Chapter 19765093

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Chapter NumberVOL III XI
Chapter TitleHENRY DE VERE.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19765093
Full Date1878-03-09
Page Number9
Corrections0
Word Count6410
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Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)
Trove TitleHer Majesty's Tower
article text

Her Majesty's Tower.

VOL. III. CHAPTER XI. HENRY DE VERE.

BY WILLIAM HEPWORTH DIXON.

HENRY DE VERE, the eighteenth Earl of Oxford, was the first of English peers. Com pared with this young earl, the Stanleys and the Howards were but peers of yesterday. De Vere

came down in one unbroken line from Albenc, that Count de Ghisnes who fought and conquered at King Stephen's ride. For twenty reigns his sires had held the office of Lord High Chamber lain ; and nearly all theße reigns had kept some story of their wisdom in the council and their prowess in the field. Sir Francis Vere and Sir Horatio Vere were members of this gallant house. Earl Henry was a youjbh of daring spirit and irregular life, who ran his course of pleasure, not in London only, but in every town from Paris to the City in the Sea. In gondola and mask no young patrician was so gay; and having health and money he could buy those flatteries and delights of life for which a poorer man could only sigh. The times had made him grave. He learnt in Venice that the Spaniards were not willing to renew the truce ; he heard that every noble heart at home was swelling with the hope of war. Fame told him that his kinsman, Horace Vere, was fighting for the good old cause, and that his noble friend, the youthful Earl of Essex, was repairing to the Rhenish camp. This news broke on his pleasures like a roll of drumß. Adieu to his signoras and his frolics ! Riding fast through Lombardy and Frnnce, he came to London, where he sought a place in front ; as ready, should his famouß kinsman choose him, either to lead a company or to trail a pike. He crossed to Germany and fought as one who bore his name should fight. No man confronted with a higher courage than De Vere the hardships of campaigning life, until, the season spent, he was recalled, like Essex, by a royal mandate to his place in the House of Lords. The presence of such peers as Oxford nnd Essex in the Rhenish camp was gall to Gon domar, who saw with jaundiced eyo how quick the golden youth of Englaud were to rush upon his master's pikes. When Oxford came to hie house in Fleet-Btreet he was dogged by eyes us 'The right of republishing "lUr Majesty's Tower" h» B betn purchased by the proprietors of the Quatuluiuler.

keen and ears as quick as any in the pay of Holy Church. His words were noted, and in flamed. Unused to curb his tongue, the young Etui spoke as .fiercely as he fought. He could not hear with patience of abandoning the Queen of Hearts. One day, when warm with wine, he broke into a furious speech against the King of Spain. His words were borne to Gravel-lane, and Gondomar drove at once to Bee the King. Ere nightfall Oxford was a prisoner in the Tower. Oxford was not the only victim of the Cond6's will that none of these English nobles should disturb his policy on the Rhine. Southampton, now a wiser man than in his headlong youth, was a devoted friend to the Queen of Hearts ; he made his house the centre of much irregular buzzing and intrigue; and once, if not more than once, he had proposed to carry an army to the Rhine. Southampton was a dangerous foe to Spain, not only as a peer of high connections and broad estates, but as a Councillor to whom all secrets of the court were known. At any cost this foe must be removed; and Gondomar dropped his hints bo weH that James consented to arrest him on a vague suspicion of his writing underhand some letters to the Queen of Hearts. The thing was done so quickly that Southampton was arrested as he rose from the council-table at White Hall, and, in the midst of protests, was committed to the Tewer. One man had sense enough to see that such aa exercise of power would lash the country into riot. This one man was Williams, who was not bo blinded by the cardinal's hat in prospect as to dream that England could be easily reconciled to a Spanish match. He ran to Buckingham, and showed him the danger of imprisoning men like Oxford and Southampton. How were the Council to explain such things ? Could they tell the world that two such men were thrown into the Tower because they loved the Queen of Hearts ? Two-thirds of England shared their passion. They must trim their sails some other way. The Favorite felt that Williams spoke the truth; that Gondomar had led him to commit a great mistake. He rode at once to the Tower; paid visits to his prisoners in their cells ; and bo arranged affairs that in a week the popular and indignant Earls were both at large. But Gondomar was not beaten yet. If Oxford could not be immured in the Tower he might be sent to nea, in what would seem a service of defence and honor, but would really be a service to his master's arms. He might be sent againßt "the pirate V—those Free Rovers of the Sea who were regarded in Madrid and Seville as the demoniacal enemies of Spain. Villiers, who was always either hot as fire or cold m flint^requested Oxford to assume command as Admiral of the Fleet, and sail in search of these pirate ships. It was a thankless and unpopular service, which he soon threw up in weariness of soul ; aware too late that on his flag-ship he was only Gondomar's tool and dupe. He cast about him for revenge. An Earl of Oxford could not stoop to Gondomar, a fellow whom he called an adventurer, and believed to be an apostate J«w. His ire could only fall on Villiers and the Villiers gang ; and he was able to inflict on them a striking loss and a bitter shame. For Kit, the youngest of these Villiers, now grown up and decked with golden spurs, was ready for a wife; and tys providing Parent swept on Lady Howard, heiress to the Bassetts of Blore, in Stafford county, widow of Henry, one of Suffolk's younger sons. She thought tbo Howards would have helped her; but the wealthy widow was a Baasett, not a Howard, and she laughed at these proposals for her money and her hand. Sir Kit was both a lout and sot, addicted to low company, while she watt then being courted by the finest gentleman . alive— that William Cavendish, the friend of Bacon, who was afterwards renowned as Duke of New castle in the Civil Wan. Kit left all wooing to his mother, who in spected those dark courts and alleys out of which such golden damsels as Lord Compton's treasure had been drawn. For blood was not so much . required by Kit as gold; since George, if Kit were rich enough, could deck him with the coronet of an earl. A fortune, great as any in the city, was the child of Sebastian Harvey, alderman of Cheape, a Staffordshire man, a member of the Ironmongers' Company, whose father, Sir James Harvey, had been one of Eliza beth's lord mayors. This child was worth a hundred thousand pounds. Lady Buckingham sent her agenta into Cheape. Old Harvey would not hear of such a thing ; his daughter was too young; she was not fourteen yet; and years must pass before she could be pestered with a lover's suit. The alderman was choaeu mayor and dubbed a knight; and as he still held out the King was brought upon the scene. James asked the city magnate to bestow bis girl on Kit; and as the mayor was gruff he rode in person to the Mansion House, and begged him as a favor to consent. James spoke in vain. The lord mayor loved his child ; he wished her to be happy in her youth ; and he was sure she would not be so as the wife of such a lout. A third quest brought the Parent back to court. Francis, Lord Norreys of Rycote, had an only child, a girl named Bessie, who would have his money and bin vast estate. This girl was promised by hor father to a gentlemiin of the bed-chamber, Edward Wray, a creature of Buckingham, a friend of Oxford, aud a son of Sir William Wray. Buckingham had mado this match, and Norreyß had been raised in the peerage by the title of Earl of Berkshire and Viscount Tliame for giving his consent. But when the King had failed with Harvey, Lady Buckingham thought it might be well to tako Lady Bessie from Edward Wray and give her as a wife to Kit. Not only was the lady rich, v lady, in her own right, but beinj? an only child her ottdpring would have claim to the earldom of Berkshire and the viscounty of Thame. Was Biich a prize to be thrown away ''. The Parent sent for Wray, and told the lover lie inußt give up Lady Bessie and betake himself elsewhere. Wray might have yielded up his prize in fear, but Oxford wo 3 at hand, and Oxford felt no fear of living man. His cure of Edward Wray and Lady BeSB was not unmixed with dreams of his revenge for Frances Coke, as well as for bU lodging in the tower. The facts about his early love have not been proved, and no ooe knows the grounds on which the mother of that girl dtclared that in the eyes of God the Earl of Oxford and her child were man and wife. That

girl, if he had ever loved her, was another man's wife a most unhappy and disloyal wife—and ho was wooing, in the Lady Diana Cecil, a fairer and a richer maid than even France* Coke. But he was young and light of heart; John Villiers had done him wrong; and he would be revenged on Kit. The Earl of Berkshire—weak and vain, if not unsound in mind—raised no objection to this transfer of his child from Wray to Kit, provided always that ahe gave her free consent. But Lady Bessie would not change her troth. Kit's mother pressed her suit; and Bessie's father answered they must wait. The Parent raged and fumed ; the Earl snatched down a cross-bow from a rack and shot himself to death. Qreat pains were taken to conceal this hideous tale. The coroner was told to keep his Becret; but the truth could not be hidden from a daughter's eyes. She saw a father whom she loved driven mad by that abominable gang, and in her daya of mourning she had time to steel her heart against them. Oxford learned one morning that the Villiers folk were urging Kit to seize his bride, to carry her off by force, to wed her privately, and trust to love and fortune for the rest. A lady, it was urged on Kit, soon learns to like a man who risks the world for love; and James, he was assured, could easily be won to pardon and forget the breach of law. But Kit took much per suading to this act. No doubt the King might pardon him for his brother's sake; but who could tell him whether Lady Bessie would sub mit to force ? She was a girl of spirit. What could he do if she Bhould scream and fight? Four or five servants might suffice to carry her off; but who could keep her quiet when they were left alone in the dead of night ? He must have time to think of it Then Oxford spoke to Wray. That youth was sure of Lady Bessie, and a plan for an elope ment and a private marriage was contrived. On Berkshire's tragic death the Parent, fearing that Lady Bessie would run away, had placed her in Montgomery's house ; as much in custody as Catharine Manners and Frances Coke had been before their marriages to George and John. Possession was the Villiers rule of law; but Lady Besaie had a genius of her own ; and one dark morning in the early March she crept out of bed unnoticed, put her cloak on, hurried through the gates, and fled into the town on foot. Wray and his friends were waitiug for her near St. Aldermary Church; a clergyman was ready to perform the rite; and twenty minutes afterwards Edward Wray and Lady Bessie were man and wife. They spent their honeymoon in Oxford's house. Chaptkb XII. THE UATTEB OF HOLLAND. One triumph more and Qondomar's task waa done. An artist in his craft, he had murdered Raleigh, he had pensioned admirals and secre taries, he had kept the Queen of Hearts in exile, he had lodged the bravest and most eloquent of his enemies in the Tower. He had engaged the king in a secret treaty, which implied, as he con ceived, the reduction of England to a Papal province at no distant day. He had procured from Charles » secret pledge that he would run away from London, and, without a word of warning to the Council, put himself in the power of Spain. All these were signal triumphs of hiß art, and yet his masterpiece was still to come. Before he quitted London he entrapped the King, the Prince of Wales, the Marquis of Buckingham, together with Lord Digby, who had lived in Spain, and knew its policy, in a plot so foul as to have left all those concerned in ft eternal legacies of hate and shame. This plot was known to the conspirators as " the Matter of Holland," under which title it is darkly mentioned in many of the letters from James to Buckingham, Digby, and the Prince of Wales. The Dutch, whose patience had been sorely tried by such state criminals as our Wardens of the Cinque Ports, our Admirals of the Narrow geag a ll paid in Spanish gold to do them harm —had sometimes, as they grew in strength, turned sharply on these enemies in disguise. Our trade had suffered checks ; our seamen had been hustled in the ports; our flag had been offended in the Downs. But, more than all, these Dutch had pushed their way into the East, and won such favor with the natives as enabled them to raise pretensions to a full mo nopoly of trade. They had driven the Portuguese from Amboyna and the Moluccas, and the clove trade was entirely in their hands. Some English skippers put into their ports ; the Dutch repelled them, and the sailors came to blows. A Bcore of lives were lost. Complaints were laid before the Council, and the Lord- Admiral, as chief of our naval force, was called upon to redress this wrong. But Buckingliam had no fleets to send into those distant seas, and when he asked for justice at the Hague he heard a story of injustice from the other side. * Exposed to this loud clamor for redress, he opened his heart to Gondomar, who was now become, like Dr. Lamb the sorcerer, his daily councillor and guest. One day, in pique, he called the Dutch a set of rogues, and hoped the King of Spain would some day break their pride. 11 Why Bhould not you," said Gondomar, " make war on them as well as we ? You have your wrongs to right These burghers take your trade, your money, and your land. What have you left ? Your monarchy ? In no long time they will take away your crown, and set up one of their republics in your homes." The Favorite turned to Digby, who was standing near him. Digby had just come home from Spain ; he knew the court, the country, and the languago well; and he was one of those cold ministers of state who clobb their eyes on popular ami re ligious pleas. Believing that it would be wise to connect hia sovereign with the Kaisers, he could keep no terms with zealote who, on merely moral grounds, objected to a Spanish match. What were the United Provinces to hitn? When Digby heard the Spaniard's words, instead of rising on him, stung with shame, as Eliot would have risen, he coolly asked what part in the spoil of war would fall to England's share.' " They used to tell me in Madrid," he added, " you would give up the revolted provinces, if we cared to take them, for a trifle." Goudomar had no power to cede a province ; even to suggest the seizure of a province. Every post from Spain informed him of his master's preparations

to Bubdue the rebels and annex their country to his crown. What Antwerp was, that Leyden and Amsterdam were soon to be. But Gondomar saw the advantage of entangling Villiers in an odious plot, by which he might turn his flank, in case the Favorite should be afterwards driven by public clamor into taking up a line of policy more favorable to the Dutch. What part ?he answered, turning round to. Digby; well, he could not say off-hand; but thought that if the English jeined hw master in restoring order in the rebellious provinces, they might look in reason for a great reward. But what, asked Digby, was a great reward ? Could they have Holland? Yes, he thought so. Zeeland ? Yes, he thought even Zeeland ; but he added that the English must be ready to give and take. If Spain should yield two provinces near their seas and ports, they must recall their planters and marauders from the west America belonged to Spain. Elaewhere an empire waited for the English ships. Cathay find Java wooed them with fragmut winds, and he could show them maps of islands rich in tropical fruits—in nut meg, cloves, and pepper—such as they might quickly seize and cheaply hold. The Dutch had driven the Portugals away; and why should not the English drive out the Dutch ? Their cause was good; their means were equal to their cause. Those rascals who had murdered English seamen should be taught respect for the English flag. On every side the King would gain. A dangerous neighbor would be overthrown; the rights of kings would be restored. Two naval and indus trious provinces would be added to his crown. All those who injured him would meet their fate, and isles and waters would be opened to his merchants on the line. The kings of England and Spain, be urged, had only to combine their forces, and the Dutch republicans must fall. Villiers and Digby listened to the Spaniard's words; not feeling that, for them, such words were shame and doom. They Bat they listened, they enquired, and after weighing what he urged they struck a bargain; leaving him to frame his case in such a way that it might seem to be an offer made by them to him, and not by him to them! This "Matter of Holland" was a Becret; a "supreme secret" Villiera and Digby swore to keep it. Not a boul, except the Prince of Wales, must share it; not a Councillor, not an Ad miral, not a Secretary of State. The Prince was sworn and told. About the King? Well, can we trust him ? asked the Spaniard. Yes, if he be sworn, said Villiers. Sworn! but would he Bwear ? The Prince and Marquis undertook that he should swear and keep his oath. No other ? None. Then rose the question of ways and means. Spinola might be trusted to do his share ; but how would England go into the field? What forces could she raise against the Dutch, and where would she employ them to ensure success? Some plan must be agreed upon, which Gondo mar could forward, though in utmost secrecy, to bis court. But here their wit* were foiled; for since they dared not speak of what they meant to do, how could they raise an army and equip a fleet ? The King took counsel with his son, and Villiers spent much time in Gravel-lane. A hundred projects were discussed, and thrown aside. At length they hit upon a scheme. Some seven or eight thousand English volunteers were serving the Dutch republic; men of the class, if not the rank, of Oxford, Essex, Gray, and Vere; and these three plotters (James, the Prince of Wales, and Buckingham) agreed with Gondomar that secret orders should be sent from London to the volunteers, commanding them to rise at a given signal on their allies, put them to the sword, and seize upon their towns! A fleet should sail under Buckingham to aid these mu tineers, and Charles might pass the straits with an army, occupy their ports, and take possession of their soil. Both James and Charles consented that this infamouß proposal Bhould be drafted in their names and sent to Spain, as though it were a project of their own. Madrid received that writing gladly; not as a project they could en tertain ; for no one in Madrid desired to see the old red cross afloat once more in Flushing, Texel, and the Brill; but as a paper which would damn, both personally and politically, the King of England and the Prince of Wales. On one point only doubt was felt by Spain. Was England strung enough to undertake this scheme alone? If so, the Provinces might be seised before Spinola could have mastered the outlets of the Maas and Scheldt; and Spain would lose the Provinces to an enemy she was plotting to betray. This question, whether James and Charles were as strong as they were base, was laid before the Cardinal Albrecht, in Brussels, who was warned to keep an eye on the English ports and camps. His comments on this project of campaign were brief :—the English garrisons would not rise ; the fleet was not in trim to fight; the army of Prince Charles was not yet raised. Thus England, in the persons of her King and Prince, was drawn into an act of treachery towards the states for which her noblest heroes —Sydneys, Baleighs, Greys, and Veres—had proudly shed their blood; and neither King nor Prince could see that he was guilty of a crime against religion, policy, and public faith 1 Chapter XIII. SEA AFFAIRS. For three or four years the liking of Villiers and Eliot for each other had been left untouched by public feuds. They lived apart, and while they rarely met they kept their early love and boyish trußt Sir John appeared to give up public life, excepting as the officer of his friend, and leave with yet more ardent patriots than himself the task of breaking the Spanish match. Not having a seat in the session of 1621 he had no part in that Protest which the King had torn from the journals, and escaped all risk of lodging in the tower with Coke and Phelips. Living at Port Eliot with his fair young wife, he reared a band of darlings round his knees ; first John, then Richard, Edward, Besaie, Nicolas; and frailer one*, who came and went like early blooms. He only left his home when called on duty; but these calls came often ; and he spent much time in busy seaport towns. Hu duties were to watch the coasts from Saltaah to Ljnne; to press the men for service ; to keep his eye on pirates ; to report on wrecks and salvage ; and

to see that Buckingham's right* m Lord-Admiral were not infringed. These rights of the Lord-Admiral in the western, porte were many and' of many kinda. The post was paid in .fines and fees; in fine* and fees amounting to ten thousand pounds a-year; of which great sum the crown allowed him but three hundred marks. The Admiral levied toll on every side. He granted licenses to trade ; he sold the right of supplying stores ; he made and unmade officers at his whim. The royal navy was his personal e«tate ; and every thing in a ship from hull to pennon was expected to yield him grist He had his lien on the ship wright's tools and sailor's beer, no less than on the captain's papers and the gunner's pay. He took the lion s share of every seizure made at sea. All prizes passed into his hands; all enemies' property fell into his courts. He took his own from wrecks, and from the goods of enemies captured in time of war. He had a personal interest, therefore, in naval warfare; firsts because his office gave him the right to a tenth of alien property seized on the pro clamation of war coming out; and, second, because the naval operations were certain to fill his coffers with lawful prize. In times of peace he counted on the profits to be gained by the seizure of pirates' goods. In the reign of James the First the most sin gular aid* of our social and political life was that connected with the sea and sea affairs. , That peace with Spain which gave a pension to Cecil, a prison to Raleigh, left unsettled nearly all the points on which the English people had set their hearts. If Philip paid for peace he un derstood that he was buying light* which he could never win by arms. Among these rights he put a claim to exclude the flags of all nations —English, Dutch,and others—from the Southern seas. Some local ports and local trade he might allow such nations to possess, but he denied their right to enter the Straits of Gibraltar, to cruise in the Levant, to cross the Atlantic Ocean, and to land en, the Western soil. The Midland Sea was a Spanish lake ; the North Atlantic was a Spanish main. On every sea his flag was to be lord of aIL No English were to trade of right with Italy and Greece, arid in the ehiefest articles were not to trade at all. They must not carry passengers from port to port; they must not deal in arms and guns; they must not sell the natives Iron, tin, and lead. Skippers who should break these Spanish rules were to be seized as pirates, flung into gaols, and either hung m felons or sold as slaves. . At no time could an English council stoop so low as to admit such eiajaw in words, but under James the first a Board of pensioners oould submit to faot*. Out traders sent, out ships ; but only at their private risk. The Crown would give them no security for trade, and even when weir cargoes Had, been seized, their crews condemned,, the ,St*ta could satdom be iuduoed to seek redrew. ? Who wa» to seek redress for Et, The oouacjllars? Most of them were to shut their, eyes. The admirals ? In _ wd, as in Spein, the admirals took tithe on every ship and cargo etiaedai sea. Unable to get justice doge at.oouri* the laid a statement of jbheiri wronoa before, ta» Home of Commons; giving sock detail* of their wrongs as blanched the cheek and fired the veins of everyone who listened to their tale. Hera was one of the *torje* laid Wore the Ho a** of Common*, while the great Sea Captain lay a prisoner in the Tower: A ship of'six<soore tons and eighteen* men, with apiece, drugs, aod indigo on board, was hailed near Rhode* by a Spanish admiral, and told in a haughty voice to give up all the goods on board belonging to either Jews or Turks. This ship was the Trial, bound for London, and had no such good* en board. The Spaniard, who suspected her of being a war-ship, and of taking a saiL a gun, and hawser from a French barque, declared the purser should confess his crimes. This purser produced his bill of lading, piped his crew on deck, and showed his hold well staffed with cargo; evidence of his being employed in honorable trade; but the Spaniard swore it was all a lie; the Trial was a pirate ?hip; the crew was a pirate crew. That Spanish admiral seised the purser; strung him by the arms to a yard; hung weights about his heels; aod lashed a savage goat to his dangling legs. At each addition to the pain that Spaniard called on his victim to confess his guilt He served the crew as he had served the purser; starved them on bread and water; blocked them in holes; and slung them by the hands and feet He kept them at sea for sixty days ; yet neither paner nor seaman could be got to sign a lie. On landing at Messina the admiral flung them into' gaol; the gaol of galley-slaves; where these poor lads were fed on dirty rations, beaten on the feet with rods, drawn upon beams, and lodged in dismal vaults, until the hair fell off their heads, the blood in their veins turned pale, and one by one they drooped and died. When only four were left alive, mere ghosts of men, they yielded and signed the paper, falsely con fessing they were pirates; so that, when the English owners of the Trial churned their cargo at Madrid, this infamous scrawl was made to justify the capture, though the merchants proved that the Trial had her papers in perfect order, and had taken from the Thames the very hawser, gun, and sail which she was said to have stolen from the French I Such facts were not confined to the Midland Sea. In Greek and Sicilian waters England and Spain were held to be at peace; but in the Southern passage and among the Western islands they were not at peace. The Spanish proverb was, "No peace beyond'the line." In Europe Spain was first; in America she was first aud last. She closed her ports against all nations ; she considered a stranger's presence in her waters as a proof of guilt. Such English folk as fell into her power while Bailing to Virginia and Guiana she either sent to rot in Spanish dungeons, hung on the yards, or pitched alive to the contending sharks. And Spain was not the only power that made piratical warfare on the English trade. A Tuscan ship of six hundred tons, called the Livorno, crowded with guns snd men, attacked, off the island of Rhodes, an English bark called the Farm of Plymouth, two hundred tons. Giles Thornton and a crew of twenty-four men held out against this Tuscan ship for six hours, when

the Italian pirates boarded their vessel, shaved their heads, and ironed them to the bench. Three Livornese vessels chased the William and Thomas, Robert Bradahaw, master, bound with goods and passengers from Egypt to the Golden Hern. A hundred and sixty Turks and Jewß had taken passage on board this English craft, with cargoes of silk and drugs, worth half a million crowns. Stout Bradahaw fought the Italian fleet two hours before he struck his flag ; and then those Tuscan pirates loaded him with chainß, and fettered his companions to the bench. A second English ship, the Triumph, was descried at sea, and one of these Livornese gave chase. On board this second English ship were twenty Arabs, bound for Algiers. These men the Livor nese took out of her first of all, and told the master, Thomas Gardiner, he must hand over with them all the moneys they had paid him, since the English had no right to meddle with the carrying trade from port to port. Gardiner paid the money; but his troubles were not ended with this loss. His captors bade him sign a paper saying that most of the goods on board his ship belonged to these Arab passen gers ; and, as he could not sign a lie, they kept him prisoner, beat and starved his crew, and, after buffeting at sea for seventeen weeks, put into Livorno, landed the goods, and sent the crew into a torture-house, until one of their number, maddened by his cracking joints and bleeding flesh, took up a pen and signed. The port authorities at once condemned both freight and ship. At this time Tuscany and England were at peace ; but the Grand Duke knew the King and councillors with whom he had to deal. A Tuscan agent then in London wrote to tell the Duke that he might safely keep what he had seized ; that no great stir would be made about the loss ; that should the Council, pricked ou by the City, take the matter up, he knew a way to set things square. The merchants, fretted by such wrongs, im plored King James to grant them letters of marque, ao that, while the royal navy was too weak to help them, they might arm and help themselves. If not, they must either ceaso their trade or put their ships under foreign flags. But James could help them in neither way. Not daring to offend the King of Spain by issuing letters of marque, how could he guard their traffic in such distant waters while his fleets were rotting in the Thames, his admirals pining in the Tower T And then broke out a singular and romantic war, in which the fortunes of Eliot and Villiera ware at last involved. If pensioners kissed the rod held over them in Florence and Madrid, the country groaned with agony and flushed with anger at such wrongs. Young men of family and fortune heard, at first with shrugs of doubt, and then with burning wrath, such tales as those of the Trial and the Triumph. Beg for letters of marque I They asked for war fleets to bo sent—such fleets as swept the Twelve Apostles from Cadis Bay; and, when they found that nothing could be done by James, they manned their boats and put to sea; put off ia sloops, iv barks, in rotting hulls—craft weak in rating, poor in speed, but strong in crews and guns, in knowledge of the sea, and, most of all, in passionate hate of Spain. They crossed to Flushing and the Brill, and from the free Dutch ports they took out letters of marque. The foes of Holland were their own; and, under what they held to be lawful letters, dropped down the Spanish coasts, and soon appeared off Belem Castle and in Cadiz Bay. Among the first to rush into this private war were Giffard, Glan ville, Ward ; and these fine gentlemen were fol lowed by Jennings, Bishop, Harris, and others of gentle blood. In time these Rovers got into safer craft; but they were always of a light and handy sort; mere birds of the ocean, which no Spanish boat could catch and hardly any Spanish gun could hit. In brigantinea too light to chase they hung, off Capo da Bocca and San Lucar, picking up vessels at their ease ; until, by fresh arrivals from the Dutch and English ports, they felt themselves strong enough to pass into the Straits, spread out to the Canary Isles, and Bail into, the tracks of the silver fleets. At the request of Gondomar these Rovers were recalled, by paper acts at which they only smiled. The King of Spain insisted that his pensioners should force these Rovers to return. Some orders were drawn up and sent; but few, if any, of those daring men obeyed. They were not fightiug now to please their King ; their letters of marque were signed by Dutch commanders ; and, while they could not dispute their sovereign's right to call them back, they said these orders to return were Gondomar's orders, not the King's. Instead of sailing for the Downs and piling arms, they pushed into the Straits, where, lying under the rocks of Abyla, they would dart out gaily when some carrack from Peru, some xebec from Pa lermo, hove in sight, give chase, and bring her to ; thus sending home to many hearts in Malaga and Cadiz all the morals of their boast— •' No law beyond the line." The ports of Sallee and Larache without, of Tunis and Algiers within, the Straits were open to these Rovers, who were soon fast friends and teachers to the Moors. Much spoil was brought into these open ports, where amber, spices, pearls, and Blaves were Bure to meet with ready sale. As ship after ship fell into the Hovers' hands, the Spaniards.wrote more angrily to their pensioners in London; but these Rovers had their friends in court and city; nay, the wiser sort suspected that the aged Nottingham was glad to hear, if only in his secret heart, of deeds being done wliich brought him back the England of his prime. In Paul's the citizen chuckled at the Beast being driven to speak of injury and to beg redress. Of course the King waß weak. Too feeble to reply to Gondomar that these English Rovers were but following the example set them by Spanish Admirals, that the letters under which they soiled were lawful, that thoy took the fruits of their adventures on themselves, he pottered for a time with pensioners and spies, and theu proclaimed the Hovers outlaws, treating their letters of marque as void, casting them out of his realm as pirates, and closing against them all his ports. This act of royal weakness changed the pirate war. Before the days of his proclamation the Free Rovers had beou patriots, fighting for their country; now that they were outlawed and their letters cancelled they were forced to make their choice between standing out against their

King or yielding to the will of Spain. A few came into port and piled their arms; but many of those gallant men stood out Called,pirates where they meant to be patriots, they, with stern, sad faces, took their chances of a Pirate War. [TO BE CONTINUED.]