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he proposed to retire into fome other country, where CHA P. his riches would fecure his retreat.

THE fmall acquifitions, gained by the fack of St. Thomas, difcouraged Raleigh's companions from entering into these views; though there were many circumftances in the treaty and late transactions, between the two nations, which might invite them to engage in such a piratical war against the Spaniards.

WHEN England made peace with Spain, the example of Henry IV. was imitated, who, at the treaty of Vervins, finding a difficulty in adjusting all questions with regard to the Indian trade, had agreed to pass over that article in total filence. The Spaniards having, all along, published fevere edicts against the intercourse of any European nation with their colonies, interpreted this filence in their own favour, and confidered it as a tacit acquiefcence of England in the established laws of Spain. The English, on the contrary, pretended, that, as they had never been excluded by any treaty from commerce with any part of the king of Spain's dominions, it was ftill as lawful for them to trade with his fettlements in either Indies, as with his European territories. In confequence of this ambiguity, many adventurers from England failed to the Spanish Indies, and met with severe punishment, when caught, as they, on the other hand, often stole, and, when fuperior in power, forced a trade with the inhabitants, and refifted, nay fometimes plundered, the Spanish governors. Violences of this nature, which had been carried to a great height on both fides, it was agreed to bury in total oblivion; because of the difficulty which was found of remedying them, upon any fixed principles.

BUT as there appeared a great difference between private adventurers in fingle fhips, and a fleet acting under a royal commiffion; Raleigh's companions thought it safest to return immediately to England, and carry him along with them to anfwer for his conduct. It is pretended, that he employed many artifices, firft to engage them to attack the Spanish fettlements, and, failing of that, to make his escape into France: But, all thefe proving unfuccefsful, he was delivered into the king's hands, and ftrictly examined, as well as his fellowadventurers, before the privy-council. The council found no difficulty in pronouncing, that the former fuf

G 2

picions,

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CHAP, picions, with regard to Raleigh's intentions, had been well grounded; that he had abufed the king in the representations, which he had made of his projected adventure; that he had acted in an offenfive and hostile manner against his majesty's allies; and that he had wilfully burned and destroyed a town belonging to the king of Spain. He might have been tried, either by common law for this act of violence and piracy, or by martial law for breach of orders. But it was an established principle among thofe of the long robe, that, as he lay under an actual attainder for high-treason, he could not be brought to a new trial for any other crime. To satisfy, therefore, the king of Spain, who raised the loudeft complaints against him, the king made ufe of that power which he had purposely referved in his own hand, and figned the warrant for his execution upon his former fentence *.

RALEIGH, finding his fate inevitable, collected all his courage: And though he had formerly made ufe of many mean artifices, fuch as feigning madness, sickness, and a variety of diseases, in order to protract his examination, and procure his escape; he now refolved to ac his part with bravery and refolution. 'Tis a sharp remedy, he faid, but a fure one for all ills; when he felt the edge of the ax, by which he was to be beheaded A. His harangue to the people was calm and eloquent; and he endeavoured to revenge himself, and to load his enemies with public hatred, by ftrong affeverations of facts, which to say the least, may be esteemed very doubtful B. With the utmost indifference, he laid his head upon the block, 29th O. and received the fatal blow. And in his death, there Raleigh's appeared the fame great, but ill-regulated mind, which, execution. during his life, had displayed itself in all his conduct and behaviour,

No measure of James's reign was attended with more public diffatisfaction than the punishment of Sir Walter Raleigh. To execute a fentence, which was originally fo hard, which had been fo long fufpended, and which feemed to have been tacitly pardoned by conferring on

him

* See note at the end of the volume. A Franklyn, p. 32. B He afferted, in the moft folemn manner, that he had nowife contributed to Effex's death: But the laft letter in Murden's collection contains the strongest proof of the contrary.

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him a new trust and commiffion, was deemed an inftance CHAP. of cruelty and injuftice. To facrifice, to a concealed XLIX. enemy of England, the life of the only man in the nation, who had a high reputation for valour and military experience, was regarded as meannefs and indifcretion: And the intimate connections, which the king was now entering into with Spain, being univerfally diftasteful, rendered this proof of his complaifance still more invidious and unpopular.

James had entertained an opinion, which was peculiar to himself, and which had been adopted by none of his predeceffors, that any alliance, below that of a king, was unworthy a prince of Wales; and he never would allow any princefs but a daughter of France or Spain, to be mentioned as a match for his fon C. This inftance of pride, which really implied meanness, as if he could receive honour from any alliance, was fo well known, that Spain had founded on it the hopes of governing, in the most important tranfa&tions, this monarch, fo little celebrated for politics or prudence. During the life of Henry, the king of Spain had dropped fome hints of beftowing on that prince his eldest daughter, whom he afterwards difpofed of to the young king of France, Lewis XIII. At that time, the view of the Spaniards was to engage James into a neutrality with regard to the fucceffion of Cleves, which was difputed between the protestant and popish line: But the bait did not then take; and James, in confequence of his alliance with the Dutch, and Henry IV. of France, marched E 4000 men, under the command of Sir Edward Cecil, who joined these two powers, and put the marquis of Brandenburgh and the Palatine of Newbourg, in poffeffion of that duchy.

GONDOMAR was, at this time, the Spanish ambasfador in England; a man whose flattery was the more artful, because covered with the appearance of frankness and fincerity; whofe politics were the more dangerous, because disguised under the mafque of mirth and pleafantry. He now made offer of the fecond daughter of Spain to prince Charles, and, that he might render the temptation

E

© Kennet, p. 703, 748. D. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 2.

1610.

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CHA P. temptation irresistible to the neceffitous monarch, he gave hopes of an immense fortune, which should attend the princefs. The court of Spain, though determined to contract no alliance with a heretic F, entered into negociations with James, which they artfully protracted, and, amidit every difappointment, they still redoubled his hopes of fuccefs G. The tranfactions in Germany, fo important to the Austrian greatnefs, became every day a new motive for this duplicity of conduct.

Infurredions in Bobemia.

In that great revolution of manners, which happened during the fixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the only nations, who had the honourable, though often melancholy advantage, of making an effort for their expiring privileges, were fuch as, together with the principles of civil liberty, were animated with a zeal for religious parties and opinions. Befides the irresistible force of standing armies, the European princes poffeffed this advantage, that they were defcended from the ancient royal families; that they continued the fame appellations of magiftrates, the fame appearance of civil government; and restraining themselves by all the forms of legal adminiftration, could infenfibly impofe the yoke on their ungarded subjects. Even the German nations, who formerly broke the Roman chains, and restored liberty to mankind, now loft their own liberty, and faw with grief the abfolute authority of their princes firmly established amongst them. In their circumftances, nothing but a pious zeal, which difregards all mctives of human prudence, could have made them entertain hopes of preferving any longer thofe privileges, which their ancestors, through fo many ages, had tranfmitted to them.

As the house of Auftria, throughout all her extensive dominions, had ever made religion the pretence for her ufurpations, the now met with refiftance from a like principle; and the catholic religion, as ufual, had ranged itfelf on the fide of monarchy; the proteftant, on that of liberty. The states of Bohemia, having taken arms against the emperor Matthias, continued their revolt against his fucceffor Ferdinand, and claimed the obfervance of all the edicts enacted in favour of the new religion, together with the restoration of their ancient laws and conftitution. The neighbouring principalities, Silefia,

La Boderie, vol. ii. p. 30.

G Franklyn, P 71.

Silefia, Moravia, Lufatia, Auftria, even the kingdom of CHA P. Hungary, took part in the quarrel; and throughout all XLIX. these populous and martial provinces, the spirit of difcord and civil war had univerfally diffused itself".

FERDINAND II. who poffeffed more vigour and ability, though not more lenity and moderation, than are ufual with the Austrian princes, ftrongly armed himself for the recovery of his authority; and befides employing the affistance of his fubjects, who profeffed the antient religion, he engaged on his fide a powerful alliance of the neighbouring potentates. All the catholic princes of the empire had embraced his defence; even Saxony, the most powerful of the proteftant: Poland had declared itself in his favour; and, above all, the Spanish monarch, deeming his own intereft clofely connected with that of the younger branch of his family, prepared powerful fuccours from Italy, and from the Low Countries; and he alfo advanced large fums for the support of Ferdinand and of the catholic religion.

THE ftates of Bohemia, alarmed with these mighty preparations, began alfo to folicit foreign affistance; and, together with that fupport, which they obtained from the evangelical union in Germany, they endeavoured to eftablish connections with greater princes. They caft their eyes on Frederic, Elector Palatine. They contidered, that, befides commanding no defpicable force of his own, he was fon-in-law to the king of England, and nephew to prince Maurice, whofe authority was become almost abfolute in the United Provinces. They hoped, that these princes, moved by the connections of blood, as well as by the tie of their common religion, would interest themselves in all the fortunes of Frederic, and would promote his greatnefs. They therefore made him a tender of their crown, which they confidered as elective; and the young Palatine, ftimulated by ambition, without confulting either James Kor Maurice, whofe oppofition he forefaw, immediately accepted the offer, and marched all his forces into Bohemia, in fupport of his new subjects.

THE news of these events no sooner reached England, than the whole kingdom was on fire to engage in the

H Rushworth, vol. i. p. 7, 8. 13, 14. K Franklyn, p. 49.

quarrel.

1 Rushworth, vol. i. p.

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