« PreviousContinue »
tively, far inferior in size to their adversaries. The English admiral was also obliged to subdivide his force ; and Lord Henry Seymour, with forty of the best Dutch and English ships, was employed in blockading the hostile ports in Flanders, and in preventing the Prince of Parma * from coming out of Dunkirk.
10. It was on Saturday the 20th July that Lord Effingham came in sight of his formidable adversaries. The invincible Armada was drawn up in form of a crescent, which from horn to horn measured some seven miles. There was a south-west wind ; and before it the vast vessels sailed slowly on. The English let them pass by; and then following in the rear, commenced an attack upon them.
11. A running fight now took place, in which some of the best ships of the Spaniards were captured. Many more received heavy damage; while the English vessels, which took care not to close with their huge antagonists, but availed themselves of their superior celerity in attacking and maneuvring, suffered little comparative loss.
12. Raleigh justly praises the English admiral for his skilful tactics. He says, --“Certainly, he that will happily perform a fight at sea, must be skilful in making choice of vessels to fight in; he must believe that there is more belonging to a good man-of-war upon the water, than great daring; and must know
that there is a great deal of difference between fighting loose, or at large, and grappling. The guns of a slow ship pierce as well and make as great holes as those in a swift. To clap ships together without consideration, belongs rather to a madman than to a man of war."
13. The Armada lay off Calais, with its largest ships ranged outside, “like strong castles fearing no assault; the lesser placed in the middle ward.” The English admiral could not attack them in their position without great disadvantage, but on the night of the 29th he sent eight fire-ships among them, with almost equal effect to that of the fire-ships which the Greeks so often employed against the Turkish fleets in their late war of independence.
14. The Spaniards cut their cables and put to sea in confusion, and when the morning broke, it was with difficulty and delay that they obeyed their admiral's signal to range themselves round him near Gravelines. Now was the golden opportunity for the English to assail them, and prevent them from ever letting loose Parma's flotilla against England; and nobly was that opportunity used.
15. Drake and Fenner were the first English captains who attacked the unwieldy leviathans; then came Fenton, Southwell, Burton, Cross, Raynor, and then the Lord Admiral, with Lord Thomas Howard and Lord Sheffield.
16. The Spaniards only thought of forming and keeping close together, and were driven by the English past Dunkirk, and far away from the Prince of Parma, who, in watching their defeat from the coast, must, as Drake expresses it, have chafed like a bear robbed of her whelps. This was indeed the last and decisive battle between the two fleets.
17. The sufferings and losses which the unhappy Spaniards sustained in their flight round Scotland and Ireland are well known. Of their whole Armada only fifty-three shattered vessels brought back their beaten and wasted crews to the Spanish coast, which they had quitted in such pageantry and pride.
1 The Hoe, a flat-topped hill overlook
ing Plymouth Bay on the south
coast of Devonshire. 2 Prodigal, lavish. 3 Corunna, a seaport on the north
west of the Spanish Peninsula.
Here Sir Johu Moore was killed
in 1809. 4 Parma (the Duke of), a famous
Spanish general. 5 Celerity, quickness of movement. 6 Gravelines and Dunkirk, seaports to
the north-east of Calais.
THE DESERTED VILLAGE.
SWEET Auburn !! loveliest village of the plain, Where health and plenty cheered the labouring
swain, Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid, And parting summer's lingering blooms delayed.
Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease, Seats of my youth, when every sport could
please; How often have I loitered o'er thy green, Where humble happiness endeared each scene ! How often have I paused on every charm, The sheltered cot, the cultivated farm, The never-failing brook, the busy mill, The decent church that topped the neighbour
ing hill, The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the
up their sports beneath the spreading
many a pastinre circled in the shade, The young contending as the old surveyed ; And many a gambol frolicked o'er the ground, And sleights 8 of art and feats of strength went
round And still as each repeated pleasure tired, Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired ; The dancing pair that simply sought renown, 25 By holding out, to tire each other down ; The swain mistrustless of his smutted face, While secret laughter tittered round the place; The bashful virgin's side-long looks of love, The matron's glance that would those looks