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This is an OCR edition with typos.
Excerpt from book:
CHAPTER III ON THE FABLED OCEAN Drake had returned to England with no wish to rest. Burning with the desire to thread the mazes of the fabled Pacific, he used every effort to persuade the Queen and her counsellors to sanction his mighty project. But contrary influences were at work, and for four years he was obliged to wait. At last his time and opportunity came. Elizabeth contributed a thousand pounds to the expedition, on condition that everything should be kept a profound secret. In November, 1577, Drake stood on the deck of his ship in his "loose, dark, seaman's shirt, belted at the waist," and his scarlet cap, watching, with who knows what deep fervor and what secret excitement, the squadron riding in Plymouth harbor that was to carry him on his perilous voyage and realize his great dream. His ships were mere cockle-shells, no larger than modern coasters: the Pelican of one hundred tons and eighteen guns, the Elizabeth of eighty tons, and the Marigold, a bark of thirty tons, both carrying sixteen guns, the Swann, a provision ship of fifty tons, and the Christopher, a pinnace of fifteen tons. These vessels, manned by a hundred and fifteen men and fourteen boys, were fitted out for a long and dangerous voyage. For munition they carried "cartridges, wildfire, chainshot, guns, pistols, bows, and other weapons." With this squadron Drake planned to sail into a chartless and unknown ocean, to brave a shadowy world which superstition had peopled with every inconceivable terror of storm, darkness, and fire. To his crew his final destination was a secret, and, when the squadron finally put to sea on the 13th of December, its alleged destination was Alexandria. Not until they had reached the coast of Morocco was the real object of the venture known. Through stress of gale...
|Publisher:||New York, C. Scribner's sons|
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