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Voyages and Travels: Ancient and Modern.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Sir Francis Drake

Sir Francis Drake Revived

The Dedicatory Epistle

Written by SIR FRANCIS DRAKE, Deceased.
To the Queen’s most excellent Majesty, my most dread Sovereign.

SEEING divers have diversely reported and written of these Voyages and Actions which I have attempted and made, every one endeavouring to bring to light whatsoever inklings or conjectures they have had; whereby many untruths have been published, and the certain truth concealed: as [so] I have thought it necessary myself, as in a Card [chart] to prick the principal points of the counsels taken, attempts made, and success had, during the whole course of my employment in these services against the Spaniard. Not as setting sail for maintaining my reputation in men’s judgment, but only as sitting at helm, if occasion shall be, for conducting the like actions hereafter. So I have accounted it my duty, to present this Discourse to Your Majesty, as of right; either for itself being the first fruits of your Servant’s pen, or for the matter, being service done to Your Majesty by your poor vassal, against your great Enemy: at times, in such places, and after such sort as may seem strange to those that are not acquainted with the whole carriage thereof; but will be a pleasing remembrance to Your Highness, who take the apparent height of the Almighty’s favour towards you, by these events, as truest instruments.

Humbly submitting myself to Your gracious censure, both in writing and presenting; that Posterity be not deprived of such help as may happily be gained hereby, and our present Age, at least, may be satisfied, in the rightfulness of these actions, which hitherto have been silenced: and Your Servant’s labour not seem altogether lost, not only in travels by sea and land, but also in writing the Report thereof (a work to him no less troublesome) yet made pleasant and sweet, in that it hath been, is, and shall be for Your Majesty’s content; to whom I have devoted myself [and] live or die.

January 1, 1592 [i.e., 1593].