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[89] hundred leagues of his settlement, with supreme exec-
Chap. III.} 157?
utive and legislative authority. Thus the attempts at colonization, in which Cabot and Frobisher had failed, were renewed under a patent that conferred every Immunity on the leader of the enterprise, and abandoned the colonists themselves to the mercy of an absolute proprietary.

Under this patent, Gilbert began to collect a company of volunteer adventurers, contributing largely from his own fortune to the preparation. Jarrings and divisions ensued, before the voyage was begun; many abandoned what they had inconsiderately undertaken; the general and a few of his assured friends—among them, perhaps, his step-brother, Walter Raleigh—put to sea:

one of his ships was lost; and misfortune compelled the remainder to return.1 The vagueness of the accounts of this expedition is ascribed to a conflict with a Spanish fleet, of which the issue was unfavorable to the little squadron of emigrants.2 Gilbert attempted to keep his patent alive by making grants of lands. None of his assigns succeeded in establishing a colony; and he was himself too much impoverished to renew his efforts.

But the pupil of Coligny was possessed of an active genius, which delighted in hazardous adventure. To prosecute discoveries in the New World, lay the foundation of states, and acquire immense domains, appeared to the daring enterprise of Raleigh as easy designs, which would not interfere with the pursuit of favor and the career of glory in England. Before the limit of the charter had expired, Gilbert, assisted by his brother, equipped a new squadron. The fleet em-

barked under happy omens; the commander, on the

1 Hayes, in Hakluyt, III. 186.

2 Oldys, 28, 29. Tytler, 26, 27.

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Humphrey Gilbert (3)
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