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gloomy aspect, that Davis gave it the name of the Land of Desolation. Here he found a great quantity of drift-wood, and picked up a tree sixty feet in length. From this coast he stood to the north-west, where he saw land in latitude 64° 15'; the air being temperate, and the sea free from ice. This proved to be a group of islands among which were numerous good harbours. To that in which Davis cast anchor he gave the name of Gilbert's Sound, in honour of his patron, Mr. Adrian Gilbert, the brother of the unfortunate sir Humphrey. The natives were numerous and friendly; they danced with the sailors, and shared with them whatever they possessed. On the 1st of August Davis stood to the north-west, and on the 6th discovered land in lat. 66° 40' : they anchored under a promontory, which they named Mount Raleigh, “the cliffs whereof were orient as gold.” The foreland towards the north they called Dier's Cape, and that towards the south Cape Walsingham. Proceeding to the northward, an open strait was discovered to the west, from twenty to thirty leagues wide, and quite free from ice. The colour of the sea also resembling that of the main ocean, gave our adventurers greater hopes of their having found the long-sought passage. They proceeded sixty leagues towards the west, until they saw a cluster of islands in the middle of the strait. But meeting here with thick mists and adverse winds, they were unable to make farther progress, and returning home in consequence, arrived at Dartmouth on the 30th of September. The discovery of a free and open passage to the westward; the friendly disposition of the natives, who seemed disposed to maintain a brisk commerce of peltry; and the general ability manifested by Davis in the conduct of his voyage; encouraged the merchants in the west of England to assist him in fitting out a second expedition. On the 7th of May he again sailed from Dartmouth ; and by the middle of June had reached the west side of Greenland, where the natives came to him in great numbers to trade, with the skins of seals, stags, white, hares, and with fish. They were believed by our sailors to be witches, and to practise many kinds of enchantments. The icebergs which Davis saw in this voyage were of so great a size that he declines describing them, lest his veracity should be called in question. From the cold occasioned by the accumulation of ice, the seamen became sickly and dispirited, and it was with difficulty that Davis could prevail on them to persist in the voyage northwards. In latitude 66° 33' N. land was descried, which turned out to be a group of islands. The sea was now free from ice, the weather extremely warm, and musquitoes were very numerous and troublesome. In latitude 67° they found land to the westward; and running southward to 54°, they saw numberless inlets, which, from the appearance of the sea, kept alive their hopes of a passage. But the weather proving tempestuous on the coast of Labrador, Davis steered homewards, and arrived in England in the beginning of October. During the greater part of this voyage he was alone in the Moonshine, a little bark of only 35 tons. Though in the preceding voyages Davis had neither discovered the north-west passage nor established an important commerce, he had so much enlarged his nautical experience, and found so many great arms of the sea conducting to the west, that his hopes of finally succeeding in the attempt were rather inflamed than depressed by the result of his previous efforts. A third voyage was therefore resolved on ; and he sailed from Dartmouth, with two vessels, on the 19th of May, 1587. In June he was on the west coast of Greenland, along which he held his course till he reached 72°12', where, finding the sea open, he turned to the west, and ran forty leagues in that direction without seeing any land. By currents or the violence of the north winds they were driven to the south, and arrived at the strait discovered by Davis in his first voyage, and which is now named Cumberland Strait. They explored it about sixty leagues; and then running to the south-east across
a great gulf, they descried, in latitude 61° 10', a headland, to which they gave the name of Cape Chidley. Thus it appears that the straits which bear the name of Hudson were in reality discovered by Davis, whose name, however, is very properly given to the strait in which he sailed to the highest point of northern latitude. Davis arrived in England on the 15th of September. . The result of his three voyages was not such as to encourage the merchants to support him in the farther prosecution of his researches. But his own zeal continued unabated ; and he believed that as he became acquainted with the western seas he approximated to the discovery of the north-western course to India, the navigation of which he imagined to be not only practicable but easy. In a little volume published by him a few years after his return”, he gives an interesting and vivid summary of his three voyages. He says, that he advanced eighty leagues in Cumberland Strait, and found that the tide ebbed six fathoms, which he regards as a proof of its connection with the main ocean. He expresses an opinion that the northern regions of the new continent are all islands; an opinion maintained by the ablest navigators, from the time of Sebastian Cabot to the present day. Davis also affirms that he sailed northward, in the sea at present called Baffin's Bay, to the latitude of 75°. This intrepid seaman, who subsequently accompanied Candish in his second voyage to the Straits of Magellan, and who persisted singly in forcing a passage into the Pacific Ocean, afterwards entered into the service of the Dutch, and made no less than five voyages to the East Indies, an instance, in those days, of womderful good fortune. When the Dutch were driven to assert their independence, and to aim at sharing in that lucrative commerce which had hitherto been engrossed by the Spaniards, they did not at first think of encountering their oppressors in their established track, but deemed it more advisable to reach the Indies, if possible, by a * The Worlde's Hydrographicall Discription, 1595.
course to which usurpation had hitherto advanced no claim. In consequence, they turned all their attention to the discovery of a north-eastern passage; and in 1594 the United Provinces sent forth an expedition, of which Cornelis Cornelison was admiral, and William Barentz the chief pilot. Cornelison, having passed North Cape, found the weather in July as warm as in Holland in the dog-days, and the musquitoes were exceedingly troublesome. The island of Waigatz was covered with verdure, and embellished with a variety of beautiful flowers. The idols seen by Burrow were also observed by the Dutch, who named that part of the island Afgoden Hoek, or Idol Point. By the Russians it is called Waigati Noss, or the Cape of carved Images: and hence, undoubtedly, the name of Waigatz is derived. But as that name might signify windy strait in the Dutch language, some have supposed that it was first employed by Cornelison and his companions, though it is evident that Stephen Burrow was acquainted with it many years before. The Dutch admiral passed the Straits of Waigatz, and at first met with considerable interruption, but afterwards reached a deep blue sea. About forty leagues from the strait the main land in sight appeared trending to the south-east. This direction of the coast, with the depth and openness of the sea, gave our navigators such confident hopes of a passage to Cathay, that, instead of prosecuting their discoveries, they agreed to return to Holland with the happy tidings. They consequently repassed the strait, and arrived safely in Holland on the 26th of September. In the mean time Barentz, who had not sailed in company with the admiral, crossing the White Sea to the north-eastward, arrived on the coast of Nova Zembla on the 4th of July, and followed the shores of that country towards the north till they reached latitude 77°25', where they found an extensive field of ice of which they could not descry the end. They were in consequence obliged to return towards the south, and employ themselves among the islands in lading the ships with the teeth of the walrus or sea-horse. Of this animal an accurate and lively description is given by the Dutch journalist. “ This sea-horse is a wonderful strong monster of the sea, much bigger than an oxe, which keepes continually in the seas, having a skin like a sea-calfe or seale, with very short hayre, mouthed like a lion, and many times they lye upon the ice. They are hardly killed, unlesse you strike them just upon the forehead. It hath four feete, but no eares; and commonly it hath two young ones at a time. And when the fishermen chance to finde them upon a flake of ice with their young ones, shee casteth her young ones before her into the water, and then takes them in her arms, and so plungeth up and downe with them: and when she will revenge herselfe upon the boates, or make resistance against them, then she casts her young ones from her againe, and with all her force goeth towards the boate; whereby our men were once in no small danger, for that the sea-horse had almost stricken her teeth into the sterne of their boate, thinking to overthrow it, but by meanes of the great crie that the men made she was afraide, and swomme away againe, and tooke her young ones againe in her armes. They have two teeth sticking out of their mouthes on each side, each being about halfe an ell long, and are esteemed to bee as good as any ivorie or elephants' teeth.”” Barentz, in returning southward, touched at a place in 71° 33', which had been previously visited by Oliver Brunell, an Englishman, of whose voyages we know nothing but from the obscure allusions of the Dutch navigators. He shortly afterwards joined the ships of Cornelison, and returned with him to Holland. This voyage raised the hopes of those who panted for the discovery of a north-eastern passage to China. The states-general equipped a fleet of seven vessels, six of which were laden with merchandise suited to the eastern market, and Barentz was appointed chief pilot of the expedition: but the fleet departed too late to effect any * Three Voyages made by the Dutch ; trans. by Phillip, 1607.