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Portugal was exploiting by way the landfall, and from now of the East, though still be on the galleons went back and tween the two the invisible forward in endless armadas Papal line held firm. One can between Manila and Acapulco, only compare these days to where" for centuries after they
“ the modern era of scientific. unloaded their rich cargoes of discovery. Another link in the Asiatic silks and set sail with chain of circumstance is forged, cargoes of friars and silver and searchers become fraught pesos." with higher hopes. The years
Manila became the entrepôt went on, and still the search of the whole trade of the unavailing In 1535 Eastern sea board
Asia. Pizarro had sailed southwards China, Japan, and the Malay on his way to conquer Peru, Archipelago sent thither all
, and seven years later, despair- their wealth, and Mexico being of finding a passage, Ruy came the new stepping-stone Lopez determined to strike between the old world of Europe across the Pacific direct from and the ancient civilisations of Mexico to the Philippines. How Asia. The Portuguese, who he and his crew reached the had come to the East Indies islands, what they endured, the traders, not conquerors, disasters that overtook them- faded away, and the two Spains these are things that no man
bestrode the world like monknows of, only years later some strous Colossi. half-dozen broken travel-weary Into this halcyon existence men arrived back in Spain on came Drake—Drake, who was a Portuguese vessel coming first a simple merchant seaman, from the Spice Islands round but by the force of circumAfrica. The Pacific, despite its stances soon found himself an name, was for twenty more unlicensed privateer with years a place of terror to price upon his head.
For dipSpanish seamen. Ships sailed lomatic reasons letters of into it and disappeared or were marque had been refused to driven back. The secret of the him by the queen-letters which
courses of the Trade Winds were regarded internationally had not been discovered, and as a proper warranty for exactships battled with winds seek- ing retribution for wrongs sufing a direct course when a fered at sea ; but the queen's longer beat northwards would refusal did not convert him have let them through. From into a pirate, and his moral the year 1564 things changed. rights of action remained valid, Four vessels under Gomez de but action was taken at his Legaspi reached the Philip- own risk. pines, and on their return Truth to say, however, this voyage found the Great Circle great sea-captain became a law route with steady-blowing winds to himself, for he threw off the that went east to the coast of shackles of make-believe and California. There they made tortuous diplomacy, and saw
the vital truth of the situation. Pelican of 100 tons in the England had been set upon the course of the voyage renamed path
sea knowledge by the Golden Hind in honour of Henry VII., and after the the crest of his friend Sir lapse of eighty years found the Christopher Hatton), the Elizaworld of waters denied to her beth of 80, the Swan of 50, the by a Papal fiction which two Marygold of 30, and the Chrisnations grasped for their own topher, a toy of 15. The total aggrandisement. Peaceful trade of the souls on board was 164. penetration was denied to Eng- Drake felt that not only was lishmen. Their own queen had he an admiral, but also an not yet recognised that sea ambassador from his own counprotection of commerce was a try to unknown lands. “Neither State responsibility. Eliza- did he omit to make provision beth's encouragement of Drake for ornament and delight, carrywas probably no whit more dis- ing to this purpose with him interested than
King expert musicians, rich furniCharles of Spain's when he ture (all the vessels for his helped Magellan. Both thought table-yea, many belonging to in terms of Exchequer revenues. the cook-room, being of pure Drake for his part planned silver), with divers shows of all otherwise, He went out on sorts of curious workmanship his world cruise of 1577, not whereby the civility and magas a trader, but as the first nificence of his native country admiral of a commerce-protect- might among all nations whither ing fleet, though the fleet was he should come, be the more provided from his re- admired." Drake, indeed, comsources and those of a few bined the tastes of the cultured friends, not as was Magellan's courtier with the hardihood of armada by the State and by the pioneer. merchant princes. He had once Much of the earlier part of already led a cutting-out ex- his voyage resembled that of pedition into New Spain, but Magellan. The fleet coasted he realised that any operation down Africa, touched at the of this character could not be Cape Verde Islands, then across carried out more than once on to Brazil, and southward by land. With the mobility that the Plate. They came to the sea and ships gave it might anchor in Port St Julian, and be done many times, and the there stood the gallows-tree on attacker could select his own which still hung the mouldering point of impact. The more bones of some of Magellan's unexpected the point, the crew. The gloom of the region greater would be the moral seemed to be infectious, for effect.
here, too, Drake after a fair It was for these and not for trial executed one of his captrading objects that his fleet tains who had given trouble left Plymouth for the Horn from the outset. The land on 15th November 1577—the seems to breed death and de
solation, a horror of great fishing, suspicious of the white loneliness. It has lasted to sailors who for three centuries our day. Fate hangs over have too often deemed their those who pass by it—Cradock lives as valueless as those of went there ; his men lived for the penguins that line their months in that biting cold, shores, and their womenfolk and they went
went out of it as fair spoil. Drake and his northwards into the lonely seas men seemed to have treated by Mas-a-Fuera and Coronel, natives fairly wherever they the setting sun and the closing went, though inevitably suswaters. Then Von Spee, fresh picion at times bred fighting. from his victory, bore south, They, too, saw more than his men moving out of the barrenness in these regions tropical waters of the Pacific round Port Julian and in the into the seething waves and Straits, something more than cramping cold of the Horn. bleak cliffs and fathomless They doubled the Cape, and waters. The ever-green beeches, in a few days the great alba, the fern and the fuchsia, then trosses were swooping at their as to-day, grew there, and bodies that tossed in the leaden Fletcher notes the continual waves.
greenness and the “good and Drake, however, was not the sweet herbs." Yet despite their man to sit brooding. The beauty as they clothe the hills horror which the region struck against a background of snowy into the hearts of the sailors of peaks, he would be an optimist Southern Europe impressed it- who could be enamoured of self less on the imaginations these forests soaked by inof his men, more accustomed to cessant fogs and sleet, of the the wintry seas and perpetual numberless bogs that dry but storms of northerly latitudes. in the height of summer. The narrators of the expedi- “Clouds rest the black tion—the Portuguese pilot da splintered crests so heavy that Silva and the Chaplain Fletcher, even the ice-fields lose their avery human soul-belittled the whiteness ; the reddish bogs accounts of bad weather, both and the deep dark forest patches here and subsequently round which cling to the steep cliffs the Cape of Good Hope, that and get thicker and closer Portuguese and Spaniards-per- towards the sea bearing a solid haps with the object of keeping impenetrable covering to everyother nations from entering on thing down to the water ittheir preserves — had spread self." As the sun turns the abroad. The natives appeared glaciers to green, pink, and to them of less superhuman blue, a stark beauty falls sudsize, and to approach more denly upon the scene of desonearly to those aborigines who lation—a scene where death still cling to-day to these in- reigns, the channels silent save hospitable regions, eking out for the incessant scream of the a precarious existence from wind, no hoarse voice of sea
bird or other life filling the the Spaniard his break through empty echoes.
to this Spanish preserve was Through the Straits Drake as fateful as was the appearpassed in sixteen days, having ance of German submarines first destroyed two of his vessels to allied shipping in the Mediin order to keep close convoy, terranean in the Great War, but once through his troubles or the escape of a German increased as a fierce storm raider into the Atlantic. raged for a month driving the Drake's procedure was very three vessels blindly about. similar to that of the latter. The Marygold was lost and He worked on the trade routes never heard of again; the Eliza- for a short time at one focal beth, finding herself once more point, then swiftly moved to at the western end of the Strait, another. He gathered the capwaited for a month, then, like tured crews together on a single one of Magellan's ships, grew prize, and brought them in weary and sailed home. The company till he could put them Golden Hind, after anchoring ashore at a landing-place reat Cape Horn, fought her way mote from the scenes of his north up the Chilian coast. next exploits. He knew that Of Drake's exploits, of his his methods could not be folrifling ships at anchor in Span- lowed for long, even though the ish harbours, of his capture of Spaniards made no real efforts galleons on the high seas, as he to cope with the situation. leisurely proceeded onwards to They had five months in which Nicaragua, it is not necessary to do something as he cruised to inquire. Suffice that he did leisurely northward, but in the these things, all in a cool whole of that time he had to gentleman-like manner, very fight no real action. Instead unlike the methods of the they confined themselves (as buccaneers of these seas one Drake guessed) to sending ships hundred years later. Those to cut him off at the south in captured by him testify to the case he doubled on his tracks. wonderful discipline on board, But Drake did no such thing. the cleanliness of the ships, Like the Spaniards of twenty the respect and veneration that years earlier, he still thought he inspired amongst his officers that there must be some more and men, the evidences of cul- central way from the west to ture and refinement evinced the east coast of North America. everywhere. “The service is He became the explorer once of silver, richly gilt and en- more, and went north, keeping graved with his arms. He has, well away from land for a great
, too, all possible luxuries, even space. Colder grew the climate, to perfumes. He dines and sparser became the vegetation. sups to the music of violins."
He was already near the coast It is rather the lessons of this of Alaska, but as no sign of a cruise than the cruise itself passage appeared he turned that should be stressed. To south once more, and boldly
struck across the Pacific from arrived in the islands in a point north of San Francisco. much fitter condition than did In two and a half months on the scurvy-stricken followers of a course almost due west, he his predecessor. Of the voyage reached, like Magellan, the home little need be told. The Philippines, thence coming to routes were well-known and the islands whose names had passably charted, and on 26th been glamour to the young September 1580, Plymouth was Portuguese, Ternate, the Moluc- reached. cas, and the Celebes. Whether One can regard these world it was greater good fortune, voyages as made up of three better seamanship, more care- stages with certain intervening ful dieting and sanitation, or passages, and the contrast bea combination of all, Drake's tween each is remarkable. crew, though emaciated and They may be set out in simple weakened by their long voyage, form :
Left Plymouth, Dec. 13, 1577. Arrived Brazil, 70 days.
54 days. Arrived Port St Julian, 193 days (March
189 days (June 20). 31). Left St Julian, 339 days (Aug. 24).
247 days (Aug. 17). Entered Straits, Oct. 21, 1520.
Aug. 20, 1578. Cleared Straits, Nov. 28, 1520 (435 days).
Sept. 6, 1578 (267 days).
(?) San Francisco, June 17, 1579.
STAGE II. (10,000 miles.)
(6500 miles.) Left American coast (Straits), Nov. 28,
San Francisco, July 23, 1520.
1579. Passed St Paul, 57 days.
Arrived Pelew Islands, 68 days.
Oct. 16, 1579.
- March 26, 1580 (162
days). STAGE III.
Left Timor, Feb. 13, 1522.
Left Java, March 26, 1580.
81 days. Arrived Plymouth, 184 days.
(Sept. 8, 1522, or 2 years 353 days
(Sept. 26, 1580, or 2 years 288 days