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from Elsineur to follow up the discovery of Greenland, and Hall was again appointed pilot of the fleet. The object of this voyage appears to have been the discovery of mines of gold and silver, and not of the lost colonies; for when they arrived at Cunningham’s Fiord, “ they all landed to see the silver mine, where (says Hall) it was decreed we should take in as much as we could.” On the banks of a river in 66° 25' they saw about forty houses of the natives, built with whalebone, and covered over with earth. Here they seized five natives, whom they carried with them to Denmark. This fruitless expedition was succeeded in the following year by one still less creditable to the country from which it issued. The crew mutinied after reaching Greenland, and compelled Hall to return. This experienced mariner made a fourth voyage to Greenland in 1612, in the service of the merchant adventurers of London; but he had no sooner reached the coast from which, in his second voyage, the Danes had carried off the five Esquimaux, than a native, who recognised him as one of the aggressors, gave him a wound in the side with his dart, of which he died shortly after. Upon this all intercourse with the natives ceased, and the ships returned home without prosecuting their researches any further. tJohn Knight, who had accompanied Hall in his first expedition, and who had likewise brought home glowing accounts of the silver mines of Greenland, proceeded, in 1606, for the discovery of the north-west passage, in a small bark fitted out by the company of Muscovy merchants. On approaching the coast of Labrador, he was so threatened with the ice, which floated in large masses from the north, that he was obliged to take refuge in a cove, where he intended to draw his bark ashore and repair the injury she had sustained. As soon as he landed, he proceeded with three others towards the highest part of the island, in order to examine the country; but he never returned: and as the crew were soon after fiercely attacked by the natives, it was concluded that Knight and his companions had already fallen the victims of their savage ferocity. The remainder of the crew, therefore, having repaired their vessel, steered for Newfoundland; whence, after numberless perils, they arrived in England. So many defeats in the attempt to reach the Indies by a north-east or north-west passage diverted for a time the attention of the speculative to another direction. But hope, though checked, was not wholly subdued. The coast, discovered in the voyages to the north, had not been so accurately surveyed as to demonstrate the impossibility of the desired navigation. The numerous expeditions hitherto fitted out had proved fruitless, from difficulties of navigation which experience might learn to conquer. It was resolved by the merchants of London to explore a new route, and to seek a passage directly across the north pole. For this bold enterprise they selected Henry Hudson, a skilful and intrepid seaman, who appears to have united more than common science to the characteristic courage of his profession. He is supposed to be the first Englishman who made observations on the dip or inclination of the magnetic needle.* Hudson sailed from Gravesend on the 1st of May, 1607, in a small bark, with a crew of only ten men and a boy. The first land he saw was in latitude 70°, on the east coast of Greenland. Advancing three degrees farther, he descried a range of lofty mountains free from snow. The severity of the cold appeared to diminish beyond a certain latitude towards the north pole. The air was temperate, and the rain fell in large drops, like thunder-showers in England. * From Greenland he directed his course to Newland, or Spitzbergen, which he made in latitude 78°. Here he was much incommoded by the ice, which, he observes, commonly embarrasses a blue sea, while a green sea is comparatively free. In 80° some of his crew went on shore, and found morses' teeth, whalebone, deer's horns, and the tracks of other beasts. The land appeared to him to stretch far into 82°; but in this * Barrow, p. 179.
observation, which rested chiefly on the colour of the sky, he was unquestionably deceived. As the season was now far advanced, and he had no stores for a protracted voyage, he bore up in his little bark on his return home, and arrived safely in the Thames on the 15th of September. The following year Hudson was provided with a ship for a second voyage, and his crew was increased to fourteen men. As the ice had hindered him from passing to the northward of Spitzbergen, he was now directed to repeat the attempt to find a north-eastern passage to China. In the course of this voyage he made many interesting observations with the dipping needle, or inclinatory, as he calls it. In 74° 30′ the inclination of the needle was found to be 86°; and in 75° 22' Hudson made an observation, which, if its correctness could be relied on, would lead to the conclusion that one of the magnetic poles was then situated near this parallel, somewhere between Nova Zembla and Cherry Island. In this part of his voyage, “one of our company (says Hudson) looking over boord, saw a mermaid; and calling up some of the companie to see her, one more came up, and by that time shee was close to the ship's side, looking earnestly on the men: a little after a sea came and overturned her. From the navill upwards her backe and breasts were like a woman's (as they say that saw her); her body as big as one of us; her skin very white; and long haire hanging downe behind, of colour blacke: in her going downe they saw her tayle, which was like the tayle of a porposse, and speckled like a macrell. Their names that saw her were Thomas Hilles and Robert Rayner.” Hudson found such a quantity of ice between Spitzbergen and Nova Zembla, that he lost all hope of effecting a passage in that direction, and resolved therefore to try the Straits of Waigatz, where he expected also to collect a cargo of walrus' teeth sufficient to defray the expense of his expedition. He describes Nova Zembla as a land pleasant to a man's eye, with much high land, covered with verdure in many places. It is likewise to be remarked, that he considers the quantity of ice that encumbers the northern seas to arise from the extent of sea-coast which environs them; regarding it as certain that the main sea never freezes. Being foiled in his attempt to pass to the eastward, he steered home, and arrived safely at Gravesend on the 26th of August. The same enterprising navigator was employed the following year by the Dutch, in a voyage of which it is difficult to divine the object. He passed the North Cape on an eastward course, but afterwards returned to Newfoundland; and coasting North America, discovered the river which at present bears his name, and on which the Dutch soon after established a colony. Hudson's character as an able and enterprising navigator was so high, as to resuscitate the hopes of those who still believed in the existence of a north-western passage. A vessel of fifty-five tons, provisioned for six . months, was fitted out for the voyage, and placed under his command. On the first week of June, Hudson arrived at the entrance of Frobisher's Strait. He had long to struggle with the ice and contrary winds; but, persisting in a westerly course, he at length arrived at the north-western point of Labrador, which he named Cape Wolstenholm, and descried a cluster of islands to the north-west, the nearest headland of which he called Cape Digges. Here the land seemed to turn towards the south, and a great sea opened to view. But in this interesting part of his voyage, the narrative of Hudson himself suddenly terminates; and we are acquainted with his future proceedings only through the medium of the imperfect and doubtful relation of Abacuk Pricket, one of his mutinous crew. The discontents which ended in the destruction of this celebrated navigator began here first to show themselves. Hudson, it appears, when beset with ice, and despairing how he should proceed, showed his crew that he had already advanced above a hundred leagues farther in the strait than any preceding navigator. Afterwards proceeding to the south, he entered a bay,
which was named Michaelmas Bay, from the day on which it was first discovered. During three months he was involved in a labyrinth of islands and intricate channels. But on the 1st of November they hauled the ship aground, and ten days after were frozen in. Hudson, it appears, had charitably taken under his protection a young man of the name of Green, of respectable connections but profligate manners; and had carried him to sea, to serve in the capacity of clerk. The want of provisions soon produced discontents, which this young man ungratefully inflamed to the destruction of his benefactor. At the commencement of winter, the white partridges were in such abundance that little suffering was experienced from actual want of food; but these were succeeded by geese, ducks, swans, and other fowls more difficult to surprise; and the men were at length reduced to feed on moss and frogs. On the breaking up of the ice in spring, fish were taken, at first in large quantities. But this resource also soon disappeared. At length Hudson made preparations to leave the bay; and with tears in his eyes distributed to the crew the stock of provisions that remained, and which was barely sufficient for fourteen days. On the 21st of June the conspiracy broke out. Green and his associates had secretly resolved to turn the master and the sick men adrift, and to share the provisions among the remainder. The following oath was administered to each of the conspirators:– “You shall swear truth to God, your prince, and country; you shall do nothing but to the glory of God and the good of the action in hand, and harm to no man.” Immediately after, Hudson was seized and bound, and was lowered with the sick and lame men, nine persons in all, into the boat. A fowlingpiece, some ammunition, a small quantity of meal, and an iron pot, were all that was allowed them. The towrope was then cut, and the boat turned adrift among the floating ice, in a situation which it is painful to contemplate. When the boat was out of sight, the mutineers began to feel some misgivings as to the course which