The dissolute James I. did handsomely by India when he attempted to send two intrepid Englishmen to be killed by Spanish torture. These men met danger as a matter of course, battled grimly and loved desperately.
-they feared no Spaniard who sailed the seas.
Their little vessels, well handled, could sail two miles to the Spaniards' one, and fire twice as many shots gun for gun. "One by one," said they, "we plucked the Don's feathers." Ship after ship was sunk, captured, or driven on shore. A whole week the cannon roared from Plymouth Sound to Calais, and there the last great fight took place in which the Duke of Medina Sidonia yielded himself to agonized foreboding, and Drake rightly believed that the Spanish grandee "would ere long wish himself at St. Mary Port among his orange trees."
During one of the many fierce duels between the ponderous galleons and the hawk-like British ships, the Resolution, hastily manned at Deal by volunteers who rode from London, hung on to and finally captured the San José.
It was no easy victory, for the Spaniards could acquit themselves as men when seamanship and gunnery gave place to swords and pikes. Three times did the assailants swarm up
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