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indications of resolution and vigour of prelate, “it is a pity that so virtuous a mind; a quality which seems to have - lady should be surrounded by such sycobeen inherent in her family. Hume. phants. The book is naught: it is § 95. Anolher Character of Mary,
“ filled with things too horrible to be
thought of.” She thanked him, and The foulest blot on the character of threw ihe paper into the fire. this queen is her long and cruel persecu- Her natural abilities had been improved tion of the reformers. The sufferings of by education. She understood the Italian, the victims naturally beget an antipathy to she spoke the French and Spanish lanthe woman, by whose authority they were guages: and the ease and correctness with inflicted. It is, however, but fair to re- which she replied to the foreigners, who collect what I have already noticed, that addressed her in Latin, excited their admithe extirpation of erroneous doctrine was ration. Her speeches in public and from inculcated as a duty by the leaders of the throne, were delivered with grace and every religious party. Mary only prac- fluency: and her conferences with Noailtised what they taught. It was her mis- les, as related in his dispatches, shew her fortune, rather than her fault, that she was to have possessed an acute and vigorous not more enlightened than the wisest of mind, and to have been on most subjects her contemporaries.
a match for that subtle and intriguing With this exception, she has been ranked negociator.
Lingard. by the more moderate of the reformed wri. ters among the best, though not the greatest,
$96. Characler of ELIZABETII. of our princes. They have borne honour. In the judgment of her contemporaries, able testimony to her virtues : have allot- and that judgment has been ratified by ted to her the praise of piety and clemency, the consent of posterity, Elizabeth was of compassion to the poor, and liberality numbered among the greatest and the to the distressed : and have recorded her most fortunate of our princes. The transolicitude to restore to opulence the fami- quillity, which, during a reign of nearly lies that had been unjustly deprived of half a century, she maintained within her their possessions by her father and bro- dominions, while the neighbouring nations ther, and to provide for the wants of the were convulsed with intestine dissensions, parochial clergy, who had been reduced was taken as a proof of the wisdom or the to penury by the spoliations of the last vigour of her government: and her sucgovernment. It is acknowledged that cessful resistance against the Spanish her moral character was beyond reproof. monarch, the many injuries which she inIt extorted respect from all, even from the flicted on that lord of so many kingdoms, most virulent of her enemies. The ladies and the spirit displayed by her fleets and of her household copied the conduct of armies, in expeditions to France and the their mistress : and the decency of Mary's Netherlands, to Spain, to the West and court was often mentioned with applause even to the East Indies, served to give to by those, who lamented the dissoluteness the world an exalted notion of her military which prevailed in that of her successor, and naval power. When she came to the
The queen was thought by some to throne, England ranked only among the have inherited the obstinacy of her father : secondary kingdoms; before her death it but there was this difference, that before had risen to a level with the first nations she formed her decisions, she sought for in Europe. advice and information, and made it an Of this rise two causes may be assigned. invariable rule to prefer right to expe- The one, though more remote, was that diency. One of the outlaws, who had spirit of commercial enterprise, which had obtained his pardon, hoped to ingratiate revived in the reign of Mary, and had himself with Mary by devising a plan to been carefully fostered, in that of Elizarender her independent of parliament. He beth, by the patronage of the sovereign, submitted it to the inspection of the and the co-operation of the great. Its Spanish ambassador, by whom it was re- benefits were not confined to the trading commended to her consideration. Sending and sea-faring classes, the two interests for Gardiner, she bade him peruse it, and more immediately concerned. It
gave a then adjured him, as he should answer at new tone to the public mind : it diffused the judgment seat of God, to speak his a new energy through all ranks of men. real sentiments. “Madam,” replied the Their views became expanded : tbeir
powers were called into action; and the of Elizabeth was partially owing to her example of successful adventure furnished discovery of such practices : but there is a powerful stimulus to the talent and in- reason to believe that it was a weakness dustry of the nation. Men in every pro- inherent in the constitution of her mind. fession looked forward to wealth and in- To deliberate appears to have been her dependence: all were eager to start in delight : to resolve was her torment. the race of improvement.
She would receive advice from any; The other cause may be discovered in from foreigners as well as patives, from the system of foreign policy, adopted by the ladies of her bed-chamber no less than the ministers; a policy, indeed, which it the lords of her council: but her distrust may be difficult to reconcile with honesty begot hesitation, and she always sus. and good faith, but which, in the result, pected that some interested motive lurked proved eminently successful. The reader under the pretence of zeal for her service. has seen them perpetually on the watch to Hence she often suffered months, somesow the seeds of dissension, to foment the times years, to roll away before she came spirit of resistance, and to aid the efforts to a conclusion: and then it required the of rebellion, in the neighbouring nations. same industry and address to keep her In Scotland the authority of the crown steady to her purpose, as it had already cost was almost annihilated; France was re- to bring her to it. The ministers, in their duced to an unexampled state of anarchy, confidential correspondence, perpetually poverty, and distress: and Spain beheld lamented this infirmity in the queen: in with dismay her wealth continually ab- public they employed all their ingenuity to sorbed, and her armies annually perishing, screen it from notice, and to give the semamong the dikes and sand-banks of the blance of wisdom to that which, in their Low Countries. The depression of these own judgment, they characterized as folly. powers, if not a positive, was a relative Besides irresolution, there was in Elibenefit. As other princes descended, the zabeth another quality equally, perhaps English queen appeared to rise on the more, mortifying to her counsellors and scale of reputation and power.
favourites; her care to improve her reveIn what proportion the merit or demerit nue, her reluctance to part with her moof these and of other measures should be ney. That frugality in a sovereign is a shared between Elizabeth and her coun- virtue deserving the highest praise, could sellors, it is impossible to determine. On not be denied; but they contended that, many subjects she could see only with their in their mistress, it had degenerated into eyes, and hear with their ears; yet it is parsimony, if not into avarice. Their saevident that her judgment or her con- laries were, indeed, low : she distributed science frequently disapproved of their her gratuities with a sparing hand; and advice. Sometimes, after a long struggle, the more honest among them injured their they submitted to her wisdom or obsti- fortunes in her service: yet there were nacy; sometimes she was terrified or se- others who, by the sale of places, and paduced into the surrender of her own tronage, and monopolies, were able to opinion : generally a compromise was ef- amass considerable wealth, or to spend fected by mutual concessions. This ap- with a profusion almost unexampled pears to have happened on most debates of among subjects. The truth, bowever, importance, and particularly with respect was, that the foreign policy of the cabinet, to the treatment of the unfortunate queen had plunged the queen into a gulf of unof Scots. Elizabeth may perhaps have fathomable expense. Her connexion with dissembled : she may have been actuated the insurgents in so many different coun. by jealousy or hatred: but, if we con- tries, the support of a standing army in denin, we should also remember the arts Ilolland, her long war with Spain, and and frauds of the men by whom she was the repeated attempts to suppress the resurrounded, the false information which bellion of Tyrone, were continual drains they supplied, the imaginary dangers upon the treasury, which the revenue of which they created, and the dispatches the crown, with every adventitious aid of which they dictated in England to be for- subsidies, loans, fines, and forfeitures, was warded to the queen through the ambassa- unable to supply. Her poverty increased dors in foreign courts, as the result of their as her wants multiplied. All her efforts own judgment and observation.
were cramped : expeditions were calcuIt may be, that the habitual irresolution lated on too limited a scale, and for too short a period; and the very appreben- after a short pause, her maids of honour sion of present, served only to entail on entered in procession, and with much reher future and more enormous, expense. verence and solemnity, took the dishes
An intelligent foreigner had described from the table, and carried them into an Elizabeth, while she was yet a subject, as inner apartment. haughty and overbearing: on the throne Yet while she maintained this state in she was careful to display that notion of public and in the palace, while she taught her own importance, that contempt of all the proudest of the nobility to feel the beneath her, and that courage in the time distance between them and their soveof danger, which were characteristic of the reign, she condescended to court the good Tudors. She seemed to have forgotten will of the common people. In the counthat she ever had a mother : but was try, they had access to her at all times; proud to remind both herself and others neither their rudeness nor importunity apibat she was the daughter of a powerful peared to offend her : she received their monarch, of Henry VIII. On occasions petitions with an air of pleasure, thanked of ceremony she appeared in all her splen- them for their expressions of attachment, dour, accompanied by the great officers of and sought the opportunity of entering state, and with a pumerous retinue of into private conversation with in dividuals. lords and ladies dressed in their most Her progresses were undoubtedly undergorgeous apparel. In reading the accounts taken for pleasure: but she made them of her court, we may sometimes fancy subservient to policy, and increased her ourselves transported into the palace of an popularity by her affability and condeeastern princess. When Henizner saw her scension to the private inhabitants of the she was proceeding on a Sunday from her counties in which she made her tempoown apartment to the chapel. First ap- rary abode. peared a number of genilemen, barons, From the elevation of the throne, we earls, and knights of the garter; then may now follow Elizabeth into the pricame the chancellor with the seals, be- vacy of domestic life. Her natural abilitween two lords carrying the sceptre and ties were great: she had studied under the sword. Elizabeth followed: and experienced masters ; and her stock of li. wherever she cast her eyes, the spectators terature was much more ample than that instantly fell on their knees. She was then of most females of the age. Like her in her sixty-fifth year. She wore false sister Mary, she possessed a knowledge hair of a red colour, surmounted with a of five languages : but Mary did not vencrown of gold. The wrinkles of age were ture to converse in Italian, neither could imprinted on her face; her eyes were she construe the Greek Testament, like small, her teeth black, her nose prominent. Elizabeth. The queen is said to have The collar of the garter hung from her excelled on the virginals, and to have neck; and her bosom was uncovered, as understood the most difficult music. But became an unmarried queen. Behind her dancing was her principal delight: and followed a long train of young ladies in that exercise she displayed a grace and dressed in white; and on each side stood spirit, which was universally admired. a line of gentlemen pensioners, with their She retained her partiality for it to the gilt battle-axes, in splendid uniforms. last : few days passed in which the young
The traveller Dext proceeded to the nobility of the court were not called to dining room. Two gentlemen entered to dance before their sovereign ; and the lay the cloth, two to bring the queen's queen herself condescended to perform ber plate, salt, and bread. All, before they part in a galliard with the duke of Nevers, approached the table, and when they re- at the age of sixty-nine. tired from it, made three genuflexions. Of her vanity the reader will bave noThen came a single and a married lady, ticed several instances in the preceding performing the same ceremonies. The pages: there remains one of a more exfirst rubbed the plate with bread and salt: traordinary description. It is seldom that the second gave a morsel of meat to each females have the boldness to become the of the yeomen of the guard, who brought heralds of their own charms : but Elizain the different courses; and at the same beth by proclamation announced to her time the ball echoed to the sound of twelve people, that none of the portraits, which trumpets, and two kettle drums. But had hitherto been taken of her person, the queen dined that day in privale; and, did justice to the original: that at the re
qnest of her council she had resolved to collared Hatton, she gave a blow on the procure an exact likeness from the pencil ear to the earl marshal, and she spat on of some able artist : that it should soon be sir Matthew with the foppery of published for the gratification of her lov- whose dress she was offended. ing subjects : and that on this account she Elizabeth firmly believed, and zealousstrictly forbad all persons whomsoever, to ly upheld, the principles of government, paint or engrave any new portraits of her established by her father, the exercise of features without licence, or to shew or absolute authority by the sovereign, and publish any of the old portraits, till they the duty of passive obedience in the sub. had been reformed according to the copy ject. The doctrine, with which the lord to be set forth by authority.
keeper Bacon opened her first parliament, The courtiers soon discovered how was indefatigably inculcated by all his sucgreedy their sovereign was of flattery. If cessors during her reign, that, if the queen they sought to please, they were care- consulted the two houses, it was through ful to admire: and adulation the most choice, not through necessity, to the end fulsome and extravagant, was accepted by that her laws might be more satisfactory the queen with gratitude, and rewarded to her people, not that they might derive with bounty. Neither was her appetite any force from their assent. She possessfor praise cloyed, it seemed rather to be- ed by her prerogative whatever was recome more craving, by enjoyment. After quisite for the government of the realm. she had passed her grand climacteric she She could, at her pleasure, suspend the exacted the same homage to her faded operation of existing statutes, or issue charms as had been paid to her youth; proclamations which should have the and all who addressed her, were still force of law. In her opinion the chief careful to express their admiration of her use of parliaments was to vote money, to beauty in the language of oriental hyper- regulate the minutiæ of trade, and to lebole.
gislate for individual and local interests, But however highly the queen might To the lower house she granted, iudeed, think of her person, she did not despise freedom of debate; but it was to be a the aid of external ornament. At her decent freedom, the liberty of " saying death, two, some say three, thousand aye or no;" and those who transgressed dresses were found in her wardrobe, with that decency were liable, we have rea numerous collection of jewellery, for the peatedly seen, to feel the weight of the most part presents, which she had re- royal displeasure. ceived from petitioners, from her courtiers The historians, who celebrate the on her saine's day, and at the beginning golden days of Elizabeth, have described of each year, and from the noblemen and with a glowing pencil, the happiness of gentlemen, whose houses she had ho- the people under her sway. To them noured with her presence. To the aus- might be opposed the dismal picture of tere notions of the bishop of London, this national misery, drawn by the catholic love of finery appeared unbecoming her writers of the same period. But both age, and in his sermon he endeavoured to have taken 100 contracted a view of the raise her thoughts from the ornaments of subject. Religious dissension had divided dress to the riches of heaven : but she the nation into opposite parties, of almost told her ladies, that if he touched upon equal numbers, the oppressors and the op. that subject again, she would fit him for pressed. Under the operation of the peheaven. He should walk there without a nal statutes, many ancient and opulent staff, and leave his mantle behind him. families had been ground to the dust;
In her temper Elizabeth seemed to have new families had sprung up in their place: inherited the irritability of her father. and these, as they shared the plunder, naThe least inattention, the slightest provo- turally eulogized the system to which they cation, would throw her into a passion. owed their wealth and their ascendency. At all times her discourse was sprinkled But their prosperity was not the prospewith oaths : in the sallies of her anger it rity of the nation : it was that of oneabounded with imprecations and abuse. half obtained at the expense of the other. Nor did she content herself with words : It is evident that neither Elizabeth nor not only the ladies about her person, but her ministers understood the benefit of her courtiers and the highest officers in civil and religious liberty. The prerogathe state, felt the weight of her hands. She tives which she so highly prized, have long since withered away: the bloody from the conceit it gave him, turned out code which she enacted against the rights a very disadvantageous circumstance, by of conscience, has ceased to stain the pages contracting his opinions to his own narof the statute book: and the result has row views; his pretences to a consumproved, that the abolition of despotism mate knowledge in divinity, politics, and and intolerance adds no less to the stabi- the art of governing, expose him to a high lity of the throne, than to the happiness degree of ridicule ; his conduct shewing of the people.
Lingard. him more than commonly deficient in all § 97. Character of James 1. these points. His romantic idea of the James was of a middle stature, of a fine natural rights of princes, caused him pubcomplexion, and a soft skin; his person licly to avow pretensions that impressed plump, but not corpulent; his eyes large into the minds of the people an incurable and rolling, his beard thin, his tongue too jealousy; this, with an affectation of a big for his mouth, his countenance dis- profound skill in the art of dissembling, agreeable, his air awkward, and his gait or king-craft, as he termed it, rendered remarkably ungraceful, from a weakness him the object of fear and distrust; when in his knees that prevented his walking at the same time he was himself the without assistance ; he was tolerably tem- only dupe to an impertinent, useless hypoperate in his diet, but drank of little else crisy. than rich and strong wines. His charac- If the laws and constitution of England ter, from the variety of grotesque qualities received no prejudice from his governthat compose it, is not easy to be deli- ment, it was owing to his want of ability Deated. The virtues he possessed were to effect a change suitable to the purpose so loaded with a greater proportion of of an arbitrary sway. Stained with these their neighbouring vices, that they exhibit vices, and sullied with these weaknesses, no lights, to set off the dark shades; his if he is even exempt from our hatred, the principles of generosity were tainted by exemption must arise from motives of such a childish profusion, that they left contempt. Despicable as he appears him without means of paying his just ob- through his own Britannic government, ligations, and subjected him to the neces- bis behaviour when king of Scotland was sity of attempting irregular, illegal, and in many points unexceptionable; but, inunjust methods of acquiring money. His toxicated with the power he received over friendship, not to give it the name of a people whose privileges were but feebly vice, was directed by so puerile a fancy, established, and who had been long suband so absurd a caprice, that the ob- jected to civil and ecclesiastical tyranny, jects of it were contemptible, and its he at once flung off that moderation that consequences attended with such an un- hid his deformities from the common eye. merited profusion of favours, that it It is alleged, that the corruption he met was perhaps the most exceptionable qua- with in the court of England, and the lity of any he possessed. His distinctions time-serving genius of the English noblewere formed on principles of selfishness; men, were the great means that debauched he valued no person for any endowments him from his circumspect conduct. Among that could not be made subservient to his the forwardest of the worthless tribe was pleasures or his interest; and thus he Cecil, afterwards Earl of Salisbury, who rarely advanced any man of real worth to told him, on his coming to the crown, that preferment. His familiar conversation, he should find his English subjects like both in writing and in speaking, was asses, on whom he might lay any burden, stuffed with vulgar and indecent phrases. and should need neither bit nor bridle, but Though proud and arrogant in his tem- their asses' ears. Died March 27, A. D. per, and full of the importance of his sta- 1625. Aged 59.
Macaulay. tion, he descended to buffoonery, and $ 98. Another Character of JAMES. suffered his favourites to address him in James was in his stature of the middle the most disrespectful terms of gross fa- size, inclining to corpulency; his forehead miliarity.
was high, his beard scanty, and bis aspect Himself affected a sententious wit, but mean; his eyes, which were weak and rose no higher in those attempts than to languid, he rolled about incessantly, as if quaint, and often stale conceits. His edu- in quest of novelty ; his to cation had been a more learned one than large, that in speaking or drinking, he beis commonly bestowed on princes ; this, slabbered the bystanders; his knees were