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It is a common error in politics to confound governs in conformity with certain rules Asmeans with ends. Constitutions, charters, pe- tablished for the public benefit; and the sancuitions of right, declarations of right, repre- tion of those rules is, that every Afghan apsentative assemblies, electoral colleges, are not proves them, and that every Afghan is a solgood government; nor do they, even when dier. most elaborately constructed, necessarily pro- The monarchy of England in the sixteenth duce good government. Laws exist in vain century was a monarchy of this kind. It is for those who have not the courage and the called an absolute monarchy, because little means to defend them. Electors meet in vain respect was paid by the Tudors to those insti. where want renders them the slaves of the land- tutions which we have been accustomed to lord; or where superstition renders them the consider as the sole checks on the power of slaves of the priest. Representative assem- the sovereign. A modern Englishman can blies sit in vain unless they have at their com- hardly understand how the people can havn mand, in the last resort, the physical power had any real security for good government un. which is necessary to make their deliberations der kings who levied benevolences and chid free, and their votes effectual.
the House of Commons as they would hava The Irish are better represented in Parlia- chid a pack of dogs. People do not sufficiently ment than the Scotch, who indeed are not re- consider that, though the legal checks were presented at all. But are the Irish better go- feeble, the natural checks were strong. There verned than the Scotch? Surely not. This was one great and effectual limitation on the circumstance has of late been used as an ar- royal authority-the knowledge that if the pas gument against reform. It proves nothing tience of the nation were severely tried, ihe against reform. It proves only this; that laws nation would put forth its strength, and that have no magical, no supernatural virtue ; that its strength would be found irresistible. If a laws do not act like Aladdin's lamp or Prince large body of Englishmen became thoroughly Ahmed's apple; that priestcraft, that ignorance, discontented, instead of presenting requisitions, that the rage of contending factions may make holding large meetings, passing resolutions, good institutions useless; that intelligence, so- signing petitions, forming associations and briety, industry, moral freedom, firm union, unions, they rose up; they took their halberds may supply in a great measure the defects of and their bows; and if the sovereign was not
the worst representative system people sufficiently popular to find among his subjects I whose education and habits are such, that, in other halberds and other bows to oppose to the
every quarter of the world, they rise above the rebels, nothing remained for him but a repetimass of those with whom they mix, as surely tion of the horrible scenes of Berkeley and Pomas oil rises to the top of water; a people of fret. He had no regular army which could by its such temper and self-government, that the superior arms and its superior skill overave wildest popular excesses recorded in their his or vanquish the sturdy commons of his realm, tory partake of the gravity of judicial pro- abounding in the native hardihood of Englishceedings, and of the solemnity of religious men, and trained in the simple discipline of the rites; a people whose national pride and mu- militia. tual attachment have passed into a proverb; It has been said that the Tudors were as aba people whose high and fierce spirit, so forci. solute as the Cæsars. Never was parallel so bly described in the haughty motto which en- unfortunate. The government of the Tudors circles their thistle, preserved their independ was the direct opposite to the government of Ince, during a struggle of centuries, from the Augustus and his successors. The Cæsars encroachments of wealthier and more power- ruled despotically, by means of a great standful neighbours, such a people cannot being army, under the decent forms of a republic long oppressed. Any government, however can constitution. They called themselves citi. constituted, must respect their wishes, and zens. They mixed unceremoniously with other tremble at their discontents. It is indeed most citizens. In theory they were only the elective desirable that such a people should exercise a magistrates of a free commonwealth. Instead direct influence on the conduct of affairs, and of arrogating to themselves despotic power, should make their wishes known through con- they acknowledged obedience to the senate. stitutional organs. But some influence, direct They were merely the lieutenants of that ve or indirect, they will assuredly possess. Some nerable body. They mixed in debate. They organ, constitutional or unconstitutional, they even appeared as advocates before the courts will assuredly find. They will be better go- of law. Yet they could safely indulge in the verned under a good constitution than under a wildest freaks of cruelty and rapacity while bad constitution. But they will be better go- their legions remained faithful. Our Tudors, verned under the worst constitution than some on the other hand, under the titles and forms Other nations under the best. In any general of monarchical supremacy, were essentially classification of constitution's, the constitution popular magistrates. They had no means oc of Scotland must be reckoned as one of the protecting themselves against the public hae worst, perhaps as the worst in Christian Eu- tred; and they were therefore compelled in supe. Yet the Scotch are not ill governed. court the public favour. To enjoy all the state And the reason is simply that they will not and all the personal indulgences of absoluie bear to be, ill governed.
power, to be adored with Oriental prostrations, Ir. some of the Oriental monarchies, in Af- to dispose at will of the liberty and even of the ghanistan, for example, though there exists life of ministers and courtiers-this the nation nothing which a European publicist would granted to the Tudors. But the condition on ril a constitution, the sovereign generally which they were suffered to be the tyrants of
Whitehall was, that they should be the mild queen found that it would be madness to atand paternal sovereigns of England. They tempt the restoration of the abbey lands. She were under the same restraints with regard to found that her subjects would never suffer her their people under which a military despot is to make her hereditary kingdom a fief of Casplaced with regard to his army. They would tile. On these points she encountered a steady have found it as daagerous to grind their sub- resistance, and was compelled to give way. it jects with cruel taxation as Nero would have she was able to establish the Catholic worship found it to leave his prætorians unpaid. Those and to persecute those who would not conform who immediately surrounded the royal person, to it, it was evidently because the people cared and engaged in the hazardous game of ambi- far less for the Protestant religion than for the tion, were exposed to the most fearful dangers. rights of property and for the independence of Buckingham, Cromwell, Surrey, Sudley, So- the English crown. In plain words, they did merset, Suffolk, Norfolk, Percy, Essex, perish- not think the difference between the hostile ed on the scaffold. But in general the country sects worth a struggle. There was undoubtedgentleman hunted and the merchant traded in ly a zealous Protestant party and a zealous peace. Even Henry, as cruel as Domitian but Catholic party. But both these parties were,
far more politic, contrived, while reeking with we believe, very small. We doubt whether į the blood of the Lamiæ, to be the favourite both together made up, at the time of Mary's with the cobblers.
death, the twentieth part of the nation. The The Tudors committed very tyrannical acts. remaining nineteen-twentieths halted between But in their ordinary dealings with the people the two opinions, and were not disposed to they were not, and could not safely be tyrants. risk a revolution in the government for the Some excesses were easily pardoned. For the purpose of giving to either of the exu eme facnation was proud of the high and fiery blood tions an advantage over the other. of its magnificent princes; and saw, in many We possess no data which will enable us to proceedings which a lawyer would even then compare with exactness the force of the twe have condemned, the outbreak of the same sects. Mr. Butler asserts that, even at the ac noble spirit which so manfully hurled foul cession of James the First, a majority of the scorn at Parma and at Spain. But to this en- population of England were Catholics. This durance there was a limit. If the government is pure assertion, and is not only unsupporter yentured to adopt measures which the great by evidence, but, we think, completely dis body of the people really felt to be oppressive, proved by the strongest evidence. Dr. Lingar, it was soon compelled to change its course. is of opinion that the Catholics were one-hal. When Henry the Eighth attempted to raise a of the nation in the middle of the reign of Eliza. forced loan of unusual amount by proceedings beth. Richton says, that when Elizabeth cam : of unusual rigour, the opposition which he en- to the throne, the Catholics were two-thirds countered was such as appalled even his stub- of the nation, and the Protestants only onr. born and imperious spirit. The people, we are third. The most judicious and impartial of told, said that if they were to be taxed thus, English historians, Mr. Hallam, is, on the cor. " then were it worse than the taxes of France, trary, of opinion that two-thirds were Protes:and England should be bond, and not free." ants, and only one-third Catholics. To us, w'a The connty of Suffolk rose in arms. The king must confess, it seems altogether inconceivab? prudently yielded to an opposition which, if he that, if the Protestants were really two to ona, had persisted, would in all probability have they should have borne the government of taken the form of a general rebellion. To- Mary; or that, if the Catholics were really iw) wards the close of the reign of Elizabeth, the to one, they should have borne the government people felt themselves aggrieved by the mono- of Elizabeth. It is absolutely incredible that polies. The queen, proud and courageous as a sovereign who has no standing army, and she was, shrunk from a contest with the na- whose power rests solely on the loyalty of his tion, and, with admirable sagacity, conceded subjects, can continue for years to persecute all that her subjects had demanded, while it a religion to which the majority of his subjects was yet in her power to concede with dignity are sincerely attached. In fact, the Protest
ants did rise up against one sister, and the It cannot be supposed that a people who had Catholics against the other. Those risings in their
own hands the means of checking their clearly showed how small and feeble both the prirces, would suffer any prince to impose parties were. Both in the one case and in the upon them a religion generally detested. It is Other the nation ranged itself on the side of the absurd to suppose that, if the nation had been government, and the insurgents were speedily decidedly attached to the Protestant faith, Mary put down and punished. The Kentish gentle. could have re-established the Papal supremacy. men who took up arms for the reformed doc. It is equally absurd to suppose that, if the na- trines against Mary, and the Great Northern tion had been zealous for the ancient religion, Earls who displayed the banner of the Five Elizabeth could have restored the Protestant Wounds against Elizabeth, were alike consi. Church. The truth is, that the people were dered by the great body of their countrymen as bot disposed to engage in a struggle either for wicked disturbers of the public peace. the new or for the old doctrines. Abundance The account which Cardinal Bentivoglio of spirit was shown when it seemed likely that gave of the state of religion in Englan: well Mary would resume her father's grants of deserves consideration. The zealouis Caihochurch property, or that she would sacrifice lics he reckoned at one-thirtieth part of the the interests of England to the husband whom nation. The people who would witnout the she regarded witb unmerited tenderness. That least scruple become Catholics if the Cath is
religion were established he estimated at four- common people entertained the strongest pre-
We are very far from saying that the Eng. men like that fiery Saxon, who swore that he lish of that generation were irreligious. They would go to Worms, though he had to face as heid firmly those doctrines which are common inany devils as there were tiles on the houses, to the Catholic and to the Protestant theology. or like that brave Switzer, who was struck But they had no fixed opinion as to the matters down while praying in front of the ranks of in dispute between the churches. They were Zurich. No preacher of religion had the same in a situation resembling that of those Bor- power here which Calvin had at Geneva, and derers whom Sir Walter Scott has described Knox in Scotland. The government put itself with so much spirit;
rly at the head of the movement, and thos “ Who sought the beeves that made their broth
acquired power to regulate, and occasionally In England and in Scotland both ;"
to arrest, the movement. And who
To many persons it appears extraordinary
that Henry the Eighth should have been able " Nine times outlawed had been
to maintain himself so long in an intermediate By Eagland's king and Scotland's queen.”
position between the Catholic and Protestant They were sometimes Protestants, sometimes parties. Most extraordinary, it would indeed Catholics; sometimes half Protestants, half be, if we were to suppose that the nation con. Catholics.
sisted of none but decided Catholics and de. The English had not, for ages, been bigoted cided Protestants. The fact is, that the great Papists. In the fourteenth century, the first, mass of the people were neither Catholic nor and perhaps the greatest of the reformers, John Protestant; but was, like its sovereign, midWickliffe, had stirred the public mind to its in-way between the two sects. Henry, in that most depths. During the same century, a very part of his conduct which has been represcandalous schism in the Catholic church had sented as most capricious and inconsistent, diminished, in many parts of Europe, the re- was probably following a policy far more verence in which the Roman pontiffs were pleasing to the majority of his subjects, ihan held. It is clear that a hundred years before a policy like that of Edward or a policy like the time of Luther, a great party in this king that of Mary would have been. Down even dom was eager for a change, at least as exten- to the very close of the reign of Elizabeth, the sive as that which was subsequently effected people were in a state somewhat resembling by Henry the Eighth. The House of Com- that in which, as Machiavelli says, the inhamons, in the reign of Henry the Fourth, pro-bitants of the Roman empire were, during the posed a confiscation of ecclesiastical property, transition from Heathenism to Christianity ; more sweeping and violent even than that “sendo la maggior parte di loro incerti a quale which took place under the administration of Dio dovessero ricorrere.” They were gene. Thomas Cromwell; and, though defeated in rally, we think, favourable to the royal supre. this attempt, they succeeded in depriving the macy. They disliked the policy of the court clerical order of some of its most oppressive of Rome. Their spirit rose against the inier. privileges. The splendid conquests of Henry ference of a foreign priest with their national the Fifth turned the attention of the nation concerns. The bull' which pronounced sen. from domestic reform. The Council of Contence of deposition against Elizabeth, the plots stance removed some of the grossest of those which were formed against her life, the usurpascandals which had deprived the Church of tion of her titles by the Queen of Scotland, the the public respect. The authority of that hostility of Philip, excited their strongest in. venerable synod propped up the sinking au- dignation. The cruelties of Bonner were rethority of the Popedom. A considerable reac- membered with disgust. Some parts of the tion took place. It cannot, however, be doubted, new system, the use of the English language, that there was still much concealed Lollardism for example, in public worship, and the com. in England; or that many who did not abso-munion in both kinds, were undoubtedly popu. lutely dissent from any doctrine held by the lar. On the other hand, the early lessons on Church of Rome, were jealous of the wealth the nurse and the priest were not forgotten. and power enjoyed by her ministers. At the The ancient ceremonies were long remember. very beginning of the reign of Henry the ed with affectionate reverence. A large porEignth, a struggle took place between the tion of the ancient theology lingered to the clergy and the courts of law, in which the last in the minds which had been imbued with courts of law remained victorious. One of the it in childhood. rishops on that occasion declared, that the The best proof that the religion of the people
NARES'S MEMOIRS OF LORD BURGHLEY.
was of this mixed kind, is furnished by the populace, Elizabeth herself was not exempt drama of that age. No man would bring un- from them. A crucifix, with wax-lights burnpopular opinions prominently forward in a ing round it, stood in her private chapel. She play intended for representation. And we may always spoke with disgust and anger of the safely conclude, that feelings and opinions marriage of priests. “I was in horror,” says which pervade the whole dramatic literature Archbishop Parker, “to hear such words to of an age, are feelings and opinions of which come from her mild nature and Christian the men of that age generally partook. learned conscience, as she spake concerning
The greatest and most popular dramatists of God's holy ordinance and institution of matrithe Elizabethan age treat religious subjects in a mony.” Burghley prevailed on her to connive very remarkable manner. They speak respect at the marriages of churchmen. But she would fully of the fundamental doctrines of Chris- only connive; and the children sprung from tianity. But they speak neither like Catholics such marriages were illegitimate till the acnor like Protestants, but like persons who are cession of James the First. wavering between the two systems; or who
That which is, as we have said, the great have made a system for themselves out of stain on the character of Burghley, is also the parts selected from both. They seem to hold great stain on the character of Elizabeth some of the Romish rites and doctrines in high Being herself an Adiaphorist, having no scru. respect. They treat the vow of celibacy, for ple about conforming to the Romish churcn. example, so tempting, and, in after times, so when conformity was necessary to her own common a subject for
ribaldry, with mysterious safety, retaining to the last moment of her life
The members of religious orders a fondness for much of the doctrine and much whom they introduce are almost always holy of the ceremonial of that church, she yet suband venerable men. We remember in their jected that church to a persecution even more plays nothing resembling the coarse ridicule odious than the persecution with which her with which the Catholic religion and its minis- sister had harassed the Protestants. We say ters were assajled, two generations later, by more odious. For Mary had at least the plea dramatists who wished to please the multitude. of fanaticism. She did nothing for her reliWe remember no Friar Dominic, no Father gion which she was not prepared to suffer for Foigard, among the characters drawn by those it. She had held it firmly under persecution. great poets. The scene at the close of the She fully believed it to be essential to salvaKnight of Malta might have been written by a tion. If she burned the bodies of her subjects, fervent Catholic. Massinger shows a great fond- it was in order to rescue their souls. Elizaness for ecclesiastics of the Romish church; beth had no such pretext. In opinion, she was and has even gone so far as to bring a virtuous little more than half a Protestant. She had and interesting Jesuit on the stage. Ford, in professed, when it suited her, to be wholly a that fine play, which it is painful to read, and Catholic. There is an excuse, a wretched exscarcely decent to name, assigns a highly cuse, for the massacre of Piedmont and the creditable part to the Friar. The partiality of autos-da-fe of Spain. But what can be said in Shakspeare for Friars is well known. In Ham- desence of a ruler who is at once indifferent let, the Ghost complains that he died without and intolerant? extreme unction, and, in defiance of the article If the great queen, whose memory is still which condemns the doctrine of purgatory, de- held in just veneration by Englishmen, had clares that he is
possessed sufficient virtue and sufficient en“ Confined to fast in fires,
largement of mind to adopt those principles Til: the foul crimes, done in his days of nature, which More, wiser in speculation than in acAre burnt and purged away.”
tion, had avowed in the preceding generation, These lines, we suspect, would have raised and by which the excellent l'Hospital regua tremendous storm in the theatre at any time lated his conduct in her own time, how difduring the reign of Charles the Second. They ferent would be the colour of the whole history were clearly not written by a zealous Protesi- of the last two hundred and fifty years! She ant, or for zealous Protestants. Yet the author had the happiest opportunity ever vouchsafed of King John and Henry the Eighth was surely to any sovereign, of establishing perfect freeno friend to papal supremacy.
dom of conscience throughout her dominions. There is, we think, only one solution of the without danger to her government, or scanda phenomena which we find in the history and to any large party among her subjects. The in the drama of that age. The religion of nation, as it was clearly ready to profess eithe England was a mixed religion, like that of the religion, would, beyond all doubt, have been Samaritan settlers, described in the second ready to tolerate both. Unhappily for her ow book of Kings, who “ feared the Lord, and glory and for the public peace, she adopted served their graven images;" like that of the policy, from the effects of which the empire Judaizing Christians, who blended the ceremo- still suffering. The yoke of the Establishe nies and doctrines of the synagogue with those Church was pressed down on the people ti of the church; like that of the Mexican In- they would bear it no longer. Then a reactic dians, who, for many generations after the sub- came. Another reaction followed. To ti jugation of their race, conunued to unite with tyranny of the establishment succeeded the the rites learned from their conquerors, the multuous conflict of sects, infuriated by man worship of the grotesque idols which had been fold wrongs, and drunk with unwonted freedo adored by Montezuma and Guatemozin. To the conflict of sects succeeded again
These feelings were not confined to the cruel domination of one persecuting chir
At length oppression put off its most horrible he would have dissolved the Parliame at, and form, and took a milder aspect. The penal imprisoned the most popular members
He laws against dissenters were abolished. But would have called another Parliament. He exclusions and disabilities still remained. would have given some vague and delusive These exclusions and disabilities, after having promises of relief in return for subsidies. generated the most fearful discontents, after When entreated to fulfil his promises, he having rendered all government in one part would have again dissolved the Parliament, of the kingdom impossible, after having and again imprisoned his leading opponents. brought the state to the very brink of ruin, | The country would have become more agi. have, in our times, been removed; but, though tated than before. The next House of Comremoved, have left behind them a rankling mons would have been more unmanageable which may last for many years. It is melan- than that which preceded it.
The tyrant choly to think with what ease Elizabeth might would have agreed to all that the nation dehave united all the conflicting sects under the manded. He would have solemnly ratified an shelter of the same impartial laws and the act abolishing monopolies forever. He would same paternal throne; and thus have placed have received a large supply in return for this the nation in the same situation, as far as the concession; and within half a year new parights of conscience are concerned, in which i tents, more oppressive than those which had we at length stand, after all the heart-burnings, been cancelled, would have been issued by the persecutions, the conspiracies, the sedi- scores. Such was the policy which brought tions, the revolutions, the judicial murders, the heir of a long line of kings, in early youth the civil wars, of ten generations.
the darling of his countrymen, to a prison and This is the dark side of her character. Yet a scaffold. she surely was a great woman. Of all the Elizabeth, before the House of Commons sovereigns who exercised a power which was could address her, took out of their mouths the seemingly absolute, but which in fact depend- words which they were about to utter in the ed for support on the love and confidence of name of the nation. Her promises went betheir subjects, she was by far the most illus- yond their desires. Her performance followed trious. It has often been alleged, as an excuse close upon her promise. She did not treat the for the misgovernment of her successors, that nation as an adverse party ; as a party which they only followed her example;—that prece- had an interest opposed to hers; as a party to dents might be found in the transactions of which she was to grant as few advantages as her reign for persecuting the Puritans, for possible, and from which she was to extort as levying money without the sanction of the much money as possible. Her benefits were Ilouse of Commons, for confining men with given, not sold; and when once given, they out bringing them to trial, for interfering with were not withdrawn. She gave them, ton, the liberty of parliamentary debate. All this with a frankness, an effusion of heart, a may be true. But it is no good plea for her princely dignity, a motherly tenderness, which successors, and for this plain reason, that they enhanced their value. They were received by were her successors. She governed one gene- the sturdy country gentleman, who had come ration, they governed another; and between up to Westminster full of resentment, with the two generations there was almost as little tears of joy and shouts of God save the Queen. in common as between the people of two dif-Charles the First gave up half the prerogaferent countries. It was not by looking at the tives of his crown to the Commons; and the particular measures which Elizabeth had Commons sent him in return the Grand Readopted, but by looking at the great general monstrance. principles of her government, that those who followed her were likely to learn the art of managing untractable subjects. If
, instead of ing that illustrious group of which Elizabe:h
We had intended to say something concernsearching the records of her reign for prece is the central figure—that group which the dents which might seem to vindicate the muti- last of the bards saw in vision from the top of lation of Pryone and the imprisonment of Snowdon, encircling the Virgin QueenEliot, the Stuarts had attempted to discover the fundamental rules which guided her con- “Many a baron bold, duct in all her dealings with her people, they
And gorgeous dames, and statesmen old
In bearded majesty." would have perceived that their policy was then most unlike to hers when, to a superficial We had intended to say something concerning observer, it would have seemed most to resem- the dexterous Walsingham, the impetuous Oxble hers. Firm, haughty, sometimes unjust and ford, the elegant Sackville, the all-accomplishcruel in her proceedings towards individualsed Sidney; concerning Essex, the ornament of or towards small parties, she avoided with the court and of the camp, the model of chival. care, or retracted with speed, every measure ry, the munificent patron of genius, whom great which seemed likely to alienate the great mass virtues, great courage, great talents, the favour of the people. She gained more honour and of his sovereign, the love of his countrymenmure love by the manner in which she repair- all that seemed to insure a happy and glorious ed her errors, than she would have gained by life, led to an early and an ignominious death never committing errors. If such a man as concerning Raleigh, the soldier, the sailor, the Chanes the first had been in her place when scholar, the courtier, the orator, the poet, the
whole nation was crying out against the historian, the philosopher, sometimes review. monopolies, he would have refused all redress :/ ing the queen's guards. sometimes givino