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In the career of discovery, his perseverance was

Chap. III.}
never baffled by losses. He joined in the risks of Gilbert's expedition; contributed to the discoveries of Davis in the north-west; and himself personally explored ‘the insular regions and broken world’ of Guiana. The sincerity of his belief in the wealth of the latter country has been unreasonably questioned. If Elizabeth had hoped for a hyperborean Peru in the arctic seas of America, why might not Raleigh expect to find the city of gold on the banks of the Oronoco? His lavish efforts in colonizing the soil of our republic, his sagacity which enjoined a settlement within the Chesapeake Bay, the publications of Hariot and Hakluyt which he countenanced, if followed by losses to himself, diffused over England a knowledge of America, as well as an interest in its destinies, and sowed the seeds, of which the fruits were to ripen during his lifetime, though not for him.

Raleigh had suffered from pals1 before his last expedition. He returned broken-hearted by the defeat of his hopes, by the decay of his health, and by the death of his eldest son. What shall be said of King James, who would open to an aged paralytic no other hope of liberty but through success in the discovery of mines in Guiana? What shall be said of a monarch who could, at that time, under a sentence which was originally unjust,2 and which had slumbered for fifteen years, order the execution of the decrepit man, whose genius and valor shone brilliantly through the ravages

1 Thomson, Appendix, note U. The original document.

2 Hume, Rapin, Lingard, are less favorable to Raleigh. Even Hallam, i. 482—484, vindicates him with wavering boldness. A careful comparison of the accounts of these historians, the trial, and the biographies of Raleigh, proves him to have been, on his trial, a victim of jealousy, and entirely innocent of crime. No doubt he despised King James. See Tytler, 285—290.

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