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the ships in the harbour adrift, lest any attempt might be made to pursue him; and crowding all sail, proceeded towards the north, his ship being towed whenever the wind fell. The Spaniards in the mean time armed two vessels, and went in pursuit of him with 200 men, but their hasty equipment was forced to return for want of provisions. At Payta, Drake learned that the Cacafuego was only two days' sail before him ; and on the 1st of March a sail was seen four leagues ahead : this proved to be the treasure-laden ship, which he soon approached, and captured without trouble.
Drake immediately turned his course towards the west, and sailed two whole days from the land before he proceeded to rifle his prize. The exulting adventurers then took from her thirteen chests of ryals of plate, eighty pounds weight of gold, and twenty-six tons of silver bullion; in all worth about 360,000 pesos, or 150,0001. sterling. Their success was now complete, their thirst of plunder satisfied, and their hopes were wholly bent on a safe and expeditious voyage home. In this situation, Drake adopted a resolution which vividly represents the vigour of his mind and his intrepid courage. He determined to seek a passage back to Europe by the northeast, in which direction the imperfect geographical knowledge of that age allowed him to expect that he might find a passage or strait conducting into the Atlantic. At the isle of Canno, in 10° north latitude, his ship was laid ashore, cleaned, and repaired; the stores being removed into a small Spanish vessel which had been opportunely seized a short time before. In this vessel was found a letter from the king of Spain to the governor of the Philippine Islands, and, what proved an acquisition of much greater importance, several charts of the course across the Pacific Ocean.
As soon as our hero's vessel was refitted, he stood out to sea, and sailed north-west 1400 leagues without once seeing land. On reaching the latitude of 42° north he found the cold so intense that the meat was all frozen: he persisted nevertheless in his design of seeking a north-east passage. In latitude 48° land was descried, and our mariners were not a little surprised to find that the American continent extended so far towards the west. But as they approached the shore, the cold grew more intolerable ; and Drake was obliged to renounce his hopes of solving the most interesting geographical problem of that day, respecting a northern communication between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and to proceed southwards. Between the parallels of 48° and 38°, high mountains were seen extending parallel to the shore and covered with snow. A commodious harbour was at length found ; and as the ship had sprung a leak at sea, it was deemed expedient tò anchor within it close to the shore, and, landing the stores and men, to make the necessary repairs.
The English had not been here many hours when the natives made their appearance, crowding to the sea-side with manifest astonishment to view the strangers. One of them even ventured to approach the ship in a canoe ; and while paddling towards it he at the same time pronounced an oration with a ludicrous solemnity of manner, and with so vehement a rapidity as to be sometimes wholly out of breath. This he performed twice, returning each time to the shore: but the ceremony did not end here, for he made the same speech a third time, approaching the ship closer than before ; and then, by means of a long pole, he presented to those on board neat bunches of black feathers, and a basket containing an herb, which he called tabah. The friendship thus contracted between the English and the natives was never violated, during their subsequent intercourse, by treachery on the one side or tyrannical violence on the other. The Indians seemed by no means insensible to the rigours of their climate ; though wrapped in warm furs, they were always shivering with the cold, and never allowed an opportunity to escape of sheltering themselves under English clothing. Their habitations were dug in the earth, and roofed with boughs of trees covered over with earth—an aperture at the top serving
at once as door and chimney. They appeared to have plenty of food; were active and well made, and of an open, friendly disposition. Drake, though he employed no arts to win them, behaved towards them with the frank kindness of one who is superior to fear and naturally humane. On one occasion they showed sympa toms of general grief, as if some national calamity had befallen them; and Drake, feeling an honest sympathy with their distress, of which he was unable to comprehend the cause, commanded his whole company to join in prayer. The natives, ignorant what this grave proceeding meant, looked on with wonder and respectful attention ; but when they heard the men join all their voices to sing the psalms, they were unable to contain their ecstasy, and loudly called for a repetition of the pleasure, with cries of Gnaah, gnaah! The hioh, or king of the country, after a little time paid a visit to the English. His arrival at their encampment was ushered in by long speeches, delivered with much earnestness by certain orators; and at the conclusion of every sentence, the surrounding multitude shouted Oh! oh! as if to signify their concurrence with what had been expressed. The hioh then approached Drake, and putting on his head a caul, ornamented with chains of bone such as he wore himself, saluted him hioh. This ceremony, the English, according to the system of European pride, interpreted to mean the cession of his dominions into their hands. Drake made a short excursion into the country, during which he saw numerous herds of fat deer, and a peculiar species of rabbit or marmot, with which naturalists are still but little acquainted. The ship was now ready for sea, and he weighed anchor on the 17th of July, having remained here above a month ; but before his departure he erected a column, and fixed a brass plate on it, with an inscription bearing the name and arms of the queen. To this country he gave the name of New Albion.
As the wind blew freshly from the north-west, it was resolved to steer for the Moluccas ; the danger of meeting with the Spaniards, together with the hazards of those stormy seas, rendering it less advisable to return by the Straits of Magellan. For sixty-eight days no land was seen; at length, on the 30th of September, the ship arrived at some islands which, from the pilfering propensity of the natives, the seamen called the Islands of Thieves. These are, probably, a part of the Pelew Íslands. Drake was well received by the king of Ternate, who offered to reserve to the English the exclusive right of trading with his island. He next visited the eastern coast of Celebes; and finding, in his course southward, a small uninhabited island with a good harbour, he remained there a month to repair the ship. The island was one continued wood, the trees being remarkably tall and straight, without any branches, except at the top: among them were multitudes of bats of enormous size. The woods were also filled with land-crabs, or, as they are described, “ a kind of cray-fish of such a size that one was sufficient to satisfy four hungry men, and were very good meat: they seem to be utter strangers to the sea; living always on land, where they work themselves earths, or rather dig huge caves under the roots of the largest trees, where they lodge by companies together.”
Our adventurers had not left this island long when the ship stuck fast upon a sunken rock: all means were tried to get her off without effect; three tons of cloves and eight guns were thrown overboard to no purpose, and their loss seemed inevitable, when, the wind abating, the ship fell to one side, and instead of sinking, as was expected, floated off without injury. No accident occurred during the remainder of the voyage; and on the 26th of September, 1580, Drake anchored at Plymouth, after an absence of two years and nearly ten months. A considerable portion of the treasure which he brought home was sequestered by government, at the instance of the Spanish ambassador, and restored to its rightful owners; but enough remained to satisfy the expectations of those who had equipped the expedition. Notwith
standing this acknowledgment of the claims of justice, the queen bestowed on Drake many marks of her favour and approbation : she dined on board his ship at Deptford, and conferred on him the honour of knighthood. The ship was preserved for many years at Deptford ; and when, at last, it seemed impossible to guard its timbers any longer from decay, a chair was made of one of the planks, and presented to the university of Oxford.
In the chequered scenes of life it is hard to find a picture of success which is not shaded by some traits of suffering and hardship. To the account of Drake's triumph may be advantageously subjoined that of the miseries endured by some of his companions. A shallop containing eight men, with provisions for only one day, was separated from and soon lost sight of his ship on the south-west side of Tierra del Fuego. These unhappy men, thus exposed to tempests and famine in an open boat, took shelter in the straits, and afterwards made their way along the coast till they came to the north side of the mouth of the La Plata. Here they went incautiously ashore, and four of the party were killed, the rest wounded by the arrows of the savages : the survivors succeeded in reaching an island about three leagues from the shore, where two of them died soon after of their wounds. The remaining two, Peter Carver and William Pitcher, stayed on this island, which was but a league in compass, two months; during which time they subsisted on small crabs, eels, and fruits ; but the extremities to which they were driven from want of fresh water are too shocking to be described. At length they found a plank ten feet long, and on this they embarked to reach the main land, having formed rude paddles of the boughs of trees. The voyage, of three leagues, employed them three days and two nights : on gaining the shore they found a small rivulet, at which Pitcher overdrank himself, and expired in half an hour. Carver had hardly strength enough left to bury him in the sand. The next day he met with some of the natives, who offered him no injury; and after living with them for some time, he