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[18] which, it is usually added, he never returned. Did he
Chap. I.} 1525 Feb. 24.
sail once more under the auspices of France?1 When the monarch had just lost every thing but honor in the disastrous battle of Pavia, is it probable, that the impoverished government could have sent forth another expedition? Did he relinquish the service of France for that of England? It is hardly a safe conjecture,
that he was murdered in an encounter with savages, while on a voyage of discovery, which Henry VIII. had favored.2 Hakluyt asserts, that Verrazzani was thrice on the coast of America, and that he gave a map of it to the English monarch.3 It is the common tradition, that he perished at sea, having been engaged in an expedition of which no tidings were ever heard. Such a report might easily be spread respecting a great navigator who had disappeared from the public view; and the rumor might be adopted by an incautious historian. It is probable, that Verrazzani had only retired from the fatigues of the life of a mariner; and, while others believed him buried in the ocean, he may have long enjoyed at Rome the friendship of men of letters, with
the delights of tranquil employment.4 Yet such is the obscurity of the accounts respecting his life, that certainty cannot be established.5

But the misfortunes of the French monarchy did not

affect the industry of its fishermen; who, amidst the miseries of France, still resorted to Newfoundland. There exists a letter6 to Henry VIII., from the haven
Aug 3.
of St. John, in Newfoundland, written by an English

1 Charlevoix, Nouv. Fr. i. 7, 8.

2 Memoir of S. Cabot, 271—276.

3 Hakl. Divers Voyages, 1582, quoted in Mem. of Cabot, p. 272.

4 See Annibale Caro, Lettere Familiari, tom. l. let 12.

5 Tiraboschi, VII. 263, ed. 1809. Compare, also, Ensayo Cronologico à la Historia de la Florida, Año Mdxxiv.

6 Rut, in Purchas, III. 809.

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