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Voyages in Search of the North-West Passage By Richard Hakluyt Characters: 3146

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:01

1. They could not come from the south-east by the Cape of Good Hope, because the roughness of the seas there is such-occasioned by the currents and great winds in that part-that the greatest armadas the King of Portugal hath cannot without great difficulty pass that way, much less, then, a canoe of India could live in those outrageous seas without shipwreck, being a vessel but of very small burden, and the Indians have conducted themselves to the place aforesaid, being men unexpert in the art of navigation.

2. Also, it appeareth plainly that they were not able to come from along the coast of Africa aforesaid to those parts of Europe, because the winds do, for the most part, blow there easterly or from the shore, and the current running that way in like sort, would have driven them westward upon some part of America, for such winds and tides could never have led them from thence to the said place where they were found, nor yet could they have come from any of the countries aforesaid, keeping the seas always, without skilful mariners to have conducted them such like courses as were necessary to perform such a voyage.

3. Presupposing also, if they had been driven to the west, as they must have been, coming that way, then they should have perished, wanting supply of victuals, not having any place-once leaving the coast of Africa-until they came to America, north of America, until they arrived upon some part of Europe or the islands adjoining to it to have refreshed themselves.

4. Also, if, notwithstanding such impossibilities, they might have

recovered Germany by coming from India by the south-east, yet must they without all doubt have struck upon some other part of Europe before their arrival there, as the isles of Madeira, Portugal, Spain, France, England, Ireland, etc., which, if they had done, it is not credible that they should or would have departed undiscovered of the inhabitants; but there was never found in those days any such ship or men, but only upon the coasts of Germany, where they have been sundry times and in sundry ages cast ashore; neither is it like that they would have committed themselves again to sea, if they had so arrived, not knowing where they were, nor whither to have gone.

5. And by the south-west it is impossible, because the current aforesaid, which cometh from the east, striketh with such force upon the Straits of Magellan, and falleth with such swiftness and fury into Mare de Sur, that hardly any ship-but not possibly a canoe, with such unskilful mariners-can come into our western ocean through that strait from the west seas of America, as Magellan's experience hath partly taught us.

6. And further, to prove that these people so arriving upon the coast of Germany were Indians, and not inhabiters of any part either of Africa or America, it is manifest, because the natives, both of Africa and America, neither had, or have at this day, as is reported, other kind of boats than such as do bear neither masts nor sails, except only upon the coasts of Barbary and the Turks' ships, but do carry themselves from place to place near the shore by the oar only.

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