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The Revenge

from True Stories Of Wonderful Deeds





In the days of Queen Elizabeth, English sailors first began to find
their way across the seas to new lands, from which they brought home
many strange, and rich, and beautiful things. The Spaniards sailed
across the seas too, to fetch gold and silver from the mines in Mexico,
which belonged to the King of Spain. Sometimes the English ships met the
Spanish ones, and robbed them of their gold, for it was thought quite
right and fair in those days to take every chance of doing harm to the
enemies of England. Of course the Spaniards hated the English for this,
and whenever they met English ships which were weaker than theirs they
attacked them, and robbed them, killing the sailors, or taking them
prisoners.

Once, a small ship, called the Revenge, was sailing home to England,
when it met with fifty great Spanish vessels. The captain of the
Revenge was Sir Richard Grenville, and he had a great many sick men on
board. There was no time to escape from the Spanish ships, which soon
surrounded the little Revenge. So there were only two courses which
Sir Richard could take. One was to give up his ship to the Spaniards;
the other was to fight with them till his men were all killed, or his
ship sank.

Some of the sailors wished him to take the first course, but the others,
and all the sick men, said: "Nay, let us fall into the hands of God, and
not into the hands of Spain." This they said because they thought it
better to die, than to be made prisoners by the cruel Spaniards.

Sir Richard made up his mind to fight. It was after noon when the
firing began, and all night long, until daylight came, the little
English ship kept the fifty Spanish vessels at bay. Then it was found
that all the powder was gone, and all the English were dead or dying.
And then only was the flag of the Revenge pulled down, to show that
she surrendered to her enemies.

The brave Sir Richard was taken on board a Spanish ship, where he soon
died of his wounds.

These were his last words: "Here die I, Richard Grenville, with a joyful
and quiet mind, for I have ended my life as a good soldier ought. I have
fought for my country and my queen, for honour, and for God."





Next: The Pilgrim Fathers

Previous: Sir Philip Sidney



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