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as one "to whom England is more indebted for its American possession than to any other man of that age." 'Excepting, of course, Shakespeare and the Dii Majores," said Sir Clements Markham, the president of the Hakluyt Society, in his address at the celebration in 1896, of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the society, "there is no man of the age of Elizabeth to whom posterity owes a deeper debt of gratitude than to Richard Hakluyt, the saviour of the records of our explorers and discoverers by land and sea."
Richard Hakluyt was of a Herefordshire family, and was born in 1553. That was five years before Elizabeth came to the throne. It was the same year that Edmund Spenser was born, one year after Raleigh was born, one year before the birth of Philip Sidney, and eleven years before the birth of Shakespeare. In the same year that Shakespeare was born, 1564, the young lad from Herefordshire entered Westminster School. If we remember that he died the same year that Shakespeare died, 1616, we have the chronology of his life. He was in Westminster School for about six years, and was a diligent scholar; but the impulse which determined his lifework was received at this time not from Westminster School, but from his cousin in the Middle Temple. His own story of this is given in the dedication to Sir Francis Walsingham, prefixed to the first edition of his "Principal Navigations."
"I do remember that being a youth, and one of her Majestie's scholars at Westminster, that fruitful nurserie, it was my happe to visit the chamber of M. Richard Hakluyt, my cosin, a gentleman of the Middle Temple, well knowen unto you, at a time when I found lying open upon his boord certeine bookes of cosmographie with an universall mappe: he seeing me somewhat curious in the view thereof, began to instruct my ignorance by shewing me the division of the earth into three parts after the olde account, and then according to the latter and better distribution into more. He pointed with his wand to all the known seas, gulfs, bayes, straights, capes, rivers, empires, kingdoms, dukedoms, and territories of ech part; with declaration also of their special commodities and particular wants which by the benefit of traffike and intercourse of merchants are plentifully supplied. From the mappe he brought me to the Bible, and turning to the 107th Psalme, directed mee to the 23rd and 24th verses, where I read that they which go downe to the sea in ships and occupy by the great waters, they see the works of the Lord and his woonders in the deepe, etc., which words of the Prophet, together with my cousins discourse (things of rare and high delight to my yong nature) tooke in me so deepe an impression, that I constantly resolved if ever I were preferred to the university, where better time and more convenient place might be ministred for these studies, would, by God's assistance, prosecute that knowledge and kinde of literature, the doores whereof (after a sort) were so happily opened before me."
This incident gives the key-note of his life. He presently did go to the university, becoming in 1570 a student at Christ Church, Oxford; and he did his regular work there faithfully and in due course took his degree; but every spare moment he devoted to his favorite field. "I fell to my intended course, and by degrees read over whatever printed or written discoveries and voyages I found extant either in the Greeke, Latine, Italian, Spanish, Portugall, French or English languages; and in my publick lectures was the first that produced and showed both the olde and imperfectly composed and the new lately reformed mappes, globes, spheares and other
instruments of this art for demonstration in the common schooles, to the singular pleasure and generall contentment of my auditory."
In the period following his Oxford studies, Hakluyt is said to have held a professorship of divinity, but we are not told where. There is some evidence that proposals were made to him to accompany Sir Humphrey Gilbert in his voyage to Newfoundland in the year 1583, but no particulars are recorded. Certain it is that from 1583 to 1588 he was chaplain to the English Embassy at Paris. In this last year he was one of several gentlemen to whom Raleigh assigned the patent granted him in 1584 authorizing him "to discover and find out remote, heathen, and barbarous lands." About the same time he was appointed prebend in the cathedral of Bristol, and in 1590 rector of Wetheringsett in Suffolk. In 1605 he became a prebendary of Westminster. As archdeacon of Westminster he died in 1616 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Through all these years he devoted himself unremittingly to the purpose formed as a boy in his visit to the Middle Temple. The two great needs of his country in this field became clear to him at Oxford. The first need was caused by the ignorance of English seamen concerning scientific geography. He constantly urged the attention of those in authority to the importance of establishing a permanent lectureship "as a means of breeding up skilful seamen and mariners in this realm." But his great work was in the collection and publication of records of English exploration. Richard Eden had made one such collection, the second edition of which appeared at about the time that Hakluyt went to Oxford. But, of all the English voyages undertaken for the century previous to that time, most had been utterly forgotten. Even of the voyages of John Cabot there was no account whatever. Hakluyt saw that this was a national calamity. He saw that maritime traffic and colonization were the means by which England was to improve the condition of her people and become a great naval power; and to promote these objects he spared no study or expense. He cultivated the acquaintance of all who could give him information, and sought the assistance of all who could reinforce his efforts.
His first book, entitled "Divers Voyages Touching the Discoverie of America," was published in 1582, before he went to Paris, and while he was not yet thirty years old. It is dedicated to Sir Philip Sidney, and emphasizes in a strong way the advantages of colonization and the glory that would come to England from the pursuit of such a policy. To us Americans this first book of the great geographer has a peculiar interest. Its direct and practical object was the promotion of the colonization of America; and to enlighten his countrymen he brought together from all available sources the various accounts showing the history of the discovery of the east coast of North America, giving the fullest particulars then known, and giving the first impetus to the English colonization of America. "Virtually," says Sir Clements Markham, "Raleigh and Hakluyt were the founders of those colonies which eventually formed the United States. Americans revere the name of Walter Raleigh; they should give an equal place to that of Richard Hakluyt."
During his five years' residence in Paris, Hakluyt worked assiduously at the object of his life, printing some French accounts of Florida, which he presently republished in London in English. This work was dedicated to Sir Walter Raleigh, encouraging him to prosecute the colonization of Virginia, by pointing out the advantages and probable resources of the dis
trict. It is fair to assume that this publication, preceding by so short a time the colonization of Virginia, had an important influence in promoting that enterprise. In Paris also Hakluyt devoted himself to the preparation of his great work, "The Principal Navigations, Voyages, and Discoveries of the English Nation," which first appeared in a folio volume in 1589, immediately upon Hakluyt's return to England from Paris. The new edition, in three volumes, containing notices of more than two hundred voyages, appeared just as the century was closing. From unpublished materials which he left, Samuel Purchas by and by largely made up his "Pilgrimes." The "Principal Navigations" was republished in 1809; and a more convenient edition, edited by Goldsmid, in sixteen volumes, was published in 1889, the various records being rearranged according to subjects, the accounts relating to America, for instance, being brought together.
Hakluyt's last publication (in 1609) was a translation of Fernando De Soto's discoveries in Florida, which he printed under the following title: 'Virginia richly valued by the description of the maine land of Florida her next neighbour." This work was evidently intended to encourage the young colony in Virginia and procure support for the undertaking. The preface to the second edition: published with a changed title in 1611, is addressed to the Virginia adventurers. Robertson expresses the opinion that "the most active and efficacious promoter of the colonization of Virginia was Richard Hakluyt."
Richard Hakluyt was not simply a historian and a collector: he was also an agitator and a prophet. Of all his works there is none so interesting to us Americans as his "Discourse on Western Planting," written in 1584, while he was still living in Paris. It was written, he tells us, "at the request and direction of the right worshipful Mr. Walter Raleigh, now Knight, before the coming home of his two barks," - that is, the two barks under Amadas and Barlow, who landed on Roanoke. Raleigh's object in causing this discourse to be written and laid before the Queen was clearly to influence her imagination and enlist her more active and efficient support in his large and ambitious schemes for the colonization of America. It is an interesting thing that this remarkable discourse, by far the most cogent and comprehensive argument for "western planting" which was framed in that adventurous Elizabethan age, should have first been printed in America itself. It had been forgotten for well-nigh two centuries, when one of the manuscript copies was discovered, and it was printed in the Collections of the Maine Historical Society for 1877, with an introduction by Leonard Woods, late president of Bowdoin College, and notes by Charles Deane. Two of the twenty-one chapters of the Discourse are given in the present leaflet. The student must not accept Hakluyt's account of the Cabot voyages as critically correct. See Old South Leaflet No. 115.
THE DIRECTORS OF THE OLD SOUTH WORK, Old South Meeting-house, Boston, Mass.
It very greatly concerns all men on whom a higher nature has impressed the love of truth, that, as they have been enriched by the labor of those before them, so they also should labor for those that are to come after them, to the end that posterity may receive from them an addition to its wealth. For he is far astray from his duty let him not doubt it - who, having been trained in the lessons of public business, cares not himself to contribute aught to the public good. He is no "tree planted by the water-side, that bringeth forth his fruit in due season." He is rather the devouring whirlpool, ever engulfing, but restoring nothing. Pondering, therefore, often on these things, lest some day I should have to answer the charge of the talent buried in the earth, I desire not only to show the budding promise, but also to bear fruit for the general good, and to set forth truths by others unattempted. For what fruit can he be said to bear who should go about to demonstrate again some theorem of Euclid? or when Aristotle has shown us what happiness is, should show it to us once more? or when Cicero has been the apologist of old age, should a second time undertake its defence? Such squandering of labor would only engender weariness and not profit.
But seeing that among other truths, ill-understood yet profitable, the knowledge touching temporal monarchy is at once most profitable and most obscure, and that because it has no immediate reference to worldly gain it is left unexplored by all, therefore it is my purpose to draw it forth from its hiding-places, as well that I may spend my toil for the benefit of the world, as that I may be the first to win the prize of so great an achievement to my own glory. The work indeed is difficult, and I am attempting what is beyond my strength; but I trust not in my
own powers, but in the light of that Bountiful Giver, "Who giv eth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not."
Now, therefore, we must see what is the end of the whole civil order of men; and when we have found this, then, as the Philosopher' says in his book to Nicomachus, the half of our labor will have been accomplished. And to render the question clearer, we must observe that as there is a certain end for which nature makes the thumb, and another, different from this, for which she makes the whole hand, and again another for which she makes the arm, and another different from all for which she makes the whole man; so there is one end for which she orders the individual man, and another for which she orders the family, and another end for the city, and another for the kingdom, and finally an ultimate one for which the Everlasting God, by His art which is nature, brings into being the whole human race. And this is what we seek as a first principle to guide our whole inquiry. Let it then be understood that God and nature make nothing to be idle. Whatever comes into being, exists for some operation or working. For no created essence is an ultimate end in the Creator's purpose, so far as he is Creator, but rather the proper operation of that essence. Therefore it follows that the operation does not exist for the sake of the essence, but the essence for the sake of the operation.
There is therefore a certain proper operation of the whole body of human kind, for which this whole body of men in all its multitudes is ordered and constituted, but to which no one man, nor single family, nor single neighborhood, nor single city, nor particular kingdom can attain. What this is will be manifest, if we can find what is the final and characteristic capacity of humanity as a whole. I say then that no quality which is shared by different species of things is the distinguishing capacity of any one of them. For were it so, since this capacity is that which makes each species what it is, it would follow that one essence would be specifically distributed to many species, which is impossible. Therefore the ultimate quality of men is not existence, taken simply; for the elements share therein. Nor is it existence under certain conditions; for we find this in minerals too. Nor is it existence with life; plants too have life. Nor is it percipient existence; for brutes share in this power. It is to be percipient with the possibility of understanding. The
1 The common title for Aristotle from the first half of the thirteenth century.