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for “the river began to rage and to overflow very fearfully, and the rains came down in terrible showers and gusts in great abundance, and withal our men began to cry out for want of shift; for no man had place to bestow any other apparel than that which he wore on his back, and that was thoroughly washt on his body for the most part ten times in one day.”
On his way back Ralegh sent for old Topiawari, to have some more talk with him. He came at once, and with him “such a rabble of all sorts of people, and everyone laden with somewhat, as if it had been a great market or fair in England; and our hungry companies clustered thick and threefold among their baskets, everyone laying hand on what he wanted.” Ralegh took Topiawari to his tent, and shut out everyone but his interpreter; then he asked Topiawari's advice as to the means to be employed for conquering Guiana. Topiawari bade him not attempt to invade the strong parts of Guiana without the help of the nations around, who were enemies of the great Emperor Inga, who ruled in Guiana. Ralegh's force was not strong enough to attempt the conquest now; and besides, the winter season was unfavourable; and Topiawari, for these and other reasons, strongly persuaded him to do nothing further at present, but to come again the following year. The old Indian chieftain freely gave Ralegh his only son to take with him to England, hoping that under the protection of the English he would
rule his land after his death. Ralegh left two Englishmen behind with Topiawari to learn the language.
On his way back Raleyh spent some time in exploring different parts of the river, gaining information from the natives, and collecting specimens of ore to take back to England with him. He sent off six men under Captain Keymis to explore part of the country on foot, and meanwhile went himself some way up a branch of the river called the Piacoa. He returned again to meet Keymis, and they set off in haste to get back to their ships; for their “hearts were cold to behold the great rage and increase of the Orinoco." The weather was very stormy, and the current so strong that they went a hundred miles a day. At the mouth of the river they were overtaken by a mighty storm ; but it was not safe to anchor there, and so they trusted themselves to God's keeping, and thrust out into the sea to cross to Trinidad, “ being all very sober and melancholy, one faintly cheering another to show courage. They reached the coast of Trinidad in safety, and found their ships at anchor, “than which there was never to us a more joyfull sight.”
Ralegh reached England some time in August, 1595. He came home deeply convinced of the wealth and glory that might be gained in Guiana. “The common soldier," he writes, “shall here fight for gold. Those commanders and chieftains that shoot at honour and abundance shall find there
more rich and beautifull cities, more temples adorned with golden images, more sepulchres filled with treasure, than either Cortez found in Mexico, or Pezarro in Peru ; and the shining glory of this conquest will eclipse all those so far extended beams of the Spanish nation.” But his enthusiasm failed to inspire others in England. He was still out of favour at Court; he had many enemies, and their jealousy went so far that some said he had never been to Guiana at all, but had remained hidden in Cornwall. Others asserted that the ore which he had brought home had been found, not in Guiana, but in Barbary, and carried thence to Guiana. It was these calumnies which led him to write and publish his account of this voyage to Guiana, which was widely read, and passed through two editions in the first year.
People were interested; but the nation was not stirred to make any great effort to win this rich prize. The Queen was too old to throw herself with enthusiasm into so great a scheme. Ralegh's unpopularity prevented men from gathering round him, and aiding him with all their might to carry out his plans. Still, without doubt, the story of this voyage produced a great effect. The description of these new and beauteous lands stirred men's imaginations in a way which we can best see in the works of England's greatest poet.
It is most likely that Ralegh, who we know was on intimate terms with Ben Jonson, knew
Shakspeare too; and probably from his own lips Shakspeare heard the story of his voyage. He seems to have been thinking of Ralegh's travels, and of the strange tales he had brought home, when he makes Othello say:
“Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances;
Of moving accidents by flood and field;
Ralegh's account of his voyage is full of tales that he had heard of strange races of men; above all, of the race who were said to have their eyes in their shoulders, and their mouths in the middle of their breasts.
But the Tempest seems most of all to have been inspired by the tales of adventure which passed from mouth to mouth in those days. In this play Shakspeare shows us, in Caliban, the savage whose peace was disturbed, and whose haunts were invaded by the colonist and the explorer. He felt the pathos of the situation, and can awaken our sympathy even with the brutal Caliban when he says:
“When thou camest first, Thou strok’dst me, and mad'st much of me; would'st give me Water with berries in 't; and teach me how To name the bigger light, and how the less,
KEYMIS'S VOYAGE TO GUIANA.
That burn by day and night: and then I lov'd thee,
The views of the majority of colonists and explorers are expressed in Prospero's remark to Caliban :
“ But thy vile race Though thou didst learn, had that in 't which good natures
Could not abide to be with." The savage was far more ready to learn the evil than the good. Caliban exclaims :
“You taught me language; and my profit on 't
I know how to curse.' To the savage the greater knowledge and capacity of the European appeared like magic; and so Shakspeare has represented Prospero as ruling in the island over winds and waves, and subduing Caliban by his arts as a sorcerer.
Though Ralegh failed to inspire others with his views about Guiana, he did not on that account lose heart. About six months after his return he sent off, at his own expense, Captain Lawrence Keymis in a ship to explore the Orinoco further. Keymis was as enthusiastic as Ralegh himself about the prospects of exploration in Guiana, and says himself that he meant to devote his life to it. In this voyage, however, he failed to do much. The Spaniards, alarmed at Ralegh's proceedings, had done their utmost to forestall him; and Keymis heard from the Indians that a Spanish