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of mean monopolists in the Hanse Towns, from embarking for Muscovy in quest of fortune. *

After a toilsome journey of 1500 miles, Chancellor reached the czarian residence of Moscow, which he and his companions estimated to be of the size of the city of London with its suburbs. † The capture of Narva had then procured for the Russians some means of communication with Europe, through the Baltic, which brought to the court of Ivan other foreign envoys besides the English mariner. Among them was. Possevino, an Italian Jesuit sent by pope Gregory XIII., and Sigismund baron Hirberstein, ambassadors to Ivan from Charles V. and his successor Ferdinand.

The full account of Muscovy which we owe to these early travellers agrees remarkably with the simple but more descriptive narratives of Chancellor and his successors. The czar esteemed the friendship of Elizabeth, who paid court to him, and offered to him an asylum in her dominions if the hostility of his subjects or his neighbours should render it desirable. He granted ample privileges to the English traders, and expressed a warm desire to wed an English lady from the number of the queen's kinswomen. Though Elizabeth had not always been gentle to the ladies of her blood, she would not assuredly have doomed the most obnoxious of them to a fate so much more cruel than death. § Some of the favours granted to an English ambassador will afford a specimen of the administration. "Leave for Richard Transham, an Englishman, the czar's apothecary, to go home with his wife and pro

L'Evesque, Hist. de Russie, iii. 162.

+ Hakluyt, 284.

The agreement of Chancellor with the excellent summary of the travels of Herberstein and Possevino,which DeThou has left us, is, in one particular, deserving of notice. The absolute power of Ivan appears to have been founded on the almost divine honour in which the czar was holden. "For," says De Thou, "such is the insane slavishness of the nation, that they believe every man who dies in a state of fidelity to the czar to be a religious martyr, as worthy of future happiness as those who put their trust in Christ." -Thuani Hist. Ixxi. 8, 9. Possevini, Moscovia, 1578. Herberstein Rerum Moscoit, Comment. 1558.

The Russian ambassador particularly named lady Mary Hastings. It was thought proper that she should allege the excuse of the feebleness of her frame, which unfitted her for such journeys. Hakluyt. 449.

perty; the same permission to Richard Elmes, a surgeon, and to Jane Richards, the widow of Bommell, a Dutch physician, who was roasted to death in the city of Moscow, in 1579."*

The attempts of the navigators to push their voyages far to the eastward appear to have closed in disappointment. But by the conquests of the Mahometan principalities of Casan and Astracan, on the Volga, Ivan became master of the Caspian; which opened a new course for English adventure towards regions renowned for their ancient wealth. Anthony Jenkinson employed thirty-six years of his life in journeys and voyages so extensive and various, that it is difficult to understand how any man in an age when languages and geography were so little known, could have accomplished them. His travels stretched from Algiers to the northern extremity of Russia, and from London, by Moscow, to Persia; and through that country to Bokhara on the Sogd; to say nothing of all the countries of Europe. With the difficulties which remained to be overcome, if he had completed his design by advancing to China or to India, it is unlikely that he should have been fully acquainted. The existence of a traveller so enterprising, so persevering, and necessarily so intelligent, - the extent and judicious selection of his objects and means, would of themselves be sufficient to show the nature and force of the impulse which was at that period communicated to the English mind.

The same national movement produced the attempts to find a north-west passage to the treasures of the East. A settlement on Newfoundland facilitated these efforts. Sir Humphrey Gilbert, the elder brother of sir Walter Raleigh, was the most zealous supporter of schemes for pursuing discovery through the seas which he thought open to the north of America. In 1567 Martin Frobisher, in two barks of twenty-five tons each, discovered the inward sea, called Hudson's Bay. About ten years afterwards he made two successive voyages into the same * Hakluyt, 499. 1546-1572. Hakluyt, 436.

seas, with a more considerable force, but with less accession to geography, and with expectations of a treasure which proved to be imaginary.* Sir Humphrey Gilbert himself, in 1583, undertook the command of a voyage of discovery, but it proved fruitless and disastrous. The largest ship deserted, under pretence of a contagious disease. The ship called the Admiral was lost in a storm at sea, which induced him to turn his course to England. In defiance of advice he chose to hoist his flag in a small vessel of ten tons, in which he continued to the last. In the last communication with him, during a tempest in which the sea rolled mountains high, he called out to the commander of a larger vessel in company, 66 We are as near heaven at sea as on land." A little afterwards, in the same evening, it was observed from the Golden Hind, that the lights of sir Humphrey's little bark suddenly went out. "The watch of the Golden Hind," cried the general, " is cast away;" which proved too true: -no further tidings of him or of his bark were ever heard.t In 1585, and in the following year, the course of discovery was resumed by John Davis, in two very small vessels, with forty-one men, who entered the great northern sea, somewhat improperly called from his name Davis's Straits. To pursue these voyages further would be foreign to the present purpose. No reader of this age needs to be informed, that a series of voyages, honourable to British seamen, have nearly demonstrated the northern communication between the western and eastern seas of America; and have also checked human presumption, by showing, with almost equal certainty, that, in the present state of knowledge, that communication cannot be turned into a road for commercial navigation. But the patience under suffering, and the perseverance after disappointment, the hardihood, and skill, and calmness displayed by these early mariners, throw the strongest light on the value of that school in

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which the commanders and seamen of the English navy were then formed.

We must now turn to those more impure channels into which no small portion of the nautical enterprizes of that age flowed. The number of pirates who then swarmed in the British seas may be in some degree estimated from the facility with which Bothwell collected them at Shetland; a station to which they flocked on account of its remoteness from legal authority. The records of the privy council show the same multiplication of sea-robbers more distinctly, from 1570 to 1575; when twenty-two piratical cases were the subject of proceedings in that body. In the next five years the numbers were more than doubled. Their decrease in subsequent years must be ascribed to enlistment in naval expeditions against the American Spaniards, where they continued to exercise their former profession, but with some accession of dignity from the grandeur of the object. The expeditions of John Hawkins, a gentleman of Devonshire, afford a melancholy instance of the fortitude of a seaman dishonoured by application to the purposes of a criminal. His own account of his slaving expeditions on the west coast of Africa will, better than any other words, characterise the deeds of blood which were long, by a prostitution of terms, called by the respectable name of trade. He begins by bewailing (as sportsmen sometimes complain of the scarcity or shyness of game) that he was not able to catch above 150 negroes; whose countrymen had, it seems, the insolence to kill and wound some of his crew. In this difficulty,


a negroe came to us, sent by a negroe king oppressed by other kings his neighbours, desiring our aid, with a promise, that as many negroes as might by these wars be obtained should be at our pleasure. I went myself, and with the assistance of the king of our side assaulted the town by land and sea, and very hardly with fire (the huts being covered with dry palm leaves), and out of 8000 souls, seized 250 persons, men, women, and children."*

*Hakluyt, 553.

The sale of these slaves to the inhabitants of Spanish America, who were forbidden to trade with foreigners, was accomplished by fraud or by arms.

The immense extent of coast of the thinly peopled territories of Spain in America, which the whole naval force of the world would have been insufficient to guard, opened facilities for contraband trade, which produced the natural effect on the adventurous and hardy mariners of England. A hatred against Spain was deeply rooted in the nation who had so cruelly suffered under Philip and Mary. The two governments, as we have seen, began gradually to manifest more hostile feelings towards each other. Men of lawless character scarcely thought seriously of the principle of international law, which enjoins the members of a community to offer no violence to the members of another, as long as the two states are at peace: and this sort of refined jurisprudence was deemed more inapplicable to the barbarous regions where Europeans often met. Two centuries after this period, the French and English East India companies continued to carry on war, after their sovereigns had concluded peace. In the time of Elizabeth the example of private war was not forgotten; and the frequency of piracy seems to indicate that hostilities by sea were not regarded as subject to the same strict rules with those on land. The encroachments on the Spanish colonies were made on plausible grounds, and by slow degrees. The Dutch and English ships were first content with trade, and the colonists, whom they supplied cheaply and plentifully with European commodities, received them. They entered a harbour under allegations, generally false, of needing water, provisions, or repairs. They set forth the amity of the two sovereigns as a sufficient reason for expecting hospitality. When by this fair language they had won their way into a haven, if they were stronger than the inhabitants of the town, they generally ended with the most atrocious acts of rapine and murder. The complaints of a Spanish viceroy reached Madrid slowly. The negotiations for

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