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sire-not what he failed to do, but what he did.
maintain his liberty, with the reputation of his nation, and to help to banish the Spariard, with his But every bad has a worse below it, and tongue entreated and incited them to persevere in more offensive than all these is the editor of their accustomed valor and reputation, abasing the Hawkins's "Voyage to the South Sea." The enemy and advancing his nation; condemning book is striking in itself; it is not one of the their contraries of cowardliness, and confirming it best, but it is very good; and as it is repub-ions in their mishaps; showing them his arms by the cruelty used with him and other his companlished complete, if we read it through, carefully shutting off Captain Bethune's notes with one hand, we shall find in it the same beauty which breathes in the tone of all the writings of the period.
without hands, and naming his brethren whose half feet they had cut off, because they might be unable to sit on horseback; with force arguing that if they feared them not, they would not have used so great inhumanity-for fear produceth It is a record of misfortune, but of misfor-couraged he them to fight for their lives, limbs, cruelty, the companion of cowardice. Thus entune which did no dishonor to him who sunk and liberty, choosing rather to die an honorable under it; and there is a melancholy dignity death fighting, than to live in servitude as fruitless in the style in which Hawkins tells his story, members of the commonwealth. Thus using the which seems to say, that though he had been office of a sergeant-major, and having loaden his defeated, and had never again an opportunity them who, in the succeeding battle, had their store two stumps with bundles of arrows, he succored of winning back his lost laurels, he respects wasted; and changing himself from place to place, himself still for the heart with which he endured a shame which would have broken a such comfortable persuasions, as it is reported animated and encouraged his countrymen with smaller man. It would have required no and credibly believed, that he did more good with large exertion of editorial self-denial to have his words and presence, without striking a stroke, abstained from marring the pages with of which Punch would be ashamed, and with than a great part of the army did with fighting to puns the utmost." the vulgar affectation of patronage with which the sea captain of the nineteenth century condescends to criticise and approve of his half-barbarous precursor; but it must have been a defect in his heart, rather than in his understanding, which betrayed him into such an offence as this which follows. The war of freedom of the Araucan Indians
is the most gallant episode in the history of the New World. The Spaniards themselves were not behindhand in acknowledging the chivalry before which they quailed, and, after many years of ineffectual attempts to crush them, they gave up a conflict which they never afterwards resumed; leaving the Araucans alone, of all the American races with which they came in contact, a liberty which they were unable to tear from them. It is a subject for an epic poem, and whatever admiration is due to the heroism of a brave
people whom no inequality of strength could appal and no defeats could crush, these poor Indians have a right to demand of us. The story of the war was well known in Europe; and Hawkins, in coasting the western shores of South America, fell in with them, and the finest passage in his book is the relation of one of the incidents of the war.
"An Indian captain was taken prisoner by the Spaniards, and for that he was of name, and known to have done his devoir against them, they cut off his hands, thereby intending to disenable him to fight any more against them. But he, returning home, desirous to revenge this injury, to
It is an action which may take its place by the side of the myth of Mucius Scævola, Eschylus, who, when the Persians were or the real exploit of that brother of the poet flying from Marathon, clung to a ship till both his hands were hewn away, and then seized it with his teeth, leaving his name as Athenian heroes. Captain Bethune, without a portent even in the splendid calendar of call or need, making his notes merely, as he tells us, from the suggestions of his own mind as he revised the proof-sheets, informs minds him of the familiar lines,— us, at the bottom of the page, that "it re
"For Widdrington I needs must wail,
It must not avail him, that he has but quoted
*Here is the old stanza. Let whoever is disposed to think us too hard on Captain Bethune compare them.
"For Wetherrington my harte was wo, That even he slayne sholde be; For when both his leggis were hewen in to, He knyled and fought on his knee." modern ballad, gives up this stanza as hopeless. Even Percy, who, on the whole, thinks well of the
of the Stuarts; and if such verses could then pass for serious poetry, they have ceased to sound in any ear as other than a burlesque; the associations which they arouse are only absurd, and they could only have continued to ring in his memory through their ludicrous doggrel.
When to these offences of the Society we add, that in the long labored appendices and introductions, which fill up valuable space, which increase the expense of the edition, and into reading which many readers are, no doubt, betrayed, we have found nothing which assists the understanding of the stories which they are supposed to illustrate, when we have found what is most uncommon passed without notice, and what is most trite and familiar encumbered with comment; we have unpacked our hearts of the bitterness which these volumes have aroused in us, and can now take our leave of them and go on with our own more grateful subject.
Elizabeth, whose despotism was as peremptory as that of the Plantagenets, and whose ideas of the English constitution were limited in the highest degree, was, notwithstanding, more beloved by her subjects than any sovereign before or since. It was because, substantially, she was the people's sovereign; because it was given to her to conduct the outgrowth of the national life through its crisis of change, and the weight of her great mind and her great place were thrown on the people's side. She was able to paralyze the dying efforts with which, if a Stuart had been on the throne, the representatives of an effete system might have made the struggle a deadly one; and the history of England is not the history of France, because the inflexible will of one person held the Reformation firm till it had rooted itself in the heart of the nation, and could not be again overthrown. The Catholic faith was no longer able to furnish standing ground on which the English or any other nation could live a manly and a godly life. Feudalism, as a social organization, was not any more a system under which their energies could have scope to move. Thenceforward not the Catholic Church, but any man to whom God had given a heart to feel and a voice to speak, was to be the teacher to whom men were to listen; and great actions were not to remain the privilege of the families of the Norman nobles, but were to be laid within the reach of the poorest plebeian who had the stuff in him to perform them. Alone, of all the sovereigns in Europe, Elizabeth saw the change which had passed over the world.
She saw it, and saw it in faith, and accepted it. The England of the Catholic Hierarchy and the Norman Baron, was to cast its shell and to become the England of free thought and commerce and manufacture, which was to plough the ocean with its navies, and sow its colonies over the globe; and the first thunder birth of these enormous forces and the flash of the earliest achievements of the new era roll and glitter through the forty years of the reign of Elizabeth with a grandeur which, when once its history is written, will be seen to be among the most sublime phenomena which the earth as yet has witnessed. The work was not of her creation; the heart of the whole English nation was stirred to its depths; and Elizabeth's place was to recognize, to love, to foster, and to guide. The government originated nothing; at such a time it was neither necessary nor desirable that it should do so; but wherever expensive enterprises were on foot which promised ultimate good, but no immediate profit, we never fail to find among the lists of contributors the Queen's Majesty, Burleigh, Leicester, Walsingham. Never chary of her presence, for Elizabeth could afford to condescend, when ships were fitting for distant voyages in the river, the Queen would go down in her barge and inspect. Frobisher, who was but a poor sailor adventurer, sees her wave her handkerchief to him from the Greenwich Palace windows, and he brings her home a narwhal's horn for a present. She honored her people, and her people loved her; and the result was that, with no cost to the government, she saw them scattering the fleets of the Spaniards, planting America with colonies, and exploring the most distant seas. Either for honor or for expectation of profit, or from that unconscious necessity by which a great people, like a great man, will do what is right, and must do it at the right time, whoever had the means to furnish a ship, and whoever had the talent to command one, laid their abilities together and went out to pioneer, and to conquer, and take possession, in the name of the Queen of the Sea. There was no nation so remote but what some one or other was found ready to undertake an expedition there, in the hope of opening a trade; and let them go where they would, they were sure of Elizabeth's countenance. find letters written by her, for the benefit of nameless adventurers, to every potentate of whom she had ever heard, to the Emperors of China, Japan, and India, the Grand Duke of Russia, the Grand Turk, the Persian Sofee, and other unheard-of Asiatic and African
princes; whatever was to be done in England, I or by Englishmen, Elizabeth assisted when she could, and admired when she could not. The springs of great actions are always difficult to analyze-impossible to analyze perfectly-possible to analyze only very proximately, and the force by which a man throws a good action out of himself is invisible and mystical, like that which brings out the blossom and the fruit upon the tree. The motives which we find men urging for their enterprises seem often insufficient to have prompted them to so large a daring. They did what they did from the great unrest in them which made them do it, and what it was may be best measured by the results, by the present England and America. Nevertheless, there was enough in the state of the world, and in the position of England, to have furnished abundance of conscious motive, and to have stirred the drowsiest routinier statesman.
Among material occasions for exertion, the population began to outgrow the employment, and there was a necessity for plantations to serve as an outlet. Men who, under happier circumstances, might have led decent lives, and done good service, were now driven by want to desperate courses-"witness," as Richard Hakluyt says, "twenty tall fellows hanged last Rochester assizes for small robberies:" and there is an admirable paper addressed to the Privy Council by Christopher Carlile, Walsingham's son-in-law, pointing out the possible openings to be made in or through such plantations for home produce and manufacture.
Far below all such prudential economics and mercantile ambitions, however, lay a noble enthusiasm which in these dull days we can hardly, without an effort, realize. The lifeand death wrestle between the Reformation and the old religion had settled in the last quarter of the sixteenth century into a permanent struggle between England and Spain. France was disabled. All the help which Elizabeth could spare barely enabled the Netherlands to defend themselves. Protestantism, if it conquered, must conquer on another field; and by the circumstances of the time the championship of the Reformed faith fell to the English sailors. The sword of Spain was forged in the gold-mines of Peru; the legions of Alva were only to be disarmed by intercepting the gold ships on their passage; and, inspired by an enthusiasm like that which four centuries before had precipitated the chivalry of Europe upon the East, the same spirit which in its present degeneracy covers our bays and rivers with
pleasure yachts then fitted out armed privateers, to sweep the Atlantic, and plunder and destroy the Spanish ships wherever they could meet them.
Thus, from a combination of causes, the whole force and energy of the age was directed towards the sea. The wide excitement and the greatness of the interests at stake, raised even common men above themselves; and people who in ordinary times would have been no more than mere seamen, or mere money-making merchants, appear before us with a largeness and greatness of heart and mind in which their duties to God and their country are alike clearly and broadly seen and felt to be paramount to every other.
Ordinary English traders we find fighting Spanish war ships in behalf of the Protestant faith; the cruisers of the Spanish main were full of generous eagerness for the conversion of the savage nations to Christianity; and what is even more surprising, sites for colonization were examined and scrutinized by such men in a lofty statesmanlike spirit, and a ready insight was displayed by them into the indirect effects of a wisely-extended commerce on every highest human interest.
Again, in the conflict with the Spaniards, there was a further feeling, a feeling of genuine chivalry, which was spurring on the English, and one which must be well understood and well remembered, if men like Drake, and Hawkins, and Raleigh, are to be tolerably understood. One of the English Reviews, a short time ago, was much amused with a story of Drake having excommunicated a petty officer as a punishment for some moral offence; the reviewer not being able to see in Drake, as a man, anything more than a highly brave and successful buccaneer, whose pretences to religion might rank with the devotion of an Italian bandit to the Madonna. And so Hawkins, and even Raleigh, are regarded by superficial persons, who see only such outward circumstances of their history as correspond with their own impressions. The high nature of these men, and the high objects which they pursued, will only rise out and become visible to us as we can throw ourselves back into their times and teach our hearts to feel as they felt. do not find in the language of the voyagers themselves, or of those who lent them their help at home, any of that weak watery talk of "protection of aborigines," which as soon as it is translated into fact becomes the most active policy for their destruction, soul and body. But the stories of the dealings of the Spaniards with the conquered Indians, which were
"Who will not be persuaded," he says, "that now at length the great Judge of the world hath heard the sighs, groans, and lamentations, hath seen the tears and blood of so many millions of innocent men, women, and children, afflicted, robbed, reviled, branded with hot irons, roasted, dismembered, mangled, stabbed, whipped, racked, scalded with hot oil, put to the strapado, ripped alive, beheaded in sport, drowned, dashed against the rocks, famished, devoured by mastiffs, burned, and by infinite cruelties consumed, and purposeth to scourge and plague that cursed nation, and to take the yoke of servitude from that distressed people, as free by nature as any Christian."
Poor Raleigh! if peace and comfort in this world were of much importance to him, it was in an ill day that he provoked the revenge of Spain. The strength of England was needed at the moment at its own door; the Armada came, and there was no means of executing such an enterprise. And afterwards the throne of Elizabeth was filled by a Stuart, and Guiana was to be no scene of glory for Raleigh; but, as later historians are pleased to think, it was the grave of his reputation.
widely known in England, seem to have af- | Raleigh speaks the language of the heart of fected all classes of people, not with pious his country, when he urges the English passive horror, but with a genuine human statesmen to colonize Guiana, and exults in indignation. A thousand anecdotes in detail the glorious hope of driving the white mawe find scattered up and down the pages of rauder into the Pacific, and restoring the InHakluyt, who, with a view to make them cas to the throne of Peru. known, translated Peter Martyr's letters; and each commonest sailor-boy who had heard them from his childhood among the tales of his father's fireside, had longed to be a man, that he might go out and become the avenger of a gallant and suffering people. A high mission, undertaken with a generous heart, seldom fails to make those worthy of it to whom it is given; and it was a point of honor, if of nothing more, among the English sailors, to do no discredit by their conduct to the greatness of their cause. The high courtesy, the chivalry of the Spanish nobles, so conspicuous in their dealings with their European rivals, either failed to touch them in their dealings with uncultivated idolaters, or the high temper of the aristocracy was unable to restrain or to influence the masses of the soldiers. It would be as ungenerous as it would be untrue, to charge upon their religion the grievous actions of men who called themselves the armed missionaries of Catholicism, when the Catholic priests and bishops were the loudest in the indignation with which they denounced them. But we are obliged to charge upon it that slow and subtle influence so inevitably exercised by any religion which is divorced from life, and converted into a thing of form, or creed, or ceremony, or system, which could permit the same men to be extravagant in a sincere devotion to the Queen of Heaven, whose entire lower nature, unsubdued and unaffected, was given up to thirst of gold, and plunder, and sensuality. If religion does not make men more humane than they would be without it, it makes them fatally less so; and it is to be feared that the spirit of the pilgrim fathers, which had oscillated to the other extreme, and had again crystallized into a formal antinomian fanaticism, reproduced the same fatal results as those in which the Spaniards had set them their unworthy precedent. But the Elizabethan navigators, full without exception of large kindness, wisdom, gentleness, and beauty, bear names untainted, as far as we know, with a single crime against the savages; and the name of England was as famous in the Indian seas as that of Spain was infamous. On the banks of the Oronoko there was remembered for a hundred years the noble captain who had come there from the great Queen beyond the seas; and
But the hope burned clear in him through all the weary years of unjust imprisonment; and when he was a gray-headed old man, the base son of a bad mother used it to betray him. The success of his last enterprise was made the condition under which he was to be pardoned for a crime which he had not committed; and its success depended, as he knew, on its being kept secret from the Spaniards. James required of him on his allegiance a detail of what he proposed, giving him at the same time his word as a king that the secret should be safe with him, and the next day it was sweeping out of the port of London in the swiftest of the Spanish ships, with private orders to the governor of St. Thomas to provoke a collision when Raleigh should arrive there, which should afterwards cost him his heart's blood.
We modern readers may run rapidly over the series of epithets under which he has catalogued the Indian sufferings, hoping that they are exaggerated, seeing that they are horrible, and closing our eyes against them with swiftest haste; but it was not so when every epithet suggested a hundred familiar fets; and some of these (not resting on English preju dice, but on sad Spanish evidence, which
too full of shame and sorrow to be suspected) | shall be given in this place, however old a story it may be thought; because, as we said above, it is impossible to understand the actions of these men, unless we are familiar with the feelings of which their hearts were full.
The massacres under Cortez and Pizarro, terrible as they were, were not the occasion which stirred the deepest indignation. They had the excuse of what might be called, for what of a better word, necessity, and of the desperate position of small bands of men in the midst of enemies who might be counted by millions. And in De Soto, when he burnt his guides in Florida (it was his practice when there was danger of treachery, that those who were left alive might take warning); or in Vasco Nunnez, praying to the Virgin on the mountains of Darien, and going down from off them into the valleys to hunt the Indian caciques, and fling them alive to his bloodhounds; there was, at least, with all this fierceness and cruelty, a desperate courage which we cannot refuse to admire, and which mingles with and corrects our horror. It is the refinement of the Spaniards' cruelty in the settled and conquered provinces, excused by no danger and provoked by no resistance, the details of which witness to the infernal coolness with which it was perpetrated; and the great bearing of the Indians themselves under an oppression which they despaired of resisting, which raises the whole history to the rank of a world-wide tragedy, in which the nobler but weaker nature was crushed under a malignant force which was stronger and yet meaner than itself. Gold hunting and lust were the two passions for which the Spaniards cared; and the fate of the Indian women was only more dreadful than that of the men, who were ganged and chained to a labor in the mines which was only to cease with their lives, in a land where but a little before they had lived a free contented people, more innocent of crime than perhaps any people upon earth. If we can conceive what our own feelings would be, if, in the "development of the mammalia," some baser but more powerful race than man were to appear upon this planet, and we and our wives and children at our own happy firesides were degraded from our freedom, and became to them what the lower animals are to us, we can perhaps realize the feelings of the enslaved nations of Hispaniola.
As a harsh justification of slavery, it is sometimes urged, that men who do not deserve to be slaves will prefer death to the endurance of it; and that if they prize their
liberty, it is always in their power to assert it in the old Roman fashion. Tried even by so hard a rule, the Indians vindicated their right, and before the close of the sixteenth century, the entire group of the Western Islands in the hands of the Spaniards, containing, when Columbus discovered them, many millions of inhabitants, were left literally desolate from suicide. Of the anecdotes of this terrible self-immolation, as they were then known in England, here are a few out of many.
The first is simple, and a specimen of the ordinary method. A Yucatan cacique, who was forced with his old subjects to labor in the mines, at last "calling those miners into an house, to the number of ninety-five, he thus debateth with them:"
"My worthy companions and friends, why desire we to live any longer under so cruel a servitude? Let us now go unto the perpetual seat of these intolerable cares and grievances which we our ancestors, for we shall there have rest from endure under the subjection of the unthankful. Go ye before, I will presently follow you.' Having so spoken, he held out whole handfuls of those leaves which take away life, prepared for the purpose, and giving every one part thereof, being kindled to suck up the fume; who obeyed his command, the king and his chief kinsmen reserving the last place for themselves."
We speak of the crime of suicide, but few persons will see a crime in this sad and stately leave-taking of a life which it was no longer possible to bear with unbroken hearts. We do not envy the Indian, who, with Spaniards before him as an evidence of the fruits which their creed brought forth, deliberately exchanged for it the old religion of his country, which could sustain him in an action of such melancholy grandeur. But the Indians did not always reply to their oppressors with escaping passively beyond their hands. Here is a story with matter in it for as rich a tragedy as Edipus or Agamemnon; and in its stern and tremendous features, more nearly resembling them than any which were conceived even by Shakespeare.
An officer named Orlando had taken the
daughter of a Cuban cacique to be his mistress. She was with child by him, but, suspecting her of being engaged in some other intrigue, he had her fastened to two wooden spits, not intending to kill her, but to terrify her; and setting her before the fire, he ordered that she should be turned by the servants of the kitchen.
"The maiden, stricken with fear through the