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have been printed before-a fact which Mr Barrow should have mentioned; but the bulk of them are wholly new to the public. We shall have occasion to refer frequently to these documents, not only on account of the facts which they disclose, but from the light which they throw on the character of the writer.
Drake was born on the borders of Devonshire and Cornwall, near Tavistock, in a cottage which remained entire until within the last thirty or forty years. The common account of his birth and parentage has been disputed, apparently from mere love of dispute. According to that account, his father was forced to fly his home shortly after the birth of his eminent son, (who was one of nine brothers,) in the persecution of the Six Articles.' It is added that he settled at Upnore, on the Medway, in Kent, where he got a place among the seamen in the King's navy, to * read prayers to them. Whether he was in orders before his removal from Devonshire, does not appear. To this story, (which Camden says he had from Drake himself,) Mr Barrow takes two objections: The first, (following, as he says, the able editors
of the Biographia Britannica,) that if Drake was in his tender years, or childhood, when his father was persecuted on the score of the Six Articles, he must have been born a good · while before the year 1539,'(which appears from other evidence to have been that of his birth :) the other, that there is not
now, nor ever was, either church or chapel at Upnore, but a 6 small castle was built there to protect the anchorage.' « These points,' he adds, are of no further importance than as matters of fact. Now, to biographers, such matters ought to be of some consequence, however lightly others may esteem them; and therefore we conceive that the censure, tantamne rem tam negligenter, applies to Mr Barrow, when, having taken some pains to show that others were wrong, he does not take a little more to set himself right. The Six Articles' Act, 'for abolishing diversity
of opinion in certain articles,' &c., was passed in the very year of Drake's birth, 1539; and the persecution under it was hottest in 1545 and 1546, the two last years of Henry VIII.'s life, which accords perfectly well with the received story. And although it is true that Upnore is not a parish, and therefore that the term vicar is incorrect, yet since Queen Elizabeth built and garrisoned a fort there, in the first year of her reign, as a station of importance to command the anchorage, it is surely in accordance with the custom of the age to suppose that a chaplain formed part of the establishment.
At all events, the education which Drake must have received at home, is very strong presumptive proof that his father was of a learned profession, and not a Devonshire yeoman, as some scep
tics insist. One of a large and poor family, thrust into the merchant service when a mere child, he can have had no opportunity out of the domestic circle for the study of letters. Yet we find him mentioned not only as being remarkable for eloquencespeaking much and arrogantly, but well, according to Sir William Monson-but, what is more, unusually expert in the use of the pen. The book before us derives, as we have before stated, much of its value from the letters and despatches which Mr Barrow has printed some of them from the manuscript collections of the State Paper Office. Until these appeared, we are not aware that any compositions by Drake had been made public; with the exception of one well known and spirited letter on the defeat of the Armada, to be found in Stowe. They are, in many points of view, remarkable performances. Careless and hasty, they are nevertheless above the average style of those days, especially that of men of business and action. They will not, indeed, bear comparison in this respect with those of Essex; but they are decidedly above those of most of his associates of Lord Howard of Effingham, for instance, or Lord Thomas Seymour, his fellow-commanders against the Armada ;we might almost add, above those of Burleigh or Walsingham, But they possess a merit exceeding that of mere style, in the remarkable spirit and fire which animate them throughout. He evidently wrote, as he spoke, readily, and not without ostentation: his letters have nothing of maritime laconism-nothing of the taken or sunk as per margin.' • He was,' as Dr Lingard satirically observes, ' a good hand at making up a bulletin. He dwells with much complacency on his own performances; but it is that frank and open humour of vain-glory, which seems almost graceful in the mouths of those who have approved themselves able to do greater things than they vaunt of.
Drake's fortune commenced, humbly enough, with the acquisition of a little coasting Bark, left him by its master, to whom he had been put apprentice. How early he became acquainted with the coasts of the Spanish Main, where he was to lay the foundation of his fame and wealth, does not appear; but before the voyage, called his first, in the ordinary compilations—that with Hawkins in 1567, he had been once if not twice in those quarters, The particulars of these expeditions are, however, unknown, The chief part of Hawkins's cargo consisted of negro slaves caught in Africa, and carried for sale to the Spanish Main. So far was this traffic then considered from being infamous, that every encouragement was given to it by Queen Elizabeth, who took Hawkins into her service, made him payınaster of the navy, and, to mark her sense of obligation and fiivour, gave
• him a coat of arms, whose crest was a demi-Moor, properly coloured, bound by a cord.' Mr Barrow thinks that the unsophisticated mind of young Drake must have seen the slavetrade with abhorrence; for, through the whole course of his 'future life, he had no concern in this kind of traffic. So a partial biographer may reason ; but ordinary readers will hardly think that Drake gave much evidence of any scrupulousness beyond his age; and in his later voyages he had much higher game to fly at. However this may be, it was this very slave-trade—as if it were in a peculiar manner accursed from its commencementwhich proved the immediate occasion of the desolating war between Elizabeth and Philip; as it a second time embroiled England and Spain in the reign of George II. Hawkins carried his slaves to the Spanish Main, and sold them there, trading under the protection of a treaty between Henry VIII. and Charles V. At Rio de la Hacha, where there seems to have been some grudge against the English, he found his trade prohibited. He forthwith stormed the town; and, having read this lesson to the authorities, proceeded to carry on his business with the inhabitants; which, reading opium for negroes, and Chinese for Spaniards, seems not unlike the history of transactions of recent years. This proceeding was not altogether relished by the Spaniards. Hawkins continued to profess his desire of a free trade; but the Viceroy of Mexico, having entrapped the squadron into the port of San Juan de Ulloa by means of a sealed agreement, attacked it, burnt or destroyed most of the ships, massacred great numbers of the men, captured others, and utterly ruined the hopes of the adventurers.
No one can doubt that Hawkins and his party had been guilty of a gross violation of national law, and that the Spaniards had a just right to seize and punish them. Unhappily, in that atrocious code of public morals which Spain then adopted, the fact of their being pirates, and still more of their being heretics, justified not only violence, but the grossest treachery, towards them. The Spanish account of the transaction gives a still blacker dye to the falsehood by which the Viceroy Henriquez decoyed the English, and boasts of it, as good service to God and the State. The prisoners were frightfully tortured-less, as it should seem, to make them discover the ulterior designs of the expedition, than in the spirit of sheer cruelty. And when revenge and national hatred had done their worst, the Inquisition added its unutterable barbarities. Two of Hawkins's seamen were burnt alive at Mexico; one at Seville.
It is no wonder that the recital of such horrors stirred up an English and Protestant feeling throughout the kingdom of Elizabeth. Probably the Bull of deposition itself, which issued against the Queen just at the same period, excited less of deep abhorrence against the Pope's Spanish allies, than the cruelties exercised by that merciless people against the poor sailors who fell into their hands. Piracy became not only lawful, but as honourable as in the days of Telemachus, when exercised against so hateful an enemy. It should seem that Drake lost the greater part of the little he had to lose, in this unfortunate enterprise. Smarting under this infliction, he took the resolution, which he long afterwards recorded with pride, to right himself, by his own hand, on the King of Spain and his people. His determination is thus reported by his nephew, in the • Introduction to • Sir Francis Drake's third voyage to the West Indies '-really, as Mr Barrow remarks, his fifth or sixth.
• As there is a general vengeance which secretlie pursueth the doers of wrong, and suffereth them not to prosper, albeit no man of purpose impeach them; soe there is a particular indignation ingraffed in the bosome of all that are wronged, which ceaseth not seeking by all meanes possible to redresse or remedie the wrong received, in so much that these great and mighty men, in whom their prosperous estate hath bredde such an overweening of themselves that they do not onlie wronge their inferiours, but despise them, being injured, seeme to take a verie unfitt course for their own safety, and farre unfitter for their rest. For as Æsop teacheth, even ye fly hath her sphere, and the emmet is not without her choller ; and both together many tymes finde meanes, whereby though the eagle lay her eggs in Jupiter's lappe, yet by one way or other she escapeth not requital of her wrong done to the emmet. Among the manifold examples hereof which former ages
have committed to memorie, or our tyme yealded to sight, I suppose there hath not bin any more notable than this in hand, either in respect of the greatness of the person by whom the first injurie was offered, or the meaneness of him who righteth himself; the one being in his own conceit) the mightiest monarch of all the world, the other an English captaine, a meane subject of her Majesties, who, (besides the wrongs received at Rio da Hacha with Captaine John Lovell in the years 65 and 66 :) having been grievously indamaged at St John de Ulloa in the Bay of Mexico with Captaine John Hawkins in the years 67 and 68; not only in the losse of his goods of some value, but also of his kinsmen and friends, and that by the falsehood of Don Martin Henriquez, then the Vice Roy of Mexico, and finding that no recompense could be recovered out of Spaine by any of his owne meanes, or by her Majesties letters, he used such help as he might by two severall voyages into the West Indies; the first with two ships, the one called the Dragon, the other the Swanne, in the yeare 71, to gaine such intelligence as might farther him to get some amende for his losse ; and having in these two voyages gotten such certaine notice of the persons and places aymed at, as he thought requisite, and thereupon with good deliberation resolved on a third voyage, (the description whereof wee have now in hand,) he accordinglie prepared his ships and companie, and then taking the first opportunity of a goode winde had such successe in his proceedings as now follows farther to be declared.'
The narrative of this famous voyage (1572–3) long remained the most popular of the many stories of Drake's exploits. He set sail with one bark of seventy tons, and another of twenty-five, to make war on the Spanish Empire. He scoured the whole coast of Terra Firma and Mexico. He took Nombre de Dios and Vera Cruz, (at that time the depots of the treasure brought from Peru, as Portobello and Panama were in later times,) and captured vessels without number. He crossed the Isthmus of Darien, and was the first Englishman who saw the Pacific; which, with less of bravado, but more of real energy, than its romantic Spanish discoverer, Balboa, he then determined to explore. The demeanour of the two adventurers might serve as a symbol of the destinies of their respective nations. Balboa 'walked up to his middle in the water, in the presence of many Indians and Spaniards, with his sword and target, and called upon them to bear testimony that he took possession of the South Sea, and all which appertained to it, for the King of Castile and Leon. Drake, says Camden, was so vehe
mently transported with desire to navigate that sea, that fall‘ing down there on his knees, he implored the Divine assistance
that he might, at some time or other, sail thither, and make a perfect discovery of the same; and hereunto he bound himself with a vow.
From that time forward, his mind was pricked on continually, night and day, to perform this vow.' He saw, though he could not carry off, the mass of gold and silver collected at Nombre de Dios—that arch-treasure of which so many fables were reported :-* A vast heap of silver in the lower room,
consisting of bars of silver, piled up against the wall, as nearly • as they could guess, seventy feet in length, ten in breadth, and • twelve in height, each bar between thirty-five and forty pounds'
weight.' If this eye measurement of silver be nearly the truth, says Mr Barrow, the heap must have been about the value of a million sterling. But he brought to England treasure enough to satisfy the boldest avarice-spices, silks, pearls, bars and wedges of gold. Soli Deo Gloria, adds the Chronicler of the expedition. Thus, in the less edifying language of Mazeppa
• Time at last sets all things even :
Which could evade, if unforgiven,