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settlement, called St. Thome, had been made near Caroli with a special view of defending the passage to the mines, whence Ralegh had got his specimens of ore.
The Indians on all sides entreated Keymis to turn out the Spaniards; they welcomed the English warmly, and seemed to have awaited their return with impatience. Keymis had repeatedly to assure them that he had come only to trade, and had not brought a force sufficient to do anything against the Spaniards. He explored some new portions of the river, and returned to England in the same year. Ralegh sent out still another expedition before the year was over under Captain Berry, which however did nothing important. But we shall see that Ralegh never lost sight of his projects of colonization in Guiana. He was so firmly convinced of the great results that might be gained from it, that he was ready to seize every opportunity to carry out the schemes which seemed to have become part of himself.
The Attack on Cadiz.
RALEGH was not received again into favour
“ He was
at Court on his return from Guiana, and was not allowed to go back to his duties as Captain of the Queen's Guard. But we are told in a contemporary letter that “he lived about town very gallant,” and he seems to have been on good terms with the chief men about Court. very often very private with the Earl of Essex,” and did his utmost to bring about a better understanding between him and Sir Robert Cecil, Burleigh's son, who by his diligence and careful attention to politics was rapidly becoming an important person in the state, and who greatly resented Essex's influence.
Meanwhile, every one was terrified by the increasing power of Spain. In the beginning of 1596 the Spanish forces had managed to seize Calais, and by so doing had filled the English and Netherlanders with alarm. There was again fear of a Spanish invasion of England; but this time the English determined to be beforehand
with Philip II. A fleet was equipped, which, in combination with a Dutch fleet, was to attack the harbour of Cadiz. This expedition was talked of for a long time. Essex and Ralegh were eager for it. The Queen and Burleigh, always lovers of peace, had in their old age grown more than ever opposed to war. But at last it became clear that something must be done to stop the growth of Philip's power, and active preparations for the expedition were begun. Drake and Hawkins had both lately died; but there were still plenty of brave seamen to fight for their country. It was arranged that the Lord Admiral Howard should command the fleet, whilst Essex was to command the land forces embarked for the expedition. Ralegh, who was extremely active in the preparations, was to have command of a squadron. Great difficulties were experienced in getting levies of men for the fleet. Ralegh writes to Cecil: “As fast as we press men one day, they come away another, and say they will not serve; and the poursuivant found me in a country village a mile from Gravesend, hunting after runaway mariners, and dragging in the mire from alehouse to alehouse."
At last everything was ready, and on the 3rd of June, 1596, the fleet set sail from Plymouth, and reached Cadiz on the 20th of the same month. As they waited outside the harbour in a high wind, “there lighted a very fair dove upon the mainyard of the Lord Admiral's ship, and there she sat very quietly for the space of three or four
ATTACK ON CADIZ.
hours, being nothing dismayed all the while.” To most of the men this appeared in the light of a good omen to cheer them on their way.
In the harbour of Cadiz was a splendid Spanish fleet, consisting of four huge galleons, between twenty and thirty war-ships, and fifty-seven well-armed Indiamen. In the allied fleet were thirty-three English ships of war, and twentyseven Dutch, besides some transports. Essex's desire was to land his soldiers, and begin an attack on the town before attacking the fleet in the bay; and the Lord Admiral, from his care of the Queen's ships, had agreed to this. “Myself,” writes Ralegh, "was not present at the resolution, for I had been sent the day before to stop such as might pass out along the coast. When I was arrived back again I found the Earl of Essex disembarking his soldiers, and he had put many companies into boats. ... The Earl purposed to go on, until such time as I came aboard him, and in the presence of all the colonels protested against the resolution, giving him reasons and making apparent demonstrations that he therebye
way of our general ruin, to the utter overthrow of the whole armies, their own lives, and her Majesty's future safety.” The other gentlemen present warmly seconded Ralegh, and his wisdom prevailed. He persuaded the Admiral to attack the fleet first; and when he told Essex of this resolution, the Earl cast his plumed hat into the sea for joy.
Ralegh's advice seems to have been listened to in everything. At his earnest entreaty, the charge of leading the body of the fleet was entrusted to him. The attack began the next morning. The mark which Ralegh shot at was the San Felipe, a galleon of 2,000 tons burden, the naval wonder of the age, in respect of which, he says, he esteemed the other galleys but as wasps. Amongst the English the great struggle seems to have been who should be foremost in the fight. Once, the commander of another ship, whilst Ralegh was too busy to look behind him, secretly fastened a rope on to Ralegh's ship, so as to draw himself up equally with him; but Ralegh, being warned of this by one of his company, caused the rope to be cut. The victory was soon won. Two of the great galleons were captured; but Ralegh's desire “ to shake hands" with the San Felipe was thwarted. It and another galleon were run aground, and blown up by their commanders, that they might not fall into English hands.
But in this way many Spanish soldiers were destroyed. spectacle,” writes Ralegh, “was very lamentable on their side ; for many drowned themselves; many, half burnt, leapt into the water; very many hanging by the ropes' ends by the ship's side under the water, even to the lips; many swimming with grievous wounds, strucken under water, and put out of their pain ; and withal so huge a fire and such tearing of the ordinance in the great Felipe and the rest when the fire came to them, as, if