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CHAP. both, and it was with some difficulty that, after many humble submissions, they were able to appease her.

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America was regarded as the chief source of Philip's with Spain. power, as well as the most defenceless part of his dominions; and Elizabeth, finding that an open breach with that monarch was unavoidable, resolved not to leave him unmolested in that quarter. The great success of the Spaniards and Portuguese in both Indies had excited a spirit of emulation in England; and as the progress of commerce, still more that of colonies, is slow and gradual, it was happy that a war in this critical period had opened a more flattering prospect to the avarice and ambition of the English, and had tempted them, by the view of sudden and exorbitant profit, to engage in naval enterprises. A fleet of twenty sail was equipped to attack the Spaniards in the West Indies: two thousand three hundred volunteers, besides seamen, engaged on board it; Sir Francis Drake was appointed admiral; Christopher Carlisle, commander of the land forces. They took St. Jago, near Cape Verde, January. by surprise; and found in it plenty of provisions, but no riches. They sailed to Hispaniola; and, easily making themselves masters of St. Domingo by assault, obliged the inhabitants to ransom their houses by a sum of money. Carthagena fell next into their hands after some more resistance, and was treated in the same manner. They burned St. Anthony and St. Helens, two towns on the coast of Florida. Sailing along the coast of Virginia, they found the small remains of a colony which had been planted there by Sir Walter Raleigh, and which had gone extremely to decay. This was the first attempt of the English to form such settlements; and though they have since surpassed all European nations, both in the situation of their colonies, and in the noble principles of liberty and industry on which they are founded, they had here been so unsuccessful, that the miserable planters abandoned their settlements, and prevailed on Drake to carry them with him to England. He returned with so much riches as encouraged the volunteers, and with such accounts of the Spanish weakness in those countries as served extremely to inflame the spirits of the nation to future enterprises. The great mor

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tality which the climate had produced in his fleet was, as is CHAP. usual, but a feeble restraint on the avidity and sanguine hopes of young adventurers ". It is thought that Drake's fleet first introduced the use of tobacco into England.

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The enterprises of Leicester were much less successful than those of Drake. This man possessed neither courage nor capacity equal to the trust reposed in him by the queen; and as he was the only bad choice she made for any considerable employment, men naturally believed that she had here been influenced by an affection still more partial than that of friendship. He gained at first some advantage in an action against the Spaniards: and threw succours into Grave, by which that place was enabled to make a vigorous defence; but the cowardice of the governor, Van Hemert, rendered all these efforts useless. He capitulated after a feeble resistance; and, being tried for his conduct, suffered a capital punishment from the sentence of a court-martial. The prince of Parma next undertook the siege of Venlo, which was surrendered to him after some resistance. The fate of Nuys was more dismal, being taken by assault while the garrison was treating of a capitulation. Rhimberg, which was garrisoned by twelve hundred English, under the command of Colonel Morgan, was afterwards besieged by the Spaniards; and Leicester, thinking himself too weak to attempt raising the siege, endeavoured to draw off the Prince of Parma by forming another enterprise. He first attacked Doesburgh, and succeeded: he then sat down before Zutphen, which the Spanish general thought so important a fortress that he hastened to its relief. He made the Marquis of Guasto advance with a convoy, which he intended to throw into the place. They were favoured by a fog; but, falling by accident on a body of English cavalry, a furious action ensued, in which the Spaniards were worsted, and the Marquis of Gonzaga, an Italian nobleman of great reputation and family, was slain. The pursuit was stopped by the advance of the Prince of Parma with the main body of the Spanish army; and the English cavalry, on their return from the field, found their advantage more than compensated by the m Camden, p. 509.

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CHAP. loss of Sir Philip Sidney, who, being mortally wounded XLI. in the action, was carried off by the soldiers, and soon after died. This person is described by the writers of 265 that age as the most perfect model of an accomplished gentleman that could be formed even by the wanton imagination of poetry or fiction. Virtuous conduct, polite conversation, heroic valour, and elegant erudition, all concurred to render him the ornament and delight of the English court; and as the credit which he possessed with the queen and the Earl of Leicester was wholly employed in the encouragement of genius and literature, his praises have been transmitted with advantage to posterity. No person was so low as not to become an object of his humanity. After this last action, while he was lying on the field mangled with wounds, a bottle of water was brought him to relieve his thirst; but observing a soldier near him in a like miserable condition, he said, This man's necessity is still greater than mine; and resigned to him the bottle of water. The King of Scots, struck with admiration of Sidney's virtue, celebrated his memory in a copy of Latin verses, which he composed on the death of that young hero.

The English, though a long peace had deprived them of all experience, were strongly possessed of military genius; and the advantages gained by the Prince of Parma were not attributed to the superior bravery and discipline of the Spaniards, but solely to the want of military abilities in Leicester. The states were much discontented with his management of the war, still more with his arbitrary and imperious conduct, and at the end of the campaign they applied to him for a redress of all their grievances. But Leicester, without giving them any satisfaction, departed soon after for England ".

The queen, while she provoked so powerful an enemy as the King of Spain, was not forgetful to secure herself on the side of Scotland; and she endeavoured both to cultivate the friendship and alliance of her kinsman James, and to remove all grounds of quarrel between them. An attempt which she had made some time before was not well calculated to gain the confidence of that prince. She had despatched Wotton as her n Camden, p. 512. Bentivoglio, part ii. lib. 4.

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ambassador to Scotland; but though she gave him pri- CHAP. vate instructions with regard to her affairs, she informed James, that when she had any political business to discuss with him she would employ another minister; that this man was not fitted for serious negotiations; and that her chief purpose in sending him was to entertain the king with witty and facetious conversation, and to partake, without reserve, of his pleasures and amusements. Wotton was master of profound dissimulation, and knew how to cover, under the appearance of a careless gaiety, the deepest designs and most dangerous artifices. When but a youth of twenty, he had been employed by his uncle, Dr. Wotton, ambassador in France, during the reign of Mary, to ensnare the constable, Montmorency; and had not his purpose been frustrated by pure accident, his cunning had prevailed over all the caution and experience of that aged minister. It is no wonder that, after years had improved him in all the arts of deceit, he should gain an ascendant over a young prince of so open and unguarded a temper as James; especially when the queen's recommendation prepared the way for his reception. He was admitted into all the pleasures of the king; made himself master of his secrets; and had so much the more authority with him in political transactions, as he did not seem to pay the least attention to these matters. The Scottish ministers, who observed the growing interest of this man, endeavoured to acquire his friendship; and scrupled not to sacrifice to his intrigues the most essential interests of their master. Elizabeth's usual jealousies with regard to her heirs began now to be levelled against James; and as that prince had attained the years proper for marriage, she was apprehensive lest, by being strengthened with children and alliances, he should acquire the greater interest and authority with her English subjects. She directed Wotton to form a secret concert with some Scottish noblemen, and to procure their promise that James, during three years, should not on any account be permitted to marry. In consequence of this view, they endeavoured to embroil him with the King of Denmark, who had sent ambassadors to Scotland on pretence of demanding restitution of the Orkneys, but really with a

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CHAP. view of opening a proposal of marriage between James and his daughter. Wotton is said to have employed his intrigues to purposes still more dangerous. He formed, it is pretended, a conspiracy with some malecontents to seize the person of the king, and to deliver him into the hands of Elizabeth, who would probably have denied all concurrence in the design, but would have been sure to retain him in perpetual thraldom, if not captivity. The conspiracy was detected, and Wotton fled hastily from Scotland, without taking leave of the king.

James's situation obliged him to dissemble his resentment of this traitorous attempt, and his natural temper inclined him soon to forgive and forget it. The queen found no difficulty in renewing the negotiations for a strict alliance between Scotland and England; and the more effectually to gain the prince's friendship, she granted him a pension equivalent to his claim on the inheritance of his grandmother, the Countess of Lenox, lately deceased P. A league was formed between Elizabeth and James for the mutual defence of their dominions, and of their religion, now menaced by the open combination of all the catholic powers of Europe. It was stipulated that, if Elizabeth were invaded, James should aid her with a body of two thousand horse and five thousand foot; that Elizabeth, in a like case, should send to his assistance three thousand horse and six thousand foot; that the charge of these armies should be defrayed by the prince who demanded assistance; that if the invasion should be made upon England, within sixty miles of the frontiers of Scotland, this latter kingdom should march its whole force to the assistance of the former; and that the present league should supersede all former alliances of either state with any foreign kingdom, so far as religion was concerned".

By this league James secured himself against all attempts from abroad, opened a way for acquiring the confidence and affections of the English, and might entertain some prospect of domestic tranquillity, which, while he lived on bad terms with Elizabeth, he could never

o Melvil.

P Spotswood, p. 351.
4 Spotswood, p. 349. Camden, p. 513. Rymer, tom. xv. p. 803.

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