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the fancy, perhaps the heart, of the drawn between Protestant and Citholuu woman; but no rival could deprive the Europe. Treasurer of the place which he pos. The only event of modern times sessed in the favour of the Queen. She which can be properly compared with sometimes chid him sharply; but he the Reformation is the French Revowas the man whom she delighted to lution, or, to speak more accurately, honour. For Burleigh, she forgot her that great revolution of political feelusual parsimony both of wealth and of ing which took place in almost every dignities. For Burleigh, she relaxed part of the civilised world during the that severe etiquette to which she was eighteenth century, and which obtained unreasonably attached. Every other in France its most terrible and signal person to whom she addressed her triumph. Each of these memorable speech, or on whom the glance of her events may be described as a rising up eagle eye fell, instantly sank on his of the human reason against a Castc. knee. For Burleigh alone, a chair was The one was a struggle of the lai., set in her presence; and there the old against the clergy for intellectual Liminister, by birth only a plain Lincoln-berty; the other was a struggle of the shire esquire, took his ease, while the people against princes and nobles for haughty heirs of the Fitzalans and the political liberty. In both cases, the De Veres humbled themselves to the spirit of innovation was at first endust around him. At length, having couraged by the class to which it was survived all his early coadjutors and likely to be most prejudicial. It was rivals, he died full of years and ho- under the patronage of Frederic, of Ca
His royal mistress visited him therine, of Joseph, and of the grandees on his death-bed, and cheered him with of France, that the philosophy which assurances of her affection and esteem; afterwards threatened all the thrones and his power passed, with little dimi- and aristocracies of Europe with denution, to a son who inherited his abi. struction first became formidable. The lities, and whose mind had been formed ardour with which men betook themby his counsels.
selves to liberal studies, at the close of The life of Burleigh was commen- the fifteenth and the beginning of the surate with one of the most important sixteenth century, was zealously enperiods in the history of the world. It couraged by the heads of that very exactly measures the time during which church to which liberal studies were the House of Austria held decided su- destined to be fatal. In both cases, periority and aspired to universal do- when the explosion came, it came with minion. In the year in which Burleigh a violence which appalled and diswas born, Charles the Fifth obtained gusted many of those who had prethe imperial crown. In the year in viously been distinguished by the freewhich Burleigh died, the vast designs dom of their opinions. The violence which had, during near a century, of the democratic party in France kept Europe in constant agitation, were made Burke a Tory and Alfieri a buried in the same grave with the courtier. The violence of the chiefs of proud and sullen Philip.
the German schism made Erasmus s The life of Burleigh was commen- defender of abuses, and turned the surate also with the period during author of Utopia into a persecutor. la which a great moral revolution was both cases, the convulsion which had effected, a revolution the consequences overthrown deeply seated errors, shook of which were felt, not only in the ca- all the principles on which society rests binets of princes, but at half the fire-to their very foundations. The minda sides in Christendom. He was born of men were upsettled. It seemed for when the great religious schism was a time that all order and morality were just commencing. He lived to see about to perish with the prejudices with that schism complete, and to see a line which they had been long and inti. of demarcation, which, since his death, mately associated. Frightful crueltire das been very little altercd, strongly were committed. Immense masses of
property were confiscated. Every part | jealousies. The Spaniards were invited of Europe swarmed with exiles. In into France by the League ; the Engmoody and turbulent spirits zeal soured lish were invited into France by the into malignity, or foamed into madness. Huguenots. From the political agitation of the We by no means intend to undereighteenth century sprang the Jacobins. rate or to palliate the crimes and exFrom the religious agitation of the cesses which, during the last generasixteenth century sprang the Anabap- tion, were produced by the spirit of tists. The partisans of Robespierre democracy. But, when we hear men robbed and murdered in the name of zealous for the Protestant religion, confraternity and equality. The followers stantly represent the French Revoluof Kniperdoling robbed and murdered tion as radically and essentially evil on in the name of Christian liberty. The account of thoso crimes and excesses, feeling of patriotism was, in many parts we cannot but remember that the deof Europe, almost wholly extinguished. liverance of our ancestors from the All the old maxims of foreign policy house of their spiritual bondage was were changed. Physical boundaries effected “by plagues and by signs, by were superseded by moral boundaries.wonders and by war. We cannot but Nations made war on each other with remember that, as in the case of the new arms, with arms which no for- French Revolution, so also in the caso tifications, however strong by nature of the Reformation, those who rose up or by art, could resist, with arms be- against tyranny were themselves deeply fore which rivers parted like the Jordan, tainted with the vices which tyranny and ramparts fell down like the walls engenders. We cannot but remember of Jericho. The great masters of Aleets that libels scarcely less scandalous than and armies were often reduced to con- those of Hebert, mummeries scarcely fess, like Milton's warlike angel, how less absurd than those of Clootz, and hard they found it
crimes scarcely less atrocious than those “ To exclude
of Marat, disgrace the early history of Apiritual substance with corporeal bar." Protestantism. The Reformation is an
event long past.
That volcano has Europe was divided, as Greece had spent its rage. The wide waste probeen divided during the period concern- duced by its outbreak is forgotten. ing which Thucydides wrote. The con- The landmarks which were swept away flict was not, as it is in ordinary times, have been replaced. The ruined edibetween state and state, but between fices have been repaired. The lava has two omnipresent factions, each of which covered with a rich incrustation the was in some places dominant and in fields which it once devastated, and, other places oppressed, but which, after having turned a beautiful and openly or covertly, carried on their fruitful garden into a desert, has again strife in the bosom of every society. turned the desert into a still more No man asked whether another be beautiful and fruitful garden. The selonged to the same country with him cond great eruption is not yet over. sell, but whether he belonged to the The marks of its ravages are still all same sect. Party-spirit seemed to jus- around us. The ashes are still hot betify and consecrate acts which, in any neath our feet. In some directions the other timncs, would have been considered deluge of fire still continues to spread. as the foulest of treasons. The French Yet experience surely entitles us to beemigrant saw nothing disgraceful in lieve that this explosion, like that which bringing Austrian and Prussian hussars preceded it, will fertilise the soil which it to Paris. The Irish or Italian demo- has devastated. Already, in those parts crat saw no impropriety in serving the which have suffered most severely, rich French Directory against his own na-cultivation and secure dwellings have tive government. So, in the sixteenth begun to appear amidst the waste. Tho century, the fury of theological factions more we read of the history of past suspended all national animosities and ages, the more we observe the signs of
our own times, the more do we feel our risings, suppressed as soon as they aphearts filled and swelled ap by a good peared, a few dark conspiracies in hope for the future destinies of the hu- which only a small number of desperate
men engaged, such were the utmost The history of the Reformation in efforts made by these two parties to asEngland is full of strange problems. sert the most sacred of human rights, The most prominent and extraordinary attacked by the most odious tyranny. phænomenon which it presents to us The explanation of these circumis the gigantic strength of the govern- stances which has generally been given ment contrasted with the feebleness of is very simple, but by no means satis. the religious parties. During the twelve factory. The power of the crown, it is or thirteen years which followed the said, was then at its height, and was death of Henry the Eighth, the religion in fact despotic. This solution, we of the state was thrice changed. Pro- own, seems to us to be no solution at testantism was established by Edward ; all. It has long been the fashion, a the Catholic Church was restored by fashion introduced by Mr. Hume, to Mary; Protestantism was again estab- describe the English monarchy in the lished by Elizabeth. The faith of the sixteenth century as an absolute monation seemed to depend on the per- narchy. And such undoubtedly it sonal inclinations of the sovereign. Nor appears to a superficial observer. was this all. An established church Elizabeth, it is true, often spoke to her was then, as a matter of course, a parliaments in language as haughty persecuting church. Edward perse- and imperious as that which the Great cuted Catholics. Mary persecuted Pro-Turk would use to his divan. She testants. Elizabeth persecuted Catholics punished with great severity members again. The father of those three sove of the House of Commons who, in her reigns had enjoyed the pleasure of per- opinion, carried the freedom of debate secuting both sects at once, and had too far. She assumed the power of sent to death, on the same hurdle, the legislating by means of proclamations heretic who denied the real presence, She imprisoned her subjects without and the traitor who denied the royal bringing them to a legal trial. Torsupremacy. There was nothing in ture was often employed, in defiance of England like that fierce and bloody op- the laws of England, for the purpose of position which, in France, each of the extorting confessions from those who religious factions in its turn offered to were shut up in her dungeons. The the government. We had neither a authority of the Star-Chamber and of Coligny nor a Mayenne, neither a Mon- the Ecclesiastical Commission was at its contour nor an Ivry. No English city highest point. Severe restraints were braved sword and famine for the re- imposed on political and religious disformed doctrines with the spirit of cussion. The number of presses was Rochelle, or for the Catholic doctrines at one time limited. No man could with the spirit of Paris. Neither sect print without a kicense; and every in England formed a League. Neither work had to undergo the scrutiny of sect extorted a recantation from the the Primate, or the Bishop of London. sovereign. Neither sect could obtain Persons whose writings were displeasfrom an adverse sovereign even a tole- ing to the court were cruelly mutilated, ration. The English Protestants, after like Stubbs, or put to death, like Penry. several years of domination, sank down Nonconformity was severely punished. with scarcely a struggle under the ty- The Queen prescribed the exact rule ranny of Mary. The Catholics, after of religious faith and discipline; and having regained and abused their old whoever departed from that rule, either ascendency, submitted patiently to the to the right or to the left, was in danger severe rule of Elizabeth. Neither Pro- of severe penalties. testants nor Catholics engaged in any Such was this government. Yet wa great and well organized scheme of re- know that it was loved by the great sistance. A few wild and tumultuous body of those who lived under it. We know that, during the fierce contests of of England, commanded by the merthe sixteenth century, both the hostile chants and esquires of England. parties spoke of the time of Elizabeth Thus, when intelligence arrived of as of a golden age. That great Queen the vast preparations which Philip has now been lying two hundred and was making for the subjugation of the thirty years in Henry the Seventh's realm, the first person to whom the chapel. Yet her memory is still dear government thought of applying for to the hearts of a free people.
assistance was the Lord Mayor of LonThe truth seems to be that the go-don. They sent to ask him what force Ternment of the Tudors was, with a the city would engage to furnish for few occasional deviations, a popular the defence of the kingdom against the government, under the forms of des- Spaniards. The Mayor and Common potism. At first sight, it may seem Council, in return, desired to know that the prerogatives of Elizabeth were what force the Queen's_ Highness not less ample than those of Lewis the wished them to furnish. The answer Fourteenth, and her parliaments were was, fifteen ships and five thousand as obsequious as his parliaments, that men. The Londoners deliberated on her warrant had as much authority as the matter, and, two days after, “humbly his lettre-de-cachet. The extravagance intreated the council, in sign of their with which her courtiers eulogized her perfect love and loyalty to prince and personal and mental charms went be- country, to accept ten thousand men, yond the adulation of Boileau and and thirty ships amply furnished.” Moliere. Lewis would have blushed People who could give such signs as to receive from those who composed these of their loyalty were by no means the gorgeous circles of Marli and Ver- to be misgoverned with impunity. The sailles such outward marks of servitude English in the sixteenth century were, as the haughty Britoness exacted of beyond all doubt, a free people. They all who approached her. But the au- had not, indeed, the outward show of thority of Lewis rested on the support freedom; but they had the reality. of his army. The authority of Eliza- They had not as good a constitution beth rested solely on the support of her as we have; but they had that without people. Those who say that her power which the best constitution is as useless was absolute do not sufficiently con- as the king's proclamation against vice sider in what her power consisted. and immorality, that which, without Her power consisted in the willing any constitution, keeps rulers in awe, obedience of her subjects, in their at- force, and the spirit to use it. Parliatachment to her person and to her ments, it is true, were rarely held, and office, in their respect for the old line were not very respectfully treated. from which she sprang, in their sense The great charter was often violated. of the general security which they en- But the people had a security against joged under her government. These gross and systematic misgovernment, were the means, and the only means, far stronger than all the parchment which she had at her command for that was ever marked with the sign carrying her decrees into execution, manual, and than all the way that was for resisting foreign enemies, and for ever pressed by the great seal. crushing domestic treason. There was It is a common error in politics not a ward in the city, there was not a to confound means with ends. Conhundred in any shire in England, which stitutions, charters, petitions of right, could not have overpowered the hand- declarations of right, representative ful of armed men who composed her assemblies, electoral colleges, are not household. If a hostile sovereign good government; nor do they, even threatened invasion, if an ambitious when most elaborately constructed, nenoble raised the standard of revolt, she cessarily produce good government could have recourse only to the train- Laws exist in vain for those who have bands of her capital and the array of not the courage and the means to deher counties, to the citizens and yeomen |fend them. Electors meet in vain
where want makes them the slaves of direct or indirect, they will assuredly the landlord, or where superstition possess. Some organ, constitutional or makes them the slaves of the priest unconstitutional, they will assuredly Representative assemblies sit in vain find. They will be better governed unless they have at their command, iu under a good constitution than under the last resort, the physical power which a bad constitution. But they will be is necessary to make their deliberations better governed under the worst confree, and their votes effectua).
stitution than some other nations under The Irish are better represented in the best. In any general classification parliament than the Scotch, who indeed of constitutions, the constitution of are not represented at all. * But are Scotland must be reckoned as one of the Irish better governed than the the worst, perhaps as the worsi, in Scotch ? Surely not. This circum- Christian Europe. Yet the Scotch are stance has of late been used as an argu- not ill governed. And the reason is ment against reform. It proves nothing simply that they will not bear to be il against reform. It proves only this, governed. that laws have no magical, no super- In some of the Oriental monarchics, natural, virtue; that laws do not act in Afghanistan for example, though like Aladdin's lamp or Prince Ahmed'u there exists nothing which an European apple; that priestcraft, that ignorance, publicist would call a Constitution, the that the rage of contending factions, sovereign generally governs in con. may make good institutions useless; formity with certain rules established that intelligence, sobriety, industry, for the public benefit; and the sanction moral freedom, firm union, may supply of those rules is, that every Afghan ap. in a great measure the defects of the proves them, and that every Afghan is worst representative system. A people a soldier. whose education and habits are such, The monarchy of England in the that, in every quarter of the world, sixteenth century was a monarchy of they rise above the mass of those with this kind. It is called an absolute whom they mix, as surely as oil rises monarchy, because little respect was to the top of water, a people of such paid by the Tudors to those institutions temper and selfgovernment that the which we have been accustomed to conwildest popular excesses recorded in sider as the sole checks on the power their history partake of the gravity of of the sovereign. A modern Englishjudicial proceedings, and of the solem- man can hardly understand how the nity of religious rites, & people whose people can have had any real security national pride and mutual attachment for good government under kings who have passed into a proverb, a people levied benevolences, and chid the whose high and fierce spirit, so forcibly House of Commons as they would have described in the haughty motto which chid a pack of dogs. People do not encircles their thistle, preserved their sufficiently consider that, though the independence, during a struggle of cen- legal checks were feeble, the natural turies, from the encroachments of checks were strong. There was one wealthier and more powerful neigh- great and effectual limitation on the bours, such a people cannot be long royal authority, the knowledge that, if oppressed. Any government, however the patience of the nation were severely constituted, must respect their wishes tried, the nation would put forth its and tremble at their discontents. It is strength, and that its strength would indeed most desirable that such a people be found irresistible. If a large body should exercise a direct influence on of Englishmen became thoroughly disthe conduct of affairs, and should make contented, instead of presenting requi. their wishes known through constitu- sitions, holding large meetings, passing tional organs. But some influence, resolutions, signing petitions, forming
associations and unions, they rose up; * It must be remembered that this was they took their halberds and their fritten before the passing of the Reform
bows; and, if the sorereign was not suffi