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Voyages in Search of the North-West Passage By Richard Hakluyt Characters: 3130

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03

1. Paulus Venetus, who dwelt many years in Cathay, affirmed that he had sailed 1,500 miles upon the coast of Mangia and Anian, towards the north-east, always finding the seas open before him, not only as far as he went, but also as far as he could discern.

2. Also Franciscus Vasquez de Coronado, passing from Mexico by Cevola, through the country of Quiver to Sierra Nevada, found there a great sea, where were certain ships laden with merchandise, the mariners wearing on their heads the pictures of certain birds called Alcatrarzi, part whereof were made of gold and part of silver; who signified by signs that they were thirty days coming thither, which likewise proveth America by experience to be disjoined from Cathay, on that part, by a great sea, because they could not come from any part of America as natives thereof; for that, so far as is discovered, there hath not been found there any one ship of that country.

3. In like manner, Johann Baros testifieth that the cosmographers of China (where he himself had been) affirm that the sea coast trendeth from thence north-east to fifty degrees of septentrional latitude, being the farthest part that way, which the Portuguese had then knowledge of; and that the said cosmographers knew no cause to the contrary, but that it might continue farther.

By whose experiences America is proved to be separate from those parts of Asia, directly against the same. And not contented with the judgments of these learned men only, I have searched what might be further said for the confirmation hereof.


And I found that Franciscus Lopez de Gomara affirmeth America to be an island, and likewise Greenland; and that Greenland is distant from Lapland forty leagues, and from Terra de Labrador fifty.

5. Moreover Alvarez Nunmius, a Spaniard, and learned cosmographer, and Jacques Cartier, who made two voyages into those parts, and sailed five hundred miles upon the north-east coasts of America.

6. Likewise Hieronimus Fracastorius, a learned Italian, and traveller in the north parts of the same land.

7. Also Jacques Cartier, having done the like, heard say at Hochelaga, in Nova Francia, how that there was a great sea at Saguinay, whereof the end was not known: which they presupposed to be the passage to Cathay. Furthermore, Sebastian Cabot, by his personal experience and travel, has set forth and described this passage in his charts which are yet to be seen in the Queen's Majesty's Privy Gallery at Whitehall, who was sent to make this discovery by King Henry VII. and entered the same straits, affirming that he sailed very far westward with a quarter of the north, on the north side of Terra de Labrador, the 11th of June, until he came to the septentrional latitude of sixty-seven and a half degrees, and finding the seas still open, said, that he might and would have gone to Cathay if the mutiny of the master and mariners had not been.

Now, as these men's experience have proved some part of this passage, so the chapter following shall put you in full assurance of the rest by their experiences which have passed through every part thereof.

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