A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 10 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 762 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 10.
own head, with the consent and approbation of all his nobles there present, and placing it on the head of the admiral, invested him with all the other ensigns of royalty, constituting the admiral, as far as in him lay, king of the whole country.  The admiral, as her majesty’s representative, accepted of this new-offered dignity in her name and behalf; as from this donation, whether made in jest or earnest, it was probable that some real advantage might redound hereafter to the English nation in these parts.  After this ceremony, the common people dispersed themselves about the English encampment, expressing their admiration and respect for the English in a most violent and even profane manner, even offering sacrifices to them, as in the most profound devotion, till they were repressed by force, with strong expressions of abhorrence, and directed to pay their adorations to the supreme Creator and Preserver of all things, whom only they ought to honour with religious worship.[32]

[Footnote 32:  The whole of this story, of a king and his nobles, and the investiture of Drake in the sovereignty of California, which he named New Albion, is so completely absurd as not to merit serious observation.—­E.]

After this ceremony, the admiral and some of his people penetrated to some distance into the interior country, which they found to be extremely full of large fat deer, often seeing about a thousand in one herd.  There were also such immense numbers of rabbits, that the whole country seemed one vast warren.  These rabbits were of the size of those of Barbary, having heads like our own rabbits in England, with feet like those of a mole, and long tails like rats.  Under the chin on each side, they have a bag or pouch in the skin, into which they store up any food they get abroad, which they there preserve for future use.  Their flesh is much valued by the natives, and their skins are made into robes for the king and nobles.  This country seemed to promise rich veins of gold and silver; as wherever they had occasion to dig, they threw up some of the ores of these metals.[33] Partly in honour of England, and partly owing to the prospect of white cliffs which this country presented from the sea, the admiral named this region New Albion.  Before his departure, he erected a monument, on which was a large plate, engraven with the name, picture, and arms of queen Elizabeth, the title of her majesty to the sovereignty of the country, the time of its discovery, and Drake’s own name.  In this country the Spaniards had never had the smallest footing, neither had they discovered this coast of America, even for several degrees to the southwards of New Albion.

[Footnote 33:  This surely is a gross falsehood, as even the Spaniards, so much experienced in mines of the precious metals, have found none in California, though possessing missions among its rude and scanty population in every corner, even in this very spot.—­E.]


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