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doubt that the sheet of lead nailed over the outside with copper nails was sheathing, and that in great perfection, the copper nails being used rather than iron, which, when once rusted in the water, with the working of the ship, soon lose their hold and drop out. The other instance we find in Purchas's Pilgrims, vol. I. lib. IV. in captain Saris's voyage to the court of Japan, p. 371. where the captain, giving an account of his voyage, says, that rowing betwixt Firando and Fuccate, about eight or ten leagues on this side Xemina-seque, he found a great town, where there lay in a dock a junck of eight or ten hundred ton burden, sheathed all with iron. This was in the year 1613, about which time the English came first acquainted with Japan; and it is evident, that nation had not learned the way of sheathing of them, or the Portuguese, who were there before, but were themselves ignorant of the art of sheathing.
Now to return to the magnetical needle, or sea-compass ; its discoverer, as has been said, appears to be Flavius, or John Gioia of Amalfi, and the time of its discovery about the year 1300. The reason of its tending to or pointing out the north is what many natural philosophers have in vain laboured to find; and all their study has brought them only to be sensible of the imperfection of human knowledge, which when plunged into the inquiry after the secrets of nature, finds no other way to come off but by calling them occult qualities, which is no other than owning our ignorance, and granting they are things altogether unknown to us. Yet these are not all the wonders of this magnetic virtue. The variation of it is another as inscrutable a secret. This variation is when the needle does not point out the true pole, but inclines more or less either to the east or west ; and is not certain, but differs according to places, yet holding always the same in the same place, and is found by observing the sun or stars. The cause of this variation some philosophers ascribe to magnetical mountains, some to the pole itself, some to the heavens, and some to a magnetical power even beyond the heavens; but
these are all blind guesses, and fond ostentations of learning, without any thing in them to convince one's reason. There is nothing of it certain but the variation itself. Nor is this variation alone, there is a variation of the variation, a subject to be handled by none but such as have made it a peculiar study, and which, deserving a peculiar volume, is daily expected from a most able pen. But let us leave these mysteries, and come to the historical part, as the principal scope of this discourse; where we shall find, that though the use of the needle was so long since found out, yet either through its being kept private by some few persons at first as a secret of great value, or through the dulness of sailors, at first not comprehending this wonderful phenomenon; or through fear of venturing too far out of the known shores; or lastly, out of a conceit that there could not be more habitable world to discover : whether for these, or any other cause, we do not find any considerable advantage made of this wonderful discovery for above an age after it: nay, what is more, it does not appear how the world received it, who first used it upon the sea, and how it spread abroad into other parts. This is not a little strange in a matter of such consequence, that the histories of nations should not mention when they received so great an advantage, or what benefit they found at first by it. But so it is; and therefore to show the advancement of navigation since the discovery of the magnetical needle, it will be absolutely necessary to begin several years after it, before which nothing appears to be done. This shall be performed with all possible brevity, and by way of annals, containing a summary account of all discoveries from year to year : yet lest the distance and variety of places should too much distract the reader, if all lay intermixed, the European northern discoveries shall be first run through in their order of years; next to them, as next in order of time, shall follow the African, and so the East Indian, or Asiatic, the one being the consequence of the other; and in the last place shall appear the West Indian, or American. The first part of the northern European discoveries is all taken out of Hakluyt, beginning with the nearest after the discovery of the needle, quoting the authors out of him, and the page where they are to be found.
An. 1360. Nicholas de Linna, or of Linn, a friar of Oxford, who was an able astronomer, took a voyage with others into the most northern islands of the world; where leaving his company he travelled alone, and made draughts of all those northern parts, which at his return he presented to king Edward III. This friar made five voyages into those parts; for this he quotes Gerardus Mercator, and Mr. John Dee, Hak. p. 122. And this, though it is not there mentioned, being sixty years after the discovery of the compass, we may look upon as one of the first trials of this nature made upon the security of the magnetical direction in these northern seas. Yet after this for many years we find no other discovery attempted this way, but rather all such enterprises seemed to be wholly laid aside, till
An. 1553. and in the reign of king Edward VI. sir Hugh Willoughby was sent out with three ships to discover Cathay and other northern parts. He sailed in May, and having spent much time about the northern islands subject to Denmark, where he found no commodity but dried fish and train oil, he was forced about the middle of September, after losing the company of his other two ships, to put into a harbour in Lapland, called Arzina, where they could find no inhabitants, but thinking to have wintered there were all frozen to death. However the Edward, which was the second ship in this expedition, and commanded by Richard Chancellor, who was chief pilot for the voyage, having lost sir Hugh Willoughby, made its way for the port of Wardhouse in Norway, where they had appointed to meet if parted by storms. Chancellor staid there seven days, and perceiving none of his company came to join him, proceeded on his voyage so fortunately, that within a few days he arrived in the bay of St. Nicholas on the coast of Muscovy, where he was friendly received by the natives, being the first ship that ever came upon that coast. Chancellor himself went to the court of Mosco, where he settled a trade betwixt England and Muscovy, with John Basilowitz the great
duke, or czar, then reigning. This done, Chancellor returned home with the honour of the first discoverer of Russia.
An. 1556. Stephen Burrough was sent out in a small vessel to discover the river Ob: he sailed in April, and in May came upon the coast of Norway: whence continuing his voyage, in July he arrived at Nova Zembla, that is, the new land, where he received directions how to shape his course for the river Ob. He spent some time in search of it, but coming to the straits of Weygats found no passage, and the summer season being almost spent, returned to Colmogro in Muscovy, where he wintered, designing to prosecute his voyage the next summer, but was countermanded, and so this was all the event of the expedition.
An. 1558. Anthony Jenkinson sailed for Muscovy with four ships under his command: he left his ships, and travelled by land to Mosco, where having been nobly entertained by the czar, he obtained his pass, and continued his journey through Muscovy across the kingdoms of Casan and Astracan, where shipping himself on the river Volga he sailed down into the Caspian sea, having travelled by land about six hundred leagues in the czar's dominions from Mosco. On the Caspian sea he spent twenty-seven days, after which landing, he proceeded five days journey by land among a sort of wild Tartars with a caravan of one thousand camels; then twenty days more through a desert, suffering much through hunger and thirst. This brought him again to another part of the Caspian sea, where formerly the river Oxus fell into it, which now, he says, runs into another river, not far from hence, called Ardock, which runs toward the north and under ground above five hundred miles, after which it rises again, and unburdens itself in the lake of Kitay. Hence he continued his discovery amidst those countries of Tartars to Boghar in Bactria, whence he returned to Mosco.
An. 1561. He returned to Muscovy with letters from queen Elizabeth to the czar; and taking the same way as before down to the Caspian sea, crossed over it into Hircania, where being nobly entertained, and conducted
by the princes of that country, he passed through to the court of the king of Persia at Casbin, where he obtained several privileges for the English nation, and returned home in safety the same way he went.
An. 1580. Mr. Arthur Pet and Mr. Charles Jackman sailed in May from Harwich in two barks to make discoveries in the north-east beyond Weygats. In June they doubled the north cape of Norway, and having spent some days in that part of Norway, continued their voyage into the bay of Petzora ; where Jackman's vessel being in no good sailing condition he left Pet, who proceeded on to the coast of Nova Zembla, where in July he met with much ice, yet making his way though part of it, though with great difficulty, he at last came to the straits of Weygats : there he drew as close as the shoal water would permit, coming into two fathom and a half water, and sending his boat to sound till he found there was not water enough even for the boat in the strait, and therefore returned the same way he came. A few days after Pet met with Jackman again in some distress, as not being able to steer, his ship’s stern-post being broken, and the rudder hanging from the stern. Having remedied this the best they could for the present, they both stood northward to endeavour to find some passage that way; but meeting with much ice, they despaired of success, and resolved to turn again to Weygats, there to consult what was farther to be done. All the way thither they met with such quantities of ice, that some days they were not able to make any way. Being come again upon the Weygats, they made another attempt that way, but to as little purpose as before, the ice obstructing their progress. Wherefore winter now coming on, they found it necessary to quit their design for the present. Accordingly Pet being parted from Jackman, arrived safe in the river of Thames about the end of December this same year: Jackman put into a port in Norway betwixt Tronden and Rostock in October, where he wintered. In February following, he departed thence in company of a ship of the king of Denmark's towards Iceland, and was never more heard of. The English