On the 16th of March they reached Cano, when they entered a fresh water river suitable for their object. While the Hind and the pinnace lay at anchor, about a mile from the shore, suddenly they found the vessels quiver and shake as if they had struck a rock. A terrible earthquake was taking place, the effects of which were felt even at that distance from the land.
They here obtained fresh water, wood, and an abundance of fish, besides monkeys and several animals killed on shore. While the ship was here, the pinnace, being dispatched on active duty, brought in a prize, laden with honey, butter, and other commodities, besides which were letters from the King of Spain to the Governor of the Philippines, and charts, or sea cards, as they were called. The latter afterwards proved of considerable value to the voyagers.
The Admiral, considering it prudent, with a long voyage in prospect, to thoroughly provision the ship, determined to put into some place where he might, either by fair means or by force, obtain a sufficient quantity of the articles he considered necessary. He therefore compelled the pilot who had last been taken to steer the ship to Guatulco. He reached that place in safety. As soon as they had dropped anchor, the boats were lowered and a well-armed party hastened on shore.
Marching up to the largest building, they found a council of the principal inhabitants, who altogether consisted only of seventeen Europeans, trying a number of Indians accused of forming a plot to burn the place. To the astonishment of the Spaniards, and to the no small joy probably of the accused Indians, all were hurried on board, when the judge was compelled, upon the threat of being carried off, to write to his fellow-townsmen, advising them to offer no resistance.
While he was thus kept as a hostage, the place was ransacked; but the only valuable booty collected was a bushel of silver reals. One of the party, however, Thomas Moon, observing a Spanish gentleman running off in great fright, pursued and took from him a chain of gold and some jewels.
The rovers obtained also numerous articles of provision, clothing, stores, and suchlike, which they much needed. They here landed the Portuguese pilot Nuna da Silva, whom they had brought from the Cape de Verdes, and likewise set at liberty all the other prisoners they had taken.
Having thus arranged their business on shore, on the 16th of April they set sail, standing out into the ocean. Obtaining a fair wind, they steered northward for one thousand four hundred leagues, until they reached the forty-second degree of north latitude. Here they found the cold so intense, that many of the crew suffered greatly. The air was biting in the extreme, and even the ropes of the ship on which the rain fell became covered with ice. This occurred not only at night, but during the day, when the sun was shining.
As they sailed two degrees farther north, the seamen could scarcely keep themselves warm with the thickest clothing they could put on. They found it difficult also, even with double the number of men, to work the ropes and trim the sails. The crew, not without reason, began to murmur, and declared that they should never be able to endure the cold. The Admiral, however, urged them to persevere. They were standing on when they found themselves close to a shore trending to the westward, and, compelled by a contrary wind, they put into a bay, where they brought up; but the anchorage appearing very insecure, they sailed out again. The Admiral would have continued on his course again in search of a passage, but a northerly wind springing up, drove the Golden Hind once more to the southward.
Though it was in the height of summer, the cold continued so bitter, that many would have taken to their beds had they not been compelled to attend to the working of the ship. During this time also the sky became so overcast with clouds and thick mists, that it was impossible to take an observation. At length they came to the conclusion that there was no passage at all along the north shore of America, or that it was so blocked up with ice as to be impassable. They ran in and dropped anchor in a roadstead, since called the Bay of San Francisco.
The following day the natives came down to the beach, and sent off a man in a canoe, who, as he approached, stood up and made a long speech, using a variety of gesticulations, moving his hands and turning his head about in all directions. His address concluded, he turned back and made for the shore. In a short time he came again, and behaved exactly in the same manner; a third time he appeared, bringing with him as a present a bunch of feathers, much like those of a black crow, all neatly and cleverly put together, forming a sort of crown, such as was also worn by the principal persons in attendance on the chief. He also produced a small basket made of rushes, filled with a herb, which the natives called tabak, from which the French take the word tabac, and the English tobacco. Having tied this to a pole, he placed it in the boat alongside.
Drake would at once have recompensed him with several articles, but the only thing he would receive was a hat, which was floated off to him.
As the ship had sprung a leak and required to be put on shore, she was carried nearer, in order that her cargo might be landed, and that she might be repaired.
In order to guard against any attack from the natives, the Admiral decided on throwing up a fort, in which, for security, their valuable cargo and stores might be placed, and which would serve as a protection to themselves.
While the English were thus employed, the natives were seen coming over the brow of a hill, at the foot of which, close to the beach, the fort was being built. At first only a few warriors appeared, armed with bows and arrows, then more and more came. The seamen sprang to their arms; Drake ordered them not to fire or to show any sign of alarm.
The savages, it appeared, however, had no hostile intentions, for they approached in a humble fashion, as if they were inclined rather to reverence the white strangers than to attack them. Their numbers still further increased.
It being intimated to them by signs that they must lay aside their bows and arrows, they willingly did as they were directed. The example of the first parties was followed by the rest. Drake, anxious to secure their good-will by every possible means, distributed among them various articles of clothing, of which they stood greatly in need. As the natives by their reverential gestures appeared to look upon their visitors as beings of a superior order, Drake, shocked at the thoughts of allowing himself or his men for a moment to be so worshipped, tried to make them understand that he and his companions required clothing as much as they did, as also food and water, for which purpose he and his companions ate and drank in their presence. Notwithstanding this, nothing apparently could remove the idea entertained by the Indians that the white men were divinities.
In return for the shirts, linen, cloths, and other articles they had received, they offered feather ornaments, net-work bags, quivers made of deer-skin, and various skins.
The costume of these people was not very elaborate. The women wore on their shoulders the skins of deer, with the hair upon them, in addition to which they had petticoats formed of rushes combed out, hanging down from their waists to their knees. They appeared to be very obedient to their lords and masters, and did not even venture to move without asking permission. The men wore scarcely any clothing whatever.
Having satisfied their curiosity, or whatever brought them to visit the strangers, they retired towards some woods seen in the distance, where their dwellings were supposed to be.
Scarcely had they reached the woods, when they began weeping and crying out, the women especially shrieking in shrill tones, the sounds, although they were three-quarters of a mile off, reaching to the fort.
Drake wisely considered, in consequence of the experience he had had with other savages, notwithstanding the humble way in which they had behaved, that it would be dangerous to trust them too much, well aware, also, that any trifling event might cause a breach of the peace.
For two days none of the savages came near the voyagers, who were thus able to finish the fort without interruption. It was constructed of rough stones and stakes, so that with their guns and crossbows it might easily be defended against any number of assailants.
At the end of two days a still larger number of people than before appeared in the distance, men, women, and children, who brought with them, as they had before, feathers and bags of tabak, as propitiatory offerings. On reaching the top of a hill they stopped, when one of their number, who appeared to be their chief, commenced an oration in a loud voice, which could be clearly heard, though he was at some distance; while he used at the same time the strangest and most violent gestures, exerting himself until he was breathless.
When he had concluded, the rest bowed their bodies, crying "Oh!" as if to give their consent to the truth of all he had spoken. This done, the men, leaving their bows and arrows on the top of the hill with their women and children, approached the fort with their presents. As they did so, the women began shrieking in the most piteous tones, tearing their flesh with their nails, and dashing themselves against hard stones and stumps of trees and prickly bushes until blood streamed from their cheeks and all parts of their bodies. Supposing that they were performing some rite in honour of the diabolical beings they worshipped, Drake, to avert the evil which might ensue should he calmly sanction such a proceeding, ordered his men to fall on their knees, he himself setting the example. There they offered up prayers to God, that He would in His own good pleasure open the eyes of the savages, that they might in due time be called to a knowledge of Himself and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent to be the salvation of the Gentiles.
While the chaplain was reading certain portions in the Bible, and the seamen were joining in the prayers and singing psalms, the savages watched them attentively, at every pause uttering "Oh!" as if highly pleased.
The service over, the savages approached, and their first request was that the English would again sing them some psalms.
On further presents being offered them, they left them behind, wishing to show that they had not come to receive such things. Towards the end of another three days a still larger number of people appeared: so great, indeed, was the concourse, that it seemed as if the whole population of the country for a considerable distance must have been assembled.
From the midst of the crowd two persons were seen approaching, who from their gestures were supposed to be heralds. As far as could be understood, their Hioh or King was at hand, and desired to pay the strangers a visit.
One of the heralds spoke in a low soft voice, as if to prompt his companion; the other repeated word by word what was said in a loud and sonorous tone. The speech lasted half an hour. At the end of it they requested that something might be sent to their Hioh, as a token that he would be received as a friend.
With this request Drake willingly complied, and a suitable present was placed in the hands of the heralds, who took their departure.
In a short time a handsome man of great stature was seen approaching, who from his plumed head-dress and a coat of rich skins which he wore, reaching to his waist, was shown to be their King. In front marched a fine-looking man of large size, carrying a heavy black club, to which was suspended two feather crowns and three chains of great length, made of bone highly polished, and a bag containing tabak.
He was accompanied by some tall warriors, who formed his body-guard, their head-dresses and coats being very similar to those of the King. They all had their faces painted, some with white, others black, and others of various colours, each man carrying in his hand a gift of some sort. Behind these came a concourse of nearly naked people, their long hair being gathered into a bunch behind, and ornamented with plumes of feathers in various forms, some having stuck a feather on each side on the front of their heads, which looked like horns.
Last of all came the women and children, the women carrying, hung round their necks in front, baskets of tabak and roots which they called petah,—no doubt the potato,—and boiled fishes. Their baskets, formed of dried grass, were neatly woven, the edges ornamented with mother-of-pearl and shells; while on the sides were interwoven red feathers in various devices. So fine were these baskets that they would hold water.
As the cortege approached they struck up a loud chant, to the measured time of which they marched forward. As they got nearer, after a shout of welcome had been uttered by the entire concourse, the sceptre-bearer advanced, and in a manly voice commenced an oration, prompted by a companion, and at the conclusion, according to the rule, they all shouted "Oh!" to signify "Amen."
The King himself then, accompanied by both men and women, the children only being left behind, with stately step came down the hill. On reaching its foot, close to the fort, the sceptre-bearer commenced in a slow measure a dignified dance, keeping time to a chant or song which he began; then the King and his guards and every other person joined in the song and dance, the women also dancing, but not singing. In this way, dancing and singing, they advanced close up to the fort.
So satisfied was Drake that these performances were friendly, that he allowed them freely to enter the fort. When the women approached with their offerings, it was seen that blood was streaming from their bodies, their faces, and necks.
They now requested Drake to sit down, when both the King and his chief men made long orations, and these the English understood to signify that they desired to place the country and everything they possessed at the feet of her Majesty the Queen. They were still further convinced of this when the King—the rest singing a joyful song—placed the crown on the Admiral's head, and threw the bone chains which had been brought round his neck, addressing him as "Hioh."
Drake, not considering this as any superior reverence to himself, but only such as would be paid to the King, did not think it right to refuse the homage or the gifts thus freely offered, hoping that in time to come it might redound to the honour and profit of his country, and that these children of nature would willingly receive missionaries of the Gospel, and be brought to a right knowledge of the true and ever-living God.
The natives now dispersing themselves among the English, each selected some person on whom to bestow his present, choosing, it was observed, most willingly the youngest. This done, they again commenced shrieking and tearing the flesh on their faces. In vain the officers and men endeavoured to dissuade them from continuing such heathenish practices, by lifting up their eyes and hands to heaven, as if pointing to the living God, whom they ought to serve.
Becoming at length more calm, the natives began to exhibit their sores and wounds, shrunk sinews, and other complaints from which they suffered, by signs beseeching them to cure them, as if by merely blowing upon them this could be done. On this the young surgeon got out such lotions, plasters, and ointments as he fancied might do them service. It was almost night before the savages retired, but nearly every day they returned, and sometimes forgot to bring food with them, when the Admiral ordered them to be supplied with mussels, seals, and such meat as could be spared, with which they appeared well pleased.
Observing that their offerings were not acceptable, they refrained from bringing them, but still came down and sat in groups, watching what was going forward. They appeared to be people of an especially tractable and mild nature, free from treachery. Their only weapons were their bows and arrows, which constituted all their wealth. These were, however, so small and weak that they could do but little injury with them; they employed them chiefly to shoot the fish swimming along shore or the smaller animals of the chase. This seemed strange, as the men were strong, and would take up loads such as two or three Englishmen could barely lift, and carry them without difficulty up or down hill for a mile together. They also ran with exceeding swiftness and for a long time.
Having got on well in the repairing and refitting of the ship, Drake and his officers made an excursion into the interior, where they saw vast herds of fat deer, and the whole land seemed burrowed by small animals somewhat like coneys, the heads resembling those of rats, the feet of moles, and having tails of great length. Under their chins and on either side was a bag, into which they stowed their food after they had gathered it, that they might either feed their young or themselves at their leisure. The people ate the meat of these animals, and the skins were considered of great value, the King's robes of state being made of them. Several of the native houses were entered. The lower part consisted of a square pit dug in the earth, with a roof; while the upper portion was formed by several poles stuck in the ground and joined together at the top, the whole being interlaced with twigs, and this being covered with earth was impervious to cold or rain. The doorway was of the size and shape of the scuttle of a ship, formed in the sloping roof, and served also to allow the escape of smoke.
A fire was placed in the centre, and the beds of the inmates were on the hard ground, covered only with rushes and mats. The huts being low, and without any means of ventilation except from a single small doorway, the heat within, even though there was no fire, when a number of persons were collected, was intense.
By the time the Admiral returned, everything was ready for continuing the voyage. Before sailing he put up a strong post, with a brass plate fixed to it, on which was engraved the name of the Queen, the day and year of their arrival, and the free giving up of the province, both by the King and the people, into her Majesty's hands, together with a sixpence, showing her Majesty's picture and arms. Underneath Drake's name was engraven, and further particulars. He believed that no Spaniard had ever before set foot on the shore, not being aware that Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese by birth, had thirty-seven years previously explored the coast by command of the Viceroy of Spain.
As the natives perceived that the English were about to take their departure, the ship being now hauled out, with her sails ready for hoisting, they gave themselves up to unbounded grief, so that nothing that could be said to them seemed to lighten their sorrow. They could not be prevented lighting a fire, supposed to be sacrificial; but when the English commenced praying and singing psalms, they appeared to forget their fury, and came round, lifting up their hands and eyes to heaven, as they saw them doing. On the 23rd of July they took a sorrowful farewell of their visitors, who, shoving off in their boats, went on board the Golden Hind. Her crew, as they sailed away, saw fires burning on all the surrounding heights, kindled by the natives, evidently either to do them honour or to show their affection.
Drake bestowed on this country the name of Albion, in consequence of the whiteness of the cliffs, which resembled those of England, and because his native land was so-called.
VOYAGE OF SIR FRANCIS DRAKE, CONTINUED—A.D. 1579-80.
Search of passage to north-east abandoned—Passage across the Pacific—A group of islands made—Thievish practices of the natives—Called the Carolines—The Moluccas reached—Friendly reception by the King of Ternate—Comes off in his state barge—His magnificent jewels—The Hind sails—Careened at an island near Celebes—Gigantic trees, fire-flies, crabs—Gets among reefs and shoals—Strikes on a rock— Perilous position of the ship—Gets off—A heavy gale—Runs under bare poles—Anchors off Baratira—Natives friendly—Sails on to Java—The Rajah treats them well—The Golden Hind sails across the Indian Ocean—Rounds the Cape of Good Hope—Touches at Sierra Leone—Enters the Channel—Plymouth reached the 25th of September, 1580—Received by the Queen—The Queen visits the Golden Hind—Drake knighted—His subsequent enterprises against the Spaniards—In command of the Bonaventura attacks the Spanish Armada—His last expedition to the West Indies, and death at sea.
After touching at some islands which lie about a day's sail to the westward of California, where there was a large supply of seals and aquatic birds, the Golden Hind continued her course. In consequence of the increased cold, all idea of finding a passage round the north of America, by the consent of every officer on board, was abandoned, and a course was steered which, it was hoped, would enable them to reach the Moluccas.
For full sixty-eight days the voyagers sailed on, their view during the whole of that period being bounded by sky and sea. As far as their experience went, it was to them a Pacific Ocean, for they had smooth water and favouring breezes. They fell in with the usual sights, flying-fish endeavouring to escape from their foes the bonitos; huge whales showing their presence by spouting clouds of mist into the air; while now and then a strong-winged bird passed in their sight.
Good fellowship prevailed amongst them, no words of discontent escaped from their lips. They had confidence in their leader, and, above all, reliance on God's good providence. They were men pious after a manner. The robberies they committed did not trouble their consciences, for they considered that they had lawfully despoiled the Spaniards of their unlawfully gotten gains. They each considered that they had performed a noble and meritorious act in thus revenging on the heads of the tyrants the injuries inflicted on the helpless Indians, as well as of those which they and their countrymen had received. Even Master Fletcher, the chaplain, looked with a complacent eye on the crucifix set with brilliants, the bowls, chalices, and other articles, which, according to his view, having been taken from the idolatrous temples of the hated foe, were his proper share of the spoil; and he was ready to receive as many more similar articles as might be allotted to him.
As the sailors thought of the huge bars of silver and the chests of plate stowed away in the hold, they prayed with all earnestness to Heaven for a successful termination to their voyage, and resolved, like true men as they were, that nothing should be lacking on their part to accomplish it.
At length a group of islands was seen, from which a large number of canoes came off, manned some by four, others by fifteen men, bringing with them cocoa-nuts, fish, potatoes, and fruits. Their canoes were formed out of one tree, but smoothly and cleverly hollowed out, having the appearance of being skilfully burnished. The bow and stern were of the same shape, turned inwards in a semicircle, and highly ornamented with glistening shells. On either side of the canoe pieces of timber were hung out, from a yard to a yard and a half long, according to the size of the canoes, to the ends of which was fastened a beam, the object being to keep them from upsetting.
The ears of the natives hung down on either side of their cheeks, weighted by heavy ornaments. Some had nails on their fingers an inch long, and their teeth were as black as pitch, caused by rubbing them with a black pigment contained in a cane.
On first coming alongside they appeared ready to trade in an ordinary honest way, and gave the articles they had brought off willingly for whatever they received; but others coming round in great numbers, snatched up anything they could get hold of, and made off with it.
Drake, to show that this was not approved of, would not deal with those who had thus behaved. They still, however, came round with the greatest impudence, and asked for more. At length, to warn them, he ordered a gun without shot to be fired over their heads. On hearing the sound, in natural alarm they leapt overboard, and dived under their canoes, when, waiting until the ship had passed on, they got into them and made for the shore. Others, however, in a short time came off, one of whom had the impudence to steal a dagger from a seaman's belt. Being ordered to restore it, instead of so doing, he grasped at other things, and tried to make his escape. At length the seamen, losing patience, handling the ropes' ends and other still more formidable weapons, drove their roguish visitors overboard, and as they sailed away, bestowed on the group the name of the Islands of Thieves, now known as the Carolines. Thence sailing southward, the Hind passed several islands till she reached that of Mindanao, whence two canoes came off; but the wind blowing strong, Drake could not wait to communicate with them.
On the 3rd of November she came in sight of the high-peaked Molucca Islands, to the east of which lies the great island of Gilolo. The two principal are called Ternate and Tidore. Drake had intended to touch at the latter, but when near the little island of Motir, belonging to Ternate, a person of consequence, the Viceroy of the island, came off with the information that the King had driven the Portuguese, who were enemies to him as well as to them, out of Ternate, and that he was anxious to receive the English with due honour, and to open up a commercial intercourse with them. He assured Drake that if he dealt with the Portuguese, he would find them treacherous and deceitful, and that the King of Ternate would have nothing to do with him if he had any intercourse with them.
In consequence of this Drake resolved to run to Ternate, off which island, early the next day, the Golden Hind came to an anchor. The Admiral immediately sent a velvet cloak to the King, with a message stating that he came on a friendly visit.
The Viceroy did not fail strongly to impress the King's mind with an idea of the consequence and power of the Queen of England, and he came back carrying a signet ring, as a sign to Drake that he would be well received, saying that the King himself, with his nobles, would soon pay him a visit on board.
Meantime Drake sent one of his officers on shore, who was met on landing by a number of the chief people, and by them was conducted into the presence of the King.
His Majesty blamed himself for not having at once come off to pay his promised visit, and announced his intention of speedily making his appearance. The ship was accordingly decked with flags, the officers and crew were attired in their best, while the guns were got ready to fire a salute. At length signs were perceived that the great person was coming off.
Three large canoes, each of which contained some of the chief people of the kingdom, approached. Canopies were spread from one end of the canoes to the other, of fine mats supported on a framework of reeds. The occupants were attired in white linen or cloth of Calicut, each person seated in order according to his rank, the white heads of some of them showing the wisdom of the King in employing grave and reverend councillors. Besides them were a number of young, handsome-looking men, who, also attired in white, stood under the canopy, but showing, from the places they occupied, that they were of inferior rank. Round them, again, were arranged soldiers, neat and orderly, with their arms brightly polished. On the galleries on the outside of the state barge sat the rowers, in three ranks, each canoe having eight. At the head of the canoe sat two men, one holding a drum and the other a brass instrument, with which they struck time to direct the rowers. In the bow also was a handsome brass cannon of about a yard in length, and each man, except the rowers, had his sword, dagger, and shield, some of them carrying other weapons, such as guns, lances, bows, and darts.
As these magnificently equipped barges came near the ship, they rowed round and round, one following the other, the chief persons in them bowing low as they did so, in token of homage. They then put the former envoy on board, who signified that the King was coming, and desired that a hawser might be sent to the barges, in order that they might tow the ship into a better berth.
As the Golden Hind went gliding on, the King himself came off in a handsome barge, richly ornamented, accompanied by six grave and ancient fathers, and as he approached he also bowed towards the ship in a far more humble way than could have been expected. He was a tall, very corpulent man, of a pleasant and handsome countenance. So great was the respect shown him, that even the chief councillors did not speak to him except on their knees. Drake, wishing to do all the honour in his power to the King, and highly pleased at the confidence he exhibited, ordered the ordnance to be fired, the trumpets to sound, and the band to strike up a lively tune.
This delighted the King so much that he requested the band to come into a boat, which was towed by his barge for a whole hour together. Drake, to strengthen the friendship thus commenced, sent a variety of presents to the King, who had in the meantime dispatched a messenger to bring his brother, named Moro. The latter soon appeared, accompanied by a number of followers, all handsomely dressed, in barges as magnificent as those of the King.
His Majesty now expressed his wish to return on shore, saying that he would come back the next day, and before night he sent on board rice, sugar-canes, and sugar in various forms, fowls, plantains, cocoa-nuts, and sago, now first known to the English. They might also have obtained any amount of cloves, but Drake did not wish further to load his ship.
The Admiral was expecting the arrival of the King, when Prince Moro came with apologies, saying that if Drake would go ashore he himself would remain as a hostage. To this, however, all the officers were greatly averse, suspecting treachery, and he therefore determined to send several of them with Prince Moro, retaining the Viceroy of Motir as a hostage.
On landing they were courteously received by a large number of persons of rank in handsome dresses, and were conducted to the palace. This was a four-sided building, the centre canopied by a cloth of many colours, such as tents are made of. All the way round it were cushioned seats. It was the usual council-house, and not used for any other purpose. On one side was the chair of state, placed on a handsome carpet, having over it a very beautiful and rich canopy.
As the King did not make his appearance for an hour, the officers had time to examine things at their leisure. Before he appeared, about threescore noble, grave, and ancient personages entered and took their seats round the building, while at the farther end were a large number of richly dressed young men. Outside stood four fine-looking white-headed persons clothed in red robes reaching to the ground, having turbans on their heads similar to the Turks. They were, it was understood, strangers, but long resident in the country. Two of them were Turks, one an Italian, and the last a Spaniard, who had been rescued from the Portuguese.
At length the King appeared, followed by ten grave senators, walking under a rich canopy embossed with gold, and guarded by twelve men armed with lances, the points turned downwards.
The officers, accompanied by Prince Moro, rose to meet him. He received them graciously. He was dressed like his countrymen, but far more sumptuously. His garments from the waist downward were of cloth of gold of the richest description; his legs were bare, but on his feet he wore red slippers; his head-dress was a sort of turban twisted through wide gold rings, and somewhat resembled a crown. Round his neck he wore a massive gold chain; on his left hand four magnificent rings, adorned by a diamond, an emerald, a ruby, and a turquoise; and on his right an unusually large turquoise in one ring, and in another ring many diamonds of a smaller size artistically arranged.
While he sat in his chair of state, on his right side stood a page holding a large fan, richly embroidered and set with sapphires, with which he constantly fanned his master. The heat was excessive, both on account of the sun's rays and the number of persons assembled.
The officers, having delivered their message, received permission to take their departure. Before retiring to the boats, they had time to examine the castle, which was very ill fortified. It had only two guns, which had been captured from the Portuguese, and they were not mounted. The present King had lately succeeded his father, who had been killed by the Portuguese. Having driven them out of the country, he greatly increased his strength, and was contemplating an attack on Tidore, from which he hoped to expel them.
While the Golden Hind remained off Ternate, a stranger came on board, very well dressed, and of courteous manners. He described himself as a Chinese, related to the Emperor of China. He said that being accused of a crime of which he was innocent, he thought it prudent to quit his country and travel, after having obtained permission from the King, that should he bring back anything curious, he should obtain his pardon.
Having described the unbounded wealth of China, he entreated Drake to visit the country before returning to Europe. Drake, however, having already more than wealth enough on board his ship, and wishing to get back to England as soon as possible, declined his offer.
On the 9th of November, having shipped all necessary stores and provisions, the Golden Hind proceeded on her voyage. It was necessary, however, before she could attempt to cross the wide expanse of the Indian Ocean, and to encounter the storms off Cape Horn and in the Atlantic, which might be expected, to careen and thoroughly repair her. On the 14th, therefore, they anchored at a convenient spot near an uninhabited island off the east coast of Celebes. The first thing they did was to pitch their tents, and entrench themselves as strongly as they could on the shore, lest any of the inhabitants of the larger island in view might attack them. After having thus provided for their security, they landed the cargo and set up a smith's forge. As all their coals were spent, before they could use it, they had to manufacture charcoal.
The place was remarkably healthy, and those who had hitherto been sickly quickly recovered their strength. The island was thickly wooded with trees of great height. Among them fire-flies in vast numbers were seen flitting, at night every twig on the trees appearing as if lighted up by stars.
They also saw what they took to be huge bats, which moved rapidly through the air with short flights. When they alighted they hung on the boughs, with their backs downwards. They also found, in vast numbers, large land crabs, which lived in colonies under the roots of trees, but never, as far as they could see, entered the water. They accordingly called this place Crab Island.
All necessary repairs being completed, the Golden Hind sailed on the 12th of December, directing her course westward. When off the coast of Celebes, she became entangled among reefs and shoals, from out of which it required the greatest possible care to find a free passage. Here they were sailing, now in one direction, now in another, until the 9th of January, when, a favourable breeze springing up, they believed that they had extricated themselves from their dangerous position, and that they had an open sea before them. They were running under all sail, when, in the beginning of the first night watch, a loud grating sound was heard,—the masts quivered: the Golden Hind had run hard and fast on a rock. No land was in sight; there appeared no hopes of getting her off. Like pious men as they were, of a sort, they fell down on their knees and implored God's protection. They then rose,—their brave Admiral setting the example,—and bestirred themselves to see what could be done. The pumps were tried and quickly sucked dry, showing that the hull of the Golden Hind was sound.
It was now deemed important to carry an anchor out to seaward, but before doing so a boat was lowered, into which the Admiral leaped, undertaking the charge of sounding all round the ship; but even at a boat's length from her no bottom was found to which a cable could reach. She appeared fixed hard and fast, and should any sea get up she must inevitably quickly go to pieces.
Of this all were thoroughly convinced, although, Drake and his officers setting the example, all manfully kept up their spirits. Their boat could not carry more than twenty persons at once with safety, while the whole company consisted of fifty-eight, and the land was six leagues from them, the wind being directly off shore. At first it was proposed to send one boat-load on shore, but there was the risk of their falling into the hands of the savage inhabitants. Anxiously they awaited the return of day. It came at length. They forthwith made another attempt to carry out an anchor, but no holding ground was found. They were apparently on the very pinnacle of a rock. It was the top of high water. There appeared every probability that, when the tide became lower, the ship would fall over on her bilge and be destroyed.
Again they took to praying, and, after a short address by the Admiral and chaplain, they all together partook of the sacrament. Then, lest they should be guilty of not using all lawful means to free themselves from their danger, they commenced unloading the ship by casting all the goods they could lay their hands on into the sea.
Powder and shot and provisions were hove overboard, for they trusted that, should God permit the ship once more to float, He would not allow them to fall into the hands of their enemies, or to perish from want of food. The tide continued to fall, but the breeze blew strongly against the side which was inclined towards the rock, and kept the ship on an even keel, although, at one time, on that side there was not more than seven feet of water, while she required thirteen to float her. The breeze increasing, she heeled over on the opposite side, where the water was the deepest, and by this means, her keel tearing away the coral rock, she was suddenly floated, at a moment no one expected, into deep water. A shout of joy escaped the throats of the gallant crew of the Golden Hind, nor did they forget to offer up their grateful thanks to Heaven for their delivery. This was the greatest danger they had hitherto encountered. For many days afterwards, however, they were entangled among the reefs off the low coast of Celebes.
On the 20th of January, Drake, desiring to come to an anchor, sent the boat a considerable distance off, to look for a spot where he could bring up. Before, however, she could return, the ship was struck by a wind from the south-west, little short of a hurricane, by which the sea was rapidly lashed into fury, endangering not only the boat, but the ship herself, for she was now caught on a lee shore, off which it seemed impossible to beat. Happily the violence of the storm passed over, and the Golden Hind, picking up her boat, was able to ply off the land. Although she got clear of that danger, for many days she was exposed to others of a similar nature, and, being struck by another violent squall, it became necessary to furl all sail and to run under bare poles.
On the 6th of February five islands were in sight, towards one of which they steered, and came to an anchor. Here they wooded and watered, and on the 8th, as they were again at sea, two canoes were seen coming off to the ship. The natives in them, who were fine-looking fellows, but naked, with the exception of turbans on their heads and cloths round their loins, invited them to come to their town of Barativa.
Piloted by the strangers, the Golden Hind steered on for the town. The inhabitants appeared honest and hospitably inclined, and brought off a plentiful supply of nutmegs, pepper, lemons, cucumbers, cocoa-nuts, figs, sago, and other fruits. Indeed, they behaved in so kind and friendly a way that the crew of the Golden Hind felt themselves safer and more at their ease than they had at any place they had visited, with the exception of Ternate.
Two days were spent in recruiting their strength after their toil, and taking fresh provisions on board. Once more they sailed westward, and, after passing many other islands, on the 9th of March came in sight of the large island of Java. Drake, without hesitation, accompanied by several of his officers, went on shore and presented himself to the King, by whom he was cordially welcomed and entertained with music and a review of his troops. They found that this island was governed by a principal chief or Rajah, named Donan, who had under him several other rajahs, each presiding over a certain district. Scarcely a day passed that the Rajah or some of his subordinates did not come on board. They were invariably entertained by music and the exhibition of those things which it was thought would be pleasing to them.
Rajah Donan, in return, entertained them with a concert of his national instruments, which sounded strange in their ears; he likewise sent on board an ox. Though these visits caused some interruption, the crew, eager to prosecute their voyage, laboured hard in refitting and cleaning the bottom of the ship, which was found to be covered with barnacles, greatly impeding her sailing.
In all their transactions with these people they found them a mild and gentle race, honest and just in their dealings. Goats, hens, cocoa-nuts, plantains, and other kinds of fruits were obtained. The Golden Hind at length set sail from Java on the 26th of March, steering west-south-west, directly for the Cape of Good Hope.
Thus, as they had passed over the Pacific, the bold mariners steered their course, day after day the sea and sky alone in sight, until the 21st of May, when high rocky land was seen on the starboard bow, which they well knew was the southern part of Africa. They coasted along until the 15th of June, when, with a smooth sea and gentle wind from the south-east, they passed so near to the Cape that they might have sent a shot on shore from one of their guns.
Thus their experience differed greatly from that of the Portuguese, who had always represented it as a cape of storms. The crew of the Golden Hind suspected that they had done so for the purpose of preventing other mariners from attempting to pass it. The crew of the Golden Hind had now proved that the dreaded cape could be rounded and the Straits of Magellan passed through in safety.
For a whole month they did not again sight land until the 15th of June, when they passed Rio de Sesto, where they saw some boats of negroes fishing, but did not communicate with them. On the 22nd of the same month they came to an anchor off Sierra Leone, where, at the mouth of the river Tagoine, they spent two days watering. They were not a little astonished to see countless numbers of oysters clinging to the branches of the mangrove-trees overhanging the water. These and plenty of lemons, which they found very wholesome and refreshing, were used as food.
Once more the Golden Hind was at sea steering northward, the richest argosy which had ever yet floated on the ocean. The hearts of the gallant crew beat high as they neared their native shores. No longer fearing danger, even from revengeful Spaniards, they stood on until, greatly to their joy, soundings were struck. The well-known Land's End and the Start came in sight, and on the 25th of September, 1580—Sunday, according to the reckoning on board—the Golden Hind, after a voyage of two years and ten months, dropped her anchor in the harbour of Plymouth.
Great was the astonishment of the mariners when they found that the true day, with those who had remained on shore, was Monday the 26th, they not being aware that they had lost a day by the course they had steered, following the sun, and thereby gaining on him.
When the amount of wealth Drake had brought was known, his arrival was hailed throughout the kingdom as an event of national importance; still more so by those who could best appreciate the value of his great undertaking in having circumnavigated the globe, passed through the Straits of Magellan, and made many most important discoveries.
There were those, however, who endeavoured to detract from his merits, and accused him merely of being a successful pirate. Others blamed him for having put the unhappy Doughty to death, and many complained that his attack on the Spaniards would lay their mercantile marine at the mercy of their enemies.
He was, notwithstanding the remarks of his detractors, graciously received at Court in private, although the Queen thought it necessary to show him a certain amount of coldness in public.
So violent were the complaints made by the Spanish ambassador, that she sequestrated the treasure brought home by the Golden Hind, and part of it was paid over to the Spanish agent, by whom it was transmitted to Philip, and employed in supporting the Irish rebellion. The Queen, however, laughed at the complaints of the ambassador that the English had intruded into the South Sea, observing that she knew not why her subjects and others should be prohibited from sailing to the Indies, which she could not acknowledge to belong to the Spaniards by virtue of the Pope's bull, for that could never oblige princes who owed him no obedience, nor by reason that the Spaniards had arrived here and there, had erected cottages, and given names to capes and rivers.
A rupture with Spain becoming inevitable, Queen Elizabeth, throwing aside her simulated coldness, received Drake openly, and expressed her admiration of his boldness, discretion, and brilliant success. The Golden Hind having been brought up to Deptford on the 4th of April, 1581, she went on board in state, and Drake, who knew the tastes of his royal mistress, spared no pains in preparing a worthy banquet. Copies of Latin verses written by the Winchester scholars, praising the Golden Hind and her commander, were nailed to the masts. The banquet over, the Queen conferred upon Drake the honour of knighthood, and issued orders that his ship should be preserved as a monument of the glory of the nation and of the illustrious navigator.
After a residence of two or three years on shore, Sir Francis Drake put to sea in command of a squadron destined to attack the Spaniards wherever they should be found. Having captured some small vessels, he surprised Saint Jago, the chief town of the Cape de Verde Islands, and thence sailed for the Leeward Islands, after which he visited the principal town of San Domingo, though less booty was obtained than was expected.
His next enterprise was directed against Carthagena, which was gallantly captured, the Governor, Alonzo Bravo, being taken prisoner. After a part of the city had been destroyed, a ransom of thirty thousand pounds was accepted for the preservation of the latter. The yellow fever, however, broke out, and carried off numbers of the victorious Englishmen, so that projected attempts on Nombre de Dios and Panama were abandoned, and the squadron sailed for the coast of Florida. Here two settlements, San Augustine and Santa Helena, were burned, and then, touching at Virginia, Drake took on board the hapless survivors of the colony commenced the previous year by Sir Walter Raleigh.
Though the booty obtained was insignificant, the dismantling of so many fortresses at the commencement of the war was of importance.
This was the first of many services rendered by the great navigator. Rumours of an intended invasion of England by the Spaniards, with their so-called Invincible Armada, induced the merchants of London to fit out at their own expense twenty-six vessels of different sizes, which were placed under the command of Drake. To this squadron four ships and two pinnaces were added by the Queen, the largest of which, named the Bonaventura, was commanded by Drake in person.
With this force, early in April, 1587, he sailed from Plymouth to look out for the Spaniards. Hearing from the commanders of two Dutch vessels that a Spanish fleet was lying at Cadiz, about to sail with stores and ammunition of all sorts, he steered for that port, and in the course of one day and two nights destroyed shipping amounting to ten thousand tons.
This important service rendered, he gained information that the Saint Philipe, a Portuguese carrack from the East Indies, was expected at Terceira, one of the Azores. Though the crews of the squadron were almost destitute of provisions, by threats and promises he induced them to continue at sea, and ere long came in sight of and captured the richest prize ever yet taken; but valuable as was her cargo, still more so were the papers found on board, for from them the English merchants acquired so thorough a knowledge of the Indian trade, that they were ere long able to found that profitable company which established the empire of Britain in the East.
Returning home, Sir Francis was in the following year appointed Vice-Admiral under Lord Howard of Effingham. Before long news came that the Spanish Armada was approaching the coast.
Who does not know how Drake, warping his ships out of Plymouth Harbour, attacked the haughty Dons, hanging on their rear as they sailed vauntingly on, harassing, capturing, and destroying them? How he ran alongside a mighty galleon commanded by Don Pedro de Valdez, which at the name of Drake surrendered without striking a blow? How the navy of England did their part, though Heaven gained them the victory?
The war with Spain continuing, Drake, in conjunction with Sir John Hawkins, took command of an expedition for the purpose of crushing the power of the Spaniards in the West Indies. The fleet, consisting of six ships of the navy and twenty-one private vessels, and having on board twenty-five thousand soldiers and sailors, sailed from Plymouth on the 28th of August, 1595.
It was unfortunate from the commencement. First detained in the Channel from a false report that another armada was about to be sent against our shores, no sooner did it arrive off Dominica, than one of the vessels was captured by the enemy, whom in consequence it was no longer possible to surprise. The squadron then proceeded to Porto Rico; but Hawkins died on the evening of their arrival off the place; and shortly afterwards a shot from the fortress entering the cabin of Drake's ship, where he and his officers were seated at supper, knocking the stool from under him, killed Sir Nicholas Clifford and several others.
The place was captured the next day, but the Spaniards having removed all their treasure, and their women and children, the invaders reaped but a barren victory.
Several places fell into the hands of the English, and were given to the flames; but though a small amount of booty was obtained, their numbers were greatly reduced by this desultory style of warfare. An expedition under Sir Thomas Baskerville to capture Panama failed, and the party with difficulty got back to their ships.
This last calamity so preyed on Drake that he was seized with a fever, and after languishing for nearly three weeks, he expired near Porto Bello on the 28th of January, 1595, in the fifty-first year of his age. His followers showed the deepest grief at his loss. His body, enclosed in a leaden coffin, was committed to the deep with all the pomp which circumstances would allow. Thus, as was said, he lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it. The whole country mourned his loss, and though his last enterprise had been unsuccessful, all united in admiring the genius and valour of one whose memory, as was written of him, will survive as long as the duration of that world which he circumnavigated.
VOYAGE OF CAVENDISH ROUND THE WORLD—A.D. 1586.
Parentage of Cavendish—Sails with Sir Richard Grenville to the West Indies—Introduced to the Queen—Fits out expedition for the South Sea— Sails from Plymouth—Lands at Sierra Leone—Attacks a negro town— Passage across the Atlantic—Anchors off coast of Brazil—Puts into Port Desire—Large size of natives—Attacked by them—Enters the Straits of Magellan—A deserted Spanish colony—One man rescued—San Felipe visited—Port Famine—Enters the Pacific—The squadron puts into Mocha— Obtains provisions by a mistake of the natives—An expedition on shore at Quintero—Twelve of the crew cut off—Anchors off Moron Moreno— Degraded natives—Proceedings at Areca—Prisoners taken and tortured— Payta plundered—The island of Paria and its wealthy cacique—The English surprised by Spaniards—Several killed—Cavendish burns the place—Several vessels captured—Cocoa found on board a prize—Some persons made prisoners on shore held captive till provisions are brought—In search of the Manilla galleon—She is attacked and captured—The prisoners well treated—The Santa Anna set on fire—The Desire and Content set sail—Ersola, a pilot, carried off—The Content lost sight of—No tidings ever received of her—The ship touches at Guham and proceeds on to the Philippines—Treachery of Ersola discovered—He is hung—A Spanish frigate put to flight—Death of Captain Havers—Java reached—Reception by the Rajah—The Indian Ocean crossed—A tempest—Passes the Cape of Good Hope—Touches at Saint Helena—Hears of the defeat of the Spanish Armada—Enters Plymouth with silken sails—Knighted by Queen Elizabeth—Sails on a second voyage— Numerous disasters—Dies of a broken heart.
At an early age Thomas Cavendish, by the death of his father, William Cavendish, of Trunley Saint Martin, in the county of Suffolk, became an orphan, and the possessor of that goodly estate on which he was born. From his childhood he had been wont to gaze on the ocean, which rolled in front of the family mansion, and thus at an early age he became enamoured of a sea life.
Instead of spending his time in hunting and hawking, or other field sports, and indulging in the luxurious ease which his wealth would have allowed, as soon as he had power over his fortune, after following the Court of her Majesty for a short period, he resolved to undertake some noble enterprise which might bring credit to himself and redound to the honour of his country.
Hearing that Sir Richard Grenville, afterwards so celebrated, was about to sail, for the purpose of founding a colony in Virginia, in 1585, he fitted out a vessel at his own cost, of which he took command, and sailed in the fleet of that brave captain. Although he gained but small profit by the voyage, he obtained a considerable amount of nautical skill, and a knowledge of the islands of the West Indies, among which the squadron cruised before returning home.
Not satisfied with this short voyage, having conversed with several of those who had sailed with Drake, and with other pilots and mariners, he resolved on undertaking an expedition which might rival that of the renowned navigator who had a short time before returned in triumph from his voyage round the world in the richly-laden Golden Hind.
Through the recommendation of his friend Lord Hunsdon, he received a licence from the Queen to cruise against her enemies, and he lost no time in fitting out three vessels. These were the Desire, of one hundred and twenty tons burden, in which he sailed as Admiral, the Content, of sixty tons, and the Hugh Gallant, a bark of forty tons, carrying altogether one hundred and twenty-three officers, seamen, and soldiers. Having embarked near his own house at Harwich on the 10th of July, 1586, on board the Desire, he sailed thence for Plymouth, where his little squadron was directed to rendezvous.
Those were days when gentlemen considered it necessary to settle all disputes with the sword, and unhappily one of his followers, Mr Hope, having engaged in a duel, was mortally wounded, though he insisted on returning to his ship.
On the 21st of July, all things being ready, the anchors were weighed, and the little squadron sailed out of Plymouth Sound. On the 25th the hapless Mr Hope died of his wound. The next day five large Spanish vessels were seen, which, steering for the Desire, attacked her; but the Admiral plied his guns so vigorously that they were glad to escape, having done no material damage.
Having sighted various places, on the 26th of August the squadron put into the harbour of Sierra Leone. The following day two negroes came off and gave the information that there was a Portuguese vessel higher up the harbour. In order to learn more about her, some of the crew went on shore and danced and amused themselves with the negroes, from whom they learned that it would be impossible to approach her with the ships. Disappointed in this. Cavendish and seventy of his men landed the following day, attacked the town, set some of the houses on fire, and took what little spoil they could find. On their return the negroes who had fled, having rallied in a wood, shot poisoned arrows at them, and hurt three or four. Notwithstanding this, the crew again landed for the purpose of filling their water-casks and washing their clothes. While they were thus occupied a party of negroes rushed out upon them from the woods, and shooting their arrows, hurt several of the men, among whom was a soldier, who, breaking off the shaft, allowed the head to remain in the wound rather than have it cut out. It being poisoned, his body swelled and became black, and he died the next morning.
Touching at the Cape de Verde Islands, the squadron steered a west-south-west course across the Atlantic, and on the 31st of October sighted a lofty mountain in Brazil, twenty-four leagues from Cape Frio. The next day the ships came to an anchor between the island of San Sebastian and the main. Here the greater part of a month was spent in setting up a pinnace, preparing casks, and other necessary works.
Again sailing on the afternoon of the 17th of December, the squadron entered a hitherto unknown harbour, to which the Admiral gave the name of Port Desire, in memory of his own ship. Here vast numbers of seals were found, and also penguins. As the tides ebbed and flowed considerably, the ships were put on shore to be careened and graved. No water, however, being found near the harbour, the people had to go a considerable distance to fetch it. A man and a boy were thus employed, when they were set upon by fifty huge savages, who shot their arrows, and wounded them sorely. They would have been killed had not the Admiral, with nineteen men, coming up, put the natives to flight. Though the English followed, so rapidly did the savages run that they soon made their escape. As they were seen above the rocks they appeared like giants, and the print mark of one of their feet being measured, was found, it is asserted, to be eighteen inches in length. This, however, was not a correct way of judging of their height, and was probably an exaggeration, as none have since been found much taller than the tallest Europeans. Cavendish had after this no communication with the natives of this part of the coast.
Sailing from Port Desire, the voyagers brought up off another island three leagues away from it, where they salted and dried the penguins they had taken. They now stood on in sight of land, until on the 6th of January they entered the Straits of Magellan. Here the squadron anchored near the first narrow or angostura, as the Spaniards called it. Soon afterwards lights were seen on the northern shore, which, as they were supposed to be signals, were answered from the ships.
In the morning Cavendish sent off a boat towards the beach, where three men were seen making signals with a handkerchief. They were soon perceived to be Spaniards, who had fancied that the ships were manned by their countrymen; and great was their disappointment when they found out their mistake. Their history was a sad one. They were part of a colony which sailed from Spain in twenty-three large ships, carrying three thousand five hundred men, under the command of Don Pedro Sarmiento, with the title of Viceroy, it being the intention of the Spanish Government to found towns and erect forts on the shores of the narrowest part of the straits, so as to prevent the English or other nations from passing through them.
The greater number of vessels had been wrecked or had turned back, but Pedro Sarmiento at length arrived at the straits in February, 1584, where he landed the colonists, and the foundations of two towns named Nombre de Jesus and San Felipe were laid, situated about seventy miles apart. The Viceroy himself was driven away by stress of weather, and Rivera, one of his officers, with the larger portion of the provisions intended to support the colonists during the winter, sailed for Spain. The unhappy settlers were thus left without food in that dreary region, to endure the inclemency of the winter. Numbers died of famine and cold. Month after month wore by. At length the settlers at Nombre de Jesus built two small barks, hoping to make their way to Brazil, but before they cleared the straits one was wrecked, and the survivors in the other vessel abandoned their project in despair. Of four hundred men and thirty women who had formed the inhabitants of San Felipe, only fifteen men and three women were alive when Cavendish discovered them. Cavendish at once undertook to convey them to Peru. After some demur, they agreed to accept his liberal offer, and sent a messenger, Tome Hernandez, to express their willingness to come on board. Just at this juncture a strong easterly gale springing up, the vessels were compelled to weigh and run before it, and the hapless colonists were left to their miserable fate.
It was hopeless for Cavendish to try and turn back to their relief. As the vessel sped on, Hernandez showed them the wreck of a small bark called the John Thomas, which it was supposed had been left there by Drake.
After passing through the narrows, they brought up off the island of Santa Magdelena on the 8th of January, 1587. Here in two hours they killed and salted a large supply of penguins. Running to the south-west, the next day they came off the other Spanish settlement, San Filipe. Not a living being appeared, but among the ruins of the houses and forts the bodies of several Spaniards were discovered, lying as they had died, like dogs.
In the forts several pieces of cannon were found buried, though the carriages were still standing in their places. The English dug up the guns and carried them off, the only booty they obtained worth preserving.
The town had been well built, and had near it an abundance of wood and water. In one place stood a gibbet, showing that strict discipline had been maintained by the governor until all had succumbed to the common misfortune. It is probable that the wretched inhabitants had been compelled to live on mussels and limpets till they had no strength left to gather them, and that numbers dying from starvation, the survivors had been driven by the horrible stench of the corpses in the houses to seek for pure air and provisions along the shore. Here they had been killed by the savages, in whose possession a variety of European weapons were seen.
Cavendish gave the name of Port Famine to the place, and the Spaniards also call it in their charts Puerto de Hambre. For three weeks the squadron lay in this sheltered harbour, unable to proceed on account of contrary winds, but at length a fair breeze springing up, they cleared the passage on the 24th of February, and entered the Pacific.
On the 1st of March a fearful storm coming on, the Hugh Gallant was lost sight of, and fears were entertained for her safety. For several days the storm raged, but at length the Desire and Content managed to put into Mocha, off the coast of Chili. Here, to the infinite relief of all on board, they were soon afterwards joined by the Hugh Gallant; but her crew were so greatly exhausted by labouring at the pumps, that they could scarcely furl the sails.
Wishing to obtain provisions, Cavendish at once sent a boat to the main; but the fierce Araucanians who inhabited the country, mistaking the crew for Spaniards, of whom they have ever been the deadly enemies, furiously assailed them, but were soon compelled to retreat by a few discharges of the English calivers. They are the most warlike and intelligent aborigines of the southern part of the continent.
The following day Cavendish landed on the island with seventy men, and marched to the town of Santa Maria, where he was received in a friendly way by the chief natives, who also fancied that they were their masters the Spaniards. Here was a church with several storehouses near it, in which had been collected the tribute of provisions destined for the Spanish Governor. These stores, consisting of maize, potatoes, and dried dog-fish, were at once unsuspectingly handed over to the English, the inhabitants adding presents of hogs and fowls in large quantities. In return Cavendish invited the two principal chiefs to dine on board his ship, where he made them merry with wine, when to their astonishment they found out that their hosts were not Spaniards, and that they had handed over their tribute to the wrong persons! On this, nothing disconcerted, the two chiefs appeared to be as friendly as ever, and tried to induce the English to go across to Arauco, assuring them that they would find abundance of gold; but after the experience he had had with the Araucanians, Cavendish wisely declined to venture among them.
Touching at two other places, the voyagers entered the bay of Quintero. Here they found a herdsman asleep on the side of a hill, but before they could get up to him he awoke, and, mounting a horse, galloped off, and, as was feared, gave information of the English being on the coast.
Cavendish, however, went on shore, where he saw three horsemen approaching, flourishing their swords. On this he sent Hernandez to enter into conversation with them. He returned, saying that they were willing to furnish as large a supply of provisions as he might require. On being sent a second time to make further arrangements, forgetting all his vows, he sprang into the saddle behind one of his countrymen, who then galloped off as fast as they could go, hurried by the shots sent after them.
Indignant at this, Cavendish resolved to send an expedition on shore to find their town and burn it. On the following day Captain Havers accordingly landed with a party of sixty well-armed men, who marched eight miles inland, till they were stopped by the steepness of the mountains at whose base they had arrived. On the way they saw vast numbers of cattle and horses wonderfully wild, as well as hares, coneys, partridges, and other birds. Finding no town, they were returning, when they espied two hundred Spanish horsemen; but as they marched along in battle array, the Dons thought it wise not to attack them, and they regained their ships that night. On the ist of April a party again went on shore to fill their water-casks at a bright stream some distance from the beach. They were thus engaged when a large band of horsemen and men on foot came pouring down upon them, and twelve were cut off, either killed or taken prisoners. The rest were rescued by the soldiers who were sent on shore, and the enemy, after a sharp fight, were beaten off, with the loss of twenty-four men.
Notwithstanding this, by keeping a vigilant watch, Cavendish obtained water for all his ships. It was afterwards ascertained that the Spaniards executed as pirates six of the men they had captured, though they sailed with a commission from their Queen, who was at open war with Spain.
Leaving Quintero, they anchored, on the 15th of April, off Moron Moreno. The natives who came off to the ships were friendly, but appeared to be a degraded race, their wigwams being of the roughest description, consisting merely of skins thrown over a pole supported on forked sticks. Their boats or balsas were looked upon as ingenious contrivances. They were formed of two large inflated skins, secured together by sinews. On these they put to sea, and caught numbers of fish, with which they paid their tribute to the Spaniards, whose cruel system had reduced them to their present abject state.
Once more sailing, on the 23rd they arrived off Areca, where a small bark coming out of the harbour was captured; but the crew got away in the boat, and though the Admiral's pinnace made chase, she failed to overtake her. Finding, however, a large vessel anchored in the roads, the pinnace went alongside, and the crew having landed, captured her and her cargo. Several shots, which she narrowly escaped, were fired from the fort at the pinnace, and in revenge Cavendish resolved to attack and pillage the town. The Content, however, was not in sight, and it was necessary to wait for her. When she arrived it was found that she had been engaged some leagues to the southward in carrying off as much as she could conveniently stow of a cargo of Spanish wine. By this time the inhabitants had been able to conceal their treasure, and to make such preparations for their defence that Cavendish deemed it prudent not to attack them. He, however, sent the pinnace on shore with a flag of truce to learn if the Spaniards would redeem the ship just captured, hoping thus to obtain the men who had been carried off by the horsemen at Quintero. They replied, however, that they had been ordered by the Viceroy of Lima not to have any traffic with the heretics under pain of death, and that the prisoners could not be restored.
While this business was being transacted a vessel was seen standing into the harbour, on which the boats were sent out to intercept her; but before they could reach her she was run ashore two miles to the southward of the town. Numbers of persons were seen escaping from her, among whom were several friars, but they made such haste that before they could be taken or killed they had all got away. The vessel was boarded, but nothing of value being found in her, the boats returned to the ships.
Next morning the great ship was set on fire and one of the barks sunk, when, carrying the other with them, the squadron sailed northward. On the 27th a small bark was captured, having on board a Greek, who proved to be a good pilot for the coast of Chili, as also one Fleming and three Spaniards. They were carrying letters from Santiago, near Quintero, to Lima, giving an account of the squadron being on the coast. The crew, however, had been sworn not to reveal this should they be captured. To make them do so their thumbs were put into a winch, and the old Fleming was persuaded that he would be hung if he did not confess. Still he resisted. At last one of the Spaniards gave in and acknowledged the truth, on which the bark was burnt and the men carried off. During the next fortnight several prizes were made and two towns visited, from which an ample supply of bread, fowls, and wine was obtained.
On the 20th of April Cavendish, with a large number of his men, landed at Payta, which they took without loss, the inhabitants after a short skirmish having fled, carrying with them their treasure, to a place among the hills.
Here they were pursued, and twenty-five pounds of silver and other valuable articles taken, besides abundance of household stuff. As, however, they were a mile and a half from the town, Cavendish would not allow his men to burden themselves with anything but the silver and gold, fearing that they might be attacked by the enemy, who outnumbered them as five to one. They got back in safety to the town, which consisted of upwards of two hundred well-built houses, was kept very clean, and had a guildhall in the midst. It was set on fire with goods in it to the value of five or six thousand pounds, and burnt to the ground. The vessel in the roads was also burnt, and the squadron then steered for the island of Puna.
Here a vessel of two hundred and fifty tons was found, and forthwith sunk. Cavendish then landed, and paid a visit to the cacique, who lived in a magnificent house richly furnished, and was married to a Spanish lady. All the people in the island were completely subjected to him, and he made them work like slaves. The cacique had fled to the mainland, but was pursued. Cavendish obtained information from an Indian that a party of sixty soldiers had landed from Guaiaquil to attack him. Notwithstanding this, he marched on through the woods to some houses where he heard that the cacique and his wife had taken refuge. They had, however, again fled with their gold and silver. Cavendish, here obtained ample stores, which had previously been landed from the ship he had sunk, and also the rich leather hangings and household stuff belonging to the cacique's house, which he discovered. In the garden were fruits and vegetables of every sort in great abundance, and numbers of horses, oxen, and fat sheep on the pasture-grounds, together with turkeys, ducks, hens, and poultry of great size. Not believing that any enemy in the neighbourhood would venture to attack them, the party on shore had wandered about in search of provisions, when suddenly a large body of Spanish soldiers made their appearance, accompanied by a number of natives.
The English were driven back to the water's side, but held the enemy in check, notwithstanding their overpowering numbers, until a boat arrived to carry them off. In the meantime several English had been killed, and the boat was so overloaded that four were left behind. They, however, held their own under a cliff until the boat returned, after she had carried the rest on board. Altogether twelve Englishmen were killed, and forty-six of the enemy slain. Next day Cavendish landed with seventy men, drove the Spaniards before him, and set fire to the town, which contained three hundred houses. They then ravaged the fields, orchards, and gardens, and burnt four large ships building on the stocks.
The Spaniards not daring again to molest them, the Content was hauled on shore and graved, and on the 5th of June the squadron sailed from Puna, and brought up to obtain water at a place named Rio Dolce. Here, for want of men, the Hugh Gallant was burnt.
After having sighted the coast of New Spain on the 9th of July, they took what proved to them a valuable prize, a ship of one hundred and twenty tons, on board of which the pilot was a certain Michael Sancius. Having no special love for the Spaniards, he told the Admiral that a rich galleon, the Santa Anna, was shortly expected from the Philippine Islands.
This news exhilarated the hearts of the rovers, who hoped that she might prove as rich an argosy as that taken by Drake. The rest of the crew, six in number, with the ropes and fire-wood, being transferred to the Desire, the prize was set on fire. The next day another vessel was captured, engaged in warning the inhabitants that the English were on the coast, as also intended to give information to the galleon of her danger. The crew had got on shore, so their vessel was burnt. Putting into Acapulco, they found a bark laden with cocoas and anil. They here landing, burnt the town, the church, and the custom-house, in which latter they found six hundred bags of anil, to dye cloth, each bag being worth forty crowns, and four hundred bags of cocoas, each worth ten crowns. These cocoas served in the country both for food and money, one hundred and fifty of them being valued at one real of silver. They resemble an almond in appearance, but are not so pleasant in taste. The people both eat them and make a drink of them. This appears to be the first time the English met with the berry now in such general use. After various adventures on shore, the vessels came off the haven of Puerto de Navidad, when thirty of the crew went on shore in the pinnace. They here surprised a mulatto in his bed, who was travelling with letters warning the people along the coast of the proceedings of the English. His letters were captured, his horse killed, and the houses of the town set on fire, as also were two new ships on the stocks, of two hundred tons each; but the messenger was allowed to go free.
On the morning of the 9th of September Cavendish sent Captain Havers with forty men on shore, and under the guidance of Michael Sancius they made their way two leagues up the country. Here they surprised three householders, with their wives and children, and some Indians, a carpenter, who was a Spaniard, and a Portuguese.
They were all bound and compelled to accompany the seamen to the beach. The wives were here set at liberty on condition of obtaining a supply of plantains, lemons, oranges, pineapples, and other fruits, of which, in a short time, they brought a large supply. On this they and their husbands were allowed to depart, but Sembrano, the Spanish carpenter, and Diego, the Portuguese, were detained to make themselves useful on board.
Crossing the Tropic of Cancer, the English came to an anchor off a little island a league to the northward of Mapatalan. Here one of their prisoners escaped by swimming across to the mainland, a distance of a mile. They were now in great want of water, and on first landing did not believe that it could be found on the island; but one of their Spanish prisoners, called Flores, told them that if they would dig in the sand they could procure it. This they did, and after getting down about three feet, it bubbled up in such profusion that they in a short time were able to fill all their casks.
They remained here until the 9th of October, when again sailing, they came off the Cape of Saint Lucar, which greatly resembles the Needles of the Isle of Wight.
Here, according to the information received from Sancius, they expected to fall in with the Manilla galleon. The Desire and Content, therefore, beat up and down off the headland of California, a bright look-out being kept for their expected prize. Soon after seven o'clock the trumpeter of the Desire, who had gone aloft, espied a vessel bearing in from the offing, on which he cried out, with no small joy to himself and the whole company, "A sail! a sail!"
On this the master and several others hurried aloft, when, convinced that he was right, Cavendish was informed of the joyful news.
The two small vessels were immediately got ready for the expected fight, and the sails being trimmed, they gave chase to the galleon. In the afternoon they got up to her, and without waiting to hail, they each having given her a broadside and a volley of small shot, laid her aboard, although she was of seven hundred tons burden and full of men, whereas their ships' companies had been greatly reduced with those they had at different times lost. They were at once convinced that she was the Santa Anna, the galleon they were in search of, belonging to the King of Spain. The tacks had been hauled down, and she was hove to, but not a man could be seen on her decks. As soon as the English began to climb up, however, they perceived the Spaniards standing close together, armed with lances, javelins, rapiers, targets, and vast quantities of large stones, with which they so warmly attacked the heads of their assailants that the latter were driven back again into their ships, two being killed and several wounded. On this, as the two little vessels sheered off, Cavendish ordered his crews again to fire their great guns, and to discharge their small arms among the Spaniards, by which the sides of the galleon were pierced through and through, and many of her crew killed and wounded.
The Spanish captain, however, like a valiant man, still stood at his post, refusing to yield. Cavendish on this, ordering the trumpets to sound, the broadside guns and small arms were again fired, with such effect that many more Spaniards were killed and wounded; while the shot striking the huge ship between wind and water, she began to fill. On this the Spanish captain struck his colours, and holding out a flag of truce, asked for quarter.
Cavendish promised that it would be given, and ordered the Spanish officers to strike their sails and lower a boat.
Without loss of time this was done, and one of the principal merchants coming up the side of the Desire, falling on his knees, implored the Admiral's mercy.
Cavendish assured him it would be granted, that their lives would be spared, and that they would be well treated, provided he was correctly informed of the amount of valuables on board the galleon.
The captain and pilot, who had also arrived, told him that the ship carried one hundred and twenty-two thousand pesos of gold, and that the rest of her cargo consisted of silks, satins, damasks, with musk and other merchandise, with provisions of all sorts in abundance.
They were detained on board while the galleon their prize was carried into Puerto Seguro. There was here a stream of clear water, with plenty of fish, fowl, and wood to be obtained, as also numerous hares and coneys. As soon as they had anchored, the English employed themselves in transferring the rich cargo on board their own vessels, as also in dividing the treasure, to each man being allotted a certain portion; but the crew of the Content were very far from contented, and showed some inclination to mutiny. They were, however, to all appearances speedily pacified, though as it turned out they were far from being really so.
The Spaniards were supplied with sufficient arms to defend themselves against the natives and everything else they required, for which the captain, in the name of the rest, expressed himself very grateful. All the passengers and most of the ship's company were allowed to go except two Japanese lads, who were detained, and three others who had been born in Manilla, the youngest of whom afterwards became a page to the Countess of Essex.
Besides these, Rodrigo, a Portuguese who had visited Canton and other parts of China, and had been in Java and the Philippines, was kept, and a Spaniard, Thomas de Ersola, an experienced pilot between Acapulco, the Ladrones, and the Philippines.
The Santa Anna, which had still five hundred tons of goods in her, was set on fire, and all arrangements being made, on the 19th of November, to the joy of their crews, the Admiral, firing a farewell salute, stood out of harbour at three o'clock in the afternoon, and with a fair wind, steering westward, they commenced their homeward voyage.
The King's ship was soon burnt down to the water's edge, but curious as it may seem, she escaped destruction. Her cables being burnt through, she drifted on shore, when the Spaniards managed to extinguish the flames, and with the planks they had obtained and the sails and rigging which had been landed, the trees in the neighbourhood supplying them with masts and yards, they fitted her for sea, and before long contrived to make their escape.
Cavendish took a great liking to Ersola, and placed much confidence in him as a pilot. He seemed to merit this by the accurate way in which he guided the ship across the Pacific.
On going out of the harbour the Content had been left astern. Night coming on, she was lost sight of, and when morning broke she was nowhere to be seen. In vain the Desire waited for her. At length, spreading her sails, she stood on her course.
From that day no more was seen of the hapless Content, nor was the slightest clue obtained as to what became of her. Some thought that she had sailed for the Straits and been lost, but Ersola was of opinion that Captain Hare, who commanded her, thinking to be wiser than Drake, had attempted the North-East Passage, and had got so far north that he had perished, with all his company, in the ice.
That there was such a passage no one doubted, and that America was a continent by itself, independent of the rest of the world.
For forty-five days the Desire glided on with a fair wind out of sight of land, until on the 3rd of January, 1588, she made the island of Guham, one of the Ladrones. From thence a number of natives came off, bringing fruits and vegetables, but became so troublesome that, losing temper, Cavendish in a most unjustifiable manner ordered a shot to be fired among them.
On the 14th of the same month the Desire made the Philippines, and sailing on, came to an anchor, on the morning of the 15th, in a safe harbour in the island, called Capal. Scarcely had the anchor been dropped than one of the chief caciques of the island came off with provisions, supposing the ship to be Spanish. He being detained on board, his people were sent on shore to invite the other cacique to come off, which he shortly did, bringing an abundance of provisions, so that the whole of the clay was spent in buying hogs, hens, roots, cocoas, and other vegetables, by which the crew were greatly refreshed.
This island was about sixty leagues distant from Manilla, which was already a flourishing place, containing seven hundred inhabitants, among them many merchants from China, and also several Sanguelos, who were partly Moors, or Malays probably, and partly heathen. The Sanguelos were especially clever in inventing and making all manner, of things, so that few or no Christians could surpass them. They excelled in drawing and embroidering upon satin, silk or lawn, representing either beasts, fowls, fish, or worms, in the most natural manner. They also worked in silk, silver, gold, and pearl.
On the same night of their arrival at Capal the Portuguese Nicholas Rodrigo, who had been taken out of the Santa Anna, desired to speak to Cavendish in secret. His request being granted, he told the Admiral that although he had hitherto appeared to be discontented, he was truly grateful to him for the kindness he had received, and as a proof of this he desired to put him on his guard against a treacherous plot which had been devised by the pilot Ersola to deliver up his vessel to the Spaniards. As a proof that what he said was true, a letter, he stated, would be found in Ersola's chest. Search being made, the letter was discovered, which Ersola had intended to send by some natives to Manilla. It called on the authorities there forthwith to fit out an expedition to capture the Desire, warning them that if she escaped, the English would bring their countrymen down to attack the settlement.
A drum-head court martial was immediately held. The hapless pilot at first denied all knowledge of the letter, but at length compelled to confess his guilt, with a short shrift he was next morning hanged at the yard-arm.
The Desire remained nine days at Capal, during which Cavendish obliged the chief cacique, as well as the caciques of a hundred other islands, to pay tribute to him in hogs, hens, potatoes, and cocoas. The tribute being received on board, he hoisted the flags and sounded the drums and trumpets. Then telling them that the English were enemies to the Spaniards, he paid them in money more than an equivalent for the provisions they had brought. To show their pleasure, the caciques rowed about the ship in their canoes at a great rate. The brave voyagers, who never doubted the existence of Satan, firmly believed what they stated,—that those people wholly worshipped the devil, and oftentimes have conferences with him who "appeareth unto them in a most ugly and monstrous shape."
Setting sail on the 24th, the Desire ran along the coast, past Manilla, putting to flight some frigates which had been sent after her, and dispersing some Spaniards who fired at her boat.
One or two men died at this time, and on the last day of February Captain Havers succumbed to a burning ague, from which he had suffered several days, to the great grief of all on board.
Passing by the Moluccas, the Desire, after various adventures, reached Java, where she was visited by the chief Rajah, named Bolamboam, an aged despot who possessed a hundred wives, while his son had fifty. His people were said to be the bravest of all those inhabiting the south-east part of the world, for they never feared any death.
Several Portuguese who were settled in this part of the island visited the ship, and, hearing that their King, Don Antonio, was a friend of the Queen of England, urged Cavendish to advise him to come out and found a kingdom which would comprehend the Moluccas, Ceylon, China, and the Philippines. A friendly reception was also promised to the English.
Firing a parting salute on the 16th of March, Cavendish took his departure, traversing for forty days that "mightie and vaste sea between the yle of Java and the main of Africa, observing the heavens, the crosiers or southern cross, the other starres, the fowles, which are marks unto seamen of fair weather or foul weather, approaching of lands or islands, the winds, the tempests, the rains and thunder, with the alterations of the tides and currents."
On the 10th of May the Desire was overtaken by a terrific storm, but it calmed in a few hours, and the next day a look-out from the masthead saw land, which was supposed to be the Cape of Good Hope, but was ultimately proved to be False Cape.
It was not until the 16th of May that, with a brisk gale, the ship passed the Cape of Good Hope, and on the 8th of June she came in sight of the island of Saint Helena. Only four people were found upon the island, but it was abundantly stored with fruits and vegetables of all sorts, carefully cultivated, while there were numberless goats and hogs running wild among the mountains.
The Portuguese homeward-bound East Indian fleet, the smallest of which vessels were of eight or nine hundred tons burden, laden with spices, Calicut cloth, precious stones, pearls, and treasure, had called off there only twenty days before.
Having touched at the Azores on the 3rd of September, the Desire fell in with a Plymouth vessel coming from Lisbon, which gave the voyagers the glorious information of the overthrow of the Spanish Armada.
Directly afterwards the Desire encountered a terrific gale, which carried away the greater part of her remaining sails. To replace them others were manufactured from the Indian damasks, and the canvas made of the silk grass of the South Seas, which had a most lustrous appearance. One of her topsails was of cloth of gold, while her officers and crew were dressed in silk clothes, their own having probably long since worn out.
Thus equipped, on the 9th of September the Desire entered the long-wished-for port of Plymouth, to the great astonishment of the inhabitants, who, as they gazed at her, fancied that all her sails were of silk, supposing naturally that this betokened the value of her cargo. In this they were not far wrong, for the wealth Cavendish brought home was enough to buy a fair earldom.
He was received with great kindness by the Queen, who, considering that his exploit almost rivalled that of Drake, bestowed on him the honour of knighthood. He boasted to his patron, Lord Hunsdon, that he had burnt and sunk nineteen sail of ships, small and great; that all the villages and towns where he had landed he had burnt and spoiled, and had carried off a great quantity of treasure, his most profitable transaction being that of the capture of the Santa Anna, as her cargo was the richest that had ever floated on those seas, so that his ships could only contain a small portion.
Happy would it have been for the gallant Cavendish had he remained contentedly on shore, but his eager soul burned for fresh enterprises. Having fitted out a squadron of three ships and two barks, in one of which, the Roebuck, John Davis went as captain, he sailed from Plymouth on the 26th of August, 1591, for the purpose of finding a North-West Passage by way of the Pacific into the Atlantic. Disaster, however, followed him from the first. He was deserted by one of his captains, and failing to get through the Straits of Magellan, was compelled to return home. He died of a broken heart, after a vain search for Saint Helena, where he hoped to refresh his crew, towards the end of the year 1592.
CAPE HORN FIRST DOUBLED BY SCHOUTEN AND LE MAIRE—A.D. 1615-17.
Desire of Dutch merchants to find a fresh passage into the South Sea—Le Maire applies to Captain Schouten—The Unity and Horn fitted out— Sail—Touch at Dover and Plymouth—Put into Sierra Leone—Fruit and water obtained—The Horn struck by a sea-unicorn—Make the coast of South America—Attempting to enter Port Desire, the Unity strikes a rock—Both vessels nearly lost—The vessels put on shore to clean—The Horn burnt—Penguins—Sea-lions—Discovery of the Straits of Le Maire—Cape Horn named and doubled—Steer for Juan Fernandez—Unable to find anchorage off it—Touch at Dog, Water, and Fly Islands—Fire at a double canoe—Some of the natives killed—The Unity anchors off an island—Natives swarm around her—Boat attacked—Natives become friendly—Their chief visits the ship—The savages attack the ship— Course changed to the northward—Two savages killed—Friendly intercourse with others—The King and his courtiers take to flight at the sound of a great gun—Meeting of two Kings—A feast—Other islands visited—Coast of New Guinea reached—Natives attack the ship—Shock of an earthquake felt on board—Sail along western coast of New Guinea— Hostility of the natives—Barter with the natives at the south end— Touch at Gilolo and Amboyna—The Unity confiscated at Batavia—Death of La Maire—Captain Schouten reaches Holland.
The Dutch, from an early period of their history, had actively engaged in commercial enterprises. They had followed the Spaniards and Portuguese to India, and having successfully competed with them for its trade, had established settlements and factories in many of the most fertile portions of the Eastern Archipelago. They had, notwithstanding, no idea of the advantages of free trade, and the Dutch East India Company having been formed, obtained from the States General of the United Provinces—as their government was then called—exclusive privileges, prohibiting all the rest of their subjects from trading to the eastward beyond the Cape of Good Hope, or westward through the Straits of Magellan, in any of the countries within those limits, whether known or unknown, under the heaviest penalties. This prohibition gave great dissatisfaction to many of the wealthy merchants of Holland, who wished to employ their ships in making discoveries and trading at their own risk. Among them was Isaac Le Maire, a rich merchant of Amsterdam, then residing at Egmont, who had a desire to employ his wealth in acquiring fame as a discoverer.