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have dishonored his nation, but the contrary. His Queen rewarded him, poets sang of him, and Sir Philip Sidney, the mirror of all chivalry at that day, would have joined one of his expeditions had not his royal mistress kept him at home. The Spaniards would have done no better, to be sure, and would have brought to bear all the horrors of the Inquisition besides. Yet the English were apt pupils in all the atrocities of personal torture. Cavendish, who afterwards sailed in the track of Drake, circumnavigating the globe like him, took a small bark on the coast of Chili, which vessel had on board three Spaniards and a Fleming. These men were bound to Lima with letters warning the inhabitants of the approach of the English, and they had sworn before their priests that in case of danger the letters should be thrown overboard. “Yet our General," says the narrator, "wrought so with them that they did confess it; but he was fain to cause them to be tormented with their thumbs in a wrench, and to continue three several times with extreme pain. Also he made the old Fleming believe that he would hang him, and the rope being about his neck, he was pulled up a little from the hatches, and yet he would not confess, choosing rather to die than to be perjured. In the end it was confessed by one of the Spaniards.” Who can help feeling more respect for the fidelity of this old man, who would die but not break his oath, than for the men who tortured him?
Yet it is just to say that the expeditions of Cavendish, like the later enterprises of Drake, were a school for personal courage, and were not aimed merely against the defenceless. Cavendish gave battle off California to the great Spanish flag-ship of the Paci
fic, the Santa Anna, of 700 tons burden, bound home from the Philippine Islands. They fought for five or six hours with heavy ordnance and with small arms, and the Spaniards at last surrendered. There were on board 122,000 pesos of gold, besides silks and satins and other merchandise, with provisions and wines. These Cavendish seized, put the crew and passengers-nearly 200 in all-on shore, with tents, provisions, and planks, and burned the Santa Anna to the water's edge. Then he sailed for England with his treasures, across the Pacific Ocean, and thus became the second English circumnavigator of the globe. This sort of privateering was an advance on the slave-trading of Hawkins and on Drake's early assaults upon almost defenceless towns; but it was often very remote from all honorable warfare. Yet it was by such means that the power of Spain was broken, and that the name of England and England's queen became mighty upon the seas.
As the sixteenth century began with the fame of the Cabots, so it ended with the dreams of Ralegh. It is to be observed that none of these great buccaneers had done anything with a view to colonizing, nor would it have been possible, by armed force, to have held the conquered Spanish towns.
Had England only been strong enough for this, South America as well as North America might have spoken the English tongue to-day. But it was the British naval strength only that was established, and after the dispersal of the great Spanish Armada sent by Philip II. against England in 1588, the power of Spain upon the water was forever broken. This opened the way for England to colonize unmolested the northern half of the New World; and the great promoter of this work,
Sir Walter Ralegh, was the connecting link between two generations of Englishmen. He was at once the last of the buccaneers and the first of the colonizers.
He himself had made a voyage, led by as wild a dream as any which, in that age of dreams, bewildered an explorer. We must remember that, though the terrors of the ocean were partly dispelled, their mysteries still held their sway over men. Job Hartop, in the region of the Bermudas, describes a merman: “We discovered a monster in the sea, who showed himself three times unto us from the middle upward, in which part he was proportioned like a man, of the complexion of a mulatto or tawny Indian.” But especially the accounts were multiplied of cities or islands which now appeared, now disappeared, and must be patiently sought out.
Sir John Hawkins reported “certain flitting islands" about the Canaries “which have been oftentimes seene, and when men approached them neere, they vanished ... and therefore it should seeme he is not yet born to whom God hath appointed the finding of them." Henry Hawkes, speaking of that standing mystery, the Seven Cities of Cibola, says that the Spaniards believed the Indians to cast a mist over these cities, through witchcraft, so that none could find them. Is it strange that under these influences Sir Walter Ralegh went in search of the fabled empire of Guiana?
Guiana was supposed in those days to be third great American treasure-house, surpassing those of Peru and Mexico. Its capital was named El Dorado -"the gilded.” Spanish adventurers claimed to have seen it from afar, and described its houses as roofed with gold and silver, and its temples as filled
with statues of pure gold.' Milton links it with Peru and Mexico:
“Rich Mexico, the seat of Montezuma,
And Cuzco, in Peru, the richer seat
Ralegh himself went in search of this El Dorado, sailing up the Orinoco to find the kingdom, which was said to lie upon an island in a salt-water lake, like the Caspian Sea. He brought home report of many wonders, including a race called Ewaiponima, of whom he says that they have eyes in their shoulders and mouths in the middle of their breasts, with a long train of hair growing backward between their shoulders. He admits that he never saw them, but says that every child in the provinces he visited affirmed of their existence. It was of these imaginary beings that Shakespeare describes Othello as discoursing:
“The cannibals that each other eat, The Anthropophagi and men whose heads Do grow beneath their shoulders."
Ralegh also reports a description he had heard of the inhabitants of this wondrous empire, sitting with the emperor at their carousals, their bodies stripped naked and covered with a white balsam, on which powdered gold was blown by servants through hollow canes “until they be all shining from the foot to the head, and in this sort they sit drinking by twenties and hundreds, and continue in drunkenness sometimes six or seven days together."
Ralegh brought home few trophies; but his descriptions of nature were so beautiful and his treatment of the natives so generous that, in spite of his having a touch of the buccaneer quality about him, we can well accept the phrase that in him “chivalry left the land and launched upon the deep." But that which makes his memory dear to later generations is that he, beyond any man of his time, saw the vast field open for American colonization, and persistently urged upon Queen Elizabeth to enter it. “Whatsoever prince shall possesse it,” he wrote of his fabled Guiana, “shall be greatest; and if the King of Spayne enjoy it, he will become unresistable." Then he closes with this high strain of appeal, which might well come with irresistible force from the courtierwarrior who had taught the American Indians to call his queen “Ezrabeta Cassipuna Aquerewana,” which means, he says, “Elizabeth, the great princess, or greatest commander":
“To speake more at this time I feare would be but troublesome. I trust in God, this being true, will suffice, and that He which is King of al Kings and Lorde of Lords will put it into thy heart which is Lady of Ladies to possesse it. If not, I will judge those men worthy to be kings thereof, that by her grace and leaue will undertake it of themselues.”