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England, in as
published this year by George Gascoigne, a poet of thofe times.“ Hé resided in the Middle-Temple, but with no view of studying the law; for he declared expressly at his trial, that he had never studied it. On the contrary, his mind was still bent on military glory; and he had opportunities enough of indulging tis ruling pailion. He went in 1578 to the Netherlands with the forces which were sent against the Spaniards. In 1579, when Sir Humphry Gilbert, who was his brother by luis mother's side, had obtained a patent of the queen, to plant and in: habit some northern parts of America, he engaged in that adventure; but returned soon after, 'the attempt proving unsuccessful. In 1580, he was a captain in the wars of Ireland ; and, the year after, one of the commissioners for the government of 'Munfter' in the absence of the earl of Ormond.
At his return home, he was introduced to court; and,
as Fuller" relates,' upon the following occafion. Her Devonhire. inajesty, taking the air in a walk, atopped at a plahy
place, 'in doubt whether to go on; when Ralegh, dressed
Upon his return, he was elected men ber of parliament for Devonshire, and foon after kniğlited. "In 1585, he
« Tobac"co," 410.
appears several ways engaged in the laudable improve ments of navigation : for he was one of the colleagues of the fellowship for the discovery of the North-west passage. The fame year, he fent his own fleet upon a second voyage to Virginia, and then upon a third. We must not forget, that it was his colony in Virginia, who first brought tobacco to England ; and that it was he himself, who first brought this herb in request annong us. Queen Elizabeth was not backward in promoting the advantages which were promised by the traffic of this herb; but her fucceffor James I, held it in such abomination, that he used his utmost endeavours to explode the use of it. About the same time, our knight was made feneschal of King Cornwall, and lord warden of the Stannaries. In effect. James's
i Countera he was now grown such a favourite with the queen, that a blast to they who had at first been his friends at court began to be alarmed ; and, to prevent their own fupplantation, re- and his solved to project his. This, however, was little regarded biy him; and he constantly attended his public charge and 1664, for employments, whether in town or country, as occasions
laying a duo
ty upon it at required. Accordingly, we find him, 1586, in parlia- 6s 8 d. per ment; where, among other weighty concerns, the fate of ló. Mary queen of Scots was determined, in which he probabably concurred. But the stream of his affection ran towards Virginia ; and, in 1587, he sent three ships upon a fourth voyage thither. In 1588, he sent another fleet upon a fifth voyage to Virginia; and the fame year did great service in destroying the Spanish Armada, sent to invade England. He thought proper now to make an afsignment to divers gentlemen and merchants of London, for continuing the plantation of Virginia to Englishmen. This assignment is dated March 7, 1588-9.
April 1589, he accompanied Don Antonio, the expelled king of Portugal, then in London, to his dominions, when an armament was sent to restore him; and, in his return to England the same year, touched upon Ireland, where he visited Spenser the poet, whom he brought to England, introduced into the queen's favour, and encouraged by his own patronage, himself being no inconsiderable poet. Spenfer has described the circumtianos of Sir Walter's visit to himn in a pastoral, which about two years after he dedicated to him, and intituled “ Colin is Clout's come home again.” In 1592, he was appointed general of an expedition against the Spaniards at Panama We find hịm soon after this very active in the house of
commons, where he made a distinguished figure, as appears from several of his printed speeches. In the mean time, he was no great favourite with the people; and somewhat obnoxious to the clergy, not only on account of his principles, which were not thought very orthodox, but because he poffeffed some lands which had been taken from the Church. His cnemics, knowing this, ventured to attack him; and, in 1593, he was aspersed with Atheism, in a libel against several ministers of state, printed at Lyons with this title, “ Elizabethæ Reginæ Angliæ Edictum,
promulgatum Londini, Nov. 29, 1591 ; & Andr. Phi
lopatris ad idem responsio.” In this piece the writer, who was the jefuit Parsons, inveighs against Sir Walter Ralegh's “ School of Atheism ;” insinuating, that he was not content with being a disciple, but had set up
for a doctor in his faculty: , Olborn accounts for this Miscellany afperfion thus : “ Ralegh,” says he, “ was the first, as I of fundry
66 have heard, who ventured to tack about, and fail aloof Essays, in the preface.
" from the beaten track of the schools; and who, upon “ the discovery of lo apparent an error as a torrid zone, “ intended to proceed in an inquisition after more solid " truths : till the mediation of some, whose livelihood
lay in hammering shrines for this fuperannuated study, possessed queen Elizabeth, that such a doctrine was against God no less than her father's honour ; whose faith, if he owned any, was grounded upon school divinity. Whereupon the chid him, who was, by his
own confession, ever after branded with the title of “ Atheist, though a known assertor of God and provi“dence.” That he was such an affertor, has been uni
versally allowed; yet Wood not only comes into the unSee HARI- favourable opinion of his principles, but pretends to tell
us froin whom he imbibed them.
About the same time, 1593, Raleigh had an amour with a beautiful young lady, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Nicholas Throginorton, an able statesman and ambassador; and won her heart, even to the last favour. This offending the queen terribly, Ralegh was confined for several months; and, when set, at liberty, forbidden the court., However, he afterwards made the most honourable reparation he could, by marrying the object of his affection ; and he always lived with her in the strictest conjugal harmony. While he lay under this disgrace at court, he projected the discovery and conquest of the large, rich, and beautiful empire of Guiana in South America ; and,
fending first an old experienced officer to take certain informations concerning it, he went thither himself in 1595, destroyed the city of San Joseph, and took the Spanish go- ; vernor. Upon his return, he wrote a discourse of his discoveries in Guiana, which was printed in 1996, 4to, and afterwards inserted in the third volume of Hakluyt's voyages. The same year, he was appointed one of the chief commanders in the expedition to Cadiz; and was afterwards rear-admiral in the island voyages. He had a great share in defeating the treasonable designs of the earl of Effex, with whom he had long been at variance ; and lived in full happiness and honour during queen Elizabeth reign's : but his fun set at her death, which happened March 24, 1602.3.
Upon the acceffion of king James, he lost his interest. at.court; was, stripped of his preferments; and even accused, tried, and condemned for high treason. Various causes have been assigned for this strange reverse of fortune. In the first place, it has been observed, that the earl of Effex infused prejudices against him into king James ;; and, after the earl's death, there were circumstances implying, that secretary Cecil did the like.
For though Cecil and Ralegh joined against Essex, yet, when he was overthrown, they divided. Thus, when king James came to England, Sir Walter presented to him a memorial, wherein he reflected upon Cecil in the affair of Essex ; and, vindicating himself, threw the whole blame upon the other. He farther laid open, at the end of it, the conduct of Cecil concerning Mary queen of Scots, his majesty's mother; and charged the death of that unfortunate princess on him : which, however, had no effect upon the king, and only irritated Cecil the more against Ralegh. But what seems alone sufficient to have incensed the king against Ralegh was, his joining with that party of Englithmen, who, in regard to the inveterate feuds between England and Scotland, desired the king might be obliged to articles, in relation to his own countrymen. However, we are told, that the king received him for some weeks with great kindness; but it could only be for some weeks : for, July 6, 1603, he was examined before the lords of the council at Westminster, and returned thence a private prisoner to his own house. He was indicted at Staines, Sept. 21, and not long after committed to the Tower of London; whence he was carried to Winchester, tried there, Nov. 17, and condemned to die. That there,
was something of a treasonable conspiracy against the king, was generally believed; yet it never was proved that he was engaged in it: and perhaps the best means to clear him may be the very trial upon which he was condemned; wherein the barbarous partiality and foul language of the attorney-general Coke broke out fo glaringly, that he was exposed for it, even upon the public theatre. After this, Ralegh was kept near a month at Winchester, in daily expectation of death ; and that he expected nothing less, is plain from a letter he wrote to his wife, which is printed among his works.
Being reprieved, he was committed prisoner to the Tower of London, where he lay many years; his lady living with him, and bringing him another son, named Carew, within the year. His estate was at first restored to him, but taken again, and given to the king's minion Robert Car, afterwards earl of Somerfet. Ralegh found a great friend in Henry, the king's eldest son, who laboured to procure him his estate, and had nearly effected it; but, that hopeful and discerning prince dying in IÓ 12, all his views were at an end. The prince is reported to have said, that “no king but his father would
keep such a bird in a cage. ” During his confinement, he devoted the greatest part of his time to reading and writing; and indeed the productions of his pen at this time are so many and so weighty, that one is apter to look on him as a collegian, than a captive ; as a student in a Library, than a prisoner in the Tower. His writings have been divided into poetical, epiftolary, military, maritimal, geographical, political, philosophical, and historical. But how elaborately soever many of these pieces are allowed by others to be written, he looked on them only as little excurfions or fallies from his grand work, “ The History w of the World;" the first volume of which was published in 1614, folio, and deduces things to the end of the Macedonian empire. As to the story of the fecond voluine of this hiftory, which, it is said, he burned because the first had fold so flowly that it had ruined his bookfeller, it is scarcely worth notice; fince it does not appear true that the firft part did sell so flowly, there being a fecond
edition of it printed, by that very bookfeller, within three Preface to years after the first. Besides, Sir Walter himself has told
us, that, though he intended and had hewn out a fecond pari.
and third volume, yet lie was persuaded to lay them aside by die death of prince Henry, to whom they were dia