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down to the ground. Whereupon, we seven-and-twenty Portugals that remained, retired with much ado to our vessel, where we saved ourselves, as it were, by miracle—leaving our anchor in the sea, and setting sail with all the speed we could. The next morning the mutineers, who were about ten thousand, having sacked the town, divided themselves into two troops, and retired to a hill, called Canaphamaa; there they fortified themselves, with an intent to create a new head that should govern them, because the Fucarandono had been slain with the stroke of a lance, which he had received in his throat, together with all the rest of his kinsmen, which had given a beginning to this mutiny."
This fatal business ends in the destruction of the city, and the death of seven-and-thirty thousand men; but we hasten to abridge another story of a Portuguese governor, Diego Suarez, who lived in Pegu, and " became so great that he was termed the king's brother.
Mangabosa, a rich man with only one daughter, whose dowry was three hundred thousand ducats, resolved to give her in marriage with a young nobleman, by whom she was beloved. On the morning fixed for the nuptials, Diego happened to pass the house, and observing the magnificent preparations inquired the cause; on which the father (honoured by his notice) called to his daughter, and her ladies of quality, and she coming forward, he told her to draw from her finger a rich ring, and present it to Diego, as he sat on his elephant. Struck with her beauty, the governor seized her by the hand, and plucking her forcibly towards him, said, "God forbid so fair a maid should fall into any hands but mine:" on this, the old man fell on his knees, and besought the ravisher's mercy, but was only answered by an order that he should die; but the bridegroom and his parents just then arriving, the old man was pushed into his house. The young lover, his father, and seven of his kinsmen, were slain, and the distracted bride carried off in triumph by Diego to his palace, where she saved herself from pollution, by speedily strangling herself with her girdle, wherewith "the governor was sorely displeased." For four whole years the old man never passed his threshold, but clothed in a tattered mat, and begging alms of his own slaves, shewed thus the intensity of his sorrow; but on the death of the king, by whom Diego had been protected, he rushed out of his house, and seizing an idol in his arms, sacred to the afflicted, he stood on the steps of the temple, and recapitulated his wrongs and his sufferings. The people, inspired by pity and generous indignation, rushed to the palace of the new king, and with loud cries demanded justice; and he, willing to please them on his accession, ordered his guard to seize Diego, and deliver him to them. He was taken in the streets, with six of his servants, but without the power of calling a farther retinue. Soon after
his son met him, and alarmed by his appearance in the midst of the guards, struggled to reach him, but was repulsed so severely, that the father fell into a swoon. On his restoration, he was dragged to the stairs of the market place, when he prayed fervently as a Christian to heaven; but the Mambogaa, still holding his idol, called out for vengeance, and the people near pushing him down the stairs, he fell into the hands of the infuriated mob, who tore him to pieces, and carried their vengeance to his slaves and servants, who suffered for his sins; while the king seized on the immense wealth which, for fourteen years, he had been accumulating in that country.
Our traveller now draws near the end of his many wanderings; but his last effort for obtaining the aids of merchandize fail, and he is obliged to put in at the kingdom of Bungo, where he finds the king and many courtiers employed in catching a great whale, such as had never been seen on those coasts before. His success puts him in good humour, and he takes the strangers home to his palace to sup, when their manner of eating with their hands only, amuses the court extremely, seeing that all the inhabitants feed only with two small sticks.
The king's daughter, " a marvellously fair creature, about fourteen years old, craved leave of the queen her mother, that she and her companions might perform a play, which granted, they retired." Soon afterwards she entered in the dress of a merchant, wearing a scymitar and gold breast plate, and falling on her knees to the king, in a long and clever speech, she besought him to allow her to trade to his kingdom, having many children to provide for, and great incommodities to suffer. The king laughed, but permitted her to go on; on which the young train were called, all habited in the same manner, each bearing on her shoulder a fardle of green velvet. They all danced and sung, and then undid their fardles, in which were found a number of wooden arms with hands, which the princess, with great grace desired that the Portuguese should purchase, saying, that "since Nature had subjected us to such a villainous misery, that our hands must smell of flesh or fish, this merchandize would accommodate us, inasmuch as, whilst we used one pair of hands, the other might be washed." Their majesties of Bungo (like other parents) laugh, and chide their beautiful daughter, but are very generous to the Christians, and assist them to Zequa, from whence they go to the Indies, where finding some ships about to sail for Portugal, the wanderer abandons all hope of bettering his fortune, and embarks for Lisbon.
A few melancholy reflections, and bitter lamentations, wind up the sad eventful history of Mendez Pinto. He assures us, " that the services he has done for the space of twenty-one years, in which he was sold sixteen times, have never been recompensed." Had the poor man talked of his sufferings, instead of his services, we apprehend the plea would have been more valid. He winds up by a kind excuse for his sovereign's neglect of his merit, and an acknowledgement that it is right in Divine goodness thus to humble him, and purify him from sin.
Whatever might be the neglect or condemnation of poor Ferdinand in his own country, either from the wise who shared, or the witty who laughed at him, we are not ashamed to thank him. He has given us many affecting pictures of human suffering, which, although delivered with prolixity, are marked by simplicity and general feeling, insomuch, that we are fully persuaded our traveller was a good-natured, kind-hearted man, who might sometimes overcharge his descriptions to add to the pleasure of his readers; but was not (on the whole) either gifted with the imagination necessary for romance, nor the desire of practising deception beyond its most harmless character.
Art. VI.—Three Laze Tracts, by Sir Edward Coke, Knight, Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench. By William Hawkins, Serjeant at Law. 8vo. London, 1764.
We entreat our readers not to be terrified at the "very grave and judicial" title which is prefixed to the present article, for we can safely assure them, that we have no intention of exercising their patience by a legal critique. In opposition to Sir Edward Coke, who has entitled his first institute " A Commentary upon Littleton, not upon the name of the Author only, but upon the Law itself;" our observations, on the present occasion, are upon the name itself, and not upon the law; and our object in the following pages is to present a succinct account of a man, whose character is in many respects well worthy of record. Had the interest attached to it, indeed, been derived merely from his professional reputation, we should certainly have regarded the following sketch of his life as very foreign to our pages. Although his name, in the estimation of our lawyers, occupies that pre-eminent rank, which in every science or profession is commonly accorded to some master-genius, yet the details of a mere lawyer's life would be little acceptable to any one out of the pale of the profession. In this country, however, many of those who have acted the most conspicuous parts on the political stage, have been men who have filled the highest judicial situations of the state, and it has been by no means unusual to discover, under the wig and ermine of the judge, the intriguing head of the politician and the habits of the courtier. How unfavourable to the purity of the judicial character this political tendency must be, is sufficiently obvious; but while, in many instances, it has been productive of corruption and subserviency, in others it has served to display in clearer light the integrity and firmness which can resist both the blandishments and the threats of power. In our legal biography, we have many illustrious examples of men who have withstood both the one and the other; and although the character of Sir Edward Coke be not, in some respects, free from considerable reproach, yet we shall not find one, amongst all the ornaments of our courts of justice, more truly entitled to the praise of uniting the most profound learning with the strictest integrity of principle in public life. But, independently of his connexion with the political history of his times, the personal character of Lord Chief Justice Coke is by no means unworthy of study. The man who could excite the fear and enmity of Bacon must have possessed no ordinary claims to distinction.
Sir Edward Coke was the son of Robert Coke, Esq. a bencher of Lincoln's Inn, and was born at Mileham, in the county of Norfolk, in the year 1550. At the age of ten, be was sent to the free-school at Norwich, and afterwards to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he remained about four years. From Cambridge he was removed to Clifford's Inn, and the following year became a student of the Inner Temple. After studying for six years, a short prolation at that time, he was called to the bar, and held his first brief in the Queen's Bench, in Trinity term, 1578. About seven years after his being called, he married Bridget, the daughter of John Paxton, Esq. a gentleman of an ancient family in Norfolk, with whom he received a large fortune, which gave him considerable influence in his native county. He was chosen Recorder of Coventry and Norwich, and being frequently consulted by the Lord Treasurer Burleigh, he rose rapidly into reputation and business. The freeholders of Norfolk returned him as their representative to Parliament; and, in the thirty-fifth of Elizabeth, he was chosen Speaker of the House of Commons. In 1592, he became Solicitor, and was shortly afterwards advanced to the post of Attorney-General. Having lost his first wife, by whom he had ten children, he married the Lady Hatton, relict of Sir William Hatton, and sister of Lord Burleigh, afterwards Earl of Exeter. How unfortunate an union this was, will be seen in the sequel. The most important matter in which the Attorney-General was engaged during the reign of his royal mistress, was the prosecution of the celebrated Earl of Essex and the Earl of Southampton, before the House of Lords, for high treason. Upon this occasion, Coke conducted himself towards the prisoners with that rancour and animosity, which are the most discreditable parts of his character. The Earl of Essex declared, that he had been talked out of his life by orators; while Southampton addressed the Attorney-General in these words—" Mr. Attorney, you have urged the matter very far, and you wrong me therein—my blood be upon your head." The bitterness of spirit which he always appears to hare felt towards those against whom he was retained, prompted him to indulge in the most unfeeling taunts. Of Essex, he asserted, "that, by the just judgement of God, he of his earldom should be Robert the last, that of a kingdom thought to be Robert the first." There is, however, no reason to doubt that Coke was fully convinced of the guilt of the accused.
On the accession of James I. the Attorney-General was knighted, and in the same year was engaged in the trial of Sir Walter Raleigh, and his companions. On this occasion, his conduct was still more violent and indecent than on the trial of Lord Essex, and has deeply stained a character which otherwise would have commanded our entire esteem. Into the difficult question of the guilt or innocence of Raleigh, we shall not enter; for whether guilty or innocent, a man of his high genius and signal reputation deserved to be treated with every mark of decency and feeling.
The following extracts present a fine contrast between the dignity of Raleigh and the angry heat of the Attorney-General.
"Raleigh. Your words cannot condemn me; my innocency is my defence. Prove one of these things wherewith you have charged me, and I will confess the whole indictment, and that I am the horriblest traitor that ever lived, and worthy to be crucified with a thousand thousand torments.
"Attorney. Nay, I will prove all: thou art a monster; thou hast an English face, but a Spanish heart. Now you must have money: Aremberg was no sooner in England (I charge thee, Raleigh) but thou incitedst Cobham to go unto him, and to deal with him for money, to bestow on discontented persons to raise rebellion in the kingdom.
"Raleigh. Let me answer for myself.
"Attorney. Thou shalt not.
"Raleigh. It concerneth my life.
"Raleigh. I do not hear yet, that you have spoken one word against me; here is no treason of mine done; if my Lord Cobham be a traitor, what is that to me?