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tlemen, and some other persons, were brought to CHAP.
XXXVIII, their trial for intending to withdraw into France, with a view of soliciting succours from the duke of 1561. Guise, of returning thence into Wales, and of proclaiming Mary queen of England, and Arthur Pole, duke of Clarence. They confessed the indictment, but asserted, that they never meant to execute these projects during the queen’s life-time: They had only deemed such precautions requisite in case of her demise, which some pretenders to judicial astrology had assured them they might with certainty look for before the year expired. They were condemned by the jury; but received a pardon from the queen's clemency.b
b Strype, vol. i. p. 333. Heylin, p. 154.
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 DarnleyQueen of Scots marries Bothwel — Insurrections in Scotland—Imprisonment of Mary-Mary flies into England—Conferences at York and HamptonCourt.
FTER the commencement of the religious
wars in France, which rendered that Aourishing kingdom, during the course of near forty years, a scene of horror and devastation, the great rival powers in Europe weré 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 ty
ranny by which he was actuated, with the fraudu-CHAP. lent maxims which governed his counsels, excited the most violent agitation among his own people, 1562. engaged him in acts of the most enormous cruelty, and threw all Europe into combustion.
After Philip had concluded peace at CateauCambresis, 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 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 con fessor 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 herésy, 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
CHA P. was suspected, during his later years, to have in
dulged a propensity towards the Lutheran princi1562. ples: In his unrelenting zeal for orthodoxy, he
spared neither age, sex, nor condition: He was present, with an inflexible countenance, at the most barbarous executions : He issued rigorous orders for the prosecution of Heretics in Spain, Italy, the Indies, and the Low Countries: And, having founded his determined tyranny on maxims of civil policy, as well as on principles of religion, he made it apparent to all his subjects, that there was no method, except the most entire compliance, or most obstinate resistance, to escape or elude the severity of his vengeance.
During that extreme animosity which prevailed between the adherents of the opposite religions, the civil magistrate, who found it difficult, if not impossible, for the same laws to govern such enraged adversaries, was naturally led, by specious rules of prudence, in embracing one party, to declare war against the other, and to exterminate, by fire and sword, those bigots, who, from abhorrence of his religion, had proceeded to an opposition of his power, and to a hatred of his person. If any prince possessed such enlarged views as to foresee that a mutual toleration would in time abate the fury of religious prejudices, he yet met with difficulties in reducing this principle to practice; and might deem the malady too violent to await a remedy which, though certain, must necessarily be slow in its operation. But Philip, though a profound hypocrite, and extremely governed by sell-interest, seems also to have been himself actuated by an imperious bigotry; and, as he employed great reflection in all his conduct, he could easily palliate the gratification of his natural temper under the colour of wisdom, and find, in this system, no less advantage to his foreign than his domestic politics. By placing himself at the head of the catholic party, he converted
the zealots of the ancient faith into partisans of CHA P. Spanish greatness; and by employing the powerful allurement of religion, he seduced every where the 1562. subjects from that allegiance which they owed to their native sovereign.
The course of events, guiding and concurring with choice, had placed Elizabeth in a situation diametrically opposite; and had raised her to be the glory, the bulwark, and the support of the numerous, though still persecuted, protestants throughout Europe. More moderate in her temper than Philip, she found, with pleasure, that the principles of her sect required not such extreme severity in her domestic government as was exercised by that monarch ; and having no object but selfpreservation, she united her interests in all soreign negotiations with those who were every where struggling under oppression, and guarding themselves against ruin and extermination. The more virtuous sovereign was thus happily thrown into the more favourable cause; and fortune, in this instance, concurred with policy and nature.
During the life-time of Henry II. of France, and of his successor, the force of these principles was somewhat restrained, though not altogether overcome, by motives of a superior interest; and the dread of uniting England with the French monarchy, engaged Philip to maintain a good correspondence with Elizabeth. Yet even during this period he rejected the garter which she sent him ; he refused to ratify the ancient league between the house of Burgundy and England;d he furnished ships to transport French forces into Scotland; he endeavoured to intercept the earl of Arran, who was hastening to join the malcontents in that country; and the queen's wisest ministers still regarded
his d Digges's Complete Ambassador, p. 369. Haynes, p. 585. Strype, vol, iv. No. 246.