These stories, as the reader is not likely to forget, are all told from the English point of view. Religious animosity and political and commercial rivalry whetted the English hatred of Spain, and produced accounts of Spanish cruelty to the natives and to English prisoners which must be taken with much modification. For the English adventurers themselves were no saints. Many of them were nothing more than pirates, and many were engaged in the slave trade between Africa and the Indies. At times our admiration for their intrepid courage and persistence, and for their loyalty to one another and to the Queen, is overcome by the evidence of their inhumanity in the treatment of their human cargoes, and their lack of all consideration of the rights of negroes as men. They contracted for the delivery of African slaves to the West Indies precisely as if they were cattle or hides, and in case of danger at sea they lightened their ships of these miserable wretches with apparently little less compunction than if they had been mere bales of merchandise.

Yet, amid all the horrors induced by lust of gold and conquest, one finds often enough incidents of striking generosity to enemies, of tender affection to their own people, and of a code of honor and an adherence to the rules of the game as they understood it, which go far to brighten the picture.

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