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was imagined. He was the first man that brought “ ships to contemn castles on shore, which had ever so been thought very formidable, but were discovered “ by him to make a noise only, and to fright those, “ who could rarely be hurt by them. He was the first “ that infused that proportion of courage into seamen, “ by making them see, by experience, what mighty
things they could do if they were resolved, and “ taught them to fight in fire as well as upon the “ water; and, though he has been very well imitated “ and followed, was the first that gave the example of “ that kind of nayal courage, and bold and refolute 46 atchievements."
To this attestation of his military excellence, it may be proper to subjoin an account of his moral character from the author of Lives English and Foreign. “ He
was jealous,” says that writer, “ of the liberty of the
subject, and the glory of his nation; and as he made “ use of no mean artifices to raise himself to the high“ eft command at sea, so he needed no intereft but his 5 merit to support him in it. He scorned nothing “ more than money, which, as fast as it came in, was “ laid out by him in the service of the state, and to “ Thew that he was animated by that brave, publick ” spirit, which has since been reckoned rather roman“ tick than heroick. And he was so disinterested, that “though no man had more opportunities to enrich “ himself than he, who had taken so many millions “ from the enemies of England, yet he threw it all into so the publick treasury, and did not die 500 l. richer “ than his father left him; which the author avers “ from his personal knowledge of his family and their po circumstances, having been bred up in it, and often
« heard his brother give this account of him. He was “ religious according to the pretended purity of these “ times, but would frequently allow himself to be
merry with his officers, and by his tenderness and " generosity to the seamen had so endeared himself to “ them, that when he died they lamented his loss as 66 that of a common father.”
Instead of more testimonies, his character may be properly concluded with one incident of his life, by which it appears how much the spirit of Blake was superior to all private views. His brother, in the last action with the Spaniards, having not done his duty, was at Blake's desire discarded, and the ship was given to another; yet was he not less regardful of him as a brother, for when he died he left him his estate, knowing him well qualified to adorn or enjoy a private forgune, though he had found him unfit to serve his country in a publick character, and had therefore not fuffered him to rob it.
SIR FRANCIS DRAK E*.
RANCIS DRAKE was the son of a clergyman F in Devonshire, who being inclined to the doctrine of the Protestants, at that time much opposed by Henry VIII. was obliged to fly from his place of residence into Kent for refuge, from the persecution raised against him, and those of the fame opinion, by the law of the six articles.
How long he lived there, or how he was supported, was not known; nor have we any account of the first years of Sir Francis Drake's life, of any disposition to hazards and adventures which might have been discovered in his childhood, or of the education which qualified him for such wonderful attempts.
We are only informed, that he was put apprentice by his father to the master of a small veffel that traded to France and the Low Countries, under whom he probably learned the rudiments of navigation, and familiarised himself to the dangers and hardships of the sea.
But how few opportunities foever he might have in this part of his life for the exercise of his courage, he
* This Life was first printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1740.
fo many proofs of diligence and fidelity, that hiş master dying unmarried left him his little vessel in reward of his services; a circumstance that deserves to be remembered, not only as it may illustrate the private character of this brave man, but as it may hint, to all those who may hereafter propose his conduct for their imitation, That virtue is the fureft foundation both of reputation and fortune, and that the first step to greatpess is to be honest,
If it were not improper to dwell longer on an incia dent at the first view so inconsiderable, it might be added, That it deserves the reflection of those, who, when they are engaged in affairs not adequate to their abilities, pass them over with a contemptuous neglect, and while they amuse themselves with chimerical fchemes, and plans of future undertakings, fuffer every opportunity of smaller advantage to flip away as unworthy their regard. They may learn from the exam, ple of Drake, that diligence in employments of less confequence is the most successful introduction to greater enterprizes.
After having followed for fome time his master's profession, he grew weary of so narrow a province, and, having fold his little vessel, ventured his effects in the new trade to the West-Indies, which, having not been long discovered, and very little frequented by the EngJish till that time, were conceived so much to abound in wealth, that no voyage thither could fail of being recompensed by great advantages. Nothing was talked of among the mercantile or adventurous part of mankind, but the beauty and riches of this new world. Fresh discoveries were frequently made, new countries and nations never heard of before were daily described, and it may easily be concluded that the relaters did
not diminish the merit of their attempts, by suppreffing or diminishing any circumstance that might produce wonder, or excite curiosity. Nor was their vanity only engaged in raising admirers, but their intereft likewise in procuring adventurers, who were indeed easily gained by the hopes which naturally arise from new pro-, fpects, though through ignorance of the American seas, and by the malice of the Spaniards, who from the first discovery of those countries considered every other nation that attempted to follow them as invaders of their rights, the best concerted designs often miscarried.
Among those who suffered most from the Spanisk injustice, was Capt. John Hawkins, who, having been admitted by the viceroy to traffic in the bay of Mexico, was, contrary to the ftipulation then made between them, and in violation of the peace between Spain and England, attacked without any declaration of hostiJities, and obliged, after an obstinate refiftance, to retire with the loss of four ships, and a great number of his men, who were either destroyed or carried into flavery.
In this voyage Drake had adventured almost all his fortune, which he in vain endeavoured to recover, both by his own private interest, and by obtaining letters from Queen Elizabeth; for the Spaniards, deaf to all remonftrances, either vindicated the injustice of the viceroy, or at least forbore to redress it.
Drake, thus oppressed and impoverished, retained at Jeast his courage and his industry, that ardent spirit that prompted him to adventures, and that indefatigable patience that enabled him to surmount difficulties. He did not sit down idly to lament misfortunes which 5