Page images
PDF
EPUB

name), which evinces a lofty spirit. It is to Buckingham, who had required of her to contribute largely to the marriage settlement of her daughter; it significantly reminds the favourite of certain inequalities in point of family rank.

"August, 1617.

"My Lord,-Notwithstanding my late respectful proceedings in this cause of your brother's, in which I come as near your design as in honour and conscience I could, I am threatened with much hard dealing, and no consideration to redeem me hence, unless I will quit my estates.

"I will not repeat my grievances past and present, and thence ground my just answer to this hard additional demand; yet give me leave to tell you, that with noble houses the alliance is as much sought as portion, and that which is merely by me; and by me your brother is let into no mean family, which though for the present he less needed, hereafter may be to him the chief advantage of his match.

"This then, thus endeavoured and so much differing from the honour this connexion would bring with it, I have no cause to think ship, being so noble, would favour, much less set this course.

your Lord"And therefore I deal freely with you, that to this altar I will never sacrifice my estate, nor thereby unwind myself from any entanglement, wherein I may be supposed.

"Neither for want of patience to endure the worst, speak I this language following,-that I shall be glad of your Lordship's favour, and that your brother for my daughter's sake may deserve my love, which will rather be increased towards him, for the good return I shall receive from you.

"Thus have I expressed myself, which if not accepted shall not be denied, but that in respect I have showed you, by what way I may be had, and so I rest, &c."

A letter from the daughter to the mother, who lived in the strictest separation from Sir Edward Coke, evinces sufficiently that the young lady's heart had never been in the unfortunate match which was forced upon her. No date is attached to it, but Mr. Johnson supposes that it must have been written when she was separated from her mother, and under the control of her father, after having been seized by him during the early stages of the marriage treaty. It is a document that redounds greatly to the honour of the writer, especially when it is remembered that it may have been written when she was not more than fourteen years of age.

"Madam,

"I must now humbly desire your patience, in giving me leave to declare myself to you, which is, that without your allowance and liking, all the world shall never make me entangle or tie myself; but now by my father's especial commandment, I obey him, in presenting to you my humble duty in a tedious letter, which is to know your ladyship's pleasure, not as a thing I desire, but I resolve to be wholly ruled by my father and yourself, knowing your judgments to be such that I may well rely upon, and hoping that conscience, and the natural affection parents bear to children, will let you do nothing but for my good, and that you may receive comfort, I being a

:

mere child, and not understanding the world nor what is good for myself, but wholly resolved to be disposed by you both and my uncle, and aunt Burley, who as a second father, I have ever been bound to, for their love and care of me; but that which makes me a little give way to it is, that I hope it will be a means to procure a reconciliation between my father and your ladyship, which, I protest, I would rather prejudice myself, than, if it were in my power, not to accomplish it; for what a discomfort it is to you both, what a dishonour, nay, what an ill example to your children, what occasion of talk to the world, who, without occasion, is apt to speak so much of the best also, as I think, it will be a means of the King's favour to my father, and with all them that have opposit against it, which, as they make me believe, he is much offended with them, which we have no reason the more to mislike; for himself, your ladyship is not to be misliked; his fortune is very good, a gentleman well born; for honour, it is not likely, seeing it is in his brother's power, and he doing it for others, but he will do something for his brother, whom they say he loves so well. So I humbly take my leave, praying that all things may be to every one content. ment, your ladyship's most obedient and humble daughter, for ever, "FRANCES COKE." "Dear mother, oelieve there has no violent means been used to me, by words or deeds."

We next quote a speech that Queen Bess uttered from her chair of state to the Commons, the opening part of which, says Mr. Johnson, "would sound harsh to the refined ears of modern Statesmen." This effusion followed close after her Lord Keeper had told them that "you have spent more time than was needful," and that "the Queen perceives that some men do it more for their satisfaction than the necessity of the thing deserved." She also declares that "she mislikes that such irreverence is shown towards Privy Councillors, who are not to be accounted as common knights and burgesses of the House, that are councillors only during the Parliament." The speech referred to runs in these words

..

"This kingdom,' said this Amazonian Queen, hath had many wise noble, and victorious Princes. I will not compare with any of them in wisdom, fortitude, and other virtues; but, saving the duty of a child, that is not to compare with his father, in love, care, sincerity, and justice, I will compare with any Prince that ever you had, or shall have. It may be thought simplicity in me, that all the time of my reign I have not sought to advance my territories and enlarge my dominions; for opportunity hath served to do it. I acknowledge my womanhood and weakness in that respect. But it hath not been the hardness to obtain, or how to keep the things so obtained, that only hath withheld me from these attempts. My mind was never to invade my neighbours, or to usurp over any. I am contented to reign over my own, and to rule as a just Prince. Yet the King of Spain doth challenge me to be the quarreller and the beginner of these wars. He doth me the greatest wrong, for my conscience, doth not accuse my thoughts wherein I have done him the least injury, so that I am persuaded in my conscience, if he knew what I knew, he would be sorry himself for the wrong he hath done me. I

fear not all his threatenings. His great preparations and mighty forces do not stir me, for though he came against me with a greater power than ever was his invincible navy, I doubt not but (God assisting me, upon whom I always trust,) I shall be able to defeat him, and overthrow him; for my cause is just. I heard say, that when he first attempted his last invasion, some upon the sea coast forsook their towns and into the country, and left all naked and exposed to his entrance; but I swear to you my God, that if I knew those persons or may know of any that shall do so hereafter, I will make them know and feel what it is to be so fearful in so urgent a cause. The subsidy you give me, I accept thankfully, if you give me your good will with it; but if the necessity of the time, and your preservation did not require it, I would refuse it.""

Here is an account of J. Harrington's canvass in the year 1640, as found in a private manuscript. This gentleman belonged to Somersetshire.

"A Note of my Bathe Business, about the Parliament.

Saturday, December 26. Went to Bathe and dined withe the maior and citizens; conferred aboute my election to serve in parliament, as my father was helpless, and ill able to go any more. Went to the George Inn at night; met the bailiffs, and desired to be dismissed from serving; drank strong beer and metheglin (mead); expended about three shillings; went home late; but could not get excused, as they entertained a good opinion of my father.-Monday, December 28. Went to Bathe; met Sir John Horner; we were chosen by the citizens to serve for the city; the maior and citizens conferred about parliamentary business. The maior promised Sir John Horner and myself a horse a piece, when we went to London to the parliament, which we accepted off; and we talked about the synod and ecclesiastical dismissions. I am to go again on Thursday and meet the citizens about all such matters, and take advice thereon.-Thursday, 31. Went to Bathe; Mr. Ashe preached; dined at the George Inn with the maior and four citizens: spent at dinner six shillings in wine. Laid out in victuals, at the George Inn, xis. 4d.; laid out in drinking, viis.; laid out in tobacco and drinking vessels, iiis. 4d.-January 1. My father gave me 41. to bear my expenses to Bathe. Mr. Chapman, the maior, came to Kelston, and returned thanks for my being chosen to serve in parliament, to my father, in the name of all the citizens. My father gave me good advice touching my speaking in parliament as the city should direct. Came home late at night from Bathe much troubled hereat concerning my proceeding, truly for men's good report and mine own safety.-Note. I gave the city messenger iis. for bearing the maior's note to me: laid out in all viiis. for victuals, drink, and horsehire, together with divers gifts.'

999

[ocr errors]

Mr. Johnson's comparison between Coke and Bacon is too long for our insertion. He leans in favour of his hero, whose feelings show to advantage in the last passage we qoute, viz. one that was written when he was eighty, and which forms the conclusion of his Fourth Institute.

"Whilst we were in hand with these four parts of the Institutes,

we often having occasion to go into the city, and from thence into the country, did in some sort envy the state of the honest ploughman, and other mechanics; for one, when he was at his work, would merrily sing, and the ploughman whistle some self-pleasing tune, and yet their work both proceeded and succeeded; but he that takes upon him to write, doth captivate all the faculties and powers, both of his mind and body, and must be only attentive to that which he collecteth, without any expression of joy or cheerfulness whilst he is at his work."

""

And you, honourable and reverend judges and justices, that do or shall sit in the high tribunals or seats of justice, fear not to do right to all, and to deliver your opinions justly according to the laws; for fear is nothing but a betraying of the succours which reason should afford; and if you shall sincerely execute justice, be assured of three things: first, though some will malign you, yet God will give you his blessing; secondly, that though thereby you may offend great men and favourites, yet you shall have the favourable kindness of the Almighty, and be his favourite; and lastly, that in so doing, against all scandalous complaints and pragmatic devices against you, God will defend you as with a shield; for thou, Lord, will give a blessing unto the righteous, and with thy favourable kindness wilt thou defend him as with a shield."

ART. X.-Cinco Propositiones sobre los grandes males que causa la Ley de Aranceles a la Nacion en general, a la Cataluna en particular, y a las mismas Fabricas Catalunas. Par DON PABLO De Pebrer. DON PABLO DE PEBRER is the author of a History of the Finances, Economic System, Power, and Resources of the whole British Empire, a work that has obtained particular notice on the part of the commercial world. The Five Propositions before us are the eighth financial exposition presented by him to the Cortes and to her Majesty the Queen,-these propositions being, as the title of the present paper has announced, "upon the great evils caused by the Law of Tariffs to the nation at large, to Catalonia in particular, and even to the Catalonian manufactures;" or, in other words, the Five Propositions concern England as well as Spain, and lay down what their author maintains and shows to be the principles which should regulate a commercial treaty between the two countries.

England has good reason to be circumspect in the matter of tariffs, those of Russia and Germany having already taught her some bitter lessons. A new Spanish tariff, therefore, must be looked forward to with no inconsiderable degree of solicitude by the merchants an economists of Great Britain; and especially must this anxiety have increased, since a minister of the crown announced in the House of Commons, at no distant date," that he hoped a satisfactory treaty would shortly be concluded," referring to our commercial_relations with Spain. Entertaining the sanguine hope that Senor de Pebrer has anticipated what are to be the prominent and fundamental prin

ciples of that treaty-a hope which is strengthened by the report that Mr. Villiers, the British Minister at the court of Madrid, has, in fact, negociated such a tariff, we shall proceed to lay before our readers some portions of these Propositions, in order that their value may be indicated and appreciated.

One thing is very clear;-that if mutual benefits can be created and consolidated between Great Britain and Spain, the results will be no less flattering to the pride and hopes of either nation than to their profit. On the ground of political sympathy and of chivalric enterprise, there exists at this moment a strong and engaging union between the two nations. But this sort of fervour and unanimity (we speak chiefly of the urban population of Spain) has a firmer hold than that which arises out of the generosities of human nature -viz., that which is propagated and sustained by the mutual pecuniary or patrimonial interests of both.

It appears to us that of all the nations in Europe, or perhaps in the world, Spain is that one which can reciprocate with us the most precious advantages. Whether her position in the universal scale, or her natural riches, be considered, what other territory can yield so conveniently so much that is naturally and necessarily calculated to become the source and material of traffic between us? It may be safely asserted, that while the natural productions of Spain are essential in England, or preferable, our superiority as regards artificial industry may no less become necessary to our Peninsular neighbour. But, hitherto, these mutual advantages have been overlooked and despised, or selfish particular interests have inflicted upon both people a general and extensive curse. Let us follow our author in some portions of his exposition on this vital subject.

He declares that the law of Aranceles is ruinous and destructive of the agricultural and mining interests of Spain, those essential sources of wealth and power to the country; because it imposes an oppressive annual tax of nineteen millions of dollars upon the nation for the sake of benefiting a small fraction of the whole;-that the prohibitive doctrine originates the infraction of the laws, inasmuch as it openly encourages smuggling, and thereby strikes at the vitals of commerce, which is the foundation of a mercantile marine ;-that it diminishes the taxable sources of the revenue, depriving it of eight millions of dollars ;-that, in short, by prohibiting iron in bars, or manufactured, especially cotton goods, for the purpose of encouraging the manufacturers of Catalonia, an absurd attempt is made to bolster an interest that is, after all, fanciful, and not to be attained.

Our author declares that the old and new Aranceles are the real causes of the declension and degraded condition in which Spain now finds herself; for to these her contracted trade, her ignorant treatment of the soil, the poverty of the treasury, and her creditors as VOL. III. (1837.) NO. III.

EE

« PreviousContinue »