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ariæ, vol. II., p. 141. Elizabeth immediately said to Essex, “God's death, my Lord, what do you here, &c.?” Some said Essex had returned on a false report of the death of Elizabeth. Osborn on Essex's Death. Works, p. 609. The following particulars are taken from Collins's Sydney Papers, vol. II., p. 90,--213. “Essex, immediately after he alighted from the carriage, hastened, without changing his travelling dress, to the Queen's bed-chamber. After the first audience, he appeared to be very cheerful and contented, and was visited by many lords and ladies, but questions and reproaches soon followed, and, on the 29th of September, the first formal hearing took place.
While in custody, (of Lord-keeper Egerton, to which he was committed, sequestered from all company, without permission to see his Countess, or even to correspond with her: Hume ;) Essex became seriously ill, so that Elizabeth, to cheer his spirit, sent him a message, saying, that if she thought such a step consistent with her honour, she would visit him. It was observed that tears stood in her eyes as she spoke these words. (p. 151.) The false zeal of his partisans, libellous publications, and the offensive prayers in the churches pronounced by some clergymen, did the Earl great injury. At the beginning of February, he sent to the Queen, through Cecil, a penitent letter, which seemed to appease
her. Yet it was not till the 26th of August, that he recovered his liberty, but not permission to appear at court.”
(54) Page 368. Mountjoy and Francis Bacon voted for religious toleration and political amnesty, and the latter was proclaimed in December, 1600; but the merciful orders of Elizabeth were by no means generally executed. Curry, vol, I., p. 35–37. The suppression of the rebellion cost immense sums, which might have been spared if a different system had been followed. Gordon, vol. I., p. 312.
(55) Page 369. It is doubtful whether Essex had not chiefly his own ends in view. At least, the Earl of Northumberland wrote to James after his death, “ Essex wore the crown of
England in his heart these many years, and was, therefore, far from putting it upon your head if it had been in his power.” Aikin's Life of James, vol. I., p. 67.
(56) Page 374. Aubrey's Mem. p. 215. Osborn's Memoirs of Elizabeth, p. 397, and of the Court of James I., vol. I. p. 107. The acute and accurate d'Avrigny in his Memoirs, vol. I. p. 6, says, “The story is apocryphe et dévolu aux faiseurs des Romans.”
(57) Page 375. Cayet Chronol. Septannaire, vol. Il., p. 284.
Thuanus, CXXVI., p. 6. "Prudence cannot lay the fault at the door of Elizabeth's justice, but the ill management of her mercy," says Osborn, Works, p. 615. In order to give a more accurate view of the state of the case, we subjoin two remarkable passages from the reports of the Ambassador, Harley de Beaumont. “Queen Elizabeth said to me almost with tears, I well foresaw that his impatient spirit and ambitious conduct would involve him, to his misfortune, in evil designs. More than two years before she gave him warning, telling him that would do well to content himself with taking pleasure in displeasing her on all occasions, and in despising her person so insolently as he did, but that he should beware of touching her sceptre. (Qu'il se contentast de prendre plaisir de lui deplaire à toutes occasions, et de mepriser sa personne si insolemment comme il faisait, et qu'il se gardast bien de toucher à son sceptre.) She was therefore compelled to punish him according to the laws of England, and not according to her own, which he had found far too mild and pleasant for him ever to fear that she would do him any displeasure. But her too affectionate and salutary exhortations could not restrain him from plunging into ruin, and thus her own passion had been overcome by one still stronger, though it would be a subject of regret to her for the rest of her life. (Ses avertissemens bien que trop salutaires, ne l'avoient pu retenir de se perdre, et que sa passion avait été
aussi surmontée par une plus forte, dont elle n'oubliairait jamais le regret qu'avec la vie.)"
Beaumont replied: “It is an eminent proof of your good disposition, that you cannot forget what you have once loved. You must, however, the sooner overcome your grief for the Earl's death, as not only the security of your life and of your kingdom depend upon it, but because inestimable glory must accrue to you for having courageously overcome yourself, preferred the welfare of the state to your own inclination, and known how to distinguish your own person from your royal dignity.”
With respect to the treason of the Duke of Biron, Elizabeth said, “In such cases, there is no middle course, we must throw aside clemency as too hazardous, and have recourse to extreme measures; he who touches the sceptre of a prince, lays hold of a firebrand which must destroy him ; for him there is no mercy. To pardon persons of that description would be committing downright injustice, and be justly followed by eternal contempt and inevitable destruction. I do not doubt that the King of France, who is not accustomed to such events, and is naturally inclined to forgive and to forget injuries, suffers severely, when he is called upon to resolve on the destruction of a man whom he so much loved and honoured. I myself have too well experienced how strong this disposition of the mind is, and I shall feel this grief as long as I live; but where the welfare of my kingdom was at stake,—where I was compelled to give an example, and to bear in mind the safety of my successors, I was bound not to yield to my own inclination. I have found my advantage in acting in this manner, and if the king does the same, he will likewise lay the foundation of tranquillity, and relieve his soul from suspicion and mistrust, which hinder him from governing in freedom and satisfaction.”
(58) Page 376. Townshend's Journal of the Lords and
Commons, p. 251. Under the year 1596, the French Ambassador, Bouillon, reports, “The government is wholly in the hands of the Queen, who has at the same time established a wonderful obedience to herself, and is extremely beloved and honoured by the people. The Parliament had formerly great authority in the kingdom, but now does whatever the Queen pleases. The Prelates are dependent, the Barons are few in number, and neither venture to displease her; and the people have had such long experience of the mildness and advantages of her government, that they grant whatever she wishes.
(59) Page 376. Hallam, vol. III., p. 386, says justly: “When judges make remonstrances against arbitrary authority, this proves more for liberty than some arbitrary acts for tyranny.”
(60) Page 377. Mezerai, vol. VI., p. 283, declares Elizabeth worthy of the highest praise, especially “pour l'ardent amour, dont elle cherissoit ses peuples, vertu que peut couvrir tous les autres vices d'un souverain.”
(61) Page 379. Respecting all these things, see the fourth volume of Anderson's History of Commerce.
(62) Page 380. “The best demonstration of Burghley's care in stewarding her treasure was this: that the Queen, vying silver and gold with the King of Spain, had money or credit, when the other had neither: her exchequer, though but a pond in comparison, holding water, when his river, fed with a spring from the Indies, was drained dry.". Fuller's Holy State, in Nares, vol. III., p. 415.
(63) Page 381. It was in 1550 that sons of Peers were first elected Members of the House of Commons; Elizabeth, in the course of her reign, gave to thirty-one towns, sixty-two votes in the Commons. Andrews, vol. II., p. 25. Parliam. Hist., vol. I., p. 958. The Members for inland counties, at that time, received a certain sum per diem. Holinshed, vol. V., p. 346-355. (64) Page 383. Individual instances of the violation of
sonal liberty undoubtedly occurred in England at that time, but they were far more rare than in other countries. Hallam, vol. III., p. 336.
(65) Page 387. Johnston, p. 352. Aikin, vol. II., p. 30. “As wisdom and secrecie appeared in her council, so hospitality, charity, and splendor were dilated over the whole court.” Osborn, Mem. of Eliz., p. 330.
(66) Page 387. “She left an immense quantity of dresses.” Andrews, vol. II., p. 202. “In the year 1601, she sang to the French Ambassador Biron, accompanying herself on the lute, and all who heard her appeared to be delighted.” Matthieu; vie p. 419. “Elizabeth gave a fête to the Duke of Nevers, in 1602, and opened the ball with him in a gaillarde, which she danced with a degree of perfection that was admirable at her age. Since the Duke of Alençon, she had not done this honour to any foreign prince.” Report of M. Harley de Beaumont, of May, 1602.
(67) Page 392. Russell's Essay on the English Government, p. 37. Even the Jesuit Père d'Orleans, (Révolutions d'Angleterre, liv. VIII., p. 176,) says,
" Jamais tête couronnée ne sut mieux l'art de regner et ne fit moins de fautes dans un long regne. Personne de son tems n'eut plus d'esprit qu'elle, plus d'adresse, plus de pénétration.” Pope Sixtus V. said, “Si elle n'etait heretique, elle vaudrait un monde.”
(A) Page 316. As the author here refers to another division of the General History of Europe, which it is not intended to publish in English, the translator has judged it most advisable to give, chiefly from Hume, an outline of the transaction between Elizabeth and the Netherlands, in a separate note, in order not to break in upon the author's narrative.
The Low Countries having revolted from the tyrannical government of Philip II., but being unable effectually to resist the formidable power of that monarch, had already, in 1779,