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mildor aspect. The penal laws which those who followed her were likely to had been framed for the protection of learn the art of managing untractable the established church were abolished. subjects. If, instead of searching the But exclusions and disabilities still records of her reign for precedents remained. These exclusions and dis- which might seem to vindicate the abilities, after having generated the mutilation of Prynne and the imprisonmost fearful discontents, after having ment of Eliot, the Stuarts had atrendered all government in one part of tempted to discover the fundamental the kingdom impossible, after having rules which guided her conduct in all brought the state to the very brink of her dealings with her people, they ruin, have, in our times, been removed, would have perceived that their policy but, though removed, have left behind was then most unlike to hers, when to them a rankling which may last for a superficial observer it would have many years. It is melancholy to think seemed most to resemble hers. Firm, with what ease Elizabeth might have haughty, sometimes unjust and cruel, united all conflicting sects under the in her proceedings towards individuals shelter of the same impartial laws and/or towards small parties, she avoided the same paternal throne, and thus with care, or retracted with speed, have placed the nation in the same every measure which seemed likely to situation, as far as the rights of con- alienate the great mass of the people. science are concerned, in which we at She gained more honour and more last stand, after all the heart-burnings, love by the manner in which she rethe persecutions, the conspiracies, the paired her errors than she would have seditions, the revolutions, the judicial gained by never committing errors. If murders, the civil wars, of ten genera- such a man as Charles the First had tions.
been in her place when the whole naThis is the dark side of her cha- tion was crying out against the moracter. Yet she surely was a great nopolies, he would have refused all
Of all the sovereigns who redress. He would have dissolved the exercised a power which was seem- Parliament, and imprisoned the most ingly absolute, but which in fact de- popular members. He would have pended for support on the love and called another Parliament. He would confidence of their subjects, she was have given some vague and delusive by far the most illustrious. It has promises of relief in return for suboften been alleged as an excuse for the sidies. When entreated to fulfil his misgovernment of her successors that promises, he would have again disthey only followed her example, that solved the Parliament, and again imprecedents might be found in the trans- prisoned his leading opponents. The actions of her reign for persecuting the country would have become more agiPuritans, for levying money without tated than before. The next House of the sanction of the House of Commons, Commons would have been more unfor confining men without bringing manageable than that which preceded them to trial, for interfering with the it. The tyrant would have agreed to liberty of parliamentary debate. All all that the nation demanded. Не this may be true. But it is no good would have solemnly ratified an act plea for her successors; and for this abolishing monopolies for ever. He plain reason, that they were her suc- would have received a large supply in cessors. She governed one generation, return for this concession, and within they governed another; and between half a year new patents, more oppresthe two generations there was almost sive than those which had been canas little in common as between the celled, would have been issued by people of two different countries. It scores. Such was the policy which was not by looking at the particular brought the heir of a long line of kings, measures which Elizabeth had adopted, in early youth the darling of his counbut by looking at the great general trymen, to a prison and a scaffold. principles of her government, that Elizabeth, before the House of Coca
mons could address her, took ont of again murmuring one of his sweet lovetheir mouths the words which they songs too near the ears of her Highness's were about to atter in the name of the maids of honour, and soon after poring nation. Her promises went beyond over the Talmud, or collating Polybius their desires. Her performance fol- with Livy. We had intended also to lowed close upon her promise. She say something concerning the literature did not treat the nation as an adverse of that splendid period, and especially party, as a party which had an interest concerning those two incomparable opposed to hers, as a party to which men, the Prince of Poets, and the Prince she was to grant as few advantages as of Philosophers, who have made the possible, and from which she was to Elizabethan age a more glorious and extort as much money as possible. important era in the history of the Her benefits were given, not sold ; and, human mind than the age of Pericles, when once given, they were never with of Augustus, or of Leo. But subjects drawn. She gave them too with a so vast require a space far larger than frankness, an effusion of heart, a we can at present afford. We therefore princely dignity, a motherly tenderness, stop here, fearing that, if we proceed, which enhanced their value. They were our article may swell to a bulk exceedreceived by the sturdy country gentle- ing that of all other reviews, as much as men who had come up to Westminster Dr. Nares's book exceeds the bulk of full of resentment, with tears of joy, all other histories. and shouts of “God save the Queen. Charles the First gave up half the prerogatives of his crown to the Commons; and the Commons sent him in return the Grand Remonstrance.
WAR OF THE SUCCESSION IN We had intended to say someihing SPAIN. (JANUARY, 1833.) concerning that illustrious group of History of the War of the Succession in which Elizabeth is the central figure, Spain. By LORD MAHON. 8vo. London: that group which the last of the bards saw in vision from the top of Snowdon, The days when Miscellanies in Prose encircling the Virgin Queen,
and Verse by a Person of Honour, and *Many a baron bold,
Romances of M. Scuderi, done into Eng. And gorgeous dames, and statesmon old lish by a Person of Quality, were atIn bearded majesty.
tractive to readers and profitable to We had intended to say something booksellers, have long gone by. The concerning the dexterous Walsing- literary privileges once enjoyed by ham, the impetuous Oxford, the grace- lords are as obsolete as their right to ful Sackville, the all-accomplished kill the king's deer on their way to ParSydney ; concerning Essex, the orna- liament, or as their old remedy of scanment of the court and of the camp, the dalum magnatum. Yet we must acinodel of chivalry, the munificent patron knowledge that, though our political of genius, whom great virtues, great opinions are by no means aristocratical, courage, great talents, the favour of his we always feel kindly disposed towards sovereign, the love of his countrymen, noble authors. Industry, and a taste all that seemed to ensure a happy and for intellectual pleasures, are peculiarly glorious life, led to an early and an respectable in those who can afford to ignominious death; concerning Ra- be idle and who have every temptation leigh, the soldier, the sailor, the scholar, to be dissipated. It is impossible not the courtier, the orator, the poet, the to wish success to a man who, finding historian, the philosopher, whom we himself placed, without any exertion picture to ourselves, sometimes review- or any merit on his part, above the ing the Queen's guard, sometimes giv- mass of society, voluntarily descends ing chase to a Spanish galleon, then from his eminence in search of disanswering the chiefs of the country tinctions which he may justly call his party in the House of Commons, then own.
This is, we think, the second appear-, prince.” This remark might have ance of Lord Mahon in the character seemed strange at the court of Nimof an author. His first book was cre- rod or Chedorlaomer; but it has now ditable to him, but was in every respect been for many generations considered inferior to the work which now lies as a truism rather than a paradox. before us. He has undoubtedly some Every boy has written on the thesis of the most valuable qualities of a his-“ Odisse quem læseris." Scarcely any torian, great diligence in examin- lines in English poetry are better ing authorities, great judgment in known than that vigorous couplet, weighing testimony, and great impar. Forgiveness to the injured does belong : tiality in estimating characters.
But they ne'er pardon who have done the are not aware that he has in any in wrong." stance forgotten the duties belonging The historians and philosophers have to his literary functions in the feelings quite done with this maxim, and have of a kinsman. He does no more than abandoned it, like other maxims which justice to his ancestor Stanhope; he have lost their gloss, to bad novelists, does full justice to Stanhope's enemies by whom it will very soon be worn to and rivals. His narrative is very per- rags. spicuous, and is also entitled to the It is no more than justice to say praise, seldom, we gricve to say, de- that the faults of Lord Mahon's book served by modern writers, of being are precisely the faults which time selvery concise.
It must be admitted, dom fails to cure, and that the book, in however, that, with many of the best spite of those faults, is a valuable adqualities of a literary veteran, he has dition to our historical literature. some of the faults of a literary novice. Whoever wishes to be well acHe has not yet acquired a great com- quainted with the morbid anatomy of mand of words. His style is seldom governments, whoever wishes to know easy, and is now and then unpleasantly how great states may be made feeble stiff. He is so bigoted a purist that and wretched, should study the history he transforms the Abbé d'Estrées into of Spain. The empire of Philip the an Abbot. We do not like to see French Second was undoubtedly one of the words introduced into English com- most powerful and splendid that ever position; but, after all, the first law of existed in the world. In Europe, he writing, that law to which all other ruled Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands laws are subordinate, is this, that the on both sides of the Rhine, Franche words employed shall be such as con-Comté, Roussillon, the Milanese, and vey to the reader the meaning of the the Two Sicilies. Tuscany, Parma, writer. Now an Abbot is the head of and the other small states of Italy, a religious house ; an Abbé is quite a were as completely dependent on him different sort of person. It is better as the Nizam and the Rajah of Berar undoubtedly to use an English word now are on the East India Company. than a French word; but it is better In Asia, the King of Spain was master to use a French word than to misuse of the Philippines and of all those rich an English word.
settlements which the Portuguese had Lord Mahon is also a little too fond made on the coast of Malabar and of uttering moral reflections in a style Coromandel, in the Peninsula of Me too sententious and oracular. We will lacca, and in the Spice-islands of the give one instance : “Strange as it Eastern Archipelago. In America his seems, experience shows that we usu- dominions extended on each side of ally feel far more animosity against the equator into the temperate zone. those whom we have injured than There is reason to believe that his anagainst those who injure us: and nual revenue amounted, in the season this remark holds good with every of his greatest power, to a sum near degree of intellect, with every class of ten times as large as that which Eng. fortune, with a prince or a peasant, a land yielded to Elizabeth. He had a stripling or an elder, a hero or a standing army of fifty thousand ex
cellent troops, at a time when Eng-| with great dread on the maritime land had not a single battalion in con- power of Philip. “ The King of Spain,” stant pay. His ordinary naval force said the Lord Keeper to the two consisted of a hundred and forty Houses in 1593, "since he hath galleys. He held, what no other usurped upon the kingdom of Portuprince in modern times has held, the gal, hath thereby grown mighty, by dominion both of the land and of the gaining the East Indies : so as, how sca. During the greater part of his great soever he was before, he is reign, he was supreme on both ele- now thereby manifestly more great : ments. His soldiers marched up to
. He keepeth a navy armed to the capital of France ; his ships nie- impeach all trade of merchandise from naced the shores of England.
England to Gascoigne and Guienne It is no exaggeration to say that, which he attempted to do this last vinduring several years, his power over tage ; 80 as he is now become as a Europe was greater than even that of frontier enemy to all the west of Eng. Napoleon. The influence of the French land, as well as all the south parts, as conqueror never extended beyond low. Sussex, Hampshire, and the Isle of water mark. The narrowest strait was Wight. Yea, by means of his interest to his power what it was of old believed in St. Maloes, a port full of shipping that a running stream was to the sor- for the war, he is a dangerous neighceries of a witch. While his army bour to the Queen's isles of Jersey entered every metropolis from Moscow and Guernse ancient possessions of to Lisbon, the English fleets blockaded this crown, and never conquered in the every port from Dantzic to Trieste. greatest wars with France." Sicily, Sardinia, Majorca, Guernsey, The ascendency which Spain then enjoyed security through the whole had in Europe was, in one sense, well course of a war which endangered deserved. It was an ascendency which every throne on the Continent. The had been gained by unquestioned superictorious and imperial nation which riority in all the arts of policy and of had filled its museums with the spoils war. In the sixteenth century, Italy of Antwerp, of Florence, and of Rome, was not more decidedly the land of the was suffering painfully from the want fine arts, Germany was not more deof luxuries which use had made ne- cidedly the land of bold theological cessaries. While pillars and arches speculation, than Spain was the land were rising to commemorate the French of statesmen and of soldiers. The chaconquests, the conquerors were trying racter which Virgil has ascribed to his to manufacture coffee out of succory countrymen might have been claimed and sugar out of beet-root. The in- by the grave and haughty chiefs, who fluence of Philip on the continent was surrounded the throne of Ferdinand as great as that of Napoleon. The Em- the Catholic, and of his immediate sucperor of Germany was his kinsman cessors. That majestic art, “regere France, torn by religious dissensions, imperio populos," was not better underwas never a formidable opponent, and stood by the Romans in the proudest was sometimes a dependent ally. At days of their republic, than by Gonthe same time, Spain had what Na- salvo and Ximenes, Cortes and Alva. poleon desired in vain, ships, colonies, The skill of the Spanish diplomatists and commerce. She long monopolised was renowned throughout Europe. In the trade of America and of the Indian England the name of Gondomar is Ocean. All the gold of the West, still remembered. The sovereign naand all the spices of the East, were re- tion was unrivalled both in regular and ceived and distributed by her. During irregular warfare. The impetuous many years of war, her commerce was chivalry of France, the serried phalanx interrupted only by the predatory en- of Switzerland, were alike found wantterprises of a few roving privateers. ing when brought face to face with the Even after the defeat of the Armada, Spanish infantry. In the wars of the English statesmen continued to look New World, where something different
from ordinary strategy was required in war of Arauco, which he afterwards the general and something different celebrated in one of the best heroic from ordinary discipline in the soldier, poems that Spain has produced. Hur. where it was every day necessary to tado de Mendoza, whose poems have meet by some new expedient the vary been compared to those of Horace, and ing tactics of a barbarous enemy, the whose charming little novel is evidently Spanish adventurers, sprung from the the model of Gil Blas, has been handed common people, displayed a fertility of down to us by history as one of the resource, and a talent for negotiation sternest of those iron proconsuls who and command, to which history scarce-were employed by the House of Austria ly affords a parallel.
to crush the lingering public spirit of The Castilian of those times was to Italy. Lope sailed in the Armada; the Italian what the Roman, in the Cervantes was wounded at Lepanto. days of the greatness of Rome, was to It is curious to consider with how the Greek. The conqueror had less much awe our ancestors in those times ingenuity, less taste, less delicacy of regarded a Spaniard. He was, in their perception than the conquered; but apprehension, a kind of dæmon, horribly far more pride, firmness, and courage, malevolent, but withal most sagacious a more solemn demeanour, a stronger and powerful. They be verye wyse sense of honour. The subject had more and politicke,” says an honest Englishsubtlety in speculation, the ruler more man, in a memorial addressed to Mary, energy in action.
The vices of the "and can, thorowe ther wysdome, reformer were those of a coward; the form and brydell theyr owne natures for vices of the latter were those of a tyrant. a tyme, and applye their conditions to It may be added, that the Spaniard, the maners of those men with whom like the Roman, did not disdain to they meddell gladlye by friendshippe; study the arts and the language of whose mischievous maners a man shall those whom he oppressed. A revolu- never knowe untyll he come under ther tion took place in the literature of subjection: but then shall he parfectlye Spain, not unlike that revolution which, parceyve and fele them: which thynge as Horace tells us, took place in the i praye God England never do: for in poetry of Latium: “Capta ferum vic- dissimulations untyll they have ther torem cepit.” The slave took prisoner purposes, and afterwards in oppression the enslaver. The old Castilian ballads and tyrannye, when they can obtayne gave place to sonnems in the style of them, they do exceed all other nations Petrarch, and to heroic poems in the upon the earthe.” This is just such stanza of Ariosto, as the national songs language as Arminius would have used of Rome were driven out by imitations about the Romans, or as an Indian of Theocritus, and translations from statesman of our times might use about Menander.
the English. It is the language of a In no modern society, not even in man burning with hatred, but cowed England during the reign of Elizabeth, by those whom he hates; and painfully has there been so great a number of sensible of their superiority, not only men eminent at once in literature and in power, but in intelligence. in the pursuits of active life, as Spain But how art thou fallen from heaven, produced during the sixteenth century. O Lucifer, son of the morning! How Almost every distinguished writer was art thou cut down to the ground, that also distinguished as a soldier or a didst weaken the nations ! If we over. politician. Boscan bore arms with leap a hundred years, and look at Spain high reputation. Garcilaso de Vega, towards the close of the seventecnth the author of the sweetest and most century, what a change do we find ! graceful pastoral poem of modern The contrast is as great as that which times, after a short but splendid mili- the Rome of Gallienus and Honorins tary career, fell sword in hand at the presents to the Rome of Marius and head of a storming party. Alonzo de Cæsar. Foreign conquest had begun Ercilla bore a conspicuous part in that to eat into every part of that gigantio