Chapter 19773468

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Chapter NumberXXIX SIR WALTER BALEIGH
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19773468
Full Date1877-05-05
Page Number10
Corrections0
Word Count3004
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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.

CHAPTER XXIX. SIR WALTER BALEIGH.

BY WILLIAM HEPWORTH DIXON.

THE most eminent and interesting, prisoner ever lodged.in the Tower is Raleigh; eminent by his personal genius, interesting from his political fortune. Raleigh has in higher degree than any

other captive who fills the Tower with story the distinction that he was not the prisoner of his oountry, but the prisoner of Spain. Many years ago I noted in the State Papers evidence, then unknown, that a very great part of the second and long imprisonment of the founder of Virginia was spent in the Bloody tower and the adjoining Garden bouse ; writing at this grated window ; working in the little garden on which it opened; pacing the terrace on this wall, which was afterwards famous as Raleigh'b Walk. Hither came to him the wits and poets, the scholars and inventors of his time; Jonson and Burrell, Hariot, and Pett; to crack light jokes; to discuss rab binical lore ; to sound the depths of philosophy; to map out Virginia; to study the Boip-builder'B art In the Garden house he distilled ©essences and spirits; compounded his-great cordial; dis covered a method (afterwards lost) of turning salt water into sweet';' received the visits of Prince Henry;'wrote his political tracts; in vented the modem'war-ship { wrote his History of the World. Many other.vaults and cells in the Tower assume the glory of having been Raleigh's home; the hole in Little Ease, the recess in the crypt Martin tower, Beauchamp tower; but these assumptions find no warraut in actual fact Raleigh lay in the Tower.four several times, and in his third and fourth imprisonments his room was changed; but we know bis exact resting place in each, of these trials. During hie first restraint he was lodged in the Brick tower, tbe residence of Mb cousin, Sir George (afterwards Lord) Carew, Master of the Ordnance. During his second restraint he was lodged in the Bloody tower. During his third restraint he was lodged in tbe same; until, on account of failing health, he was Buffered to. change that cell for th6 Garden house in which Latimer had lain. In hiß fourth restraint, after the Guiana voyage,' he was lodged in the Wardrobe tower, until the last change of all occurred, when he was transferred to the topmost room of his first prison, the Briok tower. He was never lodged in the dark hole of the crypt now shown and figured as Raleigh's cell In a pleasant room of Durham house, in the Strand, —a room overhanging a lovely garden, with the river, the old bridge, the towers of Lambeth Palace, and the flags of Paris Garden and the Globe in view, —three men may have often met aud smoked a pipe in the days of Good Queen Bess, who are dear to all readers of English blood; because, in the first place, they were the highest types of our race in genius and in daring; in the second place, because the work of their hands has shaped the whole after-life of their countrymen in every sphere of enterprise and thought That splendid Durham house, in which the nine days' queen had been married to Guilford Dudley, and which had afterwards been the town house of Elizabeth, belonged to Sir Walter Raleigh, by whom it was held on lease from the Queen. Raleigh, a friend of William Shakspeare and the players, was also a friend of Francis Bacon and the philosophers. Raleigh is said to have founded the Mermaid Club; and it is oertaiu that he numbered friendß among the poeta and players. The proofs of hu having known Shakspeare, though iudirect, are strong. Of bis long intercourse with Bacon everyone is aware. Thus, it require* no effort of the fancy to picture these three men as lounging in a window of Durham houee, putting the new Indian weed from silver bowls, discussing the highest themes

in poetry and science, while gazing on the fiower-beds and the river, the darting barges of dame and cavaUer, and the distant paviUons of Paris Garden and the Globe. With the exception of his two friends, Raleigh has bad more books written about bim than any other man of English race. Every new generation begins with unalackening curiosity about tbis Eroud and brilliant man, —curiosity as to what c was, what he said, and what he wrought Men who are yet young have seen a dosen new I Uves of Raleigh; and men who are now old may Uve to see many more. This public interest in Raleigh seems, at first thought, strange. The man was not lovable; he had some bad qualities; his career was apparently a faUure. Yet Raleigh is one of the undoubted heroes of English story; one of the men about whom authors love to write and the pubUc deUght to read. The reasons for what seems at first sight a contradiction are not far to seek. • In the first place, everyone feels that Raleigh, when all has been said against him, was a man; a proud man, if you like; nay, a cruel and selfish man, if you insist; yet a vital force in the city, in the court, in the camp; not a form, a phrase, a convention, aa the masses of men are and muat be in every age and in every plaoe. You may like an oiiginal force in your midst, or you may dislike it; most men distrust a power which disturbs them with a sense of the untried and the unknown; but you cannot help being drawn towards such a force for either love or hate. Raleigh was a man; and what a man t .Even among a race of giants to what a size he grew I : Other men, when we come to them, may be great in parts; this man was greatiu.aUparts* From the highest masters in speoial arts he had nothing to learn. Spenser could not teach him song. Hatton was danced by him Out of court and fortune. Burghley feared his subtlety and craft Mayerne took lessons from him in physic. Jonson consulted him on dramatic art Effing ham praised him as a sailor. Bacon thought it. an honor to contend with him for the prize of eloquence. Hawkins, Frobisher, aU the adven turous seamen of his generation, looked upon him as their master. Bilson retired from a; tussel, with' him on theology, admitting his' defeat Pett learned from Raleigh how to build] ships. No man of hia generation offered to oom- < pete with him as a writer of English prose.: Even in the trifle of personal beauty few ware, hia equals. Poet, student, soldier,sailor, courtier,; orator, historian, statesman-r-in each and every, sphere he seemed to have a special power and a separate, life. In the seoond place, Raleigh is stiUapower among us; a power in the Old World And in the j New World; hardly less visible in England than i in America, where the beautiful capital of a 1 chivalrous nation, bears bis name. Raleigh's, pnbUc life was spent in raising England to her true rank *, and the mode by which he sought, to raise her was by making' her the mother of! Free States. ' In Raleigh's time the leading influence on tbis i planet lay in Spain; an influence which was • hostile to England in every way; hostile to her religion, hostile to her commerce, hostile to her I liberty, hostile to her law. Spain continued to ; assume that the English were a .God-abandoned , people, whom it waa her sacred doty to chastise < and save. She sent her spies and bravos into t London. She landed her troops in Connaught : By her gold and by her craft she raised up enemies ! .against our peaoe beyond the Scottish border and ' in the Low Country camps.. Even when her poUcy ' was that of' peace, she drove our ships from the , ocean and east our.Bailors into prison.. She closed '? the Levant against our merchants, and forbade : aU intercourse of England with. America. Every I foe of this country found in her a friend. Shi ; sharpened the dirks of Babington and' his crew. ' She stirred up Rome against us. When she could ' hot fight, she never oeased to plot if the Irish , kernes rebeUed, she flung her troops into Cork; , regular troops, who fought under her banner; and only disavowed them when they failed. In brief, at aU times, in all plaoes, our fathers had to count with Spain as their most deadly foe. Against that country Raleigh set his teeth. It was Spain which he braved in Guiana; which he humUiated at Cadiz; which he outwitted in Virginia. Towards Spain the most splendid Englishman ever born nursed the hostile passion which Hannibal felt against Rome. In the end, a great country wears out a great man; and, after fighting Spain for forty years, fighting her with the sword and with the pen, Raleigh waa murdered, at the command of Philip the Third, in Palace Yard. • Releigh's life divides itself into three main periods: the first period ending with hiß seduction of Bessie Throgmorton, the Queen's Maid of Honor; the second period with his arrest by Cecil, on a charge of conspiring to raise ArabeUa Stuart to the throne; the third period with bis execution in Palace Yard, on the demand of bis great enemy, Philip the Third. Sunshine floods the first; tempests beat the second; gloom enwraps the third. Raleigh's first detention in the Tower, whioh can scarcely be caUed an imprisonment, was caused by his affair with Bessie Throgmorton, one of the stars of Queen Elizabeth's court. Bessie was lovely, witty, and an orphan. AU the gay lordlings of the court admired her. Tall, slender, fair, with light blue eyes and golden hair, she was a perfect oontrast to Raleigh, whose dark and saturnine beauty half repeUed while it strangely allured the beholder's eye. Bessie listened to his words, as shepherdesses listen to their swains in thoae pastoral tales which were only too much in vogue. Aa at nooii DuloLna rested lv her sweet and shady bower, ' Came a shepherti . tbe like of whom has seldom tempted woman to her sorrow. He was no lout with bill and crook ; but a shining youth, bright with tbe sun and tawny with the sea. Spenser has pictured him in glowing verse. " The Shepherd of the Ocean," he was dight; but the softer arts were all to him like the sciences of the sea. He knew them all; i and mout, aa Speuser writes, he knew the seducing phrase of love. Full Bweetly tompereJ is that muse of his, That con empierce a prince's mighty heart. Dulcina listened to his lays, und whispering tongues soon bore the news of her deception to the Queen.

?EHzabeth was deeply hurt*; notj-as tiie triflers say, beoause Raleigh, deserted her side for that of a younger beauty; but -because he sullied her oourtand wronged his own manhood by scandalous amour. To Bessie, her orphan maid of honor, the Queen was like a mother; and friends at court aent word to Raleigh, who was then at Chatham, making ready for a voyage, that he would have to stay at home and wed a wife. The lover laughed over words which he received as an idle threat " Marry," he cried, " there is none on the faoe of the earth that I wiU be fastened unto." But the Queen was not a woman to forgive him suoh a deed; and when he aUpt away to sea in the Garland, hoping to fall in with the Spanish sUver fleet, and come home crowned with glory and rich with spoil, sbe sent Sir Martin Frobisher in her swift pinnace, the Disdain, to fetch him back. Given in charge to bis cousin, Sir George Carew, Master of the Ordnance, heUved in the spacious Brick tower, Carew's official residence, until he married the maid of honor, wben he left his prison with the young and lovely woman who was at once his brightest glory and hiji darkest shame. Much of the grace of life de parted from Raleigh when Bessie was deceived), Repentance came ; but came too late. The Queep appeared -to forgive bim ; but the outrage Uved in her heart; and Raleigh never became for net again the hero of his spotless prime. On the coming in of James the First, Raleigty returned to his imprisonment in a new cause; to suffer in, whioh was worthy of even his fame and genius. He came back to the Tower a sacrifice for his native land. ? i The new king had a policy of his own, of whioh amity with Spain was the corner-stone. James had the strange disease, so rare i*^ Scottish men, of physical cowardice.. He was not tender of heart; he was, in fact, so fond of, seeing pain that he more than once came dewn to the Tower, that he might feast hiß eyes on broken joints and quivering flesh; yet hia life was spent in one long spasm of personal fear. He fainted at the sight of a drawn sword; he trembled at the roar of saluting guns ; the name of a renowned warrior fined him with super-, stitious dread. On this base weakness the ad versaries of hia country worked. They fiUed his mind with pictures of secret poisoners and' iPHmw'n** ; ao that his dreams beoame hot with, visions of Jesuits and conspirators; and his soulj was cowed by phantoms, taking the shape of! agUe and unscrupulous men, who from the vantage-ground of a distant court could either! drop arsenic into hia wine, or sharpen against j him a bravo's knife. James found by private question that he oould have peace with PhUip the Thihl on one. oondition: ruin of the man who had sworn un dying enmity to Spain, and to aU that Spain' then represented in the world. As a first step ! towards peace, he was told that Raleigh must be thrown into the Cower. ! In his second restraint, Raleigh was not; lodged in a kinsman's house, but in the more i courtly and ominous Bloody tower; under the, immediate eyes of Sir' John Peyton, the ?Lieutenant; a man whose zeal in the new' ' King's servioe waa quickened by hints that in ' oase of Raleigh's ruin he might receive, as his ; share of the spoil, the governorship of Jersey, one of the many high offices whioh his prisoner ; held. How Peyton waa to earn this guerdon we j pan only guess; but more than one great coun-1 oillor was known to bave said • that the King's . coming in would be Raleigh's doom. The confinement waa close and the treatment' mean. CeoU told the world that Raleigh's lodgings i in the Tower were as pleasant as the rooms In '' Durham house; but the-Lieutenant's weekly \ bills teU a different tale. He had only two small ; chambers ; oply two servants were aUowed him; ? .and the charge for diet, ooals, and candles, for ? his household, waa four pounds a-week. The pretext for his seisure was a parley which , he had held with Lord Cobham on affairs of j state. Cobham was a disappointed man. Most of his kinsfolk were in office. His brother-in law, Sir Robert Cecil, was the first Secretary of State ; his father-in-law, Effingham, Lord Ad- : miral; his wife's cousin, Lord Henry Howard, a Privy Councillor; yet his own great talents Were thrust aside. An idea struck him, that he could I bring himself into notice by espousing the chum ' of Arabella StUart to the throne ; in favor of \ which claim he felt Mure that he could count on j Spain. This project he broached to Raleigh, , who laughed in his faoe as a dreamer; and that j light laugh sent Raleigh to the. Tower—as an I accomplice in the Arabella Plot! [TO BB CONTINUID.]

London says :—" It is rumoured, and on good I authority, that Mr. Delane is about to retire from the management of The Times, and that Mr. Greenwood, of the ?Pall MaU Gazette, into take his place. We fear this is too good to be true. The admirers of Horace Greeley have just erected a monument to him in Greenwood Cemetery. Upon a granite pedestal, ten feet in height, rests a colossal bronze bust, four feet additional in height. The pedestal is decorated with bronze reUefs ; on one side Greeley is re presented as a compositor at his case, with the inscription, " New York, 1831 ;" two sides are ornamented with implements of his craft, and on the fourth side is engraved an inscribed tablet. Notwithstanding the extraordinary yet well merited honors that were paid to Newton, no man could entertain a more humble opinion of the extent of his discoveries than he did himself. When Ramsay was one day complimenting him on the new light which he had throwu upon, science, he made the following answer : " AJas, I am only like a child picking up pebbles on the shore of the great ocean of truth." The Army and Navy Gazette believes that some trials are about to be made in the Channel Squadron to test the value of gun-cotton charges for fog-signalling purposes. Some time since the flagship was supplied with howitzers as fog-signal guns, and they proved so useful tbat Admiral i Seymour recommended that 24-pounder howit* ? zero should be fitted to ships for tbis purpose, but w,e understand that gun-cotton is now to be tried. Ita use has lately engaged the attention : of the Trinity Board. '

* The righ* of republishing "Her Mrjestj/'s Tower" *ms been purchased by the proprietors of Ths Queenslander.