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CHAP. who continued during that time, abfent from church e XLII. To utter flanderous or feditious words against the queen was punishable, for the first offence, with the pillory and 1581. lofs of ears; the fecond offence was declared felony : The writing or printing of fuch words was felony even on the first offence R. The puritans prevailed to have farther applications made for reformation in religions. And Paul Wentworth, brother to the member of that name, who had diftinguished himself in the preceding feffion, moved, that the commons, from their own authority, fhould appoint a general faft and prayers; a motion, to which the house rafhly affented. For this presumption, they were severely reprimanded by a meffage from the queen, as encroaching on the royal prerogative and fupremacy; and they were obliged to fubmit, and ask forgiveness
THE queen and parliament were engaged to pass these severe laws against the catholics, by fome late difcoveries of the treasonable practices of their priests. When the antient worship was fuppreffed, and the reformation introduced into the universities, the king of Spain reflected, that as some species of literature was requifite for the fupport of these doctrines and controverfies, the Romish communion muft decay in England, if no means were found to give erudition to the ecclefiafti c; and for this reason, he founded a feminary at Douay, where the catholics fent their children, chiefly thofe intended for the priesthood, in order to receive the rudiments of their education. The cardinal of Lorraine imitated this example, by erecting a like feminary in his diocese of Rheims; and though Rome was fomewhat diftant, the pope would not neglect to adorn, with a foundation of the fame nature, that capital of orthodoxy. These feminaries, founded with fo hoftile an intention, fent over every year a colony of priests, who maintained the catholic fuperftition in its full height of bigotry; and being educated with a view to the crown of martyrdom, were not deterred, either by any danger or fatigue, from maintaining and propagating their principles. They infused into al their votaries an extreme hatred against the queen; whom they treated as an ufurper,a schismatic, a heretic,a perfecutor of
Q23 Eliz. cap. 1.
R Ibid. c. 2.
S D'Ewes, P. 302.
of the orthodox, and one folemnly and publickly anathe- CHAP. matized by the holy father. Sedition, rebellion, and fome- XLII. times affaffination, were the expedients, by which they proposed to effectuate their purposes against her: and the 1581. fevere restraint, not to say perfecution, under which the catholics laboured, made them the more willingly receive, from their ghosty fathers, fuch violent doctrines.
THESE feminaries were all of them under the direction of the jefuits, a new order of regular priests erected in Europe; when the court of Rome perceived, that the lazy monks and beggarly friars, who fufficed in times of ignorance, were no longer able to defend the ramparts of the church, affailed on every fide, and that the inquifitive spirit of the age required a fociety more active and more learned, to oppofe its dangerous progrefs. These men, as they ftood foremost in the contest against the protestants, drew on them the extreme animofity of that whole fect; and by affuming a fuperiority over the other more numerous and more antient orders of their own communion, were even expofed to the envy of their brethren: So that it is no wonder, if the blame, to which their principles and condu&t might be expofed, has, in many inftances, been much exaggerated. This reproach, however, they must bear from pofterity, that, by the very nature of their inftitution, they were engaged to pervert learning, the only effectual remedy against fuperftition, into a nourishment of that infirmity; and as their erudition was chiefly of the ecclefiaftical and fcholaftic kind (though a few members have cultivated polite literature) they were only the more enabled, by that acquifition, to refine away the plaineft dictates of morality, and to erect a regular system of cafuistry; by which prevarication, perjury, and every crime, where it ferved their ghostly purposes, might be justified and defended.
THE jefuits, as devoted fervants to the court of Rome, exalted the prerogative of the fovereign pontiff above all earthly power; and by maintaining his authority of depofing kings, fet no bounds, either to his fpiritual or temporal jurifdiction. This doctrine became fo prevalent among the zealous catholics in England, that the excommunication, fulminated against Elizabeth, excited many fcruples of a fingular kind, to which it behoved the holy father to provide a remedy. The bull of Pius, in abfolving the fubjects from their oaths of allegiance, commanded them VOL. V.
CHAP. to refift the queen's ufurpation; and many Romanists were apprehenfive, that, by this claufe, they were obliged in confcience, even though no favourable opportunity of1581. fered, to rebel against her, and that no dangers nor difficulties could free them from this indifpenfable duty. But Parfons and Campion, two jefuits, were fent over with a mitigation and explanation of the doctrine; and they taught their difciples, that, though the bull was for ever binding on Elizabeth and her partizans, it did not oblige the catholics to obedience, except when the fovereign pontiff fhould think proper, by a new fummons, to require it . Campion was afterwards detected in treasonable practices; and being put to the rack, and confeffing his guilt, he was publickly executed. His execution was ordered at the very time, when the duke of Anjou was in England, and profecuted, with the greatest appearance of fuccefs, his marriage with the queen; and this feverity was probably intended to appease her proteftant fubjects, and to fatisfy them, that, whatever measures the might pursue, she never would depart from the principles of the reformation.
Negociati- THE duke of Alençon, now created duke of Anjou, ons of mar- had never entirely dropped his pretenfions to Elizabeth; riage with and that princess, though her fuitor was near twenty-five the duke of years younger than herself, and had no knowlege of her
perfon but by pictures or descriptions, was ftill pleafed with the image, which his addreffes afforded her, of love and tenderness. The duke, in order to forward his fuit, befides employing his brother's ambassador, sent over Simier, an agent of his own; an artful man, of an agreeable converfation, who, foon remarking the queen's humour, amufed her with gay difcourfe, and instead of serious political reasonings, which, he found, only awakened her ambition, and hurt his master's interefts, he introduced every moment all the topics of paffion and of gallantry. The pleasure, which the found in this man's fociety, foon produced a familiarity between them; and amidst the greatest hurry of bufinefs, her moft confidential minifters had not fuch ready accefs to her perfon, as had Simier, who, on pretence of negociation, entertained her with accounts of the tender attachment borne her by the duke of Anjou. The earl of Leicester, who had never before been alarmed with any courtship paid her, and who always
u Camden, p. 477•
always trufted that her love of dominion would prevail CHA P. over her inclination to marriage, began to apprehend, that XLII. fhe was at last caught in her own fnare, and that the artful encouragement which the had given to this young fuitor, had unawares engaged her affections. To render Simier odious, he availed himself of the credulity of the times, and fpread reports, that that minifter had gained an afrendant over the queen, not by any natural principles of her conftitution, but by incantations, and love potions. Simier, in revenge, endeavoured to difcredit Leicester with the queen; and he revealed to her a fecret, which none of her courtiers dared to discover, that this nobleman was fecretly, without her confent, married to the widow of the earl of Effex; an action which the queen interpreted either to proceed from want of respect to her, or as a violation of their mutual attachment; and which fo provoked her, that the threatened to fend him prisoner to the Tower X. The quarrel went fo far between Leicefter and the French agent, that the former was fufpected of having employed one Tudor, a bravo, to take away the life of his enemy; and the queen thought it neceffary, by proclamation, to take Simier under her immediate protection. It happened, that, while the queen was rowed in her barge on the Thames, attended by Simier, and fome of her courtiers, a fhot was fired which wounded one of the bargemen: but Elizabeth finding, upon enquiry, that the piece had been difcharged by accident, gave the perfon his liberty, without farther punishment. So far was the from entertaining any suspicion against her people, that he was often heard to fay, "That he would lend "credit to nothing against them, which parents would << not believe of their own' children
THE duke of Anjou, encouraged by the accounts, fent him, of the queen's prepoffeffions in his favour, paid her fecretly a vifit at Greenwich; and after fome conference with her, the purport of which is not known, he departed. It appeared, that, though his figure was not advantageous, he had loft no ground by being perfonally known to her; and foon after, fhe commanded Burleigh, now treasurer, Suffex, Leicester, Bedford, Lincoln, Hatton, and fecretary Walfingham, to concert with the French ambaffadors the terms of the intended contract of O 2 marriage.
CHAP. marriage. Henry had fent over on this occafion a splendid XLII. embaffy confifting of Francis de Bourbon, prince of Dauphiny, and many confiderable noblemen; and as the queen had in a manner the power of prefcribing what terms the pleased, the articles were foon fettled with the English commiffioners. It was agreed, that the marriage fhould be celebrated within fix weeks after the ratification of the articles; that the duke and his retinue should have the exercise of their religion; that after the marriage he fhould bear the title of king, but the adminiftration remain folely in the queen; that their children, male or female, fhould fucceed to the crown of England; that if there be two males, the eldest, in cafe of Henry's death without iffue, fhould be king of France, the younger of England; that if there be but one male, and he fucceed to the crown of France, he should be obliged to refide in England eight months every two years; that the laws and customs of England fhould be preferved inviolate; and that no foreigner should be promoted by the duke to any office in England 2.
THESE articles, providing for the security of England, in case of its annexation to the crown of France, opened but a dismal prospect to the English; had not the age of the queen, who was now in her forty-ninth year, contributed very much to allay their apprehenfions of this nature. The queen alfo, as a proof of her ftill remaining uncertainty, added a claufe, that he was not bound to compleat the marriage, till further articles, which were not specified, should be agreed on between the parties, and till the king of France be certified of this agreement. Soon after, the queen fent over Walfingham, as ambaffador to France, in order to form clofer connexions with Henry, and enter into a league offenfive and defenfive against the encreasing power and dangerous ufurpations of Spain. The French king, who had been extremely difturbed with the unquiet fpirit, the restlefs ambition, the enterprizing, and yet timid and inconftant difpofition of Anjou, had already fought to free the kingdom from his intrigues, by opening a fcene for his activity in Flanders; and having allowed him to embrace the protection of the ftates, had fecretly fupplied him with men and money for that undertaking. The profpect of fettling him in England was for a like reason very agreeable to that monarch;