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was naturally of a sound and solid judg. It is not so easy to justify her concerning ment. This was visible by her whole the death of the queen of Scots. Here ic management, from one end of her reign must be owned the facrificed equity, justice, to the other. Nothing shews her capacity and it may be her own conscience, to her more, than her addrels in surmounting all safety. If Mary was guilty of the mur. the difficalties and troubles created by her der of her husband, as there is ground to enemies, especially when it is considered believe, it was not Elizabeth's business to who these enemies were; persons the most punish her for it. And truly it was not powerful, the most artful, the most subtile, for that she took away her life; but she and the least (crupulous in Europe. The made use of that pretence to detain her in following are the maxims which she laid . prison, under the deceitful colour of makdown for the rule and mcasures of her ing her innocence appear. On this occawhole conduct, and from which the never fion her diffimulation was blame-worthy. fwerved : “ To make herself beloved by This first piece of injuftice, drew her in « her people: To be frugal of her trea- afterwards to use a world of artful devices “ sure: To keep up dissenfion amongst her to get a pretence to render Mary's impri“ neighbours.”
fonment perpetual. From hence arose in Her enemies pretend that her abilities the end, the necessity of putting her to confifted wholly in overstrained diffimula death on the scaffold. This doubtless is tion, and a profound hypocrisy. In a Elizabeth's great blemish, which manifeftly word, they say me was a perfect come- proves to what degree the carried the fear dian. For my part, I don't deny that the of losing a crown. The continual fear and made great use of diflimulation, as well uneasiness she was under on that account, with regard to the courts of France and is what characterises her reign, because it Spain, as to the queen of Scotland and the was the main spring of almost all her Scots. I am also persuaded that, being actions. The belt thing that can be said as much concerned to gain the love and in Elizabeth's behalf is, that the queen of efteem of her subjects, she affected to speak Scots and her friends had brought matters frequently, and with exaggeration, of her to such a pass, that one of the two queens tender affection for them. And that she must perish, and it was natural that the had a mind to make it believed that the weakest should fall. I don't believe anydid some things from an exceffive love to body ever questioned her being a true Proher people, which she was ied to more by teitant. But, as it was her interest to be her own interest.
fo, fome have taken occasion to doubt wheAvarice is another failing which her ther the zeal she expressed for her religion, own friends reproach her with. I will not was the effect of her persuasion or policy, deny that the was too parfimonious, and All that can be said is, that the happened upon some occasions luck too close to the sometimes to prefer her temporal concerns, maxims she had laid down, not to be at any before those of religion. To sum up in expence but what was absolutely necessary. two words what may serve to form ElizaHowever in general I maintain, that if her beth's character, I shall add, she was a good circumítances did not require her to be and illustrious queen, with many virtues covetous, at least they required tha; she and noble qualities, and few faults. But Mould not part with her money but with what ought above all things to make her great caution, both in order to preserve memory precious is, that the caused the the affection of her people, and to keep English to enjoy a ftate of felicity unherself always in a condition to withstand known to their ancestors, under most part her enemies.
of the kings, her predeceffors. She is accused also of not being so Died March 24, 1603, aged 70, having challe, as she affected to appear. Nay, reigned 44 years, 4 months, and 8 days. fome pretend that there are now in Eng.
Rapin. land, the descendants of a daughter she had by the Earl of Leicester; but as 920.
§ 20. Another Character of ELIZABETH,
not hitherto nobody has undertaken to pro. There are few great personages in his duce any proofs of this accusation, one tory who have been more exposed to the may safely reckon it among the slanders calumny of enemies, and the adulation of which they endeavoured to stain her repu friends, than queen Elizabeth ; and yet tation with, both in her life-time and after there is scarce any whose reputation has her decease.
been more certainly determined, by the
ananimous consent of pofterity. The un- them their advancement to her choice, they usual length of her administration, and the were supported by her constancy; and with strong features of her character, were able all their ability they were never able to to overcome all prejudices; and obliging acquire any undue ascendant over her. In her detractors to abate much of their in- her family, in her court, in her kingdom, vectives, and her admirers somewhat their fhe remained equally mistress. The force panegyricks, have at last, in spite of polic of the tender passions was great over het, tical factions, and, what is more, of reli- but the force of her mind was still fuperior; gious animosities, produced an uniform and the combat which her victory visibly judgment with regard to her conduct. cost her, serves only to display the firmness Her vigour, her conftancy, her magnani- of her resolution, and the loftiness of her mity, her penetration, and vigilance, are ambitious sentiments. allowed to merit the highest praise, and ap- The fame of this princess, though it has pear not to have been surpassed by any furmounted the prejudices both of faction person who ever filled a throne. A conduct and bigotry, yet lies ftill exposed to ano. lefs vigorous, less imperious; more sincere, ther prejudice which is more durable, bemore indulgent to her people, would have cause more natural, and which, according been requisite to form a perfect character. to the different views in which we survey By the force of her mind, she controuled her, is capable either of exalting beyond all her more active and stronger qualities, measure, or diminishing the lustre of her and prevented them from running into character. This prejudice is founded in excess. Her heroism was exempt from all confideration of her sex. When we contemerity, her frugality from avarice, her template her as a woman, we are apt to be friendship from partiality, her active spirit ftruck with the highest admiration of her from carbulency and a vain ambition. She great qualities and extensive capacity; but guarded not herself with equal care, or we are apt also to require some more loft. equal success from lefser infirmities; the ness of disposition, some greater lenity of rivallhip of beauty, the desire of admira- temper, some of those amiable weaknesses tion, the jealousy of love, and the fallics of by which her fex is diftinguished. But the anger.
truc method of estimating her merit is, to Her fingular talents for government lay aside all those considerations, and conwere founded equally on her temper and sider her merely as a rational being, placed on her capacity. Endowed with a great in authority, and entrusted with the go. command of herself, she obtained an un- vernment of mankind. We may find it controuled ascendant over her people; and difficult to reconcile our fancy to her as a while she merited all their efteem by her wife, or a mistress ; but her qualities as a real virtues, she also engaged their affection sovereign, though with some confiderable by her pretended ones. Few sovereigns of exceptions, are the object of undisputed England succeeded to the throne in more applause and approbation. dificult circumstances : and none ever conducted the government with such uniform fuccefs and felicity. Though unacquainted thus left unfinished by
Humes with the practice of toleration, the true secret for managing religious factions, the 5.91. Another Character of ELIZABETH. preserved her people, by her superior. Elizabeth, in her person, was masculine, providence, from those confusions in which tall, straight, and strong-limbed, with an theological controversy had involved all high round forehead, brown eyes, fais the neighbouring nations: and though her complexion, fine white teeth, and yellow enemies were the most powerful princes in hair; she danced with great agility; her Europe, the most active, the most enter- voice was strong and thrill; she understood prizing, the least scrupulous, she was able music, and played upon several instruments. by her vigour to make deep impressions on She possessed an excellent memory, and their state; her own greatness mean while understood the dead and living languages, untouched and unimpaired.
and made good proficiency in the sciences, The wife ministers and brave warriors, and was well read in history. Her conwho flourished during her reign, share the versation was sprightly and agreeable, her praise of her success; but instead of lessen- judgment solid, her apprehension acute, ing the applause due to her, they make her application indefatigable, and her cou. great addition to it. They owed all of rage invincible. She was the great bul
wark of the Protestant religion ; Ne was familiar conversation, both in writing and highly commendable for her general re- in speaking, was stuffed with vulgar and ingard to the impartial administration of decent phrases. Though proud and arro. juftice; and even for her rigid æconomy. gant in his temper, and full of the impor. which saved the public money, and evinced tance of his station, he descended to buf. that love for her people which the so foonry, and suffered his favourites to adwarmly professed. Yet the deviated from dress him in the most disrespe&tful terms of justice in some inftances when her interest gross familiarity. and passions were concerned; and, not- Himself affected a sententious wit, but withstanding all her great qualities, we rose no higher in those attempts than to cannot deny the was vain, proud, imperi- quaint, and often ftale conceits. His eduous, and in some cases cruel : her predo- cation had been a more learned one than is minant passion was jealousy and avarice; commonly bestowed on princes; this, from though she was also subject to such violent the conceit it gave him, turned out a very gufts of anger as overwhelmed all regard disadvantageous circumstance, by contractto the dignity of her station, and even ing his opinions to his own narrow views; hurried her beyond the common bounds of his pretences to a consummate knowledge decency. She was wise and fteady in hér in divinity, politics, and the art of governprinciples of government, and above all ing, expose him to a high degree of ridiprinces fortunate in a ministry.
cule; his conduct shewing him more than Smollett. commonly deficient in all these points. His
romantic idea of the natural rights of prin
ces, caused him publicly to avow preten$ 92. Character of JAMES I.
fions that impressed into the minds of the James was of a middle stature, of a fine people an incurable jealousy; this, with an complexion, and a soft skin; his person affectation of a profound skill in the art of plump, but not corpulent, his eyes large dissembling, or kingcraft, as he termed it, and rolling, his beard thin, his tongue too rendered him the object of fear and difbig for his mouth, his countenance dif. trust; when at the same time he was himagreeable, his air awkward, and his gait self the only dupe to an impertinent, useless remarkably ungraceful, from a weakness hypocrisy. in his knees that prevented his walking If the laws and constitution of England without assistance; he was tolerably tem- received no prejudice from his government, perate in his diet, but drank of little else it was owing to his want of ability to effect than rich and strong wines. His character, a change suitable to the purpose of an ar. from the variety of grotesque qualities that bitrary fway. Stained with these vices, and .com pose it, is not easy to be delineated. sullied with these weaknesses, if he is even
The virtues he possessed were so loaded exempt from our hatred, the exemption with a greater proportion of their neigh- muft arise from motives of contempt. Debouring vices, that they exhibit no lights, spicable as he appears through his own to set off the dark shades; his principles of Britannic government, his behaviour when generosity were tainted by such a childish king of Scotland was in many points unprofufion, that they left him without means exceptionable ; but, intoxicated with the of paying his juft obligations, and subjected power he received over a people whose him to the necessity of attempting irregu- privileges were but feebly eliablished, and lar, illegal, and unjust methods of acquiring who had been long subjected to civil and money. His friendship, not to give it the ecclesiastical tyranny, he at once flung off 'name of vice, was directed by so puerile a that moderation that hid his deformities fancy, and so absurd a caprice, that the ob. from the common eye. It is alledged, that jects of it were contemptible, and its con- the corruption he met with in the court of sequences attended with such an unmerited England, and the time-serving genius of profufion of favours, that it was perhaps the English noblemen, were the great means the moft exceptionable quality of any he that debauched him from his circumspect possessed. His distinctions were formed on conduct. Among the forwardest of the principles of felfishness; he valued no per- worthless tribe was Cecil, afterwards Earl fon for any endowments that could not be of Salisbury, who told him on his coming made sublervient to his pleasures or his in- to the crown, that he should find his Engtereft ; and thus he rarely advanced any lish subje&ts like asses, on whom he might man of real worth to preferment. His lay any burden, and should need neither bit nor bridle, but their asses ears. Died While he endeavoured, by an exact netMarch 27, A. D. 1625. Aged 59. trality, to acquire the good-will of all his
Macaulay. neighbours, he was able to preserve fully
the esteem and regard of none. His ca. $93. Another Character of James. pacity was confiderable, but fitter to dis
course on general maximns tban to conduc James was in his ffature of the middle any intricate business. lize, inclining to corpulency; his forehead His intentions were just, but more adaptwas high, his beard scanty, and his aspected to the conduct of private life, than to mean; his eyes, which were weak and lan the government of kingdoms. Awkward guid, he rolled about incessantly, as if in in his person, and ungainly in his manquest of novelty; his tongue was so large, ners, he was ill qualified to command re. that in speaking or drinking, he bellab. fpect : partial and undiscerning in his af. bered the by-standers; his knees were so fections, he was little fitted to acquire ge. weak as to bend under the weight of his neral love. Of a feeble temper more than body; his address was awkward, and his of a frugal judgment; exposed to our ri. appearance slovenly. There was nothing dicule from his vanity, but exempt from dignified either in the composition of his our hatred by his freedom from pride and mind or person. We have in the course arrogance. And upon the whole it may of his reign exhibited repeated instances of be pronounced of his character, that all his his ridiculous vanity, prejudices, profusion, qualities were sullied with weakness, and folly, and littleness of soul. All that we embellished by humanity. Political coucan add in his favour is, that he was averse rage he was certainly devoid of; and from to cruelty and injustice ; very little addict. thence chiefly is derived the strong preed to excess, temperate in his meals, kind to judice which prevails against his personal his servants, and even desirous of acquiring bravery: an inference, however, which the love of his subjects, by granting that must be owned, from general experience, as a favour, which they claimed as a pri- to be extremely fallacious. Hume. vilege. His reign, though ignoble to himfelf, was happy to his people. They were
$ 95, Another Character of JAMES. enriched by commerce, which no war in The principal thing which is made to terrupted. They felt no severe imposi- serve for matter for king James's pane. tions; and the commons made considerable gyric, is the constant peace he caused his progress in ascertaining the liberties of the subjects to enjoy. This cannot be said to nation.
Smollett. be the effect of chance, since it clearly ap
pears, it was his fole, or at least his chief . $ 94. Another Charafler of JAMES. aim in the whole course of his administra
tion. Nothing, say his friends, is more No prince, so little enterprizing and so worthy a great king than such a design, inoffensive, was ever so much exposed to But the same design loses all its merit, if the opposite extremes of calumny and flate the prince discovers by his conduet, that tery, of satire and panegyric. And the he preserves peace only out of fear, carefactions which began in his time, being still lefiers, exceflive love of ease and repose; continued, have made his character be as and king James's whole behaviour thews much disputed to this day, as is commonly he acted from these motives, though he that of princes who are our contemporaries. coloured it with the pretence of his affecMany virtues, however, it must be owned, tion for the people. he was possessed of; but not one of them H is liberality, which some praise him pure, or free from the contagion of the for, is exclaimed against by others as pro. neighbouring vices. His generosity bor- digality. These last pretend he gave dered on profusion, his learning on pe- without measure and discretion, without dantry, his pacific disposition on pufillani. any regard to his own wants, or the me mity, his wisdom on cunning, his friend. rit of those whom he heaped his favours fhip on light fancy, and boyith fondness. upon. While he imagined that he was only main. .As to his manners, writers are no less 'taining his own authority, he may perhaps divided : fome will have him to be looked be suspe&ted in some of his actions, and on as a very wise and virtuous prince ; fill more of his pretensions, to have en- whilst others speak of him as a prince of Croached on the liberties of his people. a diffolute life, given to drinking, and a
great fwearer in common conversation, ef. judgment, but generally proud, partial, pecially when in a passion. He is likewise and inflexible; and from an excess of con. taxed with diffolving the Earl of Essex's jugal affection that bordered upon weak. marriage, the pardoning the Earl and ness, he paid too much deference to the Countess of Somerset, the death of Sir advice and desires of his ccnfort, who was Walter Raleigh, and the confidence where. superstitiously attached to the errors of powith in full parliament he called God to perv, and importuned him inceffantly in witness, that he never had any thoughts of favour of the Roman Catholics. giving the Papists a toleration, which he Such were the sources of all that iniigo. could not affirm but by means of some ·vernment which was imputed to him durmental reservation.
ing the first fifteen years of his reign. But whatever may be said for or against From the beginning of the civil war to his James's person, it is certain England ne. fatal catastrophe, his conduct seems to have ver flourished less than in his reign; the been unexceptionable. His infirmities and English faw themselves exposed to the in- imperfections have been candidly owned in sults and jerts of other nations, and all the the course of this narration. He was not world in general threw the blame on the very liberal to his dependants; his conver
Rapin. fation was not easy, nor his address pleas$96. Character of Charles I.
ing; yet the probity of his heart, and the
innocence of his manners, won the affecSach was the unworthy and unexampled tion of all who attended his person, not fate of Charles I. king of England, who even cxcepting those who had the charge fell a sacrifice to the most atrocious inso- of his confinement. In a word, he cerlence of treason, in the forty-ninch year of tainly deserved the epithet of a virtuous his age, and in the twenty-fourth of his prince, though he wanted some of those reign. He was a prince of a middling Ita- ihining qualities which constitute the chature, robust, and well-proportioned. His racter of a great monarch. Beheaded jahair was of a dark colour, his forehead nuary 30, 1648.9.
Smollett. bigh, his complexion pale, his visage long, and his aspect melancholy. He excelled § 97. Another Character of CHARLES 1. in riding, and other manly exercises ; he The character of this prince, as that of inherited a good understanding from na- moft men, if not of all men, was mixed, but ture, and had cultivated it with great asli- his virtues predominated extremely above duity. His perception was clear and acute, his vices; or, more properly speaking, his bis judgment solid and decisive; he por. imperfections : for scarce any of his faults fefled a refined tale for the liberal arts, arose to that pitch, as to merit the appelanj was a munificent patron to those who lation of vices. To consider him in the excelled in painting, sculpture, music and most favourable light, it may be affirmed, architeddie. In his private morals he was that his dignity was exempted from pride, altogether unblemished and exemplary. his humanity from weakness, his bravery He was merciful, modeft, chaite, tempe- from rathness, his temperance from aurate, religious, personally brave, and we frrity, and his frugality from avarice : all may join the noble historian in saying, thise virtues in him maintained their pro“ He was the worthielt gentleman, the belt pe bounds, and merited unreserved praise. “ master, the belt friend, the best husband, To speak the most harshly of him, we may 4 the best father, and the best chriftian of affirm, that many of his good qualities were “ the age in which he lived." He had the atteuded with some latent frailty, which, misfortune to be bred up in high notions of though seemingly inconsiderable, was able, the prerogative, which he thought his ho. when seconded by the extreme malevolence nour and his duty obliged him to main- of his fortune, to disappoint them of all tain. He lived at a time when the fpirit their ivfluence. His beneficent difpofition of the people became too mighty for those was clouded by a manner not gracious, his rgiraints which the regal power derived virtue was tina ured with superstition, his from the constitution; and when the tide good sepse was disfigured by a deference of fanaticism began to overbear the reli- to persons of a capacity much inferior 10 gion of his country, to which he was con his own, and his moderate temper exempiIcicntiously devoted, he suffered himself cd him not from haity and precipit le reto be guided by counsellors, who were not folutions. He deserves the epithet of a Lily inferior to himself in knowledge and good, rather than a great man; ard wis
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