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.
in the South Sea.  Also the nice search made by Candish, and the exact description he has given us of the Straits of Magellan, are very noble proofs of his skill and industry, and of his desire that posterity might reap the fruits of his labours.  The attack of the Accapulco ship, likewise, considering the small force he had along with him, was a noble instance of true English bravery, which was justly rewarded by the queen with the honour of knighthood.

His account of the Philippines, and his description of several islands in the East Indies, are very clear and curious, and must at that time have been very useful; but particularly his map and description of China, which gave great lights in those days.  We may add to all this, the great care he took in the instruction of his seamen, many of whom afterwards distinguished themselves by navigating vessels in the same stupendous course, and thereby filling all the known world with the fame and reputation of English seamen.  It is not therefore surprising that we find the best judges, both of our own and other nations, bestowing very high praise on this worthy gentleman, who, in the whole conduct of his voyage, shewed the courage and discretion of a great commander, with all the skill and diligence of an able seaman; of both which eminent characters he has left the strongest testimonies in his accurate account of this circumnavigation.

The wealth brought home by Sir Thomas Candish from this successful voyage must have been considerable; an old writer says it was sufficient to have purchased a fair earldom, a general and vague expression, having no determinate meaning.  Whatever may have been the amount of the sum, which he acquired with so much hazard and so great honour, he certainly did not make such prudent use of his good fortune as might have been expected; for in the space of three years the best part of it was spent, and he determined to lay out the remainder upon a second expedition.  We need the less wonder at this, if we consider what the writers of those days tell us, of his great generosity, and the prodigious expence he was at in procuring and maintaining such persons as he thought might be useful to him in his future naval expeditions, on which subject his mind was continually bent.  Such things require the revenues of a prince; and as he looked upon this voyage round the world as an introduction only to his future undertakings, we may easily conceive that, what the world considered extravagance, might appear to him mere necessary disbursements, which, instead of lessening, he proposed should have laid the foundations of a more extensive fortune.  All circumstances duly considered, this was neither a rash nor improbable supposition; since there were many examples in the glorious reign of Queen Elizabeth, of very large fortunes acquired by the same method in which he proposed to have increased his estate.  Besides, it clearly appears, by his will, that he not only did not die in debt, but left very considerable effects behind him, notwithstanding his heavy expences, and the many misfortunes of his second expedition, of which it is proper to subjoin a brief account.—­Harris.

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