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was told by the Attorney-General, that it was the King's pleasure the former judgment should be carried into effect. The record of conviction being read, he was asked the usual question, What he could say why execution should not pass against him? He requested indulgence, since his voice was weak from illness. Being told his voice was sufficiently audible, he summoned his remaining strength, and thus spoke :
“My Lord, all I can say is this, that the judgment I received to die, so long since, cannot now, I hope, be strained to take away my life ; for since it was his Majesty's pleasure to grant me a commission to proceed on a voyage beyond the seas, wherein I had power, as marshal, on the life and death of others, so, under favour, I presume I am discharged under that judgment. By that commission I gained new life and vigour; for he that hath power over the lives of others must surely be master of his own. Under my commission, I undertook a voyage to honour my sovereign, and enrich his kingdom with gold, of the ore whereof this hand hath found and taken in Guiana; but the enterprise, notwithstanding my endeavours, had no other success than what was fatal to me, the loss of my son, and the wasting of my whole estate.” Being about to enter upon an explanation of his failure, the Chief Justice interfered, and told him that, unless he could make good some other plea, execution must be awarded.
Then, after a few words from Raleigh, the sentence for execution was passed. After this Raleigh, addressing the court with great calmness, desired only a little time to settle his affairs; and then he was removed to the gatehouse. The short interval he requested to settle his earthly concerns, and provide for his soul, was most unfeelingly refused by the King; and he was informed that the execution must take place next morning at nine o'clock.
When on the scaffold he made a long and most impressive speech, which, it is said, was delivered with gracefulness and animation. He asked the executioner to show him the axe: taking it in his hand, he kissed the blade, and, passing his finger slightly along the edge, observed to the Sheriff“ 'Tis a sharp medicine; but a sound cure for all diseases.” He then knelt down, and requested the people to pray for him; and remained on his knees for some time, engaged in silent devotion. When laid on the block, and desired to place himself so that his face should be turned to the East, he observed—“ It mattered little how the head lay, provided the heart was right.” The head, as usual, when severed from the body, was held up to the view of the people, and then put into a red bag, and immediately carried to a mourning-coach in waiting, and conveyed to Lady Raleigh; and this faithful and affectionate woman, who survived him twenty-nine years as a widow, had it embalmed and preserved in
a case, which she kept with pious solicitude till her death. The body was buried privately near the high altar of St. Margaret's Church, Westminster, but no stone or memorial points out the place.
uch was the injustice and inhumanity practised against one of the most distinguished men of his time; convicted and condemned to die for a conspiracy, on the sole evidence of Cobham-a silly, half-witted, intriguing lord, and, as Hume calls him, “a thoughtless man, of nó fixed principle." Yet this Cobham, Grey, and Markham were pardoned after they had laid their heads on the block; while Raleigh, guiltless of what was charged against him, was not pardoned, but reprieved, and condemned to the Tower, where he was imprisoned for twelve years. Cobham, when too late, retracted his accusation, and soon after retracted his retractation. “Yet,” says Hume,“ upon the written evidence of this single witness, a man of no honour or understanding, and so contradictory in his testimony, was that great man, contrary to all law and equity, found guilty by the jury.”* · But the vigour of Raleigh's mind, and the extent and the application of his intellectual acquirements, not only enabled him to support this long endurance in a prison, but to consider it as his home. “His mind to him a kingdom was ;” nay more, it was to him the whole world; for there he com
* Hume's History,
posed that extraordinary History of the World, which was looked upon as a model of the English language, unparalleled at the time for conciseness and perspicuity of style; superior even to that of Bacon, being free from the overwhelming verbosity of this great man, by which the sense is sometimes obscured. Raleigh was a good scholar, no mean linguist, and a practical chemist, for the pursuit of which he constructed a laboratory within the precincts of his prison. The various subjects that occupied his attention, and the numerous volumes, pamphlets, discourses, and tracts which he wrote in his long confinement, must have left him little leisure to dwell on the melancholy state to which he was so unjustly and inhumanly doomed. His capacious mind, indeed, embraced all subjectshistory, philosophy, politics, astronomy, geography, naval architecture, and navigation, with many others -to all which may be added a taste for poetry, painting, and music.
Raleigh was an eloquent speaker as well as writer, and his speeches in Parliament are always to the purpose. His personal accomplishments were striking, and his fine figure attracted the more notice, by being tastefully and often splendidly dressed. Among his misfortunes may be reckoned the loss he sustained in the death of the amiable Prince Henry, a youth of extraordinary merit and acquirements, which occurred in the eighteenth year of his age.
He was frequent in his visits to the Tower, and had conceived great affection and esteem for the brave Sir Walter Raleigh, of whom he was frequently heard to say, “Sure no king but my father would keep such a bird in a cage.” He had good reason to hope that this considerate young prince would, in time, overcome his father's obstinacy, and procure his release ; but neither the son nor his mother, the Queen, could prevail, by their united attempts, in softening the obdurate heart of James, who appeared to have resolved to pursue his inveterate hatred of Raleigh, even to death. The fate of Essex might have served as a beacon to warn Raleigh against the breakers, on which favourites but too often are doomed to suffer shipwreck. Essex liad numerous friends, whose indiscreet zeal hastened his destruction; Raleigh had numerous enemies, whose hatred succeeded in accomplishing his. Essex had a kind mistress, against whom he was enticed to commit treason and rebellion; Raleigh offended a callous master without gratitude, without feeling, without humanity, by whom he was most unjustly and vindictively consigned to the scaffold. It is said that James, however, did exhibit a pang of remorse when his surviving son, Carew Raleigh, was introduced at court, by observing, when he turned away from him, that “he looked like his father's ghost.” Warned by this remark, Carew took the advice of his kinsman, the