stream the name of St. Augustine
Sailing, then, to
the north, he discovered a portion of the French fleet, and observed the nature of the road where they were anchored.
demanded his name and objects.
‘I am Melendez of Spain
,’ replied he; ‘sent with strict orders from my king to gibbet and behead all the Protestants in these regions.
who is a Catholic, I will spare; every heretic shall die.’2
The French fleet, unprepared for action, cut its cables; the Spaniards, for some time, continued an ineffectual chase.
It was at the hour of vespers, on the evening pre-
ceding the festival of the nativity of Mary, that the Spaniards returned to the harbor of St. Augustine
At noonday of the festival itself, the governor went on
shore, to take possession of the continent in the name of his king.
The bigoted Philip II.
was proclaimed monarch of all North America
The solemn mass of Our Lady
was performed, and the foundation of St. Augustine
was immediately laid.3
It is, by more than forty years, the oldest town in the United States
Houses in it are yet standing, which are said to have been built many years before Virginia
By the French
it was debated, whether they should improve their fortifications, and await the approach of the Spaniards, or proceed to sea, and attack their enemy.
Against the advice of his officers, Ribault
resolved upon the latter course.
Hardly had he left the harbor for the open sea, before there arose a fearful
storm, which continued till October, and wrecked every