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XLII.

1589.

usual with monarchs. His impatience therefore C H A P. broke through all the politics of Elizabeth: The articles of marriage were settled: The ceremony was performed by proxy: And the princess embarked for Scotland; but was driven by a storm into a port of Norway. This tempest, and some others which happened near the same time, were universally believed in Scotland and Denmark to have proceeded from a combination of the Scottish and Danish witches; and the dying confession of the criminals was supposed to put the accusation beyond all controversy. James, however, though a great believer in sorcery, was not deterred by this incident from taking a voyage in order to conduct his bride home: He arrived in Norway; carried the queen hence to Copenhagen ; and, having passed the winter in that city, he

brought her next spring to Scotland, where they were joyfully received by the people. The clergy alone, who never neglected an opportunity of vexing their prince, made opposition to the queen's coronation, on account of the ceremony of anointing her, which they alleged was either a Jewish or a popish rite, and therefore utterly antichristian and unlawful. But James was as much bent on the ceremony as they were averse to it; and, after much controversy, and many intrigues, his authority, which had not often happened, at last prevailed over their opposition.

b Melvil, p. 180.

Spotswood, p. 381.

VOL. v.

Α Α

CHAP. XLIII.

French affairs, Murder of the duke of Guise-Mar

der of Henry III.-Progress of Henry IV.-Naval enterprises against Spain-A parliamentHenry IV. embraces the catholic religion-Scotch affairs---Naval enterprises--A parliament-Peace of VervinsThe earl of Essex.

сHAP. XLIII.

FTER a state of great anxiety and many

situation where, though her affairs still required attention, and found employment for her active spirit, she was removed from all danger of any immediate revolution, and might regard the efforts of her enemies with some degree of confidence and security. Her successful and prudent administration had gained her, together with the admiration of foreigners, the affections of her own subjects; and after the death of the queen of Scots, even the catholics, however discontented, pretended not to dispute her title, or adhere to any other person as her competitor. James, curbed by his factious nobility and ecclesiastics, possessed at home very little authority; and was solicitous to remain on good terms with Elizabeth and the English nation, in hopes that time, aided by his patient tranquillity, would secure him that rich succession to which his birth entitled him. The Hollanders, though overmatched in their contest with Spain, still made an obstinate resistance; and such was their unconquerable antipathy to their old masters, and such the prudent conduct of Young Maurice, their governor,

1590.

that muny

many and

1590.

that the subduing of that small territory, if at all CHAP. possible, must be the work of years, and the result ALIII. of

great successes. Philip, who, in his powerful effort against England, had been transported by resentment and ambition beyond his usual cautious maxims, was now disabled, and still more, discouraged, from adventuring again on such hazardous enterprises. The situation also of affairs in France began chiefly to employ his attention; but notwithstanding all his artifice, and force, and expence, the events in that kingdom proved every day more contrary to his expectations, and more favourable to the friends and confederates of England.

The violence of the league having constrained French Henry to declare war against the Hugonots, these religionists seemed exposed to the utmost danger; and Elizabeth, sensible of the intimate connexion between her own interests and those of that party, had supported the king of Navarre by her negotiations in Germany, and by large sums of money which she remitted for levying forces in that country. This great prince, not discouraged by the superiority of his enemies, took the field ; and in the year 1587 gained, at Coutras, a complete victory over the army of the French king ; but as his allies, the Germans, were at the samne time discomfited by the army of the league, under the duke of Guise, his situation, notwithstanding his victory, seemed still as desperate as ever.

The chief advantage which he reaped by this diversity of success arose from the dissensions which by that means took place among his enemies. The inhabitants of Paris, intoxicated with admiration of Guise, and strongly prejudiced against their king, whose intentions liad become suspicious to them, took to arms, and obliged Henry to fly for his safety. That prince, dissembling his resentment, entered into a negotiation with the league; and, having conferred A 22

1590.

Guise.

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XLA.. many high offices on Guise and his partisans, sum

moned an assembly of the states at Blois, on pretence of finding expedients to support the intended war against the Hugonots. The various scenes of perfidy and cruelty, which had been exhibited in France, had justly begotten a mutual diffidence among all parties; yet Guise, trusting more to the timidity than honour of the king, rashly put him

self into the hands of that monarch, and expected, Murder of by the ascendant of his own genius, to make him

submit to all his exorbitant pretensions. Henry, though of an easy disposition, not steady to his resolutions nor even to his promises, wanted neither courage nor capacity; and finding all his subtilities eluded by the vigour of Guise, and even his throne exposed to the most imminent danger, he embraced more violent counsels than were natural to him, and ordered that prince and his brother, the cardinal of Guise, to be assassinated in his palace.

This cruel execution, which the necessity of it alone could excuse, had nearly proved fatal to the author, and seemed at first to plunge him into greater dangers than those which he sought to avoid by taking vengeance on his enemy. The partisans of the league were inflamed with the utmost rage against him: The populace everywhere, particularly at Paris, renounced allegiance to him: The ecclesiastics and the preachers filled all places with execrations against his name: and the most powerful cities and most opulent provinces appeared to combine in a resolution, either of renouncing monarchy, or of changing their monarch. Henry, finding slender resources among his catholic subjects, was constrained to enter into a confederacy with the Hugonots and the king of Navarre: He enlisted large bodies of Swiss infantry and German cavalry: And, being still supported by his chief nobility, he assembled by all these means an army of near forty housand men, and advanced to the gates of Paris,

ready

XLIII.

1590.

ready to crush the league, and subdue all his ene- C HA P. mies. The desperate resolution of one man diverted the course of these great events. Jaques Clement, a Dominican friar, inflamed by that bloody spirit of bigotry which distinguishes/this century, and a great part of the following, beyond all ages of the world, embraced the resolution of sacrificing his own life, in order to save the church from the persecutions of a heretical tyrant; and, being admitted under some pretext to the king's presence, Murder of he gave that prince a mortal wound, and was im- Third. mediately put to death by the courtiers, who hastily revenged the murder of their sovereign. This memorable incident happened on the first of August 1589.

The king of Navarre, next heir to the crown, assumed the government by the title of Henry IV. but succeeded to much greater difficulties than those which surrounded his predecessor. The prejudices entertained against his religion made a great part of the nobility immediately desert him; and it was only by his promise of hearkening to conferences and instruction, that he could engage any of the catholics to adhere to his undoubted title. The league, governed by the duke of Mayenne, brother to Guise, gathered new force, and the king of Spain entertained views, either of dismembering the French monarchy, or of annexing the whole to his own dominions. In these distressful circumstances, Henry addressed himself to Elizabeth, and found her well disposed to contribute to his assistance, and to oppose the progress of the catholic league, and of Philip, her inveterate and dangerous enemies. To prevent the desertion of his Swiss and German auxiliaries, she made him a present of twenty-two thousand pounds, a greater sum than, as he declared, he had ever seen before: And she sent him a reinforcement of four thousand men under lord Willoughby, an officer of reputation, who joined

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