Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/198

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In August following there happened a fight between De Ruyter, the admiral of Zealand with fifty men-of-war, and Sir George Askew, near Plymouth, with forty, wherein Sir George had the better, and might have got an entire victory had the whole fleet engaged. Whatsoever was the matter, the Rump (though they rewarded him), never more employed him after his return in their service at sea: but voted for the year to come three generals, Blake that was one already, and Dean, and Monk.

About this time the Archduke Leopold besieging Dunkirk, and the French sending a fleet to relieve it, General Blake lighting on the French at Calais, and taking seven of their ships, was cause of the town’s surrender.

In September they fought again, De Witt and De Ruyter commanding the Dutch, and Blake the English; and the Dutch were again worsted.

Again, in the end of November, Van Tromp with eighty men-of-war showed himself at the back of Goodwin Sands; where Blake, though he had with him but forty, adventured to fight with him, and had much the worst, and (night parting the fray) retired into the river of Thames; whilst Van Tromp keeping the sea, took some inconsiderable vessels from the English, and thereupon (as it was said) with a childish vanity hung out a broom from his main-top-mast, signifying he meant to sweep the seas of all English shipping.

After this, in February, the Dutch with Van Tromp were encountered by the English under Blake and Dean near Portsmouth, and had the worst. And these were all the encounters between them in this year in the narrow seas. They fought also once at Leghorn, where the Dutch had the better.

B. I see no great odds yet on either side; if there were any, the English had it.

A. Nor did either of them ere the more incline to peace. For the Hollanders, after they had sent ambassadors into Denmark, Sweden, Poland, and the Hanse Towns (whence tar and cordage are usually had), to signify the declaration