Voyages and Travels: Ancient and Modern. The Harvard Classics. 190914.
Sir Francis Drake Revived
To the Courteous Reader
Sir Francis Drake
HONEST READER, WITHOUT apology, I desire thee, in this ensuing Discourse, to observe, with me, the power and justice of the LORD of Hosts, Who could enable so mean a person to right himself upon so mighty a Prince; together with the goodness and providence of GOD very observable in that it pleased Him to raise this man, not only from a low condition, but even from the state of persecution. His father suffered in it, being forced to fly from his house, near South Tavistock in Devon, into Kent: and there to inhabit in the hull of a ship, wherein many of his younger sons were born. He had twelve in all: and as it pleased GOD to give most of them a being upon the water, so the greatest part of them died at sea. The youngest, who though he was [went] as far as any, yet died at home; whose posterity inherits that, which by himself and this nobee Gentleman the eldest brother, was hardly, yet worthily gotten.
I could more largely acquaint thee, that this voyage was his Third he made into the West Indies; after that [of] his excellent service, both by sea and land, in Ireland, under WALTER, Earl of ESSEX; his next, about the World; another, wherein he took St. Jago, Cartagena, St. Domingo, St. Augustino; his doings at Cadiz; besides the first Carrack taught by him to sail into England; his stirrings in Eighty-seven; his remarkable actions in Eighty-eight; his endeavours in the Portugal employment; his last enterprise, determined by death; and his filling Plymouth with a plentiful stream of fresh water: but I pass by all these. I had rather thou shouldest inquire of others! then to seem myself a vainglorious man.
I intend not his praise! I strive only to set out the praise of his and our good GOD! that guided him in his truth! and protected him in his courses! My ends are to stir thee up to the worship of GOD, and service of our King and Country, by his example! If anything be worth thy consideration; conclude with me, that the LORD only, can do great things!