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Moncontour. In 1576 he was a resident of the Middle Temple, but the study of the law did not long detain him ; for the year following he went to the low countries with general Norris, and was in the battle of Riminant, which proved disastrous to the reputation of Don John, of Austria. We next behold our adventurous hero on a new element, being engaged with his brother-in-law, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, in his voyage to North America. After his return in 1579, he went to Ireland, and contributed materially to the suppression of the rebellion fomented in that king, dom by the Pope and the king of Spain. Not, withstanding his services on this occasion, he appears to have been overlooked among the number of aspiring candidates for royal favour; and at last he was indebted for his rise at court to an accidental act of gallantry. As the queen was taking a walk, surrounded by numerous courtiers, she came to a dirty place at which she hesitated, as in doubt whether to venture, over it. Raleigh, with admirable presente of mind, immediately took off his handsome new plush cloak, and spread it on the ground. The queen trod gently over the fair foot-cloth, and was not less pleased than surprised with the adventure. Shortly after this, Raleigh being in the palace, took an opportunity to write' in a glass window in the queen's apartment:- Fain would I climb, yet fear I to fall.' Her majesty seeing this, wrote underneath it : ' if thy heart fail thee; climb not at all.' An




encouraging answer, of which Raleigh did not fail to make a proper use. His progress in the queen's favour was very great ; nor was he less acceptable to her ministers, who perceived that he possessed both talents and a disposition to render his country eminent service. To the honour of Raleigh, he did not suffer himself to be intoxicated with the luxuries and vanities of a court life. It was his ambition not only to enjoy, but to merit the smiles of his sovereign ; and accordingly be obtained her letters patent to make a voyage of discovery on the coast of America, where he established a colony, to which the queen herself gave the name of Virginia. He had so great a share in the glorious defeat of the Spanish armada, that the queen, in addition to his former grant of a patent of wines, made an augmentation of tonnage and poundage upon these liquors. About this time he set up an office of Address, which was an institution somewhat resembling our modern register offices. But from some hints which we have of this establishment, it appears to have been formed upon a more enlarged and liberal principle, and had for its object not only the convenience of persons in the way of business, but the advancement of science, and the promotion of schemes for the public good. During the remainder of this reign, Raleigh lived in a style of magnificence, and without experiencing any material diminution of the royal favour. He was, indeed, for a little while under a cloud, on



account of his intrigue with one of the maids of honour; but having made the only reparation in his power, by marrying the lady, he was soon reestablished in the good graces of the queen. The ensuing reign made a sad change in his fortune. Sir Walter's enterprizing genius was offensive to the pacific disposition of James; and his having been the enemy of the unfortunate earl of Essex, contributed to heighten this dislike. The hatred of the crafty Cecil hastened Raleigh's ruin, and he was accused of being concerned in a treasonable conspiracy with lord Cobham. Though nothing was proved in support of the charge, the jury found him guilty at Winchester, and he was condemned to die November 17, 1603. He was, however, reprieved, and kept a prisoner in the Tower till 1615, when he obtained his release. Nothing, perhaps, can more exactly pourtray the corrupt state of the English court at that time, than the circumstance that Raleigh was indebted for his liberty, not to a just regard for his merits or pity for his sufferings, but to the influence of money. The sum given to Sir William St. John, and Sir Edward Villiers, for obtaining this favour, was fifteen hundred pounds. The next year he made a voyage to Guiana, in search of a gold mine which he affirmed to be there, but not discovering it, he burnt the Spanish town of St. Thome, and then returned to England, where the complaints of the court of Madrid had preceded him. ---Though Raleigh had acted by a commission from


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