The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IV. Prose and Poetry: Sir Thomas North to Michael Drayton.

III. Sir Walter Ralegh

§ 3. The story of The Revenge

The first work published by Ralegh was a quarto tract issued in 1596, called Report of the Truth of the Fight about the Iles of the Açores this last sommer. It appeared anonymously, but was republished by Hakluyt, as Sir Walter Ralegh’s. It describes the doings of the little fleet in which, at the last moment, Ralegh had been prevented from sailing himself, and ends with an account of the famous fight and death of his kinsman Sir Richard Grenville, on The Revenge. In forcible and vigorous prose, Ralegh tells with great simplicity the story of what actually happened. But, both before and after his story, he gives vent to violent denunciation of the Spaniards, at all times the object of his bitterest hatred. He speaks of “their frivolouse vain glorious taunts” as opposed to the “honourable actions” characteristic of the English. It seems to have been this kind of language which counted as patriotism in Elizabethan days, and helped to give Ralegh his high reputation as a lover of his country. The account ends with a touch of poetry when, after describing the terrible storm which followed the fight of The Revenge and caused the destruction of many ships, he says. “So it pleased them to honour the buriall of that renowned ship the Revenge, not suffering her to perish alone, for the great honour she achieved in her life time.”