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“ As I live, he is cutting loose the foot of his mainsail ! the villain means to run.”
“ There go the rest of them! Victoria !” shouted Cary, as one after another, every Spaniard set all the sail he could.
There was silence for a few minutes throughout the English fleet, and then cheer upon cheer of triumph rent the skies. It
The Spaniard had refused battle, and thinking only of safety, was pressing downward toward the Straits again. The Invincible Armada had cast away its name, and England Was saved.
“But he will never get there, sir,” said old Yeo, who had come upon deck to murmur his Nunc Domine, and gaze upon that sight beyond all human faith or hope: “Never, never will he weather the Flanders shore against such a breeze as is coming up. Look to the eye of the wind, sir, and see how the Lord is fighting for His people.”
Yes, down it came, fresher and stiffer every minute out of the gray northwest, as it does so often after a thunderstorm; and the sea began to rise high and white under the “Claro Aquilone,” till the Spaniards were fain to take in all spare canvas, and lie-to as best they could ; while the English fleet, lying-to also, awaited an event which was in God's hands, and not in theirs.
“ They will be all ashore on Zealand before the afternoon,” murmured Amyas; “and I have lost my labor ! Oh, for powder, powder, powder! to go in and finish it at once ! ”
Oh, sir,” said Yeo, “don't murmur against the Lord in the very day of His mercies. It is hard, to be sure ; but His will be done."
“ Could we not borrow powder from Drake there?” “ Look at the sea, sir!”
And, indeed, the sea was far too rough for any such attempt. The Spaniards neared and neared the fatal dunes, which fringed the shore for many a dreary mile; and Amyas had to wait weary hours, growling like a dog who has had the bone snatched out of his mouth, till the day wore on; when, behold, the wind began to fall as rapidly as it had risen. A savage joy rose in Amyas' heart.
They are safe / safe for us! Who will go and beg us powder? A cartridge here and a cartridge there? — anything to set to work again!"
Cary volunteered, and returned in a couple of hours with some quantity : but he was on board again only just in time, for the southwester had recovered the mastery of the skies, and Spaniards and English were moving away; but this time northward. Whither now? To Scotland? Amyas knew not, and cared not, provided he was in the company of Don Guzman de Soto.
The Armada was defeated, and England saved. But such great undertakings seldom end in one grand melodramatic explosion of fireworks, through which the devil rises in full roar to drag Dr. Faustus forever into the flaming pit. On the contrary, the devil stands by his servants to the last, and tries to bring off his shattered forces with drums beating and colors flying; and, if possible, to lull his enemies into supposing that the fight is ended, long before it really is half over. All which the good Lord Howard of Effingham knew well, and knew, too, that Medina had one last card to play, and that was the filial affection of that dutiful and chivalrous son, James of Scotland. True, he had promised faith to Elizabeth : but that was no reason why he should keep it. He had been hankering and dabbling after Spain for years past, for its absolutism was dear to his inmost soul : and Queen Elizabeth had had to warn him, scold him, call him a liar, for so doing; so the Armada might still find shelter and provision in the Firth of Forth. But whether Lord Howard knew or not, Medina did not know, that Elizabeth had played her cards cunningly, in the shape of one of those appeals to the purse, which, to James' dying day, overweighed all others save appeals to his vanity. “The title of a dukedom in England, a yearly pension of £5000, a guard at the queen's charge, and other matters ” (probably more hounds and deer), had steeled the heart of the King of Scots, and sealed the Firth of Forth. Nevertheless, as I say, Lord Howard, like the rest of Elizabeth's heroes, trusted James just as much as James trusted others; and therefore thought good to escort the Armada until it was safely past the domains of that most chivalrous and truthful Solomon. But on the 4th of August, his fears, such as they were, were laid to rest. The Spaniards left the Scottish coast and sailed away for Norway; and the game was played out, and the end was come, as the end of such matters generally come, by gradual decay, petty disaster, and mistake; till the snow mountain, instead of being blown tragically and heroically to atoms, melts helplessly and pitiably away.
A FAREWELL TO SIR JOHN NORRIS AND SIR
BY GEORGE PEELE.
[GEORGE PEELE was born in 1558(?), educated at Oxford, and became a London playwright, one of the group best remembered for rivalry with Shakespeare and brawling Bohemian lives. Among his plays are “The Arraignment of Paris" (his first, 1584), “Edward I.," "Battle of Alcazar,” and “David and Bethsabe.” He died before 1598.]
HAVE done with care, my hearts ! aboard amain,
There to deface the pride of Antichrist,
REPORT OF THE
OF THE TRUTH OF THE FIGHT ABOUT THE ISLES OF AZORES,
THE LAST OF AUGUST, 1591, BETWIXT THE “REVENGE,” ONE OF HER
MAJESTY'S SHIPS, AND AN ARMADA OF THE KING OF SPAIN; PENNED BY THE HONORABLE SIR WALTER RALEIGH, KNIGHT.
(From " The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Trafficks, and Discoveries of the
English Nation." Collected by Richard Hakluyt, Preacher, and sometime Student of Christ Church in Oxford.)
[For biographical sketch of Raleigh, see page 267.] BECAUSE the rumors are diversely spread, as well in England as in the Low Countries and elsewhere, of this late encounter between her Majesty's ships and the Armada of Spain ; and that the Spaniards, according to their usual manner, fill the world with their vainglorious vaunts, making great appearance of victories when, on the contrary, themselves are most commonly and shamefully beaten and dishonored; it is agreeable with all good reason, for manifestation of the truth, to overcome falsehood and untruth, that the beginning, continuance, and success of this late honorable encounter of Sir Richard Grenville and other her Majesty's Captains with the Armada of Spain should be truly set down and published without partiality or false imaginations. And it is no marvel that the Spaniard should seek by false and slanderous pamphlets, advisoes, and letters, to cover their own loss, and to derogate from others their due honors, especially in this fight performed far off ; seeing they were not ashamed in the year 1588, when they purposed the invasion of this land, to publish in sundry languages in print great victories in words, which they pleaded to have obtained against this realm, and spread the same in a most false sort over all parts of France, Italy, and elsewhere. When, shortly after, it was happily manifested in very deed to all nations how their navy, which they termed invincible, consisting of one hundred and forty sail of ships, not only of their own kingdom but strengthened with the greatest argosies, Portugal caracks, Florentines, and huge hulks of other countries, were by thirty of her Majesty's own ships of war, and a few of our own merchants, by the wise, valiant, and advantageous conduct of the Lord Charles Howard, high Admiral of England, beaten and shuffled together, even from the Lizard in Cornwall, first to Portland, where they shamefully left Don Pedro de Valdes with his mighty ship; from Portland