Sir Humphrey Gilbert
M ORE than three hundred years ago there lived in England a brave man whose name was Sir Humphrey Gilbert. At that time there were no white people in this country of ours. The land was covered with forests; and where there are now great cities and fine farms there were only trees and swamps among which roamed wild Indians and wild beasts.
Sir Humphrey Gilbert was one of the first men who tried to
make a settlement in America. Twice did he bring men
and ships over the sea, and twice did he fail, and sail back
for England. The second time, he was on a little ship
called the "Squirrel." Another ship, called the "Golden
Hind," was not far away. When they were three days from
land, the wind failed, and the ships lay floating on the
waves. Then at night the air grew very cold.
A breeze sprang up from the east. Great white
icebergs came drifting around them. In the morning the
little ships were almost lost among the floating mountains
of ice. The men on the "Hind" saw Sir Humphrey sitting
on the deck of the "Squirrel" with an open book in his
hand. He called to them and
"Be brave, my friends! We are as near heaven on the sea as on the land."
Night came again. It was a stormy night, with mist and rain. All at once the men on the "Hind" saw the lights on board of the "Squirrel" go out. The little vessel, with brave Sir Humphrey and all his brave men, was swallowed up by the waves.