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union with manly courage and philosophical composure. “ The world itself,” he observed to some of his sorrowing friends, “is but a larger prison, out of which some are daily chosen for execution.” On feeling the edge of the axe, “ It is a sharp medicine,” he said, “but a sure one for all ills.” His last speech was a temperate but forcible vindication of his behaviour in the conduct of that unfortunate enterprise for which he was to suffér: as to the plot of which he had been originally convicted,— one in favor of the king of Spain,--it was so completely out of the recollection of his hearers, and probably of his own, that he omitted all mention of it; but he labored much to clear himself from the popular imputation under which he suffered, of having witnessed the death of the earl of Essex with a barbarous insensibility. He welcomed the presence of his noble friends the earls of Arundel, Pembroke and Northampton, who came to witness his death, thanking God that he should die in the light and not in the darkness; and he concluded by desiring the prayers of all the spectators for a man who had led a sinful life in all sinful callings,—those of a soldier, a captain, a sea-captain and a courtier. He was cut off in the sixty-sixth year of his age. One son survived him, Carew Raleigh, then a child, who became an accomplished gentleman, and a few years afterwards was presented at court; but the king took a dislike to him, saying that he looked like his father's ghost, and he was advised to travel till the death of James.
This anecdote is striking and characteristic; it proves how loudly the conscience of the king upbraided him with the sacrifice of Raleigh, and it indicates the baseness of a nature incapable of making compensation to those whom it has injured, or even of ceasing to follow them with resentment.
A“ Declaration” by authority, of the motives of the king for putting to death sir Walter Raleigh, was immediately published, in which he was directly charged with deluding both the king and his fellow-adventurers with the promise of a mine which he knew to have no existence in nature; meaning from the first to employ his forces in piratical assaults upon the Spaniards. A minute narrative was also given of his artifice in feigning sickness in order to gain time; and of his attempts to escape.. Respecting this piece it is necessary to remark, that though it professes to be founded upon the examinations of the followers of Raleigh, yet, as these examinations themselves are not given, and as the whole narrative was drawn up by the persons whose particular interest it was to palliate a most unpopular and odious measure,-as Raleigh himself was put to death before it appeared, and it was well known that no surviving friend would dare to undertake his defence against the sovereign himself,—the “Declaration” can only be regarded in the light of a party statement; one of those documents on which no lover of historic truth and equal justice will dare to place the least reliance. The reader will judge for himself from the whole of the case, and from the known character of the man, what had probably been the original motives and intentions of Raleigh; those of the king are sufficiently evident; and the use actually made of this deed of unparalleled baseness in the pending negotiation for the hand of the infanta, may be learned from the following letter, addressed by a minister of state to Cottington, then the English agent in Spain : “ Good Mr. Cottington;
“I doubt not but before these come to your hands you will have heard of the receipt of all your former letters. These are in answer of your last of October 8th, wherein you advertise of the arrival of the Conde Gondomar at Lerma, and of his entertainment by that duke. It seemeth unto us here in England that he hath gone but very slowly in his journey, and divers, seeing how long time he hath spent in the way, do make conjecture that it proceedeth from the small affection that he judgeth to be there toward the effecting of the main business; saying: if the ambassador were assured that his master did so really desire the speedy effecting thereof as is pretended, he would have made more haste homeward; and that it hath not been sincerely intended, but merely used by that state as an amusement to entertain and busy his majesty withal, and for the gaining of time for their own ends. And this is muttered here by very many; but I hope we shall ere long receive such an account from thence of their proceedings as will give sufficient satisfaction.
“For my own part, I must confess I am yet well persuaded of their intentions. For, if there be either honor, religion, or moral honesty in them, the protestation and professions that I have so often heard them make, and you likewise daily advertise hither, are sufficient to persuade a man that will not judge them worse than infidels, to expect sincere dealing in the business. And whensoever I shall perceive that they go about to do otherwise, I must confess myself to have been deceived, as I ever shall be, on the like terms, while I deal with inmost care, But withal, I shall judge them the most unworthy and perfidious people of the world; and the more for that his majesty hath given them so many testimonies of his sincere intention toward them, which he daily continueth, as now of late, by the causing sir Walter Raleigh to be put to death, chiefly for the giving them satisfaction. Whereof his majesty commanded me to advertise you, and concerning whom you shall by the next receive a declaration, showing the motives which induced his majesty to recal his mercy, through which he had lived this many years a condemned man.
“In the meantime I think it fit, that to the duke of Lerma, the confessor and the secretary of state, you do represent his majesty's real manner of proceeding with that king and state; and how, for the advancing of the great business, he hath endeavoured to satisfy them in all things. Letting them see how, in many actions of late of that nature, his majesty hath strained upon the affections of his peo
ple; and especially in this last concerning sir Walter Raleigh, who died with a great deal of courage and constancy, and, at his death, moved the common sort of people to much remorse, who all attributed his death to the desire his majesty had to satisfy Spain. Further, you may let them know how able a man sir Walter was to have done his majesty service, if he should have been pleased to have employed him. Yet, to give them content, he hath not spared him, when, by preserving him, he might have given great satisfaction to his subjects, and had at his command, upon all occasions, as useful a man as served any prince in Christendom. And, on the contrary, the king of Spain is not pleased to do any thing which may be so inconvenient unto him as to lessen the affections of his people, or to procure so much as murmuring or distractions among them; and therefore it is to be expected that, on his part, they answer his majesty at least with sincere and real proceedings, since that is all they are put to, the difficulties and hazards being indeed on his majesty's sidea."
The habitual profusion of James, and the ceaseless demands made upon his purse by Buckingham for gratuities either to himself, or to the numerous members of his family who had been elevated to a rank which they had no original means of supporting, had reduced the royal treasury to such a state of embarrassment, that some measures of economy and reform had now become indispensable. a Rushworth, vol. i. p. 9.