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the command of those troops as soon as they should have landed near London, where an understanding had been established with the Tower, at the palace, and among the queen's guards.*

These arrangements having been made, the pope fulminated that memorable bull, wherein, as one whom the Lord had made prince over all people and all kingdoms, to pluck up, destroy, scatter, consume, plant, and build, he passed sentence of excommunication against Elizabeth, as being a heretic, and a favourer of heretics; pronounced that she was cut off from the unity of the body of Christ, and deprived of her pretended title to the kingdom; absolved her subjects from the oath of allegiance, and all manner of duty towards her, and included all who should obey her in the same sentence of anathema. It was thought imprudent to let this bull appear in Spain or France before it had been published in England, lest it should provoke the queen † to take more active measures against the Spaniards, and to appear decidedly in support of the French protestants. Its first appearance, therefore, was in London, where Felton nailed it upon the bishop of London's palace gate. But an earlier insurrection in the North had broken the strength and abated the hopes of the more eager papists; and secret information of the conspiracy was given to the English ministers by the French government, which, though possessed with the most deadly hatred against the protestant cause, dreaded the union of England and Scotland under one sovereign, and the subjugation of this country to the influence, or possibly § to the power, of Spain. Thus did France, at this critical time, interpose in favour of Elizabeth

Turner, 505. 509.

+ Acta Sanctorum, 658. Pollini, 458. Turner, 509. This most diligent historian, whose industry and integrity, and perfect fairness, entitle him always to be trusted, has shown that this information was given by Catherine de' Medicis, upon the cardinal of Lorraine's advice.

"divino judicio permissum est (Gabutius says) ut de rerum serie totâ ad Elizabetham referretur à nonnullis, Galliæ regno politicè magis quam piè consulentibus, statusque jure (quod Pius diabolicum jus appellare solebat) atque vanâ suspicione implicitis, ne scilicet Angliâ receptâ, Galliarum regno potirentur Hispani."-Acta SS. 658.

"Verentes nimirum ne Anglia in Hispanorum caderet potestatem."

against the Spaniards, upon motives precisely similar to those by which Spain had before been led to interfere for her against the French; and the conspiracy was frustrated *, though its extent was not discovered, nor the magnitude of the danger as yet fully understood.

But though the treason had failed, and the duke of Norfolk, who was to have been the catholic husband of a second queen Mary, suffered death, the design was still pursued by the Spaniards and the pope: the latter spared no money for this pious purpose, as it was deemed at the Vatican, and declared that, were it necessary, for such an object he would expend the whole revenues of the apostolic see, and sell the chalices and the crosses, and even the very vestments.* That the blow might more surely be struck, the semblance of peace, if not of amity, was still maintained; not with sincerity, indeed, on Elizabeth's part; but on the part of Philip perfidiously. She did not restrain her subjects from those maritime adventures which nourished her naval strength; and he, in conformity to what was then the avowed doctrine of the Romish church, acted upon the principle that all means were justifiable whereby the interests of that church could be promoted. The Spanish ambassador complained that the rebellious Netherlanders were supplied with warlike stores from England, and harboured in the English ports; and, in consequence of his complaint, she ordered their ships of war to be de

* Pollini imputes the delay to Alva's fear of bringing about a league between France and England in aid of the protestants in the Netherlands; and afterwards to his desire that his son D. Fadrique should command the expedition instead of Vitelli. The first fear he ascribes to the suggestion of the devil, and insinuates (falsely beyond all doubt) that, owing to his resentment at being disappointed in his views for his son, Elizabeth was made acquainted with the plot; whereby "hebbe finalmente quello che desiderava il diavolo." 471, 472.

Philip is asserted to have said to the legate, "nullam unquam hoc ipso vel preclarius vel sanctius compositum stratagema fuisse; neque vero majorem unquam visam esse conjuratorum sive concordiam, sive constantiam; siquidem per tot dies nihil unquam ab ipsis temere enuntiatum erat, magnaque res bene gerendæ atque opportuna sese offerebat occasio. Sed enim summus ille mundi Opifex, cujus nutu omnia gubernantur, seu mortalium peccatis id emerentibus, seu ut ex Angliâ vigente persecutione plures interim Christi martyres, uti deinceps factum est, in cœlum evolarent, nos alioqui pios conatus irritos esse permissit."-Acta SS. 659.

† Ibid.


tained, and those persons who were suspected of being implicated in the disturbances to leave the land. The most important events in public affairs, as well as in private life, often arise from circumstances which, when they occur, appear of little moment. The ships which the prince of Orange had commission, though they were expressly enjoined not to injure any but their enemies, had brought a scandal upon his cause*, by their piracies: insomuch that he had displaced the admiral and appointed the lord of Lumey, William Graave van der Marck, in his stead. That officer, acting either from timely apprehension or upon secret intimation, col- a. D. lected his ships, twenty-four in number, and sailed from 1572. England, entered the Maas, and by a sudden assault got possession of the Briel. This was the first town in Holland which was delivered from the Spaniards, and with this enterprise the naval power of the United Provinces commenced. The Water-Geusen, as the prince of Orange's sailors were called, had before this time deserved no better appellation; they were mere pirates, and by their ill name had done more injury to him, than by their ill deeds to his enemies. But after this adventure, which had been undertaken by the exhortation of a better man than Lumey †, one success followed another. They obtained ports, entered earnestly into the national cause, and acquired character as they gathered strength.‡ Within four months after the capture of the Briel, they were joined by so many adventurers, French and English, that a fleet of 150 sail§ was collected at Flushing, and by this fleet the project of an intended invasion of England was defeated ||, at a time when no apprehension of any such danger was entertained there. For the duque del Medina Celi, coming to succeed Alva in


* Pieter Bor, 289. 323.

He was a mere freebooter, and most of his company little better; animi ferox, idque illi unum pro virtute erat," says Grotius; "et comitum plerisque consilium, aut animus, non nisi in prædam."-Ann. 1. 2. p. 35. Tegenwoordige Staat der Ver. Nederlanden, vol. v. p. 330-36. Pieter Bor, 365.

Strada, Dec. i. 1. 7. p. 393.

Il Camden, 191.

the government, and bringing with him reinforcements and orders to put in execution the design of entering the Thames and surprising London, approached the coast of Flanders, supposing it to be still in possession of the Spaniards, and that they were masters as well of the sea as of the shores. But the admiral of Zeeland, Boudewijn Ewoutzoon, having intelligence of his approach, met and attacked him, and captured the far A. D. greater part of his richly laden fleet, the duque himself 1573. hardly escaping in a small vessel into Sluys.* Dispirited at the unexpected aspect of affairs on his arrival, he solicited and obtained his recall; and Alva seeing that the scheme of foreign invasion, as well as of domestic treason, had been frustrated, deemed it advisable to dissemble still further with England, and renewed the commercial intercourse which had then for four years been suspended. By mutual agreement it was opened for two years, and among the articles was a clause, that "if this mutual good understanding and close amity should happen for a time to be disturbed, yet should it in no wise be construed to be broken and dissolved. But if the matter could not be compounded by commissioners, within the time prescribed, the intercourse was to cease at the end of the two years."+

The good faith and honour of the realm was upon this occasion well maintained. Elizabeth made a full agreement with the Genoese merchants, concerning the money which was the first declared cause of difference: she indemnified the English merchants for their losses in the Netherlands, out of the produce of the Netherlanders' goods which had been embargoed here; and the residue was restored to Alva, who made no such restitution to his subjects out of the English property that he had detained. It had never been Elizabeth's wish that the Netherlands should throw off their allegiance to Philip. Not contemplating the possibility, which, at that time, was not contemplated by themselves, that they

Pieter Bor, 393. T'Vervolgh der Chron, van de Nederlanden, p. 64. † Camden, 191. + Ibid.



could ever maintain themselves as an independent state, she knew that, as it regarded England, it was better they should be annexed to Spain than to France; and there was no other apparent alternative. Nor, if their independence had seerned feasible, could she, a sovereign princess, have desired that what she could not but deem a dangerous precedent should be established. As a protestant, she sympathised with their sufferings for religion's sake; as the queen of a free people, whose rights and privileges she respected as she ought, she acknowledged that they complained justly of the breach of their fundamental laws. But, on the other hand, Elizabeth felt that the cause of the Reformation had been disgraced and injured by the excesses the Netherlanders had committed under its name, by spoliation and havoc, and by cruelties which afforded the persecutors a recriminating plea, and which were not to be excused for having been exercised in retaliation. Moreover, she was sensible that, in such commotions, the foundations of civil society are loosened and endangered. These equitable views were fairly stated, both to the Spanish government and to the states. When Requesens sent an A. D. agent into England to obtain her permission for engaging 1575. ships and seamen there, to act against the Hollanders and Zeelanders, she refused, and prohibited English seamen from serving under foreign powers, and all men from setting out ships of war without her licence: "her ships and sailors," she said, "should not be hazarded in foreign quarrels." The agent then requested that she would not be displeased if those English whom he called exiles, but whom she termed rebels, served at sea against the Hollanders; but that she would allow them free access to any of her ports. Her answer was, "that she could in no wise allow them to serve under the Spaniards; and that to give the use of her ports to rebels and sworn enemies would be nothing short of madness." One other request the agent made, that the Low Country emigrants might be expelled from her

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