[Sidenote: Carr and his Wife.]
Another and newer prisoner Ralegh left, who was to stay till 1622, as notorious as Cobham, and yet more ignoble. Robert Carr, Viscount Rochester, and Earl of Somerset, had been committed to the Tower on October 18, 1615, on the charge of having procured the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury. The guiltier Countess was joined in the accusation, and committed in April, 1616. Both were convicted in the May after Ralegh's release. They were lodged in Ralegh's old quarters, he in the Bloody tower, she in the garden pavilion erected or remodelled for Ralegh's accommodation. It had been hastily prepared for her in response to her passionate entreaties to the Lieutenant not to be put into Overbury's apartment. Carr's imprisonment and Ralegh's liberation are said, in a treatise attributed to Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke, to have given great occasion of speech and rumour. Quips and taunts upon Carr, on the same authority, are imputed to Ralegh. Town gossip was always busy with his name. In the absence of facts it invented. He was capable of sharp epigrams, and may have exulted in the fall of his unworthy supplanter. He would not have condescended to hurl gibes, as has further been alleged, in the face of the miserable being who was succeeding him as tenant of his cell. The story is that, possibly during a visit to the Tower after Carr's trial, he met the convict entering the dark archway from Water Lane, and thereupon remarked aloud: 'The whole History of the World had not the like precedent of a King's prisoner to purchase freedom, and his bosom favourite to have the halter, but in Scripture, in the case of Mordecai and Haman.' As improbably James is reported to have been told, and to have retorted that 'Ralegh might die in that deceit.'
PREPARING FOR GUIANA (1616-1617).
[Sidenote: A Pilgrimage Round London.]
Ralegh's freedom was for a period conditional. The King's warrant 'fully and wholly enlarging' him, was not issued till January 30, 1617. From the preceding March 19, or, Camden says, March 29, he was permitted to live at his own house in the city. But he was attended by a keeper, and his movements were restricted. On March 19, the Privy Council had written to him: 'His Majesty being pleased to release you out of your imprisonment in the Tower, to go abroad with a keeper, to make your provisions for your intended voyage, we admonish you that you should not presume to resort either to his Majesty's Court, the Queen's, or Prince's, nor go into any public assemblies wheresoever without especial licence.' Before his liberation he had been seriously ill. Anxiety, and, it was rumoured, excessive toil in his laboratory at the assaying of his Guiana ores, had brought on a slight apoplectic stroke. A sense of liberty restored his activity. In March or April he handselled his freedom, as Chamberlain wrote to tell Carleton, with a journey round London to see the new buildings erected since his imprisonment. Then forthwith he commenced his preparations for 'the business for which,' as wrote the Council, 'upon your humble request, his Majesty hath been pleased to grant you freedom.' He needed no driving, and he spared no sacrifices.
[Sidenote: The Destiny.]
He collected information from every quarter, and was willing to buy it. He promised, for instance, payment out of the profits of the voyage to an Amsterdam merchant for discovering somewhat of importance to him in Guiana. He arranged on March 27, eight days after his release, for Phineas Pett, the King's shipwright, to build, under his directions, the Destiny, of 450 tons burden. He pledged all his resources. He called in the loan of L3000 to the Countess of Bedford. His wife sold to Mr. Thomas Plumer for L2500 her house and lands at Mitcham. Altogether he spent L10,500. Part he had to borrow on bills. So impoverished was he that, as he related subsequently, he left himself no more in all the world, directly or indirectly, than L100, of which he gave his wife L45. Warm personal friends, of whom he always had many, notwithstanding his want of promiscuous popularity, gave encouragement and sympathy. George Carew, writing to Sir Thomas Roe at the Great Mogul's Court of the building of the Destiny, which was launched on December 16, 1616, 'prayed Heaven she might be no less fortunate with her owner than is wished by me.' Carew, shrewd and prudent, had no doubt of the sincerity of his 'extreme confidence in his gold mine.' Adherents contributed money and equipments. Lady Ralegh's relative, grand-nephew of her old opponent at law, Lord Huntingdon, presented a pair of cannon. The Queen offered good wishes, and was with difficulty dissuaded from visiting the flagship.
Many co-adventurers joined, and contributed nearly L30,000. Unfortunately they were, Ralegh has recorded, mostly dissolute, disorderly, and ungovernable. Their friends were cheaply rid of them at the hazard of thirty, forty, or fifty pounds apiece. Some soon showed themselves unmanageable, and were dismissed before the fleet sailed. Of the discharged a correspondent of Ralegh's pleasantly wrote: 'It will cause the King to be at some charge in buying halters to save them from drowning.' More than enough stayed to furnish Ralegh with mournful grounds later on for recollecting his own Cassandra-like regret that Greek Eumenes should have 'cast away all his virtue, industry, and wit in leading an army without full power to keep it in due obedience.' Of better characters were some forty gentlemen volunteers. Among them were Sir Warham St. Leger, son of Ralegh's Irish comrade, not as Mr. Kingsley surmises, the father, who had been slain in 1600; George Ralegh, Ralegh's nephew, who had served with Prince Maurice; William or Myles Herbert, a cousin of Ralegh, and near kinsman of Lord Pembroke; Charles Parker, misnamed in one list Barker, a brother of Lord Monteagle; Captain North; and Edward Hastings, Lord Huntingdon's brother. Hastings died at Cayenne. He would, wrote Ralegh at the time, have died as certainly at home, for 'both his liver, spleen, and brains were rotten.'
[Sidenote: Young Walter.]
Young Walter was of the company, and Ralegh and his wife adventured nothing else for them so precious. Walter was fiery and precocious, too much addicted, by his father's testimony, to strange company and violent exercise. He had been of an age to feel the ruin of his parents, and to resent their persecution. In childhood, with the consent of Cobham, and of Cecil as Master of the Court of Wards, he was betrothed to Cobham's ward, Elizabeth, the daughter and heiress of wealthy William Basset, of Blore. On the attainder the contract was broken. The girl was affianced to Henry Howard, who died in September, 1616, a son of Lord Treasurer Suffolk, formerly Lord Thomas Howard. Walter was born in 1593, and in October, 1607, at fourteen, matriculated at Corpus College, Oxford. He was described as, at this time, his father's exact image both in body and mind. In 1610 he took his bachelor's degree. By 1613 he was living in London. In April, 1615, according to a letter from Carew to Roe, though other accounts variously give the date as 1614 or early in 1616, he fought a duel with Robert Finett or Tyrwhit, a retainer of Suffolk's. It was necessary for him to leave the country. Ralegh sent him to the Netherlands, with letters of introduction to Prince Maurice. Ben Jonson is said to have acted as his governor abroad. That is impossible at the date, 1593, assigned by Aubrey to their association. It is not impossible a year or two after 1613, if not in 1613, when Jonson appears to have been in France. Poet and pupil are said to have parted 'not in cold blood.' It is likely enough, if Drummond's tale be true, as Mr. Dyce seems to believe, that Walter had Jonson carted dead drunk about a foreign town. According to another not very plausible story, retailed by Oldys, the exposure of the tutor's failing was at the Tower, and to Ralegh, to whom Walter consigned Jonson in a clothes-basket carried by two stout porters. Though the particular tales are hardly credible, Jonson's revelries may have laid him open to lectures by the father, and disrespect from the son, which would have something to do with the dramatist's sneer at the memory of Ralegh, as one who 'esteemed more fame than conscience.' At all events, Walter, now just twenty-three, was back from the Continent in time to command his father's finely-built and equipped flagship, the Destiny. He was as full of life as Edward Hastings of disease, and as death-doomed.
[Sidenote: Commission with Omissions.]
Ralegh was liberated expressly that he might work out his Guiana plans. He was not pardoned. A royal commission was granted him in August, 1616. He had understood that he was to have a commission under the Great Seal, which would be addressed to him as 'trusty and well-beloved.' Actually, though he and others often seem to have forgotten the difference, it was under the Privy Seal, and he was described as plain 'Sir Walter Ralegh.' The honorary epithets are known to have been inserted originally, and afterwards erased. Similarly, in a warrant for the payment to him in November, 1617, of the statutable bounty of 700 crowns for his construction of the Destiny, an erasure precedes his name. The space it covers would suffice for the expression, 'our well-beloved subject,' usual in such grants. The withholding at any rate of a pardon excited apprehensions. It was matter of common talk. Carew wrote to Roe on March 19, 1616, that Ralegh had left the Tower, and was to go to Guiana, but 'remains unpardoned until his return.' Merchants, it was stated, required security, 'Sir Walter Ralegh being under the peril of the law,' that they should enjoy the benefits of the expedition. His kinsmen and friends, it was said, were willing to serve only 'if they might be commanded by none but himself.' Their scruples had to be pacified by the issue of an express licence to him to carry subjects of the King to the south of America, and elsewhere within America, possessed and inhabited by heathen and savage people, with shipping, weapons and ordnance. He was authorised to keep gold, silver, and other goods which he should bring back, the fifth part of the gold, silver, pearls, and precious stones, with all customs due for any other goods, being truly paid to the Crown. Further, his Majesty, of his most special grace, constituted Ralegh sole commander, 'to punish, pardon, and rule according to such orders as he shall establish in cases capital, criminal, and civil, and to exercise martial law in as ample a manner as our lieutenant-general by sea or land.' The commission did not contain the authority conferred by Ralegh's old Guiana commission to subdue foreign lands. It too is reported to have been originally inserted, and to have been struck out by James.
[Sidenote: Advice from, and avowal to, Bacon.]
Ralegh must, like his friends and creditors, have been conscious of the risk of sailing without a pardon. Carew Ralegh many years afterwards asserted, that Sir William St. John agreed to procure one for him for L1500 beyond the sum paid for his liberty. According to the Observations on Sanderson's History, the benefit was offered by St. John and Edward Villiers jointly, and for as little as L700. A right to abandon the voyage if he pleased was to have been added. Bacon's name is connected with the matter. Incidentally Bacon, who had been appointed Lord Keeper on March 7, 1617, is known to have met Ralegh after his release. He himself relates that he kept the Earl of Exeter waiting long in his upper room as he 'continued upon occasion still walking in Gray's Inn walks with Sir Walter Ralegh a good while.' On the authority of Carew Ralegh, as quoted in a letter to the latter from James Howell in the Familiar Letters, he is reported, possibly on this occasion, to have persuaded Ralegh to save his money, and trust to the implication of a pardon to be inferred from the royal commission. 'Money,' said the Lord Keeper, 'is the knee-timber of your voyage. Spare your money in this particular; for, upon my life, you have a sufficient pardon for all that is past already, the King having under his Great Seal made you Admiral, and given you power of martial law. Your commission is as good a pardon for all former offences as the law of England can afford you.' That is the view of so sound a constitutional lawyer as Hallam. His reason for the contention is that a man attainted of treason is incapable of exercising authority. But it can scarcely be argued as a point of law, and it is difficult to believe that a Lord Keeper should have volunteered a dogma of an absolute pardon by implication. Moreover, though, as will hereafter be seen, Sir Julius Caesar, who was Master of the Rolls, fell into the same mistake in 1618, the misdescription, imputed to Bacon, of the Commission as under the Great Seal, of itself casts doubt upon the anecdote. On the whole, there is no sufficient cause for disputing the statement in the Declaration of 1618, that James deliberately, 'the better to contain Sir Walter Ralegh, and to hold him upon his good behaviour, denied, though much sued unto for the same, to grant him pardon for his former treasons.'
In the course of this or another conversation, Bacon, according to Sir Thomas Wilson's note of a statement made to him by Ralegh himself, inquired, 'What will you do, if, after all this expenditure, you miss of the gold mine?' The reply was: 'We will look after the Plate Fleet, to be sure.' 'But then,' remonstrated Bacon, 'You will be pirates!' 'Ah!' Ralegh is alleged to have cried, 'who ever heard of men being pirates for millions!' The Mexican fleet for 1618 is in fact computed to have conveyed treasure to the amount of L2,545,454. It is scarcely credible that Ralegh, though never distinguished for cautious speech, should have been so intemperately rash. Such a confession to Bacon, known to be Winwood's antagonist, who would rejoice to have ground for thwarting the anti-Spanish party at Court, is particularly unlikely. Mr. Spedding himself, while he believes it, regards Ralegh's reply as 'a playful diversion of an inconvenient question.' As a serious statement the saying is not the more authentic that it emanates from Wilson. Naturally it has been accepted by writers for whom Ralegh is a mere buccaneer.
[Sidenote: Count Gondomar.]
From the first it is evident that Spain and the Spanish faction at the English Court laboured to place upon the expedition the construction which Ralegh's apocryphal outburst to Bacon would warrant. Don Diego Sarmiento de Acuna, the Ambassador of Spain, better known by the title, not yet his, of Count Gondomar, was the mouthpiece of the view. He offered, as Ralegh in his Apology virtually admits, to procure a safe-conduct for Ralegh to and from the mine, with liberty to bring home any gold he should find. The condition he imposed was that the expedition should be limited to one or two ships. The reason Ralegh gave in his paper for declining the arrangement, was that he did not trust sufficiently to the Ambassador's promises to go unarmed. In view of the way Spaniards were in the habit of treating English visitors, he clearly could not with prudence. At all events, for its refusal, if the offer were ever made in a practicable shape, James and his Government are obviously as responsible as he. They might, if they chose, have withdrawn his commission if he rejected those terms. Gondomar was a good Spaniard. He had a patriotic hatred for 'the old pirate bred under the English virago, and by her fleshed in Spanish blood and ruin.' His influence with James was boundless. He could 'pipe James asleep,' it was said, 'with facetious words and gestures.' They were the more diverting from their contrast with his lank, austere aspect. James had supreme faith in his wisdom, to the extravagant extent, according to his own incredible letter in 1622 from Madrid to the King, of having appointed him a member 'non seulement de votre Conseil d'etat, mais du Cabinet interieur.'
[Sidenote: Disclosures to the Spanish Ambassador.]
Above all, he held for or against England the key to a family pact with the Escurial. At first he hoped to stop Ralegh's enterprise altogether. So late as the middle of March, 1617, Chamberlain wrote to Carleton that the Spanish Ambassador had 'well nigh overthrown it.' If he could not nip the undertaking in the bud, he had means of stifling it by misinterpreting to James Ralegh's motives, and by informing the Spanish Court how to meet force with force. Ralegh was ordered to explain the details of his scheme, and to lay down his route on a chart. According to Carew Ralegh, whose information may be presumed to have been derived from Lady Ralegh, James promised upon the word of a King to keep secret these accounts of the programme. At any rate, Gondomar, by his familiar access to the King, was enabled to study the whole, whatever its value. He forwarded all particulars to Madrid. When the fleet had been surveyed by the Admiralty, he had a copy of the official report. He sent it by express to his Government, which despatched it with instructions to America. Cottington, the English Agent at the Spanish Court, was directed to promise that no harm should be done by Ralegh's voyage. The King in his Declaration of 1618 said he had taken 'order that he and all those that went in his company should find good security to behave themselves peaceably,' though the intention, the King lamented, was frustrated by 'every one of the principals that were in the voyage putting in security one for another.' There even was a story that the Court had obliged Lords Arundel and Pembroke to engage solemnly for Ralegh's return, that he might be rendered personally liable for any wrong. The foundation for this report may have been that, late in March, as the Destiny was about to sail from the Thames, James, alarmed at Gondomar's prognostications of evil, retailed them to his Council. Ralegh's supporters at the Board reassured him by affirmations of their willingness to give security that no harm should be done to lands of the King of Spain. James, several weeks earlier, at the end of January, had solemnly promised Gondomar, through Winwood, that, though he had determined to allow the voyage, if Ralegh acted in it in contravention of his instructions, he should pay for his disobedience with his head.
[Sidenote: Ralegh's preparations against Violence.]
[Sidenote: The Comte des Marets.]
Ralegh and his friends knew of the care taken to guard Spanish interests at his cost. He had told Carew, as Carew writes to Roe, that 'the alarm of his journey had flown into Spain, and sea forces were prepared to lie for him.' He was nothing appalled, since, as Carew was informed, he had a good fleet, and would be able to land five or as many as seven hundred men; 'which will be a competent army, the Spaniards, especially about Orinoque, being so poorly planted.' Carew evidently, it will be seen, assumed that Ralegh must expect violence, and might lawfully meet it in kind. James and his Councillors assumed it also, till Ralegh came back empty handed. He openly was arming to be a match in battle for the Spaniards; and his party in the Council with equal earnestness tried to balance the weight there of Spain by another influence. Mr. Secretary Winwood wished in all ways to break with Spain. He urged Ralegh to capture the Mexico fleet. In support of his policy he favoured an intimate alliance with the chief rival Power. He introduced Ralegh to the Comte des Marets, the French Ambassador. Des Marets is supposed to have grown apprehensive of a sudden diversion of Ralegh's forces to an attack on St. Valery in the interest of the Huguenots against the Queen Mother. He was glad, therefore, of an opportunity of judging for himself of Ralegh's views. They may already have had communication by letter. French influence had been, it is thought, employed on Ralegh's behalf while he was in the Tower. He had never ceased to maintain relations with the Huguenots, and the French Court appreciated the importance in certain circumstances of his services. The Spanish, Savoyard, and Venetian Envoys had inspected his squadron. On March 15, 1617, the Count too visited the Destiny. He reported the interview to Richelieu a few days later. He soon satisfied himself that St. Valery was not threatened. He told Ralegh that the French Court had sympathised with him in his long and unjust imprisonment, and the confiscation of his property. From another quarter he had heard, he wrote to Richelieu, that Ralegh especially resented the gift of Sherborne to Sir John Digby, who lately had returned from his Spanish mission. He gathered that Ralegh was discontented with James, and with the Court policy. Ralegh expressed his desire for more talk at a less inconvenient time and place. Richelieu had recently described him to Marshal Concini as 'grand marinier et mauvais capitaine'; but he was far from discouraging his overtures. A subsequent interview was held, and described in a despatch several weeks after the meeting. If the Count's memory did not, as Sir Robert Schomburgk thinks, deceive him, Ralegh said: 'Seeing myself so badly and tyrannically treated by my own Sovereign, I have made up my mind, if God send me good success, to leave my country, and to make to the King your master the first offer of what shall fall under my power.' Doubtless there was just so much truth in the Count's report that a profusion of compliments passed. Des Marets would express his astonishment at the treatment Ralegh had experienced, and regret that France had not enjoyed the happiness of possessing such a hero, and the opportunity of rewarding him properly. Ralegh would respond in the same key, and assure his French sympathiser that, if an occasion presented itself, he was well inclined to serve the noblest Court in Europe. He is not to be held responsible for the positive summary the Frenchman dressed up of the conversation weeks after it had passed to show Ralegh's effusiveness and his own caution. Des Marets himself did not at the time treat the talk seriously. He said he replied that Ralegh could betake himself to no quarter in which he would receive more of courtesy or friendship. 'I thought it well,' wrote des Marets, 'to give him good words, although I do not anticipate that his voyage will have much fruit.'
[Sidenote: Understanding with France.]
Before Ralegh left English waters he had further negotiations with France. A Frenchman, Captain Faige, was his companion on the voyage, which commenced March 28, 1617, from the Thames to Plymouth. By this man he sent in May a letter to a M. de Bisseaux, a French Councillor of State. He wrote that he had commissioned Faige to take ships to points in the Indies agreed on between them. The intention was to meet Ralegh at the mine which he counted upon working. Faige, he said, could explain his plan. He asked for a patent, promised, he said, by Admiral de Montmorency, which would empower him to enter a French port, 'avec tous les ports, navires, equipages, et biens, par lui traites ou conquis.' One Belle reported himself to Montmorency as Faige's associate. In that character he obtained Ralegh's letter, and carried it with other papers, and a map of Guiana, to Madrid. There he told the story in the May of the following year. Ralegh's letter to Bisseaux in his handwriting has been seen and copied at Simancas. If he ever received, as is inferred from his admissions to the Royal Commissioners next year, and to Sir Thomas Wilson, the warrant he asked, it was a permit from the French Admiralty. It was not a commission from the French Crown, and, whatever it was, James and his Ministers were parties to its grant.
The whole secret history of the preliminaries to the Guiana expedition forms a tangled skein. The negotiations of Ralegh with France were certainly known to Winwood, and, there can be little doubt, to James also. Ralegh taxed the King by letter in October, 1618, with privity and assent to the arrangement, through Faige, for the co-operation of French ships against the Spaniards at the mouth of the Orinoko. He was not contradicted. Winwood and his section of the Council in good faith preferred a French to a Spanish compact. They did not shudder at the contingency of war. James and the pro-Spanish party concurred for the moment in the playing off of France against Spain, in order to push Spain into the English alliance which they coveted. From the double motive the Government in general encouraged Ralegh to treat with France. That Spain might be frightened he was instigated to an intimacy with French Ministers and plotters. Though he never received a regular French commission, it was allowed to be supposed that one had been issued to him. No French ships were fitted out to aid him, or despatched to the coast of Guiana. Nothing, it may confidently be asserted, was ever farther from his thoughts than the surrender of territory he might appropriate to any foreign Crown. All simply was a game of mystification devised for one purpose by Winwood, and, for a different purpose, joined in by James and the rest. The Spanish faction wished to give Spain cause to fancy its foe was being unchained to do his worst against it at his own discretion, and by any agency he chose, unless it should come to terms speedily. A condition of the game, which Ralegh but imperfectly understood, was that it should be played at his especial peril. He was suffered to concert measures with one foreign ally of England against another, at the direct instance of a leading Minister, and with the connivance of the King himself. The King was informed of the intrigue, and knew as much as his indolence permitted of its various steps. He was never obliged to know so much, or to betray such signs of knowing anything, as not to be in a position on an exigency to disavow the whole. This was his idea of state-craft.
The negotiation with the French Government was but one of the threads in the skein. James and his advisers were in a frame of mind in which any foreign adventure had a chance of securing their support. Ralegh, and the popular excitement which had wafted him from a prison to an Admiral's command, were pawns moved by the political speculators of the Court for their own purposes. Wild rumours circulated of objects to which the expedition was about really to be directed. The circumstances of the expedition, the character of its chief, his sudden liberation, and the trust reposed in him, were so extraordinary that all Europe was disturbed. Though Continental thought may, as the greatest of modern historians has said, have visited the memory of Ralegh since with an indifference more bitter than censure or reproach, it was very far from indifferent in 1617. At home cynics disbelieved the sincerity of Ralegh. They ridiculed the notion that, after the iniquitous treatment he had experienced, he would have the folly to come back. Friends apparently were not entirely free from the suspicion that he might be induced, if he failed, to shake the dust of an ungrateful kingdom off his feet. Lord Arundel at parting earnestly dissuaded him from yielding to any temptation to a self-banishment, which assuredly he never contemplated. A solicitation of authority to carry Spanish prizes in certain circumstances into French ports is no evidence that he contemplated a change of allegiance. Reports that he had asked the licence may explain why it occurred to Arundel or Pembroke to pledge him against such an use of it.
[Sidenote: Plot against Genoa.]
If acquaintances who felt how ill he had been treated feared he might be beguiled into abjuring his ungrateful country, others deemed the ostensible gold digging aim of the expedition too simple and bounded for his subtle and lofty ambition. Leonello, the Secretary to the Venetian Embassy, writing to the Council of Ten on January 19 and 26, and February 3, 1617, described communications between Ralegh, Winwood, and Count Scarnafissi, the Ambassador of Savoy. The Duke of Savoy was waging a war with Spain, which ended in the following September. He would have liked Ralegh to pounce upon Genoa, which was become almost a Spanish port. The project was discussed by Scarnafissi with Winwood and Ralegh, whom Winwood had introduced to him. It is said by Leonello to have been divulged by Winwood to James. James at first was inclined to adopt it. After a few days he recalled his assent. Probably he had given it partly out of pique against the Spanish Court; and now Spain was resuming negotiations for the marriage of the Infanta to Prince Charles. He was, moreover, said Leonello, suspicious that Ralegh might not give him his just share of the anticipated twenty millions of booty. The entire business is not very intelligible. Leonello's three secret despatches disinterred by Mr. Rawdon Brown are the main evidence of the project, and of the degree of Ralegh's participation in it. An examination of the Piedmontese Archives might shed clearer light on the scope and reality of the obscure intrigue. Leonello himself offers no testimony but admissions alleged to have been extorted by him from Scarnafissi. At any rate if credence is to be given to the somewhat suspicious account, the worst guilt for the contemplated piratical perfidy attaches to the crowned accomplice. Sir Thomas Wilson wrote to James on October 4, 1618: 'Sir Walter Ralegh tells me Sir Ralph Winwood brought him acquainted with the Ambassador of Savoy, with whom they consulted for the surprise of Genoa, and that your Majesty was acquainted with the business, and liked it well.' The King never denied the truth of the imputation. From first to last the negotiations, the plots for and against, were, on the side of the English, French, Spanish, and Savoyard Governments, a mere shuffle of diplomatic cards. The one thing in real earnest was the universal propensity to intrigue at Ralegh's expense. Everybody's hands were to be left loose but his.
[Sidenote: Strength of the Armament.]
The preparations for the expedition on the original basis were little affected by the speculative projects for turning it to strange purposes. The Destiny, Jason, Encounter, Thunder, Southampton, and the pinnace Page had sailed from the Thames at the end of March, 1617. Fears of a countermand were said to have hastened their departure. They carried ninety gentlemen, a few soldiers, and 318 seamen, beside captains and masters. There were also servants and assayers. The Declaration of 1618 contends, truly or untruly, that no miners were embarked. If it were so, it is strange that the omission should not have been remarked in the West, of all regions. Four ships had been fitted for sea at Plymouth by Sir John Ferne, Laurence Keymis, Wollaston, and Chudleigh. Others arrived later. Want of money caused delay. Captain Pennington of the Star was detained off the Isle of Wight for provisions. He had to ride to London to redeem, with Lady Ralegh's help, his ship's bread. To eke out Captain Whitney's resources, Ralegh sold much of his plate. He raised L300 for Sir John Ferne. No checks, temptations, or expenses daunted him. While he knew, as he wrote to Boyle, 'there was no middle course but perish or prosper,' his idea steeled him against forebodings. He felt inspired to accomplish a national enterprise. 'What fancy,' he exclaimed later, 'could possess him thus to dispose of his whole substance, and undertake such a toilsome and perilous voyage, now that his constitution was impaired by such a long confinement, beside age itself, sickness, and affliction, were not he assured thereby of doing his prince service, bettering his country by commerce, and restoring his family to its estates, all from the mines of Guiana!' The spectacle of his confidence is among the most pathetic tragedies in history.
THE EXPEDITION (May, 1617-June, 1618).
[Sidenote: Orders to the Fleet.]
On May 3 he published his orders to the fleet. They were a model of godly, severe, and martial government, as testified a gentleman of his company. Divine service was to be solemnised every morning and evening. The pillage of ships of friendly Powers was rigorously prohibited. Courtesy towards the Indians was strictly injoined. All firearms were to be kept clean. Rules were laid down in the event of an encounter with 'the enemy' at sea. Cards, dice, and swearing were forbidden. The people of the West, and especially Plymouth, had remained faithful in their admiration of Ralegh though an imprisoned convict. They rejoiced at seeing him once more in command of a powerful fleet. On the eve of his departure the Mayor of Plymouth, a Trelawny, 'by a general consent,' at the town's expense entertained the Admiral and his followers. The town also 'paid the drummer for calling Sir Walter Ralegh's company aboard.' On June 12, seven ships of war and three pinnaces sailed from the port. At sea they were joined by loiterers, which brought the total up to thirteen ships, manned by a thousand men. Contrary winds forced them back, first into Plymouth, and next into Falmouth. Again, eight leagues west of Scilly, a gale rose which sank a pinnace, and drove the rest into Kinsale.
[Sidenote: Boyle's Bargain with Ralegh.]
At Cork he was cordially welcomed alike by old enemies and old friends. With his inexhaustible vivacity he flew his hawks at Cloyne; he took shares in an Irish copper mining adventure; he provisioned his fleet; he was feasted and admired; he reviewed the past, and anticipated the future. Among those who sought his company were Lords Barry and Roche. Boyle, now Lord Boyle, came from Lismore, and entertained him. He rode to Lismore and Mogelly. His estate had turned in Boyle's more patient hands into a noble domain with a revenue estimated by Pym in 1616 at L12,000. Boyle gave his own account of his transactions with Ralegh in a letter of 1631 to Carew Ralegh, who wished to have them reviewed. According to this he behaved, and was recognised by Ralegh as having behaved, generously and honourably. Clearly he had no doubt of his own magnanimity. At the time of the attainder the conveyance under the agreement of 1602 was not legally completed. Apparently not all the purchase-money had been paid. Inquisitions were being taken of Ralegh's Irish lands by the Government. Sir John Ramsay, Boyle said, had offered to use his Scotch influence to obtain from the Crown an absolute release of all claims against him, by Ralegh as well as by the Crown, for 500 marks. He preferred to follow the advice of George Carew, who predicted to him after the Winchester conviction that the King would remit Ralegh's forfeiture. He went on dealing with him, though legally incompetent, and had paid him a supplementary sum of L1000 to close the matter. In addition he had to beg or buy a royal confirmation of his title to the lands, when they had been 'found by offices' upon the attainder. Now, in Cork he supplied the expedition with oxen, biscuit, beer, and iron, to the value of 600 marks or more. He gave Ralegh L350 in cash, and a thirty-two gallon cask of whiskey. For three weeks he kept open house for him at Cork. Ralegh, he asserted, reciprocated his hospitalities by a full abandonment of any possible claims he might have made upon the Lismore property. He also contributed evidence towards Boyle's defence against some demands founded by Ralegh's old partner Pyne upon a lease alleged by him to have been granted him by Ralegh many years before, in extension of a shorter term. Ralegh, though on good terms at the time with Pyne, seems to have assured Boyle of his belief that the second demise was a counterfeit fabricated by Meere. His dealings, however, were very complicated, and his remembrance of them necessarily not always clear. In 1618 he became dubious if he had not been too positive against Pyne's title. He requested, on the eve of his death, that he should not be considered a witness either for or against it.
[Sidenote: Fray at Lancerota.]
The fleet stayed at Cork from June 25 to August 19. Then it made a fresh start. Off Cape St. Vincent, Captain Bayley, of the ship Southampton, boarded four French vessels, and took from them a fishing net, a pinnace, and some oil. A report of the capture reached Madrid, where it was denounced as piracy. In truth Ralegh had been scrupulous. He insisted on buying the goods of the owners at the price of sixty-one crowns, to the high indignation of Bayley. The captor's argument was that he found the Frenchmen had procured their cargo by piracy in the West Indies, and he, therefore, had lawfully confiscated it. Ralegh did not admit that the charge would, if true, justify him in refusing compensation. Frenchmen and Englishmen alike, he held, could plunder Spaniards 'beyond the line.' Lancerota, one of the Great Canaries, was reached on September 6. The islanders happened to be under the influence of a special panic. Barbary corsairs had been ravaging a neighbouring island. Next year they laid Lancerota itself waste. When Ralegh's fleet appeared it was supposed to be the Barbary squadron. Some sailors having landed, three were murdered. Ralegh showed remarkable forbearance. He would suffer no vengeance to be taken. An English merchantman, belonging to one Reeks of Ratcliff, lay in the harbour. Ralegh knew it would have to bear the penalty of retaliation by him. Bayley, however, seized upon the pretext of the broil. He affected to see in that, onesided as it was, evidence of Ralegh's piratical temper. In a fit of virtuous horror at his Admiral who had docked his prize money of sixty-one crowns, he deserted, and sailed home.
[Sidenote: Sickness in the Fleet.]
At Gomera, one of the Lesser Canaries, the fleet found more hospitality. The Governor permitted the crews to draw water, and buy provisions. Ralegh reciprocated by keeping his men in perfect order. He sent a present of gloves to the Governor's wife, a lady of the Stafford family. She returned fruit, sugar, and rusks. Not to be outdone he rejoined with ambergris, rosewater, a cut-work ruff, and a picture of the Magdalen. He was in the habit of taking pictures with him on his voyages. This interchange of courtesies was the one gleam of human kindness which lighted up for Ralegh his dismal journey. He dwells upon it gratefully in the journal he kept. The manuscript, in twenty large pages, is in the British Museum. It covers the period from August 19 to February 13. Off the Isle of Bravo, sickness attacked the fleet. It was aggravated through the protraction of the voyage by contrary winds from the customary fortnight or three weeks to six. Forty-two men in the flagship died. Among them were Fowler, the principal refiner, Ralegh's cook Francis, his servant Crab, the master surgeon, the provost martial, Captain Piggot, his best land-general, and Mr. John Talbot, 'who,' records Ralegh, 'had lived with me eleven years in the Tower, an excellent general scholar, and a faithful true man as lived.' The ship left Bravo on October 4. On the 12th they were becalmed. At one time a thick and fearful darkness enveloped them. Then the horizon became over-shot with gloomy discolorations. Off Trinidad fifteen rainbows in a day were seen. Ralegh caught a cold, which turned to a burning fever. For twenty-eight days he lay unable to take solid food. He could not have survived but for the Gomera fruit. His ordinary servants were all ill; but he had also pages who attended him. Apparently his illness did not prevent him from keeping a general supervision of the fleet. His journal proves him to have been a thorough and practical seaman.
[Sidenote: Indian Affection.]
The fleet arrived off Cape Oyapoco on November 11. Ralegh wrote to his wife on November 17, from the mouth of the Cayenne in Guiana, the Caliana, as he calls it: 'Sweet Heart, We are yet 200 men, and the rest of our fleet are reasonably strong; strong enough, I hope, to perform what we have undertaken, if the diligent care at London to make our strength known to the Spanish King by his ambassador have not taught the Spaniards to fortify all the entrances against us. If we perish, it shall be no gain for his Majesty to lose, among many other, one hundred as valiant gentlemen as England hath in it.' But he was not disheartened. Walter was never so well, having had 'no distemper in all the heat under the Line.' He found good faith in Indian hearts, if not at King James's Court. 'To tell you I might here be King of the Indians were a vanity; but my name hath still lived among them. All offer to obey me.' Harry the Indian Chief who had lived two years in the Tower with him presently came. He had previously sent provisions. He brought roasted mullets, which were very good meat, great store of plantains, peccaries, casava bread, pistachio nuts, and pine apples, which tempted Ralegh exceedingly. After a few days on shore he began to mend, and to have an appetite for roast peccary. His crews were still sickly, and rested for three weeks. One of the Adventurers employed his leisure in composing a discourse in praise of Guiana. It contains the orders Ralegh issued to the fleet before he left England; but the information concerning the voyage is meagre. Captain Peter Alley, being ill of a vertigo, was sent home in a Dutch vessel, which traded with Guiana. The narrative went with him. Next year it was printed in London under the title 'Newes of Sir Walter Rauleigh from the River of Caliana,' with a woodcut of Ralegh in band and collar, and a laced velvet doublet.
[Sidenote: The new San Thome.]
Ralegh left the Cayenne on December 4, and sailed to the Triangle Islands, now called the Isles of Health. There he organized the expedition to the Mine. It was decided that he should not lead in person. Fever had a second time attacked him. Besides, his officers were unwilling to venture inland, unless he remained behind to guard the river mouth from a Spanish fleet. Sir Wareham St. Leger, the lieutenant-general, also was ill. George Ralegh, who previously had succeeded Piggot as serjeant-major, commanded in St. Leger's place. Apparently Ralegh, who nowhere has specified the exact situation, supposed the Mine was at a short distance from the right bank of the river. Mr. Gardiner, in his Case against Sir Walter Ralegh, published in the Fortnightly Review in 1867, assumes it was that pointed out to Keymis by Putijma in 1595, though, it must be remembered, Keymis heard of another from the Cacique in 1596. At any rate the precise topographical relation between it and the existing Spanish settlement of San Thome, or St. Thomas, was unknown to Ralegh. The town was no longer where it had stood in 1596 when Keymis heard of it. The old site had been deserted at some date which cannot be fixed. The common view has been that the change had been effected before 1611, and that the San Thome which Captain Moate found inhabited by the Spaniards was the new town. That is unlikely, both because Moate would then have identified the actual spot, and on account of Ralegh's description to the King, after his return, of the town as 'new set up within three miles of the Mine.' San Thome at all events in 1618 was twenty to thirty miles lower down than the original town. It was close to the bank, a group of some hundred and forty houses, 'a town of stakes, covered with leaves of trees.' There is no evidence that Ralegh, who must have heard of the transplantation, knew the new town directly blocked the approach to the Mine. Though, however, he was ignorant that in the circumstances a collision was certain, he may well have thought it probable. So must the English Government which had sanctioned his martial preparations. The Spaniards never dissembled their belief that the entrance of foreigners into the American interior was a lawless trespass to be repelled by force. Consequently, he provided against the contingency. Four hundred soldiers and sailors were embarked in five of the ships of least draught, commanded by Captains Whitney, King, Smith, Wollaston, and Hall. The other five, including the flagship, which drew twelve feet of water, were left behind with Ralegh. The land forces were under Walter. The landing and search for the Mine were entrusted to Keymis.
[Sidenote: Ralegh's Instructions to his Captains.]
Ralegh's account of his communications to his officers differs from that put forth by the King's Government. According to the official version, he at first advised them to commence by the immediate capture of the Spanish town. But, objected one of them, that would be a breach of peace. He is alleged to have answered that he had orders by word of mouth to take the town, if it were any hindrance to the digging of the Mine. The tale rests on the dubious testimony of James's Councillors writing in a desperate panic at an outburst of popular indignation after Ralegh's execution. In itself it is not improbable that Ralegh, with qualifications omitted in the official report, said something at a council of war to this effect. If he suggested a hostile movement at all, he may be presumed to have stated also with right that he spoke by authority. Mr. Secretary Winwood, it is admitted, calculated upon a collision with the Spaniards, and even upon Ralegh's seizure of the plate-fleet. He would not shrink from the capture of a Guiana fort. They alone will treat Ralegh's assertion, if it were his, as 'evidence of his unblushing effrontery,' to whom his accounts are necessarily mendacious, and those of the Court, King James's Court, necessarily honest. In any case the point matters little, as Ralegh is admitted to have himself decided against the plan. His final instructions to Keymis and George Ralegh were that they should endeavour to reach the Mine, as he imagined they might, without a struggle. He bade them encamp between it and the town, which, as he believed, lay beyond. Thus the soldiers would cover the miners as they worked. 'If,' said he, 'you find the Mine royal, and the Spaniards begin to war upon you, you, George Ralegh, are to repel them, and to drive them as far as you can.' To Keymis he said, 'If you find the Mine be not so rich as may persuade the holding of it, and draw on a second supply, then you shall bring but a basket or two, to satisfy his Majesty that my design was not imaginary, but true, though not answerable to his Majesty's expectation.' If there appeared to be many new soldiers, 'so that, without manifest peril of my son and the other captains, you cannot pass towards the Mine, then be well advised how you land. For I know, a few gentlemen excepted, what a scum of men you have. And I would not, for all the world, receive a blow from the Spaniards to the dishonour of our nation. I myself for my weakness cannot be present. Neither will the companies land, except I stay with the ships, the galleons of Spain being daily expected. My nephew is but a young man. It is therefore on your judgment that I rely. You shall find me at Puncto Gallo, dead or alive. And if you find not my ships there, you shall find their ashes. For I will fire, with the galleons, if it come to extremity; run will I never.'
[Sidenote: Departure for the Mine.]
The expedition started with a month's provisions on December 10. Its progress was slow, and accidents detained Whitney's and Wollaston's vessels. The rest took three weeks to reach the Isle of Yaya, styled by Ralegh Assapana. The isle is opposite to the modern town of St. Raphael of Barrancas. Preparations had been made by the Spaniards to resist further progress. Antonio de Berreo was dead. His son Fernando was Governor-General of New Grenada, with authority over Guiana and Trinidad. But recently Diego Palomeque de Acuna had been appointed to administer those two territories. He was a relative of Gondomar. A copy of the description of the fleet and its intended course, which Ralegh had been obliged to submit to James, had been sent to him from Madrid on March 19, 1617. He had repaired to San Thome. The English were attacked by fire from both banks. Nevertheless, on the evening of December 31, according to Ralegh, they sailed past the town without noticing it. On New Year's Day, 1618, they landed, at eleven in the morning, some little distance higher up. They were ignorant, Ralegh stated subsequently in his Apology, of the proximity of the settlement. Their intention simply was to rest by the river, and the next day to set off for the Mine. Pedro Simon, a Spanish historian of the period, differs. He asserts that they landed below the town, and deliberately marched against it. At all events, it cannot be questioned that the Spaniards were fully resolved to stop the advance of the expedition, whether to the Mine or elsewhere. If, as James's commission to Ralegh assumed, Englishmen had a right to make their way to the Mine, they could not be more to blame than the Spaniards for the actual collision. In fact the Spaniards struck the first blow.
[Sidenote: Death of Walter.]
They had arranged an ambuscade, and, under Geronimo de Grados, attacked about nine in the evening. Though the Spanish force appears to have comprised but forty-two regular soldiers, the English were thrown into confusion. 'The common sort,' wrote Ralegh, 'as weak sort as ever followed valiant leaders, were so amazed as, had not the captains and some other twenty or thirty valiant gentlemen made a head and encouraged the rest, they had all been broken and cut to pieces.' Ultimately the English drove the assailants back to the town. In front of it Diego Palomeque and the main body of Spaniards were drawn up. The reports of eye-witnesses on the sequel differed. According to one, the pikemen whom Walter led were in advance of the musketeers. According to another, they were behind, when Walter quitted them and rushed in front. In the official Declaration it was alleged that Walter, 'who was likest to know his father's secret,' cried to the Englishmen, 'Come on, my hearts; here is the Mine that ye must expect; they that look for any other are fools.' By all accounts he closed with the enemy, and Grados or Erenetta mortally wounded him. His last words were: 'Go on! Lord, have mercy upon me, and prosper your enterprise.' His death excited his men. Diego was slain, and his force routed. The English stormed the monastery of St. Francis, in which some of the fugitives had fortified themselves. San Thome, such as it was, was theirs. They buried Walter, and Captain Cosmor, described in a letter of March 22 to Alley by Parker as leader of the forlorn hope, in one grave, near the high altar in the Church of St. Thomas. On the day of the funeral the belated ships of Whitney and Wollaston arrived.
[Sidenote: Failure to reach the Mine.]
Notwithstanding the loss of the town, the Spaniards maintained resistance. Garcia de Aguilar and Juan de Lazanna, the alcaldes, with Grados, collected the residue, and constituted a garrison for the women and children in the Isle of la Ceyva. They laid wait for stray Englishmen, and cooped the main body within the town. There discords broke out which George Ralegh had difficulty in pacifying. Not till a week after the occupation did Keymis venture to make for the Mine, though he computed that it was but eight miles off. At length he equipped a couple of launches. In them he, Sir John Hampden, and others embarked. Near la Ceyva they fell into an ambuscade. Nine out of those in the first launch were killed or wounded. Keymis was discouraged, and turned back, he alleged, for more soldiers. Though not a man afraid of responsibility, he may have shrunk from the prospect, as he intimated, that he might, through Ralegh's sickness, as well as legal disabilities, have to bear it alone. Ralegh's detractors inferred from the inactivity of Keymis that he and Ralegh were as incredulous of the existence of the Mine as, by his own subsequent account, had always been the King. The imputation upon the truthfulness of Keymis is altogether groundless. He had, in his expedition of 1596, ascertained the authenticity of the Mine, at least to his own satisfaction, and brought home specimens of its ore. His fancy wildly exaggerated its riches. There is no reason to suppose that he knavishly invented stories about it. The Spaniards, it is known, had worked gold mines in the vicinity. The excavations were lying idle from the mere want of Indian labourers, whom it had just been declared illegal to press. So lately had the workings been discontinued that, it is said, all the best houses in San Thome belonged to refiners, as the tools in them proved.
George Ralegh for his part refused to give up at once, though his own views were directed rather to colonization than to mining. In boats he ascended the Orinoko to its junction with the Guarico. In his absence the town was repeatedly attacked. English prisoners were barbarously treated. Several, it is asserted, were tortured or butchered. After twenty-five days it was determined to retire, and fire was set to the place. Altogether the English had lost 250 men. They collected some spoil estimated as worth 40,000 reals. Partly it consisted of church ornaments, and a couple of gold ingots reserved for the King of Spain's royalty, but chiefly of tobacco. Three negroes and two Indians were carried off. One of the Indians accompanied the fleet to England, returning afterwards to Guiana.
[Sidenote: At Puncto Gallo.]
Ralegh meanwhile had stationed himself at Puncto Gallo, now Point Hicacos, on the south-west of Trinidad. He arrived on December 17, 1617, and there he stayed. On account of currents he seems to have thought at one time that he might be obliged to change his moorings. No more conclusive proof can be given of the spirit of the King's Declaration of November, 1618, than that it alleges him not to have minded, but rather to have anticipated, the certain starvation of the returning land forces through such a removal from the fixed rendezvous. He wrote to Winwood on March 21, 1618, that with five ships he had daily attended the armada of Spain. But he had been left in comparative tranquillity. Attacks from San Giuseppe he easily repulsed, with no more serious loss than of one sailor and a boy. He amused his leisure by hunting for balsams and other indigenous rarities. Six days after the fight Keymis sent a letter describing Walter's death, and eulogizing his 'extraordinary valour, forwardness, and constant vigour of mind.' An Indian had already brought confused tidings of the occupation of San Thome. Keymis's letter was dated January 8. It arrived, it has been reckoned, on February 14. The day is believed to be fixed by the abrupt closing of Ralegh's journal. After his son's death, 'with whom,' he wrote to Winwood, 'all respect of this world hath taken end in me,' he had no heart to continue it. With the letter Keymis despatched a parcel of scattered papers. A cart-load, he mentioned, remained behind. The consignment is supposed to have included the King of Spain's and his Custom-house Secretary's letters of warning to Diego Palomeque. A copy, some say the original, of Ralegh's own letter to James was in the bundle. Ralegh is reported to have conveyed it home, and to have shown it to the Lords of the Council.
[Sidenote: Suicide of Keymis.]
[Sidenote: Harsh Judgments.]
On March 2 the survivors of the expedition rejoined him at Puncto Gallo. Keymis had to confess his crowning failure. Ralegh did not banish him from his board, as the Declaration noted with a sneer; but he upbraided him severely for having stopped short of the Mine. He declared that, as Walter was killed, he should not have cared, and he did not believe Keymis cared, if a hundred more had been lost in opening the Mine, so the King had been satisfied, and Ralegh's reputation been saved. There was no kinder or more generous leader than he. His dependents and servants worshipped him. The treatment of Keymis is the one instance in his career of harshness to a follower. He would see no force in Keymis's apologies. He told him that he must answer to the King and the State. Keymis had composed a letter of excuse to Lord Arundel, a chief promoter of the expedition. This he submitted to Ralegh, and asked for his approval. He refused it absolutely: 'Is that,' inquired Keymis, 'your resolution? I know,'—or, according to the Apology, 'I know not'—'then, Sir, what course to take.' He went away, and very soon a shot was heard. Keymis told a page, whom Ralegh sent to his cabin door, that he had fired the pistol because it had long been charged. Half an hour afterwards his cabin-boy found him stabbed to the heart. The pistol shot had only broken a rib, and he had finished the work with a dagger. Poor Keymis, who was fifty-five at his death, was no 'rough old sailor,' no mere 'sturdy mariner,' as Mr. Gardiner styles the ex-Fellow of Balliol, the writer of Latin verses, the fluent and argumentative chronicler. He was emotional and imaginative. He was fated to be as evil a genius to the leader he adored as selfish, unstable Cobham. He brought much woe upon his friends and himself through blunders committed from the most generous motives, and he was very sternly judged. If the supposed message to Cobham, which formed one of the most damaging charges in 1603 against Ralegh, were a gloss of his own, concocted from casual talk, he paid for his indiscretion by enduring imprisonment, and braving threats of torture, with a noble fidelity. He suffered yet more cruel penalties for having vaunted the mineral riches of Guiana to enhance the merit of its discovery, until the mirage ended by beguiling his admired chief into irretrievable ruin. Not even death redeemed his memory. His comrades decried him as an impostor and deceiver. 'False to all men, a hateful fellow, a mere Machiavel,' Captain Parker called him, because he did not find his gold mine. Ralegh, for whom he had ventured and borne much, writes of him as an obstinate, self-willed man, and of his doleful end with a coldness which only gnawing despair can explain, not excuse.
[Sidenote: Ship Gossip.]
The expedition had been vexed by storms and fever on its passage to Guiana. None of its objects on the Orinoko had been attained. To the last it continued disappointing and disappointed; 'continually pursued with misfortunes,' wrote Beecher to Camden, 'as if to prove that God did take pleasure to confound the wisdom of men.' Ralegh already had not been free from danger of discord in his fleet. A page had invented a tale that he kept in his cabin L24,200, which had led some of his crew to conspire to leave him ashore in Trinidad, and sail away. But hitherto he had maintained his personal ascendency. The collapse at San Thome shook the faith of his captains in him. Henceforth they expected him to prefer their wisdom to his own. Whitney and Wollaston planned the plunder of homeward-bound Spanish ships. They would have liked him to abet them. They warned him that he was a lost man if he returned to England. When they could not persuade him, they resolved to go off by themselves. At Grenada they carried their intention into effect. Mr. Jones, chaplain of the Flying Chudleigh, says Ralegh authorised any captain to part if he pleased, as the aim of the voyage could no longer be accomplished. The chaplain may have had the offer narrated to him by a captain who desired his freedom. In itself it is too inconsistent with all we know of Ralegh's views to be credible. He showed the utmost anxiety to keep his forces together. For this purpose he was willing to let restless spirits hope for indulgence of their thirst both for spoil and for revenge by a combined attempt upon the Mexico fleet. Out of the chaos of ship gossip, the private wishes of officers, and conjectures about their commander's probable intentions, James's apologists wove a theory that he had never meant to seek for a mine, and had always intended to seize the treasure-ships. He was alleged to have confessed on his return that, before the mining project failed, he had proposed the capture of the fleet in the event of its failure. He was said to have admitted in talk with Sir Thomas Wilson in the Tower, that, after the return from San Thome, he formally enunciated to his officers a design to that effect. He was said to have told them that he had a French commission which empowered him to take any Spanish vessel beyond the Canaries. The allegation that, after the collapse of the expedition to San Thome, he had meant to sail for the Carib islands, and leave the land companies to their fate, insinuated that he was projecting some great piracy. His own subsequent contradiction of the issue to him of any commission from the French Crown has been represented by modern writers as a dishonest prevarication. He had, it is asserted, a French commission, though from the French Lord High Admiral, not from the King of France.
[Sidenote: Ralegh's real Project.]
Much of this indictment rests upon tainted evidence. When the testimony is respectable, it is for the most part outweighed by Ralegh's own word. At all events, for his alleged intention to have been of avail for the support of a criminal charge it was necessary to prove some act in conformity with it. None could be instanced except the San Thome collision itself, which the Spaniards had brought on. Whether he would have embraced a good opportunity for anything like buccaneering it is difficult to decide. Though the rumours of the fleet, reckless words of his own, other words uttered for some very dissimilar purpose, admissions dishonourably drawn from him and craftily pieced together, and a phrase in a heart-broken letter to his heart-broken wife, need not be accepted as conclusive, it may be conceded that they accord with his and the prevalent English temper. For him England and Spain in America were always at war. 'To break peace where there is no peace,' he wrote, 'it cannot be. The Spaniards give us no peace there.' He stated the literal truth. Spaniards treated unlicensed English voyagers to any part of South America as pirates and felons. He claimed the right of reprisals; and public opinion in England was on his side. English law was not. He might have been amenable to it had he acted upon his idea of Anglo-Spanish reciprocity, and in conformity with the schemes attributed to him by many of his own officers. But he did nothing of the kind. The projects he is known to have entertained indicate that his fancy was travelling in a different direction. His original and desperate thought, after the return of the launches, had still been bounded by Guiana. His wish was to lead a second expedition to San Thome. He meant to leave his body by his son's, or bring out of Keymis's or other mines so much gold ore as should satisfy the King that he had propounded no vain thing. Carew Ralegh's account was that the plan, perhaps on reflection modified from that, was to revictual in Virginia, and return in the spring to Guiana.
Whatever the exact eventual shape of the design, Whitney and Wollaston thwarted its execution by their desertion. At a council of war it was determined to make for home, by way, according to Ralegh's original programme, of Newfoundland. The ships stayed awhile at St. Christopher's. Ralegh took the opportunity to write on March 21 to the friendly Secretary of State. He was not aware that Winwood had died, to his irreparable loss, in the previous October. He had been, like Prince Henry, under the medical care of Dr. Theodore Mayerne, physician to the King and Queen. Mayerne had high repute, and is eminent in English medical history as having introduced the use of calomel. But he is described by a cynical contemporary as generally unfortunate with his patients. The headstrong but generous Secretary was succeeded by Naunton, a ripe Cambridge scholar, whom the favour first of Essex, then of Overbury, and last of Villiers, perverted into a time-serving official, 'close-fisted,' 'zealous and sullen.' For Naunton Ralegh was by no means the hero of the young author of the Fragmenta Regalia. By unsympathetic eyes his epistle was to be read. As interpreted by Naunton it was sure to aggravate the ill-will of the King, who would reasonably regard much of it as a censure upon him.
[Sidenote: Letter to Winwood.]
[Sidenote: Letter to Lady Ralegh.]
Ralegh glanced in it at his bodily sufferings and fatigue: 'There is never a base slave in the fleet hath taken the pains and care that I have done; hath slept so little, and travailed so much.' He bewailed his misfortunes, 'the greatest and sharpest that have ever befallen any man.' His brains, he said, were broken with them. So sincere an admirer as Mr. Kingsley takes him literally, and holds that 'his life really ended on the return of Keymis from San Thome.' His contemporaries did not think it. For them he was never even an old man; and it is one of the phenomena in the national feeling towards and about him. To the popular mind he was to the end, though portraits might show him grey and wasted, the brilliant and gallant Knight of Cadiz. Least of all for his enemies was he ever aged and broken. They had too acute a perception of his ability to resist them. They knew that he preserved his powers intact, and was not to be trampled on with impunity. He brought now an all but direct charge of treachery against the King: 'It pleased his Majesty to value us at so little as to command me upon my allegiance to set down under my hand the country, and the very river by which I was to enter it; to set down the number of men, and burden of my ships; with what ordnance every ship carried; which was made known to the Spanish Ambassador, and by him in post sent to the King of Spain.' His future looked to him profoundly black. He glanced, as he well might without treason, at the contingency of foreign service, whether in Denmark, France, or Holland: 'What shall become of me now I know not.' Notwithstanding the royal commission, which, like others, he misdescribed as 'under the Great Seal,' and not the Privy Seal, he was aware that he was 'unpardoned in England.' He went on: 'My poor estate is consumed; and whether any other Prince or State will give me bread I know not.' From St. Christopher's he wrote also to his wife. He had told Winwood he durst not write to her from fear of renewing the sorrow for her son. Yet he could not be silent, though he confessed he knew not how to comfort her: 'God knows, I never knew what sorrow meant till now. Comfort your heart, dearest Bess, I shall sorrow for us both. I shall sorrow the less because I have not long to sorrow, because not long to live.' He expressed a hope, which must be allowed to be ambiguous, that 'God will send us somewhat before we return.' He bids her tell about Keymis to Lord Northumberland, Sir John Leigh, and Silvanus Skory, a London merchant, who had in verse dissuaded him from the Guiana adventure altogether.
From St. Christopher's he sent home his fly-boat, under his cousin Herbert, who afterwards suffered in purse for the association with him. The vessel was laden with 'a rabble of idle rascals, which I know will not spare to wound me; but my friends will not believe them; and for the rest I care not.' This 'scum of men' being gone, he told Winwood he should be able, if he lived, to keep the sea till the end of August, with four reasonably good ships. His object he did not specify. Off Newfoundland the soldiers in his ship, he declared, wanted him to turn pirate with them. They compelled him to swear he would not go home without their leave. Among them were four convicted criminals. These were afraid to set foot in England unless Ralegh obtained their pardons from the Crown. He compromised by landing them at Kinsale, where he touched after a storm had scattered his ships. There is no record that Boyle or other old friends came now to salute him. But Sir Oliver St. John, at the time Lord Deputy, wrote word on May 30 to George Carew of his arrival, probably on May 24. Three ships, commanded by Sir John Ferne, Captain Pennington, and Captain King, happened also to have taken refuge in Kinsale harbour. St. John expressed his deep sorrow for Ralegh's ill-success, which he attributed to 'the failing and mutinying of those that ought rather to have died with him than left him.' He instructed Lord Thomond to 'secure those captains, mutineers, and their ships.' Captain King was the one loyal man among them. In the Declaration of 1618 Ralegh was alleged, as they may believe who will, to have offered the Destiny at Kinsale to his officers, and also previously off Newfoundland to some of his chief captains, if they would only set him aboard a French bark, 'as being loath to put his head under the King's girdle.'
RETURN TO THE TOWER (June-August, 1618).
[Sidenote: Bayley's Calumnies.]
He arrived in his flagship the Destiny at Plymouth on June 21. No other ships accompanied him. At the news Lady Ralegh, sorrowing and glad, hastened from London. No painter has tried to portray the meeting, one of the most pathetic scenes in English history. His return had long been provided for by others than his noble wife. Captain Bayley, who stole away from Lancerota early in September, 1617, reached England in October. There he skulked about, spreading his fable that he had deserted because he was persuaded Ralegh intended to turn pirate. He circulated among his friends copies of a journal kept by him while he remained in the fleet, in which that view was enforced. The Lord Admiral, no partial friend of Ralegh's, had his ship and cargo seized, and himself summoned before the Privy Council. But later in October, as has been mentioned, Winwood died. On November 18 the Council wrote to the Lord Admiral to release the vessel and goods. It asked if the Admiral had discovered anything against the Captain, or could clear doubts which had been raised of Ralegh's courses and intentions. Reeks, of Ratcliff, had saved his ship through Ralegh's refusal to gratify the desire of his men for revenge at Lancerota. He arrived in December, 1617, and told how forbearing Ralegh had been, and how treacherous the Governor. Men like Carew had never put faith in assertions by creatures of Bayley's stamp, who 'maliced' him, that Ralegh had turned pirate. 'That for my part I would never believe,' wrote Carew. But the evidence of Reeks convinced for the instant even sceptics. Bayley was committed to Westminster Gate-house. On January 11, 1618, he appeared before the Council. The Council declared he had behaved himself undutifully and contemptuously, not only in flying from his General upon false and frivolous suggestions without any just cause at all, but also in defaming him. Allegations by him of treasonable expressions which he had heard Mr. Hastings report Ralegh to have uttered, were held to deepen his offence. If they were true, it was misprision of treason in him to have concealed the matter for a twelvemonth. An account of the inquiry has been printed by Mr. Gardiner in the Camden Miscellany from the Council Register. At its termination he was committed to prison, from which he was not liberated till the end of February. At the Council Carew, Arundel, Compton, Zouch, and Hay had been present. They all were friendly to Ralegh.
[Sidenote: A Royal disavowal.]
By May 13 came the news of the burning of St. Thomas, and Ralegh's well-wishers had no longer strength to defend him. It had reached Madrid earlier. Cottington wrote, on May 3, that the Spanish Ministers had advice of Ralegh's landing and proceedings. He made no comment, unless that the Spaniards were confident Ralegh would discover no gold or silver in those parts. On the arrival of the intelligence in London the story, which it is a pity to have to doubt, is that Gondomar burst into the royal chamber, in spite of assurances that the King was engaged. He said he needed to utter but a single word. It was 'Piratas! Piratas! Piratas!' On June 11 James published a Proclamation. It denounced as 'scandalous and enormous outrages' the hostile invasion of the town of San Thome, as reported by 'a common fame,' and the malicious breaking of the peace 'which hath been so happily established, and so long inviolately continued.' Gondomar had set off on a visit to Madrid. James hoped he would be able to conclude, by his personal representations, the negotiations for the marriage. He was overtaken at Greenwich by a royal messenger with an ill-written letter from Villiers, dated June 26: 'His Majesty will be as severe in punishing them as if they had done the like spoil in any of the cities of England. Howbeit Sir Walter Ralegh had returned with his ship's lading of gold, being taken from the King of Spain or his subjects, he would have sent unto the King of Spain back again as well his treasures as himself, according to his first and precedent promise, which he made unto your Excellency, the which he is resolute to accomplish precisely against the persons and upon the goods of them the offenders therein, it not being so that he doth understand that the same also shall seem well to the King of Spain, to be most convenient and exemplary that they should suffer here so severe punishments as such like crime doth require.' On his knees George Carew pleaded in vain. James would only promise that Ralegh should be heard. He intimated that he had predetermined the result: 'As good hang him as deliver him to the King of Spain; and one of these two I must, if the case be as Gondomar has represented.' In vain Captain North pictured the miseries which had been endured. He showed no pity for the lost son, the ruined fortune, the shattered hopes. Peiresc wrote from the Continent to Camden to condole on the ill-success of 'miser Raleghus.' James's sole thought was how most profitably to sacrifice him. He held out to the Escurial the prospect of an ignominious death in due course. In the meantime he engaged to indemnify any plundered Spanish subjects out of the offender's property. The offer brought upon him two years afterwards a claimant for tobacco to the value of L40,000. Francis Davila, of San Thome, appears to have succeeded in obtaining L750 of the amount from Ralegh's cousin and comrade, Herbert.
[Sidenote: Sir Lewis Stukely.]
Ralegh on his arrival at Plymouth heard of the King's Proclamation. His follower, Samuel King, who had commanded a fly-boat in the expedition, says in his Narrative, written after the execution, that Ralegh had resolved to surrender voluntarily. The Court did not believe it. The seizure of the Destiny had previously been ordered. On June 12 the Lord Admiral had directed Sir Lewis Stukely to arrest Ralegh himself, and bring him to London. Stukely was Vice-Admiral of Devon, having bought the office for L600. He was nephew to Sir Richard Grenville, of the Revenge. Thus, though subsequently he seemed to deny it, he was related to Ralegh. His father had served in the second Virginia voyage. Ralegh had solicited the favour of Cecil for the family. Stukely could boast of sixteen quarterings, and possessed the remains of a considerable inheritance at Afton or Affeton. But he was a man of broken fortunes and doubtful character. In the second week of July Ralegh, his wife, and Captain King had started for London. Close to Ashburton Stukely met them. Ralegh did not dispute his authority, though Stukely admitted he was without a formal warrant, which, according to his own account, did not reach him till he and his prisoner had arrived at Salisbury. The whole party returned the twenty miles to Plymouth. There for nine or ten days Ralegh, who was sick, and glad of rest, lodged, first at the house of Sir Christopher Harris, and next with Mr. Drake. He saw little or nothing of his keeper, who was selling tobacco and the stores of the Destiny. It has been imagined that Stukely meant to tempt him to fly, and then display his dexterity by intercepting him. The laxity of the supervision and the delay give colour rather to a supposition that the Government wished him actually to escape. That would have relieved it from a heavy embarrassment. Out of affection Lady Ralegh and Captain King had the same desire, and at length they gained his consent. King negotiated with two Rochelle captains, Flory and le Grand, for his conveyance across the Channel. One night King and he rowed off to one of the barks. When a quarter of a mile from the ship Ralegh insisted upon returning. According to one account he seems to have been once more persuaded to start, and again his heart failed him, or perhaps his courage revived. He was still buoyed up with romantic fancies, which he had cherished ever since the disappointment on the Orinoko. Until he saw death or a dungeon yawning in front of him, he kept a fond faith that he should be authorized to lead one more forlorn hope.
Peremptory directions at last came from the Council. Ralegh perceived that he was regarded as a criminal, and he foresaw the end as it was to be. He declared that his trust in the King had undone him, and that he should have to die to please the State. He repented that he had not seized the opportunity to escape, and began to form fresh plans. It has been said that at Plymouth his fortitude deserted him. Mr. Gardiner has suggested the very improbable motive for his aversion from a return to London, that he feared he might be torn in pieces by the mob. It was not courage, but patience, which failed. He could not bear the thought of losing the power to strike another blow for the fulfilment of his darling ambition.
Stukely closed his sales, and set off, we are told, on July 25, though more probably the journey began some days earlier. The company consisted of himself, Ralegh, and Lady Ralegh, with their servants, King, and a Frenchman, Manourie, who is said to have brought Stukely his regular warrant. Manourie, who had been long settled in Devonshire, has been variously described as a physician and as a quack. Two centuries and a half ago the distinction between charlatans and experimentalists was not clearly marked in medical science. Ralegh seems to have suspected that he was a spy, but to have believed in his skill. The man may not have been the medical impostor popular resentment believed him. Undoubtedly he was needy and greedy, and a perfidious rogue. From the first he laid traps. He reported to Stukely, or invented, an ejaculation by Ralegh, on hearing of the orders for London: 'God's wounds! Is it possible that my fortune should thus return upon me again?' He told how Ralegh cried as they rode by Sherborne Park: 'All this was mine, and it was taken from me unjustly.' Nothing could be more true.
[Sidenote: The Counterfeit Disease.]
They had slept on the night of July 26 at the house of old Mr. Parham, who lived, with his son, Sir Edward Parham, close to Sherborne. Next day, July 27, they journeyed to Salisbury by Wilton. On the hill beyond Wilton, Ralegh, as he walked down it with Manourie, asked him to prepare an emetic: 'It will be good,' Manourie asserted that he said, 'to evacuate bad humours; and by its means I shall gain time to work my friends and order my affairs; perhaps even to pacify his Majesty.' The summer Progress was proceeding. Ralegh knew that, in pursuance of its programme, the King would stay at Salisbury. That night at Salisbury he turned dizzy. Notwithstanding, or because he desired to spare her a discreditable scene, in the morning Lady Ralegh, with her retinue of servants, continued her journey to London. King went too. He was to hire a boat, which was to lie off Tilbury. According to him, the design was that Ralegh should stop in France till the anger of Spain was lulled. After their departure a servant of Ralegh's rushed to Stukely with the news that his master was out of his wits, in his shirt, and upon all fours, gnawing at the rushes on the boards. Stukely sent Manourie to him. Manourie administered the emetic, and also an ointment compounded of aquafortis. This brought out purple pustules over the breast and arms. Strangers, and after a single visit Stukely too, were afraid to approach. Lancelot Andrewes, then Bishop of Ely, happened to be at Salisbury. He heard, and compassionately sent the best three physicians of the town. None of them could explain the sickness. For four days the cavalcade halted. Ralegh subsisted on a clandestine leg of mutton, and wrote his Apology for the Voyage to Guiana, from which I have already drawn for his view of disputed facts. Manourie he employed to copy his manuscript. The wish to compose the narrative is believed by some to have been the sole motive of his artifice. His own subsequent account of it was that he had speculated on an interview with the King. With that view he had compassed a delay. How an apparent attack of leprosy should have helped him to an interview is not very intelligible. Chamberlain wrote to Carleton on August 8 that Ralegh had no audience of James on account of his malady. Probably the ruling motive of the comedy was a passionate desire to win leisure for drawing up his narrative, which he wildly hoped he might find means of bringing before the King during his sojourn at Salisbury. That was the audience he really desired. As soon as the treatise was written he recovered. Not now or afterwards was he at all ashamed of the deception. So given was he to physicking himself, that it occurred to him as a natural thing to use his drugs in order to gain a few quiet literary days. He justified his pretence by the example of David: 'David did make himself a fool, and suffered spittle to fall upon his beard, that he might escape the hands of his enemies.'
[Sidenote: Consistency of his Position.]
The statement which he had stolen a respite to write has been considered by Mr. Gardiner, in his Prince Charles and the Spanish Marriage, an aggravation of his guilt. The claim it sets up of his right to sweep opposing Spaniards out of his way to the Mine, is treated as an admission that he had founded his enterprise on a lie, and that his sin had found him out. Mr. Gardiner adds he must have known that his case would not bear the light. Apparently this means that he had asserted, or had fraudulently suffered James to infer, that no Spaniards were settled in the vicinity of Keymis's Mine, or were in the least likely to withstand in arms his approach to it; or that he had made a promise, of which the resistance of his men to the Spanish attack was a breach, in no circumstances to fight. These are unproved assumptions. Ralegh, who constitutionally took his instructions from Secretary Winwood, cannot be shown to have given, or been asked for, any positive pledge that in no circumstances would he force his way into the interior of Guiana. The warlike equipment of his fleet, and of the men he led, is evidence that the contingency of a collision with armed Spanish ships and soldiers was contemplated by the Government and prepared for. The nature of the business on which James had despatched him fully authorized the claim in the Apology. He was sent to work a mine on the Orinoko, where the whole commercial world knew that Spaniards were settled. James must have known it from many sources. He knew it definitely from Gondomar, whose protests against the expedition were based particularly on it. Any 'guilt' of Ralegh's for letting his followers run the gauntlet of the San Thome garrison, James must share equally for letting him go with an armed squadron to the Orinoko at all.
[Sidenote: Manourie's Story.]
On the first of August, when the Apology was already completed, the King arrived at Salisbury. It is not known whether Ralegh succeeded in having the composition at once laid before him. If the King saw it, we may be certain that it exerted upon the royal mind the precise reverse of the conciliatory effect the writer anticipated. Orders immediately were issued that Ralegh should move forward. Thereupon, according to Manourie, Ralegh bribed him with twenty crowns, and an offer of L50 a year, to aid his escape. On the same suspicious testimony, he was furious against the King, and uttered menaces. Ralegh informed Manourie of King's Tilbury project. He said he must fly, for 'a man that fears is never secure.' Further, he asserted his conviction that the courtiers had concluded among them 'a man must die to reassure the traffic which he had broken in Spain.' Manourie pretended Ralegh handed to him jewels and money for the purchase of Stukely's connivance. Ralegh acknowledged he had told Stukely he hoped to procure payment of his debts. Any offers beyond this he denied. At Staines Manourie left. He said to Ralegh, whom he was betraying to prison and death, that he did not expect to see him again while Ralegh was in England. It is a pity his figure cannot be wholly obliterated from Ralegh's biography, on which it is one of several ugly human blurs.
[Sidenote: Interview with French Agents.]
At Brentford a more loyal but as unlucky a Frenchman, David de Novion, came to meet Ralegh at the inn. He brought a message from le Clerc, the French Resident, that he wished to see Ralegh. The Government knew of this, and thought that, by affecting ignorance, it might learn more. On July 30 had arrived a Council warrant for Ralegh's committal to the Tower. It was not at once executed. Before he left Salisbury it had been conceded through the mediation, it is said, of Digby, touched by his apparent infirmities at Salisbury, that he should be conveyed to his own house in Broad-street, for four or five days' rest. He now obtained leave to have that arrangement confirmed or resumed. Naunton told Carleton that he procured the permission on a pretence of sickness, that he might take medicine at home. Probably it was granted that he might be tempted to plan an escape with the Frenchmen, and give the Government an excuse for more rigour. On the night of Friday, August 7, he arrived in Broad-street, where he found Lady Ralegh. On the evening of Sunday, at eight, le Clerc and de Novion came. They showed little caution, speaking freely in the presence of eight or ten persons. They intimated he might count on their help in his flight, and on a good reception in France. The French interest in Ralegh was an anti-Spanish interest. If safe in France he could, it was thought, exercise in some not very apparent way influence in England against the Anglo-Spanish alliance. Queen Anne was understood to prefer vehemently a French to a Spanish bride for Prince Charles. The French dealings with Ralegh, it was believed at the time, had been prompted by the Queen or her confidants. Ralegh seems to have listened to his French visitors with grateful courtesy, but not to have accepted any offer of French assistance. He intended to make his way to France. He would not go in a French vessel.
[Sidenote: Preparations for Flight.]
The plan on which he decided had been concerted with King. A former boatswain of King's, called Hart, had a ketch. Cottrell, apparently Ralegh's old Tower servant, who had once before borne witness against him, had found Hart for King. Before Ralegh reached London, King had arranged with Hart through Cottrell that the ketch should be held ready off Tilbury. Implicit trust was placed in Cottrell's supposed devotion to Ralegh. In reality he and Hart had at once betrayed the whole arrangement to a Mr. William Herbert, not the Herbert of the Guiana Expedition. Herbert told Sir William St. John, who in 1616 had traded in Ralegh's liberation. St. John in company, it would seem from Stukely's subsequent account, with Herbert, had posted off with the news to Salisbury. He had met Stukely and his prisoner at Bagshot on the road, and warned the former, who scarcely required the information. Stukely showed such zeal for Ralegh's safety as wholly to delude both him and King. He had obtained a licence from Naunton to enter, without liability, into any contract, and comply with any offer. Though in theory Ralegh was under his charge in Broad-street, he left him full liberty of action. Ralegh's own servants were allowed to wait on him. Stukely borrowed L10 of him. The pretence was a wish to pay for the despatch into the country of his own servants, that they might not interfere with the flight. He promised to accompany Ralegh into France. Ralegh, with all his wit and experience of men, his wife, with her love and her clearness of vision, the shrewd French diplomatists, and honest King, were dupes of a mere cormorant, like Stukely, and of vulgar knaves, like Cottrell and Hart. Without the least suspicion of foul play Ralegh on that Sunday night, after le Clerc and de Novion had left, went down to the river side.
It was a foolish business. Nothing, except success, could have been more woful than all its features and its failure. If the attempt be blamed as rebellion against the law, the correctness of the condemnation cannot be disputed. Ralegh derived no right to fly from the injustice of his treatment. Had he been of the nature of Socrates he would not have thought of flight. His respect for authority was not like that of Socrates. His conscience never particularly troubled him for the immorality of his endeavour to break from custody. It stung him very soon and sharply for the degradation of having run from danger. Flight was unworthy of him, and he acknowledged its shame. But his own account of the temptation to which he yielded may be accepted as truthful. He told Sir Thomas Wilson his intention was to seek an asylum in France from Spanish vengeance, until 'the Queen should have made means for his pardon and recalling.' In England he was doomed, he foresaw, to death or to perpetual confinement; and he believed he had work in life still to do. He feared neither death nor prison for itself. In a paroxysm of despair he clutched the only chance he perceived of reserving his powers for the enterprise he had set them, the overthrow of the colonial monopoly of Spain.