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[87] voyage of Drake, John de Fuca, a mariner from the
Chap. III.} 1593
Isles of Greece, then in the employ of the viceroy of Mexico, sailed into the bay which is now known as the Gulf of Georgia, and, having for twenty days steered through its intricate windings and numerous islands, returned with a belief, that the entrance to the long-desired passage into the Atlantic had been found.1

The lustre of the name of Drake is borrowed from

his success. In itself, this part of his career was but a splendid piracy against a nation with which his sovereign and his country professed to be at peace. Oxenham, a subordinate officer, who had ventured to imitate his master, was taken by the Spaniards and hanged; nor was his punishment either unexpected or censured in England as severe. The exploits of Drake, except so far as they nourished a love for maritime affairs, were injurious to commerce; the minds of the sailors were debauched by a passion for sudden acquisitions; and to receive regular wages seemed base and unmanly, when, at the easy peril of life, there was hope of boundless plunder. Commerce and colonization lest on regular industry; the humble labor of the English fishermen, who now frequented the Grand Bank, bred mariners for the navy of their country, and prepared the way for its settlements in the New World. Already four hundred vessels came annually from the harbors of Portugal and Spain, of France and England, to the shores of Newfoundland. The English were not there in such numbers as other nations, for they still frequented the fisheries of Iceland; but

1 Purchas, IV 849—852. Forster is skeptical, b. III. c. IV. s. IV Belknap's Am. Biog. i. 224—230.

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