A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 681 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.
and a mutual connection of interests between that port and Manilla, he had reason to fear, that if his designs were discovered, intelligence would be immediately sent to Manilla, and measures taken to prevent the galleons from falling into his hands:  But being now at sea, and entirely clear of the coast, he summoned all his people on the quarter-deck, and informed them of his resolution to cruise for the two Manilla ships, of whose wealth they were not ignorant.  He told them he should chuse a station, where he could not fail of meeting with them; and though they were stout ships, and full manned, yet, if his own people behaved with their accustomed spirit, he was certain he should prove too hard for them both, and that one of them at least could not fail of becoming his prize:  He further added, that many ridiculous tales had been propagated about the strength of the sides of these ships, and their being impenetrable to cannon-shot; that these fictions had been principally invented to palliate the cowardice of those who had formerly engaged them; but he hoped there were none of those present weak enough to give credit to so absurd a story:  For his own part, he did assure them upon his word, that, whenever he met with them, he would fight them so near, that they should find, his bullets, instead of being stopped by one of their sides, should go through them both.

This speech of the commodore’s was received by his people with great joy:  For no sooner had he ended, than they expressed their approbation, according to naval custom, by three strenuous cheers, and all declared their determination to succeed or perish, whenever the opportunity presented itself.  And now their hopes, which, since their departure from the coast of Mexico, had entirely subsided, were again revived; and they all persuaded themselves, that, notwithstanding the various casualties and disappointments they had hitherto met with, they should yet be repaid the price of their fatigues, and should at last return home enriched with the spoils of the enemy:  For, firmly relying on the assurances of the commodore, that they should certainly meet with the vessels, they were all of them too sanguine to doubt a moment of mastering them; so that they considered themselves as having them already in their possession.  And this confidence was so universally spread through the whole ship’s company, that, the commodore having taken some Chinese sheep to sea with him for his own provision, and one day enquiring of his butcher, why, for some time past, he had seen no mutton at his table, asking him if all the sheep were killed, the butcher very seriously replied, that there were indeed two sheep left, but that, if his honour would give him leave, he proposed to keep those for the entertainment of the general of the galleons.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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