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her sister at the instigation of eminent Roman Catholics, but was defeated by the opposition of the Parliament. The years of youth which Mary Stuart spent in cheerfulness and pleasure, surrounded by admirers of all kinds, were passed by Elizabeth in solitude and silence. Instead of the royal diadems which adorned the brow of Mary, she saw the axe of the executioner suspended over her head, and the flames of the funeral piles arise, on which her friends and fellow-believers were cruelly sacrificed. A serious, learned education, and so hard a school of adversity, by which even ordinary men are elevated above their original nature, could not fail to have the greatest influence on a mind of such eminent powers, a character of such energy; and this is manifestin the whole history of the reign of Elizabeth. The manner in which she chose her highest officers of state, consulted them in all important matters, defended them against secret as well as violent attacks, without ever being subject to them, proves her penetrating understanding, and firmness of character. Such men as Nicholas Bacon, Francis Walsingham, William Cecil, and many others, would deserve, in this place, a more particular description. The first, who in the beginning was Lord Keeper of the Seals, and then till 1579, Lord Chancellor, is celebrated for his extraordinary activity and ability, and if his son Francis was even suWOL. I. L

perior to him in intellectual powers, he was inferior to him in probity. Walsingham, descended from a good family, accomplished by dilligent study and by travelling, was a man of distinguished prudence, and the most acute understanding. He had few equals in the art of penetrating, of gaining, and guiding the minds of men. He was never moved by anger or precipitation; never suffered himself to be discomposed, and though he readily listened to, and at the same time sounded, the opinions of others in confidential conversation, he never forgot his dignity, and the truth which alone protects the statesman against mean evasions. As Ambassador in France and Scotland, and in England itself, he served his Queen with the greatest fidelity and disinterestedness till his death, which took place in 1590. He died so poor that his friends caused him to be secretly buried by night, that his body might not be seized by his creditors. Next to God, says a writer with justice, William Cecil was the main support of Elizabeth; and Roger Ascham says of him, “he is a young man, but rich in wisdom, equally versed in the sciences and in business, and yet so modest in the performance of his public duties, that by the unanimous testimony of the English, the praise which Thucydides gives to Pericles, might be given to him fourfold. He knew all that ought to be known, he understood how to apply what he knew; he loved his country, and was inaccessible to the power of money.”(*) William Cecil, born in the year 1520, at Burn, in Lincolnshire, and, consequently, now thirty-eight years of age, and thirteen years older than Elizabeth, was educated at Cambridge, and under the reign of Edward VI., had been Master of Requests, and afterwards Secretary of State.(*) Since the accession of Mary to the throne, he had mostly lived in retirement, but was restored by Elizabeth to his former office, and in 1571, appointed Lord High Treasurer, and elevated to the peerage by the title of Baron Burghley. Superior to all the little arts, intrigues, and disputes of the Court,(*) he stood in a firm and exalted position with respect to his Queen, with which he combined the most conscientious regard for the interest of the subjects, especially by economy in his office of Treasurer.(*) Indefatigable activity and strict love of truth, moderation, and noble gravity, which, however, did not disdain the most cheerful relaxation in a narrow circle; love of order and impenetrable secrecy, the eagle eye with which he penetrated the characters of men, and the clearness with which he saw, and developed the most complex subjects, place him in the rank of the greatest statesman recorded in history. “He is prudent who is patient,” said he, “and prudence constrains the stars. Modesty is a protection against envy and danger; excessive ambition, on the contrary, leads to ruin. The world is a storehouse of tools, of which man must make himself master; there are no greater artists than diligence and perseverance: God alone creates at once; the work of man grows by degrees. The strength of a King is the love of his subjects: Princes ought to be better than other men, because they command and rule all men. A good Prince must hear all, but should follow the best counsel. No wise Prince can be a tyrant. Good Princes ought first to prefer the honour of God and his Church, and next it the Commonwealth, before their own pleasure or profit. Counsel without resolution is but wind. War is soon kindled, but peace very hardly preserved. War is the curse, peace the blessing, of God on a nation: one year of peace brings more profit than ten years of the most successful war.” Burghley was equally upright, affectionate, and indulgent, in the circle of his family and to his friends: but his attachment to them never degenerated into weakness, and was never injurious, because he required them to be always friends to virtue, and to their country. All this cannot be stated in a more striking and appropriate manner than in the words which Tieck puts into the mouth of the worthy Camden. “What has made our Burghley, and with him, our state and the Queen so great, is, that he has constantly rejected everything savouring of

extravagance or passion, and thereby encouraged the growth of that which is in the middle, and is invisible to ordinary eyes, or which, if they do perceive it, is disregarded by them as unimportant.”

So great was the general discontent at the government of Mary, that her death gave occasion for universal rejoicing, and on the 23d of November, 1558, Elizabeth, amidst the loudest acclamations, entered the Tower as Queen, were but a few years before, she had been imprisoned as a criminal. She took no vengeance for former offences towards herself, left thirteen Roman Catholic Privy Counsellors in their dignity, received all the Bishops, except the blood-thirsty Bonner, with respect, and conducted herself with great prudence and judgment with respect to the affairs of religion. She retained the existing forms of divine worship, checked the intemperate zeal of some Protestant Clergymen, forbade the destruction of images, and caused annuities to be paid to the monks, so that even many Roman Catholics forgot theirapprehensions of further innovations. But it soon appeared that the time was not quite ripe for a calm and impartial development. Of all the bishops, the Bishop of Carlisle alone was ready to crown Elizabeth;(*) and the arrogant Pope, Paul IV. hastily answered, to a polite notification of her accession to the throne, that he looked upon Elizabeth as illegitimate; she should therefore

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