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time in state at Greenwich house, was buried in Henry the Seventh's chapel, with all the funeral solemnity due to the remains of a man so famed for his bravery, and so spotless in his integrity; nor is it without regret that I am obliged to relate the treatment his body met a year after the Restoration, when it was taken up by express command, and buried in a pit in St. Margaret's churchyard. Had he been guilty of the murder of Charles I. to insult his body had been a mean revenge ; but as he was innocent, it was, at least, inhumanity, and, perhaps, ingratitude. “ Let no man,” says the oriental proverb, “ pull a dead lion by the beard."
But that regard which was denied his body has been paid to his better remains, his name and his memory. Nor has any writer dared to deny him the praise of intrepidity, honesty, contempt of wealth, and love of his country.
“ He was the first man,” says Clarendon, “ that declined the old track, and made it apparent that the sciences might be attained in less time than was imagined. He was the first man that brought ships to contemn castles on shore, which had ever been thought very formidable, but were discovered by him to make a noise only, and to fright those who could rarely be hurt by them. He was the first that infused that proportion of courage into seamen, by making them see, by experience, what mighty things they could do if they were resolved, and taught them to fight in fire as well as upon the water; and though he has been very well imitated and followed, was the first that gave the example of that kind of naval courage, and bold and resolute achievements."
To this attestation of his military excellence, it may
proper to subjoin an account of his moral character from the author of " Lives English and Foreign.” “ He was jealous," says that writer, “ of the liberty of the subject, and the glory of his nation; and as he made use of no mean artifices to raise himself to the highest command at sea, so he needed no interest but his merit to support him in it. He scorned nothing more than money, which, as fast as it came in, was laid out by him in the service of the state, and to show that he was animated by that brave publick spirit, which has since been reckoned rather romantick than heroick. And he was so disinterested, that though no man had more opportunities to enrich himself than he, who had taken so many millions from the enemies of England, yet he threw it all into the publick treasury, and did not die 5001. richer than his father left him ; which the author avers from his personal knowledge of his family and their circumstances, having been bred up in it, and often heard his brother give this account of him.
He was religious according to the pretended purity of these times, but would frequently allow himself to be merry with his officers, and by his tenderness and generosity to the seamen had so endeared himself to them, that when he died they lamented his loss as that of a common father."
Instead of more testimonies, his character may be properly concluded with one incident of his life, by which it appears how much the spirit of Blake was superior to all private views. His brother, in the last action with the Spaniards, having not done his duty, was at Blake's desire discarded, and the
ship was given to another; yet was he not less regardful of him as a brother, for when he died he left him his estate, knowing him well qualified to adorn or enjoy a private fortune, though he had found him unfit to serve his country in a publick character, and had therefore not suffered him to rob it.
SIR FRANCIS DRAKE*
Francis Drake was the son of a clergyman in Devonshire, who being inclined to the doctrine of the Protestants, at that time much opposed by Henry VIII. was obliged to fly from his place of residence into Kent for refuge, from the persecution raised against him, and those of the same opinion, by the law of the six articles.
How long he lived there, or how he was supported, was not known; nor have we any account of the first years of Sir Francis Drake's life, of any disposition to hazards and adventures which might have been discovered in his childhood, or of the education which qualified him for such wonderful attempts.
We are only informed, that he was put appren. tice by his father to the master of a small vessel that traded to France and the Low Countries, under whom he probably learned the rudiments of navigation, and familiarised himself to the dangers and hardships of the sea.
But how few opportunities soever he might have in this part of his life for the exercise of his courage, he gave so many proofs of diligence and
* This Life was first printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1740.
fidelity, that his master dying unmarried left him his little vessel in reward of his services; a circumstance that deserves to be remembered, not only as it may illustrate the private character of this brave man, but as it may bint, to all those who may hereafter
propose his conduct for their imi. tation, That virtue is the surest foundation both of reputation and fortune, and that the first step to greatness is to be honest.
If it were not improper to dwell longer on an incident at the first view so inconsiderable, it might be added, That it deserves the reflection of those, who, when they are engaged in affairs not adequate to their abilities, pass them over with a contemptuous neglect, and while they amuse themselves with chimerical schemes, and plans of future undertakings, suffer every opportunity of smaller advantage to slip away as unworthy their regard. They may learn from the example of Drake, that diligence in employments of less consequence is the most successful introduction to greater enterprises.
After having followed for some time his master's profession, he grew weary of so narrow a province, , and, having sold his little vessel, ventured his effects in the new trade to the West Indies, which, having not been long discovered, and very little frequented by the English till that time, were conceived so much to abound in wealth, that no voyage thither could fail of being recompensed by great advantages. Nothing was talked of among the mercantile or adventurous part of mankind, but the beauty and riches of this new world. Fresh discoveries were frequently made, new countries and nations never heard of before were daily de