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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 himtunes that it ever underwent. He became, self. from whatever motive, the accomplice of the worthless Dudley. The virtuous scruples of another young and amiable mind were to be overcome. As Edward had been forced into persecution, Jane was to seduced into usurpation. No transaction in our annals is more unjustifiable than this. If a hereditary title were to be respected, Mary possessed it. If a parliamentary title were preferable, Mary possessed that also. If the interest of the Protestant religion required a departure from the ordinary rule of succession, that interest would have been best served by raising Elizabeth to the throne. If the foreign relations of the kingdom were considered, still stronger reasons might be found for preferring Elizabeth to Jane. There was great doubt whether Jane or the Queen of Scotland had the better claim; and that doubt would, in all probability, have produced a war, both with Scotland and with France, if the project of Northumberland had not been blasted in its infancy. That Elizabeth had a better claim than the Queen of Scotland was indisputable. To the part which Cranmer, and unfortunately some bette men than Cranmer, took in this most reprehensible scheme, much of the severity, with which the Protestants were afterwards treated, must in fairness be ascribed.
The plot failed; popery triumphed; and Cranmer recanted. Most people look on his recantation as a single blemish on an honourable life, the frailty of an unguarded moment. But, in fact, it was in strict accordance with the system on which he had constantly acted. It was part of a regular habit. It was not the first recantation that he had made; and, in all probability, if it had answered its purpose it would not have been the last. We do not blame him for not choosing to be burned alive. It is no very severe reproach to any person, that he does not possess heroic fortitude. But surely a man who liked the fire so little, should have had some sympathy for others. A persecutor who inflicts nothing which he is not ready to endure deserves some respect. But when a man, who loves his doctrines more than the lives of his neighbours, loves his own little finger better than his doctrines, a very simple argument, a fortiori, will enable us to estimate the amount of his benevolence.
But his martyrdom, it is said, redeemed every thing. It is extraordinary that so much ignorance should exist on this subject. The fact is, that if a martyr be a man who chooses 'o die rather than to renounce his opinions, Cranmer was no more a martyr than Dr. Dodd. He died solely because he could not help it. He never retracted his recantation, till he found he had made it in vain. The queen was fully resolved that, Catholic or Protestant, he should burn. Then he spoke out, as people generally speak out when they are at the point of death,
We do not mean, however, to represent him as a monster of wickedness. He was not wantonly cruel or treacherous. He was merely a supple, timid, interested courtier, in times of frequent and violent change. That which has always been represented as his distinguishing virtue, the facility with which he forgave his enemies, belongs to the character. Those of his class are never vindictive, and never grateful. A present interest effaces past services and past injuries from their minds to gether. Their only object is self-preservation; and for this they conciliate those who wrong them, just as they abandon those who serve them. Before we extol a man for his forgiving temper, we should inquire whether he is above revenge, or below it.
Somerset, with as little principle as his coadjutor, had a firmer and more commanding mind. Of Henry, an orthodox Catholic, excepting that he chose to be his own Pope, and of Elizabeth, who certainly had no objection to the theology of Rome, we need say nothing. But these four persons were the great authors of the English Reformation. Three of them had a direct interest in the extension of the royal prerogative. The fourth was the ready tool of any who could frighten him. It is not difficult to see from what motives, and on what plan, such persons would be inclined to remodel the Church. The scheme was merely to rob the Babylonian enchantress of her ornaments, to transfer the full cup of her sorceries to other hands, spilling as little as possible by the way. The Catholic doctrines and rites were to be retained in the Church of England. But the king was to exercise the control which formerly belonged to the Roman Pontiff. In this Henry for a time succeeded. The extraordinary force of his character, the fortunate situation in which he stood with respect to foreign powers, and the vast resources which the suppression of the monasteries placed at his disposal, enabled him to oppress both the religious factions equally. He punished with impartial severity those who renounced the doctrines of Rome, and those who acknowledged her jurisdiction. The basis, however, on which he attempted to establish his power, was too narrow. It would have been impossi ble even for him long to persecute both persua sions. Even under his reign there had been insurrections on the part of the Catholics, and signs of a spirit which was likely soon to produce insurrection on the part of the Protestants. It was plainly necessary therefore that the government should form an alliance with one or the other side. To recognise the Papal supremacy, would have been to abandon its whole design. Reluctantly and sullenly it at last joined the Protestants. In forming this junction, its object was to procure as much aid as possible for its selfish undertaking, and
was determined to be even with them in Eng land, where he was powerful. Persecution From is compromise the Church of England gradually changed a sect into a faction. That sprung. In many respects, ndeed, it has been there was any thing in the religious opinions well 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 came the fashion to say that Presbyterianisın was connected with Republicanism; just as it has been the fashion to say, since the time of the French Revolution, that Infidelity is connected with Republicanism. It is perfectly true, that a church constituted on the Calvinistic model will not strengthen the hands of the sovereign so much as a hierarchy, which consists of several ranks, differing in dignity and emolument, and of which all the members are constantly looking to the government for promotion. But experience has clearly shown that a Calvinistic church, like every other church, is disaffected when it is persecuted, quiet when it is tolerated, and actively loyal when it is favoured and cherished. Scotland has had a Presbyterian establishment during a century and a half. Yet her General Assembly has not, during that period, given half so much trouble to the government as the Convocation of the Church of England gave to it during the thirty years which followed the Revolution. That James and Charles should have been mistaken on this point, is not surprising. But we are astonished, we must confess, when writers of our own time, men who have before them the proof of what toleration can effect, men who may see with their own eyes that the Presbyterians are no such monsters, when government is wise enough to let them alone, should defend the old persecutions, on the ground that they were indispensable to the safety of the church and the throne.
How persecution protects churches and thrones was soon made manifest. A systematic political opposition, vehement, daring, and inflexible, sprang from a schism about trifles, altogether unconnected with the real interests of religion or of the state. Before the close of the reign of Elizabeth it began to show itself. It broke forth on the question of the monopolies. Even the imperial Lioness was compelled to abandon her prey, and slowly and fiercely to recede before the assailants. The spirit of liberty grew with the growing wealth and intelligence of the people. The feeble struggles and insults of James irritated instead of suppressing it. And the events which immediately followed the accession of his son, portended a contest of no common severity, between a king resolved to be absolute, and a people resolved to be free.
to make the smallest possible concessions to the spirit of religious innovation.
articles, her decent ceremonies, her noble and pathetic liturgy. Her worship is not disfigured by mummery. Yet she has preserved, in a far greater degree than any of her Protestant sisters, that art of striking the senses, and filling the imagination, in which the Catholic Church so eminently excels. But on the other hand, she continued to be, for more than a hundred and fifty years, the servile handmaid of monarchy, the steady enemy of public liberty. The divine rights of kings, and the duty of passively obeying all their commands, were her favourite tenets. She held them firmly through times of oppression, persecution, and licentiousness; while law was trampled down; while judgment was perverted; while the people were eaten as though they were bread. Once and but once-for a moment, and but for a moment-when her own dignity and property were touched, she forgot to practise the submission which she had taught.
Elizabeth clearly discerned the advantages which were to be derived from a close connection between the monarchy and the priesthood. At the time of her accession, indeed, she evidently meditated a partial reconciliation with Rome. And throughout her whole life, she leaned strongly to some of the most obnoxious parts of the Catholic system. But her imperious temper, her keen sagacity, and her peculiar situation, soon led her to attach herself completely to a church which was all her own. On the same principle on which she joined it, she attempted to drive all her people within its pale by persecution. She supported it by severe penal laws, not because she thought conformity to its discipline necessary to salvation, but because it was the fastness which arbitrary power was making strong for itself; because she expected a more profound obedience from those who saw in her both their civil and their ecclesiastical head, than from those who, like the Papists, ascribed spiritual authority to the Pope, or from those who, like some of the Puritans, ascribed it only to Heaven. To dissent from her establishment was to dissent from an institution founded with an expres. view to the maintenance and extension of the royal prerogative.
This great queen and her successors, by considering conformity and loyalty as identical, at length made them so. With respect to the Catholics, indeed, the rigour of persecution abated after her death. James soon found that they were unable to injure him; and that the animosity which the Puritan party felt towards them, drove them of necessity to take refuge under his throne. During the subsequent conflict, their fault was any thing but disloyalty. On the other hand, James hated the Puritans with far more than the hatred of Elizabeth. Her aversion to them was politieal; his was personal. The sect had plagued him in Scotland, where he was weak: and he VOL. 1-10
The famous proceedings of the third Parlia ment of Charles, and the tyrannical measures which followed its dissolution, are extremely well described by Mr. Hallam. No writer, we think, has shown, in so clear and satisfactory a manner, that at that time the government entertained a fixed purpose of destroying the old parliamentary Constitution of England, or at least of reducing it to a mere shadow. We hasten, however, to a part of his work, which, though it abounds in valuable information, and in remarks well deserving to be attentiveiv G
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. The majority against him was the smailest possible. In no country retaining the slightest vestige of constitutional liberty, can a modest and decent appeal to the laws be treated as a crime. Strafford, however, recommends that, for taking the sense of a legal tribunal on a legal question, Hampden should be punished, and punished severely-" whipt," says the insolent apostate, "whipt into his senses. If the rod," he adds, "be so used that it smarts not, I am the more sorry." This is the maintenance of just authority.
We pass to the year 1640. The fate of the short Parliament held in that year already indicated the views of the king. That a parliament so moderate in feeling should have met after so many years of oppression, is truly wonderful Hyde extols its loyal and conciliatory spirit. Its conduct, we are told, made the excellent Falkland in love with the very name of parliament. We think, indeed, with Oliver St. John, that its moderation was carried too far, and that the times required sharper and more decided councils. It was fortunate, 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 greateras 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 indidirectly, 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 admiration of the patriotism, the energy, the decision, the consummate wisdom, which marked the measures of that great parliament, from the day on which it met, to the commencement of civil hostilities.
It is not strange that a man so careless of the common civil rights, which even despots have generally respected, should treat with scorn the limitations which the constitution imposes on the royal perogative. We might quote pages: but we will content ourselves with a single specimen: "The debts of the crown being taken off, you may govern as you please: and most resolute I am that may be done without borrowing any help forth of the king's lodgings."
The impeachment of Strafford was the first, and perhaps the greatest blow. The whole conduct of that celebrated man proved that he had formed a deliberate scheme to subvert the fundamental laws of England. Those parts of his correspondence which have been brought to light since his death, place the matter beyond a doubt. One of his admirers has, indeed, offered to show, "that the passages which Mr. Hallam has invidiously extracted from the correspondence between Laud and Strafford, as proving their design to introduce a thorough tyranny, refer not to any such design, but to a thorough reform in the affairs of state, and the thorough maintenance of just authority!" We will recommend two or three of these passages to the especial notice of our readers.
All who know any thing of those times, know that the conduct of Hampden in the affair of the ship-money met with the warm approbation of every respectable royalist in England. It drew forth the ardent eulogies of the champions of the prerogative, and even of the crown lawyers themselves. Clarendon allows his demeanour through the whole proceeding to have been such, that even those who watched for an occasion against the defender of the people, were compelled to acknowledge themselves unable to find any fault in him. That he was
Such was the theory of that thorough reform in the state which Strafford meditated. His whole practice, from the day on which he sold himself to the court, was in strict conformity to his theory. For his accomplices various excuses may be urged; ignorance, imbecility, religious bigotry. But Wentworth had no such plea. His intellect was capacious. His early prepossessions were on the side of popu lar rights. He knew the whole beauty and value of the system which he attempted to deface. He was the first of the Rats; the first of those statesmen whose patriotism has been only the coquetry of political prostitution; whose profligacy has taught governments to adopt the old maxim of the slave-market, that it is cheaper to buy than to breed, to import defenders from an opposition, than to rear them in a ministry. He was the first Englishman to whom a peerage was not an addition of honour, but a sacrament of infamy-a hap tism into the communion of corruption. As he was the earliest of the hateful list, so 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 Parlia of 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 Morningthe apologists of Charles in defence of his conduct respecting ship-money. Yet on that occasion 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 prov-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 acle, 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 treason 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 ridicu rank, 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 death 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 constitutional law should 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, therefore, were bound to take it for granted, that the king considered arms which were unlawfully directed against his people, as directed against his own throne.
The remarks of Mr. Hallam on the bill of attainder, though, as usual, weighty and acute, do not perfectly satisfy us. He defends the principle, but objects to the severity of the punishment. That, on great emergencies, the state may justifiably pass a retrospective act against an offender, we have no doubt whatever. We are acquainted with only one argu ment on the other side, which has in it enough of reason to bear an answer. Warning, it is said, is the end of punishment. But a pur ish ment inflicted, not by a general rule, but by an arbitrary discretion, cannot serve the purpose of a warning; it is therefore useless, and use. less pain ought not to be inflicted. This so phism has found its way into several books on penal legisiation. It admits, however, of a very simple refutation. In the first place, punishments ex post facto are not altogether useless
-“So call him now.-His former name Is heard no more in heaven."
In spite of all his vices, in spite of all his dangerous projects, Strafford was certainly entitled to the benefit of the law; but of the law in all its rigour; of the law according to the utmost strictness of the letter which killeth. He was not to be torn in pieces by a mob, or stabbed in the back by an assassin. He was not to have punishment meted out to him from his own iniquitous measure. But if justice, in the whole range of its wide armory, contained one weapon which could pierce him, that weapon his pursuers were bound, before God and man, to employ.
-"If he may
Find mercy in the law, 'tis his; if none,
Such was the language which the Parliament might justly use.
Did then the articles against Strafford strictly amount to high treason? Many people who know neither what the articles were, nor what high treason is, will answer in the negative, simpy because the accused person, speaking
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 disturb though it were certain that his fate would noted in order to reach him; yet not so wicked as deter others from imitating his example. At to deserve the severest sentence, 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 statesThat 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 reason to rejoice, that an irreversible law and an impassable barrier protected them from the valour and capacity of Strafford.
Mr. Hallam is of opinion that a bill of pains and penalties ought to have been passed against Strafford; but he draws a distinction less just, we think, than his distinctions usual- It is remarkable that neither Hyde nor Falkly 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 childthe severity of the penalty into consideration, ren of Strafford from the forfeiture and cor when the question is about the mode of proce- ruption of blood, which were the legal conse. dure 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 distinis 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 of evidence no more depends on the magnitude of the interests at stake than the rules of arithmetic. We might as well say, that we have a greater chance of throwing a size when we are playing for a penny than when we are playing for a thousand pounds, as that a form of trial which is sufficient for the purposes of justice, in a matter affecting liberty and property, is insufficient in a matter affecting life. Nay, if a mode of proceeding be too lax for capital cases, is, a fortiori, tor lax for all others; for, in capital cases, the principles of human nature will always afford considerable security. No judge is so cruel as he who indemnifies himself for scrupulosity in cases of blood, by license in affairs cf smaller importance. The difference in tale on the one side far more than makes up for the difference in weight on the other.
It is somewhat curious that the admirers of Strafford should also be, without a single exception, the admirers of Charles; for whatever we may think of the conduct of the Parliament towards the unhappy favourite, there can be no doubt that the treatment which he received from his master was disgraceful. Faithless alike to his people and his tools, the king did not scruple to play the part of the cowardly approver, who hangs his accomplice. It is good that there should be such men as Charles in every league of villany. It is for such men that the offers of pardon and reward, which ap pear after a murder, are intended. They are indemnified, remunerated, and despised. The very magistrate who avails himself of their assistance looks on them as wretches more degraded than the criminal whom they betray. Was Strafford innocent? was he a meritorious servant of the crown? If so, what shall we