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bedside of a dying child, than committing and have nothing to hope or to fear on earth. crimes at the request of his disciple. If he If Mary had suffered him to live, we suspect had shown half as much firmness when Ed that he would have heard mass, and received ward requested him to commit treason, as he absolution, like a good Catholic, till the acceshad before shown when Edward requested him sion of Elizabeth; and that he would then not to commit murder, he might have saved have purchased, by another apostasy, the power the country from one of the greatest misfor- of burning men better and braver than him. lunes that it ever underwent. He became, self. from whatever motive, the accomplice of the We do not mean, however, to represent him worthless Dudley. The virtuous scruples of as a monster of wickedness. He was not another young and amiable mind were to be wantonly cruel or treacherous. He was mere
As Edward had been forced into ly a supple, timid, interested courtier, in times persecution, Jane was to seduced into usurpa- of frequent and violent change. That which tion. No transaction in our annals is more has always been represented as his distinguishunjustifiable than this. If a hereditary title ing virtue, the facility with which he forgave were to be respected, Mary possessed it. If a his enemies, belongs to the character. Those parliamentary title were preferable, Mary pos- of his class are never vindictive, and never sessed that also. If the interest of the Pro- grateful. A present interest effaces past serlestant religion required a departure from the vices and past injuries from their minds toordinary rule of succession, that interest would gether. Their only object is self-preservation; have been best served by raising Elizabeth to and for this they conciliate those who wrong the throne. If the foreign relations of the them, just as they abandon those who serve kingdom were considered, still stronger rea-them. Before we extol a man for his forgivsons might be found for preferring Elizabeth ing temper, we should inquire whether he is to Jane. There was great doubt whether Jane above revenge, or below it. or the Queen of Scotland had the better claim; Somerset, with as little principle as his coand that doubt would, in all probability, have adjutor, had a firmer and more commanding produced a war, both with Scotland and with mind. Of Henry, an orthodox Catholic, exFrance, if the project of Northumberland had cepting that he chose to be his own Pope, and not been blasted in its infancy. That Eliza- of Elizabeth, who certainly had no objection beth had a better claim than the Queen of to the theology of Rome, we need say nothing. Scotland was indisputable. To the part which But these four persons were the great authors Cranmer, and unfortunately some better men of the English Reformation. Three of them than Cranmer, took in this most reprehensible had a direct interest in the extension of the scheme, much of the severity, with which the royal prerogative. The fourth was the ready Protestants were afterwards treated, must in tool of any who could frighten him. It is not fairness be ascribed.
difficult to see from what motives, and on what The plot failed; popery triumphed; and plan, such persons would be inclined to remoCranmer recanted. Most people look on his del the Church. The scheme was merely to recantation as a single blemish on an honour-rob the Babylonian enchantress of her ornaable life, the frailty of an unguarded moment. ments, to transfer the full cup of her sorceries But, in fact, it was in strict accordance with to other hands, spilling as little as possible by the system on which he had constantly acted. the way. The Catholic doctrines and rites It was part of a regular habit. It was not the were to be retained in the Church of England. first recantation that he had made; and, in all But the king was to exercise the control which probability, if it had answered its purpose it formerly belonged to the Roman Pontiff. In would not have been the last. We do not this Henry for a time succeeded. The extrablame him for not choosing to be burned alive. ordinary force of his character, the fortunate It is no very severe reproach to any person, situation in which he stood with respect to that he does not possess heroic fortitude. But foreign powers, and the vast resources which surely a man who liked the fire so little, should the suppression of the monasteries placed at have had some sympathy for others. A per- his disposal, enabled him to oppress both the secutor who inflicts nothing which he is not religious factions equally. He punished with ready to endure deserves some respect. But impartial severity those who renounced the when a man, who loves his doctrines more doctrines of Rome, and those who acknow. than the lives of his neighbours, loves his own ledged her jurisdiction. The basis, however, little finger better than his doctrines, a very on which he attempted to establish his power, simple argument, a fortiori, will enable us to was too narrow. It would have been impossiestimate the amount of his benevolence. ble even for him long to persecute both persua
But his martyrdom, it is said, redeemed sions. Even under his reign there had been every thing. It is extraordinary that so much insurrections on the part of the Catholics, and ignorance should exist on this subject. The signs of a spirit which was likely soon to profact is, that if a martyr be a man who chooses duce insurrection on the part of the Protest* die rather than to renounce his opinions, ants. It was plainly necessary therefore that Cranmer was no more a martyr than Dr. Dodd. the government should form an alliance with He died solely because he could not help it. one or the other side. To recognise the Papal He never retracted his recantation, till he found supremacy, would have been to abandon its he had made it in vain. The queen was fully whole design. Reluctantly and sullenly it at resolved that, Catholic or Protestant, he should last joined the Protestants. In forming this lurn. Then he spoke out, as people generally junction, its object was to procure as much sprak out when they are at the point of death, aid as possible for its selfish undertaking, and
to make the smallest possible concessions to was determined to be even with them in Eng, the spirit of religious innovation.
land, where he was powerful. Persecution From ..s compromise the Church of England gradually changed a sect into a faction. That sprung. In many respects, indeed, it has been there was any thing in the religious opinions vell for her, that in an age of exuberant zeal, of the Puritans, which rendered them hostile her principal founders were mere politicians. to monarchy, has never been proved to our To this circumstance she owes her moderate satisfaction. After our civil contests, it be. aricles, her decent ceremonies, her noble and came the fashion to say that Presbyterianisio paihetic liturgy. Her worship is not disfigured was connected with Republicanism; just as by mummery. Yet she has preserved, in a it has been the fashion to say, since the time far greater degree than any of her Protestant of the French Revolution, that Infidelity is consisters, that art of striking the senses, and fill- nected with Republicanism. It is perfectly ing the imagination, in which the Catholic true, that a church constituted on the CalvinChurch so eminently excels. But on the other istic model will not strengthen the hands of hand, she continued to be, for more than a the sovereign so much as a hierarchy, which hundred and fifty years, the servile handmaid consists of several ranks, differing in dignity of monarchy, the steady enemy of public liber- and emolument, and of which all the members ty. The divine rights of kings, and the duty are constantly looking to the government for of passively obeying all their commands, were promotion. But experience has clearly shown her favourite tenets. She held them firmly that a Calvinistic church, like every other through times of oppression, persecution, and church, is disaffected when it is persecuted, licentiousness; while law was trampled down; quiet when it is tolerated, and actively loyal while judgment was perverted; while the peo- when it is favoured and cherished. Scotland ple were eaten as though they were bread. has had a Presbyterian establishment during Orce and but once--for a moment, and but for a century and a half. Yet her General Asa moment—when her own dignity and property sembly has not, during that period, given half were touched, she forgot to practise the sub- so much trouble to the government as the mission which she had taught.
Convocation of the Church of England gave Elizabeth clearly discerned the advantages to it during the thirty years which followed the which were to be derived from a close connec- Revolution. That James and Charles should tion between the monarchy and the priesthood. have been mistaken on this point, is not sur. At the time of her accession, indeed, she evi- prising. But we are astonished, we must condently meditated a partial reconciliation with fess, when writers of our own time, men who Rome. And throughout her whole life, she have before them the proof of what toleration leaned strongly to some of the most obnoxious can effect, men who may see with their own parts of the Catholic system. But her impe- eyes that the Presbyterians are no such monrious temper, her keen sagacity, and her pecu- sters, when government is wise enough to let liar situation, soon led her to attach herself them alone, should defend the old persecutions, completely to a church which was all her own. on the ground that they were indispensable On the same principle on which she joined it, to the safety of the church and the throne. she attempted to drive all her people within How persecution protects churches and its pale by persecution. She supported it by thrones was soon made manifest. A systemsevere penal laws, not because she thought atic political opposition, vehement, daring, and conformity to its discipline necessary to salva- inflexible, sprang from a schism about trifles, tion, but because it was the fastness which ar- altogether unconnected with the real interests bitrary power was making strong for itself; of religion or of the state. Before the close because she expected a more profound obedi- of the reign of Elizabeth it began to show ence from those who saw in her both their itself. It broke forth on the question of the civil and their ecclesiastical head, than from monopolies. Even the imperial Lioness was those who, like the Papists, ascribed spiritual compelled to abandon her prey, and slowly and authority to the Pope, or from those who, like fiercely to recede before the assailants. The some of the Puritans, ascribed it only to Hea- spirit of liberty grew with the growing wealth ven. To dissent from her establishment was and intelligence of the people. The feeble to dissent from an institution founded with an struggles and insults of James irritated instead expres. view to the maintenance and extension of suppressing it. And the events which im. of the royal prerogative.
mediately followed the accession of his son, This great queen and her successors, by portended a contest of no common severity, considering conformity and loyalty as identi- | between a king resolved to be absolute, and a cal, at length made them so. With respect to people resolved to be free. the Catholics, indeed, the rigour of persecu- The famous proceedings of the third Parliation abated after her death. James soon found ment of Charles, and the tyrannical measures that they were unable to injure him; and that which followed its dissolution, are extremely the animosity which the Puritan party felt well described by Mr. Hallam. No writer, we towards them, drove them of necessity to take think, has shown, in so clear and satisfactory refuge under his throne. During the subse- a manner, that at that time the government en. quent conflict, their fault was any thing but tertained a fixed purpose of destroying the old disloyalty. On the other hand, James hated parliamentary Constitution of England, or at the Puritans with far more than the hatred of least of reducing it to a mere shadow. We Elizabeth. Her aversion to them was politi- hasten, however, to a pari of his work, which, cal; his was personal. The sect had plagued though it abounds in valuable information, an. him in Scotland, where he was weak: and he in remarks well deserving to be attentivein VOL. I.-10
considered; and though it is, like the rest, evi- right in the point of law, is now universally dently written in a spirit of perfect imparti- | admitted. Even had it been otherwise, he had ality, appears to us, in many points, objection- a fair case. Five of the judges, servile as our able.
courts then were, pronounced in his favour. We pass to the year 1640. The fate of the The majority against him was the smailest short Parliament held in that year already in- possible. In no country retaining the slightest dicated the views of the king. That a parlia- vestige of constitutional liberty, can a modest ment so moderate in feeling should have met and decent appeal to the laws be treated as a after so many years of oppression, is truly crime. Stratford, however, recommends than, wonderful Hyde extols its loyal and concili- for taking the sense of a legal tribunal on a atory spirit. Its conduct, we are told, made legal question, Hampden, should be punished, the excellent Falkland in love with the very and punished severely—" whipt,” says the inname of parliament. We think, indeed, with solent apostate, “whipt into his senses. If the Oliver St. John, that its moderation was carried rod,” he adds, “ be so used that it smarts not, too far, and that the times required sharper I am the more sorry.” This is the maintenance and more decided councils. It was fortunate, of just authority. however, that the king had another opportunity In civilized nations, the most arbitrary goof showing that hatred of the liberties of his vernments have generally suffered justice to subjects, which was the ruling principle of all have a free course in private suits. Strafford his conduct. The sole crime of this assembly wished to make every cause in every court was that, meeting after a long intermission of subject to the royal prerogative. He comparliaments, and after a long series of cruelties plained, that in Ireland he was not permitted and illegal imposts, they seemed inclined to to meddle in cases between party and party. examine grievances before they would vote "I know very well,” says he, “that the common supplies. For this insolence, they were dis- lawyers will be passionately against it, who solved almost as soon as they met.
are wont to put such a prejudice upon all Defeat, universal agitation, financial embar- other professions, as if none were to be trusted, rassments, disorganization in every part of the or capable to administer justice but themselves: government, compelled Charles again to con- yet how well this suits with monarchy, when vene the Houses before the close of the same they monopolize all to be governed by their year. Their meeting was one of the great eras year-books, you in England have a costly exin the history of the civilized world. What- ample.” We are really curious to know by ever of political freedom exists either in Eu- what arguments it is to be proved, that the rope or in America, has sprung, directly or in- power of interfering in the lawsuits of indi. directly, from those institutions which they se- viduals is part of the just authority of the execured and reformed. We never turn to the cutive government. annals of those times, without feeling increased It is not strange that a man so careless of admiration of the patriotism, the energy, the de- the common civil rights, which even despots cision, the consummate wisdom, which marked have generally respected, should treat with the measures of that great parliament, from the scorn the limitations which the constitution day on which it met, to the commencement of imposes on the royal perogative. We might civil hostilities.
quote pages: but we will content ourselves The impeachment of Strafford was the first, with a single specimen : “The debts of the and perhaps the greatest blow. The whole con- crown being taken off, you may govern as you duct of that celebrated man proved that he had please: and most resolute I am that may be formed a deliberate scheme to subvert the funda- done without borrowing any help forth of the mental laws of England. Those parts of his cor- king's lodgings." respondence which have been brought to light Such was the theory of that thorough reforma since his death, place the matter beyond a in the state which Strafford meditated. His doubt. One of his admirers has, indeed, offer- whole practice, from the day on which he sold ed to show, “that the passages which Mr. himself to the court, was in strict conformity Hallam has invidiously extracted from the cor- to his theory. For his accomplices various respondence between Laud and Strafford, as excuses may be urged; ignorance, imbecility, proving their design to introduce a thorough religious bigotry. But Wentworth had no lyranny, refer not to any such design, but to a such plea. His intellect was capacious. His thorough reform in the affairs of state, and the early prepossessions were on the side of poputhorough maintenance of just authority !” We lar rights. He knew the whole beauty and will recommend two or three of these passages value of the system which he attempted to deto the especial notice of our readers.
face. He was the first of the Rats; the first All who know any thing of those times, know of those statesmen whose patriotism has been that the conduct of Hampden in the affair of only the coquetry of political prostitution; the ship-money met with the warm approbation whose profligacy has taught governments to of every respectable royalist in England. It adopt the old maxim of the slave-market, that drew forth the ardent eulogies of the cham- it is cheaper to buy than to breed, to import prions of the prerogative, and even of the crown defenders from an opposition, than to rear lawyers themselves. Clarendon allows his de- them in a ministry. He was the first Englishmeanour through the whole proceeding to have man to whom a peerage was not an addition been such, that even those who watched for an of honour, but a sacrament of infamy-a bapoccasion against the defender of the people, tism into the communion of corruption. As were compelled to acknowledge themselves he was the earliest of the hatesul list, so was unable to find any fault in him. That he was, he also by far the greatest-eloquent, saga.
cious, adventurous, intrepid, ready of inven- for his life, took that ground of defence. The tion, immutable of purpose, in every talent Journals of the Lords show that the Judges which exalts or destroys nations, pre-eminent, were consulted. They answered with one ac. the lost Archangel, the Satan of the apostasy. cord, that the articles on which the earl was The title for which, at the time of his deser-convicted amounted to high treason. This tion, he exchanged a name honourably distin- judicial opinion, even if we suppose it to have guished in the cause of the people, reminds us been erroneous, goes far to justify the Parliaof the appellation which, from the moment of ment. The judgment pronounced in the Exthe first treason, fixed itself on the fallen Son chequer Chamber has always been urged by of the Morning
the apologists of Charles in defence of his con
duct respecting ship-money. Yet on that oc." So call him now.-His former name Is heard no more in heaven."
casion there was but a bare majority in favour
of the party, at whose pleasure all the magis. The defection of Strafford from the popular trates composing the tribunal were removable. party contributed mainly to draw on him the The decision in the case of Strafford was hatred of his contemporaries. It has since unanimous; as far as we can judge, it was unmade him an object of peculiar interest to those biassed; and though there may be room for whose lives have been spent, like his, in pror- hesitation, we think, on the whole, that it was ing that there is no malice like the malice of reasonable. “It may be remarked,” says Mr. a renegade. Nothing can be more natural or Hallam, “that the fifteenth article of the imbecoming, than that one turn-coat should eulo- peachment charging Strafford with raising mogize another.
ney by his own authority, and quartering troops Many enemies of public liberty have been on the people of Ireland, in order to compel distinguished by their private virtues. But their obedience to his unlawful requisitions, Strafford was the same throughout. As was upon which, and upon one other article, not the statesman, such was the kinsman and such upon the whole matter, the Peers voted him the lover. His conduct towards Lord Mount- guilty, does, at least, approach very nearly, if morris is recorded by Clarendon. For a word we may not say more, to a substantive treasor which can scarcely be called rash, which within the statute of Edward III., as a levying could not have been made the subject of an of war against the king.” This most sound crdinary civil action, he dragged a man of high and just exposition has provoked a very ridicurank, married to a relative of that saint about lous reply. “It should seem to be an Irish whom he whimpered to the Peers, before a tri-construction this," says an assailant of Mr. bunal of his slaves. Sentence of death was Hallam, “which makes the raising money for passed. Every thing but de was inflicted. the king's service, with his knowledge, and by Yet the treatment which Lord Ely experienced his approbation, to come under the head of was still more disgusting. That nobleman levying war on the king, and therefore to be was thrown into prison, in order to compel him high treason.” Now, people who undertake to to settle his estate in a manner agreeable to write on points of constiiutional law shouid his daughter-in-law, whom, as there is every know, what every attorney's clerk and every reason to believe, Strafford had debauched. forward schoolboy on an upper form knows, These stories do not rest on vague report. that, by a fundamental maxim of our polity, The historians most partial to the minister ad- the king can do no wrong; that every court mit their truth, and censure them in terms is bound to suppose his conduct and his sentiwhich, though too lenient for the occasion, are ments to be, on every occasion, such as they still severe. These facts are alone sufficient ought to be; and that no evidence can be reto justify the appellation with which Pym ceived for the purpose of setting aside this branded him-"the wicked earl.”
loyal and salutary presumption. The Lords, In spite of all his vices, in spite of all his therefore, were bound to take it for granted, dangerous projects, Strafford was certainly en- that the king considered arms which were untitled to the benefit of the law; but of the law lawfully directed against his people, as directed in all its rigour; of the law according to the against his own throne. utmost strictness of the letter which killeth. The remarks of Mr. Hallam on the bill of at. He was not to be torn in pieces by a mob, or tainder, though, as usual, weighty and acute, stabbed in the back by an assassin. He was do not perfectly satisfy us. He defends the not to have punishment meted out to him from principle, but objects to the severity of the his own iniquitous measure. But if justice, punishment. That, on great emergencies, the in the whole range of its wide armory, con- state may justifiably pass a reirospective act tained one weapon which could pierce him, against an offender, we have no doubt whatthat weapon his pursuers were bound, before ever. We are acquainted with only one argi God and man, to employ.
ment on the other side, which has in it enough If he may
of reason to bear an answer. Warning, it is Find mercy in the law, 'tis his; if none, said, is the end of punishment. But a purish Let him not seek 't of us."
ment inflicted, not by a general rule, but by an Such was the language which the Parliament arbitrary discretion, cannot serve the purpose mighi justly use.
of a warning; it is therefore useless, and use. Did then the articles against Strafford strict- less pain ought not to be inflicted. This so. ly amount to high treason ? Many people who phism has found its way into several books on know neither what the articles were, nor what penal legisiation. It admits, however, of a very high treason is, will answer in the negative, simple refutation. In the first place, punishsimp.y because the accused person, speaking I ments ex post facto are not altogether useless
even as warnings. They are warnings to a If there be any universal objection to retroparticular class, which stands in great need of spective punishment, there is no more to be warnings—to favourites and ministers. They said. But such is not the opinion of Mr. Halremind persons of this description, that there lam. He approves of the mode of proceeding. may be a day of reckoning for those who ruin He thinks that a punishment not previously and enslave their country in all the forms of affixed by law to the offences of Strafford, law. But this is not all. Warning is, in or- should have been inflicted; that he should have dinary cases, the principal end of punishment; been degraded from his rank, and condemned but it is not the only end. To remove the of- to perpetual banishment, by act of Parliament; fender, to preserve society from those dangers but he sees strong objections to the taking which are to be apprehended from his incorri- away of his life. Our difficulty would have gible depravity, is often one of the ends. In the been at the first step, and there only. Indeed, case of such a knave as Wild, or such a ruffian we can scarcely conceive that any case, which as Thurtell, it is a very important end. In the does not call for capital punishment, can call case of a powerful and wicked statesmen, it is for retrospective punishment. We can scarceinfinitely more important; so important, as ly conceive a man so wicked and so dangerous, alone to justify the utmost severity, even that the whole course of law must be disturbthough it were certain that his fate would not ed in order to reach him; yet not so wicked as deter others from imitating his example. At to deserve the severest senience, nor so dangerpresent, indeed, we should think it extremely ous as to require the last and surest custodypernicious to take such a course, even with a that of the grave. If we had thought that Strafworse minister than Strafford, if a worse could ford might be safely suffered to live in France, exist; for, at present, Parliament has only to we should have thought it better that he should withhold its support from a cabinet, to produce continue to live in England, than that he should an immediate change of hands. The case was be exiled by a special act. As to degradation, it widely different in the reign of Charles the First. was not the earl, but the general and the states. That prince had governed for eleven years man, whom the people had to fear. Essex said, without any Parliament; and even when Par- on that occasion, with more truth than eloliament was sitting, had supported Bucking- quence, “Stone-dead hath no fellow.” And ham against its most violent remonstrances. often during the civil wars the Parliament had
Mr. Hallam is of opinion that a bill of pains reason to rejoice, that an irreversible law and and penalties ought to have been passed an impassable barrier protected them from the against Strafford; but he draws a distinction valour and capacity of Stratford. less just, we think, than his distinctions usual- It is remarkable that neither Hyde nor Falk. ly are. His opinion, so far as we can collect land voted against the bill of attainder. There it, is this; that there are almost insurmounta- is, indeed, reason to believe that Falkland ble objections to retrospective laws for capital spoke in favour of it. In one respect, as Mr. punishment; but that where the punishment Hallam has observed, the proceeding was hostops short of death, the objections are compa- nourably distinguished from others of the same ratively trifling. Now the practice of taking kind. An act was passed to relieve the child. the severity of the penalty into consideration, ren of Strafford from the forfeiture and corwhen the question is about the mode of proce- ruption of blood, which were the legal consedure and the rules of evidence, is no doubt suf- quences of the sentence. The crown had never ficiently common. We often see a man con- shown equal generosity in a case of treason. victed of a simple larceny, on evidence on The liberal conduct of the Commons has been which he would not be convicted of a burglary. fully and most appropriately repaid. The house It sometimes happens that a jury, when there of Wentworth has since been as much distin. is strong suspicion, but not absolute demon- guished by public spirit as by power and splenstration, that an act, unquestionably amounting dour; and may at the present time boast of to murder, was committed by the prisoner be members, with whom Say and Hampden would fore them, will find him guilty of manslaughter; have been proud to act. but this is surely very irrational. The rules It is somewhat curious that the admirers of of evidence no more depends on the magnitude Strafford should also be, without a single exof the interests at stake than the rules of ception, the admirers of Charles; for whatever arithmetic. We might as well say, that we have we may think of the conduct of the Parliament a greater chance of throwing a size when we are towards the unhappy favourite, there can be no playing for a penny than when we are playing doubt that the treatment which he received for a thousand pounds, as that a form of trial from his master was disgraceful. Faithless which is sufficient for the purposes of justice, alike to his people and his tools, the king did in a matter affecting liberty and property, is in- not scruple to play the part of the cowardly apsufficient in a matter affecting life. Nay, if a prover, who hangs his accomplice. It is good mode of proceeding be too lax for capital that there should be such men as Charles in cases, 'us, a fortiori, tor lax for all others; for, every league of villany. It is for such men in capital cases, the principles of human na- that the offers of pardon and reward, which apture will always afford considerable security. pear after a murder, are intended. They are No judge is so cruel as he who indemnifies indemnified, remunerated, and despised. The himself for scrupulosity in cases of blood, by very magistrate who avails himself of their as. license in affairs of smaller importance. The sistance looks on them as wretches more dedifference in late on the one side far more than graded than the criminal whom they betray. makes up for the difference in weight on the Was Strafford innocent ? was he a meritorious guer.
servant of the crown? If so, what shall we