Imágenes de página

tory. But both have such an affinity in the same purpose; there being in either, this wordish consideration, that I (210 sweetness, and wanting in neither, majthink this digression will make my mean esty. Truly the English, before any ing receive the fuller understanding: which other vulgar language I know, is fit for is not to take upon me to teach poets how both sorts. For, for the ancient, the they should do, but only, finding myself Italian is so full of vowels that it must sick among the rest, to show some one or | ever be cumbered with elisions; the two spots of the common infection grown Dutch so, of the other side, with con- (270 among the most part of writers; that, ac sonants, that they cannot yield the sweet knowledging ourselves somewhat awry, sliding fit for a verse. The French, in we may bend to the right use both of his whole language, hath not one word matter and manner: whereto our lan- [220 that hath his accent in the last syllable guage giveth us great occasion, being, saving two, called antepenultima, and indeed, capable of any excellent exercising little more hath the Spanish; and thereof it.

fore very gracelessly may they use dactyls. I know some will say it is a mingled The English is subject to none of these language. And why not so much the defects. better, taking the best of both the other? Now for rime, though we do not (280 Another will say it wanteth grammar. observe quantity, yet we observe the acNay, truly, it hath that praise that it cent very precisely, which other languages wanteth not grammar. For grammar it either cannot do, or will not do so abmight have, but it needs it not; being (230 solutely. That cæsura, or breathingso easy in itself, and so void of those place in the midst of the verse, neither cumbersome differences of cases, genders, Italian nor Spanish have, the French and moods, and tenses, which, I think, was a we never almost fail of. Lastly, even the piece of the Tower of Babylon's curse, very rime itself the Italian cannot put in that a man should be put to school to the last syllable, by the French named the learn his mother-tongue. But for the masculine rime, but still in the next (290 uttering sweetly and properly the con to the last, which the French call the feceits of the mind, which is the end of male, or the next before that, which the speech, that hath it equally with any Italians term sdrucciola. The example of other tongue in the world, and is par- (240 the former is buono, suono; of the sdrucciola ticularly happy in compositions of two is femina, semina. The French, of the or three words together, near the Greek, other side, hath both the male, as bon, far beyond the Latin-which is one of son, and the female, as plaise, taise; but the greatest beauties can be in a language. the sdrucciola he hath not. Where the

Now of versifying there are two sorts, English hath all three, as due, true; the one ancient, the other modern. The father, rather; motion, potion; with (300 ancient marked the quantity of each much more which might be said, but that syllable, and according to that, framed I find already the triflingness of this his verse; the modern observing only discourse is much too much enlarged. number, with some regard of the ac- (250 So that since the ever praiseworthy cent, the chief life of it standeth in that poesy is full of virtue-breeding delightlike sounding of the words, which we call fulness, and void of no gift that ought to rime. Whether of these be the more ex be in the noble name of learning; since cellent, would bear many speeches; the the blames laid against it are either false ancient no doubt more fit for music, both or feeble; since the cause why it is not words and tune observing quantity; and esteemed in England is the fault of 1310 more fit lively to express divers passions, poet-apes, not poets; since, lastly, our by the low and lofty sound of the well tongue is most fit to honor poesy, and to weighed syllable. The latter likewise be honored by poesy; I conjure you all with his rime striketh a certain music (260 | that have had the evil luck to read this to the ear; and, in fine, since it doth de- ink-wasting toy of mine, even in the name light, though by another way, it obtaineth / of the Nine Muses, no more to scorn the sacred mysteries of poesy; no more to of Spain; and that the Spaniards, accordlaugh at the name of poets, as though they ing to their usual manner, fill the world were next inheritors to fools; no more to with their vain-glorious vaunts, making jest at the reverend title of a rimer; but (320 great appearance of victories, when on to believe, ... with me, that there are the contrary themselves are most commany mysteries contained in poetry which monly and shamefully beaten and dis- (10 of purpose were written darkly, lest by honored, thereby hoping to possess the profane wits it should be abused; to be ignorant multitude by anticipating and lieve, with Landin, that they are so be forerunning false reports: it is agreeable loved of the gods that whatsoever they with all good reason (for manifestation of write proceeds of a divine fury; lastly, to the truth, to overcome falsehood and believe themselves, when they tell you untruth), that the beginning, continuthey will make you immortal by their ance, and success of this late honorable verses.

(330 encounter of Sir Richard Grenville, and Thus doing, your name shall flourish in other her Majesty's captains, with the the printers' shops. Thus doing, you Armada of Spain, should be truly set (20 shall be of kin to many a poetical preface. down and published without partiality or Thus doing, you shall be most fair, most false imaginations. And it is no marvel rich, most wise, most all: you shall dwell that the Spaniards should seek by false upon superlatives. Thus doing, though and slanderous pamphlets, advisos, and you be Libertino patre natus, you shall letters, to cover their own loss, and to suddenly grow Herculea proles,

derogate from others their due honors

(especially in this fight, being performed Si quid mea carmina possunt.

far off), seeing they were not ashamed in Thus doing, your soul shall be placed (340 the year 1588, when they purposed the with Dante's Beatrice or Virgil's Anchises. invasion of this land, to publish in (30

But if (fie of such a but!) you be born sundry languages, in print, great victories so near the dull-making cataract of Nilus, (in words) which they pleaded to have that you cannot hear the planet-like | obtained against this realm, and spread music of poetry; if you have so earth- the same in a most false sort over all creeping a mind, that it cannot lift itself parts of France, Italy, and elsewhere. ... up to look to the sky of poetry, or rather, The Lord Thomas Howard, with six by a certain rustical disdain, will become of her Majesty's ships, six victuallers of such a mome as to be a Momus of po London, the bark Raleigh, and two or etry; then, though I will not wish unto (350 three pinnaces, riding at anchor near unto you the ass's ears of Midas, nor to be Flores, one of the westerly islands of (40 driven by a poet's verses, as Bubonax the Azores, the last of August in the afterwas, to hang himself; nor to be rimed to noon, had intelligence by one Captain death, as is said to be done in Ireland; yet Middleton, of the approach of the Spanish thus much curse I must send you in the Armada. Which Middleton, being in a behalf of all poets: that while you live very good sailer, had kept them company you live in love, and never get favor three days before, of good purpose both for lacking skill of a sonnet; and when | to discover their forces the more, as also you die, your memory die from the earth to give advice to my Lord Thomas of their for want of an epitaph.

(360 approach.

He had no sooner delivered the news 150 SIR WALTER RALEIGH (1552?-1618)

but the fleet was in sight. Many of our

ships' companies were on shore in the THE LAST FIGHT OF THE REVENGE island, some providing ballast for their

ships, others filling of water and refreshBecause the rumors are diversely spread, ing themselves from the land with such as well in England as in the low countries things as they could either for money and elsewhere, of this late encounter be- or by force recover. By reason whereof tween her Majesty's ships and the Armada | our ships being all pestered, and rummaging, every thing out of order, very light have been answered in so great an imfor want of ballast. And that which (60 possibility of prevailing. Notwithstandwas most to our disadvantage, the one ing out of the greatness of his mind he half part of the men of every ship sick and could not be persuaded. utterly unserviceable. For in the Revenge In the meanwhile, as he attended those there were ninety diseased; in the Bona- which were nearest him, the great San venture, not so many in health as could | Philip, being in the wind of him, and handle her mainsail. For had not twenty coming towards him, becalmed his (120 men been taken out of a bark of Sir sails in such sort as the ship could neither George Cary's, his being commanded to way nor feel the helm: so huge and high be sunk, and those appointed to her, she carged was the Spanish ship, being of a had hardly ever recovered England. 170 thousand and five hundred tons; who The rest, for the most part, were in little after laid the Revenge aboard. When he better state.

was thus bereft of his sails, the ships that The names of her Majesty's ships were were under his lee, luffing up, also laid these, as followeth: the Defiance, which him aboard; of which the next was the was Admiral; the Revenge, Vice Admiral; admiral of the Biscayans, a very mighty the Bonaventure, commanded by Captain and puissant ship commanded by (130 Crosse; the Lion, by George Fenner; the Brittan Dona. The said Philip carried Foresight, by Thomas Vavisour; and the three tier of ordinance on a side, and Crane, by Duffield. The Foresight and eleven pieces in every tier. She shot eight the Crane being but small ships only; (80 forthright out of her chase, besides those the other were of middle size. The rest, of her stern ports. besides the bark Raleigh, commanded by After the Revenge was entangled with Captain Thin, were victuallers, and of this Philip, four other boarded her, two small force or none.

on her larboard, and two on her starboard. The Spanish fleet, having shrouded | The fight thus beginning at three of the their approach by reason of the island, clock in the afternoon continued very (140 were now so soon at hand as our ships had terrible all that evening. But the great scarce time to weigh their anchors, but San Philip, having received the lower

e of them were driven to let slip their tier of the Revenge, discharged with crosscables and set sail. Sir Richard Gren- [90 barshot, shifted herself with all diligence ville was the last weighed, to recover the from her sides, utterly misliking her first men that were upon the island, which other entertainment. Some say that the ship wise had been lost. The Lord Thomas foundered, but we cannot report it for with the rest very hardly recovered the truth, unless we were assured. wind, which Sir Richard Grenville not The Spanish ships were filled with combeing able to do, was persuaded by the panies of soldiers, in some two hun- (150 master and others to cut his mainsail and dred besides the mariners, in some five, cast about, and to trust to the sailing of in others eight hundred. In ours there his ship: for the squadron of Seville were were none at all besides the mariners, but on his weather bow. But Sir Richard (100 the servants of the commanders and some utterly refused to turn from the enemy, few voluntary gentlemen only. After alleging that he would rather choose to many interchanged volleys of great ordie, than to dishonor himself, his country, dinance and small shot, the Spaniards and her Majesty's ship; persuading his deliberated to enter the Revenge, and made company that he would pass through the divers attempts, hoping to force her by two squadrons in despite of them, and the multitudes of their armed soldiers (160 enforce those of Seville to give him way. and musketeers, but were still repulsed Which he performed upon divers of the again and again, and at all times beaten foremost, who, as the mariners term it, back into their own ships or into the seas. sprang their luff, and fell under the (110 In the beginning of the fight, the George lee of the Revenge. But the other course Noble of London, having received some had been the better, and might right well shot through her by the armados, fell


under the lee of the Revenge, and asked Revenge, was hunted like a hare among Sir Richard what he would command him, many ravenous hounds, but escaped. being but one of the victuallers and of All the powder of the Revenge to the small force. Sir Richard bade him (170 last barrel was now spent, all her pikes save himself, and leave him to his for broken, forty of her best men slain, and tune.

the most part of the rest hurt. In the After the fight had thus without inter beginning of the fight she had but one mission continued while the day lasted hundred free from sickness, and fourscore and some hours of the night, many of our | and ten sick, laid in hold upon the ballast. men were slain and hurt, and one of the A small troop to man such a ship, (230 great galleons of the Armada and the Ad- and a weak garrison to resist so mighty miral of the Hulks both sunk, and in an army! By those hundred all was susmany other of the Spanish ships great tained, the volleys, boardings, and enterslaughter was made. Some write that (180 ings of fifteen ships of war, besides those Sir Richard was very dangerously hurt which beat her at large. On the contrary almost in the beginning of the fight, the Spanish were always supplied with and lay speechless for a time ere he re soldiers brought from every squadron, covered. But two of the Revenge's own all manner of arms, and powder at will. company brought home in a ship of Lime Unto ours there remained no comfort from the islands, examined by some of | at all, no hope, no supply either of (240 the Lords and others, affirmed that he ships, men, or weapons; the masts all was never so wounded as that he forsook beaten overboard, all her tackle cut asunthe upper deck, till an hour before mid-der, her upper work altogether razed; and, night; and then being shot into the (190 in effect, evened she was with the water, body with a musket, as he was a-dressing but the very foundation or bottom of a was again shot into the head, and withal ship, nothing being left overhead either his surgeon wounded to death. This for flight or defence. agreeth also with an examination, taken Sir Richard finding himself in this disby Sir Francis Godolphin, of four other tress, and unable any longer to make remariners of the same ship being returned, sistance,-having endured in this fif- (250 which examination the said Sir Francis teen hours' fight the assault of fifteen sevsent unto master William Killigrew, of eral armados, all by turns aboard him, her Majesty's Privy Chamber.

and by estimation eight hundred shot of But to return to the fight, the Span- (200 great artillery, besides many assaults and ish ships which attempted to board the entries, and that himself and the ship Revenge, as they were wounded and beaten must needs be possessed by the enemy, off, so always others came in their places, who were now cast in a ring round about she having never less than two mighty him, the Revenge not able to move one way galleons by her sides and aboard her. So or other but as she was moved by the that ere the morning, from three of the waves and billow of the sea, -com- (260 clock the day before there had fifteen manded the master gunner, whom he knew several armados assailed her; and all so to be a most resolute man, to split and sink ill approved their entertainment, as they the ship, that thereby nothing might rewere by the break of day far more will- (210 main of glory or victory to the Spaniards, ing to hearken to a composition than has seeing in so many hours' fight, and with tily to make any more assaults or entries. so great a navy, they were not able to But as the day increased, so our men de take her, having had fifteen hours' time, creased; and as the light grew more and fifteen thousand men, and fifty and three more, by so much more grew our discom- sail of men-of-war to perform it withal; forts. For none appeared in sight but and persuaded the company, or as (270 enemies, saving one small ship called the many as he could induce, to yield themPilgrim, commanded by Jacob Whiddon, / selves unto God, and to the mercy of none who hovered all night to see the success; else, but, as they had, like valiant resolute but in the morning, bearing with the (220 | men, repulsed so many enemies, they should not now shorten the honor of their dissuade men from death to life. The nation by prolonging their own lives for a master gunner finding himself and Sir (330 few hours or a few days.

Richard thus prevented and mastered by The master gunner readily conde the greater number, would have slain scended, and divers others. But the Cap himself with a sword had he not been by tain and the Master were of another (280 force withheld and locked into his cabin. opinion and besought Sir Richard to Then the General sent many boats aboard have care of them, alleging that the the Revenge, and divers of our men, fearing Spaniard would be as ready to entertain Sir Richard's disposition, stole away a composition as they were willing to offer aboard the General and other ships. Sir the same, and that there being divers Richard, thus overmatched, was sent sufficient and valiant men yet living, and unto by Alfonso Bassan to remove (340 whose wounds were not mortal, they | out of the Revenge, the ship being marmight do their country and prince ac vellous unsavory, filled with blood and ceptable service hereafter. And (that bodies of dead and wounded men like a where Sir Richard had alleged that (290 slaughter-house. Sir Richard answered the Spaniards should never glory to have that he might do with his body what he taken one ship of her Majesty's, seeing list, for he esteemed it not; and as he was that they had so long and so nota carried out of the ship he swooned, and bly defended themselves) they answered reviving again, desired the company to that the ship had six foot of water in pray for him. The General used Sir hold, three shot under water which were Richard with all humanity, and left (350 so weakly stopped as, with the first work nothing unattempted that tended to his ing of the sea, she must needs sink, and was recovery, highly commending his valor besides so crushed and bruised as she could and worthiness, and greatly bewailed the never be removed out of the place. (300 danger wherein he was, being unto them

And as the matter was thus in dispute, a rare spectacle, and a resolution seldom and Sir Richard refusing to hearken to approved, to see one ship turn toward so any of those reasons, the Master of the many enemies, to endure the charge and Revenge (while the Captain won unto boarding of so many huge armados, and him the greater party) was convoyed to resist and repel the assaults and entries aboard the General Don Alfonso Bassan. of so many soldiers. All which, and (300 Who finding none over hasty to enter the more, is confirmed by a Spanish captain Revenge again, doubting lest Sir Richard of the same Armada, and a present actor would have blown them up and himself, in the fight, who, being severed from the and perceiving by the report of the 1310 rest in a storm, was by the Lion, of LonMaster of the Revenge his dangerous dis don, a small ship, taken, and is now prisposition, yielded that all their lives should oner in London. be saved, the company sent for England, The General Commander of the Armada and the better sort to pay such reasonable was Don Alfonso Bassan, brother to the ransom as their estate would bear, and Marquis of Santa Cruce. The Admiral in the mean season to be free from galley of the Biscayan squadron was Britan (370 or imprisonment. To this he so much Dona; of the squadron of Seville, Marquis the rather condescended, as well, as I have of Arumburch. The Hulks and Fly-boats said, for fear of further loss and mischief were commanded by Luis Cutino. There to themselves, as also for the desire he (320 were slain and drowned in this fight well had to recover Sir Richard Grenville: near two thousand of the enemies, and whom for his notable valor he seemed two especial Commanders, Don Luis de greatly to honor and admire.

Sant John, and Don George de Prunaria de When this answer was returned, and Malaga, as the Spanish Captain confesseth, that safety of life was promised, the com besides divers others of special account, mon sort being now at the end of their whereof as yet report is not made. 1380 peril, the most drew back from Sir Richard The Admiral of the Hulks and the and the gunner, being no hard matter to | Ascension of Seville were both sunk by

« AnteriorContinuar »