The present sketch of Raleigh's life is the first attempt which has been made to portray his personal career disengaged from the general history of his time.
eps hurriedly taken to uphold the Queen's power in Ireland, young Walter Raleigh was sent where his half-brother, Humphrey Gilbert, had so much distinguished himself ten years before.
The biographer breathes more freely when he holds at last the earliest letter which remains in the handwriting of his hero. All else may be erroneous or conjectural, but here at least, for a moment, he presses his fingers upon the very pulse of the machine. On February 22, 1580, Raleigh wrote from Cork to Burghley, giving him an account of his voyage. It appears that he wrote on the day of his arrival, and if that be the case, he left London, and passed down the Thames, in command of a troop of one hundred foot soldiers, on January 15, 1580. By the same computation, they reached the Isle of Wight on the 21st, and stayed there to be transferred into ships of Her Majesty's fleet, not starting again until February 5. On his reaching Cork, Raleigh found that his men and he were only to be paid from the day of their arrival in
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