Chronicles of America 

Sir Francis Drake In the Pacific

When Drake left for Nombre de Dios in the spring of 1572, Spain and England were both ready to fly at each other's throats. When he Came back in the summer of 1573, they were all for making friends--hypocritically so, but friends. Drake's plunder stank in the nostrils of the haughty Dons. It was a very inconvenient factor in the diplomatic problem for Elizabeth. Therefore Drake disappeared and his plunder too. He went to Ireland on service in the navy. His plunder was divided up in secrecy among all the high and low contracting parties.

In 1574 the Anglo-Spanish scene had changed again. The Spaniards had been so harassed by the English sea-dogs between the Netherlands and Spain that Philip listened to his great admiral, Menendez, who, despairing of direct attack on England, proposed to seize the Scilly Isles and from that naval base clear out a way through all the pirates of the English Channel. War seemed certain. But a terrible epidemic broke out in the Spanish fleet. Menendez died. And Philip changed his policy again.

This same year John Oxenham, Drake's old second-in-command, sailed over to his death. The Spaniards caught him on the Isthmus of Darien and hanged him as a pirate at Lima in Peru.

In the autumn of 1575 Drake returned to England with a new friend, Thomas Doughty, a soldier-scholar of the Renaissance, clever and good company, but one of those 'Italianate' Englishmen who gave rise to the Italian proverb: "Inglese italianato e diavolo incarnato--"'an Italianized Englishman is the very Devil.' Doughty was patronized by the Earl of Essex, who had great influence at court.

The next year, 1576, is noted for the 'Spanish Fury.' Philip's sea power was so hampered by the Dutch and English privateers, and he was so impotent against the English navy, that he could get no ready money, either by loan or from America, to pay his troops in Antwerp. These men, reinforced by others, therefore mutinied and sacked the whole of Antwerp, killing all who opposed them and practically ruining the city from which Charles V used to draw such splendid subsidies. The result was a strengthening of Dutch resistance everywhere.

Elizabeth had been unusually tortuous in her policy about this time. But in 1577 she was ready for another shot at Spain, provided always that it entailed no open war. Don John of Austria, natural son of Charles V, had all the shining qualities that his legitimate half-brother Philip lacked. He was the hero of Lepanto and had offered to conquer the Moors in Tunis if Philip would let him rule as king. Philip, crafty, cold, and jealous, of course refused and sent him to the Netherlands instead. Here Don John formed the still more aspiring plan of pacifying the Dutch, marrying Mary Queen of Scots, deposing Elizabeth, and reigning over all the British Isles. The Pope had blessed both schemes. But the Dutch insisted on the immediate withdrawal of the Spanish troops. This demolished Don John's plan. But it pleased Philip, who could now ruin his brilliant brother by letting him wear himself out by trying to govern the Netherlands without an army. Then the Duke of Anjou, brother to the King of France, came into the fast-thickening plot at the head of the French rescuers of the Netherlands from Spain. But a victorious French army in the Netherlands was worse for England than even Spanish rule there. So Elizabeth tried to support the Dutch enough to annoy Philip and at the same time keep them independent of the French.

In her desire to support them against Philip indirectly she found it convenient to call Drake into consultation. Drake then presented to Sir Francis Walsingham his letter of commendation from the Earl of Essex, under whom he had served in Ireland; whereupon 'Secretary Walsingham [the first civilian who ever grasped the principle of modern sea power] declared that Her Majesty had received divers injuries of the King of Spain, for which she desired revenge. He showed me a plot [map] willing me to note down where he might be most annoyed. But I refused to set my hand to anything, affirming that Her Majesty was mortal, and that if it should please God to take Her Majesty away that some prince might reign that might be in league with the King of Spain, and then would my own hand be a witness against myself.' Elizabeth was forty-four. Mary Queen of Scots was watching for the throne. Plots and counter-plots were everywhere.

Shortly after this interview Drake was told late at night that he should have audience of Her Majesty next day. On seeing him, Elizabeth went straight to the point. 'Drake, I would gladly be revenged on the King of Spain for divers injuries that I have received.' 'And withal,' says Drake, 'craved my advice therein; who told Her Majesty the only way was to annoy him by the Indies.' On that he disclosed his whole daring scheme for raiding the Pacific. Elizabeth, who, like her father, 'loved a man' who was a man, fell in with this at once. Secrecy was of course essential. 'Her Majesty did swear by her Crown that if any within her realm did give the King of Spain to understand hereof they should lose their heads therefor.' At a subsequent audience 'Her Majesty gave me special commandment that of all men my Lord Treasurer should not know of it.' The cautious Lord Treasurer Burleigh was against what he considered dangerous forms of privateering and was for keeping on good terms with Spanish arms and trade as long as possible. Mendoza, lynx-eyed ambassador of Spain, was hoodwinked. But Doughty, the viper in Drake's bosom, was meditating mischief: not exactly treason with Spain, but at least a breach of confidence by telling Burleigh.

De Guaras, chief Spanish spy in England, was sorely puzzled. Drake's ostensible destination was Egypt, and his men were openly enlisted for Alexandria. The Spaniards, however, saw far enough through this to suppose that he was really going back to Nombre de Dios. It did not seem likely, though quite possible, that he was going in search of the Northwest Passage, for Martin Frobisher had gone out on that quest the year before and had returned with a lump of black stone from the arctic desolation of Baffin Island. No one seems to have divined the truth. Cape Horn was unknown. The Strait of Magellan was supposed to be the only opening between South America and a huge antarctic continent, and its reputation for disasters had grown so terrible, and rightly terrible, that it had been given up as the way into the Pacific. The Spanish way, as we have seen, was overland from Nombre de Dios to Panama, more or less along the line of the modern Panama Canal.

In the end Drake got away quietly enough, on the 15th of November, 1577. The court and country were in great excitement over the conspiracy between the Spaniards and Mary Queen of Scots, now a prisoner of nine years' standing.

"Into the South Sea, and therehence about the whole Globe of the Earth, begun in the year of our Lord 1577"' well deserves its great renown. Drake's flotilla seems absurdly small. But, for its own time, it was far from insignificant; and it was exceedingly well found. The "Pelican", afterwards called the "Golden Hind", though his flagship, was of only a hundred tons. The "Elizabeth", the "Swan", the "Marigold", and the "Benedict" were of eighty, fifty, thirty, and fifteen. There were altogether less than three hundred tons and two hundred men. The crews numbered a hundred and fifty. The rest were gentlemen-adventurers, special artificers, two trained surveyors, musicians, boys, and Drake's own page, Jack Drake. There was great store of wild-fire, chain-shot, harquebusses, pistols, corslets, bows and other like weapons in great abundance. Neither had he omitted to make provision for ornament and delight, carrying with him expert musicians, rich furniture (all the vessels for his table, yea, many belonging even to the cook-room, being of pure silver), and divers shows of all sorts of curious workmanship whereby the civility and magnificence of his native country might amongst all nations withersoever he should come, be the more admired.'


The little handbook issued by Pette and Jackman in 1580, for those whom we should now call commercial travellers, is full of 'tips' about 'Thinges to be carried with you, whereof more or lesse is to be carried for a shewe of our commodities to bee made.' For instance:--'Kersies of all orient couleurs, specially of stamel (fine worsted), brode cloth of orient couleurs also. Taffeta hats. Deepe cappes for mariners. Quilted Cappes of Levant Taffeta of divers coulours, for the night. Garters of Silke. Girdels of Buffe and all leathers, with gilt and ungilt Buckles, specially wast girdels. Wast girdels of velvet. Gloves of all sortes, knit and of leather. Gloves perfumed. Shooes of Spanish leather, of divers colours. Looking glasses for Women, great and fayre. Comes of Ivorie. Handkerchewes, with silk of divers colours, wrought. Glasen eyes to ride with against dust [so motor goggles are not so new, after all!]. Boxes with weightes of golde, and every kind of coyne of golde, to shewe that the people here use weight and measure, which is a certayne shewe of wisedome, and of a certayne government settled here.' There are also elaborate directions about what to take 'For banketing on shipborde of persons of credite' [and prospective customers]. 'First, the sweetest perfumes to set under hatches to make the place smell sweete against their coming aborde. Marmelade. Sucket [candies]. Figges barrelled. Raisins of the Sun. Comfets that shall not dissolve. Prunes damaske. Dried peres. Walnuttes. Almondes. Olives, to make them taste their wine. The Apple John that dureth two yeares, to make showe of our fruites. Hullocke [a sweet wine]. Sacke. Vials of good sweet waters, and casting-bottels of glass, to besprinckel the gests withal, after their coming aborde. The sweet oyle of Xante and excellent French vinegar and a fine kind of Bisket steeped in the same do make a banketting dishe. and a little Sugar cast in it cooleth and comforteth, and refresheth the spirittes of man. Synomomme Water and Imperiall Water is to be had with you to comfort your sicke in the voyage.'

No feature is neglected. 'Take with you the large mappe of London and let the river be drawn full of shippes to make the more showe of your great trade. The booke of the Attyre of All Nations carried with you and bestowed in gift would be much esteemed. Tinder boxes, with steel, flint, and matches. A painted Bellowes, for perhaps they have not the use of them. All manner of edge tools. Note specially what dyeing they use.' After many more items the authors end up with two bits of good advice. 'Take with you those things that bee in the Perfection of Goodnesse to make your commodities in credit in time to come.' 'Learn what the Country hath before you offer your commodities for sale; for if you bring thither what you yourself desire to lade yourself home with, you must not sell yours deare lest hereafter you purchase theirs not so cheape as you would

Sou'sou'west went Drake's flotilla and made its landfall 'towards the Pole Antartick' off the 'Land of Devils' in 31 deg. 40' south, northeast of Montevideo. Frightful storms had buffeted the little ships about for weary weeks together, and all hands thought they were the victims of some magician on board, perhaps the 'Italianate' Doughty, or else of native witchcraft from the shore. The experienced old pilot, who was a Portuguese, explained that the natives had sold themselves to Devils, who were kinder masters than the Spaniards, and that 'now when they see ships they cast sand into the air, whereof ariseth a most gross thick fogg and palpable darkness, and withal horrible, fearful, and intolerable winds, rains, and storms.'

But witchcraft was not Thomas Doughty's real offence. Even before leaving England, and after betraying Elizabeth and Drake to Burleigh, who wished to curry favor with the Spanish traders rather than provoke the Spanish power, Doughty was busy tampering with the men. A storekeeper had to be sent back for peculation designed to curtail Drake's range of action. Then Doughty tempted officers and men: talked up the terrors of Magellan's Strait, ran down his friend's authority, and finally tried to encourage downright desertion by underhand means. This was too much for Drake. Doughty was arrested, tied to the mast, and threatened with dire punishment if he did not mend his ways. But he would not mend his ways. He had a brother on board and a friend, a 'very craftie lawyer'; so stern measures were soon required. Drake held a sort of court-martial which condemned Doughty to death. Then Doughty, having played his last card and lost, determined to die 'like an officer and gentleman.'

Drake solemnly 'pronounced him the child of Death and persuaded him that he would by these means make him the servant of God.' Doughty fell in with the idea and the former friends took the Sacrament together, 'for which Master Doughty gave him hearty thanks, never otherwise terming him than "My good Captaine."' Chaplain Fletcher having ended with the absolution, Drake and Doughty sat down together 'as cheerfully as ever in their lives, each cheering up the other and taking their leave by drinking to each other, as if some journey had been in hand.' Then Drake and Doughty went aside for a private conversation of which no record has remained. After this Doughty walked to the place of execution, where, like King Charles I,

He nothing common did or mean Upon that memorable scene.

'And so bidding the whole company farewell he laid his head on the block.' 'Lo! this is the end of traitors!' said Drake as the executioner raised the head aloft.

Drake, like Magellan, decided to winter where he was, in Port St. Julian on the east coast of Patagonia. His troubles with the men were not yet over; for the soldiers resented being put on an equality with the sailors, and the 'very craftie lawyer' and Doughty's brother were anything but pleased with the turn events had taken. Then, again, the faint-hearts murmured in their storm-beaten tents against the horrors of the awful Straits. So Drake resolved to make things clear for good and all. Unfolding a document he began: 'My Masters, I am a very bad orator, for my bringing up hath not been in learning, but what I shall speak here let every man take good notice of and let him write it down; for I will speak nothing but I will answer it in England, yea, and before Her Majesty, and I have it here already set down.' Then, after reminding them of the great adventure before them and saying that mutiny and dissension must stop at once, he went on: 'For by the life of God it doth even take my wits from me to think of it. Here is such controversy between the gentlemen and sailors that it doth make me mad to hear it. I must have the gentleman to haul with the mariner and the mariner with the gentleman. I would know him that would refuse to set his hand to a rope! But I know there is not any such here.' To those whose hearts failed them he offered the "Marigold". 'But let them go homeward; for if I find them in my way, I will surely sink them.' Not a man stepped forward. Then, turning to the officers, he discharged every one of them for re-appointment at his pleasure. Next, he made the worst offenders, the 'craftie lawyer' included, step to the front for reprimand. Finally, producing the Queen's commission, he ended by a ringing appeal to their united patriotism. 'We have set by the ears three mighty Princes [the sovereigns of England, Spain, and Portugal]; and if this voyage should not have success we should not only be a scorning unto our enemies but a blot on our country for ever. What triumph would it not be for Spain and Portugal! The like of this would never more be tried.' Then he gave back every man his rank again, explaining that he and they were all servants of Her Majesty together. With this the men marched off, loyal and obedient, to their tents.

Next week Drake sailed for the much dreaded Straits, before entering which he changed the "Pelican's" name to the "Golden Hind", which was the crest of Sir Christopher Hatton, one of the chief promoters of the enterprise and also one of Doughty's patrons. Then every vessel struck her topsail to the bunt in honor of the Queen as well as to show that all discoveries and captures were to be made in her sole name. Seventeen days of appalling dangers saw them through the Straits, where icy squalls came rushing down from every quarter of the baffling channels. But the Pacific was still worse. For no less than fifty-two consecutive days a furious gale kept driving them about like so many bits of driftwood. 'The like of it no traveller hath felt, neither hath there ever been such a tempest since Noah's flood.' The little English vessels fought for their very lives in that devouring hell of waters, the loneliest and most stupendous in the world. The "Marigold" went down with all hands, and Parson Fletcher, who heard their dying call, thought it was a judgment. At last the gale abated near Cape Horn, where Drake landed with a compass, while Parson Fletcher set up a stone engraved with the Queen's name and the date of the discovery.

Deceived by the false trend of the coast shown on the Spanish charts Drake went a long way northwest from Cape Horn. Then he struck in northeast and picked up the Chilean Islands. It was December, 1578; but not a word of warning had reached the Spanish Pacific when Drake stood in to Valparaiso. Seeing a sail, the crew of the "Grand Captain of the South" got up a cask of wine and beat a welcome on their drums. In the twinkling of an eye gigantic Tom Moone was over the side at the head of a party of boarders who laid about them with a will and soon drove the Spaniards below. Half a million dollars' worth of gold and jewels was taken with this prize.

Drake then found a place in Salado Bay where he could clean the "Golden Hind" while the pinnace ranged south to look for the other ships that had parted company during the two months' storm. These were never found, the "Elizabeth" and the "Swan" having gone home after parting company in the storm that sank the "Marigold". After a prolonged search the "Golden Hind" stood north again. Meanwhile the astounding news of her arrival was spreading dismay all over the coast, where the old Spanish governor's plans were totally upset. The Indians had just been defeated when this strange ship came sailing in from nowhere, to the utter confusion of their enemies. The governor died of vexation, and all the Spanish authorities were nearly worried to death. They had never dreamt of such an invasion. Their crews were small, their lumbering vessels very lightly armed, their towns unfortified.

But Drake went faster by sea than their news by land. Every vessel was overhauled, taken, searched, emptied of its treasure, and then sent back with its crew and passengers at liberty. One day a watering party chanced upon a Spaniard from Potosi fast asleep with thirteen bars of silver by him. The bars were lifted quietly and the Spaniard left sleeping peacefully. Another Spaniard suddenly came round a corner with half a ton of silver on eight llamas. The Indians came off to trade; and Drake, as usual, made friends with them at once. He had already been attacked by other Indians on both coasts. But this was because the unknown English had been mistaken for the hated Spaniards.

As he neared Lima, Drake quickened his pace lest the great annual treasure ship of 1579 should get wind of what was wrong. A minor treasure ship was found to have been cleared of all her silver just in time to balk him. So he set every stitch of canvas she possessed and left her driving out to sea with two other empty prizes. Then he stole into Lima after dark and came to anchor surrounded by Spanish vessels not one of which had set a watch. They were found nearly empty. But a ship from Panama looked promising; so the pinnace started after her, but was fired on and an Englishman was killed. Drake then followed her, after cutting every cable in the harbor, which soon became a pandemonium of vessels gone adrift. The Panama ship had nothing of great value except her news, which was that the great treasure ship "Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion", 'the chiefest glory of the whole South Sea,' was on her way to Panama.

She had a very long start; and, as ill luck would have it, Drake got becalmed outside Callao, where the bells rang out in wild alarm. The news had spread inland and the Viceroy of Peru came hurrying down with all the troops that he could muster. Finding from some arrows that the strangers were Englishmen, he put four hundred soldiers into the only two vessels that had escaped the general wreck produced by Drake's cutting of the cables. When Drake saw the two pursuing craft, he took back his prize crew from the Panama vessel, into which he put his prisoners. Meanwhile a breeze sprang up and he soon drew far ahead. The Spanish soldiers overhauled the Panama prize and gladly gave up the pursuit. They had no guns of any size with which to; fight the "Golden Hind", and most of them were so sea-sick from the heaving ground-swell that they couldn't have boarded her in any case.

Three more prizes were then taken by the swift "Golden Hind". Each one had news which showed that Drake was closing on the chase. Another week passed with every stitch of canvas set. A fourth prize, taken off Cape San Francisco, said that the treasure ship was only one day ahead. But she was getting near to Panama; so every nerve was strained anew. Presently Jack Drake, the Captain's page, yelled out "Sail-ho!" and scrambled down the mainmast to get the golden chain that Drake had promised to the first lookout who saw the chase. It was ticklish work, so near to Panama; and local winds might ruin all. So Drake, in order not to frighten her, trailed a dozen big empty wine jars over the stern to moderate his pace. At eight o'clock the jars were cut adrift and the "Golden Hind" sprang forward with the evening breeze, her crew at battle quarters and her decks all cleared for action The chase was called the 'Spitfire' by the Spaniards because she was much better armed than any other vessel there. But, all the same, her armament was nothing for her tonnage. The Spaniards trusted to their remoteness for protection; and that was their undoing.

To every Englishman's amazement the chase was seen to go about and calmly come to hail the "Golden Hind", which she mistook for a despatch vessel sent after her with some message from the Viceroy! Drake, asking nothing better, ran up alongside as Anton her captain hailed him with a "Who are you? A ship of Chili!" answered Drake. Anton looked down on the stranger's deck to see it full of armed men from whom a roar of triumph came. "English! strike sail!" Then Drake's whistle blew sharply and instant silence followed; on which he hailed Don Anton:--"Strike sail! Senor Juan de Anton, or I must send you to the bottom!--Come aboard and do it yourself!" bravely answered Anton. Drake's whistle blew one shrill long blast, which loosed a withering volley at less than point-blank range. Anton tried to bear away and shake off his assailant. But in vain. The English guns now opened on his masts and rigging. Down came the mizzen, while a hail of English shot and arrows prevented every attempt to clear away the wreckage. The dumbfounded Spanish crew ran below, Don Anton looked overside to port; and there was the English pinnace, from which forty English boarders were nimbly climbing up his own ship's side. Resistance was hopeless; so Anton struck and was taken aboard the "Golden Hind". There he met Drake, who was already taking off his armor. 'Accept with patience the usage of war,' said Drake, laying his hand on Anton's shoulder.

For all that night, next day, and the next night following Drake sailed west with his fabulous prize so as to get well clear of the trade route along the coast. What the whole treasure was has never been revealed. But it certainly amounted to the equivalent of many millions at the present day. Among the official items were: 13 chests of pieces of eight, 80 lbs. of pure gold, jewels and plate, 26 ton weight of silver, and sundries unspecified. As the Spanish pilot's son looked over the rail at this astounding sight, the Englishmen called out to say that his father was no longer the pilot of the old Spit-"fire" but of the new Spit-"silver".

The prisoners were no less gratified than surprised by Drake's kind treatment. He entertained Don Anton at a banquet, took him all over the "Golden Hind", and entrusted him with a message to Don Martin, the traitor of San Juan de Ulua. This was to say that if Don Martin hanged any more Englishmen, as he had just hanged Oxenham, he should soon be given a present of two thousand Spanish heads. Then Drake gave every Spanish officer and man a personal gift proportioned to his rank, put all his accumulated prisoners aboard the emptied treasure ship, wished them a prosperous voyage and better luck next time, furnished the brave Don Anton with a letter of protection in case he should fall in with an English vessel, and, after many expressions of goodwill on both sides, sailed north, the voyage 'made'; while the poor 'spit-silver' treasure ship turned sadly east and steered for Panama.

Lima, Panama, and Nombre de Dios were in wild commotion at the news; and every sailor and soldier that the Spaniards had was going to and fro, uncertain whether to attack or to defend, and still more distracted as to the most elusive English whereabouts. One good Spanish captain, Don Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, was all for going north, his instinct telling him that Drake would not come back among the angry bees after stealing all the honey. But, by the time the Captain-General of New Spain had made up his mind to take one of the many wrong directions he had been thinking of, Drake was already far on his way north to found New Albion.

Drake's triumph over all difficulties had won the hearts of his men more than ever before, while the capture of the treasure ship had done nothing to loosen the bonds of discipline. Don Francisco de Zarate wrote a very intimate account of his experience as a prisoner on board the "Golden Hind." 'The English captain is one of the greatest mariners at sea, alike from his skill and his powers of command. His ship is a very fast sailer and her men are all skilled hands of warlike age and so well trained that they might be old soldiers of the Italian tertias,' the crack corps of the age in Spanish eyes. 'He is served with much plate and has all possible kinds of delicacies and scents, many of which he says the Queen of England gave him. None of the gentlemen sit or cover in his presence without first being ordered to do so. They dine and sup to the music of violins. His galleon carries about thirty guns and a great deal of ammunition.' This was in marked contrast to the common Spanish practice, even on the Atlantic side. The greedy exploiters of New Spain grudged every ton of armament and every well-trained fighting sailor, both on account of the expense and because this form of protection took up room they wished to fill with merchandise. The result was, of course, that they lost more by capture than they gained by evading the regulation about the proper armament. 'His ship is not only of the very latest type but sheathed.' Before copper sheathing was invented some generations later, the Teredo worm used to honeycomb unprotected hulls in the most dangerous way. John Hawkins invented the sheathing used by Drake: a good thick tar-and-hair sheeting clamped on with elm.

Northwest to Coronado, then to Aguatulco, then fifteen hundred miles due west, brought Drake about that distance west-by-south of the modern San Francisco. Here he turned east-north-east and, giving the land a wide berth, went on to perhaps the latitude of Vancouver Island, always looking for the reverse way through America by the fabled Northwest Passage. Either there was the most extraordinary June ever known in California and Oregon, or else the narratives of those on board have all been hopelessly confused, for freezing rain is said to have fallen on the night of June the 3d in the latitude of 42 deg.. In 48 deg. 'there followed most vile, thick, and stinking fogs' with still more numbing cold. The meat froze when taken off the fire. The wet rigging turned to icicles. Six men could hardly do the work of three. Fresh from the tropics, the crews were unfit for going any farther. A tremendous nor'wester settled the question, anyway; and Drake ran south to 38 deg. 30', where, in what is now Drake's Bay, he came to anchor just north of San Francisco.

Not more than once, if ever at all, and that a generation earlier, had Europeans been in northern California. The Indians took the Englishmen for gods whom they knew not whether to love or fear. Drake with the essential kindliness of most, and the magnetic power of all, great born commanders, soon won the natives' confidence. But their admiration 'as men ravished in their minds' was rather overpowering; for, after 'a kind of most lamentable weeping and crying out,' they came forward with various offerings for the new-found gods, prostrating themselves in humble adoration and tearing their breasts and faces in a wild desire to show the spirit of self-sacrifice. Drake and his men, all Protestants, were horrified at being made what they considered idols. So kneeling down, they prayed aloud, raising hands and eyes to Heaven, hoping thereby to show the heathen where the true God lived. Drake then read the Bible and all the Englishmen sang Psalms, the Indians, 'observing the end of every pause, with one voice still cried "Oh!" greatly rejoicing in our exercises.' As this impromptu service ended the Indians gave back all the presents Drake had given them and retired in attitudes of adoration.

In three days more they returned, headed by a Medicine-man, whom the English called the 'mace-bearer.' With the slow and stately measure of a mystic dance this great high priest of heathen rites advanced chanting a sort of litany. Both litany and dance were gradually taken up by tens, by hundreds, and finally by all the thousands of the devotees, who addressed Drake with shouts of "Hyoh!" and invested him with a headdress of rare plumage and a necklace of quaint beads. It was, in fact, a native coronation without a soul to doubt the divine right of their new king. Drake's Protestant scruples were quieted by thinking 'to what good end God had brought this to pass, and what honour and profit it might bring to our country in time to come. So, in the name and to the use of her most excellent Majesty, he took the sceptre, crown, and dignity' and proclaimed an English protectorate over the land he called New Albion. He then set up a brass plate commemorating this proclamation, and put an English coin in the middle so that the Indians might see Elizabeth's portrait and armorial device.

The exaltation of the ecstatic devotees continued till the day he left. They crowded in to be cured by the touch of his hand--those were the times in which the sovereign was expected to cure the King's Evil by a touch. They also expected to be cured by inhaling the divine breath of any one among the English gods. The chief narrator adds that the gods who pleased the Indians most, braves and squaws included, 'were commonly the youngest of us,' which shows that the human was not quite forgotten in the all-divine. When the time for sailing came, the devotees were inconsolable. 'They not only in a sudden did lose all mirth, joy, glad countenance, pleasant speeches, agility of body, and all pleasure, but, with sighs and sorrowings, they poured out woefull complayntes and moans with bitter tears, and wringing of their hands, and tormenting of themselves.' The last the English saw of them was the whole devoted tribe assembled on the hill around a sacrificial fire, whence they implored their gods to bring their heaven back to earth.

From California Drake sailed to the Philippines; and then to the Moluccas, where the Portuguese had, if such a thing were possible, outdone even the Spaniards in their fiendish dealings with the natives. Lopez de Mosquito--viler than his pestilential name--had murdered the Sultan, who was then his guest, chopped up the body, and thrown it into the sea. Baber, the Sultan's son, had driven out the Portuguese from the island of Ternate and was preparing to do likewise from the island of Tidore, when Drake arrived. Baber then offered Drake, for Queen Elizabeth, the complete monopoly of the trade in spices if only Drake would use the "Golden Hind" as the flagship against the Portuguese. Drake's reception was full of Oriental state; and Sultan Baber was so entranced by Drake's musicians that he sat all afternoon among them in a boat towed by the "Golden Hind". But it was too great a risk to take a hand in this new war with only fifty-six men left. So Drake traded for all the spices he could stow away and concluded a sort of understanding which formed the sheet anchor of English diplomacy in Eastern seas for another century to come. Elizabeth was so delighted with this result that she gave Drake a cup (still at the family seat of Nutwell Court in Devonshire) engraved with a picture of his reception by the Sultan Baber of Ternate.

Leaving Ternate, the "Golden Hind" beat to and fro among the tortuous and only half-known channels of the Archipelago till the 9th of January, 1580, when she bore away before a roaring trade wind with all sail set and, so far as Drake could tell, a good clear course for home. But suddenly, without a moment's warning, there was a most terrific shock. The gallant ship reared like a stricken charger, plunged forward, grinding her trembling hull against the rocks, and then lay pounding out her life upon a reef. Drake and his men at once took in half the straining sails; then knelt in prayer; then rose to see what could be done by earthly means. To their dismay there was no holding ground on which to get an anchor fast and warp the vessel off. The lead could find no bottom anywhere aft. All night long the "Golden Hind" remained fast caught in this insidious death-trap. At dawn Parson Fletcher preached a sermon and administered the Blessed Sacrament. Then Drake ordered ten tons overboard--cannon, cloves, and provisions. The tide was now low and she sewed seven feet, her draught being thirteen and the depth of water only six. Still she kept an even keel as the reef was to leeward and she had just sail enough to hold her up. But at high tide in the afternoon there was a lull and she began to heel over towards the unfathomable depths. Just then, however, a quiver ran through her from stem to stern; an extra sail that Drake had ordered up caught what little wind there was; and, with the last throb of the rising tide, she shook herself free and took the water as quietly as if her hull was being launched. There were perils enough to follow dangers of navigation, the arrival of a Portuguese fleet that was only just eluded, and all the ordinary risks of travel in times when what might be called the official guide to voyagers opened with the ominous advice, "First make thy Will". But the greatest had now been safely passed.

Meanwhile all sorts of rumors were rife in Spain, New Spain, and England. Drake had been hanged. That rumor came from the hanging of John Oxenham at Lima. The "Golden Hind" had foundered. That tale was what Winter, captain of the "Elizabeth", was not altogether unwilling should be thought after his own failure to face another great antarctic storm. He had returned in 1578. News from Peru and Mexico came home in 1579; but no Drake. So, as 1580 wore on, his friends began to despair, the Spaniards and Portuguese rejoiced, while Burleigh, with all who found Drake an inconvenience in their diplomatic way, began to hope that perhaps the sea had smoothed things over. In August the London merchants were thrown into consternation by the report of Drake's incredible captures; for their own merchant fleet was just then off for Spain. They waited on the Council, who soothed them with the assurance that Drake's voyage was a purely private venture so far as prizes were concerned. With this diplomatic quibble they were forced to be content.

But worse was soon to follow. The king of Portugal died. Philip's army marched on Lisbon immediately, and all the Portuguese possessions were added to the already overgrown empire of Spain. Worse still, this annexation gave Philip what he wanted in the way of ships; for Portugal had more than Spain. The Great Armada was now expected to be formed against England, unless Elizabeth's miraculous diplomacy could once more get her clear of the fast-entangling coils. To add to the general confusion, this was also the year in which the Pope sent his picked Jesuits to England, and in which Elizabeth was carrying on her last great international flirtation with ugly, dissipated Francis of Anjou, brother to the king of France.

Into this imbroglio sailed the "Golden Hind" with ballast of silver and cargo of gold. 'Is Her Majesty alive and well?' said Drake to the first sail outside of Plymouth Sound. 'Ay, ay, she is, my Master,' answered the skipper of a fishing smack, 'but there's a deal o' sickness here in Plymouth'; on which Drake, ready for any excuse to stay afloat, came to anchor in the harbor. His wife, pretty Mary Newman from the banks of Tavy, took boat to see him, as did the Mayor, whose business was to warn him to keep quiet till his course was clear. So Drake wrote off to the Queen and all the Councillors who were on his side. The answer from the Councillors was not encouraging; so he warped out quietly and anchored again behind Drake's Island in the Sound. But presently the Queen's own message came, commanding him to an audience at which, she said, she would be pleased to view some of the curiosities he had brought from foreign parts. Straight on that hint he started up to town with spices, diamonds, pearls, and gold enough to win any woman's pardon and consent.

The audience lasted six hours. Meanwhile the Council sat without any of Drake's supporters and ordered all the treasure to be impounded in the Tower. But Leicester, Walsingham, and Hatton, all members of Drake's syndicate, refused to sign; while Elizabeth herself, the managing director, suspended the order till her further pleasure should be known. The Spanish ambassador 'did burn with passion against Drake.' The Council was distractingly divided. The London merchants trembled for their fleet. But Elizabeth was determined that the blow to Philip should hurt him as much as it could without producing an immediate war; while down among Drake's own West-Countrymen 'the case was clear in sea divinitie,' as similar cases had often been before. Tremayne, a Devonshire magistrate and friend of the syndicate, could hardly find words to express his contentment with Drake, whom he called 'a man of great government, and that by the rules of God and His Book.'

Elizabeth decided to stand by Drake. She claimed, what was true, that he had injured no actual place or person of the King of Spain's, nothing but property afloat, appropriate for reprisals. All England knew the story of Ulua and approved of reprisals in accordance with the spirit of the age. And the Queen had a special grievance about Ireland, where the Spaniards were entrenched in Smerwick, thus adding to the confusion of a rebellion that never quite died down at any time. Philip explained that the Smerwick Spaniards were there as private volunteers. Elizabeth answered that Drake was just the same. The English tide, at all events, was turning in his favor. The indefatigable Stowe, chronicler of London, records that 'the people generally applauded his wonderful long adventures and rich prizes. His name and fame became admirable in all places, the people swarming daily in the streets to behold him, vowing hatred to all that misliked him.'

The "Golden Hind" had been brought round to London, where she was the greatest attraction of the day. Finally, on the 4th of April, 1581, Elizabeth went on board in state, to a banquet 'finer than has ever been seen in England since King Henry VIII,' said the furious Spanish ambassador in his report to Philip. But this was not her chief offence in Spanish eyes. For here, surrounded by her court, and in the presence of an enormous multitude of her enthusiastic subjects, she openly defied the King of Spain. 'He hath demanded Drake's head of me,' she laughed aloud, 'and here I have a gilded sword to strike it off.' With that she bade Drake kneel. Then, handing the sword to Marchaumont, the special envoy of her French suitor, Francis of Anjou, she ordered him to give the accolade. This done, she pronounced the formula of immemorial fame: "I bid thee rise, Sir Francis Drake!"

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