked for tobacco, and swallowed small draughts of
brandy, blowing with their mouths after the draught and uttering a
tremulous inarticulate sound. They begged them to remain over night,
and, upon the invitation being politely declined, accompanied them
with ceremony to the shore.


Bougainville, with three of his officers, spent some hours in taking
soundings near Cape Froward. Perceiving a small flat rock, which barely
afforded them standing-room, they mounted upon it, hoisted their
colors, and shouted Vive le Roi! The coast now resounded for the first
time, says Bougainville, with this compliment to his majesty. Upon
which an English commentator remarks "that it is a striking instance of
the vanity by which the French nation is distinguished." The vessels,
being retarded by constant head-winds and harassed by violent storms,
occupied fifty-two days in threading the channel, and the month of
January, 1768, was well advanced before they discovered the boundless
expanse of the Pacific.

Sailing to the northwest, they passed several low, half-drowned
islands, one of which Bougainville called Harp Island. A cluster of
reefs he called the Dangerous Archipelago. Sore throats now troubling
the crew, he attributed them to the snow-water of the Strait, and cured
them by putting a pint of vinegar and a dozen red-hot bullets into the
daily water-cask. He combated the scurvy by employing lemonade prepared
from a concentration in the form of powder. He made fresh water from
salt water by means of a distilling apparatus which furnished a
barrelful every night. In order to economize their drinking-water,
their bread was kneaded with water dipped up from the sea. On the 4th
of April, they discovered land; and fires burning during the night over
a wide extent of coast showed them that it was inhabited and populous.
In the morning a canoe propelled by twelve naked men approached. The
chief, with a prodigious growth of hair which stood like bristles
divergent on his head, offered the commander a cluster of bananas,
indicating that this was the olive-branch in use in Tahiti,--the island
at which the ships had now arrived. Presents were exchanged and an
alliance effected.

The vessels were now surrounded with canoes laden with cocoanuts and
bananas, and a brisk and tolerably honest trade was driven by the
natives and the strangers. The aspect of the coast--the mountains
covered with foliage to their very summits, the lowlands interspersed
with meadows and with plantations of tropical fruit, cascades pouring
down from the rocks into the sea, streams flowing among lovely clusters
of huts situated upon the shore--offered an enchanting scene to the
wearied crews. While the Boudeuse was casting her anchor, canoes
filled with women came around her. "These," adds Bougainville, with
characteristic French gallantry, "are not inferior for agreeable
features to most European women. It was very difficult, amidst such a
sight, to keep at their work four hundred young sailors who had seen
none of the fair sex for six months. The capstan was never hove with
more alacrity than on this occasion."

The captain and several officers now went on shore, where they were
received with high glee by all, with the exception of a venerable man,
apparently a philosopher, "whose thoughtful and suspicious air seemed
to show that he feared the arrival of a new race of men would trouble
those happy days which he had spent in peace." A poet, reclining
beneath a tree, sang them a song to the accompaniment of a flute which
a musician blew, not with his mouth, but with one of his nostrils.
In return for this entertainment, the strangers gave, at night, an
exhibition of sky-rockets, witch-quills, and other pyrotechnics.
The chief, learning that the Prince of Nassau was a man of royal
blood, offered him a wife; but, as the lady was advanced in years and
correspondingly mature in appearance, the prince plead a previous union
and escaped.

The vessels stayed here a fortnight, cutting wood and drawing water.
They lost six anchors during their sojourn, and twice narrowly missed
utter shipwreck,--"the worst consequence of which would have been
to pass the remainder of their days on an isle adorned with all the
gifts of nature, and to exchange the sweets of the mother-country for
a peaceable life exempt from cares." The islanders expressed infinite
regret at their departure,--one of them, Aotourou by name, being unable
to endure the separation, and asking permission to go with them. He
gave his young wife three pearls which he had in his ears, kissed her,
and went on board the ship. Bougainville quitted the island on the 16th
of April, no less surprised at the sorrow the inhabitants testified at
his departure than at their affectionate confidence on his arrival.

He directed his course so as to avoid the Pernicious Isles, warned by
the disasters of Roggewein to avoid them. Aotourou pointed at night
to the bright star in Orion's shoulder, indicating that they should
guide their course by it, and that in two days it would bring them to
a fertile island where he had friends and children. Being vexed that
no attention was paid to his advice, he rushed to the helm, seized the
wheel, and endeavored to put the ship about. In the morning he climbed
to the mast-head, and sought, in the distant horizon, the favored land
of which he had spoken.

The vessels kept on steadily to the westward, passing through
Navigator's Islands and the group which Quiros had named Espiritu
Santo. To the latter Bougainville gave the name of Grandes
Cyclades,--one, however, not destined to be long retained. He was at
this time informed that Baré, the servant of M. de Commerçon, the
botanist of the Étoile, was a woman. He went on board the store-ship
to make investigations. He thought the report incredible, as Baré was
already an expert botanist, and had acquired the name, during his
excursions with his master among the snows of Magellan's Strait,--where
he carried provisions, fire-arms, and bundles of plants,--of being his
beast of burden. The first suspicion of him occurred at Tahiti, where
the natives, with the keen intuition of savages, cried out in their
dialect, "It is a woman!" and insisted on paying her the attentions due
to her sex. When Bougainville went on board the Étoile, Baré, bathed in
tears, admitted that she was a woman. She said she was an orphan, had
served before in men's clothes, and that the idea of a voyage around
the world had inflamed her curiosity. Bougainville does her the justice
to state that she always behaved on board with the most scrupulous
modesty. She was not handsome, and was twenty-seven years of age. She
was the first woman that ever circumnavigated the globe.

It was not long before the provisions began to give out, and the crew
were put upon half rations. The commander was soon obliged to forbid
the eating of old leather, as it was becoming as scarce as biscuit
and was quite as necessary. The butcher shed tears upon sacrificing a
favorite goat, and Bougainville turned away his head as that sanguinary
personage, with equally cruel intent, whistled to a young Patagonian
dog. Breakers, reefs, and channels, where the tide ran fast and
dangerously, indicated the presence of land, to which was given the
name of Louisiade. This is a group of islands inhabited by Papuans.

On the coast of New Britain, at an uninhabited spot which Bougainville
named Port Praslin, he obtained a supply of inferior provisions,
such as thatch-palms, cabbage-trees, and mangle apples. A species of
aromatic ivy was likewise found, in which the physicians discovered
anti-scorbutic properties; and a store of it was therefore laid in.
An immense cascade, which furnished the vessels with fresh water, is
enthusiastically described by Bougainville. After a stay of eight
days at Port Praslin, during which time the heavens were black with
continual tempests, the vessels profited by a change of wind and
continued their westerly course. The field-tents were cut up, and
trousers made from them were distributed to the two ships' companies.
Another ounce was taken from the daily allowance of bread. From time
to time canoes would shoot out from the coast of New Britain; but the
hostility and treachery of the natives rendered all efforts to obtain
food from them unavailing.


On the 1st of September, Bougainville made the island of Boero, one of
the Moluccas, where he knew the Dutch had a small factory and a weak
garrison. All his men were now sick, without exception. The provisions
remaining were so nauseous that, as he says, "the hardest moments of
the sad days we passed were those when the bell gave us notice to take
in this disgusting and unwholesome food. But now our misery was to have
an end. Ever since midnight a pleasant scent exhaled from the aromatic
plants with which the Moluccas abound; the aspect of a considerable
town, situated in the bottom of the gulf, of ships at anchor there, and
of cattle rambling through the meadows, caused transports which I have
doubtless felt, but which I can not here describe."

It was found that the Dutch East India Company reigned supreme,
and that the governor was disposed to keep to the letter of his
instructions, which forbade him to receive any ships but those of the
monopoly. Bougainville was obliged to plead the claims of hunger and
considerations of humanity before the authorities would listen to him.
They then furnished him with rice, poultry, sago, goats, fish, eggs,
fruit, and venison, the latter being the flesh of stags introduced and
acclimated by the Dutch. Henry Inman, the Dutch governor, though placed
in a critical position by this arrival, behaved as became an honorable
and generous man. He first did his duty towards his superiors, and then
towards fellow-creatures in distress. Aotourou, the Tahitian, not being
taken ashore by the commander on his first visit, imagined that it
was because he was bow-legged and knock-kneed, and begged some of the
sailors to stand upon his legs and straighten them out.

During the run back to France, by way of the Cape of Good Hope, St.
Helena, and the Cape Verd Islands, nothing happened which requires
mention here. Bougainville entered the port of St. Malo on the 16th of
March, 1769, having been absent two years and four months, and having
lost but seven men during the voyage. He was the first Frenchman who
ever went round the world in one ship,--one Gentil de la Barbinais, a
pirate, having accomplished a voyage of circumnavigation in several
ships, some fifty years before. He sustained his claim to this honor
by publishing, two years afterwards, a narrative of his expedition,
written in an animated and graceful style, and which established his
reputation as a sailor and explorer.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN JAMES COOK.]



In the year 1768, the Royal Society of England induced the Government
to equip and despatch a vessel to the South Seas. The reader may
perhaps imagine--and, from what has preceded in this volume, he would
be amply justified in so doing--that its purpose was plunder, and
its object either the capture of the Manilla galleon or the sack
and pillage of the luckless town of Paita. Thirty years, however,
have elapsed since the voyage of Anson,--the last of the royal
buccaneers. The vessel whose career we are now to chronicle sought
neither capture, nor spoil, nor prize-money. It was a peaceful ship,
with a peaceful name,--the Endeavor: her commander bore a name to
be rendered illustrious by peaceful deeds, and he was bound upon a
peaceful errand. James Cook, an officer of forty years of age, who
had rendered efficient service in America, at the capture of Quebec,
and who had shown himself a capable astronomer, was instructed to
proceed to the island named Sagittaria by Quiros, and King George the
Third's Island by Wallis, there to observe and record the transit of
the planet Venus over the disk of the sun. The position of the island
as reported by Wallis was deemed to be exceedingly favorable for such
an observation. Cook was promoted to the rank of lieutenant; Charles
Green was attached to the ship in the capacity of astronomer, Joseph
Banks and Solander--the latter a Swede and a pupil of Linnæus--in that
of naturalists, Buchan as draughtsman, and Parkinson as painter. The
vessel sailed from Plymouth Sound, with a fair wind, on the 25th of

The voyage to Rio Janeiro was enlivened by many incidents now of quite
ordinary occurrence, but novel and interesting to navigators one
hundred years ago. They saw flying-fish whose scales had the color
and brightness of burnished silver. They caught a specimen of that
species of mollusk which sailors call a Portuguese Man-of-War,--a
creature ornamented with exquisite pink veins, and which spreads
before-the wind a membrane which it uses as a sail. They observed
that luminous appearance of the sea now familiar to all, but then a
startling novelty. They were of opinion that it proceeded from some
light-emitting animal: they threw over their casting-net, and drew up
vast numbers of medusæ, which had the appearance of metal heated to a
glow and gave forth a white and silvery effulgence. At Rio Janeiro the
viceroy regarded them with strong suspicion, and refused to allow Mr.
Banks to collect plants upon the shore. He could not understand the
transit of Venus over the sun, which he was told was an astronomical
phenomenon of great importance,--having gathered the idea from his
interpreter that it was the passage of the North Star through the South
Pole. On Wednesday, the 7th of December, they again weighed anchor,
and left the American dominions of the King of Portugal, the air at
the time being laden with butterflies, and several thousands of them
hovering playfully about the mast-head.

Towards the 1st of January, 1769, the sailors began to complain of
cold, and each of them received a Magellanic jacket. On the 11th, in
the midst of penguins, albatrosses, sheer-waters, seals, whales, and
porpoises, they descried the Falkland Islands, and, soon after, the
coast of Terra del Fuego. On the 15th, ten or twelve of the company
went on shore, and were met by thirty or forty of the natives. Each
of the latter had a small stick in his hand, which he threw away,
seeming to indicate by this pantomime a renunciation of weapons in
token of peace. Acquaintance was then speedily made: beads and ribbons
were distributed, and a mutual confidence and good-will produced.
Conversation ensued,--if speaking without conveying a meaning, and
listening without comprehending, can be called so. Three Indians
accompanied the strangers back to the ship. One of them, apparently a
priest, performed a ceremony of exorcism, vociferating with all his
force at each new portion of the vessel which met his gaze, seemingly
for the purpose of dispelling the influence of magic which he supposed
to prevail there.

A botanical party under Solander and Banks attempted an excursion into
the interior, for the purpose of obtaining specimens of the plants of
the country. The snow lay deep upon the ground, and the weather was
very severe. An accident rendered it impossible for them to return
to the ship; and they were compelled to pass the night, without
shelter, among the mountains. Solander well knew that extreme cold,
when joined with fatigue, produces a torpor and sleepiness which are
almost irresistible: he therefore conjured the company to keep moving,
whatever pain it might cost them. "Whoever sits down," said he, "will
sleep; and whoever sleeps will wake no more." He was the first to find
the inclination, against which he had warned others, unconquerable, and
he insisted upon being suffered to lie down upon the snow. He declared
that he must obtain some sleep, though he had but just spoken of the
perils with which sleep was attended. He soon fell into a profound
slumber, in which he remained five minutes. He was then awakened, upon
the reception of the news that a fire had been kindled. He was roused
with great difficulty, and found that he had almost lost the use of his
limbs, his muscles being so shrunk that his shoes fell from his feet.
Richmond, a black servant, slept and never woke: two others, overcome
with languor, made their bed and shroud in the snow. Such are the
terrible effects of cold in the Land of Fire.

On the 22d of January, Cook weighed anchor and commenced the passage
through the Straits of Lemaire; on the 26th, he doubled Cape Horn and
entered the Pacific Ocean. He sailed for many weeks to the westward,
making many of the islands which had been discovered the year before by
the French navigator Bougainville, and himself discovering others. On
the 11th of April, he arrived at King George's Island, his destination,
and the next morning came to anchor in Port Royal Bay, in thirteen
fathoms' water. The natives brought branches of a tree, which seemed
to be their emblem of peace, and indicated by their gestures that they
should be placed in some conspicuous part of the ship's rigging. They
then brought fish, cocoanuts, and bread-fruit, which they exchanged
for beads and glass. The ship's company went on shore, and mingled in
various ceremonies instituted for the purpose of promoting fellowship
and good-will. During one of these, Dr. Solander and Mr. Markhouse--the
latter a midshipman--suddenly complained that their pockets had been
picked. Dr. Solander had lost an opera-glass in a shagreen case, and
Mr. Markhouse had been relieved of a valuable snuff-box. A hue and cry
was raised, and the chief of the tribe informed of the theft. After
great effort and a long delay, the shagreen case was recovered; but the
opera-glass was not in it. After another search, however, it was found
and restored. The savages, upon being asked the name of their island,
replied, O-Tahiti,--"It is Tahiti." The present mode of writing it,
therefore,--Otaheite,--is erroneous: Tahiti is the proper spelling.

Cook now made preparations for observing the transit of Venus. He
laid out a tract of land on shore, and received from the chief of
the natives a present of the roof of a house, as his contribution to
science. He erected his observatory under the protection of the guns of
his vessel, being somewhat suspicious of the object of such constant
offerings of branches as the inhabitants insisted upon making. Mr.
Parkinson, the painter, found it difficult to prosecute his labors;
for the flies covered his paper to such a depth that he could not see
it, and eat off the color as fast as he applied it. The music of the
country, as the party gathered from a serenade played in their honor,
was at once eccentric and laborious. The favorite instrument was a
sort of German flute, which sounded but four semitones. The performer
did not apply this apparatus to his mouth, but, stopping up one of his
nostrils with his thumb, blew into it with the other, as Bougainville
had already had occasion to observe.

One day Mr. Banks was informed that an Indian friend of his, Tubourai
by name, was dying, in consequence of something which the sailors had
given him to eat. He hastened to his hut, and found the invalid leaning
his head against a post in an attitude of the utmost despondency. The
islanders about him intimated that he had been vomiting, and produced
a leaf folded up with great care, which they said contained some of
the poison from the fatal effects of which he was now expiring. He
had chewed the portion he had taken to powder, and had swallowed the
spittle. During Mr. Banks's examination of the leaf and its contents,
he looked up with the most piteous aspect, intimating that he had but
a short time to live. The deadly substance proved to be a quid of
tobacco. Mr. Banks prescribed a plentiful dose of cocoanut-milk, which
speedily dispelled Tubourai's sickness and apprehensions.

On the 1st of May, the astronomical quadrant was taken on shore for
the first time and deposited in Cook's tent. The next morning it was
missing, and a vigorous search was instituted. It had been stolen
by the natives and carried seven miles into the interior. Through
the intervention of Tubourai it was recovered and replaced in the

Thus far the integrity of Tubourai had been proof against every
temptation. He had withstood the allurements of beads, hatchets,
colored cloth, and quadrants, but was finally led astray by the
fascinations of a basket of nails. The basket was known to have
contained seven nails of unusual length, and out of these seven five
were missing. One was found upon his person; and he was told that
if he would bring back the other four to the fort the affair should
be forgotten. He promised to do so, but, instead of fulfilling his
promise, removed with his family to the interior, taking the nails and
all his furniture with him.

The transit of Venus was observed, with perfect success, on the 3d of
June, by means of three telescopes of different magnifying powers,
by Cook, Dr. Solander, and Mr. Green. Not a cloud passed over the
sky from the rising to the setting of the sun. A party of natives
contemplated the process in solemn silence, and were made to understand
that the strangers had visited their island for the express purpose of
witnessing the immersion of the planet.

The ship was to leave Tahiti on the 10th of June, and the time was now
spent in preparations for departure. On the evening of the 9th, it was
discovered that two marines, Webb and Gibson, had gone ashore, and were
not to be found. It was ascertained that they had married two young
girls of the island, with whom they had been in the habit of having
stolen interviews, and to whom they were very much attached. They were
recovered with much difficulty, and compelled, by the stern laws of the
naval service, to leave their wives behind them. The vessel sailed on
the 13th, an Indian named Tupia having been gratified in his desire to
accompany Cook upon his voyage. As the anchor was weighed, he ascended
to the mast-head, weeping, and waving a handkerchief to his friends in
the canoe. The latter vied with each other in the violence of their
lamentations, which was considered by the English as more affected than

Lieutenant Cook now discovered, successively, the various islands which
he regarded as forming an archipelago, and to which he gave the name
of Society Islands. He left the last of them on the 15th of August,
and on the 25th celebrated the anniversary of their leaving England by
taking a Cheshire cheese from a locker and tapping a cask of porter. On
the 30th, they saw the comet of that year, Tupia remarking with some
agitation that it would foment dissensions between the inhabitants of
the two islands of Bolabola and Ulieta, who would seem, from this,
to have been peculiarly susceptible to meteorological influences. On
the 7th of October, they discovered land, and anchored in an inlet
to which they gave the name of Poverty Bay. This was the northeast
coast of New Zealand,--an island discovered in 1642 by Tasman, and
which had not been seen since, a space of one hundred and twenty-seven
years. The natives received them with distrust, and several of them
were somewhat unnecessarily killed by musket-shots. All efforts to
enter into amicable relations with them failed, and Cook determined to
make another attempt at some other point of the coast. Here a bloody
fight took place, which resulted in the capture of three young savages
by Cook's men. They expected to be put to death, and, when relieved
from their apprehension by the kindness with which they were treated,
were suddenly seized with a voracious appetite, and seemed to be in
the highest possible spirits. During the night, however, they gave
way to grief, sighed often and deeply, and sang low and solemn tunes
like psalms. The next morning they were brilliantly decorated with
beads, bracelets, and necklaces, and displayed in this guise to their
countrymen on shore. The negotiation totally failed: the boys were sent
home, and the ship stood away from the inhospitable shore on Wednesday,
the 11th.

Cook coasted along the island to the south, now alarming the natives
by a single musket-shot, now dispersing a hostile fleet of a dozen
well-armed canoes by a discharge of a four-pounder loaded with
grape-shot, but aimed wide of the mark. At another time Tupia would
be ordered to acquaint a party of shouting and dancing savages that
the strangers had weapons which, like thunder, would instantaneously
destroy them. Cook was badly worsted in a bargain he made with a
species of New Zealand confidence-man, who came under the stern and
proposed to trade. Cook offered him a piece of red baize for his
bear-skin coat. The savage accepted. Cook passed over the article, upon
which the islander paddled rapidly away, taking with him the baize and
the bear-skin. An attempt made by a party of the natives to kidnap
Tupia's servant, Tayeto,--a Tahitian like himself,--and which was near
being successful, induced Cook to name the deep indentation of the sea
at this point of the coast, Kidnapper's Bay.

Somewhat farther to the south they found the natives more disposed
to be friendly, and Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander went ashore and shot
several birds of exquisite beauty. Some of the ship's company returned
at night with their noses besmeared with red ochre and oil,--a
circumstance which Cook explains by saying that "the ladies paint their
faces with substances which are generally fresh and wet upon their
cheeks and were easily transferred to the noses of those who chose to
salute them. These ladies," he goes on to say, "were as great coquettes
as any of the most fashionable dames in Europe, and the young ones as
skittish as an unbroken filly. Each of them wore a petticoat, under
which was a girdle made of the blades of highly-perfumed grass."

At another point they set up the armorer's forge, to repair the braces
of the tiller. They here met an old man who insisted on showing them
the military exercises of the country, with a lance twelve feet long,
and a battle-axe made of bone and called a patoo-patoo. An upright
stake was made to represent the enemy, upon which he advanced with
great fury: when he was supposed to have pierced the adversary, he
split his skull with his axe. From this final act it was inferred
that in the battles of this country there was no quarter. It was also
ascertained that cannibalism was a constant and favorite practice. They
here saw the largest canoe they had yet met with. She was sixty-eight
feet and a half long, five broad, and three deep: she had a sharp keel,
consisting of three trunks of trees hollowed out: the side-planks were
sixty-two feet long in one piece, and quite elaborately carved in
bas-relief: the figure-head was also a masterpiece of sculpture.

[Illustration: A NEW ZEALAND CANOE.]

The expedition had thus far been sailing to the southward. Dissatisfied
with the results, and finding it difficult to procure water in
sufficient quantities, Cook put about, determining to follow the coast
to the northward. He named a promontory in the neighborhood Cape
Turnagain. Another promontory, more to the north, where a huge canoe
made a hasty retreat, he called Cape Runaway. On the 9th of November,
the transit of Mercury was successfully observed, and the name of
Mercury Bay given to the inlet where the observation was made. Two
localities, for reasons which will be obvious, were called Oyster Bay
and Mangrove River. Before leaving Mercury Bay, Cook caused to be cut,
upon one of the trees near the watering-place, the ship's name, and
his own, with the date of their arrival there, and, after displaying
the English colors, took formal possession of it in the name of his
Britannic Majesty King George the Third.

On the 17th of December, they doubled North Cape, which is the northern
extremity of the island, and commenced descending its western side.
The weather now became stormy and the coast dangerous, so that the
vessel was obliged to stand off to great distances, and intercourse
with the natives was very much interrupted. At one point, however, the
English satisfied themselves that the inhabitants ate human flesh,--the
flesh, at least, of enemies who had been killed in battle. An Indian,
to convince Mr. Banks of the truth of this, seized the bone of a human
fore-arm divested of its flesh, bit and gnawed it, drawing it through
his mouth, and indicating by signs that it afforded him a delicious
repast. The bone was then returned to Mr. Banks, who took it on board
ship with him as a trophy and a souvenir. He was afterwards told that
the New Zealanders ate no portion of the heads of their enemies but the
seat of the intellect, and was assured that as soon as a fight should
take place they would treat him to the sight of a banquet of brains.

By the end of March, 1770, the ship had circumnavigated the two
islands forming what is now known as New Zealand, and had therefore
proved--what was before uncertain--that it was insular, and not a
portion of any grand Southern mainland. The whole voyage, in fact, had
been unfavorable to the notion of a Southern continent, for it had
swept away at least three-quarters of the positions upon which it had
been founded. It had also totally subverted the theory according to
which the existence of a Southern continent was necessary to preserve
an equilibrium between the Northern and Southern hemispheres; for it
had already proved the presence of sufficient water to render the
Southern hemisphere too light, even if all the rest should be land.

The vessel left New Zealand on the 31st of March, sailing due west,
and, on the 18th of April, Mr. Hicks, the first lieutenant, discovered
land directly in the ship's path. This was the most southerly point of
New Holland, and was called, from its discoverer, Point Hicks. Cook
followed the coast for many days to the northward; and it was only on
the third that he learned, from ascending smoke, that the country was
inhabited. On the thirteenth, he saw a party of natives walking briskly
upon the shore. These subsequently retired, leaving the defence of the
coast to two persons of very singular appearance. Their faces had been
dusted with a white powder, and their bodies painted with broad streaks
of the same color, which, passing obliquely over their breasts and
backs, looked not unlike the cross-belts worn by civilized soldiers:
the same kind of streaks were also drawn round their legs and thighs,
like broad garters. Each of them held in his hand a weapon two feet and
a half long. The landing party detached by Cook numbered forty men;
and one of the musketeers was ordered to show the two champions the
folly of resistance, by lodging a charge of small shot in their legs.
The wooders and waterers then went ashore, and with some difficulty
obtained the necessary supplies.

Early in May, Cook landed at a spot to which, from a casual
circumstance, he gave the name of BOTANY BAY,--a name now famous the
world over. Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander collected here large quantities
of plants, flowers, and branches of unknown trees; and it was this
incident that furnished the pastoral appellation to the Retreat for
Transported Criminals. They found the woods filled with birds of the
most exquisite beauty; the shallow coasts were haunted with flocks of
waterfowl resembling swans and pelicans; the mud-banks harbored vast
quantities of oysters, muscles, cockles, and other shell-fish. The
inhabitants went totally naked, would never parley with the strangers,
and did not seem to understand the Tahitian dialect of Tupia.

At a place which, in consequence of the difficulty of procuring fresh
water, received the name of Thirsty Sound, the watering party met with
singular adventures. They found walking exceedingly difficult, owing to
the ground being covered with a kind of grass, the seeds of which were
very sharp and bearded backwards, so that when they stuck into their
clothes they worked forward by means of the beard till they pierced the
flesh. Mosquitos stung them at every pore. The air was so filled with
butterflies that they saw, smelt, tasted, and breathed butterflies.
Black ants swarmed upon the trees, eating out the pith from the small
branches and then inhabiting the pipe which had contained it; and yet
the branches, thus deprived of their marrow and occupied by millions of
insects, bore leaves, flowers, and even fruit. They saw a species of
fish resembling a minnow, which appeared to prefer land to water: it
leaped before them, by means of its breast-fins, as nimbly as a frog;
when found in the water it frequently jumped out and pursued its way
upon the dry ground; in places where small stones were standing above
the surface of the water at a little distance from each other, it chose
rather to leap from stone to stone than to pass through the water.
They saw several of them proceed dry-shod over large puddles in this
ingenious and unusual manner. The ship left Thirsty Sound on the 31st
of May.

On the night of Sunday, the 10th of June, the vessel struck at high
tide upon a rock which lay concealed in seventeen fathoms' water, and
beat so violently against it that there seemed little hope of saving
her. Land was twenty-five miles off, with no intervening island in
sight. The sheathing-boards were soon seen to be floating away all
around, and the false keel was finally torn off. The six deck-guns,
all the iron and stone ballast, casks, staves, oil-jars, decayed
stores, to the weight of fifty tons, were thrown overboard with the
utmost expedition. To Cook's dismay, the vessel, thus lightened, did
not float by a foot and a half at high tide,--so much did the day tide
fall short of that of the night. They again threw overboard every thing
which it was possible to spare; but the vessel now began to leak,
and it was feared she must go to the bottom as soon as she ceased
to be supported by the rock,--so that the floating of the ship was
anticipated not as a means of deliverance, but as an event that would
precipitate her destruction. The ship floated at ten o'clock, and was
heaved into deep water: there were nearly four feet of water in the
hold. The leak was held at bay for a time; but the men were finally
exhausted, and threw themselves down upon the deck, flooded as it was
to the depth of three inches by water from the pumps. The vessel was
finally saved by the following expedient, proposed and executed by Mr.
Markhouse. He took a lower studding-sail, and having mixed together a
large quantity of oakum and wool, chopped pretty small, stitched it
down in handfuls upon the sail as tightly as possible. The sail was
then hauled under the ship's bottom by ropes; and, when it came under
the leak, the suction which carried in the water carried in with it the
oakum and the wool. The leak was so far reduced that it was easily kept
under by one pump. The vessel was finally got ashore and beached in
Endeavor River: the surrounding localities were fitly named Tribulation
Bay, Weary Point, and the Islands of Hope.

The repairs of the vessel occupied many weeks,--the officers and crew
occupying themselves in the mean time in fishing, in endeavors to
obtain interviews with the natives, and in excursions for botanical or
geological purposes. On the 14th of July, Mr. Gore killed an animal
which had excited the interest and curiosity of the English in the
highest degree, being totally unlike any animal then known. The name
given by the natives to this creature was "kangaroo." He was dressed
the next day for dinner, and proved most excellent fare.

A party of natives in the neighborhood having been rendered hostile
by the refusal of a pair of fat turtle belonging to the ship, they
snatched a brand from under a pitch-kettle which was boiling, and,
making a circuit to the windward of the few articles on shore, set fire
to the grass in their way. This grass, which was five or six feet high
and as dry as stubble, burned with amazing fury. The fire made rapid
progress towards a tent where the unhappy Tupia was lying sick of the
scurvy, scorching in its course a sow and two pigs. Tupia and the tent
were saved in the nick of time: the armorer's forge, or such parts
of it as would burn, was consumed. The powder, which had been taken
ashore, had been transported back to the magazine but two days before.
At night, the hills on every side were discovered to be on fire,--the
conflagration having spread with wonderful celerity. On the 3d of
August, the ship sailed from Endeavor River, the carpenter having at
last completed the necessary repairs.

The ship now coasted along the edge of a reef which stretched out some
twenty miles from the shore. This became suddenly of so formidable
an aspect, and the winds and waves rolled them towards it with such
sure and fatal speed, that the boats were got out and sent ahead to
tow, and finally succeeded in getting the ship's head round. The surf
was now breaking to a tremendous height within two hundred yards: the
water beneath them was unfathomable. An opening in the reef was now
discovered, and the dangerous expedient of forcing the ship through it
was successfully tried. They anchored in nineteen fathoms' water, over
a bottom of coral and shells. The opening through the reef received the
name of Providential Channel.

They sailed to the northward many days within the reef, till they at
last found a safe passage out. Cook then for the last time hoisted
English colors upon the eastern coast, which he was confident no
European had seen before, and took possession of its whole extent,
from south latitude thirty-eight to latitude ten. He claimed it, in
behalf of his Majesty King George the Third, by the name of New South
Wales, with all its bays, rivers, harbors, and islands. Three volleys
of small-arms were then fired, and the spot upon which the ceremony
was performed was named Possession Island. The ship passed out to the
westward, finding open sea to the north of New Holland,--a circumstance
which gave great satisfaction to all on board, as it showed that New
Holland and New Guinea were separate islands, and not, as had been
imagined, different parts of the supposed Southern continent. On
Thursday, the 24th of August, the ship left New Holland, steering
towards the northwest, with the intention of making the coast of New

Early in September they arrived among a group of islands which they
supposed to lie along the coast of New Guinea. As they attempted to
land, Indians rushed out of the thickets upon them, with hideous
shouts, one of them throwing something from his hand which burned
like gunpowder but made no report. Their numbers soon increased, and
they discharged these noiseless flashes by four and five at a time.
The smoke resembled that of a musket; and, as they held long hollow
canes in their hands, the illusion would have been perfect had the
combustion been accompanied by concussion. Those on board the ship
were convinced the natives possessed fire-arms, supposing that the
direction of the wind prevented the sound of the discharge from
reaching them. Cook determined to lose no time in this latitude, having
accomplished what he considered as of paramount importance; that is,
he had sailed between the two lands of New Holland and New Guinea, and
had thus established their insular character beyond any possibility of

He now sailed to the west, and anchored, on the 8th of October, at
Batavia, in Java. Here he laid up the ship for repairs. "What anxieties
we had escaped," he writes, "in our ignorance that a large portion of
the keel had been diminished to the thickness of the under leather of a
shoe!" But the ship's company, which had been so wonderfully preserved
from the perils of the sea, were destined to undergo the rude attacks
of disease upon land. Markhouse, the surgeon, Tupia and Tayeto, the
Tahitians, and four sailors, were rapidly carried off by fever. On the
27th of December, the ship weighed anchor, the sick-list including
forty names. Before doubling the Cape of Good Hope, she lost Sporing,
one of the assistant naturalists, Parkinson, the artist, Green, the
astronomer, Molineux, the master, besides the second lieutenant, four
carpenters, and ten sailors. Cook was forced to wait a month at the
Cape; and on the 12th of July, 1771, he cast anchor in the Downs, after
a cruise of three eventful years. His crew was decimated and his ship
no longer sea-worthy. The skill and enterprise displayed by Cook, and
the important results attained by the voyage, induced the Government to
raise him to the rank of commander. We shall follow him upon his second
voyage, in the next chapter.

[Illustration: CAPE PIGEON.]




The English Government now determined to despatch an expedition in
search of the supposed Southern or Austral continent. A Frenchman, by
the name of Benoit, had seen in 1709, to the south of the Cape of Good
Hope, in latitude 54° and in longitude 11° East, what he believed to be
land, naming it Cape Circumcision. Cook was placed in command of the
Resolution and Adventure, and instructed to endeavor to find this cape
and satisfy himself whether it formed part of the great continent in
question. He left Plymouth on the 13th of July, 1772, and the Cape of
Good Hope on the 22d of November.

A terrific gale soon drove both vessels from their course, washed
overboard their live-stock, and well-nigh disabled the Resolution. The
cold increased suddenly, and drawers and fearnaughts were served in
abundance to the crew. Immense ice-islands now occupied the horizon,
and the sea, dashing over them to the height of sixty feet, filled the
air with its ceaseless roar. On Sunday, the 13th of December, they were
in the latitude of Cape Circumcision, but ten degrees east of it. For
weeks they kept in high Southern latitudes, now menaced by towering
peaks of ice, now enclosed by immense fields and floating masses,
till, towards the 1st of February, 1773, Cook came to the unwelcome
conclusion that the cape discovered by Benoit was nothing more than a
huge tract of ice, which, being chained to no anchorage and subject to
no latitude, he had no reason to expect to find in the spot where the
credulous Frenchman had discovered it sixty years before.

On the 8th of February, the Resolution lost sight of the Adventure,
and cruised three days in search of her, firing guns and burning false
fires, but without success. On the 17th, between midnight and three
in the morning, Cook saw lights in the sky similar to those seen in
high Northern latitudes and known by the name of Aurora Borealis: the
Aurora Australis had never been seen before. It sometimes broke out
in spiral rays and in a circular form; its colors were brilliant,
and it diffused its light throughout the heavens. On the 24th, a
tremendous gale, accompanied with snow and sleet, made great havoc
among the ice-islands, breaking them up, and largely increasing the
number of floating and insidious enemies the ship had to contend
with. These dangers were now, however, so familiar to the crew, that
the apprehensions they caused were never of long duration, and were
in some measure compensated by the seasonable supplies of water the
ice-islands afforded them, and without which they would have been
greatly distressed.

On the 16th of March, Cook found himself in latitude 59°, longitude
146° East. He now determined to quit this quarter, where he was
convinced he should find no land, and proceed to New Zealand to look
for the Adventure and to refresh his crew. On the 26th, he anchored in
Dusky Bay, New Zealand, after having been one hundred and seventeen
days at sea, and having sailed eleven thousand miles without once
seeing land. This point, the most southerly of New Zealand, had never
been visited by a European before.

While coasting to the northward, towards Queen Charlotte's Sound,
where he expected to find the Adventure, Cook suddenly observed six
water-spouts between his vessel and the land. Five of them soon spent
themselves; the sixth started from a point three miles distant, and
passed within fifty yards of the stern of the Resolution, though she
felt no shock. The diameter of its base was about sixty feet: within
this space the sea was much agitated and foamed up to a great height.
From this a tube was formed, by which the water and air were carried
up in a spiral stream to the clouds, from whence the water did not
descend again, being dispersed in the upper regions of the atmosphere.
"I have been told," says Cook, "that the firing of a gun will dissipate
water-spouts; and I am sorry that we did not try the experiment, as we
were near enough and had a gun ready for the purpose; but as soon as
the danger was past I thought no more about it."

On the 18th of May, the Resolution discovered the Adventure in Queen
Charlotte's Sound: the crews of the two ships were overjoyed at meeting
each other after a separation of fourteen weeks. The captain of the
latter had seen upon the coast some natives of the tribe which had
furnished Tupia to Cook's vessel upon his first voyage. They seemed
quite concerned when informed that he had died at Batavia, and were
anxious to know whether he had been killed, and whether he had been
buried or eaten.

Before leaving the island, potatoes, turnips, carrots, and parsnips
were planted in spots favorable to their growth, and the natives were
made to understand their value as esculent roots. A ewe and ram were
sent ashore from the Resolution,--the last pair of the large stock put
on board at the Cape of Good Hope; but they probably ate a poisonous
plant during the night, for they were found dead in the morning. The
Adventure put ashore a boar and two sows, in the hope that they would
multiply and replenish the island.

The two ships sailed in company from New Zealand on the 7th of June,
their purpose being to proceed to the eastward in search of land as
far as longitude 140° West, between the latitudes of 41° and 46°
South. During a long cruise, Cook saw nothing which induced in him the
belief that they were in the neighborhood of any continent between the
meridian of New Zealand and America. A fact which militated against
it was, that they had, as is usual in all great oceans, large billows
from every direction in which the wind blew a fresh gale. These billows
never ceased with the cause which first put them in motion,--a sure
indication that no land was near. They constantly passed low and
half-submerged islands,--now consisting of coral shoals fretting the
waves into foam, and now of islets clothed with verdure. On the 17th of
August they arrived at Tahiti, after an entirely fruitless voyage.

The thieving and cheating propensities of the natives appeared in bold
relief during the sojourn of the English upon their coast. The latter
sometimes paid in advance for promised supplies of hogs and fowls, in
which case they were sure never to get them,--the wary trader making
off with his axe, shirt, or nails, and dispensing with the necessity
of fulfilling his engagement. The practice of overreaching was not
confined to the underlings of society, but extended even to the
chiefs. A potentate of high warlike renown came one day to the side
of the Resolution, and offered for sale a superb bundle of cocoanuts,
which was readily bought by one of the officers. On untying it, it
was found to consist of fruit which they had already once bought, and
which had been tapped, emptied of the milk, and thrown overboard. The
dishonest dignitary sat in his canoe at a distance, indicating by the
glee and vigor of his pantomime that he enjoyed in a supreme degree the
brilliant success of this mercantile fraud.


At another part of the coast, Cook and his officers were invited by
Otoo, the king, to visit the theatre, where a play was to be enacted
with music and dancing. The performers were five men and one woman,
who was no less a personage than the king's sister. The instruments
consisted of three drums only, and the music lasted about an hour and a
half. The meaning of the play was not apparent to the English, except
that it abounded in local allusions,--the name of Cook constantly
recurring. The dancing-dress of the lady was very elegant, being
ornamented with long tassels made of feathers, hanging from the waist


Cook left Tahiti early in September, taking with him a young savage
named Poreo, who was smitten with a desire to visit foreign parts. At
the neighboring island of Huaheine, a native named Omai, belonging to
the middle class, was also taken on board. Cook thus speaks of him two
years later:--"Omai has most certainly a good understanding, quick
parts, and honest principles: he has a natural good behavior, which
renders him acceptable to the best company, and a proper degree of
pride, which teaches him to avoid the society of persons of inferior
rank. He has passions of the same kind as other young men, but has
judgment enough not to indulge them to an improper excess." Omai was
taken back to Huaheine by Cook when he started upon his third voyage of
discovery, in 1776. We shall have occasion hereafter to chronicle the
incidents of this restoration.

Cook arrived at Middlebourg, one of the Friendly Islands, early in
October. Two canoes, rowed by three men each, came boldly alongside;
and some of them entered the ship without hesitation. One of them
seemed to be a chief, by the authority he exerted, and accordingly
received a present of a hatchet and five nails. Tioony--such was this
potentate's name--was thus cheaply conciliated. Cook and a party soon
embarked in a boat, accompanied by Tioony, who conducted them to a
little creek, where a landing was easily effected. Tioony brandished
a branch of the tree of peace in his right hand, extending his left
towards an immense crowd of natives, who welcomed the English on shore
with loud acclamations. Not one of them carried a weapon of any sort:
they thronged so thickly around the boat that it was difficult to get
room to land. They seemed more desirous to give than receive; and
many threw whole bales of cloth and armfuls of fruit into the boat,
and then retired without either asking or waiting for an equivalent.
Tioony then conducted the strangers to his house, which was situated
upon a fine plantation beneath the shade of shaddock-trees. The floor
was laid with mats. Bananas and cocoanuts were set before them to eat,
and a beverage was prepared for them to drink. This was done in the
following manner:--Pieces of a highly-scented root were vigorously
masticated by the natives; the chewed product was then deposited in
a large wooden bowl and mixed with water. As soon as it was properly
strained, cups were made of green leaves which held nearly half a pint,
and presented to the English. No one tasted the contents but Cook,--the
manner of brewing it having quenched the thirst of every one else.
In this island, as well as in the neighboring one of Amsterdam, the
people--both men and women--were observed to have lost one or both of
their little fingers. Cook endeavored in vain to discover the reason of
this mutilation; but no one would take any pains to inform him.

Cook noticed with interest the sailing canoes of these islands. A
remarkable feature was the sail,--which, being suspended by its spar
from a forked mast, could be so turned that the prow of the boat became
its stern, and _vice versâ_. They sailed with equal rapidity in either


On his return to New Zealand in November, Cook found that his efforts
to introduce new plants and animals had been frustrated by the natives.
One of the sows had been incapacitated by a severe cut in one of
her hind-legs; the other sow and the boar had been sedulously kept
separate. The two goats had been killed by a fellow named Gobiah,
and the potatoes had been dug up. Cook here had the satisfaction of
beholding a feast of human flesh. A portion of the body of a young
man of twenty years was broiled and eaten by one of the natives with
evident relish. Several of the ship's crew were rendered sick by the
disgusting sight.

The Adventure separated from her consort at this point; nor was she
again seen during the remainder of the voyage. Cook left New Zealand
early in December for a last attempt in the Southern Ocean. On the
12th he saw the first ice, and on the 23d, in latitude 67°, found his
passage obstructed by such quantities that he abandoned all hopes of
proceeding any farther in that direction, and resolved to return to the
north. As he was in the longitude of 137°, it was clear that there must
be a vast space of sea to the north unexplored,--a space of twenty-four
degrees, in which a large tract of land might possibly lie.

Late in February, 1774, Cook was taken ill of bilious colic, and for
some days his life was despaired of. The crew suffered severely from
scurvy. On the 11th of March, they fell in with Roggewein's Easter
Island, which they recognised by the gigantic statues which lined the
coast. They noticed a singular disproportion in the number of the males
and females, having counted in the island some seven hundred men and
only thirty women.

Early in April, Cook arrived among the Marquesas Islands, discovered
in 1595 by Mendana. On the 22d, he arrived at Point Venus, in Tahiti,
where he had observed the transit in 1769, and of which the longitude
was known: he was able, therefore, to determine the error of his watch,
and to fix anew its rate of going. The natives, and especially Otoo,
the king, expressed no little joy at seeing him again. On leaving
Tahiti, Cook visited in detail the islands named Espiritu Santo by
Quiros and Grandes Cyclades by Bougainville. As he determined their
extent and position, he took the liberty of changing their name to that
of the New Hebrides.


Cook now discovered the large island of New Caledonia, whose
inhabitants he mentions as possessing an excellent character.
Subsequent navigators, however, ascertained them to be cannibals.
They were much lower in the scale of intelligence than the Tahitians.
Their canoes were of the most clumsy description, and were generally
propelled in pairs by poles. Cook was unable to obtain provisions;
and, as his crew were now suffering from famine, he returned to New
Zealand, where he arrived on the 18th of October. He left again on the
10th of November, and anchored on the 21st of December in Christmas
Sound, in Terra del Fuego. He doubled Cape Horn, discovered numerous
islands of little importance, and finally headed the vessel for the
Cape of Good Hope. He anchored in Table Bay on the 19th of March, 1775.
He here found news of the Adventure, which had already passed the Cape
on her way home. On the 30th of July, Cook landed at Plymouth, after
an absence of three years and eighteen days. During this space of time
he had lost but four men, and only one of these four by sickness.
He was promoted to the rank of captain, was elected a member of the
Royal Society of London, and received the Godfrey Copley gold medal
in testimony of the appreciation in which his efforts to preserve the
health of his crew were held by the Government. He was now forty-seven
years of age.




Cook might justly have retired at this period to private life, to enjoy
his well-earned reputation. But the grand question of the Northwest
Passage, now agitated by the press and the public, induced him once
more to tempt the perils of foreign adventure. As every effort to force
a passage through Baffin's or Hudson's Bay had signally failed, it was
determined to make the experiment through Behring's Straits. On the
9th of February, 1776, Cook received the command of the sloop-of-war
Resolution,--the vessel in which he had made his last voyage,--the
Discovery, of three hundred tons, being appointed to accompany the
expedition. Both ships were equipped in a manner befitting the nature
of their mission: they were well supplied with European animals and
plants, which they were to introduce into the islands of the Pacific.
Omai, the young Tahitian whom Cook had brought to England, was placed
on board the Resolution, as it was not likely another opportunity
would occur of sending him home. He left London with regret; but the
consciousness that the treasures he carried with him would raise him to
an enviable rank among his countrymen operated by degrees to alleviate
his sorrow. The Resolution sailed from Plymouth on the 12th of July,
and was followed, on the 10th of August, by the Discovery: both vessels
joined company, early in November, at the Cape of Good Hope.

As we have already been frequently over the track now for the third
time traversed by Cook, we shall merely give his route, without
detailing his adventures, which did not materially differ from those of
his former voyages. He arrived at Van Diemen's Land in December, and
passed a fortnight of the month of February, 1777, in Queen Charlotte's
Sound, New Zealand. Soon after he discovered an island which the
natives called Mangya: he noticed that the inhabitants, for want of a
better pocket, slit the lobe of their ear and carried their knife in
it. At another island of the same group, Omai extricated himself and a
party of English from a position of great danger by giving the natives
an exaggerated account of the instruments of war used on board the
two ships anchored in the offing. "These instruments," he said, "were
so huge that several people could sit conveniently within them; and
one of them was sufficient to crush the whole island at a shot." Had
it not been for this formidable story, Omai thought the party would
have been detained on shore all night. At one of the Society Islands
Cook planted a pineapple and sowed some melon-seeds. He was somewhat
encouraged to hope that endeavors of this kind would not be fruitless,
for upon the same day the natives served up at his dinner a dish of
turnips, being the produce of the seeds he had left there during his
last voyage.

The Resolution soon anchored off Tahiti, and Cook noticed particularly
the conduct of Omai, now about to be restored to his home and his
friends. A chief named Ootu, and Omai's brother-in-law, came on board.
There was nothing either tender or striking in their meeting. On the
contrary, there seemed to be a perfect indifference on both sides,
till Omai, having taken his brother down into the cabin, opened the
drawer where he kept his red feathers and gave him three of them. Ootu,
who would hardly speak to Omai before, now begged that they might be
friends. Omai assented, and ratified the bargain with a present of
feathers; and Ootu, by way of return, sent ashore for a hog. But it was
evident to the English that it was not the man, but his property, they
were in love with. "Such," says Cook, "was Omai's first reception among
his countrymen. Had he not shown to them his treasure of red feathers,
I question much whether they would have bestowed even a cocoanut upon
him. I own I never expected it would be otherwise."

The important news of the arrival of red feathers was conveyed on shore
by Omai's friends, and the ships were surrounded early the next morning
by a multitude of canoes crowded with people bringing hogs and fruit
to market. At first a quantity of feathers not greater than might be
plucked from a tomtit would purchase a hog weighing fifty pounds; but
such was the quantity of this precious article on board that its value
fell five hundred per cent. before night. Omai was now visited by his
sister; and, much to the credit of them both, their meeting was marked
by expressions of the tenderest affection. Cook foresaw, however, that
Omai would soon be despoiled of every thing he had if left among his
relatives: so it was determined to establish him at the neighboring
island of Huaheine. A large lot of land was obtained there from the
chief, and the carpenters of the two ships set about building him a
house fit to contain the European commodities that were his property.
Cook told the natives that if Omai were disturbed or harassed he should
upon his next visit make them feel the weight of his resentment. Omai
took possession of his mansion late in October, and on Sunday, November
2, bade adieu to the officers of the ship. He sustained himself in this
trying ordeal till he came to Cook, and then gave way to a passionate
burst of tears. He wept abundantly while being conveyed on shore.
"It was no small satisfaction to reflect," writes Cook, "that we had
brought him back safe to the spot from which he was taken. And yet such
is the strange nature of human affairs that it is probable we left him
in a less desirable situation than he was in before his connection with
us. He had tasted the sweets of civilized life, and must now become
more miserable from being obliged to abandon all thoughts of continuing
them." The career and destiny of Omai were perhaps more remarkable
than those of any other savage: he was cherished by Cook, painted by
Reynolds, and apostrophized by Cowper.

During the stay of the vessels at the Society Islands, Cook induced
the crews to give up their grog and use the milk of cocoanuts instead.
He submitted it to them whether it would not be injudicious, by
drinking their spirits now, to run the risk of having none left in a
cold climate, where cordials would be most needed, and whether they
would not be content to dispense with their grog now, when they had so
excellent a liquor as that of cocoanuts to substitute in its place. The
proposal was unanimously agreed to, and the grog was stopped except on
Saturday nights.

[Illustration: OMAI.]

Early in February, 1778, Cook made a most important discovery,--that of
the archipelago now known as the Sandwich Islands, so named by Cook in
honor of the Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty. He visited
five of these islands, one of which was Oahu. He found a remarkable
similarity of manners and coincidence of language with those of the
Society Islands, and in his journal asks the following question:--"How
shall we account for this nation having spread itself in so many
detached islands, so widely separated from each other, in every quarter
of the Pacific Ocean? We find it from New Zealand in the south to the
Sandwich Islands in the north! And, in another direction, from Easter
Island to the New Hebrides! That is, over an extent of three thousand
six hundred miles north and south, and five thousand miles east and

From the Sandwich Islands Cook sailed to the northeast, and on the
7th of March struck the coast of America, upon the shores of the
tract named New Albion by Sir Francis Drake. The skies being very
threatening, he gave the name of Cape Foulweather to a promontory
forming the northern extremity. Late in March the two vessels entered
a broad inlet, to which Cook gave the name of King George's Sound; but
it is better known now by its original name of Nootka Sound. Cook found
the natives friendly and willing to sell and buy. They were under the
common stature, their persons being full and plump without corpulence,
their faces round, with high prominent cheeks, noses flattened at the
base with wide nostrils, low forehead, small black eyes, thick round
lips, and well-set though not remarkably white teeth. The color of
their skin, when not incrusted with paint or dirt, was nearly as white
as that of Europeans, and of that pale effete cast which distinguishes
the Southern nations of Europe. A remarkable sameness characterized the
countenances of the whole nation, the expression of all being dull and
phlegmatic. It was not easy to distinguish the women from the men; and
not a female was seen, even among those in the prime of life, who had
the least pretensions to being called handsome.

Cook gives a very long and detailed account of the manners and
customs of these people, their habitations, weapons, food, domestic
animals, language, and religious views, and concludes by remarking
that they differ so essentially in every respect from the inhabitants
of the various Pacific islands that it is impossible to suppose their
respective progenitors were united in the same tribe, or had any
intimate connection when they emigrated from their original settlements
into the places where their descendants were now found.


Cook left Nootka Sound on the 26th of April, and early in May entered
a deep inlet, to which he gave the name of Prince William's Sound.
Proceeding on his course, as he supposed, toward Behring's Strait,
he was surprised to find various indications that he was no longer
in the sea, but ascending a wide and rapidly-flowing river. He was,
however, encouraged to proceed by finding the water as salt as that of
the ocean. Having traced the stream a distance of two hundred miles
from its entrance, without seeing the least appearance of its source,
and despairing of finding a passage through it to the Northern seas,
Cook determined to return. Mr. King, one of the officers, was sent on
shore to display the flag and take possession of the country and river
in his majesty's name, and to bury in the ground a bottle containing
some pieces of English coin of the year 1772. The vessels left the
river--afterward named, by order of Lord Sandwich, Cook's River--on the
5th of June.

On the 9th of August, Cook arrived at a point of land, in north
latitude 66°, which he called Cape Prince of Wales, and which is the
western extremity of North America. Had he sailed directly north
from this spot, he would have passed through Behring's Straits. But
the attraction of two small islands drew him to the westward, and by
nightfall he anchored in a bay on the coast of Asia, having in the
course of twenty-four hours been in sight of the two continents. On the
12th, while sailing to the north, both continents were in sight at the
same moment. On the 17th, a brightness was perceived in the northern
horizon, like that reflected from ice, commonly called the blink. But
it was thought very improbable that they should meet with ice so soon.
Still, the sharpness of the air and gloominess of the weather seemed
to indicate some sudden change. The sight of a large field of ice soon
left no doubt as to the cause of the brightness of the horizon. At
half-past two, being in latitude 71° and in twenty-two fathoms water,
Cook found himself close to the edge of the ice, which was as compact
as a wall and twelve feet out of water. It extended to the north as
far as the eye could reach. A point of land upon the American coast
obtained the name of Icy Cape.

The season was now so far advanced that Cook abandoned all attempts
to find a passage through to the Atlantic this year, and directed
his attention to the subject of winter quarters. Discovering a deep
inlet upon the American side, he named it Norton's Sound, in honor of
Sir Fletcher Norton, Speaker of the House of Commons. At Oonalaska,
an island some distance to the south, he fell in with three Russian
carriers, who had some store-houses and a sloop of thirty tons' burden.
They appeared to have a thorough knowledge of the attempts which had
been made by their countrymen, Kamschatka, Behring, and others, to
navigate the Frozen Ocean.

On the 26th of October, Cook left Oonalaska for the Sandwich Islands,
intending to spend the winter months there, and then to direct his
course to Kamschatka, arriving there by the middle of May in the
ensuing year. On the 26th of November, the two ships anchored at the
archipelago of the Sandwich Islands and discovered several new members
of the group. At Owhyhee, Cook found the natives more free from reserve
and suspicion than any other tribe he had met; nor did they even once
attempt a fraud or a theft. Cook's confidence, already great, was still
further augmented by a singular, if not grotesque, incident.



The priests of the island resolved to deify the captain, under the
name of Orono. One evening, as he landed upon the beach, he was
received by four men, who immediately swathed him in red cloth, and
then conducted him to a sort of sacrificial altar, where, by means of
an indescribable ceremony, consisting of rapid speeches, offerings
of putrid hogs and sugarcanes, invocations, processions, chants, and
prostrations, they conferred upon him a celestial character and the
right to claim adoration. At the conclusion, a priest named Kaireekeea
took part of the kernel of a cocoanut, which he chewed, and with which
he then rubbed the captain's face, head, hands, arms, and shoulders.
Ever after this, when Cook went ashore, a priest preceded him, shouting
that Orono was walking the earth, and calling upon the people to humble
themselves before him. Presents of pigs, cocoanuts, and bread-fruit
were constantly made to him, and an incessant supply of vegetables sent
to his two ships: no return was ever demanded or even hinted at. The
offerings seemed to be made in discharge of a religious duty, and had
much the nature of tribute. When Cook inquired at whose charge all this
munificence was displayed, he was told that the expense was borne by a
great man, named Kaoo, the chief of the priests, and grandfather of
Kaireekeea: this Kaoo was now absent, attending Tereoboo, the king of
the island.

The king, upon his return, set out from the village in a large canoe,
followed by two others, and paddled toward the ships in great state.
Tereoboo gave Cook a fan, in return for which Cook gave Tereoboo a
clean shirt. Heaps of sugarcane and bread-fruit were then given to the
ship's crew, and the ceremonies were concluded by an exchange of names
between the captain and the king,--the strongest pledge of friendship
among the inhabitants of the Pacific islands.

It was not long before Tereoboo and his chiefs became very anxious
that the English should bid them adieu. They imagined the strangers
to have come from some country where provisions had failed, and that
their visit to their island was merely for the purpose of filling their
stomachs. "It was ridiculous enough to see them stroke the sides and
pat the bellies of our sailors," says King, the continuator of Cook's
journal, "and telling them that it was time for them to go, but that if
they would come again the next bread-fruit season they should be better
able to supply their wants. We had now been sixteen days in the bay;
and, considering our enormous consumption of hogs and vegetables, it
need not be wondered that they should wish to see us take our leave."
When Tereoboo learned that the ships were to sail on the next day
but one, he ordered a proclamation to be made through the villages,
requiring the people to bring in presents to Orono, who was soon to
take his departure.

On the 4th of February, 1779, the vessels unmoored and sailed out of
the harbor, after having received on board a present of vegetables and
live stock which far exceeded any that had been made them either at
the Friendly or Society Islands. The weather being, however, extremely
unfavorable, they were compelled to return for shelter, and on the 11th
dropped anchor in nearly the same spot as before. The foremast was
found to be much damaged, the heel being exceedingly rotten, having
a large hole up the middle of it capable of holding four or five
cocoanuts. The reception of the ships was very different from what it
had been on their first arrival: there were no shouts, no bustle, no
confusion. The bay seemed deserted, though from time to time a solitary
canoe stole stealthily along the shore.


Toward the evening of the 13th, a theft committed by a party of the
islanders on board the Discovery gave rise to a disturbance of a very
serious nature. Pareea, a personage of some authority, was accused
of the theft, and a scuffle ensued, in which Pareea was knocked down
by a violent blow on the head with an oar. The natives immediately
attacked the crew of the pinnace with a furious shower of stones and
other missiles, and forced them to swim off with great precipitation
to a rock at some distance from the shore. The pinnace was immediately
ransacked by the islanders, and would have been demolished, but for the
interposition of Pareea, who, upon the recognition of his innocence,
joined noses with the officers and seemed to have forgotten the blow he
had received.

When Captain Cook heard of what had happened, he expressed some
anxiety, and said that it would not do to allow the islanders to
imagine that they had gained an advantage. It was too late to take
any steps that evening, however. A double guard was posted at the
observatory, and at midnight one of the sentinels, observing five
savages creeping toward him, fired over their heads and put them
to flight. The cutter of the Discovery was stolen, toward morning,
from the buoy where it was moored. At daylight, Cook loaded his
double-barrelled gun and ordered the marines to prepare for action. It
had been his practice, when any thing of consequence was lost, to get
the king or several of the principal men on board, and to keep them as
hostages till it was restored. His purpose was to pursue the same plan
now. He gave orders to seize and stop all canoes that should attempt
to leave the bay. The boats of both ships, well manned and armed, were
therefore stationed across the mouth of the harbor. Cook went ashore
in the pinnace, obtained an interview with the king, satisfied himself
that he was in no wise privy to the theft committed, and invited him to
return in the boat and spend the day on board the Resolution. Tereoboo
readily consented, and, having placed his two sons in the pinnace, was
on the point of following them, when an elderly woman, the mother of
the boys, and a younger woman, the king's favorite wife, besought him
with tears and entreaties not to go on board. Two chiefs laid hold of
him, insisting that he should go no farther. The natives now collected
in prodigious numbers and began to throng around Captain Cook and their
king. Cook, finding that the alarm had spread too generally, and that
it was in vain to think of kidnapping the king without bloodshed, at
last gave up the point.

[Illustration: DEATH OF CAPTAIN COOK.]

Thus far, the person and life of Cook do not appear to have been
in danger. An accident now happened which gave a fatal turn to the
affair. The ships' boats, in firing at canoes attempting to escape,
had unfortunately killed a chief of the first rank. The news of his
death arrived just at the moment when Cook, after leaving the king, was
walking slowly toward the shore. It caused an immediate and violent
ferment: the women and children were at once sent off: the warriors
put on their breastmats and armed themselves with spears and stones.
One of the natives went up to Cook, flourishing a long iron spike
by way of defiance, and threatening him with a large stone. Cook
ordered him to desist, but, as the man persisted in his insolence,
was at length provoked to fire a load of small shot. As the shot did
not penetrate the matting, the natives were encouraged, by seeing
the discharge to be harmless, to further aggression. Several stones
were thrown at the marines: their lieutenant, Mr. Phillips, narrowly
escaped being stabbed by knocking down the assailant with the butt end
of his musket. Cook now fired his second barrel, loaded with ball,
and killed one of the foremost of the natives. A general attack with
stones and a discharge of musketry immediately followed. The islanders,
contrary to the expectations of the English, stood the fire with great
firmness, and, before the marines had time to reload, broke in upon
them with demoniacal shouts. Four marines were instantly killed; three
others were dangerously wounded; Phillips received a stab between the
shoulders, but, having fortunately reserved his fire, shot the man who
had wounded him just as he was going to repeat the blow.

The last time that Cook was seen distinctly, he was standing at the
water's edge, calling out to the people in the boats to cease firing.
It is supposed that he was desirous of stopping further bloodshed, and
wished the example of desisting to proceed from his side. His humanity
proved fatal to him; and he lost his life in attempting to save the
lives of others. It was noticed that while he faced the natives none
of them offered him any violence, deterred, perhaps, by the sacred
character he bore as an Orono; but the moment he turned round to give
his orders to the men in the boats, he was stabbed in the back and
fell, face foremost, into the water. The islanders set up a deafening
yell and dragged his body on shore, where the dagger with which he had
been killed was eagerly snatched by the savages from each others'
hands, each one manifesting a brutal eagerness to have a share in his

"Thus fell," writes King, "our great and excellent commander. After a
life of so much distinguished and successful enterprise, his death, as
regards himself, cannot be reckoned premature, since he lived to finish
the work for which he seemed designed, and was rather removed from the
enjoyment than cut off from the acquisition of glory. How sincerely
his loss was felt and lamented by those who had so long found their
general security in his skill and conduct, and every consolation in
their hardships in his tenderness and humanity, it is neither necessary
nor possible for me to describe: much less shall I attempt to paint
the horror with which we were struck, and the universal dejection and
dismay which followed so dreadful and unexpected a calamity."

When the consternation consequent upon the loss of their commander
had in some measure subsided, Clarke, the captain of the Discovery,
assumed the chief command of the expedition. The ships were in such
a bad condition, and the discipline became so relaxed upon the
withdrawal of the master-mind, that it was decided to employ pacific
measures, rather than a display of vigorous resentment, to obtain the
restitution of the remains of Cook and of the four massacred soldiers.
The moderation of the English produced no effect, however, the natives
using the bodies of the marines in sacrificial burnt-offerings to their
divinities. As they considered that of Cook as of a higher order, they
cut it carefully in pieces, sending bits of it to different parts
of the island. Upon the evening of the 15th, two priests brought
clandestinely to the ship the portion they had received for religious
purposes,--flesh without bone, and weighing about nine pounds. They
said that this was all that remained of the body, the rest having been
cut to pieces and burned: the head, however, and all the bones, except
what belonged to the trunk, were in the possession of Tereoboo.

The natives on shore passed the night in feasts and rejoicings,
seeking evidently to animate and inflame their courage previous to
the expected collision. The next day, about noon, finding the English
persist in their inactivity, great bodies of them, blowing their
conch-shells and strutting about upon the shore in a blustering and
defiant manner, marched off over the hills and never appeared again.
Those who remained compensated for the paucity of their numbers by the
insolence of their conduct. One man came within musket-shot of the
Resolution and waved Cook's hat over his head, his countrymen upon the
water's edge exulting in his taunts and jeers. The watering-party sent
upon their daily duty were annoyed to such an extent that they only
obtained one cask of water in an afternoon. An attack upon the village
was in consequence decided upon, and was executed by the marines in a
vigorous and effective manner. A sanguinary revenge was taken for the
death of their commander: many of the islanders were slain, and their
huts were burned to the ground. This severe lesson was necessary, for
the natives were strongly of opinion that the English tolerated their
provocations because they were unable to suppress them, and not from
motives of humanity. At last, a chief named Eappo, a man of the very
first consequence, came with presents from Tereoboo to sue for peace.
The presents were received, but answer was returned that, until the
remains of Captain Cook were restored, no peace would be granted.

On Saturday, the 20th, a long procession was seen to descend the
hill toward the beach. Each man carried a sugarcane or two upon his
shoulders, with bread-fruit and plantains in his hand. They were
preceded by two drummers, who planted a staff with a white flag upon
it by the water's edge and drummed vigorously, while the rest advanced
one by one and deposited their presents upon the ground. Eappo, in a
long feathered cloak, and with a bearing of deep solemnity, mounted
upon a rock and made signs for a boat. Captain Clarke went ashore in
the pinnace, ordering Lieutenant King to attend him in the cutter.
Eappo went into the pinnace and delivered to the captain a quantity of
bones wrapped up in a large quantity of fine new cloth and covered with
a spotted cloak of black and white feathers. The bundle contained the
hands of the unfortunate commander entire; the skull, deprived of the
scalp and the bones that form the face; the scalp, detached, with the
hair cut short, and the ears adhering to it; the bones of both arms,
the thigh and leg bones, but without the feet. The whole bore evident
marks of having been in the fire, with the exception of the hands, the
flesh of which was left upon them,--with several large gashes crammed
with salt, apparently for the purpose of preventing decomposition. The
lower jaw and feet, which were wanting, had been seized by different
chiefs, Eappo said, and Tereoboo was using every means to recover them.

The next morning Eappo came on board, bringing with him the missing
bones, together with the barrels of Cook's gun, his shoes, and several
other trifles that had belonged to him. Eappo was dismissed with orders
to "taboo" the bay--that is, to place it under interdict--during the
performance of the funeral ceremonies. This was done: not a canoe
ventured out upon the water during the remainder of the day, and, in
the midst of the silence and solemnity of the scene, the bones were
placed in a coffin and the service of the Church of England read
over them. They were then committed to the deep, beneath the booming
thunders of the artillery of both vessels. "What our feelings were on
this occasion," says King, "I leave the world to conceive: those who
were present know that it is not in my power to express them."

No one man ever contributed more to any science than did Captain
Cook to that of geography. We have seen that on his first voyage he
discovered the Society Islands, determined the insular character of
New Zealand, discovered the straits which cut that island in halves,
and made a complete survey of both portions. He explored the eastern
coast of New Holland, gave Botany Bay its name, and surveyed an extent
of upward of two thousand miles. In his second voyage he resolved the
problem of a Southern continent, having traversed that hemisphere in
such a manner as to leave no probability of its existence, unless near
the Pole, out of the reach of navigation and beyond the habitable
limits of the globe. He discovered New Caledonia, the largest island
in the South Pacific except New Zealand; he settled the situations of
numerous old discoveries, rectifying their longitude and remodelling
all the charts. On his third voyage he discovered, to the north of the
equator, the group called the Sandwich Islands,--a discovery which,
all things considered, and from their situation and products, may be
said to be the most important acquisition ever made in the Pacific.
He explored what had hitherto remained unknown of the western coast
of America,--an extent of three thousand five hundred miles,--and
ascertained the proximity of the two great continents of Asia and
America. "In short," says King, "if we except the Sea of Amur, and
the Japanese Archipelago, which still remain imperfectly known to the
Europeans, he has completed the hydrography of the habitable globe."
After Christopher Columbus, Cook acquired, and now, at a distance of
nearly a century, still enjoys, the highest degree of popularity which
ever fell to the lot of a navigator and discoverer.

[Illustration: LAPÉROUSE.]



Louis XVI., King of France, became at this period deeply interested in
the study of the science of geography and navigation. Upon the perusal
of the voyages, discoveries, and services of Cook, he conceived the
idea of admitting the French nation to a share in the glory which
the English were reaping from maritime adventure and exploration. He
drew up a plan of campaign with his own hand, ordered the two frigates
Boussole and Astrolabe to be prepared for sea, and gave the command of
the expedition to Jean-François Galaup de la Pérouse,--better known
as Lapérouse. The vessels were supplied with every accessory of which
they could possibly have need. The instructions and recommendations
received from the Academy of Sciences fill a quarto volume of four
hundred pages. The fleet sailed from Brest on the 1st of August, 1785,
and arrived at Concepçion, in Chili, late in February, 1786.

After a short stay here, the two frigates again put to sea, and,
early in April, anchored in Cook's Bay, in Easter Island. Here the
two commanders landed, accompanied by about seventy persons, twelve
of whom were marines armed to the teeth. Five hundred Indians awaited
them at the shore, the greater part of them naked, painted, and
tattooed, others wearing pendent bunches of odoriferous herbs about
their loins, and others still being covered with pieces of white and
yellow cloth. None of them were armed, and, as the boats touched the
land, they advanced with the utmost alacrity to aid the strangers in
their disembarkation. The latter marked out a circular space, where
they set up a tent, and enjoined it strongly upon the islanders not
to intrude upon this enclosure. The number of the natives had now
increased to eight hundred, one hundred and fifty of whom were women.
While the latter would seek, by caresses and agreeable pantomime,
to withdraw the attention of the Frenchmen from passing events, the
men would slyly pick their pockets. Innumerable handkerchiefs were
pilfered in this way; and the thieves, emboldened by success, at last
seized their caps from their heads and rushed off with them. It was
noticed that the chiefs were the most adroit and successful plunderers,
and that though, for appearance' sake, they sometimes ran after an
offender, promising to bring him back, it was evident that they were
running as slowly as they could, and that their object was rather to
facilitate than to prevent their escape. Lapérouse was not saved from
spoliation by his rank: a polite savage, having assisted him over an
obstruction in the path, removed his chapeau and fled with the utmost
rapidity. On re-embarking to return to the ships, only three persons
had handkerchiefs, and only two had caps. Lapérouse stayed but a day
on this island, having nothing to gain and every thing to lose. There
was no fresh water to be found, the natives drinking sea-water, like
the albatrosses of Cape Horn. In return for the hospitality with which
they had been received, Lapérouse caused several fertile spots to be
sown with beets, cabbages, wheat, carrots, and squashes, and even with
orange, lemon, and cotton seeds. "In short," says Lapérouse, "we loaded
them with presents, overwhelmed with caresses the young and children
at the breast; we sowed their fields with useful grains; we left kids,
sheep, and hogs to multiply upon their island; we asked nothing in
exchange; and yet they robbed us of our hats and handkerchiefs, and
threw stones at us when we left." The following reflection, which
concludes Lapérouse's account of Easter Island, could only have
proceeded from a Frenchman:--"I decided to depart during the night,
flattering myself that when, upon the return of day, they should find
our vessels gone, they would attribute our departure to our just
resentment at their conduct, and that this conclusion might render them
better members of society."

Lapérouse now sailed to the northeast, intending to touch at the
Sandwich Islands,--a distance of five thousand miles. He hoped to make
some discovery during this long stretch, and placed sailors in the
tops, animated by the promise of a prize to discover as many islands
as possible. In the furtherance of this design, the two frigates
sailed ten miles apart,--by which the visible horizon was considerably
extended. Lapérouse was destined, however, to owe his celebrity to his
misfortunes and not to his discoveries: he arrived, on the 28th of
May, at Owhyhee, without once making land. "The aspect of the island,"
he writes, "was charming. But the sea beat with such violence upon the
coast, that, like Tantalus, we could only long for and devour with our
eyes that which it was impossible for us to reach." This prospect was
aggravated by the sight of one hundred and fifty canoes laden with pigs
and fruit which put out from the shore: forty of them were capsized in
attempting to come alongside while the frigates were under full sail.
The water was full of swimming savages, struggling pigs, and tempting
cocoanuts; but the necessity of making an anchorage before nightfall
compelled them to seek another portion of the island.

On the 30th of May, Lapérouse landed upon the island of Mowee,
where he found the savages mild, polite, and commercially inclined.
Exchanges of pigs and medals were made with great success. Lapérouse
abstained from taking possession of the island in the name of the
King of France,--Cook not having visited Mowee,--inasmuch as he
considered European usages in this respect extremely ridiculous.
"Philosophers must often have wept," he writes, "at seeing men, simply
because they have cannon and bayonets, count sixty thousand of their
fellow-creatures as nothing, and look upon a land which its inhabitants
have moistened with their sweat and fertilized with the bones of their
ancestors for centuries as an object of legitimate conquest."

On the 23d of June, in latitude 60° north, Lapérouse struck the
American coast: he recognised at once Behring's Mount St. Elias,
whose summit pierced the clouds. From this point southward as far as
Monterey, in Mexico, lay an extent of coast which Cook had seen but
not surveyed. The exploration of this coast was a work essential to
the interests of navigation and of commerce; and, though the season
only allowed him three months, he undertook and executed it in a manner
creditable to the navy of France. He discovered a harbor that had
escaped the notice of preceding navigators. This harbor or bay seems
to have been a remarkable place. The water is unfathomable, and is
surrounded by precipices which rise perpendicularly from the water's
edge into the regions of eternal snow. Not a blade of grass, not a
green leaf, grows in this desolate and sterile spot. No breeze blows
upon the surface of the bay: its tranquillity is never troubled except
by the fall of enormous masses of ice from numerous overhanging peaks.
The air is so still and the silence so profound that the noise made by
a bird in laying an egg in the hollow of a rock is distinctly heard at
the distance of a mile and a half. To this wonderful bay Lapérouse gave
the name of Frenchport.

A painful accident occurred as the vessels, after a somewhat prolonged
stay, were about departing from the spot. Three boats, manned by
twenty-seven men and officers, were sent to make soundings in the bay,
in order to complete the chart of the survey. They had strict orders to
avoid a certain dangerous current, but became involved in it unawares.
Two boats' crews perished, consisting of twenty-one men, the greater
part of them under twenty-five years of age. Two brothers, by the name
of Laborde, whom their superior officers never separated, but always
sent together on missions of peril, were among the victims of the
disaster. A monument was erected to their memory, and a record buried
in a bottle beneath it. The inscription was thus conceived:--

  "At the entrance of this bay twenty-one brave sailors perish'd:
  Whoever you may be, mingle your tears with ours."


On the 13th of September, Lapérouse arrived at Monterey, after a
cursory examination of the coast, determining its directions, but
without exploring its sinuosities and inlets. The Spanish commander of
the fort and of the two Californias had received orders from Mexico to
extend all possible hospitality to the adventurers. He executed his
instructions to the letter, sending immense quantities of fresh beef,
eggs, milk, vegetables, and poultry on board, and then declining to
hand in the bill. On the 24th, every thing being in readiness, the
vessels started upon their route across the Pacific, the intention
of Lapérouse being to make for Macao, on the Chinese coast. He hoped
on his way to make many discoveries of islands upon this unknown
sea,--the Spaniards, in their single beaten track from Acapulco to
Manilla, never varying more than thirty miles to the north or south
of their usual and average latitude. He also hoped not to find, in
the longitude marked against it, a very doubtful island named Nostra
Señora de la Gorta, that he might erase it from the charts. This he was
unable to do, for the winds did not allow him to pass within a hundred
miles of its supposed position. When half-way across the Pacific, he
discovered a naked, barren rock, to which he gave the name of Necker,
after the French Minister of Finance. He arrived at Macao on the
3d of January, 1787, after a voyage entirely free from incident or
adventure. He spent three months here and at Manilla, and finally, on
the 10th of April, started for the scene of the most important portion
of his mission,--the coasts of Tartary and of Japan,--the waters which
separate the mainland of the former from the islands of the latter
being very imperfectly known to Europeans.

Early in June, Lapérouse entered a sea never before ploughed by a
European keel; and, as it was only known from Japanese or Corean
charts, published by the Jesuits, it was his first object either
to verify their surveys or to correct their errors. As the Jesuits
travelled and made their calculations by land, Lapérouse added
hydrographic details and observations to their data, which he found
quite generally correct. His voyage in these latitudes set many doubts
at rest. After several months spent in these labors, the expedition
arrived at Petropaulowski in September of the same year. The officers
were grievously disappointed in not finding letters and despatches from
France, but one evening, during a Kamschatka gala ball, the arrival
of a courier from Okhotsk was announced, and the ball was interrupted
that the mail might be opened and delivered. The news was favorable for
all, though, after so long an absence, it was natural that there should
be evil tidings for some among so many. Lapérouse learned that he had
been promoted in rank; and the Governor of Okhotsk caused this event
to be celebrated by a grand discharge of artillery. M. de Lesseps, the
interpreter attached to the expedition, was detached from it at this
point by Lapérouse and sent across the continent by way of Okhotsk,
Irkoutsk, and Tobolsk to St. Petersburg, and thence to Paris, with
the ships' letters and Lapérouse's journal. It is from this journal,
published at Paris, that we have obtained the details of the expedition
as we have thus far chronicled them.

The track of Lapérouse was now directly south, through the heart of the
Pacific Ocean. He touched, on the 9th of December, at Maouna, one of
Navigator's Isles. The vessels were at once surrounded by a hundred or
more canoes filled with pigs and fruit, which the natives would only
exchange for glass beads, which in their eyes were what diamonds are to
Europeans. Delangle, the captain of the Astrolabe, went ashore with the
watering party. The islanders made no objection to their landing their
casks; but as the tide receded, leaving the boats high and dry upon the
beach, they became troublesome, and finally forced Delangle to a trial
of his muskets. For this they took a sanguinary vengeance. Delangle was
killed by a single blow from a club, as was Lamanon, the naturalist.
Eleven marines were savagely murdered, either with stones or heavy
sticks, while twenty were seriously wounded. The rest escaped by
swimming. Lapérouse did not feel himself sufficiently strong to attempt
reprisals. The natives hurled stones with such force and accuracy that
they were more than a match for as many musketeers. Besides, he had
lost thirty-two men and two boats, and his situation generally was
such that the slightest mischance would now compel him to disarm one
frigate in order to refit the other. It was late in January, 1788, that
he arrived at Botany Bay, in New Holland,--the last place in which he
was ever seen, alive or dead.

His last letter to the Minister of Marine was dated at Botany Bay,
the 7th of February. In this he stated the route by which he intended
to return home, and the dates of his anticipated arrivals at various
points. His plan was to visit the Friendly Islands, New Guinea, and Van
Diemen's Land, and to be at the Isle of France, near Madagascar, at
the beginning of December. His letter arrived in due course at Paris,
where the public mind was too much agitated by the throes of revolution
to pay much heed to matters of such remote interest. At last, in the
year 1791, the Society of Natural History called the attention of the
Constituent Assembly to the fate of Lapérouse and his companions. The
hope of recovering at least some wreck of an expedition undertaken
to promote the sciences induced the Assembly to send two other ships
to Botany Bay, with orders to steer the same course from that place
that Lapérouse had traced out for himself. Some of his followers, it
was thought, might have escaped from the wreck, and might be confined
on a desert island or thrown upon some savage coast. Two ships were
therefore fitted out, and placed under the command of Rear-Admiral

The ships returned in two years, without having obtained the slightest
clue to the fate of Lapérouse: their commander had died of scurvy at
Java. At the Friendly Islands, the first landing that Lapérouse was to
make after leaving Botany Bay, the inhabitants, who remembered Cook
perfectly, and who knew the difference between French and English,
declared that Lapérouse had not visited them. As they were the most
civilized and hospitable of all the Pacific islanders, it was thought
improbable that he had ever sailed as far as the very first station of
his route,--an opinion which was confirmed by finding no trace of him
at any subsequent point of his intended track. No floating remnants
of wood or iron work were anywhere discovered; and the public mind
gradually settled into the conviction that the two unfortunate vessels
were lost upon their passage from Botany Bay to the Friendly Islands.
The cause was supposed to be neither fire, nor leakage, nor the effects
of a stress of weather,--causes which could hardly be fatal at the same
moment to two vessels. It was generally believed that, as the Boussole
and Astrolabe were accustomed to keep as near each other as possible
during the night, they both simultaneously dashed upon a hidden
quicksand. In this manner, one vessel would not have been able to take
warning in time by the disaster of the other.

In the year 1813, one Captain Dillon, in the service of the British
East India Company, putting in at one of the Feejee Islands, found
there two foreign sailors, one of whom was a Prussian, the other a
Lascar. At their request he transported them to the neighboring island
of Tucopia, where he left them, the natives expressing no hostility
toward them nor objections to their stay. In 1826,--thirteen years
afterward,--Captain Dillon again touched at Tucopia, where he found
them comfortable and contented. The Lascar sold the armorer a silver
sword-hilt of French manufacture and bearing a cipher engraved upon it.
It resulted from Dillon's inquiries that the natives had obtained many
articles of iron and other metals from a distant island named Manicolo,
where, as they said, two European ships had been wrecked forty years
before. It immediately occurred to Dillon that this circumstance was
connected with the loss of the vessel of Lapérouse, whose fate still
remained involved in uncertainty. Aware of the interest felt in Europe
in the fate of the unfortunate navigator, he sailed with the Prussian
to Manicolo, but, being prevented from landing by the surf and the
coral reef, bore away to New Zealand and proceeded on his voyage.

[Illustration: REMNANTS OF THE WRECK.]

In 1827, Dumont d'Urville was sent out by the French Government in
the sloop-of-war Astrolabe to explore the great archipelagoes of
the Pacific, with incidental authority to follow up any clue he
might discover to the fate of Lapérouse. At Hobart Town, in Van
Diemen's Land, he heard some account of the efforts made by Dillon,
and determined to conclude what he had begun. He sailed at once for
Manicolo, and, after examining the eastern coast of the island without
success, proceeded to the western. Here he found numerous articles of
European manufacture in possession of the savages, who steadfastly
refused to say whence they had obtained them or to point out the scene
of any catastrophe or shipwreck. At last, the offer of a piece of red
cloth induced a painted islander to conduct a boat's crew to the spot
which is now regarded as that at which the lamented commander and his
vessels met their untimely fate. Scattered about in the bed of the sea,
at the depth of about twenty feet, lay anchors, cannon, and sheets
of lead and copper sheathing, completely corroded and disfigured by
rust. They succeeded in recovering many of them from the water,--an
anchor of fourteen hundred pounds, a small cannon coated with coral,
and two brass swivels, in a good state of preservation. Thus possessed
of evidence which after the lapse of forty years must be considered
as conclusive, d'Urville erected near the anchorage a cenotaph to
the memory of the hapless navigator. It was placed in a small grove,
and consecrated by a salute of twenty-one guns and three volleys of


The islanders were now profuse in their explanations of the
circumstances attending the calamity. As far as d'Urville could
interpret their language and their pantomime, the ships struck upon the
reef during a gale in the night. One speedily sank, only thirty of her
crew escaping; the other remained for a time entire, but afterwards
went to pieces, her whole crew having been saved. From her timbers they
constructed a schooner, in which labor they occupied seven moons or
months, and then sailed away and never returned. What befell them after
their second embarkation, what was the fate of their daring little
vessel,--if indeed any such was ever built,--no one has survived to
tell. It is safe to believe that both vessels were lost upon the island
of Vanikoro, now one of the archipelago of the New Hebrides. It is
supposed that Lapérouse was the first European navigator that visited
it, Dillon the second, and d'Urville the third.




In the year 1787, the merchants and planters of England, interested
in his Majesty's West India possessions, petitioned the king to cause
the bread-fruit tree to be introduced into these islands; and, in
accordance with this request, the armed transport Bounty, of two
hundred and fifteen tons, was purchased and docked at Deptford to be
furnished with the proper fixtures. Lieutenant William Bligh, who
had been round the world with Cook, was appointed to command her.
Her cabin was fitted with a false floor cut full of holes sufficient
to receive one thousand or more garden-pots. She was victualled for
fifteen months, and laden with trinkets for the South Sea Islanders.
Her destination was Tahiti by way of Cape Horn. She sailed late in
December, 1787.

After a three months' tempestuous passage, she made the eastern coast
of Terra del Fuego. She contended thirty days here with violent
westerly gales, seeking either to thread the strait or double the cape.
Finding either course impossible, Bligh ordered the helm to be put
a-weather, having resolved to cross the South Atlantic and approach
Tahiti from the westward,--a determination which was successfully

Bligh gave directions to all on board not to inform the natives of
the object of their visit, lest, by the natural law of supply and
demand, the price-current of bread-fruit trees should suddenly rise.
He contrived to make the chiefs believe that he was doing them a favor
in conveying specimens of their plants to the great King of England. A
tent was erected on shore to receive the trees, some thirty of which
were potted every day. On the 4th of April, 1789, the vessel set sail,
with one thousand and fifteen roots in pots, tubs, and boxes.

It was now that an event took place which rendered the cruise of the
Bounty one of the most extraordinary in the annals of the sea. A
mutiny, which had been planned in secrecy, broke out on the 27th. The
whole crew were engaged in it, with the exception of eighteen men.
Bligh, with these eighteen,--most of them officers,--was hurried into
the launch, which was cut loose, with one hundred and fifty pounds of
bread, twenty-eight gallons of water, a little rum and wine, with a
quadrant and compass. A few pieces of pork, some cocoanuts, and four
cutlasses, were thrown at them as they were cast adrift. Some of the
mutineers laughed at the helpless condition of the launch; while others
expressed their confidence in Bligh's resources by exclaiming, with
oaths, "Pshaw! he'll find his way home if you give him pencil and
paper!" "Blast him! he'll have a vessel built in a month!"

Bligh was convinced that, defenceless and unarmed as they were, they
had nothing to hope from the inhabited islands of the surrounding
waters. He told the crew that no chance of relief remained except at
Timor, where there was a Dutch colony, at a distance of three thousand
five hundred miles. They all agreed, and bound themselves by a solemn
promise, to live upon one ounce of bread and a gill of water a day.
They then bore away across this unknown and barbarous sea, in a boat
twenty-three feet long from stem to stern, deep-laden with nineteen
men, and barely supplied with food for two. There is nothing in
maritime annals more worthy of a place in a work treating of "Man upon
the Sea" than is this marvellous voyage from Tahiti to Timor.

The first thing done was to return thanks to God for their preservation
and to invoke His protection during the perils they were to encounter.
The sun now rose fiery and red, foreboding a severe gale, which,
before long, blew with extreme severity. The sea curled over the
stern, obliging them to bale without cessation. The bread was in
bags, and in danger of being soaked and spoiled. Unless this could be
prevented, starvation was inevitable. Every thing was thrown overboard
that could be spared,--even to suits of clothes: the bread was then
secured in the carpenter's chest. A teaspoonful of rum and a fragment
of bread-fruit--collected from the floor of the boat, where it had been
crushed in the confusion of departure--was now served to each man.

They constantly passed in sight of islands, upon which they did not
dare to land. They kept on, alternately performing prayers, dining on
damaged bread, and sipping infinitesimal quantities of rum or other
cordial. On grand occasions, Bligh served out as the day's allowance
a quarter of a pint of cocoanut-milk and two ounces of the meat. One
half of the men watched while the other half slept with nothing to
cover them but the heavens. They could not stretch out their limbs,
for there was not room: they became dreadfully cramped, and at last
the dangers and pains of sleep were such that it became an additional
misery in their catalogue of sorrows. A heavy thunder-shower enabled
them to quench their thirst for the first time and to increase their
stock of water to thirty-four gallons; but, in compensation, it wet
them through and caused them to pass a cold and shivering night. The
next day the sun came out, and they stripped and dried their clothes.
Bligh thought the men needed additional creature comfort under these
dismal circumstances, and issued to each an ounce and a half of
pork, an ounce of bread, a teaspoonful of rum, and half a pint of
cocoanut-milk. They kept a fishing-line towing from the stern; but in
no one instance did they catch a fish.

Bligh now became convinced that in serving ounces of bread by
guess-work he was dealing out overmeasure, and that if he continued
to do so his stores would not last the eight weeks he had intended
they should. So he made a pair of scales of two cocoanut-shells, and,
having accidentally found a pistol-ball, twenty-five of which were
known to weigh a pound, or sixteen ounces, he adopted it as the measure
of one ration of bread. The men were thus reduced from one ounce to
two hundred and seventy-two grains. Another thunder-shower now came
on, and they caught twenty gallons of water. The usual consolation of
a thimbleful of rum was served when the storm was over, together with
one mouthful of pork. The men soon began to complain of pains in the
bowels; and nearly all had lost in a measure the use of their limbs.
Their clothes would not dry when taken off and hung upon the rigging,
so impregnated was the atmosphere with moisture. On the fifteenth
day they discovered a number of islands, which, though forming part
of the group of the New Hebrides, had been seen neither by Cook nor
Bougainville, and thus, in the midst of their agonies, the barren
satisfaction of contributing to geographical science was, as it were in
derision, awarded to them. The men now clamored for extra allowances
of pork and rum,--which Bligh sternly refused, administering his
bullet-weight of bread with the severest ceremony.

"At dawn of the twenty-second day," says Bligh, "some of my people
seemed half dead: our appearances were horrible, and I could look no
way but I caught the eye of some one in distress. Extreme hunger was
now too evident; but no one suffered from thirst, nor had we much
inclination to drink,--that desire, perhaps, being satisfied through
the skin. Every one dreaded the approach of night. Sleep, though
we longed for it, afforded no comfort: for my own part, I almost
lived without it." Bligh now examined the remaining bread, and found
sufficient to last for twenty-nine days; but, as he might be compelled
to avoid Timor and go to Java, it became necessary to make the stock
hold out for forty days. He therefore announced that supper would
hereafter be served without bread!

A great event happened on the twenty-seventh day. A noddy--a bird as
large as a small pigeon--was caught as it flew past the boat. Bligh
divided it, with the entrails, into nineteen portions, and distributed
it by lots. It was eaten, bones and all, with salt water for sauce.
The next day a booby--which is as large as a duck--was caught, and
was divided and devoured like the noddy, even to the entrails, beak,
and feet. The blood was given to three of the men who were the most
distressed for want of food. On the thirtieth day they landed upon the
northern shore of New Holland, and gave thanks to God for his gracious
protection through a series of disasters and calamities then almost

They found oysters upon the rocks, which they opened without detaching
them. A fire was made by the help of a magnifying-glass; and then,
with the aid of a copper pot found in the boat, a delicious stew of
oysters, pork, bread, and cocoanut was cooked, of which every man
received a full pint. Spring water was obtained by digging where a
growth of wire grass indicated a moist situation. The soft tops of
palm-trees and fern-roots furnished them a very palatable addition to
their mess: After laying in sixty gallons of water and as many oysters
as they could collect, they re-embarked, after having slept two nights
on land and having been greatly benefited thereby. Keeping to the
northwestward, and coasting along the shore, they landed from time to
time in search of food. On the 2d of June, the watch of the gunner,
which had been the only one in the company successfully to resist the
influences of the weather, finally stopped, so that sunrise, noon, and
sunset were now the only definite points in the twenty-four hours. On
the next day, having followed the northeastern shore of New Holland as
far as it lay in their route, they once more launched into the open sea.

On Thursday, the 11th, they passed, as Bligh supposed, the meridian
of the eastern point of Timor,--a fact which diffused universal joy
and satisfaction. On Friday, at three in the morning, the island was
faintly visible in the west, and by daylight it lay but five miles
to the leeward. They had run three thousand six hundred and eighteen
miles in an open boat in forty-one days, with provisions barely
sufficient for five. Though life had never been sustained upon so
little nourishment for so long a time, and under equal circumstances
of exposure and suffering, not a man perished during the voyage. Their
wants were most kindly supplied by the Dutch at Coupang, and every
necessary and comfort administered with a most liberal hand.

On his return to England, Bligh published a narrative of his voyage
and of the mutiny, which was soon translated into all the languages
of Europe. He ascribed the revolt to the desire of the crew to lead
an idle and luxurious life at Tahiti, though subsequent developments,
and his own outrageous and brutal conduct when Governor of New South
Wales, proved quite conclusively that his cruelties and tyranny had
rendered him odious and intolerable. The British Government could not
allow such a transaction upon the high seas to pass unpunished, and
despatched the frigate Pandora, Captain Edwards, to Tahiti in the
month of August. Only ten of the mutineers were found, the rest having
withdrawn to another island through fear of discovery, as we shall now
relate, merely stating that the ten persons taken were conveyed to
England, where they were tried and executed.


John Adams, one of the mutineers, being apprehensive that the English
Government would make an attempt to punish the revolt, resolved to
escape to some neighboring and uninhabited island, and there establish
a colony. With eight Englishmen, one of whom was Christian, the
ringleader in the mutiny, their Tahitian wives, and a few islanders
of both sexes, he sailed in the Bounty to Pitcairn's Island, which
had been lately seen by Carteret. They arrived there in 1790, and,
having unladen the vessel, burned her. A settlement was formed, which
prospered in spite of the continual quarrels between the males of the
two races. This hostility resulted, in three years, in the extinction
of the savages, leaving upon the island Adams, three Englishmen, ten
women of Tahiti, and the children, some twenty in number. One of the
Englishmen, having succeeded in distilling brandy from a root which
grew in abundance, drank to excess and threw himself headlong from a
rock into the sea. Another was slain for entertaining designs upon the
wife of the only remaining Englishman except Adams. Thus, in 1799,
Adams and Young were the only males of the original colony surviving.
They began to reflect upon their duties toward their children and those
of their companions: they commenced holding religious services morning
and evening, and instructed the rising generation in such rudimental
branches of education as their own learning would permit. Young died in
1801, and Adams became the administrator and patriarch of the colony.
He was assisted by the Tahitian women, who showed a remarkable capacity
for civilization and aptitude for refinement. An English frigate,
the Briton, touched at Pitcairn in 1814, and her captain offered to
take Adams back to England, promising him to procure his pardon from
the king. But the forty-seven persons, women and children, forming
the settlement, besought their patriarch not to leave them. In 1825,
Captain Beechey visited the island, and found the population increased
to sixty-six. Adams was sixty years old, but still vigorous and active.
He begged Beechey to marry him, according to the rites of the English
Church, to the woman with whom he had lived, and who was now infirm and
blind. Beechey gladly acceded to the request. Soon after, an English
missionary, named Buffet, went out to Pitcairn to assist Adams in the
discharge of his duties and to succeed him upon his death. The latter
event occurred in 1829. Vessels occasionally stopped at Pitcairn, and
the English Government was thus kept informed of the progress of its
interesting colony.

In 1856, the descendants of the original settlers, having increased
so much as to outgrow the resources of their sea-girt home, abandoned
Pitcairn's Island, and transferred themselves, with their goods and
chattels, to Norfolk Island, directly west and toward New South Wales.
They numbered one hundred and ninety-nine in all, the oldest man
being sixty-two, and the oldest woman eighty. Charles Christian is the
grandson of Christian the ringleader. Their new home contains about
fourteen thousand acres, and is well watered, fertile, and healthy,
the soil producing abundantly both European and tropical fruits,
vegetables, grains, and spices. The history of the present colony, the
offspring in the third generation of European fathers and Tahitian
mothers, is as remarkable as any tale in romance or any legend in

In the year 1790,--to return to chronological order,--the British
Government determined to make one more attempt to discover a channel
of communication between the Atlantic and Pacific to the north of the
American continent, and selected to command the expedition Lieutenant
George Vancouver, who had accompanied Cook on his second and third
voyages. He was raised to the rank of captain and placed at the head of
an expedition consisting of the sloop-of-war Discovery and the armed
tender Chatham. He left Falmouth on the 1st of April, 1791; and, as the
Admiralty had designated no route by which to proceed to the Pacific,
he decided to go by way of the Cape of Good Hope. He arrived here
without adventure in July, and, late in September, struck the southern
coast of New Holland at a cape to which he gave the name of Chatham,
from the President of the Board of Admiralty.

The two vessels coasted to the eastward, surveying the indentations
and giving names to all points of interest. A harbor being discovered,
it received the name of King George the Third's Sound, and Vancouver
took possession of the land in the name of his Gracious Majesty. A
wretched hovel, three feet high, in the form of a bee-hive cut through
the centre from the apex to the base, and constructed of slender
twigs, here revealed the presence of inhabitants; while the singular
appearance of the trees and the vegetation, which had evidently
undergone the action of fire,--the shrubs being completely charred and
the grass having been shrivelled by the heat,--showed that, miserable
as they certainly were, they were acquainted with the uses and abuses
of fire. At last they discovered a deserted village, consisting of some
two dozen huts or hives, which had apparently been the residence of a
considerable tribe. They gratified their curiosity by contemplating and
investigating these humiliating efforts of human ingenuity.

[Illustration: A DESERTED VILLAGE.]

Continuing to the eastward, Vancouver touched at New Zealand, and
arrived at a spot where he had been with Cook eighteen years before. An
inlet which Cook had been unable to explore, and which he had named in
consequence "NOBODY KNOWS WHAT," was explored by Vancouver and called
by him "SOMEBODY KNOWS WHAT." Running to the north, he discovered an
island whose inhabitants spoke the language of the great South Sea
nation and who seemed perfectly acquainted with the uses of iron,
though they had little or none of that metal. A Sandwich Islander,
whom Vancouver had brought from London as an interpreter, and who was
named Towerezoo, was of very little assistance; for he had been so long
absent that he now spoke English much better than his mother-tongue,
and spoke the latter no better than Vancouver. The island appeared to
go by the name of Oparo, by which Vancouver thought fit to distinguish
it till it should be found more properly entitled to another. The
two vessels arrived in December at Tahiti, and anchored in Matavai
Bay. The chronometers were landed, in order to correct them by the
known longitude of the island; the sails were unbent, the topmasts
struck, for a thorough examination of the rigging. The Discovery went
by accident upon a rock, and was for a while in great danger. On
Sunday, the 1st of January, 1792, every one had as much fresh pork
and plum-pudding as he could eat, and a double allowance of grog was
served in which to drink the time-honored toast. The formula, however,
was slightly altered to suit the state of the case: the gunner of the
Discovery being the only married man of the party, the toast given was


On the 24th of January, the two ships turned their head to the
northward, now for the first time commencing the voyage in view of
which the expedition had been equipped. They ran the two thousand five
hundred miles that lay between them and the Sandwich Islands in the
space of five weeks, and anchored off Owhyhee on the 1st of March. They
touched the American coast, or that part of it known as New Albion,
in 39° north latitude, which Vancouver now explored and surveyed. In
August he entered Nootka, where, in accordance with his instructions,
he was to receive from the Spanish authorities the formal cession of
the colony they had established. He found his Catholic Majesty's brig
Active already there, commanded by Señor Don Juan Francisco de la
Rodega y Quadra. The two commanders agreed to honor each other by a
mutual salute of thirteen guns, which was done; while other courtesies
were cordially exchanged. The ceremony then took place. Vancouver now
returned to Owhyhee, and the king, smitten by a sudden and vehement
attachment for the English, proposed to make over the island to the
dominion of the King of England. All the insular dignitaries assembled
on the decks of the Discovery, and the surrender was made in the midst
of speeches and cannonades. Vancouver did not seem to have been deeply
impressed with the importance of this event. The solemnity of the
transaction was not increased by the circumstance that it took place
upon the spot where Cook had so recently been massacred.

Returning to the north, Vancouver continued his surveys and
explorations of the American coast as far as the fifty-sixth degree of
latitude. He terminated his operations on the 22d of August, at Port
Conclusion, where an additional allowance of grog was served, that the
day might be celebrated with proper festivity. He returned to Europe
with the certitude that no passage existed from the North Pacific
across the American continent into the Atlantic. His surveys remain
as a monument of his activity, skill, and perseverance. The present
charts of the coast of North America upon the Pacific are based upon
them. More than nine thousand miles of shore, with its headlands,
capes, rivers, bays, promontories, and labyrinths of islands, had been
carefully explored by surveying parties in boats, in superintending
which Vancouver injured his health and brought on the decline which
terminated in his death, in the year 1798, at the early age of

We have now to record the remarkable series of acts by which the United
States of America, in the twenty-fifth year of their existence as a
nation, put an end to a humiliation to which the commercial powers of
Europe had submitted for centuries. From the time when the Spanish
Moors, driven out of Granada by Ferdinand the Catholic, settled on
the opposite coast and commenced the practice of piracy, the Barbary
States, Tunis, Tripoli, and Algiers, had been united against all
Christian commerce in the Mediterranean. Emboldened by impunity, they
extended their operations into the Atlantic, seizing the vessels of
all nations who did not pay them tribute. England under Cromwell, and
France under Louis XIV., however, caused their flags to be respected.
The Dutch, Danes, and Swedes, by paying an annual tax, purchased
exemption from seizure,--thus giving the sanction of a treaty to the
outrage and consenting to wear an odious badge of servitude. Russia and
Austria were protected by special agreements.

During the early years of the American Republic, Tripoli intimated to
the Government the propriety of paying tribute. Jefferson replied,
in 1800, by declaring war against Tripoli, and sent out an armed
naval force under Commodore Dale. This officer, with two frigates
and a sloop-of-war, blockaded Tripoli, preventing the cruisers from
getting to sea, and thus protecting our commerce. Commodore Preble
followed with seven vessels in 1803. In October, one of his ships,--the
Philadelphia, Captain Bainbridge,--engaged in reconnoitring the harbor
of Tripoli, grounded and was forced to surrender. The officers were
treated as prisoners of war, the sailors as slaves. The vessel was
floated and moored in the harbor, strongly manned by Tripolitans, whose
naval force was thus unexpectedly augmented.

The American squadron rendezvoused at Syracuse, in Sicily,--somewhat
over a day's sail from Tripoli. A young lieutenant under Preble,
named Decatur, formed a plan for destroying the Philadelphia and thus
reducing the Tripolitans again to their ordinary naval strength.
Preble consented to the scheme, and Decatur armed a ketch which he had
captured, and with it entered, in February, 1804, under cover of the
night, the harbor of Tripoli. He had with him an old pilot who spoke
the Tripolitan language. On approaching the Philadelphia, they were
challenged; but the pilot replied that he had lost his anchor and
merely wished to fasten his vessel to the frigate till morning. A boat
was sent ashore by the Tripolitans to ask permission, and then Decatur
and his men leaped upon the deck. They rushed upon the affrighted
corsairs, fifty in number, and drove them into the sea. They set fire
to the Philadelphia, and, by the light of the blaze, escaped without
the loss of a single man. One sailor was wounded by receiving upon
his arm a blow from a sabre with which the turbaned pirate meant to
decapitate Decatur.

The Tripolitans were enraged at the loss of their prize, and treated
Bainbridge and his enslaved crew with greater severity than ever. Three
times did Preble enter the harbor of Tripoli with his fleet and open
his broadsides against the town, destroying some of the shipping, but
making no material impression. At last, a series of brilliant actions
upon land under General Eaton, whose army consisted of nine Americans,
twenty Greeks, and five hundred Egyptians, and the arrival of the
frigate Constitution in June, 1805, forced the Bashaw of Tripoli to
come to terms; and he released his prisoners and abandoned forever the
levying of tribute upon American ships. Peace was at once concluded.

In 1812, the United States being at war with England, the Dey of
Algiers thought our Government would be unable to cope with two enemies
upon the ocean, and determined to resume piracy on our vessels. He
pretexted the unsatisfactory quality of a cargo of military stores
furnished by our Government, and ordered the American agent to leave
the capital. Depredations were immediately recommenced: our vessels
were plundered and confiscated and their crews enslaved. The President
suggested the importance of taking measures of prevention, in his
message to Congress in December, 1814, and, after the signing of
the treaty of peace with England, despatched two squadrons to the
Mediterranean, under Decatur and Bainbridge, both now commodores. The
former captured, in June, an Algerine frigate of forty-four guns and
a brig of twenty-two. He then sailed for Algiers. The American navy
had earned an enviable distinction in the war with England, and the
sight of our gallant fleet inspired the Dey with a salutary terror.
He consented to the terms imposed by Decatur, which were to give up
all captured men and property, to pay six million dollars for previous
exactions, and to exempt our commerce from tribute for all time to
come. A treaty was signed on the 4th of July,--an auspicious date for
so honorable an achievement.


The proud position thus attained by the United States attracted the
attention of Europe. Our Government had extorted expressions of
submission from the corsairs such as no other power had ever obtained.
The Congress of Vienna discussed the subject, and it was resolved that
from that time forward Christian slavery in Algiers was suppressed. The
English sent Lord Exmouth to bombard that city, and compelled the dey
to submit to conditions like those imposed by Decatur. The Algerines
were not yet broken, however. They placed their city in a formidable
state of defence, and then proceeded to intercept the trade of the
French. The French Government declared war,--a measure which resulted
in the capture of Algiers in 1830 and in the seizure of Abd-el-Kader in
the winter of 1847-48. These events have led to the colonization of the
territory by the French and to the partial extinction of the Algerine
people. Piracy in the Mediterranean may safely be said to be at an end




In the year 1807, a new agent was introduced into the science of
navigation,--one which was destined to effect as great a change in
the duration of a voyage at sea as the compass had effected in its
practicability. Steam was applied to a boat upon the Hudson, and the
Clermont, propelled by wheels, steamed from Jersey City to Albany.
Though this was an event that immediately concerned river-navigation,
and though twelve years were to elapse before the accomplishment of the
first ocean steam-voyage, we cannot with propriety omit an account of
the conception, construction, and success of the first river-steamboat.

Robert Fulton was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, in the year
1765. He manifested a genius for mechanics at an early age, though
portrait-painting was his first profession. He spent many years in
England and France, and conceived the idea of a vessel propelled by
steam in 1793. He received no countenance from Napoleon, and returned
to the United States in December, 1806. His mind was now occupied
with two projects,--the invention of submarine explosives and the
construction of a steamboat. He published a work entitled "Torpedo
War," with the motto, "The liberty of the seas will be the happiness
of the earth." He renewed his acquaintance with Chancellor Livingston,
whom he had known when ambassador to Paris. This gentleman had long had
entire faith in the practicability of steam-navigation, and as early as
1798 had obtained from the Legislature of New York a monopoly of all
such navigation upon the waters of the State, provided he would within
twelve months build a boat which should go four miles an hour by steam.
When they met in America, in 1806, the two entered into a partnership
and commenced the construction of a boat. Finding the expenses
unexpectedly heavy, they offered to sell one-third of their patent;
but no one would invest in an enterprise universally deemed hopeless.
The boat was nevertheless launched, in the spring of 1807, from the
ship-yard of Charles Brown, on the East River. She was supplied with
an engine built in England, and was driven by steam, in August, from
the New York side to the Jersey shore. The incredulous crowd who had
assembled to laugh stayed to wonder and applaud.

The Clermont soon after sailed for Albany, her departure having been
announced in the newspapers as a grand and unequalled curiosity. "She
excited," says Colden, in his Life of Fulton, "the astonishment of
the inhabitants of the shores of the Hudson, many of whom had not
heard even of an engine, much less of a steamboat. There were many
descriptions of the effects of her first appearance upon the people of
the bank of the river: some of these were ridiculous, but some of them
were of such a character as nothing but an object of real grandeur
could have excited. She was described, by some who had indistinctly
seen her passing in the night, as a monster moving on the waters,
defying the winds and tide, and breathing flames and smoke. She had
the most terrific appearance from other vessels which were navigating
the river when she was making her passage. The first steamboat--as
others yet do--used dry pine wood for fuel, which sends forth a
column of ignited vapor many feet above the flue, and whenever the
fire is stirred a galaxy of sparks fly off, and in the night have a
very brilliant and beautiful appearance. This uncommon light first
attracted the attention of the crews of other vessels. Notwithstanding
the wind and tide, which were adverse to its approach, they saw with
astonishment that it was rapidly coming toward them; and when it came
so near that the noise of the machinery and paddles was heard, the
crews--if what was said in the newspapers of the time be true--in some
instances shrunk beneath their decks from the terrific sight and left
their vessels to go on shore, whilst others prostrated themselves and
besought Providence to protect them from the approaches of the horrible
monster which was marching on the tide and lighting its path by the
fires which it vomited."

Fulton himself wrote the following account of the trip up the river and
back, and published it in the American Citizen:--"I left New York on
Monday at one o'clock, and arrived at Clermont, the seat of Chancellor
Livingston, at one o'clock on Tuesday: time, twenty-four hours;
distance, one hundred and ten miles. On Wednesday, I departed from the
chancellor's at nine in the morning, and arrived at Albany at five in
the afternoon: time, eight hours; distance, forty miles. The sum is one
hundred and fifty miles in thirty-two hours,--equal to near five miles
an hour.

"On Thursday, at nine o'clock in the morning, I left Albany, and
arrived at the chancellor's at six in the evening: I started from
thence at seven, and arrived at New York at four in the afternoon;
time, thirty hours; space run through, one hundred and fifty
miles,--equal to five miles an hour. Throughout my whole way, both
going and returning, the wind was ahead: no advantage could be derived
from my sail: the whole has therefore been performed by the power of
the steam-engine."

In a letter to one of his friends, Fulton wrote:--"I overtook many
sloops and schooners beating to windward, and parted with them as if
they had been at anchor. The power of propelling boats by steam is now
fully proved. The morning I left New York there were not perhaps thirty
persons who believed that the boat would even move one mile an hour,
or be of the least utility; and while we were putting off from the
wharf, which was crowded with spectators, I heard a number of sarcastic
remarks. This is the way in which ignorant men compliment what they
call philosophers and projectors.... Although the prospect of personal
emolument has been some inducement to me, yet I feel infinitely more
pleasure in reflecting on the immense advantage that my country will
derive from the invention."

The Clermont was now advertised as a regular passenger-boat upon
the Hudson. She met with numerous accidents during the season; and
her obvious defects would have been remedied by the application of
as obvious improvements by Fulton himself, had not other persons
anticipated him by taking out patents for improvements which they
themselves proposed. They thus caused him infinite annoyance, and even
contested his right as an inventor. Shipmasters, too, who looked upon
his boat as an intruder upon their domain, ran their vessels purposely
foul of her on more than one occasion. The Legislature saw fit to
counteract the effects of this hostility by passing an act prolonging
Livingston and Fulton's privilege five years for every additional boat
established,--the whole time, however, not to exceed thirty years. It
also made all combinations to destroy the Clermont offences punishable
by fine and imprisonment.

Thus protected, the Clermont ran throughout the season, always well
laden with passengers. In the winter she was enlarged and improved. The
wheel-guards were strengthened, and became a prominent and essential
feature of the boat. The rudder was replaced by one of much larger
dimensions, and a steering-wheel towards the bow was substituted for
the ordinary tiller. The accommodations for passengers were made much
more comfortable,--luxurious even,--and the public taste was consulted
in the application of numerous coats of rather gaudy paint. She then
commenced her trips for the season of 1808. She started regularly at
the appointed hour,--at first much to the discontent of travellers
who had before been waited for by both sloops and stages. At the end
of the season the Clermont was altogether too small for the crowds
who thronged to take passage. Two boats, the Car of Neptune and the
Paragon, were therefore soon added to the line.

Fulton, menaced by constant contestation of his rights, took out
a patent in 1809 from the General Government, and another, for
improvements, in 1811. His system was so simple--the adaptation of
paddle-wheels to the axle of the crank of Watt's engine--that it seemed
then, as it has proved since, almost impossible by any specifications
effectually to protect it. The famous Pendulum Company caused Fulton
for a time much trouble. They built a boat the wheels of which were to
be moved by a pendulum. While she was upon the stocks and the wheels
were resisted only by the air, the labor of a few men made them turn
regularly and rapidly; but when she was launched, and the pendulum
encountered the resistance of the water, neither pendulum, wheels, nor
boat would stir. The Pendulum Company were aghast at this phenomenon,
and clearly saw that if the boat was to be moved by the wheels, and
the wheels by the pendulum, something must be devised of sufficient
power to move the pendulum. There was nothing, evidently, but the
steam-engine; and so they copied Fulton's. Lawsuits followed; and in
his argument in behalf of Fulton Mr. Emmet thus spoke of the Pendulum
gentlemen:--"They are men who never waste health and life in midnight
vigils and painful study; who never dream of science in the broken
slumbers of an exhausted mind; who bestow upon the construction of
a steamboat just as much mathematical calculation and philosophical
research as on the purchase of a sack of wheat or a barrel of ashes."
Fulton gained his cause, and the boat which was to go by clock-work was
prohibited from going even by steam.

In 1812, Fulton built the Fire-Fly; and, as the town of Newburgh,
half-way to Albany, offered sufficient traffic to support at least one
boat, she was placed upon that route. In the same year he constructed
two ferry-boats for crossing the Hudson, making them with rudder
and bow at either end. He also contrived floating docks for their
reception, and a method of stopping them without concussion. In 1813,
he built a steam-vessel of four hundred tons and unusual strength, to
ply in Long Island Sound between New York and New Haven. She was the
first steamboat constructed with a round bottom. We quote a passage
referring to her from a work published in 1817:--"During a great part
of her route she would be as much exposed as she could be on the ocean:
it was therefore necessary to make her a perfect sea-boat. She passes
daily, and at all times of the tide, the dangerous strait of Hell-Gate,
where for the distance of nearly a mile she often encounters a current
running at the rate of at least six miles an hour. For some distance
she has within a few yards of her, on each side, rocks and whirlpools
which rival Scylla and Charybdis even as they are poetically described.
This passage, previously to its being navigated by this vessel, was
always supposed to be impassable except at certain stages of the tide;
and many a shipwreck has been occasioned by a small mistake in the
time. The boat passing through these whirlpools with rapidity, while
the angry waters are foaming against her bows and appear to raise
themselves in obstinate resistance to her passage, is a proud triumph
of human ingenuity. The owners, as the highest tribute they had in
their power to offer to his genius, and as an evidence of the gratitude
they owed him, called her the Fulton."

Early in 1814, the United States and England being at war, Fulton
conceived the idea of a steam vessel-of-war, capable of carrying a
strong battery, with furnaces for red-hot shot, and sailing four miles
an hour. Congress authorized the construction of such a floating
battery, and the keel was laid on the 18th of June. The vessel was
launched on the 27th of October the same year, in the midst of excited
and applauding throngs. Before she sailed, however, her engineer and
builder had been removed to another sphere: Fulton died on the 24th of
February, 1815. The Legislature paid an unusual tribute to his memory:
they resolved to wear mourning for three weeks. This manifestation of
regret for the loss of a man who had never held office nor served his
country in any public capacity was entirely unprecedented.

On the 4th of July, the steam-frigate made a trial trip, and, with
her engines alone, sailed fifty-three miles in eight hours and twenty
minutes. The following description of the Fulton the First, as she was
called, is given by the committee appointed to examine her in behalf of
Congress:--"She is a structure resting on two boats and keels separated
from end to end by a channel fifteen feet wide and sixty-six feet long.
One boat contains the caldrons of copper to prepare her steam; the
cylinder of iron, its piston, lever, and wheels, occupy part of the
other. The water-wheel revolves in the space between them. The main or
gun deck supports the armament, and is protected by a parapet, four
feet ten inches thick, of solid timber, pierced by embrasures. Through
thirty port-holes as many thirty-two pounders are intended to fire
red-hot shot, which can be heated with great safety and convenience.
Her upper or spar deck, upon which several thousand men might parade,
is encompassed by a bulwark, which affords safe quarters: she is
rigged with two stout masts, each of which supports a large lateen
yard and sails: she has two bowsprits and jibs, and four rudders, one
at each extremity of each boat, so that she can be steered with either
end foremost: her machinery is calculated for the addition of an engine
which will discharge an immense column of water, which it is intended
to throw upon the decks and through the port-holes of an enemy and
thereby deluge her armament and ammunition. If in addition to all this
we suppose her to be furnished, according to Mr. Fulton's intention,
with hundred-pound Columbiads, two suspended from each bow so as to
discharge a ball of that size into an enemy's ship ten or twelve feet
below her water-line, it must be allowed that she has the appearance,
at least, of being the most formidable engine for warfare that human
ingenuity has contrived."

Such was the first step towards the establishment of a steam-navy.
Forty years afterwards, George Steers built the propeller-frigate
Niagara; and the reader, by comparing the two vessels, will have an
adequate idea of the immense strides made in naval mechanics and
engineering during the lapse of less than half a century. In Europe the
size and qualities of the Fulton the First were at the time ludicrously
exaggerated, as will be seen from the following passage from a Scotch
treatise on steamships. After magnifying her proportions threefold,
the author continues:--"The thickness of her sides is thirteen feet
of alternate oak plank and cork wood: she carries forty-four guns,
four of which are hundred-pounders; quarterdeck and forecastle guns,
forty-four-pounders; and, further to annoy an enemy attempting to
board, can discharge one hundred gallons of boiling water in a minute,
and, by mechanism, brandishes three hundred cutlasses with the utmost
regularity over her gunwales, works also an equal number of heavy iron
spikes of great length, darting them from her sides with prodigious
force and withdrawing them every quarter of a minute!"

The frigate made a second experimental trip, on the 11th of September,
with her armament and stores on board, her draught of water being
eleven feet. She changed her course by reversing the motion of her
wheels. She fired salutes as she passed the forts, and performed
manoeuvres around the United States frigate Java. The machinery was
not affected in the slightest degree by the detonation of her guns.
Her average speed was five and a half miles an hour,--Fulton having
contracted to obtain three miles an hour only. The city of New York
now felt itself invulnerable; but the cessation of hostilities, which
occurred soon after, precluded the necessity of employing her as a
means of defence. It is probable that such a contrivance, even in
the present advanced state of naval warfare, would be found useful
in protecting the mouths of harbors,--not as a frigate, but as a
floating battery or movable fortress. The fact that this vessel was
built by Fulton makes him the father not only of steam-navigation, but
of the steam-navies of the world as well. We shall have occasion to
chronicle at intervals, as we progress in our record, the successive
steps of improvement in the science, till we arrive at the era of
steam floating palaces upon American rivers, of steam pleasure-yachts
owned by American merchants, of commercial steam-leviathans, American
and English, bearing the names of continents and oceans, and of the
peerless steam-frigate to which we have already alluded,--"a noble ship
with a noble name, bound, in 1857, upon the noblest of missions."

The history of the first ocean-steamer is very incompletely and
unsatisfactorily told in the annals of the time. The following is the
substance of all that has been preserved of the first transatlantic
steam-voyage on record:

The Savannah, a steamer of three hundred and fifty tons, intended to
ply between New York and Liverpool, under the command of Captain Moses
Rodgers, was launched at New York on the 22d of August, 1818. She made
a preliminary voyage to the city whose name she bore, in April, 1819,
where she arrived in seven days, after a very boisterous passage. She
was several times compelled to take in her wheels--having machinery
for the purpose--and rely upon her sails, which was done with all the
promptitude and safety anticipated. This trial trip left no doubt that
she would successfully accomplish the object for which she was built.
She left Savannah for Liverpool soon after, and the New York newspapers
of the second week in June announced that she had been spoken at sea,
all well. In the log-book of the Pluto, which arrived soon after at
Baltimore from Bremen, occurred the following passage:


"June 2.--Clear weather and smooth sea: lat. 42°, long. 59°, spoke and
passed the elegant steamship Savannah, eight days out from Savannah
to St. Petersburg by way of Liverpool. She passed us at the rate of
nine or ten knots; and the captain informed us she worked remarkably
well, and the greatest compliment we could bestow was to give her three
cheers, as the happiest effort of mechanical genius that ever appeared
on the Western ocean. She returned the compliment."

Niles' New York Register of the 21st of August contains the following
paragraph in italics at the head of its column of foreign news:--"The
steamship Savannah, Captain Moses Rodgers,--the first that ever
crossed the Atlantic,--arrived at Liverpool in twenty-five days from
Savannah, all well, to the great astonishment of the people of that
place. She worked her engine eighteen days." The next record of her
movements is that she sailed in August for St. Petersburg, passing
Elsinore on the 13th, and that the British "_wisely_ supposed her
visit to be _somehow_ connected with the ambitious views of the United
States." She arrived back at Savannah in November, in fifty days from
St. Petersburg _viâ_ Copenhagen and Arendal in Norway, all well, and,
in the language of Captain Rodgers, "with neither a screw, bolt, or a
rope-yarn parted, though she encountered a very heavy gale in the North
Sea." She left Savannah for Washington on the 4th of December, losing
her boats and anchors off Cape Hatteras.

It is a singular fact, and one not creditable to the English, that many
of their works treating of inventions and the progress of the arts and
sciences entirely overlook this voyage out and back of the Savannah,
and uniformly make the British steamers Sirius and Great Western the
pioneers, in 1837, in the great work of ocean steam-navigation. The
authors of these works err either through design or ignorance, and
in either case display a marked unfitness for their vocation. Were
they to consult the London and Liverpool newspapers of the time,
they would find ample record of the accomplishment of a steam-voyage
nearly twenty years before the period to which they assign it. We
have said enough, however, to prove that the first steam-vessel that
crossed the ocean was built in New York, and that Moses Rodgers, her
captain, was an American citizen. When we arrive at the year in which
the two British steamers inaugurated steam commercial intercourse
between the hemispheres, we shall record it, with due acknowledgment
of its importance; but we repeat the assertion that, as the first
river-steamer was the Clermont, the first Atlantic steamer was the
Savannah: both one and the other were built in New York.

[Illustration: HEAD OF WHITE BEAR.]

Section VI.

ATLANTIC CABLE: 1807-1857.


 43' NORTH.

We have now entered the nineteenth century. From this time forward we
shall find little or no romantic interest attaching to the history of
the sea, with the single exception of that of the Arctic waters. The
epoch of adventure stimulated by the thirst for gold has long since
passed: there are no more continents to be pursued, and few islands
to be unbosomed from the deep. There was once a harvest to be reaped;
but there remain henceforward but scanty leavings to be gleaned. The
navigator of the present century cannot hope to acquire a rapid fame
by brilliant discoveries: he must be content if he obtain a tardy
distinction by patient observation and minute surveys,--a task far
more useful than showy, and, while less attractive, much more arduous.
Our narrative, therefore, of the remaining maritime enterprises will
be correspondingly succinct. The reader's interest, as we have said,
will attach almost exclusively to the Polar adventures of the heroes of
the Northwest Passage: of Ross, who saw the Crimson Cliffs; of Parry,
who discovered the Polar Sea; of James Clarke Ross, who stood upon the
North Magnetic Pole; of McClure, who threaded the Northwest Passage; of
Franklin and of Kane, the martyrs to Arctic science. Though we shall
dwell more particularly upon these voyages, we shall nevertheless
mention in due order those undertaken for other purposes in all
quarters of the globe.

In 1803, Alexander of Russia determined to enter the career of maritime
discovery and geographical research. He sent Captain Krusenstern upon
a voyage round the world, in the London-built ship Nadeshda. Nothing
resulted from this voyage except the augmented probability that
Saghalien was not an island, but a peninsula joined to the mainland of
China by an isthmus of sand.


In 1815, the Russian Count Romanzoff fitted out an expedition at his
own expense for the advancement of geographical science. The specific
object of the voyage was to explore the American coast both to the
north and south of Behring's Straits, and to seek a connection thence
with Baffin's Bay. The command was given to Otto Von Kotzebue, a son of
the distinguished German dramatist Kotzebue. In Oceanica he discovered
an uninhabited archipelago, which he named Rurick's Chain, from one
of his vessels. In Kotzebue Gulf, northeast of Behring's Straits, he
discovered an island which was supposed to contain immense quantities
of iron, from the violent oscillations of the needle. Upon a second
visit to Otdia, one of the Rurick Islands, in 1824, the inhabitants
remembered him upon his shouting the syllables _Totobu_,--their manner
of pronouncing his name. They received him with great joy, rushing into
the water up to their hips: they then lifted him out of his boat and
carried him dry-shod to the shore.

In 1817, Louis XVIII. sent Captain Freycinet upon the first voyage
which, though undertaken for the advancement of science, had neither
hydrography nor geography for its object. Its purpose was to determine
the form of the globe at the South Pole, the observation of magnetic
and atmospheric phenomena, the study of the three kingdoms of nature,
and the investigation of the resources and languages of such indigenous
people as the vessel should visit. The expedition was conducted with
skill; but its results, being purely scientific, do not require mention

In the winter of 1816, the whalers returning from the Greenland
seas to England reported the ice to be clearer than they had ever
known it before. The period seemed favorable for a renewal of Arctic
exploration; and in 1818 the Admiralty fitted out two vessels--the
Isabella and Alexander--for the purpose. Captain John Ross was sent in
the first to discover a northwest passage, and Lieutenant Edward Parry
in the second, to penetrate if possible to the Pole. Their instructions
required them to examine with especial care the openings at the head
of Baffin's Bay. Sailing on the 18th of April, they reached the coast
of Greenland on the 17th of June. They saw tribes of Esquimaux who had
never seen men of any race but their own, and who felt and testified
an indescribable alarm at the sight of the adventurers. It was
subsequently proved that what they feared was contagion. Quite at the
northern extremity of the bay, Ross observed the phenomenon which has
given so romantic, almost legendary, a character to his voyage,--that
of red snow. He saw a range of peaks clothed in a garb which appeared
as if borrowed from the looms and dyes of Tyre. The spot is marked upon
the maps as "The Crimson Cliffs." The color was at the time supposed to
be a quality inherent in the snow itself; but subsequent investigations
have established its vegetable origin.

The ships were now at the northern point of Baffin's Bay, among the
numerous inlets which Baffin had failed to explore. They all appeared
to be blocked up with ice, and none of them held out any flattering
promise of concealing within itself the long-sought Northwest Passage.
Smith's Strait, where the bay ends, was carefully examined; but it
proved to be enclosed by ice. Returning towards the south by the
western coast of the bay, they arrived at the entrance of Lancaster
Sound on the 30th of August, just as the sun, after shining unceasingly
for nearly three mouths, was beginning to dip under the horizon. The
vessels sailed up the sound some fifty miles, through a sea clear
from ice, the channel being surrounded on either hand by mountains of
imposing elevation. It was here that Ross committed the fatal mistake
which was to cloud his own reputation and to put Parry, his second,
forward as the first of Arctic navigators. He asserted, and certainly
believed, that he saw a high ridge of mountains stretching directly
across the passage. This, he thought, rendered farther progress
impracticable, and the order was given to put the ships about. Ross
returned to England, convinced that Baffin was correct in regarding
Lancaster Bay as a bay only, without any strait beyond. It was destined
that Parry should thread this strait and find the Polar Sea beyond.

[Illustration: SEA LIONS UPON ICE.]

In the same year the British Government sent an expedition under
Captain Buchan and Lieutenant--afterwards Sir John--Franklin, to
endeavor to reach the Pole. The objects were to make experiments on
the elliptical figure of the earth, on magnetic and meteorological
phenomena, and on the refraction of the atmosphere in high latitudes.
The two vessels--the Dorothea and Trent--sailed in April, 1818, and
made their way towards Magdalena Bay, in Spitzbergen. In latitude 74°
north, near an island frequented by herds of walruses, a boat's crew
was attacked by a number of these animals, and only escaped destruction
by the presence of mind of the purser. He seized a loaded musket,
and, plunging the muzzle into the throat of the leader of the school,
discharged its contents into his bowels. As the walrus sinks as soon
as he is dead, the mortally-wounded animal at once began to disappear
beneath the water. His companions abandoned the combat to support their
chief with their tusks, whom they hastily bore away from the scene of


The climate here was mild, the atmosphere pure and brilliant, and the
blue of the sky as intense as that of Naples. Alpine plants, grasses,
moss, and lichens, flourished in abundance, and afforded browsing
pasturage to reindeer at the height of fifteen hundred feet above
the sea. The shores were alive with awks, divers, cormorants, gulls,
walruses, and seals. Eider-ducks, foxes, and bears preyed and prowled
upon the ice; and the sea furnished a home to jaggers, kittiwakes,
and whales. Having ascended as high as 80° 34' N., and finding it
impossible to penetrate farther to the north, Buchan resolved to quit
the waters of Spitzbergen and stand away for those of Greenland. A pack
of floating icebergs, upon which the waves were beating furiously,
beset the ships. The Trent came violently in collision with a mass many
hundred times her size. Every man on board lost his footing; the masts
bent at the shock, while the timbers cracked beneath the pressure.
This accident rendered a prosecution of the voyage impracticable, and
the two ships returned to England, where they arrived in October. The
expedition thus failed of the main object it was intended to accomplish.

As we have already remarked, Ross neglected the opportunity afforded
him of penetrating to the interior of Lancaster Sound,--thus leaving
for another the glory of attaching his name to the discoveries to be
made there. The Government, being dissatisfied with his management,
and being encouraged by Lieutenant Parry to believe that the supposed
chain of mountains barring the passage had no existence but in Ross's
imagination, gave him the command of two ships, strongly manned and
amply stored, for the prosecution of discovery in that direction. He
left England on the 11th of May, 1819, with the ship Hecla and the
gun-brig Griper. On the 15th of June he unexpectedly saw land,--which
proved to be Cape Farewell, the southern point of Greenland, though
at a distance of more than a hundred miles. The ships were immovably
"beset" by ice on the 25th: their situation was utterly helpless, all
the power that could be applied not availing to turn their heads a
single degree of the compass.

[Illustration: WHITE BEARS.]

The officers and men occupied themselves in various manners during this
period of inaction. Observations were made on the dip and variation of
the magnetic needle, and lunar distances were calculated. White bears
were enticed within rifle-distance by the odor of fried red-herrings,
and then easily shot. On the 30th the ice slackened, and, after eight
hours' incessant labor, both ships were moved into the open sea. On the
12th, Parry obtained a supply of pure water which was flowing from an
iceberg, and the sailors shook from the ropes and rigging several tons'
weight of congealed fog. The passage to Lancaster Sound was laborious,
and was only effected by the most persevering efforts on the part of

An entrance into the sound was effected on the 1st of August; and Parry
felt, as did the officers and men, that this was the point of the
voyage which was to determine the success or failure of the expedition.
Reports, all more or less favorable, were constantly passed down from
the crow's nest to the quarterdeck. The weather was clear, and the
ships sailed in perfect safety through the night. Towards morning all
anxiety respecting the alleged chain of mountains across the inlet
was at an end; for the two shores were still forty miles apart, at a
distance of one hundred and fifty miles from the mouth of the channel.
The water was now as free from ice as the Atlantic; and they began
to flatter themselves that they had fairly entered the Polar Sea. A
heavy swell and the familiar ocean-like color which was now thought
to characterize the water were also encouraging circumstances. The
compasses became so sluggish and irregular that the usual observations
upon the variation of the needle were abandoned. The singular
phenomenon was soon for the first time witnessed of the needle becoming
so weak as to be completely controlled by local attraction, so that it
really pointed to the north pole of the ship,--that is, to the point
where there was the largest quantity of iron.

Ice for a time prevented the farther western progress of the vessels,
and they sailed one hundred and twenty miles to the South, in a sound
which they called Prince Regent's Inlet. Parry suspected, though
incorrectly, that this inlet communicated with Hudson's Bay. Returning
to the mouth of the inlet, he found the sea to the westward still
encumbered with ice; but a heavy blow, accompanied with rain, soon
broke it up and dispersed it. They proceeded slowly on, naming every
cape and bay which they passed: an inlet of large size they called
Wellington, "after his Grace the Master of the Ordnance." Being now
convinced that the passage through which they had thus far ascended
was a strait connecting two seas, Parry gave it the name of Barrow's
Strait, after Mr. Barrow, Secretary of the Admiralty. The prospects of
success during the coming six weeks were now felt by the commander of
the expedition to be "truly exhilarating."

An island--by far the largest Parry had seen in these waters--appeared
early in September, and the men worked their arduous way along its
southern coast, till, on the 4th, they reached the longitude of 110°
west. The two ships then became entitled to the sum of £5000,--the
reward offered by Parliament to the first of his Majesty's subjects
that should penetrate thus far to the westward within the Arctic
Circle. The island was called Melville Island, from the First Lord
of the Admiralty. In a bay named The Bay of the Hecla and Griper,
the anchor was dropped for the first time since leaving England; the
ensigns and pennants were hoisted, and the British flag waved in a
region believed to be without the pale of the habitable world.

The summer was now at its close, and it became necessary to make a
selection of winter quarters. A harbor was found, a passage-way cut
through two miles of ice, and the ships settled in five fathoms' water:
they were soon firmly frozen in at a cable's-length from the shore.
Hunting, botanizing, excursions upon the island, experiments in an
observatory erected on shore, and amateur theatricals, afforded some
relief from the unavoidable inactivity to which officers and crew were
now condemned. Parry had named the group of islands of which Melville
is the largest, the North Georgian Islands, in honor of King George;
and during the days of constant darkness a weekly newspaper, entitled
"The North Georgia Gazette and Winter Chronicle," was edited by Captain
Sabine, the astronomer.

[Illustration: CUTTING IN.]

[Illustration: CUTTING OUT.]

The sun reappeared on the 3d of February, 1820, after an absence
of ninety-one days. The theatre was soon closed and the newspaper
discontinued. The ice around the ships was seven feet thick, though by
the middle of May the crews had cut it away so as to allow the ships to
float, and had sawed a channel for their boats. On the 1st of August,
there was not the slightest symptom of a thaw; on the 2d, the ice broke
up and disappeared with a suddenness altogether inexplicable. Parry
determined to return home at once, and arrived at Leith, in Scotland,
towards the close of October. He was received with great favor, and was
rewarded for his signal services by promotion to the rank of captain.

Parry made a second voyage in 1821, with instructions to seek a passage
by Hudson's Strait instead of by Lancaster Sound. It was totally
unsuccessful. He made a third attempt, in 1824, with the Fury and the
Hecla. The Fury was lost in Lancaster Sound, and Parry returned baffled
and for a time disheartened.

In 1822, a French captain, named Duperrey, made a voyage, under the
orders of the Government, which is in many respects the most remarkable
on record. He sailed seventy-five thousand miles in thirty-one months,
without losing a man or having a single name upon the sick-list;
nor did the ship once need repairs. The discoveries made were not
important, but the surveys effected and the observations upon
terrestrial magnetism recorded were interesting and valuable.

At about this period, the perils incident to the whale-fishery
were strangely augmented by a circumstance which we cannot forbear
mentioning. The whale, whose intellectual faculties had been sharpened
by the warfare waged against him for two hundred years, was suddenly
found to be animated by a new and vehement passion,--that of revenge.
"Mocha Dick," who earned a terrible reputation for ferocity, only
succumbed after many years of successful resistance. His body proved
to be covered with scars, his flesh bristled with harpoons, and his
head was declared to be wonderfully expressive of "old age, cunning,
and rapacity." Not long after this, a sperm-whale was wounded by a
boat's crew from the Essex. A brother leviathan, eighty-five feet
long, approached the ship within twenty rods, eyed it steadfastly for
a moment, and then withdrew, as if satisfied with his observations. He
soon returned at full speed: he struck the ship with his head, throwing
the men flat upon their faces. Gnashing his jaws together as if wild
with rage, he made another onset, and, with every appearance of an
avenger of his race, stove in the vessel's bows! This was the first
example on record of the whale's displaying positive design in seeking
an encounter. He certainly acted from the promptings of revenge, and,
moreover, directed his attacks upon the weakest part of the ship.


The whale of Captain Deblois, of the ship Ann Alexander, was a still
more remarkable animal. When harpooned, instead of seeking to escape,
he turned upon the boat, and, in the language of an eye-witness,
"chawed it to flinders." The second boat met the same fate. The whale
then dashed upon the ship, and broke through her timbers, letting the
water in in torrents. In an hour the vessel lay a wreck upon the ocean.
Four months afterwards, the crew of the Rebecca Sims captured a whale
of large size but of enfeebled energies. He was found to have a damaged
head, with large fragments of a ship's fore-timbers buried in his
flesh; while two harpoons, sunk almost to his vitals, and labelled "Ann
Alexander," designated him as the fierce but now exhausted antagonist
of Captain Deblois, of New Bedford.

In 1827--to return to the Arctic explorations--a new idea was broached
with reference to the Pole and the most likely method of reaching it.
Captain Parry, despairing of getting there in ships, conceived the plan
of constructing boats with runners, which might be dragged upon the
ice, or, in case of need, be rowed through the water. The Government
approved of the idea, and two boats were specially constructed for
the service: each one, with its furniture and stores, weighed three
thousand seven hundred and fifty-three pounds. They were placed on
board the sloop-of-war Hecla; and the expedition left the Nore on the
4th of April, 1827, for Spitzbergen. At Hammersfeld, in Norway, they
took on board eight reindeer and a quantity of moss for their fodder.

After experiencing a series of tremendous gales, being beset in the ice
till the 8th of June, the Hecla was safely anchored on the northern
coast of Spitzbergen, in Hecla Cove. Parry gave his instructions to
his lieutenants, Foster and Crozier, and on the 22d left the ship in
the two boats, having named them the Enterprise and Endeavor, with
provisions for seventy-one days. The ice appeared so rugged that the
reindeer promised to be of little assistance, and were consequently
left behind. The following is an abridged account of the extraordinary
method of travelling adopted upon this singular voyage:

"It was my intention," says Parry, "to travel by night and rest by day,
thus avoiding the glare resulting from the sun shining from his highest
altitudes upon the snow; and proceeding during the milder light shed
during his vicinity to the horizon,--for of course, during the summer,
he never set at all. This practice so completely inverted the natural
order of things that the officers, though possessing chronometers, did
not know night from day. When we rose in the evening, we commenced
our day by prayers; after which we took off our raccoon-skin
sleeping-dresses, and put on our box-cloth travelling-suits. We
breakfasted upon warm cocoa heated with spirits of wine--our only
fuel--and biscuit: we then travelled five hours, and stopped to
dine, and again travelled four, five, or six hours, according to
circumstances. It then being early in the morning, we halted for the
night, selecting the largest surface of ice we happened to be near for
hauling the boat on. Every man then put on dry stockings and fur boots,
leaving the wet ones--which were rarely found dry in the morning--to be
resumed after their slumbers. After supper the officers and men smoked
their pipes, which served to dry the boat and awnings, and often raised
the temperature ten degrees. A watch was set to look out for bears,
each man alternately doing this duty for one hour. It now being bright
day, the evening was ushered in with prayers. After seven hours' sleep,
the man appointed to boil the cocoa blew a reveillé upon the bugle, and
thus at nightfall the day was recommenced."

The difficulty of travelling was much greater than had been
anticipated. The ice, instead of being solid, was composed of small,
loose, and rugged masses, with pools of water between them. In their
first eight days they made but eight miles' northing. At one time the
men dragged the boats only one hundred and fifty yards in two hours.
On the 17th of July they reached the latitude of 82° 14' 28",--the
highest yet attained. On the 18th, after eleven hours' exhausting
labor, they advanced but two miles; and on the 20th, having apparently
accomplished twelve miles in three days, an observation revealed the
alarming fact that they had really advanced but five. The terrible
truth burst upon Parry and his officers: the ice over which they were
with such effort forcing their weary way _was actually drifting to
the south_! This intelligence was concealed from the men, who had no
suspicion of it, though they often laughingly remarked that they were a
long time getting to this eighty-third degree. They were at this time
in 82° 43' 5". The next observation extinguished the last ray of hope:
after two days' labor, they found themselves in 82° 40'. The drift was
carrying them to the south faster than their own exertions took them to
the north! In fact, the drift ran four miles a day. It was evidently
hopeless to pursue the journey any farther. The floe upon which they
slept at night rolled them back to the point they had quitted in the
morning. Parry acquainted the men with the disheartening news, and
granted them one day's rest.

The ensigns and pennants were now displayed, the party feeling a
legitimate pride in having advanced to a point never before reached by
human beings, though they had failed in an enterprise now proved beyond
the pale of possibility. They returned without incident of moment to
England. Parry did not totally abandon the idea of eventually reaching
the Pole over the ice, and as late as 1847 was of the opinion that at
a different season of the year, before drifting comes on, the project
may yet be realized. Still, no mortal man has ever yet set foot upon
the pivot of the axis of the globe; and it is not venturing too much to
predict that no man ever will.




In the year 1828, Sir John Ross applied to the Government for the
means of making a second voyage to the Arctic waters of America, and
was refused. The next year, Mr. Sheriff Booth, a gentleman of liberal
spirit, offered to assume the pecuniary responsibilities of the
expedition, and empowered Ross to make what outlay he thought proper.
He bought and equipped the Victory, a packet-ship plying between
Liverpool and the Isle of Man. She had a small high-pressure engine,
and paddle-wheels which could be lifted out of the water. She sailed
in May, 1829. We shall give but a brief account of the incidents of
the voyage till we arrive at the event which has made James Clarke
Ross, the nephew of Sir John, illustrious,--the discovery of the North
Magnetic Pole,--that mysterious spot towards which, forever points the
needle of the mariner's compass.

While in Baffin's Bay, in June, the Victory lost her foretopmast in a
gale; two of the sailors who were reefing the topsails had barely time
to escape with their lives. Proceeding through Lancaster Sound, and
then descending to the south into Prince Regent's Inlet, Ross arrived,
after coasting three hundred miles of undiscovered shore, at a spot
which he thought would furnish commodious winter quarters. The whole
territory received the name of Boothia, in honor of the patron of the
expedition. Here they remained eleven months, beset by ice; not even
during the months of July and August, 1830, did the ship stir from the
position in which she was held fast. At last, on the 17th of September,
she was found to be free, and the delighted crew prepared for a speedy
deliverance. The unfortunate vessel sailed only three miles, however,
when she was again firmly frozen in. The engine, which had proved a
wretched and most inefficient contrivance, was taken out and carried
ashore,--an event which was hailed with pleasure by all. "I believe,"
says Ross, "that there was not a man who ever again wished to see its
minutest fragment." Another year of monotony and silence now stared the
weather-bound navigators in the face. Six months elapsed before even a
land-excursion could be attempted; but in May, 1831, occurred the great
discovery to which we have referred.

[Illustration: THE VICTORY IN A GALE.]

Commander James Clarke Ross was the second officer of the ship. He
started in April, with a party, to make explorations inland. The
dipping-needle had long varied from 88° to 89°,--thus pointing nearly
downwards,--90° being, of course, the amount of variation from the
horizontal line of the ordinary compass which would have made it
directly vertical. Commander Ross was extremely desirous to stand upon
the wonderful spot where such an effect would be observed, and joined
a number of Esquimaux who were proceeding in the direction where he
imagined it lay. He determined, if possible, so to set his foot that
the Magnetic Pole should lie between him and the centre of the earth.
Arriving at a place where the dipping-needle pointed to 89° 46', and
being therefore but fourteen miles from its calculated position, he
could no longer brook the delay attendant upon the transportation of
the baggage, and set forward upon a rapid march, taking only such
articles as were strictly necessary. The tremendous spot was reached
at eight in the morning of the 1st of June. The needle marked 89°
59',--one minute from the vertical,--a variation almost imperceptible.
We give the particulars of this most interesting event in the words of
the discoverer himself:

"I believe I must leave it to others to imagine the elation of mind
with which we found ourselves now at length arrived at this great
object of our ambition: it almost seemed as if we had accomplished
every thing we had come so far to see and do,--as if our voyage and all
its labors were at an end, and that nothing now remained for us but to
return home and be happy for the remainder of our days.

"We could have wished that a place so important had possessed more of
mark or note. It was scarcely censurable to regret that there was not a
mountain to indicate a spot to which so much of interest must ever be
attached; and I could even have pardoned any one among us who had been
so romantic or absurd as to expect that the Magnetic Pole was an object
as conspicuous and mysterious as the fabled mountain of Sinbad,--that
it even was a mountain of iron or a magnet as large as Mont Blanc. But
Nature had here erected no monument to denote the spot which she had
chosen as the centre of one of her greatest powers.

"As soon as I had satisfied my own mind, I made known to the party the
gratifying result of all our joint labor; and it was then that, amidst
mutual congratulations, we fixed the British flag on the spot and took
possession of the North Magnetic Pole and its adjoining territory in
the name of Great Britain and King William the Fourth. We had abundance
of materials for building, in the fragments of limestone which covered
the beach; and we therefore erected a cairn of some magnitude, under
which we buried a canister containing a record of the interesting
fact,--only regretting that we had not the means of constructing a
pyramid of more importance and of strength sufficient to withstand the
assaults of time and the Esquimaux. Had it been a pyramid as large as
that of Cheops, I am not sure that it would have done more than satisfy
our ambition under the feelings of that exciting day. The latitude
of this spot is 70° 5' 17", and its longitude 96° 46' 45" west from

We must remark in this connection that the fixation of the _latitude_
of the Magnetic Pole was the only important element of this discovery;
for, as the Magnetic Pole revolves about the North Pole at the rate
of 11' 4" a year, it consequently changes its annual _longitude_ by
that amount. A quarter of a century has elapsed since its longitude
was settled for the year 1831; and this lapse of time involves a
change of place of between four and five degrees. It requires no less
than eighteen hundred and ninety years to accomplish the cycle of
revolution. The latitude of the Pole of course remains unchanged. It
will always be sufficient glory for Ross to have stood upon the spot
where the Pole then was: the fact that the spot then so marvellous has
since ceased to be so is assuredly no cause for detracting from his
merit. After this discovery the party returned to the ship.

In September the ice broke up, and the Victory, which had the previous
year sailed three miles, this year sailed four. She was again
immediately frozen in: the men's courage gave way, and the scurvy
began to appear. Their only hope of a final deliverance seemed to be
to proceed overland to the spot where the Fury had been lost under
Parry in 1824, and to get her supplies and boats. The distance was
one hundred and eighty miles to the north. They drank a parting glass
to the Victory on the 29th of May, 1832, and nailed her colors to
the mast. After a laborious journey of one month, they reached Fury
Beach, where they found three of the boats washed away, but several
still left. These were ready for sea on the 1st of August, when the
whole party embarked. They were compelled to return in October, and
made preparations for their fourth Polar winter. The season was one
of great severity: in February, 1833, the first death by scurvy took
place. Ross himself and several of the seamen were attacked by the
disease. It was not till August that the boats were again able to move.
They reached Barrow's Strait on the 17th, and on the morning of the
26th descried a sail. They made signals by burning wet powder, and
succeeded in attracting the stranger's attention. She was a whaler, and
had been formerly commanded by Ross himself. Thus they were rescued.
After a month's delay, the vessel, now filled to its utmost capacity
with blubber, sailed for Hull, in England. There Ross and his officers
received a public entertainment from the mayor and corporation. The
former then repaired to London, reported himself to the Secretary
of the Admiralty, and obtained an audience of the king. His Majesty
accepted the dedication of his journal, and allowed him to add the name
of William the Fourth to the Magnetic Pole. He learned that he had been
given up for lost long since, and that parties had been sent out in
search of him.

All concerned in this interesting expedition were rewarded by
Parliament. Mr. Booth was shortly after knighted; Commander Ross was
made post-captain; the other officers received speedy promotion; and
Government paid the crew the wages which had accrued beyond the period
of fifteen months for which they were engaged,--amounting in all to
£4580. A select committee of the House of Commons was appointed to
consider the claims of Captain Ross himself, and concluded its labors
by recommending that a sum of £5000 be voted to him by Parliament.

In 1825, Captain d'Urville was sent by Charles X. of France upon a
voyage similar to those performed by Freycinet and Duperrey. As we
have already had occasion to say, this officer was fortunate enough to
return to France with the positive proofs of the destruction of the
vessels of Lapérouse upon the island of Vanikoro. He surveyed the whole
of the Feejee archipelago, and restored upon French maps its native
name of Viti. The results of d'Urville's labors are comprised in twelve
octavo volumes, sixty-three charts, twelve plans, eight hundred and
sixty-six designs representing the various island nations, their arms,
dwellings, &c., and four hundred landscapes and marine views. Admiral
d'Urville ranks as the first French navigator of this century.

In 1830, two rich shipping-merchants of London, by the name of Enderby,
sent Captain Biscoe to the Antarctic Ocean to fish for seals, in the
brig Tula and the cutter Lively, giving him directions to seek for
land in high southern latitudes. In February, 1831,--being then as far
south as the sixty-ninth parallel and in 12° west,--he saw distinct
and positive signs of land. On the 27th, in 66° of latitude and 47°
of longitude, he convinced himself of the existence of a long reach
of land; but huge islands of ice prevented his approaching it. The
magnificence of the aurora australis, appearing now under the forms of
grand architectural columns and now as the fringes of tapestry, drew
the attention of the sailors so constantly towards the heavens that
they neglected to watch the ship's track amid mountains of floating
and tumbling ice. Captain Biscoe gave to the discovery the name of
Enderby's Land. Farther to the west he discovered an island, which
he named Adelaide, in honor of the Queen of England. It presents an
imposing appearance,--a tall peak burying itself in the clouds and
often peering out above them. Its base is surrounded with a dazzling
girdle of snow and ice, which extends, though sapped and excavated by
the action of the waves, some nine hundred feet into the sea.

In 1836, the English Government appointed Captain George Back--who
had lately been upon a land-expedition in the American Arctic regions
in search of Captain and Commander Ross--to the since celebrated ship
Terror, for the purpose of determining the western coast-line of Prince
Regent's Inlet. The voyage, though entirely unsuccessful, is one of the
most remarkable on record,--showing as it did a power of resistance and
endurance in a ship which till then was not believed to belong either
to iron or heart of oak. Back proceeded no farther than Baffin's Bay,
the Terror remaining for ten months fast in the gripe of its "cradle"
or "ice-wagon," as the men called the huge floating berg upon which she
rested. He was knighted on his return, and his sturdy ship was put out
of commission and docked. It is a subject of regret that so splendid a
specimen of marine architecture, as far as strength and solidity are
concerned, should have met the fate which she has encountered. Where
she is no mortal knows, except perhaps a few inaccessible Esquimaux;
for she has perished with her lost consort, the Erebus, and their
hapless commander, Sir John Franklin.

In the year 1838, on the 23d of April, two ocean-steamers--the first
with the exception of the Savannah--entered the harbor of New York.
They were the Sirius and the Great Western. They had been expected,
and their arrival was the signal for general rejoicings and the
theme of universal congratulation. Crowds of people--men, women, and
children--assembled along the wharves to view the unwonted spectacle.
The Sirius was a vessel of seven hundred tons and three hundred and
twenty horse-power, and had previously plied between Liverpool and
Cork. She had left the latter port on the 4th of April, and had
therefore been nineteen days upon the passage. The Great Western was
a new ship: she was of thirteen hundred and forty tons; her extreme
length was two hundred and thirty-six feet; her depth of hold,
twenty-three feet; breadth of beam, thirty-five feet; diameter of
wheels, twenty-eight feet; length of paddle-boards, ten feet; diameter
of cylinder, six feet; length of stroke, seven feet. She had four
boilers, and could carry eight hundred tons of coal,--sufficient for
twenty-six days' consumption. She had left Bristol on the 8th of April,
and had accomplished the voyage in fifteen days and five hours. Her
mean daily rate was two hundred and forty miles, or nine miles an hour,
with unfavorable weather and strong head winds. She was expected to
stop either at the Azores or at Halifax, but succeeded in making the
passage direct. She consumed but four hundred and fifty tons of coal
out of six hundred. This event was looked upon by all as an earnest of
the complete triumph of ocean steam-navigation; and the Great Western
is regarded by the people of the two countries as the pioneer ship
among the many noble vessels that have plied upon the great Atlantic
ferry. The Britannia--the first vessel of the Cunard line to cross the
ocean--arrived at Boston on the 18th of July, 1840, after a passage of
fourteen days and eight hours.

In this same year, (1838,) the United States' Exploring
Expedition,--consisting of the Vincennes, a sloop-of-war of twenty
guns, Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, commander-in-chief; the Peacock,
eighteen-gun sloop-of-war, William L. Hudson, commanding; the Porpoise,
ten-gun brig; the Relief, exploring vessel; and the schooners
Flying-Fish and Sea-Gull,--sailed from Hampton Roads. Its objects were
to explore the Southern and Pacific Oceans; to ascertain, if possible,
the situation of that part of the Antarctic continent supposed to
lie to the south of New Holland, and to make researches and surveys
of importance to ships navigating the Polynesian seas. The squadron
was absent four years, and accomplished a vast amount of arduous labor
interesting to science and invaluable to commerce. We propose to speak
only of what became afterwards its prominent feature,--the supposed
discovery of an Antarctic continent.

On the 15th of February, 1840, land was seen in longitude 106° 40' E.
and latitude 65° 57' S. The next day the ships were within seven miles
of it, and, "by measurement, the extent of the coast of the Antarctic
continent then in sight was made seventy-five miles." The men landed
on an ice-island, where they found stones, boulders, gravel, sand, and
clay. Everybody wished to possess a piece of the Antarctic continent;
and many fragments of red sandstone and basalt were carried away.
The island was believed to have been detached from the neighboring
land. Subsequent voyages, however, have thrown great doubts upon the
accuracy of these assertions. James Clarke Ross, who was sent with the
Erebus and Terror, in 1839, to the South Pole, was informed at Van
Diemen's Land of Wilkes' alleged discovery. He reached the spot in
January, 1841, and, instead of an Antarctic continent, found water five
hundred fathoms deep. The existence of such a continent, therefore,
must be regarded as altogether hypothetical. "It is natural," says the
London Athenæum, "that a commander of his country's first scientific
expedition should wish to make the most of it; but Science is so august
in her nature and so severe in her rules that she declines recording
in her archives any sentence as truth on which there rests the
slightest liability of doubt: in all such cases she prefers the Scotch
verdict,--'Not proven.'"

Though at this period the discovery of a Northwest Passage--if one
existed--was no longer expected to afford a short and commodious
commercial route to the Indies and to China, yet the scientific and
romantic interest of the subject still exerted a powerful effect on
both nations and Governments. Great Britain resolved to make one last
attempt, and, selecting two vessels whose fame was now world-wide,
appointed Sir John Franklin to their command,--the Erebus being his
flag-ship, with Captain Crozier, as his second, in the Terror. The
officers and crew, all told, numbered one hundred and thirty-eight
picked and resolute men. The instructions given to Franklin were
to proceed, with a store-ship ordered to accompany him, as far up
Davis' Straits as that vessel could safely go, there to transfer
her provisions and send her home. He was then to get into Baffin's
Bay, enter Lancaster Sound, thread Barrow's Straits, and follow
Parry's track due west to Melville Island, in the Polar Sea. Here the
instructions, with an assurance which seems incredible now, begged the
whole question of a Northwest Passage, and directed him to proceed
the remaining nine hundred miles which separate that point from
Behring's Strait,--a region which it was hoped would be found free
from obstruction. He was not to stop to examine any opening to the
northward, but to push resolutely on to Behring's Strait, and return
home by the Sandwich Islands and Panama. He sailed from the Thames on
the 19th of May, 1845. He received the store-ship's cargo in Davis'
Straits, and then despatched her home. His two ships were seen by a
whaler named the Prince of Wales on the 26th of July: they were in the
very middle of Baffin's Bay, moored to an iceberg and waiting for open

Two years passed away, and, nothing being heard from them, the public
anxiety respecting them became very great. The Government determined
to attempt their rescue, and sent out three several expeditions in
1848. The two first--one overland to the Polar Sea, under Richardson
and Rae, another by Behring's Strait, in the ships Herald and
Plover--totally failed of success, as they were founded upon the
supposition that Franklin had advanced farther westward than Parry in
1820,--a supposition altogether unlikely. The third--consisting of the
Enterprise and Investigator, under Captain Sir James Clarke Ross--was
equally unsuccessful, though conducted in a quarter where success was
at least possible. At Port Leopold, at the mouth of Prince Regent's
Inlet, Ross formed a large depôt of provisions,--the locality having
been admirably chosen, being upon Parry's route to the Polar Sea, and
upon any track Franklin would be likely to take on his way back, in
case he had already advanced beyond it. His men built a house upon
shore of their spare spars, and covered it with such canvas as they
could dispense with. They lengthened the Investigator's steam-launch,
so that it would be capable of carrying Franklin and his crew safely to
the whalers' rendezvous, and left it. They then made their way through
the ice to Davis' Straits, and arrived in England early in November,

The probable fate of Franklin now absorbed all minds, and the
Admiralty, Parliament, the public, and the press eagerly discussed
every theory which would account for his prolonged absence, and every
means by which succor could be sent to him. The Admiralty offered a
reward of one hundred guineas for accurate information concerning him.
Lady Franklin offered the stimulus of £2000, and a second of £3000,
to successful search; and the British Government sought to enlist the
services of the whalers by announcing a bonus of £20,000. A vessel was
sent to land provisions and coal at the entrance to Lancaster Sound.
Three new expeditions were sent out in 1850 by the Government, besides
one by public subscription, assisted by the Hudson Bay Company, under
Sir John Ross, and another by Lady Franklin. They accomplished wonders
of seamanship, and their crews endured the most harassing trials; but
we have no space to chronicle any thing beyond the finding of a few
distinct but unproductive traces of the missing adventurers, which
occurred in the following manner:

Captain Ommaney, of the Assistance and Intrepid, landed on Cape Riley,
in Wellington Channel, late in August. There he observed sledge-tracks
and a pavement of small stones which had evidently been the floor of a
tent. Around were a number of birds' bones and fragments of meat-tins.
Upon Beechey Island, three miles distant, were found a cairn or mound
constructed of layers of meat-tins filled with gravel, the embankment
of a house, the remains of a carpenter's shop and an armorer's forge,
with remnants of rope and clothing; a pair of gloves laid out to dry,
with stones upon them to prevent their blowing away. The oval outline
of a garden was still distinguishable. But the most interesting and
valuable result of these investigations was the finding of three graves
with inscriptions, one of which will show the tenor of the whole:

"Sacred to the memory of William Braine, R.M., of H.M.S. Erebus, who
died April 3, 1846, aged thirty-two years. _Choose ye this day whom ye
will serve._--Josh. xxiv. 15."

This and one of the other inscriptions, dated in January, seemed to fix
at this spot the first winter quarters of Franklin,--for 1845-46. They
also show that but three men died during the winter; and three out of
one hundred and thirty-eight is not a high proportion of mortality. The
seven hundred empty meat-tins seemed to show that the consumption of
meat had been moderate; for the ships started with twenty-four thousand
canisters. This was the substance of the intelligence obtained during
this year of the fate of the wanderers; and it was, as will be noticed,
already five years old.

An expedition was also fitted out for the search in 1850, under the
combined auspices of Henry Grinnell, Esq., a merchant of New York, and
the United States Navy Department,--the former furnishing the ships and
the means, the latter the men and the discipline. Two hermaphrodite
brigs,--the Advance and Rescue,--of one hundred and forty-four and
ninety tons respectively, manned by thirty-eight men, all told, and
strengthened for Arctic duty beyond all precedent, were prepared
for the service. They were placed under the command of Lieutenant
De Haven,--Dr. E. K. Kane, of the Navy, being appointed surgeon and
naturalist to the squadron. They sailed from New York on the 23d of
May, and in less than a month descried the gaunt coast of Greenland at
the moment when the distinction between day and night began to be lost.
The Danish inhabitants of the settlement at Lievely made them such
presents of furs as their own scanty wardrobes permitted. Two sailors,
complaining of sickness, were landed at Disco Island, thence to make
the best of their way home.

[Illustration: DR. KANE.]


Thus far the weather had been favorable, and they passed the
seventy-fourth degree without meeting ice. On the 7th of July, being
still in Baffin's Bay, they encountered the pack. It was summer-ice,
consisting of closely-set but separate floes. They could not make over
three miles a day headway through it,--which they considered a useless
expenditure of labor. They remained beset for twenty-one days, when the
pack opened in various directions. The ships now reached Melville Bay,
on the east side of Baffin's Bay,--Lancaster Sound, through which they
were to pass, being upon the west. Melville Bay, from the fact that it
is always crowded with icebergs, and presents in a bird's-eye view all
the combined horrors and perils of Arctic navigation, has received the
appellation of the "Devil's Nip." Across this formidable indentation
the two vessels made their weary way, occupying five weeks in the
transit. A steam-tug would have towed them across in forty-eight hours.
In the middle of August the vessels entered Lancaster Sound, and, on
the morning of the 21st, overhauled the Felix, engaged in the search,
under the veteran Sir John Ross. The next day, the Prince Albert, one
of Lady Franklin's ships, was seen, and, soon after, the intelligence
was received of the discovery of traces of Franklin and his men. The
navigators of both nations visited Beechey Island and saw there the
evidences which we have already mentioned. The Advance and Rescue
now strove in vain to urge their way to Wellington Channel. The sun
travelled far to the south, and the brief summer was rapidly coming to
a close. The cold increased, and the fires were not yet lighted below.
On the 12th of September the Rescue was swept from her moorings by the
ice and partially disabled. The pack in which they were enveloped,
though not yet beset, was evidently drifting they knew not whither.
The commander, convinced that all westward progress was vain for the
season, resolved to return homeward. The vessels' heads were turned
eastward, and slowly forced a passage through the reluctant ice. On the
evening of the 14th of September, Dr. Kane was endeavoring, with the
thermometer far below zero, to commit a few words to his journal, when
he heard De Haven's voice. "Doctor," he said, "the ice has caught us:
we are frozen up."

The Advance was now destined to undergo treatment similar to that
suffered by the Terror under Captain Back. For eight mortal months she
was carried, cradled in the ice, backwards and forwards in Wellington
Channel, wherever the winds and currents listed. At first, before the
ice around them had become solid, they were exposed to constant peril
from "nips" of floating and besieging floes; but these huge tablets
soon became a protection by themselves receiving and warding off
subsequent attacks. Early in October, the vessels were more firmly
fixed than a jewel in its setting.

They now made preparations for passing the winter. The two crews were
collected in the Advance. Until the stoves could be got up, a lard-lamp
was burned in the cabin, by which the temperature was raised to 12°
above zero. The condensed moisture upon the beams from so many breaths
caused them to drip perpetually, till canvas gutters were fitted up,
which carried off a gallon of water a day. The three stoves were soon
ready, and these, together with the cooking-galley, diffused warmth
through the common room formed by knocking the forecastle and cabin
into one. Light was furnished by four argand and three bear's-fat
lamps. The entire deck of the Advance was covered with a housing of
thick felt. On the 9th of November their preparations were fairly

The sun ceased to rise after the 15th of November: after that, the
east was as dark at nine in the morning as at midnight; at eleven
there was a faint twilight, and at noon a streak of brown far away to
the south. The store-room would have furnished an amateur geologist
with an admirable cabinet, so totally were the eatables and drinkables
changed in appearance by the cold. "Dried apples and peaches assumed
the appearance of chalcedony; sour-krout was mica, the laminæ of
which were with difficulty separated by a chisel; butter and lard
were passable marble; pork and beef were rare specimens of Florentine
mosaic; while a barrel of lamp-oil, stripped of the staves, resembled a
sandstone garden-roller."

The crews soon began to suffer in health and spirits: their faces
became white, like celery kept from the light. They had strange dreams
and heard strange sounds. The scurvy appeared, and old wounds bled
afresh. Dr. Kane endeavored to combat the disease by acting upon the
imagination of the sufferers. He ordered an old tar with a stiff knee
to place the member in front of a strong magnet and let it vibrate
to and fro like a pendulum. A wonderful and complete cure was thus
effected. He practised all sorts of amiable deceptions upon his
patients,--making them take medicine in salad and gargles in beer. Not
a man was lost during the voyage.

From time to time fissures would open in the ice around them with
an explosion like that of heavy artillery. It became necessary to
make preparations for abandoning the vessel, and sledges, boats, and
provisions were gotten ready for an emergency. The men were drilled to
leave the ship in a mass at the word of command. The crisis seemed to
be upon them many a time and oft; but the Advance held firmly together,
and the ice around her gradually became solid as granite again. Dr.
Kane lectured at intervals on scientific subjects, till the return of
light brought with it a return of hope and animal spirits. On the 29th
of January, 1851, the sun rose above the horizon, after an absence of
eighty-six days. "Never," says Dr. Kane, "till the grave-clod or the
ice covers me may I forego this blessing of blessings again! I looked
at him thankfully, with a great globus in my throat."

The ice-pack did not open till the close of March. Previous to this,
all the successive symptoms of the coming thaw presented themselves.
The ice began to smoke, and the surface became first moist and then
soft. It was soon too warm to skate, and the cabin-lamps, that had
burned for four months without cessation, were extinguished. The
mercury rose to 32°; the housings were removed from the Advance, and
the Rescue's men returned to their deserted ship. The saw was put in
motion early in May; but the grand disruption of the ice, which was
either to free the ships or crush them, did not occur till the 5th of
June. It was five o'clock in the afternoon when the first crack was
heard, and the water, spirting up, was seen following the track of
the fissure. In half an hour the ice was seamed with cracks in every
direction, some of them spreading into rivers twenty feet across. The
Rescue was released at once: the coating of the Advance held on for
three days more, parting at last under the weight of a single man. The
liberated ships soon made the Greenland coast, at Godhavn, where they
spent five days in reposing, in celebrating the Fourth of July, and
in splicing the main-brace,--this latter being a convivial, and not
a mechanical, operation. The vessels arrived safely at the Brooklyn
Navy-Yard on the 1st of October, 1851. The vessels were restored to Mr.
Grinnell, with the stipulation that the Secretary of the Navy might
claim them, in case of need, for further search in the spring.

[Illustration: THE SEAL.]



Encouraged by the discovery of traces of her husband, Lady Franklin
caused the Prince Albert, upon her return with the intelligence, to
be at once refitted for another Arctic voyage. The expedition, though
conducted with consummate skill by William Kennedy, late of the
Hudson's Bay Company, and Lieutenant Bellot, of the French Navy, his
second, totally failed of success. It returned in October, 1853. In the
mean time, another and more imposing expedition--that under Sir Edward
Belcher--had sailed for the Polar regions. The squadron consisted of
five vessels,--the Assistance, with the steamer Pioneer, the Resolute,
with the steamer Intrepid, and the North Star store-ship. They sailed
on the 28th of April, 1852, and arrived at their head-quarters at
Beechey Island--the scene of Franklin's hibernation in 1846--on the
10th of August. The North Star remained here with the stores, while the
two ships, with their respective tugs, started upon distinct voyages
of exploration,--Sir Edward Belcher, in the Assistance, standing up
Wellington Channel, and Captain Kellett, in the Resolute, proceeding
to Melville Island. The latter was instructed to seek at this point
for intelligence of Captains McClure and Collinson, who had been sent
to Behring's Strait in 1850, in order to force their way eastward from
thence, and who had not since been heard of. As the interest of Sir
Edward Belcher's expedition centres entirely in the junction effected
by Kellett with McClure, we revert to the adventures of the latter
explorer, now distinguished as the discoverer of the Northwest Passage.

Collinson and McClure sailed in the Enterprise and Investigator for
Behring's Strait _viâ_ Cape Horn on the 20th of January, 1850. They
arrived at the strait in July. The Enterprise, being foiled in her
efforts to get through the ice, turned about and wintered at Hong-Kong.
McClure, in the Investigator, kept gallantly on through the strait,
and, during the month of August, advanced to the southeast, into the
heart of the Polar Sea, along a coast never yet visited by a ship,
and on the 21st of August arrived at the mouth of Mackenzie River,
discovered by Mackenzie in his land-expedition in 1789 to determine the
northern coast-line of America. He had now passed the region visited
and surveyed in former years by Franklin, Back, Rae, and others, in
overland explorations, and on the 6th of September arrived at a point
considerably to the east of any land marked upon the charts. He now
began to name the islands, headlands, and indentations. On the 9th,
the ship was found to be but sixty miles to the west of the spot to
which Parry, sailing westward, had carried his ship in 1820. Could he
but sail these sixty miles his name would be immortal. "I cannot," he
writes, "describe my anxious feelings. Can it be possible that this
water communicates with Barrow's Straits and shall prove to be the
long-sought Northwest Passage? Can it be that so humble a creature as
I am will be permitted to perform what has baffled the talented and
wise for hundreds of years?" On the 17th, the Investigator reached the
longitude of 117° 10' west,--thirty miles from the waters in which
Parry wintered with the Hecla and Griper in a harbor of Melville
Island. Alas! the vessel went no farther east: the ice drifted
perceptibly to the west, and it was fated that these thirty miles
should remain, as they had remained for ages, as impassable to ships as
the Isthmus of Suez.

The Investigator passed the winter heeled four degrees to port and
elevated a foot out of water by a "nip," in which position she rested
quietly for months. Late in October, a sledge-party of six men,
headed by McClure, started to traverse on foot the distance which it
was forbidden their ship to cross. On the 25th, they saw the Polar
Ocean ice. The next morning, before daybreak, they ascended a hill
six hundred feet high, convinced that the dawn would reveal them the
previous surveys of Sir Edward, and make them the discoverers of the
Northwest Passage, by connecting their voyage from the west with his
from the east. The return of day showed their anticipations to be
correct: Melville Strait was visible to the north, and between it and
them, though there was plenty of ice, there was no intervening land.
They had discovered the Passage,--that is, an ice-passage, which of
course involved a water-passage when the state of the atmosphere
permitted it. Though they regretted bitterly that they could not get
their ship through, their only remaining course was to send one of
their party home by the well-known route through Barrow's Straits,
and thus prove the existence of the passage by the return of one who
had made it. They erected a cairn and left a record of their visit,
and then commenced their homeward journey to the ship. McClure became
separated from his companions, and nearly perished in the snow. He
arrived in safety, however, and the grand discovery was duly celebrated
and the main-brace properly spliced. Numerous searching-parties were
now from time to time sent out, and in the middle of July the ice broke
up and the Investigator was released. She drifted five miles more to
the east,--thus reducing the distance of separation to twenty-five
miles. Here she was again firmly and inextricably frozen in. Another
and another winter passed; and it was not till the spring of 1853 that
relief reached them. In order to make a consecutive story, we must
return to that portion of Sir Edward Belcher's squadron which, under
Captain Kellett, was sent to Melville Island, and which arrived there
late in 1852. At this period, Kellett, in the Resolute, and McClure, in
the Investigator, were about one hundred and seventy miles apart.

A sledge-party sent out by Kellett discovered, with the wildest
delight, in October, 1852, a cairn in which McClure had deposited, the
April previous, a chart of his discoveries. They were compelled to wait
the winter through; and it was not till the 10th of March that Kellett
ventured to send a travelling-party in quest of the Investigator. The
communication was effected on the 6th of April, 1853. McClure thus
describes it:

"While walking near the ship, in conversation with the first
lieutenant, we perceived a figure coming rapidly towards us from the
rough ice at the entrance of the bay. He was certainly unlike any
of our men; but, recollecting that it was possible some one might
be trying a new travelling-dress preparatory to the departure of
our sledges, and certain that no one else was near, we continued to
advance. The stranger came quietly on: had the skies fallen upon us
we could hardly have been more astonished than when he called out,
'I'm Lieutenant Pim, late of the Herald, now of the Resolute. Captain
Kellett is in her, at Dealy Island.'

"To rush at and seize him by the hand was the first impulse; for
the heart was too full for the tongue to speak. The news flew with
lightning rapidity: the ship was all in commotion; the sick, forgetful
of their maladies, leaped from their hammocks; the artificers dropped
their tools, and the lower deck was cleared of men; for they all rushed
for the hatchway, to be assured that a stranger was actually among them
and that his tale was true. Despondency fled the ship, and Lieutenant
Pim received a welcome--pure, hearty, and grateful--that he will surely
remember and cherish to the end of his days."

It was now decided to abandon the Investigator, immovably fixed as she
was in the ice. Her colors were hoisted on the 3d of June, and she was
left alone in Mercy Bay. The officers and crew arrived on board the
Resolute on the 17th. McClure sent Lieutenant Gurney Cresswell, with
despatches for the Admiralty, by sledges, down to Beechey Island, where
he found a Government vessel and at once sailed for England. Though
he had not made the Northwest Passage, he had at least crossed the
American continent within the Arctic Circle; and this had yet been done
by no mortal man.

Kellett and McClure remained for many months in the Resolute and
Intrepid, beset in the ice. They received instructions from Belcher,
in April, 1854, to abandon their ships. The latter were placed in a
condition to be occupied by any Arctic searching-party,--the furnaces
of the steamer being left ready to be lighted. Sir Edward Belcher had
also been compelled to abandon his vessels, the Assistance and Pioneer:
the four crews met at Beechey Island, and embarked on board their
storeship, the North Star, which had been laid up for two years. They
arrived in England late September. The reader will at once recognise
the Resolute as the ship which was found in Baffin's Bay, in 1855, by
Captain Buddington, of the New London whaler George Henry. She had
forced her way, unaided by man, through twelve hundred miles of Arctic
ice. The incidents of her arrival at New London, of the abandonment to
the American sailors of all claim upon her by the British Government,
of her purchase by the United States Congress from her new owners, her
re-equipment at the Brooklyn Navy-Yard, and her restoration to the
English Navy by Captain Hartstene, U.S.N., are still fresh in the mind
of all.

[Illustration: JAPANESE VESSEL.]

In the year 1853, an expedition sent by the United States under
Commodore Perry ventured into waters never before ploughed by vessels
of a Christian nation. On the 8th of July, the precipitous southern
coast of Niphon--the largest island of the Japanese group--loomed
up through the fog. The American steamers entered the Bay of Jeddo,
eight miles wide at the mouth but spreading to a width of twelve
beyond. They were now land-bound, with the shores of an empire almost
fabulous enclosing them on every side. Though peremptorily forbidden
to anchor, though surrounded by myriads of boats filled with men eager
for a conflict, though menaced by forts which seemed formidable till
examined through the glass, the fleet kept on, and finally, by dint
of persistence and several salutary displays of power, the commodore,
having at his disposal the national steamers Susquehanna, Mississippi,
and Powhatan, the frigate Saratoga, and the ships Macedonian, Vandalia,
Lexington, and Southampton, wrung from the sullen monopolists a treaty
opening to American trade the port of Simoda, in Niphon, and that
of Hakodadi, in Jesso. It now remains for the Americans to lead the
Japanese, by judicious and honorable treatment, to experience and
acknowledge the benefits of commerce and intercourse with the nations
of Christendom.

[Illustration: THE LEVIATHAN.]

To return once more to the Arctic researches. Soon after the return of
Belcher and McClure to England, decisive intelligence of Franklin and
his party was received in England. Dr. Rae, who had been engaged for a
year past in a search by land, had met a party of Esquimaux who were in
possession of numerous articles which had belonged to Franklin and his
men. They stated that in the spring of 1850 they had seen forty white
men, near King William's Land, dragging a boat and sledges over the
ice. They were thin and short of provisions: their officer was a tall,
stout, middle-aged man. Some months later the natives found the corpses
of thirty persons upon the mainland, and five dead bodies upon a
neighboring island. They described the bodies as mutilated; whence Dr.
Rae inferred that the party had been driven to the horrible resource of
cannibalism. The presence of the bones and feathers of geese, however,
showed that some had survived till the arrival of wild-fowl, about the
end of May. Dr. Rae purchased such articles of the natives as would
best serve to identify their late possessors. All furnished decisive
testimony; but a round silver plate gave peculiarly strong evidence,
bearing as it did the following inscription:--"Sir John Franklin,
K.C.B." The slight clue thus yielded of his fate was the last which
has thus far been obtained; and it will doubtless be the only one till
the Arctic seas give up their dead. The expedition of Dr. Kane had,
however, already sailed from New York.

It was while these events were transpiring that the keel of the mammoth
steam-vessel--known at first as the Great Eastern, and afterwards as
the Leviathan--was laid, at Milwall, on the Thames. We refer the reader
to the engraving on the opposite page for a view of this "village




The Government of the United States forwarded to Dr. Kane, in the
month of December, 1852, an order "to conduct an expedition to the
Arctic Seas in search of Sir John Franklin." The brig Advance was again
placed at his disposal by Mr. Grinnell, and manned by eighteen picked
men. Dr. Kane's plan was to enter Smith's Sound at the top of Baffin's
Bay,--into which, alone of the Arctic explorers, Captain Inglefield
had penetrated in August, 1852, in the Isabel,--to reach, if possible,
the supposed northerly open sea, where he hoped to find traces of the
missing navigators. He sailed from New York on the 30th of May, 1853,
touched at Fiskernaes, in Greenland, on the 1st of July, where he
engaged the services of Hans Cristian, a native Esquimaux of nineteen
years. Through ice and fog the vessel forced her way, and on the 7th of
August doubled Cape Alexander, a promontory opposite another named Cape
Isabella,--the two being the headlands of Smith's Strait, and styled by
Dr. Kane the Arctic Pillars of Hercules.

The vessel closed with the ice again the next day, and was forced
into a land-locked cove. Every effort to force her through the floes
was tried, without success, and, after undergoing the most appalling
treatment from the wind, waves, and ice combined, the brig was warped
into winter quarters, in Rensselaer Bay, on the 22d of August, and was
frozen in on September 10. There she lies to this hour,--"to her a long
resting-place indeed," writes Kane; "for the same ice is around her
still." This was in latitude 78° 37' N.,--the most northerly winter
quarters ever taken by Christians, except in Spitzbergen, which has the
advantage of an insular climate. An observatory was erected, a thermal
register kept hourly, and magnetic observations recorded. Parties were
sent out to establish provision-depôts to the north, to facilitate
researches in the spring. Three depôts or "caches" were made, the
most distant being in latitude 79° 12': in this they deposited six
hundred and seventy pounds of pemmican and forty of meat-biscuit. These
operations were arrested by darkness in November, and the crew prepared
to spend one hundred and forty days without the light of the sun. The
first number of the Arctic newspaper, "The Ice-Blink," appeared on the
21st. The thermometer fell to 67° below zero. Chloroform froze, and
chloric ether became solid. The air had a perceptible pungency upon
inspiration: all inhaled it guardedly and with compressed lips. The 22d
of December brought with it the midnight of the year: the fingers could
not be counted a foot from the eyes. Nothing remained to indicate that
the Arctic world had a sun. The men during this their first winter kept
up their spirits wonderfully; but most of the dogs died of diseases of
the brain brought on by the depressing influences of the darkness.

[Illustration: "CHAOS."]

The first traces of returning light were observed on the 21st of
January, when the southern horizon had a distinct orange tint. Towards
the close of February the sun silvered the tall icebergs between the
headlands of the bay: his rays reached the deck on the 28th, and
perpetual day returned with the month of March. The men found their
faces badly mottled by scurvy-spots, and they were nearly all disabled
for active work. But six dogs remained out of forty-four. "No language
can describe," says Kane, "the chaos at the base of the rock on which
the storehouse had been built. Fragments of ice had been tossed into
every possible confusion, rearing up in fantastic equilibrium, surging
in long inclined planes, dipping into dark valleys, and piling in
contorted hills." A sledge-party was sent out on the 19th to deposit a
relief cargo of provisions; on the 31st, three of its members returned,
swollen, haggard, and almost dumb. They had left four of their number
in a tent, disabled and frozen. Dr. Kane at once started with a rescue
of nine men, and, after an unbroken march of twenty-one hours, came
in sight of a small American flag floating upon a hummock. They were
received with an explosion of welcome. The return with the sledge laden
with the weight of eleven hundred pounds was effected at the expense of
tremendous efforts of energy and endurance.

While still nine miles from their half-way tent, they felt the peculiar
lethargic sensation of extreme cold,--symptoms which Kane compares
to the diffused paralysis of the electro-galvanic shock. Bonsall and
Morton asked permission to go to sleep, at the same time denying that
they were cold. Hans lay down under a drift, and in a few moments was
stiff. An immediate halt was necessary. The tent was pitched, but no
one had the strength to light a fire. They could neither eat nor drink.
The whiskey froze at the men's feet. Kane gave orders to them to take
four hours' rest and then follow him to the half-way tent, where he
would have ready a fire and some thawed pemmican. He then pushed on
with William Godfrey. They were both in a state of stupor, and kept
themselves awake by a continued articulation of incoherent words.
Kane describes these hours as the most wretched he ever went through.
On arriving at the tent, they found that a bear had overturned it,
tossing the pemmican into the snow. They crawled into their reindeer
sleeping-bags and slept for three hours in a dreamy but intense
slumber. On awaking, they melted snow-water and cooked some soup; and
on the arrival of the rest of the party they all took the refreshment
and pushed on towards the brig. Their strength soon failed them again,
and they began to lose their self-control. Kane tried the experiment
of a three minutes' sleep, and, finding that it refreshed him, timed
the men in their turns. Doses of brandy, and, finally, the distant
sight of the brig, revived and encouraged them. The last mile was
accomplished by instinct, as none of the men remembered it afterwards:
they staggered into the cabin delirious and muttering with agony.

[Illustration: WILD DOG TEAM.]

[Illustration: KANE'S OPEN POLAR SEA.]

Death now entered the devoted camp: Jefferson Baker died of lockjaw
on the 7th of April. A meeting with a party of Esquimaux now enabled
Kane to reinforce his dog-team, and encouraged him to start, late
in April, upon his grand sledge-excursion to the north. It failed,
however, completely. Kane became delirious on the 5th of May, and
fainted every time he was taken from the tent to the sledge. He was
conveyed back to the brig, and from the 14th to the 20th lay hovering
between life and death. Short as the expedition was, however, several
remarkable discoveries were made. "Tennyson's Monument" was the name
given to a solitary column of greenstone, four hundred and eighty feet
high, rising from a pedestal two hundred and eighty feet high,--both
as sharply finished as if they had been cast for the Place Vendôme.
But the most wonderful feature was the Great Glacier of Humboldt,--an
ice-ocean of boundless dimensions, in which a complete substitution had
been effected of ice for water. "Imagine," Kane writes, "the centre of
the continent of Greenland occupied through nearly its whole extent by
a deep unbroken sea of ice that gathers perennial increase from the
water-shed of vast snow-covered mountains and all the precipitations of
the atmosphere upon its own surface. Imagine this moving onward like a
great glacial river, seeking outlets at every fiord and valley, rolling
icy cataracts into the Atlantic and Greenland seas, and, having at last
reached the northern limit of the land that has borne it up, pouring
out a mighty frozen torrent into unknown Arctic space.... Here was a
plastic, moving, semi-solid mass, obliterating life, swallowing rocks
and islands, and ploughing its way with irresistible march through the
crust of an investing sea."

Other sledge-parties were from time to time sent out. One of six men
left the brig on the 3d of June, keeping to the north and reaching
Humboldt Glacier on the 15th. Four returned to the ship on the 27th,
one of them entirely blind. Hans Christian and William Morton kept
on, and finally, in north latitude 81° 22', sighted open water,--an
open Polar sea. To the cape at which the land terminated Morton gave
the name of Cape Constitution. A lofty peak on the opposite side of
the channel, but a little farther to the north, and the most remote
northern land known upon our globe, was named Mount Edward Parry, from
the great pioneer of Arctic travel.

A second winter now stared the explorers in the face. "It is
horrible," says Kane, "to look forward to another year of disease and
darkness, without fresh food or fuel." Still, preparations were made
for the direful extremity. Willow-stems and sorrel were collected
as antiscorbutics. Lumps of turf, frozen solid, were quarried with
crowbars, and with them the ship's sides were embanked. During the
early months a communication was kept up with the nearest Esquimaux
station, seventy-five miles distant, and thus scanty supplies of fox,
walrus, seal, and bear meat were occasionally obtained. These failed,
however, during the months of total darkness. Early in February, Kane
wrote in his journal:--"We are contending at odds with angry forces
close around us, without one agent or influence within eighteen hundred
miles whose sympathy is on our side." On the 4th of March, the last
fragment of fresh meat was served, and the whole crew would have
perished miserably of starvation, had it not been for the successful
issue of a forlorn-hope excursion to the Etah Esquimaux station
undertaken by Hans and two dogs. Dr. Kane ate rats, and thereby escaped
the scurvy. The bunks were warmed by oil-lamps, after the Esquimaux
fashion: the beds and the men's faces became in consequence black and
greasy with soot. The sufferings endured by the party were perhaps the
most dreadful to which Arctic adventurers have ever been subjected.

The abandonment of the brig had been resolved upon before the setting
in of winter, and the misery of the hours of darkness had been in
some measure alleviated by the progress of the preparations for that
event,--in making clothing, canvas moccasins, seal-hide boots, and
in cutting water-tight shoes from the gutta-percha speaking-tube.
Provision-bags were made of sail-cloth rendered impervious by coats
of tar. Into these the bread was pressed by beating it to powder with
a capstan-bar. Pork-fat and tallow were melted down and poured into
other bags to freeze. The three boats--none of them sea-worthy--were
strengthened, housed, and mounted on sledges rigged with shoulder-belts
to drag by: one of them they expected to burn for fuel on reaching
water. The powder and shot, upon which their lives depended, were
distributed in canisters: Kane took the percussion-caps into his own
possession, as more precious than gold. The 17th of May was fixed upon
for the departure.

The farewell to the brig was made with due solemnity. The day was
Sunday, and prayers and a chapter of the Bible were read. Kane then
stated in an address the necessities under which the ship was abandoned
and the dangers that still awaited them. He believed, however, that
the thirteen hundred miles of ice and water which lay between them and
North Greenland could be traversed with safety for most and hope for
all. A brief memorial of the reasons compelling the desertion of the
vessel was fastened to a stanchion near the gangway, to serve as their
vindication in case they were lost and the brig was ever visited. The
flags were hoisted and hauled down again, and the men scrambled off
over the ice to the boats, no one thinking of the mockery of cheers.

[Illustration: SEEKING EIDER DOWN.]

We have not space to detail the perils, adventures, and narrow escapes
from starvation of this hardy party in their romantically dangerous
escape to the south. On the 16th of June, the boats and sledges
approached the open water. "We see its deep-indigo horizon," writes
Kane, "and hear its roar against the icy beach. Its scent is in our
nostrils and our hearts." The boats, which were split with frost and
warped by sunshine, had to be calked and swelled before they were fit
for use. The embarkation was effected on the 19th: the Red Eric, the
smallest of the three boats, swamped the first day. They spent their
first night in an inlet in the ice. Sometimes they would sail through
creeks of water for many successive hours: then would follow days of
weary tracking through alternate ice and water. During a violent storm,
they dragged the boats upon a narrow shelf of ice, and found themselves
within a cave which myriads of eider had made their breeding-ground.
They remained three days in this crystal retreat, and gathered three
thousand eggs. They doubled Cape Dudley Digges on the 11th of June,
and spent a week at Providence Halt, luxuriating on a dish composed
of birds sweeter and juicier than canvas-backs and a salad made of
raw eggs and cochlearia. The coast now trended to the east; the wide
expanse of Melville Bay lay between them and Upernavik,--that Danish
outpost of civilization. The party was at one moment in the actual
agonies of starvation, when a lucky shot at a sleeping seal saved them
from the dreaded extremity. They soon saw a kayak--a native boat--in
which one Paul Zacharias was seeking eider-down among the islands.
Not long after, the single mast of a small shallop--the Upernavik
oil-boat--loomed up through the fog. They landed the next day in the
midst of a crowd of children, and drank coffee that night before
hospitable Danish firesides.


A Danish vessel--the Mariane--was to return to Denmark on the 4th of
September, and at that date Kane and his party embarked on board of
her, the captain engaging to drop them at the Shetland Islands. On the
11th they arrived at Godhavn, and there, at the very moment of their
final departure, Captain Hartstene's relief-squadron was sighted in the
offing. With the rescue of the adventurers closes our record of Arctic
peril and discovery.

Dr. Kane fell a victim to his zeal in the arduous paths of science. He
died, on the 16th of February, 1857, at Havana, where he was seeking to
recuperate his debilitated system beneath a tropical sun. His loss was
sincerely lamented by the whole country. No commander was ever better
fitted by nature for the task confided to him; and no historian ever
chronicled the results of his own labors in language more enthralling
or in a style more commanding and picturesque.[A]

In the summer of 1857, an attempt to unite the two hemispheres by means
of a submerged electric cable was made under the auspices of the New
York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company, assisted by vessels
furnished by the Governments of Great Britain and the United States.
Of this undertaking--unsuccessful as it was, and fresh as it is in the
minds of all--our account will properly be brief. The idea was first
conceived in the year 1853, in America, and was earnestly pursued in
defiance of all obstacles,--Cyrus H. Field, Esq., Vice-President of the
Company, being one of its most zealous and indefatigable champions.
Surveys and deep-sea explorations, made by Captain Berryman, U.S.N.,
in the Dolphin and Arctic, in 1853 and 1856, resulted in the discovery
of a submarine ledge or prairie, at a depth varying from two to two
and a half miles, extending from Cape Race, in Newfoundland, to Cape
Clear, in Ireland. This tract received the name of the Telegraphic
Plateau. Lieutenant Maury, of the National Observatory, inferred,
from observations made in the Atlantic during a long series of years,
that both sea and air would be in the most favorable condition for
laying the wire between the 20th of July and the 10th of August. The
telegraphic fleet consisted of the U.S. steam-frigate Niagara, Captain
Hudson, to lay the first half of the cable from Valentia Bay, in
Ireland, of H.B.M. steamer Agamemnon, to lay the second half of the
cable, and of six other auxiliary steamers of both nations.


The Niagara commenced shipping the cable from the factory at
Birkenhead, near Liverpool, late in June, and completed the work in
somewhat less than a month. The share of each of the two vessels was
twelve hundred and fifty miles of wire,--the wire itself being an
elaborate combination of fine copper strands and gutta-percha coatings.
The whole fleet was assembled in Valentia Bay on the 4th of August. The
Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland was already upon the ground, the guest of
the Knight of Kerry. The next evening, the shore-end of the cable was
hauled from the stern of the Niagara to shallow water by an attendant
tug named the Willing Mind, and from thence taken ashore, in the midst
of the cheers of the spectators, by a boat's crew of American sailors.
The expedition set sail on Thursday, the 6th. It was understood that
the first message was to be the following, from Queen Victoria to
President Buchanan:--"Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace and
good-will towards men."

[Illustration: LANDING THE CABLE.]

All went on favorably for several days: a constant communication was
kept up between the Niagara and the shore. At four o'clock on the
following Tuesday, the signals suddenly ceased. The return of the
squadron confirmed the fears entertained: the cable had broken in deep
water. Three hundred and thirty-five nautical miles had been laid, and
the last half of it in water over two miles in depth. The Niagara was
making at the time four miles an hour, and the cable running out at
a greater speed,--from five to six miles an hour. This was more than
could be afforded, and the retard strain upon the brakes was increased
to three thousand pounds. The cable bore the augmented pressure for a
time, but finally parted, to the dismay of the whole fleet. The vessels
returned to England; and the enterprise was abandoned for another year.
Though thus postponed, little or no doubt existed upon its ultimate
success. The exhilarating triumph which eventually attended the efforts
of the Company will form the subject of the next chapter.

[Illustration: A HOLLOW WAVE.]




The Atlantic Telegraph Company, undeterred by their failure to lay the
cable in 1857, resolved to make another attempt in the summer of the
following year, the American and English Governments again placing the
Niagara and the Agamemnon at their disposal. It was decided, however,
in order to lessen the chances of unfavorable weather, that the
two vessels should proceed to mid-ocean, should there splice their
respective ends of the wire, and that the Agamemnon should then steam
to Valentia Harbor and the Niagara to Trinity Bay. They were each
furnished with an ingenious contrivance for paying out the cable,--the
invention of Mr. Everett, of the United States Navy. June was the
month selected, and the ships departed upon their errand. They were
absent much longer than was expected, in the event of a successful
accomplishment of their purpose. When they returned to Queenstown,
it was to tell of storm, disaster, and failure. Still undaunted, the
Company again dispatched the ships. The Niagara and Agamemnon met in
mid-ocean on the 28th of July: the splice was effected, and the task
began. The Niagara had eight hundred and eighty-two miles to sail, and
eleven hundred miles of cable; the Agamemnon, with the same quantity of
cable, had but eight hundred and thirteen miles to sail. The Niagara
had three hundred tons of coal, the Agamemnon five hundred. At one
o'clock the wire began to reel over the stern of the Niagara, westward
and homeward bound.

The following engraving will give a correct idea of the manner in which
the cable is formed. The core, or conductor, is composed of seven
copper wires wound tightly together.


  1. Wire--eighteen strands, seven to an inch.
  2. Six strands of yarn.
  3. Gutta percha, three coats.
  4. Conducting wires, seven in number.
  5. Section of the cable, eleven-sixteenths of an inch in diameter.]

The flexibility of this cable is so great that it may be tied in a knot
round the arm without injury. Its weight is eighteen hundred and sixty
pounds to the mile, and its strength such that six miles of it may be
suspended vertically in water of that depth without breaking.

"The sea is smooth,"--we quote the extremely interesting journal of an
eye-witness[3], writing upon the first day,--"the barometer well up;
and, if we can only do for the next seven days as well as we have done
since one o'clock, we shall be at Newfoundland by the 5th of August,
and in New York some time between the 15th and 20th of the same month.
But we have been somewhat too hasty in our calculations, for our ship
has just slowed down, and the propeller has ceased working for the last
ten minutes. There must be something wrong to cause this interruption.
Let us take a look at the machine. The cable still goes out, which
certainly would not be the case if it had parted. Ah! the continuity!
That's it: there's where the difficulty lies; and, as the electricians
are the only parties who can inform us on that point, we at once go
in search of them. A visit to their office explains the whole matter.
The continuity is not gone altogether, but is defective,--so defective
that it is impossible to get a signal through the cable. Still, there
is not 'dead earth' upon it, and all hope, therefore, is not lost. When
dead earth, as it is termed, is on the conductor, then, indeed, the
difficulty is beyond remedy; for it shows that the conductor must be
broken and is thrown under the influence of terrestrial magnetism. But
the continuity is not gone; and, although with darkening prospects, we
are still safe while it remains, imperfect as it is. It would be absurd
to say that the occurrence was not discouraging: it was painfully so;
for the hopes of some of us had really begun to revive, and we were
gaining confidence every hour. Now nothing could be done. We must wait
until the continuity should return or take its final departure. And
it did return, and with greater strength than ever. At ten minutes
past nine P.M., the electrician on duty observed its failing, and at
half-past eleven he had the gratifying intelligence for us that it was
'all right again.' The machinery was once more set in motion, the cable
was soon going out at the rate of six miles an hour, and the electrical
signals were passing between the ships as regularly as if nothing had
occurred to interfere with or interrupt the continuity."

The change of the wire from the forward main-deck coil to that on
the deck immediately below, on the third day, is thus described, the
operation being a most delicate and perilous one:--"At least an hour
before the change was made, the outer boundaries of the circle in which
the cable lay was literally crowded with men; and never was greater
interest manifested in any spectacle than that which they exhibited in
the proceedings before them. There were serious doubts and misgivings
as to the successful performance of this important part of the work;
and these only served to increase the feeling of anxiety and suspense
with which they silently and breathlessly await the critical moment.
The last flake has been reached, and as turn after turn leaves the
circle every eye is intently fixed on the cable. Now there are but
thirty turns remaining; and, as the first of these is unwound, Mr.
Everett, who has been in the circle during the last half-hour, gives
the order to the engineer on duty to 'slow down.' In a few moments
there is a perceptible diminution in the speed, which continues
diminishing till it has reached the rate of about two miles an hour.

"'Look out now, men,' says Mr. Everett, in his usual quiet,
self-possessed way. The men are as thoroughly wide-awake as they can
be, and are waiting eagerly for the moment when they shall lift the
bight, or bend, of the cable and deliver it out safely. One of the
planks in the side of the cone has been loosened, and, just as they
are about taking the cable in their hands, it is removed altogether;
so that, as the last yard passes out of the now empty circle, the line
commences paying out from the circle below, or the 'orlop' deck, as it
is called. The men--who are no other than the coilers, or 'Knights of
the Black Hand,' as they have not inappropriately been termed--have
done their work well; and the applause with which they have been
greeted by the crowd of admiring spectators is the most gratifying
testimony they can receive of the fact. They have hardly passed the
cable out of the circle before they are received with as enthusiastic a
demonstration of approval as the rules of the navy will permit.

"Confidence is growing stronger,"--this is the fourth day,--"and there
is considerable speculation as to the time we shall reach Newfoundland.
The pilot who is to bring us into Trinity Bay is now in great repute,
and is becoming a more important personage every day. We are really
beginning to have strong hopes that his services will be called into
requisition and that in the course of a few days more we will be in
sight of land. But the sea is not at all so smooth as it was the day
before: it is, in fact, so rough as to favor the belief that there must
have been a severe gale a short time since in these latitudes. The
condition of the vessel is such as to alarm us greatly for the safety
of the cable should it come on to blow very hard, as the large amount
already paid out and the quantity of coal consumed have lightened her
so much as to render her rather uneasy in a heavy sea. The wind is
increasing, and, although it has not yet attained the magnitude of a
gale, it is blowing rather fresh for us in the present unsettled state
of our minds. Both wind and sea are nearly abeam; and the rolling
motion which the latter creates brings a strain upon the cable which
gives rise to the most unpleasant feelings. The sea, too, seems to
be getting worse every minute, and strikes the slender wire with all
its force. Every surge of the ship affects it; and as it cuts through
each wave it makes a small white line of foam to mark its track. The
sight of that thread-like wire battling with the sea produces a feeling
somewhat akin to that with which you would watch the struggles of a
drowning man whom you have not the power of assisting. You can only
look on and trust either that the sea will go down or that the cable
may be able to resist the force of the waves successfully. Of the
former there is very little prospect, but of the latter there is every
reason for hope. The contest has been going on now for several hours,
and there is no more sign of the cable parting than when it commenced.
The electricians report the continuity perfect; and the signals which
are received at intervals from the Agamemnon show that that vessel is
getting along with her part of the work in admirable style. What more
can we desire?"

An incident occurring upon the fifth day is thus described:--"I have
said that, despite the bad weather and heavy sea, the paying-out
process was going on well; but during the night the continuity was
again affected; and although it was restored and became as strong as
ever, yet it was for about three hours a very unpleasant affair. It
was subsequently found that the difficulty was caused by a defect of
insulation in a part of the wardroom coil, which was cut out in time
to prevent any serious consequences. There were only a few on board
the ship, however, aware of the occurrence until after the defect was
removed and the electrical communication was re-established between
the two ships. Both Mr. Laws and Mr. De Santy--the two electricians
on the Niagara--were of the opinion that the insulation was broken in
some part of the wardroom coil; and, on using the tests for the purpose
of ascertaining the precise point, they found that it was about sixty
miles from the bottom of that coil, and between three or four hundred
from the part which was then paying out. The cable was immediately cut
at this point and spliced to a deck coil of ninety miles, which it
was intended to reserve for laying in shallow water and was therefore
kept for Trinity Bay. About four o'clock in the morning the continuity
was finally restored, and all was going on as well as if nothing had
occurred to disturb the confidence we felt in the success of the

Upon the sixth day--the 3d of August, the anniversary of the day upon
which Columbus sailed from Palos--the great work took place of the
change from "the fore-hold coil to that in the wardroom, which are at
least two hundred feet apart. This occurred at eight o'clock in the
morning; and, as the time was known to all on board, there was even
a larger crowd assembled to witness it than I observed at any of the
other changes. It was considered a most critical time; and, although
the operation turned out to be very simple, it was anticipated by some
with considerable uneasiness. The splice between the two coils had
been made some hours in advance, and men were stationed all along the
line of its course from the hold to the wardroom. Mr. Everett and Mr.
Woodhouse were both on hand; the best men had been picked out to pass
up the bight, when the last turn should be reached; and one man, named
Henry Paine, a splicer, was specially appointed to walk forward with
the bight to the after or wardroom coil. As the last flake was about
to be paid out the ship was slowed down, and by the time the last
three or four turns came to be paid out she could hardly be said to be
moving through the water. The line came up more slowly from the hold,
until we were nearing the bight, where it could not have been going out
faster than half a mile an hour. One more turn and the bight comes up.
There is not a sound to be heard from the crowd who are watching it
with eager and anxious faces from every point of view. No one speaks,
or has ventured to speak for the last minute, except the engineers,
and they have very little to say, for their orders are conveyed in
the most laconic style; and the quick 'ay, ay!' of the men show that
they understand the full value of time. 'Now, men,' says Mr. Everett,
'look out for the bight,' as those in the hold hand it up to the men
on the orlop deck, and it is passed from hand to hand till it reaches
the platform and long passage which has been built upon the spar-deck
for this part of the work. Here the bight arrives at last, and Paine
takes it in his hand, paying out as he follows the line of the cable
to the wardroom coil. How anxiously the men watch him as he walks that
terrible distance of two hundred feet, and think that if he should
happen to trip or stumble while he holds that bight in his hand the
great enterprise may end in disaster! It is not a difficult task; but
how often have things that are so easily performed been defeated by
want of coolness! There is, however, such an easy self-possession about
the man, as he comes slowly aft with the long black line, that inspires
confidence. All hands have deserted the decks below, and follow him as
he walks aft, and one, in his impatience to get a glimpse of him, has
nearly fallen through the skylight of the engine-room, in which he has
smashed several panes of glass in the effort to save himself. 'Pick up
the pieces,' says Paine, in a vein of quiet humor, as he proceeds on
his course without interruption, and, coming up to the wheel, which
is immediately above the wardroom, he straightens the bight, and the
cable begins to run out from the top of the coil on the deck beneath.
His work is done; and, as the line passes out of his hands, he receives
a round of applause from the hands of the spectators, who, but for
those terrible navy rules, would have greeted him with a cheer that
would have done his heart good. As it is, they must give vent to their
feelings in some way; and the exclamations of 'Well done!' 'That's
the fellow!' 'Good boy, Paine!' are not a bad compromise, after all.
Besides, it might be rather premature at this time to indulge in any
triumphant expression of feeling before we are even in sight of land."

Upon the seventh day land was discovered from the mast-head. "It is now
half-past two o'clock, and we are entering Trinity Bay at a speed of
seven and a half knots an hour, paying out the cable at a very slight
increase on the same rate. The curve which it forms between the ship
and the water proves that there is little or no strain upon it, and
proves also another thing,--that it can be run out at eight, nine, and,
I believe, ten miles with the greatest safety. This, however, as I have
previously stated, cannot be done with old cable that has been coiled
so often as to have a tendency to kink; and there is--as has been
already intimated--some of this kind which we shall be obliged to pay
out before landing. A signal signifying 'all well' has been received
from the Agamemnon, which must now be on the point of landing her cable
at Valentia Bay, Ireland, which is about sixteen hundred and forty
miles from our present position."


At eight o'clock in the evening, while the Niagara was proceeding
up Trinity Bay and was yet some eighteen miles distant from the
landing-place, Mr. Field left the ship for the purpose of visiting the
telegraph station and sending a despatch to the United States. "It was
near two o'clock in the morning before he arrived at the beach; and,
as it was quite dark, he had considerable difficulty in finding the
path that led up to the station. There was no house in sight, and the
whole scene was as dreary and as desolate as a wilderness at night
could be. A silence as of the grave reigned over every thing before
him; while behind, at a distance of a mile, he could see the huge hull
of the Niagara looming up indistinctly through the gloom of night, and
the light of the lamps on her deck making the darkness still darker
and blacker by the contrast. He entered the narrow road, and after a
journey of what appeared to be twenty miles he came in sight of the
station, which stands about half a mile from the beach. There was,
however, no sign of life there; and the house in its stillness looked
strangely in unison with every thing around. It had a deserted look,
as if it had long since ceased to be the habitation of man. In vain he
looked for a door in the front; but there was no entrance there. He
looked up at the windows, in the hope, perhaps, of being able to enter
by that way; but the windows in the lower story were beyond his reach;
and the house, having been partly built on piles, had the appearance
of being raised on stilts. A detour of the establishment, however, led
to the discovery of a door in the side; and through this he finally
succeeded in effecting an entrance. The noise he made in getting in,
it was natural to expect, would arouse the inmates; but there seemed
either to be no inmates to arouse, or those inmates were not easily
disturbed. He stopped for a moment to listen, and as he listened he
heard the breathing of sleepers in an apartment near him. The door
was immediately thrown open, and in a few seconds the sleepers were
awake,--wide awake, and opening their eyes wider and wider as the
wonderful news fell upon their astonished and delighted ears. They
could hardly believe the evidence of their senses, and were bewildered
at what they heard. The cable laid, when, but a few short weeks before,
they had received the news of disaster and defeat, and they had looked
only to the far-distant future for the accomplishment of the great
work! The cable laid, and they unconscious of it!--they, who had waited
and watched so many weary days and weeks for the ships they had begun
to believe would never come! And they were now in the bay,--those same
ships,--within a mile of them! Can they be dreaming? Dreaming! No. What
they have heard is true,--all true; and there is the living witness
before them.

"'What do you want?" was the exclamation of the first who was awakened,
as he endeavored to rub the sleep out of his eyes.

"'I want you to get up," said Mr. Field, "and help us to take the cable

"'To take the cable ashore?" re-echoed the others, who were now just
awakening, and who heard the words with a dim, dreamy idea of their
meaning; 'to take the cable ashore?'

"'Yes,' said Mr. Field; 'and we want you at once.'

"They were now thoroughly aroused; and, directing Mr. Field to the
bedrooms of the other sleepers,--for there were four or five others
in the house,--they prepared themselves with all haste to assist in
landing the cable. Mr. Field found that the telegraph office would not
be open till nine o'clock that morning, and that the operator of the
New York, Newfoundland, and London telegraph was absent at the time.
He also ascertained that the nearest station at which he could find an
operator was fifteen miles distant, and that the only way of getting
there was on foot. Now, fifteen miles in Newfoundland is about equal
to twice the distance in a civilized country, and is a tolerably long
walk; but it was something to be the bearer of such news to a whole
continent, and so two of the young men willingly volunteered for the
journey, bearing with them, for transmission to New York and the whole
United States, the despatch which contained the first announcement of
the successful accomplishment of the work."

Upon the eighth day the cable was landed, the ships being dressed with
flags in honor of the occasion. Sixty men from the Niagara, and forty
from the British ships Gorgon and Porcupine, took part in this task
and the attendant ceremonies. "The landing-place for the cable is a
very picturesque little beach, on which a wharf has been constructed.
A road, about the dimensions of a bridle-path, has been cut through
the forest, and up this road, through bog and mire, you find your way
to the telegraph station, about half a mile distant. Alongside of this
road a trench has been dug for the cable, to preserve it from accidents
to which it might otherwise be liable.

"When the boats arrived at the landing, the officers and men jumped
ashore, and Mr. North, first lieutenant of the Niagara, presented
Captain Hudson with the end of the cable. Captain Otter, of the
Porcupine, and Commander Dayman, of the Gorgon, now took hold of it,
and, all the officers and men following their example, a procession
was formed along the line. The road or path over which we had to take
the cable was a most primitive affair. It led up the side of a hill a
couple of hundred feet high, and had been cut out of the thick forest
of pines and other evergreens. In some places the turf--which is to
be found here on the top of the highest mountains--was so soft with
recent rains that you would sink to your ankles in it. Well, it was up
this road we had to march with the cable; and a splendid time we had.
It was but reasonable to suppose that the three captains who headed
the procession would certainly pick out the best parts and give us
the advantage of the stepping-stones; but it appeared all the same
to them; and they plunged into the boggiest and dirtiest parts with
a recklessness and indifference that satisfied us they were about
the worst pilots we could have had on land, despite their well-known
abilities as navigators.

"This memorable procession started at a quarter to six o'clock, and
arrived at the telegraph station about twenty minutes after. The ascent
of the hill was the worst part of the journey; but when we got to
the top the scene which opened before us would have repaid us for a
journey of twenty miles over a still worse road. There beneath us lay
the harbor, shut in by mountains, except at the entrance from Trinity
Bay; and there, too, lay the steamers of the two greatest maritime
nations of the world. On every side lies an unbroken wilderne