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puritan named Stubbs published against it a vehement diatribe, for which he was condemned to have his right hand cut off. Dalton, a lawyer, and Monson, a judge of the common pleas, questioned the legality of the sentence, which was founded on one of the barbarous laws of queen Mary against protestants. The former was imprisoned, the latter retired or was removed from the bench; and the fanatic victim of this barbarous punishment cried "God save the queen!" waving his hat with his remaining hand, when the axe had but just deprived him of the other.* The gallant and accomplished sir Philip Sidney addressed to her an elaborate letter of remonstrance, admirable for its elegance and point, but melancholy as a proof that even he was not above the national and religious bigotries of his age. "Is he not," says sir Philip, a Frenchman and a papist?" and upon these two ideas he rings ingenious changes through his letter.† Opinion upon the subject at court was perplexed and balanced. "It is verily thought," says Gilbert Talbot, writing to his father, "this marriage will come to pass, of a great sort of wise men. Yet, nevertheless, there are divers others, like St. Thomas of Jude, who would not believe till they had both seen and felt." Two persons of great experience and shrewdness, Castelnau, French ambassador at the court of Elizabeth, and Villeroy, secretary in succession to Charles IX. and Henry III. and Henry IV.,
-pronounced it, on the part of Elizabeth, a systematic scheme of dissimulation and policy. § On her birthday, however, she presented the duke of Anjou with a ring in the presence of her court; and the marriage was looked upon as decided. Couriers were despatched through Europe with the news. St. Aldegonde, envoy of the prince of Orange, sent him the intelligence; and the chief cities of the United Provinces set no bounds to their demonstrations of joy. Duplessis-Mornay, who was with the prince of Orange, could not be per
Lodge's Illust. ii. 212.
See the Cabala, part i. p. 335.
suaded until the prince convinced him, by the despatch of St. Aldegonde. A second letter from the envoy, received next day, put to flight all these illusions, by news that the marriage was broken off; and the rejoicings through the Low Countries gave way to disappointment. The queen's change of mind is accounted for in the following manner by Camden. Her whole female household, gained by Leicester to his interest, gathered round her in the evening, after she had presented the ring, with terror and lamentations. They alarmed her both for her throne and life. She passed the night sleepless and in tears, had a private conference with Anjou next morning, and retracted her pledge. The poor duke, who found himself not only disappointed of a crown, but about to become the jest of Europe, retired to his chamber, threw down the ring, took it up again, and inveighed against the inconstancy of islanders and the sex. * The quarrel, however, was made up, and new hopes given to the lover. The states pressed his return; but Elizabeth detained him at her court. † The negotiations continued in England and France; and it may be inferred, from the correspondence of Walsingham ‡, that the marriage would still take place, if Henry III. could have been brought to enter into a league, offensive, and defensive, with England. That prince's distractions and distresses in France, his fear of Philip II., and his want of political capacity, prevented this; and the duke of Anjou left England for the Netherlands in February, 1581, still buoyed up with the hope of sharing the throne of Elizabeth. A splendid escort of the first nobility of England attended him to Antwerp; and the queen herself accompanied him to Canterbury. It appears, from a letter of lord Talbot to his father, the earl of Shrewsbury, that Elizabeth obtained a promise to return in March " from him, whom she so unwillingly parted," and would not stay at Whitehall, because it brought him to her remembrance. §
+ Carte, Gen. Hist. book xix.
Cam. Ann. Lodge's Illust. ii. 258. Mr. Lodge treats Camden's account of the giving of the ring, and the quarrel which followed, as wholly discredited
The duke of Anjou soon proved himself unworthy of his trust. Restricted by the compact upon which he accepted the sovereignty,-distrusted for his incapacity,suffering under the superiority of the prince of Orange,— surrounded by French adventurers, — imbecile, treacherous, and tyrannical,—he conspired against those who had made him their prince, attempted to seize Antwerp by surprise, was overpowered by the inhabitants, saved himself by flight, and left William of Nassau and Alexander Farnese to dispute the Low Countries; which they soon covered with glory as the theatre of a memorable
It may be well to follow the duke of Anjou to the close of his ignoble life. Returned to France, he found himself placed between the hatred or contempt of his brother, his mother, the catholics and huguenots, and died at Château Thierry, on the 10th of June, 1584, of disappointment, poison, or his debaucheries. It was not the least good fortune of Elizabeth to have escaped a marriage with one who had most of the vices, without one virtue, of the effete and expiring house of Valois.
PERSECUTIONS. -TRIAL AND EXECUTION OF THE
HAD the government of Elizabeth kept the promise of its earlier years, her reign would have been a period of unclouded glory. But, unhappily, as she grew powerful in Europe, and secure on her throne, her preten
by the letter of lord Talbot. But they are perfectly compatible, and most likely both true. There was time for reconciliation between November and February; and the fact of Anjou's remaining, independent of other and express evidence, would prove that a reconciliation had taken place.
sions became despotic, and her policy intolerant. She rudely trampled on the privileges and personal liberty of the commons; she claimed for her proclamations the authority of law in matters spiritual and temporal; she sharpened the edge of penal enactments and persecution against puritans and catholics; she inflicted the slow torture of an iniquitous captivity of nineteen years upon a suppliant, a kinswoman, and a queen; and she shed the blood of her victim, with a mixture of barbarity and dissimulation which renders her character as a sovereign hateful, as a woman monstrous. It is true that both her throne and her life were menaced abroad and at home. But the increasing hostility of foreign powers was a homage to her increasing strength; and the secret plots against her person were generated by her persecutions and proscriptions. Had she tolerated the religious worship of the Roman catholics, her life would have been more safe. The worship of God is a want of the people: they will have it at any cost; and to subject their indulgence of it to the peril of life or fortune, was to breed fanaticism and vengeance. When she made the exercise of his functions by a Roman catholic priest a service of life or death, she held out England as a tempting and exclusive theatre to the missionary zeal of desperadoes and fanatics. If the Roman catholic laity received and sheltered, as spiritual directors, priests whose tenets and practices were dangerous to the safety of the state and life of the sovereign, it was because they could have no other. Persecution was never yet employed by a government, without recoiling upon its authors, in the very evil which it was intended to prevent. Had Elizabeth neither proscribed the religion nor imprisoned the person of Mary queen of Scots, Babington would not have conspired. Persecution and the inquisition lost Philip of Spain the Low Countries.
The severe act of the 13th of Elizabeth remained a dead letter for several years. The compass and cruelty of this law may be judged from the provision, that
to call the queen heretic, schismatic, or infidel, should be held and punished as treason. Another provision excited, at the same time, profound suspicion, and satirical merriment. Any person who, during the queen's life, should, by any book or writing, maintain that any other than the natural issue of the queen's body was or ought to be her heir or successor, was subjected to fine and imprisonment for the first offence, and the penalty of præmunire for the second. The substitution of natural for lawful issue was treated by some in jest, by others in serious earnest, as a contrivance of Leicester to secure the crown to his natural issue by the queen. But the enactment and the term were evidently levelled at the queen of Scots, whose title had just been asserted in a book by the bishop of Ross, printed abroad, and circulated widely, though privately, in England.
It would appear that Elizabeth dreaded something like the assumption of a deposing power by the hierarchy of the puritans.* The statute requires of them a declaration that they believed in their consciences that Elizabeth was and ought to be lawful queen, notwithstanding any act or sentence done or given by any synod, consistory, church, or other ecclesiastical assembly.
The first victim to this law was a priest named Maine, executed in Cornwall. His offence was clearly against the statute; but it was religious, not political. A gentleman, named Trugion, guilty of harbouring him, was sentenced to perpetual imprisonment, and the confiscation of his estates.
This severity of Elizabeth's government was first excited by the intrigues of an adventurer named Stukely, who imposed upon the pope and Philip II. by representing himself as a person of great power in Ireland, where he had few friends, little influence, and no fortune. He went by the name of duke of Ireland in Philip's court; undertook to make the pope's nephew king of Ireland; had a command in the Hispano-Italian expedition of 1579, against that king
*Strype's Life of Parker.