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Germans, use the same attire, build like them, and live like
them, in that dirtiness and sloth so common to all. Some-
what they are corrupted into the fashion of the Sarmatians
by the inter-marriages of the principal sort with that nation :
from whence the Venedians have derived very many of their
customs and a great resemblance. For they are continually
traversing and infesting with robberies all the forests and
mountains lying between the Peucinians and Fennians.
Yet they are rather reckoned amongst the Germans, for that
they have fixed houses, and carry shields, and prefer travel-
ling on foot, and excel in swiftness. Usages these, all
widely differing from those of the Sarmatians, who live
on horseback and dwell in waggons. In wonderful savage-
ness live the nation of the Fennians, and in beastly poverty,
destitute of arms, of horses, and of homes ; their food, the
common herbs; their apparel, skins; their bed, the earth;
their only hope in their arrows, which for want of iron
they point with bones. Their common support they have
from the chase, women as well as men; for with these the
former wander up and down, and crave a portion of the
prey. Xor other shelter have they even for their babes,
against the violence of tempests and ravening beasts, than
to cover them with the branches of trees twisted together;
this a reception for the old men, and hither resort the
young. Such a condition they judge more happy than the
painful occupation of cultivating the ground, than the labour
of rearing houses, than the agitations of hope and fear at-
tending the defence of their own property or the seizing
that of others. Secure against the designs of men, secure
against the malignity of the Gods, they have accomplished
a thing of infinite difficulty; that to them nothing remains
even to be wished.

What further accounts we have are fabulous: as that the
Hellusians and Oxiones have the countenances and aspect of
men, with the bodies and limbs of savage beasts. This, as a
thing about which I have no certain information, 1 shall
leave untouched.



Sir Francis Drake, the greatest of the naval adventurers of
England of the time of Elizabeth, was born in Devonshire about
1540. He went to sea early, was sailing to the Spanish Main by
1565, and commanded a ship under Hawkins in an expedition that
was overwhelmed by the Spaniards in 1567. In order to recom-
pense himself for the loss suffered in this disaster, he equipped
the expedition against the Spanish treasure-house at Notnbre de
Dios in 1572, the fortunes of which are described in the first of
the two following narratives. It was on this voyage that he was
led by native guides to "that goodly and great high tree" on the
isthmus of Darien, from which, first of Englishmen, he looked
on the Pacific, and "besought Almighty God of His goodness to
give him life and leave to sail once in an English ship in that sea."

The fulfilment of this prayer is described in the second of the
voyages here printed, in which it is told how, in 1578, Drake
passed through the Straits of Magellan into waters never before
sailed by his countrymen, and with a single ship rifled the Spanish
settlements on the west coast of South America and plundered
the Spanish treasure-ships; how, considering it unsafe to go back
the way he came lest the enemy should seek revenge, he went as
far north as the Golden Gate, then passed across the Pacific and
round by the Cape of Good Hope, and so home, the first English-
man to circumnavigate the globe. Only Magellan's ship had pre-
ceded him in the feat, and Magellan had died on the voyage. The
Queen visited the ship, "The Golden Hind," as she lay at Dept-
ford and knighted the commander on board.

Drake's further adventures were of almost equal interest. Re-
turning from a raid on the Spaniards in 1586, he brought home
the despairing Virginian colony, and is said at the same time to
have introduced from America tobacco and potatoes. Two years
later he led the English fleet in the decisive engagement with the
Great Armada. In 1595 he set out on another voyage to the
Spanish Main; and in the January of the following year died
off Porto Bello and was buried in the waters where he had made
his name as the greatest seaman of his day and nation.


Sir Francis Drake

Calling upon this dull or effeminate Age,
to follow his noble steps for gold and silver:

By this memorable Relation of the rare occurrences

(never yet declared to the world) in a Third Voyage

made by him into the West Indies, in the years

[}S\l z an d [i5]73 ; when Nombre de Dios was

by him* and fifty-two others only in bis

company, surprised.

Faithfully taken out of the report of Master

Christopher Cebly, Exlis Hixom, and others,

who were in the same Voyage with him ;

By Philip Nichols, Preacher.

Reviewed also by Sir Francis Drake himself,

before his death ; and much holpen and enlarged

by divers notes, with his own hand,

here and there inserted.

Set forth by Sir Francis Drake, Baronet,

(his nephew) now living.


Printed by E. A. for Nicholas Bourne,

dwelling at the South Entrance of the
Royal Exchange. 1626.

Facsimile of Title-page of First Edition



KING, all the blessings of this, and a better life.

Most Gracious Sovereign,

That this brief Treatise is yours, both by right and by suc-
cession, will appear by the Author's and Actor's ensuing Dedica-
tion. To praise either the Mistress or the Servant, might justly
incur the censure of Quis eos unquam sanus vituperavit; either's
worth having sufficiently blazed their fame.

This Present loseth nothing, by glancing on former actions;
and the observation of passed adventures may probably advan-
tage future employments. Cesar wrote his own Commentaries ;
and this Doer was partly the Inditor.

Neither is there wanting living testimony to confirm its truth.

For his sake, then, cherish what is good ! and I shall will-
ingly entertain check for what is amiss. Your favourable accept-
ance may encourage my collecting of more neglected notes !
However, though Virtue, as Lands, be not inheritable; yet hath
he left of his Name, one that resolves, and therein joys to
approve himself.

Your most humble and loyal subject,

Francis Drake [Bart.]

hc xxxiii 129 (5)

The Dedicatory Epistle, intended to


Written by Sir Francis Drake, Deceased.

To the Queen's most excellent Majesty,
my most dread Sovereign.


Seeing divers have diversely reported and written of these
Voyages and Actions which I have attempted and made, every
one endeavouring to bring to light whatsoever inklings or con-
jectures they have had ; whereby many untruths have been pub-
lished, and the certain truth concealed: as [so] I have thought
it necessary myself, as in a Card [chart] to prick the principal
points of the counsels taken, attempts made, and success had,
during the whole course of my employment in these services
against the Spaniard. Not as setting sail for maintaining my
reputation in men's judgement, but only as sitting at helm, if occa-
sion shall be, for conducting the like actions hereafter. So I
have accounted it my duty, to present this Discourse to Your
Majesty, as of right; either for itself being the firstfruits of
your Servant's pen, or for the matter, being service done to Your
Majesty by your poor vassal, against your great Enemy: at times,
in such places, and after such sort as may seem strange to those
that are not acquainted with the whole carriage thereof ; but will
be a pleasing remembrance to Your Highness, who take the
apparent height of the Almighty's favour towards you, by these
events, as truest instruments.



Humbly submitting myself to Your gracious censure, both in
writing and presenting; that Posterity be not deprived of such
help as may happily be gained hereby, and our present Age,
at least, may be satisfied, in the rightfulness of these actions,
which hitherto have been silenced : and Your Servant's labour not
seem altogether lost, not only in travels by sea and land, but also
in writing the Report thereof (a work to him no less trouble-
some) yet made pleasant and sweet, in that it hath been, is, and
shall be for Your Majesty's content; to whom I have devoted
myself [and] live or die.

Francis Drake [Knight].

January i, 1592 [i.e., 1593].


Honest Reader,

Without apology, I desire thee, in this ensuing Discourse, to
observe, with me, the power and justice of the LORD of Hosts,
Who could enable so mean a person to right himself upon so
mighty a Prince ; together with the goodness and providence of
GOD very observable in that it pleased Him to raise this man,
not only from a low condition, but even from the state of perse-
cution. His father suffered in it, being forced to fly from his
house, near South Tavistock in Devon, into Kent: and there to
inhabit in the hull of a ship, wherein many of his younger sons
were born. He had twelve in all : and as it pleased GOD to
give most of them a being upon the water, so the greatest part
of them died at sea. The youngest, who though he was [went]
as far as any, yet died at home ; whose posterity inherits that,
which by himself and this noble Gentleman the eldest brother,
was hardly, yet worthily gotten.

I could more largely acquaint thee, that this Voyage was his
Third he made into the West Indies; after that [of] his excellent
service, both by sea and land, in Ireland, under Walter, Earl
of Essex ; his next, about the World ; another, wherein he took
St. Jago, Cartagena, St. Domingo, St. Augustino; his doings
at Cadiz ; besides the first Carrack taught by him to sail into
England ; his stirrings in Eighty-seven ; his remarkable actions
in Eighty-eight; his endeavours in the Portugal employment;
his last enterprise, determined by death ; and his filling Plymouth
with a plentiful stream of fresh water: but I pass by all these.
I had rather thou shouldest inquire of others! then to seem
myself a vainglorious man.

I intend not his praise ! I strive only to set out the praise
of his and our good GOD ! that guided him in his truth ! and
protected him in his courses ! My ends are to stir thee up to
the worship of GOD, and service of our King and Country, by
his example! If anything be worth thy consideration; conclude
with me, that the LORD only, can do great things!

Franxis Drake [Bart.]


Calling upon this dull or effeminate Age, to follow his noble
steps for gold and silver.

AS THERE is a general Vengeance which secretly pur-
ZA sueth the doers of wrong, and suffered! them not to
-A- -A- prosper, albeit no man of purpose empeach them: so
is there a particular Indignation, engraffed in the bosom of
all that are wronged, which ceaseth not seeking, by all means
possible, to redress or remedy the wrong received. Inso-
much as those great and mighty men, in whom their pros-
perous estate hath bred such an overweening of themselves,
that they do not only wrong their inferiors, but despise them
being injured, seem to take a very unfit course for their own
safety, and far unfitter for their rest. For as Esop teacheth,
even the fly hath her spleen, and the emmet [ant] is not
without her choler; and both together many times find
means whereby, though the eagle lays her eggs in Jupiter's
lap, yet by one way or other, she escapeth not requital of her
wrong done [to] the emmet.

Among the manifold examples hereof, which former Ages
have committed to memory, or our Time yielded to sight:
I suppose, there hath not been any more notable then this
in hand; either in respect of the greatness of the person
by whom the first injury was offered, or the meanness of
him who righted himself. The one being, in his own con-
ceit, the mightiest Monarch of all the world ! The other,
an English Captain, a mean subject of her Majesty's ! Who
(besides the wrongs received at Rio de [la] Hacha with
Captain John Lovell in the years [i5]65 and [i5]66) hav-
ing been grievously endamaged at San Juan de Ulua in the
Bay of Mexico, with Captain John Hawkins, in the years
[i5]67 and [i5]68, not only in the loss of his goods of



some value, but also of his kinsmen and friends, and that
by the falsehood of Don Martin Henriquez then the Vice-
roy of Mexico; and finding that no recompense could be
recovered out of Spain, by any of his own means, or by
Her Majesty's letters; he used such helps as he might, by
two several voyages into the West Indies (the first with
two ships, the one called the Dragon, the other the Swan,
in the year [15170: the other in the Swan alone in the year
[ I 5]7 I )> to am suc h intelligences as might further him,
to get some amends for his loss.

And having, in those two Voyages, gotten such certain
notice of the persons and places aimed at, as he thought
requisite, and thereupon with good deliberation resolved on
a Third Voyage (the description whereof we have now in
hand) ; he accordingly prepared his ships and company, and
then taking the first opportunity of a good wind, had such
success in his proceedings, as now follows further to be

On Whitsunday Eve, being the 24th of May, in the year
1572, Captain Drake in the Pascha of Plymouth of 70 tons,
his admiral [flag-ship] ; with the Swan of the same port, of
25 tons, his vice-admiral, in which his brother John Drake
was Captain (having in both of them, of men and boys
seventy-three, all voluntarily assembled; of which the eldest
was fifty, all the rest under thirty: so divided that there were
forty-seven in the one ship, and twenty-six in the other.
Both richly furnished with victuals and apparel for a whole
year; and no less needfully provided of all manner of muni-
tion, artillery, artificers, stuff and tools, that were requisite
for such a Man-of-war in such an attempt: but especially
having three dainty pinnaces made in Plymouth, taken as-
under all in pieces, and stowed aboard, to be set up as
occasion served), set sail, from out of the Sound of Ply-
mouth, with intent to land at Nombre de Dios.

The wind continued prosperous and favourable at north-
east, and gave us a very good passage, without any alteration
or change: so that albeit we had sight (3rd June) of Porto
Santo, one of the Madeiras, and of the Canaries also within
twelve days of our setting forth: yet we never struck sail,


nor came to anchor, nor made any stay for any cause,
neither there nor elsewhere, until twenty-five days after;
when (28th June) we had sight of the island of Guada-
loupe, one of the islands of the West Indies, goodly high

The next morning (29th June), we entered between Dom-
inica and Guadaloupe, where we descried two canoes coming
from a rocky island, three leagues off Dominica; which
usually repair thither to fish, by reason of the great plenty
thereof, which is there continually to be found.

We landed on the south side of it, remaining there three
days to refresh our men; and to water our ships out of one
of those goodly rivers, which fall down off the mountain.
There we saw certain poor cottages; built with Palmito
boughs and branches; but no inhabitants, at that time, civil
or savage: the cottages it may be (for we could know no
certain cause of the solitariness we found there) serving, not
for continual inhabitation, but only for their uses, that came
to that place at certain seasons to fish.

The third day after (1st July), about three in the after-
noon, we set sail from thence, toward the continent of
Terra firma.

And the fifth day after (6th July), we had sight of the high
land of Santa Marta; but came not near the shore by ten

But thence directed our course, for a place called by us,
Port Pheasant; for that our Captain had so named it in his
former voyage, by reason of the great store of those goodly
fowls, which he and his company did then daily kill and feed
on, in that place. In this course notwithstanding we had
two days calm, yet within six days after we arrived (12th
July) at Port Pheasant, which is a fine round bay, of very
safe harbour for all winds, lying between two high points,
not past half a cable's length over at the mouth, but within,
eight or ten cables' length every way, having ten or twelve
fathoms of water more or less, full of good fish ; the soil
also very fruitful, which may appear by this, that our
Captain having been in this place, within a year and few days
before [i. e., in July, 1571] and having rid the place with
many alleys and paths made; yet now all was so overgrown


again, as that we doubted, at first, whether this was the
same place or not.

At our entrance into this bay, our Captain having given
order to his brother what to do, if any occasion should hap-
pen in his absence, was on his way, with intent to have gone
aland with some few only in his company, because he knew
there dwelt no Spaniards within thirty-five leagues of that
place. [Santiago de] Tolou being the nearest to the east-
wards, and Nombre de Dios to the westwards, where any
of that nation dwelt.

But as we were rowing ashore, we saw a smoke in the
woods, even near the place where our Captain had afore-
time frequented; therefore thinking it fit to take more
strength with us, he caused his other boat also to be manned,
with certain muskets and other weapons, suspecting some
enemy had been ashore.

When we landed, we found by evident marks, that there
had been lately there, a certain Englishman of Plymouth,
called John Garret, who had been conducted thither by cer-
tain English mariners which had been there with our Cap-
tain, in some of his former voyages. He had now left a
plate of lead, nailed fast to a mighty great tree (greater
than any four men joining hands could fathom about) on
which were engraven these words, directed to our Captain.

Cap tain DRAKE

/F YOU fortune to come to this Port, make haste away!
For the Spaniards which you had with you here, the
last year, have bewrayed this place, and taken away
all that you left here.

I depart from hence, this present yth of July, 1572.
Your very loving friend,

John Garret.

The smoke which we saw, was occasioned by a fire, which
the said Garret and his company had made, before their
departure, in a very great tree, not far from this which had
the lead nailed on it, which had continued burning at least
five days before our arrival.

This advertisement notwithstanding, our Captain meant


not to depart before he had built his pinnaces; which were
yet aboard in pieces : for which purpose he knew this port
to be a most convenient place.

And therefore as soon as we had moored our ships, our
Captain commanded his pinnaces to be brought ashore for
the carpenters to set up; himself employing all his other
company in fortifying a place (which he had chosen out, as a
most fit plot) of three-quarters of an acre of ground, to make
some strength or safety for the present, as sufficiently as the
means he had would afford. Which was performed by fell-
ing of great trees; bowsing and hauling them together, with
great pulleys and hawsers, until they were enclosed to the
water; and then letting others fall upon them, until they had
raised with trees and boughs thirty feet in height round
about, leaving only one gate to issue at, near the water
side ; which every night, that we might sleep in more
safety and security, was shut up, with a great tree drawn
athwart it.

The whole plot was built in pentagonal form, to wit, of
five equal sides and angles, of which angles two were
toward the sea, and that side between them was left open,
for the easy launching of our pinnaces: the other four
equal sides were wholly, excepting the gate before men-
tioned, firmly closed up.

Without, instead of a trench, the ground was rid [laid
bare~\ for fifty feet space, round about. The rest was very
thick with trees, of which many were of those kinds which
are never without green leaves, till they are dead at the
root: excepting only one kind of tree amongst them, much
like to our Ash, which when the sun cometh right over
them, causing great rains, suddenly casteth all its leaves,
viz., within three days, and yet within six days after be-
'comes all green again. The leaves of the other trees do
also in part fall away, but so as the trees continue still
green notwithstanding: being of a marvellous height, and
supported as it were with five or six natural buttresses
growing out of their bodies so far, that three men may so
be hidden in each of them, that they which shall stand in
the very next buttress shall not be able to see them. One
of them specially w:. marked to have had seven of those


stays or buttresses, for the supporting of his greatness and
height, which being measured with a line close by the
bark and near to the ground, as it was indented or extant,
was found to be above thirty-nine yards about. The wood
of those trees is as heavy or heavier than Brazil or
Lignum vita; and is in colour white.

The next day after we had arrived (13th July), there
came also into that bay, an English bark of the Isle of
Wight, of Sir Edward Horsevt's; wherein James Ranse
was Captain and John Overy, Master, with thirty men:
of which, some had been with our Captain in the same
place, the year before. They brought in with them a
Spanish caravel of Seville, which he had taken the day be-
fore, athwart of that place; being a Caravel of Adviso
{Despatch boat] bound for Nombre de Dios; and also one
shallop with oars, which he had taken at Cape Blanc.
This Captain Ranse understanding our Captain's purpose,
was desirous to join in consort with him ; and was re-
ceived upon conditions agreed on between them.

Within seven days after his coming, having set up our
pinnaces, and despatched all our business, in providing all
things necessary, out of our ships into our pinnaces: we
departed (20th July) from that harbour, setting sail in the
morning towards Nombre de Dios, continuing our course
till we came to the Isles of Pinos : where, being within three
days arrived, we found (22nd July) two frigates of Nom-
bre de Dios lading plank and timber from thence.

The Negroes which were in those frigates, gave us some
particular understanding of the present state of the town ;
and besides, told us that they had heard a report, that cer-
tain soldiers should come thither shortly, and were daily
looked for, from the Governor of Panama, and the country
thereabout, to defend the town against the Cimaroons (a
black people, which about eighty years past [i. e., 1 5 12]
fled from the Spaniards their masters, by reason of their
crueltv, and are since grown to a Nation, under two Kings
of their own: the one inhabiteth to the West, and the other
to the East of the Way from Nombre de Dios to Panama)
which had nearly surprised it [i. e., Nombre dc Dios],
about six weeks before [i. e. } about 10th June, 1572].


Our Captain willing to use those Negroes well (not
hurting himself) set them ashore upon the Main, that they
might perhaps join themselves to their countrymen the
Cimaroons, and gain their liberty if they would; or if they
would not, yet by reason of the length and troublesomeness
of the way by land to Nombre de Dios, he might prevent
any notice of his coming, which they should be able to give.
For he was loath to put the town to too much charge (which
he knew they would willingly bestow) in providing before-
hand for his entertainment; and therefore he hastened his
going thither, with as much speed and secrecy as possibly
he could.

To this end, disposing of all his companies, according as
they inclined most; he left the three ships and the caravel
with Captain Ranse; and chose into his four pinnaces
(Captain Ranse's shallop made the fourth) beside fifty-
three of our men, twenty more of Captain Ranse's com-
pany; with which he seemed competently furnished, to achieve
what he intended ; especially having proportioned, according
to his own purpose, and our men's disposition, their several
arms, viz., six targets, six firepikes, twelve pikes, twenty-
four muskets and calivers, sixteen bows, and six partisans,
two drums, and two trumpets.

Thus having parted (23rd July) from our company: we
arrived at the island of Cativaas, being twenty-five leagues
distant, about five days afterward (28th July). There we

Online LibraryHerodotusVoyages and travels; ancient and modern → online text (page 12 of 35)