A VOYAGE TO THE EAST INDIES.
Drake set sail northward again, but finding the weather increasing in severity he abandoned the idea of reaching a higher latitude and turned his ship westward with the unanimous consent of his company, having abandoned his resolution to seek for a north-west passage for the new intention of returning home by way of India and Cape of Good Hope. For sixty-eight days he continued without once catching a glimpse of land. At length, when his crew were beginning to despair, he fell in with some islands on the 13th of September in about eight degrees north latitude. These lands proved to be occupied, and as the Golden Hind came to anchor many natives came off in canoes, containing fourteen men each, bringing with them cocoanuts, fish and fruits to barter with their white visitors. Their canoes were ingeniously formed, and hollowed out of a single tree, and were so high in the stern and prow as to be nearly semicircular, while the exposed parts were prettily ornamented in curious designs and various colors. The islanders showed not the least fear of the English, and when they were permitted to come on board the ship they did not hesitate to purloin any article which they were able to conceal. But instead of punishing them for their thieving propensities, as Magellan did, Drake merely refused to hold further traffic with them. This so excited their displeasure that several of the natives surrounded the vessel and the men began a vigorous attack with stones. With the hope of frightening them off Drake caused a cannon to be fired over their heads, which had the desired effect for a time. But perceiving that it did no injury the islanders returned to the attack, and to protect himself from serious injury Drake was at length compelled to send several charges of shot among them. This retaliation caused the survivors to beat a precipitate retreat, and during the few days that Drake remained off the coast they did not again show themselves.
RECEPTION TO THE KING OF TERNATE.
Setting sail again, on the 3d of November the Moluccas were seen, and the Golden Hind steered for Tidore; but before reaching that island, Drake learned, through a messenger who came off to him in a boat, that the Portuguese had fixed their headquarters at that place, and to avoid conflict with these, Drake accepted the invitation of the King to visit his capital. Here he was most cordially received by a messenger bearing kind expressions from the King, and to whom Drake sent as a present a fine velvet cloak. As the ship was at anchor, the King also put off to pay it a visit, and to assure Drake of his desire to have him remain a considerable while on the island. The King was no doubt actuated less by the spirit of friendship than by policy of expediency; for he was in constant dread of the Portuguese, and he thought that Drake might afford him some protection against the possibility of an attack from that quarter; for which reason, he received the Englishman with manifestations of the greatest cordiality, and presented him with a signet which would provide for his safe conduct in any of the islands over which his authority extended. The King's visit was made in a royal barge of magnificent equipment, accompanied as he was by three smaller barges occupied by distinguished persons of his retinue. The natives were all dressed in flowing robes of white muslin, while as they sat in the seats of the barges they were protected from the sun by a canopy or awning of perfumed mats, which were supported on a frame-work of reeds. Next to the personal attendants of the King were several ranks of warriors, armed with dirks and daggers, and these were again encircled by the rowers,
PUNCTILIOUS ETIQUETTE OF THE KING'S COURT.
At the time of Drake's visit, this native king had expelled the Portuguese from the island of Ternate, and had also subjugated the people of seventy other islands in a group over which he now held sway. He had also been converted to the faith of
The third day the King did not visit the ship, but sent his brother to make excuses for his failure to appear, and to convey a royal request that Drake should visit his Majesty in his royal quarters, the brother offering to remain as a hostage for the safe return of the captain-general. While the invitation was a cordial one, and every manifestation thus far made indicated friendly intentions, Drake yet had fears of some treacherous purpose and refused to accept it. But several of his crew went on shore, and upon landing were received with a pomp which had been intended to grace the entrance of Drake into the capital. Another brother of the King and a party of nobles conducted them to the royal residence, which stood near a dismantled fort from which the Portuguese had been expelled two years previously. When the English sailors reached the capital, they found there an assemblage of at least a thousand persons, sixty of whom were said to be privy councillors. There were also four Turkish envoys, dressed in robes of scarlet, who were then at the court of Ternate concluding a treaty of commerce. The King was guarded by twelve lancers, while over his head was carried a splendid canopy embroidered with gold. His raiment was also a robe of gold cloth., hanging loosely about his person. His legs were bare, but his feet were covered with slippers made of Cordovan leather. Around his neck hung a heavy chain of gold, while his hair was ingeniously decorated with fillets of the same metal, and his hands sparkled with many bright jewels. At his side stood a page, mechanically wielding a fan two feet in length and one in breadth, which was embroidered and adorned with sapphires, and fastened to a staff three feet long. When the King understood that Drake was not among the party who had thus visited him, he exhibited some impatience and irritability, and treated the sailors who had thus ventured into his presence with considerable disdain.
ANIMAL LIFE ON CRAB ISLAND.
The King paid no further visit to Drake or attention to the ship while it lay in the harbor, and, fearing that hostility might develop from the disregard with which the King's invitation had been treated, after procuring a supply of provisions and a considerable quantity of gold, the Golden Hind left the Moluccas on the 9th of November, and five days later anchored at Crab Island, which is one of the Celebes. This island was found to be uninhabited, but afforded abundance of water, and here the crew went into camp on shore and repaired their ship for the homeward voyage. The sojourn at Crab Island proved to be an extremely pleasant one, as it afforded every means of enjoyment outside of the delights of civilization. The island was small in size, but marvellously fertile, producing all kinds of tropical fruits, and while there were no natives, their absence was compensated by the great abundance of other animal life. Drake says that about the trees flitted innumerable bats that were as large as hens, while the night was fairly aflame with shining flies which swarmed about the trees in such great numbers that frequently the whole forest appeared to be on fire. There were also great numbers of land-crabs, so large that the body of one was sufficient for a meal for four persons. They were described as a sort of cray-fish, living in holes dug in the earth, from which we know that they must have been of the robber or cocoa-nut species frequently met with in all the East India islands. The bats spoken of by Drake were the flying foxes, not quite so large as a hen, but which had a formidable appearance when oh the wing, their size being equal to that of a squirrel.
AN ACCIDENT TO THE SHIP.
On the 12th day of December the Hind departed from Crab Island, and sailing westward soon got among some islets and shoals, on one of which the vessel struck with great violence, running upon a coral reef with such force that the vessel was lifted half out of the water and there left suspended for three days. Fortunately, no leak was sprung, and a heavy wind prevailing from the lee side kept the vessel from turning over. Their condition was now so alarming that the crew were summoned to prayer, after which solemn duty a united effort was made to float the vessel. She was loaded with rich treasure, some of which must now be sacrificed to lighten her. Accordingly a quantity of meal, eight of the guns, and three tons of cloves were cast into the sea. But this produced no visible effect, as the ship continued fast as before. When hope seemed to have been entirely abandoned, on the fourth day the wind slacked, and when the tide was at the lowest ebb it veered to the opposite point, when the vessel suddenly reeled to her side in such a manner that she floated off the rock without damage, an incident so remarkable that Drake considered it to have been a miracle. It was some weeks afterwards before the vessel emerged from the great number of small islets and dangerous reefs where it had become entangled, and on the 8th of February they came to anchor before an island called Booton, a pleasant and fruitful place, in which was found gold, silver, copper, and sulphur. It also produced great quantities of such fruits and vegetable products as ginger,
AMONG THE PEOPLE OF JAVA.
Leaving Booton, Drake sailed for Java, which he reached on the 12th of March, where he remained for twelve days, enjoying the hospitalities extended to him. At this time the island was divided into five dependencies, governed by as many chiefs or rajahs, who, instead of showing any jealousy, lived in perfect amity, and vied with each other in their courtesies to the English visitors. The Javans were found to be people of good size and other physical perfections, and while they were extremely hospitable, they were also bold and warlike upon occasion. They had for weapons swords, bucklers, and daggers of their own manufacture, the blade's highly tempered, and the handles richly ornamented. They also wore armor sufficient to protect them against arrows, and this was also a great protection in case of hand-to-hand conflicts. The upper part of the bodies of the men was left uncovered, but from the waist downward they wore garments of silk of many pleasing colors. In each village there was a public hall where the people used to meet twice a day to partake of a common meal and enjoy the pleasures of conversation. Refreshments of many kinds were there served, each person partaking providing a part of the food that was thus set on a common table.
While the crew of the Hind enjoyed themselves greatly during their stay at Java, yet the desire to reach home increased until, however generous was the treatment they received, their home-sickness increased; and they left this favored climate on this account much earlier than they otherwise would have done. On the 15th of June, they doubled the Cape of Good Hope without meeting any difficulties, though around this cape all the dread of the sailors had centred, owing to the exaggerated stories told of the storms and