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Title: Sir Walter Ralegh - A Biography
Author: Stebbing, W. (William), 1832-1926
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Sir Walter Ralegh - A Biography" ***

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  SIR WALTER RALEGH

  _STEBBING_



  HENRY FROWDE, M.A.

  PUBLISHER TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

  [Illustration]

  LONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK



  [Illustration: SIR WALTER RALEGH
    _From the Duke of Rutland's Miniature_]



  SIR WALTER RALEGH

  A Biography

  By

  WILLIAM STEBBING, M.A.

  FORMERLY FELLOW OF WORCESTER COLLEGE, OXFORD
  AUTHOR OF
  'SOME VERDICTS OF HISTORY REVIEWED'


  _REISSUE_

  _WITH A FRONTISPIECE AND A LIST OF AUTHORITIES_


  Oxford
  AT THE CLARENDON PRESS
  1899



  Oxford

  PRINTED AT THE CLARENDON PRESS

  BY HORACE HART, M.A.
  PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY



  CONTENTS

                                                      PAGE

           PREFACE                                     vii

           LIST OF AUTHORITIES                        xiii

           CORRIGENDA                                xxvii

     CHAP.

        I. GENEALOGY                                     1

       II. IN SEARCH OF A CAREER (1552-1581)             6

      III. ROYAL FAVOUR (1581-1582)                     22

       IV. OFFICES AND ENDOWMENTS (1582-1587)           32

        V. VIRGINIA (1583-1587)                         42

       VI. PATRON AND COURTIER (1583-1590)              53

      VII. ESSEX. THE ARMADA (1587-1589)                60

     VIII. THE POET (1589-1593)                         69

       IX. THE REVENGE (September, 1591)                82

        X. IN THE TOWER. THE GREAT CARACK (1592)        88

       XI. AT HOME; AND IN PARLIAMENT (1592-1594)      100

      XII. GUIANA (1594-1595)                          108

     XIII. CADIZ. THE ISLANDS VOYAGE (1596-1597)       125

      XIV. FINAL FEUD WITH ESSEX (1597-1601)           141

       XV. THE ZENITH (1601-1603)                      155

      XVI. COBHAM AND CECIL (1601-1603)                168

     XVII. THE FALL (April-June, 1603)                 180

    XVIII. AWAITING TRIAL (July-November, 1603)        186

      XIX. THE TRIAL (November 17)                     207

       XX. ITS JUSTICE AND EQUITY                      222

      XXI. REPRIEVE (December 10, 1603)                232

     XXII. A PRISONER (1604-1612)                      241

    XXIII. SCIENCE AND LITERATURE (1604-1615)          265

     XXIV. THE RELEASE (March, 1616)                   287

      XXV. PREPARING FOR GUIANA (1616-1617)            298

     XXVI. THE EXPEDITION (May, 1617-June, 1618)       313

    XXVII. RETURN TO THE TOWER (June-August, 1618)     331

   XXVIII. A MORAL RACK (August 10-October 15)         343

     XXIX. A SUBSTITUTE FOR A TRIAL (October 22, 1618) 359

      XXX. RALEGH'S TRIUMPH (October 28-29, 1618)      371

     XXXI. SPOILS AND PENALTIES                        380

    XXXII. CONTEMPORARY AND FINAL JUDGMENTS            394

           INDEX                                       401



PREFACE


Students of Ralegh's career cannot complain of a dearth of materials.
For thirty-seven years he lived in the full glare of publicity. The
social and political literature of more than a generation abounds in
allusions to him. He appears and reappears continually in the
correspondence of Burleigh, Robert Cecil, Christopher Hatton, Essex,
Anthony Bacon, Henry Sidney, Richard Boyle, Ralph Winwood, Dudley
Carleton, George Carew, Henry Howard, and King James. His is a very
familiar name in the Calendars of Domestic State Papers. It holds its
place in the archives of Venice and Simancas. No family muniment room
can be explored without traces of him. Successive reports of the
Historical Manuscripts Commission testify to the vigilance with which
his doings were noted. No personage in two reigns was more a centre for
anecdotes and fables. They were eagerly imbibed, treasured, and
circulated alike by contemporary, or all but contemporary, statesmen and
wits, and by the feeblest scandal-mongers. A list comprising the names
of Francis Bacon, Sir John Harington, Sir Robert Naunton, Drummond of
Hawthornden, Thomas Fuller, Sir Anthony Welldon, Bishop Goodman, Francis
Osborn, Sir Edward Peyton, Sir Henry Wotton, John Aubrey, Sir William
Sanderson, David Lloyd, and James Howell, is far from exhausting the
number of the very miscellaneous purveyors and chroniclers.

Antiquaries, from the days of John Hooker of Exeter, the continuer of
Holinshed, Sir William Pole, Anthony à Wood, and John Prince, to those
of Lysons, Polwhele, Isaac D'Israeli, Payne Collier, and Dr. Brushfield,
have found boundless hunting-ground in his habits, acts, and motives.
Sir John Hawles, Mr. Justice Foster, David Jardine, Lord Campbell, and
Spedding have discussed the technical justice of his trials and
sentences. No historian, from Camden and de Thou, to Hume, Lingard,
Hallam, and Gardiner, has been able to abstain from debating his merits
and demerits. From his own age to the present the fascination of his
career, and at once the copiousness of information on it, and its
mysteries, have attracted a multitude of commentators. His character has
been repeatedly analysed by essayists, subtle as Macvey Napier, eloquent
as Charles Kingsley. There has been no more favourite theme for
biographers. Since the earliest and trivial account compiled by William
Winstanley in 1660, followed by the anonymous and tolerably industrious
narrative attributed variously to John, Benjamin, and James, Shirley in
1677, and Lewis Theobald's meagre sketch in 1719, a dozen or more lives
with larger pretensions to critical research have been printed, by
William Oldys in 1736, Thomas Birch in 1751, Arthur Cayley in 1805, Sir
Samuel Egerton Brydges in 1813, Mrs. A.T. Thomson in 1830, Patrick
Fraser Tytler in 1833, Robert Southey in 1837, Sir Robert Hermann
Schomburgk in 1848, C. Whitehead in 1854, S.G. Drake, of Boston, U.S.,
in 1862, J.A. St. John in 1868, Edward Edwards in the same year, Mrs.
Creighton in 1877, and Edmund Gosse in 1886.

Almost every one of this numerous company, down even to bookmaking
Winstanley the barber, has shed light, much or little, upon dark
recesses. By four, Oldys, Cayley, Tytler, and Edwards, the whole
learning of the subject, so far as it was for their respective periods
available, must be admitted to have been most diligently accumulated.
Yet it will scarcely be denied that there has always been room for a new
presentment of Ralegh's personality. That the want has remained
unsatisfied after all the efforts made to supply it is to be imputed
less to defects in the writers, than to the intrinsic difficulties of
the subject. Ralegh's multifarious activity, with the width of the area
in which it operated, is itself a disturbing element. It is confusing
for a biographer to be required to keep at once independent and in
unison the poet, statesman, courtier, schemer, patriot, soldier, sailor,
freebooter, discoverer, colonist, castle-builder, historian,
philosopher, chemist, prisoner, and visionary. The variety of Ralegh's
powers and tendencies, and of their exercise, is the distinctive note of
him, and of the epoch which needed, fashioned, and used him. A whole
band of faculties stood ready in him at any moment for action. Several
generally were at work simultaneously. For the man to be properly
visible, he should be shown flashing from more facets than a brilliant.
Few are the pens which can vividly reflect versatility like his. The
temptation to diffuseness and irrelevancy is as embarrassing and
dangerous. At every turn Ralegh's restless vitality involved him in a
web of other men's fortunes, and in national crises. A biographer is
constantly being beguiled into describing an era as well as its
representative, into writing history instead of a life. Within an
author's legitimate province the perplexities are numberless and
distracting. Never surely was there a career more beset with insoluble
riddles and unmanageable dilemmas. At each step, in the relation of the
most ordinary incidents, exactness of dates, or precision of events,
appears unattainable. Fiction is ever elbowing fact, so that it might be
supposed contemporaries had with one accord been conspiring to disguise
the truth from posterity. The uncertainty is deepened tenfold when
motives have to be measured and appraised. Ralegh was the best hated
personage in the kingdom. On a conscientious biographer is laid the
burden of allowing just enough, and not too much, for the gall of
private, political, and popular enmity. He is equally bound to remember
and account, often on the adverse side, for inherent contradictions in
his hero's own moral nature. While he knows it would be absurdly unjust
to accept the verdict of Ralegh's jealous and envious world on his
intentions, he has to beware of construing malicious persecution as
equivalent to proof of angelic innocence.

One main duty of a biographer of Ralegh is to be strenuously on the
guard against degenerating into an apologist. But, above all, he ought
to be versed in the art of standing aside. While explanations of
obscurities must necessarily be offered, readers should be put into a
position to judge for themselves of their sufficiency, and to
substitute, if they will, others of their own. Commonly they want not so
much arguments, however unegotistical and dispassionate, as a narrative.
They wish to view and hear Ralegh himself; to attend him on his quick
course from one field of fruitful energy to another; to see him as his
age saw him, in his exuberant vitality; not among the few greatest, but
of all great, Englishmen the most universally capable. They desire
facts, stated as such, simply, in chronological sequence, and, when it
is at all practicable, in the actor's own words, not artificially
carved, coloured, digested, and classified. As for failings and
infirmities, they are more equitable and less liable to unreasonable
disgusts than a biographer is inclined to fancy. They are content that a
great man's faults, real or apparent, should be left to be justified,
excused, or at all events harmonized, in the mass of good and ill.

No biographer of Ralegh need for lack of occupation stray from the
direct path of telling his readers the plain story of an eventful life.
The rightful demands on his resources are enough to absorb the most
plentiful stores of leisure, patience, and self-denial. He should be
willing to spend weeks or months on loosing a knot visible to students
alone, which others have not noticed, and, if they had, would think
might as profitably have been left tied. He should collect, and weigh,
and have the courage to refuse to use, piles of matter which do not
enlighten. He should be prepared to devote years to the search for a
clue to a career with a bewildering capacity for sudden transformation
scenes. He should have the courage, when he has lost the trace, to
acknowledge that he has wandered. He should feel an interest so supreme
in his subject, in its shadows as in its lights, as neither to count the
cost of labour in its service, nor to find affection for the man
incompatible with the condemnation of his errors. Finally, after having
arrived at a clear perception of the true method to be pursued, and ends
to be aimed at, he should be able to recognize how very imperfectly he
has succeeded in acting up to his theory.

                                     W.S.

    LONDON:
  _September_, 1891.



AUTHORITIES


Not a few readers and critics, who have been so kind as to speak
otherwise only too favourably of the book, have intimated that its value
would be increased by references to the authorities.

In compliance with the suggestion, the author now prints the list--a
formidable one. He has drawn it up in a form which, he hopes, may enable
students without much difficulty to trace the sources of the statements
in the text.

The figures in the parentheses () after the title of each authority are
the date of the original edition, where that is not the one cited. The
figures which follow give the date of the edition actually referred to.
The brackets [] after the pages of the _Life_ contain the pages, or
volumes and pages, of the cited works.

  Example--

    D'ISRAELI, ISAAC, _Cur. Lit._
    (1791-1834), date of original edition.
    ed. B. Disraeli, 1849, date of edition referred to.
    79, page of _Life_.
    [iii. 140], volume and page of _Cur. Lit._


  A.

  ARBER, EDWARD, _English Reprints_: p. 83 [No. 29, xiv. 13-22].

  _Archaeologia_ (Transactions of the Society of Antiquaries): pp. 130
    [xxii. 175], 299 [xii. 271], 368 [xliv. 394]. See also Collier, Monson.

  _Ashmolean MSS._ (Bodleian Library): pp. 368 [DCCLXXXVI, fol. 101], 386.

  AUBREY, JOHN, _Letters by Eminent Persons and Lives of Eminent Men_,
    1813: pp. 8, 13, 25, 28, 35, 49, 57, 58, 100, 104, 105, 164, 180, 181,
    192, 209, 249, 273, 282, 283, 300 [ii. 416 and 494, and 509-21].

  _Aulicus Coquinarius_ (published in _Secret History of James I_,
    1811)--'supposed to have been compiled from Bishop Goodman's materials
    by William Sanderson': p. 210 [173].


  B.

  BACON, ANTHONY, Correspondence (_MSS. Tenison_, at Lambeth, and
    Catalogue, _Lambeth Palace MSS._): pp. 89 [Cat. 162], 108 [Cat. 166].

  BACON, FRANCIS, LORD, _Works, Letters, and Life_, ed. James Spedding,
    R.E. Ellis, and D.D. Heath, 1858-1874.

  -- _Apophthegms_: pp. 8 [ii. 163], 89 [ii. 129], 155 [ii. 124], 302
    [ii. 168].

  -- _Life_: pp. 359 [vi. 360-2], 361 [vi. 356, 364-5].

  BAYLEY, JOHN, _History and Antiquities of the Tower of London_, 1821:
    p. 250 [Appendix, vol. ii. ch. x].

  BEATSON, ROBERT, _Political Index to the Histories of Great Britain and
    Ireland_ (1786), 3rd ed. 1806: pp. 35 [i. 448], 108 [i. 448].

  BEAUMONT, CHRISTOPHER DE HARLAY DE, _Lettres à Henri IV_ (transcripts
    by E. Edwards from MSS. Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris):
    pp. 182, 195, 201, 227, 237, 239, 240.

  _Biographia Britannica_, 1747-1766 (Art. W. Ralegh): pp. 39, 49.

  BIRCH, REV. THOMAS, D.D., _Memoirs of Queen Elizabeth_, 1754: pp. 89
    [i. 79], 147 [ii. 418].

  -- _Life of Sir Walter Ralegh_ (Oxford ed. of Ralegh's Works): pp. 89
    [i. 593], 300 [i. 613].

  BLACKSTONE, MR. JUSTICE SIR WILLIAM, _Commentaries on the Laws of
    England_ (1765-1769). Revised by Serjeant Henry John Stephen, 3rd
    ed. 1853: p. 285 [ii. 475].

  BOLINGBROKE, HENRY ST. JOHN, VISCOUNT ('_The Craftsman_, by Caleb
    D'Anvers, Esq.' 1731-1737. Nos. 160, 163, 164, 175, 274): p. 269.

  BRAY. See Manning.

  BRAYLEY, EDWARD WEDLAKE, and JOHN BRITTON, _History of Surrey_,
    1850: p. 380 [ii. 93-4].

  BRUCE, REV. JOHN, _Correspondence of King James VI of Scotland with
    Sir R. Cecil and others in England_ (Camden Society), 1861: pp. 58
    [67], 148 [Appendix 82-3, 90], 172 [15], 173 [67], 175 [43], 176
    [18-9], 177 [ibid.], 254 [140-60, 219].

  BRUSHFIELD, THOMAS NADAULD, M.D., _Raleghana_ (_Burial-place of
    Walter and Katherine Ralegh_), 1896: p. 5 (Devon Assoc. Trans.
    xxviii. 291-4).

  -- -- (_Birthplace of Sir Walter Ralegh_), 1889: pp. 6, 101 (Devon Assoc.
    Trans. xxi. 319-21).

  -- -- (_Children of_), 1896: p. 197 (Devon Assoc. Trans. xxviii. 310-12).

  -- _London and Suburban Residences of Sir Walter Ralegh:_ pp. 103-5
    (_Western Antiquary_, iv. 82-7, 109-12).

  -- _Bibliography of Sir Walter Ralegh_ (reprinted from _Western
    Antiquary_), 1886: pp. 265-76.

  -- (_Tobacco and Potatoes_): p. 49 (Devon Assoc. Trans. xxx. 158-97).
    _Builder, The_, Sept. 17, 1864: p. 105.

  BULLEN, A.H. (_Poetical Rhapsody_, ed. Francis Davison, 1602), 1890:
    pp. 78 [i. 116, and Introd. 83, 84], 79 [i. 28, and Introd. 86].

  BULLEN, A.H. (_England's Helicon_, 1600), 1887: p. 80 [Introd. 22, 23].

  BURGHLEY, WILLIAM CECIL, LORD, _State Papers at Hatfield House_,
    Vol. ii, 1571-1596, ed. Rev. Wm. Murdin: pp. 93 [ii. 657], 95 [ii.
    658], 102 [ii. 675], 152 [ii. 811].


  C.

  _Calendar, Carew MSS._ 1515-1624, Lambeth Palace Library, ed. Rev.
    John S. Brewer and William Bullen, 1868: pp. 38, 49, 71, 91, 126,
    148, 149, 156, 158, 162, 169, 330.

  -- _State Papers_, Domestic Series, Elizabeth and James I, 1585-1618:
    pp. 34, 35, 36, 37, 43, 45, 51, 54, 55, 58, 59, 64, 69, 82, 84, 87, 89,
    96, 98, 101, 102, 117, 125, 134, 135, 142, 146, 147, 164, 169, 180,
    182, 201, 208, 241, 242, 243, 247, 249, 252, 254, 257, 260, 262, 263,
    264, 266, 288, 297, 298, 300, 301, 302, 307, 313, 316, 332, 333, 337,
    346, 347, 348, 349, 352, 358, 366, 369, 372, 375, 381, 384, 385, 386,
    387, 393, 394, 396.

  -- _Venetian State Papers_, 1581-1591: pp. 50, 64.

  CAMDEN, WILLIAM, _Annales, etc. regnante Elizabethâ_ (Part I, to 1589,
    1615; Part II, 1627), ed. Thomas Hearne, 1717: pp. 9 [i. 198], 66
    [ii. 574-5], 89 [iii. 697], 109 [iii. 697], 137 [iii. 741-2].

  -- _Annales Regni Jacobi I_: p. 275 [9].

  -- _Epistolae_ (containing in appendix the _Annales Jacobi I_), ed.
    Thomas Smith, 1691: pp. 325 [256], 333 [243].

  CAMPBELL, JOHN, LORD, _Lives of the Chief Justices of England_,
    1849-1857: p. 209 [i. 210-11].

  CAREW, RICHARD, _Survey of Cornwall_ (1602), ed. Lord de Dunstanville,
    1811: p. 168 [xxv-xxvi].

  CARLYLE, THOMAS: p. 279 (see Cromwell).

  CARTE, THOMAS, _General History of England_, 1747-1755: p. 205 [iii.
    719].

  CLARENDON, EDWARD HYDE, FIRST EARL of, _The Difference and
    Disparity between the Estates and Conditions of George, Duke of
    Buckingham, and Robert, Earl of Essex_, 'written by the Earl of
    Clarendon in his younger Dayes' (in _Reliquiae Wottonianae_, 4th ed.
    1685, 185-202): p. 145 [190].

  COKE, SIR EDWARD, _Third Institute_ (1644), 1797: p. 214 [24-5].

  COLLIER, JOHN PAYNE (_Notes and Queries_, 3rd Series, vol. v): pp. 244
    [7], 246 [7].

  -- _Archaeologia_ (Society of Antiquaries) 1852-1853: pp. 11 [xxxiv.
    139], 15 [xxxiv. 139], 21 [xxxiv. 141], 36 [xxxv. 368-71], 42 [xxxiii.
    199, and xxxiv. 151], 89 [xxxiv. 160], 90 [xxxiv. 161], 91 [xxxiv.
    165], 133 [xxxiv. 168], 164 [xxxiv. 163-4], 165 [xxxv. 214], 244
    [xxxv. 217-8], 252 [xxxv. 219-20].

  CORNEY, BOLTON, '_Curiosities of Literature_, by I. D'Israeli, Esq.,
    Illustrated by Bolton Corney, Esq.,' 1837: p. 274.

  COSTELLO, LOUISA STUART, _Memoirs of Eminent Englishwomen_, 1844:
    p. 63 [i. 209-10].

  _Cotton. Library MSS._, British Museum: pp. 57 [Galba, C. 9, fol. 157],
    132 [Vespas. C. 13, fol. 290], 149 [Julius, F. 6, p. 433], 272 [Julius,
    C. 3, fol. 311], 316 [Titus, B. 8, fol. 155], 351 [Vitell. C. 17, foll.
    439-40], 373 [Titus, C. 6, fol. 93].

  _Craftsman._ See Bolingbroke.

  CROMWELL, OLIVER, _Letters and Speeches_, ed. Thomas Carlyle, 1870:
    p. 279 [ii. 293].

  -- _Memoirs of the Protector Oliver Cromwell, and of his sons, Richard
    and Henry_, by Oliver Cromwell, Esq. (1820), 3rd ed. 1822: p. 279
    [i. 369-70].


  D.

  _Declaration of the Demeanour and Carriage of Sir Walter Raleigh, as well
    in his Voyage, as in and since his Return_, printed by the King's
    Printers, 1618; reprinted _Harleian Miscellany_, iii, 1809; _Somers
    Collect_, ii, 1809: pp. 301 [Harl. iii. 20-3], 389-93 [Harl. iii. 18,
    _et seq._].

  DEE, DR. JOHN, _Private Diary_, ed. J.O. Halliwell (Camden Society),
    1842: p. 104 [54].

  DEVEREUX, WALTER B., _Lives and Letters of the Devereux, Earls of
    Essex_, 1853: pp. 61 [i. 86], 62 [i. 186-8], 130 [i. 376-7], 138 [i.
    457].

  _Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature, and
    Art, Transactions of the_ (see also Brushfield): pp. 2 [xv. 163-79],
    313 [xv. 459].

  D'EWES, SIR SIMONDS, _Journals of all the Parliaments during the Reign
    of Queen Elizabeth_, ed. Paul Bowes (1682), 1862: pp. 105 [478, 492],
    106 [508-9], 158 [674-6], 159 [629-33].

  D'ISRAELI, ISAAC, _Curiosities of Literature_ (1791-1834), ed. B.
    Disraeli, 1849: pp. 79 [iii. 140], 274 [iii. 145-7], 334 [iii. 127],
    375 [iii. 141].

  -- '_Amenities of Literature_ (Psychological History of Rawleigh
    (1840)),' 1841: pp. 59 [iii. 152], 181 [iii. 166-7], 274 [iii. 172-84].

  DIXON, WILLIAM HEPWORTH, _Her Majesty's Tower_, 1869-71: pp. 198
    [i. 351-4], 266 [i. 369-70].

  DREXELIUS, JEREMIAH (_Trismegistus Christianus_), Antwerp, 1643:
    p. 40 [469].

  DRUMMOND, WILLIAM, of Hawthornden, _'Notes of Ben Jonson's Conversations
    with_--January, 1619' (Shakespeare Society), ed. David
    Laing, 1842: pp. 13 [21], 270 [15], 274 [15], 301 [21].


  E.

  ECHARD, ARCHDEACON LAURENCE, _History of England_, 1711: p. 186
    [i. 911].

  EDWARDS, EDWARD, _Life of Sir Walter Ralegh_, 1868: p. 26 [i. 54-5].

  _Egerton Papers_--from MSS. belonging to Lord Francis Egerton, ed.
    J. Payne Collier (for Camden Society), 1840: pp. 36 [94], 183 [377].

  ELIOT, SIR JOHN, _Monarchy of Man, MSS. Harleian_, 2228, Brit. Mus.
    (cf. Forster's _Life of Eliot_ [i. 34, 604]): pp. 375, 397.

  EVELYN, JOHN, _Diary and Correspondence_, ed. William Bray (1818-1819),
    1872: p. 267 [i. 391].


  F.

  FEBRE, NICHOLAS LE, _Discours sur le Grand Cordial de Sir Walter
    Ralegh_, 1664: p. 266.

  _Flying Chudleigh, Chaplain of the_, MSS. Corpus Christi, Oxford: p. 326.

  FORSTER, JOHN, _Life of John Eliot_, 1864. See Eliot.

  _Fortescue Papers_; collected by John Packer, Secretary to George
    Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, ed. S.R. Gardiner, 1871: pp. 332 [40],
    386 [80], 387 [67], 395 [143].

  FOSS, EDWARD, _Judges of England_, 1857: pp. 209 [vi. 179], 231
    [vi. 159].

  FOSTER, MR. JUSTICE SIR MICHAEL, _Trial of the Rebels in 1746, and
    other Crown Cases_ (1st ed. 1762), new ed. 1809: pp. 214, 222 [234].

  FOX (or FOXE), JOHN, _Acts and Monuments_ (1554-1562), 1684: p. 5 [iii.
    748].

  FROUDE, JAMES ANTHONY, _History of England_, 1856-1870: p. 4
    [vi. 149].

  FULLER, REV. THOMAS, _Church History of Britain_, 1655: p. 7 [170].

  -- _History of the Worthies of England_ (1662), 1811: pp. 24 [i. 287],
    166 [ii. 286], 394 [ii. 336].


  G.

  GAINSFORD, CAPTAIN THOMAS, _Vox Spiritus_, or _Sir Walter Rawleigh's
    Ghost_, 1620: p. 395 [Fortescue Papers, 143].

  GARDINER, SAMUEL RAWSON, _History of England, from the Accession of
    James I to the Disgrace of Chief Justice Coke, 1603-1616_. 1863:
    pp. 190 [i. 102], 193 [i. 89], 226 [i. 58-9], 263 [i. 29-32].

  -- _Prince Charles and the Spanish Marriage, 1617-1623_. 1869: pp. 238
    [i. 151], 309 [i. 57-64], 324 [i. 125, 130], 332 [i. 134], 337
    [i. 140].

  -- _The Case against Sir Walter Ralegh_ (_Fortnightly Review_, vol. vii;
    New Series, vol. i), 1867: pp. 305 [613], 318 [602-14].

  GASCOIGNE, GEORGE, _The Glasse of Gouernment_ (1576), ed. W.C. Hazlitt
    (Roxburghe Library), 1870: p. 12 [ii. 178].

  GERARD, JOHN, _Herbal, or General History of Plants_, 1597, with
    dedication to Sir Walter Raleigh: p. 105 [546].

  GIBBON, EDWARD, _Life and Works_, ed. John Lord Sheffield (1799),
    new ed. 1814: pp. 102 [i. 152], 281 [i. 151], 309 [i. 152-3], 398
    [i. 153].

  _Gibson MSS._, Lambeth Palace Library: p. 345 [viii. fol. 21].

  GIFFORD, WILLIAM, _Ben Jonson's Works, with Memoir by_, 1860:
    p. 157 [19].

  GOODMAN, GODFREY, EX-BISHOP OF GLOUCESTER, _Court of King James
    the First_, ed. John S. Brewer, 1839: pp. 195 [ii. 93-7], 381 [i. 69].

  GORGES, SIR ARTHUR, _A larger Relation of the said Island Voyage_
    (1607), iv. Purchas, 1938-1969: pp. 136 [iv. 1950], 139 [iv. 1965],
    140 [iv. 1938-69].

  GOSSE, EDMUND, _Athenaeum_, January 2 and 9, 1886: p. 73.

  GUTCH, REV. J., _Collectanea Curiosa_, 1781: pp. 368 [i. 94-5], 367, 372,
    373, 374, 376 [ii. 421-4].


  H.

  HAILES, LORD, _Secret Correspondence of Sir Robert Cecil with James VI_,
    ed. Lord Hailes, 1766: pp. 171 [116], 174 [9], 175 [29], 176 [68],
    180 [231], 182 [107], 254 [140-60, 290].

  HAKLUYT, RICHARD, _Voyages, Navigations, Traffics, and Discoveries of
    the English Nation_ (1600). New ed. 1810: pp. 11 [iii. 364], 15 [iii.
    186], 44 [iii. 301-6], 45 [iii. 324-40], 47 [iii. 365], 50 [iii. 366],
    53 [iii. 364], 67 [ii. 169], 84 [ii. 663-70], 119 [iv. 66].

  HALL, BISHOP JOSEPH, _Balm of Gilead_ (1660), _Works_, 1837: p. 279
    [vii. 171].

  HALLAM, HENRY, _Constitutional History of England, Henry VII--George
    II_ (1827), 1850: pp. 183 [i. 354], 199 [i. 353], 204 [i. 354],
    225 [i. 353], 285 [i. 277], 293 [i. 352-3], 303 [i. 354].

  -- _Introduction to the Literature of Europe_ (1838-1839), 1847: pp. 79
    [ii. 126], 277 [iii. 149].

  _Hampshire, History of_, by Richard Warner, 1795, Woodward, Wilks, and
    Lockhart (undated) 209 [i. 298-302], Murray's _Handbook_, 5th ed.
    1898: p. 209 [98-9].

  HANNAH, ARCHDEACON JOHN, _The Courtly Poets, from Raleigh to
    Montrose_, 1870: pp. 56 [56], 73 [Introd. xiv-xv], 367 [52-3].

  HARINGTON, SIR JOHN (_Nugae Antiquae_, 1804). _A Brief State of the
    Church of England_: pp. 91 [ii. 127], 101 [ii. 125], 102 [ii. 152], 143
    [ii. 129], 164 [ii. 125], 194 [ii. 126], 237 [ii. 99], 273 [ii. 127].

  -- _Letters_: pp. 90 [i. 348-53], 93 [i. 362], 156 [i. 342], 171 [ibid.],
    205 [i. 343], 293 [i. 348-53].

  HARIOT (HARRIOT, HERIOTT, or HERIOT), THOMAS, _A Briefe and True
    Report of the new found Land of Virginia_, February, 1587; published,
    London, 1588, and in Latin, by Theodore Bry at Frankfort, 1590;
    reprinted from the London edition by Hakluyt (iii. 324-40), 1600;
    new ed. of Hakluyt, 1810: pp. 45, 49.

  _Harleian MSS._, British Museum: pp. 20 [6993, fol. 5], 21 [1644, fol.
    77], 56 [6994, fol. 2], 181 [11402, fol. 88], 210, 218 [xxxix. ff. 277
    _et seq._], 288 [xxxix. fol. 359], 290 [xxxix. ff. 350-1], 329 [4761,
    ff. 23-5], 333 [7002, fol. 410].

  _Harleian Miscellany_ (from library of Edward, second Earl of Oxford),
    (1st ed. William Oldys, 1744-1753; 2nd ed. the late William
    Oldys and Thomas Park, 1808-1813): pp. 381 [iv. 62], 382 [iv. 63],
    387 [iii. 63-8].

  _Hatfield Papers_, Hatfield House: pp. 18, 102, 103, 107, 111, 112, 119,
    120, 124, 126, 141, 156, 160, 164, 165, 170, 171, 174, 178, 181, 194,
    201, 203, 232, 233, 242, 244, 246, 247, 249, 260, 261, 334.

  HAWLES, SIR JOHN, _The Magistracy and Government of England
    Vindicated_, 1689: pp. 186, 224 [35].

  HEARNE, THOMAS, _Appendix to Preface to Chronic. Walteri Hemingford,
    Edw I, II, and III_, 1731: pp. 372, 374 [i. 181].

  HENNESSY, SIR JOHN POPE, _Sir Walter Ralegh in Ireland_, 1883: pp.
    70 [1-3], 162 [75-9], 272 [142-3].

  HEYLIN, REV. PETER, D.D.,'Observation upon some particular persons
    and passages in a Book intitled _A Compleat History of the Lives and
    Reigns of Queen Mary and King James_, By a Lover of the Truth,
    1656' (ascribed to Carew Ralegh, but queried in British Museum
    Catalogue as by Peter Heylin): pp. 243, 254, 281.

  _Historical Account of Sir Walter Raleigh's Voyages and Adventures_,
    1719: p. 7.

  '_Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland_ (1st ed. by
    Raphael Holinshed, 1577; 2nd ed. by Raphael Holinshed, William
    Harrison, and others, newlie augmented and continued to the yeare 1586
    by John Hooker, alias Vowell, Gent.'--the 'supplie' by Hooker, vol.
    vi, 323-461--1586-1587). Reprint 1807 (to which I refer): pp. 4 [iii.
    942], 15 [vi. 107], 16 [vi. 437], 18 [vi. 441-5], 38 [vi. 183], 45
    [iv. 598-9].

  HOOKER, JOHN, alias VOWELL. See Holinshed. Also, _Epistle Dedicatory_,
    prefixed to his translation of _The Irish Histories of Giraldus
    Cambrensis_, and his _Continuation of the Chronicles of Ireland_, in
    ii. Holinshed, ed. 1587. Reprint 1807, vol. vi, pp. 101-110: pp. 1
    [vi. 105-6], 3 [vi. 105], 53 [vi. 107].

  HOWELL, THOMAS BAYLY (Cobbett's _Complete Collection of State Trials_,
    edited by Thomas Bayly Howell, 1809-1815; and by Thomas Jones
    Howell, 1815-1826): pp. 174 [ii. 48], 228 [ii. 48], 230 [ii. 47-51],
    237 [ii. 50], 260 [ii. 950-1].

  HOWELL (or HOWEL), JAMES, _Epistolae Ho-Elianae_ (1645-1655), 7th ed.
    1705: pp. 49 [404], 302 [371], 303 [ibid.], 305 [369], 327 [370].

  HUMBOLDT, F.H. ALEXANDER VON, _Personal Narrative of Travels_
    (1799-1804). Translated by Helen Maria Williams, 2nd ed. 1827:
    p. 115 [ii. 439, 446].

  HUME, DAVID, _History of England_ (1754-1761), new ed. 1848: pp. 120
    [iv. 123], 184 [iv. 225], 225 [iv. 226].

  HUTCHINS, JOHN, _History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset_,
    3rd ed. 1870: pp. 49 [iv. 279], 266 [iv. 276].

  HUTCHINSON, MRS. LUCY, _Life of Colonel Hutchinson_ (1806), 3rd ed.
    1810: pp. 247 [ii. 322], 347 [i. 20], 348 [i. 22, 274].


  I.

  _Irish Correspondence, Eliz._ (Record Office): pp. 19 [lxxx. § 82], 20
    [lxxxiii. § 16].

  IZACKE, RICHARD, _Remarkable Antiquities of the City of Exeter_ (1677),
    enlarged by Samuel Izacke, 1724: p. 6 [147].


  J.

  JARDINE, DAVID, _Criminal Trials_ (Library of Entertaining Knowledge),
    1832: pp. 152 [i. 507], 214 [i. 514-5], 218 [i. 446], 224 [i. 513-4],
    303 [i. 518-9].

  JONSON, BEN, _Works_, ed. William Gifford (1816), 1860: p. 274 [701].


  K.

  KING, CAPTAIN SAMUEL, _Narrative of Sir Walter Ralegh's Motives and
    Opportunities for conveying himself out of the Kingdom, with the
    Manner in which he was betrayed_, MS. 1618. (Cited by Oldys in
    _Life_; and stated by E. Edwards to be in the British Museum; but not
    discoverable there by Spedding): pp. 333-342.

  KINGSLEY, REV. CHARLES, _Miscellanies_, 1859: pp. 151 [i. 65], 204
    [i. 72], 300 [i. 80], 328 [i. 104], 388 [i. 106].

  KNIGHT, CHARLES, _London_, 1842: p. 104 [ii. 175-6].


  L.

  LAING, DAVID (viii. _MSS. Hawthornden_, Antiqu. Society of Scotland;
    ii, _Drummond Miscel._): p. 367 [iv. 236-8].

  _Lansdowne MSS._, Brit. Mus.: pp. 1 [clx. fol. 311], 97 [xx. fol. 88], 99
    [lxx. fol. 210], 361 [cxlii. ff. 412, &c.].

  LAUDONNIÈRE, RENÉ DE, _L'Histoire notable de la Floride_, Paris, 1586.
    (Only six copies known to be extant): p. 43.

  _Leicester's Commonwealth._ See Parsons.

  LINGARD, REV. DR. JOHN, _History of England_ (1819-1830), 6th ed.
    1855: pp. 192 [vi. 208-9], 227 [viii. 131].

  _Lismore Papers._ Notes and Diaries of Sir Richard Boyle, first Earl of
    Cork, ed. Dr. Alexander B. Grosart. First Series, 1886: pp. 95 [v.
    242], 103 [i. 289]; Second Series, 1887: pp. 163 [ii. 157], 299 [ii.
    81-2], 314 [i. 78, and ii. 85, 159], 315 [ii. 38-57], 382 [ii.
    157-60].

  LLOYD, DAVID, _State Worthies_, 1766: pp. 55 [i. 564], 270 [i. 565], 328
    [ii. 83-4].

  LODGE, EDMUND, _Portraits of Illustrious Personages_, 1824: p. 381
    [ii. Portrait 12].

  _Loseley Manuscripts, Henry VIII--James I_, ed. A.J. Kempe, 1835:
    pp. 295 [377-8], 298 [378-9].

  LYSONS, REV. DANIEL, _Environs of London_ (1792-96), 2nd ed. 1811:
    p. 105 [ii. Part II, 481].


  M.

  MANNING, REV. OWEN, and WILLIAM BRAY, _History and Antiquities of
    the County of Surrey_, 1814: pp. 49 [ii. 527], 105 [iii. Append. 152],
    373 [ii. 527].

  MARÊTS, COMTE DES, _Despatches_, MSS. 1616-1617, Bibliothèque Nationale,
    Paris: pp. 306 [ii. No. 420], 307 [ii].

  MATTHEW, SIR TOBY, _Collection of Letters_, 1660: pp. 189 [181], 199
    [285], 219 [285], 229 [279], 237 [285].

  _Middlesex County Records_, ed. John Cordy Jeaffreson, 1886: pp. 13 [i.
    110-11], 40 [i. 149].

  MONSON, SIR WILLIAM, _Narrative of the Principal Naval Expeditions
    of English Fleets_, 1588-1603 (_MSS. Cotton._ Titus, B. viii, ff. 127
    et seq. Brit. Mus.). Printed by Sir Henry Ellis in xxxiv.
    _Archaeologia_, 296-349, as by an anonymous writer 'closely connected
    with Sir William Monson, if he was not Sir William himself'; and as
    _Sir William Monson's Naval Tracts_, in iii. Churchill's _Collection
    of Voyages and Travels_, 3rd ed. 1745, pp. 147-508: pp. 71 [iii. 164],
    99 [iii. 165], 125 [iii. 167], 127 [iii. 169], 129 [iii. 170], 131
    [iii. 172], 136 [iii. 173], 138 [iii. 173, but cf. xxxiv. Archaeol.
    324].

  MOORE, REV. THOMAS, _History of Devonshire_, 1829: p. 6.


  N.

  NAPIER, MACVEY, _Lord Bacon and Sir Waller Raleigh_, 1853: pp. 208
      [223], 270 [206].

  NAUNTON, SIR ROBERT, _Fragmenta Regalia_, or, _Observations on the late
    Queen Elizabeth, her Times and Favourites_ (1641); reprinted _Harl.
    Miscel._ ii. 81-108: pp. 16 [ii. 100], 22 [ii. 100], 35 [ii. 101], 109
    [ii. 100].

  _Newes of Sir Walter Rauleigh from the River of Caliana._ At the Bell
    without Newgate, 1618: p. 317.

  NICOLAS, SIR NICOLAS HARRIS, _Life and Times of Sir Christopher
    Hatton_, 1846: pp. 57 [323], 60 [415].

  _Notes and Queries_, Second Series, vol. viii, pp. 64 [107], 247 [107];
    Third Series, vol. v, pp. 16 [351], 21 [351]; Fourth Series, vol. v, p.
    299 [91], and vol. ix, p. 333 [239]; Fifth Series, vol. viii, p. 5
    [515]. See also Collier.


  O.

  _Observation upon a Book_, &c. See Heylin.

  OLDYS, WILLIAM, _Life of Sir Walter Ralegh_ (1735); new ed. prefixed
    to Oxford edition of Ralegh's _Works_, 1829: pp. 12 [i. 23], 55 [i.
    115], 260 [i. 416], 265 [i. 372, 415, 447], 266 [i. 413, 415], 267 [i.
    447], 268 [i. 441-2], 295 [i. 468], 299 [i. 472-3], 301 [i. 479], 375
    [i 563].

  -- Manuscript notes to Gerard Langbaine's _Account of the English
    Dramatic Poets_, 1691, in Brit. Mus. copy of Langbaine: p. 301
    [ii. 612].

  OSBORN, FRANCIS, _Traditional Memoirs on the Reign of King James_
    (1658). Reprinted in _Secret History of James I_, 1811: pp. 180 [379],
    230 [384], 258 [413], 280 [387], 296 [382], 368 [382].

  OVERBURY, SIR THOMAS, _Trial of Sir Walter Ralegh; MSS. Cotton._
    Titus, C. 7, Brit. Mus.; _MSS. Harleian_, xxxix; ii. _Somers Collect._:
    pp. 219, 221 [ii. 408-20].

  _Oxford, Register of the University of_, ed. Rev. Andrew Clark,
    1887-1889: pp. 8 [ii. Part II, 40], 300 [ii. Part II, 297], 381 [ii.
    Part II. 386].


  P.

  PARSONS (or PERSONS), REV. ROBERT (alias R. Doleman the Jesuit), _Per
    D. Andraeam Philopatrum ad idem_ (i.e. _Elizabethae Reginae Edictum_,
    Nov. 29, 1592) _Responsio_, Lyons, 1592: p. 106.

  -- _Leicester's Commonwealth_, 'by Robert Parsons, Jesuite, London, 1641'
    (according to Lowndes, and the _Dictionary of National Biography_,
    falsely attributed to him. Reprinted IV. _Harleian Miscellany_,
    576-583. Originally printed abroad as early as 1584): p. 33.

  _Physicians, Roll of Royal College of_, ed. William Munk, M.D.; 2nd ed.
    1878: p. 328 [i. 166].

  PINKERTON, JOHN, _Letters of Literature, by Robert Heron_, 1785:
    p. 283 [213-16].

  POLE, SIR WILLIAM, '_Collections towards a Description of the County of
    Devon_ (made by or before 1635). Now first printed by Sir J.W.
    de la Pole,' 1791: pp. 1 [119], 101 [162-3].

  POLWHELE, REV. RICHARD, _History of Devonshire_, 1797: pp. 1 [i. 267],
    2 [ii. 219], 101 [ii. 219].

  POPE, ALEXANDER, _Works_, ed. William Roscoe, 1824: pp. 164 [viii.
    411-18], 278 [vi. 273].

  PRESTON, THOMAS, _Yeomen of the Guard_, 1485-1885. 1886: pp. 35 [11],
    108 [11].

  PRINCE, REV. JOHN, _The Worthies of Devon_ (1710), 2nd ed. 1810:
    p. 2.

  _Privy Council, 'Acts of the Privy Council of England_; New Series
    (vols. i-xvi), 1542-1580,' ed. John Roche Dasent, 1890-1897:
    pp. 13 [xi. 384, 388-9, 421], 15 [xi. 143].

  _Privy Council Register, Elizabeth--James I_: pp. 51 [ii. 57], 331
    [iii. 175], 332 [iii. 233], 335 [iii. 474-5], 351 [iii. 510-12].

  PURCHAS, REV. SAMUEL, _Purchas his Pilgrimes_ (or _Purchas his
    Pilgrimage_), 1613-1625: pp. 136, 138, 139, 140, 291 [iv. 1938-1969,
    and 1267].

  PUTTENHAM, GEORGE, _The Arte of English Poesie_ (1589). Reprinted
    1811: p. 77 [ii. 236].


  R.

  RALEGH, SIR WALTER, _The Works of Sir Walter Ralegh, Kt., now
    first collected, with the Lives by Oldys and Birch_. Oxford University
    Press, 1829.

  -- _Apology for his Voyage to Guiana_, first printed 1650, and generally
    annexed to his _Select Essays_, also published in 1650. Reprinted with
    the same essays, 1667. In the Oxford ed. of _Works_, viii. 479-506:
    pp. 320, 321, 324. 336.

  -- _Discourse of War in General_: p. 11 [viii. 279].

  -- _Discourse touching a War with Spain_: p. 17 [viii. 304-5].

  -- _Instructions to his Son, and to Posterity_: pp. 167 [viii. 563], 187
    [viii. 558].

  -- _Letters_: pp. 20, 42, 56, 87, 88, 92-3, 95, 103, 106, 107, 151-2,
    183, 233, 237-8, 257, 262, 293, 317, 324, 329, 349-50 [viii. 627-66].

  -- _Match between the Lady Elizabeth and the Prince of Piedmont_:
    p. 256 [viii. 224-36].

  -- _Marriage between Prince Henry and a Daughter of Savoy_: p. 256 [viii.
    237-52].

  -- _Maxims of State_: p. 286 [viii. 2].

  -- _Orders to Commanders_: p. 313 [viii. 682-8].

  -- _Poems_: pp. 12, 56, 72-81, 102, 103, 258 [viii. 697-736].

  -- _Prerogative of Parliaments_: pp. 148 [viii. 199], 159 [viii. 187],
     178 [viii. 178], 259 [viii. 179], 285 [viii. 154], 286 [viii. 213].

  -- _Relation of Cadiz Action_: pp. 127 [viii. 668], 131 [viii. 674].

  -- _Report of the Truth of the Fight about the Isle of Azores_ (not in
    _Works_), 1591. See Hakluyt.

  -- _History of the World_: pp. 10 [vi. 211], 35 [vii. 789], 50 [iv.
    684], 52 [v. 318], 65 [vi. 101-2], 66 [vi. 81-2], 85 [vi. 113-4], 134
    [vii. 789-90], 137 [vi. 103-5], 162 [ii. 151-2], 167 [vi. 458-63], 204
    [v. 210], 208 [ii. Preface, 2], 270 [vi. 83], 396 [vii. 900].

  -- _Lives_, by Oldys and Birch. See Oldys and Birch.

  -- CAREW, _Observation upon Sanderson's History_. See Heylin.

  _Record Office MSS._: pp. 343 [Dom. Cor. James I, xcviii. § 79], 357
    [Dom. Cor. James I, xcix. § 74], 373 [Dom. Cor. James I, Nov. 7,
    1618], 383 [Dom. Cor. James I, Oct. 5, 1619], 385 [Dom. Cor.
    James I, ciii. §§ 76 and 21].

  _Remains of Sir Walter Raleigh_, 1651 and 1656-1657. Lowndes dates
    1660. (The contents of this publication--treatises and letters--are
    incorporated in the Oxford 1829 edition of the _Works_): pp. 257,
    294, 317.

  ROS, LIEUT.-GEN. LORD DE, _Memorials of the Tower of London_ (1866),
    new ed. 1867: pp. 248 [183, 193], 250 [168].

  ROSSETTI, DANTE GABRIEL (in _Sonnets of Three Centuries_, ed. T.H.
    Caine, 1883): p. 265 [170].

  RUSHWORTH, JOHN, _Historical Collections of Private Passages of State_
    (1659-1701). Abridged and improved, 1703: pp. 186 [i. 9], 386 [i. 9].


  S.

  ST. JOHN, JAMES AUGUSTUS, _Life of Sir Walter Raleigh_, 1868: p. 360
    [ii. 339].

  SANDERSON, SIR WILLIAM, _A Compleat History of the Lives and Reigns
    of Queen Mary and King James_, 1656. 'Answer to a scurrilous
    pamphlet entitled _Observations upon a Complete History_,' &c., 1656:
    pp. 210 [284], 297 [459-60].

  SCHOMBURGK, SIR ROBERT H., _Discovery of the Empire of Guiana in
    the year 1595, by Sir Walter Ralegh_, ed. Sir R.H. Schomburgk
    (Hakluyt Society), 1848: pp. 110 [25-6], 113 [41], 119 [62], 121
    [56-64], 307 [173], 321 [211].

  SHIRLEY (JOHN, or BENJAMIN, or JAMES), _Life of the Valiant and
    Learned Sir Walter Ralegh, Kt._, 1677: pp. 258 [179], 273.

  SIDNEY, HON. ALGERNON, _Discourses Concerning Government_ (1698),
    1750: pp. 274 [ii. 274], 285 [ibid.].

  SMITH, CHARLES, M.D., _County and City of Cork_, 1774: pp. 38 [i. 52-6],
    49 [i. 120].

  SOMERS, _Collection of Tracts from public and private Libraries,
    particularly that of Lord Somers_, 2nd ed. Walter Scott, 1809: pp. 219
    [ii. 408-20], 376 [ii. 439-42], 382 [ii. 452-6], 387 [ii. 445-51], 389
    [ii. 422-37].

  SOUTHEY, ROBERT, _The British Admirals_ (Lardner's _Cabinet
    Cyclopaedia_), 1837: pp. 11 [iv. 210], 55 [iv. 242], 113 [iv. 310].

  SPEDDING, JAMES. See Francis Bacon.

  SPENCE, REV. JOSEPH, D.D., _Observations, Anecdotes, and Characters of
    Books and Men_, ed. S.W. Singer (1820), 2nd ed. 1858: p. 278 [235].

  SPENSER, EDMUND, _A View of the State of Ireland, in Ancient Irish
    Histories_, Dublin (1633, ed. Sir James Ware), 1809: p. 17 [i. 168-9].

  STAUNDFORD (STAUNFORD, or STANFORD), MR. JUSTICE SIR WILLIAM,
    _Les Plees del Coron_, London (1557); 1560: p. 214. See Jardine.

  STEELE, SIR RICHARD, _The Englishman_, 1714: p. 269 [Aug. 11, 1611].

  STEWART, DUGALD, _Collected Works_, ed. Sir William Hamilton, 1854-1860.
    _A Dissertation_, Part First: p. 398 [i. 78].

  -- _Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind_: p. 398 [iii. 376].

  STOW, JOHN, _A Survey of London and Westminster_ (1598), 6th ed.
    1754-1755: P. 371 [ii. 634].

  -- _Annales, or a Generall Chronicle of England_ (1580), continued by
    Edmond Howes (1615), 1631: p. 146 [788].

  STRYPE, REV. JOHN, _Annals of the Reformation--Reign of Elizabeth--with
    Appendix of original State Papers_ (1709-31), new ed. 1824:
    pp. 55 [iv. 28-41], 97 [iv. 178], 98 [iv. 177], 99 [iv. 181].

  STUKELY (or STUCLEY), SIR LEWIS, _Apology_ (_MSS. Ashmolean_, Bodleian
    Library, Oxford; copy in Stukely's own hand), Aug. 10, 1618:
    p. 386. [Printed in Ralegh's _Works_, viii. 783-5.]

  -- _Humble Petition and Information of Sir Lewis Stukely_, &c., Nov. 26,
    1618; _Somers Collection_, 445-451; _Harleian Miscellany_, 63-68;
    _Fortescue Papers_, 67: p. 387.

  SULLY, MAXIMILIEN DE BETHUNE, DUC DE, _Mémoires_ (1634), nouvelle
    edition, Londres, 1768: pp. 156 [iv. 37], 184 [iv. 340], 254 [iv. 295].

  SYDNEY, SIR HENRY, '_Letters and Memorials of State (Queen
    Mary--Oliver)_, written and collected by Sir Henry Sydney,' ed. from
    originals at Penshurst, Arthur Collins, 1746: pp. 121 [i. 377], 132
    [ii. 24], 133 [ii. 42, 55], 144 [ii. 82, 90], 146 [ii. 96, 117-18],
    148 [ii. 178, 139], 151 [ii. 168-9], 160 [ii. 210].


  T.

  _Tanner MSS._ (Archbishop Sancroft's, at Bodleian): pp. 271 [xxv.
    No. 10, fol. 12], 304 [lxxiii. § 160], 368 [ccxcix. fol. 87].

  _Tenison MSS., Lambeth Palace Library Catalogue_: p. 69 [i. 160].

  THORESBY, RALPH, _Ducatus Leodensis_, or _The Topography of Leeds_
    (Musaeum Thoresbyanum), 1715: p. 49 [485].

  TIMBS, JOHN, _Curiosities of London_, 1855: p. 248 [796].

  TOWNSHEND, HEYWOOD, _Four Last Parliaments of Queen Elizabeth_,
    1680: p. 159 [232, 235].

  _Tubus Historicus_, or _Historical Perspective_ (described by the
    publisher, T. Harper, as 'Model to the Heroic Work, _The History of the
    World_, by Sir Walter Raleigh'), 1631: p. 282.

  TYTLER, PATRICK FRASER, _Life of Sir Walter Raleigh_, 1833: p. 198 [438].


  U.

  UDAL, REV. JOHN, _Demonstration of the Truth of that Discipline which
    Christ hath prescribed in his Worde for the Gouernment of his Church_,
    1588: p. 55.


  V.

  VERE, MARSHAL SIR FRANCIS, _The Commentaries of Sir Francis Vere,
    written by Himself_. Published from his manuscript by Dr. William
    Dillingham, 1657. Reprinted, VII. English Garner, ed. Edward Arber,
    1883, pp. 57-184: pp. 134 [vii. 94], 138 [vii. 99].


  W.

  WALTON, IZAAK, _The Complete Angler_ (1653), ed. Sir Harris Nicolas,
    1875: pp. 78 [78].

  WELLDON, SIR ANTHONY, _Court and Character of King James the First_
    (1651), reprinted in _Secret History of the Court of James I_, 1811:
    pp. 217 [346], 255 [350-1].

  _Wharton MSS._ (Bodleian, Oxford): pp. 221 [vol. lxxx], 230 [lxxx.
    ff. 440, &c.].

  WHEATLEY, H.B., _London Past and Present_ (based on Peter Cunningham's
    _Handbook of London_), 1891: pp. 104 [i. 540-2], 248 [iii. 76], 371
    [ii. 88-9].

  WHITE, WALTER, _A Londoner's Walk to the Land's End_, 1855: p. 7
    [98-100].

  WINSTANLEY, WILLIAM, _English Worthies_, 1660: p. 282 [256-7].

  WINWOOD, SIR RALPH, _Memorials of Affairs of State in the Reigns of
    Queen Elizabeth and King James I_ (Collection of Papers belonging
    to him), ed. Edmund Sawyer, 1725: pp. 156 [i. 215, 231], 205 [ii. 8],
    237 [ii. 11].

  WOTTON, SIR HENRY, _Of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, and George
    Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, Some Observations by way of Parallel_,
    1641 (in _Reliquiae Wottonianae_, 4th ed. 1685): pp. 23 [162], 40
    [175], 56 [162], 139 [180], 145 [190].

  WOOD, ANTHONY À, _Athenae Oxonienses_, to which are added _The Fasti_
    (1691-1692), ed. Rev. Philip Bliss, 1815: pp. 8 [ii. 235], 12 [ibid.],
    54 [ii. 299-303], 89 [ii. 237], 270 [ii. 242], 273 [iii. 18], 274 [ii.
    626], 300 [iii. 169], 301 [ii. 612], 382 [ii. 244-5].



CORRIGENDA

  P. 5, l. 12, _for_ 'him. It has not been' _read_ 'his career. Until
    lately it had not even.'

  P. 5, ll. 22-26, _for_ 'In fact no trace ... face of Ralegh's words'
    _read_ 'But a few years ago an entry was discovered in the Registers
    of St. Mary Major, Exeter, of the burial in that church on February
    23, 1581, of "Mr. Walter Rawlye, gentelman." Katherine Ralegh, as
    appears from her will, found in 1895, died in 1594.'

  P. 89, l. 10, _omit_ 'published in 1615.'

  P. 90, l. 2 from bottom, _omit_ 'in 1615 by Ralegh and his wife.'

  P. 102, l. 28, _for_ 'absence of the detail of private life' _read_
    'barrenness in Oldys's biography of the detail of private life.'

  P. 209, l. 7, _for_ 'Wolvesey Castle, the old episcopal palace, now a
    ruin' _read_ 'the great Hall of the Castle.'

  P. 233, l. 20, _for_ 'Send me my life' _read_ 'Lend me my life.'

  P. 248, l. 4, _omit_ 'and there remained all the years of his
    imprisonment.'

  P. 248, l. 8, _for_ 'died on Tower Hill' _read_ 'was buried in St.
    Peter's Chapel in the Tower.'

  P. 256, l. 14, _for_ 'the Duke' _read_ 'the Dukes.'

  P. 258, l. 8 from bottom, 'Historical scavengers, Aubrey and Osborn,'
    _omit_ 'Aubrey and Osborn.'

  P. 269, l. 11, _for_ 'against the phrase' _read_ 'against misuse of
    the phrase.'

  P. 285, l. 12, _for_ 'a statement in the Dialogue' _read_ 'a
    statement in the Preface to the History.'

  P. 317, l. 2, _for_ 'November 17' _read_ 'November 14, 1617.'

  P. 324, l. 10 from bottom, _for_ '"I know"--or, according to the
    Apology, "I know not"' _read_ '"I know," according to the
    Apology--or, according to another account, "I know not."'

  P. 335, ll. 11-14, _omit_ sentence 'Mr.... mob,' which, entirely in
    error, attributes to Dr. Gardiner the opinion of another writer.

  P. 373, l. 9 from bottom, _for_ 'God hold me and' _read_ 'God hold me
    in.'

  P. 398, l. 22, _omit_ 'and a fund of materials not yet properly
    manufactured.'



_SIR WALTER RALEGH._



CHAPTER I.

GENEALOGY.


The Raleghs were an old Devonshire family, once wealthy and
distinguished. At one period five knightly branches of the house
flourished simultaneously in the county. In the reign of Henry III a
Ralegh had been Justiciary. There were genealogists who, though others
doubted, traced the stock to the Plantagenets through an intermarriage
with the Clares. The Clare arms have been found quartered with those of
Ralegh on a Ralegh pew in East Budleigh church. The family had held
Smallridge, near Axminster, from before the Conquest. Since the reign of
Edward III it had been seated on the edge of Dartmoor, at Fardell. There
it built a picturesque mansion and chapel. The Raleghs of Fardell were,
writes Polwhele, 'esteemed ancient gentlemen.' But the rapacious lawyers
of Henry VII had discovered some occasion against Wimund Ralegh, the
head of the family in their day. They thought him worth the levy of a
heavy fine for misprision of treason; and he had to sell Smallridge.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's Parents._]

[Sidenote: _Their Character._]

Wimund married into the Grenville family; and in 1497 his son and heir,
Walter, was born. Before the boy attained majority the father died. As
Dr. Brushfield, a Devon antiquarian, to whose diligence and enthusiasm
all students of the life of Walter Ralegh are indebted, has shown,
Walter Ralegh of Fardell, on the termination of his minority, in 1518,
was possessed, in addition to Fardell, of the manors of Colaton Ralegh,
Wythecombe Ralegh, and Bollams. He may be presumed to have succeeded to
encumbrances likewise. Part of Colaton was sold by him; and he did not
occupy Fardell. As he is known to have owned a bark in the reign of
Mary, it has been supposed that he took to commerce. Whether for the
sake of contiguity to Exeter, then the centre of a large maritime trade,
or for economy, he fixed his residence in East Budleigh parish, on a
farm, which was his for the residue of an eighty years' term. His choice
may have been partly determined by his marriage to Joan, daughter to
John Drake of Exmouth. The Exmouth Drakes were connected with East
Budleigh; and Joan's nephew, Robert Drake, bequeathed charitable funds
in 1628 for the benefit of East Budleigh parish in which he lived. The
dates of Joan's marriage and death are uncertain. It is only known that
the two events occurred between 1518 and 1534. Her tomb is in East
Budleigh church, with an inscription asking prayers for her soul. She
left two sons, George and John. Secondly, Walter married a lady of the
family of Darell or Dorrell, though some genealogists describe her as
Isabel, daughter of de Ponte, a Genoese merchant settled in London. She
left a daughter, Mary, who married Hugh Snedale. On her death, some time
before 1549, Walter married thirdly Katherine, daughter of Sir Philip
Champernoun. She was widow of Otho Gilbert, of Compton and Greenway
Castles, to whom she had borne the three Gilbert brothers, John,
Humphrey, and Adrian. By her marriage to Walter Ralegh of Fardell she
had three more children, Carew, and Walter, 'Sir Walter Ralegh,' with a
daughter, Margaret, described sometimes as older, and sometimes as
younger than Walter.

At the time of Ralegh's birth the family had lost its pristine
splendour. But there has been a tendency to exaggeration of the extent
of the decadence, by way of foil to the merit which retrieved the ruin.
John Hooker, a contemporary Devonshire antiquary, uncle to the author of
_The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity_, described the family as
'consopited,' and as having 'become buried in oblivion, as though it had
never been.' Yet Walter Ralegh of Fardell was still a land-owner of
importance. His third marriage indicates that he had not fallen out of
the society of his class. Not even personally can he and his wife
Katherine be set down as altogether obscure. Holinshed names one of
them, and Foxe names both. Walter seems to have had much of his great
son's restlessness and independence of character, if without the genius
and the gift of mounting. After his first wife's death he energetically
adopted reformed doctrines. In 1549 during the rising in the West his
religious zeal endangered his life.

[Sidenote: _In Peril of Death._]

The story is thus told in Holinshed's _Chronicles_. 'It happened that a
certain gentleman named Walter Ralegh, as he was upon a side holy day
riding from his house to Exeter, overtook an old woman going to the
parish church of Saint Mary Clift, who had a pair of beads in her hands,
and asked her what she did with those beads. And entering into further
speech with her concerning religion which was reformed, and as then by
order of law to be put in execution, he did persuade with her that she
should, as a good Christian woman and an obedient subject, yield
thereunto; saying further that there was a punishment by law appointed
against her, and all such as would not obey and follow the same, and
which would be put in execution upon them. This woman nothing liking,
nor well digesting this matter, went forth to the parish church, where
all the parishioners were then at the service; and being impatient, and
in an agony with the speeches before passed between her and the
gentleman, beginneth to upbraid in the open church very hard and
unseemly speeches concerning religion, saying that she was threatened by
the gentleman, that, except she would leave her beads, and give over
holy bread and holy water, the gentlemen would burn them out of their
houses and spoil them, with many other speeches very false and untrue,
and whereof no talk at all had passed between the gentleman and her.
Notwithstanding, she had not so soon spoken but that she was believed,
and in all haste like a sort of wasps they fling out of the church, and
get them to the town which is not far from thence, and there began to
intrench and fortify the town, sending abroad into the country round
about the news aforesaid, and of their doings in hand, flocking, and
procuring as many as they could to come and to join with them. But
before they came into the town they overtook the gentleman Master Ralegh
aforesaid, and were in such a choler, and so fell in rages with him,
that, if he had not shifted himself into the chapel there, and had been
rescued by certain mariners of Exmouth which came with him, he had been
in great danger of his life, and like to have been murdered. And albeit
he escaped for this time, yet it was not long before he fell into their
hands, and by them was imprisoned and kept in prison in the tower and
church of Saint Sidwell, without the east gate of the city of Exeter,
during the whole time of the commotion, being many times threatened to
be executed to death.' He was not released till the battle of Clyst,
called by Holinshed, Clift, Heath, won on August 4, 1549, by Lords Grey
and Bedford near the scene of his misadventure, followed by a second
victory on the next day, forced the Catholic insurgents to raise the
siege of Exeter, which they had been blockading since July 2.

He was no fair weather theologian. His Protestantism out-lived King
Edward. He sympathized with the demonstration in 1553 against the
Spanish marriage. On the failure of the Devonshire movement his cousin,
Sir Peter Carew, the ringleader at Exeter, is stated in official
depositions to have effected his escape abroad through Walter Ralegh,
whom he 'persuaded to convey him in his bark' to France from Weymouth.
The wording implies active and conscious intervention. The strange
thing is that he should not have been punished for complicity. Later in
the reign of Mary his wife exposed herself to similar peril, and
similarly escaped. Foxe in his _Acts and Monuments_ relates that Agnes
Prest, before she was brought to the stake in 1557 at Southernhay, had
been comforted in Exeter gaol by the visits of 'the wife of Walter
Ralegh, a woman of noble wit, and of good and goodly opinion.'

[Sidenote: _Death and Burial._]

Unless that Walter was churchwarden of East Budleigh in 1561, and that a
conveyance by him of the Sidmouth Manor fish tithes proves him to have been
alive in April, 1578, nothing more is known of him. It has not been
ascertained when he and Katherine died, though they are believed to have
been dead in 1584. The interest in the East Budleigh farm had by that time
run out; and it is surmised they had removed into Exeter, if they had not
previously possessed a residence there, perhaps by the Palace Gate. On the
authority of a request by their son in 1603 to be buried, if not at
Sherborne, beside them in 'Exeter Church,' it has been concluded that they
were interred in the Cathedral. A monument erected to Katherine's son by
her first marriage, Sir John Gilbert, was long accepted as theirs. In fact
no trace of their burial in any Exeter church has been found. The present
inclination of local archæologists seems to be to assume that they were not
buried at Exeter at all. It is hard to assent in the face of Ralegh's
words. At all events, nothing else of any kind is remembered of the pair;
or could reasonably be expected to have been remembered. History has told
much more of them than of most country gentlemen and their wives.



CHAPTER II.

IN SEARCH OF A CAREER (1552-1581).


[Sidenote: _Ralegh's Birthplace._]

Walter, the second son by the third marriage of Walter Ralegh of Fardell
and Hayes, was born in the reign of Edward VI, it has been supposed, in
1552. The exact date is not beyond doubt; for the registration of
baptisms at East Budleigh was not begun till two or three years later.
If the inscription on the National Portrait Gallery picture, '1588,
aetatis suae 34,' and that on Zucchero's in the Dublin Gallery, 'aet.
44, 1598,' be correct, his birth must have been not in 1552, but about
1554. A similar, or nearly similar, inference may be drawn from the
statement, on a miniature of him at Belvoir Castle, of his age as
sixty-five in 1618. One local writer, R. Izacke, has claimed the honour
of his birthplace for a house in Exeter, adjoining the Palace-gate.
Probably the rumour points, as I have intimated, to its occupation at
some time or other by his parents. Another author asserts that he was
born at Fardell. His own testimony, 'being born in that house,' is
decisive in favour of his father's Budleigh home, a lonely, one-storied,
thatched, late Tudor farmhouse, not a manor-house, of moderate size,
with gabled wings, and a projecting central porch. Tradition has marked
out the particular room in which he was born, as on the upper floor at
the west end, facing southwards. The house, which is a mile west of East
Budleigh church, and six from Exmouth, with the exception of some change
at the end of the east wing, probably retains its original character. It
was restored in 1627 by 'R.D.' For a century past it has been
denominated Hayes Barton, or simply Hayes. Previously it had been
called, after successive landlords, Poerhayes or Power's Hayes, and
Dukes-hayes. The hollow in which it lies, among low hills, is on the
verge of a tract of moorland; and Hayes Wood rises close at hand.
Through the oak wood to Budleigh Salterton Bay is two miles and a half.

[Sidenote: _At Oxford._]

In this quiet spot Ralegh spent his boyhood, in circumstances not very
unlike those of more eminent county families with which his was
connected. During the earlier half of the sixteenth century the majority
of the gentry were continually growing poorer, and a minority were
growing richer. The Raleghs, it is plain, had not met with the good
fortune of the Russells, and others of their rural peers. They were
declining, if hardly in the degree represented subsequently. But an
ampler share of prosperity could not have made much difference in young
Walter's prospects or training. Three brothers were all before him in
the succession to the patrimony. His birthright could not have comprised
more than the cadet's prescriptive portion of necessity and brains. It
is unfair to the natural curiosity of posterity that his extraordinary
endowments in the second respect are not traceable in anecdotes of his
childhood. Naturally a local legend reports him to have loved the
society of adventurous mariners. Sir John Millais in his 'Boyhood of
Ralegh,' which was painted at Budleigh Salterton, has embodied it. In a
narrative printed a century after his death a general assertion of his
fondness for books of voyages occurs. Otherwise his boyish tastes and
habits are wholly unknown. The name of his school has not been
preserved. The first accepted fact after his birth is his entrance, as a
commoner, into Oriel College, of which, says Anthony à Wood, his cousin,
C. Champernoun, was a member. According to a statement by Thomas Fuller,
of which there is no corroboration either in the books of Christ Church,
or elsewhere, he belonged also to Christ Church, before or after his
admission into Oriel. For any details of his academical course, as for
the dates of its commencement and close, posterity is indebted to Wood,
who remarks that he went up to Oriel 'in 1568, or thereabouts,' and,
'after he had spent about three years in that house, left the University
without a degree.' Wood declares that 'his natural parts being strangely
advanced by academical learning, under the care of an excellent tutor,
he became the ornament of the juniors, and was worthily esteemed a
proficient in oratory and philosophy.' It is exceedingly likely, Ralegh
being Ralegh. At the same time, particulars would have been welcome.

[Sidenote: _Chronological difficulties._]

Lord Bacon has enshrined in his Apophthegms an example of Ralegh's wit
at Oxford. A cowardly fellow happened to be a very good archer. Having
been grossly abused by another, he bemoaned himself to Ralegh, and asked
what he should do to repair the wrong that had been offered him. 'Why,
challenge him,' answered Ralegh, 'to a match of shooting.' If the
sarcasm is not very keen its preservation in academical memory implies
an impression of distinction in its author. Perhaps as much may be said
for another anecdote of his University career, for which John Aubrey
solemnly vouches, that he borrowed a gown at Oxford of one T. Child, and
never restored it. Bacon's anecdote, in any case, being contemporary
testimony, answers the useful purpose of confirming the reality of
Ralegh's membership of the University, which otherwise would have to be
believed on the faith simply of vague tradition, and of Wood's hasty
assertions. No evidence indeed of Ralegh's connection with Oxford has
ever been discovered in the College or University papers and books,
beyond the entry, a little below the name of C. Champernoun, of 'W.
Rawley,' in the list of members of Oriel, dated 1572. It is printed in
Mr. Andrew Clark's valuable _Oxford Register_. This W. Rawley must have
been, like Champernoun, an undergraduate; for the name has not the
graduate's prefix of 'Mr' or 'Sr.' The presence of the name in the
list, with that of Champernoun, would be known to Wood. He may have
built upon it the whole of his account of the periods both of Ralegh's
admission into Oriel, and his departure after some three years. It would
seem to him reasonable enough that Ralegh should have entered about
1568 at sixteen, and be still in residence three or four years later.
Unfortunately an interlude, put apparently by Wood several years later,
separates 1568 and 1572 in Ralegh's career. His academical course cannot
fill up the gap; and it at once renders the chronology of the _Athenae_
impossible, and that of the Oriel list hard to understand. Ralegh is
known to have been out of England for part, if not the whole, of 1569,
and is believed with good cause to have remained abroad over 1572. There
are ways of explaining the consequent discrepancies. The W. Rawley on
the Oriel list may have been, and probably was, our Walter Ralegh,
retained among the number of undergraduates, though he had ceased to
reside. A century later the name of the Duke of Monmouth, who had
resided for a few months only, was kept on the Corpus books for many
years. Again, to take and revise Wood's reference, Ralegh may well have
entered long before he was sixteen. If, having been, in accordance with
the common belief, born in 1552, he had, like his son Walter, gone up at
fourteen, he would, in 1569, have passed three years at Oxford. But at
all events Wood is mistaken in the assertion that he resided there about
three years from 1568; for in 1569 he certainly was campaigning in
France.

[Sidenote: _In France._]

It happened in this way. His maternal kinsmen, the Champernouns, were
connected by marriage with the Huguenot Comte de Montgomerie. One of
them, Henry, had obtained the leave of Elizabeth to raise a troop of a
hundred mounted gentlemen volunteers for the Protestant side. He
collected them chiefly from the West. Ralegh is said to have been among
those who accepted his invitation; 'admodum adolescens,' writes Camden
in the _Annals_, 'jam primum fatis monstratus.' He must have quitted
Oriel, perhaps in company with C. Champernoun, for the purpose.
Generally it has been supposed that he crossed the Channel with the rest
of the troop. But there is some reason for holding that he reached
France earlier. The contingent entered the Huguenot camp on October 5,
1569, two days after the defeat at Moncontour. Ralegh alludes to himself
in the _History of the World_ as of the beaten army. Praising Count
Lewis of Nassau for his skilful conduct of the Huguenot retreat, he
remarks: 'Of which myself was an eye-witness, and was one of them that
had cause to thank him for it.' The passage proves that he was in the
Huguenot camp after Moncontour. Nothing in the remark is inconsistent
with his earlier arrival, if there be, as there is, evidence to support
it. Elsewhere in the History he says: 'I remember it well, that, when
the Prince of Condé was slain after the battle of Jarnac,' the Huguenots
consoled themselves for his death. Jarnac was fought on March 13, 1669.
If, then, the phrase, 'I remember,' refer to Ralegh's personal
experiences of Huguenot sentiment on the field, he must have joined the
army at least half a year before the retreat after Moncontour. The only
way of avoiding that conclusion is to take the violent course of
supposing that he was recalling French criticisms delivered some time
after the actual event.

[Sidenote: _Ferocities of Civil War._]

A haze of uncertainty shrouds his original advent among the Huguenots.
It lifts for a moment to show him there; and that is all. As soon as he
has ridden within the Huguenot lines the clouds gather once more, and
darkness swallows up his individuality. He tells one anecdote in the
History of the manner in which the Huguenots chased Catholics in the
hills of Languedoc. They tracked the fugitives to caverns half way up
precipitous cliffs. Then they smoked them out with their treasures by
lighted bundles of straw let down by iron chains opposite the mouth.
General Pelissier plagiarised the device, with more murderous details,
in Algeria in 1849. It is a specimen of the brutalities of a conflict,
which its English assistants, though they had countenanced, would not
care to chronicle minutely. To Ralegh's keen sight the struggle would
soon have displayed itself shorn of the glamour of religious enthusiasm.
He regarded it simply as a civil war, by which 'the condition of no
nation,' as he wrote later, 'was ever bettered.' Of one of its prime
authors, Admiral Coligny, he has recorded his belief that he 'advised
the Prince of Condé to side with the Huguenots, not only out of love to
their persuasion, but to gain a party.' English troopers on their return
were not likely to dilate on their exploits at the Court of Elizabeth,
who audaciously disavowed to the French Catholic Court the auxiliaries
she had licensed.

[Sidenote: _In the Netherlands._]

[Sidenote: _The Middle Temple._]

On the authority of an observation of the younger Hakluyt's, that Ralegh
had resided longer in France than he, the period is computed to have
been not less than six years. As he appears to have been in London at
the end of February, 1575, that term would be completed within a
fortnight, if he were present at the battle of Jarnac. The time covered
the massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day, August 24, 1572. But there is no
foundation for the story that he was then in Paris, and was one of the
Englishmen sheltered in Walsingham's house. He had enlisted as a lad of
seventeen. He emerged a man of twenty-three. Of this long and critical
stage in his education we know really nothing, as we know nothing of his
youth at school and college. After he quitted France it would appear
from allusions by several contemporary writers that he served, about
1577-78, in the Netherlands with Sir John Norris's contingent under the
Prince of Orange. Modern enquirers have doubted the fact, on the ground
of evidence that he was in England between 1576 and 1578. The reasoning
is not demonstrative. He may, if a regular combatant, have obtained a
furlough to cross over, and see his family; or, from his English home,
he may have paid a flying visit or visits to his brother, Sir Humphrey
Gilbert, who commanded a regiment of the English auxiliaries. The dates
are not incompatible even with a statement that he fought at the battle
of Rimenant on August 1, 1578, though, had he been present on so famous
an occasion, it would have been more like him to refer somewhere to the
circumstance. But if there is no sufficient ground for questioning the
belief in his participation in the war of the Low Countries, there is
yet less for disputing his residence in England from 1576. His signature
to a family deed, already mentioned, in April, 1578, testifies that in
1578 and in ensuing years he was for a time in Devonshire. Evidence
exists that in 1576, if not earlier, he was living in London. For 1576
itself the proof consists of some commendatory verses by 'Walter Rawely
of the Middle Temple' prefixed to the _Steele Glasse_ by Gascoigne,
published in that year. Upon the description Wood has based a distinct
assertion that Ralegh went from Oxford to the Middle Temple to improve
himself in the intricate knowledge of the municipal laws. Oldys says he
had searched the Registers of the Inn and they yielded no sign of a
Walter Rawely or Ralegh. Moreover, if Ralegh had ever been formally a
law student, it has been argued he could scarcely have solemnly declared
at his trial in 1603 that he had never read a word of law or the
statutes. On the other hand, doubts of the identity of the Rawely of the
poem with Ralegh always involved intrinsic difficulties. Ralegh would
have known Gascoigne through Humphrey Gilbert, with whom Gascoigne
served in Flanders; and there is not a trace of the existence of a
namesake acquainted with Gascoigne, or able to compose the verses. Now,
at any rate, no room for serious dispute remains. A list in two
manuscript volumes of all members of the Middle Temple from the
commencement of the sixteenth century has lately been completed by order
of the Benchers. In it, under the date 1574/5, February 27, appears an
entry 'Walter Rawley, late of Lyons Inn, Gent. Son of Walter R. of
Budleigh, Co. Devon, Esq.' The specification of parentage is useful.
Without it a hypothesis would have been possible, that the traditions
both of Oxford and of the Temple had been concurrently and equally at
fault, and that some inglorious William or Walter had been personating
the future hero alike in 1572 and in 1575. As for Ralegh's assertions in
later years that he had read no law, as large a disclaimer might have
been conscientiously made by many students at Inns of Court beside him.
But it is evident that he intended to follow the profession of the law,
and took the orthodox steps towards initiation into it, having
commenced, as was usual, with admission into an Inn of Chancery, the
bygone little collection of brick tenements in Newcastle-street. There
is no reason to suppose that he was ever called to the Bar.

[Sidenote: _About the Court._]

In the year following the publication of the _Steele Glasse_ he
undoubtedly was living in London, though in a different quarter. William
and Richard Paunsford, two servants of his, as appears from the
Middlesex Registers edited by Mr. Jeaffreson, were in December, 1577,
taken up for defying the watch. They had to be bailed out. In the
recognizance for one Ralegh was described as 'Walter Rawley, Esq. of
Islington,' and in the other as 'Walter Rawley, Esq. de Curia,' that is
of the Court. Young men of good family and ambition were in the habit of
obtaining an introduction to the Court. They used it as a club, though
they might not advance beyond the threshold. Ralegh on his return from
France had pursued the regular course. He sought for opportunities of
advancement where they most abounded; and, while he waited for them, he
enjoyed the pleasures of life. In the use of his leisure he may not
always have been more discreet than his riotous dependents. His wife is
reported to have remarked of a censure upon their elder son's addiction
to equivocal society, that she had heard Ralegh in his youth showed
similar tastes. Aubrey, whom nobody believes and everybody quotes, the
'credulous, maggotty-headed, and sometimes little better than crazed'
antiquarian, as Wood, his debtor for much curious unsifted gossip,
courteously characterizes him, relates how, at a tavern revel, Ralegh
quieted a noisy fellow, named Charles Chester. He sealed up his mouth by
knotting together the beard and moustache. It is on record that in the
February of 1580 he was in trouble for a brawl with Sir Thomas Perrot,
who afterwards married the sister of Lord Essex, Lady Dorothy Devereux.
Ralegh and Perrot were committed by the Council to the Fleet for six
days. The affray is not creditable; but it indicates that Ralegh
associated with courtiers.

[Sidenote: _Maritime adventures._]

The company he kept was not all of Chester's or of Perrot's kind. His
later correspondence proves that at this early period he must have
become known to Walsingham and Burleigh, and have found means for
allying himself with Leicester. He can have been no absolutely obscure
adventurer now, any more than was his family at the time of his birth
the utterly fallen stock it has been the fashion to suppose it. Whence
he derived the resources for the maintenance of an establishment, and
for social extravagances, is not as clear. He may have brought spoil
from France; or, more probably, he had already begun to cultivate the
West country art of privateering. Assistance would be furnished at need
by his helpful half brother, Humphrey, his 'true brother,' as Ralegh
called him. When at last the employment Ralegh desired came, the opening
was made by Gilbert. Gilbert had in 1577 formed a plan for the capture,
without warning, of the foreign ships, especially the Spanish and
Portuguese, which resorted to the Newfoundland coast for the fisheries.
His prizes he proposed to bring into Dutch ports, where they could be
sold. With the proceeds he would have fitted out an expedition
sufficiently strong, he hoped, to conquer the chief Spanish possessions
in America. A main feature of the scheme was that the Queen's name
should not be compromised. The leaders were to represent themselves as
servants of the Prince of Orange. The English Government might, in proof
of good faith, punish any naval officers who had abetted the project.
Mr. St. John, a former biographer of Ralegh, has fancied that Ralegh's
hand can be detected in the design as laid in writing before Elizabeth.
Mr. Spedding is inclined to agree, on account of the extraordinary
resemblance he traces between it and the Guiana expedition of 1617-18.
The parallel is imaginary, as is the supposition that Gilbert's bold and
inventive intellect needed inspiration from any one. But undoubtedly,
had the Queen's wary counsellors given their sanction, Ralegh would have
been among the adventurers. The next year he accepted a command in the
expedition Gilbert was equipping for 'Norimbega,' in search, it was
said, for the North-West passage to Cathay. By a Royal charter Gilbert
had been authorized for six years from 1578 to discover and occupy
heathen territory not actually possessed by any Christian prince or
people. The adventure was retarded. A Seville merchant complained of the
seizure of his cargo of oranges and lemons at Dartmouth by some of Sir
Humphrey's company. At his suit the Privy Council ordered Gilbert and
Ralegh to remain until he should be compensated. The County authorities
were directed to stop the fleet. How the demand was settled, and whether
the embargo were formally taken off, is not recorded. A memorandum in
the Privy Council books stating the imposition of fines upon Ralegh and
several other West countrymen, and their payment in 1579, may perhaps
relate to the injunction, and imply that it was disregarded. At any
rate, before the end of 1578 the fleet sailed, though curtailed in
strength through quarrels among the adventurers. In an encounter with a
Spanish squadron it lost a ship. Ralegh's name is not mentioned in the
narrative in Hakluyt. Hooker, however, speaks of him as engaged in a
dangerous sea-fight wherein 'many of his company were slain.' Battered
and dispirited the expedition returned. From an allusion in Holinshed it
would appear that Ralegh held on his course for a time by himself,
though finally he too was compelled, early in 1579, to turn back through
want of victuals. The year 1579 came and went, and his fortune remained
unmade.

[Sidenote: _In Ireland._]

[Sidenote: _'Thorough.'_]

From Humphrey Gilbert came his second chance of distinction. Sir
Humphrey in 1569-70 had been appointed President of Munster. With many
noble qualities he was unruly. His friends admitted his liability to 'a
little too much warmth and presumption.' He had administered his Irish
province with a vigour somewhat in excess even of the taste of his age.
Consequently, he had been replaced by Sir John Perrot, father of
Ralegh's recent opponent. Sir John acted more leniently to the natives.
The collision between his son and Ralegh may have arisen out of
controversies on the proper policy to be pursued in the island. In any
case to Humphrey Gilbert's favour with the Queen, and to his continuing
interest in Irish affairs, Ralegh owed his regular entrance into the
public service. In 1580 he was commissioned as captain of a hundred
foot-soldiers raised to fight the insurgents of Munster, and their
Spanish and Italian confederates. From July 13, 1580, he drew allowances
in that capacity. The appointment was not lucrative. His pay was four
shillings a day. Sir Robert Naunton, who rose to be Secretary of State
to King James, and was connected with a crisis in Ralegh's fate,
compiled some biographical notes, entitled _Fragmenta Regalia_ on Queen
Elizabeth's favourite counsellors. Fuller describes the work, which was
not published till after the author's death, as a fruit of Naunton's
younger years. Allusions to events which occurred after the death of
James I prove that part or all was composed, or revised, when he had
already risen, and had access to authentic sources of information.
Ralegh's career is one of his themes, though he does not continue it
nearly to its close. He sketches it with a generosity which contrasts
strangely with the subsequent relations of the two men. Of Ralegh's
Irish appointment he speaks as 'not leaving him food and raiment, for it
was ever very poor.' The employment afforded abundance of hard work. He
gathered confidence in himself, if he ever lacked it. An untried, if not
wholly unknown, subordinate, he exhibited the spirit and sense of
responsibility of a viceroy. 'Thorough' was as much his motto as
Stafford's, and he acted upon it from the first. Towards American
Indians he could be gentle and just. His invariable rule with Irishmen
and Anglo-Irishmen of every degree was to crush. A characteristic story
is told of the outset of Ralegh's Irish career. A kerne was caught
carrying a bundle of withies on the outskirts of the English camp.
Ralegh asked their destination. 'To hang up English churls!' 'Well,'
retorted Ralegh, 'they will do for an Irishman;' and the prisoner was
strung up by them accordingly. It is a savage legend which deserves to
be remembered in justice to the audacity of the nameless peasant.
Probably invented to glorify a renowned Englishman's inflexibility, it
illustrates at all events the temper in which the war was waged.
Ferocity to Irishmen was accounted policy and steadfastness. Every
advantage was taken of the superiority of English steel and ordnance.
Writing in 1603 for the information of King James, Ralegh says that,
when he was a Captain in Ireland, a hundred foot and a hundred horse
would have beaten all the force of the strongest provinces, for 'in
those days the Irish had darts.' Towards the end of the Queen's reign
they had bought good English arms, and fought on even terms.

[Sidenote: _The Smerwick Massacre._]

One of his first public acts was to join Sir Warham St. Leger in trying
and executing at Cork in August, 1580, Sir James Fitzgerald, the Earl of
Desmond's brother. Fitzgerald was drawn, hanged, and quartered. His
immediate superior was the Earl of Ormond, the Lieutenant of Munster,
who showed occasional tenderness to his fellow-countrymen. The Lord
Deputy was Lord Grey of Wilton, whose views were generally as stern as
Ralegh's. Edmund Spenser was assistant secretary to Grey, and held as
austere a theory of Irish government. Ralegh in November, 1580, was with
Lord Grey's army. With the assistance of an English fleet under Admiral
Winter it blockaded at Smerwick in Kerry a mixed Spanish and Irish
garrison. On November 10 the garrison capitulated without conditions.
Thereupon Grey sent in Ralegh and Macworth, who had the ward of the day.
They are stated by Hooker, in his continuation of Holinshed, to have
made a great slaughter. Four hundred Spaniards and Italians were put to
the sword. All the Irishmen and several Irish women were hanged. An
Englishman and an Irish priest, who suffered the same doom, had their
legs and arms first broken. Only the foreign officers were held to
ransom. The act was that of the Deputy. Afterwards it was discovered
that the massacre excited general horror through Europe. Attempts were
made to repudiate sympathy with it on the Queen's part. Bacon wrote that
she was much displeased at the slaughter. Her own letters to Grey
comment on the whole proceeding as greatly to her liking. She expresses
discontent only that she had not been left free to kill or spare the
officers at her discretion. Personally Ralegh cannot be accounted
amenable for the atrocity. He is not named in Grey's despatch to the
Council. But it would be folly to pretend that he disapproved it.
Hooker, his eulogist, claims it for him as an eminent distinction. He
cordially sympathized with Grey's ideal of a Mahometan conquest for
Ireland.

[Sidenote: _Feats of Arms._]

His Irish service gave him opportunities of a nobler order. He ventured
his life in a score of hazardous feats. On one occasion his horse was
desperately wounded. He must have been slain but for the aid of his
servant Nicholas Wright, a trusty Yorkshireman. Another time the
Seneschal of Imokelly with fifteen horsemen and sixty foot lay in wait
for him at a ford between Youghal and Cork. He had crossed in safety
when Henry Moile, one of a few Downshire horsemen he had added to his
foot soldiers, was thrown in the middle of the stream. Back rode Ralegh,
and stood by his comrade in the face of tremendous odds. The Seneschal,
though his men outnumbered Ralegh's by twenty to one, was intimidated.
He let Ralegh accomplish his purpose, which was the occupation of
Barry's Court, the seat of Lord Barry. Barry was one of the Irish nobles
whose loyalty was not fixed. Ralegh desired to convince the class of the
futility of resistance by sudden blows. His courage in this instance was
more apparent than his wisdom. He had with difficulty obtained the
Deputy's consent to the enterprise. The result justified Grey's
hesitation. Barry had escaped before Ralegh's arrival at his castle. He
became, and remained for years, an open enemy. At last he seems to have
been reconciled to the Government. In 1594 Ralegh was interceding for
him against the grant of a favour at his expense to another veteran
malcontent, Florence MacCarthy. Ralegh's vigour had fuller success
against another suspected noble, Lord Roche, of Bally. Roche's castle,
twenty miles from Cork, was strong, and his retainers devoted and many.
With a petty detachment Ralegh set off on a dark night. He foiled two
bands, one of eight hundred, the other of five hundred, which
endeavoured to block his way. During a parley he contrived to introduce
first a few and then all his followers. Lord Roche professed much
loyalty, and entertained the intruders courteously at dinner. He refused
to accompany Ralegh on his return till he was shown that the castle was
in the hands of the English soldiers. Reluctantly he yielded, and Ralegh
conveyed him and his family across the rugged hills into Cork by night.
Roche proved an excellent subject.

[Sidenote: _Claim to Reward._]

Ralegh was indefatigable. He shunned no toil or danger. He did not care
if the enemy were five or twenty to one. But he was not a workman who
never complains of his tools, or an ox content to be muzzled while
treading out the corn. He spoke of his soldiers as such poor and
miserable creatures as their captains did not dare lead them into
battle. Wellington sometimes was as uncomplimentary to his. He bitterly
criticized Ormond. Grey had granted him the custody of Barry's Court. He
wrote in February, 1581, to Sir Francis Walsingham, with whom he had
established a correspondence. He asked the Secretary to obtain from the
Deputy Grey his confirmation in the post. He accused Ormond of
compelling so long a delay before Ralegh could enter, that Barry had
been able to dismantle the castle. He imputed the blunder either to
covetousness, or to unwillingness that any Englishman should have
anything. He contrasted the multiplication of traitors in Munster by a
thousand in the two years of Ormond's rule with Gilbert's suppression of
a previous rising in two months. 'Would God Sir Humphrey Gilbert's
behaviour were such in peace it did not make his good service forgotten,
and hold him from the preferment he is worthy of!' He was ashamed to
receive her Majesty's pay, though but a poor entertainment, and see her
so much abused. Walsingham wrote to Grey, and the Lord Deputy assigned
to Ralegh the Barry's Court domain from Rostellan Castle to Fota. It
comprised one side of Cork harbour, with the island now occupied by
Queenstown. The Queen, through the influence, it is said, of Burleigh,
refused her sanction. Next year Ralegh was writing again to Grey in
vehement censure of Ormond. He repudiated any complicity in the
defencelessness of the great wood of Conoloathe, and the country between
the Dingle and Kilkenny. The commissariat of Cork, he charged, had been
recklessly neglected; and Desmond's and Barry's wives were being
encouraged to gather help for their traitor lords.

[Sidenote: _Discontent._]

Denunciations of a general by his officer have an evil sound. Ralegh's
apology, such as it is, must be sought in his just sense of a masterly
capacity. He knew he was right; from the point of view of the prevalent
Elizabethan policy towards Ireland, though not from Burleigh's, he was
right. He raged at his want of official authority to correct the wrong.
He fretted, moreover, at being left in Ireland at all. Ormond quarrelled
with Grey, and was recalled in the spring of 1581. The lieutenancy of
Munster was assigned jointly to Ralegh, Sir William Morgan, and Captain
Piers. Ralegh continued discontented. He sighed for a wider sphere. From
his quarters at Lismore he wrote in August, 1581, to Lord Leicester. He
desired 'to put the Earl in mind of his affection, having to the world
both professed and practised the same.' Incidentally he intimated more
than readiness to return to England. 'I have spent,' he writes, 'some
time here under the Deputy, in such poor place and charge as, were it
not for I knew him to be one of yours, I would disdain it as much as to
keep sheep.' His tone implied that he understood he had come on
probation for more exalted functions elsewhere, and that he had a claim
upon Leicester's patronage. How he had established it is unknown.
Probably the intimacy began in London before he received his Irish
commission. He was at any rate sufficiently intimate to be able to
recommend a man of some eminence, as was Sir Warham St. Leger, to the
Earl's protection.

[Sidenote: _Return to England._]

He did not wish to stay in Ireland. The immediate success of his
hardness and resoluteness, when he was given a free hand, would have
deprived him of the option, if he had wished it. After Ormond's
dismissal the pacification of Munster went rapidly on under him and his
fellow lieutenants. Captain John Zouch, an officer as ruthless to
Irishmen as himself, who was appointed Governor of the province in
August, 1581, worked on the same lines. It became practicable to disband
part of the English forces. Ralegh's own company was paid off without
apparent dissatisfaction on his part. Being needed no longer in Ireland
he was sent home by Grey in December, 1581, with despatches. For his
expenses he was paid on December 29, at the liberal rate of £20, which
may be roughly reckoned as equivalent to £100.



CHAPTER III.

ROYAL FAVOUR (1581-1582).


[Sidenote: _Ralegh and Grey._]

This visit of Ralegh's to the Court was the turning-point in his career.
How it became that has been explained in different ways. According to
Naunton a variance between him and Grey drew both over to plead their
cause. Naunton goes on to say that Ralegh 'had much the better in
telling of his tale; and so much that the Queen and the lords took no
slight mark of the man and his parts; for from thence he came to be
known, and to have access to the Queen and the lords.' It is natural to
suppose that Ralegh's Irish campaigns were concerned with his sudden
rise at Court. Thenceforward he was a high authority on Irish policy.
His Irish experience continued to be the sheet-anchor of his ascendency
with the Queen. Naunton's tale, too, is supported by evidence from the
Hatfield and the Irish State papers of Ralegh's disposition to form and
push Irish plans of his own, and of Grey's keen jealousy of the habit.
Burleigh on January 1, 1582, in a letter to the Lord Deputy, mentioned
that Mr. Rawley had informed her Majesty how the charge of five or six
hundred soldiers for the garrison of Munster might be shifted from the
Queen to the province without umbrage to Ormond, its most powerful
land-owner. To this the Lord Deputy speedily replied, vehemently
criticising 'the plot delivered by Captain Rawley unto her Majesty.' He
condemned it as a plausible fancy, 'affecting credit with profit,' but
'framed upon impossibilities for others to execute.' To Walsingham he
complained bitterly of misrepresentations at Court in the same January,
and, in the following April, declared that he 'neither liked Captain
Rawley's carriage, nor his company.' On the other hand, Grey is not
known to have returned from Ireland till August, 1582; and the Council
Register contains no reference to a personal controversy between Ralegh
and him. But Ralegh may well have privately expounded to the Queen and
some Privy Councillors his views, which would then have been transmitted
to Grey to answer. Naunton's mistake in confronting the Deputy and the
self-confident Captain directly at the Council board does not seriously
affect the value otherwise of his statement. Still, the account of
Ralegh's admittance to the Queen's favour, with its particular
circumstances, rests, it must be remembered, on Naunton's own not
unimpeachable authority. Other authors who tell the same story, have
simply and unsuspiciously borrowed it from him. Students of Ralegh's
history have to accustom themselves to the use by successive biographers
of the same hypothetical facts with as much boldness as if they had been
the fruit of each writer's independent research.

[Sidenote: _Fuller's Tale._]

Another account attributes to Leicester Ralegh's sudden favour on his
return from Ireland. A few months before he was, we have seen,
soliciting the Earl for a change of employment. His introduction at
Court may have been the answer. Sir Henry Wotton, adopting the view,
cynically surmised that Leicester wished to 'bestow handsomely upon
another some part of the pains, and perhaps of the envy, to which long
indulgent fortune is obnoxious.' By others, whom Scott has partly
followed, the Earl of Sussex has been credited with the elevation of
Ralegh, as a counterpoise to Leicester. Neither the one noble nor the
other, it was supposed, could have patriotically desired to enrol in the
public service the most effective of recruits. Amongst all the subtle
solutions of the mystery of Ralegh's leap into prominence, Fuller's
well-worn story, which is now Scott's, commends itself for comparative
simplicity. Everybody has heard how her Majesty, meeting with a plashy
place, made some scruple to go on; when Ralegh, dressed in the gay and
genteel habit of those times, presently cast off and spread his new
plush cloak on the ground, whereon the Queen trod gently over, rewarding
him afterwards with many suits for his so free and seasonable tender of
so fair a footcloth. Fuller, again, it is who vouches for the sequel of
the incident. Ralegh, he says, having thus attracted notice, wrote on a
window, which Elizabeth was to pass--

    Fain would I climb, yet fear I to fall.

Elizabeth capped it with

    If thy heart fails thee, climb not at all.

[Sidenote: _Not Improbable._]

Some of Ralegh's later biographers have felt so intensely the
seriousness of their task, that they either omit or ridicule the legend.
The whole appeared first in the _Worthies_, published in 1662. No
documentary proof can be given of its veracity; and there is no
disproof. The opportunity might easily have occurred; and Ralegh was of
an eagerness and an adroitness not to have let it slip. Undoubtedly the
anecdote has the intrinsic merit beyond the rest of pointing to the
final and determining agent in his change of fortune. All the other
answers to the enigma may contain an ingredient of truth. Leicester
would recognize his capacity, and might have been ready to use him.
Sussex would perceive the danger of allowing so redoubtable a free lance
to pass to a rival service. Walsingham and Burleigh were manifestly
impressed with his extraordinary sagacity and strength of will. His
Irish services, which had called forth the admiration of Grey himself so
long as Ralegh fought under him, could not fail to be appreciated by the
Queen's wise councillors. He was backed by the vast family circles of
the Gilberts and Champernouns. In his later life he could speak of 'an
hundred gentlemen of my kindred.' He was no novice at the Court itself,
which he had studied for years before it recognized him as an inmate.
But Leicester and Sussex, like Grey, and even Burleigh and Walsingham,
though they might have employed him, and have bandied him among them,
would have concurred in keeping him in the background. To Elizabeth
herself may confidently be ascribed the personal decision that he was to
be acknowledged, and not merely used, but distinguished.

[Sidenote: _The Queen's Choice._]

To the Queen he owed his emergence from an obscurity, which posterity
wonders to find enveloping him till thirty. His was not a nature which
ripens late. As a boy at home, as an undergraduate at Oxford, as an
adventurer in France, as a seaman in the Atlantic, as a military leader
in Munster, as a commencing courtier, he might have been expected to
flash forth from the mass of his comrades. No apathy of contemporary
opinion is to blame for the long delay. Rather it was the hurry and the
glitter of contemporary life. A nation, like the English under
Elizabeth, facing the dawn of a new age, does not pause to mark degrees
of individual brightness. All eyes are dazzled with the radiance of the
era itself. The few rare and peculiar stars are not discriminated as
shining with a lustre of their own. The Queen would not be better able
than her subjects to measure the particular mode in which Ralegh
overtopped his neighbours. She discerned the special gifts which others
discerned, the 'good presence in a handsome and well compacted person;
the strong natural wit and a better judgment, with a bold and plausible
tongue, whereby he could set out his parts to the best advantage.' She
was diverted by his flights of fancy emphasized by the broad Devon
accent, which, to the day of his death, he never lost, or tried to lose.
She must have been conscious of depths of capacity, to which, whatever
the exigency, appeal was never made in vain. But the surpassing
attraction for her was the feeling that he and his grandeur were her
creature and creation.

[Sidenote: _Scandal._]

Personally she chose him, and she exacted that his service should be
personally rendered to her. He understood the conditions of his tenure
of influence, and generally fulfilled them faithfully. She knew, and he
knew, that he was selected for gifts which made him a valuable servant
of the State, as impersonated in its chief. Yet it is not strange that,
in an age of coarse feeling, and coarser language, his elevation should
have been attributed to mere feminine weakness. It is much more
surprising that the warning, 'No scandal about Queen Elizabeth,' should
have been disregarded by grave modern historians and biographers. Mr.
Edward Edwards, for instance, Ralegh's most thorough and painstaking
biographer since the learned but unmethodical Oldys, takes the report
for granted, and appears to think it honourable. The belief cannot bear
the least examination. Elizabeth was in the habit of requiring all her
courtiers to kneel to her as woman as well as Queen, to hail her at once
Gloriana and Belphoebe. The fashion was among her instruments of
government. By appealing to the devotion of her courtiers as lovers, she
hoped to kindle their zeal in serving their Queen. They who mock at her
claims to adoration as the Lady of the land are ungrateful to a policy
which preserved the tone of English society for a generation romantic,
poetical, and chivalrous. In pursuance of her usual system, and in
innocence of any vice but vanity, she was sure to invite the language of
passion from the owner of genius and looks like Ralegh's. She played
upon his Christian name, writing it as she and others pronounced it,
Water. She enjoyed the anger her kindness aroused in other admirers,
such as Hatton. He was willing to offer the homage for which she
thirsted. So were other courtiers by the dozen. Cautious methodical
George Carew wrote to her when she was seventy, and nearing the grave,
envying 'the blessing others enjoy in beholding your Royal person whose
beauty adorns the world.' Of sensual love between her and Ralegh there
is not a tittle of evidence which will be accepted by any who do not
start by presuming in her the morals of a courtesan. In support of the
calumny, passages of the _Faerie Queene_ have been cited, in which the
poet has been interpreted as literally and as illiberally as the
courtier. Fastidious Spenser would have shuddered to imagine the coarse
construction against his Queen to which his delicate allegories were to
be wrested. Had there been ground for the legend, we may feel tolerably
certain that Lady Ralegh would have known of it. She could not have
refrained from hinting at a motive for the wrath with which, it will
hereafter be seen, her mistress visited her transgression.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's Versatility._]

Ralegh himself may not have been sufficiently careful to guard against a
fable flattering to his charms, if injurious to his independence. He
furthered malignant humours in his own time by his fondness for personal
adornment. His lavish vanity seems to have been taken as proof of his
and his Sovereign's amours. He must in any case, by no fault of his own,
but by the excessive bounty of nature in heaping courtly graces upon
him, have been exposed to the liability of misconstruction by later
ages. Measured by his force of character and his acts he has as little
as possible in common with a Leicester or a Hatton. Yet posterity,
misled by tradition, has never been sure whether his distinctive
vocation were not that of a fine gentleman. Contemporaries, partly from
misapprehension, partly from admiration, and partly from jealousy, tried
to fasten him to that. When the splendour of his exploits by sea and
land demonstrated him to be more than a courtier, they ranked him as
seaman or swordsman. His versatility lent itself to the error, and
operated to the disappointment of his real aim. His constant effort was
to be accepted and trusted as a serious statesman. He might have
attained his end more completely if his absorption in it had dimmed the
brightness of his marvellous intelligence, or deadened his delight in
its gymnastics. But he had to live his life according to his nature. The
multiplicity of his interests separates him from others of his mental
level. He loved power, both the contest for it and its exercise. He
coveted money for its uses, and equally for the inspiring experiences
involved in its acquisition. He liked to act the patron, and was content
in turn to play the client. He loved toil, and he could enjoy ease. He
revelled in the strifes of statesmanship and the physical perils of
battles and travel. He resembled his period, with its dangers and
glories, its possibilities of Spanish dungeons and Spanish plunder, its
uncertainties of theology and morality. He had a natural gift for
deriving pleasure from his actual circumstances, a dull and brutal civil
war, or a prison, though none could utter more dismal groans. By
predilection he basked in a Court, where simultaneously he could adore
its mistress and help to sway her sceptre.

[Sidenote: _His Aspect._]

[Sidenote: _Dates of Portraits._]

Hitherto his career had been run outside the verge of chronicles. Its
early stages left few direct records. They have to be pieced together by
retrospective allusions proceeding from himself or others, after he had
already risen. The difficulties of his biographers are not at an end
when he has mounted into the full blaze of publicity. His name
thenceforth was in a multitude of mouths; yet much in his character,
position, and motives always remains shadowy and uncertain. His
appearance at the time it was winning an entrance for him at Court can
only be conjectured. He was tall and well-proportioned, with thick curly
locks, beard, and mustache, full red lips, bluish-grey eyes, and the
high forehead and long bold face, remarked in a contemporary epigram.
Aubrey describes him by report similarly, with the addition that he was
sour eye-lidded. His characteristic features, and the 'general aspect of
ascendency,' were the same in youth and in later life. They are vividly
represented by several extant portraits, by Zucchero's, somewhat wanting
in repose and dignity, at Longleat; by another of Zucchero's, now in the
National Gallery of Ireland, the original of the print in Sir Henry
Ellis's collection of letters, representing Ralegh at forty-four, with a
map of Cadiz; by that at Knole, from which Vertue's print in Oldys's
Life probably was engraved; by that of 1588, formerly in Sir Carew
Ralegh's house at Downton, and now in the National Portrait Gallery; by
one belonging to Mr. J.D. Wingfield Digby; by one, dated 1618, in the
possession of Mr. T.L. Thurlow; and by the best, in Mr. George Scharf's
decisive judgment, the picture in possession of Sir John Farnaby
Lennard, at Wickham Court, Kent. The last, the original of Houbraken's
engraving, was painted in 1602 for the Carews of Beddington. Young
Walter, then eight years old, stands by Ralegh's side, a handsome boy,
richly dressed, with features, as they remained in later life, like his
father's, and the same air of command. A picture, described as by
Cornelius Janssen, sold at Christie's rooms in December, 1890,
represents a visage worn and sombre, the hair on the head thin. As the
artist's first commonly acknowledged portraits taken in England are
dated 1618, the work, if by Janssen, must have been executed after
Ralegh's second Guiana expedition, and might naturally exhibit these
traits. There are also several contemporary miniatures, one, in
particular, at Belvoir Castle. This is of especial interest, on account
of the age inscribed, sixty-five, and the year, 1618, which imply a
belief that he was born later than 1552. From the date, 1618, and the
representation of a battle, on the companion miniature of young Walter,
apparently by the same hand, it may be inferred that the portrait of the
father was, as that of the son must have been, painted after the second
voyage to Guiana. Probably, to judge from the combination of Lady
Ralegh's and her husband's initials on the back, it was executed for
her. In it, to a degree even beyond the portrait attributed to Janssen,
the hair of the head is pathetically white. Though elsewhere the marks
of age have not been so openly betrayed, all the extant portraits,
unless that in the National Portrait Gallery be an exception, were
executed after he had reached middle life. He may be beheld in most of
them as he appeared to his rivals and partisans, the veteran knight in
magnificent apparel, pearls, and silver armour, haughty and subtle,
tanned, hardened, and worn with voyages to the Spanish Main and fighting
at Cadiz, 'Ralegh the witch,' the 'scourge of Spain,' the 'soldier,
sailor, scholar, courtier, orator, historian, and philosopher.' We do
not see the daredevil trooper of Languedoc and Munster, the duellist,
the master of the roistering watch-beating Paunsfords. He is not visible
as pictured to the vivid fancy of the author of _Kenilworth_, the
youthful aspirant, graceful, eager, slender, dark, restless, and
supercilious, with a sonnet or an epigram ever ready on his lips to
delight friends and sting enemies.

[Sidenote: _Spelling of Name._]

[Sidenote: _Seventy-four Forms._]

The spelling of his name for the first thirty-two years of his life was
as vague and unsettled as his acts. There was no standard of orthography
for surnames till the latter part of the seventeenth century. Neither
the owners, nor others, were slaves to uniformity. Posterity has used
its own liberty of selection, often very arbitrarily. Robert Cecil, for
instance, signed his name Cecyll, and nobody follows him, not even his
descendants. For Ralegh's name his contemporaries never had a fixed rule
to the end of him. Transcribers with the signature clear before them
would not copy it; they could not keep to one form of their own. His
correspondents and friends followed the idea of the moment. Lord
Burleigh wrote Rawly. Robert Cecil wrote to him as Rawley, Raleigh, and
Ralegh. A secretary of Cecil wrote Raweley and Rawlegh. King James, for
whom in Scotland he had been Raulie, wrote once at any rate, and Carew
Ralegh commonly, Raleigh. Carew's son Philip spelt his name both Raleigh
and Ralegh. Lady Ralegh signed one letter Raleigh, but all others which
have been preserved, Ralegh. The only known signature of young Walter is
Ralegh. The Privy Council wrote the name Raleghe, Rawleighe, and
Rawleigh. George Villiers spelt it Raughleigh, and Cobham, Rawlye. In
Irish State Papers he is Rawleie. Lord Henry Howard wrote Rawlegh and
Rawlie. The Lord Admiral called him Rawlighe. For some he was Raileigh,
Raughlie, and Rauleigh. In a warrant he was Raleighe, and in the
register of Stepney Church, Raylie. Naunton wrote Rawleigh and Raghley,
and Milton, in a manuscript commonplace book, Raugleigh. Sir Edward
Peyton in his book spelt the name Rawliegh. Stukely in his Apology spelt
it Raligh. The name to his verses printed in Gascoigne's volume is
Rawely, and in a manuscript poem it is Wrawly. In another manuscript
poem it is Raghlie. Puttenham printed it Rawleygh. In the wonderful mass
of manuscripts at Lambeth, collected by Sir George Carew, who kept every
paper sent him, though his correspondents might beg him to burn their
letters, the name, beside forms already given, appears spelt as Ralighe,
Raule, Rawlee, Rauley, Rawleye, Raulyghe, Rawlyghe, and Ralleigh. In a
letter from Sir Thomas Norreys in the equally wonderful, but less
admirable, pile of Lismore papers, he is Raulighe. In the books of the
Stationers' Company he is Rawleighe, and Rauleighe in the copy in the
Harleian MSS. of the discourse of 1602 on a War with Spain. In
Drummond's Conversations with Ben Jonson he is Raughlie. References
occur to him in Mr. Andrew Clark's _Oxford Register_, as Rallegh,
Rawlei, Rauly, Raughley, Raughly, Raughleigh, Raylye, and Rolye.
Foreigners referred to him as Ralle, Rallé, Raleghus, Raleich, Raleik,
Raulaeus, Rale, Real, Reali, Ralego, and Rhalegh. In addition, I have
found in lists compiled by Dr. Brushfield the name spelt Raley, Raleye,
Raleagh, Raleygh, Raleyghe, Ralli, Raughleye, Rauleghe, Raulghe,
Raweleigh, Raylygh, Reigley, Rhaleigh, Rhaley, Rhaly, and Wrawley.

Ralegh himself had not kept the same spelling throughout his life. Down
to 1583 his more usual signature had been the phonetic Rauley. But in
1578 he signed as Rawleyghe a deed which his father signed as Ralegh,
and his brother Carew as Rawlygh. A letter of March 17, 1583, is the
first he is known to have signed as Ralegh; and in the following April
and May he reverted to the signature Rauley. From June 9, 1584, he used
till his death no other signature than Ralegh. It appears in his books
when the name is mentioned. It is used in a pedigree drawn up for him in
1601. Of the hundred and sixty-nine letters collected by Mr. Edward
Edwards, a hundred and thirty-five are thus signed. Six signed Rauley,
one Raleghe, and one Rauleigh, belong to an earlier date. The rest are
either unsigned or initialled. The reason of his adoption of the
spelling Ralegh from 1584, unless that it was his dead father's, is
unknown. Of the fact there is no doubt. The spelling Raleigh, which
posterity has preferred, happens to be one he is not known to have ever
employed.



CHAPTER IV.

OFFICES AND ENDOWMENTS (1582-1587).


[Sidenote: _Employment._]

[Sidenote: _Envoy and Counsellor._]

His promotion, when it commenced, was liberal; it was not meteoric. He
had won his full entry at Court before he gained permanent offices and
emoluments. For a time he continued dependent upon the long-suffering
Irish Exchequer. In February he received an order for £200 upon the
entertainment due to him in Ireland. That, however, seems to have been
payment of arrears for previous and actual service. Notwithstanding an
angry protest by the Lord Deputy, already alluded to, a fresh commission
was issued to him in April, 1582, as Captain of the late Captain
Appesley's band of footmen in Ireland. The reason assigned was that he
might be required for some time longer in that realm for his better
experience in martial affairs. He had leave to appoint a lieutenant,
while he was 'for some considerations by Us excused to stay here.' He
did not want for employment, though he was given no fixed duties. A
system of personal government like that of the Tutors demanded
extraordinary services of various degrees of importance. Any and all
Ralegh could excellently render. Frequently he acted as the Queen's
private secretary. Sometimes he had to escort a foreign envoy.
Negotiations were pending for the marriage of Elizabeth to the Duke of
Anjou. Leicester was jealous of the Duke and of Simier, his dexterous
and personally fascinating agent. Simier was returning to France in the
autumn of 1581. He had to be protected, it was rumoured, from Flushing
pirates known to be in Leicester's pay. Ralegh's professed adhesion to
Leicester did not prevent his appointment as one of the escort. In the
publication by an anonymous contemporary, called _Leicester's
Commonwealth_, it is related that the vessel containing the returning
escort was chased for several hours: 'Master Ralegh well knoweth it,
being there present.' Anjou himself quitted England in February, 1582,
to assume the sovereignty of the Netherlands. Ralegh again was of the
company sent to introduce the Duke to the Queen's allies. He stayed
behind the rest, and was entrusted by the Prince of Orange with letters
to the Queen. He has recorded that the Prince confided to him a private,
if not very particular, message to her: 'Sub umbra alarum tuarum
protegimur.' Probably that was only a text upon which the Prince's
communications enabled him to enlarge. He was consulted much concerning
Ireland, both by the Council and by the Queen. In March, 1582, articles
were exhibited against Ormond for alleged indulgence in his government
of Munster towards Irish rebels. He was suspected, for example, of
having apprised the Seneschal of Imokelly that 'two choice persons' had
stolen into the Seneschal's camp to murder him. Ralegh was named among
those who were to be called upon to prove the charges. Burleigh himself,
who did not approve of the fierceness of Ralegh's method of dealing with
Irish turbulence, respected his experience. In October, 1582, the Lord
Treasurer is said to have taken careful notes of his advice how to
secure the adhesion of some Munster lords. Lord Grey's reception of a
letter from the Treasurer in the preceding January citing an opinion of
'Mr. Rawley' on the mode of levying Irish taxes for the support of the
English troops, has already been described. Use was made also of his
engineering ability. There are references to reports by him on estimates
for the repair of the fortifications of Portsmouth, and to his
discussion of the question with Burleigh and Sussex in the Queen's
presence. He is even found sitting on a commission with Sir Thomas
Heneage to investigate a complaint against Lord Mayor Pullison, of
having attached, to satisfy a debt to himself, the ransom of a Barbary
captive.

[Sidenote: _The Stannaries and the Guard._]

Not till after a probation of years did he obtain definite official
rank. In 1584 he had been elected one of the members for Devonshire,
with Sir William Courtenay. Apparently in the early part of the same
year he was knighted; for in his colonizing patent of March, 1584, he is
styled 'Mr. Walter Ralegh, Knight.' In 1585 he succeeded the Earl of
Bedford as Warden of the Stannaries. He had as Warden to regulate mining
privileges in Devon and Cornwall, to hold the Stannary Parliament on the
wild heights of Crockern Tor, and judicially to decide disputes on the
customs, which, though written, he has said, in the Stannary of Devon,
were unwritten in Cornwall. Long after his death the rules he had
prescribed prevailed. As Warden he commanded the Cornish militia. He had
a claim, which was resisted by the Earl of Bath, the Lord Lieutenant of
Devonshire, to military powers there also. His prerogatives were
strengthened by his appointment shortly afterwards to the Lieutenancy of
Cornwall, and to the Vice-Admiralty of the two counties. The
Vice-Admiralty was a very convenient office for a dealer in
privateering. He nominated as his deputies in the Vice-Admiralty Lord
Beauchamp for Cornwall, and his eldest half-brother, Sir John Gilbert,
for Devon. Beside his other offices, he is supposed to have held the
post of a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber. Later he received a more
signal token than any of royal confidence. He was appointed Captain of
the Yeomen of the Guard. For several years Sir Christopher Hatton had
united the offices of Captain and Vice-Chamberlain. On April 29, 1587,
by a preposterous exercise of royal patronage, he became Lord
Chancellor. He had already ceased to command the Guard, though the
actual date of his retirement is not specified. His immediate successor,
appointed perhaps as a stop-gap, was Sir Henry Goodier. Sir Anthony
Paulett also is sometimes mentioned in connexion with the post. But the
office was permanently filled by the nomination of Ralegh in the early
summer of 1586. The Captain's pay consisted of a yearly uniform. Six
yards of tawney medley at 13_s._ 4_d._ a yard, with a fur of black budge
rated at £10, is the warrant for 1592. The cost in the next reign was
estimated at £14. Ralegh had to fill vacancies in his band of fifty. He
was known to have a sharp eye for suitable recruits, young, tall,
strong, and handsome. The regular duty was to guard the Queen from
weapons and from poison; to watch over her safety by day and night
wherever she went, by land or water. At the Palace the Captain's place
was in the antechamber, where he could almost hear the conversations
between her and her counsellors. To share them he had but to be beckoned
within. Naturally the command seemed to be a stepping-stone to a
Vice-Chamberlainship at least, if not to the Keepership of the Queen's
conscience.

[Sidenote: _Royal Parsimony._]

None of these offices were in themselves lucrative. A maintenance for
the new favourite and the new public servant had otherwise to be found.
His endowment came from the usual sources. Naunton says that, 'though he
gained much at the Court, he took it not out of the Exchequer, or merely
out of the Queen's purse, but by his wit and the help of the
prerogative; for the Queen was never profuse in delivering over her
treasures, but paid most of her servants, part in money, and the rest
with grace.' He adds, it may be hoped, before October 29, 1618: 'Leaving
the arrears of recompense due for their merit to her great successor,
who paid them all with advantage.' Ralegh himself, after a similar
compliment to James, laments in his History the Queen's parsimony to her
'martial men, both by sea and land,' none of whom, he remembers, 'the
Lord Admiral excepted, her eldest and most prosperous commander,' did
she 'either enrich, or otherwise honour, for any service by them
performed.' Notices in official documents of pecuniary grants to himself
are rare. An order in September, 1587, for a payment of £2000 to be
spent according to her Majesty's direction appears to have been for
works at Portsmouth. No meagre substitute was supplied by forfeitures,
by enforced demises of collegiate, capitular, and episcopal estates, by
monopolies, and by letters of marque.

[Sidenote: _Farm of Wines._]

[Sidenote: _Broadcloths._]

To All Souls College, Oxford, belongs the honour of having been the
first to help to make his fortune. In April, 1583, he wrote to Egerton,
then Solicitor-General, mentioning a grant of two beneficial leases of
lands which the Queen had extorted from the college after her manner. On
May 4, 1583, he received a more lucrative gift, the farm of wines. By
his patent every vintner was bound to pay him for his life an annual
retail licence fee of a pound. To save himself trouble, he underlet his
rights to one Richard Browne for seven years at £700, or, according to
another account, £800, a year. Browne promoted a large increase in the
number of licensed taverners. Ralegh had reason to believe that he had
not his fair share of profits. Egerton advised him that the demise was
disadvantageous, but that it might be hard to terminate it without
Browne's concurrence. Ralegh, to compel a surrender from Browne before
the expiration of the term, obtained a revocation of his own patent in
1588. On August 9, 1588, a new patent for thirty-one years was granted.
It does not seem to have freed him wholly from Browne's claims. This
licence again he leased. The lessee was William Sanderson, the husband
of his niece, Margaret Snedale. At a later period he had disputes with
Sanderson also on the profits. By an account of 1592, he estimated them
at a couple of thousand a year. It was never a very popular office to be
chief publican. The year after the original grant, it involved Ralegh in
a troublesome quarrel. He or Browne had licensed a vintner, John Keymer,
at Cambridge, in defiance of the Vice-Chancellor's jurisdiction. The
undergraduates loyally beat the intruder, and they frightened his wife
nearly to death. The Vice-Chancellor sent him to gaol. The University
also invoked the aid of its Chancellor, the Queen's Minister, against
the Queen's favourite. Burleigh procured an opinion of the two Chief
Justices against the licence. Ralegh was obliged in the end to give way
to his assured loving friend the Vice-Chancellor. In the second patent
the privileges of Oxford and Cambridge were expressly saved. In other
respects it was wider. It allowed Ralegh a moiety of the penalties
accruing to the Crown. The controversy with Cambridge may have been due
only to Browne, and his eagerness for fees. In general, Ralegh appears
to have exercised his powers moderately. A grantee who succeeded
commended him for having 'ever had a special care to carry a very tender
hand upon the business for avoiding of noise and clamour, well knowing
it to be a thing extracted from the subject upon a nice point of a
statute law.' A year after the first patent of wines he received a
similar boon. This was a licence in March, 1584, to export for a
twelvemonth woollen broadcloths. A payment to the Crown was reserved. In
1585, 1587, and 1589 the same privilege was conferred and enlarged. One
grant authorized him to export overlengths. Burleigh protested. He
declared the conditions too beneficial to the grantee. Probably they
were. The privilege brought him into collision with several bodies of
merchants. Soon after the earliest of the licences had been granted, in
June, 1584, we read of a petition, backed by Walsingham, for the release
of ships which had infringed his patent. The Queen would not consent
unless upon the terms that the offenders compounded with him. In 1586
the Merchant Adventurers of Exeter obtained a commission of inquiry
whether his officers did not levy excessive fees upon certificates. He
is represented by a local antiquary as less popular in that city than
elsewhere in Devonshire. His patent rights as well as his official
duties caused ill-will between it and him.

[Sidenote: _An Irish Seigniory._]

A gift in appearance much more magnificent, though the gains eventually
were meagre, was the Irish grant of 1586. At last the Earl of Desmond's
insurrection had been quelled, at the cost of the utter devastation of a
province. The curse of God was, it was lamented, so great, and the land
so barren, that whosoever did travel from one end to the other of all
Munster, even from Waterford to Limerick, about six score miles, he
should not meet man, woman, nor child, save in cities or towns, nor yet
see any beast, save foxes and wolves, or other ravening creatures. The
few survivors fed upon weeds and carrion, robbing the graves and gibbets
of their dead. It was determined to repeople the 574,268 forfeited
acres. Ralegh retained his Irish captain's commission. In 1587 his name
occurs at the head of the list. He, Ormond, Hatton, and Fitton were
among the principal Undertakers for the resettlement. By the scheme
nobody was to undertake for more than twelve thousand acres. On each
portion of that size eighty-six families were to be planted. In Ralegh's
favour, by express words and warrant in a special letter from her
Majesty, the Crown rent was fixed at a hundred marks, calculated
subsequently as £60 13_s._ 4_d._; and the limitation of acreage was
relaxed. Seigniories varied in extent from twelve to four thousand
acres. Possibly in order to avoid too gross an appearance of indulgence
to him, Sir John Stowell and Sir John Clyston, according to the
Boyle-Lismore papers, were associated or named with him as joint
undertakers. A Privy Seal warrant in February, 1586, confirmed by
letters patent in the following October, awarded to the three three
seigniories and a half in Waterford, Cork, and perhaps Tipperary. A
certificate of March, 1587, stated that, if the lands assigned to them
and their tenants should not be found to amount to 'three seigniories of
twelve thousand acres apiece, and one seigniory of six thousand acres,
then other lands should be added.' The patronage of the Wardenship of
Our Lady's College of Youghal was added to Ralegh's share with several
other lucrative privileges. Three centuries afterwards the House of
Lords decided that an exclusive salmon fishery in the tidal waters of
the Blackwater was among them. The domain stretched along both banks of
the river from Youghal harbour. The soil was rich; but the royal
commissioners for the survey reported it waste from neglect. Generally
it was overgrown with deep grass, and in most places with heath,
brambles, and furze.

[Sidenote: _English Forfeitures._]

In 1587 he added English estates to his Irish. The Babington conspiracy
had been detected the year before. By a grant which passed the Great
Seal without fee in March, 1587, he acquired much of the principal
plotter's property. He obtained lands in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, and
Notts, together with all goods and personalty, except a curious clock
reserved to the Queen's own use. According to modern taste, the pillage
of confiscated estates is not an honourable basis for a great man's
prosperity. In the reign of Elizabeth it was still the orthodox
foundation. It was give and take, as Ralegh had to experience. That the
unfortunate Babington had rested some hope of life on Ralegh's known
Court influence is but a coincidence. He wrote on the 19th of September,
1586, the day before his execution, of 'Master Rawley having been moved
for him, and been promised a thousand pounds, if he could get his
pardon.' There was a traffic in pardons at Court. Odious and suspicious
as was the practice, and liable to the grossest abuse, the presentation
of money in return did not necessarily mean that the leniency had been
bought. The Sovereign levied fines thus for the benefit of favourites on
men too guilty to be let off scot-free, and not guilty enough to be
capitally punished. Ralegh himself appears in after years to have
received large sums from two pardoned accomplices of Essex, Sir Edward
Bainham and Mr. John Littleton. From Littleton he is said to have had
£10,000. But in the present instance no evidence has been discovered
that Babington's overtures were countenanced in the least by Ralegh, or
that he accepted money for urging them.

[Sidenote: _Luxury and splendour._]

Five years separated the needy Munster Captain from the Lord Warden of
the Stannaries, the magnificent Captain of the Queen's Guard, the owner
of broad lands in England, and Irish seigniories. He had climbed high,
though not so high as the insignificant Hatton. He had progressed fast,
though another was soon to beat him in swiftness of advancement. He had
gathered wealth and power. He was profuse in his application of both.
Much of his gains went in ostentation. He was fond of exquisite armour,
gorgeous raiment, lace, embroideries, furs, diamonds, and great pearls.
As early as 1583 he must have begun to indulge his taste. On April 26 in
that year the Middlesex Registers show that Hugh Pewe, gentleman, was
tried for the theft of 'a jewel worth £80, a hat band of pearls worth
£30, and five yards of damask silk worth £3, goods and chattels of
Walter Rawley, Esq., at Westminster.' Pewe was enough of a gentleman to
read 'like a clerk,' and thus save his neck. Later Ralegh was satirized
by the Jesuit Parsons as the courtier too high in the regard of the
English Cleopatra, who wore in his shoes jewels worth 6600 gold pieces.
Tradition speaks, with exaggeration as obvious, of one court dress which
carried £60,000 worth of jewels. He loved architecture and building,
gardens, pictures, books, furniture, and immense retinues of servants.
In his taste for personal luxury he resembled the entire tribe of
contemporary courtiers. It was a sumptuous age everywhere. England,
which had suddenly begun to be able to gratify a love of splendour,
seemed in haste to make up for lost time. Elizabeth encouraged the
propensity at her Court. Her statesmen, warriors, and favourites
enriched themselves with sinecures, confiscations, and shares in trading
and buccaneering adventures. They spent as rapidly. They were all
extravagant, and mortgaged the future. Almost all were continually
straitened for money. Impecuniosity rendered them rapacious. The Lord
Admiral received, as Ralegh has intimated, enormous gains from the Queen
and from prizes, and was perpetually in need. Robert Cecil had to
supplement his vast legitimate revenues from illicit sources, and died
£38,000 in debt. Essex, whose disinterestedness is eulogized, had
£300,000 from the Queen, in addition to most lucrative offices. The
whole was insufficient for his wants. All alike, old friends and old
foes, fed on one another, when there was nobody else to spoil.
Prodigality and greediness in money matters were, it is to be feared,
common traits of Elizabethan heroes. They were far from perfect; their
defects differed from those of their modern descendants in the ethical
consequences; they did not make offenders ashamed of themselves, and
afraid of being found out; they did not necessarily vitiate the
substance of their characters, and destroy their self-respect.



CHAPTER V.

VIRGINIA (1583-1587).


[Sidenote: _Gilbert and Ralegh._]

Ralegh was not freer from the faults of his class than the rest. Beyond
the rest, he showed public spirit in his expenditure. By arguments, by
his influence, by his example, he fanned the rising flame of national
enterprise. From the first he devoted a large part of his sudden
opulence to the promotion of the maritime prosperity of the nation.
Among his earliest subjects of outlay was the construction in 1583 of
the Ark Ralegh. It was, according to a probable account, of two hundred
tons burden, and cost £2000. Mr. Payne Collier gives its burden as eight
hundred tons, and its worth as £5000. None understood better than Ralegh
the ship-building art. Ten years of prison, it will be hereafter
noticed, did not deaden his instinct. Humphrey Gilbert was again
preparing for a voyage to 'the Unknown Goal.' Two-thirds of the six
years of his patent for discoveries had run out. He was anxious to
utilize the residue. Ralegh would gladly have accepted his invitation to
accompany him as vice-admiral. The Queen had tried to hold back Gilbert
'of her especial care, as a man noted of no good hap by sea.' By earnest
representations that he had no other means of maintaining his family, he
prevailed upon her, through Walsingham, to give him leave. In a letter
from Ralegh, she sent him a token, an anchor guided by a lady, with her
wish of as great good-hap and safety to his ship, as if herself were
there in person. She prayed him to be careful of himself, 'as of that
which she tendereth,' and to leave his portrait with Ralegh for her.
Ralegh she peremptorily forbade to go. He had to content himself with
lending his ship. It had not been more than two days out from Plymouth
when a contagious sickness attacked the crew. It returned on June 13,
1583. Gilbert did not know the cause. He only saw the ship run away in
fair and clear weather, having a large wind. So home he wrote denouncing
the men as knaves. How he took possession of Newfoundland, and how, on
his return, he died, with his memorable last words, are matters
belonging to his history, though incidentally that crosses Ralegh's. But
his companionship, example, and affection had contributed to form his
brother, whom his courage fired, and his fate did not daunt.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's Patent._]

Ralegh immediately sought and obtained a royal licence corresponding to
that bestowed on Gilbert. March 25, 1584, is an eventful date in the
annals of colonization. On that day was sealed a patent for him to hold
by homage remote heathen and barbarous lands, not actually possessed by
any Christian prince, nor inhabited by Christian people, which he might
discover within the next six years. A fifth of the gold and silver
acquired was reserved to the Crown. His eyes were bent on the region
stretching to the north of the Gulf of Florida, and of any settled
Spanish territory. In 1562 a French Protestant settlement had been
attempted in Florida. Laudonnière reinforced it a couple of years later.
But the jealousy of Spain was aroused. Pedro Melendez de Avila pounced
down in 1565. He captured the forts. Eight or nine hundred Huguenots he
hanged on the neighbouring trees as heretics, not as Frenchmen.
Dominique de Gorgues, of Gascony, avenged their fate by hanging their
Spanish supplanters in 1567, not as Spaniards, but as assassins. There
the experiment at colonization ended. Neither Spain nor France had
repeated the attempt. The whole land was vacant of white men.

[Sidenote: _The Discovery._]

Ralegh's fancy was inspired with visions, destined to be more than
realized ultimately, of an English counterpart in the north to the
Spanish empire in the south. He had already begun to equip a couple of
vessels. He despatched them to America on April 27, 1584, under Captains
Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlow. They took the roundabout route by the
Canaries and West Indies. In July they were saluted with a most fragrant
gale from the land they were seeking. Sailing into the mouth of a river
they saw vines laden with grapes, climbing up tall cedars. On July 13
they proclaimed the Queen's sovereignty, afterwards delivering the
country over to the use of Ralegh. It was the isle of Wokoken, in
Ocracoke Inlet, off the North Carolina coast. In the neighbourhood were
a hundred other islands. One of the largest was named Roanoke. They were
visited by Granganimeo, father or brother to King Wingina, who lay ill
of wounds received in war. The visit was returned by them. They bought
of Granganimeo twenty skins, worth as many nobles, for a tin dish which
he coveted as a gorget. His wife offered a great box of pearls for
armour and a sword. After some stay with the friendly and timid people,
they returned to England about the middle of September. They brought to
Ralegh chamois and other skins, a bracelet of pearls as big as peas, and
two Indians, Manteo and Wanchese.

[Sidenote: _Colonization._]

Elizabeth herself devised for the virgin land discovered in the reign of
a virgin queen the appellation of Virginia. Possibly the name was
favoured by some resemblance to a native phrase Wynganda coia. This
means, writes Ralegh, in the _History of the World_, 'You wear good
clothes,' which the settlers supposed to be the reply to their question
of the name of the country. The similarity of the king's name may have
assisted the choice. Spenser entitles Elizabeth, in the dedication of
his great poem, 'Queen of England, France, and Ireland, and of
Virginia.' Ralegh had a seal of his arms cut, with the legend, 'Walteri
Ralegh, militis, Domini et Gubernatoris Virginiae propria insignia,
1584, amore et virtute.' He hastened to realize his lordship, which was
still somewhat in the air. He obtained a fair amount of support, though
his brother, Carew Ralegh, could not prevail upon the Exeter merchants
to become partners. They were not moved by his catalogue of the
merchantable commodities which had been found. They stigmatized the
undertaking as 'a pretended voyage,' which certainly it was not. On
April 9, 1585, 'at the pleasant prime,' says Holinshed, a fleet of seven
sail set forth from Plymouth, under Ralegh's cousin, Sir Richard
Grenville, as general of the expedition. Mr. Ralph Lane was Governor of
the colony, and Captain Philip Amadas was his Deputy. Lane had an Irish
commission. Elizabeth ordered that a substitute should be found for him,
that he might go to Virginia for Ralegh. Ralegh drew up rules, which
have been lost, for the political government. Thomas Cavendish, a future
circumnavigator of the globe, and Thomas Hariot, or Harriot, were among
the colonists. Hariot, who describes himself as 'servant to Sir Walter
Ralegh,' was commissioned to survey and report. He published a
remarkable description of the territory in 1588. Manteo and Wanchese
returned to America with the expedition. On the way out, by Hispaniola
and Florida, Grenville took two Spanish frigates. He reached Wokoken in
June, and visited the mainland. He was not happy in the conduct of the
expedition, being reported by Lane, writing to Walsingham on September
8, 1585, to have exhibited intolerable pride and ambition towards the
entire company. Already, on August 25, not a day too soon, he had sailed
for England. He had, he reported at his return to Walsingham, peopled
the new country, and stored it with cattle, fruits, and plants. He left
Governor Lane and 107 colonists. On the homeward voyage a third Spanish
ship was captured. Stukely, a kinsman both of Grenville and of Ralegh,
was with Grenville on board the Tiger. For some unintelligible reason he
thought himself entitled to £10,000 of the booty. According to his
estimate, as reported by his mendacious son, Sir Lewis, the whole was
worth £50,000. Much of the treasure consisted of a cabinet of pearls.
Sir Lewis Stukely alleged that Ralegh charged Elizabeth with taking all
to herself 'without so much as even giving him one pearl.' The Queen was
as fond of large pearls as he.

[Sidenote: _Failure._]

Grenville had promised he would bring supplies by the next Easter at
latest. Lane and his companions occupied themselves meanwhile with
surveys of the goodliest soil under the cope of heaven, as they
described it. They had planted corn, and perceived signs of pearl
fisheries and mines. Hariot, observing the native use of tobacco, had
tried and liked it. The nutritious qualities of the tubers of the potato
had been discovered. Unfortunately the planters quarrelled with the
natives, whom they found, though gentle in manner, cunning and
murderous. Their friend, Granganimeo, died, and they slew King Wingina
and his chiefs without warning, for alleged plots. At this crisis Sir
Francis Drake arrived with a fleet of twenty-five sail, fresh from the
sack of St. Domingo and Cartagena. He gave Lane a bark of seventy tons,
pinnaces, and provisions, and lent him two of his captains. But a storm
sank the bark. The colonists, losing courage, insisted on being taken
home. On June 19, 1586, they set sail, on the eve of the arrival of a
ship laden with provisions, which Ralegh had sent. A fortnight later
came Grenville with three ships, also well stored. He could do nothing
but leave fifteen men with supplies on Roanoke and return. Not even now
was Ralegh disheartened. In the spring of 1587 he fitted out a fourth
expedition. He had meant to conduct it himself. The Queen would not let
him go. It comprised 150 householders. Some were married, and brought
their wives with them. Agricultural implements were taken. Captain John
White was in command. He and eleven others of the company were
incorporated as the Governor and Assistants of the City of Ralegh in
Virginia. Ralegh had fixed upon Chesapeake Bay as the site of the
settlement. Roanoke was preferred. White could detect no trace of
Grenville's fifteen men, and Lane's fort had been razed to the ground.
Vainly the new colonists endeavoured to conciliate or awe the natives by
baptizing and investing Manteo with the Barony of Roanoke. Jealousies
arose between them and the tribes. They aggravated their difficulties by
murdering in error a number of friendly Indians. Misfortunes of various
kinds beset them. Supplies failed, and Governor White came home for
more. At his departure the colony included eighty-nine men, seventeen
women, and two children. Among them were White's daughter, Eleanor Dare,
and her child. The time was inopportune. An embargo had been laid on all
shipping, in expectation of the Spanish invasion. By Ralegh's influence
it was raised in favour of a couple of merchantmen, equipped for a West
Indian voyage, on condition that they transported men and necessaries to
Virginia. They broke the compact. Though they embarked White, they took
no colonists. They chased Spanish ships, fought with men-of-war from
Rochelle, and came back to England shattered.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's persistency._]

Ralegh had other calls upon his resources. For the present he could do
no more for Virginia. He reckoned he had spent £40,000 on the
plantation. As Hakluyt wrote, 'it demanded a prince's purse to have the
action thoroughly fulfilled without lingering.' Elizabeth was not
willing to play the part of godmother in the fairy-tale sense. For a
substitute, the founder, being in difficulties, had recourse to the very
modern expedient of a company. In March, 1589, as Chief Governor, he
assigned a right to trade in Virginia, not his patent, to Thomas Smith,
John White, Richard Hakluyt, and others. He reserved a fifth of all the
gold and silver extracted. The Adventurers were not very active. Ralegh
still felt himself responsible for the colony, if it could be described
as one. Such expeditions as sailed he mainly promoted. Southey's
accusation that he 'abandoned the poor colonists' is ludicrously unjust.
If, as has without due cause been imputed to Bacon, the charge in the
essay on Plantations of the sinfulness of 'forsaking or destituting a
plantation once in forwardness' refer to Ralegh, Bacon would be as
calumnious. In 1590 White prosecuted the search for his daughter and
grandchild, and the rest of the vanished planters. Ralegh despatched
other expeditions for the same object, and with as little success. One,
under Samuel Mace, with that purpose sailed in 1602 or 1603. By the time
Mace returned, the Chief Governor was attainted, and his proprietorship
of Virginia had escheated to the Crown.

[Sidenote: _Reward of an idea._]

Ralegh never relinquished hope in his nursling. 'I shall yet live,' he
wrote just before his fall, 'to see it an English nation.' In 1606 a new
and strong colony was sent out, and his confidence was justified. From
an old account of the career of his nephew, Captain Ralph Gilbert, a son
of Sir Humphrey, it would seem he still considered in 1607 that his
connexion with the country continued. In that year Ralph Gilbert is said
to have voyaged to Virginia on his behalf. Though his direct exertions
were confined to the region of the James and Potomac, his jurisdiction
in the north was recognized. The term Virginia covered a very wide area.
It included, not only the present Virginias, but the Carolinas and more
besides. New England itself originally was supposed to be comprised.
Captain Gosnold, Captain Bartholomew Gilbert, and others, when they
planned the occupation of Martha's Vineyard in 1602, described it as
'the north part of Virginia,' and sought and obtained Ralegh's
permission and encouragement. Posterity has rewarded his faith and
perseverance. He never set foot anywhere in the country called generally
Virginia. His expeditions by deputy were themselves confined to the part
which is now North Carolina. All his experiments at the colonization of
that were failures. His £40,000, his colonists, and the polity he framed
for them, had disappeared before any white settlement took root. But he
will always be esteemed the true parent of North American colonization.
An idea like his has life in it, though the plant may not spring up at
once. When it rises above the surface the sower can claim it. Had the
particular region of the New World not eventually become a permanent
English settlement, he would still have earned the merit of authorship
of the English colonizing movement. As Humboldt has said, without him,
and without Cabot, North America might never have grown into a home of
the English tongue.

[Sidenote: _Potatoes and Tobacco._]

Ralegh's Virginian scheme cost much money, and brought in little. It
gave him fame, which he craved still more, and kept the town talking.
His distant seigniory excited the English imagination. He was believed
to have endowed his Sovereign with a new realm. He had the glory of
having enriched his country with new fruits, plants, and flowers. The
nature of the man was that he could touch nothing but immediately it
appropriated itself to him. He is fabled to have been the first to
import mahogany into England from Guiana. He set orange trees in the
garden of his wife's uncle, Sir Francis Carew, at Beddington; and he has
been credited with their first introduction. The Spaniards first brought
potatoes into Europe. Hariot and Lane first discovered them in North
Carolina. He grew them at Youghal, and they became his. Hariot
discoursed learnedly on the virtues of tobacco, and Drake conveyed the
leaf to England. Ralegh smoked, and none but he has the repute of the
fashion. He gave the taste vogue, teaching the courtiers to smoke their
pipes with silver bowls, and supplying them with the leaf. Sir John
Stanhope excuses himself in 1601 from sending George Carew in Ireland
any 'tabacca, because Mr. Secretary and Sir Walter have stored you of
late.' Till he mounted the scaffold, having first 'taken tobacco,' the
kingdom resounded with legends, doubtful enough, of his devotion to this
his familiar genius. It was told how his old manservant deluged him at
Sherborne with spiced ale to put out the combustion inside him; how he
won wagers of the Queen that he could weigh vapours; how he smoked as
Essex died. Society stared to see him take a pipe at Sir Robert
Poyntz's. His gilt leather tobacco case was a prize for a Yorkshire
museum. For words, ways, and doings, he was the observed of all
observers. He was active in twenty different directions at once. He was
always before the eyes of the world. His name was on every lip.

[Sidenote: _Pioneer and Privateer._]

Among his constant motives of action was a fiery indignation at the
spectacle of the Spanish monopoly of the New World. No sentiment could
stir more of English sympathy. The people heartily shared his
determination to rival Spain, and to pillage Spain. He had the Viking
spirit, and he burnt with a freebooter's passion for the sea. But he had
an intuition also of the national capacity for colonization, in which
the purest patriot must have concurred. He was resolved to direct the
maritime enthusiasm of his countrymen and their age to that definite
end. He succeeded, though destined to the lot rather of Moses than of
Joshua. His outlay on Virginia did not bound his expenditure in these
ways. Adrian his half-brother, and his habitual associate, had resumed
Sir Humphrey Gilbert's old project for the discovery of a North-West
Passage to India and China. A patent was granted him in 1583. He
established a 'Fellowship' to work it. Ralegh joined. Captain John Davys
was appointed commander, and two barks were equipped. Davys discovered
Davis's Straits. Mount Ralegh, shining like gold, he christened after
one of his most celebrated patrons. Hakluyt in 1587 stated that Ralegh
had thrice contributed with the forwardest to Davys's North-West
voyages. From a mixture of patriotism, maritime adventurousness, and the
love of gain, he employed his various opportunities to engage in
privateering as a regular business. Privy Council minutes for 1585
mention captures by him, through his officers, of Spanish ships, with
600 Spaniards, at the Newfoundland fisheries. He sent forth in June,
1586, his ships Serpent and Mary Spark, under Captains Jacob Whiddon and
John Evesham, to fight the Spaniards at the Azores. In a battle of
thirty-two hours, against twenty-four Spanish ships, they failed to
capture two great caracks which they coveted. They brought home three
less valuable, but remunerative, prizes. Don Pedro Sarmiento de Genaboa,
Governor of the Straits of Magellan, and other captives were worth heavy
ransoms. Ralegh repeats in the History, 'a pretty jest' told him
'merrily' by the worthy Don Pedro, on whom he clearly did not allow
thraldom to weigh heavily, how the draftsman of the chart of the Straits
invented an island in them at his wife's instance, that she might have
something specially her own in the chart. In the same year, 1586, he
contributed a pinnace to a plundering expedition of the Earl of
Cumberland's to the South Sea. Though he was not allowed to be often at
sea in person, he vindicated by his eager promotion of maritime
adventures a full right to be entered, as we find him in January, 1586,
in an official list of 'sea captains.'

[Sidenote: _Charges of Piracy._]

[Sidenote: _His Defence._]

As Vice-Admiral of the South-West, he possessed advantages beyond most
for private raids upon Spanish commerce. When he was not on the spot,
his faithful and affectionate deputy in Devonshire, Sir John Gilbert,
was at hand to look after his ships' stores. Doubtless outrages were
committed under shelter of his Court favour. He joined the evil
experiences of the sailor with those of the soldier and courtier in his
dying regrets. Occasionally the Privy Council had to expostulate
energetically. In 1589 a ship of his took two barks of Cherbourg. He and
his officers were charged to minister no cause of grief to any of the
French king's subjects. In the same year, Albert Reynerson was lodging
complaints against Ralegh's captain of the Roebuck. Another of his
captains, John Floyer, in 1592, was accused of having captured a ship of
Bayonne with a load of cod, beside a waistcoat of carnation colour,
curiously embroidered. Filippo Corsini sued him in that year for a ship
his people had seized. In 1600 the Republic of Venice was aggrieved at
the capture of a Venetian merchantman by Sir John Gilbert, junior,
eldest son of Sir Humphrey, in command of one of Ralegh's vessels. At
other times Venice claimed the surrender of Venetian goods in Spanish
bottoms, though Ralegh stoutly argued against the claim. Sometimes the
Government could not but interfere when neutrals had been pillaged. It
was always reluctant to discourage the buccaneering trade, which it knew
to be very lucrative. For instance, Ralegh and eleven other adventurers
in 1591 equipped, at a cost of £8000, privateers which brought home
prizes worth £31,150. The profit to the partnership was £14,952, which
must be multiplied five times to express the present value. In high
places no repugnance to the pursuit was felt. The Queen not rarely
adventured, and looked for the lion's share of the spoil. Robert Cecil,
after he had succeeded to his father's ascendency, was willing to
speculate, if his association might be kept secret: 'For though, I thank
God, I have no other meaning than becometh an honest man in any of my
actions, yet that which were another man's _Pater noster_, would be
accounted in me a charm.' Ralegh's views and character obliged him to no
bashful dissimulation of the practice. To him privateering seemed
strictly legal, and unequivocally laudable. He boasted in 1586 that he
had consumed the best part of his fortune in abating the tyrannous
prosperity of Spain. He acted as much in defence and retaliation as for
offence. He stated in the House of Commons in 1592 that the West Country
had, since the Parliament began, been plundered of the worth of
£440,000. In 1603 he wrote that a few Dunkirk privateers under Spanish
protection had 'taken from the West Country merchants within two years
above three thousand vessels, beside all they had gotten from the rest
of the ports of England.' He himself, as the State Papers testify, had
often to lament losses of ships through Spanish and French privateers.
Public opinion entirely justified the vigour with which he conducted his
retaliation. If he were unpopular among his countrymen, or any section
of them, the fact is not to be explained by the employment of his riches
and influence in onslaughts upon foreign commerce. As he has written in
his History, Englishmen never objected to the most fearful odds, when
'royals of plate and pistolets' were in view. They might have been
expected to be grateful to a leading promoter of lucratively perilous
enterprises; and in the West they were.



CHAPTER VI.

PATRON AND COURTIER (1583-1590).


[Sidenote: _Hakluyt._]

In social and private as well as public life Ralegh was open-handed and
liberal in kind offices. Those are not unpopular characteristics. He was
a patron of letters. His name may be read in many dedications. Few of
them can have been gratuitous. Martin Bassanière of Paris inscribed to
him very appropriately his publication of Laudonnière's narrative of the
French expedition to Florida. Richard Hakluyt, junior, during his
residence in France, had lighted upon Laudonnière's manuscript. From him
Bassanière received it. He translated the volume in 1587, and dedicated
his version to Ralegh. Hakluyt had to thank Ralegh also for material
assistance both with money and with advice in the compilation of his
celebrated collection of voyages. The manuscript, for example, of the
Portuguese narrative of de Gama's voyage in 1541 to the Red Sea had been
bought for £60 by Ralegh, who presented it to him. Ralegh again was 'at
no small charges' towards the production by the French painter, Jacques
Morgues, of a series of coloured illustrations of Florida, whither he
had accompanied Laudonnière. In 1586 the publisher of John Case's
_Praise of Music_ dedicated it to Ralegh, as a virtuoso. In 1588
Churchyard dedicated to him the _Spark of Friendship_. Hooker, the
antiquary, introduced the continuation of the Irish history of Giraldus
Cambrensis with a fervent encomium on the illustrious Warden of the
Stannaries, who was 'rather a servant than a commander to his own
fortune.' A medical treatise was inscribed to him as an expert. A list
which has been preserved of his signs for chemical substances and drugs,
shows that as early as 1592 he had paid attention to medicine. He
appears to have kept amanuenses to copy interesting manuscripts. Thus,
John Peirson who, in 1585, was in trouble in connexion with a tract
entitled _Reasons why the King of Scots is unacceptable to the People of
England_, deposed that he delivered one of the five copies he made to
'Sir Walter Ralegh, my master.'

[Sidenote: _Hariot._]

[Sidenote: _Udal._]

Throughout life he befriended Hariot, the universal philosopher, as he
has been called. Hariot has been credited with the invention of the
system of notation in Algebra. He discovered the solar spots before, and
the satellites of Jupiter almost simultaneously with, Galileo. Hariot,
who numbered Bishops among his admirers, was accused by zealots of
atheism, because his cosmogony was not orthodox. They discerned a
judgment in his death in 1621 from cancer in the lip or nose. His ill
repute for free-thinking was reflected on Ralegh who hired him to teach
him mathematics, and engaged him in his colonizing projects. Ralegh
introduced him to the Earl of Northumberland, who allowed him a liberal
pension. But new ties did not weaken the old. Hariot and he remained
constantly attached. Hariot was the friend whose society he chiefly
craved when he was recovering from his wound in the Tower. During his
long imprisonment Hariot was the faithful companion of his studies.
Hariot brought to his notice another Oxford man, Lawrence Keymis. Keymis
is described by Wood as well read in geography and mathematics. I am
indebted to Professor Jowett for a confirmation from the Register of
Balliol, which Keymis entered in 1579, graduating Master of Arts in
1586, of Wood's statement that he was elected a probationer Fellow in
November, 1582. He was then nineteen years old, and an undergraduate.
Five Bachelors of Arts were elected with him. To him also, of whom there
will be much, too much, hereafter to say, Ralegh was a generous patron.
Ralegh was equally ready to spend his court interest in the service of a
pious theologian like John Udal the Hebraist. Udal in 1590 published of
the Bishops, that they 'cared for nothing but the maintenance of their
dignities, be it the damnation of their own souls, and infinite millions
more.' He was tried for treason, since the Bishops, it was averred,
governed the Church for the Queen. A jury convicted him of authorship of
the book. The Judges iniquitously held that to amount to a conviction of
felony. They therefore sentenced him to death. He prayed Ralegh to
intercede with the Queen to commute his punishment to banishment, 'that
the land might not be charged with his blood.' Ralegh accepted the
office, and Essex combined with him. Retailers of court gossip
conjectured that his kindness was policy. They imagined that he and
Essex were secretly allied, and that Essex was employing him as 'an
instrument from the Puritans to the Queen upon any particular question
of relieving them.' A simpler and more generous motive is the more
probable. He fought for Udal against the same lying spirit of legal
casuistry which was to destroy himself. King James to his honour joined
subsequently in mediating. Among them they saved the enthusiast's neck;
but he died in the Marshalsea, pending a dispute whether he could safely
be permitted to carry his anti-prelatic zeal and immense learning into a
chaplaincy in Guinea.

[Sidenote: _Good Offices._]

Other instances could be mentioned of Ralegh's disposition to pass his
favour on. 'When, Sir Walter,' asked Elizabeth of him, as he came with a
petition from a friend, 'will you cease to be a beggar?' 'When your
gracious Majesty,' was the answer, 'ceases to be a benefactor.' He has
had attributed to him, though obscurely, the project of an institution,
described as an 'office of address,' a species of entrepôt at which
either information and useful services, or both, might be exchanged.
Southey interprets it in the former sense, and regards it as an
anticipation of the Royal Society. That was the view of Evelyn, who says
that Ralegh put this 'fountain of communication in practice.' How is not
remembered. At any rate, in the second sense he energetically applied
the principle in his own conduct. Not less from kindness than from the
wish to secure personal adherents, he was generally helpful. Now, his
client was a poor wounded officer, whose arrears of pay he was praying
the Treasury to discharge; partly, for love of him; partly, for honest
consideration. Now, it was some prosperous placeman, his equal, or his
superior in rank. As he boasts, in claiming a return from an Irish law
officer, 'I assure you, on mine honour, I have deserved it at his hands
in places where it may most stead him.' He used like language of the
Lord Deputy Fitzwilliam. Before he rose he had ranked himself among
Leicester's followers. Leicester speedily grew jealous of his
prosperity. Sir Henry Wotton, who imputed the beginning of Ralegh's rise
to Leicester, has stated in his Parallel between Essex and George
Villiers, that the Earl soon found him such an apprentice as knew well
enough how to set up for himself. Ralegh never withheld due marks of
deference from his elder. Churchyard the poet described, or undertook to
describe, a grand Shrovetide show prepared by Ralegh, in which the
gentlemen of the Guard represented the Earl's exploits in Flanders.
Ralegh was ever at pains to remove any specific grievance. On March 29,
1586, he writes to assure Leicester that he had urged the Queen to grant
the request for pioneers in the Netherlands. He seems to have been
accused, as he was to be accused seventeen years later, of intrigues on
behalf of Spain, which he had constantly been attacking. He could not
have had much difficulty in defending himself from the charge, about
which he remarks he had been 'of late very pestilent reported.' It was
not so clear that he recognized the Earl's paramount title as Queen's
favourite. To disarm suspicion on that score he adds a postscript: 'The
Queen is in very good terms with you, and, thank be to God, well
pacified; and you are again her Sweet Robyn.' He cannot have esteemed
Leicester. A stinging epitaph, attributed to him with the usual scarcity
of evidence, may express his real view of the poor-spirited soldier, the
deceitful courtier, the statesman and noble 'that all the world did
hate.' But he was no backbiter. Elizabeth vouched for his claim to
Leicester's friendliness. She bade Walsingham declare to Leicester, upon
her honour, that the gentleman had done good offices for him in the time
of her displeasure.

[Sidenote: _The Earl of Oxford._]

He could be useful to the greatest; whether only great, or great and
deserving too. He had been always solicitous of Burleigh's goodwill. As
a rival at Court of Leicester, he had it. Burleigh loved no Court
favourites. 'Seek not to be Essex; shun to be Ralegh,' was his warning
to his son. Robert Cecil, awkward and deformed, was in no danger.
Favourites represented a side of the Queen's nature which continually
troubled the wise Minister. Their accomplishments were not his. They
were costly. While he cannot have failed to perceive something admirable
in Ralegh, he would not value the majority of his merits. The poetry and
imaginativeness he despised. Still he always preserved amicable
relations. He condescended to use Ralegh's personal influence as well as
Hatton's. In the spring of 1583 he solicited the mediation of both those
favourites with the Queen for his son-in-law, Edward Vere, Earl of
Oxford. Oxford was in disgrace on the charge, not very heavy in those
days as against an Earl, of having slain Long Tom, a retainer of Mr.
Knyvett's. The Queen had rejected Burleigh's own intercession. She
appears to have granted forgiveness at Ralegh's suit. Oxford's arrogance
had provoked Sir Philip Sidney. It had not spared Ralegh, who, Aubrey
says, had been 'a second with him in a duel.' Ralegh pretended no
kindliness for the Earl; he avowed to Burleigh that as a mediator he
acted for the Minister's sake alone: 'I am content to lay the serpent
before the fire, as much as in me lieth, that, having recovered
strength, myself may be more in danger of his poison and sting.'
Eighteen years after, not that he cared, he found the venom was not
exhausted.

[Sidenote: _His Unpopularity._]

[Sidenote: _An Excess of Capability._]

Ralegh did not hoard or keep to himself the wealth and power conferred
upon him. His was an age of patronage. Other successful courtiers had,
like him, their trains of dependants. He was at least as bountiful as
any and as sympathetic. His followers believed in and worshipped him.
Posterity he has captivated. Yet throughout his active career he aroused
bitter hatred, unless in the West, and in his own home circle. The fact
requires to be noted for the purpose of appraising contemporary comments
upon his acts. Apologists and impartial chroniclers are as distinct as
enemies in intimating that he was a constant mark for 'detraction' and
'envyings.' He was unpopular on account alike of his demeanour, of the
Queen's favour, and of the monopolizing energy in the public service by
which to posterity he has justified it. All students recollect Aubrey's
description of him as one whose blemish or 'næve it was that he was
damnably proud.' In serious illustration of the charge, Aubrey repeats a
tale related by an old attendant, who had seen the Lord High Admiral in
the Privy Garden wipe with his cloak the dust from Ralegh's shoes 'in
compliment.' Aubrey's description of Ralegh is all hearsay; since he was
not born till 1627. He may have been told anecdotes by members of the
family; for his grandfather was a Wiltshire neighbour of Sir Carew
Ralegh, and he was himself a schoolfellow of Sir Carew's grandchildren.
But he was utterly uncritical, and his bare assertion would carry little
weight. The testimony of a sworn foe, like Lord Henry Howard, to
Ralegh's extraordinary haughtiness, may be regarded even with more
suspicion. An old acquaintance, however, and a political ally, the Earl
of Northumberland, similarly describes Ralegh as 'insolent, extremely
heated, a man that desired to seem to be able to sway all men's
courses.' That this was the current opinion, due, as it was, more or
less to misconception, is borne out by a mass of authority. Ralegh must
have profoundly impressed all about him with a sense that he felt
himself better fitted than themselves to regulate their lives. His air
of conscious superiority silenced opposition, but was resented. Neither
a mob, nor Howards and Percies pardoned his assumption of an infinite
superiority of capacity. His gaiety and splendour were treated as proofs
of arrogance. His evident contempt of 'the rascal multitude' added to
the odium which dogged his course. He never condescended to allude to
the subject in writing or in authenticated speech. Though he courted
occasions for renown, he did not seek applause. His position as a
Queen's favourite in any case must have brought aversion upon him.
Tarleton, as he half acted, half improvised, is said to have shuffled a
pack of cards, and pointed at him, standing behind the Queen's chair, an
insolent innuendo: 'See, the knave commands the Queen.' The comedian, if
the story be true, could reckon upon the support of a vast body of
popular malevolence. Still, as a favourite, Ralegh only shared the lot
of his class. The same privileged player is alleged to have proceeded to
satirize Leicester as well. Hatton was a frequent butt for fierce
sarcasms upon royal favouritism. The phenomenon in Ralegh's unpopularity
is that proof absolutely irrefutable of the grandeur of his powers, and
all the evidence of his exploits, should never have won him an amnesty
for the original sin of his sovereign's kindness. Pride itself, it might
have been thought, would have been pardoned at last in the doer of such
deeds. His inexpiable offences really were his restless activity, and
his passion for personal management. He was a born manager of men.
Whatever was in hand, he saw what ought to be done, and was conscious of
ability to arrange for the doing. He could never be connected with an
enterprise which he was not determined to direct. He could endure to be
a subordinate only if his masters would be in leading-strings.



CHAPTER VII.

ESSEX. THE ARMADA (1587-1589).


[Sidenote: _Popularity of Essex._]

As a favourite Ralegh was certain to have originally been hated by the
people. His favour might have been tolerated by courtiers, or by a
sufficient section of them, if he had been content to parade and enjoy
his pomps, and had let them govern. His strenuous vigour exasperated
them as much as his evident conviction of a right to rule. They never
ceased to regard him on that account as a soldier of fortune, and an
upstart. So poor a creature as Hatton had his party at Court. When he
retired to the country in dudgeon at a display of royal grace to Ralegh,
his friends, as Sir Thomas Heneage, were busy for him so late as April,
1585. Elizabeth was persuaded by them to let them give him assurances on
her behalf, that she would rather see Ralegh hanged than equal him with
Hatton, or allow the world to think she did. When Hatton was out of date
the courtiers combined to set up Essex against him, and had the
assistance of the multitude in their tactics. The popular attitude
towards Essex is the solitary exception to the rule of the national
abhorrence of favourites. It is explained as much by the dislike of
Ralegh as by Essex's ingratiating characteristics. Animosity against
Ralegh stimulated courtiers and the populace to sing in chorus the
praises of the stepson of the detested Leicester. No anger was exhibited
at the elevation of a lad of twenty to the Mastership of the Horse.
Stories of the Queen's supposed infatuation, how she 'kept him at cards,
or one game or another, the whole night, and he cometh not to his own
lodgings till birds sing in the morning,' amused, and did not incense.
Meanwhile the approved soldier, the planter of Virginia, was in the same
May, 1587, truthfully described as 'the best hated man of the world in
Court, city, and country.'

[Sidenote: _His Antipathy to Ralegh._]

For the crowd Essex may have had the merit of being of an ancient
nobility, which needed no intricate demonstration by antiquaries and
genealogists. He had enough patrimonial wealth to justify the Sovereign
in showering largess upon him. He was not one of the irrepressible west
countrymen who brought their nimble wits, comeliness, and courage to the
market of the Court. He was more bright than stately. His petulance did
not produce an impression of haughtiness. For the courtier class he
possessed the yet higher virtue of willingness to be at once a centre
and watchword and an instrument. From the first he was manipulated as an
engine against Ralegh. In a letter to one of his many confidants he
shows the readiness with which he accepted the office. In 1587 Elizabeth
was on a progress, and was staying at North Hall in Hertfordshire.
Ralegh, as Captain of the Guard, and Essex both attended her. Essex
writes to his friend, Edward Dyer, that he reproached the Queen for
having slighted his sister, Lady Dorothy Perrot, the wife of Ralegh's
old antagonist, Sir Thomas. He declared to her 'the true cause of this
disgrace to me and to my sister, which was only to please that knave
Ralegh, for whose sake I saw she would both grieve me and my love, and
disgrace me in the eyes of the world. From thence she came to speak of
Ralegh, and it seemed she could not well endure anything to be spoken
against him; and taking hold of the word "disdain," she said there was
"no such cause why I should disdain him." This speech did touch me so
much that, as near as I could, I did describe unto her what he had been,
and what he was. I did let her know whether I had cause to disdain his
competition of love, or whether I could have comfort to give myself over
to the service of a mistress which was in awe of such a man. I spake,
what of grief and choler, as much against him as I could, and I think
he, standing at the door, might very well hear the very worst that I
spoke of himself. In the end I saw she was resolved to defend him, and
to cross me. For myself, I told her I had no joy to be in any place, but
was loth to be near about her, when I knew my affection so much thrown
down, and such a wretch as Ralegh highly esteemed of her.' When he
called Ralegh a wretch the Queen expressed her disgust at the
impertinence by turning away to Lady Warwick, and closed the interview.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's Decline._]

Essex spoke, and perhaps thought, thus of Ralegh in 1587. So the nation
at large spoke and thought of him then, and for many years afterwards.
If he had only been such as he had as yet shown himself, posterity might
have found it difficult to prove the condemnation unjust. He had risen
in virtue of a handsome person and a courtly wit. He had equipped
expeditions of discovery, in which he took no share of the perils, and
the whole of the glory. He had fought and spoiled the Spaniards, chiefly
by deputy, risking his own person as little as 'the noble warrior' of
his reputed epigram, 'that never blunted sword.' The hardships and
dangers he had sturdily braved in France and Ireland were for his
contemporaries simple myths, as they would have been for us, had he died
at thirty-five. Had he retained the Queen's favour uninterrupted, had
she not been capricious, had there been no Essex, had there been no
Elizabeth Throckmorton, he might have died at sixty, at seventy, or at
eighty, and a verdict hardly less severe been pronounced. It is not
certain. Possibly in any event, the vigour inherent in the man, his
curiosity, his instinct for stamping his will on the world outside, his
eagerness to impel his nation to empire westwards, might have had their
way. They might have mastered the contradictory ambition to be
victorious in a contest of factions. While he was still absorbed in
Court strifes, and in the seductive labour of building up a fortune, he
had proved that he was no mere carpet knight. But it was well that his
natural tendencies towards a life of action were braced by the
experience of a chill in the ardour of royal benevolence. From 1587, as
the star of Essex rose, and his was supposed to be waning, his orbit can
be seen widening. It became more independent. As reigning favourite he
had vicariously explored, colonized, plundered, and fought. Henceforth
he was to do a substantial part of his own work.

[Sidenote: _Antedated._]

Essex, at the period of the North Hall scene, was new to the Court. He
must soon have discovered that Ralegh was not to be spurned as a clown,
or to be stormed out of the Queen's graces by insolence. He did not grow
therefore the less hostile. He rejected Elizabeth's inducements to him
to live on terms of amity with a rival in all essential respects
infinitely his superior. Persuaded that she could not dispense with
himself, he persisted in putting her to her option between them. The
rank and file at Elizabeth's Court had a keen scent for their
Sovereign's bias. They foresaw the inevitable end, though they antedated
by several years the actual catastrophe. In 1587 Arabella Stuart, a girl
of twelve, was at Court. She supped at Lord Burleigh's. The other guests
were her uncle, Sir Charles Cavendish, and Ralegh. Cavendish mentions
the entertainment in a letter to a friend. He relates that Burleigh
praised to Ralegh 'Lady Arbell,' who had been congratulating herself
that 'the Queen had examined her nothing touching her book,' for her
French, Italian, music, dancing, and writing. Burleigh wished she were
fifteen years old. 'With that he rounded Sir Walter in the ear, who
answered, it would be a very happy thing.' Cavendish goes on to observe
that Sir Walter was in wonderful declination, yet laboured to underprop
himself by my Lord Treasurer and his friends. He inferred from the
contrast between Ralegh's former pride and his present too great
humility, that he would never rise again. My Lord Treasurer and his
friends were not given to the support of discarded favourites. Ralegh's
presence at so intimate a gathering, and the confidence vouchsafed him,
are signs that he was still potent. The stream of the royal bounty
continued to flow. The Babington grant was in 1587. For several years
to come other similar tokens of regard were accorded him. Towards the
close of 1587 itself signal testimony was offered of the trust of the
Queen and her counsellors in his wisdom and martial skill.

[Sidenote: _A Council of War._]

In February, 1587, Queen Mary Stuart was executed. It is the one
important event of the period with which Ralegh's name is not connected.
He does not appear to have been consulted, nor to have spoken on the
matter either in or out of Parliament. Its consequences concerned him.
The act quickened the Spanish preparations for the invasion of England.
King Philip had no thought of concealment. He published his designs to
all Europe. The menaced kingdom had full notice. In November, 1587, a
council of war was instructed to consider the means of defence. Its
members were Lord Grey, Sir Thomas Knolles, Sir Thomas Leighton, Sir
Walter Ralegh, described as Lieutenant-General of Cornwall, Sir John
Norris, Sir Richard Grenville, Sir Richard Bingham, who had been
Ralegh's early comrade in Ireland, Sir Roger Williams, and Mr. Ralph
Lane. They advised that Milford Haven, the Isle of Wight, the Downs,
Margate, the Thames, and Portland should be fortified against Spanish
descents. They thought it improbable the King of Spain would venture his
fleet far within the Sleeve before he had mastered some good harbour.
Consequently they recommended the defence of Plymouth by strong works,
and a garrison of 5000 men from Cornwall and Devon. Portland they
reported should be guarded by 2700 from Dorset and Wilts. If the enemy
landed, the country was to be driven so as to leave no victuals for the
invader. Ralegh separately petitioned Burleigh for cannon for Portland
and Weymouth. Thence some have inferred that he was now Governor of the
former.

[Sidenote: _The Armada._]

In December, 1587, he was employed, in concert with Sir John Gilbert and
Lord Bath, in levying a force of 2000 foot and 200 horse in Cornwall and
Devon. Exeter claimed exemption on account of its heavy expenses for the
defence of its trade against Barbary corsairs. By the beginning of 1588
the immediate fear of attack had abated. The invasion was thought to
have been put off. Ralegh took the opportunity to visit Ireland. There
he had both public and private duties. He retained his commission in the
army. Moreover, he was answerable, as a Crown tenant, for twenty
horsemen, though his charges for them were refunded. Thus, in March,
1588, an order was made for the payment to him of £244 for the previous
half year. Always he had his estate to put in order, and functions
connected with it to perform. According to the local records, he served
this year the office of Mayor of Youghal. During a considerable portion
of the term he must have been an absentee. In Ireland the news reached
him that the Armada had started or was starting. Hastening back he
commenced by mustering troops in the West, and strengthening Portland
Castle. But his own trust was in the fleet. In his _History of the
World_ he propounds the question whether England without its fleet would
be able to debar an enemy from landing. He answers by showing how easily
ships, without putting themselves out of breath, will outrun soldiers
marching along the coast. The Spaniards in July, 1588, could, in his
opinion, but for the English ships, have chosen a landing-place with no
sufficient army at hand to resist them. The Armada might have failed, he
admits, against the choice troops gathered about the Queen. He did not
believe in the ability of the remainder round the coast to encounter an
army like that which the Prince of Parma could have landed in England.
His advice had its weight in inducing Elizabeth to fit out the fleet,
which did noble service under Howard of Effingham.

[Sidenote: _Against 'Grappling'._]

He acted upon his own doctrine. On July 21 the Defiance assailed a
Spanish ship near the Eddystone. On the 23rd the Spaniards were over
against Portland. Thereupon Ralegh gave over his land charge to others.
With a body of gentlemen volunteers he embarked, and joined in the
universal rush at and about the enemy. All day the battle raged. Ships
started out of every haven, to the number of a hundred. All hurried to
Portland, 'as unto a sea-field where immortal fame and glory was to be
attained, and faithful service to be performed unto their prince and
country.' It was for the Englishmen 'a morris dance upon the waters.' We
may be sure he applied his principle of the worse armed but handier
fleet, not 'grappling,' as 'a great many malignant fools' contended Lord
Howard ought, but 'fighting loose or at large.' 'The guns of a slow
ship,' he observes, 'make as great holes as those of a swift. The
Spaniards had an army aboard them, and Howard had none; they had more
ships than he had, and of higher building and charging; so that had he
entangled himself with those great and powerful vessels he had greatly
endangered this Kingdom of England. But our admiral knew his advantage,
and held it; which had he not done he had not been worthy to have held
his head.' Camden reports advice given to Howard by one of his officers
to grapple on July 23. It has been surmised that Ralegh dissuaded him.
It may be so; and Ralegh can be construed as wishing it to be so
understood.

Next day the Spaniards lay by to breathe. The English had leisure to
send ashore for powder and shot. These for the great guns had, he has
recorded, been unduly stinted. On July 25 the battle was resumed, as the
enemy sailed towards the Isle of Wight. A Portuguese galleon was
captured. On moved both fleets to the Straits of Dover. Many fresh
English volunteer ships kept streaming in till the English fleet
numbered 140 sail. Here Camden alludes to Ralegh by name. So does a
correspondent of Mendoza, describing him as 'a gentleman of the Queen's
Privy Chamber.' He must have been at the decisive struggle before
Calais; 'Never was seen by any man living such a battery.' He was
present at the desperate stand of the Spaniards opposite Gravelines. He
helped to hunt the enemy into the northern seas. In a passage,
attributed by Strype to Drake, of his _Report of the Truth of the Fight
about the Isles of the Azores_, he writes: 'The navy of 140 sail, was by
thirty of the Queen's ships of war and a few merchantmen, beaten and
shuffled together, even from the Lizard Point, in Cornwall, to Portland,
where they shamefully left Don Pedro de Valdez with his mighty ship;
from Portland to Calais, where they lost Hugo de Monçada, with the
galleys of which he was captain; and from Calais, driven with squibs
from their anchors, were chased out of the sight of England round about
Scotland and Ireland; where, for the sympathy of their barbarous
religion, hoping to find succour and assistance, a great part of them
were crushed against the rocks; and those others who landed, being very
many in number, were, notwithstanding, broken, slain, and taken, and so
sent from village to village, coupled with halters, to be shipped into
England; where her Majesty, of her princely and "invincible"
disposition, disdaining to put them to death, and scorning either to
retain or entertain them, they were all sent back again to their own
country, to witness and recount the worthy achievements of their
"invincible navy".'

[Sidenote: _Retaliation on Spain._]

Ralegh had much to do with the preliminary arrangements for the repulse
of the Armada. He advised on the manner in which the victory might be
improved. Several of the noble Spanish prisoners were committed to his
charge. A plan was formed, which the completeness of the Spanish
overthrow rendered unnecessary, for the despatch of Sir Richard
Grenville and him to Ireland for the suppression of any armed body of
Spanish fugitives. His part in the actual Channel fighting had been that
simply of one among many gallant captains. When next the State made a
naval demonstration he continued to play a secondary character. In
April, 1589, an expedition, under Drake and Norris, of six Queen's
men-of-war and 120 volunteer sail, started to restore Don Antonio to the
throne of Portugal. It was retaliation for the Armada. Ralegh sailed in
a ship of his own, as a volunteer without a command. Lisbon was assailed
and Vigo burnt. Otherwise the chief result of the attempt was spoil. In
the Tagus 200 vessels were burnt. Many of them were easterling hulks
laden with stores for a new invasion of England. Disease, arising from
intemperate indulgence in new wine, crippled the fleet, and led to a
quarrel between Ralegh and another Adventurer. Colonel Roger Williams
had lent men to bring home one of Ralegh's prizes. Williams treated
ship and cargo as therefore his in virtue of salvage. Ralegh, always
tenacious of his rights, resisted, and the Privy Council upheld him. The
expedition, which ended in June, though it did not gain much glory, was
profitable. He, for example, effected some lucrative captures, and was
paid £4000 as his share of the general booty.



CHAPTER VIII.

THE POET. (1589-1593).


[Sidenote: _Out of Favour._]

Ralegh would have been happier if he could have gone on fighting Spain
instead of returning to the discord of Court rivalries. Before the
summer was over he was again immersed in bickerings with Essex. The Earl
was prone to take offence. After the defeat of the Armada he had
challenged Ralegh to mortal combat. The unknown grievance was probably
not more serious than the title to a ribbon of the Queen's, for which, a
little later, he provoked a duel with Blount, Lord Mountjoy. Between him
and Ralegh the Council interposed. It averted a combat, and endeavoured
to suppress the fact of the challenge. The two could be bound over to
keep the peace. They could not be reconciled. Too many indiscreet or
malignant partisans were interested in inflaming the conflict. Elizabeth
tried with more or less success to adjust the balance by a rebuff to
each. She rejected Ralegh's solicitation of the rangership of the New
Forest for Lord Pembroke. She gave the post to Blount, Essex's recent
antagonist. Still, on the whole, there appears to have been some
foundation for the gossip of courtiers that Ralegh was more really in
the shade. Soon after his return from Portugal he had quitted the Court,
first, for the West, and then for Ireland. Captain Francis Allen wrote,
on August 17, 1589, to Francis Bacon's elder brother, Anthony, who
subsequently conducted Essex's foreign correspondence: 'My Lord of Essex
hath chased Mr. Ralegh from the Court, and hath confined him into
Ireland.' The statement was not accurate. Ralegh was able practically
to contradict it by his return, after a visit to Munster of a few
months. In a letter of December, 1589, he assured his cousin Carew,
'noble George,' then Master of the Ordnance in Ireland: 'For my retreat
from Court, it was upon good cause to take order for my prize. If in
Ireland they think I am not worth the respecting, they shall much
deceive themselves. I am in place to be believed not inferior to any
man, to pleasure or displeasure the greatest; and my opinion is so
received and believed as I can anger the best of them. And therefore, if
the Deputy be not as ready to stead me as I have been to defend him--be
it as it may. When Sir William Fitzwilliams shall be in England, I take
myself for his better by the honourable offices I hold, as also by that
nearness to her Majesty which I still enjoy.'

[Sidenote: _At Youghal._]

He could truly deny any permanent manifestation of a loss of royal
goodwill. He had been receiving fresh marks of it. He was about to
receive more. His Irish estate afforded sufficient ground for absence
from Court, though no less agreeable motive had concurred. He had
rounded off his huge concession by procuring from the Bishop of Lismore,
in 1587, a lease of Lismore Manor at a rent of £13 _6s. 8d._ He was
building on the site of the castle a stately habitation, which his
wealthy successors have again transformed out of all resemblance to his
work. He had conceived an affection for the Warden's house attached to
the Dominican Friary at Youghal, Myrtle Grove, or Ralegh's House, as it
came to be styled. Its present owner, Sir John Pope Hennessy, who has
made it the occasion of a picturesque but bitter monograph, thinks he
liked it because it reminded him of Hayes Barton. Other observers have
failed to see the resemblance. At present it remains much as it was when
Ralegh sat in its deep bays, or by its carved fire-place. The great
myrtles in its garden must be almost his contemporaries. He had his
experiments to watch, his potatoes and tobacco, his yellow wallflowers,
in the pleasant garden by the Blackwater. He had to replenish his farms
with well affected Englishmen whom he imported from Devon, Somerset,
and Dorset. In 1592 it is officially recorded that, beside fifty Irish
families, 120 Englishmen, many of whom had families, were settled on his
property. He was developing a mineral industry by the help of miners he
had hired from Cornwall. He was conducting, at a cost of some £200 a
year, a lively litigation with his Lismore neighbours, of which he wrote
in a few months to his cousin: 'I will shortly send over an order from
the Queen for a dismiss of their cavillations.' It was the short way of
composing law proceedings against Court favourites. He was planning the
confusion by similar means of the unfriendly Fitzwilliam's 'connivances
with usurpers of his land.' Yet a cloud there seems to have been, if
only a passing one. A memorable incident of literary history, connected
with this sojourn in Ireland, verifies the talk of the Court, and lends
it importance. It may even point to a relation between the haze dimly
discernible now, and the tempest which burst three years later.

[Sidenote: _Edmund Spenser._]

[Sidenote: _The Faerie Queene._]

Edmund Spenser had been with Lord Deputy Grey when Ralegh was a Munster
captain. But, if the poet be taken literally, they were not acquainted
before 1589. His Irish services, as Ralegh's, were rewarded out of the
Desmond forfeitures. He received 3028 acres in Cork, with Kilcolman
Castle, two miles from Doneraile. The estate formed part of a wide
plain, well watered, and, in the sixteenth century, well wooded. The
castle is now a roofless ivy-clad ruin. The poet was turning it into a
pleasant residence. Ralegh came to see it and him. Spenser has described
the visit in the tenderest and least artificial of his poems. _Colin
Clout's Come Home Again_, printed in 1595, was inscribed to his friend
in 1591. The dedication was expressed to be in part payment of an
infinite debt. The poet declared it unworthy of Sir Walter's higher
conceit for the meanness of the style, but agreeable to the truth in
circumstance and matter. Lines in the poem corroborate the hypothesis
that Elizabeth had for a time, perhaps in the summer of 1589, been
estranged from Ralegh:--

    His song was all a lamentable lay
    Of great unkindness, and of usage hard,
    Of Cynthia, the Ladie of the Sea,
    Which from her presence faultlesse him debard.

They equally imply that, before Colin Clout's lay was indited, great
Cynthia had been induced by his complainings to abate her sore
displeasure--

    And moved to take him to her grace againe.

The circumstances of Spenser's own introduction to Court indicate that
Ralegh had recovered favour. He read or lent to Ralegh during the visit
to Kilcolman the first three books of the _Faerie Queene_. According to
Ben Jonson he also delivered to him now or later 'the meaning of the
Allegory in papers.' The poem enchanted the visitor, who offered to
become the author's sponsor to Elizabeth. Together, if Colin Clout is to
be believed, they crossed the sea, and repaired to the Court. There--

    The Shepheard of the Ocean--quoth he--
    Unto that Goddesse grace me first enhanced,
    And to my oaten pipe enclin'd her eare.

The first three books of the _Faerie Queene_ were published early in
1590, with an expository letter from the most humbly affectionate author
to the Right Noble and Valorous Sir Walter Ralegh. First of all the
copies of commendatory verses prefixed to the poems stood two signed
W.R.

Spenser, in _Colin Clout_, lauded Ralegh as a poet:--

    Full sweetly tempered is that Muse of his,
    That can empierce a Princes mightie hart.

[Sidenote:_Cynthia._]

[Sidenote:_Date of the Poem._]

Ralegh must have shown him part of a poem addressed to Elizabeth as
Cynthia, and estimated to have contained as many as 15,000 lines when
completed, if ever. This prodigious elegy was never published by Ralegh,
and no entire manuscript of it is known to exist. Some years ago a paper
was found in the Hatfield collection, endorsed as 'in Sir Walter's own
hand.' The handwriting resembles that of Ralegh in 1603. It comprises
altogether 568 verses. Two short poems, of seven and fourteen lines,
come first; and the manuscript terminates with an unfinished poem of
seven stanzas in a variety of terza rima. The body of the contents
consists of 526 elegiac verses, described in the manuscript as 'The
twenty-first and last book of the Ocean, to Cynthia.' Archdeacon Hannah,
in his _Courtly Poets from Ralegh to Montrose_, concludes, with some
hesitation, that the whole was composed as a sequel, between 1603 and
1612, to a much earlier poem. He sees in it allusions to the death of
the Queen, which would more or less fix the date. Mr. Edmund Gosse, in
the _Athenaeum_, in January, 1886, has contested that hypothesis. He
thinks, in the first place, that the twenty-one lines which precede, and
the twenty-one which follow, the so-called twenty-first book, have no
relation to the poem of _Cynthia_. The rest he holds to be not a
continuation of _Cynthia_, but an integral portion of the original work.
That work, as a whole, he has convinced himself, was produced during the
author's transient disgrace, between August, 1589, and its end, which
may be taken to have been not later than December in the same year. That
no part of _Cynthia_, as we have it, was written later than 1603
scarcely admits of doubt. Ralegh would not have sat down in the reign of
James to write love ditties to Elizabeth. His repinings and upbraidings
are manifestly all pointed at a dead heart, not at a dead queen. Mr.
Gosse is, however, more successful in his argument that the main
Hatfield poem was written in the lifetime of Elizabeth, than in his
attempt to date it in 1589. He assumes that the poem was a finished
composition when Ralegh read from it to Spenser. It is not likely that
it ever was finished. Spenser's allusions to it point to a conception
fully formed, rather than to a work ready for publication. In the latter
case it is improbable, to the verge of impossibility, that Ralegh should
not have communicated it to his circle. An initial objection to the view
that the twenty-first book was penned in 1589 is its reference to the--

    Twelve years entire I wasted on this war,

that war being his struggle for the affection of Elizabeth. This Mr.
Gosse ingeniously, but not satisfactorily, appropriates as the main
support of his chronology. In the Paunsford recognizance Ralegh is set
down as of the Court in 1577. On no other evidence Mr. Gosse infers that
he was laying siege to Elizabeth's heart before he went to Ireland. Thus
the dozen years of the campaign would be conveniently over by the autumn
of 1589. A simpler solution seems to be to assign the rough-hewing
of the entire project of _Cynthia_, and its partial accomplishment, to
the term of Ralegh's short occultation in 1589. He might well have
disclosed to Spenser his project, and read out passages. They would be
melancholy for their sorrow's crown of sorrow, their recalling of former
undimmed felicity--

    Of all which past the sorrow only stays.

They would exaggerate royal unkindness. They would hardly have descanted
on the tenderness as absolutely extinct. Even before Spenser extolled
the _Cynthia_ in _Colin Clout_ in 1591, the harshness was softened, and
had melted back to the playing at love in which Elizabeth was wont to
indulge with her courtiers. When he resumed the theme on his banishment
from Court in 1592, he would feel that he had solid cause for
lamentation. By 1594 his disgrace seemed definite; the royal kindness
won by years of devotion--

    Twelve years of my most happy younger days--

appeared to have been utterly killed; and he was preparing to sail away
into space. The twenty-first book might have been written at any time
between 1592 and 1595, and its most dismal groans be fairly explicable.
Looking back to his regrets in 1589 for an episode of neglect, he could
wonder at himself--

    At middle day my sun seemed under land,
    When any little cloud did it obscure.

Had Spenser seen the twenty-first book of _Cynthia_ in 1591, with its
real or unreal blackness of despair, he would not have spoken of Ralegh
as basking in the renewed radiance of happy prospects. So _Cynthia_, as
far as it was ever composed, may be considered one poem, to which the
extant twenty-first book essentially belongs. There is not, therefore,
necessarily any hope, or fear, that the whole exists, or ever existed,
in a perfect shape. Ralegh would nurse the idea for all the years in
which the Queen's withdrawal of the light of her countenance gave him
comparative leisure. The twenty-first book itself would be written with
the direct purpose of softening his mistress's obduracy. The explanation
of its preservation among the Hatfield papers may be that, on the eve of
his departure, forsaken, withered, hopeless, for Guiana, it was
confided, in 1594 or 1595, to Cecil, then a good friend, for seasonable
production to the Queen. Viewed as written either in 1589, or in the
reign of James, much of the twenty-first book is without meaning. Its
tone is plain and significant for the years 1592 to 1595. If traced to
that period, it tells both of the bold coming adventure of 1595,

    To kingdoms strange, to lands far-off addressed,

and of the irresistible power of 'her memory' in 1592

    To call me back, to leave great honour's thought,
      To leave my friends, my fortune, my attempt;
    To leave the purpose I so long had sought,
      And hold both cares and comforts in contempt.

[Sidenote: _Belphoebe._]

Concurrent testimony in favour of a date for the book later than 1589,
though much prior to 1603, is afforded by the use in it of the name
Belphoebe:

    A queen she was to me--no more Belphoebe;
      A lion then--no more a milk-white dove;
    A prisoner in her breast I could not be;
      She did untie the gentle chains of love.

Belphoebe was a word coined apparently by Spenser. To the poem of
_Cynthia_ Spenser had said he owed the idea of the name, implying that
it was of his coinage. It was fashioned, he stated, 'according to
Ralegh's excellent conceit of Cynthia, Cynthia and Phoebe being both
names of Diana.' Ralegh, by the introduction of the name into his
_Cynthia_, at once has dated the canto in which it occurs as not earlier
than 1591, or, perhaps, than 1595, and indicated his desire to link his
own verses to the eventful meeting

                       among the coolly shade
    Of the green alders, by the Mulla's shore.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's Sonnet._]

Spenser referred again to the poem of _Cynthia_, and to Ralegh's poetic
greatness, in the most beautiful of the sonnets offered to his several
patrons at the end of his surpassing romance and allegory:

    To thee, that art the Summer's Nightingale,
    Thy Sovereign Goddess's most dear delight,
    Why do I send this rustic Madrigal,
    That may thy tuneful ear unseason quite?
    Thou only fit this argument to write,
    In whose high thoughts Pleasure hath built her bower,
    And dainty Love learned sweetly to indite.
    My rhymes I know unsavoury and sour,
    To taste the streams that, like a golden shower,
    Flow from the fruitful head of thy Love's praise;
    Fitter perhaps to thunder martial stowre,
    Whenso thee list thy lofty Muse to raise;
    Yet, till that thou thy Poem wilt make known,
    Let thy fair Cynthia's praises be thus rudely shown.

It was his return for tribute in kind. By the side of Ralegh's sonnet
its flattery hardly seems extravagant:--

    Methought I saw the grave where Laura lay,
    Within that temple where the vestal flame
    Was wont to burn; and passing by that way,
    To see that buried dust of living fame,
    Whose tomb fair Love and fairer Virtue kept,
    All suddenly I saw the Fairy Queen,
    At whose approach the soul of Petrarch wept;
    And from thenceforth those graces were not seen,
    For they this Queen attended; in whose stead
    Oblivion laid him down on Laura's hearse.
    Hereat the hardest stones were seen to bleed,
    And groans of buried ghosts the heavens did pierce:
    Where Homer's spright did tremble all for grief,
    And cursed the access of that celestial thief.

[Sidenote: _Poetic Gifts._]

Before this, or Spenser's eulogy on him, was printed, Ralegh had
acquired the reputation at Court of a poet. Puttenham, a critic of high
repute, had, in _The Art of English Poesy_, printed in 1589, pronounced
'for ditty and amorous ode, Sir Walter Ralegh's vein most lofty,
insolent, and passionate.' By 'insolent,' not 'condolent,' as Anthony
Wood quotes, Puttenham meant original. His first public appearance as a
poet was in 1576, when in grave and sounding lines he maintained
Gascoigne's merits against envious detractors, as if with a presentiment
of his own fate--

    For whoso reaps renown above the rest,
    With heaps of hate shall surely be oppressed.

His flow of inspiration never dried up till his head rolled in the dust.
But the years between 1583 and 1593 seem, so far as dates, always in
Ralegh's career distracting, can be fixed, to have been the period of
his most copious poetic fruitfulness.

[Sidenote: _Their Limitations._]

Throughout his life he won the belief of men of letters and refinement
in his poetic power. Their admiration has never failed him in the
centuries which have followed. He has not been as fortunate in gaining
and keeping the ear of the reading public. For that a poet has not only
to be born, but to be made. Ralegh had a poet's gifts. He had music in
his soul. He chose to think for himself. He possessed the art of the
grand style. The twenty-first book of the _Cynthia_ errs in being
overcharged with thought. It abounds in noble imagery. There is pathos
as well as dignity. Its author, had he lived in the nineteenth century,
in default of new worlds to explore, or Armadas to fight, might have
written an _In Memoriam_. In previous English poetry no such dirge is to
be found as his Epitaph on Sir Philip Sidney. A couple of stanzas will
indicate its solemn music:--

      There didst thou vanquish shame and tedious age,
    Grief, sorrow, sickness, and base fortune's might;
    Thy rising day saw never woeful night,
      But passed with praise from off this worldly stage.

      What hath he lost that such great grace hath won?
    Young years for endless years, and hope unsure
    Of fortune's gifts for wealth that still shall dure:
      O happy race, with so great praises run!

He had as light a touch. He understood how to play with a conceit till
it glances and dances and dazzles, as in his, for probably it is his,
_Grace of Wit, of Tongue, of Face_, and in _Fain would I, but I dare
not_. Praed was not happier in elaborate trifling than he in his _Cards
and Dice_. Prior might have envied him _The Silent Lover_. His _Nymph's
Reply to the Passionate Shepherd_, if it be his, as Izaak Walton without
suspicion assumes, and, if it did not compel comparison with Marlowe's
more exquisite melody, would assure his place among the poets of the
age. He was able to barb a fierce sarcasm with courtly grace. How his
fancy could swoop down and strike, and pierce as it flashed, may be felt
in each ringing stanza of _The Lie_--

    Say to the Court, it glows
      And shines like rotten wood;
    Say to the Church, it shows
      What's good, and doth no good:
    If Church and Court reply,
      Then give them both the lie.

His fancy could inspire in his _Pilgrimage_ one of the loftiest appeals
in all literature to Heaven from the pedantry of human justice or
injustice. He could match Cowley in metaphysical verse, as in _A Poesy
to prove Affection is not Love_. But the Court spoilt him for a national
poet, as it spoilt Cowley; as it might, if it had been more generous,
have spoilt Dryden. He desired to be read between the lines by a class
which loved to think its own separate thoughts, and express its own
separate feelings in its own diction, sometimes in its own jargon. He
hunted for epigrams, and too often sparkled rather than burned. He was
afraid not to be witty, to wrangle, as he himself has said,

    In tickle points of niceness.

[Sidenote: _Disputed Authorship._]

Often he refined instead of soaring. In place of sympathising he was
ever striving to concentrate men's regards on himself. Egotism is not
inconsistent with the heat of inspiration, when it is unconscious, when
the poet sings because he must, and bares his own heart. Ralegh rarely
loses command of himself. He is perpetually seen registering the effects
his flights produce. Apparently he had no ambition for popular renown as
a poet. He did not print his verses. He cannot be said to have claimed
any of them but the _Farewell to the Court_. His authorship of some, now
admitted to be by him, has been confidently questioned. A critic so
judicious as Hallam, for reasons which he does not hint, and a student
as laborious as Isaac D'Israeli, have doubted his title to _The Lie_,
otherwise described as _The Soul's Errand_, which seems to demonstrate
his authorship by its scornful and cynical haughtiness embodied in a
wave of magnificent rhythm. Verses, instinct with his peculiar wit, like
_The Silent Lover_, have been given away to Lord Pembroke, Sir Robert
Ayton, and others. Its famous stanza--

    Silence in love bewrays more woe
      Than words, though ne'er so witty;
    A beggar that is dumb, you know,
      Deserveth double pity!

was in the middle of last century boldly assigned to Lord Chesterfield.
His compositions circulated from hand to hand at Court. They were read
in polished coteries. So little did they ever become a national
possession that, complete or incomplete, the most considerable of them
has vanished, all but a fragment. Small as is the whole body of verse
attributed to him, not all is clearly his. Dr. Hannah, and other ardent
admirers of his muse, have been unable to satisfy themselves whether he
really wrote _False Love and True Love_, with its shifting rhythm, and
its bewitching scattered phrases; the Shepherd's fantastically witty
_Description of Love_, or _Anatomy of Love_--

    It is a yea, it is a nay;

or the perfect conceit, which Waller could not have bettered in wit or
equalled in vivacity, with the refrain--

    What care I how fair she be!

Twenty-seven other poems, among them, the bright sneering _Invective
against Women_, have been put down to him on no other ground than that
they cannot be traced to a different source. He might have been the
author of the graceful _Praise of his Sacred Diana_. He might have
sighed for a land devoid of envy,

                              Unless among
    The birds, for prize of their sweet song.

From him might have come the airy melody of the charming eclogue
_Phyllida's Love-call to her Corydon_, which invites the genius of a
Mendelssohn to frame it in music. He might have penned in his prison
cell the knell for the tragedy of human life, _De Morte_. He might have
been the shepherd minstrel of the flowers--

    You pretty daughters of the earth and sun.

But, unfortunately, the sole pretext for affirming his title, as the
editors of the 1829 collection of his works affirmed it, is that the
poems are found in the _Reliquiae Wottonianae_, in Davison's _Poetical
Rhapsody_, or in _England's Helicon_, and are there marked 'Ignoto.'

[Sidenote: _Carelessness of Literary Renown._]

The assignment, often, as Mr. Bullen shows in his editions of _England's
Helicon_, and _A Poetical Rhapsody_, without the slightest authority or
foundation, of poetic foundlings of rare charm and distinction to Ralegh
is a token of the prevalent belief in the unfathomed range of his
powers. At the same time it implies that he had never been adopted, and
identified, by the contemporary public specifically as a poet. He would
not be discontented with the degree and kind of the poetic fame conceded
to him. Had he coveted more he would have been at more pains to stamp
his verses. His poetic gift he valued merely as a weapon in his armoury,
like many others. It held its own and a more important place in his
career. Imagination, which might have made a poet, elevated and
illuminated the captain's and the courtier's ambition and acts. If it
put him at a disadvantage in a race for power with a Robert Cecil, it
carried him to Guiana, and gave him the palm in the glorious struggle at
the mouth of Cadiz harbour; it inspired him in the more tremendous
strife with judicial obliquity; it supported him on the scaffold in
Palace Yard.



CHAPTER IX.

THE REVENGE. (September, 1591).


[Sidenote: _Sir Richard Grenville._]

Long after Ralegh began to be recognized in his new circle as a poet, he
first showed himself a master of prose diction. The occasion came from
his loss of an opportunity for personal distinction of a kind he
preferred to literary laurels. The hope and the disappointment alike
testify that, whatever had been the Queen's demeanour in 1589, she
frowned no longer in 1591. Essex's temporary disgrace, on account of his
marriage with Lady Sidney in 1590, had improved Ralegh's prospects. So
much in favour was he that, in the spring of 1591, he had been
commissioned as Vice-Admiral of a fleet of six Queen's ships, attended
by volunteer vessels and provision boats. Lord Thomas Howard, second son
of the Duke of Norfolk beheaded in 1572, commanded in chief. The object
of the expedition was to intercept the Spanish plate fleet at the
Azores. Ralegh's cousin and friend, the stern and wayward but gallant
Sir Richard Grenville, finally was substituted for him. There is no
evidence that the change was meant for a censure. Much more probably it
was a token of the Queen's personal regard. He sent with the squadron
his ship, the Ark Ralegh, under the command of Captain Thynne, another
of his innumerable connexions in the West. The English had to wait for
the plate galleons so long at the Azores that news was brought to Spain.
A fleet of fifty-three Spanish sail was despatched as convoy. Ralegh was
engaged officially in Devonshire. The Council directed him in May to
send off a pinnace to tell Howard that this great Spanish force had been
descried off Scilly.

[Sidenote: _The Fight._]

The warning arrived too late. The Spaniards surprised the fleet on
September 10, when many of its men were ashore. Grenville in the Revenge
covered the embarkation. Thus he lost the wind. He mustered on board his
flagship scarce a hundred sound men. Soon he was hemmed in. The
Foresight stayed near him for two hours, and battled bravely, but
finally had to retire. For fifteen hours he fought the squadron of
Seville, five great galleons, with ten more to back them. Crippled by
many wounds, he kept the upper deck. Nothing was to be seen but the
naked hull of a ship, and that almost a skeleton. She had received 800
shot of great artillery, some under water. The deck was covered with the
limbs and carcases of forty valiant men. The rest were all wounded and
painted with their own blood. Her masts had been shot overboard. All her
tackle was cut asunder. Her upper works were razed and level with the
water. She was incapable of receiving any direction or motion, except
that given her by the billows. Three Spanish galleons had been burnt.
One had been run aground to save her company. A thousand Spaniards had
been slain or drowned. Grenville wished to blow up his shattered hulk. A
majority of the handful of survivors preferred to accept the Spanish
Admiral's terms. They were that all lives should be spared, the crew be
sent to England, and the better sort be released on payment of ransom.
Grenville was conveyed on board a Spanish galley, where he was
chivalrously treated. He lingered till September 13 or 14 in sore pain,
which he disdained to betray. Jan Huygen van Linschoten, a Dutch
adventurer, who was at the time in the island of Terceira, heard of the
struggle both from the Spaniards and from one of the English prisoners.
He describes it briefly in a diary he kept. He was told how the English
admiral would amaze the Spanish captains by crushing wine-glasses
between his teeth, after he had tossed off the contents. The fragments
he swallowed, while the blood ran out of his mouth. It is Linschoten,
not Ralegh, who has preserved Grenville's dying words: 'Here die I,
Richard Grenville, with a joyful and quiet mind, for that I have ended
my life, as a true soldier ought, that hath fought for his country,
Queen, religion, and honour.'

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's Narrative._]

[Sidenote: _An Indictment of Spain._]

Ralegh might have met Grenville's fate. He took up the pen to celebrate
his kinsman's heroism, and to point the moral for England of the feats
valour like his could accomplish against Spain. His _Report of the Truth
of the Fight about the Isles of Azores_ was first published anonymously
in November, 1591. Hakluyt reprinted it, as 'penned by Sir Walter
Ralegh,' in his Collection of Voyages in 1599. Few finer specimens of
Elizabethan prose diction exist. It is full of grandeur, and of
generosity towards every one but Spaniards. Of the commander-in-chief,
Thomas Howard, he spoke with especial courtesy. Ralegh's relations to
the Howards, though always professionally intimate, were not always very
friendly, either now or hereafter. About the period of Grenville's
death, in particular, there had been some sharp dispute with the High
Admiral. A letter written in the following October by Thomas Phelippes
to Thomas Barnes, alludes to a quarrel and offer of combat between
Ralegh and him. Ralegh was only the more careful on that account to do
justice to a member of the family. Howard, it seems, had been severely
criticised for a supposed abandonment of his comrade. Ralegh vindicated
him from the calumny. The admiral's first impulse had been to return
within the harbour to succour Grenville. It was a happy thing, in
Ralegh's judgment, that he suffered himself to be dissuaded. 'The very
hugeness of the Spanish fleet would have crushed the English ships to
atoms; it had ill sorted with the discretion of a General to commit
himself and his charge to assured destruction.' But the real aim of the
narrative was to preach a crusade against Spanish predominance in the
Old and New Worlds. Towards Grenville personally the behaviour of the
Spaniards, it could not be denied, was magnanimous. Ralegh saw nothing
but perfidy in their conduct otherwise. They broke, he declares, their
engagement to send the captives home. Morrice FitzJohn of Desmond was
allowed to endeavour to induce them to apostatize and enter the service
of their enemy. That was the Spanish system, he exclaims: 'to entertain
basely the traitors and vagabonds of all nations; by all kinds of
devices to gratify covetousness of dominion,' 'as if the Kings of
Castile were the natural heirs of all the world.' Yet 'what good,
honour, or fortune ever man by them achieved, is unheard of or
unwritten.' 'The obedience even of the Turk is easy, and a liberty, in
respect of the slavery and tyranny of Spain. What have they done in
Sicily, Naples, Milan, and the Low Countries?' 'In one only island,
called Hispaniola, they have wasted three millions of the natural
people, beside many millions else in other places of the Indies; a poor
and harmless people, created of God, and might have been won to his
knowledge, as many of them were.' 'Who, therefore, would repose trust in
such a nation of ravenous strangers, and especially in these Spaniards,
who more greedily thirst after English blood than after the lives of any
other people in Europe;' 'whose weakness we have discovered to the
world.' Historians, with whom Ralegh has never been a favourite, treat
as merely dishonest rhetoric the compassion he now and again expressed
for the millions of innocent men, women, and children, branded, roasted,
mangled, ripped alive, by Spaniards, though as free by nature as any
Christians. There is no just reason to think him insincere. The pity
gave dignity and a tone of chivalry to his more local feeling,
Protestant, political, commercial, of hatred and jealousy of Spain.
Spain, he declared, was ever conspiring against us. She had bought the
aid of Denmark, Norway, the French Parliament-towns, the Irish and
Scotch malcontents. She threatened the foundations of English liberty of
thought. She tried to starve the rising English instinct for territorial
expansion. He summoned Englishmen eager for foreign trade to protest
against the Spanish embargo, which everywhere they encountered. He
pointed out to them, as they began to feel the appetite for wealth, the
colonial treasury of Spain glittering in full view before them.

A multitude of Englishmen, especially in Ralegh's own country of the
West, were conscious of all this. Ralegh gave the sentiment a voice in
his story of his cousin's gallant death. Henceforth he never ceased to
consecrate his energies and influence directly to the work of lowering
the flag of Spain, and replacing it by that of England. From the
beginning of his career he had been a labourer in this field. He now
asserted his title to be the champion of his nation. Previously he had
usually striven by deputy. Now he was to display his personal prowess as
a warrior and a great captain. For years he was to be seen battling with
Philip's empire by sea and land, plundering his merchantmen, storming
his strongholds, bursting through his frontiers, and teaching Englishmen
to think that sheer usurpation which for Spaniards was right divine. His
own countrymen did not at first accept his leadership. They affirmed his
principle, but preferred that others than he should have the primary
honour of applying it. Gradually competitors dropped off; and he
remained. Through popular odium, popular curiosity, and, finally,
popular enthusiasm, he grew to be identified with the double idea of
English rivalry with Spain and of English naval supremacy. The act in
which he appears challenging the right to be its representative is about
to open. But previously the curtain has to fall upon the courtier. The
conqueror at Cadiz, the explorer of Guiana, steps from behind a veil of
darkness and disgrace which would have overwhelmed other men utterly,
and served him as a foil.

[Sidenote: _Proposed Expedition to Panama._]

[Sidenote: _Sails and returns._]

Philip replied to Lord Thomas Howard's unfortunate expedition by the
equipment of a fleet of sixty ships. Plymouth was understood to be their
object. Ralegh persuaded the Queen to parry the blow by striking at
Panama, and at the plate fleet which would be gathered in its harbour.
Elizabeth contributed the Garland and Foresight. Ralegh provided the
Roebuck, and his elder brother, Carew Ralegh, the Galleon Ralegh. Two
ships were equipped by the citizens of London. Lord Cumberland had been
arranging for an independent cruise. Ultimately he joined with six
vessels. The Queen also invested £1800 in the adventure, and London
£6000. Ralegh had been named General of the Fleet. He exhausted all his
resources to ensure success. 'I protest,' he wrote, 'both my three
years' pension of the Custom-house, and all I have besides, is in this
journey.' He had borrowed £11,000 at interest; and in addition was
heavily in debt to the Crown. In part discharge of his obligations, he
assigned to the Queen the Ark Ralegh at the price of £5000. Calumny
asserted that the apparent sale was a mere pretext for a present from
the Treasury to him. The preparations were still incomplete in February,
1592. He travelled to the West for additional stores. When all was ready
for departure westerly winds set in. For many weeks the fleet was
weather-bound in the Thames. Some time before it was able to move his
own relation to it was become uncertain. Elizabeth, he was aware, wished
to keep him at Court. He was not unwilling to consent to a compromise.
He wrote to Robert Cecil from Chatham on March 10: 'I have promised her
Majesty, if I can persuade the companies to follow Sir Martin Frobisher,
I will, without fail, return, and bring them but into the sea some fifty
or threescore leagues, though I dare not be known thereof to any
creature.' Certainly he meant to embark. In May he was angrily
complaining of 'this cross weather.' 'I am not able to live to row up
and down with every tide from Gravesend to London.' At length on the 6th
of May, 1592, the fleet was under sail with him on board. On the 7th, he
was overtaken by Frobisher with orders to come back. He was to leave Sir
John Burgh, Borough, or Brough, and Frobisher to command as his
lieutenants. Choosing to construe the orders as optional in date, Ralegh
proceeded as far as Cape Finisterre. Thence, after weathering a terrific
storm on May 11, he himself returned. Before his departure he arranged
the plan of operations. Half the fleet he stationed under Frobisher off
the Spanish coast to distract the attention of the Spaniards. The rest
he sent to watch for the treasure fleet at the Azores. For an attack on
Panama the season was too late.



CHAPTER X.

IN THE TOWER. THE GREAT CARACK. (1592).


[Sidenote: _Elizabeth Throckmorton._]

Immediately on his return, if not before, he understood the reason of
his recall. He had written to Cecil on March 10: 'I mean not to come
away, as they say I will, for fear of a marriage, and I know not what.
If any such thing were, I should have imparted it unto yourself before
any man living; and therefore, I pray, believe it not, and I beseech you
to suppress, what you can, any such malicious report. For, I protest,
there is none on the face of the earth that I would be fastened unto.'
As soon as he reached London in June, he was thrown into the Tower. He
had seemed before to be enjoying the plenitude of royal favour. So
lately as in January it had been shown by the grant of a fine estate in
Dorset. No official record is discoverable of the cause of his
imprisonment. Disobedience to the order to quit the fleet would have
been a sufficient pretext. It was not mentioned. The imprisonment was a
domestic punishment within her own fortress-palace, inflicted by the
Queen as head of her household. The true reason was his courtship of
Elizabeth, daughter to the Queen's devoted but turbulent servant and
confidant, Sir Nicholas Throckmorton. He had died in 1571, at the age of
fifty-seven, in Leicester's house. His eldest son, Nicholas, was adopted
by a maternal uncle, the last Carew of Beddington, and became Sir
Nicholas Carew. Elizabeth Throckmorton, who had as many cousins in high
positions as Ralegh, was appointed a maid of honour. Her portrait
proves her to have been handsome. She was tall, slender, blue-eyed and
golden-haired. Her mental qualities will be in evidence during the rest
of Ralegh's life. Never were written more charming letters than hers, in
more unembarrassed phonetic spelling.

[Sidenote: _Scantiness of Testimony._]

[Sidenote: _Hard to believe._]

The Captain of the Guard and she attended on the Queen together. He made
her an exception to his rule as to maids of honour, that, 'like witches,
they can do hurt, but no good.' He found her only too amiable. Camden,
in his _Annals_, published in 1615, explains Ralegh's crime and
punishment: 'honorariâ Reginae virgine vitiatâ, quam postea in uxorem
duxit.' Wood says the same in his Latinized English, merely translating
Camden. A letter from Sir Edward Stafford to Sir Anthony Bacon, with the
impossible date, July 30, couples Ralegh's and Miss Throckmorton's names
in a burst of exultation, natural to Essex's friends: 'If you have
anything to do with Sir Walter Ralegh, or any love to make to Mrs.
Throckmorton, at the Tower to-morrow you may speak with them; if the
countermand come not to-night, as some think will not be, and
particularly he that hath charge to send them thither.' Stafford does
not specify the offence. The sole independent testimony is the single
sentence of Camden's. Yet posterity has had no option but to accept the
account. The error, if other courtiers had been the culprits, would have
excited little surprise. Elizabeth's maids of honour were not more
beyond suspicion than Swift asserts Anne's to have been. Essex's
gallantries at Court, after as before his marriage, were notorious and
many. Lord Southampton and his bride were the subjects of a similar tale
a few years later. Palace gossip treated it as a very ordinary
peccadillo. Cecil in February, 1601, tells Carew of the 'misfortune' of
one of the maids, Mistress Fitton, with Lord Pembroke, as if it were a
jest. Both the culprits, he remarks, 'will dwell in the Tower a while.'
His phrases show none of the horror they breathed when he spoke of
Ralegh, and the Queen was likely to read them. The English Court was
pure in the time of Elizabeth for its time. It degenerated greatly under
her successor. Harington contrasts manners then with the previous 'good
order, discretion, and sobriety.' But no little licence was permitted,
and the tales of it commonly excite small surprise. As told of Ralegh,
and yet more of Elizabeth Throckmorton, the story startles still. No
evidence exists upon which he can justly be pronounced a libertine. How
she, refined, faithful, heroic, should have been led astray, is hardly
intelligible. She must have now been several years over twenty, probably
twenty-eight or twenty-nine, and in her long after-life she bore herself
as entitled to all social respect. She was allowed it by every one,
except her Mistress, who never restored her to favour. By the Cecils she
was treated with unfailing regard. In the whole of her struggle, by her
husband's side, and over his grave, for his and her son's rights, not a
whisper was heard of the blot on her fair fame. If Camden had not
spoken, and if Ralegh and she had not stood mute, it would have been
easy to believe that the imagined liaison was simply a secret marriage
resented as such by the Queen, as, two years before, she had resented
Essex's secret marriage to Sidney's widow. That seems to have been
asserted by their friends, at the first explosion of the scandal. A
letter, written on the eve of Ralegh's committal to the Tower, by one
who manifestly did not hold the benevolent opinion, says, after a
spitefully prophetic comparison of Ralegh with his own

     Hermit poor in pensive place obscure:

'It is affirmed that they are married; but the Queen is most fiercely
incensed.'

[Sidenote: _Harder to disbelieve._]

That the royal anger had a better foundation than the mere jealousy of
affection or of domination, it is to be feared, is the inevitable inference
from the evidence, however concise and circumstantial. Had contradiction
been possible, Camden would have been contradicted in 1615 by Ralegh and
his wife. Cecil alluded to Ralegh's offence in 1592 as 'brutish.' With all
his zeal to indulge the Queen's indignation, he could not have used the
term of a secret marriage. The prevailing absence of Court talk on the
occurrence is not traceable to any doubt of its true character.
Courtiers simply believed it dangerous to be outspoken on a matter
affecting the purity of the Virgin Queen's household circle. Her prudery
may indeed go some way towards accounting for, if not excusing, the
fault. It was dangerous for one of her counsellors to be suspected of an
attachment. So late as March, 1602, Cecil was writing earnestly to Carew
in repudiation of a rumour that he was like to be enchanted for love or
marriage. Almost borrowing Ralegh's words to himself of ten years
earlier, he declares upon his soul he knows none on earth that he was,
or, if he might, would be, married unto. In Elizabeth's view
love-making, except to herself, was so criminal that at Court it had to
be done by stealth. Any show of affection was deemed an act of guilt.
From a consciousness of guilt to the reality is not always a wide step.
In Ralegh's references and language to his wife may be detected a tone
in the tenderness as though he owed reparation as well as attachment.
The redeeming feature of their passion is that they loved with true love
also, and with a love which grew. His published opinions, as in his
_Instructions to his Son_, on wives and marriage, like those of other
writers of aphorisms in his age, ring harshly and coldly. But he did not
act on frigid fragments of sententious suspiciousness. He was careful
for his widow's worldly welfare. With death, as it seemed, imminent, he
trusted with all, and in everything, his 'sweet Besse,' his 'faithful
wife,' as scoffing Harington with enthusiasm called her. His constant
desire was to have her by his side, but to spare her grieving.

[Sidenote: _A Rhapsody._]

[Sidenote: _A Comedy in the Tower._]

When and where they were married is unknown. So careful were they to
avoid publicity that Lady Ralegh's brother, Arthur Throckmorton, for
some time questioned the fact, though his suspicions were dissipated,
and he became an attached friend of the husband's. Probably the ceremony
was performed after the imprisonment and not before. If the threat of
detention in the Tower, mentioned by Stafford, were carried into effect
against the lady, Ralegh at all events betrayed no consciousness that
she was his neighbour. In his correspondence at the time he never speaks
of her. His business was to obtain his release. He understood that
allusions to the partner in his misdeed would not move the Queen to
kindness. Like Leicester, and like Essex, he continued, though married,
to use loverlike phrases of the Queen, whenever they were in the least
likely to reach her ear. The Cecils were his allies against Essex. In
July, 1592, under cover of an account for the Yeomen's coats for an
approaching royal progress, he burst into a wonderful effusion to, not
for, Robert Cecil: 'My heart was never broken till this day, that I hear
the Queen goes away so far off--whom I have followed so many years with
so great love and desire, in so many journeys, and am now left behind
her, in a dark prison all alone. While she was yet nigher at hand, that
I might hear of her once in two or three days, my sorrows were the less;
but even now my heart is cast into the depth of all misery. I that was
wont to behold her riding like Alexander, hunting like Diana, walking
like Venus, the gentle wind blowing her fair hair about her pure cheeks,
like a nymph; sometimes sitting in the shade like a Goddess; sometimes
singing like an angel; sometimes playing like Orpheus. Behold the sorrow
of this world! Once amiss, hath bereaved me of all. O Glory, that only
shineth in misfortune, what is become of thy assurance? All wounds have
scars, but that of fantasy; all affections their relenting, but that of
womankind. Who is the judge of friendship, but adversity? Or when is
grace witnessed, but in offences? There were no divinity but by reason
of compassion; for revenges are brutish and mortal. All those times
past--the loves, the sighs, the sorrows, the desires--can they not weigh
down one frail misfortune? Cannot one drop of gall be hidden in so great
heaps of sweetness? I may then conclude, Spes et fortuna, valete. She is
gone in whom I trusted, and of me hath not one thought of mercy, nor any
respect of that that was. Do with me now, therefore, what you list. I am
more weary of life than they are desirous I should perish; which, if it
had been for her, as it is by her, I had been too happily born.' Did
ever tailor's bill, though for the most resplendent scarlet liveries
bespangled with golden roses, inspire a like rhapsody! By one writer on
Ralegh it has been characterized, so various are tastes, as 'tawdry and
fulsome.' To most it will seem a delightful extravagance. To
contemporaries the extravagance itself would appear not very glaring.
Elizabeth aroused both fascination and awe in her own period which
justified high flights. After her goodness and wrath were become alike
unavailing this is how a cynic like Harington spoke of her: 'When she
smiled it was a pure sunshine that every one did choose to bask in if
they could; but anon came a storm, and the thunder fell in wondrous
manner on all alike.' Ralegh doubtless was sincere in repining for the
radiance as in deprecating the scowls, though he overrated his ability
to conjure that back, and these away. In the same July, apparently, on
July 26, he played a little comedy of Orlando Furioso,--not the approach
to a tragedy of eleven years after. His chamber in the Tower was the
scene. The spectators were his Keeper and cousin, Sir George Carew, and
Arthur Gorges. Gorges was still, like Carew, his friend in 1614, and was
sung by him then as one

    Who never sought nor ever cared to climb
      By flattery, or seeking worthless men.

He now wrote to Cecil that Ralegh, hearing the Queen was on the Thames,
prayed Carew to let him row himself in disguise near enough to look upon
her. On Carew's necessary refusal he went mad, and tore Carew's new
periwig off. At last they drew out their daggers, whereupon Gorges
interposed, and had his knuckles rapped. 'They continue,' he proceeds,
'in malice and snarling. But, good Sir, let nobody know thereof.' He
adds in a more veracious postscript: 'If you let the Queen's Majesty
know hereof, as you think good, be it.'

[Sidenote: _The Brick Tower._]

Ralegh thought he understood his royal Mistress, of whom he had written
not very respectfully to Carew himself two or three years before: 'The
Queen thinks that George Carew longs to see her; and, therefore, see
her.' Like others he perceived her weaknesses; he did not appreciate her
strength. To his surprise she remained offended; and none can blame her.
His conduct had been treason to her sovereign charms. Her indignation on
that ground may be ridiculed. But she had a sincerer love for purity of
manners than posterity has commonly believed. Ralegh had set an ill
example. He had broken his trust; the seduction of a maid of honour was
a personal affront to his sovereign; he properly suffered for it, and
not in excess of the offence. His confinement was not rigorous. George
Carew since February, 1588, had been Master of the Ordnance in Ireland.
He was acting as Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance for England in
August, 1592; being confirmed in the post in 1603, and made
Master-General in 1609. In virtue of his office he had now as well as
later apartments in the Brick tower, which was considered to be under
the charge of the Master of the Ordnance. To the Brick tower Ralegh had
been sent, and he was committed to Carew's easy custody. He had his own
servants, whom he was allowed to lodge on the upper floor of the tower.
His friends were granted liberal access to him. From his window he could
see the river and the country beyond. The old Tower story that he was
shut up in a cell in the crypt, is a fiction. Not even his offices or
their emoluments were taken away. He could perform the duties by deputy.
But from June to December he was in confinement; and for long afterwards
he was forbidden to come into the royal presence.

[Sidenote: _Anger against the Irish Lord Deputy._]

[Sidenote: _New Combinations._]

He chafed at the light restraint. He affected indignation at the
severity of the penalty with which his 'great treasons,' as he called
them in mockery, were visited. He did not attempt to dispute its
legality, more than questionable as that was. Almost from the first he
evinced the extraordinary elasticity of nature, which was to be tried a
hundredfold hereafter. While he protested against the inevitable he
carved his life to suit it. From his gaol issued messages of despair and
of business in the strangest medley. He was much exercised about his
Irish estate; and he cast his burden upon Cecil: 'Your cousin, the
doting Deputy,' Fitzwilliam, he wrote, had been distraining on his
tenants for a supposed debt from himself as Undertaker. A sum of £400
for arrears of rent was demanded, though all Munster had scarce so much
money in it. The same Fitzwilliam, he alleges, had been mulcting the
Queen £1200 a year for a band of worthless soldiers in Youghal, under 'a
base fellow, O'Dodall.' Perhaps his estimate of the Captain may not be
unbiassed. A Sir John Dowdall seems to have disputed his title to, and,
two years later, to have ejected him from possession of, the manor of
Ardmore and other lands demised to him in 1592 by Bishop Witherhead of
Lismore. He was aggrieved by Lord Deputy Fitzwilliam's slowness to aid
him in his litigations. He thought it, as it was, 'a sign how my
disgraces have passed the seas.' At least his warnings of a rising of
the Burkes, O'Donells, and O'Neales need not have been neglected. 'I
wrote,' he complained, 'in a letter of Mr. Killigrew's ten days past a
prophecy of this rebellion, which when the Queen read she made a scorn
of my conceit.' Not that it was anything in reality to him. He cared not
either for life or lands. He was become, he declared with some
zoological confusion, 'like a fish cast on dry land, gasping for breath,
with lame legs and lamer lungs.' Still, he felt bound to point out the
pity of it. Then too, he reminded the High Admiral, there was the Great
Susan, 'which nobody but myself would undertake to set out.' It could
hardly be more profitable to punish him than that he 'should either
strengthen the fleet, or do many other things that lie in the ditches.'
Among them, for instance, was the business of keeping in order, as he
alone could, the soldiers and mariners 'that came in the prize.' They
ran up and down, he says, exclaiming for pay. So, again, in vain he knew
of the warships of the French League lying in wait for English
merchantmen, and threatening to make us a laughing-stock for all
nations. His information and his zeal were fruitless, through 'this
unfortunate accident,' of which neither he nor his correspondents ever
state the nature. 'I see,' he cries to the High Admiral, who appears to
have been mediating, 'there is a determination to disgrace me and ruin
me. Therefore I beseech your Lordship not to offend her Majesty any
farther by suing for me. I am now resolved of the matter. I only desire
that I may be stayed not one hour from all the extremity that either law
or precedent can avow. And if that be too little, would God it were
withall concluded that I might feed the lions, as I go by, to save
labour. For the torment of the mind cannot be greater; and, for the
body, would others did respect themselves as much as I value it at
little.' He was always impatient, inordinately despairing in
misfortunes, till the last extremity. He was always astonished that the
world pretended to go on without him, and certain it could not. As
constantly he was framing new combinations and keeping straight the old.
He let not a clue slip from his crippled hands. Throughout the long
interval of disgrace he was as active as in his sunniest prosperity,
perhaps more so.

[Sidenote: _The Prize._]

An accident freed him in September from actual duress. His disposition
of the fleet of which he continued titular 'General,' though Frobisher
and Burgh had royal commissions, proved successful. Already a Biscayan
of 600 tons burden, the Santa Clara, had been captured and sent to
England. This was the prize of which, and its prize crew, Ralegh wrote
to the High Admiral. The squadron under Frobisher deceived and perplexed
the Spaniards. Sir John Burgh slipped by and made for the Azores. His
ships spread themselves six or seven leagues west of Flores. They were
disappointed of the Santa Cruz, of 900 tons, which on July 29 her
officers burnt. On August 3 the great Crown of Portugal carack, the
Madre de Dios, came in sight. Three engaged her, and she was prevented
from running ashore. She was of 1600 tons burden, had seven decks, and
carried 800 men. The struggle lasted from 10 a.m. to 1 or 2 a.m. next
morning. The captors hotly debated their rival merits. Lord Cumberland
argued that the Roebuck and Foresight were both disabled, and that his
soldiers boarded and took the ship. Burgh accused Cumberland's people of
plundering. All agreed on the magnificence of the prize. Burgh wrote: 'I
hope, for all the spoil that has been made, her Majesty shall receive
more profit by her than by any ship that ever came into England.' The
purser of the Santa Cruz deposed that the Madre de Dios contained
precious stones, pearls, amber, and musk worth 400,000 crusados. She
brought two great crosses and a jewel of diamonds, presents from the
Viceroy to the King. She had 537 tons of spices. The pepper alone was
represented by Burleigh as worth £102,000. It fell to the Crown's share.
She carried fifteen tons of ebony, beside tapestries, silks, and satins.

After a stormy voyage she reached Dartmouth on September 8. At once the
eagles rushed upon the carcase. The ports of arrival looked like
Bartholomew Fair, said an eye-witness. The Council ordered the search of
all trunks and bundles conveyed from Plymouth or Dartmouth. It sent
Robert Cecil post-haste to hinder more plundering. Sir John Hawkins,
next chief adventurer after Ralegh, had written already to Burleigh to
say that for the partition of the spoil 'Sir Walter Ralegh is the
especial man. I see none of so ready a disposition to lay the ground how
her Majesty's portion may be increased as he is, and can best bring it
about.' Ralegh was permitted to quit the Tower. After a stay of two days
in London, he was despatched westwards. He travelled as a State prisoner
in charge of a keeper, Blount. As he went, he wrote, on September 17, of
London jewellers who had been buying secretly the fine goods: 'If I meet
any of them coming up, if it be upon the wildest heath in all the way, I
mean to strip them as naked as ever they were born. For it is infinite
that her Majesty hath been robbed, and that of the most rare things.'
Cecil was in front, and on September 19 reached Exeter. He had turned
back all he met on the road from Dartmouth or Plymouth. He could smell
them almost; such had been the spoils of amber and musk among them. 'I
fear that the birds be flown, for jewels, pearls, and amber; yet I will
not doubt but to save her Majesty that which shall be worth the journey.
My Lord, there never was such spoil! I will suppress the confluence of
the buyers, of which there are above 2000.' He adds: 'I found an armlet
of gold, and a fork and spoon of crystal with rubies, which I reserve
for the Queen. Her Majesty's captive comes after me, but I have outrid
him, and will be at Dartmouth before him.'

[Sidenote: _At Dartmouth._]

Ralegh never grudged praise. He testified freely to Cecil's zeal. He
wrote on September 21 from Dartmouth: 'I dare give the Queen £10,000 for
that which is gained by Sir Robert Cecil coming down, which I speak
without all affection, or partiality, for he hath more rifled my ship
than all the rest.' Cecil in turn, though in a more qualified tone,
commended Ralegh's exertions, in a very interesting letter to Sir Thomas
Heneage: 'Within one half hour Sir Walter Ralegh arrived with his
keeper, Mr. Blount. I assure you, Sir, his poor servants, to the number
of 140 goodly men, and all the mariners, came to him with shouts of joy;
I never saw a man more troubled to quiet them. But his heart is broken,
as he is extremely pensive, unless he is busied, in which he can toil
terribly. The meeting between him and Sir John Gilbert was with tears on
Sir John's part. But he, finding it is known that he has a keeper,
whenever he is saluted with congratulations for liberty, doth answer,
"No, I am still the Queen of England's poor captive." I wished him to
conceal it, because here it doth diminish his credit, which I do vow to
you before God is greater among the mariners than I thought for. I do
grace him as much as I may, for I find him marvellous greedy to do
anything to recover the conceit of his brutish offence.'

[Sidenote: _Division of the Spoil._]

Cecil, Raleigh, and William Killigrew were appointed joint
commissioners. They examined even Burgh's chests. They paid the mariners
their wages. They gave 20_s._ in addition to each from whom they had
taken pillage. On August 27, Ralegh and Hawkins had jointly written to
the High Admiral, asking for convoy for the carack. They computed it
worth £500,000. About the middle of September Ralegh wrote to Burleigh
from the Tower, that its value he estimated at £200,000. It turned out
to be £141,000. Whatever it was, the general rule for distributing the
value of privateer prizes was a third to the owner, a third to the
victuallers, a third to the officers and crew. Elizabeth contributed
1100 tons of shipping out of 5000, and £1800 out of £18,000. So she was
entitled to a tenth, that is, from £20,000 to £14,000. Ralegh was ready,
after negotiation with Sir George Carew, to add £80,000 for the Queen.
'Four score thousand pounds is more than ever a man presented her
Majesty as yet. If God have sent it for my ransom, I hope her Majesty of
her abundant goodness will accept it. If her Majesty cannot beat me from
her affection, I hope her sweet nature will think it no conquest to
afflict me.' Finally £36,000 was allowed to Ralegh and Hawkins, who
between them had, they said, spent £34,000. To Lord Cumberland, who had
spent only £19,000, was awarded £36,000, and £12,000 to the City of
London, which had spent £6000. Ralegh, who was, he boasted, 'the
greatest adventurer,' grievously complained to Burleigh. He asserted
also that, while he had deprived Spain in 1591 of £300,000, he had lost
in Lord Thomas Howard's voyage £1600. He reckoned up, besides, the
interest he had been paying on £11,000 since the voyage began. The Queen
was grasping in such matters. So, too, was her Lord Treasurer. Sir John
Fortescue, Chancellor of the Exchequer, had to remonstrate: 'It were
utterly to overthrow all service if due regard were not had of my Lord
of Cumberland and Sir Walter Ralegh, with the rest of the Adventurers,
who would never be induced to further adventure if they were not
princely considered of.' He added in a courtly strain: 'And herein I
found her Majesty very princely disposed.'



CHAPTER XI.

AT HOME; AND IN PARLIAMENT. (1592-1594).


[Sidenote: _Negotiation for Hayes._]

Ralegh generally could hold his own, even in a bargain with his Queen.
In 1592 his hands were tied. He had to use his prize, as he said
himself, for his ransom; and it effected his purpose. Once more he was a
free man, and he had much to render liberty precious and delightful. He
had a bride beautiful, witty, and devoted; and in 1594 a son was born to
him, whom he named Walter. He had many pursuits, and wealth which should
have been abundant, though all Elizabeth's courtiers were impecunious.
An important addition had been made to his possessions shortly before
his disgrace. For some time after his rise he had intended to fix his
country residence in Devonshire. He is said to have had a house in
Mill-street, Ottery St. Mary. In 1584 he had asked Mr. Duke, of
Otterton, to sell him Hayes. His written request, which Aubrey copied,
with omissions and inaccuracies due to the creases and stains undergone
by the paper through careless handling, is, on uncertain authority, said
to have been at one time preserved at the farmhouse. Subsequently, if
not from the first, it was kept at the residence of the Duke family,
Otterton House, between two and three miles off. Polwhele saw it at
Otterton House shortly before 1793. Afterwards it disappeared. Dr.
Brushfield found the original, as he believes, at Plymouth, in the 1888
collection of Armada and Elizabethan relics. It is the property of Miss
Glubb, of Great Torrington. The letter was written from the Court, on
July 26, 1584, by Mr. Duke's 'very willing frinde in all I shal be able,
W. Ralegh,' and runs as follows: 'Mr Duke--I wrote to Mr Prideux to
move yow for the purchase of hayes a farme som tyme in my fathers
possession. I will most willingly geve yow what so ever in your
conscience yow shall deeme it worth: and if yow shall att any tyme have
occasion to vse mee, yow Shall find mee a thanckfull frind to yow and
yours. I have dealt wth Mr Sprinte for suche things as he hathe at
colliton and ther abouts and he hath promised mee to dept wth the moety
of otertowne vnto yow in consideration of hayes accordinge to the valew,
and yow shall not find mee an ill neighbore vnto yow here after. I am
resolved if I cannot 'ntreat yow, to build att colliton but for the
naturall disposition I have to that place being borne in that howse I
had rather seat my sealf ther then any wher els thus leving the matter
att large unto Mr Sprint I take my leve resting reedy to countervail
all your courteses to the vttermost of my power.'

[Sidenote: _Colaton Ralegh._]

His offer was not accepted, the Dukes, it is conjectured by Polwhele,
not choosing to have so great a man for so near a neighbour. According
to a local tradition, he carried out his alternative project of building
at Colaton Ralegh, on land which he may be presumed to have bought of
his father or eldest brother. In the garden of the Place he is said to
have planted, as elsewhere, the first potatoes grown in England. But
himself he never rooted there, though he was described as 'of Colaton
Ralegh' in a deed of 1588. The royal bounty soon tempted him away; and
he sold any property which had entitled him to that designation. The
estate of Sherborne, which is inseparably connected with his memory,
consisted of an ancient castle and picturesque park, together with
several adjacent manors. It had belonged to the see of Salisbury since
the time of Bishop Osmund, who cursed all who should alienate it, or
profit by its alienation. Ralegh was not deterred by the threat. He is
rumoured to have been impressed by the charms of the domain as he rode
past it on his journeys from Plymouth to London. Towards the close of
1591 the bishopric of Salisbury, which had been vacant for three years,
was filled by the appointment of Dr. Coldwell. Dean Bennett of Windsor,
and Dr. Tobias Matthew, or Matthews, afterwards Bishop of Durham and
Archbishop of York, father to the wit and letter-writer, Sir Toby, had
declined it on account of a condition that the new Bishop must consent
to part with Sherborne. Ralegh subsequently declared that he had given
the Queen a jewel worth, £250 'to make the Bishop.' He not rarely
concerned himself about vacant bishoprics for his own purposes. His
present fit of ecclesiastical zeal was explained by Dr. Coldwell's
execution of a lease to the Crown in January, 1592, of Sherborne and its
dependencies for ninety-nine years. A rent was reserved to the see of
£260, which, according to the Bishop, was not regularly paid. The Queen
at once assigned the lease to Ralegh. The manor of Banwell, which lay
conveniently for the property, belonged to the see of Bath and Wells.
Elizabeth demanded this of Bishop Godwin. The Bishop in his gouty old
age had contracted a marriage which offended the Queen's notions of
propriety, with a rich city widow. This was employed as a lever to
oblige him to one of the forced exchanges for Crown impropriations
which, though not illegal, friends of the Church styled sacrilege. Sir
John Harington, Elizabeth's witty godson, writing in the reign of James,
is fond of the term. He admits that he himself conveyed one of the sharp
messages by which Elizabeth tried to obtain Banwell. Finally a
compromise was effected. Godwin courageously clung to Banwell, but
redeemed it by the grant in Ralegh's favour of a ninety-nine years'
lease of Wilscombe.

[Sidenote: _Sherborne Castle._]

[Sidenote: _Falconry._]

Ralegh found occupation at Sherborne. We know something of his life
there. We know, though not nearly enough, much more of it than when
Gibbon assigned the absence of the 'details of private life' as a
principal reason for the abandonment of his original decision to take
Ralegh for his literary theme. It was varied and animated. He pursued
amusement and business with equal earnestness. In his _Farewell to the
Court_, which foreshadows the sentiment of this period, though probably
written earlier, he mourns for his 'sweet spring spent,' his 'summer
well-nigh done;' but he had energy for other matters than repining at
'joys expired like truthless dreams.' He built. He planted. He diverted
himself with rural pastimes, especially with falconry. Throughout his
career he always was ready for a hawking match or a bargain for falcons.
He once offered the reversion in fee of an Irish leasehold for a
goshawk. An incident of his Munster estate, which doubtless he valued
highly, was his title to half the produce of an eyrie of hawks in the
wood of Mogelly. Amidst the anxieties of his final expedition he found
spirits and strength for a trial of hawks at Cloyne. The leisure and
opportunities of Sherborne stimulated his ardour for the sport. Cecil
kept falcons. In August 1593, Ralegh wrote to him from Gillingham
Forest, of which he and his brother Carew were joint rangers: 'The
Indian falcon is sick of the backworm, and therefore, if you will be so
bountiful to give another falcon, I will provide you a running gelding.'
He chased another sort of game than herons. In April, 1594, he boasted
that he had caught in the Lady Stourton's house a notable stout villain,
with his copes and bulls. 'He calls himself John Mooney; but he is an
Irishman, and, I think, can say much.' Both his wife and he soon grew
fond of Sherborne, 'his fortune's fold,' as he called it alike in verse
and in a letter of 1593 to Cecil. Thither they always gladly returned,
though they were often called elsewhere. The plague dislodged the family
in 1594. It was, he wrote in September, 1594, raging in the town of
Sherborne 'very hot.' 'Our Bess,' he added, 'is one way sent, her son
another way; and I am in great trouble therewith.' Less alarming
occasions were constantly taking him away. He had to be in Devonshire
and Cornwall, discharging the duties of his Wardenship and Lieutenancy.
Every year he went to Bath for the waters. He resorted to Weymouth for
sea bathing for his wife and child. He was much at all seasons in
London.

[Sidenote: _Durham House._]

[Sidenote: _Mile End and Islington._]

Though banished from the Court he went on frequenting its neighbourhood.
He had more than one London residence. As a student of the law, he may
have lived in Lyon's Inn and the Middle Temple. In the early period of
his attendance on the Queen he had been lodged in the Palace, at
Greenwich, Whitehall, Somerset House, St. James, and Richmond. Since
1584 he possessed a London house of his own. The Church supplied him, as
at Sherborne and Lismore. Durham House, strictly called Duresme Place,
was the town house of the see of Durham. It covered nearly the whole
site of Adelphi Terrace, and the streets between this and the Strand. In
the reign of Edward VI the Crown seized it, and granted it successively
to the Princess Elizabeth and to Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. There,
the year after Ralegh's birth, Lady Jane Grey had been wedded to
Dudley's son. Mary restored it to Bishop Tunstall. Elizabeth resumed it.
In 1583 or 1584 she gave the use of a principal part of the spacious
mansion to Ralegh. The remainder she permitted Sir Edward Darcy to
inhabit. At Durham House the famous Dr. Dee, mathematician, astrologer,
and spiritualist, who, in his diary for 1583, mentions him gratefully,
records that he dined with him in October, 1593. There he held on
various occasions his Court as Lord Warden of the Stannaries, and heard
important suits. Aubrey speaks of Ralegh as living there 'when he came
to his greatness.' He knew well his study, in a little turret looking
over the Thames, with a prospect now, as in Aubrey's day, 'as pleasant
perhaps as anything in the world.' Ralegh is reported to have owned
other dwellings also in and about London. Probably he already possessed,
though, till he left Durham House, he is not likely to have occupied, a
house in Broad Street. It may be presumed to have been part of his
wife's share in the Throckmorton property. Several residences have been
put down to him, without sufficient evidence. Ralegh House, at Brixton
Rise, has been assigned to him, in mistake perhaps for his nephew,
Captain George Ralegh, who lived in Lambeth parish. Because he visited
his wife's relatives at Beddington Park, he is alleged to have occupied
the mansion. He is rumoured to have lived at West Horsley, which his
son, Carew Ralegh, first acquired in 1643 from the Carews of Beddington.
On testimony so far more substantial that Lady Ralegh had inherited a
small estate in the parish from her father, he is said to have lived at
Mitcham. The house his wife owned seems to have been Ralegh House, at
the corner of Wykford Lane, though two other houses at Mitcham have
pretended to the honour. More certainly he lived in a villa at Mile End
in 1596. That is known through the entry of the burial at Stepney of a
manservant who died at Mile End in 1596, and from the addresses of two
letters of his dated within two and four months of the same time. Dr.
Brushfield thinks the house may have been hired for a season for the
sake of country air. Mile End is described in 1597 as a common where
penny-royal grew in great abundance. Ralegh would find its vicinity to
Stepney, the general resort of seamen, convenient. The publication of
the Middlesex Registers has corroborated the tradition, which gave him a
suburban abode at Islington, on a site possibly afterwards occupied by
the Pied Bull. For the local belief that he built, or patronized, and
smoked in, the Old Queen's Head, Dr. Brushfield considers there is no
foundation. His choice of any part of Islington for residence would have
been determined by its contiguity to the vast royal chase in which the
Queen delighted to hunt. But his occupancy of a house there commenced
before the days of his grandeur, and probably had ceased before them.

[Sidenote: _In Parliament._]

His dwellings were not more numerous than his avocations. Never was his
activity more various than during this interval of royal disfavour. He
overflowed with public spirit. He had been sitting in the House of
Commons in the spring of 1592. He was a frequent and effective speaker.
His voice is reported to have been small. That would be after sickness,
toil, and imprisonment had enfeebled him. He omitted no opportunity of
proclaiming his hostility to Spain. Before his disgrace he had argued
for a declaration of open war. He knew, he said, of many who held it not
lawful in conscience, as the time was, to take prize from the Spaniards.
Of those weak brethren he was never one. After his liberation from the
Tower, when the House met he again attended. He was not so strangely in
advance of his protectionist age as not to support a Bill for
prohibiting Dutch and German aliens from retailing foreign wares in
England. His view of Dutchmen would have satisfied Canning: 'The nature
of the Dutchman is to fly to no man but for his profit. They are the
people that maintain the King of Spain in his greatness. Were it not for
them he were never able to make out such armies and navies by sea.'
While politically he was attached to Holland, he was persistently
jealous of her commercially. In the next reign he drew up an elaborate
plan for abstracting her lucrative carrying trade. On questions of
liberty of thought he was far beyond his time. He stoutly opposed a
cruel capital measure against the Brownists: 'That law is hard that
taketh life, and sendeth into banishment, when men's intentions shall be
judged by a jury, and they shall be judges what another means.' He
prevailed to have the Bill handed for revision to a Committee of
Members. On the Committee his name stands first. His disgrace had left
him sufficiently prominent to be thought worth libelling by Robert
Parsons the Jesuit, 'Andraeus Philopater.' Parsons described him as
keeping a school of atheism, wherein the Old and New Testaments were
jested at, and scholars taught to spell God backwards.

[Sidenote: _Irish Policy._]

In the shade though he was, he would abide no wrong to his official
authority. In February, 1592, before his disgrace, he had found leisure
in the midst of the preparations for his expedition to reprove the Devon
justices of the peace for the application of their 'foreign authority'
to compel his tinners to contribute to the repair of a private bridge.
Still under a cloud in May, 1594, he was not afraid to protest highly to
Lord Keeper Egerton against an encroachment by the Star Chamber on his
Stannary jurisdiction. A year later the county magistrates do not seem
to have thought his continuing obscuration exonerated them from
defending themselves against the charge of 'intermeddling' with his
prerogatives. He regarded himself as holding a commission to watch and
warn against all danger by sea. In June, 1594, he was informing the Lord
High Admiral that Spain had an armed fleet in the Breton ports. He
prayed the Admiral to ask her Majesty's leave that his 'poor kinsman'
might serve as a volunteer soldier or mariner in an attack upon it.
Apparently he had his wish and was allowed to embark. But his advice had
been followed tardily. He writes from the Foreland on August 25, that
the season was too late. The only hope was that the enemy might approach
the Thames. When he was not at sea he was contracting for the
victualling and equipment of ships of war. That was among his frequent
occupations. At all periods he had his eye upon Ireland. Neither royal
coldness nor bodily ailments could force him to be silent on Irish
affairs. In May, 1593, sick, and 'tumbled down the hill by every
practice,' he would go on exclaiming against the administrative blunders
which had let England be baffled and 'beggared' by a nation without
fortifications, and, for long, without effective arms. 'The beggarly,
the accursed kingdom,' had cost a million not many years since. 'A
better kingdom might have been purchased at a less price, and that same
defended with as many pence, if good order had been taken.' Though he
was not admitted to the Queen's presence, she seems to have read
memorials he drew up on the subject of Ireland. It is impossible not to
reprobate his sentiments on the treatment of the native Irish. His
correspondence with Cecil shows, that he was as willing to connive at
their treacherous murder as other contemporary English statesmen, though
not Burleigh, or perhaps Burleigh's son. But he believed honestly in the
rectitude of his doctrines. He was patriotic in insisting upon their
application for the benefit of a Government which, he thought,
persecuted him. It may even be acknowledged that the resolute and
consistent despotism he advocated might have been more tolerable, as
well as more successful, than the spasmodic and fitful violence which
discredited the Irish policy of the reign. He was indisputably right in
condemning a system under which the island was 'governed neither as a
country conquered nor free.'



CHAPTER XII.

GUIANA (1594-1595).


[Sidenote: _Continuance of Disgrace._]

[Sidenote: _A Project, and its Motive._]

Had not history preserved the memory of Ralegh's exile from Court, his
public life was so animated that the displeasure of the Queen need
hardly have been remarked. To himself the blight on his prospects was
always and dismally visible. The Queen had raised him from obscurity,
and afforded his genius scope for shining. Well as he understood the
value of his powers, he knew they derived still from her, as ten or a
dozen years before, their opportunity of exercise. He was not blind to
the jealousy of competitors, or to popular odium. As by an instinct of
life, of the working life which alone he prized, he was continually
striving to retrieve his fall by the ordinary devices of courtiers, and
not without gleams of hope. Nicholas Faunt had been private secretary to
Walsingham, and was therefore naturally of the Essex faction. He wrote
to Anthony Bacon in January, 1594, that Ralegh was expecting to be
nominated a Privy Councillor: 'And it is now feared of all honest men
that he shall presently come to the Court; yet it is well withstood. God
grant him some further resistance!' The further resistance came, whether
from rivals, or from the rankling anger in Elizabeth's breast. Nowhere
does it appear that he had speech of her. He continued to be forbidden
to perform in person the duties of Captain of the Guard. Between 1592
and 1597 they seem to have been discharged by John Best, described as
Champion of England. His disappointment was fortunate for his fame, if
not for his future tranquillity. In his enforced retirement he brooded
on schemes of maritime adventure. He determined to prove the
impossibility of suppressing him. His Panama project had been imputed to
his discovery that 'the Queen's love was beginning to decline.' That
could not then have been truly asserted. Naunton has similarly explained
the Guiana expedition:--'Finding his favour declining, he undertook a
new peregrination to leave that terra infirma of the Court for that of
the wars, and by declining himself, and by absence, to expel his and the
passion of his enemies; which in Court was a strange device of recovery,
but that he knew there was some ill office done him, that he durst not
attempt to mend any other ways than by going aside, thereby to teach
envy a new way of forgetfulness, and not so much as to think of him;
howsoever, he had it always in mind never to forget himself; and his
device took so well, that, at his return, he came in, as rams do by
going backwards, with the greater strength; and so continued to the last
in the Queen's grace.' Nothing, it is certain, ever was farther from
Ralegh's thoughts than a wish to be forgotten, whether by enemies or by
friends; yet Naunton's theory is true at bottom. The persistency of the
shadow at Court was as plain to Ralegh as to others. Its own merits
might else have recommended to him the Guiana expedition. But at this
especial juncture it was his engine for storming his way back into his
Sovereign's kindness.

[Sidenote: _Difficulties._]

Guiana had one important merit as a field for enterprise. It was known
to be free from European occupation, as well as reputed to be rich.
Camden describes it as 'aurifera Guiana ab Hispanis decantata.' Many
Spanish expeditions, from the year 1531 onwards, had been fitted out to
find the King el Dorado, who loved to anoint his body with turpentine,
and then roll in gold dust. Neither he nor his city, called by the same
name, had been discovered. Attempts to penetrate into the interior had
all failed. The Indians were warlike and united; the country was a
jungle, environed with vast waters not easily navigated; and the
invaders had quarrelled among themselves. The latest effort had been
made in 1582 by Don Antonio de Berreo. Berreo was son-in-law to Quesada,
who had annexed New Grenada to Spain. Berreo alleged that he spent
300,000 ducats, and journeyed 1500 miles, before he arrived within
Guiana. He seems never to have actually entered. From a tribe on the
confines he received gifts of gold images and ornaments which he sent to
King Philip by his officer Domingo de Vera. But other Indians on the
borders blocked further progress by firing the savannahs. He was forced
to retire to Trinidad, of which he was appointed Governor. From Trinidad
he concerted raids on the mainland. One of his captains ascended the
Orinoko for some distance, and on April 23, 1593, took formal possession
of the country for Spain. Ralegh's own subsequent experience proved that
individual Spaniards had stolen in, searching for gold. He questioned
seamen who had been in or near this wonderful land. He studied every
published narrative which touched upon it. A treatise, never printed,
and now lost, which he had himself composed on the West Indies, may have
embodied the results of his enquiries. The information he collected
filled him at once with admiration for the invincible constancy, as he
described it, of the Spaniards, and with hatred of their rapacity and
cruelty. He abhorred their barbarous treatment of the native owners of
the New World. As always, he could not comprehend by what right they
claimed a monopoly of its sovereignty for themselves against the rest of
Europe.

Lady Ralegh perceived the bent of his thoughts. She wrote in February,
1594, to invoke the aid of Cecil, in diverting her husband from the
perilous temptation. I reproduce her letter in the original spelling: 'I
hope for my sake you will rather draw sur watar towardes the est then
heulp hyme forward touard the soonsett, if ani respecke to me or love to
him be not forgotten. But everi monthe hath his flower and everi season
his contentement, and you greate counselares ar so full of new councels
as you are steddi in nothing; but wee poore soules that hath bought
sorrow at a high price desiar, and can be plesed with, the same
misfortun wee hold, fering alltarracions will but multiply misseri, of
wich we have allredi felte sufficiant. I knoo unly your parswadcions ar
of efecke with him, and hild as orrekeles tied to them by Love; therfore
I humbelle besiech you rathar stay him then furdar him. By the wich you
shall bind me for ever. As yet you have ever geveng me caus.'

[Sidenote: _A Royal Commission._]

If Cecil tried dissuasion, he did not succeed. In the course of 1594
Ralegh sent out as a pioneer his 'most valiant and honest' old officer,
Captain Whiddon, to explore the Orinoko and gather information. Whiddon
sailed to Trinidad. There Berreo received him amicably, as it seemed,
though Whiddon thought the imprisonment of some of his crew implied
treachery. Berreo, with the assistance of de Vera in Spain, was
promoting an expedition of his own, and was not likely to be
communicative. Whiddon was back before 1595. Ralegh forthwith began
preparations for an expedition to be conducted by himself. He procured a
Royal Commission to 'our servant Sir Walter Ralegh,' neither 'trusty'
nor 'well-beloved,' to offend and enfeeble the King of Spain and his
subjects in his dominions to the uttermost; to discover and subdue
heathen lands not in the possession of any Christian prince, nor
inhabited by any Christian people; to resist and expel by force of arms
all persons who should attempt to settle within 200 leagues of the place
where he or his people might fix their habitations within the six
following years; and to capture all ships trading within the limits
aforesaid. He speedily equipped several ships. The cost was such that,
as he said at his trial, if he had died in Guiana, he had not left 300
marks a year to his wife and son. Captain Laurence Keymis was in command
of a galley. Captain Whiddon sailed again, to his grave as it happened
in Trinidad. Believers in Ralegh assisted. Thus, the High Admiral lent
the Lion's Whelp, which Anthony Wells King commanded. Two barks joined
the expedition, one under Captain Crosse, the other under Captain
Caulfield. There were 100 officers, gentlemen volunteers, and soldiers.
In the number was John Gilbert, Sir Humphrey's son. He was a close ally
of Ralegh's in maritime adventures, notwithstanding occasional
disagreement on their respective proportions of the profits. Cecil
contributed money. Two ships, under Captains Amias Preston and Sommers,
or Summers, which were expected to unite in the undertaking, never came.
The squadron when collected was detained by contrary winds. Ralegh
boasted to Cecil that he was indifferent to good fortune or adversity.
But in another letter he confessed: 'This wind breaks my heart.' The
delay was the more exasperating that other ships had run out, 'bound to
the wars, a multitude going for the Indies.' He was afraid the chiefest
places of his enterprise might be attempted, and he should be undone.
Others would reap no advantage; for he knew 'they would be beaten, and
do no good.'

[Sidenote: _The Voyage._]

[Sidenote: _Capture of Berreo._]

However, at last, on February 6, 1595, he was off. He had bequeathed to
Cecil the charge of staying litigation against him. He was especially
afraid of a suretyship suit instituted by Widow Smith. The widow 'hath a
son that waits on the keeper, and a daughter married to Mr. Wilkes, so
it will be harder to clear.' He captured a Spanish ship at the Canaries
with firearms, and a Fleming with wine. At Teneriffe he paused in vain
for Preston and Sommers. They had assumed that he would have quitted
Teneriffe before they could arrive. At least that was their explanation.
So they were gone on an adventure of their own. Finally Ralegh set sail.
He reached Trinidad on March 22. He stayed a month for the Lion's Whelp,
and also for Preston and Sommers. He employed his leisure in a careful
survey of the coast. On the shore he found clumps of mangroves bearing
oysters. He satisfied his mind that the Indian fig-tree is not the Tree
of Knowledge, its only fruit being oysters, which adhere to its
pendulous fibres. Terrible tales were told him of the Spanish habit of
chaining and torturing native chiefs. He heard also that five months
before Berreo had sent to Spain for reinforcements. It seemed dangerous
to leave an enemy behind him. He had, moreover, a grievance for the
maltreatment of Whiddon's men the year before. A combination of motives
induced him to lead a hundred of his company in a night attack on
Berreo's new city of St. Joseph. By dawn he took it. He burnt it down,
having first released from a dungeon five caciques fastened together
with a single chain. The proceeding was high-handed and summary. Now it
would be criminal. It did not bear that character then. Lingard has
stigmatised Ralegh as a murderer, on account of the Spanish lives lost
during the assault. Berreo and the Spanish Government were less
particular. They saw nothing in his conduct adverse to the laws of war
and nations. If their soldiers had arrived in time, they would have
anticipated him in the aggression. Throughout this whole period
Spaniards and Englishmen, on the ocean and in the Indies, fought or
fought not, as suited not merely their mutual, but their several,
convenience. Neither side held it treachery to be assailed without a
solemn declaration of war. Berreo, as there is no real reason to doubt,
though Southey has questioned it, was captured in the town. Ralegh
speaks of him as a well descended gentleman, of great assuredness, and
of a great heart. He had his defects. He tortured natives, and was so
ignorant as not to know east from west. These blemishes of feeling and
education did not prevent Ralegh from behaving as a polished English
gentleman to a polished Spanish hidalgo. They lived together in great
amity, and conversed much. Berreo was so far from showing rancour that
he told all he knew of previous attempts upon Guiana. He did not
under-rate the difficulties, partly because he had reason to believe in
them, partly from a wish to put his captor off a project he hoped
hereafter to accomplish himself. Among other impediments to an entrance
he mentioned that the main land was 600 miles farther from the sea than
Whiddon had understood it to be. Ralegh concealed the disquieting fact
from his men.

[Sidenote: _A Maze of Waters._]

He assembled a conclave of island chiefs. His Sovereign, a virgin Queen,
he informed them, had commissioned him to free them from the Castilian
yoke. Then he set forth from Curiapan in an old gallego boat cut down
to draw but five feet of water. It was fitted with banks of oars. Sixty
officers and gentlemen volunteers embarked with him. A boat, two
wherries, and a barge carried forty more. They were victualled for a
month. The ships anchored near los Gallos in the Gulf of Paria. Twenty
miles of sea were crossed 'in a great billow' to Guanipa Bay, where
dwelt savages who shot poisoned arrows. Then the expedition was
entangled in a labyrinth of rivers. These were the eight branches of the
Orinoko. 'All the earth,' wrote Ralegh, 'doth not yield the like
confluence of streams.' That is hardly an exaggerated statement about
the Orinoko, which is fed by more than 436 rivers, and a couple of
thousand rivulets. A young Indian pilot, whom Ralegh had brought, named
Ferdinando, became bewildered. The boats might have wandered a whole
year had not, partly by force, and partly by good treatment, the
services of an old native been secured. Though often sorely perplexed,
he piloted them along a succession of narrow reaches of the Caño Manamo.
By Ralegh's orders he and the other Indian promised an outlet by every
next day, to cheer the crews. All were, however, on the verge of utter
despair, when suddenly the tangled thickets on the banks opened up into
a lovely champaign country. It was a paradise of birds and beasts. The
turf was diversified by groves of trees, disposed in order as if by all
the art and labour in the world. Still as the oarsmen rowed the deer
came down feeding by the water's side, as if they had been used to a
keeper's call. On an excursion off the route they were following they
overtook two canoes laden with bread. Among the bushes they found a
refiner's basket. In it were quicksilver and saltpetre, prepared for
assay, and the dust of ore which had been refined. It belonged to some
Spaniards who escaped; but the natives, their companions, were caught.
One of them, called Martino, proved a better pilot than Ferdinando and
the old man. Naturally the refining apparatus suggested a hunt after
gold. Ralegh was of a different opinion. The attempt, he considered,
would give notice to other nations of the riches of the country. To the
present expedition it could not have been very profitable from lack of
tools. He had no mind to dig with his nails. Had he wanted gold he
might, he says, have obtained much in actual bullion from the Indians.
But he 'shot at another mark than present profit.' He decided to
advance, his men being of good courage, and crying out to go on, they
cared not how far.

[Sidenote: _Friendly Chiefs._]

On the fifteenth day they discovered afar the Guiana mountains. Towards
evening they entered the main channel of the Orinoko. No Englishman had
preceded them. Consequently Captain Keymis afterwards re-named the
river, after his commander, Raleana. Now they were in a more populous
region. But the natives did not obstruct their advance. Ralegh had the
art of impressing them with faith and admiration. Hard as it was, he
hindered his men from robbing the villagers, insulting their women, or,
like the Spaniards in Peru, ransacking their hallowed graves for
treasure. A border prince, Toparimaca, regaled Ralegh's captains with
pine-apple wine till some of them were 'reasonable pleasant.' He also
lent his elderly brother for pilot. Under his guidance a branch of the
river, edged with rocks of a blue colour, like steel ore, was explored.
On the right bank were seen the plains of the Sayma, reaching to Cumana
and Caraccas, 120 leagues to the north. There dwelt the black
smooth-haired Aroras, accustomed to use poisoned arrows. No Spaniard
knew how to cure hurts from urari, which seems to be strychnine. 'Yet
they taught me,' writes Ralegh, 'the best way of healing as well this as
all other poisons.' Humboldt speaks of the Guaikas, who still use
poisoned darts, and by the terror of them have repelled intruders.

[Sidenote: _Indigenous Marvels._]

On they voyaged as far as Aromaia and its port, Morequito, 300 miles
from the sea. Here Ralegh was visited by wise Topiowari, King of
Aromaia, 110 years old. His nephew and predecessor, Morequito, had been
murdered by the Spaniards. He himself had been dragged for seventeen
days in a chain, like a dog, till he ransomed himself with a hundred
plates of gold and several chains of spleen stones. The old chief, who
walked to and fro, twenty-eight miles, brought a present of flesh, fish,
fowl, Guiana pine-apples, the prince of fruits, declares Ralegh, bread,
wine, parakeets, and an armadillo, which Ralegh afterwards ate. Ralegh
told him he had been sent by his Queen to deliver the Indians from
Spanish tyranny. Thence he would have ascended the Caroni, but his men
could not row a stone's throw in an hour. So he pushed on by land to
view the falls, ten or a dozen in number, each as high above the other
as a church tower. Deer flitted across every path. Birds at evening sang
a thousand different tunes. Cranes and herons, white, crimson,
carnation, perched on the banks. Fresh easterly breezes blew. Every
stone they stooped to take up promised either gold or silver by its
complexion. A Captain George, who had been captured with Berreo, had
told them a rich silver mine was near the Caroni. Topiowari's only son,
Caworako, informed him of the Carolians. He said they were foes to the
Spaniards. They had a feud also with the Epirumei, subjects of the Inca
of Manoa, who abounded in gold. The Carolians and three tribes at the
head of the Caroni, he asserted, would help Ralegh against both Spain
and the Inca. He spoke too of the Ewaipanomas, with eyes in their
shoulders and mouths in their breasts, living on the Caora. He was sure
of the eyes and mouths, for they had lately fought and slain many
hundreds of his father's people. Ralegh vouches neither for the Amazons
in the province of Topago, nor for these Ewaipanomas, 'For my part I saw
them not, but am resolved that so many people did not all combine, or
forethink to make the report.' Nineteen years later he took occasion in
his History to justify by the Greek belief in Amazons 'mine own relation
of them, which was held for vain and improbable.'

[Sidenote: _Sparrow and Goodwin._]

By this time the summer was over. Winter in the Tropics is the rainy
season. It shows itself less by any sensible change of vegetation than
by floods, gusts, thunder and lightning. The streams rose and raged; the
men were wetted to the skins ten times a day, and had no dry clothes to
put on. The fleet was some hundred miles away. Ralegh set his face
homewards. The boats glided down the Orinoko at a rate, though against
the wind, of little less than 100 miles a day. On his arrival at
Morequito Topiowari came on a parting visit. He brought a plentiful
supply of provisions, which Ralegh bought at fair prices. Every day,
said the old man, had death called for him; but he was animated by a
sagacious anxiety for his country, which the Spaniards threatened.
Ralegh's noble courtesy was as unstinted to the patriarchal savage as to
the Queen of England. He had infused the like temper into his officers,
and Topiowari's confidence was won. Already they had talked freely on
the politics and nature of Guiana, and how to obtain access to its
heart. Now the chief definitely offered to join in a march upon golden
Manoa if Ralegh would leave fifty Englishmen to defend him from the
vengeance of the Inca and Spain. Ralegh was timid for his men. He
compromised by engaging to return next year. Topiowari sent with him his
son, who was christened in England Gualtero. Ralegh left in Aromaia
Francis Sparrow, or Sparrie, to sketch and describe the country and
travel to Manoa with merchandise. Sparrow trafficked in Indian slaves.
At last the Spaniards captured him and forwarded him to Spain, from
which he made his way home in 1602. A boy, Hugh Goodwin, remained by his
own wish to learn the language. Ralegh found him at Caliana in 1617. He
had almost forgotten his native tongue. When these arrangements were
being made Ralegh steadfastly purposed to come back shortly. For the
moment his plan rather was to lay the foundation of friendships, and to
acquire information, than to conquer territory or open mines. For
example, he gave away, he states, more money's worth in gold guineas
than he received in gold plates. He had seen enough to be persuaded the
region was a land of gold. He was shown specimens of gold wrought by the
Epirumei, and the process had been explained to him. In Aromaia itself
he observed all the hills spread with stones of the colour of gold and
silver. At first he had conjectured they were marquesite. He tested
them and ascertained they were _el madre del oro_. Where that is, the
presence of gold below was supposed to be indicated. He remarked also
the outside of many mines of white spar, from which he drew as
flattering a conclusion.

[Sidenote: _Keymis's Gold Mine._]

From Aromaia a cacique Putijma accompanied him towards Mount Iconuri,
which contained a gold mine. 'Being a very ill footman,' he soon gave
in. He sent Keymis on, arranging that they should meet at the Cumaca.
Putijma conducted Keymis to the mine. On his own route Ralegh passed
many rocks like gold ore, a round mountain of mineral stone, and a
mountain of crystal. The crystal mountain he did not find crowned with
the diamond, which, according to Berreo, blazed afar. Its true diadem
was a mighty river, rushing down with a noise as of a thousand enormous
jangling bells. Near Mount Roraima the natives were solemnizing a
festival, 'all as drunk as beggars.' They pressed upon the strangers
abundance of delicate pine-apple wine. On the Cumaca Keymis rejoined
Ralegh. They bade adieu to sorrowing Putijma. They were themselves
downcast. 'Their hearts were cold to behold the great rage and increase
of Orinoko,' 'the sea without a shore,' as Humboldt has termed its
mouth. The Caño Manamo too, by which they had entered Guiana, was now
violently in flood. They had to follow the Capuri branch. At its mouth a
fierce gale was blowing, and the galley was near sinking. Ralegh,
embarking in his barge with Gifford, Caulfield, and his cousin,
Grenville, thrust into the sea at midnight. The galley he left to come
by day. 'Thus, faintly cheering one another in show of courage, it
pleased God about nine o'clock the next morning we descried the Isle of
Trinidad.' The ships were riding at anchor at Curiapan on the south-west
of the island. 'Never was there to us a more joyful sight.' Only one man
had perished, a very proper young negro, who, leaping into the river of
Lagartos to swim, was instantly devoured before them all by a crocodile.
The rest, in spite of wet, heat, want of sleep, clean clothes, and
shelter, and a diet of rotting fruit, crocodile, sea-cow, tapir, and
armadillo, all survived. They had suffered from no pestilence.
Schomburgk thinks Ralegh coloured too highly the mineral riches of
Guiana. He attests the veracity of the praises both of its prodigious
vegetable and animal fruitfulness, and of its healthiness away from the
malaria of the coast. His opinion was formed on an experience of eight
years of exploration.

[Sidenote: _Voyage Homewards._]

Ralegh had intended to sail to Virginia, and endeavour to relieve his
settlers. Extremity of weather forced him to abandon the design. He
demanded supplies at Cumana, where he left Berreo, at St. Mary's, and at
Rio de la Hacha. Being refused them, he sacked and burnt all three.
Incidentally he mentions that he found 'not a real of plate.' But he had
punished the settlements for their churlishness, not for the sake of
booty. He did not care to look out for spoil. 'It would have sorted
ill,' he wrote, 'with the offices of honour which by her Majesty's grace
I hold this day in England, to run from cape to cape for the pillage of
ordinary prizes.' On July 13, off Cuba, Preston and Sommers met, as
states their chronicler, the Honourable Knight Sir Walter Ralegh
returning from his painful and happy discovery of Guiana, and his
surprise of the Isle of Trinidad. Their two ships and his three remained
in company for twenty days. In August, 1595, he is understood to have
been back in England, 'a beggar,' as he expressed it, 'and withered.'
His wife had been watching over his interests. Her letter to Cecil of
March 20, 1595, is pleasantly characteristic. She explained in it her
urgency in a suit against Lord Huntingdon: 'I rather choose this time to
follow it in Sir Walter's absence, that myself may bear the unkindness,
and not he.' The subject of the proceedings was a refusal by the Earl to
surrender for Ralegh's use Lady Ralegh's portion, which was in his
hands, and had become payable through her mother's death.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's Book on Guiana._]

[Sidenote: _Vindication of his Veracity._]

The return did not excite much popular sensation. Cecil seems to have
doubted the genuineness or value of the minerals. He cannot have
profited by his investment in the adventure, and was not disposed to be
fervent in its praise. Hakluyt remarks how careful the cold Secretary of
State was not to be overtaken with any partial affection for the
planting of Guiana. Even in Devonshire there seem to have circulated
'slanderous and scoffing speeches touching Sir Walter's late occasion at
sea.' His enemies before he went predicted he would never return, but
would become 'a servant to the Spanish King.' Now that he was back, they
depreciated the importance of the enterprise, and especially his part in
it. Very absurdly they contended that he was too easeful and sensual to
have undertaken a journey of so great travail, and had been hiding in
Cornwall. Some gold he had helped to dig out with his own dagger. A
London alderman persuaded an officer of the Mint to report this
worthless; but Westwood, a refiner of Wood Street, and Dulmar Dimoke,
and Palmer, Controllers of the Mint, pronounced it very rich.
Calumniators, taking up a different position, alleged that the whole had
been imported from Barbary into Guiana. Ralegh himself wrote to Cecil on
November 21, 1595: 'What becomes of Guiana I much desire to hear,
whether it pass for a history or a fable.' He had to take pen in hand,
and defend himself from slanders by his _Discovery of the large, rich,
and beautiful Empire of Guiana, with a relation of the great and golden
city of Manoa_. The volume was published in 1596, with a grateful
dedication to his friends in adversity, his kinsman, the Lord Admiral,
and Cecil. Hume characterizes the account as 'full of the grossest and
most palpable lies.' The sole apparent ground for the accusation is that
Ralegh quoted Indian tales of strange creatures, giving the Indian
narrators as his authorities. It is not necessary to deny that he may
have been prone to believe in them too. The legend of a nation of
Amazons is of venerable antiquity. His was an age of faith in portents,
in witches, and wizards. If he did not sternly refuse credence even to
the shoulder-eyed Ewaipanomas, it must be remembered that a world of
'stranger things than are to be seen between London and Staines,' as he
has said, was being opened up to wondering Europe. Ralegh's personal
evidence, as I have mentioned, Schomburgk has tested; and he certifies
that it is not open to Hume's condemnation. Humboldt concurs. In
particular, the geographical knowledge exhibited in Ralegh's narrative
has been proved to be, for the period, curiously wide and accurate. His
observations on the natural phenomena of the region are equally faithful
and sagacious. The trust he reposed in its metallic riches is being now
demonstrated to have been more solidly founded than even Sir Robert
Schomburgk thought it. International disputes have recently arisen out
of the discovery of gold in the country still known as Guiana. Of the
gold field in Venezuela, which was comprised in Ralegh's Guiana, a
Government Inspector of Mines stated in 1889 that he believed we had in
it Sir Walter's el Dorado itself.

Contemporaries were captivated by the charm of the narrative. It
suffered from no dearth of readers at home. Abroad it was admired almost
more warmly. Four German editions appeared between 1599 and 1602, the
first three being published at Nuremberg. It was translated into Dutch
in 1598, and again in 1605, 1617, 1707, 1727, and 1747. Latin versions
were issued at Nuremberg and Frankfort in 1599. Ralegh's comrade,
Keymis, glorified the author and discoverer in Latin verse. George
Chapman sang the exploit in English. The Queen continued obdurate.
Ralegh's friends in vain interceded for his recall to Court. In vain he
waited for a summons, 'living about London,' as was said in December,
1595, perhaps at Mitcham or Mile End, 'very gallant.' He would not have
minded his toil had it brought his pardon. If he could thereby have
appeased the Queen's 'so powerful displeasure,' he would for a year more
have 'held fast his soul in his teeth.' But he imagined himself not at
all advanced towards forgiveness by his feat. Elizabeth, he complained,
persisted in 'the ungrateful custom of making one failing eclipse the
merit of many virtuous actions.' Personal resentment, he supposed,
closed her ears to his eloquent entreaties that she should keep a small
army afoot in Guiana marching towards Manoa. In that event, he was
certain, the Inca would yield to her Majesty so many hundred thousand
pounds yearly as should both defend her from all enemies abroad and
defray all expenses at home. She would have the means of foiling the
wiles by which, through his American gold, Philip 'crept into councils,
and set loyalty at liberty in the greatest monarchies.'

[Sidenote: _The Gold of Guiana._]

Guiana contained, he asserted, all things precious. Its lord would
possess as many diamonds as the princes of India, and more gold, a more
beautiful empire, more cities and people than either the King of Spain
or the Great Turk. He understood the temper of his age. He was aware
that 'where there is store of gold, it is in effect needless to remember
other commodities for trade.' Therefore he dilated on the gold and
diamonds of Guiana rather beyond measure, though not without reason. But
he had a quick eye for its other and more permanent advantages.
Throughout his career, to its end, and in all his writings, he differed
from other Elizabethan statesmen and explorers in regarding war with
Spain not merely in its retaliatory, defensive, and plundering aspects,
but as a means of enlarging the national boundaries. He desired to endow
England with a colonial empire. He pointed out that the new country had
everything which could render it habitable for Europeans. It was only a
six weeks' voyage from England. It was free from white occupants, and
had escaped spoliation. It was a region in which, he was convinced,
Englishmen could thrive and be happy. With his military instinct he had
truly discerned how easily it might be guarded by a couple of forts on
sites commanding the entrance into the Orinoko.

[Sidenote: _Spanish Plantation of San Thome._]

[Sidenote: _Another of Keymis's Gold Mines._]

He trusted she who was the lady of ladies would be inspired to accept
the direct dominion. If not, he was ready to judge those men worthy to
be its kings who by her grace and leave should undertake the task of
themselves. Unlicensed Undertakers were not wanting, much to his
disgust. He wrote to Cecil in November, 1595, that he heard Mr. Dudley
and others were sending ships. He besought that none be suffered to soil
the enterprise, and that he should be thought worthy to govern the
country he had discovered. The whole duty of sovereignty properly, he
held, appertained to the State. If it could not afford the requisite
funds, he expounded in an unpublished essay how a few hundred English
artificers might teach the Indians to arm themselves against the
Spaniards. By an able and generous argument he reconciled the
indefeasible right of the natives to their territory with the industrial
colony he was planning. As the State could in no shape be induced to
interest itself, he maintained the English connexion with Guiana at his
private charge. In the January of 1596 he despatched Keymis with the
Darling and Discovery. They were laden with merchandise to comfort and
assure the people that they should not yield to any composition with
other nations. Burleigh and Robert Cecil were joint adventurers with
Ralegh. Burleigh advanced £500, and his son lent a new ship bravely
furnished. Keymis learnt they had been forestalled. King Philip,
perturbed by the tidings of Ralegh's enterprise, had granted Berreo's
application by de Vera for troops. On May 16, 1595, before Ralegh's own
return, Sir John Gilbert heard from a Frenchman that the King had sent
forces to el Dorado. A powerful force for the conquest of Manoa arrived
in Trinidad in 1596. Finally, it is true, the majority miserably
perished, and the expedition effected nothing. But a village had already
been planted near the port of Topiowari, who, Keymis heard, was dead.
This settlement, known as San Thome, Santo Thomè, San Tomè, Santo Tomas,
or St. Thomas, did not owe its actual beginning to Berreo. It was first
founded by Jesuits in 1576, close to the confluence of the Caroni and
Orinoko. At the period of Ralegh's voyage it had become deserted. Berreo
reoccupied the site; and Keymis found the mouth of the Caroni blocked,
and guarded by a battery. 'Thus,' wrote Lady Ralegh indignantly to
Cecil, on Keymis's return, Ralegh being away in Spain, 'you hear your
poor absent friend's fortune, who, if he had been as well credited in
his reports and knowledges as it seemeth the Spaniards were, they had
not now been possessors of that place.' Keymis had to alter his route.
His passage to the mine from which the ores and white stones had been
taken the year before was intercepted. He went in the direction of Mount
Aio. Putijma had pointed out a gold mine in that neighbourhood to a
pilot. Even this mine, however, he did not actually reach, though he was
within fifteen miles of it. He was afraid, he said, that he and his men
might be cut off in the attempt, and the secret of the treasure be
buried with them. He was content to foster the amity of the Indians, to
remark additional signs of gold and spleen stones, and to discover above
fifty fresh rivers and tribes. After an absence of five months, he
arrived off Portland at the end of June. In a published narrative of his
expedition he apologised for having emptied Ralegh's purse in the
prosecution of patriotic designs thwarted by 'envy and private
respects.'



CHAPTER XIII.

CADIZ. THE ISLANDS VOYAGE. (1596-1597).


[Sidenote: _A Policy of Offence._]

Ralegh, like his wife and Keymis, may have thought his labour and his
money thrown away. They had not been. Guiana, after all, rehabilitated
him. His advice that England should not let herself be constrained to a
defensive war by the power of the Indian gold of Spain, was followed.
Again he emerged into official prominence as a warrior. He had never
ceased to carry himself as one who owed it to the State to counsel and
to lead. In November, 1595, he was warning Cecil of a fleet of sixty
sail preparing in Spain for Ireland. He was urging the necessity for the
quality, 'not plentiful in Ministers,' of despatch. 'Expedition in a
little is better than much too late. If we be once driven to the
defensive, farewell might.' Within the same month he was admonishing the
Council by letter of the imminent danger of a Spanish invasion of
England from Brittany. Disasters themselves favoured his advice and
projects. An expedition conducted by Hawkins and Drake against Panama
had been unsuccessful. The commanders died, Hawkins in November, 1595,
Drake in the next January; both, Ralegh has written, broken-hearted from
disappointment and vexation. Spain was encouraged by the failure. A
Spanish league with the Earl of Tyrone frightened and exasperated
Elizabeth. She equipped ninety-six sail, and the Dutch added
twenty-four. They carried 14,000 Englishmen, 1000 being gentlemen
volunteers, and 2600 Dutchmen.

[Sidenote: _Distribution of Commands._]

Lord Admiral Howard and Essex were joint Generals. They had a council of
war of five members. Lord Thomas Howard and Ralegh served for the seas.
Sir Francis Vere and Sir Coniers Clifford represented the troops. The
fifth on the council was Sir George Carew. All five were charged, as
they would answer before God, to give their counsels to both Generals
without any private respect to either, for love or fear. The English
fleet was divided into four squadrons. Ralegh commanded twenty-two
ships, manned by 1352 mariners and 1875 soldiers. As usually happened,
the expedition was detained by cross weather, which caused Ralegh, he
declared, deeper grief than he ever felt for anything of this world. His
anguish did not wholly occupy him. Some of his enforced leisure he
employed in petitioning for the appointment to the bishoprics of Lismore
and Waterford of the very learned Hugh Broughton. The ground partly was
the comfort Broughton would be to all the English nation thereabouts.
Partly, he wished to requite old Archbishop Magrath, who was usurping
the two sees, for having dealt badly with him touching divers leases and
lands. He was less successful in pleading for learning than for folly.
Broughton was not given the mitre. But four years later Cecil, writing
to Carew of a nominee for the Kerry Bishopric, described him
significantly as 'another manner of man than Sir Walter Ralegh's last
silly priest.' Now Ralegh was busy also begging a grant of 'concealed
lands' in Ireland for a former servant, and an Exeter prebend for Mr.
William Hilliard. He was inducing Cecil to be 'bound for me for the
£500, which I stand in danger to the Widow Smith for.' At last the wind
became more accommodating. Ralegh, whom carping gouty Anthony Bacon
pretended to suspect of having contributed to the delay from underhand
motives, collected the truant ships and seamen. On June 1, 1596, the
armament quitted Plymouth.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's Strategy._]

Until the fleet was at sea its destination had been kept secret. On June
20 it anchored half a league from Cadiz. A council was held from which
Ralegh was absent, being engaged in intercepting runaway Spanish ships.
It was resolved to attack the town first. On his return, he found Essex
in the act of putting soldiers in boats on a stormy sea. One barge had
sunk. First he dissuaded the Earl from prosecuting that plan. Next, he
won over the Lord Admiral. When he came back from Howard's ship, crying
out 'Entramos! Entramos!' Essex in exultation threw his plumed hat into
the water. Again by Ralegh's counsels, the attack was postponed till the
morning for the sake of the light. He drew up a scheme of operations and
sent it to the Lord Admiral, who and Essex, he says, were willing to be
'advised by so mean an understanding.' His project was to batter the
galleons first, and to appoint to each two great fly-boats to board
afterwards. The Generals were to stay with the main body of the fleet.
Ralegh obtained permission to lead the van in the Warspright, which had
a crew of 290. He was to be seconded by five other ships. Carew
commanded the Mary Rose, named after the ill-fated ship which foundered
at Portsmouth in the presence of Henry the Eighth, with its crew and
captain, another Sir George Carew, the present George's cousin. Marshal
Vere was in the Rainbow, Southwell in the Lion, Conyers Clifford in the
Dreadnought, and Lord Thomas Howard in the Nonparilla. An anonymous
contemporary writer, supposed to be Sir William Monson, who, it must be
admitted, says little of Ralegh's extraordinary prominence in the
action, states that Lord Thomas Howard challenged the leadership of the
van by right of his place as Vice-Admiral, and was granted it. Ralegh
was in this, at all events, not to be thwarted.

[Sidenote: _The Attack._]

At dawn he started, well in advance of all. Thereupon the St. Philip,
St. Matthew, St. Andrew, and St. Thomas, all mighty galleons, sailed
into the strait of the harbour towards Puerto Real. They moored under
the fort of Puntal, with a fringe of galleys, three about each, to
assist. The Warspright was cannonaded on her way by the fort and by the
galleys, which she esteemed but as wasps in respect of the powerfulness
of the others. She made no answer except by 'a blare with a trumpet to
each discharge.' Sailing on she anchored close against the St. Philip
and St. Andrew, the biggest ships in the Spanish navy. They had
overpowered Grenville's ship at the Azores. Ralegh determined 'to be
revenged for the Revenge, or to second her with mine own life.' He at
once cannonaded them while waiting for the fly-boats, which were to
board. The five supporting ships were at hand, but behind. Essex in his
flagship now came up. He was eager to join, and anchored beside him.
After a struggle of three hours the Warspright was near sinking. Ralegh
was rowed to Essex's ship. He told the Earl he meant, in default of the
fly-boats, to board from his ship: 'To burn or sink is the same loss;
and I must endure one or the other.' 'I will second you upon my honour,'
cried Essex. Ralegh, on his return after a quarter of an hour's absence,
found that the Nonparilla and the Rainbow had headed the Warspright.
Thomas Howard had on board his ship the Lord Admiral. Nevertheless,
Ralegh would not yield precedence, 'holding mine own reputation dearest,
and remembering my great duty to her Majesty.' Determined to be 'single
in the head of all,' he pushed between the Nonparilla and Rainbow, and
'thrust himself athwart the channel, so as I was sure none should
outstart me again for that day.' Vere pulled the Rainbow close up by a
hawser he had ordered to be fastened to the Warspright's side. But
Ralegh's sailors cut it; and back slipped into his place the Marshal,
'whom,' writes Ralegh, 'I guarded, all but his very prow, from the sight
of the enemy.' At length he proceeded to grapple the St. Philip. His
companions were following his example, when a panic seized the
Spaniards. All four galleons slipped anchor, and tried to run aground,
'tumbling into the sea heaps of soldiers, so thick as if coals had been
poured out of a sack.' The St. Matthew and the St. Andrew, of ten to
twelve hundred tons burden, were captured before there was time for
their officers to burn them. In his wonderfully vivid letter, undated
and unaddressed, known as _A Relation of Cadiz Action_, he does not name
the captor. But a note in his own hand, in his copy of a French account,
_Les Lauriers de Nassau_, affirms, 'J'ay pris tous deux.' The St. Philip
and the St. Thomas were blown up by their captains. A multitude of the
men were drowned, or horribly scorched. 'There was so huge a fire, and
such tearing of the ordnance, as, if any man had a desire to see Hell
itself, it was there most lively figured.' The English, Ralegh says,
spared the lives of all after the victory; the Flemings, who did little
or nothing in the fight, slaughtered mercilessly, till Ralegh first, and
then the Lord Admiral, beat them off. Towards the close of the three
hours' struggle, Ralegh received from a spent shot a grievous wound,
'interlaced and deformed with splinters,' in the leg.

[Sidenote: _Occupation of Cadiz._]

So stunned were the Spaniards by the naval disaster that the English
troops when they landed had an easy victory. They routed eight hundred
horsemen who met them. Then, hotly pursuing, they forced their way in
under Essex along with the fugitives. Before 8 o'clock that night the
English were masters of the market-place, forts, town, and all but the
castle. It held out till break of day. Ralegh was carried ashore on his
men's shoulders; but his wound was painful, and he was anxious for the
fleet. That was practically deserted. The superior officers had all run
headlong to the sack. So he retired on board. A promise was made him of
a full share of the spoil. He wrote on his copy of _Les Lauriers_ that
the engagement was not kept. Cadiz agreed to pay a hundred and twenty
thousand crowns as ransom for the persons of the citizens. All the rich
merchandise in the town, and forty thousand ducats in cash, were spoil
of war. A grander booty might have been gained if the Generals had been
guided by him, though Sir William Monson arrogates to himself the honour
of the suggestion. At daybreak he had sent his step-brother, Sir John
Gilbert, and his brother-in-law, Sir Arthur Throckmorton, who were in
his ship, to ask authority to follow the Indian fleet into Puerto Real
road. The cargoes were worth eight million crowns. The Generals
demurred. He says in their excuse that 'the confusion was great; it was
almost impossible for them to order many things at once.' They declined
also an offer by the Cadiz and Seville merchants in the afternoon to
redeem the ships for two million ducats. Ralegh himself preferred
capture first, and ransom afterwards. Essex desired to take the vessels;
but he wished to employ his land officers, Blount and others, not Ralegh
and his sailors. The Lord Admiral was against any composition. 'We
came,' he said, 'to consume them, and not to compound with them.' The
Spanish commander, the Duke of Medina, settled the difficulty. On the
following morning, June 23, he set fire to the whole, galleons,
frigates, and argosies. Among them were several ships which had been
fitted out for Guiana. The galleys escaped both Spanish and English
fury.

[Sidenote: _The Spoil._]

To the English leaders were allotted many rich prisoners. 'Some,' wrote
Ralegh, 'had for them sixty-six, or twenty, thousand ducats, some ten
thousand, beside great houses of merchandise.' Had it not been for his
wound, he avows with candour that he also should have possessed himself
of 'some house.' As it was, his part of the spoils was 'a lame leg and
deformed. I have not been wanting in good words, or exceeding kind and
regardful usage, but have possession of nought but poverty and pain.'
His complaint was an exaggeration. It is inconsistent with the report of
the royal commissioners. They drew up an inventory subsequently at
Plymouth of the spoil appropriated by the chiefs, except Essex and the
two Howards. In their tables Ralegh's plunder is valued at £1769, which
he was allowed to keep. But he fared ill in comparison, for example,
with Vere, who secured an amount of £3628. He appears also to have been
disappointed in an expectancy he had of £3000 prize-money from the
proceeds, among other booty, of those two well-furnished Apostles
aforesaid, as he familiarly terms the St. Matthew and St. Andrew.
Another and more generous grievance was the inferiority of the gains of
his seamen to those of the soldiers. With other principal officers of
the fleet he offended Vere by backing the sailors in their demand for a
search of the soldiers' chests. Throughout there had been ill-will
between Vere and him. Before they set out they disputed precedence. The
contention was compromised on the terms that Vere should have priority
on land, and Ralegh on water. During the voyage the strife was inflamed
by Sir Arthur Throckmorton's hot temper. On the return to England a
fresh outburst of professional jealousy fretted the sore.

[Sidenote: _Return of the Expedition._]

Essex was for holding Cadiz; and Vere engaged for its retention if he
might keep four thousand men. But it was known the measure would be
disliked at Court. The owners of booty, moreover, wanted to convey it
home. Consequently, most of the town was demolished, and its
fortifications were dismantled. As Ralegh writes in the _History of the
World_, describing Cadiz as one of the three keys of the Spanish Empire,
bequeathed by Charles the Fifth to Philip: 'We stayed not to pick any
lock, but brake open the doors, and, having rifled all, threw the key
into the fire.' On July 5 the army embarked. A descent was made upon
Faro; and the noble library of Bishop Osorius was taken. It became the
nucleus of the commencing Bodleian. Then the fleet set off homewards.
This was against the wishes of Essex, but accorded with those of Ralegh.
Provisions were scarce. In his own ship sickness had broken out, and his
wound troubled him. Sir William Monson adds an insinuation gratuitous
and baseless in respect of him, that 'riches kept them who got much from
attempting more.' Preceding the rest he reached Plymouth Sound on August
6. He went up to London, whither his praises had preceded him. Sir
George Carew had written to Cecil on June 30: 'Sir Walter Ralegh's
service was so much praiseworth as those which were formerly his enemies
do now hold him in great estimation; for that which he did in the sea
service could not be bettered.' As warm testimony was furnished by
friends of Essex. Sir Anthony Standen, a very close adherent of the
Earl's, who, however, in the next reign was one of Ralegh's
fellow-prisoners, had looked upon him with extreme suspicion. At the
commencement of the expedition he had written to an acquaintance: 'Sir
Walter Ralegh's carriage to my Lord of Essex is with the cunningest
respect and deepest humility that ever I saw.' He could not resist the
evidence of Ralegh's conduct. He wrote to Burleigh from Cadiz on July 5:
'Sir Walter Ralegh did in my judgment, no man better; and his artillery
most effect. I never knew the gentleman until this time, and I am sorry
for it, for there are in him excellent things beside his valour; and the
observation he hath in this voyage used with my Lord of Essex hath made
me love him.'

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's real reward._]

Ralegh murmured at the scantiness of his spoil. His real reward was his
restoration at Court. He sent a letter by Sir Anthony Ashley to Cecil on
July 7. After extolling Essex for having behaved both valiantly and
advisedly in the highest degree, without pride and without cruelty, he
expressed a hope that her Majesty would take his own labours and
endeavours in good part. His prayer was granted. Elizabeth finally was
induced to abate her wrath. It can never have been vindictive, or she
would have deprived him of his Captaincy. He was reported in May, 1597,
to be daily at Court, and to be likely to be admitted to the execution
of his office before he should go to sea. The rumour was well founded.
His deeds at Cadiz gave the Queen an excuse for showing indulgence, of
which she would be glad to avail herself on another account also. She
felt an obligation to him for his part in smoothing the relations
between her young favourite and her young Minister. Already, in
February, 1597, Essex and Ralegh were known to be holding frequent
conferences. Ralegh was acting as a mediator between the Earl and Cecil.
Their reconciliation was an object ardently desired by Elizabeth. He
succeeded, and they combined to requite him.

[Sidenote: _On Guard._]

On June 1, 1597, Cecil obtained leave to bring him to the Palace.
Elizabeth, writes a courtier, Whyte, used him very graciously, and gave
him full authority to execute his place as Captain of the Guard. This he
immediately undertook, and swore many men into the void places. In the
evening he rode abroad with the Queen, and had private conference with
her. From that time, the same indefatigable observer noted, he came
boldly to the Privy Chamber, as he had been wont. Though on June 1 Essex
was away from Town, it is especially remarked by Whyte that the
re-establishment of Ralegh was due to a large extent to him. Ralegh, he,
and Cecil were in league to gain the consent of the Queen to a fresh
foray upon Spain and its commerce. That was a main object of the
consultations which stirred the wonder of courtiers. The victualling of
the expedition was confided to Ralegh. He contracted to provision 6000
men for three months at the rate of ninepence a head. He complained that
he was out of pocket, which was not believed, though it was acknowledged
that the work was very well done. It was sure to be. He appreciated
fully Coligny's advice, as quoted by himself, that 'who will shape that
beast war must begin with his belly.' If he made a good bargain with the
State, he executed its conditions honestly. Not all of the profit could
he retain on this, or probably on other occasions. He had to supply
Essex with much for his private consumption. None of Elizabeth's
courtiers objected to such irregular gains. But Essex was chiefly
anxious for the glory he expected from the enterprise. His mind was said
to be 'full of conquering and overcoming the enemy;' and he had learnt
at Cadiz the value of Ralegh as a colleague. The triumvirate, it was
noticed, dined together one day at Essex House and conversed for three
hours after. Another day, early in July, Cecil was host. In return Essex
again, and Ralegh, entertained Cecil. An allusion to this festivity in a
letter of Ralegh's has furnished his biographers with a pet puzzle. 'I
acquainted the Lord General,' wrote Ralegh to Cecil on July 6, 1597,
'with your kind acceptance of your entertainment; he was also wonderful
merry at your conceit of Richard the Second. I hope it shall never
alter, and whereof I shall be most glad of, as the true way to all our
good, quiet, and advancement, and most of all for Her sake, whose
affairs shall thereby find better progression.' Commentators have been
tempted to discern some shadow before of the fatality four years later,
when the patronage by Essex and his partisans of the play of _Henry IV_
at the Globe Theatre became an article of indictment. The passage forms
a conundrum to which the clue has not yet been found. If the reference
be to Shakespeare's drama which Essex, Cecil, and Ralegh may have seen
acted in this July, it constitutes the only ascertained association of
the hand which could do all and the brain which could conceive all.

[Sidenote: _The Islands Voyage._]

Evidence of the amity of the three was afforded by the liberal scale of
the expedition, which started on July 10. A fleet of 120 vessels sailed
from Plymouth. Twenty were Queen's ships. Ten were contributed by the
Low Countries. The rest were volunteers. Essex commanded in chief, as
lieutenant-general and admiral. Lord Thomas Howard was vice-admiral.
Ralegh was rear-admiral. Lord Mountjoy was lieutenant of the land
forces. Vere was marshal, and George Carew master of the ordnance. The
serjeant-major was Sir Ferdinand Gorges. Sir Arthur Gorges was captain
of Ralegh's flagship. Essex feared that Vere and Ralegh might harbour a
mutual grudge on account of the strife over the Cadiz spoil. He
persuaded them to shake hands at Weymouth. 'This,' chronicles Vere, 'we
both did, the more willingly because there had nothing passed between us
that might blemish reputation.' Ralegh, in the _History of the World_,
has spoken in the same spirit of Vere, as constituting with Sir John
Norris 'the most famous' pair of captains by land, and is indignant that
he should have left behind him neither title nor estate.

[Sidenote: _Weather-bound._]

The object of the expedition was to destroy the navy a Ferrol, and
capture the Indian treasure ships. It was intended also to take and
garrison Terceira, and any others of the Azores. Hence it has been known
as the Islands or Island Voyage. The enterprise commenced ill. Four days
of storm drove the armament back to Plymouth. There it lay for a month.
Essex was in despair. Ralegh suggested to Cecil that the Queen might
send a comforting message. A truer man, he said, there could not be upon
the earth; but God having turned the heavens with such fury against the
fleet, it was a matter beyond human power, valour, or wit to resist. The
programme had to be revised. Essex and Ralegh rode post to Court to
consult the Queen and Council. The decision was that all the soldiers
but a thousand Dutchmen should be disbanded. The attack on Ferrol was to
be limited to an attempt by Ralegh to fire the ships in the harbour.
Essex was forbidden to participate, whether from regard for his safety,
or to secure to his subordinate a free hand. The modification was in
conformity with Ralegh's advice. He had expressed to Cecil his doubt of
the prudence of prosecuting the original design. The Spanish force at
Ferrol he thought too strong, and the season too advanced. He and Essex
returned together to Plymouth, where the Earl was his guest on board the
Warspright. 'Her Majesty may now be sure his Lordship shall sleep the
sounder, though he fare the worse, by being with me; for I am an
excellent watchman at sea,' wrote Ralegh. The fare would not be
extremely rough. Ralegh could bear hardships, if necessary, anywhere. He
was ready at any moment, and in any weather, to go to sea, though, like
Lord Nelson, he was liable to visitations of sea-sickness. But at sea,
as elsewhere, he liked comfort, refinement, and even luxury, if
compatible with duty. He had many servants. He took chests of books. He
hung his walls with pictures, and furnished his cabin sumptuously. Among
the treasures of the Carews of Beddington was a bedstead, reputed to
have been part of his ship furniture, with upholstery of green silk, and
with gilt dolphins for legs. The stately chair, which was in the late
Mr. Godwin's collection of the chairs of great men, may have been its
companion.

[Sidenote: _Mischief-making._]

At Plymouth the fleet delayed weather-bound till August 18. It had not
been five days at sea before another tempest arose off Cape Ortegal.
Carew in the St. Matthew was driven into Rochelle. Eventually he had to
return to Plymouth. The wind blew out of Ferrol, and the curtailed
scheme for an assault on it, and on Terceira too, had to be abandoned.
All that remained was to intercept the Indian ships. The fleet was
divided by stress of weather. Ralegh wrote to Cecil on September 8 that
in ten days he had never come so much as into bed or cabin. He did not
rejoin the main body till Essex had been ten days at the Island of
Flores. Essex 'seemed to be the joyfullest man living for our arrival,'
says Arthur Gorges. Some had tried to persuade him that Ralegh had kept
away intentionally with the victuallers; but Essex told Ralegh he saw
through 'their scandalous and cankered dispositions.' Gorges believed he
spoke sincerely; 'for though the Earl had many doubts and jealousies
buzzed into his ears against Sir Walter, yet I have often observed that
both in his greatest actions of service, and in the times of his
chiefest recreations, he would ever accept of his counsel and company
before many others who thought themselves more in his favour.'

[Sidenote: _Attack on Fayal._]

At Flores it was determined at a council of war that Essex and Ralegh
should lay waste Fayal. Essex sailed away. Ralegh following arrived
first. The forts fired; and the islanders began carrying off their goods
to the interior. Ralegh still paused. The officers, except a few of
Essex's sycophants, like Sir Guilly Meyricke, chafed. Delay, as Monson,
no admirer of Ralegh, has intimated in his narrative of the affair,
might have enabled the Spaniards to provide themselves better. Ralegh's
own patience was not inexhaustible. He cannot have been sorry to be
afforded a reasonable pretext for separate action. He states in the
_History of the World_ that his delay was in deference to the desire of
some in the company who would have 'reserved the title of such an
exploit, though it was not great, for a greater person.' When the
difficulty of the enterprise was urged, he felt bound to prove by
example that the 'defence of a coast is harder than its invasion.' On
the fourth day he landed. He took no soldiers, but only 260 seamen and
gentlemen volunteers, with some ordnance, in pinnaces. They were met by
double the number of Spaniards, and by a sharp fire. So staggered were
his men that Ralegh had to order his own barge to be rowed full upon the
beach. Other boats followed. Landing, the invaders waded through the
water, clambered over rocks, and forced their way up to and through the
narrow entrance. The town itself, called Villa Dorta, was four miles
off, and a fort guarded it. Up to the front deliberately marched Ralegh,
with his leading staff in his hand. He wore no armour except his collar.
His men were less serenely indifferent to the shot, especially the Low
Countries soldiers, who were now come ashore to his help. The garrison,
driven from the lower works, mounted to the higher. Ralegh, perceiving a
disinclination in his force to go on, preceded with Gorges and eight or
ten servants. Amidst a hail of ball and stones, he in his white, and
Gorges in his red, scarf, presented excellent marks. They discovered the
best passage, and then their men came up. But by the time they reached
the fort and town both had been deserted.

[Sidenote: _Essex's Jealousy._]

Early next morning, September 22, the rest of the fleet, which had been
roving after the treasure ships, was descried bearing in. Essex was
grievously disappointed at having missed the one opportunity of glory on
this unlucky expedition. Pernicious counsellors like Blount, Shirley,
and Meyricke, recommended him to bring Ralegh before a court-martial.
Some actually asserted he deserved to be executed. Not unconscious of
the Earl's mood he paid him a state visit in his barge. He was at once
taxed with breach of discipline. He was reminded of an article that
none, on pain of death, should land any of the troops without the
General's presence or his order. His reply was that the provision was
confined to captains. It could not apply to him, a principal commander,
with a right of succession to the supreme command, in default of Essex
and Thomas Howard. Most of all, he protested against orders which he
heard had been given for the arrest of the officers who accompanied him
in the landing. He insisted that whatsoever his Lordship conceived to be
misdone he must take it wholly on himself to answer, being at that time
commander-in-chief. Essex seemed so far impressed by his arguments as to
visit him at his lodgings, though he graduated the return to good humour
by declining to stay and sup. In the morning he paid Essex a second
visit, though not without hesitation. At one moment the prospect of ill
treatment was so threatening that he was disposed to go off to his
squadron and prepare to repel force. Lord Thomas Howard hindered
extremities by pledging his honour to make himself a party if wrong or
violence were offered. Essex could not overcome his mortification. He
evinced it in a puerile manner by omitting all mention of the capture of
Fayal from his official reports. Monson, who was with the expedition,
expresses an opinion that if Essex, being 'by nature timorous and
flexible, had not feared how it would be taken in England, Sir Walter
Ralegh would have smarted for it.' In appearance the Earl ultimately
allowed himself to be pacified by a solemn discussion of Ralegh's
conduct, and a severe censure voted by a majority of the principal
officers. According to one incredible account, Ralegh was gravely
declared on the occasion to have rendered himself, by his assumption of
independent power, liable to a capital penalty. Posterity will be
inclined to transfer the actual condemnation to the commander-in-chief,
whose freakish pique stopped only short of an outrage. But Essex had the
fortune or misfortune to have all his errors popularly accounted
virtues. In relating this occurrence, for instance, Vere, though he
admits the matter was 'grievously aggravated by the most,' speaks of
Ralegh's act as a 'crime,' which it was very good of the General to
visit simply 'with a wise and noble admonition.' Sir Henry Wotton later
mentions, as if it were an act of heroic self-denial, that the Earl
replied to advice to send Ralegh before a court-martial: 'I would if he
were my friend.'

[Sidenote: _Caracks captured and missed._]

[Sidenote: _Historian of the Expedition._]

To cement the hollow reconciliation, Villa Dorta was burnt, after the
kindly usage, and the fleet went prize hunting. Three Spanish ships from
the Havannah were captured. The largest, of 400 tons, was laden with
gold, cochineal, indigo, civet, musk, and ambergris, beside many
valuable passengers. Enough of cochineal and indigo was taken 'to be
used in this realm for many years,' according to an official report.
Ralegh was its captor. He expressed his pleasure either magnanimously or
contemptuously: 'Although we shall be little the better, the prizes will
in great measure give content to her Majesty, so that there may be no
repining against this poor lord for the expense of the voyage.' They
missed forty India-men, which escaped into the strong harbour of
Terceira. The colonels bragged they were ready to storm the forts.
Howard and Ralegh, who thought the enterprise impracticable, offered as
a test of the sincerity of the soldiers to back them with 3000 seamen.
Thereupon the project was dropped. At St. Michael's, Essex, according to
Gorges, who it must be remembered was Ralegh's officer, wasted precious
days at Villa Franca. He let his men revel in fruit and wine, and lost
the moment for surprising the capital. Ralegh meanwhile, in the road,
took a Brazil ship, which, when sold in England, paid the wages of the
whole of the 400 sailors and soldiers of the Warspright. Through a Dutch
captain's over-haste, an 1800 ton carack 'of infinite wealth, laden with
the riches of the East and West,' eluded him. She ran herself aground,
and was burnt by her crew. He in his barge crossed the furious surf too
late to put out the flames. Very speedily she was all over thunder and
lightning. Her ordnance discharged from every port, and the clouds
exhaled from her spicy entrails perfumed the air for many hours. By this
time autumn was come. Not too soon, the fleet, which had assembled off
Villa Franca, set sail. The town was spared the customary flames, for
causes unknown to Gorges. After suffering from want of water, and from
tempests, in which the skill of John Davys, Essex's famous pilot, proved
inferior to that of Broadbent, who was Ralegh's, St. Ives was reached.
Ralegh's return rejoiced Cornwall, which had been alarmed by descents of
Spanish caravels. The whole tale was set forth vividly by Sir Arthur
Gorges in his _Relation of the Island Voyage_, written in 1607, and
printed, it is said, at the request of Prince Henry.



CHAPTER XIV.

FINAL FEUD WITH ESSEX (1597-1601).


[Sidenote: _A Busy Life._]

The Islands Voyage was the last for many years of Ralegh's personal
adventures at sea. After it he found enough, and too much, to occupy him
at home. He speaks of himself as 'mad with intricate affairs and want of
means.' As soon as he returned he had to take precautions against an
expected attack on Falmouth by a Spanish fleet of 110 or 160 sail. Only
the tempest which had troubled Essex and him prevented its arrival while
he was away. He was arranging for the journey into Spain of a spy, who
had a pass from Philip, whereby he might safely look into the ports. He
was urging on the Council the despatch of light warships against the
Spanish treasure fleet. He represented it as a complement to the
preceding expedition, less hazardous and likely to be much more
lucrative. The squadron would be absent only in the dead of winter, and
could be back by spring, 'sufficient timely to answer any attempt from
Spain.' He was provisioning Western ports, paying their garrisons, and
reckoning the cost of maintenance of captive Spaniards. He was scolding
a presumptuous nephew, John Gilbert. He was upholding the ancient
tenures of the Duchy of Cornwall, and resisting the exaction of obsolete
licences for drying and packing fish. He was relieving miners from
extortions by merchants. He was advocating an Irish policy of terrorism,
in the course perhaps of a visit to Munster, as Mr. Payne Collier has
inferred from the language of his letter itself, rather more confidently
than it warrants, though a current rumour that he was out of heart at
the moment with his Court prospects favours the hypothesis of
self-banishment. At any rate, in October, 1598, he was writing to
shame-faced Cecil in defence, it is sad to say, of official connivance
at the assassination of Irish rebels: 'It can be no disgrace if it were
known that the killing of a rebel were practised. But, for yourself, you
are not to be touched in the matter.' In his History he condemns lying
in wait privily for blood as wilful murder. In return for his activity
and his fierceness he was recognised as both hostile and important
enough to be singled out as a mark for the Ultramontane fury which
kindled and fed Irish revolts. That at times assumed strange forms. His
name is joined in 1597 with those of Cecil and the Lord Admiral as among
the Englishmen whom Tempest the Jesuit destined to destruction. The
instrument was a poison, for which the sole antidote was the utterance
of the word Eguldarphe three times before drinking. Then the glass would
break, or the wine, if in a silver cup, would froth and fume.

[Sidenote: _Counsellor and Debater._]

Public affairs and private affairs, small things and great, filled
Ralegh's life to overflowing. They were all transacted at high pressure.
Everything he did he did with his whole might. He always 'toiled
terribly.' He sat in the House of Commons in the winter of 1597-8, and
his name often occurs in reports of debates and committees. He spoke on
the infesting of the country by pretended soldiers and sailors, on the
cognate subject of sturdy vagabonds and beggars, on the fruitful topic
of the Queen's debts. He took part in the burning controversy whether
the Lords were entitled to receive, seated, Members sent by the Lower
House to confer on a Bill, instead of coming down to the bar. He was
being consulted by the Privy Council on the right way of dealing with
Tyrone's Ulster rising. He was praying a licence for a translation from
the Italian of a history of King Sebastian's and Thomas Stukely's
invasion of Morocco, on the ground that he had perused and corrected
something therein. He was soliciting and obtaining a Governorship. He
was seeking the enlargement out of prison of his cousin Henry Carew's
'distressed son.' He was nursing at Bath his ailments, of which their
Lordships of the Council were very sorry to hear, and wished him speedy
recovery. He was, through Cecil, and with the Queen's leave, applying
pressure to Bishop Cotton of Salisbury, at the end of 1598, for the
change of his lease of Sherborne into the fee. He was building there a
new mansion. He was playing primero at the Palace with Lord Southampton,
and doubtless as eagerly, though he did not, like the Peer, threaten to
cudgel the Royal Usher who told them they must go to bed. He was
exclaiming at the supineness which suffered Spain to prepare expeditions
against Flanders or Ireland, capture 'our small men-of-war,' and send
safe into Amsterdam 'the ship of the South Sea of Holland, with a
lantern of clear gold in her stern, infinite rich--and none of yours
stayed her!'

[Sidenote: _The Rivalry with Essex._]

[Sidenote: _Attempts at Friendship._]

Never was there a busier existence, or one apparently more evenly
occupied. But at this period it had really a single engrossing care, and
that was the rivalry with Essex. Once it had looked as if the two might
become friends. Before the Islands Voyage, Essex had been closely allied
both with him and with Cecil. Afterwards, on an alarm of a Spanish
invasion in 1596, Essex and he seem to have been jointly directed to
advise on a system of coast defence. Essex drew up a series of
questions, to which Ralegh categorically replied. He expressed an
opinion that it was not worth while to attempt to fortify aught but 'the
river of Thames.' He thought it unwise either to hazard a battle, or to
store much ammunition anywhere but in London. His reason was that 'we
have few places guardable, Portsmouth excepted.' Essex and he hoped
apparently to be given another foreign command. In October, 1597, Ralegh
was prompt to report to Cecil the testimony of a Plymouth captain just
come from abroad, that 'the Earl our General hath as much fame and
reputation in Spain and Italy as ever, and more than, any of our nation
had; and that for an enemy he is the most honoured man in Europe.' He
appeared to nurse no anger for the reproaches and menaces used at Flores
and Fayal. Those were reported by Whyte to Sir Robert Sidney to have
been greatly misliked at Court, where Ralegh was 'happy to have good and
constant friends able by their wisdom and authority to protect and
comfort him.' He did not take advantage of his influence there to direct
attention to his commander's blunders at St. Michael's. On the contrary,
he seized every opportunity, with seeming sincerity, of dwelling upon
his courage and capacity. He exhibited friendliness in various ways. In
December, 1597, he had accepted a mission from the Queen to compromise a
question of precedence between Essex and the Lord High Admiral. Towards
the beginning of 1598 he, Essex, and Cecil again met often at Essex
House and Cecil House in secret conclave. Cecil in February, 1598, was
sent to France on a mission to dissuade Henry IV from concluding a
separate peace with Spain. His journey was made an occasion for special
demonstrations of goodwill among the rival courtiers. Entertainments
were given him in which Ralegh with Lady Ralegh, and members of the
Essex party, like Lord Southampton and Lady Walsingham, equally
participated. Essex accepted favours from Ralegh and Cecil. Ralegh
offered him a third of the prizes he had captured. Cecil procured him a
grant of £7000 from the sale of the cochineal belonging to the Crown. He
was believed to have reciprocated the kindness of each by promising
Cecil that in his absence nothing disagreeable to him should be done,
and Ralegh, that he would join Cecil in having him appointed a Privy
Councillor, if not Vice-Chamberlain. But the show of cordiality was
deceptive, and Essex chose to imagine himself continually aggrieved. The
Islands Voyage had been a failure. The Queen told him it had been. She
blamed him for having accomplished nothing at Ferrol. She reproached him
with the escape of the plate fleet. He was discontented with himself.
His flatterers consoled him by assurances that others were in fault
rather than he. They pointed at Ralegh; and the old jealousy revived
with redoubled violence.

[Sidenote: _Tolerance of Disappointments._]

Ralegh was no longer an object for generosity. He was become again a
power at Court. He was perpetually consulted on maritime and Irish
affairs. Conferences were held between him and the Council in 1599
concerning Ireland, and his advice for the victualling of the garrisons
was adopted in the January of the same year. His Western command, at a
time when Spanish incursions were from moment to moment possible,
brought him into peculiar prominence. When his hopes in 1598 either of
the Vice-Chamberlainship, or of a seat at the Privy Council, were
frustrated, he was disappointed; unlike his adversary, he could bear
disappointment. He was at once the most patient and the most impatient
of men. His was the healthy form of disappointment, which, if an outlet
in one quarter be closed, incites to the discovery of another. The
gossip of the town reported in October, 1598, that he was meditating a
voyage to Guiana in company with Sir John Gilbert: 'He is discontented
he thrives no better.' It was one of a Court life's passing clouds, and
he treated it so that it should pass. To the diseased mind of Essex he
appeared prosperous and triumphant at all points, and beyond all
deserving. Even the few laurels of the late expedition had been gathered
by him. When they had been at variance, Ralegh had put him in the wrong.
Ralegh could not tolerate an insolent superior. Essex could endure no
equal. He was ever sulking at Wanstead, or raging. Ralegh's name was the
established text for his outbursts of wrath. An anecdote told by the
anonymous author, said to be Lord Clarendon, of _The Difference between
George Duke of Buckingham and Robert Earl of Essex_, is supposed to
illustrate the humiliations to which his temper exposed him. On the
Queen's birthday, November 17, 1598, the accustomed tournament was being
held in the Tilt-yard before her Majesty. Ralegh, not brooding on late
rebuffs, led a gallant retinue in orange-tawny plumes. Essex had heard
of Ralegh's preparations. He entered with his visor down, at the head of
a larger and more magnificent troop flaunting 2000 feathers of the same
colour. It must be admitted that, as Horace Walpole remarks, 'the
affront is not very intelligible at present.' Apparently, he wished to
produce an impression by his 'glorious feather triumph' that Ralegh and
his followers were a company of esquires or pages. But the two bodies
tilted, and Essex 'ran very ill.'

[Sidenote: _Essex in Ireland._]

In chagrin, and almost despair, Essex at the end of March, 1599, went
over to Ireland as Lord Deputy. The vacancy had been a theme of much
dispute at Court. In 1598, Ralegh, Sir Robert Sidney, and Sir
Christopher Blount, Essex's step-father, had been mentioned by rumour
for the appointment. In March, Rowland Whyte had written positively to
Sir Robert Sidney that it had been decided to nominate either Sir
William Russell or Ralegh, but Russell had absolutely declined, and 'the
other doth little like it.' Perilous as the post was, 'a fair way to
destruction,' as Whyte described it, a refusal of it by Ralegh, had the
choice been given him, is incredible. Essex in any case preserved enough
influence to have hindered his nomination. At last, to exclude others,
and to keep himself before the world, Essex consented to be appointed.
As soon as he had landed in Ireland he began to bemoan his 'banishment
and proscription into the cursedest of all islands.' So loud was his
discontent as to give rise to extraordinary popular fancies. London was
in the August of 1599 barricaded for a fortnight. A fleet was put in
commission under Lord Thomas Howard as Admiral. Ralegh was Vice-Admiral,
and 'took leave at Court of all the ladies' about August 18. He stayed
in the Downs for three weeks or a month. The ostensible, and doubtless
the true, reason was the threat of a Spanish descent upon the Isle of
Wight. But not a few believed that it was a precaution, less against the
Spaniard than against an apprehended invasion by Essex from Ireland.
Wild as was the rumour, it was favoured by the reckless talk of Essex
and his companions. Sir Christopher Blount on the scaffold confessed to
Ralegh that some had designed the transport of a choice part of the army
of Ireland to Milford, and a march upon London.

[Sidenote: _Attacks on Ralegh._]

Essex before this, on June 25, 1599, had been writing to Elizabeth: 'Is
it not lamented by your Majesty's faithfullest subjects, both there and
here, that a Cobham and Ralegh--I will forbear others for their places'
sakes--should have such credit and favour with your Majesty, when they
wish the ill success of your Majesty's most important action, the decay
of your greatest strength, and the destruction of your faithfullest
servants?' His fury against Ralegh seems too excessive to have been
genuine. In part it may be explained by his knowledge, on which Sir John
Pope Hennessy has laid inordinate stress, that Ralegh was the most
strenuous opponent of his Irish policy. He would detect the voice and
hand of Ralegh in all the hindrances to, and in every criticism upon,
his measures. He would imagine he heard him arguing adversely at
sittings of the Council, to which he was informally admitted, and in the
Queen's chamber. Sympathy may reasonably be felt now both with his
special difficulties, and with his general tendencies in Irish
administration, rather than with his rival's doctrines. His, however,
were only tendencies. His conduct both in Ireland and in England proves
that he thought of Irish administration as a weapon of combat for Court
ascendency, not as a means of correcting the wrongs of ages. The tone of
his tirades upon his condemnation to residence in Ireland is wholly
inconsistent with the romantic theory that he had undertaken the
government as a humanitarian mission of peace and benevolence to the
Celt.

[Sidenote: _Despair and Cabals._]

His abrupt return was but the climax in a series of extravagances which
had terrified the Queen. He was indignant at any delay in a restoration
of the old royal kindness. At first he condescended to a few overtures
for forgiveness. His friends could not believe that he would not be
welcomed back. They were persuaded that, if Elizabeth saw him, all would
be as it had been. Leave was importuned for him to run again in the ring
at Whitehall on the Queen's birthday. He was induced to affect
penitence. It was noted hopefully that the royal favour to Ralegh was
not without breaks. He had wished to be a Commissioner for the peace
negotiations with Spain at Boulogne. The Queen refused, as his
appointment would have confirmed his title to a Privy Councillorship. In
June he was said to have been scolded worse than cat and dog, and
dismissed into the country bag and baggage. Obediently he went over to
his Cork estate, where he aided Carew in his Munster Presidency with his
'strong counsel' in July. As before, he kept his temper, and the Queen
relented. She sent comforting messages when he fell ill from vexation,
as was said, and recalled him to Court. Essex was not content to work
upon her compassion. He grew contemptuously impatient. He was much more
resentful than grateful when his pardon came without a renewal of his
farm of sweet wines. Everybody has heard of his rude taunt thereupon at
Elizabeth, that 'her conditions were as crooked as her carcase.' Ralegh
in his _Prerogative of Parliaments_ applies it as an illustration how
'undutiful words of a subject do often take deeper root than the memory
of ill deeds.' He asserts that the saying 'cost the Earl his head, which
his insurrection had not cost him, but for that speech.' Essex did not
stop at sneers. He caballed with persecuted Papists and Puritans alike,
and with various desperados. He alarmed King James with fantastic
accounts of conspiracies for the Infanta's succession. In the plot were,
he intimated, Ralegh potent in the West and Channel Islands; Cobham,
Warden of the Cinque Ports; the Lord Treasurer; the Lord Admiral;
Burleigh, Cecil's brother, President of the North; and Carew, President
of Munster. All were persons, he alleged, well affected to the King of
Spain. He urged James to require a public recognition of his title. He
'pretended,' wrote Cecil to Carew, 'an intention to remove me from the
Queen, as one who would sell the kingdom of England to the Infanta of
Spain, with such other hyperbolical inventions.' He desired to replace
Ralegh in the Captaincy of the Guard by Sir William Russell.

[Sidenote: _Gorges and Blount._]

On Sunday, Feb. 8, 1601, came the explosion. Very little secrecy had
been preserved, and the guard at Court was doubled. In the morning
Ralegh invited Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Governor of Plymouth Fort, to come
by water to him at Durham House. Essex was willing Gorges should meet
Ralegh on conditions: he must take a couple of companions for his
protection, and the meeting must be on the river, not at Ralegh's
lodgings. Ralegh consented. Gorges, some time later, during his
confinement at the Gate-house, on June 14, 1601, wrote an account of the
interview. At his examination by several Privy Councillors he had stated
that Sir Christopher Blount tried to persuade him to seize or kill
Ralegh. He refused, 'unless Sir Walter had given me the first occasion
by violent deeds or unkind words, for either of which I was both
resolved and prepared.' He admitted the 'intent was particular against
Sir Walter Ralegh and others.' He thought this a proof that 'it was no
matter of treason against her Majesty, but rather a manifestation of the
contrary.' Essex gave out that his rising was prompted by a discovery
that there was an ambuscade of musketeers placed upon the water by the
device of Lord Cobham and Ralegh, to murder him in the way as he passed.
Blount, at his trial, confessed there was no foundation for the
allegation. In reply to Cecil, who asked if he thought Cobham and Ralegh
had projected the murder of the Earl, he said he did not believe they
ever meant any such thing, nor that the Earl himself feared it; only it
was a word cast out to colour other matters. Essex himself subsequently
made a similar admission with respect to his charges against Ralegh and
Cobham of treason to the Queen and State. Blount, it is said, being
unable to induce Gorges to commit the crime, himself from a boat fired
four shot at Ralegh. Ralegh was present officially at his execution, and
interposed on his behalf when the Sheriff would have forbidden him to go
on speaking. Blount reciprocated the courtesy by asking Ralegh's
forgiveness, 'both for the wrong done you, and for my particular ill
intent towards you.' Ralegh was a witness at the trial of Essex, on
February 19. When he was called, Essex rudely cried: 'What booteth it
to swear this fox!' He insisted upon the oath being administered upon a
folio, not upon a small, Testament. Ralegh was not to be irritated into
retorting angrily. He calmly explained that on the river Gorges said
this would be the bloodiest day's work that ever was, and wished Ralegh
would speed to Court for the prevention of it. Gorges admitted the
accuracy of the account. Essex denied its agreement with the report made
by Gorges to him at Essex House.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's Demeanour towards Essex._]

Essex was a popular idol. Ralegh, till his fall, never was. A
contemporary said that Essex's reverses endeared him, and Ralegh's
successes seemed to deepen the public dislike. The populace deluded
itself with the fancy, absolutely groundless, that Essex's ruin was due
to Ralegh, and that Ralegh must have exulted at it. Malignant anecdotes
were current of his demeanour at his rival's last moments. He was said
to have snatched at the pleasure of conveying to the Lieutenant of the
Tower the instructions for the execution. He was described as, on
February 25, standing in a window over against the scaffold, and puffing
out tobacco smoke in defiance. After his own death, Sir Lewis Stukely
alleged him to have said that the great boy died like a calf, and like a
craven; to have vaunted to one who asked if in the Islands Voyage the
Earl had not brought him to his mercy, that he trusted they were now
quits. Against such gross tales Ralegh needs no defence. He could not
have behaved like a boorish ruffian to an adversary in the death agony.
He could not have spoken unmannerly words of his dead Cadiz comrade. He
had been present at the Earl's trial as Captain of the Guard. In spite
of taunts, he had given his evidence with dignity and moderation. As
Captain of the Guard he had escorted several of the insurgents, though
not Essex himself, to prison. In his official capacity he carried the
order for the execution. In the same character he was present in the
Tower. At first he had stood near the scaffold, supposing that Essex
might wish to speak to him. To avoid misconstruction by lookers-on he
soon withdrew. He stationed himself in the distant Armoury, where he
could see without being seen. Afterwards he was sorry, he said, for it;
since he heard that the Earl had inquired for him, desiring to have been
reconciled.

[Sidenote: _His Part in the Catastrophe._]

His aspect is reported to have been sad and gloomy, as he was rowed back
to Durham House. With his nature, and his gifts of imagination, he could
not but have been awed by the consummation he had witnessed of a tragic
doom. Later he believed he had always lamented the fate of Essex as the
beginning of a new peril to himself from those who before had needed his
support against a powerful rival. He may already have had a
presentiment. He could rightly declare that the death was not his work.
Essex was his own undoer. A time had been at which Ralegh would gladly
have become his firm friend. His emphatic concurrence, recorded by
Rowland Whyte, with Lady Ralegh's wish that there were 'love and concord
amongst all' was not hypocritical. In all sincerity he had written twice
in that spirit in the spring of 1600 to Lady Essex. He had found it of
no use; and a period came when he rejoiced in an inveterate enemy's
discomfiture. It is fanciful to affirm that he would have been pleased
to assist in turning aside the final shock of ruin. His sentiments
towards Essex at the end, unhappily, are too certain for the precise
meaning of his enigmatical undated letter to Cecil, discovered among the
Hatfield papers, to be of much consequence. Of its authenticity there is
no real doubt, though Mr. Charles Kingsley, whose enthusiasm for Ralegh
is delightful and unmixed, chooses to question it on the slender ground
that it is signed by initials, and that the style is, to his taste,
unlike Ralegh's. Its exact meaning is much more open to dispute. Here it
is:--

[Sidenote: _Advice to Cecil._]

'I am not wise enough to give you advice; but if you take it for a good
counsel to relent towards this tyrant, you will repent it when it shall
be too late. His malice is fixed, and will not evaporate by any your
mild courses. For he will ascribe the alteration to her Majesty's
pusillanimity, and not to your good nature: knowing that you work but
upon her humour, and not out of any love towards him. The less you make
him, the less he shall be able to harm you and yours. And if her
Majesty's favour fail him, he will again decline to a common person. For
after revenges fear them not; for your own father, that was esteemed to
be the contriver of Norfolk's ruin, yet his son followeth your father's
son and loveth him. Humours of men succeed not, but grow by occasions
and accidents of time and power. Somerset made no revenge on the Duke of
Northumberland's heirs. Northumberland, that now is, thinks not of
Hatton's issue. Kelloway lives that murdered the brother of Horsey; and
Horsey let him go by all his lifetime. I could name you a thousand of
those; and therefore after-fears are but prophecies, or rather
conjectures, from causes remote. Look to the present, and you do wisely.
His son shall be the youngest Earl of England but one, and if his father
be now kept down, Will Cecil shall be able to keep as many men at his
heels as he, and more too. He may also match in a better house than his;
and so that fear is not worth the fearing. But if the father continue,
he will be able to break the branches, and pull up the tree, root and
all. Lose not your advantage; if you do, I rede your destiny. Yours to
the end, W.R. Let the Queen hold Bothwell while she hath him. He will
ever be the canker of her estate and safety. Princes are lost by
security; and preserved by prevention. I have seen the last of her good
days, and all ours, after his liberty.' By Bothwell is meant Essex. The
real Bothwell was a natural son of James V. of Scotland, who had plotted
against the reigning king, and been pardoned, and had plotted again.

[Sidenote: _Difficulties of Construction._]

On the date of the letter depends whether it signify doing to death, or
grinding into obscurity. It is endorsed in Cecil's hand, 'Sir Walter
Ralegh,' and in a later hand, '1601.' That is hardly a possible date.
The civil, ecclesiastical, and legal year in England, by which a
secretary at Hatfield is likely to have reckoned, closed on March 24.
Consequently '1601' had not begun when Essex was already dead. The only
question is, when in the legal year 1600 the letter was written. If at
the end, when judgment had been pronounced, its object would be the
accomplishment of the capital sentence. If it were written early in 1600
its more probable purpose would be to induce Cecil to urge the Queen to
strip Essex of all his dignities and offices. Ralegh's apologists can
adduce for the less bloodthirsty interpretation the passage: 'If her
Majesty's favour fail him, he will again decline to a common person.'
The words naturally refer to disgrace, not to death. It has been
imagined that the plan was to incapacitate him by law for employment,
and to hold him a State prisoner. The remark, 'His son shall be the
youngest Earl of England but one,' remains equally puzzling on either
construction. Advocates of that which treats the letter as a plea for
imprisonment and disqualification for office have to show how he could
have been kept a State prisoner for life for offences he had committed
before the rising of February, and, moreover, how the imprisoned living
father was to make way in his peerage for the son. On the other theory
which presumes it to have been an argument for sending Essex to the
scaffold, it is as unintelligible how the father's fate, with its
necessary attainder of blood, could legally transmit his dignity.

The inherent inconsistencies of the document are scarcely more
perplexing than the circumstances of its origin. It has been suggested
that the idea of the letter was Cecil's, and that he plotted to deceive
posterity by inducing Ralegh to hold the pen. In the crude shape, that
is an incredible hypothesis. But Cecil was of a nature to discuss
questions of policy with his confidants, and extract their views, while
he revealed only half his own. Very possibly the letter may have arisen
out of a conversation in which the Minister had canvassed the question
of acting with prudent magnanimity towards the fallen favourite. He may
have requested Ralegh to repeat in writing objections urged orally by
him to such a course for the exposition of the case on both its sides.
At all events, it would be convenient for Cecil to have the document if
in future it should be doubted which of the confederates had been the
more vindictive. Ralegh could easily be drawn to try his hand, between
fancy and earnest, at an academic theme on the lines of fashionable
Italian state-craft. If the paper be indeed nothing but an exercise in
pleading, the author deserves to be applauded for the artistic
assumption of an air of sincerity which chills the reader's blood.



CHAPTER XV.

THE ZENITH (1601-1603).


[Sidenote: _Lord Oxford._]

From Essex's execution to the death of Elizabeth, on March 24, 1603, is
a period of two years wanting a month. It constitutes another stage in
Ralegh's career. No more fascinating Court favourite, no Leicester,
Essex, or mere Hatton, stood now in his way. If even Elizabeth's
vivacious temperament may have ceased to require attentions as from a
lover, she never grew insensible to wit, grace, versatility, and valour
like his. The jealousy he continued to arouse was a tribute to his
power. To this time belongs the story, contained in Bacon's
_Apophthegms_, of Lord Oxford's insolence. The malicious Earl had
returned, the Mirror of Tuscanismo, from his seven years' self-inflicted
exile at Florence. He had gone thither to spite his father-in-law,
Burleigh, by deserting his wife, and squandering his estate. The Queen
was playing on the virginals before him and another nobleman, while
Ralegh was on duty near at hand. The ledge in front happened to have
been taken away, so that the jacks were seen. Oxford and his companion
smiled and whispered. Elizabeth inquired the reason. They were amused,
answered Oxford, to see that when jacks went up heads went down. The
point of the sarcasm is presumed to have been the connexion of Ralegh's
influence with the decapitation of Essex. That the reference was to
Ralegh might have seemed rather dubious had not Bacon taken it for
granted. The fact of the favour of the Queen is certain.

[Sidenote: _Sully and Biron._]

Courtiers wrote to one another how 'good his credit with the Queen had
lately grown.' He had a multiplicity of Court duties thrown upon him.
His acquaintance with other lands and their languages brought him
forward whenever intercourse had to be held with foreigners. As Sir John
Harington said of him, he was 'especially versed in foreign matters, his
skill therein being always estimable and praiseworthy.' When Prince
Maurice was endeavouring to relieve Ostend, which the Archduke and
Infanta were besieging, Ralegh and Cobham paid his camp a visit. They
were stated by Cecil to have no charge, and to have 'stolen over, having
obtained leave with importunity to see this one action.' The English
envoy wrote to Cecil that the two gallants had been entertained with
much honour and extraordinary respect, but had seen little. Sir Henry
Neville, however, told Winwood their journey was not for curiosity only.
They 'carried some message, which did no harm.' In March, 1601, Ralegh,
by the Queen's order, had been escorting a Spanish envoy, sent to
negotiate a truce, round London. Later, during the Queen's summer
progress to Dover, he, with Cobham and Sidney, received Sully. As
Captain of the Guard he playfully took Sully into custody, and conducted
him to the Queen. The great Minister had been privately sent over by
King Henry, who was at Calais. On September 5, the Duc de Biron arrived,
to announce to Elizabeth the marriage of Mary de Medici to Henry.
Several noblemen had been directed by the Council to provide for the
Marshal's solemn reception in London. By some accident they were absent.
Ralegh, who had not been especially commissioned, happened to be in
town. Apparently Sir Arthur Savage and Sir Arthur Gorges, who spoke
French fluently, came to his help. Among them they amused the Frenchmen
till horses were ready to convey them to Hampshire. The Queen was at
Basing House. Ralegh wrote to Cecil: 'We have carried them to
Westminster to see the monuments; and this Monday we entertained them at
the Bear Garden, which they had great pleasure to see. I sent to and
fro, and have laboured like a mule.' On the Wednesday he rode with the
Marshal and his numerous company to the Vyne. The fair and large house
of Lord Sandys has formed the subject of an interesting volume by its
present owner, Mr. Chaloner Chute. It had been furnished from the royal
apartments at the Tower, Hampton Court, and neighbouring country houses,
for the accommodation of the foreign visitors. The Hampshire gentry lent
seven score beds. Not when Ralegh had seen all housed were his cares
over. He told Cobham, 'The French wear all black, and no kind of bravery
at all.' His wardrobe, plentiful as assuredly it was, had not been
equipped in unison with such demureness. So, 'this Saturday night,
late,' he wrote on September 12 to Cobham from Basing, 'I am now going
to London to provide me a plain taffeta suit, and a plain black saddle.'
Elizabeth rewarded his exertions in rendering the stay of the Frenchmen
agreeable by knighting his brother, Carew Ralegh, on her departure from
Basing House. Mr. Benjamin Tichborne received the same honour.

[Sidenote: _The Mermaid._]

Ralegh was a patron of literature, and had to devote evenings to the
wits. To him has been ascribed the institution, at the beginning of the
seventeenth century, of the Mermaid Tavern meetings in Bread Street,
Shakespeare's, Jonson's, Beaumont's, Fletcher's, Selden's, Cotton's,
Camden's, and Donne's club. It is very likely; so likely that the
intrinsic probability of the fact might be a motive for a fiction.
Whether as founder or guest it is more than likely he would take
occasional part in the wit combats of which Beaumont has sung. We may
lament that there was no Boswell, or even a Drummond, to report an
encounter between Ralegh and Shakespeare. Ralegh abhorred drunkenness.
'It were better,' he has said, 'for a man to be subject to any vice than
to drunkenness.' But teetotalism had not been invented in the days of
Elizabeth. Not wholly unconnected with the social evenings at the
Mermaid may have been the frequent trouble he experienced from bodily
ailments. On September 19, 1601, he pronounced himself too grievously
ill to be able to travel to Bath for his annual cure. His ailments did
not prevent him from warning Cecil of a powerful Spanish fleet held
ready, with 6000 or 7000 soldiers, to descend either upon Ireland or the
Low Countries. Fresh intelligence, which on September 26 he despatched
to Cecil for transmission to the Lord Admiral, led him to believe the
expedition was designed for Cork or Limerick. He inferred from the
presence of many women on board that a 'Plantation' was meant. It was no
false alarm. He announced to Cecil, on October 13, 1601, the landing of
a strong body of Spaniards, and their intrenchment, as he had
prognosticated, outside the town of Kinsale. His readiness to accept
responsibility was met in the same spirit, particularly when Ireland was
concerned. Later, Cecil admitted that Ralegh, though no Privy
Councillor, was often invited to confer with the Council. Only three
months before Elizabeth was seized with her mortal sickness, in 1602,
he, with Cecil, was consulted by her on the treatment of Cormac
McCarthy, Lord of Muskerry. Cecil was for leniency. Ralegh advised that
no mercy should be shown, Cormac McCarthy's country being worth the
Queen's keeping. Elizabeth accepted his frankly selfish advice.

[Sidenote: _In Parliament._]

[Sidenote: _Monopolies._]

He sat as senior member for the County of Cornwall in the Parliament
which met on October 27, 1601. He had been previously a Cornish
representative, as member for Michell, in the House which was elected in
1593. In November, 1601, he obtained the rejection of a Bill to compel
the sowing of hemp for cables and cordage. 'I do not like,' he said, in
a spirit much in advance of his age, 'this constraining of men to manure
or use their ground at our wills; but rather let every man use his
ground to that which it is most fit for, and therein use his own
discretion.' The Tillage Act he held up for a warning. It ordered every
man to plough a third of his land, often to great loss. The land, 'if
unploughed, would have been good pasture for beasts.' Later in the
Session he supported a motion for the repeal of that Statute. He pleaded
for a subsidy. The Queen wanted it urgently, having in vain raised money
by the sale of her own jewels, by loans, and by savings out of her purse
and apparel. He argued for its equal payment by every class. The burden
he acknowledged was not the same to all, as Bacon had contended, _dulcis
tractus pari jugo_. 'Call you this _par jugum_,' cried Ralegh, 'when a
poor man pays as much as a rich, and peradventure his estate is no
better than it is set at, while our estates are £3 or £4 in the Queen's
books, and it is not the hundredth part of our wealth?' But he knew all
must be taxed, in order that the necessary sums might be levied. In his
_Prerogative of Parliaments_ he mentions that he once moved an exemption
'by commandment of Queen Elizabeth, who desired much to spare the common
people.' On calculation, it was found that the exemption reduced the
subsidy to a trifle. He delivered a 'sharp speech' in his own defence,
in a debate against monopolies. The Crown in May, 1599, had arrogated a
right of preemption of tin in the Duchy of Cornwall, and had committed
the management of the business to the Warden of the Stannaries.
Deliverance of the miners from the oppression of the merchants was
alleged as the motive. The real object was popularly believed to be the
increase of Ralegh's emoluments. In Parliament he took the other ground.
Previously, whether tin were 17s. or 50s. a hundred, the workman, he
argued, had only 'two shillings a week, finding himself.' Since the
grant of his patent, every miner, be tin at what price soever, had 4s. a
week truly paid. Yet, if other patents were cancelled, he would, he
said, freely consent to the abrogation of his. A great and uncommon
silence is reported to have followed this speech. Other patentees in the
House were probably not inclined to be as self-denying. He supported a
proposal to prohibit the exportation of ordnance, notwithstanding the
rise, under the existing law, of the duty to £3000 a year. He said: 'I
am sure heretofore one ship of her Majesty's was able to beat ten
Spaniards; but now, by reason of our own ordnance, we are hardly matched
one to one.' He supported the continuance of the tax for the improvement
of Dover harbour. The amount was 1000 marks a year. Mr. Swale objected
that the port was never the better. Ralegh thought it one of the best
and most necessary harbours in England. The debate might have been held
in any of the last dozen Sessions, with as much practical effect. He
obtained the rejection, by 106 to 105, of a Bill against recusants. The
measure was designed to enforce a more regular attendance in Church on
Sundays. Its loss vexed Cecil, who gibed at very flexible consciences.

[Sidenote: _Governorship of Jersey._]

Whatever the work in hand, legislation, public administration, or
private maritime enterprise, he laboured at it as zealously as if it
were his sole business. All his desire was for more and more work. He
was not always disappointed in that pursuit. Though his frequent hopes
of appointment to the Vice-Chamberlainship or a seat at the Privy
Council were constantly foiled, he had been consoled in 1600 with the
Governorship of Jersey. On Sir Anthony Paulett's death, the post was
conferred upon him, with the lordship of St. Germain. Out of the
emoluments he had to pay a rent of £300 to the Crown for the benefit of
Lord Henry Seymour. Seymour had been a rival candidate for the
Governorship. Ralegh's appointment was one of the irritations of Essex,
who befriended another suitor. He speedily visited the island. The
passage from Weymouth took him two days and nights at sea. The islanders
'royally entertained him with joy,' wrote Lady Ralegh in October to
Cecil. He had told her, she said, that he never saw a pleasanter island;
but he protested unfeignedly his post was not in value the very third
part that was reported, or that indeed he believed. Without delay he
undertook the completion of the fort Isabella Bellissima, 'for the name
sake,' he wrote from the island to Cecil on October 15, 1600. He would
not think of 'any penny receipt till that piece of work were past the
recovery of any enemies.' He deprecated the demolition of Mont Orgueil,
'a stately fort of great capacity,' which had cost more than 20,000
marks. He had left, he said, some men in it at his own charge. He
criticised the late Governor's 'immeasurable reckoning' of her Majesty's
moneys. In July, 1602, he went again over, and spent several weeks. He
saw that the castles were defensible enough, and the country reasonably
well provided. The tradition is that he promoted a profitable trade
between Jersey and Newfoundland. With Newfoundland he had a near family
connexion through Humphrey Gilbert. He instituted a register of Jersey
lands, and abolished compulsory service of the inhabitants of the
district in the Mont Orgueil garrison. During his visits he sat as judge
in the island Court. Faculties and energy with him were elastic. He
always had leisure for new labours.

[Sidenote: _Maritime Enterprises._]

Above all, his schemes of colonization were never intermitted. Down to
1603 he went on sending expeditions to Virginia. He was as solicitous
for Guiana. In October, 1596, he had despatched from Limehouse his
pinnace, the Watt, under Captain Leonard Berry. Mr. Thomas Masham's
account of the voyage is in Hakluyt. Berry further explored the country.
He collected fresh evidence of its fertility, salubrity, and riches, and
of the goodwill of the natives towards Englishmen. He returned in June,
1597. His departure from Guiana was accelerated by the importunities of
his Indian friends for an alliance with them against a hostile tribe. He
feared such a league might prove embarrassing on Ralegh's next visit.
Before the Queen's death Ralegh equipped yet another expedition, under
Captain Samuel Mace, to look after both his potential dominions of
Virginia and Guiana. It effected nothing; but the failure was powerless
to impair Ralegh's faith in the value and feasibility of his
discoveries.

[Sidenote: _Irish Pipe Staves._]

[Sidenote: _Sale of Lismore._]

In addition to his many public or semi-public toils, he was busy with a
host of private affairs. Until a short time before the Queen's death he
owned an extensive Irish as well as an English estate. Property was
always for him an incentive to labour. While he had his Irish property
he developed it in every possible way. Lismore Castle, which he rented
from the See and Chapter of Lismore, he rebuilt. In 1589 he had written
to George Carew: 'I pray, if my builders want, supply them.' His factory
employed a couple of hundred men in the fabrication of hogsheads. By his
influence with the Privy Council he often obtained, in favour of ships
which he freighted, a waiver of the restraint of 'the transportation of
pipe staves out of the realm of Ireland into the Islands,' that is, the
Canaries, and to Seville. The thinnings, he said, of his vast woods
sufficed for the supply of materials. He denied that he denuded the land
of timber. Against that wasteful and impoverishing practice he
constantly remonstrated. There had not been taken, he stated to the
Lords of the Council, the hundredth tree. Sir John Pope Hennessy holds a
different view, and asserts that no man cut down more timber, to the
irreparable hurt of the land. His principle of moderation may, it is
possible, have been observed by himself, and not by his agents. Latterly
he founded a company to work the property. With his chief partners,
Bathurst, and a foreign merchant, Veronio Martens, he complained in 1601
to the English Council that the Undertakers were being robbed by the
managing director, Henry Pine or Pyne. A sum of £5000 had, it was
affirmed, been expended. Not half had been returned in profits, though
Ralegh had received no payment for his wood. The Privy Council listened
to the prayer of 'our loving friend, Sir Walter Ralegh,' and instructed
Carew, the President of Munster, to forbid Pine to export more pipe
staves. Ralegh had other disputes with Pine. At one time he even
questioned if Pine had not conspired with his Sherborne bailiff to palm
off a forged lease for a long term of the lands of Mogelly. He was
involved also in endless disputes with other farm tenants, as an
absentee landlord might have expected to be. Ultimately he resolved, by
the advice of Carew and of Cecil, to free himself from the burden. In
December, 1602, he sold his interest in all, except the old castle of
Inchiquin Ralegh. Of that, Katherine, dowager Countess of Desmond,
fabled to have been born in 1464, was, and remained till 1604, tenant
for life. Boyle, since distinguished as the Great Earl of Cork, bought
the rest, lands, castles, and fisheries, with Ralegh's ship Pilgrim
thrown in as a make-weight. The amount paid, according to Boyle's
assertion, fifteen years later, in reply to Lady Ralegh, and thirty
years later, in reply to Carew Ralegh, was a full price for a property
at the time, it is admitted, woefully dilapidated. Boyle declared that
it was not worth nearly the amount he paid. He complained of having been
forced to an expenditure, for which the vendor was liable, of £3700 to
clear the title. So shrewd a man of business would hardly have thus
defrauded himself. He is sure to have had an excellent bargain. But it
does not follow that the arrangement was unfair to a speculative
absentee like Ralegh. In his hands the land was notoriously
unprofitable. Lady Ralegh's estimate of it as worth £2000 a year at the
time cannot be accepted.

[Sidenote: _Sherborne Castle._]

Ralegh never parted with a scheme before he had another ready to occupy
him. Sherborne more than replaced Lismore as an object of affection, and
as a subject of care and anxiety also. He had not spared trouble and
outlay on it since the Queen in the height of his favour first gave him
a foothold as a lessee. We have seen how, to develop his term into the
fee, he created and transplanted Bishops. His assiduity was rewarded in
1598 by Bishop Cotton's accommodating acceptance of a surrender of the
lease, and grant of the fee to the Crown, subject to the old rent of
£260. From the Crown the fee was conveyed to him. The transfer comprised
the lordship of the Hundred of Yetminster, with the manor of Sherborne,
five other manors in Dorset and Somerset, and the Castle, lodge, and
parks of Sherborne and Castleton. Ralegh added to the estate by buying
out leases with his own money, and by the purchase of several adjacent
properties. Then he set himself seriously to the perfecting of the
whole. He did not stint his expenditure. Sir John Harington says that
with less money than he bestowed in building, drawing the river into his
garden, and buying out leases, he might, without offence to Church or
State, have compassed a much better purchase. He had begun by trying to
improve the existing castle. In 1594 he altered his plan, and designed a
new house at some distance. Only the centre of the present Sherborne
Castle, a four-storied edifice with hexagonal towers at the ends, was
erected by him. Aubrey described it as a delicate lodge of brick, not
big, but very convenient for the bigness, a place to retire to from the
Court in summer time, for contemplation. Digby, when he became its
owner, added four wings with a tower to each. Pope visited Lord Bristol
there, and has sketched the place in one of his graceful letters to Miss
Blount. He dwells particularly on the lofty woods clothing the
amphitheatre of hills, the irregular lovely gardens, the masses of
honeysuckle, the ruins of the old fortress, the sequestered
bowling-green, and the grove Ralegh planted, with the stone seat from
which he overlooked the town and minster, and dreamt and smoked. The
spirit of Ralegh still dominates Sherborne, after all the efforts of the
first Lord Bristol to lay it by swelling the lodge into a sumptuous
castle, and of the sixth by turning Capability Brown loose into his
pleasure grounds.

[Sidenote: _Strife with Meere._]

He loved Sherborne, and his wife was perhaps still more attached to it.
In October, 1601, he wrote: 'My wife says that every day this place
amends, and London to her grows worse and worse.' He had his worries
there, as was his self-imposed fate wherever he was. He was premature in
reposing confidence. He has written that he had lost more than he was
worth by trusting dependents with his purse and delaying to take their
account. He was almost excessively resentful of frauds on his
trustfulness when he detected them. He was masterful in small things, as
in great. While in the Tower in August, 1592, he had appointed his 'man,
John Meere,' Bailiff of the manor of Sherborne, with extensive powers of
management. He had invested him with copyhold lands. Several years
later, in 1596, Adrian Gilbert took up his regular abode at Sherborne,
and superintended his brother's improvements, under the title of
Constable of Sherborne Castle. Meere quarrelled with him about the rival
prerogatives of Constable and Bailiff to license the killing of animals
for meat in Lent. Ralegh nominated another Bailiff, but Meere refused to
retire. The family had interest with one of the Howards, Viscount
Bindon, of whose 'extortions' and 'poisoning of his wife' Ralegh takes
merit to himself for not having spoken. Mrs. Meere, too, was a kinswoman
of Lady Essex. Long strife had prejudiced Ralegh so bitterly against
both Meere and Essex that he believed either capable of any monstrosity.
He did the Earl's memory the injustice of fancying that he secretly had
meant to use the Bailiff for a malicious forgery; 'for,' said Ralegh,
'he writes my hand so perfectly as I cannot any way discern the
difference.' Colour is given to the charge against him of the forgery of
an Irish lease, by the fact that Digby afterwards prosecuted him for the
forgery of Ralegh's signature to a conveyance of English lands to
Captain Caufeilde. Meere in August, 1601, arrested the opposition
Bailiff. For this Ralegh put him in the stocks in Sherborne
market-place, and had him bound over to good behaviour by the county
justices. Thereupon Meere served upon Ralegh and others twenty-six
subpoenas. Next year the conflict went on raging. Meere succeeded at
the assizes in sustaining his right to the bailiwick. As Ralegh kept him
out nevertheless, he petitioned the Star Chamber. Ralegh on his part
complained loudly that, through Lord Bindon's influence, Meere, at once
'a notorious cowardly brute, and of a strong villainous spirit,' had
been allowed to sue him, though out of the land in Jersey.

[Sidenote: _Sir Amias Preston's Challenge._]

Yet these vexations only made him cling the more fondly to his Sherborne
home. He hoped to dwell happily and splendidly there himself, to be
buried in its minster, and to leave it to a long line of descendants.
While he had only a ninety-nine years' lease, he had conveyed his term
to trustees for his son Walter. He had done this by two conveyances.
These he revoked in 1598. His motives, he explained later, were several:
'I found my fortune at Court towards the end of her Majesty's reign to
be at a stand, and that I daily expected dangerous employments against
her Majesty's enemies, and had not in the former grants made any
provision for my wife.' He re-settled the property on his son, reserving
£200 a year to Lady Ralegh for her life. After he had acquired the fee,
he conveyed it by deed at Midsummer, 1602, to himself for life, with
successive remainders to his son Walter, to any future sons, and to his
brother Carew Ralegh. The deed had been drawn by Doddridge, afterwards a
judge, many months before it was sealed. The reason of the date chosen
for its formal execution was stated by himself at his trial to have been
a challenge from Sir Amias Preston in the summer of 1602. Preston was
the captain who, being too late to join the Guiana expedition, went off
with Sommers on an independent quest. He had signalized himself at
Cadiz, where Essex knighted him. The challenge may have arisen out of
the Essex feud, for Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Essex's vehement partisan, is
known to have been concerned in it. No duel was fought. Fuller, who errs
in describing Ralegh as a Privy Councillor, says in his _Worthies_: 'Sir
Walter Ralegh declined the challenge without any abatement to his
valour; for having a fair and fixed estate, with wife and children,
being a Privy Councillor, and Lord Warden of the Stannaries, he looked
upon it as an uneven lay to stake himself against Sir Amias, a private
and single person, though of good birth and courage, yet of no
considerable estate.' Fuller's account is not to be rejected because the
ground assigned may not seem very heroic. Duelling was governed by
prosaic laws. Nobody was expected to risk his life on unequal terms.
There had to be a parity of ranks; and the same principle might well
apply to fortunes. Ralegh himself had no such fondness for the
fashionable mode of adjusting quarrels as to waive any orthodox right of
refusal. In his History he denounces 'the audacious, common, and brave,
yet outrageous vanity of duellists.' Men who die in single combat he
styles 'martyrs of the Devil.' He derides the victor's honours, 'where
the hangman gives the garland,' and the folly of the duellist's
principle, that rudeness 'ought to be civilized with death.' In the
essay entitled _Instructions to his Son_, he declares a challenge
justifiable only if the offence proceed from another; it is not, he
says, 'if the offence proceed from thyself, for if thou overcome, thou
art under the cruelty of the law; if thou art overcome, thou art dead or
dishonoured.'

[Sidenote: _Its consequences._]

At any rate, whatever the origin or issue of the dispute, he thought he
was going to fight. In consequence, as he stated subsequently, he
resolved to leave his estate settled. An incident of his preparations,
which seemed trivial at the time, assumed preposterous gravity later on.
He had spread out his loose papers, and among them a book by one Snagge,
which he had borrowed from the dead Lord Burleigh's library. In it the
title of the King of Scots to the succession was contested. Cobham, who
may well have been Ralegh's intended second, happened to see and carry
off the volume. It was found at a critical moment in his possession, and
was traced to Ralegh. That was an affair of the future. For the present
Ralegh probably associated Sir Amias Preston's challenge chiefly with
the definite disposition of his property in a manner consonant with the
creation of an affluent and permanent county family.



CHAPTER XVI.

COBHAM AND CECIL (1601-1603).


[Sidenote: _Impatience of Subordination._]

[Sidenote: _The Privy Council._]

He did not know it, but he was now at the culmination of his prosperity.
His kinsman, the learned Richard Carew, dedicated to him at the
beginning of 1602 the _Survey of Cornwall_, in terms, which, however
exalted, were not exaggerated. He had a noble estate, his sovereign's
renewed confidence, and many important offices. In politics he was still
among those who followed rather than led, who executed, and did not
direct. Of constant subordination he was become impatient. He was not
content to be nothing more than 'a swordsman,' an instrument, though
highly distinguished and favoured. His aim was to force his entrance
within the citadel of administrative power. As a counsellor he exerted
commanding weight on two main branches of national policy, Ireland and
armaments. His Irish policy has been refuted by events. It is open to
all the accusations which have been brought against it of cruelty and
remorselessness. But its temper was that of a large body of English
statesmen; and he understood much better than the rest the true method
of putting it in practice. Had he been a Minister, and not only a royal
confidant, he might have succeeded for a time in establishing in Ireland
a peace of silence. He held as fixed and more generous views on the
subject of national defences, and on the proper strategy in dealing with
Spain. He fretted at being condemned to urge them from the outside
instead of within. His exclusion from partnership in responsible
authority was, he felt, perpetual, unless he could break in. Probably at
no period did he aspire after supremacy, or expect to dispossess Cecil.
His ambition, though restricted to the hope of admittance to
association, would not the less bring him into collision with the
jealous Secretary. He was reported in 1598 to be ambitious of a peerage.
He cared more for power than titles, and his ancient friends, like his
ancient rivals, thwarted his plans. We know that Cecil could not bear
even so moderate an approximation for him to official trust as his
regular introduction into the Privy Council. For that he had so long
been craving and looking, that, according to Henry Howard's taunt, he by
this time 'found no view for Paradise out of a Council board.' In June,
1601, there had been, as in 1598, a prospect of his nomination. Lords
Shrewsbury and Worcester instead were sworn in. Cecil intimated his
satisfaction. He told Sir George Carew that Ralegh should never have his
consent to be a Councillor, unless he surrendered to Carew the Captaincy
of the Guard.

Ralegh's efforts for a line of his own in statesmanship, and Cecil's
consequent antagonism, are the special features of the coming chapter in
his biography. His relations to the Cecils had always been intimate.
Lord Burleigh, notwithstanding differences concerning Ireland,
encouraged him as a counterpoise to Leicester. He repaid the kindness,
it will be recollected, by interceding for the Lord Treasurer's
son-in-law. He was a guest at the entertainment Burleigh gave to
Arabella Stuart. With Robert Cecil Ralegh's connexion was much closer.
Cecil valued his help at Court, and his society. In February, 1598,
during his mission to France, he mentions him to Burleigh as one 'with
whose kindness he has been long and truly fastened.' 'If some idle
errand,' he writes word, 'can send over Sir Walter, let us have him.'
With seeming sincerity he wrote in 1600 of him as one 'whose judgment I
hold great, as his person dear.' He was a companion of Ralegh in several
of his privateering speculations. Lady Ralegh wrote of Lady Cecil as of
a sympathetic friend. Perpetually she was appealing to her 'cousin'
Cecil as a support against Sir Walter's tribulations and hers. He is 'a
comfort to the grieved.' She 'presumes of his honourable favour ever.'
She confided to him her view of her Mistress the Queen as, like herself,
'a great believer.' In January, 1597, Ralegh condoled as a most loving
comrade with Cecil on gracious Lady Cecil's death. His letter exhorting
to implacability testifies to the closeness of their league against
Essex. The Earl's fiery anger had burnt against both alike. Had his mad
freak of treason succeeded, both would have been sacrificed in company.

[Sidenote: _Intimacy with Robert Cecil._]

After Essex succumbed the alliance appeared as strict as before. The two
households, as well as the masters, were affectionately familiar.
Cecil's son, William, was a most welcome guest at Sherborne. No stronger
proof of trust, it might have been thought, could be given by the
father. There is talk how 'the beloved creature's stomach is altogether
amended, and he doth now eat well and digest rightly;' how 'he is also
better kept to his book.' As one intimately conversant with Cecil's
affairs, Ralegh undertook in August, 1601, the supervision of his
recently purchased estate at Rushmore. Pleasant postscripts are
interposed on Lady Ralegh's behalf: 'Bess returns you her best wishes,
notwithstanding all quarrels.' 'Bess says that she must envy any fingers
whosoever that shall wear her gloves but your own.' There are threats
from her that for the breach of a recent engagement he shall on his next
visit have plain fare. Ralegh relied on Cecil to protect his monopoly of
Virginian trade under his patent against unlicensed Adventurers. They
cheapen, he complained, by their imports sassafras from its proper price
of 20s. to 12s. a pound; they 'cloy the market;' 'they go far towards
overthrowing the enterprise' of the plantation of Virginia, 'which I
shall yet live to see an English nation.' In addition they introduced
contraband cedar-trees. These, if the Lord Admiral would order their
seizure, Ralegh intended to divide 'into three parts--to ciel cabinets,
and make bords, and many other delicate things.' He asked for Cecil's
aid; 'but what you think unfit to be done for me shall never be a
quarrel either internal or external. If we cannot have what we would,
methinks it is a great bond to find a friend that will strain himself in
his friend's cause in whatsoever--as this world fareth.'

[Sidenote: _Cecil's Sentiments._]

Throughout Elizabeth's reign, and beyond it, Ralegh's language to Cecil
keeps the same tone of implicit faith. In words Cecil was not behind his
more fluent and continuous correspondent. At heart he would appear, from
his communications to others, to have come to regard Ralegh as a
dangerous rival before the Queen's death. Shrewd observers detected the
growth of the sentiment, in spite of the alliance against the common
foe, and even, for reasons which are not obvious, in consequence of it.
'Cecil,' wrote Harington, who had been a trusted comrade of Essex, in
his _Nugae_, 'doth bear no love to Ralegh in the matter of Essex.' An
important letter found among the Burleigh papers, without date or
signature, but for good cause attributed to Lord Henry Howard, and
probably written towards the end of Elizabeth's reign, shows how eagerly
Cecil and Ralegh were regarded by their respective partisans as hostile
competitors. Probably its genesis resembled that of Ralegh's argument
for the thorough overthrow of Essex. It seems to have been an elaborate
written embodiment of a policy which the Minister may have heard before
from its author's mouth. It differs from Ralegh's letter in being
absolutely in harmony with Howard's conduct at the time and after. In it
the writer, with the 'Asiatic endless' prolixity which James himself
ridiculed, propounded a plan for arranging that 'Cobham, the block all
mighty that gives oracles, and Ralegh, the cogging spirit that prompteth
it,' should be set in responsible positions in which they would be sure
to fail. There is no reason to suppose that Cecil accepted the
particular advice. He would be inclined to doubt the certainty of
Ralegh's failure, should an opportunity of distinction be afforded him.
But the document could not have been written unless its author had been
positive of Cecil's sympathy with its object, the reduction of Ralegh,
by whatever means, to a condition of confirmed obscurity and dependence.

[Sidenote: _Rival Camps._]

As the termination of the Queen's reign more manifestly approached, the
interests of Cecil and Ralegh seemed to grow more and more widely
separated. Researches into the secret history of the final year or two
reveal Ralegh and Cobham on one side, and Cecil and Lord Henry Howard on
the other, as chiefs of opposite camps, with a converging outlook upon
King James. Cecil, like his father, had been regarded by James as
hostile to his proclamation as Elizabeth's heir. The death of 'my martyr
Essex' increased his dislike. He was not assured of the baselessness of
Essex's cry as he rode through the city: 'The crown of England is sold
to the Spaniard!' He may have suspected the existence of schemes for the
elevation of Arabella Stuart. Henry Howard brought him and Cecil to a
mutual understanding. Howard, now remembered chiefly as the builder of
Northumberland House, took a leading part in the machinations of
Elizabeth's and James's reigns. As a Catholic, though at times
conforming, and as brother of the hapless Duke of Norfolk, he had hated
the Cecils. His dislike of Robert Cecil had been inflamed by
partizanship for his kinsman Essex; notwithstanding, with his insatiable
love of intrigue, he is said to have played off the two against one
another. Now, convinced that Cecil was too strong, or too necessary, to
be discarded, and possessing James's full confidence, he set himself to
the cure of the King's distrust. Finally Cecil became for James 'my
dearest Cecil.' James accepted him so entirely as to promise that
Cecil's friends and foes should be his. Thenceforward a league was
formed, and a correspondence was opened, between the King on one side
and Cecil and Howard on the other, which are equally discreditable to
all three.

[Sidenote: _The Succession._]

The compact was not the work of a moment, and Cecil's rivals do not
appear to the end to have understood how absolute it was. Neither was it
of very old standing. For long Elizabeth's councillors hesitated to
throw in their lot with the Scottish claim to the succession. They
could not read clearly the national inclination. The country had been
undecided. As Cecil confessed he had once said, there were several
competitors for whose right it was possible to argue. The Suffolk family
possessed some sort of Parliamentary title. Arabella Stuart was not,
like James, an alien, or a foreign sovereign. Discussion, or even
advocacy, of either title, whether by Cecil, Ralegh, or Cobham, was,
till the actual proclamation of James, not treasonable. But after the
death of Mary Stuart, and, more plainly still, after that of Essex, it
became manifest that the English people meant to crown the King of
Scots. Cecil and Ralegh equally discerned the certainty. Both acted
accordingly, and each suspected the other's procedure. Both started
evenly with the same stain, in James's eyes, of enmity to Essex. Cecil,
however, had the advantage of partnership with Henry Howard, and Ralegh
the disadvantage of partnership with Cobham. He had to overcome the more
invincible obstacle of his possession of a character, demeanour, and
policy, in good features as well as bad, essentially distasteful to the
Prince he had to conciliate.

[Sidenote: _Prejudices of King James._]

Without Elizabeth's knowledge, Cecil kept up an active correspondence
with the Scottish Court. Ralegh had his concealed relations with it too.
Neither is to be severely blamed for feeling an attraction to the
nearest heir to the throne. Something even of personal enthusiasm at the
prospect was not so absurd a sentiment as it seems to posterity. The
nature of James was not well understood, and hope was placed in his
youth. Contrasts were drawn, as Ralegh expressed it at his trial,
between a lady whom time had surprised, and an active king. Ralegh had
recognised that no other successor was possible. Lord Northumberland,
writing to persuade James to be courteous to him, declared that he 'must
allow Ralegh's ever allowance of the King's right.' Ralegh indeed had
never favoured any rival candidate, Arabella Stuart as little as the
Infanta. About Arabella there is no cause to doubt the veracity of his
assertion, reported by Dudley Carleton, that 'of all women he ever saw
he never liked her.' Simply he had opposed, as Elizabeth herself
opposed, and in his character of her faithful servant, the termination
of the abeyance of the dignity of heir presumptive. In the interest of
her tranquillity he had addressed to Elizabeth a written argument
against the announcement of a successor. Eventually, some time before
Elizabeth's death, he had perceived that it was useless to act as if any
successor but James were possible. With his sanguine temperament he
acquiesced in the inevitable as if it were positively advantageous. He
saw his way to render as excellent service to the State under King James
as he was rendering now. He was conscious of the obstacles in his path;
he was unconscious that they were insuperable. He knew he had been
always ranked as of the anti-Scottish party. He knew the specific
meaning James would put upon his resistance to the formal declaration of
a successor. His antagonism to Essex, he was aware, had created a strong
repulsion against him in the King's mind. But he overrated the amount of
the resources at his disposal for his protection from the weight of
aversion he had excited. He equally underrated the inveteracy of the
dislike, and the degree of additional suspicion which his measures of
self-defence would awaken. James had long looked forward to a day when
he should 'have account of the presumption of the base instruments about
the Queen who abused her ear.' That was his way of thinking of the
Queen's favourite councillors. Cecil knew how to purchase his pardon.
Ralegh, gathering strength about him to render his friendship worth
buying, only deepened the king's conviction that he could be
mischievous; he did not implant a conviction that he was a desirable
auxiliary. The 'consultations of Durham House' became notorious. They
alarmed both Howard and James just sufficiently to induce them to
temporise. They fixed the resolution sooner or later to ruin the
promoter. The Duke of Lennox came to London in November, 1601. He
cultivated Ralegh's acquaintance through Sir Arthur Savage. James
characterized Savage in a letter of 1602 to Howard as 'trucheman,' or
interpreter, 'to Raulie, though of a nature far different, and a very
honest plain gentleman.' Terms were offered by the Duke which Ralegh
boasted he had rejected. To Cecil he protested that he had been
over-deeply engaged and obliged to his own mistress to seek favour
anywhere else. According to Howard, Ralegh asked Cecil to divulge this
to the Queen; but Cecil, with good sense, represented to him that the
Queen 'would rather mark a weakness than praise his resolution.'

[Sidenote: _Lord Henry Howard._]

Whatever he had done or left undone, whatever promises had been made,
and however they had been entertained, the end would have been the same.
Henry Howard inflamed the instinctive aversion which James had long felt
for Ralegh. Howard hated Ralegh with a virulence not easily explicable,
which appeared to be doubled by its abatement towards Cecil. He had
resolved to destroy both Ralegh and Cobham. On the testimony of his own
letters it is clear he did not mind how tortuously and perfidiously he
worked. He calculated upon Cobham's weakness, and upon the inflammation
of Ralegh with 'some so violent desire upon the sudden as to bring him
into that snare which he would shun otherwise.' He poisoned James's mind
incurably against 'those wicked villains,' 'that crew,' and its
'hypocrisy,' the 'accursed duality,' or 'the triplicity that denies the
Trinity.' By the triplicity he signified Ralegh, Cobham, and
Northumberland. Ralegh had other enemies besides. Among them was
Cobham's new wife, Frances Howard, Countess dowager of Kildare, daughter
of the Lord Admiral. Henry Howard, who did not like her, admitted that
she had helped in persuading Cecil to side with King James. She and Lady
Ralegh had 'an ancient acquaintance,' which had resulted in mutual
detestation.

[Sidenote: _Spite against Lady Ralegh._]

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's 'Humours.'_]

Lady Ralegh in March, 1602, reminded Cecil how 'unfavourable my Lady
Kildare hath dealt with me to the Queen. I wish she would be as
ambitious to do good as she is apt to the contrary.' Lady Kildare had
infused her own animosity into her father, whose official 'weakness and
oversights' it is very likely Ralegh was, as Henry Howard had said,
given to 'studying.' 'My Lord Admiral,' wrote Howard to Mar, James's
ambassador, 'the other day wished from his soul he had but the same
commission to carry the cannon to Durham House, that he had this time
twelve months to carry it to Essex House, to prove what sport he could
make in that fellowship.' In its larger sense the alleged fellowship
comprised the Earl of Northumberland, who played fast and loose with it,
Lady Shrewsbury, known as Lady Arabella's custodian, and Lady Ralegh, in
addition to her husband and Cobham. Howard honoured Lady Ralegh with his
particular hostility. 'She is a most dangerous woman,' he exclaims, 'and
full of her father's inventions.' He was much alarmed at the possible
success of some project for bringing her to her old place in the Privy
Chamber. To its failure he ascribed her determination to 'bend her whole
wit and industry to the disturbance of the possibility of others' hopes
since her own cannot be settled.' He urged Cecil to arrange that it
should be brought to Elizabeth's knowledge 'what canons are concluded in
the chapter of Durham, where Ralegh's wife is president.' Ralegh himself
and Cobham were, however, the universal objects of his copious
invectives: 'You may well believe,' he wrote, 'that hell did never vomit
up such a couple.' Cecil's own language to James was almost as
vituperative. He was furious at the bare notion that any should vie with
him for the heir's confidence. He represented Cobham and Ralegh, who
were trying to obtain a share of James's favour, as mere hypocrites who
hated the King at heart. If they held themselves out as his friends, or
he held himself out as theirs, James was not to believe it. He excused
himself for 'casting sometimes a stone into the mouth of these gaping
crabs' to prevent them from 'confessing their repugnance to be under his
Majesty's sovereignty.' He hoped to be pardoned if from ancient 'private
affection' he had the semblance of supporting Ralegh in particular, 'a
person whom most religious men do hold anathema,' who had, moreover,
shown 'ingratitude to me.' He could not imagine that he owed as much to
Ralegh as Ralegh to him. But that was natural. If James should hear that
he had not checked demonstrations by Ralegh, in his 'light and sudden
humours,' against the King, he prayed James to ascribe it to a desire to
retain sufficient influence over him 'to dissuade him, under pretext of
extraordinary care of his well doing, from engaging himself too far.' He
warned James especially against being beguiled into thinking Ralegh a
man of a good and affectionate disposition. If 'upon any new humour of
kindness, whereof sometimes he will be replete,' he should write in
Cecil's favour, 'be it never so much in my commendation,' James was not
to believe it. The correspondence of Howard and Cecil with James
breathes throughout a jealous terror that Cobham and Ralegh, and chiefly
Ralegh, might either supersede them in James's kindness, or steal into
his confidence under the pretext of fellowship with them, and claim a
share in the advantages. Ralegh's correspondence with the King, as
theirs implies, has no such malignant, envious features. The King,
however, was already incurably prejudiced. Howard's and Cecil's
imputations only confirmed an impression of long standing.

[Sidenote: _Character of Cobham._]

Against two enemies of this force and animosity Ralegh had no actual
ally except Lord Cobham. Henry Howard had mentioned Northumberland as a
confederate. How far the Earl, who had married Essex's sister, Dorothy,
widow of Sir Thomas Perrot, could be reckoned upon may be judged from
his description of Ralegh to James as 'a man whose love is
disadvantageous to me in some sort, which I cherish rather out of
constancy than policy.' Cobham was Cecil's brother-in-law, and their
interests had long been inseparable. Ralegh would originally have
desired his friendship as a means of cementing the intimacy with his
potent connexion. He had been of the league against Essex. In opposition
to Essex's solicitations for Sir Robert Sidney he had obtained the Lord
Wardenship of the Cinque Ports. Essex had joined him with Cecil and
Ralegh in the charges of perfidy. His personal favour with Elizabeth had
been useful to the family compact. He was wealthy, and Cecil valued
wealth in his domestic circle. Houses and lands brought him in £7000 a
year; and he had woods and goods worth a capital sum of £30,000 besides.
His furniture was as rich as any man's of his rank. One piece of plate
was priced at £3500, and a ring at £500. He spent £150 at a time upon
books. He was not devoid of good instincts; for he could repent of a
misdeed or unkindness, and, after repeating it, repent again. But he was
garrulous, puffed up with a sense of his own importance, full of levity
and passion, and morally, if not physically, a coward. Ralegh, whom some
social brilliancy in the man, as well as his rank and fortune, may have
dazzled, can at no time have been wholly unconscious of the defects
which later he resentfully characterized: of the 'dispositions of such
violence, which his best friends cannot temper'; 'his known fashion to
do any friend he hath wrong, and then repent it'; and 'his fashion to
utter things easily.' Cecil regarded a nature like this scornfully.
Infirmities might be tolerated in a brother-in-law who was a trusty
ally. They could not be endured in a competitor.

[Sidenote: _Cecil's Jealousy._]

Neither Ralegh nor Cobham appears to have detected the growth of rancour
in Cecil. Ralegh maintained confidential intercourse with him on affairs
of state. Together they were, as has been seen, conferring privately
with Elizabeth on the policy to be adopted towards Munster rebels a few
months before her death. Ralegh's correspondence with him betrays no
suspicion of estrangement. It keeps throughout the old amiable style.
There is talk of the price of timber at Rushmore. Salutations were sent
so late as July 20, 1602, to 'my Lord Cobham and you, both in one
letter,' with vows to 'do you both service with all I have, and my life
to boot.' Ten weeks before Elizabeth's death Cecil was writing to Ralegh
about partnership in a privateer. Ralegh in a memorable letter to his
wife in July, 1603, spoke of the business association as still
subsisting. It is difficult to believe that Cecil reciprocated, unless
from complaisance and policy, the ferocity against Ralegh and Cobham, or
either, which inspired Henry Howard's venomous canting mystifications,
and was echoed by James. His correspondence with Ralegh's cousin, George
Carew, countenances the view that his hostility had something in it of
hurt affection. He was capable of tenderness for men who were willing to
be his auxiliaries, who at all events would not be, and could not be,
his rivals. But he was mistrustful. He readily confused any increased
intimacy between friends of his with enmity to himself. He wrote to
Carew in Ireland in June, 1601, to excuse himself, in his enigmatical
manner, for an appearance of unkindness: 'If I did not know that you do
measure me by your own heart towards me, it might be a doubtfulness in
me that the mutinies of those I do love and will--howsoever they do
me--might incite in you some belief that I was ungrateful towards them.
But, sir, for the better man, the second always sways him, and to what
passion he is subject who is subject to his lady, I leave to your
judgment and experience.' Later, in 1602, he complained to Carew: 'Our
two old friends do use me unkindly. But I have covenanted with my heart
not to know it. In show we are great. All my revenge shall be to heap
coals of fire on their heads.' He carried out his promise, and his coals
scorched. Yet it may be questioned if he were conscious of a virulent
humour towards his friend and his brother-in-law. Merely they were in
his way, and threatened to embarrass the career which was his life. They
were presuming to act independently. They pursued schemes which, if
successful, would disturb his monopoly of power. If unsuccessful, they
might, through his connexion with them, compromise him. He would not be
sorry if circumstances combined against them, and brushed them as
politicians from his path.



CHAPTER XVII.

THE FALL (April-June, 1603).


[Sidenote: _Death of the Queen._]

[Sidenote: _Introduction to the Successor._]

Elizabeth died on March 24, 1603. In the previous September Howard had
reported her 'never so gallant many years, nor so set upon jollity.'
James set out from Scotland on April 5. Ralegh at the Queen's death was
in the West. He returned hastily to London. There is a legend,
countenanced by Sir John Hawles, that, with Sir John Fortescue and
Cobham, he tried a movement for 'articling' with James before
proclaiming him. Unsuspicious Aubrey narrates that at a consultation at
Whitehall he went to the length of recommending the establishment of a
'commonwealth.' His object, he is said to have explained, was to save
Englishmen from being subject to a needy, beggarly nation like the
Scotch. Neither story rests on any foundation, except some possible
light taunt of his. His name was not appended to the Proclamation, as he
was not a Privy Councillor; but he was present at a meeting in the
evening, when a loyal letter of welcome to the King was drawn up, and he
signed it. Immediately afterwards he started, like many others,
northwards, and met the King at Burleigh House. Cecil had taken credit
for having stayed, he said, the journey of the Captain of the Guard, who
was conducting many suitors to James. Ralegh did not suffer himself to
be stopped either by Cecil's advice or by a Proclamation against the
resort to the King of persons holding public offices, to the injury of
public business. He assigned as the cause of his arrival the need of a
royal letter to authorize the continuance of legal process in the Duchy
of Cornwall, and to check the waste of royal woods and parks within it.
Unmannerly James is said by Aubrey to have received him with a poor rude
pun on his name: 'Rawly! Rawly! true enough, for I think of thee very
rawly, mon.' Isaac D'Israeli credits the story. He superfluously thinks
it settles, as without better authority than the King's broad Scotch it
certainly could not, the proper pronunciation of the name. In itself it
may be rather more plausible than Aubrey's tale of Ralegh's reply to the
King's boast that he could have won the succession by force: 'Would
God,' cried Ralegh, 'that had been put to the trial!' 'Why?' asked
James. 'Because,' was the oracular answer--'never,' says Aubrey,
'forgotten or forgiven'--'your Majesty would then have known your
friends from your foes.' It is much easier to agree with the apparent
meaning of Aubrey's interrupted general reflection on the first meeting
of King and subject: 'Sir Walter Ralegh had that awfulness and
ascendency in his aspect over other mortals that the K---- '. At all
events, the King ordered the speedy delivery of the authorization, that
Ralegh might have no excuse for delay. The unwelcome guest took the
hint. Acting-Secretary Sir Thomas Lake reported to Cecil that he was
gone, having 'to my seeming taken no great root here.'

[Sidenote: _Odium._]

At a council held by James at Cecil's seat of Theobald's, monopolies
granted by Elizabeth were called in. The measure was based by its
authors upon the need of popularity for the new reign. They were not
sorry to hit Ralegh with the same stone. A question was raised at the
Board whether the office of wine licenser were not a monopoly. Until the
Council should have decided, the levy of all dues was suspended. A large
part of Ralegh's income was at once cut off. He was summoned a few days
later to the Council Chamber at Whitehall, to be informed that the King
had appointed Sir Thomas Erskine, afterwards Earl of Kellie, Captain of
the Guard. To this he is related to have in very humble manner submitted
himself. His enemies knew they could in this as in other ways wound him
with a certainty of applause for the gratification of their spite.
Within a month of the Queen's decease a prayer of 'poor men' had been
addressed to James against monopolies. The manifesto contained an
especial allusion to Ralegh, of whom it wildly spoke as about to be
created Earl of Pembroke. So, on the occasion of the dismissal from the
command of the Guard, Beaumont, the French Ambassador, informed his
Court that Cecil had induced the King to make the change on the ground
of Ralegh's unpopularity, which would render his removal highly
acceptable to the country. Henry Howard, before the demise of the Crown,
when the effect of Ralegh's blandishments upon James was feared, had
preached to the King on the same text. He reported a refusal by
Elizabeth of the command of a regiment to Northumberland, for the reason
that 'Ralegh had made the Earl as odious as himself, because he would
not be singular, and such were not to be employed by princes of sound
policy.'

For the present a semblance of consideration was preserved. The loss of
the Captaincy was apparently sweetened by the elimination from his
patent for the Governorship of Jersey of the reservation of £300 a year
to the Crown or Seymour, and by the condonation of some arrears due from
him. His fall elicited from him no symptom of anger against the King. If
a letter purporting to be addressed by him to James be genuine, though
the evidence for it is not strong, he was not as placid with respect to
others. There the loss of his captaincy is angrily imputed to Cecil, who
is accused of having brought about the deaths both of Essex and Queen
Mary. Chronology must have forbidden James to attach weight to the
latter allegation, if he had cared for it. On the former he would be
better inclined to credit Howard, who asserted that Cecil had worked for
Essex's deliverance. Cecil himself could produce the letter of 1600-1,
signed 'W.R.' Soon Ralegh experienced a fresh proof of his helplessness,
in a notice of ejectment from Durham House. Bishop Tobias Matthew of
Durham met James at Berwick, and gained his ear. He used his influence
and Ralegh's odium to procure an order for the restoration of the
London episcopal residence. It was retaliation for his loss of the See
of Sarum through Ralegh. On May 31 a royal warrant was issued for the
removal of the present occupants, Ralegh and Sir Edward Darcy. Ralegh
wrote on June 8 or 9, asking permission to stay till Michaelmas. He
pleaded the £2000 he had spent on the structure during the twenty years
of his tenancy. He recounted his outlay on autumn and winter provisions
for a household of forty persons and twenty horses. He complained to no
purpose. He was ordered to quit by Midsummer.

[Sidenote: _Inopportune Advice._]

[Sidenote: _The Fourth Party._]

Notwithstanding rebuffs, he continued to frequent the Court. He was at
Beddington Park when the King on his Progress visited Sir Francis Carew,
Lady Ralegh's uncle. Ralegh previously had laid before James a
_Discourse touching a War with Spain, and of the Protecting of the
Netherlands_. It is a most forcible, and, from its own point of view,
sagacious disquisition in favour of persistency in the war with Spain,
and the alliance with Holland, as well for offensive purposes against
the Spaniards, as for defence, whether against Spain or France. As a
controversial pamphlet it evinces none of the want of judgment with
which Hallam charges Ralegh, though the defect appears plainly in his
obtrusion of such views upon James. At Beddington he had an opportunity
of clenching his argument, and the King's suspicions, by an offer, of
which he subsequently boasted, to invade the Spanish dominions, at no
cost to the King, with 2000 men. In the treatise he opposed the
conclusion of any hasty peace with Spain. He referred to another essay,
now lost, and never published, in which he had indicated _How War may be
made against Spain and the Indies_. Spain was anxious for peace, and
desired to consolidate it by separating England from France and Holland.
The negotiations had begun in the lifetime of Elizabeth. They had
excited much party spirit at Court, where Cobham already was conspicuous
as their advocate, and Ralegh as their opponent. James's accession
infused additional keenness into the contest. France was apprehensive of
the King's proclivity towards an alliance, not merely peace, with Spain.
Henry IV was not disinclined to the restoration of tranquillity in
Europe. He was afraid of an Anglo-Spanish pacification of a character so
cordial as to affect the league between the French and English
Governments as it had existed in the late reign. He sent Sully over to
cement the good understanding of the two States by arguments and gifts
to the leading courtiers. Sully found the new Court honeycombed with
intrigues. His fixed idea was that Spain was meditating much beyond the
simple alienation of England from her ancient allies; 'qu'il se tramait
quelque chose de bien plus important.' By means of the competing
factions he tried to discover this great secret design. His researches
were not confined to statesmen in authority, like Cecil, whom he
characterizes in his candid _Memoirs_ as 'tout mystère,' caring for no
combination except so far as it might serve his individual political
interests. He pursued his inquiries also among politicians out of power.
They composed, he says, a 'Fourth Party,' with no basis of agreement,
unless that its members could agree with no other party. He names as its
leaders Northumberland, Southampton, Cumberland, Cobham, Ralegh, and
Griffin Markham. They are described by him as 'gens seditieux, de
caractère purement Anglais, et prêts a tout entreprendre en faveur des
nouveautés, fut-ce contre le Roi.' Northumberland he induced by a large
pension to collect for him secret intelligence, though he did not
believe it. All he obtained from 'Milords Cobham et Raleich' was that,
when he broached to them his notion of the dark schemes of Spain, they
replied 'conformement à cet avis.'

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's Egotism._]

His communications with Ralegh were limited to the extraction of this
expression of assent. Nowhere does he assert or imply that Ralegh
accepted any present from him, or entered into any compact. Yet Hume
founds on the bald statement of sympathy a formal allegation that Ralegh
offered his services to France, and that the offer was repulsed. It is a
sample of the way in which he has been traduced. Sully's evidence
exhibits him in his invariable attitude of an adversary of Spain and
Spanish pretensions. It does not indicate the smallest tendency in him
to further his own policy by means of illegitimate foreign influences.
His mistake was the belief that he could by perseverance impose his
doctrines and himself upon the sovereign. In theory he understood, as he
lays down in his History, that it is not sufficient to be wise with a
wise prince, valiant with a valiant, and just with a just; a courtier,
who would have an estate in his prosperity, must, he teaches, live
altogether out of himself, study other men's humours, and change with
the successor to the throne. In practice none ever disobeyed this law of
advancement more signally than Ralegh in relation to James. His egotism
often before had blinded him to the idiosyncrasies of others. He seems
to have been more than ordinarily incapable of comprehending those of
his present ruler. He presumed eagerness in a young King to signalize
his accession by feats of arms. The high spirit of James was the source
from which he hoped to draw the motive force necessary for the
accomplishment of his vast designs against the colonial empire of Spain.
An accidental conjunction of circumstances enabled him to see speedily
the effect of his attempt to storm the royal confidence by displaying
his own martial propensities.



CHAPTER XVIII.

AWAITING TRIAL (July-November, 1603).


[Sidenote: _The Plots._]

We now enter the period of the plot and plot within plot in which
Anthony Copley, the priests William Watson and Francis Clarke, George
Brooke and his brother Cobham, Sir Griffin Markham and his brothers, the
Puritan Lord Grey of Wilton, and Sir Edward Parham were variously and
confusedly implicated. The intrigue, 'a dark kind of treason,' as
Rushworth calls it, 'a sham plot' as it is styled by Sir John Hawles,
belongs to our story only so far as the cross machinations involved
Ralegh. His slender relation to it is as hard to fix as a cobweb or a
nightmare. Even in his own age his part in it was, as obsolete Echard
says, 'all riddle and mystery.' Cobham had an old acquaintance with the
Count of Arenberg, Minister to the Archduke Albert and the Infanta
Isabel, joint sovereigns of the Low Countries. The Infanta was that
daughter of Philip II whose claims to the English throne Jesuits had
asserted, and Essex had affected to fear. During the late reign Cobham
had been in the habit of corresponding with the Count both openly and
secretly. De la Fayle and an Antwerp merchant, la Renzi or de Laurencie,
carried letters and messages to and fro. In November, 1602, the Count
had invited Cobham to come over and confer about peace, of which Cobham
was a strong advocate. After James's accession he wrote again. Cobham
inquired of Cecil and the King how he was to reply. James answered that
Cobham should know his pleasure on the meeting of the Council. To
Lennox he remarked angrily that Cobham was more busy in it than he
needed to be. Cobham meanwhile thought of going abroad; but Cecil
dissuaded him. In May, 1603, Arenberg sent a third letter by de la
Fayle.

[Sidenote: _Cobham's Projects._]

During this period Cobham frequently met Ralegh. He was negotiating the
purchase of a fee farm from the Crown, and trusted much to Ralegh's
advice. He had confided to Ralegh £4000 worth of jewels to complete the
contract. Their talk, Ralegh admitted later, though commonly about
private affairs, would sometimes turn upon questions of State. Before
the Queen's death, it must be repeated, Ralegh would have committed no
crime, or even impropriety, in listening, if he ever listened, without
disapproval to Cobham's most intemperate assertions in favour of the
title of Arabella, and against that of James. The evidence adduced of
their talk on politics after the King's accession contains no reference
to any such topic. Even if its subject then had been improper, nothing
worse than passive complicity was proved against Ralegh. Thus, one day
at dinner, in Cobham's house at Blackfriars, Cobham declared that the
Count, when he came, would yield such strong arguments for peace as
would satisfy any man. He specified great sums of money to be given to
certain Councillors for their aid. Cecil and Lord Mar were instanced by
him. On the same occasion he held out liberal offers to Ralegh. Ralegh,
by his own account, which was not contradicted by other testimony, only
listened. When he was taxed at his trial with having given ear to
matters he had not to deal in, he exclaimed: 'Could I stop my Lord
Cobham's mouth!' The teaching of adversity showed him that in prudence
he should have removed himself from the possibility of hearing. 'Venture
not thy estate,' he wrote in his _Instructions to his Son and to
Posterity_, 'with any of those great ones that shall attempt unlawful
things, for thou shalt be sure to be part with them in the danger, but
not in the honour. I myself know it, and have tasted it in all the
course of my life.' But the application of the warning, and the regret,
to the hearing of Cobham's vague after-dinner flights might have
seemed, unless for the result, impossibly remote.

[Sidenote: _Negotiations with Arenberg._]

Early in June the Count arrived in London, under the escort of Henry
Howard. Cobham, with la Renzi, visited him on June 9. At night Cobham
supped with Ralegh at Durham House; or Ralegh supped with Cobham at
Blackfriars, being accompanied by him back to Durham House afterwards.
From Durham House Cobham was alleged to have gone privily with la Renzi
to obtain a promise of money from the Count. According to Cecil's
narrative in the following August to Sir Thomas Parry, the Ambassador at
Paris, Cobham had told Arenberg that if he would provide four or five
hundred thousand crowns, 'he could show him a better way to prosper than
by peace.' Scaramelli, the Secretary to the Venetian Legation, wrote
home on December 1, 1603, that Arenberg promised 300,000 ducats in cash,
and an equal sum when he should have returned to Flanders. Ralegh
subsequently was accused of having on this occasion been offered money
by Cobham to be a promoter of peace. Cobham, in the written statement
read at the trial, alleged that Ralegh had bargained for £1500 a year
for divulging Court secrets. How Ralegh, out of favour and wholly
eclipsed, was to learn them, Cobham did not indicate. Ralegh mentioned
subsequently he had noticed from a window of Durham House that Lord
Cobham once or twice after visiting him was rowed past his own mansion
at Blackfriars. He went to St. Saviour's, on the other side of the
river. There la Renzi was known to be residing. This is the sum of the
facts out of which the large fabric of Ralegh's guilt was to be
constructed.

[Sidenote: _The 'Surprising Treason.'_]

He had attended the Court to Windsor. There he heard of the arrest of
Anthony Copley in Sussex on July 6. From Copley, according to Cecil at
the trial, the first discovery of the Bye or Surprising Treason came. By
letter from Windsor, Ralegh informed Cobham. On July 12 Copley was
examined. George Brooke was arrested on the 14th, and the arrests of
Lord Grey of Wilton and Sir Griffin Markham were ordered. One day
between the 12th and the 16th Ralegh was on the Terrace at Windsor. The
King was preparing to hunt, and Ralegh was waiting to join the
cavalcade. Cecil came out, and bade him, as from the King, stay. The
Lords in the Chamber, Cecil said, had some questions to put to him. How
far he was interrogated on the intercourse of Cobham with the Count, and
how much he disclosed, is obscure. At his trial he gave his story of the
transaction. He said he was examined at Windsor touching the conspiracy
to surprise and coerce the King; next, about plotting for Arabella;
thirdly, about practices with the Lord Cobham. He added: 'It is true I
suspected that Lord Cobham kept intelligence with Arenberg. For long
since he held that course with him in the Low Countries, as was well
known to my Lord Treasurer and to my Lord Cecil. La Renzi being a man
also well known to me, I, so seeing him and the Lord Cobham together,
thought that was the time they both had been to Count d'Arenberg. I gave
intimation thereof. But I was willed by my Lord Cecil not to speak of
this, because the King at the first coming of Arenberg would not give
him occasion of suspicion. Wherefore I wrote to the Lord Cecil that if
la Renzi were not taken the matter would not be discovered. Yet, if he
were then apprehended, it would give matter of suspicion to the Lord
Cobham. This letter of mine being presently shown to the Lord Cobham, he
spake bitterly of me; yet, ere he came to the stairs' foot, he repented
him, and, as I hear, acknowledged that he had done me wrong.'

Ralegh's account of the matter, in a court of honour, might have been
that Cobham's understanding with Arenberg did not seem to him of much
importance. As it perplexed the Council he, not perceiving the possible
prejudice to his friend, volunteered his services in clearing it up.
When it was discovered to be deadly, or had been inflated into an
appearance of capital criminality, his letter to Cecil was employed to
represent to Cobham an act, it must be admitted, at best of not very
friendly officiousness as black treachery. His suggestion to Cecil is
in any case inconsistent with consciousness of a guilty connexion with
treason, if there were treason. Nobody of the least sagacity, much less
the 'master of wiles,' such as contemporaries accounted Ralegh, if he
had been concerned in a plot, and if his implication in it had been
known to a single person, would have been so foolish as to provoke his
one accomplice to retaliate by accusing him.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh in Confinement._]

[Sidenote: _The Message by Keymis._]

From the examination at Windsor he returned a prisoner, confined to his
own house. Some intercourse was then held between him and Cobham,
through Captain Keymis. He said he sent Keymis to explain to Cobham
that, being under restraint, he could not come himself, and to mention
what he had done with Mr. Attorney in the matter of a great pearl and
diamond given him by Cobham in order to arrange the business of the fee
farm Cobham was purchasing from the Crown. He had added that he 'had
cleared him,' which was, he asserted, true, as he had remarked to Cecil
that he believed Cobham had no concern with the plot of the priests.
Cecil's statement disagrees both as to Ralegh's examination, and as to
the message to Cobham. According to Cecil, Ralegh was not examined at
Windsor on any matter concerning Cobham. Yet, though Cobham was not then
suspected, and though Ralegh had been examined about himself alone, he
immediately, it is alleged, sent Keymis to tell Cobham that he had been
examined concerning him, and that he had cleared him of all to the
Lords. Keymis is stated, though not by Cecil, to have added verbally, as
if from Ralegh, an exhortation to Cobham to be 'of good comfort, for one
witness could not condemn a man for treason.' Ralegh denied positively
that any such message came from him. Mr. S.R. Gardiner, in his _History
of England from the Accession of James I to the Disgrace of Chief
Justice Coke_, condemns this as 'an unlucky falsehood.' His reason for
the violent charge is that he does not suppose so loyal a friend as
Keymis would have invented a damaging calumny. Keymis would not have
invented it to injure; he may, in the hope that the effect would be
beneficial, have repeated to Cobham casual expressions he had heard from
Ralegh; or Cobham may have himself imagined the message was from Ralegh
without any authority to that purport from Keymis. The former hypothesis
is not inconsistent with the character of the messenger. Keymis could
endure much for his leader. Without flinching he bore imprisonment in
the Tower and Fleet, from which he was not released till December 31,
1603. He was a brave and loyal follower, but not very prudent, as
after-events evinced. If the prosecution thought it could prove that he
really used the words as from Ralegh, it is strange that it did not
venture to produce him in court to testify to it.

Cobham could not have escaped suspicion. Ralegh's allusion to his
dealings with Arenberg was not needed to direct it against him. He was
notoriously reckless in his language. It had been remarked by Beaumont,
the French Ambassador, in the previous May that he could scarcely
mention Cecil without abusing him as a traitor. He was not likely to
have been reticent on his relations with the Archduke's envoy. He was
examined before the Privy Council several times at Richmond after July
15. On July 20 he confessed that he had asked Arenberg to procure five
or six hundred thousand crowns for distribution among English
malcontents. He had purposed to go on, after an interview with the
Archduke in the Netherlands, and seek the money from the King of Spain.
From Spain he intended, if the report of his examination can be
credited, to return home by way of Jersey, where he expected to meet
Ralegh. With him he meant to discuss the application of the money. So
far his statement indicated reliance on his power of persuading Ralegh
to abet the design. It showed no present complicity on Ralegh's part. At
this point, according to the official narrative, 'a note under Ralegh's
hand was shown to Examinate. Examinate, when he had perused the same,
brake forth, saying, "O, Traitor! O, Villain! I will now tell you all
the truth." And then said that he had never entered into these courses
but by Ralegh's instigation; and that he would never let him alone.' He
referred to suggestions by Ralegh of plots and invasions, and said he
feared when he had him in Jersey, he would send him to the King.
Convinced believers in Ralegh's duplicity will accept as satisfactory
confirmation of that extraordinary apprehension an opinion attributed by
Aubrey to Lord Southampton, an old enemy, that Ralegh joined the
conspiracy in order to buy his peace by betraying it, and had schemed to
inveigle Cobham and others over to Jersey, where he might secure them
for the Government.

[Sidenote: _Weaving a web for Ralegh._]

[Sidenote: _Extorted Evidence._]

By this time various circumstances supposed to criminate Ralegh had been
collected from the answers of the other accused persons. Each had been
given over to one or more Commissioners to worry into confessions. Sir
William Waad, or Wade, had charge of Ralegh, as of others. It was Waad
who had broken open Queen Mary's cabinet at Chartley Hall. He was fitted
for any dirty work. Keymis also had been arrested, and was examined by
Waad and the Solicitor-General on Ralegh's communications with Cobham.
They told him he deserved the rack. Waad hereafter denied that they ever
'threatened him with it.' La Renzi was examined, and deposed that Ralegh
had been in Cobham's company when Cobham received letters from Arenberg,
and sent others to him. The contents of the voluminous inquisitorial
dust-heap were perpetually being sorted, and distributed, or,
reluctantly, discarded. Any answers reflecting on another, particularly
if reflecting on Ralegh, were carefully put aside, to fill gaps in the
direct evidence against him. Thus, Brooke, according to Sir William
Waad, 'confidently thinketh what his brother knows was known to the
other.' On July 17, Brooke said that the conspirators among themselves
thought Sir Walter Ralegh a fit man to be of the action. No account was
made of the report by Markham of an express warning given him by Brooke
himself against communications to Cobham, on the ground that whatever
Cobham knew, Ralegh the witch would get out of him. In August, Brooke
affirmed that both Ralegh and Cobham had resolved to destroy the King
'with all his cubs.' Watson mentioned that he and Brooke, and apparently
Copley, had consulted concerning Sir Walter's surprising of the King's
fleet. Copley reported a remark by Brooke that the project of causing
stirs in Scotland came out of Ralegh's head. Watson had said of an
assembly at Cobham's house reported to him by Brooke, that, beside
Brooke and Cobham, my Lord Grey and Sir Walter Ralegh were there, and
showed every one of them great discontent, but especially the two Lords.
My Lord Cobham discovered his revenge to no less than the depriving of
his Majesty and all his Royal issue both of crown, kingdom, life, and
all at once; and my Lord Grey, to use Master Brooke's own words, uttered
nothing but treason at every word. At a subsequent examination Watson
stated to Sir William Waad that from Brooke's words it was evident the
great mass of money reported to be at the disposal of the Jesuits was,
most of it, from the Count of Arenberg. It was impossible for all the
Catholics in England to raise so much of themselves. Brooke, moreover,
it was recorded, had stated that his brother, Cobham, told him Lord Grey
and others were only on the Bye, but he and Ralegh were on the Main. By
the Main was signified the dethronement of James in favour of Arabella.

[Sidenote: _Attempt at Suicide._]

Such second or third hand tales were to be used to point and colour the
particle of direct testimony. This was Cobham's allegation that Ralegh
had instigated the dealings with Arenberg. Otherwise, as Cecil almost
officially admitted in a letter of August 4 to Parry, the only ground
for proceedings against him was that he had been discontented _in
conspectu omnium_ ever since the King came. Without Cobham's charge it
would have been impossible to prosecute him with any show of justice.
Immediately after Cobham's examination he was committed to the Tower. He
was conveyed thither from Fulham Palace, where he had been examined
before Bishop Bancroft, one of the Royal Commissioners. He believed his
doom decided. He found himself treated as convicted before he was tried.
A resignation of the Wardenship of the Stannaries had been extorted from
him. 'He underwent,' Sir John Harington wrote, 'a downfall of despair
as his greatest enemy could not have wished him so much harm as he would
have done himself.' Sir John spoke of a period before 1618. He did not
know how Ralegh's enemies could accumulate hate. Ralegh never put any
faith in the equity of English criminal procedure. He was resolved, if
the story about to be related is to be credited, to disappoint it of
some of its cruel fruits. Very soon after his arrival at the Tower, it
has been supposed on July 20, he is said to have attempted his life. He
was lodged in two small rooms in the Bloody tower. A couple of servants
of his own waited on him. He dined with the Lieutenant, Sir John Peyton.
Being at table, he was reported to have suddenly torn his vest open,
seized a knife, and plunged it into his breast. It struck a rib and
glanced aside. Being prevented from repeating the blow, he threw the
knife down, crying, 'There! An end!' The wound appeared at first
dangerous, though it turned out not very serious. For the details of the
occurrence we have to rely upon Cecil's correspondence, together with a
few words from Scaramelli, Secretary to the Venetian Legation. Cecil
wrote of it to Parry, at Paris, on August 4: 'Although lodged and
attended as well as in his own house, yet one afternoon, while divers of
us were in the Tower, examining these prisoners, Sir Walter Ralegh
attempted to have murdered himself. Whereof when we were advertised, we
came to him, and found him in some agony, seeming to be unable to endure
his misfortunes, and protesting innocency with carelessness of life. In
that humour he had wounded himself under the right pap, but no way
mortally; being, in truth, rather a cut than a stab.' Cecil adds: 'He is
very well cured both in body and mind.' Several days earlier, on July
30, Peyton had written to Cecil that the hurt was nearly well. James had
been informed of the event by Cecil. His comment was that Ralegh should
be well probed by a good preacher, and induced to wound his spirit, not
his body. Beaumont, the French Ambassador, observed on the matter to
Henry IV: 'Sir Walter Ralegh is said to have declared that his design
to kill himself arose from no feeling of fear, but was formed in order
that his fate might not serve as a triumph to his enemies, whose power
to put him to death, despite his innocency, he well knows.' Confiscation
was the triumph of which he wished to deprive his persecutors, if he
really contemplated suicide. His motive would be the rescue of Sherborne
for his wife and child from forfeiture through attainder, the sure
result, as he truly foresaw, of a trial for treason.

[Sidenote: _A Disputed Letter._]

'After he had hurt himself,' it is stated on the extant copy of the
letter, though more probably, if at all, on the eve of the attempt, he
is alleged to have written to apprise his wife of his approaching death.
In 1839, in an edition of Bishop Goodman's _Court of King James the
First_, the late Professor John Brewer printed an unsigned paper,
purporting to be such a letter, which had been found in All Souls
College Library. Mr. Brewer describes it as in Sir Henry Yelverton's
Collection, for no other apparent reason than that the document is in a
commonplace book, which includes three speeches by Yelverton. The
contents are miscellaneous, ranging from satirical verses to State
papers, and of dates from 1500 to 1617. Mr. Oman, of All Souls,
considers that the hand, the same throughout, of the copyist is of
ordinary seventeenth century character. The volume came to the college
from the collection of Narcissus Luttrell. The name of the original
owner, for or by whom the matter was compiled and transcribed, is not
known. Consequently, belief in the authenticity of the supposed letter
from Ralegh depends on its own intrinsic probability.

[Sidenote: _An Apocryphal Daughter._]

In the course of it, Ralegh, 'for his sake who was about to be cruel to
himself, to preserve' his wife, begged her to be charitable 'to my poor
daughter, to whom I have given nothing,' and to 'teach my son to love
her for his father's sake.' Nowhere else is an allusion to this daughter
discoverable. Nothing is known of her or her mother. Almost a necessary
presumption is, that, if she existed, she was an illegitimate child. One
benevolent writer has suggested, without a shadow of evidence, a prior
marriage to that with Elizabeth Throckmorton. The manner in which she is
commended to Lady Ralegh's compassion excludes the explanation that Lady
Ralegh was her mother, whether before or after marriage. Ralegh
proceeded to ask his wife's 'kindness for his brother Adrian Gilbert,'
and for Keemis, 'a perfect honest man who hath much wrong for my sake.'
He advised her to marry, not to please sense, but to avoid poverty, and
in order to preserve their son. Very bitterly he cries: 'That I can live
never to see thee and my child more! I cannot. I have desired God, and
disputed with my reason, but nature and compassion hath the victory.
That I can live to think you are both left a spoil to my enemies, and
that my name shall be a dishonour to my child--I cannot. I cannot endure
the memory thereof. For myself, I am left of all men, that have done
good to many. All my good turns forgotten; all my errors revived and
expounded to all extremity of ill. All my services, hazards, and
expenses for my country--plantings, discoveries, fights, councils, and
whatever else--malice hath now covered over. I am now made an enemy and
traitor by the word of an unworthy man. He hath proclaimed me to be a
partaker of his vain imaginations, notwithstanding the whole course of
my life hath approved the contrary, as my death shall approve it. Woe,
woe, woe be unto him by whose falsehood we are lost. He hath separated
us asunder. He hath slain my honour, my fortune. He hath robbed thee of
thy husband, thy child of his father, and me of you both. O God! Thou
dost know my wrongs. Know then, thou my wife and child; know then, thou
my Lord and King, that I ever thought them too honest to betray, and too
good to conspire against. But, my wife, forgive them all, as I do. Live
humble, for thou hast but a time also. God forgive my Lord Harry, for he
was my heavy enemy. And for my Lord Cecil, I thought he would never
forsake me in extremity. I would not have done it him, God knows. But do
not thou know it, for he must be master of my child, and may have
compassion of him. Be not dismayed that I died in despair of God's
mercies. Strive not to dispute it. But assure thyself that God hath not
left me, nor Satan tempted me. Hope and despair live not together. I
know it is forbidden to destroy ourselves; but I trust it is forbidden
in this sort, that we destroy not ourselves despairing of God's mercy.
The mercy of God is immeasurable; the cogitations of men comprehend it
not. In the Lord I have ever trusted; and I know that my Redeemer
liveth. Far is it from me to be tempted with Satan; I am only tempted
with Sorrow, whose sharp teeth devour my heart. O God! Thou art goodness
itself; Thou canst not but be good to me. O God! that art mercy itself;
Thou canst not but be merciful to me!

[Sidenote: _Apology for Self-Destruction._]

'Oh, what will my poor servants think at their return, when they hear I
am accused to be Spanish, who sent them, at very great charge, to plant
and discover upon his territory. Oh, intolerable infamy! O God! I cannot
resist these thoughts. I cannot bear to think how I am derided, to think
of the expectation of my enemies, the scorns I shall receive, the cruel
words of lawyers, the infamous taunts and despites, to be made a wonder
and a spectacle! O Death! hasten thou unto me, that thou mayest destroy
the memory of these, and lay me up in dark forgetfulness. O Death!
destroy my memory, which is my tormentor; my thoughts and my life cannot
dwell in one body. But do thou forget me, poor wife, that thou mayest
live to bring up my poor child. The Lord knows my sorrow to part from
thee and my poor child. But part I must, by enemies and injuries; part
with shame, and triumph of my detractors. And therefore be contented
with this work of God and forget me in all things, but thine own honour,
and the love of mine.

'I bless my poor child, and let him know his father was no traitor. Be
bold of my innocence, for God--to whom I offer life and soul--knows it.'

[Sidenote: _Doubts._]

The obstacles to the acceptance of this composition as authentic are
almost insuperable. It does not ring truly. Hard as it may be to
distinguish rhetoric and passion in the death-bed phrases of men who
have lived before the world, the contrast here with the natural pathos
of the other, and undisputed, farewell of December, is too
irreconcilably vivid. Then there is the extraordinary apparition of an
otherwise invisible daughter. It is not the more intelligible for the
opposite difficulty that few forgers would have been likely to venture
upon so surprising an invention. The total disappearance of the original
manuscript, and the absence for more than two centuries of all knowledge
of its contents, are still stronger elements of doubt. Together, the
circumstances fully justify the scepticism of Mr. Hepworth Dixon in the
copious compilation styled by him a _History of the Tower_, though it is
not requisite to adopt his amusing surmise that a document allowed to
repose in the dark till the present age was fabricated to taint the
credit of Ralegh as a virtuous husband. Probably the epistle was
innocently concocted as a literary exercise by an admirer, who wished to
explain or apologise for his temporary loss of self-control.

[Sidenote: _Reasons for Silence._]

Notwithstanding a fire and indignation, occasionally approaching
grandeur, which, it must be admitted, raise another perplexing question,
who, if not Ralegh, had the wit to pen the epistle, it seems necessary
to surrender the letter. But it is too great a leap from repudiation of
it to the disbelief, first insinuated by Mr. Tytler, and more boldly and
absolutely enunciated by Mr. Dixon, in the attempt itself at suicide.
Their theory is that the whole was an invention of Ralegh's enemies. It
may be admitted that the stab, like the letter, has its difficulties. If
he tried to kill himself, it is strange that a practised swordsman
should not have succeeded. Whether he meant death or not, the reserve of
the Crown advocates at Winchester is equally mysterious. They were, it
might have been thought, sure to dwell upon the act in the one case as
contemptible, in the other as presumptive proof of a sense of guilt. The
latter is the obvious way in which it would strike the mind. Sir Toby
Matthew, son of the Bishop who had lately ejected Ralegh from his London
house, described it as 'a guilty blow.' Two centuries later, it
suggested to Hallam, 'a presumption of consciousness that something
could be proved against him.' Why did Ralegh's contemporary and official
adversaries not press the presumption home, if they could? On the other
side, there is the yet weightier evidence of Ralegh's own conduct. He
and his wife and friends must have heard the rumour, and their tongues
were not tied. Whatever reasons counsel and judges had for reticence,
the town had none. If Ralegh could have contradicted the discreditable
tale, it is, as in the case of an earlier scandal, inconceivable that he
should not. The explanation of his absolute silence, and the partial,
not entire, silence of his adversaries, is that he was ashamed of his
despair, and they were ashamed of having brought him to it. Cecil, after
the trial, referred to the matter, after the fashion of Matthew and of
Hallam, as 'suspicious.' At the time of the occurrence he mentioned it
to Sir Thomas Parry in a tone more of apology. He appeared to be afraid
European opinion might imagine that Ralegh had been driven mad by
merciless treatment. Had death ensued, a worse suspicion, however in
this instance unjust, was to be feared. Cecil would remember that there
had been Tower suicides before, and that they had been interpreted as
evidence rather against the gaolers than the prisoners.

[Sidenote: _Improbability of Ralegh's Complicity._]

For a moment it seemed as if Ralegh had been superfluously mistrustful
of English justice. A mass of tremendous charges had been rolled
together. To Waad's hopeful fancy they appeared, he told Cecil, to have
gravely implicated Ralegh, as well as Cobham. Investigated with a view
to a positive arraignment, the pile broke up and evaporated. Watson's
and Brooke's stories proved as unsubstantial as the astonishing romance
adopted by grave de Thou. According to the French annalist, Ralegh, in
disgust at the loss of his Captaincy of the Guard, had joined in a plot
to kill the King, started by a band of Englishmen incensed at the
Scottish irruption. He had accepted the post of assassin. But his
sister's report of his agitation, of which she misapprehended the
cause, induced inquiry. Arrested, he confessed the whole to James, and
bought his life by the betrayal of Grey, Cobham, and Markham. Silly as
is that tale, there was almost a more obvious dearth of motive for the
prominent part assigned to him in the most circumstantial of the
extorted depositions. Evidence was given that the other conspirators had
agreed upon the apportionment among themselves of the high offices of
State. No one testified that any had been reserved for the most
competent, the most distinguished, and the most ambitious of the
company. Ralegh's sole reward for the alleged terrible risk was, by
Waad's report of Brooke's and Watson's admissions, to be some such sum
of eight or ten thousand crowns as was to be offered to Cecil and
Northumberland, who incurred no danger.

Soon it must have become apparent that success in a prosecution of
Ralegh depended solely on the plausibility and consistency of Cobham's
accusations. They were peculiarly deficient in those qualities. Ralegh
has recorded that Cobham's remorse for the evil wrought by his charges
of July 20 commenced within the building in which they had been uttered.
At any rate, on the 29th he retracted them more or less completely. By a
letter of that date, addressed to the Lords of the Council, he admitted
he had pressed Arenberg for four or five hundred thousand crowns, though
nothing was decided about their application. He had expected, he said, a
general discontentment, and the money was to be expended as occasion
offered. At his oral examination on the same day he is stated by Cecil,
in a letter to Parry, to have 'cleared Sir Walter in most things, and to
have taken all the burden to himself.' It may be inferred from an
allusion by him in a letter that some of the Lords who had been
interrogating him allowed their indignation at his apparent calumnies
against Ralegh to be perceptible. The result was a growing impression
that the proceedings against Ralegh would have to be abandoned. Lord
Grey, an austere Protestant, and Sir Griffin Markham, a Catholic,
already, it was rumoured, had denied that he had been a conspirator.
They had affirmed they would have given up their project upon any
suspicion that he was mixed up with it. Now Cobham also was become a
broken reed. M. de Beaumont wrote to King Henry that the Lords found it
difficult in consequence to sustain Ralegh's prosecution. 'God forgive
Sir Walter Ralegh,' Cobham had exclaimed in August to Sir John Peyton's
son; 'he hath accused me; but I cannot accuse him.'

[Sidenote: _Cobham's Remorse._]

[Sidenote: _Written Retractations._]

Cobham's awakened sense of justice prompted him in the autumn to a step
which might have been decisive. Peyton was no longer at the Tower.
Ralegh's guilt had so far been presumed, as early as August, that his
patent as Governor of Jersey had been declared forfeited through his
grievous treason intended against the King. The office was conferred on
Peyton, in some measure, perhaps, that he might be removed from the
charge of Ralegh. The current belief was that his preferment was
disgrace for connivance at communications between him and Cobham. To his
successor, Sir George Harvey, Cobham wrote on October 24, desiring the
grant of facilities to him to address the Council on Ralegh's behalf:
'Mr. Lieutenant, If that I may write unto the Lords I would, touching
Sir Walter Ralegh; besides my letter to my Lord Cecil; God is my
witness, it doth touch my conscience. As you shall send me word so I
will do, that my letter may be ready against your son's going. I would
very fain have the words that the Lords used of my barbarousness in
accusing him falsely.' Harvey received this brief and not very coherent,
but significant, epistle, and locked the request up in his own bosom. He
did worse. From the language of his tardy explanation to Cecil it is
plain that he effectually discouraged Cobham's disposition to be
Ralegh's apologist to the Council. He underrated, however, Ralegh's
energy and dexterity. Cecil imagined that Ralegh had solicited from
Cobham the original retractation. Messages, he suspected, had passed
between the two in which Ralegh had 'expostulated Cobham's unkind using
of him.' The correctness of his conjecture for the past is unknown. It
was true of the present. Ralegh managed to have a letter, inclosed in,
or fastened to, an apple, thrown, in November, four nights before they
came to Winchester, into Cobham's window in Wardrobe tower. At the time
the Lieutenant was at supper. In it he entreated Cobham to do him
justice by his answer, and to signify to him that he had wronged him in
his accusation. He added: 'Do not, as my Lord of Essex did, take heed of
a preacher. By his persuasion he confessed, and so made himself guilty.'
Cobham, though later he forgot the fact, appears to have duly replied in
a letter, which was pushed under Ralegh's door. In it he admitted the
wrong he had done to Ralegh. The language was not distinct enough. It
was 'not to my contenting,' as afterwards said Ralegh, who wrote again.
He did not ask for another written confession. Instead, he besought
Cobham to declare his innocence when he should himself be arraigned.
Thereupon Cobham sent a letter described by Ralegh as 'very good,' a
complete and solemn justification, of which Howell in his _State Trials_
adopts the following transcript: 'Seeing myself so near my end, for the
discharge of my own conscience, and freeing myself from your blood,
which else will cry vengeance against me, I protest upon my salvation I
never practised with Spain by your procurement. God so comfort me in
this my affliction, as you are a true subject for anything that I know.
I will say, as Daniel, _Purus sum a sanguine hujus_. So God have mercy
upon my soul as I know no treason by you.' According to another version,
differing in language, not in tenor, the letter ran: 'To free myself
from the cry of blood, I protest upon my soul, and before God and His
angels, I never had conference with you in any treason, nor was ever
moved by you to the things I heretofore accused you of; and, for
anything I know, you are as innocent and as clear from any treasons
against the King as is any subject living. And God so deal with me and
have mercy upon my soul, as this is true.' Ralegh seems to have kept to
himself the knowledge of the existence of this letter for the present,
as Sir George Harvey, with less excuse, concealed the fact of Cobham's
prayer to himself.

[Sidenote: _Sir George Harvey's Disclosure._]

The correspondence was arranged partly through Edward Cottrell, a Tower
servant who waited upon Ralegh. Partly it was through the Lieutenant's
son, George, whom Ralegh had won over, as he had won over Sir John
Peyton's son, John. It was on account of the discovery by the Council,
through Ralegh's production at the trial of Cobham's letter to him, of
George Harvey's mediation, and of the youth's imprisonment for it, that
on December 17, several weeks after the end of the trial, at which it
might have benefited Ralegh, the Lieutenant gave Cecil the letter of
October 24. In the confidence that the infraction of discipline by his
son, as well as by his two prisoners, would be extenuated by his own
confession of an excess of official zeal, he acknowledged his
suppression of the October letter. Incidentally he testified to the
sincerity of Cobham's remorse. Cobham's 'great desire to justify Sir
Walter,' he admitted to Cecil, 'having been by me then stopped, he
diverted it, as I conceive, and it is very likely, unto Sir Walter
himself.' In this penitent mood Cobham had confessed his misdeeds to
others besides. He is reported to have told the vicar of Cobham parish
that Ralegh 'had done him no hurt, but he had done Ralegh a great deal.'
At last Ralegh might think that Cobham had ceased to be his accuser.
Prepared as he was for his companion's 'fashion of uttering things
easily,' he could scarcely have anticipated the layers of retractation
still latent in that voluminous repository.

[Sidenote: _Animosity of the Howards._]

His trust in the return of Cobham's veracity would not blind him to the
peril he continued to incur from the 'cruelty' of the law of treason;
from its willingness, in jealousy for the sovereign's safety, to have an
innocent scapegoat rather than no example. He knew that the people took
his guilt for granted, and that a jury would reflect popular opinion. He
could look for no real help in any quarter. To honest, but
unimaginative, politicians, he was an enigma and a trouble with his
ideas. They simply wished him out of the way. He was sure of the hatred
of the new men, 'very honourable men,' like the Tissaphernes of his
History, 'if honour may be valued by greatness and place in Court.' He
could calculate on no benevolence from the old courtiers. His claims of
equality had always been an offence to the ancient nobility, which held
itself entitled to precedence in glory as in its rewards. One from whom
better things were to have been expected, the Lord Admiral, though he
did not actively join in the prosecution, had his personal reasons for
rejoicing in the downfall of a sharp censor of his naval administration.
Between him and the Howard interest in general there had been frequent
feuds, and they were opposed on many important questions. Lord Henry was
not the only Howard who bore him ill-will, though the rest were not
equally malignant.

[Sidenote: _Cecil's Coldness._]

Henry Howard's confederate in the Scottish intrigues, Robert Cecil, had
no family grievances to avenge. If he once feared Ralegh's rivalry, he
could fear it no more. It is very difficult now, as before, to believe
that he entertained sentiments of positive animosity or vindictiveness
against Ralegh. Canon Kingsley's description of him as one of the most
'accomplished villains in history,' as the archplotter, who had managed
the whole conspiracy against Ralegh, though Ralegh knew nothing of it
till after the trial, is extravagant. Even Hallam's reference to 'the
hostility of Cecil, so insidious and implacable,' seems exaggerated and
unjust. The Minister was conscious of no malice. He took no pleasure in
the present prosecution. But moral cowardice and incapacity to dispense
with power now, as formerly, explain an attitude, which, it must be
admitted, is hardly to be distinguished from that of an inveterate
enemy. He could not afford, having, after a struggle, clambered on board
the new ship of State, to identify himself with wrecked comrades known
to be distasteful to his present master. It was convenient for him to
assume an air of reluctant conviction that his friend was guilty, and
that the only question was whether sufficient evidence could be
collected to prove it judicially. On October 3 he wrote that Cobham's
original accusation was 'so well fortified with other demonstrative
circumstances, and the retractation so blemished by the discovery of the
intelligence which they had, as few men can conceive Sir Walter Ralegh's
denial comes from a clear heart.' He who knew well the habits of judges
and juries in trials for treason, affected to think Ralegh could desire
no fairer opportunity. 'Always,' he wrote in October to Winwood, 'he
shall be left to the law, which is the right all men are born to.' His
elaborate statements of the charges and proceedings to Parry, which were
intended for circulation through Europe, convey the same impression of
willingness to warp facts under cover of a cold concern for nothing but
the truth. He did not deceive foreigners. M. de Beaumont, whose
diplomatic interest it was to abet a prosecution which implicated Spain,
spoke of him, in language already quoted, as undertaking the affair with
so much warmth that it was said he acted more from interest and passion
than for the good of the kingdom. He did not deceive unbiassed
Englishmen. Harington wrote in 1603: 'I doubt the dice not fairly
thrown, if Ralegh's life be the losing stake.' He has not deceived
posterity.

To the new Court, its head, and his Scotch favourites, Ralegh
necessarily was an object of aversion. He was not the less odious that
he was incomprehensible. For years he and his designs had been subjects
of suspicion and dread at Holyrood. Now, when he was no longer directly
dangerous, he was an obstruction and a perplexity. In spite of the
current charges against him, he represented hatred of Spain, with which
James was eager to be on terms of amity. He represented the spirit of
national unrest and adventurousness, which James abhorred. The obstinate
calumny of his scepticism served as a pretext to the King's conscience
for the unworthier instinct of personal dislike. His wisdom, learning,
and wit were no passports to the favour of the one privileged Solomon of
these isles.

[Sidenote: _Compensations for Ralegh's Sufferings._]

He understood all he had to face. Vehemently as he fretted and
complained, he was equal to the ordeal. He may be said to have been
happy in undergoing it. Unless for it, neither his contemporaries nor
posterity could have fully comprehended the scope and strength of his
character. Unversed in law, he was more than a match for the
incomparable legal learning of Coke and for his docile bench of judges.
His trial, which is the opprobrium of forensic and judicial annals,
makes a bright page in national history for the unique personality it
reveals, with all its wealth of subtlety, courage, and versatility.
Figures of purer metal have often stood in the dock, with as small
chance of safety. Ralegh was a compound of gold, silver, iron, and clay.
The trial, and all its circumstances, brought into conspicuous relief
the diversity which is no less the wonder of the character than it is of
the career. The Ralegh who has stamped himself upon English history, who
has fascinated English imagination, is not so much the favourite of
Elizabeth, the soldier and sailor; it is the baited prey of Coke and
Popham, the browbeaten convict of Winchester, the attainted prisoner of
the Tower. Against the Court of James and its obsequious lawyers he was
struggling for bare life, for no sublime cause, for no impersonal ideal.
Yet so high was his spirit, and his bearing so undaunted, that he has
ever appeared to subsequent generations a martyr on the altar of English
liberties.



CHAPTER XIX.

THE TRIAL (November 17).


[Sidenote: _The Indictment._]

On September 21 Ralegh had been indicted at Staines for having, with
Cobham and Brooke, compassed in the Parish of St. Martin in the Fields
to deprive the King of his crown, to alter the true religion, and to
levy war. The indictment alleged that Cobham had discoursed with him on
the means of raising Arabella Stuart to the crown; that Cobham had
treated with Arenberg for 600,000 crowns from the King of Spain, and had
meant to go to Spain in quest of support for Arabella. It alleged that
Ralegh and Cobham had agreed Arabella should by letter promise the
Archduke of Austria, the King of Spain, and the Duke of Savoy, to
maintain a firm truce with Spain, to tolerate Papistry, and be guided by
the three princes in her marriage. It alleged the publication and
delivery by Ralegh to Cobham of a book traitorously devised against the
King's title to the crown. Finally, it alleged that Cobham had agreed,
when he should have received the money from Arenberg, to deliver eight
or ten thousand crowns to Ralegh to enable him the better to effect the
intended treasons. Jurors were summoned in September for the trial of
this indictment. But for some reason the hearing was deferred till
November.

[Sidenote: _Mob Judgments._]

The plague raging in London and the neighbourhood may account for the
delay. Pym relates in his _Diary_ that it killed 2000 a week. The Tower
was reported in September, 1603, to be infected. The King's Bench kept
the next term at Winchester. So to Winchester their respective
custodians conveyed Brooke, Sir Griffin Markham, Sir Edward Parham, who
finally was acquitted, Brooksby, Copley, Watson, Clarke, Cobham, and
Grey. They were escorted by under-wardens of the Tower, the Keeper of
the Westminster Gate-house, and fifty light horse. Ralegh set out on
November 10 in his own coach, under the charge of Sir Robert Mansel and
Sir William Waad. Waad wrote to Cecil that he found his prisoner much
altered. At Wimbledon a group of friends and relatives had assembled to
greet him as he passed. Generally he encountered none but looks of
hatred. Precautions had to be taken to steal the planter of Virginia,
the hero of Cadiz, the wit and poet, the splendid gentleman, the lavish
patron, from the curs of London, without outrage, or murder. It was 'hob
or nob,' writes Waad to Cecil, whether or not Ralegh 'should have been
brought alive through such multitudes of unruly people as did exclaim
against him.' He adds, that it would hardly have been believed the
plague was hot in London in presence of such a mob. Watches had to be
set through all the streets, both in London and the suburbs. 'If one
hare-brain fellow amongst so great a multitude had begun to set upon
him, as they were near to do it, no entreaty or means could have
prevailed; the fury and tumult of the people was so great.'
Tobacco-pipes, stones, and mud were, wrote Cecil's secretary, Mr.
Michael Hickes, to Lord Shrewsbury, thrown by the rabble, both in London
and in other towns on the road. Ralegh is stated to have scorned these
proofs of the aversion of base and rascal people. Mr. Macvey Napier, in
his thoughtful essay, attributes to him 'a total want of sympathy with,
if not a dislike of, the lower orders.' His disgust, perhaps, was rather
evoked by the want of discrimination in all masses. He was habitually
good to his dependents, and was beloved by them. A multitude, whatever
the rank of its constituents, he regarded as 'dogs who always bark at
those they know not.' He had never flattered a mob. He did not now cower
before it. To manifestations of popular odium his nature rose, as to
every peremptory call upon his powers. He foresaw that posterity would
understand him, and would right him.

[Sidenote: _Chief Justice Popham._]

[Sidenote: _The Jury._]

Two days were taken to reach Bagshot, and three more to traverse the
remaining thirty miles to Winchester. Ralegh and others of the accused
were lodged in the Royal Castle of Winchester, built by Bishop Henry,
Stephen's brother. A King's Bench Court had been fitted up in Wolvesey
Castle, the old episcopal palace, now a ruin. There the trial opened on
November 17. Sir John Popham was Lord Chief Justice of England. He was
not prepossessing in appearance, 'a huge, heavy, ugly man,' and he had
an uncouth history. As a child he had been stolen by gipsies. In early
manhood he was a notorious gamester and reveller. He took purses, it is
stoutly affirmed, on Shooter's Hill, when he was a barrister, and thirty
years of age. Then he reformed his morals, read law, and entered the
House of Commons. In 1581 he was elected Speaker, and in 1592 was
appointed Chief Justice. Essex had imprisoned him in Essex House on the
day of the rising, but protected his life from his crazy followers. He
had the generosity to requite the favour by venturing to advise the
Queen to grant a pardon. He amassed a vast estate, part of it being
Littlecote, which he was fabled to have wrested, together with an
hereditary curse, from a murderer, Sir Richard Dayrell. With Popham,
Chief Justice Anderson, and Justices Gawdy and Warburton, there sat as
Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer, Lord Thomas Howard, since July Earl
of Suffolk and Lord Chamberlain, Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy and Earl
of Devonshire, Lord Henry Howard, Robert Cecil, now Lord Cecil, Lord
Wotton, Vice-Chamberlain Sir John Stanhope, and Sir William Waad. That
the King, with his personal knowledge of Henry Howard's fierce hatred of
Ralegh, as evinced in the whole private correspondence with Holyrood,
should have appointed him a judge was an outrage upon decency.
Attorney-General Coke, Serjeant Hele, who had been Ralegh's counsel
against Meere, and Serjeant Phillips, prosecuted. The law allowed no
counsel to prisoners. Sir Michael Stanhope, Sir Edward Darcy, Ralegh's
neighbour in Durham House, and Sir William Killigrew, had been, it was
rumoured, on the jury panel, but were 'changed overnight, being found
not for their turn.' The report of a sudden modification in the list is
not necessarily untrue, though the jury, it is said, was a Middlesex
jury, and had been ordered long before to attend at Winchester. Other
Middlesex men, of whom many were at Winchester, may have been
substituted. At any rate, Ralegh did not except to any names. 'I know,'
said he, 'none of them. They are all Christians and honest gentlemen.'
Sir Thomas, or John, Fowler was chosen foreman.

Ralegh asked leave to answer the points particularly as they were
delivered, on account of his failing memory and sickness. Coke objected
to having the King's evidence dismembered, 'whereby it might lose much
of its grace and vigour.' Popham was more considerate. He promised to
let Ralegh, after the King's counsel should have produced all the
evidence, answer particularly what he would. Hele opened. I cull a few
flowers of his eloquence and logic: 'You have heard of Ralegh's bloody
attempt to kill the King, in whom consists all our happiness, and the
true use of the Gospel, and his royal children, poor babes that never
gave offence. Since the Conquest there was never the like treason. But
out of whose head came it? Out of Ralegh's. Cobham said to Brooke: "It
will never be well in England till the King and his cubs are taken
away." It appears that Cobham took Ralegh to be either a god or an idol.
Bred in England, Cobham hath no experience abroad. But Ralegh is a man
of great wit, military, and a swordsman. Now, whether these things were
bred in a hollow tree, I leave to them to speak of who can speak far
better than myself.'

[Sidenote: _The Main, and the Bye._]

He meant Sir Edward Coke, who then addressed the Court. He started
gently: 'We carry a just mind, to condemn no man but upon plain
evidence.' Thence he proceeded: 'Here is mischief, mischief _in summo
gradu_, exorbitant mischief!' He first explained 'the treason of the
Bye.' That was the alleged plot of Grey, Brooke, and Markham to surprise
the King, and carry him to the Tower. Ralegh reminded the jury that he
was not charged with the Bye. 'No,' retorted Coke, but 'all these
treasons, though they consisted of several points, closed in together;
like Samson's foxes, which were joined in the tails, though the heads
were severed.' He anticipated the objection that the Crown had but one
witness, Cobham. It had, he argued, more than two witnesses: 'When a man
by his accusation of another shall by the same accusation also condemn
himself, and make himself liable to the same punishment, this is by law
more forcible than many witnesses, and is as the inquest of twelve men.
For the law presumes that a man will not accuse himself in order to
accuse another.' That is, Coke chose to confuse an argument for the
sufficiency of a man's evidence of his own guilt with its cogency as
evidence of another's. After this, he declaimed upon the horror of the
treason in the present case. 'To take away the fox and his cubs! To
whom, Sir Walter, did you bear malice? To the royal children?' Ralegh
protested: 'What is the treason of Markham and the priests to me?' Coke
burst forth: 'I will then come close to you. I will prove you to be the
most notorious traitor that ever came to the bar. You, indeed, are upon
the Main; but you followed them of the Bye in imitation.' Ralegh asked
for proof. 'Nay,' cried Coke, 'I will prove all. Thou art a monster;
thou hast an English face, but a Spanish heart. Your intent was to set
up the Lady Arabella, and to depose our rightful King, the lineal
descendant of Edward IV.' Coke, it will be seen, did not choose to trace
the Stuarts to Henry VII. He treated the Tudors as interlopers. 'You
pretend,' he continued, that the money expected from Arenberg was to
'forward the Peace with Spain. Your jargon was peace, which meant
Spanish invasion and Scottish subversion.' Cobham, argued Coke, never
was a politician, nor a swordsman. Ralegh was both. Ralegh and Cobham
both were discontented, and Cobham's discontent grew by Ralegh. Such was
Ralegh's machiavellian policy that he would never confer with but one
at once. He would talk with none but Cobham; 'because, saith he, one
witness can never condemn me.'

[Sidenote: _Master Attorney's zeal._]

Next, Coke turned to the communications between Ralegh and Cobham in the
Tower. He exclaimed to the jury: 'And now you shall see the most
horrible practices that ever came out of the bottomless pit of the
lowest hell.' In reply to a protest by Ralegh as to his liability for
some underhand practices of Cobham, as Warden of the Cinque Ports, Coke
foamed out: 'All he did was by thy instigation, thou viper; for I thou
thee, thou traitor! I will prove thee the rankest traitor in all
England.' 'No, Master Attorney,' was the answer: 'I am no traitor.
Whether I live or die, I shall stand as true a subject as ever the King
hath. You may call me a traitor at your pleasure; yet it becomes not a
man of quality or virtue to do so. But I take comfort in it; it is all
that you can do; for I do not yet hear that you charge me with any
treason.' The Lord Chief Justice interposed: 'Sir Walter Ralegh, Master
Attorney speaks out of the zeal of his duty for the service of the King,
and you for your life; be patient on both sides.' It is hard to see how
Ralegh had shown impatience. Some impatience he manifested on the
reading of Cobham's declaration of July 20. 'Cobham,' said he, 'is not
such a babe as you make him. He hath dispositions of such violence which
his best friends could never temper.' He was not of a nature to be
easily persuaded by Ralegh. Assuredly Ralegh was not likely to 'conspire
with a man that hath neither love nor following,' against a vigorous and
youthful King, in reliance on a State so impoverished and weak as Spain,
and so detested by himself. He ridiculed the notion that King Philip
either could or would freely disburse 600,000 crowns on the mere word of
Cobham. Elizabeth's own Londoners did not lend to her without lands in
pawn. Yet more absurd was the supposition that Ralegh was in the plot.
Thrice had he served against Spain at sea. Against Spain he had
expended, of his own property, 40,000 marks. 'Spanish as you term me, I
had at this time writ a treatise to the King's Majesty of the present
state of Spain, and reasons against the peace.'

[Sidenote: _Call for Cobham._]

When the first or second examination of Cobham was cited, Popham offered
himself practically as a witness. He had heard Cobham say of Ralegh, as
he signed his deposition: 'That wretch! That traitor Ralegh!' 'And
surely,' added the Chief Justice, 'his countenance and action much
satisfied me that what he had confessed was true, and that he surely
thought Sir Walter had betrayed him.' Upon this Ralegh demanded to have
his accuser, who was under the same roof, brought in, and examined face
to face. Long before, and equally in vain, had his father-in-law, Sir
Nicholas Throckmorton, called, as Sir Michael Foster mentions, for the
witnesses against him 'to be brought face to face upon the trial.'
Ralegh cited 1 Edward VI, that no man shall be condemned of treason,
unless he be accused by two lawful accusers. He referred also to 1 and 2
Phil. and Mary, which ordained that an accuser of another of treason
shall, if living and in the realm, be brought forth in person before the
party arraigned, if he require it. The Canon of God itself in
Deuteronomy, he urged, requires two witnesses. 'I beseech you then, my
Lords, let Cobham be sent for. Let him be charged upon his soul, upon
his allegiance to the King; and if he will then maintain his accusation
to my face, I will confess myself guilty.' Popham's answer was: 'This
thing cannot be granted; for then a number of treasons should flourish.
The accuser may be drawn by practice while he is in prison.' Again and
again Ralegh called for Cobham. Popham objected that he might
prevaricate in order to procure the acquittal of his 'old friend.' 'To
absolve me,' cried Ralegh sarcastically, 'me, the infuser of these
treasons! Me, the cause of all his miseries, and the destruction of his
house!' Coke asserted: 'He is a party and cannot come. The law is
against it.' 'It is a toy to tell me of law,' was the reply, 'I defy
law. I stand on the facts.' At one moment his passionate appeal seemed
to have awed the Court into justice. Cecil asked if he would really
abide by Cobham's words. 'Yes, in a main point.' 'If he say you have
been the instigator of him to deal with the Spanish King, had not the
Council cause to draw you hither?' asked Cecil. 'I put myself on it,'
answered Ralegh. 'Then, call to God, Sir Walter,' said Cecil; 'and
prepare yourself; for I verily believe my Lord will prove it.' Cecil
knew of Cobham's recent reiteration of his charge, and supposed he could
be trusted to insist upon it in Court. The Lords Commissioners, on
consultation, doubted this, and finally decided to keep him back, and
rely upon his letter.

[Sidenote: _Two Witnesses._]

[Sidenote: _A Spider of Hell._]

The trial pursued its course. Popham laid it down that 1 Edw. VI. c. 12,
was repealed by 1 and 2 Phil. and Mary. Mr. Justice Gawdy corroborated
this, uttering the solitary judicial dictum recorded of him, that 'the
statute of Edward had been found inconvenient, and had therefore been
repealed.' The provision cited by Ralegh from Philip and Mary's
repealing statute, Popham ruled, applied solely to the specific treasons
it mentioned. The Act ordained that the trial of treasons in general
should follow common law procedure, as before the reign of Edward VI.
But by common law one witness was sufficient. The confession of
confederates was full proof, even though not subscribed, if it were
attested by credible witnesses. Indeed, remarked Popham, echoing Coke,
'of all other proofs the accusation of one, who by his confession first
accuseth himself, is the strongest. It hath the force of a verdict of
twelve men.' Coke himself later, when, as Mr. Justice Michael Foster
expresses it, 'his disgrace at Court had given him leisure for cool
reflection,' intimated in his _Institutes_ that the statute of Edward
the Sixth had not been repealed, and that the obligation, as specified
by it, to produce two witnesses to charges of treason remained in force.
That was not the view of Elizabethan Judges. At the trial of the Duke of
Norfolk it was laid down that the necessity no longer existed. In
fairness it must be admitted that Popham and his brethren were bound to
assume the law had then been correctly stated. They were equally bound
by a series of precedents to allow written depositions to be treated as
valid testimony. Only by the assent of counsel for the Crown was the
oral examination of witnesses permitted. Ralegh did not struggle against
the ruling. He could but plead, 'though, by the rigour and severity of
the law, this may be sufficient evidence without producing the witness,
yet, your Lordships, as ministers of the King, are bound to administer
the law in equity.' 'No,' replied Popham: 'equity must proceed from the
King; you can have only justice from us.' Coke triumphantly exclaimed:
'This dilemma of yours about two witnesses led you into treason.'
Cobham's letter of July 29 to the Council about the money asked of
Arenberg was read. In it occurred the expression: 'We did expect the
general discontentment.' Coke's comment was: 'The peace pretended by Sir
Walter Ralegh is merely jargon; for it is clear the money was for
discontented persons. Now Ralegh was to have part of the money;
therefore, he was a discontented person, and, therefore, a traitor.'
That was the logic thought good enough at a trial for treason. So, to
Ralegh's indignant remonstrance at the use of the evidence of 'hellish
spiders,' like Clarke and Watson, concerning 'the King and his cubs' as
evidence against him, Coke answered: 'Thou hast a Spanish heart, and
thyself art a spider of hell; for thou confessest the King to be a most
sweet and gracious Prince, and yet thou hast conspired against him.'
With equal relevancy he cited from the depositions: 'Brooke thinketh the
project for the murder of the King was infused by Ralegh into his
brother's head.' For Coke this was valid evidence against Ralegh.

[Sidenote: _Serjeant Phillips._]

On rolled the muddy stream of inconsequential testimony, and of
reasoning to match; the 'irregular ramble,' as Sir John Hawles has
termed it. Snagge's book was discussed; how Ralegh borrowed it from
Burleigh's library; and how Cobham had it, whether by gift from Ralegh,
or by borrowing it when Ralegh was asleep. To Ralegh the whole appeared
the triviality it was. 'It is well known,' said he, 'that there came out
nothing in those times but I had it. I believe they will find in my
house almost all the libels writ against the late Queen.' As utterly
irrelevant against him was the introduction of Arabella Stuart to deny
her knowledge of any plots in her pretended interest. Worse than
irrelevant was pilot Dyer's gossip with a gentleman at Lisbon, to whom
Dyer had observed that the King of England was shortly to be crowned.
'Nay,' saith the Portugal, 'that shall never be; for his throat will be
cut by Don Ralegh and Don Cobham before he be crowned.' 'What will you
infer upon that?' asked Ralegh. 'That your treason hath wings,' replied
Coke. Hereupon Serjeant Phillips relieved Coke, and almost outdid him.
Phillips argued that the object of procuring money was to raise up
tumults in Scotland, and to take the lives of his Majesty and his issue.
For those purposes a treasonable book against the King's right to the
Crown was 'divulged.' Commencing with the unproved allegation that 'Sir
Walter Ralegh confesseth my Lord Cobham guilty of all these treasons,'
Phillips proceeded: 'The question is, whether Ralegh be guilty, as
joining with or instigating him. If Lord Cobham's accusation be true, he
is guilty. If not, he is clear. Ralegh hath no answer. Of as much wit as
the wit of man can devise, he useth his bare denial. A denial by the
defendant must not move the jury.' Nothing could be more crushing than
the calm rejoinder: 'You have not proved any one thing by direct proofs,
but all by circumstances. I appeal to God and the King on this point
whether Cobham's accusation be sufficient to condemn me.'

[Sidenote: _Cobham's New Statement._]

So weak was the case for the prosecution that to this stage, by the
admission of a reporter of the trial, the result was very doubtful.
Coke, however, with the cognizance, it may be presumed, of the Court,
had prepared a dramatic surprise. Cobham, the day before, had written or
signed a repetition of his charge. Ralegh's account of the transaction
at the trial was that Lady Kildare, Lady Ralegh's enemy, had persuaded
Cobham to accuse Ralegh, as the sole way of saving his own life. A
letter from her to him goes some length towards confirming the
allegation. She writes: 'Help yourself, if it may be. I say no more; but
draw not the weight of others' burdens.' According to another, and not
very likely, story, told by Sir Anthony Welldon in his _Court of King
James_, Cobham subsequently stated that Waad had induced him by a trick
to sign his name on a blank page, which afterwards was thus filled in.
The paper alleged a request by Ralegh to obtain for him a pension of
£1500 for intelligence. 'But,' it ambiguously proceeded, 'upon this
motion for £1500 per annum for intelligence I never dealt with Count
Arenberg.' 'Now,' added the writer, as if it were a conclusion from
premisses, 'as by this may appear to your Lordships, he hath been the
original cause of my ruin. For, but by his instigation, I had never
dealt with Count Arenberg. And so hath he been the only cause of my
discontentment; I never coming from the Count, or Court, but still he
filled and possessed me with new causes of discontentments.' The reading
of the statement was set in a more than usually decorated framework of
Coke's amenities. Ralegh throughout the trial had been for the King's
Attorney an 'odious fellow;' the 'most vile and execrable traitor.' He
had been stigmatized as 'hateful to all the realm for his pride,' to
which Ralegh had retorted: 'It will go near to prove a measuring cast,
Mr. Attorney, between you and me.' With Cobham's deposition in his hand,
Coke cried: 'I will lay thee on thy back for the confidentest traitor
that ever came to a bar.' When Cecil prayed him not to be so impatient,
Coke flew out: 'If I may not be patiently heard, you will encourage
traitors.' Sulkily down he sat, and would speak no more till the
Commissioners entreated him to go on. Resuming, he criticized Ralegh's
letter to Cobham in the Tower, which was next read: 'O damnable Atheist!
He hath learned some text of Scripture to serve his own purpose. Essex
died the child of God. Thou wast by.

     Et lupus et turpes instant morientibus ursae.'

Being asked what he said of Cobham's statement to the Lords, 'I say,'
answered Ralegh, 'that Cobham is a base, dishonourable, poor soul!' 'Is
he base?' retorted Coke. 'I return it into thy throat on his behalf. But
for thee he had been a good subject.'

[Sidenote: _Exaggeration of its Importance._]

The document did not amount to a confession by Cobham even of his own
treason. At highest it was evidence against him of negotiations with
Count Arenberg which might have been 'warrantable,' and of discontent
which need not have been in the least criminal. If such secondary
testimony had been legal when its author was available as a witness, and
if its statements had been incontrovertible, it ought to have been held
worthless against Ralegh. Nothing, so far as appears even from the
paper, was ever done towards the gratification of the desire for a
foreign pension imputed to him. Within limits, Cobham's allegation that
Ralegh had fomented his anger against the new state of things is
plausible enough. It would be strange if the two disgraced favourites
did not at their frequent meetings club and inflame their mutual pique.
Obviously, apart from acts, of which there was no evidence, no
irritation by Ralegh, however envenomed, as it was not shown to have
been, of Cobham's discontent, could in him have been treason. Judged by
all sound laws of evidence, the testimony of the statement was as flimsy
as all the rest of the proofs. To attach importance to it was a
burlesque of justice. It was treated as demonstrative by a packed Bench,
a Bar hungering for place, and a faint-hearted jury, anxious above all
things to vindicate authority, and not caring to discriminate among the
prisoners on the charges against them. To the whole court it came like a
godsend. The author of the fullest report, that which is preserved in
the Harleian MSS., expresses the sentiment of Jacobean lawyers: 'This
confession gave a great satisfaction, and cleared all the former
evidence, which before stood very doubtful.'

[Sidenote: _The Prior Recantation._]

In the reporter's judgment it overwhelmed the defendant himself.
Reasonably Ralegh 'was much amazed.' He could not have anticipated
Cobham's retractation of his retractation. He perceived the new peril in
which he was plunged by the statement that he had solicited, or been
offered by Cobham, a Spanish pension, though, as he told the King in
January, 1604, so little account had he made at the time of the
conversation in which the offer was made, that he never remembered any
such thing till it was at his trial objected against him. He felt public
opinion shaken. His faith in himself was not weakened. 'By and by,' says
the reporter, 'he seemed to gather his spirits again.' Pulling out of
his pocket the recantation, the second, which Cobham had addressed to
him from the Tower, and attested by his hope of salvation and God's
mercy on his soul, he insisted upon having it too read in court.
Hereupon, says the reporter, 'was much ado, Mr. Attorney alleging that
the letter was politicly and cunningly urged from the Lord Cobham,' and
that the latest paper was 'simply the truth.' When Ralegh raised the
natural objection that a statement written by Cobham on the eve of his
own trial might be supposed to have been extorted in some sort by
compulsion, Coke appealed to Popham to interrogate the Commissioners.
Devonshire, as their mouthpiece, declared to the jury that it was 'mere
voluntary,' and had not been written under a promise of pardon. But
Cecil supported Ralegh in the demand that the jury should have before it
the earlier letter also. Coke, in a report printed in 1648 under the
name of Sir Thomas Overbury, is represented as exclaiming: 'My Lord
Cecil, mar not a good cause.' Cecil replied: 'Master Attorney, you are
more peremptory than honest; you must not come here to show me what to
do.' Throughout he had been careful to blend the friend with the judge,
so far as professions of regret went. He had spoken of the former
dearness between himself and this gentleman, tied upon the knot of his
virtues. He had declared that his friendship was not extinguished, but
slaked. He had vowed himself still his friend, 'excepting faults, I call
them no worse.' Now he strained that friendship to the extent of the
simple justice of undertaking the duty, 'because he only knew Cobham's
hand,' of reading out the letter, which, if the construction put by the
prosecution on the other paper were correct, proved the writer a
perjured liar either in the Tower or at Winchester.

Coke need not have feared the consequences. Both judges and jurymen had
comfortably made up their minds. They were not to be moved by so slight
a thing as a contradiction of Cobham in one place by Cobham in another.
So prejudiced were they that the Tower letter does not appear to have
produced any effect at all. Ralegh, at all events, could do no more. He
had striven for many hours, and was utterly exhausted. Without more
words he let the jury be dismissed to consider its verdict.

[Sidenote: _The Verdict and Judgment._]

[Sidenote: _Popham's Exhortation._]

In a quarter of an hour it returned into court with a verdict of guilty
of high treason. Ralegh received the decision with dignity: 'My Lords,'
said he, 'the jury hath found me guilty. They must do as they are
directed. I can say nothing why judgment should not proceed. You see
whereof Cobham hath accused me. You remember his protestation that I was
never guilty. I desire the King should know the wrong I have been done
to since I came hither.' Then Popham pronounced judgment. Addressing
Ralegh, he said: 'In my conscience I am persuaded Cobham hath accused
you truly. You cannot deny that you were dealt with to have a pension of
£1500 a year to be a spy for Spain; therefore, you are not so true to
the King as you have protested yourself to be.' He lamented the fall of
one of 'so great parts,' who 'had showed wit enough this day,' 'who
might have lived well with £3000 a year; for so I have heard your
revenues to be.' Spite and covetousness he held to have been Ralegh's
temptations. Yet the King could not be blamed for wishing to have for
Captain of the Guard 'one of his own knowledge, whom he might trust,' or
for desiring no longer to burden his people with a wine monopoly for
Ralegh's particular good. Popham embellished his confused discourse,
partly apologetic, and partly condemnatory, but not intentionally brutal
or malevolent, by a glance at Ralegh's reputed free-thinking. He had
been taxed, said Popham, by the world with the defence of most
heathenish and blasphemous opinions. 'You will do well,' the virtuous
Chief Justice exhorted him, 'before you go out of the world, to give
satisfaction therein. Let not any devil,' or, according to the Harleian
MSS. version, 'Hariot nor any such doctor, persuade you there is no
eternity in Heaven; if you think thus, you shall find eternity in Hell
fire.' Ralegh had warned Cobham against confessions. Let him not apply
the advice to himself. 'Your conceit of not confessing anything is very
inhuman and wicked. In this world is the time of confessing, that we may
be absolved at the Day of Judgment.' By way of peroration he added: 'It
now comes into my mind why you may not have your accuser face to face.
When traitors see themselves must die, they think it best to see their
fellow live, that he may commit the like treason again, and so in some
sort seek revenge.' Lastly, he pronounced the savage legal sentence.

When Popham had ended Ralegh spoke a few words. He prayed that the jury
might never have to answer for its verdict. He 'only craved pardon for
having concealed Lord Cobham's offer to him, which he did through a
confidence that he had diverted him from those humours.' Praying then
permission to speak to Lords Suffolk, Devonshire, Henry Howard, and
Cecil, he entreated their intercession, which they promised, Cecil with
tears, that his death might be honourable and not ignominious. He is
alleged further to have requested their mediation with the King for a
pardon, or, at least, that, if Cobham too were convicted, and if the
sentence were to be carried out, Cobham might die first. The petition
was not an ebullition of vindictiveness. It had a practical purpose. On
the scaffold he could say nothing for Cobham; Cobham might say much for
him. It was possible that, when nothing more was to be gained by
falsehoods, his recreant friend would clear his fame once for all. Then
he quitted the hall, accompanying Sir Benjamin Tichborne, the High
Sheriff, to the prison, according to Sir Thomas Overbury, 'with
admirable erection, yet in such sort as a condemned man should.'



CHAPTER XX.

JUSTICE AND EQUITY OF THE CONVICTION.


[Sidenote: _Exceptionally iniquitous._]

Students of English judicial history, with all their recollections of
the strange processes by which criminal courts in Ralegh's age leaped to
a presumption of a State prisoner's guilt, stand aghast at his
conviction. Mr. Justice Foster, in his book, already cited, on _The
Trial of the Rebels in Surrey in 1746_, professes his inability to see
how the case, excepting the extraordinary behaviour of the King's
Attorney, differed in hardship from many before it. He is referring to
the legal points ruled by the judges against Ralegh. Possibly previous
prisoners had been as ill-treated; and the fact amounts to a terrible
indictment of English justice. But one broad distinction separates this
from earlier convictions. Other prisoners in general were guilty, though
their guilt may have been a form of patriotism, or may not have been
logically proved. Ralegh's guilt of the crime imputed to him was not
proved at Winchester, and has never been proved since. If to have
cherished resentment for the loss of offices, to have incurred popular
odium, to be reputed superhumanly subtle, to have been the sagacious
comrade of a foolish malcontent, to have been alleged by that man, whom
he was not permitted to interrogate, to be disaffected at a time at
which strangers to him happened to be plotting rebellion, to have
abstained from betraying overtures for the exertion by him of an
influence he never used and did not possess on behalf of a pacification
which the sovereign was negotiating, be high treason, then it is
possible, though even then not certain, that Ralegh was a traitor. If
none of these possibilities amount to the crime of treason, then he was
not.

[Sidenote: _The Spanish Pension._]

[Sidenote: _James and Arenberg._]

He was alleged to have listened to disclosures by Cobham of a scheme for
obtaining money from the Archduke, or the King of Spain. He was alleged
to have been offered a share. He was alleged to have asked for a pension
as the price of the revelation of Court secrets. No other relevant
charges were brought. Of the evidence against him, the second or third
hand hearsay depositions of Brooke, Watson, Copley, and Clarke, like the
gossip of Dyer, had no effect even upon the Lords Commissioners and the
jury. The fragments of testimony actually credited were contributed by
Cobham alone, himself the principal in the supposed transaction, who had
retracted his original statement over and over again, whom the Court
refused to confront with the man he accused. Had the allegations been
ever so consistent, cogent, credible, and corroborated, they proved
nothing, except that Ralegh might, not would, have accepted foreign gold
if it had been proffered to him. Cecil accepted it for years to come,
and died at once Prime Minister and pensioner of Spain. Northumberland
had recently taken a pension to furnish France with secret intelligence.
The fact does not abate the admiration of Lingard, who yet thinks it
reasonable that a jury should have convicted Ralegh on the bare
suspicion of a similar offer by Spaniards to induce him to help them
towards peace. James was eager for peace. He placed the utmost faith in
the possibility of permanent amity with Spain. He was enthusiastically
certain of its importance and value to the kingdom and his dynasty. So
little did he object to the agent of Ralegh's alleged intrigue through
Cobham with the Spanish Court that he never allowed a symptom of
impatience on that side to escape him. Ralegh's guilt at worst depended
wholly on the reality of his partnership in Cobham's dealings with
Arenberg. In the spring of 1604, Arenberg, who had left England at the
end of the previous October, before the Winchester trials commenced,
returned as the Archduke's envoy for the negotiation of peace between
Spain and this country. He went away finally in the summer. To the
Archduke who had commissioned this suspected plotter of treason James
wrote in August, 1604: 'We thank you most affectionately for the
sincerity and affection you have shown yourself to bear towards the
conclusion of this peace and friendship by the choice you have made of
such worthy and eminent instruments as are our cousin the Prince Count
of Arenberg and his colleague, who, by their sufficiency, prudence, and
integrity, have so conducted this important affair that we have received
therein very great satisfaction.' He had used the same benevolent tone
with respect to the Count during the Winchester proceedings. Cecil
officially informed Sir Thomas Parry that the Count had always been made
by Cobham to understand that the combinations and money were to be
employed simply for the advancement of the peace. An identical defence
might be offered for Ralegh, if not for Cobham himself. But it was
convenient for James and his Court to exonerate the envoy; it was
convenient for them to use the same transaction for a deadly weapon
against Ralegh. Of any care or sense of actual truthfulness in King or
counsellors throughout the whole business, not a trace can be found.

All concerned in Ralegh's trial and conviction have a heavy burden of
bloodguiltiness to bear. But the Judges were less culpable than their
lay colleagues and the Crown counsel; the whole bench of Commissioners
and the Bar than the jury; the jury than the King, his Ministers, and
courtiers. Sir John Hawles, afterwards Solicitor-General, in a printed
reply in 1689 to Shower's apology, called _The Magistracy and Government
of England Vindicated_, for Lord Russell's conviction, censured Popham
for dispensing with a second witness, and with the presence of Cobham.
He argued from the practice of a later period, that Judges who had
deviated from it must have been violating their consciences. That is
unreasonable. The course taken by the Chief Justice and his brethren
conformed, as we have seen, to the legal usage of their time, however
opposed to natural justice. The fault was greater in the lay members of
the Court, and in the Attorney-General, who might undoubtedly, as
representing more directly the Crown, have produced Cobham. All that the
Judges declared was that the Crown need not, not that it must not. Still
more heinous was the verdict based upon evidence which, if enough in
quantity, was manifestly worthless in quality. Twelve worthy gentlemen
awarded a horrible death to a man guilty of no other offence, as they
knew, than that he had been offered a sum of Spanish money, which he
denied he would have accepted, and certainly never received. Most
shameful of all was the conduct of the Government which knew the
emptiness of the entire case, yet strained every nerve to extort a
conviction.

[Sidenote: _Legal and Moral Innocence._]

The question of Ralegh's moral innocence is not the same as that of his
legal innocence. All writers answer the latter unanimously in his
favour. On the former they are divided. Hume, indeed, a far from partial
critic, who could not sympathise with one of his 'great but ill
regulated mind,' pronounces wholly for him. He finds no proof or any
circumstance to justify the condemnation, which he roundly stigmatises
as contrary to all law and equity. Historians since Hume have commonly
been willing to suppose that the Government proceeded upon some solid
ground. In Lingard's Catholic eyes, Ralegh was simply an unscrupulous
flatterer of Elizabeth, and an immoral adventurer. Not pledging his own
judgment to the righteousness of the verdict, he remarks that 'the guilt
of Ralegh was no longer doubted after the solemn asseveration of Cobham'
on the scaffold. Hallam had no bias. Though he thought Ralegh 'faulty,'
'rash,' destitute of 'discretion,' and not 'very scrupulous about the
truth,' he admired him as a bright genius, 'a splendid ornament of his
country,' 'the bravest and most renowned of Englishmen.' He has declared
the verdict against him contrary to law, but thinks it 'very probable
that the charge of plotting to raise Arabella to the throne was partly
at least founded in truth.' Mr. Gardiner condemns the particular
accusation as 'frivolous and false,' but believes it had some basis in
his character, in his habit of 'looking down from the eminence of
genius upon the acts of lesser men.'

[Sidenote: _Absence of Evidence of Guilt._]

[Sidenote: _Apologies for Condemnation._]

For such support of the prosecution and verdict, qualified as it is,
there is a difficulty in perceiving any foundation, except the
improbability that a Government should have conspired to obtain the
capital condemnation of an illustrious Englishman on no better testimony
than that which it vouchsafed or dared to offer. That even Cobham had
engaged in plots for the deposition of James in favour of Arabella,
which the Ambassador of the Infanta, herself a Pretender, would not have
been in the least likely to further, no evidence except French hearsay
from James's Ministers exists to prove. That he may have intrigued for
the exercise of illegitimate pressure in Spanish interests upon the
King, is very probable on his own admission, though 'it does not
follow,' as Ralegh writes in his History, 'that every man ought to be
believed of himself to his own prejudice.' It is not equally clear, but
it is credible, that he had sounded Ralegh, and had appealed to his
constant pecuniary necessities, with a view to his engagement in the
design. Ralegh may well have suspected enough, without direct
complicity, to be able, if he had chosen, to deliver up Cobham to the
Government some time before his interview with the Council at Windsor.
His omission may have been a breach of his legal duty as a loyal
subject, as his hint to Cecil of the transactions with la Renzi was a
breach of perfect faithfulness to friendship. But there is no sufficient
ground for questioning his own apology, that he regarded the scheme as
the vapouring it for the most part was. Moreover, it is not impossible,
or improbable, that he may, as he stated to the Lords Commissioners,
have endeavoured to dissuade Cobham from plotting. He may have used
threats for the purpose, though he did not carry them out. This would
explain Cobham's alarm, otherwise unintelligible, that Ralegh meant to
inveigle him and other agitators into Jersey, and then give them up.
That he actively abetted a conspiracy, either with Arenberg, or against
James, is in itself as improbable as it is in fact unproved. James, on
his side, may have believed that Ralegh was willing to acquiesce in a
treasonable conspiracy, and to enjoy some of its fruits. In this mode
the King, and Cecil also, would lull their consciences, while they
availed themselves of law for the ruin of one whom they disliked and
dreaded. They acted upon surmises, and historians have followed them.
Honest-minded writers have been ashamed to think the State could have
persecuted an innocent man as it persecuted Ralegh without other
evidence than that it disclosed. They have tried to explain the
incomprehensible by the unknown. Forgetting the characters of James and
his Minister, they have inferred Ralegh's criminality from his
subjection to the treatment of a criminal.

Every effort was made at the time to demonstrate his capital guilt. The
efforts were continued for thirteen years without success. As Ralegh
ironically wrote in 1618, Gondomar's readiest way of stopping the Guiana
expedition would have been, had he been guilty, 'to discover the great
practices I had with his Master against the King in the first year of
his Majesty's reign.' In default of direct testimony, apologists for
Ralegh's condemnation have even attempted to plead a remark by the
French Ambassador, Beaumont, to his Court before the trial that, though
there was no sufficient evidence to sustain a conviction, yet the truth
was 'Cobham with Ralegh had conducted the practices with the Archduke.'
As Hallam observes, Beaumont possessed no more information than the
English Government gave out. He arrived at his conclusion against Ralegh
on the testimony of Arenberg's intercepted letters, which James had
shown him. Of the correctness of the inference from them, Lingard
admits, 'we have no opportunity of judging.' That the Frenchman would
rejoice to believe a rival diplomatist had traitors for his
confederates, and that they had tampered with assassination plots, is
obvious. His bias towards such a result must have been so strong as to
incapacitate him, even beyond de Thou, for a neutral scrutiny of the
facts. Inquirers since have ransacked all sources of information,
official and unofficial, English, Spanish, French, and Venetian. No
higher criminality has been discovered in him than that he may have been
aware of the project of an acquaintance to influence by means of Spanish
gold the King's policy. If he were guilty of worse than this, it is a
solecism in the history of treasons that in the course of three
centuries not a tittle of evidence of it should have been unearthed.

[Sidenote: _Cobham's Trial._]

Ralegh, to the last, clung to the chance of rehabilitation through
Cobham. He should have understood the man too well by this time to
repose the most slender trust in his truthfulness, generosity, or
courage. Privy Councillors examined him after Ralegh's trial, and he
repeated his calumnies. On the following Friday he was tried by his
peers in the County hall, the great hall of Winchester Castle, known as
Arthur's Hall from a picture of the Round Table at the east end.
'Never,' reported Sir Dudley Carleton, afterwards Lord Dorchester, who
was present at both trials, 'was there so poor and abject a spirit.' He
listened to his indictment with fear and trembling. He confessed he had
hammered in his brains imaginations of the matters charged against him,
but never had purposed to bring them to effect. He repeated in an
incoherent manner his charges against Ralegh. Ralegh, he asserted, had
stirred him up to discontent, and thereby overthrown his fortunes.
Ralegh had proposed the despatch of a Spanish army to Milford Haven.
Ralegh had made himself a pensioner of Spain. As earnest of services for
which he expected a salary of 1500 crowns, Ralegh had disclosed to
Arenberg State deliberations at Greenwich. Ralegh had nothing to hope
from the compiler of this wonderful medley, who was willing to buy his
life by calumnies upon his friend. He had nothing to hope from the legal
justice of his cause. His only real hope was in a discovery by the
Fountain of Mercy that the prosecution of him was a mistake; that he was
too precious a weapon in the royal armoury to be thrown away, or be let
rust; that though law condemned, the national conscience had acquitted
him, and cancelled his sentence. His trust, at all events, in public
opinion was justified. In 1603 it was not plain to his contemporaries
that not a shadow of evidence had ever existed on which he could justly
be sent to trial. They saw no absurdity in the association of his name
as a traitor in scurrilous ballads with those of Watson and Brooke. But
they had seen him in the dock. He had compelled them to weigh the proofs
against him and recognise their hollowness and inconclusiveness. The
manliness with which he had stood at bay against Coke's insolence,
Cobham's perfidy, and Cecil's damaging apologies for estrangement had
brought over to him the sympathy of public opinion. The tide of popular
feeling turned, and ceased henceforth to run turbulently against him.

[Sidenote: _Public Opinion._]

The Court had been densely thronged. A multitude of eye-witnesses spread
through the kingdom their own 'great admiration.' 'Never man,' writes
Sir Toby Matthew, 'spoke better for himself. So worthily, so wisely, so
temperately he behaved himself that in half a day the mind of all the
company was changed from the extremest hate to the extremest pity.' His
demeanour was extolled as perfect; to the Lords humble, yet not
prostrate, to the jury affable, not fawning, rather showing love of life
than fear of death, to the King's counsel patient, but not insensibly
neglecting, not yielding to imputations laid against him in words.
Michael Hickes wrote to Lord Shrewsbury that his conduct 'wrought both
admiration for his good parts and pity towards his person.' His
demeanour and eloquence, Hickes heard, had elicited some tears from Mar
and Cecil. It was 'wondered that a man of his heroic spirit could be so
valiant in suffering that he was never overtaken in passion.' Carleton's
account to Chamberlain was that he answered Coke and the rest 'with that
temper, wit, learning, courage, and judgment, that, save it went with
the hazard of his life, it was the happiest day that ever he spent. And
so well he shifted all advantages that were taken against him, that,
were not _fama malum gravius quam res_, and an ill name half hanged, in
the opinion of all men he had been acquitted. In one word, never was a
man so hated and so popular in so short a time.' James wished to have an
independent account of the trial, and had commissioned two gentlemen,
Roger Ashton and a Scotchman, to report. They carried the news of the
trial to the King at Wilton House. 'Never,' stated Ashton, according to
Carleton, 'man spake so well in the time past, nor would in the time to
come.' The Scotchman seems to have reported that, 'whereas, when he saw
Sir Walter Ralegh first, he was so led with the common hatred that he
would have gone a hundred miles to see him hanged, he would, ere they
parted, have gone a thousand to save his life.'

[Sidenote: _Legends._]

The shock inflicted upon the national instinct of fairness by the
conviction of such a man, on such evidence, and after such a defence,
showed itself by legends which clustered round the facts of the trial.
'Some of the jury,' it is related by Francis Osborn in his _Memorials on
the Reign of King James_, 'were, after he was cast, so far touched in
conscience as to demand of him pardon on their knees.' Coke himself was
rumoured to have been astonished at the form of the verdict. He was in a
garden resting his brazen lungs and his venomous temper, when his man
announced that the jury had brought in Ralegh guilty of treason.
'Surely,' observed Coke, 'thou art mistaken; for I myself accused him
but of misprision of treason.' The story, which its narrator, in the
anonymous _Observations upon Sanderson's History of Queen Mary and King
James_, issued in 1656, 'upon the word of a Christian received from Sir
Edward Coke's own mouth,' will appear to any reader of the trial a
manifest fable. Not the less does it, like the myth of the fraud by
which Cobham's accusing Winchester deposition is alleged to have been
procured, testify to the difficulty the public experienced in digesting
the judicial outrage upon reason. Similarly must be explained the
anecdote, though told by Ralegh himself to the Privy Council after his
return from Guiana, on the authority of his physician, Dr. Turner, of
Sir Francis Gawdy's death-bed lament that 'Never before had the justice
of England been so depraved and injured as in the condemnation of Sir
Walter Ralegh.' Gawdy had uttered no word of protest against the
shameless misbehaviour of his Chief and the Attorney throughout the
hearing. On the contrary, his one remark was against the prisoner. If he
really considered the conduct or result of the trial iniquitous, it is a
pity he was not more prompt in denouncing it. His judicial sensitiveness
needed to be awakened by a fit of apoplexy which carried him off in 1606
to his grave in the next parish, he having turned his own church at
Wellington into a dog kennel.



CHAPTER XXI.

REPRIEVE (December 10, 1603).


[Sidenote: _Bathos._]

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's Abasement._]

The nation was doing a great man justice, though tardily. Not even its
hero's temporary self-abasement could put it out of conceit with him.
One of the many curious surprises in Ralegh's history is the manner in
which a sudden change in his demeanour seemed to give the lie to the
general admiration. Almost a worse grievance against the Court and its
legal tools than their persecution is the effect it had in humiliating
and degrading him for a time. Though the proceedings had been a travesty
of justice, they had been invested hitherto with a scenic stateliness.
Ralegh had borne himself gallantly. He had kept and left the stage with
unfailing dignity. The prosecution had at least evinced the respectable
earnestness of stubborn hate. At the moment after the catastrophe the
nobility, whether of persecuted greatness or of murderous vengefulness,
evaporated. Ralegh's enemies appeared to have lost their motive and
plan. They seemed no longer sure why or how they wished to wreak their
rage. He, from his condemned cell, demanded justice for wronged
innocence in the accents of a detected cut-throat. To the Lords
Commissioners he wrote: 'The law is passed against me. The mercy of my
Sovereign is all that remaineth for my comfort. If I may not beg a
pardon or a life, yet let me beg a time. Let me have one year to give to
God in a prison and to serve him. It is my soul that beggeth a time of
the King.' He spoke of his fear that the power of law might be greater
than the power of truth. He reminded Cecil that he was a Councillor to a
merciful and just King, if ever we had any, and that the law ought not
to overrule pity, but pity the law.' 'Your Lordship,' he proceeds, 'will
find that I have been strangely practised against, and that others have
their lives promised to accuse me.' In the same November in which he had
told Cecil it would be presumption for him to ask grace directly of the
King, he asked it. He assured his most dread Sovereign he was not one of
the men who were greatly discontented, and therefore the more likely to
be disloyal. He protested he had loved the King 'now twenty years'; that
he had never invented treason, consented to treason, or performed
treason. He invoked mercy in the name of English law, 'who knowing her
own cruelty, and that she is wont to compound treasons out of
presumptions and circumstances, does advise the King to be
_misericorditer justus_.' In a rather loftier strain he exclaimed, 'If
the law destroy me, your Majesty shall put me out of your power, and I
shall then have none to fear, none to reverence, but the King of Kings.'
But the burden throughout is the pitiful 'Send me my life.'

[Sidenote: _Its motive._]

These prayers by Walter Ralegh to a most dread Sovereign, who happened
to be James I, these genuflections of spirit to a Minister who must have
been suspected of malevolent jealousy, if not of treason to ancient
friendship, present a strange and sad spectacle. Excessive importance
should not be attached to the phraseology. Not a little of the apparent
abjectness was matter of style: 'What,' Ralegh himself has said, 'is the
vowing of service to every man whom men bid but good morrow other than a
courteous and Court-like kind of lying?' Much must be allowed for the
fashion of the age in dealing with Princes and their Ministers. Grey, no
more than Ralegh, could resist the impulse. The Puritan Baron had bidden
a magnanimous farewell to his peers at Winchester: 'The House of the
Wiltons have spent many lives in their Princes' service; Grey cannot beg
his!' Within a few days he was grovelling in gratitude for an insulting
reprieve: 'As your mercy draws out my life, I cannot deny it the only
object it aspires to, by unfeigned confession and contrition to diminish
my offence, and your displeasure.' Not till the Civil War had cleared
the atmosphere through which royalty was seen, was the demeanour of
subjects to the Sovereign in general conformity with the modern standard
of manliness. Ralegh, the Court favourite, the poet, was cast in a more
plastic mould than Grey. The suddenness of his ruin may well have thrown
him off his balance now, as at the original explosion of the tempest in
the summer. The tendency of men endowed with genius like his to indulge
in extravagances of dejection when fortune frowns is notorious. But his
long course of importunities to all possessed of the means of helping or
hindering in the years after 1603 is not to be explained either by
style, or by spasms of despair. Both their impulse and something too of
an apology for them are to be found in the basis of his character, which
was tough as well as elastic. After the shock of the plunge into the
depths he braced himself to the task of rising to the surface, and
reaching shore. Life, freedom, wealth, career, were forfeited. He
determined to redeem the whole. He availed himself of the instruments at
hand, though they were tarnished. He did not scruple to soil his fingers
in groping his way out of a sea of mud.

[Sidenote: _Doggedness of Purpose._]

It is necessary continually to remind ourselves, when we are tempted to
be incensed at his deportment, of the mode in which he had been treated,
of his consuming sense of a mission, and his determination, little short
of monomania, to return to its service. He and everybody knew that his
conviction was an act of legal violence. There was no prospect of rescue
through the machinery of the law from an overwhelming disaster which
demonstrated law to be without a conscience or sense of responsibility.
As soon as the law with its automatic violence had possession of his
case, he felt himself held in a grasp not to be relaxed. He knew he must
look outside law for justice as well as mercy. It and its ministers were
not intentionally cruel. Simply their craft had assumed a scientific
shape from which morality and common sense alike were absent. A
defendant had a right to evade the penalties of the most manifest guilt
by any loopholes and gaps he could discover in the works. It had the
right to pursue him to the death, whether innocent or criminal, so long
as the rules of the art were observed. Its point of honour was not to
let the accused escape. Ralegh was penetrated with an acute and
indignant consciousness of the iniquity of the Court intrigue from which
he suffered. He despaired of correcting the wrong by the help of the law
which had lent itself to be the agent. His struggle was to salve the
malice of law with the remorse of the Prerogative which had been seduced
into setting it in motion. The shape his efforts took was by no means
admirable. Had he been more uniformly heroic, or less absolutely
irrepressible, he would have gone to his prison, and laid himself down
magnanimously or passively mute. There, early or late, he would have
died. Never would his foes have opened the doors of their own good will.
But his nature was not of that kind. He burnt with a longing to be up
and doing. He knew he was caught in toils he could not burst by force.
For his career's sake, he condescended to plead with and beseech them
through whom alone he could emerge into the daylight. They who have
idealized him as a downtrodden martyr will find the Ralegh portrayed by
his own pen in scores of letters to princes, statesmen, and nobles,
little to their taste. The real Ralegh will not cease to be honoured by
all whom the sight of indomitable courage and doggedness in the
accomplishment of a purpose moves. Only in his words and style could we
wish him to have been less supple and less meek. That we have to wish in
vain. He thought too highly both of the objects he meant to attain, and
of the strength of those who kept him from them, to be sparing of such
slight things as entreaties.

[Sidenote: _Reverence for Kingship._]

Life was the first article in his programme of ends to be pursued, or
losses to be redeemed. He prized life more than most. He had so much to
do with a life. Half his work still, as he reckoned, was incomplete. The
world was young, and abounded in possibilities. To save himself for
life and work was worth playing at servility. He could hardly see the
pettiness in a James, in his parasites, in his Ministers, for absorption
in their one essential quality, their ability, as holding headsman and
gaolers in a leash, to keep alive or kill, to bind or let loose. To this
age James is an awkward, ludicrous pedant. The spectacle of Ralegh's
veneration is exasperating. For Ralegh he was a symbol of sovereign
authority, a mysterious keeper of the scales of fate. He represented for
Ralegh a power above courts of law, and entitled to set right their
mistakes or misdeeds. Of his mere will he could free Ralegh from
persecution. For Ralegh he was a redresser of grievances; and he was
more. He impersonated potentiality to do as well as undo. The idea of
the opportunities embodied in an occupant of the throne was too
engrossing for Ralegh to weigh the character of the individual. He
imagined himself not merely pardoned, but trusted by the depositary of
boundless national resources, which he was conscious of an infinite
competence to employ. His admiration of the capabilities of the royal
Prerogative, if utilized as he perceived that they could be utilized,
embraced its titular tenant whoever he might be. He was dominated by an
intense sense of all he might accomplish for the indistinguishable
duality of himself and his country, if the King would. Sincerely he
could profess he had loved James ever since he beheld in him the heir of
the national crown.

On November 29, 1603, the priests, Watson and Clarke, underwent the
hideous doom which had been pronounced upon Ralegh. They were drawn,
hanged, and quartered. They still lived when the quartering began. On
December 6 Brooke was beheaded. His last words were: 'There is somewhat
yet hidden, which will one day appear for my justification.' Nothing
ever has appeared. James at Wilton House signed warrants for the
execution of Cobham, Grey, and Markham on Friday, December 10. He had
not the hardihood to sign the warrant for Ralegh's execution; but it is
believed to have been fixed for the Monday after. Queen Anne, it is
said, was interceding for his life. So was the King's host, Lord
Pembroke, at his mother's bidding. Cecil wrote to Winwood, afterwards
Secretary of State, that the King 'pretended to forbear Sir Walter
Ralegh for the present, till the Lord Cobham's death had given some
light how far he would make good his accusation.' James, we will hope,
had been staggered in conscience by the reports of his own messengers
from Winchester. He and his courtiers had won from the criminal law
Ralegh's condemnation. They were still hunting after apologies for the
conviction. Watson, Clarke, and Brooke had supplied none of the missing
links. In vain had Commissioners been examining and re-examining the
prisoners. Their forlorn hope was the agony or recklessness of the two
lords and Markham on the scaffold.

[Sidenote: _Farewell to his Wife._]

Meanwhile, in his prison in the Castle, Ralegh made ready for death. He
had the spiritual assistance of Bishop Bilson of Winchester, whom the
King had deputed to console or confess him. Bishop Bilson, who was said
by an admirer to carry prelature in his very aspect, furthered later on
the divorce of Lord and Lady Essex. Ralegh found no fault with his
behaviour to him, and gratefully characterized him in his History as
grave and learned. He satisfied the Bishop of his Christian state; he
could not be persuaded to acknowledge the truth of any of the charges
against him, unless, very partially, as to the pension. That, he said,
was 'once mentioned, but never proceeded in.' The day appointed for his
death, he thought, was December 13. He had penned a last farewell to his
wife on December 9, 1603. It reads very unlike the All Souls' College
paper. He sends his 'love, that, when I am dead, you may keep it, not
sorrows, dear Bess; let them go to the grave with me, and be buried in
the dust. Bear my destruction gently, and with a heart like yourself.'
He gives 'all the thanks my heart can conceive for your many troubles
and cares taken for me.' He bids her, for the love she bare him living,
not hide herself many days, but by her travail seek to help her
miserable fortunes, and the right of her poor child. 'If you can live
free from want, care for no more: for the rest is but vanity. Love God,
and begin betimes to repose yourself on Him. When you have wearied your
thoughts on all sorts of worldly cogitations, you shall sit down by
sorrow in the end.' He does not know to what friend to direct her, for
all his had left him in the time of trial. 'I plainly perceive,' he
continues, 'that my death was determined from the first day.' He asks
her, 'for my soul's health, to pay all poor men.' He warns her against
suitors for her money; 'for the world thinks that I was very rich.' He
prays her, 'Get those letters, if it be possible, which I writ to the
Lords, wherein I sued for my life. God knoweth that it was for you and
yours that I desired it; but it is true that I disdain myself for
begging it. And know it, dear wife, that your son is the child of a true
man, and who, in his own respect, despiseth Death, and all his misshapen
and ugly forms. Beg my dead body, which living was denied you; and
either lay it at Sherborne, if the land continue, or in Exeter church by
my father and mother. I can write no more. Time and Death call me away.'
Yet he can hardly part with wife or child, and adds still something:
'God teach me to forgive my persecutors and false accusers. My true wife
farewell. Bless my poor boy; pray for me. Yours, that was, but now not
my own.'

[Sidenote: _The Pilgrimage._]

He was more than willing to live. He was not afraid to die. In the
apparent presence of death his soul, as always, recovered its lofty
serenity. With his head, as he thought, on the block, he burst into the
grand dirge of the _Pilgrimage_. Such are the variances of taste that a
writer of reputation has spoken of this noble composition as 'a strange
medley in which faith and confidence in God appear side by side with
sarcasms upon the lawyers and the courtiers.' That is a judgment with
which few will agree. The poem in the most authoritative manuscript is
described as having been composed the night before Ralegh was beheaded.
But it can scarcely be doubted that it belongs to the present period,
when he was daily expecting the arrival of the warrant for his execution
at Winchester. His spirit had 'quenched its thirst at those clear wells
where sweetness dwells.' It was bound in quiet palmer's fresh apparel--

              to Heaven's bribeless hall,
    Where no corrupted voices brawl;
    No conscience molten into gold,
    No forged accuser bought or sold,
    No cause deferred, no vain-spent journey;
    For there Christ is the King's Attorney.
    And when the grand twelve-million jury
    Of our sins, with direful fury,
    Against our souls black verdicts give,
    Christ pleads his death, and then we live.

[Sidenote: _Royal Intervention._]

At ten in the morning of December 10 Sir Griffin Markham was conducted
to the scaffold, which had been erected in the Castle yard. He had said
adieu to his friends, prayed, and was awaiting the axe. Suddenly the
spectators in the Castle yard saw the Sheriff, Sir Benjamin Tichborne,
stay the executioner. John Gibb, a Scotch groom of the royal bedchamber,
had arrived, almost too late, at the edge of the crowd. He was the
bearer of a reprieve. James himself, on December 7, had drawn it, with a
preamble: 'The two prestis and George Brooke vaire the principall
plotteris and intisairs of all the rest to the embracing of the saiddis
treasonabill machinations.' He had kept it back to the last, as well to
multiply the chances of eliciting confessions of guilt, as for the sake
of the vividness of the stage play. He admired greatly his own
ingenuity, and his courtiers applauded enthusiastically. Of the
detestable feline cruelty he and they had no shame. Ralegh's window in
the Castle overlooked the scaffold. He would be sensible of the
interruption of the proceedings. He could not have seen Gibb. He must,
says Carleton, 'have had hammers working in his head to beat out the
meaning of the stratagem.' Beaumont, the French ambassador, was told by
an imaginative reporter that he 'était à la fenêtre, regardant la
comédie de ses compagnons avec un visage riant.'

[Sidenote: _Scenes on the Scaffold._]

The Sheriff performed his part with a ready gravity which secured the
King's approval. He was already a favourite for having proclaimed James
on the first news of the death of Elizabeth, before the Council had
declared him her successor. For his deserts both now and then the
custody of the Castle soon afterwards was bestowed upon him and his
heirs. He said to Markham, 'You say you are ill-prepared to die; you
shall have two hours' respite.' Then he led him away, and locked him in
Arthur's Hall. Next Grey was brought on the scaffold. He asserted that
his fault against the King was 'far from the greatest, yet he knew his
heart to be faulty.' He too was ready for the axe, when the Sheriff led
him away to Arthur's Hall, saying the order of the execution was changed
by the King's command, and Cobham was to precede Grey. Cobham came, with
so bold an air as to suggest he had heard; but he prayed so lengthily
that a bystander ejaculated he had 'a good mouth in a cry, but was
nothing single.' He expressed repentance for his offence against the
King. He corroborated all he had said against Sir Walter Ralegh as true
'upon the hope of his soul's resurrection.' The extortion of that
confirmation of his calumnies had been a main object of the whole
disgraceful farce. When he had thus bought his worthless life, the
Sheriff brought back upon the scaffold Grey and Markham to stand beside
him. All three were asked if their offences were not heinous, and if
they had not been justly tried and lawfully condemned. Each answered
affirmatively. Then said the Sheriff: 'See the mercy of your Prince, who
of himself hath sent hither a countermand, and hath given you your
lives.' At this the crowd burst into such hues and cries that they went
from the Castle into the town, and there began afresh. Grey said, 'Since
the King has given me my life without my begging, I will deserve life.'
Henry IV was sceptical as to the magnanimity of James. He wrote to
Beaumont to discover if 'Spanish gold' were concerned in the reprieves;
if Don Juan de Taxis and Cecil had used influence for them; 'for it is
rumoured that these persons, backed by money expended by Ralegh, brought
the thing about.' The faith in Ralegh's endless resources and skill
prevailed in France as in England.



CHAPTER XXII.

A PRISONER (1604-1612).


On December 16, 1603, Ralegh, with his fellow convicts, returned to
London. That would have been the close of an ordinary man's career. To
him alone it did not seem the end, and he resolved it should not be. He
had his life. Liberty and fortune were still to be regained. He looked
around him, and endeavoured to retrieve the scattered fragments of his
wealth. Like all his peers in arms and politics he had ever believed in
the importance of riches. But now he was grasping at the possibility of
continuing by money in lieu of his imprisoned self his schemes of a
Guiana sovereignty. He was striving to construct out of the wreck of his
grandeur a refuge for his wife and his boy from the anguish and
dependence of penury. 'Poverty,' he preached to his son, 'is a shame, an
imprisonment of the mind. Poverty provokes a man to do infamous and
detested deeds.'

[Sidenote: _Civilly dead._]

[Sidenote: _Lord Nottingham's Rapacity._]

He was civilly dead. The division of his spoils had commenced before the
trial. He had, as has been mentioned, been dismissed in July from his
island government. In September Godolphin, High Sheriff of Cornwall, had
been directed to take the musters, 'the commission of Lieutenancy
granted to Sir Walter Ralegh being become void and determined.' Early in
1604 he formally returned the seal of the Duchy of Cornwall to Cecil.
His successor was his connexion, Lord Pembroke. He was stripped of the
Rangership of Gillingham Forest, and of the Lieutenancy of Portland,
though he would regret the loss of those offices the less that they
remained in the hands of their joint tenant, his brother, Sir Carew. His
enjoyment of his patent as wine licenser had been suspended, that it
might be considered if the post were a monopoly. The Council came to the
conclusion that it was not. But before Ralegh could collect the arrears
from the vintners he was arraigned. Thereupon, not waiting for the
result of the trial, the King revoked the patent, and granted it to the
Lord Admiral. Nottingham, not content with the profit from new licenses,
claimed the arrears. Lady Ralegh remonstrated. She indignantly computed
to Cecil in 1604 that the Admiral 'hath £6000, and £3000 a year, by my
husband's fall. And since it pleaseth God that his Lordship shall build
upon our ruins, which we never suspected, yet the portion is great and,
I trust, sufficient, out of one poor gentleman's fortune to take all
that remains, and not to look back before his Majesty's grant, and take
from us the debts past, which your Lordship knows were stayed from us by
a proclamation before my husband was suspected of any offence.'
Sherborne was attached. Commissioners for it had been appointed,
Serjeant Phillips and Meere. They had pounced upon the domain, and were
selling stock, felling timber, and dismantling the castle. Cecil
interfered peremptorily by letter, and for a time stayed all
proceedings. He is likely to have 'spoken the one word' about the wine
licence arrears which Lady Ralegh implored. No more is heard of the Lord
Admiral's demand. A more important favour was obtained. In February,
1604, all Ralegh's goods, chattels, and money due to him, though
forfeited for treason, were granted by the Crown to trustees for payment
of debts owing before his attainder, and for the maintenance of his wife
and child. The trustees named were Robert Smith and John Shelbury.
Shelbury was Ralegh's steward, 'a man I can better entreat than know how
to reward.'

[Sidenote: _The Sandersons._]

The grant included, beside the wine arrearages, money in the hands of
the wine licenser's deputy, William Sanderson. Sanderson was husband to
Ralegh's niece, Margaret Snedale. He was father of Sir William
Sanderson, writer in 1656 of a _History of Queen Mary and King James_,
full of calumnies upon Ralegh. He denied the debt, and claimed £2000
from his principal. Thereupon Ralegh, 'in great anger,' sued him,
apparently with success. It is unnecessary to credit the further
allegation by the author, supposed to have been Ralegh's son Carew,
though more probably somebody inspired by him, of the _Observations_,
already cited, upon Sanderson's _History_, that the deputy was for the
debt cast into prison, where he died a beggar. On the contrary, slender
as is the authority of the historian, as of his critic, it is easier, as
well as preferable, to accept Sir William Sanderson's statement, in
answer to the _Observations_, that his father and his family continued
to be prosperous, and, having resumed amicable relations with Ralegh,
remained kind and faithful kinsfolk to the last. It is pleasant to be
able to believe that Ralegh disappointed a relative's temporary
calculations upon his incapacity of resistance, without acting the part
of the insolvent steward of the Parable.

[Sidenote: _The Wreck of his Estate._]

The mercy of the Crown extended for the present to the maintenance even
of his rights over the estate of Sherborne itself. A dozen suitors had
applied for it, Cecil told a Scotch courtier in October, 1603. But on
July 30, 1604, in place of Ralegh's life interest, which was forfeited
by the attainder, a sixty years' term of Sherborne and ten other Dorset
and Somerset manors, with all other lands escheated, was conveyed by the
Crown to trustees for Lady Ralegh and young Walter, should Ralegh so
long live. This boon, following the rest, went far towards remedying the
overwhelming pecuniary consequences of a judicial crime. The King is
entitled to share the credit with Cecil. He was not incapable of
caprices of beneficence. Pity, rather than a sense of justice, moved
him. He loved to be magnanimous at small cost. He chose to regard Ralegh
as a traitor when he was innocent. He reaped from the injustice the
additional satisfaction of being exalted by his flatterers into a
paragon of generosity for waiving part of the penalties for offences
which had not been committed. Ralegh's estate was, however, indebted yet
more to Cecil. If he would not, or could not, secure justice for his old
ally, Cecil had no desire to see him reduced to beggary. Whatever the
cause, Ralegh undoubtedly suffered in purse less than his condemned
fellows. Cobham's and Grey's vast patrimonies were wholly confiscated.
They subsisted on the charity of the Crown. Markham was sent into exile
so bare of means that he had to barter his inlaid sword hilt for a meal.
Ralegh was not thus stripped. Only, being guiltless, as they were not,
and did not pretend to be, he was not always gratefully content with the
morsels tossed back to him. Soon after his removal from Winchester he
wrote to Cecil that £3000 a year, from Jersey, the Wine Office, the
Stannaries, Gillingham, and Portland, was gone; there remained but £300
from Sherborne, with a debt upon it of £3000. His tenants refused to pay
Lady Ralegh her rents. His woods were cut down, his grounds wasted, and
his stock sold. Meanwhile he was charged at the Tower, at first, £4, and
later, £5, a week for the diet of himself, his wife, child, and two
servants. He had to urge the Council to stay the Commissioners at
Sherborne, whose rapacious activity had again awoke. He told the Council
that the estate, with the park and a stock of £400 in sheep, whatever
its valuation by others, brought in but £666 13_s._ 4_d._ This has been
estimated, perhaps somewhat excessively, as equivalent to an income now
of £3333. Out of it he had to pay the Bishop of Salisbury £260. Fees and
rates took another £50 a year. His personal property he reckoned at not
worth a thousand marks, or £666 13_s._ 4_d._ His rich hangings were sold
to my Lord Admiral for £500. He had but one rich bed, which he had sold
to Lord Cobham before his misfortunes. His plate, which he describes as
very fair, was all 'lost, or eaten out with interest at one Chenes', 'or
Cheynes', the goldsmith, in Lombard-street.

[Sidenote: _Struggle for Freedom._]

He thought it hard to be robbed of his revenues. He declared that he
could have endured the calamity if penury had been all. Early in 1604 he
wrote that, if Sherborne could be assured, he should take his loss for a
gain, nothing having been lost that could have bettered his family, 'but
the lease of the wines, which was desperate before his troubles.' He did
not wish for his wife and son, 'God knows, the least proportion of
plenty, having forgotten that happiness which found too much too
little.' His one desire was that they should be able to eat their own
bread. The interruption of his career was the real and unappeasable
wrong. All his virtues made him struggle indomitably against that. He
was supported in the contest by the vice itself, if it were a vice, of
his abounding egotism. His incapacity for believing that powers like his
could be wasted by the State, buoyed him up against the direst
persecutions. He was unable at heart, whatever his groanings, to regard
them as more than passing checks in a game in which he had chanced upon
losing cards. He fought for liberty more stubbornly than for his
property, that he might resume his work in the world. He complained in
January, 1604, that Papists who plotted to surprise the King's person
had been liberated, while Cecil's poor, ancient, and true friend was
left to perish 'here where health wears away.' Cecil had written kind
but cautious lines in another hand, of which Ralegh 'knew the phrase.'
They had raised his hopes. Cecil dashed them by declaring to Lady Ralegh
early in 1604 that, 'for a pardon, it could not yet be done.' Ralegh did
not therefore leave off seeking it. For some time he could not believe
that his imprisonment was to be more than transitory. His efforts were
directed to the negotiation of terms to which he might consent for the
abridgment of the liberty he deemed his right. He did not ask to be
'about London--which God cast my soul into hell if I desire.' He would
be content to be confined within the Hundred of Sherborne. If he could
not be allowed so much, he was ready to live in Holland. There he
thought he might obtain some employment connected with the Indies. Else
he petitioned to 'be appointed to any bishop, or other gentleman, or
nobleman, or that your Lordship would let me keep but a park of
yours--which I would buy from someone that hath it--I will never break
the order which you shall please to undertake for me.'

[Sidenote: _At the Fleet Prison._]

[Sidenote: _His Ailments._]

He fretted in mind; and he was ill in body. For several years his health
had been impaired. Only periodical visits to Bath for its waters
assuaged his ailments. He prayed in vain that he might be suffered to go
thither in the autumn after his conviction. His prognostication that, if
he 'could not go this fall, he should be dead or disabled for ever,' was
not likely to alarm his foes. They affected at all times to be
incredulous of the gravity of his infirmities. But there is no reason to
question his statement that he was 'daily in danger of death by the
palsy; nightly of suffocation by wasted and obstructed lungs.' His
complaints began in the early summer of 1604. After a week's sojourn in
the Tower he seems to have been sent to the Fleet, where Keymis was for
a short time his fellow prisoner. There bills for his diet show that he
was staying between Christmas 1603 and Lady Day, 1604, or rather a few
days later. He cannot have gone back to the Tower precisely by Lady Day
to stay, for reasons not of State, but of Court. On Monday, March 26,
1604, Easter games were to be performed before the Court at the Tower.
Two mastiffs were to be let loose on a lion, and the King wanted to have
his fortress-palace cleared, for the occasion, of melancholy captives. A
custom prevailed at such festivities of releasing prisoners. There was
no intention of liberating the Winchester convicts. So, according to the
rumour of the Court, as sent home by the Venetian Embassy, they 'were
removed from the Tower and placed in other prisons.' If this statement
is to be accepted literally, and to be reconciled with the Fleet bills
for food, they must, at some time before Easter, have returned from the
Fleet to the Tower, and then, before March 26, been sent back for a
brief space to the Fleet. Ralegh had no cause for rejoicing when the
time arrived for his permanent establishment in the Tower. After his
return it was again, as in 1603, visited by the Plague. He prayed to be
taken elsewhere, on the ground that the pestilence was come next door.
In the adjacent tenement, with a paper wall between, were, he told
Cecil, lying a woman and her child, dying of it. When the Tower was free
from the Plague it was still an unsuitable lodging for one of Ralegh's
constitution. Moisture oozed constantly into the walls from the wide
muddy ditch. The cells were bitterly cold, and Ralegh was chilled and
benumbed. 'Every second or third night,' he reiterated to Cecil in 1605,
'I am in danger either of sudden death, or of the loss of my limbs and
senses, being sometimes two hours without feeling a motion of my hand
and whole arm.' In 1606 his physician, Dr. Peter Turner, certified that
his whole left side was cold. His fingers on the same side began to be
contracted, and his tongue in some sort, insomuch that he spoke weakly,
and that it was to be feared he might utterly lose the use of it. Only
in consequence of Turner's authoritative representations was Ralegh's
chamber changed. In the little garden under the terrace was a lath and
plaster lean-to. It had been Bishop Latimer's prison. Since it had been
used as a hen-house. Ralegh had already been permitted to employ this
out-house as a still room. He was allowed now to build a little room
next it, and use it as his habitual dwelling.

[Sidenote: _In the Bloody Tower._]

Other alleviations of his confinement were granted, particularly in its
earlier and again in its concluding years. For an inmate of a gaol, his
treatment was commonly not very rigorous. His quarters themselves, though
cold, were otherwise convenient. At his committal in July he had been put
into the upper chamber of the Bloody tower. Formerly this was called the
Garden tower. According to one authority it became known by the more
ominous name after Lord Northumberland's death there in June, 1585. Mrs.
Lucy Hutchinson, who was born in the Tower, derives the appellation from a
tradition of her childhood, that it was the scene of the murder of the Duke
of Clarence. The assassination in it of Edward V and his brother seems to
account for it more naturally. On Ralegh's return from Winchester, he was,
says Lord de Ros, who was both Lieutenant of the Tower and one of his
successors in the Captaincy of the Yeomen, placed in a semi-circular room,
lighted by loopholes, in the White tower, and there remained all the years
of his imprisonment. That, though a current local tradition, is grossly
incorrect, as a Lieutenant of the Tower ought to have known. As, however,
Lord de Ros also thought that Ralegh died on Tower Hill, it is the less
surprising that he should not have known where in the Tower he lived.
According to another legend equally baseless, he was lodged on the second
and third floors of the Beauchamp tower. Really from Winchester he went
back to the apartment he had previously inhabited. It had its advantages. A
passage in the rear led by a door to the terrace, which has been christened
Ralegh's Walk. From it he could look down on one side over a
much-frequented wharf to the busy river. On the other it commanded the
Lieutenant's garden and green. The suite of rooms accommodated Cottrell,
and apparently also John Talbot, Talbot's son, and Peter Dean, who waited
on Ralegh. There was space for Lady Ralegh, Walter, and Lady Ralegh's
waiting maid. They occupied the room in which Edward V and his brother were
murdered. When the Plague invaded their quarters they removed for a time to
lodgings on Tower Hill, near the church of Allhallows, Barking. It is
uncertain whether there, or in the room of the slaughtered Princes, a
second son, Carew, was born to Ralegh and his wife in 1604. On the
abatement of the epidemic, Lady Ralegh, with the children, returned.

[Sidenote: _Alleviations of Confinement._]

Ralegh could entertain dependents and acquaintances. His Sherborne
steward, John Shelbury, Hariot, his physician Dr. Turner, a surgeon Dr.
John, and a clergyman named Hawthorn, were frequently with him. His
Ralegh and Gilbert kinsfolk, we may be sure, did not desert him, though
there was no especial reason to chronicle their visits. Had fuller
details been preserved of his private life, we should doubtless have
found mention of his brother Carew, who was living in apparent
prosperity at Downton. His employment, as soon as he had the
opportunity, of the naval and military services of his nephews, George
Ralegh and Gilbert, shows that the family union survived unbroken.
Admirers from the West and the Court came to listen to his conversation,
and watch his chemical experiments. The Indians he had brought from
Guiana had stayed in England. The register of Chelsea Church records the
baptism of one of them by the name of Charles, 'a boy of estimation ten
or twelve years old, brought by Sir Walter Rawlie from Guiana.' After
his imprisonment they were lodged in the Tower, or near. He could amuse
himself by catechising them on the wonders of their land. His freedom of
movement in the early and late stages of his imprisonment, when he had
'the liberty of the Tower,' roused the envy of fellow prisoners. Grey
murmured in 1611: 'Sir Walter Ralegh hath a garden and a gallery to
himself.' In his deepest tribulations he had reverential valets and
pages to comb by the hour his thick curling locks, to trim his bushy
beard, and round moustache. Crowds thronged the wharf below to mark him
pacing his terrace in the velvet and laced cap, the rich gown and trunk
hose, noted by Aubrey's cousin Whitney, and the jewels, of which he
retained an ample store.

[Sidenote: _His Gaoler._]

But he was made in many respects, and at frequent intervals, to feel
himself 'a dead man,' possessed of no rights, subject to all sorts of
caprices. A kind-hearted Lieutenant might ameliorate his lot. He had
fascinated Sir George Harvey, who had commenced ill with the suppression
of Cobham's letter. They habitually dined together. Harvey had lent or
let to him his garden. The door of the Bloody tower was suffered to
stand habitually open. On August 16, 1605, Sir William Waad replaced
Harvey. He had earned the post by his keen scent for plots. He came
prepared to grudge privileges to the man who had foiled his
inquisitorial cunning. A week after his appointment to the Lieutenancy
he wrote to Cecil, to suggest the replacement of a lath fence, which ran
past the Bloody tower gate, by a brick wall, as 'more safe and
convenient.' His advice was taken, and a brick wall built. Still he was
uneasy. In December, 1608, he complained indignantly to Cecil that 'Sir
Walter Ralegh doth show himself upon the wall in his garden to the view
of the people, who gaze upon him, and he stareth on them. Which he doeth
in his cunning humour, that it might be thought his being before the
Council was rather to clear than to charge him.' Waad took credit to
himself that he had been 'bold in discretion and conveniency to restrain
him again.' For Waad to reprove Ralegh ought to have needed boldness. He
desired to repress the wife as well as the husband. Lady Ralegh does not
seem to have been sufficiently awed by the august associations of the
Tower. He had to issue an order forbidding her to drive into the
court-yard in her coach. By another solemn order aimed at Sir Walter, he
decreed that, at ringing of the afternoon bell, all the prisoners, with
their servants, were to withdraw into their chambers. They were not to
go forth again for that night.

Until May, 1613, Ralegh had to endure this man's petty spite and
disciplinary pedantry. Then Waad retired, to the great contentment of
his prisoners, though, as it happened, from a cause which did him
honour. Lady Arabella Stuart's chief pleasure during her iniquitous
imprisonment was the increase of her stock of jewels. From an order of
Council after her death, she would seem to have consulted Ralegh as an
expert. Several stones of price had disappeared in 1613. Suspicion was
cast upon Waad, or his wife and daughter. Probably they were entirely
innocent. The real object was that Carr might introduce a more pliant
instrument for foul play against Sir Thomas Overbury. Under pressure of
the accusation based on the missing trinkets, Waad accepted £1400 from
Sir Gervase Elways, with a promise of £600 more, and vacated his office.
Elways became an accomplice in Overbury's murder, and was hanged on his
own Tower Hill. But he was less of a martinet than his predecessor.
Perhaps his patrons were engaged in too serious crimes to waste their
energy in inciting him to petty persecutions of Ralegh. At all events,
Ralegh recovered the liberty of the Tower; and the restrictions on the
presence of his wife were relaxed.

[Sidenote: _Fresh Accusations._]

At no period were his really formidable enemies inside the Tower. Waad
himself would not have dared to harass and worry him, if he had not been
confident that his tyranny would be approved at Court. His foes there
were perpetually on the watch for excuses for tightening and
perpetuating his bonds. He had to defend himself from a suspicion of
complicity with the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. Commissioners, of whom Waad
was one, were appointed to inquire. Lord Northumberland had been sent to
the Tower by the Star Chamber for misprision of treason, on the flimsy
pretext of his intimacy with Thomas Percy. He was questioned on his
communications at the Tower with Ralegh. Ralegh was questioned on his
with the Earl. One day the French ambassador's wife, Madame de Beaumont,
came to visit the lions in company with Lady Howard of Effingham. She
saw Ralegh in his garden. The Tower contained no lion as wonderful. She
asked him for some balsam of Guiana. He forwarded the balsam to the
ambassadress by Captain Whitelocke, a retainer of Northumberland's, who
happened to have been in her train. Several Lords of the Council were
deputed to examine him on his intercourse with Whitelocke, a spy having
deposed that he had noticed Whitelocke in the Archduke's company during
the summer of 1605. Ralegh had difficulty in persuading the Council that
he had seen little either of the Captain, who came only on an ordinary
visit, of Northumberland, since the Earl's confinement, or of the French
ambassador and his wife. He prayed their Lordships in the name of 'my
many sorrows and the causes, my services and love to my country, not to
suspect me to be knowing this unexampled and more than devilish
invention.' Some of them, with their master, were capable of thinking,
or affecting to think, any incredible evil of him, and all belonging to
him. It was accounted an alarming circumstance that in the September of
1605 Lady Ralegh, during a visit to Sherborne, had the old arms in the
castle scoured.

[Sidenote: _Lady Ralegh's Expulsion._]

In 1607 the Council instituted an inquiry into the manner in which
Harvey had played the gaoler. Ralegh was brought before it, and
interrogated. So was Edward or William Cottrell, described as 'alias
Captain Sampson.' He was found to have been living for some time past at
Sherborne, perhaps under his alias, on a pension granted him by Ralegh.
In terror, or through an offer of better terms, he now confessed his
part in the bygone transmission of messages between Ralegh, Keymis, and
Cobham. Again, in 1610 some new and shadowy charges were brought against
Ralegh. The Council sat at the Tower. On Cecil was thrown the task, we
will hope, the very ungrateful task, of addressing to him a solemn
rebuke. He was subjected to three months of close imprisonment, and his
wife was obliged to leave the Tower. An order was served upon her: 'The
Lady Raleighe must understand his Majesty's express will and commandment
that she resort to her house on Tower Hill or ellswhere with her women
and sonnes to remayne there, and not to lodge hereafter within the
Tower.' Ralegh prayed earnestly that she might 'again be made a prisoner
with me, as she hath been for six years last past, in this unsavoury
place--a miserable fate for her, and yet great to me, who in this
wretched estate can hope for no other thing than peaceable sorrow.' The
offence for which he was censured and immured was never revealed to the
public; for the excellent reason, it may be presumed, that to the public
it would have appeared frivolous. His true criminality now and
throughout is to be gathered from the testimony of Henry Howard in the
year following. In July, 1611, fresh rumours of offences committed by
him were spread. Howard, now Earl of Northampton and Lord Chamberlain,
and another Privy Councillor, were commissioned to inquire. To Howard's
taste, his spirit was not at all sufficiently subdued. In a letter to
his notable accomplice and pupil, and the future husband of his great
niece, Carr, Lord Rochester and Privy Seal, Howard expressed his spite:
'We had a bout with Sir Walter Ralegh, in whom we find no change, but
the same boldness, pride, and passion, that heretofore hath wrought
more violently, but never expended itself in a stronger passion. Hereof
his Majesty shall hear when the Lords come to him. The lawless liberty
of the Tower, so long cockered and fostered with hopes exorbitant, hath
bred suitable desires and affections. And yet you may assure his Majesty
that by this publication he won little ground.' He gained so little
that, as he wrote in this year, he was, after eight years of
imprisonment, as straitly locked up as he had been the first day.

[Sidenote: _Search for Evidence of Guilt._]

When his imprisonment was most severe, it was moderate for his guilt if
he were guilty. In its times of least oppressiveness it was an enormity,
if he were innocent. To himself, who knew that he was guiltless of the
treason imputed to him, and was convinced that his gaolers knew it, his
imprisonment under any conditions appeared a monstrous iniquity. He
could never desist from protesting against the wrong. It was the
grievance as much of his enemies that they had him fast in prison, and
could neither browbeat him into acknowledging the justice of his doom,
nor prove its justice. They had obtained his condemnation rather than
his conviction. They were incited by his appeals to redoubled efforts to
establish his original guilt. Some, the King for example, may, from
rooted prejudice, have believed him guilty. No less than his most
malignant and unscrupulous foes they resented furiously their inability
to demonstrate it. They regarded it as evidence merely of his abominable
craft. The ordinary and extraordinary laxity of his confinement
indicated their doubt of his fair liability to any. The intervals of
rigour were meant to notify to the sceptical that the Government was at
last on the track of evidence which would confirm the equity of
everything from the beginning done against him. Constantly he had to
stand on his defence against attempts to palliate the effrontery of the
Winchester judgment by experimental accusations that he had been
tampering with new conspiracies. For ten years the contest proceeded
between him and the Court on that basis. He asseverated the right of an
innocent man to freedom, and the Court went on searching for proofs of
its right to put him into captivity. His adversaries might have been
content with the degree of ruin they had wrought if he would have
acquiesced in his fall. He insisted on regarding himself as living,
though he could not deny that he was civilly dead. He looked forth from
his prison on the world as a stage on which he still played a part, and
might once more lead. He would keep digging up the buried past. He
assumed the offensive against the majesty of the law. He was not patient
of injustice because a court of justice was its source. He had the
audacity to speak, think, and write, as if he were entitled to canvass
affairs of State. From his gaol he became audible in the recesses of the
Palace. He troubled the self-complacency of its master by teaching his
consort and his heir-apparent to question his infallible wisdom.

[Sidenote: _Queen Anne's Favour._]

[Sidenote: _Cobham's Winchester Letter again._]

Queen Anne perhaps scarcely needed the lesson. She was fond of power,
and 'bold and enterprising,' records Sully. Her husband appears to have
stood in some awe of her criticisms. She commonly took a line of her
own. Henry Howard, whose policy she had opposed before the death of
Elizabeth, insinuated that she was a foolish, garrulous, and intriguing
woman. She may not have been very wise, but she had generous emotions
and courage. She disliked the Spanish connexion, of which she was at one
period esteemed a supporter. She admired Ralegh's great qualities and
great deeds. His faithful cousin George Carew, her Vice-Chamberlain,
would remind her of them. Lady Ralegh, whom she is said on her first
arrival from Scotland to have repulsed, had gained her ear and sympathy.
She had, from the time of Ralegh's trial, tried to help him. By a
medicine of his invention she believed herself subsequently to have been
cured of a violent malady. In gratitude she is reported, or fabled, to
have gained the King's consent to a re-examination of Cobham's charge
against him. Reference has already been made to the story, as told by
Sir Anthony Welldon. Cecil, Lenox, Worcester, Suffolk, Carew, and Julius
Cæsar are said to have been deputed to ask Cobham if he had not really
accused Ralegh at Winchester. Cobham answered: 'Never, nor could I; but
that villain Waad got me by a trick to write my name upon a piece of
white paper, which I, thinking nothing, did; so that, if any charge came
under my hand, it was forged by Waad by writing something above my
hand.' Then returning to the King the rest chose Cecil for spokesman. He
said: 'Sir, my Lord Cobham hath made good all that ever he wrote or
said.' Altogether it is a most improbable tale. Waad disliked Ralegh;
there is no ground for belief that he would have perpetrated a
cold-blooded fraud to gratify his ill-will. He was arrogant and
tyrannical, not criminal, as the circumstances of the loss of his
Lieutenancy show. The presence of honest and friendly Carew as one of
the royal commissioners, renders the account as it stands all but
incredible. He certainly would not have been a party to a lying and
wicked prevarication. Cecil would not, nor Sir Julius Cæsar. But it is
one of the many Ralegh myths, with a possible particle of truth in it,
which cannot be sifted out of the mass of fiction.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh on a Piedmontese Alliance._]

Ralegh built more hopes on the favour of the Prince of Wales than on
that of his mother. Prince Henry was of a high spirit. He would have
rejoiced in war at which his father shuddered. Through his mother he
made Ralegh's acquaintance in his boyhood, and for him the prisoner was
a hero. Everybody has heard his saying: 'Who but my father would keep
such a bird in a cage!' Ralegh eagerly responded to the advances of one
through whom he might become not only free but powerful. The Prince
delighted in the company of Ralegh, who states that he had intended the
_History of the World_ for him; and he is said to have looked over the
manuscript. He consulted Ralegh in 1611 on the proposal by Duke Charles
Emmanuel I of Savoy for a double intermarriage. The Elector Palatine was
negotiating for the hand of Princess Elizabeth. Spain and the whole
Catholic party in Europe dreaded an alliance of the English royal family
with German Protestantism. They tried to engage James to affiance
Elizabeth to the Duke of Savoy's son, the Prince of Piedmont, and Henry
to the Duke's daughter. Ralegh combated the scheme in two Discourses,
printed long after his death. The first mainly discussed the plan of
Elizabeth's marriage to 'a prince jesuited,' her removal far from her
country to a family circle of another faith, a dependent now and ever,
as Ralegh not prophetically declared, 'either upon France or upon
Spain.' He foreboded how, in default of male heirs in England, 'a
Savoyan, of Spanish race, might become King of England.' 'I do prize,'
he declared, 'the alliance of the Palatine of the Rhine, and of the
House of Nassau, more than I do the alliance of the Duke of Savoy.' In
the second Discourse Ralegh argued against the Prince's alliance with
Dukes of the blood of Spain, and servants of 'Spain, which to England is
irreconcilable.' Such an alliance would increase the jealousy of the
Netherlands, a country which was for England a necessary friend. He
lamented the present weakness of England, 'through the detested
covetousness of some great ones of ours. Whereas, in my time, I have
known one of her Majesty's ships command forty Hollanders to strike
sail, they will now take us one to one, and not give us a good morrow.
They have our own ordnance to break our own bones withal.' Besides, the
Prince was only about eighteen. So long as he continued unmarried all
the eyes of Christendom were upon him. 'Let him for a while not entangle
himself.' When he desired to wed he would find, Ralegh suggested, a
French family alliance more honourable and advantageous than a Spanish.

His presumption in meddling with questions of State, and in answering
them in a manner opposite to the King's inclination, may have had
something to do with the unexplained chastisement inflicted upon him in
the summer of 1611. Whatever their cause, rebukes and curtailments of
privileges neither silenced him nor lost him the goodwill of his
friend. The Prince not long after sought his assistance in the building
of a model ship. The vessel was christened 'The Prince,' and it proved
an excellent sailer. The prisoner of the Tower wrote about it as if he
smelt the sea-breezes. Twenty-nine years earlier he had proved himself a
master in the art of ship-building. In his time, as he has recorded,
'the shape of English ships had been greatly bettered.' Much of the
credit of the reform is his due. Pett, the best naval architect in the
kingdom, in whose family the post of Master Shipwright became almost
hereditary, is reported to have been glad to gather hints from him. His
communications with the Prince about the ship drew his thoughts back to
maritime questions. Beside a letter, admirably terse and critical, to
Prince Henry, he composed a treatise minutely practical, called a
_Discourse of the Invention of Ships_, and also _Observations concerning
the Royal Navy and Sea Service_. Both probably were intended for parts
of an elaborate work on _The Art of War by Sea_, which the death of the
Prince hindered him from completing. He alludes in the Observations to a
_Discourse of a Maritimal Voyage_, as a previous product of his pen,
which, unless it be the _Discourse of the Invention of Ships_, has
disappeared. Had _The Art of War by Sea_ come into systematic being,
that might have stood as another of its chapters.

[Sidenote: _Robert Cecil's Death._]

Prince Henry's death was the most cruel blow inflicted on him since his
trial. The disappointment was the severer that it had been preceded six
months earlier by another death on which his friends, and perhaps
himself, founded expectations. On May 16, 1612, died Robert Cecil, Earl
of Salisbury, and Lord High Treasurer. He was hastening to Court, to
countermine his underminers, from Bath, where he had been taking the
waters. At the inn at Marlborough he found himself grievously ill. He
was removed, it has been variously stated, either to the parsonage, or
to the house of a Mr. Daniel, which had formerly been St. Margaret's
Priory. There he expired.

[Sidenote: _Dumb Enmity._]

A born statesman, Cecil had been condemned by a passion for affairs, and
incapacity for dispensing with office, to serve a great sovereign in
little ways, and to emphasize or dissemble a feeble sovereign's
feebleness. As a friend he could relieve adversity so far as not to
cancel it; but he could not pardon in a companion prosperity which
threatened rivalry, or risk his share of sunshine by screening a victim
of popular and regal odium. By no class was he profoundly lamented.
Veteran and well-endowed officials seldom are. Ralegh, it is to be
feared, was never among the mourners. He had received benefits from
Cecil, and acknowledged them thankfully. He could not forgive an
acquaintance, who must have known his innocence of treason, for letting
his life be blasted by the charge. He could not understand that the
statesman and potent courtier, whose fortunes at no time were visibly
clouded, should be unable, or honestly think himself unable, to lift a
persecuted comrade out of the mire. If Cecil did not come effectually to
the rescue, he believed, at any rate at last, that it was because he
would not. Cecil read his mind, had no faith in his gratitude, and
accounted the duties of a dead friendship discharged by attempts to
mitigate rather than to reverse his doom. Harassed by business and the
toil of keeping his slippery footing, he would feel chiefly a dull
irritation at the captive, whether guiltless or guilty, for the
obstinacy of his dispute with accomplished facts. He ought, the
Minister, like his avowed enemies, would think, to have acquiesced, and
been still. Thus the two went on, mutually scornful and mistrustful,
exchanging soft phrases which neither meant. The true condition of their
hearts was not hidden from bystanders. They never confessed it one to
the other, or frankly to themselves.

Historical scavengers, Aubrey and Osborn, have attributed to Ralegh's pen a
coarse and truculent epigram on the dead statesman under the name of
Hobbinol. John Shirley, Ralegh's honest but credulous biographer, in 1677,
also alleges him to have been the author, 'on very good grounds,' by which
probably is signified nothing better than common gossip. Aubrey vouches in
support statements made to him by Mr. Justice Malet, who is not known to
have had any especial means of procuring information. Mr. Edwards believes
it to be genuine. I cannot, though King James's alleged expression of a
'hope that the writer of those lines might die before him,' of which he was
so careful to secure the fulfilment, has to be discarded with it. The
evidence for Ralegh's authorship is exceedingly weak; and the rude verses
are marked by none of his elegance of style. But the attempt to father so
wretched a foundling upon him is proof the more of the popular perception
of the dissembled estrangement. In a less undignified shape than a
scurrilous epitaph on a dishonest shepherd, the bitterness Ralegh felt was
sometimes openly exhibited. It is not discernible merely in collective
insinuations against men whose ascendency in the royal council had been his
'infelicity.' When he had an opportunity it found a vent in a formal
written accusation against the dead Lord Treasurer of having violated his
duty to the King and the Exchequer by diverting to his own use the mass of
Cobham's forfeited wealth. Gradually, brooding over his wrongs, he had
accustomed himself to think Cecil not only the egotist he was, but an
unscrupulous plotter, who wished to keep under lock and key a man able to
unmask his rapacity. The Minister's death would appear to him to have
cleared the board for new and happier combinations in his favour.

[Sidenote: _Prince Henry._]

[Sidenote: _The Prince's Death._]

The Prince of Wales had at eighteen developed a will both resolute and
impetuous, to which the death of a veteran statesman like Cecil was sure
to have afforded freer scope. He did not disguise either his discontent
at the policy of his father's favourite advisers, or his preference for
ambitious projects such as Ralegh was known to cherish. Ralegh never had
reason to doubt the sincerity of his admiration. There seemed no more
ground for uncertainty as to the Prince's immediate influence on his
behalf than as to the benefits to be derived from the youth's eventual
accession to the throne. Henry was said to have extracted a promise from
James of Ralegh's liberation at Christmas, 1612. November came, and the
Prince lay dying of a raging fever. The Queen sent to the Tower for the
medicine which had cured her. Ralegh despatched it with a letter,
asserting that it would certainly heal this or any other case of fever,
unless there were poison. A vehement debate followed among the Lords of
the Council and the doctors, including the Genevese physician, Dr.,
afterwards Sir, Theodore Mayerne. Finally, the potion was administered.
The patient, who had been speechless, revived sufficiently to speak. But
it did not save his life. The populace and the Queen believed that it
had been ineffectual because there had been poison. Forty years later,
Carew Ralegh referred to the rumour as still credited. At the time it
was repeated on the judicial bench. Sir Thomas Monson in 1615 was being
tried for complicity in the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury. Coke, become
Chief Justice, insinuated with his usual discretion and fairness at the
trial that Overbury was poisoned from fear that he might, through
hostility to Carr, divulge his guilty knowledge of a similar crime
against 'a sweet Prince.'

Prince Henry's death blasted the prospect of Ralegh's ultimate
restoration to royal favour, as well as to immediate liberty. It
inflicted a less, but very vexatious, disappointment. After a protracted
struggle he had been stripped of his Dorsetshire estate. Sherborne, he
might have reckoned, was indefeasibly safe. Its enjoyment for his life
was covered by the term for sixty years. The settlement of 1602 seemed
to have set the inheritance out of danger. But in the course, perhaps,
of the legal investigation with a view to the grant of the term for the
benefit of Ralegh's wife and children, a flaw was detected in the
conveyance of the fee. Little cause as Ralegh had to respect the
impartiality of Popham and Coke in criminal procedure, he retained full
confidence in their legal learning. To them in 1604, at his own earnest
request, the deed of 1602 was submitted by Cecil. Their opinion on it
was clear and fatal. They could have given no other. The essential words
of a conveyance in trust, that the trustees shall stand thereof seised
to the uses specified, had, Popham wrote to Cecil on June 7, 1605, been
omitted. Popham believed the omission to have been due to the
carelessness of the engrossing clerk. Through it the estate had remained
wholly in Ralegh. Consequently, by his attainder it was forfeited. Lady
Ralegh sought an audience of James. She prayed him not to take advantage
of the forfeiture. With the facility which was compatible equally with
generosity and with rapacious injustice, he promised. He directed Cecil
to have a grant to her and her children prepared. It never was. At first
the preposterous suspicion of Ralegh's sympathy with the Gunpowder Plot
may have caused delay. Later the King discovered that he wanted the
property for his own purposes. Alarmed at his own propensity for
indulging the caprice of the moment, and mindful of the extent to which
the Scottish Crown had been pauperized by royal improvidence, he had
accepted a self-denying ordinance. By this he bound himself not to grant
away the patrimony of the Crown. For the endowment of favourites he had
to rely, therefore, on windfalls from attainders and escheats. Robert
Carr now had to be provided for. Sherborne happened to suit his taste,
and the Ralegh family had to be ejected.

[Sidenote: _Lady Ralegh and the King._]

[Sidenote: _Escheat of Sherborne._]

Proceedings were commenced in 1607 on the Attorney-General's Information
to establish the claim of the Crown. Lady Ralegh again knelt before the
King. She implored a waiver of the forfeiture in her and young Walter's
favour. James rejected her petition either silently, or, according to
Carew Ralegh, with the ejaculation, 'I mun have the land; I mun have it
for Carr.' In a petition he addressed to the Long Parliament, Carew
related that she fell down upon her knees, with her young sons beside
her, and in the bitterness of her spirit invoked the vengeance of Heaven
upon those who had so wrongfully exposed her and her poor children to
ruin and beggary. James was used to her supplications for justice, and
to repulsing them. In the previous autumn she had knelt to him at
Hampton Court for her husband's liberty, and been passed without a word.
Ralegh himself wasted upon Carr an eloquent prayer that he would not
begin his first buildings upon the ruins of the innocent. He entreated
him not to 'give me and mine our last fatal blow by obtaining from his
Majesty the inheritance of my children and nephews, lost in law for want
of words.' He made the attempt after his manner of neglecting no
possibility. He can have put little trust in royal justice, and less in
a worthless minion's magnanimity. Early in January, 1608, the Court of
Exchequer decided against the validity of the conveyance. Chamberlain
wrote on January 10, 1608, to Dudley Carleton: 'Sir Walter Ralegh's
estate is fallen into the King's hands by reason of a flaw in the
conveyance. He hath bestowed it on Sir Robert Carr. And though the Lady
Ralegh hath been an importunate suitor all these holidays in her
husband's behalf, yet it is past recall. So that he may say, with Job,
Naked came I into the world, &c. But, above all, one thing is to be
noticed: the error or oversight is said to be so gross that men do
merely ascribe it to God's own hand that blinded him and his counsel.'

Apparently the case was too technically plain against the deed for it to
be seriously defended. Ralegh before the formal judgment had assented,
under protest, to a proposal for the conveyance of his wife's and son's
interest during his life to the Crown for a sum of £5000 to be paid the
next year. For the remainder in fee he and she both struggled a while
longer. Finally, formal judgment having been given for the Crown on
October 27, 1608, they agreed to convey absolutely the entire interest
for an annuity of £400, to be paid for the lives of lady Ralegh and
young Walter, in lieu of Lady Ralegh's right to jointure out of the
estate, and for a capital sum of £8000. In this the £5000 was to merge.
The annuity was often in arrear. Part of the £8000 was paid down, and
Ralegh lent it on mortgage to the dowager Countess of Bedford. For the
rest the Exchequer not very regularly paid interest. The rental of the
Sherborne lands was £750. This at sixteen years' purchase was £12,000.
Consequently, it has been urged, the Crown did not drive a hard bargain.
They who thus argue confess to some perplexity how the property could
shortly afterwards have been, as it was, valued against Carr himself at
£20,000 or £25,000. They have forgotten that the £750 rental does not
allow for the worth of the house Ralegh had built, and for its costly
embellishments.

[Sidenote: _Vicissitudes of Ownership._]

[Sidenote: _Sale to Digby._]

Ralegh, with the certainty of a legal declaration of the forfeiture of
the fee, had reluctantly assented to the compromise. He was weary and
sick. He would be glad, he wrote, never to hear the place named
thenceforth. Not so easily could he divorce himself from it. There was
his old bailiff, whose insolent persecution tied him to the estate. In
April, 1610, Meere had the effrontery to offer to prove by a letter,
probably forged, that Ralegh had promised him £100 a-year to conceal a
set of frauds. His own heart cherished a lingering hope of a restoration
of the property after all. In 1612 it seemed to be on the point of
returning to him. Prince Henry expressed his indignation that a place of
so much strength and beauty should have been given away, and had begged
it of his father in the summer. James consented, and compensated Carr
with £25,000 or £20,000. Ralegh and his friends believed that the Prince
meant to bestow it on him with his freedom. On the Prince's death in
November it reverted to the Crown, which sold a lease of it to Sir
Robert Phillips. The transaction was speedily cancelled, and James gave
the place back to Carr for the sum of £20,000, which, if not more, he
had received. Three years later Carr's attainder shifted it over once
again. Villiers might have had it, and refused. He would not, he said,
have his fortune built upon another man's ruins. His contemporaries
thought he might have been influenced also by fear of Bishop Osmund's
curse upon all who should take Sherborne from the bishopric. Had he
accepted it, Felton's dagger would have been considered one of the
curse's instruments. At all events, he did not lose by his generous
sentiment. Eleven manors were bestowed upon him instead, as was recited
in their grant, of the Manor of Sherborne intended for him. Thereupon
the property was sold to Sir John Digby, subsequently Lord Digby of
Sherborne and Earl of Bristol, for £10,000, supplemented by gratuitous
diplomatic services in Spain. Long afterwards, as we shall see, Carew
Ralegh tried to revive the hereditary claim. Ralegh himself ceased to
prosecute it after Prince Henry's death.



CHAPTER XXIII.

SCIENCE AND LITERATURE (1604-1615).


[Sidenote: _Chemical Researches._]

In prison as in freedom, if Ralegh failed in one effort for the
reconstruction whether of his fortune, or of his career, he was always
ready for another. He felt all the tedium of the uphill struggle.
'Sorrow rides the ass,' he exclaimed; 'prosperity the eagle.' Never for
an instant was he dejected to the extent of faltering in the energy of
his protests against the endeavours to suppress him. As Mr. Rossetti has
noted in an exquisite sonnet, his mind remained always at liberty. His
avocations and interests were enough to engage a dozen ordinary lives.
He had always been interested in chemical experiments. He had studied
the qualities of metals. In August, 1602, Carew mentioned to Cecil that
he had been sending over to Ralegh from Munster 'many sorts of ore' to
prove. Within his Tower garden he equipped an assaying furnace. Cecil
occasionally visited it and him to inquire about the results. He is
supposed to have written a _Treatise of Mines and the Trial of
Minerals_. It has been thought he was associated with Sir Adrian Gilbert
in working during Elizabeth's reign the ancient and neglected silver
mines at Combe Martin. Long afterwards he agreed to join Boyle in
working a Munster copper mine. Beside his furnace he had his laboratory
at the foot of Bloody tower. He had always been fond of chemistry. A
learned book on it had been dedicated to him as to an expert in the days
of his grandeur. Oldys saw in Sir Hans Sloane's library a manuscript
collection in Ralegh's own hand of _Chemical and Medicinal Receipts_.
Now, in his enforced leisure, he threw himself ardently into the pursuit
of experimental philosophy in many directions. He is said to have learnt
how to cure common English tobacco in the Tower, so that he made it
equal to American. The Royal Agricultural Society a few years since
would have been grateful for his discovery. He is known to have
discovered in the Tower the art of condensing fresh water from salt. He
applied the process during his subsequent voyage to Guiana, though the
secret was afterwards lost for two centuries. He was especially eager in
the study of drugs. Waad wrote to Cecil in 1605 that he 'doth spend his
time all the day in distillations in a little hen-house in the garden,
which he hath converted into a still-house.' Sampson, a chemist, served
him as operator for twelve years. Materials were brought to him by his
old comrades and servants from all parts, and he experimented on their
properties. He kept a stock of spices and essences, which sometimes he
gave away, and sometimes sold. Great French ladies, we have seen, begged
balms of him. A letter is preserved from one Zechelius of Nuremberg,
complaining of his neglect to send some sassafras he had promised.

[Sidenote: _The Great Cordial._]

His drugs gained fame for cures, and sometimes for the reverse. He had
presented some to Overbury. Ill-natured gossip attributed the death of
the Countess of Rutland on September 1, 1612, to pills of his
composition. The wonder is that in neither case was any sinister motive
charged. On the other hand, his Great Cordial or Elixir, which is not to
be confounded with his Simple Cordial, was credited with astonishing
virtues, and devoutly imbibed. His exact prescription for it is no
longer extant. It is not clear whether he ever divulged the quantities
as well as the ingredients. As specified by himself it might not have
the air of quackery, which, it cannot be denied, surrounds the receipt
handed down to posterity. Charles the Second's apothecary, Nicholas le
Febre, or le Febure, compounded it for the royal use, and printed an
account in 1664. Evelyn relates that he accompanied Charles to see the
preparation in 1662. But le Febre, Kenelm Digby, and Alexander Fraser
tampered with the original. It is acknowledged that Fraser added the
flesh, heart, and liver of vipers, and the mineral unicorn. Other
liberties, it may be apprehended, were taken. The receipt as drawn up by
le Febre reads like a botanist's catalogue interpolated with oriental
pearls, ambergris, and bezoardic stones, to add mystery. The old London
Pharmacopoeia gave a simpler receipt, in which the ingredients were
zedoary and saffron, distilled with crabs' claws, cinnamon, nutmeg,
cloves, cardamom seeds, and sugar.

[Sidenote: _Political Disquisitions._]

Physical science did not occupy all his leisure. He wrote much. At
different periods of his imprisonment, which cannot be precisely fixed,
he composed a variety of treatises. He discussed many questions of
politics, theoretical and practical. In his _Prerogative of Parliaments_
he undertook to prove by an elaborate survey of past relations between
the Crown and the Legislature, that the royal power gains and does not
lose through regular and amicable relations with the House of Commons.
The _Savoy Marriage_ is a demonstrative argument against the proposed
double family alliance between Savoy and the House of Stuart. Of that,
and of his _Discourse of the Invention of Ships_, his _Observations
concerning the Royal Navy and Sea Service_, and the _Letter to Prince
Henry on the Model of a Ship_, I have already spoken. He composed _A
Discourse on War in General_, which is very sententious. From his
notebooks he collected, in his _Arts of the Empire_ and _The Prince_,
better known as _Maxims of State_, a series of wise, almost excessively
wise, thoughts which had occurred to him in the course of his eager
reading. An essay on the _Seat of Government_, and _Observations
concerning the Causes of the Magnificency and Opulency of Cities_, show
equal exuberance of learning, chiefly classical, though they cannot be
said to be very conclusive. The former reads as if it had been meant for
an introduction to a contemplated ampler view of polity. He must have
studied not merely general, but economic politics, if the _Observations
touching Trade and Commerce with the Hollander_ _and other Nations_ be
by him. That remains a matter of doubt. Both Oldys and a recent German
writer ascribe the work, published under five varying titles, to John
Keymer, the Cambridge vintner, who is said to have composed, about 1601,
_Observations upon the Dutch Fishery_. Ralegh more commonly has the
credit of it. The dissertation, first printed inaccurately, and under a
different heading, in 1650, shows minute statistical information, though
it propounds, as might be expected, not a few economic fallacies. Its
aim is the not very generous one of abstracting the carrying trade from
Holland. The author engages, if he should be empowered to inquire
officially, to enrich the King's coffers with a couple of millions in
two or three years.

[Sidenote: _Moral and Metaphysical Essays._]

Ralegh is alleged to have written on the state, power, and riches of Spain.
He has had attributed to him a _Premonition to Princes; A Dialogue_, in
1609, _between a Jesuit and a Recusant; A Discourse on Spanish Cruelties to
Englishmen in Havanna_, and others on the relations of France, England, and
Spain, and the meaning of the words Law and Right. He expatiated in the
field of practical morals in his celebrated _Instructions to his Son and to
Posterity_. The treatise makes an unpleasant impression with its hard,
selfish, and somewhat sensual dogmatism. In extenuation it must be
recollected that it was addressed to a hot and impetuous youth. He
cultivated a taste for metaphysics. _The Sceptic_ and _A Treatise on the
Soul_ are exemplifications of it. The former, as it stands, is an apology
for 'neither affirming, nor denying, but doubting.' Probably the intention,
not carried out, was to have composed an answer in defence of faith. It is
affirmed, as matter beyond scepticism, that bees are born of bulls, and
wasps of horses. _The Treatise on the Soul_ is a performance of more mark.
The profusion of its learning is enough to prevent surprise, whatever the
quantity of knowledge displayed by the writer elsewhere. It is memorable
for a fine burst of indignation at the denial by some men that women
possess souls, and for several marvellous subtleties. For instance, the
necessity of the theory that man begets soul as well as body, is alleged,
since the contrary is said to involve the blasphemous absurdity that God
assists adultery by having to bestow souls upon its fruits. In the Oxford
edition of Ralegh's works, _A Discourse of Tenures which were before the
Conquest_ is also included. So versatile was Ralegh that he has thus been
assumed to have even amassed the lore of a black-letter lawyer. Its
authenticity nevertheless does not seem to have been questioned. That of
the _Life and Death of Mahomet_ has been, and on very sufficient grounds.
The _Dutiful Advice of a Loving Son to his Aged Father_ falls within a
different category. It is not more likely than Steele's counterfeit letter
in the _Englishman_ to Prince Henry against the phrase 'God's Vicegerent,'
or Bolingbroke's attacks, in Ralegh's name, upon Walpole in the _Craftsman
Extraordinary_, to have been put forth with any notion that it would be
believed to be his. Some editors have supposed it to be a libel upon him by
an enemy. Any reader who peruses it dispassionately will see that it is
sufficiently reverent pleading against the postponement of repentance to
the hour of death, written by an admirer of Ralegh's style, with no purpose
either of ridicule or of imposture.

[Sidenote: _Posthumous Publications._]

Dissertations which were undoubtedly his circulated in manuscript, and
were printed posthumously, if ever. _A Report of the Truth of the Fight
about the Isles of Azores_, the _Discovery of Guiana_, and the _History
of the World_, alone of his many prose writings appeared in his
lifetime. The _Prerogative of Parliaments in England_ was not published
till 1628, and then first at Middleburg. Milton had the _Arts of Empire_
printed for the first time in 1658, under the title of _The Cabinet
Council, by the ever-renowned Knight Sir Walter Ralegh_. Dr. Brushfield,
in his excellent _Ralegh Bibliography_, suggests that Wood may have
meant this essay by the _Aphorisms of State_, to which he alludes as
having been published in 1661 by Milton, and as identical with _Maxims
of State_. Others of his writings have disappeared altogether. David
Lloyd, in his _Observations on the Statesmen and Favourites of England_,
published in 1665, states that John Hampden, shortly before the Civil
Wars, was at the charge of transcribing 3452 sheets of Ralegh's
writing. The published essays with his name attached to them do not
nearly account for this vast mass. It may be suggested as a possible
hypothesis that Hampden's collection comprised the manuscript materials
for both parts of the History. Some compositions of his are known to
have been lost. That has been the fate of his _Treatise of the West
Indies_, mentioned by himself in the dedication of his _Discovery of
Guiana_, and also of a _Description of the River of the Amazons_, if it
were correctly assigned to him by Wood. Most of all to be regretted, if
Jonson or Drummond is to be believed, is the life Jonson, at
Hawthornden, alleged 'S.W.', that is, Sir Walter, to have written of
Queen Elizabeth, 'of which there are copies extant.' As a writer of
prose, no less than as a poet, he had little literary vanity. He wrote
for a purpose, and often for one pair of eyes. When the occasion had
passed he did not care to register the author's title.

[Sidenote: _History of the World._]

The weightiness of thought, the enormous scope, the stateliness without
pedantry or affectation, and the nobility of style, of one literary
product of his imprisonment insured it against any such casualty. Of all
the enterprises ever achieved in captivity none can match the _History
of the World_. The authors of _Pilgrim's Progress_ and _Don Quixote_
showed more literary genius, and as much elasticity of spirit. Their
works did not exact the same constancy and inflexibility of effort. Mr.
Macvey Napier has well said: 'So vast a project betokens a consciousness
of intellectual power which cannot but excite admiration.' Ralegh may
himself not have commenced by realising the gigantic comprehensiveness
of his undertaking. An accepted theory has been that his primary idea
was a history of his own country, not of the world. It has been usual to
cite a sentence of the preface in proof. The passage does not confirm
the hypothesis. It runs: 'Beginning with the Creation, I have proceeded
with the history of our world; and lastly proposed, some few sallies
excepted, to confine my discourse within this our renowned island of
Great Britain.' Here is no intimation that he had begun by setting
before him for his text English history, and that the history of the
world was an enlarged introduction. If his own words are to be believed,
his survey of universal antiquity was as much part of his scheme as
English history. Only, as he proceeded, the mass of details would
necessarily thicken, and he would be compelled to narrow his inquiries.
Having to choose, he naturally selected the nation which he regarded as
the heir of successive empires, a race more valiant than the warriors,
whether of Macedon or of Rome. But he distinctly preferred as a
historical subject antiquity to recent times. As he says, 'Whosoever in
writing a modern history shall follow truth too near the heels, it may
haply strike out his teeth.'

[Sidenote: _Breviary of the History of England._]

It has been conjectured that he had already, before the History received
its final shape, experimented on the more contracted or concentrated
theme to which he purposed ultimately to devote himself. Archbishop
Sancroft possessed a short manuscript entitled a _Breviary of the
History of England under William the First_. This was printed in 1693
without the Archbishop's consent, under the title _An Introduction to
the Breviary of the History of England, with the Reign of King William
I, entitled the Conqueror_. Sancroft, a good judge, considered the work
in all its parts much like Ralegh's way of writing, and worthy of him.
Though the language is more careless than Ralegh's, and the tone is less
elevated, there is a resemblance in the diction. But much importance
cannot be attached to a general similarity in the style of compositions
belonging to the same age. Sancroft had the manuscript from an old
Presbyterian in Hertfordshire, 'which sort of men were always the more
fond of Sir Walter's books because he was under the displeasure of the
Court.' Other manuscript copies also ascribe the authorship to Ralegh.
The book, which shows research, but is not very accurate, is almost
identical with the corresponding portion of the poet Samuel Daniel's
_Collection of the History of England_, printed in 1618, and entered
originally in the Register of the Stationers as a _Breviary of the
History of England_. Daniel introduces his narrative with the words:
'For the work itself I can challenge nothing therein, but only the
serving, and the observation of necessary circumstances with
inferences.' Ralegh, though it is not very likely, may have given the
fragment to Daniel for use in his history. Clearly he had formed a
project of writing a history of England himself. In an undated letter
from the Tower he asks Sir Robert Cotton to lend him thirteen authors,
'wherein I can read any of our written antiquities, or any old French
history, wherein our nation is mentioned, or any else in what language
soever.' It is not impossible that the _Breviary_, if in any way it were
his, led him on to his gigantic enterprise, which by its expansion,
unfortunately or fortunately, usurped all the leisure he had
prospectively appropriated to his native annals. But the composition of
an elaborate history by him was no accident, though the choice of the
particular subject may have been.

[Sidenote: _Studies for the History._]

Whatever the original design, the History in its final shape demanded
encyclopædic research and learning. Necessarily the preparation for it
and its composition employed several years. The number is not known.
Ralegh is alleged to have begun to collect and arrange his matter in
1607. The date is purely conjectural. Sir John Pope Hennessy imagines
that the preliminary investigations may be traced much farther back.
Ralegh quotes in his book Peter Comestor's _Scholastica Historia_, an
abstract of Scripture history, which has been found, with other remnants
of an old monastic library, in a recess behind the wainscot of Ralegh's
bedroom, next to his study in the house at Youghal. Mr. Samuel Hayman,
the historiographer of Youghal, writing in 1852, states that the
discovery was made a few years before, and that the books had probably
been 'hidden at the period of the Reformation.' Sir John conjectures
that Ralegh may have been taking notes from the collection 'for the
_opus magnum_ during his frequent Irish exiles.' An objection is that,
according to Mr. Hayman, the authority cited by Sir John, Comestor's
volume, with its companions, must have been secreted before Ralegh
resided at Youghal, and have remained concealed till he had been dead
for two centuries. In one sense he had been in training for the
enterprise during his whole life; in another the actual work doubtless
was accomplished after he felt that he was destined to a long term of
imprisonment. He had always been a lover of books. In the midst of his
adversities he spared £50 as a contribution towards the establishment of
the Bodleian Library. When he was most deeply immersed in affairs he had
made time for study. As Aubrey says, probably with complete truth, he
was no slug, and was up betimes to read. On every voyage he carried a
trunk full of books. During his active life, when business occupied
thirteen hours of the twenty-four, he is said by Shirley to have reduced
his sleeping hours to five. He was thus able to devote four to study,
beside two for conversation. He loved research; and his name is in a
list of members of the Society of Antiquaries formed by Archbishop
Parker, which, though subsequently dissolved, was the precursor of the
present learned body bearing the name. In the Tower he could read
without stint. He possessed a fair library. From the company of his
books, writes Sir John Harington, he drew more true comfort than ever
from his courtly companions in their chiefest bravery.

[Sidenote: _Care for Accuracy._]

Formerly, his reading necessarily had been desultory. For his History it
had to be concentrated. He distrusted the exactness of his information,
and was willing to accept advice freely. For criticism, Greek, Mosaic,
Oriental and remoter antiquities, he consulted the learned Robert
Burhill. Hariot had since 1606 been lodging or boarding in the Tower at
the charge of the munificent Earl of Northumberland. He, Hues, and
Warner were the Earl's 'three magi.' For chronology, mathematics, and
geography, Ralegh relied upon him. 'Whenever he scrupled anything in
phrase or diction,' he would refer his doubt to that accomplished
serjeant-at-law, John Hoskyns or Hoskins. Hoskyns, now remembered, if at
all, by some poor little epigrams, belongs to the class of paragons of
one age, whose excellence later ages have to take on trust. He is
described by an admirer as the most ingenious and admired poet of his
time. Wotton loved his company. Ben Jonson considered him his 'father'
in literature: ''Twas he that polished me.' In the summer of 1614 he
became, in consequence of a speech in the House of Commons, Ralegh's
fellow prisoner. He is said to have revised the History before it went
to press. Ralegh's intense desire to secure accuracy, his avowal of it,
and its notoriety, have given occasion for charges against his title to
the credit of the total result. Ben Jonson and Algernon Sidney are the
only independent authorities for the calumny. But it has been caught up
by other writers, especially by Isaac D'Israeli, who seems to have
thought charges brought, as Mr. Bolton Corney showed, on the flimsiest
evidence, of an impudent assumption of false literary plumage, in no way
inconsistent with fervid admiration for the alleged pretender.

[Sidenote: _Borrowed Learning._]

Ben Jonson was associated incidentally in the work. He prefaced it with
a set of anonymous verses explanatory of an allegorical frontispiece.
The manuscript of them was found among his papers. They have always been
included in his _Underwoods_. Though the version there differs
materially from that prefixed to the History, no reasonable doubt of his
authorship of both exists. His omission openly to claim the lines is
supposed, not unreasonably, by Mr. Edwards, to have been due to his fear
of the prejudice his favour at Court might sustain from an open
connexion with a fame so odious there as Ralegh's. But a year after
Ralegh's death he boasted over his liquor to civil sneering Drummond at
Hawthornden, of other 'considerable' contributions. He had written, he
said, 'a piece to him of the Punic War, which Sir Walter altered and set
in his book.' In general, the best wits of England were, he asserted,
engaged in the production. Algernon Sidney, in his posthumous
_Discourses concerning Government_, repeated this insinuation of
borrowed plumes of learning. Ralegh, he stated, was 'so well assisted in
his _History of the World_, that an ordinary man with the same helps
might have performed the same thing.' This is all bare assertion, and
refuted by the internal evidence of the volume itself, which in its
remarkable consistency of style, method and thought, testifies to its
emanation from a single mind. Ralegh had himself explained with a manly
frankness, which ought to have disarmed suspicion, the extent to which
alone he was indebted for assistance. In his preface he admits he was
altogether ignorant of Hebrew. When a Hebrew passage did not occur in
Arias Montanus, or in the Latin character in Sixtus Senensis, he was at
a loss. 'Of the rest,' he says, 'I have borrowed the interpretation of
some of my learned friends; yet, had I been beholden to neither, yet
were it not to be wondered at; having had an eleven years' leisure to
attain to the knowledge of that or any other tongue.' As a whole, the
History must be recognised as truly his own, his not only in its
multitude of grand thoughts and reflections, but in the narrative and
general texture. It cannot be the less his that some of the 660 authors
it cites may have been searched for him by assistants.

[Sidenote: _Period of Publication._]

As early as 1611 he must have settled the scheme, and even the title, of
the book. On April 15 in that year notice was given in the Registers of
the Stationers' Company of '_The History of the World_, written by Sir
Walter Rawleighe.' Part may be presumed to have been by that time
written, and shown to Prince Henry. Three years passed before actual
publication. Camden fixes that on March 29, 1614. Though it is almost
impossible to think Camden in error, yet, if the story of the perusal of
the manuscript by Serjeant Hoskyns be true, and apply, as has been
presumed, to the period of the Serjeant's imprisonment, the publication
must have been half a year or more later. The later date would also
accord better with a rumour of the suppression of the volume at the
beginning of 1615. The publisher was Walter Burre, of the sign of the
Crane in St. Paul's Churchyard. Burre published several works for Ben
Jonson; and out of that circumstance has been constructed the statement
that Jonson superintended the publication of the History for Ralegh. The
form was that of a massive folio, at a price vaguely put by Alexander
Ross at 'twenty or thirty shillings.' The edition was struck off in two
issues, the errata of the first being corrected in the second. None of
the extant copies of either issue possess a title-page, or contain any
mention of the writer's name. The explanation may be the modesty or the
pride which had led him habitually to neglect the personal glory of
authorship, apprehension of the odium in which his name was held at
Court, or a reason which will be mentioned hereafter. There is an
engraved frontispiece by Renold Elstracke, the most elaborate of its
kind known in English bibliography. A naval battle in the North Atlantic
is depicted, and the course of the river Orinoko, with various
symbolical figures. Ben Jonson's lines point its application. All the
pages of the volume bear the heading, 'The First Part of the History of
the World.'

[Sidenote: _Defects._]

[Sidenote: _Merits._]

For modern readers a defect of the work is the learning, which was the
wonder and admiration of contemporaries. Since Ralegh's time the
historical method, and historical criticism, have been entirely changed.
The mass of historical evidences has been immensely increased, and their
quality is as different as their quantity. Ralegh had studied the
researches of his learned contemporaries. He had expended much thought
on the reconciliation of apparent inconsistencies. From the point of
view of his own time he was successful. Often he satisfied others better
than himself. Thus, he acknowledges with vexation his inability to
divide exactly the seventy years of the Jewish captivity among the
successive kings of Babylon. Had he been not merely a disciple of the
great scholars of his age, but himself a pioneer, his dissertations and
conclusions would equally have been drowned in the flood of later
knowledge. His information is become superannuated. The metaphysical
subtleties which he loved to introduce no longer delight or surprise.
With all this there is much in the work which can never be obsolete, or
cease to interest and charm. He himself is always near at hand,
sometimes in front. He does not shun to be discerned in the evening of a
tempestuous life, crippled with wounds aching and uncured. He does not
repress, he hails, opportunities for sallying outside his subject. He is
easily tempted to tell of the tactics by which the Armada was
vanquished, and how the battle might have had another issue had Howard
been misled by malignant fools that found fault. He recollects how he
won Fayal. He pauses in his narrative of Alexander's victories to
glorify English courage. He does homage to the invincible constancy of
Spain, and avows her right to all its rewards, if she would 'but not
hinder the like virtue in others.' The story suddenly gleams with
flashes of natural eloquence and insight. Nowhere is there stagnation.
His characters are very human, and very dramatic. King Artaxerxes is
shown wearing a manly look when half a mile off, till the Greeks, for
whom the bravery was not meant, espied his golden eagle, and drew rudely
near. Queen Jezebel is visible and audible, with her paint, which more
offended the dogs' paunches than her scolding tongue troubled the ears
of Jehu, struggling in vain with base grooms, who contumeliously did
hale and thrust her. There Demetrius revels, discovering at length in
luxurious captivity the happiness he had convulsed the world with
travail and bloodshed to attain. Pyrrhus is painted to the life, flying
from one adventure to another, which was indeed the disease he had,
whereof not long after he died in Argos. Characters are drawn with an
astonishing breadth, depth, and decision. Nothing in Tacitus surpasses
the epitaph on Epaminondas, the worthiest man that ever was bred in that
nation of Greece. Everywhere are happy expressions, with wisdom beneath.
It is a history for the nurture of virtuous citizens and generous kings,
for the confusion of sensuality and selfishness.

[Sidenote: _The Moral._]

The narrative rises and falls with the occasion; it is always bright and
apt. Charles James Fox bracketed Bacon, Ralegh, and Hooker, as the three
writers of prose who most enriched the English language in the period
between 1588 and 1640. The diction of the History establishes Ralegh's
title to the praise. It is clear, flowing, elastic, and racy, and
laudably free, as Hallam has testified, from the affectation and passion
for conceits, the snare of contemporary historians, preachers, and
essayists. If Pope, as Spence represents, rejected Ralegh's works as
'too affected' for one of the foundations of an English dictionary, he
must have been talking at random. At all events, he contradicted his own
judgment deliberately expressed in authentic verse. For style, for wit,
mother wit and Court wit, and for a pervading sense that the reader is
in the presence of a sovereign spirit, the _History of the World_ will,
to students now as to students of old, vindicate its rank as a classic.
But its true grandeur is in the scope of the conception, which exhibits
a masque of the Lords of Earth, 'great conquerors, and other troublers
of the world,' rioting in their wantonness and savagery, as if Heaven
cared not or dared not interpose, yet made to pay in the end to the last
farthing of righteous vengeance. They are paraded paying it often in
their own persons, wrecked, ruined, humiliated; and always in those of
their descendants. At times it has seemed as if God saw not. In truth
'He is more severe unto cruel tyrants than only to hinder them of their
wills.' Israelite judges, Assyrian kings, Alexander, the infuriate and
insatiable conqueror, May-game monarchs like Darius, Rehoboam with his
'witless parasites,' so unlike wise, merciful, generous King James and
his, Antiochus, 'acting and deliberating at once, in the inexplicable
desire of repugnancies, which is a disease of great and overswelling
fortunes,' Consul Æmilius, sacking all innocent Epirus to show his
vigour, down to Henry the Eighth, 'pattern of a merciless prince,' none
of them escaped without penalties in their households; none elude their
condemnation and sentences, sometimes, as in the case of Alexander, it
may be deemed, a little too austere, before the tribunal of posterity.
On moves the world's imperial pageant; now slowly and somewhat heavily,
through the domain of Scriptural annals, with theological pitfalls at
every step for the reputed free-thinker; now, as Greek and Roman
confines are reached, with more ease and animation; always under the
conduct as if of a Heaven-commissioned teacher with a message to rulers,
that no 'cords have ever lasted long but those which have been twisted
by love only.' Throughout are found an instinct of the spirit of events
and their doers, a sense that they are to be judged as breathing beings,
and not as mummies, an affection for nobility of aim and virtuous
conduct, a scorn of rapacity, treachery, selfishness, and cruelty, which
account better for the rapture of contemporaries, than for the neglect
of the _History of the World_ in the present century.

[Sidenote: _Popular Favour._]

It was hailed enthusiastically both by a host of illustrious persons and
by the general public. The applause rolled thundering on. The work was
for Cromwell a library of the classics. He recommended it with
enthusiasm in a letter to his son Richard. Hampden was a devoted student
of it, as of Ralegh's other writings. It was a text-book of Puritans, in
whose number, Ralegh says, if the _Dialogue with a Jesuit_ be his, he
was reckoned, though unjustly. They had forgotten or forgiven under
James his enmity to their old idol Essex. The admiration of
Nonconformists did not deter Churchmen and Cavaliers from extolling it.
Bishop Hall, in his _Consolations_, writes of 'an eminent person, to
whose imprisonment we are obliged, besides many philosophical
experiments, for that noble _History of the World_. The Tower reformed
the courtier in him.' Montrose fed his boyish fancy upon its pictures of
great deeds. Unless for a few prejudiced and narrow minds it, 'the most
God-fearing and God-seeing history known of among human writings,' as
Mr. Kingsley has described it, swept away the old calumny of its
author's scepticism. All ranks welcomed it as a classic. That Princess
Elizabeth made it her travelling companion is proved by the history of
the British Museum copy of the 1614 edition, which formed part of her
luggage captured by the Spaniards at Prague in 1620, and recovered by
the Swedes in 1648. With the King alone it found no favour.
Contemporaries believed that he was jealous of Ralegh's literary ability
and fame. Causes rather less base for his distaste for the book may be
assigned. Ralegh had endeavoured to guard in his preface against a
suspicion that, in speaking of the Past, he pointed at the Present, and
taxed the vices of those that are yet living in their persons that are
long since dead. He had interspersed encomiums upon his own sovereign,
the 'temperate, revengeless, liberal, wise, and just,' though 'he may
err.' His doctrine was, as he has written in his _Cabinet Council_, that
'all kings, the bad as well as the good, must be endured' by their
subjects. The murder even of tyrants is deprecated, as 'followed by
inconveniences worse than civil war.' But posterity he did not think was
debarred from judging worthless rulers; and he tried them in his
History. In the eyes of James such freedom of speech, especially in
Ralegh, was _lèse majesté_. An explanation by himself of his ill-will to
the book, which has been handed down by Osborn, has an air of
verisimilitude. In his _Memoirs on King James_, Osborn relates that
'after much scorn cast upon Ralegh's History, the King, being modestly
demanded what fault he found, answered, as one surprised, that Ralegh
had spoken irreverently of King Henry the Eighth.' He would be more
indignant on his own account than on that of King Henry, against whom,
says Osborn, 'none ever exclaimed more than usually himself.' James
discovered his own features in the outlined face of Ninias, 'esteemed no
man of war at all, but altogether feminine, and subjected to ease and
delicacy,' the successor of valiant Queen Semiramis, too laborious a
princess, as Ralegh held, to have been vicious.

[Sidenote: _Threatened Suppression._]

Commonly it has been believed that the King's sympathy with his caste
provoked him to the monstrosity of an attempt to stifle its censor's
volume. Chamberlain wrote to Carleton at Venice on January 5, 1615: 'Sir
Walter Ralegh's book is called in by the King's commandment, for divers
exceptions, but specially for being too saucy in censuring princes. I
hear he takes it much to heart, for he thought he had won his spurs, and
pleased the King extraordinarily.' The author of the _Observations on
Sanderson's History_ in 1656 writes to the same effect, but somewhat
less definitely: 'It is well known King James forbad the book for some
passages in it which offended the Spaniards, and for being too plain
with the faults of princes in his preface.' There is no other evidence,
and the majority of Ralegh's biographers have simply accepted the fact
on the authority of Chamberlain's assertion. Yet it is almost incredible
that so extreme an act of prerogative, carried out against so remarkable
a work, should have been suffered to pass without popular protests.
Ralegh and his wife never complained; and they were not given to
suffering in silence. Copies of the first edition are extant in an
abundance which, though not absolutely contradictory to the tale,
renders it unlikely. Dr. Brushfield, who has made the history of the
publication his especial study, conjectures that a compromise with the
royal censorship was effected on the terms that a title-page, which he
thinks the first, like all subsequent editions, originally contained,
should be removed, leaving the volume apparently anonymous. The surmise
is ingenious; but it is very hard to believe that such an arrangement,
if made, would have excited no discussion. Chamberlain's language,
moreover, implies that the book was already in circulation. It would be
exceedingly strange if its previous purchasers had the docility to
eliminate the title-page from their copies, in deference to an order
certainly not very emphatically promulgated. The readiest explanation is
that Chamberlain, in his haste to give his correspondent early
information, reported to him a rumour, and perhaps a threat, upon which
James happily had not the hardihood to act.

[Sidenote: _Successive Editions._]

[Sidenote: _Two Fables._]

At all events, the book weathered the storm of royal displeasure,
however manifested. A second edition appeared in 1617. Down to the
standard Oxford collection of Ralegh's works in 1829, which includes it,
eight have been published since. The last folio edition appeared, with a
biography by the editor, Oldys, in 1736. Gibbon commends it as the best
which had to that time appeared, though it is open to charges of gross
carelessness in the printer, and of arbitrary alterations by the editor,
to the injury of the sense. The work was popular enough to attract
epitomists. Alexander Ross, in 1650, condensed it into his _Marrow of
History_, which is rather its dry bones. Philip Ralegh, Sir Walter's
grandson, in 1698 printed an abridgment. The _Tubus Historicus_, or
_Historical Perspective_, published in 1631, a brief summary of the
fortunes of the four great ancient Empires, which bears Ralegh's name on
the title-page, suggests rather the hand of a book-maker. For half a
century from the time of the original issue it was an accepted classic.
No folio of the period, it has been said, approached it in circulation.
Its success tempted Alexander Ross to put forth in 1652 a second part,
B.C. 160 to A.D. 1640. The popular favour was enough to have encouraged
the author to continue his own design. Two explanations of his
interruption of it have been invented. For the first, the eldest
authority is W. Winstanley's _English Worthies_, published in 1660.
Winstanley, whom Aubrey follows, relates that Ralegh, a few days before
his execution, asked Burre how that work of his had sold. So slowly,
answered Burre, that it had undone him. Thereupon Ralegh, stepping to
his desk, took the other unprinted part of his work into his hand with a
sigh, saying 'Ah, my friend, hath the first part undone thee? The second
volume shall undo no man; this ungrateful world is unworthy of it.' Then
immediately, going to the fireside, he threw it in, and set his foot on
it till it was consumed. The story is impossible, if only for the
circumstance that the publication notoriously was not a failure. At the
period to which the fable is assigned a second edition had been printed.
So rapid was its sale, furthered, it may be admitted, by the
circumstances of the author's death, that a third edition appeared in
1621. As, moreover, has been with prosaic common sense observed, a
manuscript of some 1000 printed pages would have taken very long to
burn.

The other story is still more complicated, and, if possible, more
insolently mythical. John Pinkerton, writing under the name of Robert
Heron, Esq., in 1785, in his eccentric _Letters on Literature_, is its
source. According to him Ralegh, who had just completed the manuscript
of a second volume, looking from his window into a court-yard, saw a man
strike an officer near a raised stone. The officer drew his sword, and
ran his assailant through. The man, as he fell, knocked the officer
down, and died. His corpse and the stunned officer were carried off.
Next day Ralegh mentioned the affray to a visitor of known probity and
honour. His acquaintance informed him he was entirely in error. The
seeming officer, he said, a servant of the Spanish Ambassador, struck
the first blow. The other snatched out the servant's sword, and with it
slew him. A bystander wrested away the sword, and a foreigner in the
crowd struck down the murderer, while other foreigners bore off their
comrade's body. The narrator, to Ralegh's assurances that he could not
be mistaken, since he had witnessed the whole affair as it happened
round the stone, replied that neither could he be, for he was the
bystander, and on that very stone he had been standing. He showed Ralegh
a scratch on the cheek he had received in pulling away the sword. Ralegh
did not persist in his version. As soon as his friend was gone, he cast
his manuscript into the fire. If he could not properly estimate an event
under his own eyes, he despaired of appreciating human acts done
thousands of years before he was born. 'Truth!' he cried, 'I sacrifice
to thee.' Pinkerton, whose judgment and veracity were not equal to his
learning, led astray both Guizot and Carlyle. Carlyle talks of 'the old
story, still a true lesson for us.'

[Sidenote: _The Fact._]

Of the extent to which Ralegh had proceeded in the continuation of his
work he had himself informed the public. In his preface he 'forbears to
promise a second or third volume, which he intends if the first receives
grace and good acceptance; for that which is already done may be thought
enough and too much.' At the conclusion he wrote: 'Whereas this book
calls itself the first part of the _General History of the World_,
implying a second and third volume, which I also intended, and have hewn
out; besides many other discouragements persuading my silence, it hath
pleased God to take that glorious prince out of the world, to whom they
were directed.' His language points evidently to the collection of
'apparatus for the second volume,' as Aubrey says. It may have
comprised very possibly not a few such scattered gems of thought and
rich experience as are the glory of the printed volume. A Ralegh
Society, should it ever be instituted, might have the honour of
disinterring and reuniting some of them. No less clearly he indicates
that he had not advanced beyond the preliminary processes of inquiry and
meditation.

[Sidenote: _The Prerogative of Parliaments._]

The motive for his abandonment at this point of the thorough realization
of his plan was probably a combination of disturbing causes,
disappointment, hope, and rival occupations. Prince Henry's favour had
brought liberty and restitution very close. With a nature like his the
abrupt catastrophe did not benumb; it even stimulated; but it took the
flavour out of many of his pursuits. He could no longer indulge in
learned ease, and trust for his rehabilitation to spontaneous respect
and sympathy. The near breath of freedom had set his nerves throbbing
too vehemently for him to be able to settle down, as if for an eternity
of literary leisure, to tasks like the _History of the World_, or the
_Art of War by Sea_. He began working mines as busily as ever, but in
new directions. He sought to make himself recognised as necessary either
by the King or by the nation. With the sanguine elasticity which no
failures could damp, he tried to storm his way as a politician into the
royal confidence a few months after he is said to have experienced as a
scholar an effect of the King's invincible prejudice. At some period
after May, 1615, he wrote, and dedicated to James, an imaginary dialogue
between a Counsellor of State and a Justice of the Peace. Under the
title of _The Prerogative of Parliaments in England_ it was published
first posthumously in 1628, at Middleburg. In his lifetime it circulated
in manuscript copies.

[Sidenote: _Hallam's Misconception._]

A conspicuous instance of the misconceptions of which he was the habitual
victim is the view taken of this treatise by Algernon Sidney, and by the
judicious and fair-minded Hallam. Its object was to influence the King to
call a Parliament. Ralegh's point of view of the royal prerogative was, it
must be admitted and remembered, that of a Tudor courtier. It was very
different from that which the Long Parliament learnt and taught. But it was
liberal for his own day, according to a Tudor standard of liberalism. It
was too liberal for the taste of the Court of James. Hallam has caught at
some phrases couched in the adulatory style, 'so much,' Hallam allows,
'among the vices of the age, that the want of it passed for rudeness.'
Ralegh told James in his dedication that 'the bonds of subjects to their
kings should always be wrought out of iron, the bonds of kings unto
subjects but with cobwebs.' Sidney had already protested against these
obsequious phrases; and to Hallam they seem 'terrible things.' He is
equally horrified by a statement in the dialogue that Philip II 'attempted
to make himself not only an absolute monarch over the Netherlands, like
unto the Kings of England and France, but Turk like to tread under his feet
all their national and fundamental laws, privileges, and ancient rights.'
The tenor of the essay itself only has to be equitably considered to enable
its readers to place a more lenient construction than Hallam's even upon
the former sentence. Ralegh merely was pursuing his object, with some
carelessness, after his manner, as to form. Throughout he endeavoured to
sweeten advice he knew to be unpalatable, by assurances that the King need
not fear his prerogative would be permanently impaired by deference to the
representatives of the people. The language is, for the nineteenth century,
indefensible. Taken in connexion with the general argument, it resolves
itself into a courtly seventeenth century solace to the monarch for an
obligatory return to Parliamentary government.

[Sidenote: _Not shared by James._]

For the second quotation such an excuse is scarcely requisite. The
theories of the royal prerogative in France and in England were not
originally dissimilar, profoundly unlike as was the practice. Since, as
well as before, the Revolution of 1689, the absolute character of the
English sovereignty has been a common theory of lawyers. Blackstone,
writing in the reign of George the Third, asserts dogmatically that an
English King is absolute in the exercise of his prerogative. Blackstone
was able to find room beside an absolute prerogative for the national
liberties and Parliamentary privileges. So was Ralegh able. His language
seems now unconstitutional, when, in his _Maxims of State_, he
distinguishes the English 'Empire' from a 'limited Kingdom'; or when, in
this _Prerogative of Parliaments_, he declares that 'the three Estates
do but advise, as the Privy Council doth.' To him, however, 'limited'
meant more than now, and 'absolute' less. He saw no inconsistency
between the theory of royal absolutism and the application of popular
checks. Their reconciliation was the purpose of the essay of 1615. That
was evident to many excellent patriots of the next reign, who circulated
and gloried in a composition which proved the writer their fellow
worker. It was too apparent, though not to Hallam, to James, for the
dissertation to move him to any kindness. The basis and principle of the
discussion affronted all his prejudices. He was not to be beguiled by
admissions of his theoretical omnipotence into affection for a wise and
constitutional policy, which recognised popular rights. He had no
inclination to traverse the golden bridge Ralegh had built for his
return within the lines, whether of the Constitution, or of personal
justice. In all relations Ralegh was antipathetic to James without
consciousness of it. He could declare his implicit belief, in consonance
with strict constitutional orthodoxy, that the King loved the liberties
of his people, and that none but evil counsellors intercepted the signs
of his liberality. He could acknowledge the tender benignity of his
sovereign to himself, and throw upon betrayers of the royal trust the
shame of his persecution. He could be excessively deferential and
grateful in words and demeanour. He could not but act and reason with a
mental independence as hateful to James as to Henry Howard, and as
condemnatory. Whether he discoursed on Assyrian or on English politics,
or on his private wrongs, he sat visibly on the seat of judgment.
Nothing but tame silence and spiritual petrifaction could have made his
peace at the Stuart Court. It was the one kind of fealty he was
incapable of rendering.



CHAPTER XXIV.

THE RELEASE (March, 1616).


[Sidenote: _How his Fetters fell off._]

No merits of his, and no sense of justice to him, opened, or ever would
have opened, his prison doors. But at length it was become inconvenient
to keep him under duress. The gaolers who cared to detain him were gone.
In their places stood others who had an interest in sending him forth,
though with a chain on his ankle. He could never have been brought to
trial on a fantastic charge, or been convicted without evidence, unless
for the weight of popular odium, which enabled the new Court to trample
upon the favourite of the old. Without that he could not have been kept
for long years in prison. Gradually the nation forgot its habit of
dislike, which never had much foundation. Englishmen remembered his
mighty deeds. They honoured him as the representative of a glorious and
dead past. His fetters were of themselves falling off. Special
circumstances helped to shake him free of them. He had protested
ineffectually in the name of right. He had pleaded to deaf ears for
liberty to serve his country. At length an impression had been produced
that the prosecution of his policy might bring money into other coffers
beside his own.

He had never ceased to plan the establishment of English colonies in
Virginia and Guiana. He regarded both countries as his, and as English
by priority of discovery or occupation. From the fragments of his broken
fortunes the captive of the Tower had managed to fit out or subsidize
expeditions at intervals to both. Every few years the Guiana Indians in
particular were reminded by messages from him that their deliverance
from the Spaniards was at hand. To Englishmen ores and plants from
Guiana recalled the riches of the land, and their title to it. Thus, in
December, 1609, we hear that Sir Walter Ralegh had a ship come from
Guiana laden with gold ore. His chase after freedom was stimulated by
visions of himself once more a leader, and the founder of an empire. The
thought grew to be a passion, and almost a monomania.

[Sidenote: _Petitions to the Queen._]

To gain permission to hazard life, health, and reputation in the western
seas, he was ready to subscribe to the most grotesque conditions, which,
however, do not seem to have impressed contemporaries as extravagant. He
had hoped that the Queen Consort might consent to be lady patroness of
his project. In 1611 he solicited her formally. He proffered by letter
his service in Virginia. It was his name for Guiana, in order not to
alarm pro-Spanish jealousies. He had been suspected of a design to fly
from England under cover of a voyage of discovery. The Queen had faith
in him, and he entreated her to give her word for him to mistrustful
Cecil. He was willing, if he should not be on his way to America by a
day set, to forfeit life and estate. As a security against turning aside
to some foreign European Court after his departure from England, he
would leave his wife and two sons as his pledges. His wife, whom we can
see stooping over him, and dictating the words, 'shall yield herself to
death, if I perform not my duty to the King.' If this sufficed not, the
masters and mariners might have orders, if he offered to sail elsewhere,
to cast him into the sea. Again in 1611 he addressed the Queen.
Previously he had propounded to Cecil a scheme for a Guiana expedition,
of which he now sent her a copy. He besought her influence on its
behalf. She would be acting for the King's sake, that 'all presumption
might be taken from his enemies, arising from the want of treasure.' He
was scarcely pleading, he said, for himself. 'My extreme shortness of
breath doth grow so fast, with the despair of obtaining so much grace
to walk with my keeper up the hill within the Tower, as it makes me
resolve that God hath otherwise disposed of that business, and of me.'

[Sidenote: _Golden Bait._]

At this time interest in Guiana and its precious metals had revived.
Ralegh had some morsels of merquisite he had himself picked up assayed
by a refiner. The man found gold in them. These, or other specimens of
Guiana ores, Sir Amias Preston, his old adversary, had seen. Preston had
extolled them to Cecil. Ralegh may have discussed their virtues with
Cecil in the Tower at one of the interviews in the laboratory, when, he
complains, the Minister would listen, inquire, talk of the assay, hold
out hopes, and then retreat into an _arrière boutique_, in which he lay
unapproachable. A letter to Cecil, with the uncertainty of date which
breaks the hearts of Ralegh's biographers, says: 'I have heard that Sir
Amias Preston informed your Lordship of certain mineral stones brought
from Guiana, of which your Lordship had some doubt--for so you had at my
first return--secondly, that your Lordship thought it but an invention
of mine to procure unto myself my former liberty; suspicions which might
rightly form into the cogitations of a wise man.' He assured Cecil that
a mountain near the river contained 'an abundance sufficient to please
every appetite.' Once he had thought the stones valueless, like other
merquisite. He had been convinced of his error by the refiner, who was
willing to go and be 'hanged there if he prove not his assay to be
good.' To avert suspicion that he meant to become a runagate, Ralegh was
ready not to command, but to ship as a private man. He repeated his
strange offer to be cast into the sea if he should persuade a contrary
course. The cost would be no more than £5000. 'Of that, if the Queen's
Majesty, to whom I am bound for her compassion, and your Lordship will
bear two parts, I and my friends will bear a third. Your Lordship may
have gold good and cheap, and may join others of your honourable friends
in the matter, if you please. For there is enough. The journey may go
under the colour of Virginia. We will break no peace; invade none of
the Spanish towns. We will see none of that nation, except they assail
us.' His intention was to melt down the mineral on the spot into ingots,
'for to bring all in ore would be notorious.' In 1610 he had written to
a trusted friend of James, John Ramsay, then Viscount Haddington, and
later Earl of Holderness, with similar proposals. He would follow Ramsay
as a private man, or others, and if he recommended a different course
was willing to be drowned. Then, 'if I bring them not to a mountain,
near a navigable river, covered with gold and silver ore, let the
commander have commission to cut off my head there.' Or he would give a
£40,000 bond to boot.

[Sidenote: _Overtures to the Council._]

In 1611, or 1612, he alternated his overtures to the Queen with others
to Lords of the Council, who, it may be gathered from a letter of his,
agreed to become joint-adventurers with him. A plan had been started for
sending Captain Keymis with two ships to Guiana, and enough men to
defend him 'from the Spaniards inhabiting upon Orenoche, not that it is
meant to begin any quarrel with them, except themselves shall begin the
war.' Captain Moate, servant of Ralegh's friend, Sir John Watts, had
come the last spring 'from St. Thome, where the Spaniards inhabit.'
According to him Keymis might safely go the five miles from the river to
his mountain. In this way he could bring from the mine 'half a ton of
that slate gold ore, whereof I gave a sample to my Lord Knevett.' In
default, all the charge of the journey should be laid upon himself. He
was contented to adventure all he had but his reputation upon Keymis's
memory. He warned the Lords, that 'there is no hope, after this trial
made, to fetch any more riches from thence.' But he submitted to the
wisdom of the King and their Lordships. 'Only, if half a ton be brought
home, then I shall have my liberty, and in the meanwhile my free pardon
under the Great Seal, to be left in his Majesty's hands till the end of
the journey.' That precaution later he omitted, and paid the penalty of
dealing in good faith with crowned and coroneted pettifoggers. At all
events, the present proposal gave full notice to members of the Council
of the existence of a Spanish settlement on the Orinoko, which
subsequently Ralegh was accused of having perfidiously concealed from
the King.

[Sidenote: _Other Voyagers to Guiana._]

His projects, prayers, and expeditions came to nothing at the time. They
were not without their effect. They kept the thought of Guiana before
the nation. As James in his _Declaration_ afterwards asserted, the
confident asseveration of that which every man was willing to believe,
enchanted the world. To a certain degree it influenced the King and
Court. James was not of a nature to undervalue dignities and
opportunities of wealth. While he imprisoned the explorer, he had
asserted the title to Guiana acquired through him. He commissioned
Captain Charles Leigh in 1604, and, after his death, Captain Robert
Harcourt in 1608, to take possession of all from the Amazon to the
Dessequebe, with the neighbouring islands. The result was a settlement
on the Oyapoco. After three years the colonists abandoned the
enterprise, and returned to England. Harcourt experienced the effect of
the local renown of Ralegh, and of the success of his efforts to keep
alive the recollection of the fealty once offered through him to
England. Leonard the Indian, who had resided in England three or four
years with Ralegh, obtained for Harcourt supplies he sorely needed. The
help was rendered in the belief, says Ralegh, that Harcourt was a
follower of his. The natives visited Harcourt's vessel dressed in
European clothes, which Ralegh had sent them the year before. They were
disappointed at not finding him in command. Leigh's and Harcourt's
expeditions confirmed his assertions of the immense possibilities of the
country. Harcourt expressly stated his 'satisfaction that there be rich
mines in the country.' The actual fruits were so meagre as to
demonstrate that supreme capacity was needed to extract its treasures.

Ralegh's adversaries, including James, were as persuaded as his friends
of his unbounded ability. They hated him for it. They were covetous of
gold and territory. They thought he might justify his boasts, and
enrich them as well as himself, if he were let go. Failure, on the other
hand, would, they calculated, blast his power to hurt. At all events, in
the existing popular mood, it was easier to despatch him at his own
expense for their contingent gain to America, than to confine him in the
Tower. Their personal relations with Spain supplied rather a motive for
his liberation for such a purpose than a fatal objection. James longed
for a family league with the Escurial. Spain was reserved and proud, and
responded coldly to his advances. He did not care what harm came to
Ralegh, upon whom, as Mr. Gardiner says, he knew the Spaniards would
fall wherever they found him. Meanwhile he hoped to warm his coy allies
by letting loose upon the Spanish Main their and his inveterate
aversion. Ralegh was a convenient firebrand to show Spain the harm
England, if an enemy, could do. He was a scapegoat to immolate in proof
of all England was prepared to sacrifice in return for Spain's love.
Suddenly, for many mixed reasons, it was decided to free him. He was to
be licensed to discover gold mines and affirm the English title to the
Orinoko.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's Opportunity._]

[Sidenote: _King Christian._]

He himself was at the moment in a strong position for demanding liberty
and a commission. The arms and hands which had, according to his
expression, abused their Sovereign's borrowed authority to fling stones
at him, were now, as with doubtful discretion as well as taste he
reminded James in the _Prerogative of Parliaments_, 'most of them
already rotten.' Robert Cecil, though nowise to be ranked with Howard as
demoniacally malevolent, had evinced no disposition to release him.
Certainly he would, if only for Ralegh's own sake, not have abetted his
wild quest of Guiana gold. But he too was dead. Robert Carr was worse
than dead. The terrible exposure of his and his wife's crimes had made
James and his counsellors peculiarly sensitive to public opinion. Hallam
thinks it 'more likely than anything else that James had listened to
some criminal suggestion from Overbury and Somerset, and that, through
apprehension of this being disclosed, he had pusillanimously acquiesced
in the scheme of Overbury's murder.' That is Hallam's deliberate view of
the King who claimed the right to sit in judgment on Ralegh. The country
entertained a similar suspicion. It might have been dangerous to hold a
national hero confined under the same prison roof with the principals in
the crime. Moreover, a sympathetic politician, Sir Ralph Winwood, was
Secretary of State. Personally, Winwood was in high favour with the
King, notwithstanding discrepancies in their estimates of the value of a
Spanish alliance. Of that he and Archbishop Abbot both were vehement
opponents. They thought Ralegh a likely instrument for bringing about a
collision with Spain in the most advantageous circumstances. For the
moment Winwood's admiration of Ralegh and dislike of Spain, and the
King's contrary feelings, together with his general disposition to shift
responsibility, worked to the same end. George Villiers was inclined to
befriend Ralegh out of opposition to the Howards, who had been Carr's
supporters. Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton, had died in June, 1614.
The credit of Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, the Lord Treasurer, was
waning. The old Lord High Admiral Nottingham's naval administration had
been unsuccessful and wasteful. King Christian, the Queen's brother,
when recently in England, had warmly interceded for Ralegh, whom, if Sir
Thomas Wilson's reports of subsequent conversations with Ralegh are to
be believed, he would gladly have borrowed of James for the Danish navy.
Ralegh believed the King had, on a previous visit, asked for his
liberty. That is not certain. Carleton, writing to Chamberlain in
August, 1606, stated that Christian had declined the office. In any case
he exerted himself on his second visit. The fact must be set off for him
against another, that he was a sot, and, as Harington shows, set an evil
example of drunken bouts to the imitative English Court. Ralegh wrote to
Winwood in January, 1616, on the wealth of Guiana: 'Those that had the
greatest trust were resolved not to believe it; not because they doubted
the truth, but because they doubted my disposition towards themselves,
had I recovered his Majesty's favour and good opinion. Our late worthy
Prince of Wales was extreme curious in searching out the nature of my
offences; the Queen's Majesty hath informed herself from the beginning;
the King of Denmark, at both times his being here, was thoroughly
satisfied of my innocency. The wife, the brother, and the son of a King
do not use to sue for mere suspect. It is true, sir, that his Majesty
hath sometimes answered that his Council knew me better than he did;
meaning some two or three of them; and it was indeed my infelicity. For
had his Majesty known me, I had not been where I now am; or had I known
his Majesty, they had never been so long where they now are. His
Majesty's misknowing of them hath been the ruin of a goodly part of his
estate; but they are all of them--some living, and some dying--come to
his Majesty's knowledge. But to die for the King, and not by the King,
is all the ambition I have in the world.'

[Sidenote: _Gifts of Money._]

No further explanation of Ralegh's deliverance might seem to be
required. Without the co-operation of these various coincidences which
aided his claim to justice, and weakened the resistance to it, he must
indeed have remained in prison. But the popular belief was that the
immediate agency to which he owed his freedom was neither equity nor
policy; it was the prisoner's own money. A half-brother of George
Villiers, Sir Edward Villiers, and Sir William St. John, a kinsman of
Sir Edward's wife, are alleged in the _Observations on Sanderson's
History of King James_, to have procured Sir Walter Ralegh's liberty,
and to have had £1500 for their labour. The story has been denied.
Unfortunately it is by no means intrinsically improbable. It agrees with
Ralegh's confident allusion at his death to the ease with which he could
have bought his peace, even after his return from Guiana, if he had been
rich enough. There is a miserable consistency in his imprisonment on a
false charge of treason, and his release through a bribe to relatives of
the King's favourite. He wrote to George Villiers: 'You have by your
mediation put me again into the world.' The service cannot be
questioned, but its motive.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's Fellow Prisoners._]

[Sidenote: _Death of Cobham._]

On March 19, 1616, a royal warrant required the Lieutenant of the Tower
to 'permit Sir Walter Ralegh to go abroad to make preparations for his
voyage.' He then partially or entirely quitted the prison which had been
his home for twelve years. Its population had undergone some recent and
notable changes and exchanges. Sir George More was Lieutenant. Lord Grey
of Wilton had died in July, 1614. To the end he had hoped to be, through
the influence of Henry Howard and Carr, set free to serve Protestant
Holland against Catholic Spain. More pitiable Arabella Stuart, or
Seymour, had entered in 1611. She survived till September, 1615, ever
weak, but guilty of no crime except her contingent birthright. Ralegh
left in prison Northumberland. This splendid patron of letters, for the
dozen years he inhabited the Tower, has been said to have invested it
with the atmosphere of an university. He peopled it with students and
inquirers, such as Thomas Allen, William Warner, Robert Hues, Torporley,
and Hariot. Of an intelligence and capacity which won Sully's
admiration, but wayward, scornful, and, for his own interests very
little of the wizard he was reputed to be, he had been consigned thither
for no guilt, unless, like Ralegh, that he may have consorted with the
guilty. An injustice was not wholly fruitless which bestowed on Ralegh
the comfort of a companionship of learning. Death, eight years before
his release, had freed the last titular chieftain of the Fitzgeralds,
whose spoils he had shared; but he left there an older antagonist,
Florence McCarthy, the 'infinitely adored' Munster man, who in a
neighbouring cell emulated his historical researches. He left Cobham. A
rumour current at the commencement of 1616 that Cobham, like him, was to
be freed, was not confirmed till 1617, and then only partially. In that
year Cobham was allowed to visit Bath for the waters. He was on his way
back to the Tower in September, when, at Odiham, he had a paralytic
stroke. He was conveyed to London at the beginning of October, and
lingered between life and death till January 12, 1619. Probably he
expired in the Tower, though Francis Osborn, who had been master of the
horse to Lord Pembroke, was told by Pembroke that he died half starved
in the hovel of an old laundress in the Minories. The statement of his
poverty is in conflict with the fact mentioned by Ralegh in the
_Prerogative of Parliaments_, that the Crown allowed him £500 a year
till his death for his maintenance. An explanation has been offered that
the tale may have been founded on the delay in his burial. His wealthy
wife and relatives tried to throw upon the Crown the liability for the
cost of an obscure funeral by night at Cobham. But for some unknown
reason he appears to have been in pecuniary straits. Camden speaks of
his return to the Tower 'omnium rerum egentissimus,' and of his death
'miser et inops.' Certainly he had been, as he deserved to be, more
harshly treated in respect of money than Ralegh. On his conviction his
estates had been confiscated. Even his valuable library, which, in the
Tower, he had retained, was claimed in 1618 for the King's use by the
Keeper of State Papers. He had no wife to tend him as had Ralegh. Lady
Kildare was more literally faithful than Sir Griffin Markham's wife,
who, while he was in exile, wedded her serving man, and had to do
penance for bigamy at St. Paul's in a white sheet. But she neglected her
husband, whom she had once ardently loved, and allowed him to pine
alone. Ralegh's admirers too cannot but despise him, though their
feeling is less anger than impatience that so poor a creature should
have warped the fate of one so great.

[Sidenote: _Carr and his Wife._]

Another and newer prisoner Ralegh left, who was to stay till 1622, as
notorious as Cobham, and yet more ignoble. Robert Carr, Viscount
Rochester, and Earl of Somerset, had been committed to the Tower on
October 18, 1615, on the charge of having procured the murder of Sir
Thomas Overbury. The guiltier Countess was joined in the accusation, and
committed in April, 1616. Both were convicted in the May after Ralegh's
release. They were lodged in Ralegh's old quarters, he in the Bloody
tower, she in the garden pavilion erected or remodelled for Ralegh's
accommodation. It had been hastily prepared for her in response to her
passionate entreaties to the Lieutenant not to be put into Overbury's
apartment. Carr's imprisonment and Ralegh's liberation are said, in a
treatise attributed to Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke, to have given great
occasion of speech and rumour. Quips and taunts upon Carr, on the same
authority, are imputed to Ralegh. Town gossip was always busy with his
name. In the absence of facts it invented. He was capable of sharp
epigrams, and may have exulted in the fall of his unworthy supplanter.
He would not have condescended to hurl gibes, as has further been
alleged, in the face of the miserable being who was succeeding him as
tenant of his cell. The story is that, possibly during a visit to the
Tower after Carr's trial, he met the convict entering the dark archway
from Water Lane, and thereupon remarked aloud: 'The whole History of the
World had not the like precedent of a King's prisoner to purchase
freedom, and his bosom favourite to have the halter, but in Scripture,
in the case of Mordecai and Haman.' As improbably James is reported to
have been told, and to have retorted that 'Ralegh might die in that
deceit.'



CHAPTER XXV.

PREPARING FOR GUIANA (1616-1617).


[Sidenote: _A Pilgrimage Round London._]

Ralegh's freedom was for a period conditional. The King's warrant 'fully
and wholly enlarging' him, was not issued till January 30, 1617. From
the preceding March 19, or, Camden says, March 29, he was permitted to
live at his own house in the city. But he was attended by a keeper, and
his movements were restricted. On March 19, the Privy Council had
written to him: 'His Majesty being pleased to release you out of your
imprisonment in the Tower, to go abroad with a keeper, to make your
provisions for your intended voyage, we admonish you that you should not
presume to resort either to his Majesty's Court, the Queen's, or
Prince's, nor go into any public assemblies wheresoever without especial
licence.' Before his liberation he had been seriously ill. Anxiety, and,
it was rumoured, excessive toil in his laboratory at the assaying of his
Guiana ores, had brought on a slight apoplectic stroke. A sense of
liberty restored his activity. In March or April he handselled his
freedom, as Chamberlain wrote to tell Carleton, with a journey round
London to see the new buildings erected since his imprisonment. Then
forthwith he commenced his preparations for 'the business for which,' as
wrote the Council, 'upon your humble request, his Majesty hath been
pleased to grant you freedom.' He needed no driving, and he spared no
sacrifices.

[Sidenote: _The Destiny._]

He collected information from every quarter, and was willing to buy it.
He promised, for instance, payment out of the profits of the voyage to
an Amsterdam merchant for discovering somewhat of importance to him in
Guiana. He arranged on March 27, eight days after his release, for
Phineas Pett, the King's shipwright, to build, under his directions, the
Destiny, of 450 tons burden. He pledged all his resources. He called in
the loan of £3000 to the Countess of Bedford. His wife sold to Mr.
Thomas Plumer for £2500 her house and lands at Mitcham. Altogether he
spent £10,500. Part he had to borrow on bills. So impoverished was he
that, as he related subsequently, he left himself no more in all the
world, directly or indirectly, than £100, of which he gave his wife £45.
Warm personal friends, of whom he always had many, notwithstanding his
want of promiscuous popularity, gave encouragement and sympathy. George
Carew, writing to Sir Thomas Roe at the Great Mogul's Court of the
building of the Destiny, which was launched on December 16, 1616,
'prayed Heaven she might be no less fortunate with her owner than is
wished by me.' Carew, shrewd and prudent, had no doubt of the sincerity
of his 'extreme confidence in his gold mine.' Adherents contributed
money and equipments. Lady Ralegh's relative, grand-nephew of her old
opponent at law, Lord Huntingdon, presented a pair of cannon. The Queen
offered good wishes, and was with difficulty dissuaded from visiting the
flagship.

Many co-adventurers joined, and contributed nearly £30,000.
Unfortunately they were, Ralegh has recorded, mostly dissolute,
disorderly, and ungovernable. Their friends were cheaply rid of them at
the hazard of thirty, forty, or fifty pounds apiece. Some soon showed
themselves unmanageable, and were dismissed before the fleet sailed. Of
the discharged a correspondent of Ralegh's pleasantly wrote: 'It will
cause the King to be at some charge in buying halters to save them from
drowning.' More than enough stayed to furnish Ralegh with mournful
grounds later on for recollecting his own Cassandra-like regret that
Greek Eumenes should have 'cast away all his virtue, industry, and wit
in leading an army without full power to keep it in due obedience.' Of
better characters were some forty gentlemen volunteers. Among them were
Sir Warham St. Leger, son of Ralegh's Irish comrade, not as Mr. Kingsley
surmises, the father, who had been slain in 1600; George Ralegh,
Ralegh's nephew, who had served with Prince Maurice; William or Myles
Herbert, a cousin of Ralegh, and near kinsman of Lord Pembroke; Charles
Parker, misnamed in one list Barker, a brother of Lord Monteagle;
Captain North; and Edward Hastings, Lord Huntingdon's brother. Hastings
died at Cayenne. He would, wrote Ralegh at the time, have died as
certainly at home, for 'both his liver, spleen, and brains were rotten.'

[Sidenote: _Young Walter._]

Young Walter was of the company, and Ralegh and his wife adventured
nothing else for them so precious. Walter was fiery and precocious, too
much addicted, by his father's testimony, to strange company and violent
exercise. He had been of an age to feel the ruin of his parents, and to
resent their persecution. In childhood, with the consent of Cobham, and
of Cecil as Master of the Court of Wards, he was betrothed to Cobham's
ward, Elizabeth, the daughter and heiress of wealthy William Basset, of
Blore. On the attainder the contract was broken. The girl was affianced
to Henry Howard, who died in September, 1616, a son of Lord Treasurer
Suffolk, formerly Lord Thomas Howard. Walter was born in 1593, and in
October, 1607, at fourteen, matriculated at Corpus College, Oxford. He
was described as, at this time, his father's exact image both in body
and mind. In 1610 he took his bachelor's degree. By 1613 he was living
in London. In April, 1615, according to a letter from Carew to Roe,
though other accounts variously give the date as 1614 or early in 1616,
he fought a duel with Robert Finett or Tyrwhit, a retainer of Suffolk's.
It was necessary for him to leave the country. Ralegh sent him to the
Netherlands, with letters of introduction to Prince Maurice. Ben Jonson
is said to have acted as his governor abroad. That is impossible at the
date, 1593, assigned by Aubrey to their association. It is not
impossible a year or two after 1613, if not in 1613, when Jonson appears
to have been in France. Poet and pupil are said to have parted 'not in
cold blood.' It is likely enough, if Drummond's tale be true, as Mr.
Dyce seems to believe, that Walter had Jonson carted dead drunk about a
foreign town. According to another not very plausible story, retailed by
Oldys, the exposure of the tutor's failing was at the Tower, and to
Ralegh, to whom Walter consigned Jonson in a clothes-basket carried by
two stout porters. Though the particular tales are hardly credible,
Jonson's revelries may have laid him open to lectures by the father, and
disrespect from the son, which would have something to do with the
dramatist's sneer at the memory of Ralegh, as one who 'esteemed more
fame than conscience.' At all events, Walter, now just twenty-three, was
back from the Continent in time to command his father's finely-built and
equipped flagship, the Destiny. He was as full of life as Edward
Hastings of disease, and as death-doomed.

[Sidenote: _Commission with Omissions._]

Ralegh was liberated expressly that he might work out his Guiana plans.
He was not pardoned. A royal commission was granted him in August, 1616.
He had understood that he was to have a commission under the Great Seal,
which would be addressed to him as 'trusty and well-beloved.' Actually,
though he and others often seem to have forgotten the difference, it was
under the Privy Seal, and he was described as plain 'Sir Walter Ralegh.'
The honorary epithets are known to have been inserted originally, and
afterwards erased. Similarly, in a warrant for the payment to him in
November, 1617, of the statutable bounty of 700 crowns for his
construction of the Destiny, an erasure precedes his name. The space it
covers would suffice for the expression, 'our well-beloved subject,'
usual in such grants. The withholding at any rate of a pardon excited
apprehensions. It was matter of common talk. Carew wrote to Roe on March
19, 1616, that Ralegh had left the Tower, and was to go to Guiana, but
'remains unpardoned until his return.' Merchants, it was stated,
required security, 'Sir Walter Ralegh being under the peril of the law,'
that they should enjoy the benefits of the expedition. His kinsmen and
friends, it was said, were willing to serve only 'if they might be
commanded by none but himself.' Their scruples had to be pacified by the
issue of an express licence to him to carry subjects of the King to the
south of America, and elsewhere within America, possessed and inhabited
by heathen and savage people, with shipping, weapons and ordnance. He
was authorised to keep gold, silver, and other goods which he should
bring back, the fifth part of the gold, silver, pearls, and precious
stones, with all customs due for any other goods, being truly paid to
the Crown. Further, his Majesty, of his most special grace, constituted
Ralegh sole commander, 'to punish, pardon, and rule according to such
orders as he shall establish in cases capital, criminal, and civil, and
to exercise martial law in as ample a manner as our lieutenant-general
by sea or land.' The commission did not contain the authority conferred
by Ralegh's old Guiana commission to subdue foreign lands. It too is
reported to have been originally inserted, and to have been struck out
by James.

[Sidenote: _Unpardoned._]

[Sidenote: _Advice from, and avowal to, Bacon._]

Ralegh must, like his friends and creditors, have been conscious of the
risk of sailing without a pardon. Carew Ralegh many years afterwards
asserted, that Sir William St. John agreed to procure one for him for
£1500 beyond the sum paid for his liberty. According to the
_Observations on Sanderson's History_, the benefit was offered by St.
John and Edward Villiers jointly, and for as little as £700. A right to
abandon the voyage if he pleased was to have been added. Bacon's name is
connected with the matter. Incidentally Bacon, who had been appointed
Lord Keeper on March 7, 1617, is known to have met Ralegh after his
release. He himself relates that he kept the Earl of Exeter waiting long
in his upper room as he 'continued upon occasion still walking in Gray's
Inn walks with Sir Walter Ralegh a good while.' On the authority of
Carew Ralegh, as quoted in a letter to the latter from James Howell in
the _Familiar Letters_, he is reported, possibly on this occasion, to
have persuaded Ralegh to save his money, and trust to the implication of
a pardon to be inferred from the royal commission. 'Money,' said the
Lord Keeper, 'is the knee-timber of your voyage. Spare your money in
this particular; for, upon my life, you have a sufficient pardon for all
that is past already, the King having under his Great Seal made you
Admiral, and given you power of martial law. Your commission is as good
a pardon for all former offences as the law of England can afford you.'
That is the view of so sound a constitutional lawyer as Hallam. His
reason for the contention is that a man attainted of treason is
incapable of exercising authority. But it can scarcely be argued as a
point of law, and it is difficult to believe that a Lord Keeper should
have volunteered a dogma of an absolute pardon by implication. Moreover,
though, as will hereafter be seen, Sir Julius Cæsar, who was Master of
the Rolls, fell into the same mistake in 1618, the misdescription,
imputed to Bacon, of the Commission as under the Great Seal, of itself
casts doubt upon the anecdote. On the whole, there is no sufficient
cause for disputing the statement in the _Declaration_ of 1618, that
James deliberately, 'the better to contain Sir Walter Ralegh, and to
hold him upon his good behaviour, denied, though much sued unto for the
same, to grant him pardon for his former treasons.'

In the course of this or another conversation, Bacon, according to Sir
Thomas Wilson's note of a statement made to him by Ralegh himself,
inquired, 'What will you do, if, after all this expenditure, you miss of
the gold mine?' The reply was: 'We will look after the Plate Fleet, to
be sure.' 'But then,' remonstrated Bacon, 'You will be pirates!' 'Ah!'
Ralegh is alleged to have cried, 'who ever heard of men being pirates
for millions!' The Mexican fleet for 1618 is in fact computed to have
conveyed treasure to the amount of £2,545,454. It is scarcely credible
that Ralegh, though never distinguished for cautious speech, should have
been so intemperately rash. Such a confession to Bacon, known to be
Winwood's antagonist, who would rejoice to have ground for thwarting the
anti-Spanish party at Court, is particularly unlikely. Mr. Spedding
himself, while he believes it, regards Ralegh's reply as 'a playful
diversion of an inconvenient question.' As a serious statement the
saying is not the more authentic that it emanates from Wilson. Naturally
it has been accepted by writers for whom Ralegh is a mere buccaneer.

[Sidenote: _Count Gondomar._]

From the first it is evident that Spain and the Spanish faction at the
English Court laboured to place upon the expedition the construction
which Ralegh's apocryphal outburst to Bacon would warrant. Don Diego
Sarmiento de Acuña, the Ambassador of Spain, better known by the title,
not yet his, of Count Gondomar, was the mouthpiece of the view. He
offered, as Ralegh in his _Apology_ virtually admits, to procure a
safe-conduct for Ralegh to and from the mine, with liberty to bring home
any gold he should find. The condition he imposed was that the
expedition should be limited to one or two ships. The reason Ralegh gave
in his paper for declining the arrangement, was that he did not trust
sufficiently to the Ambassador's promises to go unarmed. In view of the
way Spaniards were in the habit of treating English visitors, he clearly
could not with prudence. At all events, for its refusal, if the offer
were ever made in a practicable shape, James and his Government are
obviously as responsible as he. They might, if they chose, have
withdrawn his commission if he rejected those terms. Gondomar was a good
Spaniard. He had a patriotic hatred for 'the old pirate bred under the
English virago, and by her fleshed in Spanish blood and ruin.' His
influence with James was boundless. He could 'pipe James asleep,' it was
said, 'with facetious words and gestures.' They were the more diverting
from their contrast with his lank, austere aspect. James had supreme
faith in his wisdom, to the extravagant extent, according to his own
incredible letter in 1622 from Madrid to the King, of having appointed
him a member '_non seulement de votre Conseil d'état, mais du Cabinet
intérieur_.'

[Sidenote: _Disclosures to the Spanish Ambassador._]

Above all, he held for or against England the key to a family pact with
the Escurial. At first he hoped to stop Ralegh's enterprise altogether.
So late as the middle of March, 1617, Chamberlain wrote to Carleton that
the Spanish Ambassador had 'well nigh overthrown it.' If he could not
nip the undertaking in the bud, he had means of stifling it by
misinterpreting to James Ralegh's motives, and by informing the Spanish
Court how to meet force with force. Ralegh was ordered to explain the
details of his scheme, and to lay down his route on a chart. According
to Carew Ralegh, whose information may be presumed to have been derived
from Lady Ralegh, James promised upon the word of a King to keep secret
these accounts of the programme. At any rate, Gondomar, by his familiar
access to the King, was enabled to study the whole, whatever its value.
He forwarded all particulars to Madrid. When the fleet had been surveyed
by the Admiralty, he had a copy of the official report. He sent it by
express to his Government, which despatched it with instructions to
America. Cottington, the English Agent at the Spanish Court, was
directed to promise that no harm should be done by Ralegh's voyage. The
King in his _Declaration_ of 1618 said he had taken 'order that he and
all those that went in his company should find good security to behave
themselves peaceably,' though the intention, the King lamented, was
frustrated by 'every one of the principals that were in the voyage
putting in security one for another.' There even was a story that the
Court had obliged Lords Arundel and Pembroke to engage solemnly for
Ralegh's return, that he might be rendered personally liable for any
wrong. The foundation for this report may have been that, late in March,
as the Destiny was about to sail from the Thames, James, alarmed at
Gondomar's prognostications of evil, retailed them to his Council.
Ralegh's supporters at the Board reassured him by affirmations of their
willingness to give security that no harm should be done to lands of the
King of Spain. James, several weeks earlier, at the end of January, had
solemnly promised Gondomar, through Winwood, that, though he had
determined to allow the voyage, if Ralegh acted in it in contravention
of his instructions, he should pay for his disobedience with his head.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's preparations against Violence._]

[Sidenote: _The Comte des Marêts._]

Ralegh and his friends knew of the care taken to guard Spanish interests
at his cost. He had told Carew, as Carew writes to Roe, that 'the alarm
of his journey had flown into Spain, and sea forces were prepared to lie
for him.' He was nothing appalled, since, as Carew was informed, he had
a good fleet, and would be able to land five or as many as seven hundred
men; 'which will be a competent army, the Spaniards, especially about
Orinoque, being so poorly planted.' Carew evidently, it will be seen,
assumed that Ralegh must expect violence, and might lawfully meet it in
kind. James and his Councillors assumed it also, till Ralegh came back
empty handed. He openly was arming to be a match in battle for the
Spaniards; and his party in the Council with equal earnestness tried to
balance the weight there of Spain by another influence. Mr. Secretary
Winwood wished in all ways to break with Spain. He urged Ralegh to
capture the Mexico fleet. In support of his policy he favoured an
intimate alliance with the chief rival Power. He introduced Ralegh to
the Comte des Marêts, the French Ambassador. Des Marêts is supposed to
have grown apprehensive of a sudden diversion of Ralegh's forces to an
attack on St. Valery in the interest of the Huguenots against the Queen
Mother. He was glad, therefore, of an opportunity of judging for himself
of Ralegh's views. They may already have had communication by letter.
French influence had been, it is thought, employed on Ralegh's behalf
while he was in the Tower. He had never ceased to maintain relations
with the Huguenots, and the French Court appreciated the importance in
certain circumstances of his services. The Spanish, Savoyard, and
Venetian Envoys had inspected his squadron. On March 15, 1617, the Count
too visited the Destiny. He reported the interview to Richelieu a few
days later. He soon satisfied himself that St. Valery was not
threatened. He told Ralegh that the French Court had sympathised with
him in his long and unjust imprisonment, and the confiscation of his
property. From another quarter he had heard, he wrote to Richelieu, that
Ralegh especially resented the gift of Sherborne to Sir John Digby, who
lately had returned from his Spanish mission. He gathered that Ralegh
was discontented with James, and with the Court policy. Ralegh expressed
his desire for more talk at a less inconvenient time and place.
Richelieu had recently described him to Marshal Concini as 'grand
marinier et mauvais capitaine'; but he was far from discouraging his
overtures. A subsequent interview was held, and described in a despatch
several weeks after the meeting. If the Count's memory did not, as Sir
Robert Schomburgk thinks, deceive him, Ralegh said: 'Seeing myself so
badly and tyrannically treated by my own Sovereign, I have made up my
mind, if God send me good success, to leave my country, and to make to
the King your master the first offer of what shall fall under my power.'
Doubtless there was just so much truth in the Count's report that a
profusion of compliments passed. Des Marêts would express his
astonishment at the treatment Ralegh had experienced, and regret that
France had not enjoyed the happiness of possessing such a hero, and the
opportunity of rewarding him properly. Ralegh would respond in the same
key, and assure his French sympathiser that, if an occasion presented
itself, he was well inclined to serve the noblest Court in Europe. He is
not to be held responsible for the positive summary the Frenchman
dressed up of the conversation weeks after it had passed to show
Ralegh's effusiveness and his own caution. Des Marêts himself did not at
the time treat the talk seriously. He said he replied that Ralegh could
betake himself to no quarter in which he would receive more of courtesy
or friendship. 'I thought it well,' wrote des Marêts, 'to give him good
words, although I do not anticipate that his voyage will have much
fruit.'

[Sidenote: _Understanding with France._]

Before Ralegh left English waters he had further negotiations with
France. A Frenchman, Captain Faige, was his companion on the voyage,
which commenced March 28, 1617, from the Thames to Plymouth. By this man
he sent in May a letter to a M. de Bisseaux, a French Councillor of
State. He wrote that he had commissioned Faige to take ships to points
in the Indies agreed on between them. The intention was to meet Ralegh
at the mine which he counted upon working. Faige, he said, could explain
his plan. He asked for a patent, promised, he said, by Admiral de
Montmorency, which would empower him to enter a French port, 'avec tous
les ports, navires, equipages, et biens, par lui traités ou conquis.'
One Belle reported himself to Montmorency as Faige's associate. In that
character he obtained Ralegh's letter, and carried it with other papers,
and a map of Guiana, to Madrid. There he told the story in the May of
the following year. Ralegh's letter to Bisseaux in his handwriting has
been seen and copied at Simancas. If he ever received, as is inferred
from his admissions to the Royal Commissioners next year, and to Sir
Thomas Wilson, the warrant he asked, it was a permit from the French
Admiralty. It was not a commission from the French Crown, and, whatever
it was, James and his Ministers were parties to its grant.

[Sidenote: _Mystifications._]

The whole secret history of the preliminaries to the Guiana expedition
forms a tangled skein. The negotiations of Ralegh with France were
certainly known to Winwood, and, there can be little doubt, to James
also. Ralegh taxed the King by letter in October, 1618, with privity and
assent to the arrangement, through Faige, for the co-operation of French
ships against the Spaniards at the mouth of the Orinoko. He was not
contradicted. Winwood and his section of the Council in good faith
preferred a French to a Spanish compact. They did not shudder at the
contingency of war. James and the pro-Spanish party concurred for the
moment in the playing off of France against Spain, in order to push
Spain into the English alliance which they coveted. From the double
motive the Government in general encouraged Ralegh to treat with France.
That Spain might be frightened he was instigated to an intimacy with
French Ministers and plotters. Though he never received a regular French
commission, it was allowed to be supposed that one had been issued to
him. No French ships were fitted out to aid him, or despatched to the
coast of Guiana. Nothing, it may confidently be asserted, was ever
farther from his thoughts than the surrender of territory he might
appropriate to any foreign Crown. All simply was a game of mystification
devised for one purpose by Winwood, and, for a different purpose, joined
in by James and the rest. The Spanish faction wished to give Spain cause
to fancy its foe was being unchained to do his worst against it at his
own discretion, and by any agency he chose, unless it should come to
terms speedily. A condition of the game, which Ralegh but imperfectly
understood, was that it should be played at his especial peril. He was
suffered to concert measures with one foreign ally of England against
another, at the direct instance of a leading Minister, and with the
connivance of the King himself. The King was informed of the intrigue,
and knew as much as his indolence permitted of its various steps. He was
never obliged to know so much, or to betray such signs of knowing
anything, as not to be in a position on an exigency to disavow the
whole. This was his idea of state-craft.

The negotiation with the French Government was but one of the threads in
the skein. James and his advisers were in a frame of mind in which any
foreign adventure had a chance of securing their support. Ralegh, and
the popular excitement which had wafted him from a prison to an
Admiral's command, were pawns moved by the political speculators of the
Court for their own purposes. Wild rumours circulated of objects to
which the expedition was about really to be directed. The circumstances
of the expedition, the character of its chief, his sudden liberation,
and the trust reposed in him, were so extraordinary that all Europe was
disturbed. Though Continental thought may, as the greatest of modern
historians has said, have visited the memory of Ralegh since with an
indifference more bitter than censure or reproach, it was very far from
indifferent in 1617. At home cynics disbelieved the sincerity of Ralegh.
They ridiculed the notion that, after the iniquitous treatment he had
experienced, he would have the folly to come back. Friends apparently
were not entirely free from the suspicion that he might be induced, if
he failed, to shake the dust of an ungrateful kingdom off his feet. Lord
Arundel at parting earnestly dissuaded him from yielding to any
temptation to a self-banishment, which assuredly he never contemplated.
A solicitation of authority to carry Spanish prizes in certain
circumstances into French ports is no evidence that he contemplated a
change of allegiance. Reports that he had asked the licence may explain
why it occurred to Arundel or Pembroke to pledge him against such an use
of it.

[Sidenote: _Plot against Genoa._]

If acquaintances who felt how ill he had been treated feared he might be
beguiled into abjuring his ungrateful country, others deemed the
ostensible gold digging aim of the expedition too simple and bounded for
his subtle and lofty ambition. Leonello, the Secretary to the Venetian
Embassy, writing to the Council of Ten on January 19 and 26, and
February 3, 1617, described communications between Ralegh, Winwood, and
Count Scarnafissi, the Ambassador of Savoy. The Duke of Savoy was waging
a war with Spain, which ended in the following September. He would have
liked Ralegh to pounce upon Genoa, which was become almost a Spanish
port. The project was discussed by Scarnafissi with Winwood and Ralegh,
whom Winwood had introduced to him. It is said by Leonello to have been
divulged by Winwood to James. James at first was inclined to adopt it.
After a few days he recalled his assent. Probably he had given it partly
out of pique against the Spanish Court; and now Spain was resuming
negotiations for the marriage of the Infanta to Prince Charles. He was,
moreover, said Leonello, suspicious that Ralegh might not give him his
just share of the anticipated twenty millions of booty. The entire
business is not very intelligible. Leonello's three secret despatches
disinterred by Mr. Rawdon Brown are the main evidence of the project,
and of the degree of Ralegh's participation in it. An examination of
the Piedmontese Archives might shed clearer light on the scope and
reality of the obscure intrigue. Leonello himself offers no testimony
but admissions alleged to have been extorted by him from Scarnafissi. At
any rate if credence is to be given to the somewhat suspicious account,
the worst guilt for the contemplated piratical perfidy attaches to the
crowned accomplice. Sir Thomas Wilson wrote to James on October 4, 1618:
'Sir Walter Ralegh tells me Sir Ralph Winwood brought him acquainted
with the Ambassador of Savoy, with whom they consulted for the surprise
of Genoa, and that your Majesty was acquainted with the business, and
liked it well.' The King never denied the truth of the imputation. From
first to last the negotiations, the plots for and against, were, on the
side of the English, French, Spanish, and Savoyard Governments, a mere
shuffle of diplomatic cards. The one thing in real earnest was the
universal propensity to intrigue at Ralegh's expense. Everybody's hands
were to be left loose but his.

[Sidenote: _Strength of the Armament._]

The preparations for the expedition on the original basis were little
affected by the speculative projects for turning it to strange purposes.
The Destiny, Jason, Encounter, Thunder, Southampton, and the pinnace
Page had sailed from the Thames at the end of March, 1617. Fears of a
countermand were said to have hastened their departure. They carried
ninety gentlemen, a few soldiers, and 318 seamen, beside captains and
masters. There were also servants and assayers. The _Declaration_ of
1618 contends, truly or untruly, that no miners were embarked. If it
were so, it is strange that the omission should not have been remarked
in the West, of all regions. Four ships had been fitted for sea at
Plymouth by Sir John Ferne, Laurence Keymis, Wollaston, and Chudleigh.
Others arrived later. Want of money caused delay. Captain Pennington of
the Star was detained off the Isle of Wight for provisions. He had to
ride to London to redeem, with Lady Ralegh's help, his ship's bread. To
eke out Captain Whitney's resources, Ralegh sold much of his plate. He
raised £300 for Sir John Ferne. No checks, temptations, or expenses
daunted him. While he knew, as he wrote to Boyle, 'there was no middle
course but perish or prosper,' his idea steeled him against forebodings.
He felt inspired to accomplish a national enterprise. 'What fancy,' he
exclaimed later, 'could possess him thus to dispose of his whole
substance, and undertake such a toilsome and perilous voyage, now that
his constitution was impaired by such a long confinement, beside age
itself, sickness, and affliction, were not he assured thereby of doing
his prince service, bettering his country by commerce, and restoring his
family to its estates, all from the mines of Guiana!' The spectacle of
his confidence is among the most pathetic tragedies in history.



CHAPTER XXVI.

THE EXPEDITION (May, 1617-June, 1618).


[Sidenote: _Orders to the Fleet._]

On May 3 he published his orders to the fleet. They were a model of
godly, severe, and martial government, as testified a gentleman of his
company. Divine service was to be solemnised every morning and evening.
The pillage of ships of friendly Powers was rigorously prohibited.
Courtesy towards the Indians was strictly injoined. All firearms were to
be kept clean. Rules were laid down in the event of an encounter with
'the enemy' at sea. Cards, dice, and swearing were forbidden. The people
of the West, and especially Plymouth, had remained faithful in their
admiration of Ralegh though an imprisoned convict. They rejoiced at
seeing him once more in command of a powerful fleet. On the eve of his
departure the Mayor of Plymouth, a Trelawny, 'by a general consent,' at
the town's expense entertained the Admiral and his followers. The town
also 'paid the drummer for calling Sir Walter Ralegh's company aboard.'
On June 12, seven ships of war and three pinnaces sailed from the port.
At sea they were joined by loiterers, which brought the total up to
thirteen ships, manned by a thousand men. Contrary winds forced them
back, first into Plymouth, and next into Falmouth. Again, eight leagues
west of Scilly, a gale rose which sank a pinnace, and drove the rest
into Kinsale.

[Sidenote: _Boyle's Bargain with Ralegh._]

At Cork he was cordially welcomed alike by old enemies and old friends.
With his inexhaustible vivacity he flew his hawks at Cloyne; he took
shares in an Irish copper mining adventure; he provisioned his fleet; he
was feasted and admired; he reviewed the past, and anticipated the
future. Among those who sought his company were Lords Barry and Roche.
Boyle, now Lord Boyle, came from Lismore, and entertained him. He rode
to Lismore and Mogelly. His estate had turned in Boyle's more patient
hands into a noble domain with a revenue estimated by Pym in 1616 at
£12,000. Boyle gave his own account of his transactions with Ralegh in a
letter of 1631 to Carew Ralegh, who wished to have them reviewed.
According to this he behaved, and was recognised by Ralegh as having
behaved, generously and honourably. Clearly he had no doubt of his own
magnanimity. At the time of the attainder the conveyance under the
agreement of 1602 was not legally completed. Apparently not all the
purchase-money had been paid. Inquisitions were being taken of Ralegh's
Irish lands by the Government. Sir John Ramsay, Boyle said, had offered
to use his Scotch influence to obtain from the Crown an absolute release
of all claims against him, by Ralegh as well as by the Crown, for 500
marks. He preferred to follow the advice of George Carew, who predicted
to him after the Winchester conviction that the King would remit
Ralegh's forfeiture. He went on dealing with him, though legally
incompetent, and had paid him a supplementary sum of £1000 to close the
matter. In addition he had to beg or buy a royal confirmation of his
title to the lands, when they had been 'found by offices' upon the
attainder. Now, in Cork he supplied the expedition with oxen, biscuit,
beer, and iron, to the value of 600 marks or more. He gave Ralegh £350
in cash, and a thirty-two gallon cask of whiskey. For three weeks he
kept open house for him at Cork. Ralegh, he asserted, reciprocated his
hospitalities by a full abandonment of any possible claims he might have
made upon the Lismore property. He also contributed evidence towards
Boyle's defence against some demands founded by Ralegh's old partner
Pyne upon a lease alleged by him to have been granted him by Ralegh
many years before, in extension of a shorter term. Ralegh, though on
good terms at the time with Pyne, seems to have assured Boyle of his
belief that the second demise was a counterfeit fabricated by Meere. His
dealings, however, were very complicated, and his remembrance of them
necessarily not always clear. In 1618 he became dubious if he had not
been too positive against Pyne's title. He requested, on the eve of his
death, that he should not be considered a witness either for or against
it.

[Sidenote: _Fray at Lancerota._]

The fleet stayed at Cork from June 25 to August 19. Then it made a fresh
start. Off Cape St. Vincent, Captain Bayley, of the ship Southampton,
boarded four French vessels, and took from them a fishing net, a
pinnace, and some oil. A report of the capture reached Madrid, where it
was denounced as piracy. In truth Ralegh had been scrupulous. He
insisted on buying the goods of the owners at the price of sixty-one
crowns, to the high indignation of Bayley. The captor's argument was
that he found the Frenchmen had procured their cargo by piracy in the
West Indies, and he, therefore, had lawfully confiscated it. Ralegh did
not admit that the charge would, if true, justify him in refusing
compensation. Frenchmen and Englishmen alike, he held, could plunder
Spaniards 'beyond the line.' Lancerota, one of the Great Canaries, was
reached on September 6. The islanders happened to be under the influence
of a special panic. Barbary corsairs had been ravaging a neighbouring
island. Next year they laid Lancerota itself waste. When Ralegh's fleet
appeared it was supposed to be the Barbary squadron. Some sailors having
landed, three were murdered. Ralegh showed remarkable forbearance. He
would suffer no vengeance to be taken. An English merchantman, belonging
to one Reeks of Ratcliff, lay in the harbour. Ralegh knew it would have
to bear the penalty of retaliation by him. Bayley, however, seized upon
the pretext of the broil. He affected to see in that, onesided as it
was, evidence of Ralegh's piratical temper. In a fit of virtuous horror
at his Admiral who had docked his prize money of sixty-one crowns, he
deserted, and sailed home.

[Sidenote: _Sickness in the Fleet._]

At Gomera, one of the Lesser Canaries, the fleet found more hospitality.
The Governor permitted the crews to draw water, and buy provisions.
Ralegh reciprocated by keeping his men in perfect order. He sent a
present of gloves to the Governor's wife, a lady of the Stafford family.
She returned fruit, sugar, and rusks. Not to be outdone he rejoined with
ambergris, rosewater, a cut-work ruff, and a picture of the Magdalen. He
was in the habit of taking pictures with him on his voyages. This
interchange of courtesies was the one gleam of human kindness which
lighted up for Ralegh his dismal journey. He dwells upon it gratefully
in the journal he kept. The manuscript, in twenty large pages, is in the
British Museum. It covers the period from August 19 to February 13. Off
the Isle of Bravo, sickness attacked the fleet. It was aggravated
through the protraction of the voyage by contrary winds from the
customary fortnight or three weeks to six. Forty-two men in the flagship
died. Among them were Fowler, the principal refiner, Ralegh's cook
Francis, his servant Crab, the master surgeon, the provost martial,
Captain Piggot, his best land-general, and Mr. John Talbot, 'who,'
records Ralegh, 'had lived with me eleven years in the Tower, an
excellent general scholar, and a faithful true man as lived.' The ship
left Bravo on October 4. On the 12th they were becalmed. At one time a
thick and fearful darkness enveloped them. Then the horizon became
over-shot with gloomy discolorations. Off Trinidad fifteen rainbows in a
day were seen. Ralegh caught a cold, which turned to a burning fever.
For twenty-eight days he lay unable to take solid food. He could not
have survived but for the Gomera fruit. His ordinary servants were all
ill; but he had also pages who attended him. Apparently his illness did
not prevent him from keeping a general supervision of the fleet. His
journal proves him to have been a thorough and practical seaman.

[Sidenote: _Indian Affection._]

The fleet arrived off Cape Oyapoco on November 11. Ralegh wrote to his wife
on November 17, from the mouth of the Cayenne in Guiana, the Caliana, as he
calls it: 'Sweet Heart, We are yet 200 men, and the rest of our fleet are
reasonably strong; strong enough, I hope, to perform what we have
undertaken, if the diligent care at London to make our strength known to
the Spanish King by his ambassador have not taught the Spaniards to fortify
all the entrances against us. If we perish, it shall be no gain for his
Majesty to lose, among many other, one hundred as valiant gentlemen as
England hath in it.' But he was not disheartened. Walter was never so well,
having had 'no distemper in all the heat under the Line.' He found good
faith in Indian hearts, if not at King James's Court. 'To tell you I might
here be King of the Indians were a vanity; but my name hath still lived
among them. All offer to obey me.' Harry the Indian Chief who had lived two
years in the Tower with him presently came. He had previously sent
provisions. He brought roasted mullets, which were very good meat, great
store of plantains, peccaries, casava bread, pistachio nuts, and pine
apples, which tempted Ralegh exceedingly. After a few days on shore he
began to mend, and to have an appetite for roast peccary. His crews were
still sickly, and rested for three weeks. One of the Adventurers employed
his leisure in composing a discourse in praise of Guiana. It contains the
orders Ralegh issued to the fleet before he left England; but the
information concerning the voyage is meagre. Captain Peter Alley, being ill
of a vertigo, was sent home in a Dutch vessel, which traded with Guiana.
The narrative went with him. Next year it was printed in London under the
title 'Newes of Sir Walter Rauleigh from the River of Caliana,' with a
woodcut of Ralegh in band and collar, and a laced velvet doublet.

[Sidenote: _The new San Thome._]

Ralegh left the Cayenne on December 4, and sailed to the Triangle
Islands, now called the Isles of Health. There he organized the
expedition to the Mine. It was decided that he should not lead in
person. Fever had a second time attacked him. Besides, his officers
were unwilling to venture inland, unless he remained behind to guard the
river mouth from a Spanish fleet. Sir Wareham St. Leger, the
lieutenant-general, also was ill. George Ralegh, who previously had
succeeded Piggot as serjeant-major, commanded in St. Leger's place.
Apparently Ralegh, who nowhere has specified the exact situation,
supposed the Mine was at a short distance from the right bank of the
river. Mr. Gardiner, in his _Case against Sir Walter Ralegh_, published
in the _Fortnightly Review_ in 1867, assumes it was that pointed out to
Keymis by Putijma in 1595, though, it must be remembered, Keymis heard
of another from the Cacique in 1596. At any rate the precise
topographical relation between it and the existing Spanish settlement of
San Thome, or St. Thomas, was unknown to Ralegh. The town was no longer
where it had stood in 1596 when Keymis heard of it. The old site had
been deserted at some date which cannot be fixed. The common view has
been that the change had been effected before 1611, and that the San
Thome which Captain Moate found inhabited by the Spaniards was the new
town. That is unlikely, both because Moate would then have identified
the actual spot, and on account of Ralegh's description to the King,
after his return, of the town as 'new set up within three miles of the
Mine.' San Thome at all events in 1618 was twenty to thirty miles lower
down than the original town. It was close to the bank, a group of some
hundred and forty houses, 'a town of stakes, covered with leaves of
trees.' There is no evidence that Ralegh, who must have heard of the
transplantation, knew the new town directly blocked the approach to the
Mine. Though, however, he was ignorant that in the circumstances a
collision was certain, he may well have thought it probable. So must the
English Government which had sanctioned his martial preparations. The
Spaniards never dissembled their belief that the entrance of foreigners
into the American interior was a lawless trespass to be repelled by
force. Consequently, he provided against the contingency. Four hundred
soldiers and sailors were embarked in five of the ships of least
draught, commanded by Captains Whitney, King, Smith, Wollaston, and
Hall. The other five, including the flagship, which drew twelve feet of
water, were left behind with Ralegh. The land forces were under Walter.
The landing and search for the Mine were entrusted to Keymis.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's Instructions to his Captains._]

Ralegh's account of his communications to his officers differs from that
put forth by the King's Government. According to the official version,
he at first advised them to commence by the immediate capture of the
Spanish town. But, objected one of them, that would be a breach of
peace. He is alleged to have answered that he had orders by word of
mouth to take the town, if it were any hindrance to the digging of the
Mine. The tale rests on the dubious testimony of James's Councillors
writing in a desperate panic at an outburst of popular indignation after
Ralegh's execution. In itself it is not improbable that Ralegh, with
qualifications omitted in the official report, said something at a
council of war to this effect. If he suggested a hostile movement at
all, he may be presumed to have stated also with right that he spoke by
authority. Mr. Secretary Winwood, it is admitted, calculated upon a
collision with the Spaniards, and even upon Ralegh's seizure of the
plate-fleet. He would not shrink from the capture of a Guiana fort. They
alone will treat Ralegh's assertion, if it were his, as 'evidence of his
unblushing effrontery,' to whom his accounts are necessarily mendacious,
and those of the Court, King James's Court, necessarily honest. In any
case the point matters little, as Ralegh is admitted to have himself
decided against the plan. His final instructions to Keymis and George
Ralegh were that they should endeavour to reach the Mine, as he imagined
they might, without a struggle. He bade them encamp between it and the
town, which, as he believed, lay beyond. Thus the soldiers would cover
the miners as they worked. 'If,' said he, 'you find the Mine royal, and
the Spaniards begin to war upon you, you, George Ralegh, are to repel
them, and to drive them as far as you can.' To Keymis he said, 'If you
find the Mine be not so rich as may persuade the holding of it, and
draw on a second supply, then you shall bring but a basket or two, to
satisfy his Majesty that my design was not imaginary, but true, though
not answerable to his Majesty's expectation.' If there appeared to be
many new soldiers, 'so that, without manifest peril of my son and the
other captains, you cannot pass towards the Mine, then be well advised
how you land. For I know, a few gentlemen excepted, what a scum of men
you have. And I would not, for all the world, receive a blow from the
Spaniards to the dishonour of our nation. I myself for my weakness
cannot be present. Neither will the companies land, except I stay with
the ships, the galleons of Spain being daily expected. My nephew is but
a young man. It is therefore on your judgment that I rely. You shall
find me at Puncto Gallo, dead or alive. And if you find not my ships
there, you shall find their ashes. For I will fire, with the galleons,
if it come to extremity; run will I never.'

[Sidenote: _Departure for the Mine._]

The expedition started with a month's provisions on December 10. Its
progress was slow, and accidents detained Whitney's and Wollaston's
vessels. The rest took three weeks to reach the Isle of Yaya, styled by
Ralegh Assapana. The isle is opposite to the modern town of St. Raphael
of Barrancas. Preparations had been made by the Spaniards to resist
further progress. Antonio de Berreo was dead. His son Fernando was
Governor-General of New Grenada, with authority over Guiana and
Trinidad. But recently Diego Palomeque de Acuña had been appointed to
administer those two territories. He was a relative of Gondomar. A copy
of the description of the fleet and its intended course, which Ralegh
had been obliged to submit to James, had been sent to him from Madrid on
March 19, 1617. He had repaired to San Thome. The English were attacked
by fire from both banks. Nevertheless, on the evening of December 31,
according to Ralegh, they sailed past the town without noticing it. On
New Year's Day, 1618, they landed, at eleven in the morning, some little
distance higher up. They were ignorant, Ralegh stated subsequently in
his _Apology_, of the proximity of the settlement. Their intention
simply was to rest by the river, and the next day to set off for the
Mine. Pedro Simon, a Spanish historian of the period, differs. He
asserts that they landed below the town, and deliberately marched
against it. At all events, it cannot be questioned that the Spaniards
were fully resolved to stop the advance of the expedition, whether to
the Mine or elsewhere. If, as James's commission to Ralegh assumed,
Englishmen had a right to make their way to the Mine, they could not be
more to blame than the Spaniards for the actual collision. In fact the
Spaniards struck the first blow.

[Sidenote: _Death of Walter._]

They had arranged an ambuscade, and, under Geronimo de Grados, attacked
about nine in the evening. Though the Spanish force appears to have
comprised but forty-two regular soldiers, the English were thrown into
confusion. 'The common sort,' wrote Ralegh, 'as weak sort as ever
followed valiant leaders, were so amazed as, had not the captains and
some other twenty or thirty valiant gentlemen made a head and encouraged
the rest, they had all been broken and cut to pieces.' Ultimately the
English drove the assailants back to the town. In front of it Diego
Palomeque and the main body of Spaniards were drawn up. The reports of
eye-witnesses on the sequel differed. According to one, the pikemen whom
Walter led were in advance of the musketeers. According to another, they
were behind, when Walter quitted them and rushed in front. In the
official _Declaration_ it was alleged that Walter, 'who was likest to
know his father's secret,' cried to the Englishmen, 'Come on, my hearts;
here is the Mine that ye must expect; they that look for any other are
fools.' By all accounts he closed with the enemy, and Grados or Erenetta
mortally wounded him. His last words were: 'Go on! Lord, have mercy upon
me, and prosper your enterprise.' His death excited his men. Diego was
slain, and his force routed. The English stormed the monastery of St.
Francis, in which some of the fugitives had fortified themselves. San
Thome, such as it was, was theirs. They buried Walter, and Captain
Cosmor, described in a letter of March 22 to Alley by Parker as leader
of the forlorn hope, in one grave, near the high altar in the Church of
St. Thomas. On the day of the funeral the belated ships of Whitney and
Wollaston arrived.

[Sidenote: _Failure to reach the Mine._]

Notwithstanding the loss of the town, the Spaniards maintained
resistance. Garcia de Aguilar and Juan de Lazanna, the alcaldes, with
Grados, collected the residue, and constituted a garrison for the women
and children in the Isle of la Ceyva. They laid wait for stray
Englishmen, and cooped the main body within the town. There discords
broke out which George Ralegh had difficulty in pacifying. Not till a
week after the occupation did Keymis venture to make for the Mine,
though he computed that it was but eight miles off. At length he
equipped a couple of launches. In them he, Sir John Hampden, and others
embarked. Near la Ceyva they fell into an ambuscade. Nine out of those
in the first launch were killed or wounded. Keymis was discouraged, and
turned back, he alleged, for more soldiers. Though not a man afraid of
responsibility, he may have shrunk from the prospect, as he intimated,
that he might, through Ralegh's sickness, as well as legal disabilities,
have to bear it alone. Ralegh's detractors inferred from the inactivity
of Keymis that he and Ralegh were as incredulous of the existence of the
Mine as, by his own subsequent account, had always been the King. The
imputation upon the truthfulness of Keymis is altogether groundless. He
had, in his expedition of 1596, ascertained the authenticity of the
Mine, at least to his own satisfaction, and brought home specimens of
its ore. His fancy wildly exaggerated its riches. There is no reason to
suppose that he knavishly invented stories about it. The Spaniards, it
is known, had worked gold mines in the vicinity. The excavations were
lying idle from the mere want of Indian labourers, whom it had just been
declared illegal to press. So lately had the workings been discontinued
that, it is said, all the best houses in San Thome belonged to refiners,
as the tools in them proved.

George Ralegh for his part refused to give up at once, though his own
views were directed rather to colonization than to mining. In boats he
ascended the Orinoko to its junction with the Guarico. In his absence
the town was repeatedly attacked. English prisoners were barbarously
treated. Several, it is asserted, were tortured or butchered. After
twenty-five days it was determined to retire, and fire was set to the
place. Altogether the English had lost 250 men. They collected some
spoil estimated as worth 40,000 reals. Partly it consisted of church
ornaments, and a couple of gold ingots reserved for the King of Spain's
royalty, but chiefly of tobacco. Three negroes and two Indians were
carried off. One of the Indians accompanied the fleet to England,
returning afterwards to Guiana.

[Sidenote: _At Puncto Gallo._]

Ralegh meanwhile had stationed himself at Puncto Gallo, now Point
Hicacos, on the south-west of Trinidad. He arrived on December 17, 1617,
and there he stayed. On account of currents he seems to have thought at
one time that he might be obliged to change his moorings. No more
conclusive proof can be given of the spirit of the King's _Declaration_
of November, 1618, than that it alleges him not to have minded, but
rather to have anticipated, the certain starvation of the returning land
forces through such a removal from the fixed rendezvous. He wrote to
Winwood on March 21, 1618, that with five ships he had daily attended
the armada of Spain. But he had been left in comparative tranquillity.
Attacks from San Giuseppe he easily repulsed, with no more serious loss
than of one sailor and a boy. He amused his leisure by hunting for
balsams and other indigenous rarities. Six days after the fight Keymis
sent a letter describing Walter's death, and eulogizing his
'extraordinary valour, forwardness, and constant vigour of mind.' An
Indian had already brought confused tidings of the occupation of San
Thome. Keymis's letter was dated January 8. It arrived, it has been
reckoned, on February 14. The day is believed to be fixed by the abrupt
closing of Ralegh's journal. After his son's death, 'with whom,' he
wrote to Winwood, 'all respect of this world hath taken end in me,' he
had no heart to continue it. With the letter Keymis despatched a parcel
of scattered papers. A cart-load, he mentioned, remained behind. The
consignment is supposed to have included the King of Spain's and his
Custom-house Secretary's letters of warning to Diego Palomeque. A copy,
some say the original, of Ralegh's own letter to James was in the
bundle. Ralegh is reported to have conveyed it home, and to have shown
it to the Lords of the Council.

[Sidenote: _Suicide of Keymis._]

[Sidenote: _Harsh Judgments._]

On March 2 the survivors of the expedition rejoined him at Puncto Gallo.
Keymis had to confess his crowning failure. Ralegh did not banish him
from his board, as the _Declaration_ noted with a sneer; but he
upbraided him severely for having stopped short of the Mine. He declared
that, as Walter was killed, he should not have cared, and he did not
believe Keymis cared, if a hundred more had been lost in opening the
Mine, so the King had been satisfied, and Ralegh's reputation been
saved. There was no kinder or more generous leader than he. His
dependents and servants worshipped him. The treatment of Keymis is the
one instance in his career of harshness to a follower. He would see no
force in Keymis's apologies. He told him that he must answer to the King
and the State. Keymis had composed a letter of excuse to Lord Arundel, a
chief promoter of the expedition. This he submitted to Ralegh, and asked
for his approval. He refused it absolutely: 'Is that,' inquired Keymis,
'your resolution? I know,'--or, according to the _Apology_, 'I know
not'--'then, Sir, what course to take.' He went away, and very soon a
shot was heard. Keymis told a page, whom Ralegh sent to his cabin door,
that he had fired the pistol because it had long been charged. Half an
hour afterwards his cabin-boy found him stabbed to the heart. The pistol
shot had only broken a rib, and he had finished the work with a dagger.
Poor Keymis, who was fifty-five at his death, was no 'rough old sailor,'
no mere 'sturdy mariner,' as Mr. Gardiner styles the ex-Fellow of
Balliol, the writer of Latin verses, the fluent and argumentative
chronicler. He was emotional and imaginative. He was fated to be as evil
a genius to the leader he adored as selfish, unstable Cobham. He brought
much woe upon his friends and himself through blunders committed from
the most generous motives, and he was very sternly judged. If the
supposed message to Cobham, which formed one of the most damaging
charges in 1603 against Ralegh, were a gloss of his own, concocted from
casual talk, he paid for his indiscretion by enduring imprisonment, and
braving threats of torture, with a noble fidelity. He suffered yet more
cruel penalties for having vaunted the mineral riches of Guiana to
enhance the merit of its discovery, until the mirage ended by beguiling
his admired chief into irretrievable ruin. Not even death redeemed his
memory. His comrades decried him as an impostor and deceiver. 'False to
all men, a hateful fellow, a mere Machiavel,' Captain Parker called him,
because he did not find his gold mine. Ralegh, for whom he had ventured
and borne much, writes of him as an obstinate, self-willed man, and of
his doleful end with a coldness which only gnawing despair can explain,
not excuse.

[Sidenote: _Ship Gossip._]

The expedition had been vexed by storms and fever on its passage to
Guiana. None of its objects on the Orinoko had been attained. To the
last it continued disappointing and disappointed; 'continually pursued
with misfortunes,' wrote Beecher to Camden, 'as if to prove that God did
take pleasure to confound the wisdom of men.' Ralegh already had not
been free from danger of discord in his fleet. A page had invented a
tale that he kept in his cabin £24,200, which had led some of his crew
to conspire to leave him ashore in Trinidad, and sail away. But hitherto
he had maintained his personal ascendency. The collapse at San Thome
shook the faith of his captains in him. Henceforth they expected him to
prefer their wisdom to his own. Whitney and Wollaston planned the
plunder of homeward-bound Spanish ships. They would have liked him to
abet them. They warned him that he was a lost man if he returned to
England. When they could not persuade him, they resolved to go off by
themselves. At Grenada they carried their intention into effect. Mr.
Jones, chaplain of the Flying Chudleigh, says Ralegh authorised any
captain to part if he pleased, as the aim of the voyage could no longer
be accomplished. The chaplain may have had the offer narrated to him by
a captain who desired his freedom. In itself it is too inconsistent with
all we know of Ralegh's views to be credible. He showed the utmost
anxiety to keep his forces together. For this purpose he was willing to
let restless spirits hope for indulgence of their thirst both for spoil
and for revenge by a combined attempt upon the Mexico fleet. Out of the
chaos of ship gossip, the private wishes of officers, and conjectures
about their commander's probable intentions, James's apologists wove a
theory that he had never meant to seek for a mine, and had always
intended to seize the treasure-ships. He was alleged to have confessed
on his return that, before the mining project failed, he had proposed
the capture of the fleet in the event of its failure. He was said to
have admitted in talk with Sir Thomas Wilson in the Tower, that, after
the return from San Thome, he formally enunciated to his officers a
design to that effect. He was said to have told them that he had a
French commission which empowered him to take any Spanish vessel beyond
the Canaries. The allegation that, after the collapse of the expedition
to San Thome, he had meant to sail for the Carib islands, and leave the
land companies to their fate, insinuated that he was projecting some
great piracy. His own subsequent contradiction of the issue to him of
any commission from the French Crown has been represented by modern
writers as a dishonest prevarication. He had, it is asserted, a French
commission, though from the French Lord High Admiral, not from the King
of France.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's real Project._]

Much of this indictment rests upon tainted evidence. When the testimony
is respectable, it is for the most part outweighed by Ralegh's own word.
At all events, for his alleged intention to have been of avail for the
support of a criminal charge it was necessary to prove some act in
conformity with it. None could be instanced except the San Thome
collision itself, which the Spaniards had brought on. Whether he would
have embraced a good opportunity for anything like buccaneering it is
difficult to decide. Though the rumours of the fleet, reckless words of
his own, other words uttered for some very dissimilar purpose,
admissions dishonourably drawn from him and craftily pieced together,
and a phrase in a heart-broken letter to his heart-broken wife, need not
be accepted as conclusive, it may be conceded that they accord with his
and the prevalent English temper. For him England and Spain in America
were always at war. 'To break peace where there is no peace,' he wrote,
'it cannot be. The Spaniards give us no peace there.' He stated the
literal truth. Spaniards treated unlicensed English voyagers to any part
of South America as pirates and felons. He claimed the right of
reprisals; and public opinion in England was on his side. English law
was not. He might have been amenable to it had he acted upon his idea of
Anglo-Spanish reciprocity, and in conformity with the schemes attributed
to him by many of his own officers. But he did nothing of the kind. The
projects he is known to have entertained indicate that his fancy was
travelling in a different direction. His original and desperate thought,
after the return of the launches, had still been bounded by Guiana. His
wish was to lead a second expedition to San Thome. He meant to leave his
body by his son's, or bring out of Keymis's or other mines so much gold
ore as should satisfy the King that he had propounded no vain thing.
Carew Ralegh's account was that the plan, perhaps on reflection modified
from that, was to revictual in Virginia, and return in the spring to
Guiana.

Whatever the exact eventual shape of the design, Whitney and Wollaston
thwarted its execution by their desertion. At a council of war it was
determined to make for home, by way, according to Ralegh's original
programme, of Newfoundland. The ships stayed awhile at St.
Christopher's. Ralegh took the opportunity to write on March 21 to the
friendly Secretary of State. He was not aware that Winwood had died, to
his irreparable loss, in the previous October. He had been, like Prince
Henry, under the medical care of Dr. Theodore Mayerne, physician to the
King and Queen. Mayerne had high repute, and is eminent in English
medical history as having introduced the use of calomel. But he is
described by a cynical contemporary as generally unfortunate with his
patients. The headstrong but generous Secretary was succeeded by
Naunton, a ripe Cambridge scholar, whom the favour first of Essex, then
of Overbury, and last of Villiers, perverted into a time-serving
official, 'close-fisted,' 'zealous and sullen.' For Naunton Ralegh was
by no means the hero of the young author of the _Fragmenta Regalia_. By
unsympathetic eyes his epistle was to be read. As interpreted by Naunton
it was sure to aggravate the ill-will of the King, who would reasonably
regard much of it as a censure upon him.

[Sidenote: _Letter to Winwood._]

[Sidenote: _Letter to Lady Ralegh._]

Ralegh glanced in it at his bodily sufferings and fatigue: 'There is
never a base slave in the fleet hath taken the pains and care that I
have done; hath slept so little, and travailed so much.' He bewailed his
misfortunes, 'the greatest and sharpest that have ever befallen any
man.' His brains, he said, were broken with them. So sincere an admirer
as Mr. Kingsley takes him literally, and holds that 'his life really
ended on the return of Keymis from San Thome.' His contemporaries did
not think it. For them he was never even an old man; and it is one of
the phenomena in the national feeling towards and about him. To the
popular mind he was to the end, though portraits might show him grey and
wasted, the brilliant and gallant Knight of Cadiz. Least of all for his
enemies was he ever aged and broken. They had too acute a perception of
his ability to resist them. They knew that he preserved his powers
intact, and was not to be trampled on with impunity. He brought now an
all but direct charge of treachery against the King: 'It pleased his
Majesty to value us at so little as to command me upon my allegiance to
set down under my hand the country, and the very river by which I was to
enter it; to set down the number of men, and burden of my ships; with
what ordnance every ship carried; which was made known to the Spanish
Ambassador, and by him in post sent to the King of Spain.' His future
looked to him profoundly black. He glanced, as he well might without
treason, at the contingency of foreign service, whether in Denmark,
France, or Holland: 'What shall become of me now I know not.'
Notwithstanding the royal commission, which, like others, he
misdescribed as 'under the Great Seal,' and not the Privy Seal, he was
aware that he was 'unpardoned in England.' He went on: 'My poor estate
is consumed; and whether any other Prince or State will give me bread I
know not.' From St. Christopher's he wrote also to his wife. He had told
Winwood he durst not write to her from fear of renewing the sorrow for
her son. Yet he could not be silent, though he confessed he knew not how
to comfort her: 'God knows, I never knew what sorrow meant till now.
Comfort your heart, dearest Bess, I shall sorrow for us both. I shall
sorrow the less because I have not long to sorrow, because not long to
live.' He expressed a hope, which must be allowed to be ambiguous, that
'God will send us somewhat before we return.' He bids her tell about
Keymis to Lord Northumberland, Sir John Leigh, and Silvanus Skory, a
London merchant, who had in verse dissuaded him from the Guiana
adventure altogether.

[Sidenote: _Sympathy._]

From St. Christopher's he sent home his fly-boat, under his cousin
Herbert, who afterwards suffered in purse for the association with him.
The vessel was laden with 'a rabble of idle rascals, which I know will
not spare to wound me; but my friends will not believe them; and for the
rest I care not.' This 'scum of men' being gone, he told Winwood he
should be able, if he lived, to keep the sea till the end of August,
with four reasonably good ships. His object he did not specify. Off
Newfoundland the soldiers in his ship, he declared, wanted him to turn
pirate with them. They compelled him to swear he would not go home
without their leave. Among them were four convicted criminals. These
were afraid to set foot in England unless Ralegh obtained their pardons
from the Crown. He compromised by landing them at Kinsale, where he
touched after a storm had scattered his ships. There is no record that
Boyle or other old friends came now to salute him. But Sir Oliver St.
John, at the time Lord Deputy, wrote word on May 30 to George Carew of
his arrival, probably on May 24. Three ships, commanded by Sir John
Ferne, Captain Pennington, and Captain King, happened also to have taken
refuge in Kinsale harbour. St. John expressed his deep sorrow for
Ralegh's ill-success, which he attributed to 'the failing and mutinying
of those that ought rather to have died with him than left him.' He
instructed Lord Thomond to 'secure those captains, mutineers, and their
ships.' Captain King was the one loyal man among them. In the
_Declaration_ of 1618 Ralegh was alleged, as they may believe who will,
to have offered the Destiny at Kinsale to his officers, and also
previously off Newfoundland to some of his chief captains, if they would
only set him aboard a French bark, 'as being loath to put his head under
the King's girdle.'



CHAPTER XXVII.

RETURN TO THE TOWER (June-August, 1618).


[Sidenote: _Bayley's Calumnies._]

He arrived in his flagship the Destiny at Plymouth on June 21. No other
ships accompanied him. At the news Lady Ralegh, sorrowing and glad,
hastened from London. No painter has tried to portray the meeting, one
of the most pathetic scenes in English history. His return had long been
provided for by others than his noble wife. Captain Bayley, who stole
away from Lancerota early in September, 1617, reached England in
October. There he skulked about, spreading his fable that he had
deserted because he was persuaded Ralegh intended to turn pirate. He
circulated among his friends copies of a journal kept by him while he
remained in the fleet, in which that view was enforced. The Lord
Admiral, no partial friend of Ralegh's, had his ship and cargo seized,
and himself summoned before the Privy Council. But later in October, as
has been mentioned, Winwood died. On November 18 the Council wrote to
the Lord Admiral to release the vessel and goods. It asked if the
Admiral had discovered anything against the Captain, or could clear
doubts which had been raised of Ralegh's courses and intentions. Reeks,
of Ratcliff, had saved his ship through Ralegh's refusal to gratify the
desire of his men for revenge at Lancerota. He arrived in December,
1617, and told how forbearing Ralegh had been, and how treacherous the
Governor. Men like Carew had never put faith in assertions by creatures
of Bayley's stamp, who 'maliced' him, that Ralegh had turned pirate.
'That for my part I would never believe,' wrote Carew. But the evidence
of Reeks convinced for the instant even sceptics. Bayley was committed
to Westminster Gate-house. On January 11, 1618, he appeared before the
Council. The Council declared he had behaved himself undutifully and
contemptuously, not only in flying from his General upon false and
frivolous suggestions without any just cause at all, but also in
defaming him. Allegations by him of treasonable expressions which he had
heard Mr. Hastings report Ralegh to have uttered, were held to deepen
his offence. If they were true, it was misprision of treason in him to
have concealed the matter for a twelvemonth. An account of the inquiry
has been printed by Mr. Gardiner in the _Camden Miscellany_ from the
Council Register. At its termination he was committed to prison, from
which he was not liberated till the end of February. At the Council
Carew, Arundel, Compton, Zouch, and Hay had been present. They all were
friendly to Ralegh.

[Sidenote: _Piratas!_]

[Sidenote: _A Royal disavowal._]

By May 13 came the news of the burning of St. Thomas, and Ralegh's
well-wishers had no longer strength to defend him. It had reached Madrid
earlier. Cottington wrote, on May 3, that the Spanish Ministers had
advice of Ralegh's landing and proceedings. He made no comment, unless
that the Spaniards were confident Ralegh would discover no gold or
silver in those parts. On the arrival of the intelligence in London the
story, which it is a pity to have to doubt, is that Gondomar burst into
the royal chamber, in spite of assurances that the King was engaged. He
said he needed to utter but a single word. It was 'Piratas! Piratas!
Piratas!' On June 11 James published a Proclamation. It denounced as
'scandalous and enormous outrages' the hostile invasion of the town of
San Thome, as reported by 'a common fame,' and the malicious breaking of
the peace 'which hath been so happily established, and so long
inviolately continued.' Gondomar had set off on a visit to Madrid. James
hoped he would be able to conclude, by his personal representations, the
negotiations for the marriage. He was overtaken at Greenwich by a royal
messenger with an ill-written letter from Villiers, dated June 26: 'His
Majesty will be as severe in punishing them as if they had done the like
spoil in any of the cities of England. Howbeit Sir Walter Ralegh had
returned with his ship's lading of gold, being taken from the King of
Spain or his subjects, he would have sent unto the King of Spain back
again as well his treasures as himself, according to his first and
precedent promise, which he made unto your Excellency, the which he is
resolute to accomplish precisely against the persons and upon the goods
of them the offenders therein, it not being so that he doth understand
that the same also shall seem well to the King of Spain, to be most
convenient and exemplary that they should suffer here so severe
punishments as such like crime doth require.' On his knees George Carew
pleaded in vain. James would only promise that Ralegh should be heard.
He intimated that he had predetermined the result: 'As good hang him as
deliver him to the King of Spain; and one of these two I must, if the
case be as Gondomar has represented.' In vain Captain North pictured the
miseries which had been endured. He showed no pity for the lost son, the
ruined fortune, the shattered hopes. Peiresc wrote from the Continent to
Camden to condole on the ill-success of 'miser Raleghus.' James's sole
thought was how most profitably to sacrifice him. He held out to the
Escurial the prospect of an ignominious death in due course. In the
meantime he engaged to indemnify any plundered Spanish subjects out of
the offender's property. The offer brought upon him two years afterwards
a claimant for tobacco to the value of £40,000. Francis Davila, of San
Thome, appears to have succeeded in obtaining £750 of the amount from
Ralegh's cousin and comrade, Herbert.

[Sidenote: _Sir Lewis Stukely._]

Ralegh on his arrival at Plymouth heard of the King's Proclamation. His
follower, Samuel King, who had commanded a fly-boat in the expedition,
says in his _Narrative_, written after the execution, that Ralegh had
resolved to surrender voluntarily. The Court did not believe it. The
seizure of the Destiny had previously been ordered. On June 12 the Lord
Admiral had directed Sir Lewis Stukely to arrest Ralegh himself, and
bring him to London. Stukely was Vice-Admiral of Devon, having bought
the office for £600. He was nephew to Sir Richard Grenville, of the
Revenge. Thus, though subsequently he seemed to deny it, he was related
to Ralegh. His father had served in the second Virginia voyage. Ralegh
had solicited the favour of Cecil for the family. Stukely could boast of
sixteen quarterings, and possessed the remains of a considerable
inheritance at Afton or Affeton. But he was a man of broken fortunes and
doubtful character. In the second week of July Ralegh, his wife, and
Captain King had started for London. Close to Ashburton Stukely met
them. Ralegh did not dispute his authority, though Stukely admitted he
was without a formal warrant, which, according to his own account, did
not reach him till he and his prisoner had arrived at Salisbury. The
whole party returned the twenty miles to Plymouth. There for nine or ten
days Ralegh, who was sick, and glad of rest, lodged, first at the house
of Sir Christopher Harris, and next with Mr. Drake. He saw little or
nothing of his keeper, who was selling tobacco and the stores of the
Destiny. It has been imagined that Stukely meant to tempt him to fly,
and then display his dexterity by intercepting him. The laxity of the
supervision and the delay give colour rather to a supposition that the
Government wished him actually to escape. That would have relieved it
from a heavy embarrassment. Out of affection Lady Ralegh and Captain
King had the same desire, and at length they gained his consent. King
negotiated with two Rochelle captains, Flory and le Grand, for his
conveyance across the Channel. One night King and he rowed off to one of
the barks. When a quarter of a mile from the ship Ralegh insisted upon
returning. According to one account he seems to have been once more
persuaded to start, and again his heart failed him, or perhaps his
courage revived. He was still buoyed up with romantic fancies, which he
had cherished ever since the disappointment on the Orinoko. Until he saw
death or a dungeon yawning in front of him, he kept a fond faith that he
should be authorized to lead one more forlorn hope.

Peremptory directions at last came from the Council. Ralegh perceived that
he was regarded as a criminal, and he foresaw the end as it was to be. He
declared that his trust in the King had undone him, and that he should have
to die to please the State. He repented that he had not seized the
opportunity to escape, and began to form fresh plans. It has been said that
at Plymouth his fortitude deserted him. Mr. Gardiner has suggested the very
improbable motive for his aversion from a return to London, that he feared
he might be torn in pieces by the mob. It was not courage, but patience,
which failed. He could not bear the thought of losing the power to strike
another blow for the fulfilment of his darling ambition.

[Sidenote: _Manourie._]

Stukely closed his sales, and set off, we are told, on July 25, though
more probably the journey began some days earlier. The company consisted
of himself, Ralegh, and Lady Ralegh, with their servants, King, and a
Frenchman, Manourie, who is said to have brought Stukely his regular
warrant. Manourie, who had been long settled in Devonshire, has been
variously described as a physician and as a quack. Two centuries and a
half ago the distinction between charlatans and experimentalists was not
clearly marked in medical science. Ralegh seems to have suspected that
he was a spy, but to have believed in his skill. The man may not have
been the medical impostor popular resentment believed him. Undoubtedly
he was needy and greedy, and a perfidious rogue. From the first he laid
traps. He reported to Stukely, or invented, an ejaculation by Ralegh, on
hearing of the orders for London: 'God's wounds! Is it possible that my
fortune should thus return upon me again?' He told how Ralegh cried as
they rode by Sherborne Park: 'All this was mine, and it was taken from
me unjustly.' Nothing could be more true.

[Sidenote: _The Counterfeit Disease._]

They had slept on the night of July 26 at the house of old Mr. Parham,
who lived, with his son, Sir Edward Parham, close to Sherborne. Next
day, July 27, they journeyed to Salisbury by Wilton. On the hill beyond
Wilton, Ralegh, as he walked down it with Manourie, asked him to prepare
an emetic: 'It will be good,' Manourie asserted that he said, 'to
evacuate bad humours; and by its means I shall gain time to work my
friends and order my affairs; perhaps even to pacify his Majesty.' The
summer Progress was proceeding. Ralegh knew that, in pursuance of its
programme, the King would stay at Salisbury. That night at Salisbury he
turned dizzy. Notwithstanding, or because he desired to spare her a
discreditable scene, in the morning Lady Ralegh, with her retinue of
servants, continued her journey to London. King went too. He was to hire
a boat, which was to lie off Tilbury. According to him, the design was
that Ralegh should stop in France till the anger of Spain was lulled.
After their departure a servant of Ralegh's rushed to Stukely with the
news that his master was out of his wits, in his shirt, and upon all
fours, gnawing at the rushes on the boards. Stukely sent Manourie to
him. Manourie administered the emetic, and also an ointment compounded
of aquafortis. This brought out purple pustules over the breast and
arms. Strangers, and after a single visit Stukely too, were afraid to
approach. Lancelot Andrewes, then Bishop of Ely, happened to be at
Salisbury. He heard, and compassionately sent the best three physicians
of the town. None of them could explain the sickness. For four days the
cavalcade halted. Ralegh subsisted on a clandestine leg of mutton, and
wrote his _Apology for the Voyage to Guiana_, from which I have already
drawn for his view of disputed facts. Manourie he employed to copy his
manuscript. The wish to compose the narrative is believed by some to
have been the sole motive of his artifice. His own subsequent account of
it was that he had speculated on an interview with the King. With that
view he had compassed a delay. How an apparent attack of leprosy should
have helped him to an interview is not very intelligible. Chamberlain
wrote to Carleton on August 8 that Ralegh had no audience of James on
account of his malady. Probably the ruling motive of the comedy was a
passionate desire to win leisure for drawing up his narrative, which he
wildly hoped he might find means of bringing before the King during his
sojourn at Salisbury. That was the audience he really desired. As soon
as the treatise was written he recovered. Not now or afterwards was he
at all ashamed of the deception. So given was he to physicking himself,
that it occurred to him as a natural thing to use his drugs in order to
gain a few quiet literary days. He justified his pretence by the example
of David: 'David did make himself a fool, and suffered spittle to fall
upon his beard, that he might escape the hands of his enemies.'

[Sidenote: _Consistency of his Position._]

The statement which he had stolen a respite to write has been considered
by Mr. Gardiner, in his _Prince Charles and the Spanish Marriage_, an
aggravation of his guilt. The claim it sets up of his right to sweep
opposing Spaniards out of his way to the Mine, is treated as an
admission that he had founded his enterprise on a lie, and that his sin
had found him out. Mr. Gardiner adds he must have known that his case
would not bear the light. Apparently this means that he had asserted, or
had fraudulently suffered James to infer, that no Spaniards were settled
in the vicinity of Keymis's Mine, or were in the least likely to
withstand in arms his approach to it; or that he had made a promise, of
which the resistance of his men to the Spanish attack was a breach, in
no circumstances to fight. These are unproved assumptions. Ralegh, who
constitutionally took his instructions from Secretary Winwood, cannot be
shown to have given, or been asked for, any positive pledge that in no
circumstances would he force his way into the interior of Guiana. The
warlike equipment of his fleet, and of the men he led, is evidence that
the contingency of a collision with armed Spanish ships and soldiers was
contemplated by the Government and prepared for. The nature of the
business on which James had despatched him fully authorized the claim
in the _Apology_. He was sent to work a mine on the Orinoko, where the
whole commercial world knew that Spaniards were settled. James must have
known it from many sources. He knew it definitely from Gondomar, whose
protests against the expedition were based particularly on it. Any
'guilt' of Ralegh's for letting his followers run the gauntlet of the
San Thome garrison, James must share equally for letting him go with an
armed squadron to the Orinoko at all.

[Sidenote: _Manourie's Story._]

On the first of August, when the _Apology_ was already completed, the
King arrived at Salisbury. It is not known whether Ralegh succeeded in
having the composition at once laid before him. If the King saw it, we
may be certain that it exerted upon the royal mind the precise reverse
of the conciliatory effect the writer anticipated. Orders immediately
were issued that Ralegh should move forward. Thereupon, according to
Manourie, Ralegh bribed him with twenty crowns, and an offer of £50 a
year, to aid his escape. On the same suspicious testimony, he was
furious against the King, and uttered menaces. Ralegh informed Manourie
of King's Tilbury project. He said he must fly, for 'a man that fears is
never secure.' Further, he asserted his conviction that the courtiers
had concluded among them 'a man must die to reassure the traffic which
he had broken in Spain.' Manourie pretended Ralegh handed to him jewels
and money for the purchase of Stukely's connivance. Ralegh acknowledged
he had told Stukely he hoped to procure payment of his debts. Any offers
beyond this he denied. At Staines Manourie left. He said to Ralegh, whom
he was betraying to prison and death, that he did not expect to see him
again while Ralegh was in England. It is a pity his figure cannot be
wholly obliterated from Ralegh's biography, on which it is one of
several ugly human blurs.

[Sidenote: _Interview with French Agents._]

At Brentford a more loyal but as unlucky a Frenchman, David de Novion,
came to meet Ralegh at the inn. He brought a message from le Clerc, the
French Resident, that he wished to see Ralegh. The Government knew of
this, and thought that, by affecting ignorance, it might learn more. On
July 30 had arrived a Council warrant for Ralegh's committal to the
Tower. It was not at once executed. Before he left Salisbury it had been
conceded through the mediation, it is said, of Digby, touched by his
apparent infirmities at Salisbury, that he should be conveyed to his own
house in Broad-street, for four or five days' rest. He now obtained
leave to have that arrangement confirmed or resumed. Naunton told
Carleton that he procured the permission on a pretence of sickness, that
he might take medicine at home. Probably it was granted that he might be
tempted to plan an escape with the Frenchmen, and give the Government an
excuse for more rigour. On the night of Friday, August 7, he arrived in
Broad-street, where he found Lady Ralegh. On the evening of Sunday, at
eight, le Clerc and de Novion came. They showed little caution, speaking
freely in the presence of eight or ten persons. They intimated he might
count on their help in his flight, and on a good reception in France.
The French interest in Ralegh was an anti-Spanish interest. If safe in
France he could, it was thought, exercise in some not very apparent way
influence in England against the Anglo-Spanish alliance. Queen Anne was
understood to prefer vehemently a French to a Spanish bride for Prince
Charles. The French dealings with Ralegh, it was believed at the time,
had been prompted by the Queen or her confidants. Ralegh seems to have
listened to his French visitors with grateful courtesy, but not to have
accepted any offer of French assistance. He intended to make his way to
France. He would not go in a French vessel.

[Sidenote: _Preparations for Flight._]

The plan on which he decided had been concerted with King. A former
boatswain of King's, called Hart, had a ketch. Cottrell, apparently
Ralegh's old Tower servant, who had once before borne witness against
him, had found Hart for King. Before Ralegh reached London, King had
arranged with Hart through Cottrell that the ketch should be held ready
off Tilbury. Implicit trust was placed in Cottrell's supposed devotion
to Ralegh. In reality he and Hart had at once betrayed the whole
arrangement to a Mr. William Herbert, not the Herbert of the Guiana
Expedition. Herbert told Sir William St. John, who in 1616 had traded in
Ralegh's liberation. St. John in company, it would seem from Stukely's
subsequent account, with Herbert, had posted off with the news to
Salisbury. He had met Stukely and his prisoner at Bagshot on the road,
and warned the former, who scarcely required the information. Stukely
showed such zeal for Ralegh's safety as wholly to delude both him and
King. He had obtained a licence from Naunton to enter, without
liability, into any contract, and comply with any offer. Though in
theory Ralegh was under his charge in Broad-street, he left him full
liberty of action. Ralegh's own servants were allowed to wait on him.
Stukely borrowed £10 of him. The pretence was a wish to pay for the
despatch into the country of his own servants, that they might not
interfere with the flight. He promised to accompany Ralegh into France.
Ralegh, with all his wit and experience of men, his wife, with her love
and her clearness of vision, the shrewd French diplomatists, and honest
King, were dupes of a mere cormorant, like Stukely, and of vulgar
knaves, like Cottrell and Hart. Without the least suspicion of foul play
Ralegh on that Sunday night, after le Clerc and de Novion had left, went
down to the river side.

It was a foolish business. Nothing, except success, could have been more
woful than all its features and its failure. If the attempt be blamed as
rebellion against the law, the correctness of the condemnation cannot be
disputed. Ralegh derived no right to fly from the injustice of his
treatment. Had he been of the nature of Socrates he would not have
thought of flight. His respect for authority was not like that of
Socrates. His conscience never particularly troubled him for the
immorality of his endeavour to break from custody. It stung him very
soon and sharply for the degradation of having run from danger. Flight
was unworthy of him, and he acknowledged its shame. But his own account
of the temptation to which he yielded may be accepted as truthful. He
told Sir Thomas Wilson his intention was to seek an asylum in France
from Spanish vengeance, until 'the Queen should have made means for his
pardon and recalling.' In England he was doomed, he foresaw, to death or
to perpetual confinement; and he believed he had work in life still to
do. He feared neither death nor prison for itself. In a paroxysm of
despair he clutched the only chance he perceived of reserving his powers
for the enterprise he had set them, the overthrow of the colonial
monopoly of Spain.

[Sidenote: _On the Thames._]

[Sidenote: _Stukely Unmasked._]

Two wherries were hired at the Tower dock. Ralegh, attended by one of
his pages, Stukely, Stukely's son, King, and Hart, set off. Sir William
St. John and Herbert followed secretly in another boat. Ralegh wore a
false beard and a hat with a green band. Stukely asked King whether thus
far he had not acted as an honest man. King replied by a hope that he
would continue to act thus. Herbert's boat was seen first making as if
it would go through the bridge; but finally it returned down the river.
Ralegh became alarmed. He asked the watermen if they would row on,
though one came to arrest him in the King's name. They answered they
could at all events not go beyond Gravesend. Ralegh explained that a
brabbling matter with the Spanish Ambassador was taking him to Tilbury
to embark for the Low Countries. He offered them ten gold pieces.
Thereupon Stukely began cursing himself that he should be so unfortunate
as to venture his life and fortune with a man full of doubt. He swore he
would kill the watermen if they did not row on. The delays spent the
tide, and the men said they could not reach Gravesend before morning.
When they were a mile beyond Woolwich, at a reach called the Gallions,
near Plumstead, Ralegh felt sure he was betrayed, and ordered the men to
row back. Herbert's and St. John's wherry met them. Then Ralegh, wishing
to remain in Stukely's custody, declared himself his prisoner. He still
supposed the man was faithful. He pulled things out of his pocket and
gave them to Stukely, who hugged him with tenderness. They landed at
Greenwich, Ralegh intending to go to Stukely's house. But the other crew
landed also. Now at last Stukely revealed his true character. He
arrested Ralegh and King in his Majesty's name, and committed them to
the charge of two of St. John's men. Ralegh understood, and said: 'Sir
Lewis, these actions will not turn out to your credit.' With a generous
thoughtfulness for a very different man, he tried to induce King to give
himself out for an accomplice in Stukely's plot. King could not be
persuaded. Ralegh and he were kept separate till the morning, when
Ralegh was conducted to the Tower. As once more he passed within, he
must have felt that his tomb had opened for him. King was allowed to
attend him to the gate. There he was compelled to part. He left Ralegh,
he wrote after the execution, 'to His tuition with whom I do not doubt
but his soul resteth.' Ralegh's farewell words to him were: 'Stukely and
Cottrell have betrayed me.'



CHAPTER XXVIII.

A MORAL RACK (August 10-October 15).


[Sidenote: _Ralegh's Trinkets._]

On the morning of Monday, August 10, Ralegh finally entered the Tower.
This time he was made to feel that he was a prisoner indeed. He had
meant to transport to France charts of Guiana, the Orinoko, Nuova
Regina, and Panama, with five assays of the ore of the Mine. They were
on him, and they were taken from him. He was stripped also of his
trinkets, except a spleen stone. This and an ounce of ambergris were
left with him for his personal use. A gold picture-case set with
diamonds was, by his wish, consigned to the Lieutenant of the Tower.
There were other ornaments. Among them was a diamond ring, supposed by
Naunton to have been a present from Queen Elizabeth, though Ralegh told
Sir Thomas Wilson he had never any such of the Queen's giving. There
were a Guiana idol of gold and copper, and sixty-three gold buttons with
sparks of diamonds. All these were entrusted to Stukely by the
Lieutenant of the Tower. It would be strange if some did not stay with
their custodian. It may have been with reference to them that Ralegh
admitted the traitor to a last interview in the Lieutenant's lodgings on
the Wednesday after his committal. We may be sure it was not to affirm,
as Stukely declared, that he 'loved him as well as any friend he had in
the world.'

[Sidenote: _Examinations by Privy Councillors._]

More exalted persecutors than Stukely were now let loose upon him. The
old game of 1603 was resumed. Lords of the Council and the Law Officers
of the Crown worked their hardest to discover that he was a criminal.
First on August 17, and twice afterwards, he was examined upon
interrogatories by a committee of the Privy Council, consisting of Lord
Chancellor Bacon, Archbishop Abbot, Lord Worcester, Coke, since
November, 1616, no longer Chief Justice, Cæsar, and Naunton. The
examinations were not directed in a way either to do justice to the
prisoner, or to elicit the truth, so far as can be discovered from the
records of them. Those among the Lords Commissioners who desired
something more than merely to extricate their master from a diplomatic
difficulty, were incapacitated by an invincible prejudice. All started
by taking for granted that the prisoner never intended to search for the
Mine, that none existed, and that his single purpose since he prepared
for his expedition was to attack piratically the Spanish colonies and
commerce. Mr. Gardiner, who is one of his severest critics, acknowledges
that they blundered and failed, because they were not content to convict
him of having cared simply to find the Mine, and been reckless of the
means.

James and his Ministers could convince themselves of the expediency and
moral propriety of slaying a man capable, as they believed, of schemes,
however qualified, for the capture of the Spanish treasure ships. They
saw the difficulty of proving to the country the capital criminality of
the avowal of a project never acted upon. They had hoped they might
fabricate supplementary treasonable matter out of the communications
between Ralegh and the French Agency. After a long competition between a
French and a Spanish family compact, the Spanish faction at Court, which
was James's own, was absolutely predominant. The Government did not
shrink from offending French susceptibilities. In September it arrested
and repeatedly examined de Novion, whose diplomatic character was not
very definitive. Le Clerc, the resident Agent, was himself summoned
before the Council at Hampton Court, and confronted with de Novion. He
stood upon his privilege, and refused to answer. The Council solemnly
rebuked him for his secret conferences with, and offers of means of
escape to, an English subject attainted of high treason, and since
'detected in other heinous crimes.' He was informed he had forfeited, by
the law of nations, his immunities, and was required to confine himself
to his house. The French Government was wrathful; but it had a weak
case. Its conduct, though its original advances to Ralegh had the
sanction of the English Ministers, was clearly a breach of diplomatic
propriety. The proof against the Frenchmen was of no use towards the end
for which the Council laid stress on it. Ralegh, it was seen, could not
be accounted liable for overtures he had rejected. The Crown still was
thrown back on the chance of confessions by himself for a provision of
assignable pretexts for his destruction.

[Sidenote: _Pledges to Spain._]

In some way or other reasons had to be discovered. James saw the
Infanta's dower of two million crowns and jewels within his grasp. The
Spanish Court showed the friendliest disposition. It had expressed its
delight at the welcome news of its enemy's capture in the act of flight,
and his committal again to the Tower. Nothing was wanting, James
imagined, to crown the negotiations, but an English head which he was
very willing to sacrifice. He had given the Spanish Government the
option of a public execution either at Madrid or in London. It was
impossible that he should disappoint the agreeable expectation. At Court
the will to put Ralegh to death was matter of notoriety. The Queen's was
the only voice raised loudly against it. They who were ignorant how
faded was her influence imagined her protest might still be of avail. On
September 23, Sir Edward Harwood wrote to Carleton, that Ralegh was
struggling hard for life, and that, as the King was now with the Queen,
it was believed he might live. Courtiers in general knew better. On
August 29, Tyringham, another of Carleton's purveyors of news, wrote to
him: 'It is said that death will conclude Sir Walter Ralegh's troubles.
The Queen's intercession will rather defer than prevent his punishment.'
Yet ways and means had to be provided, and the difficulty grew rather
than diminished, until it was decided to cut the knot. Harwood reported
to Carleton on October 3, that 'the King is much inclined to hang
Ralegh; but it cannot handsomely be done; and he is likely to live out
his days.' As time went on, and the climax was not reached, the gossip
of the town, perhaps of the Court itself, spread a rumour that the delay
was intentional. Ralegh was said to have been promised his life if he
would help towards revelations of the misappropriation of crown jewels
or lands at the King's accession, with the connivance of the late
Treasurers, Salisbury and Suffolk. The tale may have had some sort of
basis in Ralegh's habit of charging Cecil with an abuse of his position
to his personal enrichment at the expense of the Crown, from which he
was alleged to have taken Hatfield by a profitable exchange, and
Cobham's escheated estates. No evidence exists that the question was
ever seriously raised, or had any connexion with the delay. Of that the
one real cause was the inability of the Court to elicit damning
testimony against himself.

[Sidenote: _Sir Thomas Wilson._]

To patch up the gaps in the inquiry before the Lords Commissioners, the
same system was tried as in the preliminary investigations of 1603.
Ralegh was placed, from September 11 till October 15, under a special
keeper. The keeper's business, like that of a Juge d'Instruction, was to
ransack him, and worry him into supplying a case against himself. For
the office Sir Thomas Wilson, Keeper of the State Paper Office, was
chosen. As Wilson himself confessed, his arrival produced an impression
on the officers of the Tower as well as Ralegh, that 'a messenger of
death had been sent.' He had entered the public service as a spy of
Cecil's. He was now enjoying a pension for the intelligence he had
collected in Spain concerning the Main and Bye Plots. His defect in his
new office was an excess of zeal in suspiciousness. He began by
regarding Ralegh as an arch hypocrite, and a lying impudent impostor,
from whom the truth could be extracted only by 'a rack, or a halter.'
Though otherwise a man of some learning, and a diligent guardian of the
public records, he seems to have been very ignorant of physics. He
thought Ralegh was an empty boaster for his statement that he could
distil salt-water into fresh by means of copper furnaces. He treated his
ailments, which Ralegh's somewhat hypochondriacal temperament may have a
little exaggerated, as wholly feigned, 'that he might not be thought in
his health to enterprise any such matter as perhaps he designeth.' Their
symptoms, the swollen left side and liver, the painful sores over his
body, the ague-fits, his lameness from the Cadiz wound, he conjectured
were caused by the patient's own applications. With his wife to share
his watch, he was given absolute control. No person was to have speech
with Ralegh, unless in his hearing. The Council was to be told all he
observed. He was cunning, though he was fond of enlarging on his simple
honesty. He had a high sense of his own importance, and magnified his
very extensive powers. He was furious with the door-keeper of the
Council for delaying one day to carry in a message from him while the
Council was deliberating. He quarrelled with Sir Allen Apsley, now
Lieutenant of the Tower, for withholding the keys of Ralegh's apartment
at night.

[Sidenote: _The Apsleys._]

[Sidenote: _'Chemical Stuffs.'_]

Apsley, a near connexion by his third wife of Villiers, through whom he
had been enabled to buy his office, must have been an acquaintance of
Ralegh's. He had served in the commissariat department in the Cadiz
expedition, and in Ireland. His second wife was niece, and almost
adopted daughter, of George Carew. On Ralegh's return to the Tower, his
old lodgings in the Bloody tower being tenanted by Lord and Lady
Somerset, he was quartered in the Lieutenant's own house. There he was
sure of hospitable treatment, both on account of the past, and as one of
the persons eminent in learning and in arms, for whom, we are told, Sir
Allen had a singular kindness. He had the especial happiness of
association there with the third Lady Apsley, the mother of Lucy,
afterwards the noble wife of Colonel Hutchinson. Lady Apsley was
interested in physical science. Mrs. Hutchinson has recorded how her
mother, as well from curiosity as from her abounding benignity, which
made her desire that the illustrious prisoner should be comforted and
diverted, persuaded the less scientifically enlightened Sir Allen to
tolerate his chemical investigations. Sir Allen allowed her an income
for herself of £300 a year. Among other good works on which this
'mother' of the Tower spent her pin-money, was the payment of the cost
of Ralegh's experiments. According to Mrs. Hutchinson, herself a capable
surgeon, Ralegh taught Lady Apsley in return many valuable chemical
prescriptions. After a time he was removed to good quarters in the
Wardrobe tower, looking over the Queen's garden. With that arrangement
Wilson professed himself much dissatisfied. He affected to apprehend
communications between Ralegh and confederates outside. Finally he had
his way. Against the wishes of Apsley, as much as his own, Ralegh was
transported to a little upper room in the Brick tower. 'Though it
seemeth nearer Heaven, yet,' wrote Wilson to Naunton, 'there is there no
means to escape but into Hell.' It had been occupied by his servants
when he was confined in that building for his offence of 1592. He was
not allowed now to have the attendance of his own valet. He was
threatened with separation from the 'chemical stuffs,' with which he
loved constantly to drench himself from phials containing all spirits,
sneered ignorant Wilson, but the spirit of God. The Tower physician
could not tell what they were. He, and apparently Sir Allen Apsley too,
at first apprehended another attempt at suicide. They need not. Ralegh,
landless, ruined, had no longer aught to gain by self-destruction for
his family. Apart from a sense of religious duty, he had every motive
for reserving his head for the block, for wishing to 'die in the light.'
Wilson's employers might not have been sorry had his view been
different. Though sometimes the conversation turned on the topic of
noble Roman suicides, Ralegh showed no inclination to take his own life.
Wilson said with a taunt he did not abstain out of principle, but simply
because he, who knew not what fear was, 'had no such Roman courage.'

[Sidenote: _Promises in the King's Name._]

It would be unfair to Wilson and to his confederate Naunton, who had
hoped that the other would 'not long be troubled with that cripple,' to
infer that they were disappointed at Ralegh's reluctance to disembarrass
the Court by self-murder of the trouble of him. There can be no doubt of
the dishonesty of the devices Wilson adopted to secure him for the
block. He tempted him with mendaciously ambiguous declarations that, if
he disclosed all he knew, the King would forgive him, and do him all
kindness. Wilson, James, and Naunton were engaged in a common
conspiracy, that the first, without directly pledging the royal word to
a grant of grace, should coax from Ralegh a confession by allowing him
to fancy such a pledge had been given. Naunton's rebukes, as well as
Wilson's own avowals to him, indicate that Wilson all but positively
bound the King. He need scarcely have resorted to falsehoods, which did
not impose upon his prisoner. Ralegh's experience of the King's justice
and clemency had been too long and intimate for him to be deluded by a
Sir Thomas Wilson. Though he had a right to tax the King with promises
given in the King's name, he did not hope, he told Wilson, thus to save
his life. 'He knew that the more he confessed, the sooner he should be
hanged.' But he was not unwilling to talk and write. He wished, absurd
as seemed to Wilson his pretension to such a possession, 'to discharge
his conscience in all things to his Majesty.' He rejoiced besides in an
opportunity for clearing up obscurities in his career. Ultimately he
grew reserved with Wilson, as may easily be understood. At first, before
he had thoroughly gauged his companion, he conversed freely. He
discoursed almost too freely and fully for Wilson's ability to condense
the whole into a narrative which would be plausible enough to give the
King a sense that they were on the verge of real discoveries. Wilson
complained to Naunton that he often tried to gain information by talking
on matters which might lead to it.

[Sidenote: _Apology for Flight._]

From the Tower, though one biographer believes it was from Devonshire,
he wrote to the King, asking why it should be lawful for Spaniards to
murder thirty-six Englishmen, tying them back to back, and then cutting
their throats, yet be unlawful for Englishmen--'O miserable English! O
miserable Ralegh!--to repel force by force.' The Spanish atrocities are
not disputed. The strange thing is that historians who condemn Ralegh's
alleged violence to Spaniards never seem to suppose he was really
resentful of them. They treat his indignation as factitious. Another
letter he appears, at Wilson's instigation, to have written to the King
on September 17 or 18, which has been lost or suppressed. In it, from an
indorsement, dated September 19, on Wilson's covering letter, it seems
that he asked for an examination of one Christofero, the Governor of
Guiana's mulatto valet, whom Keymis had brought from San Thome. He would
be able to speak, it was mentioned, of 'seven or eight several mines of
gold that are there.' It was not convenient to order any such
examination. Ralegh wrote other letters from the Tower. He wrote to
Villiers, to explain, not so much to him or his master, as to his own
wounded self-respect, the one act of which he was really ashamed. It was
his ineffectual flight, that 'late and too late lamented resolution.' He
recounted to deaf ears the dreams on which he had brooded of permission
to lead yet another expedition in search of his El Dorado; his despair,
when the peremptory summons by the Council to London demonstrated to him
that his vision of treasures and glory was to be extinguished for ever
by actual or virtual death. In a much bolder letter to George Carew,
intended for the King's perusal, which sounds more like a manifesto to
the English nation, he frankly avowed the things he had left undone as
well as the things he had done, and his reasons. He admitted he had not,
in his description of his project, reminded the King that the Spaniards
had already a footing in Guiana. Though the King's advisers were as well
aware as himself of the foundation of the original San Thome, he was
willing to facilitate the King's efforts to purge himself individually
of complicity with the attack on a Spanish settlement. He admitted
further that his patent did not formally authorize him to remove the
Spaniards when they blocked the path to the Mine. His defence was that
he required no distinct authority. The natural lords of Guiana had
acknowledged Elizabeth their sovereign, and the Spaniards had no title
to forbid the entry of Englishmen. He did not deny his responsibility
for the capture of San Thome as part of the operations for the discovery
of the Mine, and he justified it. His right to march about Guiana
without let or hindrance was, he contended, implied in the Royal
commission. Unless the King's title to Guiana were clear, his entrance
for any purpose could not have been sanctioned. If Guiana were Spanish
soil, he would have been as manifestly a thief for taking gold anywhere
out of it, and the Crown as manifestly an accessary to theft, as the
Spaniards now asserted him to be a peace breaker.

[Sidenote: _Detention of Lady Ralegh._]

As may easily be imagined, these were not confessions of the sort James
desired. 'Farrago istius veteratoris' was the description applied to
them by Wilson in his classical moments. 'Mountebank's stuff' he called
them when writing for less classical eyes than the King's. Naunton
affected to despise them as 'roaring tedious epistles.' They were as
little satisfied with the undressed disclosures which they ungenerously
endeavoured to obtain through Lady Carew and Lady Ralegh. Lady Carew was
made to question him on his communications with the French Agent, and
also to question the Agent. She reported the Agent's answer to her
interrogation what Ralegh was to have done or to do in France if he had
succeeded, or should succeed, in escaping thither. It was: 'Il mangera,
il boyera, il fera bien.' Nothing more material was extracted from Lady
Ralegh. She had been committed on August 20 to the custody, in her own
house in Broad-street, of a London merchant, Wollaston. He was relieved
of the disagreeable duty on September 10, 'for his many great occasions
and affairs.' Another merchant, Richard Champion, succeeded him. He was
forbidden to allow any to have access to her, save only such as he
should think fit. Eventually she was subjected to the supervision of
Wilson. No crime was imputed to her. The object of the lawless outrage
was the interception of admissions in the letters husband and wife were
encouraged to write. All were submitted to the King's prying though lazy
eyes. Naunton remarked on one occasion to Wilson: 'I forbear to send
your long letter to the King, who would not read over the Lady's, being
glutted and cloyed with business.' The correspondence told little any of
the conspirators cared to learn. The letters breathed a trust and
affection James never inspired. None of the State secrets he expected to
detect were revealed in such a note as from Ralegh in September: 'I am
sick and weak. My swollen side keeps me in perpetual pain and unrest;'
or in her reply: 'I am sorry to hear amongst many discomforts that your
health is so ill. 'Tis merely sorrow and grief. I hope your health and
comforts will mend, and mend us for God.'

[Sidenote: _Mr. Gardiner's Case against Ralegh._]

[Sidenote: _The King's good Faith._]

By this time the Government recognised that it had done all in its power
for the completion of its case against Ralegh. Students of the
proceedings will think the same. They have cause to be grateful to Mr.
Gardiner for marshalling the medley in his essay under that title in the
_Fortnightly Review_. With the fullest desire to be impartial, he sums
up strongly against the defendant; and his skill and patience in the
collection of evidence are such as to ensure that he has neglected
nothing available for a decisive condemnation. According to him, Ralegh
was guilty of a flagrant breach of the conditions on which his
expedition was authorized. He had pledged his own faith and that of his
friends and companions that he could reach and work his Mine in Guiana
without attacking resident Spaniards, or trespassing on lands in Spanish
occupation. James, it is said, was not inconsistent with his own
principles in sanctioning an enterprise thus qualified. The King's
doctrine, frankly stated by Mr. Gardiner, was that nothing less than
occupancy carried the right to territorial dominion; and it had been
declared to him that the locality of the Mine was not occupied by
Spaniards. He was sceptical of the existence of the Mine, and he was
mistrustful of Ralegh's disposition to comply with the compact. The
national eagerness, however, for the adventure, and the confidence of
Ralegh's well-wishers, overpowered his reluctance. He was moved also by
the venial hope of a vast influx of innocent profit into his empty
Treasury. From the first it was understood plainly that the admiral
accepted the entire responsibility for the maintenance of a peaceable
attitude towards Spanish possessions. The postponement of a pardon was a
sign. Ralegh's conduct in despatching his men to a spot where a
collision was inevitable, indicated a deliberate disregard of his
covenants. James could not have known that the situation of the new San
Thome necessitated a conflict, if the Mine were to be approached, since
Ralegh himself had in England not been aware of the resettlement. As
soon as he heard, his duty was either to retire, or to choose a fresh
route. He did neither, and thus fairly laid himself open to the
punishment he had invoked before he started. Mr. Gardiner does not allow
that James is chargeable with double dealing which should have tied his
hands as against Ralegh, on account of the disclosure of Ralegh's
memorial and plans to Gondomar. The memorial, which, Mr. Gardiner is
sure, included no specification of the place of the Mine, would tell the
Ambassador little of novelty or practical importance. Besides, Mr.
Gardiner believes Ralegh was aware that it was to be shown. Finally,
Ralegh's designs against the plate fleet, and his intrigues with Savoy
and France, in Mr. Gardiner's opinion, sufficiently demonstrate his want
of scrupulousness. The evidence of them would naturally disincline the
King for passing indulgently over proved violations of agreement. On the
whole, he concludes, 'no one who now constructs a narrative of Ralegh's
voyage on the basis of a belief in his veracity will be likely to obtain
a hearing.'

[Sidenote: _Weakness of the Case._]

It is a large indictment resting upon a very slender basis. The question
of the alleged schemes of freebooting, none of which issued in action,
has been considered already. For the present its relevancy depends on
the answer to the main charge of an unlicensed and deliberate rupture by
Ralegh of the peace between his own Sovereign and the King of Spain.
For a determination of the point it must be remembered how much Mr.
Gardiner concedes in Ralegh's favour, as well as how much he decides
adversely. If San Thome had remained in 1618 where it was in 1596, and
Spanish troops, having taken up a temporary post a score or so of miles
lower down, had from that barred the quiet passage of young Walter and
Keymis, Mr. Gardiner apparently must have exonerated Ralegh. He would
have been safe within his commission, which appointed him leader of an
armed force for the obvious purpose of resisting impediments to his
progress about Guiana, unless where Spaniards were in immediate
possession. Warfare with Spaniards in Guiana is not in itself
represented as criminal. His sole offence was in combating them
voluntarily on ground they positively occupied. The same defence which
he might have conclusively urged if soldiers, descending from the
original San Thome, had blocked his transit, is justly pleadable for his
men's voyage on the Orinoko past the new town. Guiana in general being
free to Englishmen, it is manifest that a settlement on the bank could
not appropriate the channel. The whole question of the guilt or
innocence of Ralegh on James's reading of international law, is narrowed
to the minute issue whether the Spaniards or the Englishmen on the
particular scene of the fight were the aggressors. Whatever the decision
upon that, it is difficult to see how it could properly affect Ralegh.
His right and his duty were to find and take possession of the Mine, if
it were not in Spanish hands, as nobody alleges it was. He was entitled
to break through obstacles in his way, so long as he did not violate
actual Spanish soil. Lawfully he sent his comrades along the Orinoko. If
on their road the Spaniards compelled a contest, neither Ralegh nor his
subordinates were in fault. If his captains compelled it, he cannot have
been liable, unless he be proved, as he has not been, to have so
instructed them. In any event, when all Spanish officers in America
notoriously deemed an Englishman a pirate who entered the Orinoko
without their leave, and King James claimed authority to send his
subjects wherever in Guiana Spaniards were not permanently planted, it
is unreasonable to throw the liability for an armed brawl between
Spaniards and Englishmen in Guiana upon the English chief. His
Sovereign, who with eyes open despatched him with an armament to work a
mine of prodigious value, cannot be permitted to shift on him the odium
of a bloody struggle because the goal turned out to be some eight miles
off, instead of the twenty more or less at which both master and subject
had judged it to be.

[Sidenote: _Difficulties of the Government._]

The design of the Government had been to discover proof of fresh crimes
since Ralegh's liberation in 1616, and to try him for them. It had
failed. Much of the testimony it had painfully collected was dubious,
vague, biassed, interested, or plainly corrupt. Such as it was the
Council either would not, or could not, rely upon it for a conviction.
Ralegh's transactions with the Frenchmen were unwarrantable, if its view
of them were correct. But they had resulted in nothing, and they were a
continuation of relations which it had itself promoted. At San Thome, if
he were liable for his men, as partially he did not deny, though he
might have denied it, he had broken the King's peace by an invasion of
Spanish territory, if Guiana were Spanish. He maintained that it was as
much English as it was Spanish, if not more; and they neither dared, in
the existing state of national opinion, nor perhaps cared, to gainsay
the doctrine. His alleged schemes for the maritime spoliation of
Spaniards may well have been to his mind lawful. All English seamen, and
the nation at large, believed that the articles of peace between the two
kingdoms did not extend beyond the Equator. In the latest treaty with
Spain, that of 1604, the Indies and their trade were intentionally not
mentioned, on account of the insoluble difficulties arising out of the
Spanish determination to shut the region to free European trade. For
Ralegh and a multitude of Englishmen, and Spaniards also, England and
Spain were in America always at war. Neither national nor international
law countenanced the doctrine. Any Englishman who had devastated
Spanish commerce in the West Indies, would, during a large part of
Elizabeth's reign, have been amenable to criminal justice, if the State
had prosecuted. But the State then was not inclined to prosecute for
such acts. During the next reign some statesmen continued to hold, like
the people, that there was no peace beyond the Line. If there were
peace, the State could not have proceeded against Ralegh for the thought
of breaking it. The single criminal act proved was his attempt at
escape. For it he might have been tried and punished. But the most
triumphant prosecution on such a charge would not have given the
Government the pound of flesh it owed to Spain. Nothing less was of use.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's real Motive._]

[Sidenote: _The Rest Talk._]

The administration floundered about in futile efforts. Perpetually it
was deluded by a sensation of solid ground which immediately slipped
from under its feet. It was the more enraged with Ralegh that he seemed
to be ever offering clues, which only led astray. It imputed its
embarrassment to his cunning. He had no intention to deceive, or even to
abstain from promoting a revelation of the truth, which he did not fear.
Simply he and it were radically at cross purposes. They were mutually
unintelligible. The sincerity of his ardour for the attainment of a
footing in Guiana is unquestionable. He was honestly eager for it in the
Tower, in Trinidad after the return from San Thome, at Plymouth, when he
was grovelling in counterfeit madness at Salisbury, and when he was a
fugitive on the Thames. But Guiana was not his real end. Guiana was the
means he had finally and deliberately chosen to inflame the English
people and Crown with an inextinguishable ambition for the creation of
an American empire. He did not much mind how the national imagination
was kindled, provided that it caught fire. His motive was patriotic and
vast, and his judges and accusers, conscientious men like Cæsar and
Abbot, as well as others, had not the faintest understanding of it. All
except the motive was talk, much of it reprehensible talk, but much not
truly reported; and his censors let their prejudices seduce them into
treating the entire mass as evidence of facts and acts. If he ever
instructed his officers to commence the expedition to the Mine by taking
the initiative in an attack on San Thome, the direction was confined to
talk. If, whether before or after the San Thome incident, he spoke of
the capture of the plate fleet, that was nothing but talk. Captain
Parker's report of the project of Ralegh and St. Leger for lying in wait
for homeward bound ships referred, if not wholly untrue, to talk, like
his own and Whitney's similar plans. When Ralegh told his wife he hoped
for something ere his return, that was talk. If he ever said he should
not come back, that was talk. If he boasted of a French commission, and
affirmed his preference for France, that was talk. The entire pile of
charges against him, proved, unproved, or disproved, was talk. All began
and ended in talk, unless that Bayley captured French boats, and Ralegh
redeemed them; that the Lancerota islanders murdered English sailors,
and he did not retaliate; that the San Giuseppe Spaniards were
aggressors, and he bore it; and that the garrison of San Thome laid an
ambush for his men, to hinder their access to a district which his
Sovereign had commissioned him to enter, and were soundly beaten for
their hostility.

The Government was in a dilemma. It meant to put Ralegh to death, and
the process was as behindhand as at Ralegh's return to Plymouth, or more
so. Spain had the promise of his blood, as soon as it should decide
whether itself or England were to provide the scaffold. On October 15
the Spanish Legation in London received the answer of the Escurial.
Philip III had no mind to accept the odium before Europe of murdering a
redoubtable foe. He expressed his preference for an execution in
England, and at once. Only in one way could the object be effected.
Ralegh must be put to death, not ostensibly for San Thome, but for the
Main Plot. Both for Ralegh and his heroic wife the immediate results
were solacing. There was no need for tormenting either further for the
concoction of a fresh indictment, if the original indictment retained
strength to do the work. A warrant was addressed to Wilson for Lady
Ralegh's release from his supervision. By another he was discharged from
attendance upon her husband. Ten days earlier he had pretended to pray
the King's leave to give up his trust at the Tower. He said he was
anxious to resume the arrangement of the State papers of the previous
six or seven years. For Ralegh at all events it was a happy respite to
be restored, for the last dozen days of his Tower life, to the honest
keeping of Sir Allen, and the charitable offices of Lady Apsley.



CHAPTER XXIX.

A SUBSTITUTE FOR A TRIAL (October 22, 1618).


[Sidenote: _Two Courses._]

Bacon, his fellow Commissioners, and the Law Officers were consulted by
the Crown on the fitting procedure for the setting up of the old
conviction. Coke seems to have been deputed by the other Commissioners
to embody in legal form their unanimous opinion, which Bacon, as Lord
Chancellor, delivered to James on October 18. The only copy in existence
is in Coke's handwriting. It was to the purport that Ralegh, being
attainted already of high treason, could not be drawn in question
judicially for any crime since committed. The Commissioners recommended
one of two courses. The first was for the King to issue his warrant for
execution upon the conviction of 1603. At the same time, as Ralegh's
'late crimes and offences were not yet publicly known,' a printed
narrative of them might be published. The Commissioners agreed that such
a course could legally be pursued. Some among them would see as clearly,
though they might not feel as indignantly, as the modern Whig historian,
that 'no technical reasoning could overcome the moral sense which
revolted at carrying the original sentence into execution.'
Consequently, an alternative method, to which the Commissioners 'rather
inclined,' was suggested in Coke's paper; one 'nearest to a legal
procedure.' There was a precedent in certain proceedings against Lady
Shrewsbury. According to it, Ralegh might be called before the whole
body of the Council of State, with the addition of the principal Judges,
some noblemen and gentlemen of quality being invited to act as
audience. He should be told he was brought before the Council rather
than a Court of Justice, because he was already civilly dead. Then he
should be charged in regular form by counsel with his acts of hostility,
depredation and abuse. He should be heard in his defence; and adverse
witnesses should be confronted with him, as Cobham had not been. With
that which concerned the Frenchmen the Commissioners thought he should
not be charged. Therein he had been passive rather than active; and
without it the case appeared to the Commissioners to be complete.
Moreover, they doubtless suspected Ralegh could show that in the French
negotiations he had not acted alone. Finally, said the memorial, the
Council and the Judges assisting would advise whether his Majesty might
not with justice and honour give warrant for Ralegh's execution upon his
attainder, in respect of his subsequent offences.

[Sidenote: _Objections to an open Inquiry._]

[Sidenote: _Sir Julius Cæsar._]

James dictated a reply to the Commissioners, which is extant in the
writing of the secretary of Villiers. He objected to the second proposal
in its original form for two main reasons. The procedure, though proper
against a Countess, would be too great honour against one of Ralegh's
state. It would not be 'fit, because it would make him too popular, as
was found by experiment at the arraignment at Winchester, where by his
wit he turned the hatred of men into compassion.' Consequently, the King
modified the arrangement by an omission of the Judges, and of the
element of partial publicity through the presence of a selected
audience. The members of the Council who had conducted the previous
examinations were directed to sit as a quasi-criminal Court. But they
sat with closed doors, and their sitting was kept strictly private. From
a letter at Simancas, written on November 6 by a Spanish Agent in
London, Julian Sanchez de Ulloa, to his Government from hearsay, it may
be gathered that the inquiry was held on October 22, and lasted for four
hours. No complete account has been discovered of the course it took, in
consequence, Mr. Spedding, in his _Life of Bacon_, supposes, of the
destruction of a mass of Council Chamber papers in the fire of January
12, 1619, at the Banqueting House. That is possible. As the Commission
sat as a Court, not as a Council, the explanation is not incompatible
with the circumstance that the Council Register for 1618, which, as it
happens, did not suffer from the conflagration, contains no allusion to
a meeting of the Council on October 22. Nevertheless it is more likely
that the want of official record is due to the extreme anxiety of the
King's advisers for secrecy. They were afraid of popular feeling. The
fact of the imitation trial might have been itself doubtful, but for a
fragmentary sketch in a volume of Sir Julius Cæsar's notes, preserved
among the Lansdowne Manuscripts in the British Museum. The report, which
breaks off in the middle of a sentence, is on Council paper, and may
have been drawn up for official use, if not with a view to ultimate
insertion in the Privy Council Register. In Mr. Spedding's opinion only
the first sheet has been kept, and the condition of the paper seems to
me clearly to favour the hypothesis. He believes that the full note
contained additional evidence against Ralegh, for instance, on the
question of the expedition's provision of mining tools, with his replies
to it, and the decision of the Commissioners upon the whole. The report,
in its existing form, needs to be eked out with the suggestions,
necessarily not very sympathetic, in the subsequent Royal _Declaration_
of Ralegh's line of defence against the charges. Such as it is, it must
be read with caution and uncertainty. Cæsar, who was Master of the
Rolls, was generous, and, for a Jacobean placeman, just. The only grave
imputation on his memory is his connivance, as a Commissioner, at the
collusive divorce of Lady Essex. It is not impugning the good faith of
any reporters of proceedings, like the present, against Ralegh, to look
sceptically at their narrative. Law reporters in general had lax notions
in those days of the distinction between actual statements and
inferences by themselves as to the construction they bore. Coke's
Reports show it abundantly. Cæsar in particular would feel in no way
bound to mechanical accuracy. His endeavour would be to give the
prevailing force and significance of the charges, of the defence, and of
the evidence; the impression they made upon him with a view to his
judicial conclusion. We know the judgment formed in advance by him and
his colleagues on the mendacity of Ralegh's account of the motive of his
enterprise. That could not but warp a compendium by him of an
investigation instituted in order to find a legal justification for a
capital sentence on a presumed impostor and pirate.

[Sidenote: _Charges and Defence._]

Sir Henry Yelverton, the Attorney-General, leading for the Crown, took
for his theme the conduct of the expedition. He was obliged to try to
excuse the King for his authorization of an adventure alleged by himself
to be an imposture. His Majesty had been induced, by the hope of 'his
country's good,' to grant a commission, which, it should be noted, Cæsar
describes as 'under the Great Seal.' The King, Yelverton was not ashamed
to suggest, had been the dupe of Ralegh, who invented the Mine to regain
his liberty. He could not, it was argued, have meant to mine, since he
carried no miners or instruments. He had a French commission to assail
Spaniards. In reliance on that he had ventured to direct an attack on
San Thome. On its failure he was in a mood to depart, and leave his poor
company behind him helpless. He had anticipated lucrative booty from the
town. Disappointment at its meagreness helped to incite him to schemes
for the capture of the Mexico fleet. Much indignation was spent by Sir
Thomas Coventry, the Solicitor-General, in his turn, on 'vile and
dishonourable speeches, full of contumely to the King,' which, on the
word of Stukely and Manourie, he supposed Ralegh to have uttered.
Coventry stigmatized them as marking especial and flagitious
ingratitude. 'Never was subject so obliged to his Sovereign as he.'

Ralegh, in his reply, repudiated with his wonted courtesy the assertion
that he had received extraordinary marks of royal lenity. His release
from the Tower he claimed as a tardy reparation for a protracted wrong.
'I do verily believe,' he exclaimed, 'that his Majesty doth in his own
conscience clear me of all guiltiness in regard to my conviction in the
year 1603. Indeed, I know that his Majesty hath been heard to say, in
speaking of these proceedings, that he would not wish to be tried by a
Middlesex jury.' He added Dr. Turner's report to him of Mr. Justice
Gawdy's death-bed censure of his condemnation. But he denied that he had
in fact uttered the abuse imputed to him by Stukely and Manourie. His
only ill speech of his Majesty had been: 'My confidence in the King is
deceived.' It was deceived. The charge that he had never meant to work a
mine he met by references to refiners, and tools and assaying apparatus,
costing him £2000, that he had conveyed with him. To the accusation that
he had broken the King's peace with Spain, he retorted that the
aggression proceeded from the Spaniards. He had not directed any attack
upon them. His only object in despatching an armed force had been that
the soldiers might take up a position between the town and the Mine
while the rest were at work. The mere attempt to reach the Mine was no
offence, unless Spaniards had an absolute territorial title to the soil
of the region in which it lay.

[Sidenote: _Designs against the Plate Fleet._]

[Sidenote: _The Explanation._]

The Commission could not affirm an absolute claim on behalf of Spain. It
was reduced to rely upon accusations that he had from the beginning
harboured piratical intentions, and counted upon the assistance of
France for their accomplishment. Sir John Ferne, who had left him,
reported to the Commission talk by him as if he had meant to turn
buccaneer, and also to enter the French service. Apparently that was the
belief of some of his officers, though several may have alleged it
simply to excuse their desertion, and to guard against counter charges
by him. In any case the theory seems to have been founded upon the most
superficial proofs. Of any piratical acts of his, or practical service
rendered to France, he could confidently challenge the Law Officers to
produce the smallest proof. But on the solitary charge of a design to
seize the plate fleet the Commission was in possession of a morsel of
corroborative evidence. It confronted him with another of his runaway
captains, Pennington, and also with Wareham St. Leger. They testified to
admissions of his intention to lie in wait for the plate fleet.
According to Cæsar's note, after their testimony he could no longer
adhere to his denial, and 'confessed that he proposed the taking of the
Mexico fleet if the mine failed.' How far he positively admitted it, and
how far Cæsar inferred to his own satisfaction from Ralegh's mode of
receiving the evidence that he could not really contradict it, cannot be
ascertained. As has been remarked, all depends on how the thing was
said. If Cæsar's summary of the proceedings had been handed down in a
more complete form, it might itself have impressed posterity otherwise
than the evidence impressed him. By the allusions in the Royal
_Declaration_ it may be seen that Ralegh was far from being overwhelmed
by St. Leger's and Pennington's testimony. In the first place he appears
to have asserted that the words concerning the plate fleet were spoken
after, and not before, the search for the Mine had been defeated, and
that the plan was propounded by him merely to keep the fleet together
through the tempting vision. If he had ever before said anything to the
same effect, 'it was but discourse at large.' Without regard to the
strength or weakness, the sufficiency or insufficiency, of his defence,
as to which Mr. Spedding concedes that the remains of Cæsar's note
afford scanty materials for a conclusion, there can be no question that
the Commissioners paid little respect to his arguments. If they ever
embodied their opinion, as Mr. Spedding thinks probable, in words, he
certainly is correct in his conjecture that it was wholly condemnatory.

According to Ulloa's account, Bacon wound up the proceedings by
addressing a solemn rebuke to Ralegh for the injury he had done to
Spanish territories, and by telling him that he must die. Perhaps,
however, the Spaniard's informant antedated the Lord Chancellor's
announcement, which may be identical with that, hereafter to be
mentioned, of October 24. At all events, a privy seal seems to have been
sent to the Judges, 'forthwith to order execution.' Jacobean Judges
could commit monstrous injustices. They liked to be unjust according to
precedent. They demurred, and a conference of them was called. At this,
on October 23, it was decided that a privy seal was not enough. It was
determined that Ralegh should be brought to bar on a writ of Habeas
Corpus addressed to the Lieutenant of the Tower. He was to be asked if
he could urge any objection to an award of execution; 'for he might have
a pardon; or he might say that he was not the same person.' As a
preliminary he was called next day before the Council at Whitehall. He
was informed that he was to be executed on his old sentence. His reply
is not recorded. If he argued on behalf of his life, it was to no
purpose. He was more fortunate with his petition that he might be
beheaded, and not hanged. For that amount of benevolence the Council
intimated its willingness to hold itself responsible.

[Sidenote: _Before the King's Bench._]

A second privy seal came to the Justices of the King's Bench. Their
Chief, Coke's successor, much more polished and discreet than he, was
Sir Henry Montagu, afterwards Lord Treasurer, Lord President, and Earl
of Manchester. His Court was simply commanded to proceed according to
law, as it was called. Ralegh had been suffering from an attack of ague.
On October 28, at eight, he was awakened with the fit still upon him. He
was served with a summons to appear forthwith at Westminster. As he
passed along the corridor an old servant, Peter, met him. While he was
under Wilson's custody his own domestics had been withdrawn. They had
since been allowed to attend him. One of Peter's duties had been to comb
the hair, no longer flowing and thick, of his head, and his beard, for
an hour a day. Ralegh had left off the practice for a time. As he told
Wilson, 'he would know first who should have his head; he would not
bestow so much cost of it for the hangman.' Peter had doubtless at his
return brought his master back to the old usage. He now reminded Ralegh
that he was going forth with his head undressed. Ralegh replied with a
good-humoured question, 'Dost thou know, Peter, of any plaster that will
set a man's head on again, when it is off?'

[Sidenote: _Execution granted._]

He was at Westminster soon after nine. After the Winchester conviction
had been read, Yelverton, as Attorney-General, briefly demanded
execution. He was more courteous than Coke had been in his place, and
more dignified. 'Sir Walter Ralegh,' he said, 'hath been a statesman,
and a man who, in regard to his parts and quality, is to be pitied. He
hath been as a star at which the world hath gazed; but stars may fall,
nay, they must fall when they trouble the sphere wherein they abide. It
is therefore his Majesty's pleasure now to call for execution of the
former judgment, and I require order for the same.' Ralegh held up his
hand. He told the Court that 'his voice was grown weak by his late
sickness, and an ague he had at that instant upon him; therefore, he
desired the relief of a pen and ink.' Montagu told him he spoke audibly
enough. So he proceeded with his defence. He argued, as Bacon is
rumoured to have argued at Gray's Inn, that the King's commission for
the late voyage, with the power of life and death, amounted to a pardon.
Montagu interrupted him. Nothing about his voyage was, he said, to the
purport. Treason was never pardoned by implication. On this Ralegh put
himself on the King's mercy. He urged that in that judgment which was so
long past, both his Majesty was of opinion, and there were some present
who could witness, that he had hard usage. If his Majesty had not been
anew exasperated against him, he was sure he might, if he could by
nature, have lived a thousand and a thousand years before advantage
would have been taken of the judgment. Montagu answered that for all the
past fifteen years he had been as a man dead in the law; but the King in
mercy spared him. He might think it heavy if it were done in cold blood.
But new offences had stirred up his Majesty's justice to revive what the
law had formerly cast upon him. The Chief Justice continued in a solemn
strain, not without eloquence: 'I know that you have been valiant and
wise; and I doubt not but you retain both these virtues, for now you
shall have occasion to use them. Your faith hath heretofore been
questioned; but I am resolved you are a good Christian; for your book,
which is an admirable work, doth testify as much. I would give you
counsel; but I know you can apply it unto yourself far better than I am
able to give it you. Fear not death too much, nor fear death too little;
not too much lest you fail in your hope, nor too little lest you die
presumptuously.' He ended: 'Execution is granted.'

Ralegh said he had no desire 'to gain one minute of life; for now being
old, sickly, in disgrace, and certain to go to it, life was wearisome to
him.' But he prayed for a reasonable delay; he had something to do in
discharge of his conscience, something for the satisfaction of his
Majesty, and something for that of the world. Above all, he besought
their Lordships that, when he came to die, he might have leave to speak
freely at his farewell. He called God, before whom he was shortly to
appear, to witness that he was never disloyal, as he should justify
where he need not fear the face of any King on earth. So, with an
entreaty to them to pray for him, he was led away to the Gate-house.

[Sidenote: _The Queen's Intercession through Villiers._]

[Sidenote: _Other Petitioners._]

James and his confidants were not allowed to carry out their iniquity
without remonstrances. Already the Queen had exerted once more her
waning influence for Ralegh. He had appealed to her in solemn verse from
his prison in the name of his innocence and friendlessness. She was now
on her death-bed, dropsical, gloomy, and neglected. It was whispered
that she was disturbed in her reason. She preserved at least sufficient
intelligence to be horrified at the wrong which was being prepared, and
the stain threatened to the memory of her husband's reign. She responded
to Ralegh's petition by an earnest letter to George Villiers. She had,
at Archbishop Abbot's solicitation, recommended Villiers to the favour
of James. He exhibited the most obsequious deference to her as well as
to the King. Her letter, of which the precise date is unknown, is
addressed to 'My kind Dogge.' That was the name by which Villiers
affected to like both of them to call him. She wrote: 'If I have any
power or credit with you, I pray you let me have a trial of it, at this
time, in dealing sincerely and earnestly with the King, that Sir Walter
Ralegh's life may not be called in question.' Her intercession with her
truant Consort through his favourite was not more successful than her
pleadings with himself had been. As vainly young Carew Ralegh prayed,
without date or superscription, for the life of 'my poor father,
sometime honoured with many great places of command by the most worthy
Queen Elizabeth, the possessor whereof she left him at her death, as a
token of her goodwill to his loyalty.' The lad, now about thirteen, or
rather they who dictated his memorial, must have been very simple to
suppose that Elizabeth's favour was a passport to James's compassion. On
his death-bed James Montague, who died in July, 1618, Bishop of
Winchester, and is transformed by Wilson in his journal into the Earl of
Winchester, had previously begged of James one thing, the life of
Ralegh; 'a great offender,' Montague called him, 'who yet was dearly
respected of the late noble Queen.' In his choice of reasons the prelate
seems to have been as injudicious as the boy. As fruitlessly were
solicitations addressed to the King by Lady Ralegh, and by persons
described generally as in great favour and esteem with him. All were
repulsed. James, says Francis Osborn in his _Traditional Memoirs_, 'did
so far participate of the humour of a pusillanimous prince as to pardon
any sooner than those injured by himself.' He was unconscious of any
such malignity. It is pathetic to observe his utter freedom from
suspicion that posterity could help characterizing him as resolute,
wise, and just for his persecution of Ralegh, and not as a wretched
trickster.

Ralegh's own main anxiety was to settle his affairs in the first place,
and to secure that none suffered pecuniary detriment, much or little,
through his fault or negligence. When that was assured, he next longed
to clear his fame, in death, of every slur and taint. In November, for
discharge of his conscience, he gave to Wilson a testamentary note, that
he had never let to Captain Caulfeild land near Sherborne Castle, which
John Meere claimed by a counterfeit grant of his to Caulfeild. He
mentioned further that, before his departure from Cork to Guiana, he had
written in prejudice of H. Pyne's lease of Mogile Castle, and in favour
of Lord Boyle's claim. Since that time, better bethinking himself, he
desired the opinion he gave at Cork might be no evidence in law, and
that it should be left to other proofs on both sides. He requested Lady
Ralegh, 'if she should enjoy her goods,' to be kind to Hamon's wife, and
in any case to the wife of John Talbot, his servant in the Tower, who
had died in Guiana: 'I fear me, her son being dead, she will otherwise
perish.' He added that an account ought to be exacted from Stukely of
the tobacco he had sold at Plymouth, and also of the parcel he had sent
down the river, 'the Sunday that we took boat.'

[Sidenote: _Warrant for Execution._]

When he prayed a 'respite,' it was not that he was scared at the
approach of death. His mind was never brighter and happier. To this
moment may well be attributed, as it has been by popular tradition, his
composition of the couplet:

    Cowards may fear to die, but courage stout,
    Rather than live in snuff, will be put out.

Assuredly he was not one of the cowards. But his career had been
confused and tumultuous. He would have been glad of a little leisure and
quiet for unravelling some of the knots. He understood his enemies and
events too well to be surprised that his shrift was to be short. Before
his appearance at the King's Bench, Bacon had drawn the warrant for
execution, and James had signed it. Naunton wrote to Carleton, the
general depositary of confidential gossip, on October 28, that the
warrant for execution had been drawn up, and sent to the King for
signature; only, 'it had better not be talked about, as it is de futuro
contingente.' James, meanwhile, was restlessly hunting to and fro
between Oatlands, Theobalds, and Hampton Court. He was composing
meditations on the Lord's Prayer, and dedicating them to Villiers. The
warrant, though he was then in Hertfordshire, was dated the day of the
scene in the King's Bench. It was directed to the Chancellor. It
dispensed with 'the manner of execution according to his former
judgment, and released Sir Walter Ralegh of the same to be drawn,
hanged, and quartered.' The royal pleasure instead thereof was to have
the head only of the said Sir Walter Ralegh cut off at or within the
Palace of Westminster.



CHAPTER XXX.

RALEGH'S TRIUMPH (October 28-29, 1618).


[Sidenote: _The Gate-house._]

Ralegh was confined in the Gate-house of the old monastery of St. Peter.
It was a small two-storied building of the age of Edward III, standing
at the western entrance to Tothill-street. The structure embraced two
adjoining gates, with rooms which had been turned into prison cells. By
the side of the gate leading northwards from the College-court, was the
Bishop of London's prison for convicted clerks and Romish recusants.
With the other gate westwards was connected the gaol of the Liberty of
Westminster, to which Ralegh had been committed. The Abbey was visible
through its barred windows. Ben Jonson had been confined in it. Eliot,
Hampden, and Selden were to be. Lovelace sang there to stone walls.
Esmond's name may be added to the list of its glories. Ralegh had been
afraid the King might prevent him from speaking, or from being heard. He
feared that the space for his friends would be narrow. As he crossed
Palace Yard to the Gate-house he had asked Sir Hugh Beeston, of
Cheshire, to be there. 'But,' he said, 'I do not know what you may do
for a place. For my part, I am sure of one.' Many came to the prison to
bid farewell. Among them, according to Sir William Sanderson, was his
father, the ex-deputy Licenser. Ralegh was lively and cheerful. To those
who grieved he said: 'The world itself is but a larger prison, out of
which some are daily selected for execution.' There is no reason for
doubting the sincerity of his content. He had striven manfully for a
life which for him meant the exercise of fruitful energy. He rejoiced in
death, when, from no remissness of his, it closed his labours. His
kinsman, Francis Thynne, advised him: 'Do not carry it with too much
bravery. Your enemies will take exception, if you do.' His friends were
afraid of the 'pride' which had provoked Henry Howard. 'It is my last
mirth in this world,' replied he; 'do not grudge it to me. When I come
to the sad parting, you will see me grave enough.'

[Sidenote: _Fearless of Death._]

By desire of the Lords of the Council, Dr. Robert Tounson, Dean of
Westminster, and afterwards Bishop of Salisbury, attended him. Tounson
wrote on November 9 to Sir John Isham: 'He was the most fearless of
death that ever was known; and the most resolute and confident, yet with
reverence and conscience. When I began to encourage him against the fear
of death, he seemed to make so light of it that I wondered at him. He
gave God thanks, he never feared death; and the manner of death, though
to others it might seem grievous, yet he had rather die so than of a
burning fever. I wished him not to flatter himself, for this
extraordinary boldness, I was afraid, came from some false ground. If it
were out of a humour of vain glory, or carelessness of death, or
senselessness of his own state, he were much to be lamented. He answered
that he was persuaded that no man that knew God and feared Him could die
with cheerfulness and courage, except he were assured of the love and
favour of God unto him; that other men might make shows outwardly, but
they felt no joy within; with much more to that effect, very
Christianly; so that he satisfied me then, as I think he did all his
spectators at his death.' A reputation for free thinking once
established is tenacious. Though Ralegh satisfied a Chief Justice, a
Dean of Westminster, and men like Pym, Eliot, Hampden, of his orthodoxy,
he did not satisfy all. Archbishop Abbot three or four months later
wrote to Sir Thomas Roe that his execution was a judgment on him for his
scepticism.

He did not allude, wrote Tounson, to 'his former treason.' As to more
recent imputations, he could not conceive how it was possible to break
peace with Spain, which 'within these four years took divers of his men,
and bound them back to back and drowned them.'

[Sidenote: _A last Farewell to his Wife._]

Later arrived his wife. She had spent the earlier hours in trying to
induce the Council to mediate with the King. Before she came she had
learnt from a friend that it refused to beg the life, but authorized her
to dispose of the corpse. At the Gate-house first she heard he was to be
beheaded on Friday morning, October 29. That was Lord Mayor's Day, the
morrow of St. Simon and St. Jude. It appears to have been selected, that
the City pageant might draw away the crowd from hearing him, and seeing
him die. As he and she were consulting how she was to vindicate his
fame, if he should be hindered from speech on the scaffold, the Abbey
clock struck twelve. She rose to go, that he might rest. Then, with a
burst of anguish, she told him she had leave to bury his body. 'It is
well, dear Bess,' said he with a smile, 'that thou mayst dispose of that
dead, which thou hadst not always the disposing of when alive.' On her
return home, between night and morning, she wrote to 'my best brother,'
Sir Nicholas Carew, of Beddington: 'I desire, good brother, that you
will be pleased to let me bury the worthy body of my noble husband, Sir
Walter Ralegh, in your church at Beddington, where I desire to be
buried. The Lords have given me his dead body, though they denied me his
life. This night he shall be brought you with two or three of my men.
Let me hear presently. God hold me and my wits.'

Ralegh, when his wife left him, wrote his last testamentary note. It was
a rehearsal of the topics on which he meant to speak on the scaffold. If
his mouth were closed it was intended to be a substitute. He repeated in
it his constant affirmation of his loyalty: 'If,' he said, 'I had not
loved and honoured the King truly, and trusted in his goodness somewhat
too much, I had not suffered death.' Then the poet awoke in him. He
wrote in the Bible which he gave to Dean Tounson the famous lines:

    Even such is time, that takes in trust
    Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
    And pays us but with earth and dust;
    Who, in the dark and silent grave,
    When we have wandered all our ways,
    Shuts up the story of our days;
    But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
    My God shall raise me up, I trust.

[Sidenote: _'Innocent in the Fact.'_]

Early in the morning came Tounson again, and administered the Sacrament.
Tounson wrote in the letter to Sir John Isham, from which I have already
quoted, that Ralegh hoped to persuade the world he died an innocent man.
The Dean objected that his assertions of innocence obliquely denied the
justice of the Realm upon him. In reply he confessed justice had been
done; that was to say, that by course of law he must die; but he claimed
leave, he said, to stand upon his innocency in the fact; and he thought
both the King, and all who heard his answers, believed verily he was
innocent for that matter. Tounson then pressed him to call to mind what
he had done formerly. Though perhaps in that particular for which he was
condemned he was clear, yet for some other matter, it might be, he was
guilty, and therefore he should acknowledge the justice of God in it,
though at the hands of men he had but hard measure. Here Tounson says he
put him in mind of the death of my Lord of Essex; how it was generally
reported that he was a great instrument of Essex's death. If his heart
charged him with that, he should heartily repent, and ask God
forgiveness. To this he made answer; and he said moreover that my Lord
of Essex was fetched off by a trick, of which he privately told Tounson.
He was, testifies Tounson, very cheerful, ate his breakfast heartily,
and took tobacco, and made no more of his death than if it had been to
take a journey.

[Sidenote: _His Good-humour._]

Before he quitted the Gate-house a cup of sack was brought. After he had
drunk it the bearer asked if it were to his liking. 'I will answer
you,' said Ralegh, 'as did the fellow who drank of St. Giles's bowl as
he went to Tyburn: "It is good drink if a man might but tarry by it".'
Now arrived the Sheriffs. They conducted him to Old Palace Yard, where a
large scaffold had been erected in front of the Parliament-house. Though
the space had been narrowed by barriers, a great multitude had
collected. It included, according to John Eliot, who was present,
enemies as well as friends. Ralegh was dressed in a black-wrought velvet
nightgown over a hair-coloured satin doublet, a ruff band, and a
black-wrought waistcoat, black cut taffeta breeches, and ash-coloured
silk stockings. On account of his ague he wore under his hat a wrought
nightcap. Seeing in the crowd an old man with a very bald head, he
inquired why he had ventured forth on such a morning; whether he would
have aught of him. 'Nothing,' was the answer, 'but to see him, and pray
God for him.' Ralegh thanked him, and grieved that he had no better
return to make for his good will than 'this,' said he, as he threw him
his lace cap, 'which you need, my friend, now more than I.' Being
pressed on by the crowd, he was breathless and faint when he mounted the
scaffold; but he saluted with a cheerful countenance those of his
acquaintance whom he saw. Lords Arundel, Doncaster, Northampton,
formerly Compton, and Oxford--son of Sir Walter's enemy--stood in Sir
Randolph Carew's, or Crues's, balcony. Other Lords, Sheffield and Percy,
sat on horseback near. Sir Edward Sackville, Colonel Cecil, Sir Henry
Rich, were among the spectators. The assemblage is said to have included
ladies of rank. The morning was raw, and a fire had been lighted beside
the scaffold for the Sheriffs, while they waited before going to the
Gate-house. They invited him to descend and warm himself. He declined;
his ague would soon be upon him; it might be deemed, he said, if he
delayed, and the fit began before he had played his part, that he quaked
with fear.

[Sidenote: _Rejoices to 'die in the Light.'_]

Proclamation having been made by the Sheriffs, he addressed his
audience. Tounson's, and another account prepared, it would appear from
a statement of the Dean's, for the Government by one Crawford, do not
materially differ. They seem both to be honest, if not fluent. He
commenced by explaining, not complaining, that he had the day before
been taken from his bed in a strong fit of fever, which might recur that
morning. Therefore, he hoped they would ascribe any disability of voice
or dejection of look to that, and not to dismay of mind. Hereupon he
paused and sat down. Beginning again to speak he fancied they in the
balcony did not hear. So he said he would raise his voice. Arundel
replied that the company would rather come down to the scaffold.
Northampton, Doncaster, and himself descended, mounted the scaffold, and
shook hands with Ralegh. Then he resumed: 'I thank God that He has sent
me to die in the light, and not in darkness, before such an assembly of
honourable witnesses, and not obscurely in the Tower, where, for the
space of thirteen years together, I have been oppressed with many
miseries. I thank Him, too, that my fever hath not taken me at this
time.' He proceeded to excuse his counterfeit sickness at Salisbury: 'It
was only to prolong the time till his Majesty came, in hopes of some
commiseration from him.' He dwelt more seriously on two or three main
points of suspicion conceived by the King against him. They, he
believed, had specially hastened his doom. One was connected with his
supposed intrigues with France. He gave an indignant denial to this
charge of practices with foreigners, at any rate without the
qualification expressed in the testamentary note he had composed during
the night, 'unknowing to the King.' The mistrust had, he was aware, been
strengthened by his projects of flight from Plymouth and London. Those
luckless schemes had, he asserted, no affinity to thoughts of permanent
expatriation and foreign service. Simply he had reckoned that he could
more easily make his peace at home while he was safe at a distance.
Another cause of odium had been Manourie's tale of his habit of reviling
the King. That he declared mere lying: 'It is,' he said, 'no time for me
to flatter, or to fear, princes, I who am subject only unto death; yet,
if ever I spake disloyally or dishonestly of the King, the Lord blot me
out of the book of life.'

[Sidenote: _Denial of Stukely's Calumnies._]

Even at this supreme moment he respected the Throne, as much from real
reverence for Royalty, as from fear of harm after him to wife and child.
He did not repeat his protest against the mock conviction of 1603. He
uttered no scorn of the King's betrayal to the Court of Spain of the
plan of his expedition. In general he was content to defend himself; he
was sparing of attacks. Only his 'keeper and kinsman,' Stukely, he could
not pass over in silence. Having received the Sacrament he forgave the
man; but he held himself bound to caution the world against him, out of
charity to others. He repudiated warmly a calumny against Carew and
Doncaster, that they had advised him to fly. He ridiculed the
transparent mendacity of Stukely's story of a promise of £10,000; for
'if I had £1000, I could have made my peace better with it than by
giving it to Stukely.' He disclaimed indignantly the statement Stukely
had attributed to him, that he had been poisoned at Parham's house. Sir
Edward Parham, he said, had been a follower of his; Parham's wife was
his cousin-german; and Parham's cook once was his. As untrue was the
story that he had been conveyed into England against his will. On the
contrary, 150 soldiers held him a close prisoner in his cabin. They
extorted an oath that he would not go to England without their consent;
'otherwise, they would have cast me into the sea.' Unless he had won
over the master-gunner, and ten or twelve others, to return home, and
had drawn the ship to the south of Ireland, he had never got from them.
It had even been alleged that he never meant to go to Guiana, and that
he knew of no gold mine; that his intention only was to recover his
liberty, which he had not the wit to keep. But his friends had believed
in his honesty when he started. He reminded Arundel of the Earl's
request in the gallery of the Destiny that, whether the voyage were good
or bad, he would return to England. Thereupon he had given his word
that he would. 'So you did,' cried Arundel; 'it is true, and they were
the last words I said to you.' Next, he alluded to the slander,
circulated 'through the jealousy of the people,' that at the execution
of Essex he had stood in a window over against him and puffed out
tobacco in defiance of him. He contradicted it utterly. Essex could not
have seen him, since he had retired to the Armoury. He had bewailed him
with tears. 'True I was of a contrary faction, but I bare him no
ill-affection, and always believed it had been better for me that his
life had been preserved; for after his fall I got the hatred of those
who wished me well before; and those who set me against him set
themselves afterwards against me, and were my greatest enemies.'

'And now,' he concluded an address of which the eloquence is not to be
judged from the halting reports, 'I entreat that you will all join with
me in prayer to that great God of Heaven whom I have grievously
offended, being a man full of all vanity, who has lived a sinful life in
such callings as have been most inducing to it; for I have been a
soldier, a sailor, and a courtier, which are courses of wickedness and
vice. So, I take my leave of you all, making my peace with God.' 'I
have,' he said, 'a long journey to take, and must bid the company
farewell.'

[Sidenote: _Preparing for the Block._]

With that the Sheriffs ordered that all should depart from the scaffold,
where he was left with them, the Dean, and the executioner. Having given
his hat and money to some attendants, he prepared himself for the block,
permitting no help. Throughout, wrote on November 3 Mr. Thomas Lorkin to
Sir Thomas Puckering, 'he seemed as free from all manner of apprehension
as if he had been come thither rather to be a spectator than a sufferer;
nay, the beholders seemed much more sensible than he.' Having put off
gown and doublet, he called for the axe. There being a delay, he chid
the headsman, 'I prithee, let me see it!' Fingering the edge, he
remarked to the Sheriffs with a smile: 'This is a sharp medicine; but it
is a sure cure for all diseases.' Then, going to and fro upon the
scaffold upon every side, he entreated the spectators to pray to God to
bestow on him strength. Arundel he asked, as if he expected the wish to
be granted by James, to 'desire the King that no scandalous writings to
defame him might be published after his death.' To a question from
Tounson he replied that he died in the faith professed by the Church of
England, and hoped to have his sins washed away by the precious blood of
our Saviour Christ.

Finally, the executioner spread his own cloak for him to kneel on, and,
falling down, besought his forgiveness. Ralegh laid his hand on the
man's shoulder, and granted it. To the inquiry whether he would not lay
himself eastwards on the block, he replied: 'So the heart be right, it
is no matter which way the head lies.' But he placed himself towards the
east, as his friends wished it. He refused the executioner's offer to
blindfold him: 'Think you I fear the shadow of the axe, when I fear not
itself?' He told the man to strike when he should stretch forth his
hands. With a parting salutation to the whole goodly company, he
ejaculated: 'give me heartily your prayers.' After a brief pause he
signed that he was ready. The executioner stirred not. 'What dost thou
fear? Strike man, strike!' commanded Ralegh. The executioner plucked up
courage, struck, and at two blows, the first mortal, the head was
severed. As it tumbled the lips moved, still in prayer; the trunk never
shrank. An effusion of blood followed, so copious as to indicate that
the kingdom had been robbed of many vigorous years of a great life.



CHAPTER XXXI.

SPOILS AND PENALTIES.


[Sidenote: _The Remains._]

A shudder is said to have run through the crowd of spectators as the axe
fell. The trunk was carried from the scaffold to St. Margaret's Church,
and buried in front of the Communion table. A single line in the burial
register, 'Sir Walter Rawleigh Kt.,' records the interment. James
Harrington, author of _Oceana_, occupies the next grave. Why Ralegh's
body was not taken to Beddington is unknown. Long afterwards a wooden
tablet was fixed by a churchwarden on the wall of the south aisle of the
chancel. A metal plate framed, and painted blue with gilt letters, was
substituted. In 1845 that was replaced by one of brass, at the expense
of several admirers of Ralegh's genius. It bears the uninspired words:
'Within the chancel of this church was interred the body of the great
Sir Walter Ralegh, on the day he was beheaded in Old Palace Yard,
Westminster, October 29, 1618. Reader, should you reflect on his errors,
remember his many virtues, and that he was a Mortal.' Four verses from
the pen of Mr. Lowell, inscribed on a painted window, erected a few
years since in the church, more worthily commemorate the piety of
American citizens to the planter of Virginia.

The head was shown by the executioner on each side of the scaffold, as
the head of a traitor. Afterwards it was inclosed in a red velvet bag.
With the velvet gown enveloping the whole, it was conveyed to Lady
Ralegh's house in a mourning coach which she had sent. It was embalmed;
and she kept it ever by her for the twenty-nine years of her widowhood.
Bishop Goodman of Gloucester, who, though King James's poor-spirited
apologist, admired Ralegh, relates that he had seen and kissed it. On
Lady Ralegh's death the charge of it descended to Carew Ralegh. It has
been stated, and has been denied, that it was buried with him at West
Horsley, and was seen when the grave happened to be opened. For another
story, that finally it was deposited with the body at Westminster, there
is no authority.

[Sidenote: _Carew Ralegh._]

Lady Ralegh lived to educate her son. For his sake she strove for
Ralegh's books. They were, she said, 'all the land and living which he
left his poor child, hoping that he would inherit him in those only, and
that he would apply himself by learning to be fit for them, which
request I hope I shall fulfil as far as in me lieth.' Carew was thirteen
at his father's death. In the spring of 1621, at the age of sixteen, he
entered Wadham College as a gentleman commoner. When he quitted Oxford
his relative, Lord Pembroke, who more than twenty years before had
interceded at Wilton for his father's life, introduced him at Court.
James frowned; he said he was like his father's ghost. He travelled,
and, returning next year on the accession of Charles, petitioned for
restoration in blood. His prayer was granted only on the obligatory
terms of his surrender of any title to Sherborne. In compensation he
received a reversion of the £400 a year, Lady Ralegh's Treasury
allowance in place of jointure or dower from Sherborne. By the same
statute which relieved him from the legal disabilities of the attainder
Sherborne was confirmed to the Digby family. He married the wealthy
young widow of Sir Anthony Ashley, his father's comrade at Cadiz, and
had by her two sons, Walter and Philip, and three daughters. He wrote
poems, one of which was set to music by Henry Lawes, and was a Gentleman
of the Privy Chamber. In that capacity he attended Charles I when a
prisoner at Hampton Court. He may have thought of Charles rather as the
brother of Prince Henry than as the son of King James.

He seems to have dreamt of recovering both his father's Irish and
English estates. Strafford, on behalf of the Church, had questioned the
soundness of Boyle's title to Lismore. The doubt of the validity of
Boyle's tenure, though it equally affected Sir Walter's right, may have
suggested to Carew somewhat later an attack on him in his own interest,
probably on the score of the inadequacy of the price paid to Ralegh.
Lady Ralegh had already, in 1619, set up a claim to dower, on the ground
that her consent to the sale in 1602 had not been obtained. Boyle
intimated that he should meet Lady Ralegh's demand by the legal
objection that the wife of an attainted man is not dowerable. But, on
the merits, he insisted in answer, as well to her as, afterwards, to
Carew Ralegh, that he had in fact, between 1602 and 1617, given ample
pecuniary consideration. Neither she nor her son went beyond a protest.

[Sidenote: _Claim to Sherborne._]

Carew was more pertinacious in his efforts to recover Sherborne. That
was supposed to have been forfeited by the flight of Digby, now Lord
Bristol, to France on the establishment of the Commonwealth. Carew
petitioned the House of Commons for its restitution to himself. His
petition, which in details was not everywhere as accurate, expressed
righteous indignation at an attainder obtained on charges 'without any
proofs, and in themselves as ridiculous as impossible.' He declared in
the document his intention to 'range himself under the banner of the
Commons of England.' The memorial was referred to the committee for the
sale of the estates of delinquents. That reported him 'a fit object of
the mercy of the House.' But he advanced no further, in consequence, as
is believed, of the influence Lord Bristol was still able to exert. Monk
conferred on him the Government of Jersey, and Charles II offered him
knighthood, which he waived. Sir Henry Wotton, as quoted by Anthony
Wood, commended him as of 'dexterous abilities.' Wood, while he does not
dissent, adds that he was 'far, God wot, from his father's parts, either
as to the sword or pen.' At least he understood his father's greatness,
and clung proudly to his memory.

[Sidenote: _Blood Money._]

From Walter Ralegh, at all events, if not from his family, his enemies
and persecutors, with their parasites, might think they at last were
freed. Their perseverance had been unwearied. For fifteen years they
were pursuing him, and they had hunted him down. They had shown
versatility as well as virulence. As his son Carew has said, they had
obtained his condemnation as a friend to Spain, and his execution, under
the same sentence, for being its enemy. Now all, old bloodhounds and
young, proceeded to enjoy their hard-won victory. To commence at the
bottom, Manourie, 'a French physician, lately sent for from Plymouth,'
as early as November received his wages, £20. Sir Lewis Stukely's
expectations and deserts were larger. While he lingered at Plymouth he
had disposed of part of the stores from Ralegh's ship. Sir Ferdinando
Gorges and others completed the work for the Crown as soon as Ralegh had
been executed. Some of the tobacco had been brought to London, and sold
by Stukely. Ralegh accused him of appropriation of the proceeds. He had
accepted gifts of jewels from his prisoner on the journey. To his
custody were entrusted the trinkets carried by Ralegh about him on the
flight to Gravesend. On December 29 the Exchequer was ordered to pay to
him 'for performance of his service and expenses in bringing up hither
out of Devonshire the person of Sir Walter Ralegh, £965 6_s._ 3_d._'

One more of the hirelings expected to be paid, the Keeper of State
Papers. Wilson had failed to spy out treason in Ralegh's talk in the
seclusion of the Tower, or in the correspondence with Lady Ralegh. He
did not the less crave a fee for his good intentions of treachery. James
recognized his claims, to the inexpensive extent of an order to the
Fellows of Caius College, Cambridge, in January, 1619, to elect him to
their vacant Mastership. The King's letter described him as a man of
learning and sufficiency, who had performed faithful service. The
letter, as an indorsement by Wilson notes, was never sent. Perhaps the
Fellows were found to be prepared to put to the test the King's
assertion that he would 'take no denial.' Balked of academical alms, Sir
Thomas was driven to importunities three quarters of a year later for
payment of his wages for the six weeks' attendance upon Ralegh.

[Sidenote: _Ralegh's Library, and Instruments._]

He was more promptly successful in rapacity for the public, it must be
admitted, than for himself. Ralegh had stripped himself, or been
stripped, before his death, of any possessions ordinarily recognized as
available for spoil. His cargo and stores had been seized and converted
into money by Stukely, or by other Devonshire officials. His ship had
been brought into the Thames as Crown property. The Government accounted
itself generous for granting to the widow, in lieu of it and its
contents, £2250, the bare equivalent of the purchase money of her
Mitcham estate which she had expended upon its equipment. Nothing
remained of his but his papers, his instruments, and his books. Covetous
eyes were fixed upon them. Wilson wanted them, though, it is fair to
say, not for himself. As Keeper of the Records he had a sincere taste
for curious books. He urged the King to appropriate Ralegh's library of
three hundred volumes on history, divinity, and mathematics, together
with Cobham's collection of a thousand. By royal warrant in November he
was authorised to seize the whole. The globes and mathematical
instruments were to be delivered to the King or the Lord Admiral. The
books were to be 'left where they were'; that is, it is to be presumed,
they were to remain in the Tower. As if in shame the warrant assigned a
reason for the confiscation of Ralegh's library. It could, it alleged,
be of 'small use to Sir Walter's surviving wife.' Lady Ralegh judged
differently. She implored Lady Carew, who was acquainted with Wilson, to
mediate with him that she might be 'no more troubled, having had so many
unspeakable losses, as none of worth will seek to molest me.' Before the
end of 1618 Wilson had fetched away all the mathematical instruments,
one of which had cost £100. Lady Ralegh had, she affirmed, been
promised their return, but had not recovered one. He was now requiring
the books. She would not grudge them, she asseverated, for his Majesty,
if they were rare, and not to be had elsewhere; but Boyle, the
bookbinder or stationer, had, she was informed, the very same. The
ultimate result of the aggression and her resistance is not known. It
might be of public interest if it could be ascertained. In addition to
printed volumes Wilson had asked for the sequestration of Ralegh's
manuscript treatise on the Art of War, and of a full account by him of
all the world's seaports, and for their deposit in the State Paper
Office. He could value thoughtful work, though he persecuted its author.
Diligently as the State Papers have of recent years been explored, it is
not impossible that the two compositions may yet be discovered,
carefully buried in a mass of worthless muniments by their spy-keeper.

[Sidenote: _Spanish Debt of Gratitude to James._]

James had his share too of the immediate profits from the tragedy of
Palace Yard, over and above a few more or less scarce books. Apart from
his incurable private aversion for one of the three greatest Englishmen
of his reign, he had, in butchering Ralegh, been the direct agent of the
Spanish Court. From Spain he sought his real reward. He enhanced his
demand by the immensity of the loss he had inflicted upon England.
Cottington, the instant the news of the execution reached the Legation,
told the Spanish King. Philip III showed, he reported, much contentment
with the hearing. Rushworth, in his _Historical Collections_, has
preserved a letter described as from a great Minister of State to
Cottington. In it the English Agent in Spain was urgently instructed to
enforce upon the Spaniards their debt of gratitude to James, who had
'caused Sir Walter Ralegh to be put to death, chiefly for the giving
them satisfaction.' He was to let them see 'how in many actions of late
his Majesty had strained upon the affections of his people, and
especially in this last concerning Sir Walter Ralegh, who died with a
great deal of courage and constancy. To give them content, he had not
spared a man able to have done his Majesty much service, when, by
preserving him, he might have given great satisfaction to his subjects,
and have had at command upon all occasions as useful a man as served any
prince in Christendom.' A fitting response was made. Cottington was able
to report 'so much satisfaction and contentment as I am not able to
express it.' The Spanish Council of State admitted the obligation to
James for the sacrifice of the brightest jewel of his Crown. It advised
Philip to thank the King of England by an autograph letter. That was
James's payment.

[Sidenote: _Odium of Stukely._]

Ralegh's various persecutors were in the right to enjoy their victory
betimes. They had not the opportunity for long. The country awoke at a
bound to the injury which had been done it. On the miserable tools it
first poured out its indignation. Long before the final catastrophe its
anger had been gathering against Stukely. On August 20 Chamberlain wrote
to Carleton that Sir Lewis Stukely was generally decried. After the
execution no measure in execrations was observed. He was christened Sir
Judas. Stories, probably fictitious, of the contempt with which he was
visited, were greedily devoured. 'Every man in Court,' it was reported,
'declines Stukely's company as treacherous.' The High Admiral, who
himself had battened on plunder from Ralegh, was rumoured to have
threatened to cudgel the betrayer from his door. Stukely had been
visiting Nottingham House on some duty connected with his office of
Vice-Admiral of Devon. He complained to the King, who befriended him, of
the affronts he received. The answer was said to have been: 'Were I
disposed to hang every one that speaks ill of thee, there would not be
trees enough in all my kingdom to hang them on.' According to another
tale, reported by J. Pory to Carleton, the King replied to his
protestation of the truth of his accusations: 'I have done amiss; Sir
Walter's blood be upon thy head.' In vain he endeavoured to defend
himself through the press. On August 10 he had printed a short _Apology_
for his conduct as Ralegh's keeper. In it he took up the only
practicable ground, that he had simply obeyed the orders of the Crown.
After Ralegh's execution he was stung by the obloquy he had incurred
into the publication of a formal indictment of the memory of the dead.
On November 26 appeared a rhetorical document, which he had retained the
Rev. Dr. Sharpe to help him in drawing up. It was entitled the 'Humble
Petition and Information of Sir Lewis Stukely, touching his own
behaviour in the charge committed to him for the bringing up of Sir
Walter Ralegh, and the scandalous aspersions cast upon him for the
same.' Fact and fiction are audaciously mingled in the narrative. As a
specimen of its temper may be mentioned the statement that Ralegh in the
Gate-house asked its keeper, Weekes, if any Romish priests were under
his charge. The insinuation was that the Protestant hero would have
liked an opportunity of reconciliation to the Church of Rome before his
death.

[Sidenote: _A Convicted Criminal._]

Such calumnies increased the popular wrath. The whole nation exulted in
the tidings within a few months that their author was about to be
indicted for the capital offence of clipping coin. Manourie was arrested
at Plymouth on the same charge. He accused his friend, whose old
confederate in clipping and sweating coin he had been. By way, it is to
be feared, of embellishment of a tale of righteous retaliation, it was
reported that Sir Lewis had been caught on Twelfth Night within the
precincts of the Palace of Whitehall in the act of clipping the very
gold pieces, the wages of his perfidy, paid to him on the previous New
Year's eve. He was confined first in the Gate-house, and then in the
Tower, in Ralegh's old cell, and in due course was tried. Fruitlessly he
endeavoured to shift the crime on his son, who had absconded. A servant
confessed his master had followed the practice for the past seven years.
The evidence was overwhelming, and he was convicted. It was a 'just
judgment of God,' men said, 'for Sir Walter Ralegh's blood.' James, Mr.
Gardiner says, 'thought he owed something to his tool, and flung him a
pardon.' According to the popular rumour it was a gift for a tangible
consideration. He had to beggar himself to buy it. His office of
Vice-Admiral of Devon was forfeited, and it was filled by Eliot. He
slunk away first to his home at Afton, where all, gentle and poor,
banned him, and thence to Lundy Isle. There, amid the ruins of Morisco's
Castle, he died mad on August 29, 1620. His treason has conferred on his
obscure name an infamous immortality. He was equally an enemy to himself
and to King James, whom his accommodating perfidy tempted to perpetrate
the final injustice. But it must be remembered that but for him Ralegh
would have lingered for a few years more of weary life on foreign soil,
and dropped into an unhonoured grave. To him English history is indebted
for a heroic scene, and Ralegh for a glorious close to his splendid but
checkered career. The mind shudders at the thought of the bathos into
which a little remorse in that contemptible villain would have plunged
his victim.

[Sidenote: _Manourie's Defence._]

Public vengeance was not satisfied with the self-wrought retribution on
Stukely. It ranged lower, and it ranged higher. It condescended to spurn
the tool of a tool. Manourie, too, had to publish his apology. He called
God to witness that Stukely had bribed him to lay traps for Ralegh, and
to put into his mouth malcontent speeches. All the evil he told of his
ally was believed. His professions that his own admitted baseness had
been provoked by resentment of Ralegh's spontaneous abuse of the King
were received with incredulity or unconcern. On the fact, Captain King's
word in his _Narrative_ in answer to Manourie was accepted in preference
to the Frenchman's. The _Narrative_ was not printed, but circulated
extensively in manuscript. Though it is no longer discoverable, Oldys
seems to have read it, and he has quoted passages in his life of Ralegh.
'Never,' in it asseverated King, 'in all the years I followed Sir
Walter, heard I him name his Majesty but with reverence. I am sorry the
assertion of that man should prevail so much against the dead.' He need
not have feared that it had prevailed, or would prevail, with the
nation. That scarcely spared a thought to Manourie, unless to curse him
as a mercenary liar. But in the emotion stirred by Ralegh's death it
was soon evident that the people had grown indifferent to the degree of
its hero's personal loyalty, or the reverse. The flood of enthusiasm for
him swept away the interest in his guilt or innocence in respect of
particular charges. Public opinion hallowed him as saint and martyr, and
put the Court and Government on their defence.

[Sidenote: _The Royal Declaration._]

[Sidenote: _Bacon's part in it._]

The vehemence and volume of national emotion at the abandonment of
Ralegh to the spite of a faction were a surprise to the King and his
advisers. They seemed unable to comprehend its character and direction.
They believed, or pretended to believe, that a demand was being raised
for a new trial of his offences. They could not, or would not, see that
the only question was of the distribution of punishment among his
persecutors. Something, however, manifestly had to be done, and at once.
One purpose of Stukely's _Petition_ had been to pave the way for a
'declaration from the State,' for which the Petitioner formally asked.
The Committee of the Council had recommended in Coke's paper of October
18, and the King had approved, the issue of such a manifesto
simultaneously with the despatch of Ralegh to the scaffold. Its
preparation had been immediately taken in hand. The reason for the delay
in publication is unknown. Probably the royal editor was extremely
fastidious. Whatever the cause of the procrastination, at last, on
November 27, the day after Stukely's _Petition_, an apology appeared
with the authority of the Crown. James himself supplied part of the
contents, 'additions,' wrote Bacon to Villiers, 'which were very
material, and fit to proceed from his Majesty.' Naunton and Yelverton
also assisted in the composition. The arrangement of arguments and,
though marred by royal and other interpolations, the diction have been
traced to the serviceable hand of the Lord Chancellor. Ralegh and Bacon
had long been intimate with one another. They had never been enemies, or
even rivals. In his History Ralegh had cited with applause Bacon's
_Advancement of Learning_, and other works. He had testified that no man
had taught the laws of history better, and with greater brevity, than
that excellent learned gentleman. Bacon fully reciprocated the
admiration. He snatched at opportunities for placing on record his
delight in Sir Walter's pretty wit, and adventurous spirit. If it be an
excuse for his share in the persecution of the man and his memory, he
was animated by no personal antipathy. But his skill had been retained
for those who were hounding Ralegh to death, as it had been retained for
the destruction of his old patron Essex. He did not now let his
conscience afflict itself at the thought that he was about to gloss an
act, which a historian, not very friendly to the sufferer, has said 'can
hardly be dignified with the title of a judicial murder.' Neither
passion, pique, nor fear, inspired his pen. His function in official
life, as he interpreted it, was to be the advocate of authority; his
feeling for any but scientific truth was never acute; and he had
positive pleasure in the employment of his intellectual dexterity,
whatever the object. Acting on that system he did the best he could with
the case put before him on the present occasion. His and its misfortune
was that it was irretrievably bad. His instructions were that Ralegh had
gained his pardon by a lie; that there was no Mine, and that he never
supposed there was any; that he went to harry and plunder Spaniards, and
for nothing else; when he found spoil was not to be had as easily as he
had anticipated, he had determined to desert his men, and fly to the
East Indies, or stay behind in Newfoundland. The King was supposed to
have, with his wonted and infallible sagacity, made the discovery of
Ralegh's knavery long since. That royal hypothesis of stark imposture,
and no enthusiasm, was the clue which the Lords Commissioners, with
Bacon at their head, had obsequiously borrowed to hale Ralegh to the
scaffold. It was the strange sophism out of which Bacon again was set to
compose a sedative for the popular emotion.

[Sidenote: _His Majesty's Honour and Justice._]

[Sidenote: _His Princely Judgment._]

He had to begin by apologizing for the King, both to the indignant
nation and to the King's own injured sense of consistency. He had to try
to extricate his master from the cruel dilemma, either of having been an
accomplice in a scheme now denounced by himself as a pirate's
conspiracy, or of having betrayed, out of cowardice and cupidity, a
faithful servant to foreign vengeance. That is the meaning of the
exordium of this pamphlet published in November by the King's Printers,
Bonham Norton and John Bill: 'Although Kings be not bound to give
account of their actions to any but God alone; yet such are his
Majesty's proceedings, as he hath always been willing to bring them
before sun and moon, and carefully to satisfy all his good people with
his intentions and courses, giving as well to future times as to the
present true and undisguised declarations of them; as judging, that for
actions not well founded it is advantage to let them pass in uncertain
reports, but for actions that are built upon sure and solid grounds,
such as his Majesty's are, it belongeth to them to be published by open
manifestos. Especially, his Majesty is willing to declare and manifest
to the world his proceedings in a case of such a nature as this which
followeth is; since it not only concerns his own people, but also a
foreign prince and state abroad. Accordingly, therefore, for that which
concerneth Sir Walter, late executed for treason--leaving the thoughts
of his heart, and the protestations that he made at his death, to God
that is the Searcher of all hearts, and the Judge of all truth--his
Majesty hath thought fit to manifest unto the world how things appeared
unto himself, and upon what proofs and evident matter, and the
examination of the commanders that were employed with him in the
voyage--and namely of those which Sir Walter Ralegh himself, by his own
letter to Secretary Winwood, had commended for persons of worth and
credit, and as most fit for greater employments--his Majesty's
proceedings have been grounded; whereby it will evidently appear how
agreeable they have been in all points to honour and justice. Sir Walter
Ralegh having been condemned of high treason at his Majesty's entrance
into this kingdom; and for the space of fourteen years, by his Majesty's
princely clemency and mercy, not only spared from his execution, but
permitted to live as in _liberâ custodiâ_ in the Tower, and to enjoy his
lands and living, till all was by law evicted from him upon another
ground, and not by forfeiture--which notwithstanding his Majesty out of
his abundant grace gave him a competent satisfaction for the same--at
length he fell upon an enterprise of a golden mine in Guiana. This
proposition of his was presented and recommended to his Majesty by Sir
Ralph Winwood, then Secretary of State, as a matter not in the air or
speculative, but real and of certainty; for that Sir Walter Ralegh had
seen of the ore of the mine with his eyes, and tried the richness of it.
It is true that his Majesty, in his own princely judgment, gave no
belief unto it; as well for that his Majesty was verily persuaded that
in nature there are no such mines of gold entire, as they described this
to be; and if any such had been, it was not probable that the Spaniards,
who were so industrious in the chase of treasure, would have neglected
it so long; as also for that it proceeded from the person of Sir Walter
Ralegh, invested with such circumstances both of his disposition and
fortune. But nevertheless Sir Walter Ralegh had so enchanted the world
with his confident asseveration of that which every man was willing to
believe, as his Majesty's honour was in a manner engaged not to deny
unto his people the adventure and hope of so great riches, to be sought
and achieved at the charge of volunteers; especially, for that it stood
with his Majesty's politic and magnanimous courses, in these his
flourishing times of peace, to nourish and encourage noble and generous
enterprises for plantations, discoveries, and opening of new trades.'

[Sidenote: _An Apology for an Apology._]

The main and misleading principle in the minds of the authors could not
but dislocate and discolour facts. Those were carefully culled which
made for a given conclusion. Incompatible evidence was omitted
altogether. The 'Declaration of the Demeanour and Carriage of Sir Walter
Ralegh, as well in his Voyage as in and since his Return, and of the
true motives and inducements which occasioned his Majesty to proceed in
doing justice upon him, as hath been done,' is a shuffling excuse for a
baseness. The mass of it is an accumulation of hearsay evidence. Its
chief object was to depict Ralegh as a man whom nobody need regret; to
sneer away his lustre and dignity. With this sordid view the trivial
episode of the malingering scene at Salisbury is described with
sickening minuteness. Few writers of authority have ventured to applaud
the treatise. An exception is Mr. Spedding, who could not well let
judgment pass against his idol without a word of defence for one of the
worst blemishes in a pitiful official career. He shows here as elsewhere
his admirable diligence in the collection of evidence; but he cannot be
said to have shed any new light either on Ralegh's character, or on the
part Bacon played in his slaughter, and in the endeavour to blacken his
memory. For him both the King and the keeper of the King's conscience
had no option but to put Ralegh to death. According to him the King's
sanction of warlike preparations implied no understanding that it might
be necessary to use them. According to him the commission to conduct an
armed squadron and soldiery to a mine on the banks of the Orinoko
conveyed no right to break a hostile Spanish blockade of the river.
According to him, though in defiance of contemporary testimony, Ralegh
alone employed violence; the San Thome garrison 'offered no provocation
whatever, except an attitude of self-defence.' On these principles,
while he laments the tardiness of its appearance, he necessarily
considers the _Declaration_ straightforward, honest, and convincing.
National opinion judged differently. It treated the whole as a piece of
special pleading. In fairness it must be granted that, had it been much
more cogent, it would have had as little effect. Chamberlain had
prophetically written to Carleton on November 21, while it was known to
be in process of composition, that it 'will not be believed, unless it
be well proved.'



CHAPTER XXXII.

CONTEMPORARY AND FINAL JUDGMENTS.


[Sidenote: _Popular Indignation._]

[Sidenote: _Its Durability._]

More judicious or less prejudiced observers than James and his
confidants would have suspected earlier the rise of the popular tide of
sympathy and indignation. Strangers had remarked the tendency before the
execution. A Spanish Dominican friar in England on a secret political
mission had, Chamberlain told Carleton in October, been labouring for
Ralegh's life from dread of the ill-will towards Spain which his death
would cause. Many Englishmen were much nimbler than official and
officious courtiers in perceiving the blunder. A great lord in the
Tower, who may be presumed to have been Northumberland, another
correspondent of Carleton's told him, had observed that, if the Spanish
match went on, Spain had better have given £100,000 than have had him
killed; and if not, that England had better have given £100,000 than
have killed him. Pory assured Carleton, writing on October 31, that
Ralegh's death would do more harm to the faction that procured it than
ever he did in his life. As soon as his head was off, the authorities
had to be hard at work suppressing ballads which were being sung in the
streets against his adversaries. The jeer of the London goldsmith,
Wiemark, 'the constant Paul's-walker,' that he wished such a head as had
just been severed from Ralegh's body had been on Master Secretary's
shoulders, was but a sample of a storm of sarcasms upon the Government
which ran through the town. The anger displayed by Naunton and Villiers
a couple of years later at the appearance of so poor a satire as Captain
Gainsford's _Vox Spiritus, or Sir Walter Ralegh's Ghost_, which was
being circulated in manuscript, and their zeal in suppressing it,
testify to the durability of the alarm excited in the Court. It was no
momentary and evanescent impulse. Dean Tounson had written on November
9, of Ralegh's execution, that 'it left a great impression on the minds
of those that beheld him; inasmuch that Sir Lewis Stukely and the
Frenchman grow very odious. This was the news a week since; but now it
is blown over, and he almost forgotten.' The good Dean underrated the
solidity and reasonableness of English feeling. The nation might not
care to linger over creatures like Stukely and Manourie, even to
execrate them. Its grief for Ralegh was a lasting sentiment. A spectator
of his death declared that his Christian and truthful manner on the
scaffold made all believe that he was not guilty of treason nor of
malpractices. So sudden a conversion of the kingdom to faith in his
innocence and heroism would have been almost as irrational as the
original acquiescence without proof in his criminality, had it been as
abrupt as it seemed. It would have been as short-lived as Dean Tounson
anticipated, if its growth had been as gourd-like. In fact the nation
only at the instant ascertained the state of its mind. The mood itself
had been in course of formation for years.

[Sidenote: _Popular Forgetfulness._]

Ralegh, as we have seen, had been cordially detested in his day of
ascendency. All a reign's odium naturally condenses itself upon a royal
favourite. His elaborate courtesy did not produce the effect of
affability. His lavishness was thought ostentation. His good nature, for
he was good natured, had too much an air of condescension. The scorn of
rivals or his superiors in rank he met with scorn. His exploits by land
and sea, as impartial critics noted, heightened instead of pacifying
malignity. Later exposure to settled Court dislike blunted the edge of
popular enmity; it hardly turned it into kindness. The national attitude
towards Ralegh, downtrodden and harassed, long showed curiosity more
than affection. The kingdom wondered what he was doing, or would do.
Formerly it had believed, with repugnance, in his ability to extricate
himself from all difficulties, whether of war or of intrigue. It
retained the same faith in the indomitable resources of the prisoner of
the Tower, without much active sympathy, though without antipathy. He
died; and the wonder, the observant admiration flamed into a fury of
passionate regret. For six and thirty years Ralegh had been before its
eyes, and in its thoughts, for good or evil. It could not imagine him
not at its service; and he was irreparably gone. A reserve of force,
upon which the nation unconsciously had depended in the event of any
emergency, had been thrown away. A light in England had been
extinguished. The people forgot how it had misconstrued and reviled him.
It forgot how passively it had borne to see him worried by malicious
rivals and upstart strangers. On the instant he became for it the
representative of an era of national glory sacrificed to sordid
machinations. The executioner's axe in Palace Yard scattered a film
which had dimmed the sight of Englishmen for an entire generation. Death
vindicated on Ralegh's own behalf its title to his panegyric: 'O
eloquent, just, and mighty Death!'

[Sidenote: _An Idol of the Constitutional Party._]

The nation persisted in grieving for him. The instruments of his
destruction, courtiers and Ministers, it pursued with a storm of
immediate hatred. Loyalty or awe of the Prerogative secured the
Sovereign's person for the time from open reproaches. The country was
willing to suppose that the King had been misled by evil counsellors,
and had quickly repented of the iniquity. Spain, two years later,
assisted Austria to dethrone the Elector Palatine and his Stuart wife. A
story was invented that James, in anger at the news, exclaimed he would
demand the Spanish general's head. A courtier, it was fabled, dared to
question whether Philip would be as facile and obliging as James had
been. 'Then I wish,' groaned James, 'that Ralegh's head were again on
his shoulders.' Posterity has been less ready to make any excuse for
James, even the excuse of a selfish contrition. His memory has paid with
interest for his escape at first from his rightful share in the obloquy.
His injustice as an individual weakened the national faith in royalty.
The wrongs suffered from the State caused Ralegh to be regarded as a
martyr to freedom, which he was not. The growing party of champions of
constitutional liberties watched over and exalted his fame. Pym, in his
note-book of _Memorable Accidents_, has entered under the year 1618:
'Sir Walter Ralegh had the favour to be beheaded at Westminster, where
he died with great applause of the beholders, most constantly, most
Christianly, most religiously.' Hampden could not bear that any
fragments of his writing should be lost. Cromwell pored over his
History. Milton printed his essays. Eliot at the date of the execution
was twenty-eight. He had long been a friend, and still followed the
fortunes, of Villiers. He did not belong yet to the popular party. So
far was he from forgetting the spectacle in a week that, many years
after, he recalled the whole in a glow of enthusiasm both for the King's
victim and the Devon hero. He wrote in the _Monarchy of Man_, which he
did not complete till 1631, that all history scarcely contained a
parallel to the fortitude of 'our Ralegh'; that the placid courage of
'that great soul,' while it turned to sorrow the joy of the enemies who
had come to witness his sufferings, filled all men else with emotion;
'leaving with them only this doubt, whether death were more acceptable
to him, or he more welcome unto death.'

Something both of political and religious partisanship mixed with and
exalted the zeal of Pym, Hampden, Eliot, Cromwell, and Milton for the
foe of Jesuits and Bishops, the scapegoat of a Stuart's infatuation for
Spain, the survivor of a Court which had believed in the present
grandeur of England, and a future more splendid still. The feeling was
wonderfully tenacious. Ralegh remained for the generation which
witnessed his death, and for the next also, the patriot scourge of a
still detested Spain. Gradually that especial ground of kindness for
him subsided, along with the aversion on which it rested. English
hatred of Spain has long been so obsolete a sentiment as to be virtually
inconceivable. Not many care to thread the mazes of the plots he was
alleged to have countenanced, or of those contrived against him. His
acts have been relegated to a side channel of history. Yet for
Englishmen his figure keeps its prominence and radiance. It is the more
conspicuous for the poverty of the period in which a large and
calamitous part of his career was spent. As the student plods along one
of the dreariest wastes of the national annals, his name gleams across
the tedious page. When from time to time he flits over the stage, the
quagmire of Court intrigues and jobbing favouritism is illuminated with
a sparkle of romance.

[Sidenote: _Perplexities._]

[Sidenote: _Failures and Inconsistencies._]

He is among the most dazzling personalities in English history, and the
most enigmatical. Not an action ascribed to him, not a plan he is
reputed to have conceived, not a date in his multifarious career, but is
matter of controversy. In view of the state of the national records in
the last century, it is scarcely strange that Gibbon himself should,
after selecting him for a theme, have recoiled from the task of
marshalling the chaos of his 'obscure' deeds, a 'fame confined to the
narrow limits of our language and our island,' and 'a fund of materials
not yet properly manufactured.' Posterity and his contemporaries have
equally been unable to agree on his virtues and his vices, the nature of
his motives, the spelling of his name, and the amount of his genius. No
man was ever less reticent about himself; and his confessions and
apologies deepen the confusion. He had a poet's inspiration; and his
title to most of the verses ascribed to him is contested. He was one of
the creators of modern English prose; and his disquisitions have for two
centuries ceased to be read. He and Bacon are coupled by Dugald Stewart
as eminent beyond their age for their emancipation from the fetters of
the Schoolmen, their originality, and the enlargement of their
scientific conceptions; and a single phrase, 'the fundamental laws of
human knowledge,' is the only philosophical idea connected with him. His
name is entered, rightly, in the first rank of discoverers, navigators,
and planters, on account of two countries which he neither found nor
permanently colonized. He was a great admiral, who commanded in chief on
one expedition alone, and that miserably failed. He had in him the
making of a great soldier, though his exploits are lost in the dreary
darkness of intestine French and Irish savageries. He was a master of
policy, and his loftiest office was that of Captain of the Guard. None
could be kinder, or more chivalrously generous, and he practised with
complacency in Munster treachery and cruelty which he abhorred in a
Spaniard of Trinidad. He had the subtlest brain, and became the
yokefellow of a Cobham. He thirsted after Court favour, and wealth, and
died attainted and landless. He longed to scour the world for
adventures, and spent a fourth part of his manhood in a gaol. He laid
the foundation of a married life characterized by an unbroken tenor of
romantic trust and devotion, by doing his wife the worst injury a woman
can undergo. The star of his hopes was the future of his elder son, and
the boy squandered his life on an idle skirmish. He courted admiration,
and, till he was buried in prison or the grave, was the best hated man
in the kingdom.

Had he been less vivacious and many-sided, he might have succeeded
better, suffered less, and accomplished more. With qualities less
shining he would have escaped the trammels of Court favouritism, and its
stains. With powers less various he would have been content to be
illustrious in one line. As a poet he might have rivalled instead of
patronizing Spenser. In prose he might have surpassed the thoughtful
majesty of Hooker. As an observer of nature he might have disputed the
palm with Bacon. He must have been recognized as endowed with the
specific gifts of a statesman or a general, if he had possessed none
others as remarkable. But if less various he would have been less
attractive. If he had shone without a cloud in any one direction, he
would not have pervaded a period with the splendour of his nature, and
become its type. More smoothness in his fortunes would have shorn them
of their tragic picturesqueness. Failure itself was needed to colour all
with the tints which surprise and captivate. He was not a martyr to
forgive his persecutors. He was not a hero to endure in silence, and
without an effort at escape. His character had many earthy streaks. His
self-love was enormous. He could be shifty, wheedling, whining. His
extraordinary and indomitable perseverance in the pursuit of ends was
crossed with a strange restlessness and recklessness in the choice of
means. His projects often ended in reverses and disappointments. Yet,
with all the shortcomings, no figure, no life gathers up in itself more
completely the whole spirit of an epoch; none more firmly enchains
admiration for invincible individuality, or ends by winning a more
personal tenderness and affection.



INDEX.


  Abbot, George, Archbishop of Canterbury;
    previously Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield,
    and of London, 293, 344, 356, 367, 372.

  Acuña, Diego Palomeque de, 320, 321, 324.

  Æmilius, 278.

  Aguilar, Garcia de, 322.

  Albert, Archduke, 156, 186, 224, 251.

  Alexander the Great, 278.

  Allen, Thomas, 295.

  Alley, Captain Peter, 317, 322.

  Amadas, Captain Philip, 43, 45.

  _Amazons, River of the_, 270.

  Anderson, Sir Edmund, Chief Justice, 209.

  Andrewes, Lancelot, Bishop of Chichester, Ely, and Winchester, 336.

  Anjou, Francis, Duke of, 32, 33.

  Anne of Denmark, Queen, 237, 254, 260, 288-9, 294, 299, 339, 341,
    345, 367-8.

  Antiochus, King, 278.

  Antiquaries, Society of, 273.

  Antonio, Don, 67.

  _Apology_, Ralegh's, 304, 321, 324, 336-8.

  -- Manourie's, 388.

  -- Stukely's, 386-7.

  Apsley, or Appesley, Captain, 32.

  -- Sir Allen, 347-8, 358.

  -- Lady, _ibid._

  Arenberg, or Aremberg, Count of, 186-193, 200, 207, 211, 215, 217-8,
    223, 226, 228.

  Arias, Montanus, 275.

  Ark Ralegh, 42, 82, 87.

  Armada, Invincible, 65-67.

  Artaxerxes, King, 277.

  Arundel, Thomas Howard, Earl of, 305, 310, 324, 332, 375-9.

  Ashley, Sir Anthony, 132, 381.

  Ashton, Roger, 230.

  Assapana, 320.

  Aubrey, John, 8, 58, 100, 104, 164, 180-1, 192, 258, 273, 282-3, 300.

  Avila, Pedro Melendez de, 43.

  Ayton, Sir Robert, 79.

  _Azores, Truth of the Fight about the Isles of_, 84, 269.


  Babington, Anthony, 39.

  Bacon, Francis, Lord Verulam, and Viscount St. Alban's, Lord Chancellor,
    8, 17, 47, 155, 277, 302-4, 344, 359, 364, 366, 369, 389-93, 398.

  -- Sir Anthony, 69, 126.

  Bainham, Sir Edward, 39.

  Bancroft, Richard, Bishop of London, Archbishop of Canterbury, 193.

  Barbary corsairs, 64, 315.

  Barlow, Captain Arthur, 44.

  Barry, David Fitzjames, Lord Barry, and Viscount Buttevant, 18, 314.

  Bassanière, Martin, 53.

  Basset, Elizabeth, 300.

  Bath, William Bourchier, Earl of, 34, 64.

  Bathurst, Mr., 162.

  Bayley, Captain, 315-6, 331-2, 357.

  Beauchamp, Lord, 34.

  Beaumont, Comte de, 182, 191, 194, 205, 227, 240.

  -- Comtesse de, 251.

  Bedford, John Russell, Earl of, 4.

  -- Francis Russell, Earl of, 34.

  -- Bridget, Dowager Countess of, 262.

  Beecher or Becher, William, 325.

  Beeston, Sir Hugh, 371.

  Belle, 308.

  Belphoebe, 75.

  Berreo, Antonio de, 109, 113, 119, 23, 320.

  -- Fernando de, 320.

  Berry, Captain Leonard, 161.

  Best, John, 108.

  'Beyond the Line,' 315, 356.

  _Bibliography, Ralegh_, 269.

  Bilson, Thomas, Bishop of Worcester, and Winchester, 237.

  Bingham, Sir Richard, 64.

  Biron, Marshal Charles de Gontaut, Duc de, 156.

  Bisseaux, de, 308.

  Blackstone, Mr. Justice, Sir William, 285.

  Blount, Charles, Lord Mountjoy, Earl of Devonshire, 69, 134, 209,
    219, 221.

  -- Sir Christopher, husband of dowager Countess of Essex, 130, 137,
    146, 149.

  -- Mr., 97, 98.

  Bodleian Library, 131, 273.

  Bolingbroke, Henry St. John, Viscount, 269.

  Bothwell, Francis Stuart, Earl of, 152.

  Boyle, Richard, Lord Boyle, and Earl of Cork, 162-3, 265, 314-5, 330,
    369, 382.

  Bravo, Isle of, 316.

  _Breviary of the History of England_, 271-2.

  Brewer, Professor Rev. John, 195.

  Brooke, George, 186, 188, 192-3, 208, 229;
    execution, 236, 239.

  Brooksby, 208.

  Broughton, Rev. Hugh, 126.

  Brown, Rawdon, 310.

  Brushfield, Dr. T.N., 2, 31, 105, 269, 281.

  Bullen, Mr. George, 80.

  Burgh, or Brough, Sir John, 87, 96, 97.

  Burhill, Rev. Robert, 273.

  Burleigh, or Burghley, William Cecil, Lord, and Earl of Exeter, 14, 20,
    30, 33, 37, 57, 63, 123, 167, 169, 215.

  Burre, Walter, 275, 282.

  Bye Plot, or Surprising Treason, 188-9, 211, 346.


  _Cabinet Council_, 269, 280.

  Cæsar, Sir Julius, 255, 303, 344, 356, 361-2, 364.

  Camden, William, 9, 66, 89, 109, 275, 296, 298, 333.

  Carew, Sir Francis, 49, 183.

  -- Sir George, Earl of Totnes, 26, 30, 49, 70, 93, 94, 99, 126, 127,
    131, 134, 148, 162, 254-5, 265, 299-301, 306, 314, 330, 332-3, 347,
    350, 377.

  -- Lady, 351.

  -- Sir Henry, 143.

  -- Sir Nicholas, 88, 373.

  -- Sir Peter, 4.

  -- Sir Randolph, 375.

  Carleton, Dudley, Lord Dorchester, 174, 228-30, 239, 262, 293.

  Carlyle, Thomas, 283.

  Carr, Robert, Viscount Rochester, and Earl of Somerset, 250, 252,
    261-3, 292, 296-7, 347.

  Case, John, 53.

  Caulfield, Captain, 111, 118, 369.

  Cavendish, Sir Charles, 63.

  -- Thomas, 45.

  Caworako, 116.

  Cecil, Colonel, 375.

  -- Elizabeth Brooke, Lady, 170.

  -- Sir Robert, Lord Cecil, and Earl of Salisbury, 30, 52, 91, 97-8, 103,
    119, 123, 132, 148, 158, 169-80, 184, 187, 194, 196, 199, 204-5, 209,
    214, 219, 221, 223, 227, 229, 232, 240, 242, 244-5, 255;
    death, 257-9, 266, 288-9, 292, 300, 346.

  -- Thomas, Earl of Exeter, 302.

  -- William, Earl of Salisbury, 152, 170.
    (For Sir William Cecil, Earl of Exeter, _see_ Burleigh.)

  Cedar wood, 170.

  Ceyva, la, Isle of, 322.

  Chamberlain, John, 229, 262, 280-1, 298, 305, 337, 386, 393-4.

  Champernoun, C., 7, 9.

  -- Henry, 9.

  -- Katherine (Gilbert and Ralegh), 2, 3, 5.

  -- Sir Philip, 2.

  Champion, Richard, 351.

  Chapman, George, 121.

  Charles I, 310, 381.

  -- II, 266, 382.

  Charles Emmanuel I. _See_ Savoy.

  Charles, the Indian, 249.

  Chester, Charles, 13.

  Cheynes, the goldsmith, 244.

  Christian IV, of Denmark, 293-4.

  Christofero, 350.

  Christopher's, St., 328.

  Chudleigh, Captain, 311.

  Churchyard, Thomas, 56.

  _Cities, Causes of the Magnificency of_, 267.

  Clarence, George Plantagenet, Duke of, 247.

  Clarendon, Edward Hyde, Earl of, 145.

  Clares, the, Earls of Gloucester, 1.

  Clarke, Rev. Francis, 186, 208, 215, 236.

  Clifford, Sir Coniers, 126-7.

  Clyst Heath, battle of, 4.

  Clyston, Sir John, 38.

  Cobham, Henry Brooke, Lord, 147, 156, 167, 173, 175, 178, 180, 183-4,
    186-93, 200-3, 207-8, 223-30, 236, 240, 244, 252, 254-5, 259, 295;
    death, 296, 300, 325, 346, 360, 384, 399.

  Coke, Sir Edward, Chief Justice, 190, 209-20, 230, 260, 344, 359,
    361, 389.

  Coldwell, John, Bishop of Salisbury, 101, 102.

  Coligny, Gaspard de, Admiral, 11.

  _Colin Clout_, 71.

  Collier, Payne, 42, 141.

  Comestor, Peter, 272.

  Compton, William, Lord, Earl of Northampton, 332, 375.

  Concini, Concino, Marshal, 307.

  Copley, Anthony, 186, 188, 193, 208.

  'Cords twisted by Love,' 279.

  Corney, Bolton, 274.

  Corsini, Filippo, 51.

  Cosmor, Captain, 321.

  Cottington, Francis, Lord Cottington, 305, 332, 385-6.

  Cotton, Henry, Bishop of Salisbury, 143, 163, 244.

  -- Sir Robert, 272.

  Cottrell or Cotterell, Edward or William, 203, 248, 252, 339-40, 342.

  Court Morals, 89.

  Courtenay, Sir William, 34.

  Coventry, Sir Thomas, Lord Keeper, Lord Coventry, 362.

  Crab, 316.

  Cromwell, Oliver, 279, 397.

  -- Richard, 279.

  Crosse, Captain, 111.

  Cumberland, George Clifford, Earl of, 50, 86, 97, 99, 184.

  _Cynthia_, 73-6.


  Daniel, Samuel, 271.

  --, 257.

  Darcy, Sir Edward, 104, 183, 210.

  Dare, Eleanor, 47.

  Darell, 2.

  Darius, King, 278.

  Davila, Francis, 333.

  Davison, Francis, 80.

  Davys, John, 50, 140.

  Dayrell, Sir Richard, 209.

  Dean, Peter, 248, 365-6.

  'Death, eloquent, just, and mighty,' 396.

  _Declaration_ of 1618, 291, 303, 305, 311, 321, 323-4, 330, 361,
    364, 389-393.

  Dee, Dr. John, 104.

  Demetrius, 277.

  Desmond, Gerald Fitzjames Fitzgerald, 15th Earl of, 37.

  -- -- 18th Earl of, 295.

  -- Katherine Fitzgerald, Dowager Countess of, 162.

  -- Morrice Fitzjohn of, 84.

  Deuteronomy, 213.

  Devereux, Lady Dorothy, Perrot, and Countess of Northumberland, 13,
    61, 177.

  Digby, John, Earl of Bristol, 164, 264, 307, 339, 381.

  -- Kenelm, 267.

  Dimoke, Dulmar, 120.

  D'Israeli, Isaac, 181, 274.

  Dixon, Hepworth, 198.

  Dover Harbour, 159.

  Dowdall, Sir John, 95.

  Drake, Sir Francis, 46, 67, 125.

  -- Joan, 2.

  -- Mr., 334.

  -- Robert, 2.

  Drummond, William, of Hawthornden, 274, 301.

  Dudley, Robert, claimant of Dukedom of Northumberland, 122.

  Duelling, 57, 69, 84, 166-7.

  Duke, Richard, 100-1.

  Durham House, 104, 174, 182-3.

  _Dutiful Advice_, 269.

  Dyce, Rev. Alexander, 301.

  Dyer, Edward, 61.

  -- the pilot, 216.


  Echard, Archdeacon Lawrence, 186.

  Edward IV, 211.

  -- V, 247.

  Edwards, Edward, 26, 31, 259, 274.

  Egerton, Sir Thomas, Lord Chancellor, Lord Ellesmere, and Viscount
    Brackley, 36, 106.

  Eliot, John, 371, 375, 397.

  Elizabeth, Princess, Electress Palatine, and Queen of Bohemia, 256,
    279, 396.

  -- Queen, 24, 25, 44, 93, 94, 125, 147, 170;
    death, 180, 212, 270, 280, 343, 368.

  Elstracke, Renold, 276.

  Elways, Sir Gervase, 250.

  _Empire, Arts of_, 267, 269.

  Epaminondas, 277.

  Erenetta, 321.

  Erskine, Sir Thomas, Earl of Kellie, 181.

  Esmond, Henry, 371.

  Essex, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of, 55, 60-3, 69, 82, 125, 127-8, 131,
    133, 135-6, 138-9, 143-9;
    execution, 150, 160, 165, 182, 202, 209, 217, 328, 374, 378, 390.

  -- Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of, 237.

  -- Lettice Knollys, dowager Countess of Leicester, and of, 237, 361.

  Eumenes, 299.

  Evelyn, John, 55, 266.

  Evesham, Captain John, 50.


  _Faerie Queene_, 26, 72.

  Faige, Captain, 307-8.

  Fardell, 1, 6.

  Faunt, Nicholas, 108.

  Fayal, attack on, 136-7, 277.

  Fayle, de la, 186.

  Feather triumph, 146.

  Febre, or Febure, Nicholas de, 266-7.

  Felton, John, 263.

  Ferne, Sir John, 311-2, 330, 363.

  Finett, Robert, 300.

  Fitton, Sir Edward, 38.

  -- Mary, 89.

  Fitzgerald, Sir James, 17.

  -- Gerald Fitzjames, _see_ Desmond.

  -- Katherine, _see_ Desmond.

  -- Morrice Fitzjohn, _see_ Desmond.

  -- John Fitzedmund, _see_ Imokelly.

  Fitzwilliam, Sir William, Lord Deputy, 56, 71, 95.

  Fleet prison, 13, 246.

  Florida, French in, 43.

  Flory, Captain, 334.

  Floyer, Captain John, 51.

  Fortescue, Sir John, 99, 180.

  Foster, Mr. Justice, Sir Michael, 214-5, 222.

  Fourth party, 184.

  Fowler, Sir Thomas, or John, 316.

  Fox, Charles James, 277.

  Foxe, John, _Acts and Monuments_, 5.

  Francis, the cook, 316.

  Fraser, Alexander, 267.

  Frederick, Elector Palatine, and King of Bohemia, 255, 396.

  Frobisher, Sir Martin, 87, 96.


  Gainsford, Captain Thomas, 395.

  Gardiner, Mr. S.R., 190, 225, 292, 318, 324, 332, 335, 337, 344, 352-5.

  Gascoigne, George, 12, 30.

  Gate-house, 367, 371-4, 387.

  Gawdy, Mr. Justice, Sir Francis, 209, 214, 231, 363.

  Genaboa, Pedro Sarmiento de, 50.

  Genoa, plot against, 310-11.

  Gibb, John, 239.

  Gibbon, Edward, 102, 281, 309, 398.

  Gifford, 118.

  Gilbert, Adrian, 2, 164, 196, 265.

  -- Bartholomew, 48.

  -- Humphrey, 2, 11, 14, 15, 19, 42-3.

  -- John, 2, 5, 34, 64, 111, 123, 129.

  -- John, junior, 51, 141.

  -- Otho, 2.

  -- Ralph, 48.

  Giles's, St., bowl, 375.

  Giuseppe, San, or St. Joseph, 113, 323, 357.

  Godolphin, Sir William, 241.

  Godwin, George, 136.

  Godwin, Thomas, Bishop of Bath and Wells, 102.

  Gomera, Isle of, 316.

  Gondomar, Count of, Diego Sarmiento de Acuña, 227, 304-5, 332-3, 338.

  Goodier, Sir Henry, 34.

  Goodman, Godfrey, Bishop of Gloucester, 195, 381.

  Goodwin, Hugh, 117.

  Gorges, Sir Arthur, 93, 134, 137, 139, 140, 156.

  -- Sir Ferdinando, 134, 149, 150, 166, 383.

  Gorgues, Dominique de, 43.

  Gosnold, Captain, 48.

  Gosse, Mr. Edmund, 73-4.

  _Government, Seat of_, 267.

  Grados, Geronimo de, 321-2.

  Granganimeo, 44, 46.

  Gray's Inn Walks, 302.

  Grenville, Sir Richard, 45-6, 64, 83-4, 334.

  Greville, Fulke, Lord Brooke, 297.

  Grey de Wilton, Arthur Grey, Lord, 17, 19, 20-22, 64.

  -- Thomas Grey, Lord, 186, 188, 200, 208, 233, 236, 240, 244, 249, 295.

  -- William Grey, Lord, 4.

  Gualtero, the Indian, 117.

  Guiana, 109-10, 288, 291, 317-25, 350-1.

  -- _Discovery of_, 120, 269.

  Guizot, Francois Pierre Guillaume, 283.

  Gunpowder Plot, 251, 261.


  Hakluyt, Richard, junior, 11, 15, 47, 50, 53, 84, 119, 161.

  Hall, Joseph, Bishop of Norwich, 279.

  -- Captain, 319.

  Hallam, Henry, 79, 183, 199, 204, 221, 225, 227, 277, 284-6, 292, 303.

  Haman, 297.

  Hamon's wife, 369.

  Hampden, Mr. John, 269, 279, 371, 397.

  -- Sir John, 322.

  Hannah, Archdeacon John, 73.

  Harcourt, Captain Robert, 291.

  Harington, Sir John, 90, 93, 156, 163, 171, 193, 205, 273, 293.

  Harrington, James, 380.

  Harriot, or Hariot, Thomas, 45, 49, 54, 221, 248, 273, 295.

  Harris, Sir Christopher, 334.

  Harry, the Indian, 317.

  Hart, the boatswain, 339-41.

  Harvey, Sir George, 201, 203, 249, 252.

  -- Mr. George, 203.

  Harwood, Sir Edward, 345.

  Hastings, Edward, 300, 332.

  Hatton, Sir Christopher, 26, 38, 60.

  _Havanna, Spanish Cruelties in_, 268.

  Hawkins, Sir John, 97, 99, 125.

  Hawles, Sir John, 180, 224.

  Hawthorn, Rev. Mr., 248.

  Hay, James, Viscount Doncaster, and Earl of Carlisle, 332, 375, 377.

  Hayes Barton, 6, 70, 100-1.

  Hayman, Samuel, 272.

  Hele, Serjeant, 209, 210.

  Heneage, Sir Thomas, 33, 60.

  Hennessy, Sir John Pope, 70, 147, 162, 272.

  Henry IV, of France, 144, 184, 240.

  -- VII, of England, 1, 211.

  -- VIII, 278, 280.

  Henry, Prince of Wales, 255-7, 259-60, 263, 284, 294.

  Herbert, Myles, or William, 300, 329.

  -- William, 340-1.

  Hickes, Michael, 30, 208, 229.

  Hilliard, Rev. William, 126.

  _History of the World_, 255, 270-84, 297.

  _Hobbinol_, 258.

  Holinshed, Raphael, 3, 15, 45.

  _Hollander, trade and commerce with the_, 267.

  Hooker, John, 3, 15, 18, 35.

  -- Rev. Richard, 277.

  Horsey, 152.

  Hoskyns, Serjeant John, 273, 275.

  Howard, Charles, Lord Howard of Effingham, and Earl of Nottingham, 30,
    40, 58, 66, 84, 106, 125, 127, 144, 176, 204, 242, 277, 293, 331, 384,
    386.
  -- Charity White, Lady Howard of Effingham, 251.

  -- Lady Frances, Countess of Kildare, and Lady Cobham, 175, 216, 296.

  -- Lady Frances, Countess of Essex, and of Somerset, 237, 296-7, 361.

  -- Lord Henry, Earl of Northampton, 30, 169, 171-7, 182, 188, 196, 209,
    252, 254, 286, 293, 372.

  -- Mr. Henry, 300.

  -- Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, 152, 214.

  -- Lord Thomas, Earl of Suffolk, 82, 84, 126-8, 134, 138-9, 146, 209,
    221, 255, 293, 300, 346.

  -- Thomas, Viscount Bindon, 165.

  Howell, James, 302-3.

  -- T.B., 202.

  Hues, Robert, 273.

  Hume, David, 120, 225.

  Huntingdon, Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of, 119.

  -- Henry Hastings, 5th Earl of, 299, 300.

  Hutchinson, Mrs. Lucy, 247, 347-8.


  Imokelly, Seneschal of, John Fitzedmund Fitzgerald, 18, 33.

  _Instructions to his Son_, 268.

  Isabella, Archduchess, the Infanta, 156, 226.

  Isham, Sir John, 372, 374.

  Islands Voyage, 134-140.


  James I, 30, 55, 171-7, 185-6, 194, 205, 209, 223, 227, 233, 239, 243,
    256, 261, 278, 279-81, 291-2, 297, 303-6, 317, 332-3, 338, 349,
    352-355, 360, 368, 370, 379, 381, 386, 387-93, 396-7.

  Janssen, Cornelius, 29.

  Jarnac, battle of, 11.

  Jehu, 277.

  Jersey, 160, 182, 192, 201, 226, 382.

  _Jesuit and Recusant, Dialogue between_, 268.

  Jezebel, 277.

  John, Dr., 248.

  Jones, Rev. Samuel, 326.

  Jonson, Ben, 31, 270, 274-5, 300-1, 371.


  Kelloway, 152.

  Keymer, John, 36, 268.

  Keymis, or Keemis, Captain Lawrence, 54, 111, 118, 121, 123-4, 190-2,
    196, 246, 252, 290, 311, 318-9, 322-5, 329, 350.

  Killigrew, William, 95, 98, 210.

  King's Printers, 391.

  King, Captain Anthony Wells, 111.

  -- Captain Samuel, 319, 330, 333-6, 338-42, 388.

  Kingsley, Canon Charles, 151, 204, 279, 328.

  Knolles, Sir Thomas, 64.

  Knyvett, or Knevett, Henry, 57.

  -- Sir Thomas, Lord Knyvett, 290.


  Lake, Sir Thomas, 181.

  Lancerota, isle of, 315, 357.

  Lane, Ralph, 45-6, 49, 64.

  La Renzi, 186, 188, 192, 226.

  Latimer, Hugh, Bishop of Worcester, 247.

  Laudonnière, 43.

  Lawes, Henry, 381.

  Lazanna, Juan de, 322.

  Le Clerc, 338-40, 344-5.

  Le Grand Captain, 334.

  Leicester, Robert Dudley, Earl of, 14, 20, 23, 32, 56.

  Leigh, Captain Charles, 291.

  -- Sir John, 329.

  Leighton, Sir Thomas, 64.

  Lennox, Esme Stuart, Duke of, 174-5, 255.

  Leonard, the Indian, 291.

  Leonello, the Venetian, 310-1.

  Lingard, Rev. Dr. John, 113, 223, 225, 227.

  Linschoten, Jan Huygen van, 83.

  Lismore Castle and Manor, 70-1, 161-3.

  Littlecote Hall, 209.

  Littleton, John, 39.

  Lloyd, David, 269.

  Lorkin, Thomas, 378.

  Lovelace, Captain Richard, 371.

  Lowell, James Russell, 380.

  Lundy Isle, 388.

  Luttrell, Narcissus, 195.

  Lyon's Inn, 12, 103.


  McCarthy, Cormac, Lord of Muskerry, 158.

  -- Florence, 18, 295.

  Mace, Captain Samuel, 47, 161.

  Macworth, 17.

  Madre de Dios, 96.

  Magrath Miler, Bishop of Lismore and Waterford, and Archbishop
    of Cashel, 70, 126.

  _Mahomet, Life and Death of_, 269.

  Main Plot, 193, 211, 346, 357.

  Malet, Mr. Justice, Sir Thomas, 258.

  Manourie, 335-8, 362-3, 376, 383, 387-8.

  Mansel, Sir Robert, 208.

  Manteo, 44-6.

  Mar, John Erskine, Earl of, 187, 229.

  Marêts, Comte de, 306-7.

  Margaret's, St., 380-1.

  Marie de Medici, 156, 306.

  _Maritimal Voyage_, 257.

  Markham, Sir Griffin, 184, 186, 188, 192, 200, 208, 236, 239-40, 244,
    296.

  Marriage, Spanish, 345.

  _Marrow of History_, 282.

  Martens, Veronio, 162.

  Mary Stuart, 64, 182, 192.

  Masham, Thomas, 161.

  Matthew, Tobias, Bishop of Durham, and Archbishop of York, 101, 182.

  -- Sir Toby, 198, 229.

  Mayerne, Sir Theodore, 260, 328.

  'May-game Monarchs,' 278.

  Meere, John, 164-5, 209, 242, 263, 315, 369.

  Mermaid Tavern, 157.

  Meyricke, Sir Guilly, 136-7.

  Millais, Sir John E., 7.

  Milton, John, 30, 269, 397.

  Moate, Captain, 290, 318.

  _Model of a Ship_, 257, 267.

  Moile, Henry, 18.

  _Monarchy of Man_, 397.

  Moncontour, battle of, 10.

  Monk, General George, Duke of Albemarle, 382.

  Monmouth, James, Duke of, 9.

  Monson, Sir William, 127, 129, 131, 136, 138.

  Montagu, Chief Justice, Sir Henry, Earl of Manchester, 365-7.

  Montague, James Grahame, Bishop of Winchester, 368.

  Montgomerie, Comte de, 9.

  Montmorency, Admiral de, 308.

  Montrose, James Graham, Marquis of, 279.

  Mooney, John, 103.

  More, Sir George, 295.

  Morequito, King, 115.

  Morgan, Sir William, 20.

  Morgues, Jacques, 53.

  Myrtle Grove, 70, 272.


  Napier, Macvey, 208, 270.

  _Narrative_, Captain King's, 388.

  Nassau, Lewis, Count of, 10.

  Naunton, Sir Robert, 16, 22, 30, 35, 109, 328, 341, 343-4, 348-9, 351-2,
    369, 389, 394-5.

  Neville, Sir Henry, 156.

  Newfoundland, 43, 161, 327, 329.

  Ninias, 280.

  Norreys, Sir Thomas, 30.

  Norris, Sir John, 11, 64, 67.

  North, Captain, 300.

  Northumberland, John Dudley, Duke of, 104, 152.

  -- Henry Percy, 9th Earl of, 58, 173, 175-6, 182, 184, 223, 251, 273,
    295, 329, 394.
    (For 10th Earl, _see_ Percy.)

  Novion, David de, 338-40, 344.


  Oldys, William, 265, 268, 281, 301, 388.

  Orange, William I, Prince of, 11, 33.

  -- Maurice, Prince of, 156, 300.

  Oriel College, 7.

  Orinoko River, 114.

  Ormond, Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of, 19, 20, 33, 38.

  Osborn, or Osborne, Francis, 230, 258, 280, 296, 368.

  Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury, 101, 263.

  Overbury, Sir Thomas, 219, 221, 250, 266, 292, 296, 328.


  Palmer, 120.

  Parham, Mr., 336.

  -- Sir Edward, 186, 208, 336, 377.

  Parker, Captain Charles, 300, 322, 325, 357.

  Parry, Sir Thomas, 188, 193-4, 199, 200, 224.

  Parsons, Rev. Robert, 106.

  Paulett, Sir Anthony, 34, 160.

  'Paul's-walker, the constant,' 394.

  Paunsford, 13.

  Peirese, Nicholas Claude Fabri de, 333.

  Peirson, John, 54.

  Pelissier, General Aimable Jean Jacques, Duc de Malakhoff, 10.

  Pembroke, Henry Herbert, Earl of, 69, 79.

  -- William Herbert, Earl of, 89, 237, 241, 296, 300, 305, 310, 381.

  -- Mary Sidney, dowager Countess of, 237.

  Pennington, Captain, 311, 330, 364.

  Percy, Algernon, Lord, 10th Earl of Northumberland, 375.

  -- Thomas, 251.

  Perrot, Sir John, 15.

  -- Sir Thomas, 13.

  -- Lady Dorothy, _see_ Devereux.

  _Petition, Humble_, Sir Lewis Stukely's, 387, 389.

  Pett, Phinehas, 257, 299.

  Pewe, Hugh, gentleman, 40.

  Peyton, Sir Edward, 30.

  -- Sir John, 194, 201.

  -- John, junior, 201.

  Philip II, of Spain, 64, 186, 285.

  -- III, 357, 385-6.

  Phillips, Serjeant, Sir Edward, Speaker, and Master of the Rolls, 209,
    216, 242.

  -- Sir Robert, 263.

  Piers, Captain, 20.

  Piggot, Captain, 316.

  _Pilgrimage, The_, 238-9.

  Pinkerton, John, _alias_ Robert Heron, 282-3.

  Plague, 103, 207, 247-8.

  Plumer, Thomas, 299.

  Polwhele, Rev. Richard, 1, 100, 101.

  Ponte, Isabel de, 2.

  Pope, Alexander, 164, 278.

  Popham, Chief Justice, Sir John, 209, 221, 260-1.

  Portraits of Ralegh, 28-9.

  Pory, J., 386, 394.

  Potatoes, 49.

  'Poverty an imprisonment of the mind,' 241.

  Poyntz, 49.

  _Prerogative of Parliaments_, 267, 269, 284-6, 292, 296.

  Prest, Agnes, 5.

  Preston, Sir Amias, 112, 119, 166, 289.

  Primero, a game of, 143.

  _Prince, The_, 267.

  _Princes, Premonition to_, 268.

  Puckering, Sir Thomas, 378.

  Pullison, Lord Mayor, 34.

  Putijma, 118, 124, 318.

  Puttenham, George, 30, 77.

  Pym, John, 207, 314, 397.

  Pyne, Henry, 162, 314-5, 369.

  Pyrrhus, 277.


  Raleana, the, 115.

  Ralegh, Adrian, 50.

  -- Sir Carew, 2, 31, 44, 86, 103, 157, 166, 242, 248.

  -- Mr. Carew, 30, 104, 163, 243, 248, 261, 264, 302, 305, 314, 327,
    368, 381-3.

  -- George, 2.

  -- George, junior, 104, 249, 300, 318-9, 322-3.

  -- John, 2.

  -- Margaret, 2.

  -- Mary, 2.

  -- Philip, 30, 282, 381.

  -- Walter, Sir Walter's father, 2-5, 31.

  -- Walter, son, 29, 30, 165-6, 243, 248, 261-2, 300-1, 317;
    death, 321, 323.

  -- Walter, grandson, 381.

  -- Sir Walter;
    his birth, 6;
    birthplace, 6-7;
    boyhood, 7;
    at Oriel College, 7-9;
    chronological difficulties; serves with the Huguenots for
    six years, 9-11;
    in the War of the Netherlands, 11;
    a law student at Lyon's Inn and the Middle Temple, 12, 13;
    at Islington in 1577, 13;
    joins in Humphrey Gilbert's Norimbega expedition, 14-15;
    a Captain in Munster, 16;
    at the Smerwick massacre, 17;
    surprises Lord Barry's and Lord Roche's castles, 18-19;
    a Commissioner for Munster, 20;
    brings home despatches. 21.
    Advice to the Council on Irish affairs, wins the Queen's favour; 22-3;
    Thomas Fuller's story, 23-4;
    his relations to the Queen, 25-7;
    invidious versatility, 27;
    aspect, 28-9;
    spelling of his name, 30-31.
    Attendance on the Duc d'Anjou, 33;
    Warden of the Stannaries, and Captain of the Guard, 34-5;
    wine licenser, 36;
    controversy with University of Cambridge, 36-7;
    an Undertaker for Munster, 37-8;
    the Babington forfeiture, 39;
    extravagance and neediness of Elizabethan courtiers, 40.
    Forbidden to voyage with Humphrey Gilbert, 42;
    equips expedition to Virginia, 43-4;
    sends settlers, 45-8;
    imports tobacco and potatoes, 49;
    privateering, 50-2.
    A patron of literature, 53-5;
    deference to Earl of Leicester, 56-7;
    befriends Earl of Oxford, 57;
    'damnably proud,' 58;
    passion for management, 59.
    Essex's jealousy, 61-2;
    sups at Lord Burleigh's with Lady Arabella Stuart, 63;
    council of war against the Armada, 64;
    the Armada, 65;
    'a morris dance upon the waters'; danger of grappling, 66;
    expedition against Lisbon, 67;
    dispute with Colonel Roger Williams, 68.
    Reported loss of royal favour, 69;
    Lismore Castle and Myrtle Grove, 70;
    visit to Edmund Spenser, 71;
    the _Faerie Queene_, 72;
    _Cynthia_, and its date, 73-5;
    Ralegh's sonnet to Spenser, 76;
    his poetic gifts, 77;
    their limitations, 78;
    disputed authorship of poems, 79-80.
    Commissioned to intercept the Plate Fleet; replaced by Sir Richard
    Grenville, 82;
    narrative of Grenville's fight with the Spaniards, 84;
    invective against Spanish ambition and cruelty, 85;
    threatened duel with Lord Howard of Effingham, 84;
    equips an expedition to avenge the Revenge, 86;
    sails, and is superseded by Burgh and Frobisher, 87.
    Disgrace and imprisonment, 88;
    the alleged intrigue with Elizabeth Throckmorton, 89;
    difficulties in the charge, 90;
    balance of improbabilities, 91;
    extravagances to move the Queen's pity, 92-3;
    place of confinement, and his keeper, 94;
    discontent with Lord Deputy Fitzwilliam, 95;
    'a fish with lame legs, and lamer lungs,' _ibid._; capture of the
    Madre de Dios, 96;
    her riches; Robert Cecil and he sent to Plymouth to realize them, 97;
    joy of his servants and step-brother, 98;
    worth of the cargo, and the Queen's share, 99.
    His homes; negotiations for Hayes, 100-1;
    demise of Sherborne and its manors, 102;
    amusements and occupations, 103;
    Durham House, and other London residences, 104-5;
    House of Commons, 105-6;
    goes to sea; despotic Irish policy, 107.
    Court rumours concerning him, and fears; plans Guiana expedition, 108;
    Lady Ralegh's anxiety, 110;
    Whiddon's pioneering voyage, 111;
    Ralegh sails, _ibid._;
    captures San Giuseppe, and Antonio de Berreo, 113;
    navigates the Orinoko, 114;
    an Indian centenarian, 115;
    native marvels, 116;
    gold, 117-8;
    return, 119;
    narrative of the expedition, 120;
    further explorations, 121-4.
    Preparations against Cadiz, 125-6;
    attack on the harbour, 127-9;
    on the town, 129;
    discontent at share of spoil, 130;
    comes to London, 131;
    received back into royal favour, 133;
    league with Cecil and Essex, 133-4;
    The Islands Voyage, 135;
    conquest of Fayal, 137;
    Essex's wrath, 138;
    disappointments, 139.
    'The killing of a rebel,' 142;
    relations with Essex;
    friendly, 143-4;
    hostile, 145-50;
    interview with Gorges, 149;
    presence at execution of Essex, 150;
    warning to Cecil against relenting, 151-2;
    obscurities in the letter, 153-4.
    A mark for Oxford's sarcasms, 155;
    with Prince Maurice, Sully, and Biron, 156;
    at the Mermaid Tavern, 157;
    Member for Cornwall, 158;
    speech on monopolies, 159;
    Governor of Jersey, 160;
    improvements at Lismore Manor, 161;
    its sale, 162;
    Sherborne Castle, 163-4;
    disputes with Meere, 165;
    with Sir Amias Preston, 166-7.
    Cordiality of Cecil, 169-70;
    the rift, 171;
    relations with King James, 173-5;
    Henry Howard's hatred of the 'accursed duality,' or 'triplicity,' 175;
    Ralegh's amity with Cobham, 177.
    Elizabeth's death, and Ralegh's cold reception by James, 180-81;
    dismissal from Captaincy of the Guard, 181;
    ejectment from Durham House, 183;
    overtures of Sully, 184.
    The Bye and Main Plots, 186 _et seq._;
    examined by Lords of the Council, 189;
    accused of complicity by Cobham, 191;
    inquiries by Waad, 192;
    attempt at suicide, 194;
    an apocryphal letter of farewell, 195-8;
    absurd statement by de Thou; Cobham's remorse and retractations, 201-3;
    a combination of enmities, 203-5.
    The indictment, 207;
    journey to Winchester; brutish mob fury, 208;
    the trial, 209-20;
    Coke's insults, 212;
    rules of evidence in treason prosecutions, 213-5;
    Cobham's renewed charge, 217;
    Ralegh's 'amazement,' 218;
    produces Cobham's letter to himself, 219;
    verdict of guilty, and judgment, 220;
    noble demeanour, 221.
    Legally innocent, 222-5;
    and morally, 225-8;
    general admiration, 229-30.
    The hero abased, 232;
    the explanation, 234-6;
    preparing for death; farewell to wife, 237;
    reprieved, 239-40.
    The legal penalties, 241;
    their mitigation, 243;
    vain prayers for freedom, 245;
    bodily ailments, 246-7;
    his Tower home and household, 247-9;
    petty tyranny of Waad, 249-50;
    suspected implication in Gunpowder Plot, 251;
    other imputed crimes, 252;
    favour of Queen Anne, 254;
    of Prince Henry, 255;
    the Savoy Marriages, 256;
    naval construction, 257;
    Cecil's death, 257;
    Prince Henry's, 260;
    loss of Sherborne, 260-4.
    Scientific, 265-7,
    and literary pursuits, 267-70;
    'no slug,' 273;
    _History of the World_, 270;
    collaborators, 273-5;
    date of publication, 275;
    defects, 276;
    merits, 277-9;
    applause from all, 279;
    except the King, 280-81;
    cause of interruption of the work, 282-4;
    _Prerogative of Parliaments_, 284-6.
    Visions of Guiana gold mines, 287-92;
    the opportunity, 292-3;
    payments to Edward Villiers and William St. John, 294;
    enlargement, 295;
    fable of meeting with Robert Carr.
    Equipment of ships for Guiana, 299;
    commission with omissions, 301;
    Lord Keeper Bacon's view of the superfluity of a pardon; alleged avowal
    of designs upon the Plate Fleet, 303;
    Gondomar's protests, 304;
    James's deference to them, 305;
    the French envoy's visit to Ralegh's flagship, 307;
    further negotiations with France, 307-10;
    and with Savoy, 310-11.
    Departure of the fleet from Plymouth, 313;
    stay at Cork, and Boyle's hospitality, 314-5;
    panic at Lancerota, 315;
    secession of Captain Bayley; the Lady of Gomera, 316;
    sickness in the Fleet, _ibid._;
    arrival in Guiana, and organisation of expedition to the mine; 317;
    Ralegh's ignorance of the position of San Thome, 318;
    his instructions, 319;
    despatch of Walter and George Ralegh, with Keymis, 320;
    at Puncto Gallo; hears of Walter's death in the
    San Thome skirmish, 323;
    angry reception and death of Keymis, 324-5;
    deserted by Whitney and Wollaston, 326;
    writes to Winwood and Lady Ralegh from St. Christopher's, 328-9;
    arrives at Kinsale from Newfoundland, 330.
    Meeting with Lady Ralegh at Plymouth, June 21, 331;
    Sir Lewis Stukely directed to arrest him and his ship, 334;
    escape planned, and abandoned, 334;
    journey, with Stukely and Manourie, 335;
    malingering at Salisbury; and composition of _Apology_, 336;
    Manourie's treachery, 338;
    interviews with French Agents, 338-9;
    flight, and return to the Tower, 341-2.
    Last interview with Stukely, 343;
    examined by the Privy Council, 344;
    Sir Thomas Wilson's endeavours to extort evidence from him, 346-52;
    Sir Allen's and Lady Apsley's kindness, 347-8;
    appeals to the King and Villiers, 349-51;
    dilemma of the Government, 355-7;
    recourse to the Main Plot, 357.
    A quasi-trial, 359-64;
    the decision, 364-5;
    execution granted by the King's Bench, 366-7;
    testamentary note, 369.
    At the Gate-house, 371;
    'fearlessness, with reverence and conscience,' 372;
    farewell to his wife, 373;
    and to life, 374;
    on the scaffold, 375-8;
    on the block, 379.
    Burial, 380;
    popular wrath, and vengeance, 386-9.
    Durability of the national sympathy, 394-8;
    contradictions in character and career, 398-400.

  Ralegh, Wimund, 1.

  -- Elizabeth Throckmorton, Lady, 30, 88-91, 104, 110, 119, 144, 151, 163,
    169-70, 175-6, 237, 243, 248, 250-52, 254, 261-2, 288, 305, 311, 317,
    329, 331, 334-6, 351-2, 358, 368-9, 373, 380-2, 384-5.

  _Ralegh's, Sir Walter, Ghost_, 395.

  Ralegh, City of, 46.

  Ramsay, John, Viscount Haddington, and Earl of Holderness, 290, 314.

  Reeks, of Ratcliff, 315, 331.

  Register, Oxford, 8, 31.

  -- Stationers', 31, 275.

  Registers, Middlesex, 13.

  Rehoboam, 278.

  _Revenge, The_, 83.

  Reynerson, Albert, 51.

  Rich, Sir Henry, Captain of the Guard, and, 1624, Earl of Holland, 375.

  _Richard the Second_, 134.

  Richelieu, Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal de, 306-7.

  Rimenant, battle of, 11.

  Roche, Maurice, Viscount Roche and Fermoy, 18.

  -- David, Viscount Roche and Fermoy, 314.

  Roe, Sir Thomas, 299.

  Ros, William Lennox Lascelles, Lord de, 248.

  Ross, Alexander, 275, 281.

  _Royal Navy, and Sea Service_, 257, 267.

  Royal Society anticipated, 55.

  Rushworth, John, 186, 385.

  Russell, Sir William, 146, 148.

  Rutland, Elizabeth Sidney, Countess of, 266.


  Sackville, Sir Edward, 375.

  St. John, Sir Oliver, Lord St. John, and Earl of Bolingbroke, 330.

  -- Sir William, 294, 302, 340-2.

  St. Leger, Sir Warham, 20.

  -- Sir Warham, junior, 300, 318, 357, 364.

  Samson's foxes, 211.

  Sampson, the chemist, 266.

  -- Captain, 252.

  Sancroft, William, Archbishop of Canterbury, 271.

  Sanderson, William, 36, 242, 371.

  -- Sir William, 243, 371.

  _Sanderson's History, Observations upon_, 230, 243, 280, 294, 302.

  Sandys, William, Lord, 157.

  Sassafras, 170.

  Savage, Sir Arthur, 156, 174.

  Savoy, Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of, 255-6, 310.

  _Savoy Marriage_, 255-6, 267.

  Scaramelli, 188, 194.

  Scarnafissi, Count, 310-11.

  _Sceptic, the_, 268.

  Schomburgk, Sir Robert H., 119, 121, 307.

  Scott, Sir Walter, 23.

  Sebastian, King of Portugal, 142.

  Selden, John, 371.

  Semiramis, 280.

  Seymour, Lord Henry, 160.

  Sharpe, Rev. Dr., 387.

  Sheffield, Edmund, Lord Sheffield, and Earl of Mulgrave, 375.

  Shelbury, John, 242, 248.

  Sherborne Castle, 88, 101-3, 163-7, 195. 243-4. 260-4, 335, 381-2.

  _Ships, Invention of_, 257, 267.

  Shirley, 137.

  -- John, 258, 273.

  Shrewsbury, Countess of, 359.

  Sidney, Algernon, 274, 284.

  -- Sir Philip, 57, 77.

  -- Sir Robert, 146, 156, 177.

  Simier, 32.

  Simon, Pedro, 321.

  Sixtus Senensis, 275.

  Skory, Sylvanus, 329.

  Sloane, Sir Hans, 265.

  Smerwick massacre, 17.

  Smith, Captain, 319.

  -- Robert, 242.

  -- Thomas, 47.

  -- Widow, 112, 126.

  Snagge, 167, 215.

  Snedale, Hugh, 2.

  -- Margaret, 36, 243.

  -- Mary, 2.

  Sommers, or Summers, Captain George, 112, 119.

  _Soul, The_, 268.

  Southampton, Henry Wriothesley, Earl of, 89, 143-4, 184, 192.

  Southey, Robert, 55, 113.

  Southwell, 127.

  Sparrow, Francis, 117.

  Spedding, James, 14, 304, 360-61, 364, 393.

  Spence, Rev. Dr. Joseph, 278.

  Spenser, Edmund, 17, 26, 71.

  Stafford, Sir Edward, 89.

  Standen, Sir Anthony, 132.

  Stanhope, Sir John, 49, 209.

  _State, Maxims of_, 267, 286.

  Steele, Sir Richard, 269.

  Stewart, Dugald, 398.

  Stow, John, 146.

  Stowell, Sir John, 38.

  Strafford, Thomas Wentworth, Earl of, 382.

  Strype, Rev. John, 66.

  Stuart, Arabella (Grey), 63, 172-3, 207, 211, 216, 250, 295.

  Stukely, John, 45.

  -- Sir Lewis, 30, 45, 150, 334-43, 362-3, 369, 377, 383-4, 386-9, 395.

  -- Thomas, 142.

  Sully, Maximilien de Bethune, duc de, Baron de Rosny, 156, 184, 254, 295.

  Sussex, Thomas Ratcliffe, Earl of, 23, 33.

  Swale, M.P., 159.


  Talbot, John, 248, 316.

  -- Mrs., 369.

  Tarleton, Richard, 59.

  Taxis, Juan de, 240.

  Tempest, the Jesuit, 142.

  Temple, Middle, 12, 103.

  _Tenures before the Conquest_, 269.

  Thome, San, or St. Thomas, 123, 290, 318, 320-23, 332, 350-51, 353-5,
    357, 393.

  Thomond, Donogh O'Brien, 4th Earl of, 330.

  Thou, Jacques Auguste de, 199, 227.

  Throckmorton, Sir Arthur, 91, 129, 131.

  -- Sir Nicholas, 88, 213.

  Thynne, Captain, 82.

  -- Francis, 372.

  Tichborne, Sir Benjamin, 157, 221, 239-40.

  Tillage Act, 158.

  Tissaphernes, 204.

  Toparimaca, 115.

  Topiowari, King, 115, 117, 123.

  Torporley, 295.

  Tounson, Robert, Dean of Westminster, and Bishop of Salisbury, 372-6,
    378-9, 395.

  Tower-hill, 248, 289.

  Tower of London, 88, 246-7, 342-3, 387.

  -- Beauchamp-tower, 248.

  -- Bloody-tower, 194, 247, 249, 265, 297, 347.

  -- Brick-tower, 94, 348.

  -- Wardrobe-tower, 348.

  -- White-tower, 248.

  Treason, law of, 213-4.

  Trelawny, Mayor of Plymouth, 313.

  Triangle Islands, 317.

  _Tubus Historicus_, 282.

  Tunstall, Cuthbert, Bishop of London, and of Durham, 104.

  Turner, Dr. Peter, 230, 247-8, 363.

  Tyringham, 345.

  Tyrone, Hugh O'Neill, Earl of, 125.

  Tyrwhit, Robert, 300.

  Tytler, Patrick Fraser, 198.


  Udal, Rev. John, 55.

  Ulloa, Julian Sanchez de, 360, 364.


  Vera, Domingo de, 110, 123.

  Vere, Edward de, 17th Earl of Oxford, 57, 155.

  -- Henry de, 18th Earl, 375.

  -- Sir Francis, 126-8, 130-1, 134, 138.

  Villiers, Sir George, Duke of Buckingham, 30, 263, 293-4, 328, 347, 350,
    360, 367-8, 370, 395, 397.

  -- Sir Edward, 294, 302.

  Virginia, 44, 48, 101, 288-9.

  Vyne, the, 157.


  Waad, or Wade, Sir William, 192-3, 199, 208-9, 217, 249-51, 255, 266.

  Walsingham, Sir Francis, 11, 14, 19, 22, 37, 42, 45, 57.

  -- Lady, 144.

  Walton, Izaak, 78.

  Wanchese, 44-5.

  _War by Sea, Art of_, 257, 284, 385.

  _War in General_, 267.

  _War with Spain_, 31.

  Warburton, Mr. Justice, Sir Peter, 209.

  Warner, William, 295.

  Warwick, Lady Anne Russell, Countess of, 62.

  Watson, Rev. William, 186, 193, 208, 215, 229, 236.

  Watts, Sir John, 290.

  Weekes, 387.

  Welldon, or Weldon, Sir Anthony, 217, 255.

  _West Indies, Treatise of the_, 270.

  Westwood, 120.

  Whiddon, Captain Jacob, 50, 111, 113.

  White, Captain John, 46-7.

  Whitelocke, Captain, 251.

  Whitney, Aubrey's cousin, 249.

  -- Captain, 311, 319, 320, 322, 325, 327.

  Whyte, Rowland, 133, 144, 146, 151.

  Wiemark, 394.

  Williams, Sir Roger, 64, 67.

  Wilson, Sir Thomas, 304-5, 308, 311, 326, 341, 343, 346-52, 358, 365,
    368-9, 383-5.

  Winchester Castle, 209, 228.

  Wingina, King, 44, 46.

  Winstanley, William, 282.

  Winter, Admiral, 17.

  Winwood, Sir Ralph, 156, 205, 293, 304-11, 323-4; death, 328, 337, 391-2.

  Witherhead, Thomas, Bishop of Lismore and Waterford, 95.

  Wollaston, Captain, 311, 319-20, 322, 325, 327.

  -- Mr., 351.

  Wolvesey Castle, 209.

  Wood, Anthony à, 7, 54, 77, 89, 382.

  Worcester, Edward Somerset, Earl of, 255, 344.

  Wotton, Sir Henry, 23, 56, 138, 274, 382.

  -- Sir Edward, Lord Wotton, 209.


  Yelverton, Sir Henry, Mr. Justice, 362, 366, 389.

  -- his commonplace book, 195.

  Yeomen of the Guard, 34-5.


  Zechelius, of Nuremberg, 266.

  Zouch, Captain John, 21.

  -- Lord, 332.

  Zucchero, Federigo, 6, 28.

THE END.





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