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SIR FRANCIS DRAKE,
WITH NUMEROUS ORIGINAL LETTERS
FROM HIM AND THE LORD HIGH ADMIRAL TO THE QUEEN AND
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.
The first Edition of the · Life of Sir Francis Drake' being out of print, the work has been carefully revised ; and also considerabiy abridged, in order that it might appear as one of the Numbers of the Colonial and Home Library.'
The reasons which have induced me to submit the following pages to the public may be briefly stated.
The Life of Drake, written by Dr. Johnson, is interesting in no common degree; and in it are happily blended a vivid narrative of adventure with lofty and valuable moral precepts : but it is altogether incomplete ; the great moralist having terminated his narrative somewhat abruptly at the conclusion of the Circumnavigation Voyage; and leaving untold all the important events of Drake's subsequent life.
Dr. Southey's memoir, given in the third volume of his · Lives of the British Admirals,' is much more complete; and evinces great research: but it forms part of a voluminous work; from the
very nature of which many subjects, not immediately connected with Drake, are blended with the details of his life.
It appeared to me, therefore, that a Life of the celebrated circumnavigator, more extended than that of Dr. Johnson and unencumbered with other biographies, might be acceptable to the public: the more especially as there was reason to believe that much valuable matter, illustrative of his career, remained unexplored in the public depositories of the kingdom, and in private collections. I accordingly applied my best diligence to the task: and I do not think that I overrate the result of my labour when I state, that many of the original documents never before published which are given in the following pages will be found in no common degree interesting and important.