voyage of Drake
, John de Fuca
, a mariner from the
Isles of Greece
, then in the employ of the viceroy of Mexico
, sailed into the bay which is now known as the Gulf
, and, having for twenty days steered through its intricate windings and numerous islands, returned with a belief, that the entrance to the long-desired passage into the Atlantic
had been found.1
The lustre of the name of Drake
is borrowed from
In itself, this part of his career was but a splendid piracy against a nation with which his sovereign and his country professed to be at peace.
Oxenham, a subordinate officer, who had ventured to imitate his master, was taken by the Spaniards and hanged; nor was his punishment either unexpected or censured in England
The exploits of Drake
, except so far as they nourished a love for maritime affairs, were injurious to commerce; the minds of the sailors were debauched by a passion for sudden acquisitions; and to receive regular wages seemed base and unmanly, when, at the easy peril of life, there was hope of boundless plunder.
Commerce and colonization lest on regular industry; the humble labor of the English
fishermen, who now frequented the Grand Bank
, bred mariners for the navy of their country, and prepared the way for its settlements in the New World.
Already four hundred vessels came annually from the harbors of Portugal
, of France
, to the shores of Newfoundland
were not there in such numbers as other nations, for they still frequented the fisheries of Iceland