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of adventure arising to a great sum,. fo raised that false
report. Only I will borrow a little time of Mr. Meriffs to speak of one thing, that doth make my
heart to bleed to hear that such an imputation should be laid upon me; for 'tis faid, that I should be a perfecutor of the death of the earl of Essex ; and, that I stood in a window over against him, when he suffered, and puffed out tobacco in disdain of him. God I. take to witness, I shed tears for him when he died; and, as I hope to look God in the face hereafter, my lord of Essex did not see my face when he suffered, for I was afar off in the Armory, where I saw him, but he saw not me.
" I confefs indeed I was of a contrary faction, but I know my lord of Essex was a noble gentleman, and that it would be worse with me when he was gone, for I got the hate of those which wished me well before, and those that set me against him, afterwards set themfelves against me, and were my greatest ene. mies; and my soul hath many times been grieved tliat I was not nearer him when he died ; because, as I understood afterwards, that he asked for me at his death to have been: reconciled unto me.
And these be the material points I thought good to speak of; and I am now, at this instant, to render up an account to God; and. I proteft, as I thall appear before him, this that I have spoken is. wue; and I hope I fall be believed."
Then a proclamation being made, that all men should depart the scaffold, he prepared himself for death ; giving away his hat, his cap, with some money, to such as he knew that stood near him. And then, taking his leave of the lords, knights, gentlemen, and others of his acquaintance; and, amongst the rest, taking his leave of my lord Arundel, he thanked him for his company, and entreated him to desire the king, that no scandalous writing to defame him might be published after his death ; saying further unto him, o
“ I have a long journey to go, and therefore I will take my leave."
Then putting off his doublet and gown, he desired the headsman to fhew him the axe ; which not being suddenly granted unto him, he said, “ I prythee let me see it. Doft thou think that I am afraid of it?” So it being given unto him, he felt along upon the edge of it; and, smiling, spake unto Mr, sheriff, faying, “ This is a sharp medicine, but it is a physician that will cure all diseases." After which, going to and fro upon the scaffold on every side, he entreated the company to pray to God to give him frength.
The executioner kneeling dosyn asked him forgiveness; and he, laying his hand upon his. shoulder, forgave him.
Then being asked which way he would lay himself on the block, he made answer, and faid, “ So the heart be strait, it is no matter: which way the head lieth.” Sor laying his
kead on the block, his face being towards the east, the headsman, throwing down his own cloak, because he would not spoil the prisoner's gown, he, giving the headsman a fign when he should strike, by lifting up his hands, the executioner struck off his head at two blows, his body never shrinking nor moving, His head was thewn on each fide of the scaffold, and then put into a red leather bag, and his wrought velvet gown thrown over it, which was afterwards conveyed away in a mourning coach of his lady's.
Sir Walter Raleigh's Letter to the King the
Night before his Death. THE life which I had, most mighty prince, the law hath taken from me, and I am now but the same earth and dust, out of which I was made. If my offence had any proportion with your majesty's mercy, I might despair ; or, if my deserving had any quantity with your majesty's unmeasurable goodness, I might yet have hope : but it is you that must judge, and not I. Name, blood, gentility, or eftate, I have none : no, not so much as a being ; no, not so much as a vitam planta. I have only a penitent soul in a body of iron, which moveth towards the loadstone of death, and cannot be withheld from touching it, except your majesty's mercy turn the point towards me that expelleth. Loft I am for hearing of
vein man, for hearing only, and never believing nor accepting. And so little account I made of that speech of bis, which was my condemnation (as my forsaking him doth truly witness) that I never remembered any such thing till it was at my trial objected against
So did he repay my care, who cared to make him good, which I now see no care of man can effect. But God, for my offence to him, hath laid this heavy burden on me, miferable and unfortunate wretch that I am. But, for not loving you, my sovereign, God hath not laid this sorrow on me; for He knows, with whom I am not in case to lye, that I honoured your majesty by fame, and loved and admired you by knowledge ; so that, whether I live or die, your majełty's loving fervant I will live and die.
If now I write what seems not well-favoured, most merciful prince, vouchsafe to ascribe it to the counsel of a dead heart, and to a mind that sorrow hath confounded: but the more my misery is, the more is your majesty's mercy, if you please to behold it; and the less I can deserve, the more liberal your majesty's gift shall be. Herein you shall only imitate God, giving free life : and by giving to such a one from whom there can be no retribution, but only a desire to pay a lent life with the same great love which the same great goodness shall bestow on it.
This being the first letter which ever your majefty received from a dead man, I humbly fubmit myself to the will of God, my supreme Lord, and fhall willingly and patiently suffer whatsoever it shall please your majesty to afflict. me withal.
The Copy of Sir Walter Raleigh's Letter to
his Wife, the Night before his Death. YOU shall now receive, my dear wife, my last words in these my laft lines. My love I. fend you, that you may keep it when I am dead; and my counsel, that you may remember it when I am no more. I would not, by my will, present you with sorrows, dear Bels, let them go into the grave with me, and be buried in the duft : and, seeing that it is not God's will that I should see you any more in this life, bear it patiently, and with a heart like thyself
First, I send you all the thanks which my heart can conceive, or my words can rehearse, for your many travails, and care taken for me ; which, though they have not taken effeet, as you wished, yet my debt to you is not the less ; but
it I never fall in this world.
Secondly, I beseech you, for the love you bare me living, do not hide yourself many days, but, by your travels, feek to help your miserable fortunes, and the right of your poor: