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purpose, it is said, of gaining information respecting these countries, and such “as might further him to get some amende for his losse :” but nothing more is known of these voyages.
The great experience he must thus have gained would not suffer him to rest in idleness; and, in May, 1572, he had provided two small ships, the Pacha, of 70 tons, and the Swan, of 25 tons—the latter commanded by his brother John-all ready for sea, and sailed on the 24th of that month for Nombre de Dios. Here he landed with his handful of men, dismounted the guns on the platform, and marched to the market-place, while the alarm-bells were ringing and drums beating. They were attacked, and Drake received a wound, which he concealed, knowing that “if the general's heart stoops, the men's will fail.” He ordered one of his trusty followers, Oxenham, and his brother, with sixteen men, to proceed to the king's treasure-house, where vast piles of silver were found, and still more in the governor's house: he then told his people “that he had brought them to the mouth of the treasury of the world, which if they did not gain, none but themselves were to be blamed.”
Here, however, his strength and sight and speech failed him, from loss of blood ; his men bound up the wound with his scarf, and by main force (having refused their entreaties) carried him to his pinnace. On recovering, he speedily decided on crossing the
isthmus to Panama; but, having lost many of his men by sickness, and among them his brother Joseph, and also the other brother John, who was unfortunately killed in action with a Spanish ship, he removed the whole of the people into his own ship and pinnace, and sunk the Swan. His object on the isthmus was to intercept a recoe, or train of mules, laden with the king's treasure. He met them, attacked, and chased the party as far as Venta Cruz; strictly charging all his company on no account to hurt any female or unarmed man.
This journey decided the future fate of Drake. He was led to a tree, “a goodlie and great high tree," and from it had a full view of that sea of which he had heard such golden reports; and, with great solemnity, “ besought God to give him life and leave once to sail an English ship in those seas.” Having so far gratified his curiosity, and intercepted a party of mules laden with treasure, and stripped them of as much as was convenient to carry away, he returned to his ship and made sail for England, where he arrived, at Plymouth, on Sunday the 9th of August, 1573, during divine service, when all the people in crowds ran out of the church, in the midst of the sermon, “ to witness the blessing of God on the dangerous adventures and enterprises of Captain Drake.”
The next grand enterprise undertaken by Captain Francis Drake is one which, for its intrepidity and
boldness of design, would alone entitle him to everlasting fame, and to the highest honours that a grateful nation could bestow—the circumnavigation of the globe. He was the first Englishman that had ever dared even to think of it. It is true he met with every encouragement from Queen Elizabeth and her ministers, before his setting out; but his zeal for the honour of the profession he had adopted, for the service of his country, and moreover for the establishment of his own fame and fortune, needed no other spur. He was assisted in his preparations by a very few friends, being desirous of keeping his plan a secret. It is presumed, however, that he followed the advice of his old patron and able navigator, Captain John Hawkins, on whom the Queen had bestowed the office of Treasurer of the Navy; and who, being much about the court, is supposed to have introduced him to the Vice-Chamberlain, Sir Christopher Hatton, and by him to the Queen. She had been made acquainted with his former adventures, and was not displeased with the annoyance he had already occasioned to her enemy, the King of Spain—for an enemy he was, though no war had been declared. He could, therefore, not have obtained any commission from the Queen to sanction hostilities, but probably had an instruction from the Privy Council, such as was given about the same time to Captain Edward Fenton, for maintaining discipline in his squadron.
That squadron consisted of the Pelican, 100 tons, Drake, Commander; Elizabeth, 80 tons, John Winter, Commander; Marygold, 30, John Thomas; Swan, fly-boat, 50, John Chester; Christopher, pinnace, 15, Thos. Moone: manned in the whole with 163 stout and able seamen.
They left Plymouth on the 13th December, 1577; and, on their passage from the Cape de Verde Islands, captured a Portuguese vessel laden with wine and other valuable articles. In her he placed a volunteer gentleman, of the name of Doughty, as commander: a person with whom, it would appear, he had become acquainted in Ireland, and who, like himself and many others, went there on a speculation of government, which failed and occasioned great disappointment. This person behaved so improperly to some of the passengers of the prize, that Drake found it expedient to remove him into his own ship. The story of this unfortunate man was told in the Life of Drake,' from what was considered the fullest and most authentic source of information.* In consequence, however, of a notification in a late number of the • Edinburgh Review,' that in the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts, in the British Museum, there would be found a fragment that contained more information than had been collected from printed works, it has been thought proper, on the present occasion, to take advantage of it, in the hope that it might throw some new light on the mysterious and distressing circumstance of Doughty's death. It affords but little; yet fully sufficient to establish the fact, that he was a most unfit, unsafe, and dangerous man, in any ship whatever on the high seas; and that it was utterly impossible, after the investigation about to be given, that Drake, as commander of the expedition, intrusted with the care of so many lives, could suffer him to have another day's intercourse with the crews of any one of the ships.
* The World Encompassed.
The document in question consists of a fragment, or a series of fragments, containing a sort of evidence of the unfortunate gentleman's intrigues at various times, and in various places, with certain persons belonging to the squadron. This document has neither beginning nor end, name, date, or purpose; yet its authenticity cannot be doubted. It consists chiefly of a number of depositions, given and signed by various persons in the fleet.
Drake was known and esteemed by all the seamen for his kindness and humanity; and when so many and such undoubted proofs were openly alleged, Doughty is said to have confessed that his object was to obtain the command of the expedition ; and that he was ready to submit to any punishment that the assembly might pronounce, and thus prevent him becoming his own executioner. The crews,