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[2] set sail with as many companions as would go with
Chap. I.} 1498.
him of their own will. With this license every trace of John Cabot disappears. He may have died before the summer; but no one knows certainly the time or the place of his end, and it has not even been ascertained in what country this finder of a continent first saw the light. His wife was a Venetian woman, but at Venice he had himself gained the rights of citizenship in 1476, only after the residence of fifteen years, which was required of aliens before denization.

His second son, Sebastian Cabot, probably a Venetian by birth, a cosmographer by profession, succeeded to the designs of his father. He reasoned justly, that as the degrees of longitude decrease towards the north, the shortest route to China and Japan lies in the highest practicable latitude; and with all the impetuosity of youthful fervor he gave himself up to the experiment. In May, 1498, Columbus, radiant with a glory that shed a lustre over his misfortunes and griefs, calling on the Holy Trinity with vows, and seeing paradise in his dreams, embarked on his third voyage to discover the main land within the tropics, and to be sent back in chains. In the early part of the same month, Sebastian Cabot, then not much more than twenty-one years of age, chiefly at his own cost, led forth two ships and a large company of English volunteers, to find the north-west passage to Cathay and Japan. A few days after the English navigator had left the port of Bristol, Vasco de Gama, of Portugal, as daring and almost as young, having turned the Cape of Good Hope, cleared the Straits of Mozambique, and sailed beyond Arabia Felix, came in sight of the mountains of Hindostan; and his happy crew, decking out his little fleet with flags,

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