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Coke satirised-Ralegh's Return to Prison-His Letter to the King
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No. III. Queen Elizabeth's Letters-Patent to Ralegh, concerning Vir-
L I F E
SIR WALTER RALEGH.
WITH the reign of Queen Elizabeth the good fortune of Sir Walter Ralegh sank to rise no more; and those talents, which, under the smiles of a female sovereign of singular penetration, had been called forth and directed to the noblest ends, were doomed to fade and wither under the frowns of her successor.
In no instance was the policy of Cecil more remarkable, than in the part which he acted with King James toward the close of Queen Eli- King James. zabeth's reign. No sooner was the blow struck against Essex, than the secretary thought it prudent to cultivate the favour of a prince who was likely so soon to become his sovereign. Sensible, however, that an intercourse with him might prove highly dangerous under a mistress whose natural jealousy was daily strengthening with age,
he carried on the correspondence into which he entered with all the secrecy and caution necessary to his situation and peculiar to his character'. The letters were for the most part conveyed by the way
of IreJand, and those from this side were written by Lord Henry Howard, under the inspection of Cecil, in a style affectedly obscure. Not
1 See Robertson's Scotland. Vol. II.
? Birch's Life of Prince Henry, p. 232.