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[85] mists, the ships lost their course, and came into the
Chap. III.} 1578
straits which have since been called Hudson's, and which lie south of the imagined gold regions. The admiral believed himself able to sail through to the Pacific, and resolve the doubt respecting the passage. But his duty as a mercantile agent controlled his desire of glory as a navigator. He struggled to regain the harbor where his vessels were to be laden; and, after encountering peril of every kind; ‘getting in at one gap and out at another;’ escaping only by miracle from hidden rocks and unknown currents, ice, and a lee shore, which was, at one time, avoided only by a prosperous breath of wind in the very moment of extreme danger,—he at last arrived at the haven in the Countess of Warwick's Sound. The zeal of the volunteer colonists had moderated; and the disheartened sailors were ready to mutiny. One ship, laden with provisions for the colony, deserted and returned; and an island was discovered with enough of the black ore ‘to suffice all the gold-gluttons of the world.’ The plan of the settlement was abandoned. It only remained to freight the home-bound ships with a store of minerals. They who engage in a foolish project, combine, in case of failure, to conceal their loss; for a confession of the truth would be an impeachment of their judgment; so that unfortunate speculations are promptly consigned to oblivion. The adventurers and the historians of the voyage are silent about the disposition which was made of the cargo of the fleet. The knowledge of the seas was not extended; the credulity of avarice met with a rebuke; and the belief in regions of gold among the Esquimaux was dissipated; but there remained a firm conviction, that a passage to the

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