Изображения страниц
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]






State of Europe-Civil wars of France-Havre de Grace put in possession of the English-A parliament-Havre lost—Affairs of Scotland-The queen of Scots marries the earl of DarnleyConfederacy against the Protestants-Murder of Rizzio-A parliament-Murder of Darnley-Queen of Scots marries Bothwel -Insurrections in Scotland-Imprisonment of Mary-Mary flies into England Conferences at York and Hampton-court.

State of AFTER the commencement of the religious wars Europe. 1562. in France, which rendered that flourishing kingdom, during the course of near forty years, a scene of horror and devastation, the great rival powers in Europe were Spain and England; and it was not long before an animosity, first political, then personal, broke out between the sovereigns of these countries.

Philip II. of Spain, though he reached not any enlarged views of policy, was endowed with great industry and sagacity, a remarkable caution in his enterprises, an unusual foresight in all his measures; and as he was ever cool and seemingly unmoved by passion, and possessed neither talents nor inclination for war, both his subjects and his neighbours had reason to expect justice, happiness, and tranquillity, from his administration. But prejudices had on him as pernicious, effects as ever passion had on any other monarch; and the spirit of bigotry and tyranny by which he was actuated, with the fraudulent maxims which governed



his counsels, excited the most violent agitation among his own people, engaged him in acts of the most enormous cruelty, and threw all Europe into combustion.

After Philip had concluded peace at Cateau-Cambresis, and had remained some time in the Netherlands, in order to settle the affairs of that country, he embarked for Spain; and as the gravity of that nation, with their respectful obedience to their prince, had appeared more agreeable to his humour than the homely familiar manners and the pertinacious liberty of the Flemings, it was expected that he would, for the future, reside altogether at Madrid, and would govern all his extensive dominions by Spanish ministers and Spanish cou counsels. Having met with a violent tempest on his voyage, he no sooner arrived in harbour than he fell on his knees; and, after giving thanks for his deliverance, he vowed that his life, which was thus providentially saved, should thenceforth be entirely devoted to the extirpation of heresy. His subsequent conduct corresponded to these professions. Finding that the new doctrines had penetrated into Spain, he let loose the rage of persecution against all who professed them, or were suspected of adhering to them; and by his violence he gave new edge, even to the usual cruelty of priests and inquisitors. He threw into prison Constantine Ponce, who had been confessor to his father, the emperor Charles; who had attended him during his retreat; and in whose arms that great monarch had terminated his life; and after this ecclesiastic died in confinement, he still ordered him to be tried and condemned for heresy, and his statue to be committed to the flames. He even deliberated whether he should not exercise like severity against the memory of his father, who was suspected, during his later years, to have indulged a propensity towards the Lutheran principles; in his unrelenting zeal for orthodoxy, he spared neither age, sex, nor condition ;

a Thuanus, lib. 23. cap. 14.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »