In 1642 the governor and council of Batavia fitted out two ships to prosecute the discovery of the south land, then believed to be part of a vast Antarctic continent, and entrusted the command to Captain Abel Jansen Tasman.
Jansen ended by attaching himself strongly to the latter party, and presently made a momentous friendship with a like-minded fellow-student, Du Vergier de Hauranne, afterwards abbot of Saint Cyran.
In the hope of repressing their encroachments, Jansen was sent twice to Madrid, in 1624 and 1626; the second time he narrowly escaped the Inquisition.
Antipathy to the Jesuits brought Jansen no nearer.
But Jansen, as he said, did not mean to be a school-pedant all his life; and there were moments when he dreamed political dreams. He looked forward to a time when Belgium should throw off the Spanish yoke and become an independent Catholic republic on the model of Protestant Holland.