1769 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Raleigh

James Granger, in Biographical History of England (1769; 1824) 2:140.



The Dutchess Dowager of Portland has a miniature of Sir Walter Raleigh, and his son Walter, who was killed at St. Thomas.

Sir Walter Raleigh was author of The History of the World; the design of which was equal to the greatness of his mind, and the execution to the strength of his parts, and the variety of his learning. His style is pure, nervous, and majestic; and much better suited to the dignity of history, than that of Lord Bacon. Raleigh seems to have written for posterity; Bacon for the reign of James the First. He said, with great calmness, to some of his friends, who deplored his confinement, when he lay under sentence of death, "That the world itself was but a larger prison, out of which some were daily selected for execution." Beheaded, 29 Oct. 1619. The story of his burning a second volume of his History of the World, is disproved by Mr. Oldys, in his life of Raleigh, before the last edition of that great work.