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lieving his exigencies, but at the expense of his enemies.
Resolution and success reciprocally produce each other. He had not sailed more than three leagues, before they discovered a large ship, which they attacked with all the intrepidity that necessity inspires, and happily found it laden with excellent provisions.
But finding his crew growing faint and sickly with their manner of living in the pinnaces, which was less commodious than on board the ships, he determined to go back to the Symerons, with whom he left his brother and part of his force, and attempt by their conduct to make his way over, and invade the Spaniards in the inland parts, where they would probably never dream of an enemy.
When they arrived at Port Diego, so named from the negro who had procured them their intercourse with the Symerons, they found Captain John Drake and one of his company dead, being killed in attempting, almost unarmed, to board a frigate well provided with all things necessary for its defence. The captain was unwilling to attack it, and represented to them the madness of their proposal ; but being overborn by their clamours and importunities, to avoid the imputation of cowardice, complied to his destruction. So dangerous is it for the chief commander to be absent.
Nor was this their only misfortune, for in a very short time many of them were attacked by the calenture, a malignant fever, very frequent in the hot climates, which carried away, among several others, Joseph Drake, another brother of the commander,
While Drake was employed in taking care of the sick men, the Symerons, who ranged the country for intelligence, brought him an account, that the Spanish fleet was arrived at Nombre de Dios, the truth of which was confirmed by a pinnace, which he sent out to make observations.
This, therefore, was the time for their journey, when the treasures of the American mines were to be transported from Panama, over land, to Nombre de Dios. He therefore, by the direction of the Symerons, furnished himself with all things necessary, and on February 3, set out from Port Diego.
Having lost already twenty-eight of his company, and being under the necessity of leaving some to guard his ship, he took with him only eighteen English, and thirty Symerons, who not only served as guides to show the way, but as purveyors to procure provisions.
They carried not only arrows for war, but for hunting and fowling ; the heads of which are pro. portioned in size to the game which they are pursuing: for oxen, stags, or wild boars, they have arrows, or javelins, with heads weighing a pound and half, which they discharge near hand, and which scarcely ever fail of being mortal. The second sort are about half as heavy as the other, and are generally shot from their bows; these are intended for smaller beasts. With the third sort, of which the heads are an ounce in weight, they kill birds. As this nation is in a state that does not set them above continual cares for the immediate necessaries of life, he that can temper iron best is
among them most esteemed, and, perhaps, it would be happy for every nation, if honours and applauses were as justly distributed, and he were most distinguished whose abilities were most useful to society. How many chimerical titles to precedence, how many false pretences to respect, would this rule bring to the ground.
Every day, by sun-rising, they began to march, and, having travelled till ten, rested near some river till twelve, then travelling again till four, they reposed all night in houses, which the Symerons had either left standing in their former marches, or very readily erected for them, by setting up three or four posts in the ground, and laying poles from one to another in form of a roof, which they thatched with palmetto boughs and plantane leaves. In the valleys, where they were sheltered from the winds, they left three or four feet below open ; but on the hills, where they were more exposed to the chill blasts of the night, they thatched them close to the ground, leaving only a door for entrance, and a vent in the middle of the room for the smoke of three fires, which they made in
house. In their march they met not only with plenty of fruits upon the banks of the rivers, but with wild swine in great abundance, of which the Symerons, without difficulty, killed, for the most part, as much as was wanted. One day, however, they found an otter, and were about to dress it; at which Drake expressing his wonder, was asked by Pedro, the chief Symeron, “Are you a man of war and in want, and yet doubt whether this
be meat that hath blood in it?" For which Drake in private rebuked him, says the relator; whether justly or not, it is not very important to determine. There seems to be in Drake's scruple somewhat of superstition, perhaps not easily to be justified; and the negro's answer was, at least, martial, and will, I believe, be generally acknowledged to be rational. . On the third day of their march, Feb. 26, they came to a town of the Symerons, situated on the side of a hill, and encompassed with a ditch and a mud wall, to secure it from a sudden surprise : here they lived with great neatness and plenty, and some observation of religion, paying great reverence to the cross; a practice which Drake prevailed upon them to change for the use of the Lord's prayer. Here they importuned Drake to stay for a few days, promising to double his strength ; but he either thinking greater numbers unnecessary, or fearing that, if any difference should arise, he should be overborn by the num. ber of Symerons, or that they would demand to share the plunder that should be taken in common, or for some other reason that might easily occur, refused any addition to his troop, endeavouring to express his refusal in such terms as might heighten their opinion of his bravery.
He then proceeded on his journey through cool shades, and lofty woods, which sheltered them so effectually from the sun, that their march was less toilsome than if they had travelled in England during the heat of the summer. Four of the Symerons, that were acquainted with the way, went
aboůt a mile before the troop, and scattered branches to direct them; then followed twelve Symerons, after whom came the English, with the two leaders, and the other Symerons closed the
On February 11, they arrived at the top of a very high hill, on the summit of which grew a tree of wonderful greatness, in which they had cut steps for the more easy ascent to the top, where there was a kind of tower, to which they invited Drake, and from thence showed him not only the North Sea, from whence they came, but the great South Sea, on which no English vessel had ever sailed. This prospect exciting his natural curiosity and ardour for adventures and discoveries, he lifted up his hands to God, and implored his blessing upon the resolution, which he then formed, of sailing in an English ship on that
Then continuing their march, they came, after two days, into an open, level country, where their passage was somewhat incommoded with the
grass, which is of a peculiar kind, consisting of a stalk like that of wheat, and a blade, on which the oxen and other cattle feed, till it grows too high for them to reach; then the inhabitants set it on fire, and in three days it springs up again ; this they are obliged to do thrice a year, so great is the fertility of the soil.
At length, being within view of Panama, they left all frequented roads for fear of bein gdiscovered, and posted themselves in a grove near the way between Panama and Nombre de Dios; then they