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[16] of new countries. The Dolphin, though it had ‘the
Chap. I.} 1524
good hap of a fortunate name,’ was overtaken by as terrible a tempest, as mariners ever encountered; and fifty days elapsed before the continent appeared in view. At length, in the latitude of Wilmington1 Verrazzani could congratulate himself on beholding land
which had never been seen by any European. But no convenient harbor was found, though the search extended fifty leagues to the south. Returning towards the north, he cast anchor on the coast; all the shore was shoal, but free from rocks, and covered with fine sand; the country was flat. It was the coast of North Carolina. Mutual was the wonder of the inquisitive foreigners, and the mild and feeble natives. The russet color of the Indians seemed like the complexion of the Saracens; their dress was of skins; their ornaments, garlands of feathers. They welcomed with hospitality the strangers, whom they had not yet learned to fear. As the Dolphin ploughed its way to the north, the country seemed more inviting; it was thought that imagination could not conceive of more delightful fields and forests; the groves, redolent with fragrance, spread their perfumes far from the shore, and gave promise of the spices of the East. The mania of the times raged among the crew; in their eyes the color of the earth argued an abundance of gold. The savages were more humane than their guests. A young sailor, who had nearly been drowned, was revived by the courtesy of the natives; the voyagers robbed a mother of her child, and attempted to kidnap a young woman. Such crimes can be prompted even by the feeble passion of curiosity, and the desire to gratify a vulgar wonder.

1 S. Miller, in N. Y. Hist. Coll. i. 23. In the Libreria Strozziana in Florence, there is a copious manuscript account of Verrazzani's voyage and discoveries. Tiraboschi, VII. 261, 262.

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