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stances, be regarded as a papal lure.* Had the Roman government been disposed, at the accession, to grant all that they are supposed to have authorised Parpaglia to offer, Elizabeth might perhaps have purchased a truce with a formidable antagonist, by concessions to the English catholics far beyond the usage of that period.t
But the time for such negotiations was now past: the council advised that Martinengo should not be allowed to enter the kingdom. The queen's policy consisted in showing that steady countenance to her opponents which alone could secure the fidelity of adherents. The history of the dealing of the Roman see with the Lutheran reformation is crowded with such lessons to all who bear sway over nations in seasons of trouble and peril. The grant of the cup to the laity, the use of the vulgar tongue in worship and instruction, even the celibacy of the clergy, were generally owned to concern matters of discipline only, where concessions might be made without derogation from the unerring judgment of the catholic church. But the pretension to infallibility had not only perverted the understanding, but corrupted and inflamed the temper of the papal counsellors. Its influence extended beyond its argumentative consequences: it begat a haughty spirit, a stubborn pride, an undistinguishing defiance of all attempts to conciliate, in cases where they might have yielded without inconsistency. The effect of this was, that the British islands were completely separated from the Roman communion, and France nearly so; to say nothing of the degree in which the ancient faith throughout Christendom was undermined. ‡
Hardwicke Papers, i. 180.
+ This could only be, if all the terms which Parpaglia was supposed to have the power of granting, except the recognition of Anne Boleyn's marriage, be understood as confined to the English catholics only.
All attempts have proved unsuccessful to recover either the count de Feria's propositions of marriage, or Carne's despatches, containing the account of Caraffa's answer to Elizabeth. But the numerous allusions to the former in the letters of the chief actors in these scenes leave no doubt of the fact The truth of the latter may be considered as established by the consideration, that though it rests much on the testimony of father Paul, it is not contradicted, but rather tacitly assumed, by his acrimonious opponent, cardinal Pallavicino, who wrote from the Roman records, and might have known those who were of full age at the accession of Elizabeth.
The final breach between Elizabeth and Rome probably contributed to the sudden cessation of Philip's efforts to obtain her hand. Her marriage continued to be a subject of the deepest interest, not only to her own people, but to all zealous and reflecting catholics and protestants throughout Europe. Philip, after his own failure, laboured to obtain the hand of Elizabeth for his cousin the archduke Charles. Her encouragement of this union was ascribed by continental politicians to her hope that an alliance between England and Austrian Germany might in some degree curb the ambition and counterpoise the power of the two great crowns of France and Spain. The protestants were suspicious of its tendency to introduce a popish influence into England, while the court of Rome dreaded that the heretical queen might lessen the union of catholic sovereigns. The negotiation was renewed, partly perhaps to parry the importunity of parliament for the queen's marriage, from 1563 to 1565 +; and, on the latter occasion, it was promoted by Leicester, with a zeal which indicates the extinction of the ambitious hopes ascribed to him. Elizabeth refused to allow the public exercise of any religion but the protestant in her dominions; a matter which, from the long continuance of the negotiation, appears to have been deemed not incapable of compromise. The apprehension of the success of the negotiation procured for Elizabeth a suitor of fourteen years of age in the person of the duke of Anjou, who afterwards ruled France under the name of Henry III.; a prince whose brutal amours and acquiescence in cruelty do not appear to have been relieved by a solitary virtue. Castelnau visited Britain in 1566, to tender for the queen's choice either him or his brother Charles IX.; two marriages so seductive, but so execrable, that it would be hard to find a parallel for them in history. §
In the matrimonial negotiations with the royal family
Throgmorton to privy council. Id. to Cecil, 18th November, 1569. Haynes, 407. 419. 436. in Cecil's Germany.
Ellis, second series, ii. 206.
Paris, 10th June, 1559. Forbes, i. 120. Forbes, i. 265,
letters to Mundt, a secret agent in Mém. de Castelnau, liv. v. ch. 11, 12.
of France, there are clearer traces of intention on either side to amuse and deceive for temporary purposes, than can be discovered in other treaties of the like nature. Castelnau, for example, offered the duke of Anjou to Mary Stuart, as he had done before to Elizabeth. But the Austrian marriage, on the contrary, was so acceptable, that lord Sussex, the ambassador at Vienna in 1567, was not only very desirous of the alliance, but considered it as practicable. In his despatch to Elizabeth, he skilfully tries to soften the heart of his mistress, by displaying the qualities of Charles's mind, and still more fully the beauties of his countenance and form. He told the archduke that the queen was free to marry, though she had never given a grateful ear" to any motion of marriage but to this. The archduke answered, that but for this assurance, he had heard so much of the queen's not meaning to marry as might give him cause to suspect the proposal. Sussex, fearing religion to be the obstacle, ventured to insinuate that, his imperial majesty being believed secretly to favour the Lutherans, the archduke, by communicating the secret now to him, might bring the negotiation within a short compass. The archduke, without contradicting the prevalent opinion of his father's religious inclination, asked Sussex whether he could advise an Austrian prince suddenly to change a religion which his ancestors had so long holden. Sussex told Elizabeth, that as reputation ruled Charles under the guise of the catholic religion, there was no doubt that, notwithstanding the obstacle of his profession, he would prove a true husband, a loving companion, a wise counsellor, and a faithful servant.' "" *
Eric king of Sweden, the son of Gustavus Vasa, sought the hand of both the British queens: his suit in England continued for two years. John duke of Finland, his brother, was welcomed at court in 1559; and in 1561 preparations were made for his own honourable reception; but both the princesses had the fortune to escape a sanguinary tyrant, the degenerate offspring of
Sussex to the queen, Vienna, 18th and 26th Oct. 1567. Lodge, i. 364. 368.
the deliverer and reformer of his country. The national jealousy which has generally subsisted between Sweden and Denmark excited Adolphus duke of Holstein to proffer his hand to Elizabeth, who received him becomingly, but declined the connection; accounting him to be sufficiently honoured by the order of the garter, and likely to be sufficiently consoled by an ample pension.*
The root of that indisposition to marriage which is apparent through Elizabeth's life, is probably best understood from her significant declaration to the earl of Leicester, during the period of his highest favour,-"I will have here but one mistress, and no master."† On another occasion, Melville, who understood her character, when she declared her dislike of marriage to be such as nothing but policy could overcome, answered, "Madam, you need not tell me that: I know your stately stomach; you cannot suffer a commander: you think if you were married, you would be but queen of England, and now you are king and queen both.”+
From the earliest moment she professed her preference of celibacy, though, with characteristic caution, she avoided, or rather disclaimed, an absolute renunciation of marriage. In answer to the first address of the house of commons, she said, "From my years of understanding, I happily chose this kind of life in which I now live; yet I shall never in that matter conclude any thing that shall be prejudicial to the realm. This shall be for me sufficient, that a marble stone shall declare that a queen, having reigned such a time, lived and died a virgin." § In 1563 she declared, "If any think I never meant to try a wedded life, they are deceived: I may hereafter bend my mind thereunto, the rather for your request.”
In 1566 she was very earnestly entreated, in a joint address from both houses of parliament, to enter into a state of wedlock, and to settle the order of the succession to the crown. The cause of this unusual address was probably the extremely disturbed state of the affairs of Scot+ Naunton's Fragm. Regal. Melville, 122. relating his mission to England in 1564. D'Ewes, 47.
Camd. Ann. i. 69.
land, which in the year of the sitting of this parliament was the scene of the murder of Rizzio by Darnley, and of the murder of Darnley by Bothwell; both deeply affecting the presumptive heiress of the crown of England.* Opinions in England on the succession were divided, and inclinations violently opposed to each other. Mary was the hope of the catholics, the terror of the protestants; but acknowledged to be heiress by all the rigorous adherents to hereditary succession. Some preferred lady Lennox, as a natural-born Englishwoman, who was a daughter of Margaret Tudor. Another party maintained the right of lady Catherine Grey, countess of Hertford, for the same reasons which had seated her unfortunate sister lady Jane on a momentary throne. The new influence which the birth of a son had bestowed on Mary, and the remembrance of the danger from her usurpation at the queen's accession, were additional incitements to the petition. "Our first prayer is, that it may please your majesty to dispose yourself to marry. The second, that limitation may be made of this imperial crown, how it should descend, if God call your highness without heirs of your body to guard the realm against factions, seditions, and intestine war." They fortified their petition by referring to many instances, both ancient and modern, in which the sovereigns of England had entered into marriage by the advice and consent of parliament.‡ The queen again said, "If any one here suspect that I have made a vow or determination against that kind of life, he is wrong; for though I may think it [celibacy] best for a private woman, yet I strive with myself to think it unmeet for a prince."§ But the commons, being more zealous protestants, were not satisfied by this language, which, though veiled by an affectation of prudery, was intelligible; and Elizabeth, on the 4th of November, was obliged to allay their apprehensions by instructing her ministers, Cecil and Rogers, to signify to the house
The session was opened on the 30th of September, 1566, and the parliament was dissolved on the 2d of January, 1567. Journals and D'Ewes, 93. + D'Ewes, 104.
+ D'Ewes, 117.
§ D'Ewes, 107.