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The second volume opens with the following pompous sen


With the reign of queen Elizabeth the good fortune of sir Walter Ralegh sank to rise no more; and those talents, which, under the smiles of a female sovereign of singular penetration, had been called forth and directed to the noblest ends, were doomed to fade and wither under the frowns of her successor.'

Of the causes to which may be ascribed James's unfavourable opinion of Ralegh, little can now be known, though much may be conjectured. Our author reasonably imagines that sir Walter suffered severely from the representations of Essex and Cecil in their correspondence with James during the life of Elizabeth. It seems also that he was one of those who honestly declared their disgust at the introduction of those multitudes of the king's rapacious countrymen who 'were then suffered like locusts to devour this kingdom.' Vol. II. P. 3. Besides,

The enterprising and martial character of sir Walter was far from congenial to the disposition of James; and an offer which he made on the king's accession of invading Spain with two thousand men, free of expence to the crown, as well as a Discourse which he wrote, touching a war with Spain, and the protection of the Netherlands, were not likely to promote his cause with the new sovereign. Vol. II. P. 4.

The first symptoms of the royal suspicion and displeasure were his loss of the wine-patent, and office of captain of the guard, both which he enjoyed under Elizabeth: and three months had not elapsed since the king's arrival, before he was charged with treasonable practices against his government.' Vol. II. P. 5.

This conspiracy, Mr. Cayley judiciously remarks, is an enig ma of state which has never met with a satisfactory solution. The following is an extract of a letter from Cecil to sir Thomas Parry, ambassador in France, which we learn is printed in this work for the first time, and which contains an obscure account of a wild and brainless project to seize the person of the king, and extort from him a toleration of the Romish faith, and a distribution of the most profitable posts of government among the conspirators. Part of the scheme was to treat with count Aremberg the imperial ambassador, to be employed for treasonable purposes which are not very clearly explained. The person employed in this criminal negociation was lord Cobham, who accused Ralegh of co-operating in these practices.

: The lord Cobham being called in question, he did first confess

his own treasons as above said, and then did absolutely before eleven counsellors accuse Ralegh to be privy to his Spanish course; with farther addition and exclamation, that he had never dealt herein but by his own incessant provocation. Whereupon he was committed to the Tower; where, though he was used with all humanity, lodged and attended as well as in his own house; yet, one afternoon, while divers of us were in the Tower examining some of these prisoners, he 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. And in that humour he had wounded himself under the right pap, but no way mortally, being in truth rather a cut fran a stab, and now very well cured both in body and mind. What to judge of this case yet we know not; for, how voluntarily and authentically sdever the lord Cobham did before us all accuse him in all our hear ing, and most constantly, yet, being newly examined, he seemeth now to clear sir Walter in most things, and to take all the burthen to himself. So, as the matter concerning the blood of a gentleman, now apparent soever it is in foro conscienti, yet you may be assured that no severity shall be used toward him, for which there shall not be sufficient proof. Which is very like there will be. notwithstanding this retractation; because it is confessed, that since their being in the Tower, intelligence hath passed from one to another, wherein Ralegh expostulated his unkind using him.' Vol. II. P.


Then follows the trial of sir Walter Ralegh, knight, at Winton, Nov. 17, 1603,' printed verbatim from Mr. Hargrave's edition of the State Trials!! This is an innovation so daring, that our duty calls upon us to visit it with very severé censures. If such a precedent be suffered to be recorded without a most vigorous protest, we cannot undertake to measure the alarming extent of its consequences. We have no security against the adoption of the same method in the Life of every state-criminal who may become a future subject of biography. We are most unfeignedly thankful that this expedient did not occur to those who were engaged in the publication of the life and correspondence of the illustrious John Wilkes! If they had been aware of this new ingredient in the materia medica of book-making, the world would most probably have been enlightened with the trial of the informations for the North Briton, No. 45,' and the Essay on Woman. These might have been consistently followed by sir James Burrows's report of the case of the King v. John Wilkes on the amendment of the record and the reversal of the outlawry; which by an easy connection might have introduced the case of Money v. Leach on the important subject of general warrants, and the still more luminous and interesting

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one of Entick v. Carrington, from Mr. Hargrave's State Trials, by which that question was finally set at rest. If every thing is to be inserted which the writer imagines to have any tendency to illustrate the history of the individual or the spirit and character of the times, there is no end to transfusion from one book into another. Upon this principle Mr. Cayley might have gravely transcribed from Hume into his work the reigns of queen Elizabeth and James I. His example indeed is not likely to be very ensnaring by the perfections with which it is associated. But in an age when every contrivance for increasing the magnitude of volumes is so eagerly sought and so readily adopted, we think it right to recommend to the public the most vigilant caution against a repetition of the experiment.

We cordially approve Mr. Cayley's sentiments respecting this infamous trial. It presents such an unsightly tissue of abuse, malevolence, and oppression,' as fixes everlasting disgrace upon those who were then the ministers of our law. The only testimony upon which he was found guilty was that of lord Cobham, a man contemptible for his weakness and timidity; and with him the judges refused to confront the prisoner they suffered to be read in evidence a bare deposition of this wretched nobleman, which he afterwards expressly and solemnly retracted, and which the following curious anecdote, if authentic, proves to have been forged.

Queen Ann, that brave princess, was in a desperate and some believed an incurable disease, whereof the physicians were at the farthest end of their studies to find the cause, at a non plus for the cure. Sir Walter Ralegh, being by his long studies an admirable chemist, undertook and performed the cure; for which he would receive no other reward, but that her Majesty would procure that certain lords might be sent to examine Cobham, whether he had acused sir Walter Kalegh of treason at any time under his hand. The king, at the queen's request, and in justice could do no less, sends six lords (which I take were the duke of Lennox, Salisbury, Worcester, Suffolk, sir George Carew, and sir Julius Cæsar) to demand of Cobham, whether he had not under his hand accused sir Walter Ralegh at Winchester upon that treason he was arraigned for. Cobham did protest never, nor could he; but, said he, "that villain Wade did often sollicit me, and not prevailing that way, 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 that villain Wade, by writing something above my hand without my consent or knowledge. These six returning to the king, the rest made Salisbury their spokesman, who said "Sir, my Jord Cobham hath made good all that ever he wrote or said."' Where it is to be noted, that this was but an equivocating trick in

Salisbury. For it was true that Cobham had made good whatever he had writ (that being but in truth to very nothing)—but never wrote he any thing to accuse Ralegh. By which you may see the baseness of these lords, the credulity of the king, and the ruin of sir Walter Ralegh.*'

It is well known that the king forbore to order the execotion of the sentence, and confined Ralegh to the Tower during pleasure. (See a very curious letter of sir Dudley Carleton to Mr. J. Chamberlain, 2 v. p. 70.) Sir W.'s confinement lasted twelve years, during which time he devoted himself to philosophy and literature, and to his imprisonment we are indebted for his History of the World." At last, in the year 1615, by bribery and change of favourites, he obtained his liberty, and immediately resumed his favourite scheme of a settlement in Guiana. He accordingly accepted a commission from the king for that purpose, though without a pardon, and with the terrors of a legal sentence hanging over his head. For the account of this disastrous and fatal voyage we are referred to sir Walter's letter to secretary Winwood, and another to his wife, written from St. Christopher's, on his homeward passage; and lastly to his Apology for the Voyage, written on his return to this country, with the appended address to lord Carew, who was probably to present the Apology to his majesty. These are printed at large, and occupy about forty toilsome pages of merciless repetition. On his return to England, Gondomar the Spanish ambassador remonstrated loudly against the piratical character of the expedition, and plainly intimated that nothing would satisfy his court for the plunder of the settlement of St. Thomaso by Ralegh and his adventurers, but the sacrifice of the offender. He was accordingly arrested on his landing at Plymouth; and after delaying his journey to London by the cowardly stratagem of feigning sickness, and the meditation of schemes for his escape, was at last committed to the Tower, and his former sentence soon put in execution; it being the opinion of the chancellor and other commissioners, that being attainted of high treason he could not be drawn in question for any other offence, and that consequently his guilt in exceeding the powers of his commission in the adventure to Guiana could not become the subject of legal investigation. This part of the narrative, by the help of the letters and original papers, which Mr. Cayley thinks it necessary to transcribe, is lengthened out to forty pages more. The concluding chapter contains a list of Ralegh's works, and some account of

** See the court and character of King James. 2d edit. 12mo. 1651, p. 35.*

his character and person. Of his profusion in dress the following instances will not perhaps easily be credited in the present age.

We are told that in queen Elizabeth's reign he possessed a suit of clothes beset with jewels, to the value of 60,000l. and the Jesuit Drexellius informs us that the precious stones on his courtshoes exceeded 6600 pieces of gold in value.' Vol. II. P. 202.

Sir Walter's Instructions to his Son and to Posterity' are subjoined. This manual contains many valuable maxims of practical wisdom, and was so popular that four editions of it were published before the first collection of Ralegh's works in 1651. (Vol. II. P. 213.) We are then indulged with an Appendix of 114 pages, consisting of scarce pieces, illustrative of sir W. Ralegh's history.' We apprehend that the scarcity of these pieces forms their principal value. By far the greater part of them might, without loss, have been suffered to repose in oblivion. Among these may be reckoned queen Elizabeth's letters patent to Ralegh, concerning Virginia; Ralegh's deed of assignment respecting Virginia; his patent for the government of Jersey; the grant of his goods and chattels to trustees for his use on his attainder; and lastly, the warrant for sir Walter's execution. What entertainment these musty precedents can afford to any but pleaders and conveyancers, we are unable to conjecture. We shall spare ourselves the labour of giving any account of the rest of the articles in this Appendix, as they are fifteen in number. They conclude with an examination by Mr. Cayley of Mr. Hume's arguments against sir Walter Ralegh, which we predict will soon become a very scarce piece.'

Of the poetry ascribed to Ralegh, which is interspersed through these pages, but little can be found which will raise him above the rank of those accomplished gentlemen who amuse their leisure with versification. Puttenham, however, a cotemporary critic, seems to have thought otherwise: for ditty and amorous ode, he finds sir Walter's vein most lofty, insolent, and passionate.' But his laurels are now faded, and his extravagant and laboured conceits will by a modern judgment be rejected with disgust. The verses said to be composed by him the evening before his execution, exhibit a very curious specimen of his taste. Anticipating the joys of heaven, he promises himself that he shall

Taste of nectar's suckets,

At those clear wells
Where sweetness dwells,

Drawn up by saints in chrystal buckets!'

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