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CHAP. ed the utmost reluctance to all these innovations; and XLVIII. nothing but James's importunity and authority had ex《 torted a feeming confent, which was belied by the inward fentiments of all ranks of people. Even the few, over whom religious prejudices were not prevalent, thought the national honour facrificed by a fervile imitation of the modes of worship practised in England. And every prudent man agreed in condemning the meafures of the king, who, by an ill-timed zeal for infignificant ceremonies, had betrayed, though in an oppofite manner, equal narrownefs of mind with the perfon, whom he treated with fuch contempt. It was judged, that, had not thefe dangerous humours been irritated by opposition; had they been allowed peaceably to evaporate; they would at last have subsided within the limits of law and civil authority. And that, as all fanatical religions naturally circumfcribe to very narrow bounds the numbers and riches of the ecclefiaftics; no fooner is their first fire spent, than they lose their credit over the people, and leave them under the natural and beneficent influence of their civil and moral obligations.
AT the fame time that James fhocked, in fo violent a manner, the religious principles of his Scots fubjects, he acted in oppofition to thofe of his English. He had obferved, in his progrefs through England, that a judaical observance of the Sunday, chiefly by means of the puritans, was every day gaining ground throughout the kingdom, and that the people, under colour of religion, were, contrary to former practice, debarred fuch fports and recreations as contributed both to their health and their amusement F. Festivals, which, in other nations and ages, are partly dedicated to public worship, partly to mirth and fociety, were here totally appropriated to the offices of religion, and served to nourish those fullen and gloomy contemplations, to which the people were, of themfelves, fo unfortunately fubje&t. The king imagined, that it would be eafy to infufe chearfulness into this dark fpirit of devotion. He iffued a proclamation to allow and encourage, after divine fervice, all kinds of lawful games and exercises; and, by his authority, he endeavoured
F Kennet, p. 709.
endeavoured to give fanction to a practice, which his CHA P. fubjects regarded as the utmost inftance of profaneness XLVIII. and impiety G.
G Franklyn, p. 31. To fhew how rigid the English, chiefly the puritans, were in this particular, a bill was introduced into the House of Commons, in the 18th of the king, for the more ftrict observance of the Sunday, which they affected to call the Sabbath. One Shepherd oppofed this bill, objected to the appellation of Sabbath as puritanical, defended dancing by the example of David, and seems even to have justified fports on that day. For this profanenefs he was expelled the house, by the fuggeftion of Mr. Pym. The House of Lords oppofed fo far this puritanical fpirit of the Commons, that they propofed, that the appellation of Sabbath fhould be changed into that of the Lord's Day. Journ. 15th, 16th Feb. 1620. 28th of May, 1621. In Shepherd's fentence, his offence is faid by the house to be great, exorbitant, unparalleled.
Sir Walter Raleigh's expedition.His execution.
liament.Proteftations of the Commons.
T the time when Sir Walter Raleigh was firft confined to the Tower, his violent and haughty temper had rendered him the most unpopular man in EngSir Walter land; and his condemnation was chiefly owing to that Raleigh's public odium, under which he laboured. During the expedition. thirteen years imprisonment which he suffered, the fen
timents of the nation were much changed with regard to him. Men had leisure to reflect on the hardship, not to say injustice, of his fentence; they pitied his active and enterprizing spirit, which languished in the rigours of confinement; they were ftruck with the extensive genius of the man, who, being educated amidst naval and military enterprizes, had furpaffed in the pursuits of literature even those of the most reclufe and fedentary lives; and they admired his unbroken magnanimity, which, at his age and under his circumstances, could engage him to undertake and execute fo great a work as his hiftory of the world. To increase these favourable difpofitions, on which he built hopes of recovering his liberty, he fpread the report of a golden mine, which he discovered in Guiana, and which was fufficient, according to his representation, not only to enrich all the adventurers, but to afford immense treasures to the nation. The king gave little credit to these mighty promises; both because he believed, that no fuch mine as that defcribed was any where in nature, and because he confidered Raleigh as a man of desperate fortunes, whose bufinefs it was, by any means, to procure his freedom, and to reinftate himself in credit and authority. Thinking, however, that he had already undergone fufficient punishment, he released him from the Tower; and when his vaunts of the golden-mine had engaged multitudes to affociate with him, the king gave them permiffion to try the adventure, and, at their defire, he conferred on Raleigh authority over his fellow adven
turers. Though ftrongly folicited, he ftill refufed to CHA P. grant him a pardon, which feemed a natural confequence, XLIX. when he was intrufted with power and command. But James declared himself still diffident of Raleigh's defigns; and he intended, he faid, to reserve the former fentence, as a check upon his future behaviour.
RALEIGH well knew, that it was far from the king's purpose to invade any of the Spanish fettlements: He therefore firmly denied, that Spain had planted any colonies on that part of the coaft where his mine lay. When Gondomar, the ambassador of that nation, alarmed at his preparations, carried complaints to the king, Raleigh ftill protested the innocence of his intentions: And James affured Gondomar, that he durft not form any hostile attempt, but should pay with his head for fo audacious an enterprize. The minifter, however, wifely concluding, that twelve armed vessels were not fitted out without fome purpose of invafion, conveyed the intelligence to the court of Madrid, who immediately gave orders for arming and fortifying all their fettlements, particularly thofe along the coaft of Guiana.
WHEN the courage and avarice of the Spaniards and Portuguese had discovered fo many new worlds, they were refolved to fhew themselves fuperior to the barba rous heathens whom they invaded, not only in arts and arms, but also in the juftice of the quarrel: They applied to Alexander VI. who then filled the papal chair; and he generously bestowed on the Spaniards the whole western, and on the Portuguese the whole eastern part of the globe. The more fcrupulous proteftants, who acknowledged not the authority of the Roman Pontiff, established the first discovery as the foundation of their title; and if a pirate or fea-adventurer of their nation had but erected a stick or stone on the coaft, as a memorial of his taking poffeffion, they concluded the whole continent belong to them, and thought themselves intitled to expel or exterminate, as ufurpers, the ancient poffeffors and inhabitants. It was in this manner that Sir Walter Raleigh, about twenty three years before, had acquired to the crown of England a claim to the continent of Guiana, a region as large as the half of Europe; and though he had immediately left the coaft, yet he pretended that the English title to the whole remained certain and indefeazable. But it had happened in the VOL. VI.
CHAP. mean time, that the Spaniards, not knowing nor acXLIX. knowledging this imaginary claim, had taken poffeffion of a part of Guiana, had formed a fettlement on the river Oroonoko, had built a little town called St. Thomas, and were there working fome mines of small value.
To this place Raleigh directly bent his course; and, remaining himself at the mouth of the river with five of the largest ships, he fent up the reft to St. Thomas, under the command of his fon, and of captain Keymis, a perfon entirely devoted to him. The Spaniards, who had expected this invafion, fired on the English at their landing, were repulfed, and pursued into the town. Young Raleigh, to encourage his men, called out, That this was the true mine, and none but fools looked for any other; and advancing upon the Spaniards, received a fhot, of which he immediately expired. This difmayed not Keymis and the others. They carried on the attack; got poffeffion of the town, which they afterwards fet on fire; and found not in it any thing of value.
RALEIGH did not pretend, that he had himself seen the mine, which he had engaged fo many people to go in queft of: It was Keymis, he said, who had formerly difcovered it, and had brought him that lump of ore, which promised such immenfe treasures. Yet Keymis, who owned that he was within two hours march of the place, refused, on the most abfurd pretences, to take any effectual step towards finding it; and he returned immediately to Raleigh, with the melancholy news of his fon's death, and the ill fuccefs of the enterprize. Senfible to reproach, and dreading punishment for his behaviður, Keymiş, in defpair, retired into his cabin, and put an end to his own life.
The other adventurers now concluded, that they were deceived by Raleigh; that he never had known of any fuch mine as he pretended to go in fearch of; that his intention had ever been to plunder St. Thomas; and having encouraged his company by the spoils of that place, to have thence proceeded to the invafion of the other Spanish settlements; that he expected to repair his ruined fortunes by fuch daring enterprizes; and that he trufted to the money he should acquire, for making his peace with England: or if that view failed him, that