Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

test we know not; whether we lost them, or they us; but we put into Port Desire, and sailed again on the 6th August for the Strait of Magelhaens, with full confidence there to meet with our General.” * They stopped one day at Penguin Island, where they salted twenty hogsheads of seal flesh, sailed out of the strait on the 7th, and on the 14th they were driven in among certain isles never before discovered by any known relation, lying fifty leagues or better from the shore east, and northerly from the strait. They again anchored in the strait on the 18th August.

Early in September Davis passed into the South Sea, but they were driven back again. A second time they entered the South Sea, and a second time were forced back again. A third time they entered the South Sea, and got clear of the land, but the wind came again N.N.W. and blew strong; the pinnace was in distress, and the sea too high to afford her assistance; in the night she was lost sight

* Hakluyt.

of “ Thus,” says Admiral Burney, “it was the fortune of Captain John Davis, the discoverer of Davis's Strait, to be the first discoverer of the islands which have since been distinguished by the different appellations of Hawkins's Maidenland, the Sebaldines, Falkland Islands, the Malouines and Isles Nouvelles, whilst the knowledge of the original discovery seems to have passed immediately into oblivion ;” and he therefore says, “when there is again occasion to mention them in this work (his “Voyages and Discoveries) the name of Davis's Southern Islands will be adopted.”-Burney's South Sea Voyages.

of, and was never afterwards seen. It had now become hopeless to seek their fortune in the South Sea, and Davis therefore resolved to make the best of his way to Port Desire. There he caused penguins to be salted for their sea provision.

On the 22nd December they sailed from Port Desire with a stock of 14,000 penguins for seastore, shaping their course homewards. Stopping on the coast of Brazil they had the misfortune of losing thirteen of their men, who were slain by the Portuguese; they had lost nine at Penguin Island in a boat that never returned. But their misfortunes did not end here. In passing through the warm latitudes “ their penguins began to corrupt, and there bred in them a most loathsome and ugly worm of an inch long.” These worms multiplied in a most extraordinary degree, and devoured not only their provisions and clothes, but eat into the timbers of the ship. “At the last,” says Janes, * “We could not sleep for them, but they would eat our flesh.” In this miserable state disease carried off the greater part of the remaining ship's company. At length, on the 14th of June, 1593, the ship arrived at Beerhaven in Ireland, with only sixteen persons remaining of seventy-six who sailed in her from England. Captain Davis, however, was one of the

* The journalist of the voyage, who was with Captain Davis in his northern voyages, and supplied Hakluyt with his notes.

we

number that lived to return home, to be reserved for future trials.

Cavendish appears to have been of an unhappy and excitable temper. Nothing can surpass the vulgar and abusive language made use of by him, in his second voyage, when matters did not go on exactly as he wished, or when those casualties and disappointments befel him which are more or less incident to a naval life at sea. It has before been said, that the success of his first voyage and the fruits of it were profusely squandered, and that the object of the second being to restore at least a part of them, the entire failure of the second was too much for his irritable temper to bear. “The constant trouble I endured,” he says, “among such hell-hounds (the crew), my spirits were cleane spent; wishing myself upon any desert place in the world there to dye, rather than thus basely to returne home again ; which course I had put in execution, had I found an island (which the charts make to be eight degrees to the southward of the Line). I sweare to you I sought it with all diligence, meaning (if I had found it) to have there ended my unfortunate life. But God suffered not such happiness to light upon me, for I could by no meanes find it, so I was forced to go towards England; and having gotten eight degrees north of the Line, I lost my most dearest cousin ;' and he concludes, “beare with this

Pa

scribbling, for I protest I am scant able to hold a pen in my hand.”*

There is little doubt he died of a broken heart, and at sea, about the latitude above mentioned. Cavendish was one of the first four navigators that ever passed through the Straits of Magelhaens, each of whom had the misfortune to take away the life of one of their company, in or about the vicinity of those straits—Magelhaens, Drake, Sarmiento, and Cavendish.

* Purchas, from his letter to Sir Tristram Gorges.

SIR RICHARD HAWKINS.

1588 to 1593.

The last voyage of Cavendish was not calculated, by its results, to encourage future adventurers towards that quarter of the world where his misfortunes happened. There was one, however, and but one gallant gentleman, who ventured on a voyage to the South Sea towards the latter part of Queen Elizabeth's reign; and he, probably, was spurred on to this adventurous voyage by the example of his brave father, Sir John Hawkins, who, at the same time, was about to embark in conjunction with his friend and early pupil, Sir Francis Drake, on an expedition which, as has been seen, proved fatal to both.

Sir Richard Hawkins, Knight, for he is so styled, was bred to the sea from a very early age, and commanded H. M. ship the Swallow in 1588. He now fitted out three ships for a voyage to the South Sea: the Dainty, a new ship, built by himself, between three and four hundred tons burden, and

wa

« EelmineJätka »