The Piratical Exploits of Francis Drake
(Excerpts)
Chapter 22


Our Generall seeing this stayed her no longer, but wayed anchor, and set sayle towards the coast of Chili, and drawing towards it, we mette neere to the shore an Indian in a Canoa, who thinking us to have bene Spaniards, came to us and tolde us, that at a place called S. Iago, there was a great Spanish ship laden from the kingdome of Peru: for which good newes our Generall gave him divers trifles, wherof he was glad, and went along with us and brought us to the place, which is called the port of Valparizo.

When we came thither, we found indeede the ship riding at anker, having in her eight Spaniards and three Negros, who thinking us to have bene Spaniards and their friends, welcommed us with a drumme, and made ready a Bottija of wine of Chili to drinke to us: but as soone as we were entred, one of our company called Thomas Moone began to lay about him, and strooke one of the Spanyards, and sayd unto him. "Abaxo Perro," that is in English, "Goe downe dogge." One of these Spaniards seeing persons of that quality in those seas, all to crossed, and blessed himselfe: but to be short, wee stowed them under hatches all save one Spaniard, who suddenly and desperately leapt over boord into the sea, and swamme ashore to the towne of S. Iago, to give them warning of our arrivall.

They of the towne being not above 9. households, presently fled away and abandoned the towne. Our generall manned his boate, and the Spanish ships boate, and went to the Towne, and being come to it, we rifled it, and came to a small chappell which wee entred, and found therin a silver chalice. two cruets, and one altarcloth, the spoyle whereof our Generall gave to M. Fletcher, his minister. . . .

Not farre from hence going on land for fresh water, we met with a Spaniard and an Indian boy driving 8. Llamas or sheepe of Peru which are as big as asses: every of which sheepe had on his backe 2. bags of leather, each bagge conteining 50. li. weight of fine silver: so that bringing both the sheepe and their burden to the ships we found in all the bags 800. weight of silver.

Here hence we sailed to a place called Arica, and being entred the port, we found there three small barkes which we rifled, and found in one of them 57 wedges of silver, Each of them weighing about 20 pound weight, and every of these wedges were of the fashion and bignesse of a brickbat. In all these 3 barkes we found not one person: for they mistrusting no strangers, were all gone aland to the Towne which consisteth of about twentie houses, which we would have ransacked if our company had bene better and more in number. But our Generall contented with the spoyle of the ships, left the Towne and put off againe to sea and set sayle for Lima, and by the way met with a small barke, which he boorded, and found in her good store of linen cloth, whereof taking some quantitie, he let her goe. . . .

From E.P. Cheyney, Readings in English History, New York: Ginn and Company, 1908, pp. 399-401. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

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