« VorigeDoorgaan »
value the life he could so easily lady,' to acquaint the world with part with. His judges there, at his sentiments, should he be deleast, respected their state crimi- nied their delivery from the scafnal, and they addressed him in a fold, as he had been at the bar of far different tone than he had fif- the King's Bench. His lady teen years before listened to from visited him that night, and amidst Coke. Yelverton, the attorney- her tears acquainted him, that she general, said,—Sir Walter Raw- had obtained the favour of disleigh hath been as a star at which posing of his body; to which he the world have gazed; but stars answered smiling, It is well, may fall, nay, they must fall, when Bess, that thou mayst dispose of they trouble the sphere where that dead, thou hadst not always they abide. And the lord chief the disposing of when it was alive.' justice noticed Rawleigh's great At midnight he intreated her to work :- I know that you have leave him. It must have been been valiant and wise, and I doubt then that, with unshaken fortitude, not but you retain both these vir- Rawleigh sat down to compose tnes, for now you shall have occa- those verses on his death, which sion to use them. Your book is being short, the most appropriate an admirable work; I would may be repeated. give you counsel, but I know you “Even such is Time, that takes on trust can apply unto yourself far better Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And than I am able to give you. But
pays us but with age and dust;
Who in the dark and silent grave, the judge ended with saying, When we have wander'd all our ways, * execution is granted.' It was Shuts up the story of our days!" stifling Rawleigh with roses; and He has added two other lines exit was listening to fame from the pressive of his trust in his resurvoice of death.
rection. Their authenticity is “ He declared, that now being confirmed by the writer of the old, sickly, and in disgrace, and present letter, as well as another * certain were he allowed to live, writer, inclosing 'half a dozen to go to it again, life was weari- verses, which Sir Walter made the some to him, and all he intreated night before his death, to take his was to have leave to speak freely farewell of poetry, wherein he had at his farewell, to satisfy the world been a scribbler even from his that he was ever loyal to the king, youth. The inclosure is not now and a true lover of the common- with the letter. Chamberlain, wealth : for this he would seal the writer, was an intelligent man with his blood.'
of the world, but not imbued with “ Rawleigh, on his return to any deep tincture of literature. his prison, while some were de- On the same night Rawleigh ploring his fate, observed, that wrote this distich on the candle
the world itself is but a larger burning dimly: prison, out of which some are “ Cowards fear to dic; but courage stout, daily selected for execution.' Rather than live in snuff, will be put out."
“ That last night of his exist. At this solemn moment, before he ence was occupied by writing lay down to rest, and at the inwhat the letter-writer calls 'a re- stant of parting from his lady, membrancer to be left with his with all his domestic affections
still warm, to express his feelings have been a soldier, a seaman,
was good drink if a man might Upon a thankless errand, &c. tarry by it. The day before, in is attributed to Rawleigh, though passing from Westminster-ball to on uncertain evidence. But an, Sir Hugh Beeston in the throng,
the Gate-house, his eyehad caught other, entitled · The Pilgrimage,' and calling on him, requested that has this beautiful passage:
he would see him die to-morrow. “Give me my scallop shell of quiet, Sir Hugh, to secure himself a seat My staff of truth to walk upon,
on the scaffold, had provided himMy scrip of joy immortal diet; My bottle of salvation ;
self with a letter to the sheriff, My gown of glory, Hope's truc gage ; which was not read at the time,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage- and Sir Walter found his friend Whilst my soul, like a quict Palmer,
thrust by, lamenting that he could Travelleth towards the landof Heaven."
not get there. 'Farewell !' ex“Rawleigh's cheerfulness was claimed Rawleigh, I know not so remarkable, and his fearless- what shift you will make, but I ness of death so marked, that
sure to have a place.' In the Dean of Westminster, who going from the prison to the scafattended bim, at first wondering fold, among others who were at the hero, reprehended the pressing hard to see him, one old lightness of his manner; 'but man, whose head was bald, came Rawleigh gave God thanks that very forward, insomuch that he had never feared death, for Rawleigh noticed him, and asked, it was but an opinion and an • whether he would have aught imagination; and for the of him ?' The old man answered, manner of death, he had rather
Nothing but to see him, and to die so than of a burning fever; pray to God for him.' Rawleigh and that some might have made replied, I thank thee, good shows outwardly, but he felt the friend, and I am sorry I have no joy within. The Dean says, that better thing to return thee for he made no more of his death thy good will.' Observing his than if he had been to take a bald head, he continued, but journey ; Not,' said he, but take this night-cap, (which was a that I am a great sinner, for I very rich wrought one that he
wore) for thou hast more need of several corners of the scaffold, it now than I.'
and kneeling down, desired all “ His dress, as was usual with the people to pray for him, and him, was elegant, if not rich. recited a long prayer to himself. Oldys describes it, but mentions, When he began to fit himself for that he had a wrought night-cap the block, he first laid himself under his hat,' which we have down to try how the block fitted otherwise disposed of; his ruff- him ; after rising up, the execuband, a black wrought velvet tioner kneeled down to ask his night-gown over a hair-coloured forgiveness, which Rawleigh with satin doublet, and a black wrought an embrace did, but intreated liim waistcoat; black taffety not to strike till he gave a token breeches, and ash-coloured silk by lifting up his hand, and then, stockings.
fear not, but strike home." When “ He ascended the scaffold he laid his head down to receive with the same cheerfulness he had the stroke, the executioner depassed to it; and observing the sired him to lay his face towards lords seated at a distance, some at the east. • It was no great matwindows, he requested they would ter which way a man's head stood, approach him, as he wished what so the heart lay right,' said Rawhe had to say they should all wit- leigh; but these were not his last
This request was complied words. He was once more to with by several. His speech is speak in this world with the same well known; but some copies intrepidity he had lived in it-for, contain matters not in others. having lain some minutes on the When he finished, he requested block in prayer, he gave the sigLord Arundel that the king would nal; but the executioner, either not suffer any libels to defame unmindful, or in fear, failed to him after death. And now I strike, and Rawleigh, after once have long journey to go, and or twice putting forth his hands, must take my leave.'
was compelled to ask him, 'Why braced all the lords and other dost thou not strike? Strike, friends with such courtly compli- man! In two blows he was bements, as if he had met them at headed ; but from the first, his some feast,' says a letter-writer. body never shrunk from the spot, Having taken off his gown, he by any discomposure of his poscalled to the heads-man to show ture, which, like his mind, was him the axe, which not being in- immoveable. stantly done, he repeated, I
•• • In all the time he was upon prithee let me see it. Dost thou the scaffold, and before,' says one think that I am afraid of it?' He of the manuscript letter-writers, passed the edge lightly over his 'there appeared not the least alfinger, and smiling, observed to teration in him, either in his voice the sheriff, . This is a sharp me- or countenance; but he seemed dicine, but a sound cure for all as free from all manner of apprediseases,' and kissing it, laid it hension as if he had been come down. Another writer has, ' This thither rather to be a spectator than is that, that will cure all sorrows.' a sufferer ;-nay, the beholders After this, he went to three seemed much more sensible than
did he, so that he hath purchased ambiguous;' but we shall not here in the opinion of men such hesitate to decide, that Rawleigh honour and reputation, as it is knew better how to die than to thought his greatest enemies are live. • His glorious hours,' says they that are most sorrowful for a contemporary, his death, which they see is like raignment and execution ;' but to turn so much to his advantage.' never will be forgotten the inter
“ The people were deeply af- mediate years of his lettered imfected at the sight, and so much, prisonment!" that one said, that we had not such another head to cut off;' and another wished the head and 9. Memoirs of the Baron de Kolli, brains to be upon Secretary Naun
relative to his Secret Mission, in ton's shoulders.' The observer
1810, for liberating Ferdinand suffered for this; he was a wealthy
I'II. from Captivity at Valençay. citizen, and great newsmonger, These partake of the interest and one
who baunted Paul's of Baron Trenck's Memoirs, but Walk. Complaint was made, and involve still more important conthe citizen summoned to the privy- siderations. council. He pleaded that he in- The condition of Ferdinand tended no disrespect to Mr. Se- VII. while a prisoner at Valencretary; but only spake in refe- çay, and the consequence of his rence to the old proverb, that presence in Spain to unite that ' two heads were better than one!' nation in its resistance to the inHis excuse was allowed at the famous invasion of Buonaparte, moment; but when afterwards gave rise to the attempt of the called on for a contribution to St. British Government for his esPaul's cathedral, and having suh- cape, in which the Baron de Kolli scribed a hundred pounds, the was the immediate agent. Two Secretary observed to him, that or three selected passages from • two are better than one, Mr. the beginning of this volume, will Wiemark !' either from fear or show that pity as well as policy charity the witty citizen doubled must have been the source of that his subscription.
effort:“ Thus died this glorious and “ The guard of the King and gallant cavalier, of whom Osborne the Infantas was entrusted to a says, “ His death was managed staff officer, whose real functions by him with so high and religious were disguised under the title of a resolution, as if a Roman had commandant of the royal establishacted a Christian, or rather a ment ; this agent of the ministers, Christian a Roman.'
or rather of the general police, “ After having read the pre- detained the originals of all letters ceding article, we are astonished addressed to, or written by, his at the greatness, and the variable catholic majesty, and only denature of this extraordinary man, livered or forwarded the copies. and this happy genius. With It is easy to conceive the conseGibbon, who once meditated to quences of such a system of tywrite his life, we may pause, ranny.
On the one hand, the and pronounce his character is king could receive no news from
Spain that was not of a nature to
“ Towards the end of January, give him pain, and deprive him every thing was arranged, and all of all hope; and on the other, the the plans finally settled." falsification of his correspondence
And on sailing, “ Albert was by the police enabled it to give also the bearer of a packet adcurrency, under the king's name, dressed to me, containing diato every piece of imposture which monds to the amount of 208,000 it wished to be credited, as to his francs for my private emoluments, situation and secret wishes. and the first expenses of my mis
“ Numerous brigades of gend- sion; for the more considerable armerie were posted all round the disbursements which were likely environs of Valençay; every tra- to follow, an unlimited credit had veller was subjected to the most been opened for King Ferdinand, rigid examination, and the small- at a Paris banker's. est irregularity in their passports “ I was provided with seals occasioned the most unheard-of and cyphers of the secretaryships annoyances. I was told, that a of state of Buonaparte's governmerchant of Bourdeaux was ob- ment, French passports, feuilles de liged to turn back and take route, orders of the ministers of another road, because Fouché's war and marine, * &c. &c. all myrmidons did not find that his things quite indispensable for the nose was so aquiline as his pass- success of such an enterprise. port described it.
“ On the 28th of February, Having received his instruc- the expedition sailed." tions " in the middle of a volume Under the convoy of Sir George of Marmontel, the leaves of which Cockburn, the Baron was carried had been carefully pasted toge- to the Bay of Quiberon, a convether,” the Baron proceeded on his nient site for landing on the coast mission, the honour of which was of France. Here, unfortunately, even coveted by the Duke of Kent they encountered a Mr. Ferriet, himself, one of its ardent promo- who, though in the pay of Engters. While in London, it gives land, was acting the double part us a strange idea of such matters of an agent of Buonaparte. This to be told by the Baron.
fellow partially penetrated the “ In order to avoid the obser- design, and betrayed it; but the vation of the French police, I full developement was reserved for never ventured near the Secretary a M. Richard, in whom the Baron of State's office, but with the was led to confide at Paris, a greatest precaution. Our regu- Vendean, and apparently a stanch lar meetings took place at a house Bourbonist. of the admiral's; Lord Wellesley
After landing, the early parts went there only at night, without of the Baron's toils were suffiany attendants, and in a borrowed ciently difficult and perilous. carriage. Sir George Cockburn " From the 10th to the 14th and myself entered by a different of March (he tells us) I travelled way.
above a hundred and forty leagues * “ All these different papers which the English ministry had procured from the best sources were blank and signed ...."