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[69] stream the name of St. Augustine.1 Sailing, then, to
Chap. II.} 1565 Sept. 4.
the north, he discovered a portion of the French fleet, and observed the nature of the road where they were anchored. The French 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. The Frenchman 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-

Sept 7.
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
Sept. 8.
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 was colonized.4

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

Sept. 10.
storm, which continued till October, and wrecked every

1 Ensayo Cronolog. 71.

2 El que fuere herege, morira Ensayo Cronologico, 75, 76. It is the account of the apologist and admirer of Melendez.

3 Laudonniere. ‘They put their soldiers, victual, and munition, on land.’ Hakluyt, III. 433. Ensayo Cronologico, 76, 77. Prince Murat, in Am. Q. Rev. II. 216. De Thou, l. XLIV.

4 Stoddard's Sketches, 120.

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