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titioned equally amongst the children, there is danger of the population being reduced to a state of comparative poverty by living on their continually diminishing fortunes, instead of being driven into the towns, and so accelerating the progress of industry and commerce. There is, however, little fear of this being experienced in a country like England, where there are so many inducements to exertion and activity, and so many outlets for superabundant population. The tendency at present certainly is to an abandonment of the system of large holdings, and a more equal distribution of property, and this after an experience of two centuries and a half, which is a significant fact in favour of the 'petit culture.' But if a self-dependent population having an interest in the soil is incapable, as shown by the late history of France, of enduring the vicissitudes of commerce and sustaining the effects of unfavourable seasons without disturbing the whole fabric of society, how much more is an established mode of relief requisite in a country where the great mass of the people are dependent on daily wages for the necessaries of life! Individual charity, it is true, can effect much, but the main argument against such relief is, that charity is the most deficient at the very time it is the most required; in periods of commercial crisis and national calamity, those who are accustomed to contribute to charitable funds are least able to afford it, and frequently with difficulty maintain their own establishments: this is the cause of the preference we would give to the compulsory over the voluntary principle. The distribution of individual charity too, if not conducted with the utmost care and discrimination, is liable to produce more evil than good by encouraging mendicity and supporting imposture, besides lowering the moral character of the
*Sacred as is the right of property, surely it is not so sacred as the right of life. The mechanic and labourer in France will not endure to see their children and their wives perish with hunger by their sides; while food is to be obtained, they will not hesitate to procure it at any risk: necessity makes men desperate, and, without regard to ulterior consequences, the instinct of life is sufficient to make them sacrifice everything to the moment. If this be the case, then, there never will be a stable government in France till provision has been made for periods of extraordinary pressure. This condition of society was early perceived by the monarchs of the East, and they invariably kept the royal granaries supplied with corn to meet any emergency, and the same policy was imitated both by Greece and Rome: in England it is better provided for by a more systematic tax, and so long as there is a blade of corn or an acre of pasture, the right of every one to share it is acknowledged by law; the right of life is placed before the right of property, and therefore the sanctity of property is better guaranteed. Without wishing to lay too much stress upon the fact, it is certainly a remarkable coincidence that all the late revolutions in France have been preceded by periods of scarcity.
recipient. Charity," says M. Cousin,* "has also its dangers: it tends to substitute its own action for that of its object; it in some degree effaces its personality and makes itself in some sort God's providence. In trying to be useful to others, we intrude upon them, and we risk infringing their rights. What delicacy is needed in the exercise of this perilous virtue! How are we to appreciate the degree of liberty which one of our fellow-creatures still enjoys with sufficient certainty to know to what point we may substitute ourselves for him in the government of his destiny? Charity is often the beginning and the excuse, and always the pretext, of great usurpation: before we have a right to give ourselves up to the emotions of charity, we must have strengthened ourselves in a long exercise of justice."
* Tracts of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, No. 1. Justice and Charity, by M. Cousin.
THE HOUSE OF STUART.
JAMES I. A. D. 1603-1625.
State of parties on the accession of James I.-Union of England and Scotland -Promises of reform-Decline of James's popularity-Assertions of prerogative - Danger of absolute power - Bye and Main Plots Sir Walter Raleigh Severity against puritans and catholics Gunpowder plot Attempt to effect a legislative union between the two kingdoms- Struggle between the king and parliament - Royal favourites - Robert Carr Villiers, duke of Buckingham- Maladministration of Buckinghamposed alliance with Spain- Protest of the commons Impeachment of the lord chancellor Bacon, and of Cranborne, earl of Middlesex-Aid sent to the elector-palatine - Failure of the expedition James's death His character and foreign policy - Ignorance of the nature of the English constitution the cause of the misgovernment of the Stuart princes.
The king's resent
ON the decease of Elizabeth the nation had to decide between two rival families, descended, the one from Margaret, the other from Mary, the daughters of Henry VII.; the former married to James IV. of Scotland, the latter to Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk. So far as the constitutional sanction went, the law was decidedly in favour of the younger or Suffolk branch. Besides the will of Henry VIII., which, on failure of his own issue, limited the succession to the descendants of his younger sister Mary, a special statute had been passed by the legislature, confirming this demise, and expressly excluding the line of Scotland on account of foreign birth and parentage; on the other hand, the nation entertained strong prepossessions in favour of hereditary right and primogeniture, which even the antipathies of national jealousy could not overcome; and those very arguments which originally had operated to the exclusion of the house of Stuart were now perceived to be so many reasons in its favour: any evil which might result from the fusion of the two nationalities into one kingdom was evidently not to be compared with the obvious advantages accruing to both nations by a union of interests under the same crown; and the certainty that at some future period this must be accomplished, perhaps under less advantageous circumstances, reconciled in both countries even the most adverse to a measure which they saw inevitable. In Scotland, the nobles,
induced by the prospect of honours and riches in the realm of England, which they looked on as the land of promise, lent their ready aid in furtherance of the king's views; the inferior people, who had a much less voice in the latter country than in England, offered but little opposition, hoping at least for a milder administration and greater security for the protestant faith. In England, the protestant portion of the community saw the advantages of a union of the whole island and the firm establishment of the reformed religion, while they abhorred the prospect of foreign patronage and subjection to an inferior court. catholics were divided; the jesuitical party, as they were termed, having been in secret correspondence with the king of Spain for placing his daughter, the infanta, on the throne, while the moderate catholics, who adhered to the secular priests, were in favour of Arabella Stuart, daughter of the younger brother of James's father; but their influence was not sufficient materially to disturb the public opinion, and James was proclaimed with as little opposition as if he had been heir-apparent. The chief ministers of Elizabeth, sir Robert Cecil and lord Buckhurst, who, even before the death of their royal mistress, had been in correspondence with the Scottish court, wrote to James, informing him of the state of affairs, and offering him instructions how to proceed: by their advice he issued a proclamation, promising a mitigation of monopolies, purveyance, and protections in law; and when he came to London, he took up his residence at Theobalds, the seat of secretary Cecil, where he dispensed with liberal hand honours and titles to his subjects of both countries, and munificently rewarded those friends who had helped him in attaining the crown: sir Robert Cecil was successively made baron Essendon, viscount Cranborne, and earl of Salisbury; Buckhurst was created earl of Dorset; and the lord chancellor Egerton, baron of Ellesmere ; while the number of inferior honours bestowed was so great, that in the short space of three months no less than 700 persons had received the honour of knighthood. But James's generosity was better shown in the restoration of those unfortunate noblemen who had suffered in the preceding reign for the cause of himself and his mother. The earl of Southampton was immediately released from his confinement in the Tower, and restored in blood and honours; Robert, son of the late earl of Essex, was permitted to succeed to the titles and estates of his father; Thomas Howard, the son, and Henry Howard, the brother, of the duke of Norfolk, who had been attainted in 1572, were made earls of Suffolk and Northampton, and though excluded from the title of Norfolk, were consoled by being admitted members of the council.
The high opinion which had been generally formed of James's
character by almost every faction in the state, soon disappeared after he crossed the borders. Although educated under the celebrated George Buchanan, and possessing more than ordinary shrewdness, he was altogether deficient in that dignity of manner which alone can inspire respect. Mean in his attire and pedantic in his language, he seemed more fitted for a pedagogue than a king-"the wisest fool in Christendom," as the duke of Sully pithily but truly observed, when delineating the character of the new monarch for the guidance of his royal master, Henry IV. of France, who had sent him to England to persuade James to join in a league against the house of Austria; but it was James's partiality towards his Scottish favourites, and his ostentatious display of the royal prerogative, which, more than any other circumstance, estranged from him the affections of the English people. Instead of contenting himself with the exercise of the royal prerogative which had been left to him greatly extended by the Tudors, James imprudently drew back the veil which had hitherto disguised so many usurpations, and made an ostentatious display of what his predecessors had been careful to conceal. Had he been a prince like Henry II. or Henry VII., the liberties of the subject would have been in danger: following a line of princes like the Tudors, inheriting an undisputed title, and holding two kingdoms by hereditary succession, his position was the most advantageous for the establishment of absolute power which had ever existed, but his parade of it warned men to be on their guard. "Those principles," says De Lolme, "hitherto only silently adopted in the cabinet and in the courts of justice, had maintained their ground in consequence of this very obscurity. Being now announced from the throne, and resounded from the pulpit, they spread a universal alarm. Commerce besides, with its attendant arts, and, above all, that of printing, diffused more salutary notions throughout all orders of the people. A new light began to rise upon the nation; and the spirit of opposition frequently displayed itself in this reign, to which the English monarchs had not for a long time past been accustomed." *
Before James had been one year in England, two conspiracies, called the Bye and Main Plots, were formed against him, in which lord Cobham, lord Grey of Wilton, sir Griffin Markham, George Brooke, and sir Walter Raleigh, were implicated. They were found guilty, and sentenced to death; but James, who was naturally averse from blood, only suffered two priests to be executed. Cobham, Grey, and Markham were led to the scaffold, and there pardoned. Of Raleigh's participation in these conspiracies there is much cause to doubt; he was, however, * De Lolme, on the English Constitution, book i. ch. iii. p. 45.