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subjects on this great national calamity was such as no words can describe. There never, perhaps, existed a sovereign who more merited, or who more entirely possessed, the affections of his people. Henry had lived to the age of fiftyseven, and at the time of his death is said to have been employed in projecting one of the greatest and most extraordinary schemes that ever entered into the head of man *.
*The project of a perpetual peace. The delineation of this great scheme, which was singularly characteristic of the genius as well as the benevolence of its author, is to be found in the Memoirs of the duke of Sully. Though the preparations were actually begun for carrying it into effect, it must, in all probability, have failed of success, because it took not into account the predominant passions and weaknesses of mankind; and the impossibility of reasoning with nations as with wise individuals.
ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND IN THE REIGNS OF ELIZABETH AND MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS :-Personal Enmity of Elizabeth and Mary-Reformation in Scotland-Regency of Mary of Guise -John Knox-Intervention of England-Confession of Faith ratified by Parliament-Mary arrives in Scotland-Artful measures of Elizabeth in Scotland-Murder of Rizzio-of Darnley-Forced Abdication of Mary-James VI. proclaimed -Battle of Langsyde-Mary imprisoned in England-Executed, 1587-Ambitious Schemes of the Earl of EssexDeath and Character of Elizabeth.
WHILE France was torn by intestine convulsions, and bleeding under the infernal ravages of a merciless zeal, signalised by the memorable massacre of St. Bartholomew; while the inhabitants of the Netherlands had shaken off the yoke of Spain, and were bravely vindicating their rights and their religion, the English nation had attained to a high degree of splendour under the government of a great and politic princess. Elizabeth had been educated in the school of adversity: she was a prisoner during the reign of her sister Mary, and had turned that misfortune to the best advantage, by improving her mind in every great and useful accomplishment. It were to be wished she had cultivated likewise the virtues of the heart, and that her policy (which must be allowed to be ex
tremely refined) had breathed somewhat more of the spirit of generosity and humanity.
Elizabeth had, from the beginning of her reign, resolved to establish the protestant religion in her dominions, a measure which the severities of the reign of Mary had rendered not at all difficult. The protestant party had been increasing under persecution; and no sooner were the queen's inclinations signified to the people, than almost the whole nation became protestants from choice. The very first parliament after her accession passed an act in favour of the reformed religion.
Elizabeth's great object was to secure the affections of her people, and this she most thoroughly accomplished. She may be reckoned among the most respected of the English monarchs; though there is no question that she stretched the powers of the crown to a greater height, and her government was more arbitrary and despotic than that of any of her successors, whose encroachments on the rights of the subject gave occasion to such dreadful disquiets, and raised a combustion so fatal to the English nation.
The chief minister of Elizabeth in the beginning of her reign was Robert Dudley, son of the duke of Northumberland; a man whom she seemed to regard from capricious motives, as he was possessed neither of abilities nor virtue. But she was assisted likewise with the counsels of Bacon and of Cecil, men of great capacity and infinite application. They regulated the finances, and directed those political measures with foreign courts that were afterwards followed with so much success.
In the reign of Elizabeth the affairs of Scot
land were unhappily but too much interwoven with those of England. Henry VII. had given his daughter Margaret in marriage to James V., king of Scotland, who, dying, left no issue that came to maturity, except Mary, afterwards queen of Scots. This princess was married when very young to Francis, the dauphin, afterwards king of France, who left her a widow at the age of nineteen. As Elizabeth had been declared illegitimate by Henry VIII., in consequence of her mother Anne Bullen's divorce, Mary was persuaded by her ambitious uncle, the duke of Guise, to assume the arms and title of queen of England; and when the English ambassador at the court of France complained of this injury, he received no satisfaction. This was the foundation of a personal enmity between the rival queens, which subsisted through life, and laid the foundation of a train of misery and misfortune to the queen of Scots.
The reformation in Scotland, though it arose from the most laudable and disinterested motives, was conducted with a spirit of much higher zeal and animosity than in England. The mutual resentment which the protestants and catholics bore to each other in that country was extremely violent. Many of the English preachers, who had fled from the terrors of the persecution under Mary of England, had taken shelter in Scotland. There they propagated their theological tenets, and inspired the greatest part of the kingdom with the utmost horror for the doctrines and worship of the church of Rome. Some of the principal of the Scottish ncbility, the earl of Argyle, the earls of Morton,
Glencairn, and others, had espoused the doctrines of the reformation. They entered privately into a bond of association in opposition to the established church; and by their own authority they ordained that prayers in the vulgar tongue should be used in all the parish churches of the kingdom, and that preaching and the interpretation of the Scriptures should be practised in private houses, till God should move the prince to allow a purer system of public worship, under faithful and true ministers. This determined spirit of reformation was much fomented by the furious and most intolerant zeal of the Roman catholics. Hamilton, archbishop of St. Andrew's, a sanguinary bigot, made some attempts to pursue the same horrible methods of conversion of which queen Mary of England had set the example; and a priest who had embraced the new religion was, by his orders, burnt at the stake. The consequence was, that the whole nation began to look with detestation and abhorrence upon the worship of the catholics; and the associated lords presented a petition to parliament, in which, after they had premised that they could not communicate with the damnable idolatry and intolerable abuses of the church of Rome, they desired that the laws against heretics should be executed by the civil magistrate alone; that the Scriptures should be the sole rule for judging of heresy; and that prayers should be said in the vulgar tongue.
The queen-regent, Mary of Guise, who, in the government of Scotland, followed the intemperate counsels of her brothers, instead of soothing or opposing by gentle methods this spirit of reforma