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ENGLISH CIRCUM NAVIGATORS:
MOST REMARKABLE VOYAGES
ROUND THE WORLD
PRELIMINARY SKETCH OF THEIR LIVES AND DISCOVERIES.
EDITED WITH NOTES, ETC., ETC.,
DAVID LAING PURVES.
WILLIAM P. NIMMO:
WHEN we reflect how much our daily comfort, our national prosperity, and present maritime greatness has been slowly, yet solidly, built on the discoveries of the early navigators ; and how much, on the whole, has depended on accurate geographical research; we may come to a record of the more famous of their voyages with increased interest and desire to profit thereby. With a spirit of healthy inquiry abroad, as to the basis of our geographical knowledge and maritime pre-eminence, little apology is needed in placing before the public, in a cheap and handy volume, the voyages which have given to Drake, Dampier, Anson, and Cook, a worldwide renown.
The exigencies of space and the desire to produce the volume in a cheap and convenient form, have led to the use of a synopsis in Cook's two first Voyages, and to the omission of some unimportant details in Dampier and Anson. These omissions, unless trifling in matter or amount, are in most cases mentioned in the notes. Authentic portraits of the four Navigators have been introduced as a frontispiece; and also four Mercator maps have been added, showing the routes of each of the Voyagers, and taken from the original draughts.
Some may be inclined to class the doings of Drake, Dampier, and Anson with those of an ordinary privateering expedition, alleging that ambition or hatred of the Spaniard alone inspired their movements, without taking into account the broad results which have flowed from their voyages of circumnavigation. The privateering may be credited to the spirit and circumstances of the times, while we have reaped the fruit of their bravery in increased nautical experience; and the accounts of their voyages, whether undertaken to harass the Spanish settlements in the Pacific Ocean or for purely scientific purposes, form in themselves a brilliant chapter in our naval history,—a chapter, too, of our history which men will turn aside to read, and feel the better for reading, when many hosts of our annual ephemeral publications have been published, reviewed, and forgotten. Truly, the end has more than justified the means! New countries have been discovered, commerce has been quickened and increased a hundredfold, the national mind has been broadened, while our national ideas and enterprise are gradually leavening every continent and known island in the globe. And with truth these early Navigators might have said
Through Hope, and Faith's transcendent dower,
We feel that we are greater than we know.” In the hand of Providence they forged at least one link in the chain of circumstance, whereby
“ The whole round earth is every way Bound by gold chains about the feet of God."
63 At Sierra Leone,
Cruelty of the Spaniards,
65 Arrival at Plymouth,