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"-some whiteness which perhaps will “ make that blackness look more ter“rible, but which will also account for “ doings that it will not account for? “ Certainly Shakspeare did not regard “him as an unmitigated villain ; and “ make what allowances you will for “ Shakspeare's willingness to flatter his “ daughter, is not his portrait a some« what more credible one than that of “ the post-Stuart chroniclers? Have not “modern French historians, such as “ Michelet, though not specially inclined “ to favour English sovereigns, been “forced by the evidence of documents “ to confess that he had more notion of “the sacredness of the royal word, more “reverence for treaties and promises, “than Francis or Charles, or any of “ those contemporaries who have been “magnified to his disparagement ?”
I say that such thoughts as these must come at times into our minds, and though they may not displace the opinions we have received in our nur series, may make us disposed to look a little more sharply into the evidence. Mr. Froude assures us that he came to the study with a decided bias in favour of the common opinion. Shakspeare's authority had not the weight with him that it might have with some of us. He suspects the poets almost as much as Plato or Bacon might do. He probably had early prepossessions against the exercise of the royal Supremacy, doubts whether the Reformation was not marred by the royal influence. The sheer conscientious study of facts and documents, has, it seems to me, led him to that conception of the King's character which is the groundwork of his history. That conception has nothing necessarily to do with the opinions which he has formed respecting particular points. He may have understated the case of Catherine; he may be wrong in thinking Anne Boleyn guilty; we may not hold with him about the suddenness of the marriage with Jane Seymour; we may believe that Cromwell was unjustly given up to his enemies. All these questions are open to fresh examination. Mr. Froude has the merit of having dis
turbed our settled conclusions upon them; he may not have established the opposite. But it is not true-as some have ignorantly and some dishonestly represented—that he has written an apology for the acts of an immoral and lawless tyrant. No charge was ever more directly refuted by the tone and spirit of his book. I do not know any English history which exhibits more unfeigned reverence for goodness, more contempt for baseness, or which is so utterly free from pruriency, even when the subject afforded great temptations to indulge in it.
What Mr. Froude has attempted to show is this ; that passion was by no means the characteristic of Henry, by no means the source of even his worst acts. He was, first of all, a Tudor king, inheriting from his father and cherishing in his own mind an intensely strong sense of the power and office of a King; possessing in a high degree many of the peculiarly royal qualities—a strong will, a reverence for law, clear sense, application to business—not possessing at all in the same proportion the humane qualities, though not absolutely deficient in these; therefore at any time disposed for political ends—for what seemed to him the duty of a monarch-to sweep away the personal regards and attachments which stood in his way. This policy of Henry Mr. Froude believes not to have been the cunning Machiavellian policy of his time, but to have been in the main honest and manly. He believes, as Shakspeare did, that the King felt and did not feign conscientious scruples on the subject of his marriage with Catherine ; that his scruples may at a certain period have mingled with affection for Anne, but that that affection did not determine his conduct; that it was determined mainly by considerations respecting the peril of the nation if he left no male issue. Such a character is far from attractive. No one can fall into a sentimental admiration of it. But it contains dispositions which belong to the strong English mould; a vigorous sense of responsibility, comparatively cold affec
tions. It is as unlike as possible to a less in the time when the royal power form of character with which it has was a fact, and not a theory. The King, been compared. Lord Byron talks of casting off his allegiance to a foreign George IV. as compounded of two ele- bishop, was claiming indeed an authoments, Henry's being the principal. rity which became fearful ; but the Such an opinion falls in well with the claim was in itself one of subjection to popular theory ; according to that, the an actual spiritual Ruler, the confeselder prince was worse than his succes- sion of an invisible King of kings, and sor by all that Catherine of Arragon Lord of lords. In that confession lay was better than Caroline of Brunswick. the faith of England in the sixteenth But if the besetting sin of Henry was century; its faith and its morality also. a disregard of family and personal ties, Faith or trust was the watchword of the when set against the supposed obliga- Reformation. But faith or trust in a tions of the sovereign, and the besetting doctrine, or as a doctrine, had no worth sin of George an impatience of all for the practical English mind. Trust restraint upon his appetites and ease, or faith in a Person, and that not chiefly whether it came through the laws of because He was powerful, but because He the household or the business of the was righteous, was that which associated kingdom, we perceive that the imaginary itself with their old loyalty. It could likeness is a striking contrast; we learn not be satisfied with any visible monarch too, perhaps, wherein the temptations who so often showed himself to be unof the nineteenth century differ from righteous; but without the visible monthose of the sixteenth.
arch, the invisible would have been On all these grounds, but especially indistinct and shadowy. The represenon the last, I hold Mr. Froude's idea of tative of generations of Welsh (and the King to be more consistent with Saxon sovereigns, now no longer bowitself, less dangerous to morality, fuller ing to a foreign priest, educated his of historical light than that which it subjects into a belief in One who lived supersedes. The Tudor age is that age for ever and ever. All the doctors in which was to show what the sovereign the world could supply no such educacould do, as the Stuart was that which tion; they could only do good so far as was to show what he could not do they helped to administer that which a Strictly speaking, one is not less im- better Wisdom had provided ; in so far portant for the history of the constitu- as they used the open English Bible tion than the other, but if we throw to explain to the English people how back the mere constitutional watchwords kings had ruled in old time the chosen of Prerogative and Privilege, which are people in the name of the unseen Lord most important for the second period, to of Hosts, how all visible idolatry had the first, we involve ourselves in great been the cause of their degradation and confusion. The privileges of the Com- his. mons, if they were sometimes affronted, Mr. Froude's insurrection against our were quite as often yindicated by that prevalent and customary notion of very prerogative which was afterwards Henry's character has been exceedingly set in opposition to them. The power of helpful in restoring this older and the Commons as against the Lords, as sinipler apprehension of our annals. against the ecclesiastical authority, was His two last volumes will do much to never more brought out than in Henry's strengthen and deepen it. Many who time. The King's supremacy was felt fancied they disliked the former for to be the assertion of a national princi- their parodox, will dislike these for ple; the Nation realised its own exist their freedom from paradox. They will ence in the existence of its ruler. And complain of them as wanting excitement that perilous blasphemy which threat and novelty, as maintaining very much ened under James and Charles to con- those old notions respecting the characfound the king with God, existed far ters and events of the time which (under
protest) we should like to exchange for were not only of necessity persecutors, others more racy and startling. When but were of necessity trucklers to diswe had hoped that Lord Macaulay had honest statesmen, practisers of stategiven us reasons for despising Cranmer, craft. They might affect to hate comwe find him resuming his claims upon promises; but the ends which they proour affection and admiration. Somerset posed to themselves made very discreand Northumberland prove to be much ditable compromises inevitable. They what we supposed they were ; Edward could not establish the opinions which is still a hopeful, conscientious, highly they thought it all-important to estacultivated boy. Whether Foxe is a safe blish, except by the sacrifice of both authority or not, Mr. Froude will not ex- manliness and godliness. Those who cuse us from paying our ancient homage fancied they were pushing the Reformato the Marian martyrs. Nevertheless, tion to the furthest point, had to disthese two volumes respecting Edward cover that they were forgetting the very and Mary are, I conceive, at least equal meaning of reformation, that all the in originality, in historical research, in moral abuses which they had denounced biographical interest, in right and noble were re-appearing under another name, feeling, and in clearness and simplicity and could justify themselves as well on of style, to those which preceded them. Protestant as on Popish maxims; that I should have added as a more marked they had swept away the barriers which characteristic of them than all, a rigid hindered man's access to God, only that impartiality, if that title were not open they might with more comfort and satisto the greatest mistake. Most just Mr. faction present their offerings to the Froude is in bringing forth the virtues devil. both of Protestants and Catholics ; most It is in showing how these discoveries just in exposing their sins. But there forced themselves upon the minds of is no impartiality in this sense, that the better Protestant teachers during he looks down upon both as from a their prosperity, how manfully they higher judgment-seat of his own ; or in spoke againt the evils which their own this sense, that he treats their differences system was developing, yet how hard, as insignificant, such as only school con- how impossible it was for them to distroversialists would trouble themselves cover where the evil lay, or to devise a with. From this arrogance and frivolity, remedy for it: it is in showing how the which are the great diseases of modern Divine medicine of adversity provided historians, he is, if not absolutely free, that for them which they were wanting yet more free than any, so far as I know, and could not invent for themselves, who have handled the subject before and how courageously some of them him, unless they have lent themselves drank that medicine to the dregs ; how to the views of a faction, and have made others, who had been loudest in using the history repeat its decrees. His im- all the cant phrases of their school, in partiality arises from no love for an denouncing the most earnest men as Anglican Via Media, which gives those half-hearted, and in invoking the judgwho walk in it a title to insult the pas ments of God and man upon their opposengers on either side of the road. He nents, were shown in the day of trouble regards the attempt of divines to cut to be the atheists they had always really such a path as this as feeble and abor- been-it is for these discoveries that tive. He always prefers strong men to Protestants owe so much gratitude to weak men; he does not condemn vehe- Mr. Froude. It is not for me to say what mence except where he believes it to be Roman Catholics ought to learn or may wholly or partly insincere. But he sees learn from him ; but I cannot help hoping more clearly, I think, than any previous that they will appreciate the frankness historian, that the Protestant dogma- of his confessions respecting the first tizers of Edward's reign, and the reign, his desire to do Mary justice, his Catholic dogmatizers of Mary's reign, acknowledgment of the advantage which
Gardiner had over his opponents whilst is a book written for study and he was their prisoner, his readiness to not for effect; yet there are narrashow that much of the Catholic feeling tives which are most effective. The of the English people was a genuine rising in the West and in Norfolk in reverence for what was sacred, which the year 1549 is admirably described ; the Reformers could not insult without Wyatt's insurrection, especially the terimperilling all which it was most their mination of it, with still greater spirit. duty to maintain. To both Protestant We can only give the beginning, not the and Romanist, and still more, perhaps, best part of the latter story. Mr. Froude to the English Churchman, the great has exhibited the Queen in all the worth of the volumes lies in the com- weakness, discontent, and mawkishness parison which they afford between the of her passion for Philip; he has to two reigns, and in the proof which is show her hereafter soured and darkened derived from them that the refusal of by fanaticism; he can represent her also Henry and Elizabeth to sanction Protes- in all the true dignity of a Tudor tantism or Romanism merely as such, princess. may have been inspired by a good spirit (however much in either or both
“ Had Wyatt, said Noailles, been able to
reach London simultaneously with this answer, it degenerated into tyranny), and may
he would have found the gates open and the have led to results for which all genera whole population eager to give him welcome. tions have to be grateful. Protestants To his misfortune he lingered on the way, and in the strongest sense (though not ex
the queen bad time to use his words against
him. The two gentlemen returned indignant actly in the sense of the Diet of Spyers)
at his insolence. The next morning Count because they maintained that indepen Egmont waited on Mary to say that he and dence of the English Sovereign upon his companions were at her service, and would any foreign rule which all the Planta
stand by her to their death. Perplexed as she genets had been trying to maintain ;
was, Egmont said he found her marvellously
i firm.' The marriage, she felt, must, at all Catholics (though in the opposite sense events, be postponed for the present; the to that of the Catholic Leagueinas- prince could not come till the insurrection much as they had no wish to separate was at an end; and, while she was grateful for England from the general fellowship
the offer, she not only thought it best to de
cline the ambassadors' kindness, but she rehristendom, provided she were commended them, if possible, to leave London not forced to outrage any Christendom and the country without delay. Their party principle—they discovered by instinct was large enough to irritate the people, and what the doctors could not discover by too small to be of use. She bade Egmont, there
fore, tell the Emperor that from the first she logic; they saved their country from
had put her trust in God, and that she trusted becoming utterly the victim of theo. in Him still; and for themselves, she told logical dissensions, which threatened its them to go at once, taking her best wishes highest spiritual interests as well as its with them. They obeyed. Six Antwerp mer
chant sloops were in the river below the bridge, common earthly honesty ; they vindi waiting to sail. They stole on board, dropped cated the connexion between its poli down the tide, and were gone. tics and its worship; they prepared the “The afternoon of the same day the queen way for a time when their own efforts
herself, with a studied air of dejection, rode
through the streets to the Guildhall, attended to produce uniformity of faith should
by Gardiner and the remnant of the guard. be felt to be poor and futile, when they în St. Paul's Churchyard she met Pembroke, should yield to a desire for unity of and slightly bowed as she passed him. Garfaith, which no schemes of statesmen or
diner was observed to stoop to his saddle. The of Churchmen shall be able to stifle or
hall was crowded with citizens ; some brought
there by hatred, some by respect, many by to satisfy.
pity, but more by curiosity. When the queen I have preferred to speak of the total entered she stood forward on the steps, above impression which these volumes have the throng. and, in her deep man's voice, she made upon me, of the general lessons
spoke to them.
"Her subjects had risen in rebellion against which they have taught me, than to her, she said; she had been told that the cause cominent upon particular passages. It was her intended marriage with the Prince of
No. 10.-VOL II.
Spain; and, believing that it was the real cause, she had offered to hear and to respect their objections. Their leader had betrayed in his answer his true motives; he had demanded possession of the Tower of London and of her own person. She stood there, she said, as lawful Queen of England, and she appealed to the loyalty of her great city to save her from a presumptuous rebel, who, under specious pretences, intended to 'subdue the laws to his will, and to give scope to rascals and forlorn persons to make general havoc and spoil.' As to her marriage, she had supposed that so magnificent an alliance could not have failed to be agreeable to her people. To herself, and, she was not afraid to say, to her council, it seemed to promise high advantage to the commonwealth. Marriage, in itself, was indifferent to her; she had been invited to think of it by the desire of the country that she should have an heir; but she could continue happily in the virgin state in which she had hitherto passed her life. She would call a parliament, and the subject should be considered in all its bearings; if, on mature consideration, the Lords and Commons of England should refuse to approve of the Prince of Spain as a fitting husband for her, she promised, on the word of a queen, that she would think of him no more.
“The spectacle of her distress won the sympathy of her audience; the boldness of her bearing commanded their respect; the promise of a parliament satisfied, or seemed to satisfy, all reasonable demands : and among the wealthy citizens there was no desire to see London in possession of an armed' mob, in whom the Anabaptist leaven was deeply interfused. The speech, therefore, had remarkable success. The queen returned to Westminster, leaving the corporation converted to the prudence of supporting her. Twenty-five thousand men were enrolled the next day for the protection of the crown and the capital; Lord William Howard was associated with the mayor in the command; and Wyatt, who had reached Greenwich on Thursday, and had wasted two days there, uncertain whether he should not cross the river in boats to Black wall, arrived on Saturday morning at Southwark, to find the gates closed on London Bridge, and the draw bridge flung down into the water.”
tional request that her servants should be properly cared for. Then, taking leave of a world in which she had played so ill a part, she prepared, with quiet piety, for the end. on the 16th, at midnight, she received the last rites of the Church. Towards morning, as she was sinking, mass was said at her bed side. At the elevation of the Host, unable to speak or move, she fixed her eyes upon the body of her Lord; and as the last words of the benediction were uttered, her head sunk, and she was gone.
"A few hours later, at Lambeth, Pole followed her, and the reign of the Pope in England, and the reign of terror, closed together.
“No English sovereign ever ascended the throne with larger popularity than Mary Tudor. The country was eager to atone to her for her mother's injuries; and the instinctive loyalty of the English towards their natural sovereign was enhanced by the abortive efforts of Northumberland to rob her of her inheritance. She had reigned little more than five years, and she descended into the grave amidst curses deeper than the aeclamations which had welcomed her accession, In that brief time she had swathed her name in the horrid epithet which will cling to it for ever; and yet from the passions which in general tempt sovereigns into crime, she was entirely free; to the time of her accession she had lived a blameless, and, in many respecta, a noble life; and few men or women have lived less capable of doing knowingly a wrong thing.
“Philip's conduct, which could not extinguish her passion for him, and the collapse of the inflated imaginations which had surrounded her supposed pregnancy, it can hardly be doubted affected her sanity. Those forlorn hours when she would sit on the ground with her knees drawn to her face ; those restless days and nights when, like a ghost, she would wander about the palace galleries, rousing herself only to write tearblotted letters to her husband; those bursts of fury over the libels dropped in her way; or the marchings in procession behind the Host in the London streets—these are all symptoms of hysterical derangement, and leave little room, as we think of her, for other feelings than pity. But if Mary was insane, the madness was of a kind which placed her absolutely under her spiritual directors; and the responsibility for her cruelties, if responsibility be anything but a name, rests first with Gardiner, who commenced them, and, secondly, and in a higher degree, with Reginald Pole. Because Pole, with the council, once interfered to prevent an imprudent massacre in Smithfield; because, being legate, he left the common duties of his diocese to subordinates; he is not to be held innocent of atrocities which could neither have been commenced nor continued without his sanction; and he was notoriously the one person in the council whom
As I have no excuse for indulging in the narratives of the deaths in Oxford or at Smithfield, I will take the conclusion of the whole matter.
“This was the 14th of November. The same day, or the day after, a lady-in-waiting carried the queen's last wishes to her succes. sor. They were the same which she had already mentioned to De Feria—that her debts should be paid, and that the Catholic religion might be maintained, with an addi