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the punishment of death on all protestants, and enjoining judges not to commute the penalty.* In the minority of Francis II., their sway was established through the ascendant of their niece, Mary Stuart, over the imbecile boy to whom that beautiful and accomplished princess, distinguished even then for vigour and ability, was so unhappily, and, in spite of the outward splendour of the union, so unsuitably tied. These princes, who countenanced the legends which deduced their descent from Charlemagne, certainly regarded the sovereignty of the British islands as being within Mary's lawful pretensions, of which the enforcement was not beyond the grasp of their own almost boundless aspirations.
It has been already seen that Philip II., a bigot of equal sincerity, sternness, and sagacity, preserved Elizabeth from the merciless purposes of her sister, in order to be a restraint on the vaulting ambition of the house of Lorraine. When he saw the pretensions to the English throne, which the French princes now made for their niece, he suspended every purpose of religious hatred, and of his permanent policy, in order to provide against an aggrandisement which menaced his own dominions. The count de Feria +, the Spanish ambassador in London, received his master's orders to make propositions of marriage to Elizabeth as soon as she succeeded to the throne. Though this fact be attested by all writers, the particulars are mentioned by none, and do not seem to be preserved in our public repositories. Philip is said to have pressed his suit with some importunity, and to have assured the queen that he could obtain a papal dispensation for the marriage, which would at least silence her catholic subjects. She, wary from her early youth, answered the advances of so potent a monarch with all due courtesy. She intimated the difficulty, which she doubtless strongly felt, of tacitly owning her illegitimacy, by accepting a papal dispensation to become the wife of her brother-in-law. Her repugnance to the marriage, as she afterwards de
+ Created a duke in 1567. Moreri.
clared to Castelnau, was so strong, as to prevail over her gratitude to Philip, who had saved her from her sister's rage, at a moment when Elizabeth's destruction seemed so certain, that she had determined on asking no other favour than that her head should be struck off by a sword, as her mother's was, instead of an axe. * She, says Camden, with a mind most averse from such nuptials, thought nothing so likely to deliver her from the eager pursuit of her importunate lover, as the immediate adoption of decisive measures for the establishment of the reformed church. †
The various motives which withheld her from the proffered marriage were too obvious to have escaped a prince so discerning as Philip. Perhaps we may be allowed to conjecture, with some probability, that his expectations of retaining England by wedlock were slight, but that he relied on the friendly dispositions with which the young queen would be inspired by his affectation of gallantry towards her. At all events, the suit was soon relinquished; for the count de Feria declined to appear at the coronation; and the unhappy espousal of Elizabeth of France to Philip was one of the stipulations of the treaty of Château-Cambresis.
The relations of Elizabeth, at her accession, with the court of Rome, formed an object which required to be handled with no small delicacy. Sir Edward Carne, of South Wales, an eminent canonist, had represented the English government at Rome during all the periods of friendly intercourse, from the negotiations about the divorce of Henry VIII. to the death of Mary. Elizabeth instructed him to announce her accession to the sovereign pontiff, and to assure him of her determination to offer no violence to the conscience of any class of her subjects; thus at once con
Mém. de Castelnau, liv. ii. ch. 3.
+ Illa, animo ab hujusmodi nuptiis aversissimo, nihil ad importunum procum amoliendum efficacius censuit quàm ut religio quam primum mu taretur."- Camd. Ann. Eliz. ed. Hearne. The version in Kennet, which omits all the strong expressions of Camden, is a remarkable instance of the effect of a languid translation in hiding the feelings of the principal persons, which are here the most important facts in the narrative.
veying her desire of amity, her tolerant policy, and her unshaken protestantism. Caraffa, a noble Venetian, who then filled the papal throne by the name of Paul IV., made answer with a haughtiness unquenched on his death-bed, and with the marble inflexibility of fourscore, "that England was a fief of the apostolic see; that she could not succeed, being illegitimate; that the reigning pontiff could not reverse the decrees of his predecessor against the marriage; but that, notwithstanding her boldness in presuming to wear the crown without his previous assent, being yet desirous to show a fatherly affection towards an illustrious nation, and to a lady of high though not unstained lineage, if she would renounce her pretensions, and refer herself wholly to his generosity, he should be disposed to do for her whatever could be done consistently with the honour of the apostolic see. ."* To this arrogant answer many historians have ascribed the separation of England. But cardinal Pallavicino, though he blames the obstinate folly of the pontiff, which thus rejected every chance of reconciling England, adds, with his accustomed sagacity, that the mildness of Elizabeth's language was only an opiate used to lull the pontiff to sleep, till her power should be secured; but that she would quickly throw off the mask, and act with the zeal of an obstinate heretic, who was herself declared to be a bastard, and whose mother was pronounced to be a prostitute by the doctrines and authorities of the catholic church.† The advances of Elizabeth did not deceive the Roman court. ‡ Elizabeth commanded her minister to return; the pope prohibited him from leaving Rome under pain of excommunication, and offered him a provision as master of the English hospital. Carne, in his despatches to London, protested against his detention, and solemnly declared that he would rather beg his bread homeward than seem to disobey his sovereign's command. It was, neverthe
Fra Paolo, lib. v.
+ Pallavicino, lib. xiv. c. 8. The orthography seems to have been either with a termination in ior in o indifferently.
+ "Nec fefellerint hæc pontificem Romanum."- Camd. Ann.
less, suspected that the veteran diplomatist, actuated by deep-rooted attachment to the ancient faith, had voluntarily procured the exile of which he affected to complain. He died at Rome in 1561, no otherwise worthy of historical notice, than as the last of a long succession of ministers who had for 800 years maintained the ecclesiastical and pontifical intercourse between England and the see of Rome: for the brief and abortive effort to revive it in the following century cannot be regarded as a substantial exception.
When Caraffa found Elizabeth inaccessible to his menaces, he issued a bull, in which he did not name her, but confirmed the excommunication and the other punishments provided against all heretics, whether they be subjects or sovereigns; and deprived heretical sovereigns of their dominions, inflicting upon them an incapacity to be restored by any authority; and excluded them all, comprehending in the exclusion persons of regal and imperial dignity, from every solace of human intercourse and society.† Caraffa died a few months afterwards, loaded with the curses of the Romans: his statue was thrown into the Tiber, and his remains were with difficulty saved from the fury of the raging populace. Had the accession of Elizabeth been somewhat later, the reception of her advances by Paul's successor, Pius IV., a prince of the house of Medici, would have been more courteous, and might perhaps have preserved to the Roman court the possibility of advantage, which depended on the continuance of an amicable correspondence with England. For in May, 1560, the pope despatched Parpaglia, abbot of St. Saviour, to the queen, with letters full of respect and affection, imploring her to return to the communion of the church, and assuring her of his readiness to contribute to the happiness of her soul and
*"Creditur tamen solertem senem hoc exilium ex inflammato Romanæ religionis studio sponte elegisse."-- Camd. Ann.
This bull, hitherto only vaguely alluded to by historians, is in the Bullarium Romanum, i. 840. editio Lucem. 1727. 15th March, 1559. It was confirmed by Pius V., in a bull which subjects all dignities, including the royal, to the tribunals of inquisition. Bullar. Roman. ii. 214. This last bull expressly names the bull of Paul IV. (Caraffa). It bears date on the 12th January, 1567. See afterward the bull of February, 1569.
the establishment of her royal dignity. He is even said to have verbally instructed Parpaglia to promise that, if she would return to the bosom of the catholic church, and submit to the parental authority of the apostolic see, his holiness would declare the validity of her mother's marriage, permit the use of the English liturgy, and allow the sacrament in both kinds to the laity.* Parpaglia was not, however, allowed to enter England. Pius IV., not altogether despairing, renewed his efforts in the succeeding year. Martinengo, an Italian abbot, in April, 1561, announced from Brussels to the English ministers, that he was desirous of proceeding to London on the part of the most holy father, to represent to the queen the earnest wishes of his holiness to reconcile her and her subjects to the rest of Christendom; and to entreat her, for that end, to send her prelates to the general council about to be holden in the city of Trent. A privy council was assembled at Greenwich, on the 1st of May, 1561, to consider this momentous proposition. It was there determined that it was impossible" to allow the pope's jurisdiction within this realm to any purpose, without shaking the queen's title to the throne, which was evidently irreconcilable with the decrees of the Roman pontiff; that the appearance of a nuncio in London would countenance the false reports of the queen's intention to change her religion, and thereby encourage the audacity of the disaffected, as well as render faithful subjects fearful of manifesting their affection; that, besides the highest motive of religion, it was inconsistent with common prudence to run the least hazard of a new religious revolution, at the very moment that the country was beginning to recover from the last; that the legate then in Ireland was active in stirring up revolt; that Parpaglia was in the former year charged with the task of exciting a rebellion in England; and that a general council, though if really independent it would be most acceptable in England, must, in the present circum
* Camden, i. 73.