But it was in the regions where they came into conflict with the Spaniards that those exploits occurred which most touched the imaginations of their contemporaries, and of which we have preserved the most picturesque accounts. The three voyages of Sir Francis Drake,〖Harvard Classics, xxxiii, 129, 199, 229.〗 Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s “Voyage to Newfoundland,”〖H. C., xxxiii, 263.〗 and Sir Walter Raleigh’s “Discovery of Guiana,”〖H. C., xxxiii, 311.〗 all printed in The Harvard Classics, are good representative records of the manner and results of these expeditions, partly scientific and religious, but more patriotic and piratical. Few narratives are more absorbing than these, with their pictures of courage against terrible odds, of endurance of the most frightful hardships on sea and land, of generosity and treachery, of kindliness and cruelty. Drake was still young when he first voyaged to the west, and in 1572 he made the expedition against Nombre de Dios in which they all but secured the contents of the great King’s Treasure House. “By means of this light,” says the narrator, “we saw a huge heap of silver in that nether room; being a pile of bars of silver of, as near as we could guess, seventy feet in length, of ten feet in breadth, and twelve feet in height; piled up against the wall, each bar was between thirty-five and forty pounds in weight”—altogether over 360 tons, as it turned out. This vast treasure, with as much more in gold, they left untouched, however, preferring to save the life of their wounded captain.〖H. C., xxxiii, 138, 140-141.〗 How they plagued the Spaniards in spite of this abstinence may be judged from the summary statement at the close of the narrative: “There were, at this time, belonging to Cartagena, Nombre de Dios, etc., above 200 frigates ... the most of which, during our abode in those parts, we took; and some of them twice or thrice each; yet never burned nor sunk any unless they were made out men-of-war against us, or laid as stales to entrap us.”〖H. C., xxxiii, 195-196.〗

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