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• for truth by an ancient cacique of Guiana, now upon the river
of Pahamena, since the Spanish discoveries, called Amazons, ' that these women still live and govern, was held for a vain and unprofitable report.'
Upon a second conference with Topiowary, Raleigh was advised, from the distance of Guiana, and the smallness of his party, to make no attempt upon it this year, and, indeed, not to renew his efforts until he had secured the alliance of the neighbouring tribes. He still, however, kept up the search for gold, and found upon inquiry, that the plates of gold, worn by the natives, were from the sands of the streams, and that there was also a mine, some of the ore of which he obtained. Keymis, a confidential officer, was sent in pursuit of it, and believed, and led Raleigh to believe, that he had been in the neighbourhood of it.
The real riches of Guiana, if he did not overlook, he seems not to have valued as they deserved: for in point of fertility of soil it rivals Egypt itself. For twelve feet in depth, the earth is a stratum of pure manure, and as such, has been actually carried to Barbadoes. In some parts, thirty crops of rice may be raised in succession. Nor are these forbidden treasures, for the climate of Guiana is the mildest and most salubrious of any tropical country hitherto inhabited by Europeans. After encountering a violent storm upon the coasts, the boats returned to the ships; but one man having died during the expedition, and scarcely any suffered from sickness. He concluded his enterprize as he had opened it, by burning a Spanish town. Most of these voyages of discovery were enriched by some prize from the Spaniards, or graced with some infliction upon her colonies, The latter always insured the adventurers a favourable reception from the Queen, a politic princess, who carried on hostilities against her arch enemy as much by private, as public forces. The cupidity and malignity of her subjects supplied the place of a public treasure. Upon his return to England, Raleigh prepared an account of his exploration; and that the public might not be disappointed, he not only gave a most accurate description (as Camden admits) of the countries he had seen, but of those that he desired to see, particularly "a relation of the great and golden city of Manoah, called by the Spaniards, EI Dorado.” This, we may presume, was by way of preparing his countrymen for the exploit he had reserved for another voyage, that after this fair vision they might not be too much dazzled with the brilliant reality.
It appears to have met with most favour from the poets, for it gave rise to, not only a Latin copy of verses, but an heroic poem in English, of near two hundred lines. The versifier, confounding the prophetical with the poetical character, foretells the prosperity and splendour of the new colony of New Britannia
* On smooth Guiana's breast." But the Queen had neither leisure nor money for such expensive projects; and Raleigh was left to prosecute his discoveries and combat the enemies to them, by bimself. Though he had neither got to El Dorado, nor brought back anything but some marcasite and a small specimen of golden ore, the jealousy of his rivals would not admit that even this gold was Guianian; and they charged him with purchasing it on the African coast. * Surely the singularity of that device (says Raleigh) I do not well comprehend; for my own part, I am not so much in love with long voyages, as to devise thereby to cozen myself'
He still determined to keep up an intercourse with the country, and in six months after his return, he despatched Keymis with two ships. Keymis brought the intelligence of the disappointment of the Indians, who had expected a visit from Raleigh with a greater force; and reported that he had seen from afar the mountain adjoining the gold mine, which had been pointed out to him before ; but though he was but fifteen miles at one time from it, he returned without any farther exploration.
In the meantime Raleigh had gone against Cadiz as the second in command, Drake and Hawkins being now dead. The Spaniards, after the death of these gallant seamen, having threatened an invasion, the Queen resolved to encounter their fleet in their own ports. The English fleet, with a detachment from Holland, sailed for Cadiz, with ten thousand soldiers on board. The enterprize was entrusted to Lord Admiral Howard and the Earl of Essex, with a council of war, of which Raleigh was the second in nomination. Raleigh, as admiral, also commanded a squadron. The fleet arrived off Cadiz before any intelligence of their sailing had reached the enemy. It was determined, during Raleigh's absence from the bay of St. Sebastian's, on the service of intercepting the Spanish ships that were escaping from Cadiz, to attack the town first with the land forces, and the Earl of Essex had commenced the debarkation of bis soldiers in boats, in the face of a raging sea, by which some of them had been destroyed, when Raleigh came on board of the Earl's ship and protested against the rash step. Essex ascribed it to the admiral, who had refused to enter the harbour with the fleet, until the town was taken by the army, and requested Raleigh to move him to change his determination. Raleigh promptly visited the admiral, demonstrated the impossibility of effecting a landing from the boats, and procured an order for the fleet to attack the enemy in the harbour. When Raleigh on his way, called from his boat to Essex, “Entramos, Entramos," the Earl in an ecstacy, threw his hat into the sea, and began to weigh anchor. Some time was required to take in the soldiers from the boats; and during the night, arrangements, by the advice of Raleigh, were made for ordering the fight the next day. The charge of the van was assigned to Raleigh, not, however, without some objection on the part of the Lord Admiral's brother, Vice-Admiral Howard, who left his ship and took the command of a small vessel in the vanguard. With the first streak of day, Raleigh therefore weighed his anchor, and got the start in the Warspite. He passed Fort St. Philip, which commanded the mouth of the harbour, and seventeen galleys drawn up to flank the entrance, without returning their fire, and bore down upon the great galleons, which lay under the guns of Fort Puntal, to which they had retired on descrying the advance of the English fleet. He soon came to anchor abreast of the galleons, and opened his battery upon them. The rest of the van, who, on their way had driven the galleys from their moorings, now joined him. By ten o'clock, the engagement became so furious, that Essex, who by the Queen's regard for his safety, had been ordered to be kept out of the advance, could no longer restrain his impetuosity, but breaking from the body of the fleet, came up in his ship and anchored next to Raleigh, who still kept ahead. The night before, Raleigh having recommended that the galleons, wbich he thought the Spaniards would burn rather than surrender, should be boarded in fly-boats after they had been battered by the Queen's ships, now, when his ship was almost in danger of sinking, went on board of Essex and declared to him, that if the fly-boats came not up, he must board in the Queen's ship, for he might as well burn as sink. Essex assured him on his honour, that he would second whatever Raleigh might attempt. In the meantime, Sir Thomas Vere shot ahead of Raleigh's ship, and afterwards Lord Howard, whereby Raleigh's became the third ship instead of the first, but this position Raleigh instantly changed upon regaining his ship, and by placing her across the channel, secured to himself his first post. Thus jealous was he of his honour, and eager for glory in the height of the engagement and in the greatest extremity. He resolved that if his ship sunk, she should go down gloriously at the very head of the van.
The fly-boats, through some misunderstanding among the officers, not being brought up, Raleigh, seconded by Essex and Lord Thomas Howard, prepared to board the galleons. Having put out a warp to bring his ship alongside of the Spanish ships, their Admiral ordered their cables slipt, to run them aground and fire them. Two, however, were taken, and the others blown up. The fight thus terminated by two o'clock, with a spectacle which Raleigh represents as truly lamentable. Some of the enemy in despair, drowned themselves; others half burnt, leaped into the sea; many hung at the ropes ends over the ships sides, under the water up to their lips; and more swam with deep and bleeding wounds till shot in the water. These tragical incidents were succeeded by the rapid and wide spread blaze of the ships on fire, the cries of the wounded burnt to death ; the firing and bursting of the ordnance enveloped in flame; and by a deafening explosion and dazzling, but almost momentary, illumination, followed by a dread silence and thick darkness; "a lively figure, (says Raleigh) of hell itself.”
Immediately after the vaval victory, the English landed with Essex at their head, and repelling a party of horse that opposed them, pursued them to the town and entering it almost with them, carried it by storm, with but little loss. Raleigh having been wounded by a splinter in the leg, was borne on shore with the Lord Adiniral, but did not remain, and returning to the fleet, strongly urged the immediate capture of the merchant ships in the port, but before the commanders, by sea and land, could agree as to the seizure, or the ransom proposed, the Duke of Medina ordered them to be set on fire. The prize by sea and land was, nevertheless, considerable, though Raleigh complains of not having got his share. He says, what the • Generals have gotten I know least, for my part, I have got• ten a lame leg and deformed.' Under his disappointment, he seems to have forgotten already the glory of originating the sea-fight, of leading the vanguard, and always keeping a head, in one of the most daring and brilliant actions of that memorable reign. Either Raleigh, as his enemies have charged, was covetous as well as ambitious; or perhaps, heroes, after the fight, may have no more elevation than other men, and the same appetite for gain. Success, it may also be observed, commonly only increases our desires; and the beroes of letters, as well as of arms, too often instead of being satisfied with the fame of their achievements, sigh after that wealth, which in the order of Providence, is generally more justly assigned to those who have made it an object of their pursuit, and the spur to their industry. Two monibs after, Sir Walter's return from Cadiz, he despatched a ship to Guiana under a Captain Berrie, who brought back no gold, but many golden accounts.
In the island voyage, as it has been called, to the Azores, Essex had the command, and Raleigh was Vice-Admiral. The fleet met with many misfortunes at sea, and the enemies of Raleigh endeavoured to excite the jealousy of Essex against him, and were but too successful. After a reconciliation, they determined to attack Fayal; and Essex set sail for that place before Raleigh; but Raleigh arrived there first, and awaiting the arrival of Essex until he feared that a further delay would enable the enemy to resist any attack; Raleigh landed with his own troops, and took the town and forts. In effecting a landing, and in his advance to the forts, his person was much exposed; but he refused, least he should discourage his men, to lay aside his red scarf which was a conspicuous mark for the enemy's shot. When Essex arrived, he was not a little chagrined to find the victory achieved, and so far forgot the glory of England and himself, as to threaten Raleigh with exemplary punishment; but bis jealousy soon gave way to better dispositions. On their return to England, the Queen had too much discernment not to perceive with whom the fault lay; and though Essex continued her favourite, Raleigh obtained her confidence. In 1599, she made him the Vice-Admiral of the greatest fleet she ever raised.
In relation to the fall of Essex, it does not appear, however just cause Raleigh had for resentment against that nobleman, that he did any more than his duty required in the offices he held under the Queen. The plot of Cobham and Raleigh to assassinate Essex, Blount, at his execution, admitted was “a mere colour." To the end of the Queen's reign, notwithstanding, her returning kindness for the memory of Essex, and remorse for his death, Raleigh held his various offices, and among others that of Governor of Jersey, and sustained no diminution of her esteem. Among Queen Elizabeth's ministers, Essex had some more dangerous enemies than Raleigh, though they had the art to hold him up to Essex and to the people as his rival and chief foe. This led Essex, in his correspondence with King James, to represent Raleigh not only as his enemy, but as inimical to the succession. Raleigh was also of a party that would have imposed some terms upon the successor. When James, therefore, came to the throne, Raleigh was not only coldly received, but deprived immediately of some of his appointments. Cecil, though more unfriendly to Essex, and at the head of the party against him, had so successfully reconciled himself to James, before the death of Elizabeth, that he was received with