« EelmineJätka »
tioner of Merton College, then Warden, and two years after was made Fellow. He wrote a Greek epigram in commendation of Camden's · Britannia,' and lived for several years with that celebrated historian in great friendship, who speaks of him as a man of most exquisite learning and penetrating wit, but of a seditious and perverse disposition. He wrote several very learned works, some of them in elegant Latin. ! When he was brought to trial a few weeks after the Earl's execution, he defended himself with great spirit against the violent abuse and the scurrilous epithets which Coke (the Queen's Attorney) lavished upon him. Cuffe, however, was no mean match for the Attorney in argument; and in replying to Coke, syllogistically, the Judge (Anderson) checked both pleader and prisoner ob stolidos syllogismos, giving a hint to the former to press the statute of Edward III. The most pregnant proof brought against him was a verse out of Lucan, which, being proved, as quoted at a consultation of the conspirators, is said to have tended chiefly to his condemnation. When the Earl, amidst his accomplices, was taking their advice, whether they should proceed in their design to force themselves by violence, if necessary, upon the Queen, or desist, Cuffe exclaimed . 66 Viribus utendum est quas fecimus arma ferenti . :. Omnia dat, qui justa negat.”
He declared at the place of execution, that he was not the least concerned in the wild convention at Drury House, and that he never persuaded any man to take up arms against the Queen. He did not, however, deny that, as in duty bound, he had given advice to so good a master. The speech he made at his execution was expressive of pious resignation and contrition for the part he had taken. He left but few friends to lament his loss; and one of them ventured to embalm his memory with a feeble attempt at wit, but not with much feeling, in the following epitaph :- . ' “ Doctus eras Græcè, felixque tibi fuit Alpha,
At fuit infelix Omega, Cuffe, tuum;" .
Thy Alpha, too, was crown'd with hope ;
Thy Omega proved but a rope.” It is difficult to account for the inflexible and obdurate conduct of Elizabeth regarding her once greatest favourite, Essex, from the time of his returning from Ireland to the day of his suffering on the scaffold, when a single word would have saved him from pursuing a conduct which was known to be hateful to himself. On the part of the Queen it seemed to partake of a feeling of extreme hatred, extinguishing every spark of that more than parental affection, which she had so long cherished for him :
not that passion of love, which Walpole somewhat
The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword;
But her heart was hardened against him; and one unfortunate expression, as was thought at the time, gave the signal for his death-warrant. That Essex fully merited the sentence passed upon him cannot be doubted : his political offence was great, and was tainted with a great moral crime, yet it was not such as to exclude that “quality of mercy," which was granted to the Earl of Southampton, one of his principal instigators, and one who fully partook in his crime. It was his youth and high station, and his generous disposition, that made him an object of universal pity, in which his criminal conduct was almost forgotten. But his failings and his virtues are so justly and so eloquently described by Mr. Macaulay, that the present memoir cannot be better concluded, than as it was commenced, by an extract from his able pen :
“ Nothing in the political conduct of Essex entitles him to esteem; and the pity, with which we regard his early and terrible end, is diminished by the consideration that he put to hazard the lives and fortunes of his most attached friends, and endeavoured to throw the whole country into confusion for objects purely personal. Still it is impossible not to be deeply interested for a man so brave, highspirited, and generous; for a man who, while he conducted himself towards his sovereign with a boldness such as was then found in no other subject, conducted himself towards his dependents with a delicacy such as has rarely been found in any other patron. Unlike the vulgar herd of benefactors, he desired to inspire, not gratitude, but affection. He tried to make those whom he befriended feel towards him as towards an equal. His mind, ardent, susceptible, naturally disposed to admiration of all that is great and beautiful, was fascinated by the genius and accomplishments of Bacon. A close friendship was soon formed between them-a friendship destined to have a dark, a mournful, a shameful
»* Review of Bacon's Works, Edinburgh Review, July, 1837.
SIR WALTER RALEIGH."
1570 To 1596.
In a récent, well-written, and detailed history of the life of this extraordinary man, we have the following abridgment of his character:: “Sir Walter Raleigh belongs to that class of great men who may be said rather to fashion or create than to reflect the character of the age. His individual story is indissolubly linked with the annals of his country; and he who reads of the danger and the glory of England during the reign of Elizabeth
-of the humiliation of Spain, the independence of Holland, the discovery and wonders of the New World, and the progress of our naval and commercial prosperity-must meet with his name in every part of the record. If required to describe in a few words the most prominent features in his mind, I would say they were his universality and originality. A warrior both by sea and land, a statesman, a navigator, and discoverer of new countries—an accomplished courtier, a scholar, and eloquent writer-a sweet and true poet, and a munificent patron of