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the houses, the habits of the people are distinctively French. Africa does not begin till we have passed the Pyrenees.

A short distance from Bayonne is Biarritz, which under the patronage of the imperial family has become the most fashionable watering-place in France. Its nearness to the Spanish frontier doubtless first commended it to the notice of the Empress. But it needs no such adventitious aid to account for its popularity. Looking out upon the open sea, the great waves of the Atlantic roll right into the bay, and break in trampling thunders upon the beach; the beach curves round in a semicircle for miles, the smooth sweep of pure white sand broken by picturesque rocks, and rock-pools of crystalline clearness, at frequent intervals;


and the Pyrenees come down almost to the water's edge, giving a succession of noble inland views.

Tourists proceeding direct from Bayonne to Madrid will reach the frontier at Hendaye soon after passing Biarritz. But those who propose to visit the northwestern provinces-the Asturias, Galicia, and Leon-may advantageously deviate from the ordinary route and avail themselves of a steamer which sails from Bayonne for San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander, and Coruña. Some magnificent coast scenery is passed, and in fine weather the trip is a most enjoyable one. San Sebastian stands out finely as it is approached from the sea. Its rugged cone of rock, surmounted by the citadel, rises to a height of four hundred

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feet. The destruction of the ramparts has diminished its importance as a military post, but it is rapidly becoming a fashionable resort for sea-bathing. The town is bright and cheerful, and is charmingly situated at the foot of the rock and along the isthmus which connects it with the mainland. No Englishman can pass this spot without mingled feelings of pride and sorrow. The readers of Napier's Peninsular War will remember how desperately the French maintained their last position here, and with what dash and daring the British

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soldier advanced from trench to trench, and foot by foot, until its final overthrow, amidst blood and carnage such as we shudder to contemplate. Among the survivors of that awful struggle was the "gallant young Campbell," afterwards Lord Clyde, who gained his first laurels at this eventful siege.

Bilbao, without much to attract the traveller, is a quaint interesting town. The narrow irregular streets-too narrow to admit two carriages abreast-the massive houses, with immense projecting roofs, the picturesque dresses of the

Basque peasantry, and the life and bustle inseparable from a seaport, even in Spain, make a few hours pass away very agreeably.

Santander is simply a thriving seaport, and contains little to detain the tourist or to call for description.

Coruña is interesting from its historical associations. It claims to have been a Phoenician and Carthaginian settlement, and it seems probable that the lighthouse just outside the town was already in existence at the time of the Roman occupation. In the early maritime history of England it holds an important place as the Groyne-a corruption of the French name La Corogne. Here John of Gaunt landed to claim the crown of Spain (1386), and hence Philip II. sailed to marry our Queen Mary, hoping thus to unite the crowns of Spain and England. When the Invincible Armada was seriously damaged by storms off Cape Finisterre it put into the Groyne to refit. The English government, deceived by the assurances of the Spanish Court, had given way to a false security, and believed that no invasion would be attempted, at least for that year. The nation was undisciplined and unprepared to meet so terrible a foe. But for the inevitable delay in the port of Coruña the result might have been far different. But he must be blind indeed who does not see the hand of God in the whole history of this memorable assault upon our religion and liberties.

Six days after sailing from Coruña, on Friday the 29th of July, 1588, the fleet sighted land off the Lizard, and were soon detected by those who were looking out.

"It was about the lovely close of a warm summer's day

There came a gallant merchant ship full sail to Plymouth bay;
The crew had seen Castile's black fleet, beyond Aurigny's isle,
At rest, at twilight, on the waves, lie heaving many a mile.” *

That day and night ten thousand beacon-fires were lighted up throughout the length and breadth of the land. All along the southern shores, from Land's End to Margate, from the watchers of the undercliff of the Isle of Wight to the dwellers in the northern border land, the warning flames flared forth, telling Englishmen that at last the hour was come when they must meet the enemy.

At this great hour of agony and peril the mercy of God graciously supplied all that was lacking. The courage of the Queen and people was high, the hour of danger drew them closer in heart together, the most magnificent efforts were made for the defence of our shores. Better still than all, the voice of prayer and supplication was heard throughout the land, prayer and supplication that was fully and beyond measure answered. In looking back upon this period of our national annals, it is delightful to see how firm and high was the trust and faith of good men in the power of God to aid, help, and deliver them. The Queen called upon the lieutenants of counties to be active

* Macaulay.

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in their raising of horse and foot, "considering those great preparations and arrogant threatenings, now burst out in actions upon the seas, tending to a conquest wherein every man's particular estate is in the highest degree to be touched, in respect of country, liberty, wife, children, lands, life, and that which specially is to be regarded, for the possession of the true and sincere religion of Christ." There was a great gathering of soldiers at the camp of Tilbury, and the Queen herself day by day was to be seen amid her soldiers. At certain times solemn supplications were heard; "divers psalms," says an eye-witness, "put into form of prayers in praise of Almighty God, no ways to be misliked, which she greatly commended, and with very earnest speech thanked God for them."

The armada slowly sailed up the Channel; vast galleons, with many decks and floating towers, showing like castles on the deep. From the very first there were not wanting signs to show that the presumptuous title of the Invincible Armada was as vain as proud. The chapels, pulpits, and gilded Madonnas in some of the galleons did not save them from suffering severely from a gale; the galley-slaves arose in one of the vessels and made their escape to France; the English hanging on their rear captured some of their most richly-laden vessels. The Spanish ships passed the dangerous rocks of the Eddystone, then unilluminated by friendly lighthouse; the good people of Plymouth watched them, wondering when the attack would come; the big vessels lie becalmed on St. James's Day below the white cliffs of Freshwater; watchers from the downs of Brighton and from the heights of Hastings might see the vast array, in silent magnificence, sweeping slowly onwards. The English incessantly hung upon their rear during that six days' progress up the Channel, with sharp fighting prosperous to their arms. The great issue was deferred until the Spaniards should be in the narrow seas. At such a time thus writes Sir Francis Drake, "We have the army of Spain before us, and mind, with the grace of God, to wrestle a fall with them. With the grace of God, if we live, I doubt not but ere it be long so to handle the matter with the Duke of Sidonia as he shall wish himself at St. Maria among his orange-trees. God give us grace to depend upon Him, so shall we not doubt victory, for our cause is good."

On Saturday afternoon, August 6th, the great fleet was lying in the Calais roads. Along the low, sandy shore lay the host of ships, the largest and the most heavily armed in the world. Face to face, almost within cannon shot, were the English, in their comparatively tiny vessels. At this point was to be accomplished the junction with the veteran army of the Netherlands under the renowned Farnese. Providentially Dutch war-boats were swarming in all the estuaries and inlets of the Flemish shores to prevent this, thus repaying the deep debt of gratitude under which the brave Netherlanders lay to the English. "Never, since England was England, had such a sight been seen as now revealed itself in those narrow straits between Dover and Calais," says Mr. Motley. "It was a pompous spectacle, that midsummer night, upon those narrow seas. The

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