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çarpenter of the Swan, took him into his cabin, and, having first engaged him to secrecy, ordered him in the middle of the night to go down into the well of the ship, and bore three holes through the bottom, laying something against them that might hinder the bubbling of the water from being heard. To this the carpenter, after some expostulation,' consented, and the next night performed his promise.
In the morning, August 15, Drake going out with his pinnace a fishing, rowed up to the Swan, and having invited his brother to partake of his diversions, inquired, with a negligent air, why their bark was so deep in the water ; upon which the steward going down, returned immediately with an account that the ship was leaky, and in danger of sinking in a little time. They had recourse immediately to the pump; but, having laboured till three in the afternoon, and gained
upon the water, they willingly, according to Drake's advice, set the vessel on fire, and went on board the pinnaces.
Finding it now necessary to lie concealed for some time, till the Spaniards should forget their danger, and remit their vigilance, they set sail for the Sound of Darien, and without approaching the coast, that their course might not be observed, they arrived there in six days.
This being a convenient place for their reception, both on account of privacy, as it was out of the road of all trade, and as it was well supplied with wood, water, wild fowl, hogs, deer, and all kinds of provisions, he stayed here fifteen days to clean his vessels, and refresh his men, who worked
interchangeably, on one day the one half, and on the next the other.
On the fifth day of September, Drake left his brother with the ship at Darien, and set out with two pinnaces towards the Rio Grande, which it reached in three days, and on the ninth were discovered by a Spaniard from the bank, who believing them to be his countrymen, made a signal to them to come on shore, with which they very readily complied; but he soon finding his mistake, abandoned his plantation, where they found great plenty of provisions, with which having laden their vessels, they departed. So great was the quantity of provisions which they amassed here and in other places, that in different parts of the coast they built four magazines or storehouses, which they filled with necessaries for the prosecution of their voyage. These they placed at such a distance from each other, that the enemy, if he should surprise one, might yet not discover the rest.
In the mean time, his brother, Captain John Drake, went, according to the instructions that had been left him, in search of the Symerons or fugitive negroes, from whose assistance alone they had now any prospect of a successful voyage ; and touching upon the main land, by means of the negro whom they had taken from Nombre de Dios, engaged two of them to come on board his pinnace, leaving two of their own men as hostages for their returning. These men, having assured Drake of the affection of their nation, appointed an interview between them and their leaders. So leaving Port Plenty, in the isle of Pines, so named by the English from the great stores of provisions which they had amassed at that place, they came, by the direction of the Symerons, into a secret bay among beautiful islands covered with trees, which concealed their ship from observation, and where the channel was so narrow and rocky, that it was impossible to enter it by night; so that there was no danger of a sudden attack.
Here they met, and entered into engagements, which common enemies and common dangers preserved from violation. But the first conversation informed the English, that their expectations were not immediately to be gratified; for upon their inquiries after the most probable means of gaining gold and silver, the Symerons told them, that had they known sooner the chief end of their expedition, they could easily have 'gratified them; but that during the rainy season, which was now begun, and which continues six months, they could not recover the treasure, which they had taken from the Spaniards, out of the rivers in which they had concealed it.
Drake therefore proposing to wait in this place till the rains were past, built, with the assistance of the Symerons, a fort of earth and timber, and, leaving part of his company with the Symerons, set out with three pinnaces towards Carthagena, being of a spirit too active to lie still patiently, even in a state of plenty and security, and with the most probable expectations of immense riches.
On the 16th of October, he anchored within sight of Carthagena without landing; and on the 17th, going out to sea, took a Spanish bark, with which they entered the harbour, where they were
accosted by a Spanish gentleman, whom they had some time before taken and set at liberty, who coming to them in a boat, as he pretended, without the knowledge of the governor, made them great promises of refreshment and professions of esteem ; but Drake, having waited till the next morning without receiving the provisions he had been prevailed upon to expect, found that all this pretended kindness was no more than a stratagem to amuse him, while the governor was raising forces for his destruction.
October 20, they took two frigates coming out of Carthagena without lading. Why the Spaniards, knowing Drake to lie at the mouth of the harbour, sent out their vessels on purpose to be taken, does not appear. Perhaps they thought that, in order to keep possession of his prizes, he would divide his company, and by that division be more easily destroyed.
In a few hours afterwards they sent out two frigates well manned, which Drake soon forced to retire, and having sunk one of his prizes, and burnt the other in their sight, leaped afterwards ashore, single, in defiance of their troops, which hovered at a distance in the woods and on the hills, without ever venturing to approach within reach of the shot from the pinnaces.
To leap upon an enemy's coast in sight of a superior force, only to show how little they were feared, was an act that would in these times meet with little applause, nor can the general be seriously commended, or rationally vindicated, who exposes his person to destruction, and by consequence his expedition to miscarriage, only for the pleasure of an idle insult, an insignificant bravado. All that can be urged in his defence is, that perhaps it might contribute to heighten the esteein of his followers, as few men, especially of that class, are philosophical enough to state the exact limits of prudence and bravery, or not to be dazzled with an intrepidity how improperly soever exerted. It may be added, that perhaps the Spaniards, whose notions of courage are sufficiently romantick, might look upon him as a more formidable enemy, and yield more easily to a hero of whose fortitude they had so high an idea.
However, finding the whole country advertised of his attempts and in arms to oppose him, he thought it not proper to stay longer where there was no probability of success, and where he might in time be overpowered by multitudes, and therefore determined to go forwards to Rio de Heha.
This resolution, when it was known by his followers, threw them into astonishment; and the company of one of his pinnaces remonstrated to him, that, though they placed the highest confidence in his conduct, they could not think of undertaking such a voyage without provisions, having only a gammon of bacon, and a small quantity of bread, for seventeen men. Drake answered them, that there was on board his vessel even a greater scarcity; but yet, if they would adventure to share his fortune, he did not doubt of extricating them from all their difficulties.
Such was the heroick spirit of Drake, that he never suffered himself to be diverted from his designs by any difficulties, nor ever thought of re