“Ay, yes,” she said; “and that did give me a bit of comfort, especially when the queen—God save her tender heart!—was so sharp with him for pity of the poor wretches, but it has not mended him. He is growing fast like the rest now, Mr. Gilbert, greedy to win, and niggardly to spend (God forgive him!) and always fretting and plotting for some new gain, and envying and grudging at Drake, and all who are deeper in the snare of prosperity than he is. Gold, gold, nothing but gold in every mouth—there it is! Ah! I mind when Plymouth was a quiet little God-fearing place as God could smile upon: but ever since my John, and Sir Francis, and poor Mr. Oxenham found out the way to the Indies, it’s been a sad place. Not a sailor’s wife but is crying ‘Give, give,’ like the daughters of the horse-leech; and every woman must drive her husband out across seas to bring her home money to squander on hoods and farthingales, and go mincing with outstretched necks and wanton eyes; and they will soon learn to do worse than that, for the sake of gain. But the Lord’s hand will be against their tires and crisping-pins, their mufflers and farthingales, as it was against the Jews of old. Ah, dear me!”

The two interlocutors in this dialogue were sitting in a low oak-panelled room in Plymouth town, handsomely enough furnished, adorned with carving and gilding and coats of arms, and noteworthy for many strange knickknacks, Spanish gold and silver vessels on the sideboard; strange birds and skins, and charts and rough drawings of coast which hung about the room; while over the fireplace, above the portrait of old Captain Will Hawkins, pet of Henry the Eighth, hung the Spanish ensign which Captain John had taken in fair fight at Rio de la Hacha fifteen years before, when, with two hundred men, he seized the town in despite of ten hundred Spanish soldiers, and watered his ship triumphantly at the enemy’s wells.

The gentleman was a tall fair man, with a broad and lofty forehead, wrinkled with study, and eyes weakened by long poring over the crucible and the furnace.

The lady had once been comely enough, but she was aged and worn, as sailors’ wives are apt to be, by many sorrows. Many a sad day had she had already; for although John Hawkins, port-admiral of Plymouth, and patriarch of British shipbuilders, was a faithful husband enough, and as ready to forgive as he was to quarrel, yet he was obstinate and ruthless, and in spite of his religiosity (for all men were religious then) was by no means a “consistent walker.”

And sadder days were in store for her, poor soul. Nine years hence she would be asked to name her son’s brave new ship, and would christen it The Repentance, giving no reason in her quiet steadfast way (so says her son Sir Richard) but that “Repentance was the best ship in which we could sail to the harbor of heaven;” and she would hear that Queen Elizabeth, complaining of the name for an unlucky one, had re-christened her The Dainty, not without some by-quip, perhaps, at the character of her most dainty captain, Richard Hawkins, the complete seaman and Euphuist afloat, of whom, perhaps, more hereafter.

With sad eyes Mrs. (then Lady) Hawkins would see that gallant bark sail Westward-ho, to go the world around, as many another ship sailed; and then wait, as many a mother beside had waited, for the sail which never returned; till, dim and uncertain, came tidings of her boy fighting for four days three great Armadas (for the coxcomb had his father’s heart in him after all), a prisoner, wounded, ruined, languishing for weary years in Spanish prisons. And a sadder day than that was in store, when a gallant fleet should round the Ram Head, not with drum and trumpet, but with solemn minute-guns, and all flags half-mast high, to tell her that her terrible husband’s work was done, his terrible heart broken by failure and fatigue, and his body laid by Drake’s beneath the far-off tropic seas.

And if, at the close of her eventful life, one gleam of sunshine opened for a while, when her boy Richard returned to her bosom from his Spanish prison, to be knighted for his valor, and made a privy councillor for his wisdom; yet soon, how soon, was the old cloud to close in again above her, until her weary eyes should open in the light of Paradise. For that son dropped dead, some say at the very council-table, leaving behind him naught but broken fortunes, and huge purposes which never were fulfilled; and the stormy star of that bold race was set forever, and Lady Hawkins bowed her weary head and died, the

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