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anxious and mindful about his missing ships, thought too good an opportunity to interest the captain of her in his search for them, and therefore entreated him to take charge of a letter he had written, of which the following is a copy:

"MASTER WINTER, if it pleaseth God that you should chance to meete with the ship of Sant John de Auton, I pray you use him well, according to my word and promise given unto them; and if you want any thing that is in this ship of Sant John de Auton, I pray you pay them double the value for it, which I will satisfie againe, and command your men not to doe her any hurt; and what composition or agreement we have made, at my return into England, I will by God's helpe performe; although I am in doubt that this letter will never come to your hands: notwithstanding, I am the man I have promised to be, beseeching God, the Saviour of all the world, to have us in his keeping, to whome onely I give all honour, praise, and glory.

"What I have written is not only to you, Master Winter, but also to M. Thomas, M. Charles, M. Caube, and M. Anthonie, with all our other good friends, whom I commit to the tuition of him that, with his blood, redeemed us, and am in good hope that we shall be in no more trouble, but that he will helpe us in adversitie, desiring you, for the

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passion of Christ, if you fall into any danger, that you will not despaire of God's mercy, for he will defend you and preserve you from all danger, and bring us to our desired haven, to whom be all honour, glory, and praise, for ever and ever. Amen. "Your sorrow full captain, whose heart is heavy




* Hakluyt.}




Drake proceeds to the Northward-A North-East Passage round America suggested-Intense cold-Interview with the natives of the west coast of North America-Takes possession of New Albion in the Queen's name-Crosses the Pacific to the Moluccas-Calls at Java-Voyage home.

WHILE Drake's little bark of 100 tons, which had sustained so many perils and adventures, was undergoing a complete refit at Aguapulca, he was anxiously revolving in his mind the next step it would best behove him to pursue. His ship was already nearly laden with treasure alone; in addition to this, he was about to take in stores and provisions for a voyage of uncertain duration, but which, in its extent, whatever track he might pursue, was nearly equal to half the circumference of the globe. If he returned the way he had advanced hitherto, he would have to repass Magelhaen's Strait; for Cape Horn, which is now the usual route, had never yet been doubled; and the Spaniards had industriously given it out that a return by them, from the westward, was next to impossible; and

little therefore could he suppose that one of his own inferior ships had actually so repassed them. Besides, he wisely considered that his voyage, and the fame of his exploits, must have reached Spain, or at all events be well known throughout her Indian colonies, and that the natural consequence would be, the sending a fleet to guard the entrance of the Strait, a preparation for which turned out to be actually the case.


What then was the next thing to be considered? The people began to manifest signs of uneasiness. Being now sufficiently rich," says Dr. Johnson, "and having lost all hopes of finding their associates, and perhaps beginning to be infected with that desire of ease and pleasure, which is the natural consequence of wealth obtained by dangers and fatigues, they began to consult about their return home." But Drake required not much time to make up his mind. Columbus thought that by sailing westward he should arrive at the Indies; Cabot had found no difficulty in reaching Newfoundland; Sir Hugh Willoughby had attempted a North East passage to the Indies, and Drake had seen the two great oceans united at the southern extremity of America! Why then should not the Pacific and Atlantic be also united on the northern part of America?

This was the obvious and natural conclusion; but Drake had stronger grounds to go upon than


mere theoretical conjectures. Various papers from learned cosmographers had endeavoured to prove that a communication existed between the Northern Atlantic and the Pacific, and Martin Frobisher, the friend, and subsequently the colleague, of Drake, had actually made the attempt, and returned at the end of 1576, a whole year before Drake left England, "highly commended of all men for his greate and notable attempt, but specially famous for the greate hope he brought of the passage to Cathaia.'

Drake therefore-perhaps encouraged by the greate hope of the passage"-boldly resolved to try whether he could not reach home by proceeding in a contrary direction, that is to say, by that of North East. He failed in the attempt; but so did Cook, or rather the survivors of Cook, fail in the same pursuit in after times; but his friend Frobisher's anticipations may yet one day be realized.

It has now been proved, beyond a doubt, that there is a clear water communication between the Northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, with the partial intervention of patches of ice in some parts of the mid-sea, and perhaps not much there. The openings at the two extremities in Baffin's Bay and Behring's Strait have been passed, and the remaining parts, as seen from every portion of the high sea-shore of North America, consist of an * Frobisher's Voyage.

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