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sacred mysteries of poesy; no more to laugh at the name of poets, as though they were next inheritors to fools; no more to jest at the reverend title of a rimer; but [320 to believe, . . . with me, that there are many mysteries contained in poetry which of purpose were written darkly, lest by profane wits it should be abused; to believe, with Landin, that they are so beloved of the gods that whatsoever they write proceeds of a divine fury; lastly, to believe themselves, when they tell you they will make you immortal by their [330
Thus doing, your name shall flourish in the printers' shops. Thus doing, you shall be of kin to many a poetical preface. Thus doing, you shall be most fair, most rich, most wise, most all: you shall dwell upon superlatives. Thus doing, though you be Libertino patre natus, you shall suddenly grow Herculea proles,
Si quid mea carmina possunt.
Thus doing, your soul shall be placed [340 with Dante's Beatrice or Virgil's Anchises.
But if (fie of such a but!) you be born so near the dull-making cataract of Nilus, that you cannot hear the planet-like music of poetry; if you have so earthcreeping a mind, that it cannot lift itself up to look to the sky of poetry, or rather, by a certain rustical disdain, will become such a mome as to be a Momus of poetry; then, though I will not wish unto [350 you the ass's ears of Midas, nor to be driven by a poet's verses, as Bubonax was, to hang himself; nor to be rimed to death, as is said to be done in Ireland; yet thus much curse I must send you in the behalf of all poets: that while you live you live in love, and never get favor for lacking skill of a sonnet; and when you die, your memory die from the earth for want of an epitaph. [360
SIR WALTER RALEIGH (1552?-1618) THE LAST FIGHT OF THE REVENGE
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 vain-glorious vaunts, making great appearance of victories, when on the contrary themselves are most commonly and shamefully beaten and dis- [10 honored, thereby hoping to possess the ignorant multitude by anticipating and forerunning false reports: 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 [20 down and published without partiality or false imaginations. And it is no marvel that the Spaniards should seek by false and slanderous pamphlets, advisos, and letters, to cover their own loss, and to derogate from others their due honors (especially in this fight, being performed far off), seeing they were not ashamed in the year 1588, when they purposed the invasion of this land, to publish in [30 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. . . .
The Lord Thomas Howard, with six of her Majesty's ships, six victuallers of London, the bark Raleigh, and two or three pinnaces, riding at anchor near unto Flores, one of the westerly islands of [40 the Azores, the last of August in the afternoon, had intelligence by one Captain Middleton, of the approach of the Spanish Armada. Which Middleton, being in a very good sailer, had kept them company three days before, of good purpose both to discover their forces the more, as also to give advice to my Lord Thomas of their approach.
He had no sooner delivered the news [50 but the fleet was in sight. Many of our ships' companies were on shore in the island, some providing ballast for their ships, others filling of water and refreshing themselves from the land with such things as they could either for money or by force recover. By reason whereof our ships being all pestered, and rummag
ing, every thing out of order, very light for want of ballast. And that which [60 was most to our disadvantage, the one half part of the men of every ship sick and utterly unserviceable. For in the Revenge there were ninety diseased; in the Bonaventure, not so many in health as could handle her mainsail. For had not twenty men been taken out of a bark of Sir George Cary's, his being commanded to be sunk, and those appointed to her, she had hardly ever recovered England. [70 The rest, for the most part, were in little better state.
The names of her Majesty's ships were these, as followeth: the Defiance, which was Admiral; the Revenge, Vice Admiral; the Bonaventure, commanded by Captain Crosse; the Lion, by George Fenner; the Foresight, by Thomas Vavisour; and the Crane, by Duffield. The Foresight and the Crane being but small ships only; [80 the other were of middle size. The rest, besides the bark Raleigh, commanded by Captain Thin, were victuallers, and of small force or none.
The Spanish fleet, having shrouded their approach by reason of the island, were now so soon at hand as our ships had scarce time to weigh their anchors, but some of them were driven to let slip their cables and set sail. Sir Richard Gren- [90 ville was the last weighed, to recover the men that were upon the island, which otherwise had been lost. The Lord Thomas with the rest very hardly recovered the wind, which Sir Richard Grenville not being able to do, was persuaded by the master and others to cut his mainsail and cast about, and to trust to the sailing of his ship: for the squadron of Seville were on his weather bow. But Sir Richard [100 utterly refused to turn from the enemy, alleging that he would rather choose to die, than to dishonor himself, his country, and her Majesty's ship; persuading his company that he would pass through the two squadrons in despite of them, and enforce those of Seville to give him way. Which he performed upon divers of the foremost, who, as the mariners term it, sprang their luff, and fell under the [110 lee of the Revenge. But the other course had been the better, and might right well
have been answered in so great an impossibility of prevailing. Notwithstanding out of the greatness of his mind he could not be persuaded.
In the meanwhile, as he attended those which were nearest him, the great San Philip, being in the wind of him, and coming towards him, becalmed his [120 sails in such sort as the ship could neither way nor feel the helm: so huge and high carged was the Spanish ship, being of a thousand and five hundred tons; who after laid the Revenge aboard. When he was thus bereft of his sails, the ships that were under his lee, luffing up, also laid him aboard; of which the next was the admiral of the Biscayans, a very mighty and puissant ship commanded by [130 Brittan Dona. The said Philip carried three tier of ordinance on a side, and eleven pieces in every tier. She shot eight forthright out of her chase, besides those of her stern ports.
After the Revenge was entangled with this Philip, four other boarded her, two on her larboard, and two on her starboard. The fight thus beginning at three of the clock in the afternoon continued very [140 terrible all that evening. But the great San Philip, having received the lower tier of the Revenge, discharged with crossbarshot, shifted herself with all diligence from her sides, utterly misliking her first entertainment. Some say that the ship foundered, but we cannot report it for truth, unless we were assured.
The Spanish ships were filled with companies of soldiers, in some two hun- [150 dred besides the mariners, in some five, in others eight hundred. In ours there were none at all besides the mariners, but the servants of the commanders and some few voluntary gentlemen only. After many interchanged volleys of great ordinance and small shot, the Spaniards deliberated to enter the Revenge, and made divers attempts, hoping to force her by the multitudes of their armed soldiers [160 and musketeers, but were still repulsed again and again, and at all times beaten back into their own ships or into the seas. In the beginning of the fight, the George Noble of London, having received some shot through her by the armados, fell
under the lee of the Revenge, and asked Sir Richard what he would command him, being but one of the victuallers and of small force. Sir Richard bade him [170 save himself, and leave him to his fortune.
After the fight had thus without intermission continued while the day lasted and some hours of the night, many of our men were slain and hurt, and one of the great galleons of the Armada and the Admiral of the Hulks both sunk, and in many other of the Spanish ships great slaughter was made. Some write that [180 Sir Richard was very dangerously hurt almost in the beginning of the fight, and lay speechless for a time ere he recovered. But two of the Revenge's own company brought home in a ship of Lime from the islands, examined by some of the Lords and others, affirmed that he was never so wounded as that he forsook the upper deck, till an hour before midnight; and then being shot into the [190 body with a musket, as he was a-dressing was again shot into the head, and withal his surgeon wounded to death. This agreeth also with an examination, taken by Sir Francis Godolphin, of four other mariners of the same ship being returned, which examination the said Sir Francis sent unto master William Killigrew, of her Majesty's Privy Chamber.
But to return to the fight, the Span- [200 ish ships which attempted to board the Revenge, as they were wounded and beaten off, so always others came in their places, she having never less than two mighty galleons by her sides and aboard her. So that ere the morning, from three of the clock the day before there had fifteen several armados assailed her; and all so ill approved their entertainment, as they were by the break of day far more will- [210 ing to hearken to a composition than hastily to make any more assaults or entries. But as the day increased, so our men decreased; and as the light grew more and more, by so much more grew our discom
For none appeared in sight but enemies, saving one small ship called the Pilgrim, commanded by Jacob Whiddon, who hovered all night to see the success; but in the morning, bearing with the [220
Revenge, was hunted like a hare among many ravenous hounds, but escaped.
All the powder of the Revenge to the last barrel was now spent, all her pikes broken, forty of her best men slain, and the most part of the rest hurt. In the beginning of the fight she had but one hundred free from sickness, and fourscore and ten sick, laid in hold upon the ballast. A small troop to man such a ship, [230 and a weak garrison to resist so mighty an army! By those hundred all was sustained, the volleys, boardings, and enterings of fifteen ships of war, besides those which beat her at large. On the contrary the Spanish were always supplied with soldiers brought from every squadron, all manner of arms, and powder at will. Unto ours there remained no comfort at all, no hope, no supply either of [240 ships, men, or weapons; the masts all beaten overboard, all her tackle cut asunder, her upper work altogether razed; and, in effect, evened she was with the water, but the very foundation or bottom of a ship, nothing being left overhead either for flight or defence.
Sir Richard finding himself in this distress, and unable any longer to make resistance, having endured in this fif- [250 teen hours' fight the assault of fifteen several armados, all by turns aboard him, and by estimation eight hundred shot of great artillery, besides many assaults and entries, and that himself and the ship must needs be possessed by the enemy, who were now cast in a ring round about him, the Revenge not able to move one way or other but as she was moved by the waves and billow of the sea,-com- [260 manded the master gunner, whom he knew to be a most resolute man, to split and sink the ship, that thereby nothing might remain of glory or victory to the Spaniards, seeing in so many hours' fight, and with so great a navy, they were not able to take her, having had fifteen hours' time, fifteen thousand men, and fifty and three sail of men-of-war to perform it withal; and persuaded the company, or as [270 many as he could induce, to yield themselves unto God, and to the mercy of none else, but, as they had, like valiant resolute men, repulsed so many enemies, they
should not now shorten the honor of their nation by prolonging their own lives for a few hours or a few days.
The master gunner readily condescended, and divers others. But the Captain and the Master were of another [280 opinion and besought Sir Richard to have care of them, alleging that the Spaniard would be as ready to entertain a composition as they were willing to offer the same, and that there being divers sufficient and valiant men yet living, and whose wounds were not mortal, they might do their country and prince acceptable service hereafter. And (that where Sir Richard had alleged that [290 the Spaniards should never glory to have taken one ship of her Majesty's, seeing that they had so long and so notably defended themselves) they answered that the ship had six foot of water in hold, three shot under water which were so weakly stopped as, with the first working of the sea, she must needs sink, and was besides so crushed and bruised as she could never be removed out of the place. [300 And as the matter was thus in dispute, and Sir Richard refusing to hearken to any of those reasons, the Master of the Revenge (while the Captain won unto him the greater party) was convoyed aboard the General Don Alfonso Bassan. Who finding none over hasty to enter the Revenge again, doubting lest Sir Richard would have blown them up and himself, and perceiving by the report of the [310 Master of the Revenge his dangerous disposition, yielded that all their lives should be saved, the company sent for England, and the better sort to pay such reasonable ransom as their estate would bear, and in the mean season to be free from galley or imprisonment. To this he so much the rather condescended, as well, as I have said, for fear of further loss and mischief to themselves, as also for the desire he [320 had to recover Sir Richard Grenville; whom for his notable valor he seemed greatly to honor and admire.
When this answer was returned, and that safety of life was promised, the common sort being now at the end of their peril, the most drew back from Sir Richard and the gunner, being no hard matter to
dissuade men from death to life. The master gunner finding himself and Sir [330 Richard thus prevented and mastered by the greater number, would have slain himself with a sword had he not been by force withheld and locked into his cabin. Then the General sent many boats aboard the Revenge, and divers of our men, fearing Sir Richard's disposition, stole away aboard the General and other ships. Sir Richard, thus overmatched, was sent unto by Alfonso Bassan to remove [340 out of the Revenge, the ship being marvellous unsavory, filled with blood and bodies of dead and wounded men like a slaughter-house. Sir Richard answered that he might do with his body what he list, for he esteemed it not; and as he was carried out of the ship he swooned, and reviving again, desired the company to pray for him. The General used Sir Richard with all humanity, and left [350 nothing unattempted that tended to his recovery, highly commending his valor and worthiness, and greatly bewailed the danger wherein he was, being unto them a rare spectacle, and a resolution seldom approved, to see one ship turn toward so many enemies, to endure the charge and boarding of so many huge armados, and to resist and repel the assaults and entries of so many soldiers. All which, and [360 more, is confirmed by a Spanish captain of the same Armada, and a present actor in the fight, who, being severed from the rest in a storm, was by the Lion, of London, a small ship, taken, and is now prisoner in London.
The General Commander of the Armada was Don Alfonso Bassan, brother to the Marquis of Santa Cruce. The Admiral of the Biscayan squadron was Britan [370 Dona; of the squadron of Seville, Marquis of Arumburch. The Hulks and Fly-boats were commanded by Luis Cutino. There were slain and drowned in this fight well near two thousand of the enemies, and two especial Commanders, Don Luis de Sant John, and Don George de Prunaria de Malaga, as the Spanish Captain confesseth, besides divers others of special account, whereof as yet report is not made. [380
The Admiral of the Hulks and the Ascension of Seville were both sunk by
the side of the Revenge; one other recovered the road of Saint Michaels, and sunk also there; a fourth ran herself with the shore to save her men. Sir Richard died, as it is said, the second or third day aboard the General, and was by them greatly bewailed. What became of his body, whether it was buried in the sea [390 or on the land, we know not: the comfort that remaineth to his friends is, that he hath ended his life honorably in respect of the reputation won to his nation and country, and of the same to his posterity, and that, being dead, he hath not outlived his own honor. . . .
A few days after the fight was ended, and the English prisoners dispersed into the Spanish and Indian ships, there [400 arose so great a storm from the west and northwest that all the fleet was dispersed, as well the Indian fleet which were then come unto them, as the rest of the Armada which attended their arrival. Of which, fourteen sail, together with the Revenge (and in her two hundred Spaniards), were cast away upon the isle of St. Michaels. So it pleased them to honor the burial of that renowned ship the Revenge, not [410 suffering her to perish alone, for the great honor she achieved in her lifetime.
To conclude, it hath ever to this day pleased God to prosper and defend her Majesty, to break the purposes of malicious enemies, of forsworn traitors, and of unjust practises and invasions. She hath ever been honored of the worthiest kings, served by faithful subjects, and shall by the favor of God resist, repel, and [420 confound all whatsoever attempts against her sacred person or kingdom. In the meantime, let the Spaniard and traitor vaunt of their success; and we, her true and obedient vassals, guided by the shining light of her virtues, shall always love her, serve her, and obey her to the end of our lives.
FRANCIS BACON (1561-1626)
From THE ESSAYS
What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer. Certainly there be that delight in giddiness, and
count it a bondage to fix a belief; affecting free-will in thinking, as well as in acting. And though the sects of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discoursing wits which are of the same veins, though there be not so much blood in them as was in [10 those of the ancients. But it is not only the difficulty and labor which men take in finding out of truth, nor again that when it is found it imposeth upon men's thoughts, that doth bring lies in favor; but a natural though corrupt love of the lie itself. One of the later school of the Grecians examineth the matter, and is at a stand to think what should be in it, that men should love lies, where [20 neither they make for pleasure, as with poets, nor for advantage, as with the merchant, but for the lie's sake. But I cannot tell: this same truth is a naked and open day-light, that doth not show the masks and mummeries and triumphs of the world, half so stately and daintily as candle-lights. Truth may perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that showeth best by day; but it will not rise to the price [30 of a diamond or carbuncle, that showeth best in varied lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken out of men's minds vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds of a number of men poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to them- [40 selves? One of the Fathers, in great severity, called poesy vinum dæmonum, because it filleth the imagination, and yet it is but with the shadow of a lie. But it is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in and settleth in it, that doth the hurt, such as we spake of before. But howsoever these things are thus in men's depraved judgments and affections, yet truth, which [50 only doth judge itself, teacheth that the inquiry of truth, which is the love-making or wooing of it, the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature. The first creature of God, in the works of the