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council assembled, when orders were
Thus the ambassador for issued that James should be proclaimed Scotland was admitted privately, and, king, as next in succession by descent, as if unexpectedly, that he might see her and as having the sanction of the depart- dance; and was then questioned as to the ed sovereign.
comparative beauty of herself and Mary! This was the end of queen Elizabeth ; Upon this, and similar anecdotes, many she had survived all the leading charac- have founded portentous tales, representters, whether popes, or kings, or nobles, ing her conduct to that princess as the who formed plots against her at the mere result of female jealousy, disbeginning or middle of her reign. Few appointed by the superior charms of anmonarchs have been more threatened other. But Elizabeth far surpassed with public and private violence, yet she Mary in mental powers and character, was protected. She knew from whence which raised her above the Scottish that protection came, never hesitating to queen. Admitting, as we do, that Mary declare, according to the words of the was treated with too much severity, psalmist, “ Thou, Lord, only makest me still we need not resort to female vanity dwell in safety." Under all these threat- for the reason. Were there not causes enings, she acted with this impression, for that treatment, far stronger, and neither increasing her guards, nor ap- more obvious than any such petty jeapearing less frequently in public. With lousy ? her ended the house or dynasty of Tudor, The chief weakness of Elizabeth was, which had held the crown of England that she took pleasure in being addressed rather more than a century, through a in the romantic language of admiring period, eventful not only for the rapid love. This was the taste of the age, progress of the nation under their sway, partly a relic of chivalry, but stimulated but for the influence which the acts of by the fondness of Elizabeth for it. It their government had upon succeeding was, indeed, very absurd, and even worse; generations, not only in England, but but there is no reason to suppose it prothroughout the world.
ceeded from any grossness of mind, or Something
must be said of the personal that it degenerated into licentious praccharacter of Elizabeth : if she has been tice. When, at the age of sixty, Raleigh over praised by some, she has been most compared her to Venus, it was only unfairly libelled by others. In person poetic nonsense; but it was being “ less she was well formed, tall, and stately, than woman,” to allow such nonsense to 6 of lion port,” as a contemporary de- be uttered, unless, as probably was the scribes her; upon the whole pleasing, case, she allowed those who uttered it to though not possessing feminine beauty. do so for their own amusement. The In her twentieth year, the Venetian am- libels which have been circulated respectbassador spoke of her person as large, ing Elizabeth on this head, are destitute but well formed; more pleasing than of proof. They abounded in her own handsome, with fine eyes, a fine com- times, but proceeded from her popish plexion of an olive tint, and a beautiful assailants. The assertions retailed by hand. Hentzner thus describes her in Mary Stuart, in a well-known, angry 1598, at the age of sixty-five: “Her letter, as having been told her by the face long and fair, but wrinkled; her countess of Shrewsbury, Mary expressly eyes small, but black and gracious; her says, she did not believe, and she had nose a little bent; her lips close; her
not long before appealed for protection teeth darkish ; her hair tawny, but not against the slanderous assertions of lady her own.
Her hands were thin, her Shrewsbury respecting herself. No defingers long, but her words mild and pendance can be placed upon the mere very courteous.”
assertions of one who is characterized by Vanity was the prevailing foible of her husband as “his wicked and maElizabeth. Being far above mediocrity, licious wife;" and repeated, probably with both in personal and mental accomplish- exaggerations, by an angry and vindictive ments, she was exposed to the deceptions woman, with the especial hope that of flattery, which induced her to take Elizabeth might be induced to see her frequent opportunity for display, often personally from the hope of further disso as to make herself an object of ridi- closures. That Allen was well paid for cule. This led sir Robert Cecil to speak his slanders, appears from the fact, that
“who was more than a by pursuing the contest with his soveman, and in truth sometimes less than a reign, he, who at first was only a poor
of her as one,
exiled priest, obtained the rank of a car- Dismissing then the groundless charges dinal, with an income of fifteen thousand of popish malevolence, which have been crowns, equal, as Turner says, to twenty thoroughly sifted by Turner and others, thousand pounds of our money nowa we have to censure Elizabeth's vanity, pleasing result of persecution, purchased, love of dress, and the freedom of lannot by his own sufferings, but those guage, abounding often in profane oaths, he instigated others to undergo ! The in which she indulged. Harrington retales of Elizabeth's public freedoms and cords anecdotes which illustrate these, levities do not corroborate any worse “One Sunday, my lord of London reports, they rather contradict them; preached to the queen's majesty, and while it is evident, from her public seemed to touch on the vanity of deckrebukes of Leicester, when occasions ing the body too finely. Her majesty arose, that she kept even her greatest told the ladies, that if the bishop held favourites from any opportunity for un- more discourse on such matters, she due presumption. The French ambas- would fit him for heaven; but he should sador, De Castelnau, did not hesitate to walk thither without a staff, and leave say, that any imputations of improper his mantle behind him.' Perchance, attachment were inventions forged by the bishop hath never sought her highmalevolent persons; and this he stated, ness's wardrobe, or he would have chonot in a public document or official com- sen another text.' In 1601, he says, munication, it stands written by him in “Her highness swears much at those his private memoirs, where no object that cause her grief, in such wise, to could be served by any false statement. the no small discomfiture of all about
In addition to the female vanity, al- her.” This language may be said to be ready mentioned, and the inclination to derived from her father, Henry yıl., coquetry, which she indulged, Elizabeth whom she strongly resembled in many had strong reasons for endeavouring to of the qualities of her mind, especially secure the personal regards of Leicester the love of sway. Whether the desire and others. As early as 1559, the to rule, or any other cause, determined year after her accession, the ambas. her against marriage, it is plain, that sador of the emperor sent her an ex- from the first she was disinclined to press caution to be well guarded by her matrimony. Her independent spirit friends, for he knew it had been offered never would allow even hermost esteemed that she should be slain : we have seen minister to interfere with her sovereign how frequent these plots afterwards be- will and pleasure ; yet she had the good
Even her sister Mary, with far sense and wisdom to select wise counselless reason for alarm, had her chamber lors, and to form her decisions upon
their protected every night for a considerable opinions. period by armed men. How painful the Latterly, the queen was very irresolute, situation of princes! how correct the when pressed to decide. Harrington tells numerous descriptions of their anxieties! us, "By art and nature together so There can be no doubt that Elizabeth blended, it was difficult to find her right secured this protection the better, by humour at any time. Her wisest men permitting Leicester and others to offer and best counsellors were oft sore troubled it on stronger grounds than those of to know her will in matters of state, so mere duty, though she never allowed covertly did she pass her judgment as them to presume on her favour. But seemed to leave all to their discreet she coquetted with her admirers, or management; and when the business suitors, and has been reflected upon in did turn to better advantage, she did consequence. She probably was illo most cunningly commit the good issue judged enough to think her influence to her own honour and understanding; increased by this course, when to her au- but when ought fell out contrary to her thority as queen, was added submission will and intent, the council were in great as an object of love and admiration. strait to defend their own acting, and not She was not aware how much that blemish the queen's good judgment.” seemed respect paid to her qualities as This plan of acting was displayed in the a female, was in reality homage paid to tragical end of the Scottish queen. her rank; yet there can be no doubt This feature in her character, irresothat she possessed an influential power, lution, has not been sufficiently noticed. which no king would have been per- It does much to account for her bemitted to exercise.
haviour in the case of Mary Stuart,
without having reference to the fine-, liked much of its pomp and circumspun theories of deep designs and con- stance, and would fain have established cealed motives, advanced by many. a middle way, one especially which And it may often be seen, in persons who would admit her acting according to her in youth and early life have been placed own will. Here, probably, was Elizain situations of difficulty, wherein they beth's greatest defect, so far as the real have acted with the most beneficial deci- welfare of her subjects was concerned. sion, that when farther advanced in life, She brought them out of the darkness they actin a very different manner, seldom of Popery ; she saw and admitted the coming to any absolute determination till value of gospel light and truth; but constrained to do so; as though reflec- she did not receive the truth in the tion upon their escapes from past diffi- love of it, in simplicity and in faith. culties and dangers made them appre- She was convinced rather than conhensive upon much slighter occasions. verted. Of her personal religion, we But connected with this irresolution, cannot say much, and happily we are Elizabeth still retained that commanding not called to judge; but many things spirit, which she inherited from her fa- in her conduct and demeanour, were unther, and which when roused, would not becoming the chief Protestant monarch brook control, even from the most va- of the day, and nothing can justify her lued or favoured of her court. This intolerance. Still very much of this spirit not only rendered her too jealous arose from the circumstances of the of any encroachment upon her preroga- times, when many habits and influences tive, but led her at times to measures, of Popery yet operated upon Protestants which though frequent at that period, in general, without their being conand far more common under preceding scious from whence their unscriptural monarchs, were_arbitrary interferences actions proceeded. with the law. These proceedings were The court of Elizabeth manifested all usually on public matters, seldom ema- the general features of a court, with those nating from private considerations. No which were peculiar to the age. The monarch on the English throne ever splendour and gaiety exhibited were in lived so much for the good of the people, accordance with the taste of the monand so little for individual gratification, arch; the manners were those of times as Elizabeth. Harrington relates, “The much less refined than the present day; queen did once ask my wife, in merry perhaps not in reality more moral, sort, how she kept my good will and but certainly with more professed attenlove, which I did always maintain to tion to religious observances. be truly good towards her and to my time can a court be regarded as a school children. My Mall, in wise and dis- for morals; and while Elizabeth did not creet manner, told her highness, she permit indecorum in her presence, she had confidence in her husband's under does not appear to have been guided by standing and courage, well founded on a high standard in selecting her favourher own stedfastness not to offend or ites; such, however, were the general thwart, but to cherish and obey ; here- habits of the age, and she had not the by did she persuade her husband of her power to alter them. own affection, and in so doing did com- The frugality of Elizabeth has already mand his. 'Go to, go to, mistress,' been noticed ; it degenerated still farther saith the queen, you are wisely bent, towards parsimony as she became older : I find : after such" sort do I keep the one object she had in view, by obliging good will of all my husbands, my good her subjects to incur charges in her people ; for if they do not rest assured service or for her entertainment, was of some special love towards them, they to lessen their means, and keep them would not readily yield me such good dependent. The policy of the house obedience. This deserveth noting, as of Tudor was to prevent the nobles from being both wise and pleasant.”
combining against their sovereign ; the Resembling her father, rather than her result was beneficial to England. brother, in matters of religion, Eliza- Elizabeth was one of the learned fe. beth encouraged Protestantism because males, in an age, when it was more cusit met the destructive errors of Popery, tomary for women of rank to study rather than because it imparted spiritual ancient lore than it is at present. She life. She could not accede to the gross could speak Latin, French, and Italian, doctrinal errors of Popery; but she answering foreign ambassadors in those
GOD IS LOVE.
languages without previous study. She pery, and whose proceedings kept her subwas also acquainted with Greek. Her jects in constant dread of losing their visits to the universities gave opportu- property, their lives, and liberties ! In nities for displaying her learning, which conclusion, we may remark, that no she did not neglect. She spoke with monarch ever possessed the affections force and eloquence, and wrote well, of his subjects so long or to such a but too much in the nonsensical, meta- degree. This alone ought to silence the phorical style of that day.
petty calumnies with which the memory of Her popularity cannot be questioned. Elizabeth has been assailed. Assuredly, Goodman has described her unwavering there was good cause for such an unconfidence in her people. In the year varying attachment. Let us examine the 1588, and subsequently when she had history of her reign without prejudice, most enemies, the court gates were and we shall see, that she found Engopen; none hindered any one from en- land at a low ebb, disgraced among the tering; yet she came out fearlessly from nations, in a state of wretched degracouncil among the crowd by torch light. dation, bowed down to ignorance and * God save your majesty,' was shouted; superstition. She left it in a high state . God bless you all my good people,' of prosperity, one of the most comwas the reply. Again the shouts rose. manding powers of Europe ; and this, Then the queen said again unto us, not by wielding the conqueror's bloody • You may well have a greater prince, sword, but by a steady perseverance in but you never shall have a more loving seeking after peace, and desiring the prince.' With the same confidence, general welfare of her people. she customarily proceeded in dark night from Chelsea to Whitehall, when all the way long was full of people to see her ; and truly any man might very easily Suppose a king has earnestly desired have come to her coach.”
to save a rebel subject; suppose all diffitrue courage ; she had numerous ex- culties surmounted, and offers of astoamples of contemporary princes being nishing grace made : but the rebel stands stabbed or assassinated ; even her pacific aloof, and prefers his shackles, hates the successor wore dagger-proof garments. mercy that is offered, and the hand that Goodman relates the favourable impres- offered it, and mocks at all the messension her behaviour made upon the retiring gers that bring the tidings to him. crowds, “We did nothing but talk what - Surely this, more than any thing, should an admirable queen she was, and how try his king's love. My friends, thus it we would adventure ourselves to do her is with us: Christ is offered to us; salservice.”
vation is offered; pardon, reconciliation, The political character of Elizabeth peace, here; heaven and everlasting is fully exhibited in her history; the happiness, hereafter : and who accepts leading feature of her polity was desire them? No! the farm, the merchanfor peace. In no instance, did she dize, the things that are to last the few evince an ambitious desire to grasp the poor years of this life-nay, the trifle territory of others. Her proceedings that is to last but a moment, these have with Scotland, and even Ireland, show our hearts and affections : such is our this, when it was necessary to interfere degraded and debased state. But the with those countries for the safety of love of God shall not be frustrated. It is England. This desire for peace enabled proof even against this foulingratitude; it her to extend English commerce, from has provided even against this obstacle. whence much national prosperity re- Behold another gracious person at hand, sulted ; her subjects were more enriched even the Holy Ghost, that proceedeth by their traffic, than the people of Spain from the Father and the Son: behold by all the supplies of gold and silver | Him ready to subdue the enmity, to alter their tyrannical monarch extorted from the taste, to change the will, to give a the oppressed Indians. Before her reign new heart. Hear the gracious promise, the commerce of England was contracted and observe how exactly suited to the and poor; during her reign, it extended case. Is your whole nature utterly withall over the world ; yet we find a modern out a relish of spiritual things? Do you Romish historian attributing the rise of find your heart hard; and, notwithstandthis spirit of commerce to the reign of ing all the representations of Divine love, Mary, whose only object was to restore Po- still unmelted? Are you without any
NOTES ON THE MONTH.
power to walk in the way of God's com- with the perverseness, the hardness of mandments? Well, then, here is the heart, the unbelief, the mistrust, the unpromise; do not look upon these as kindness eyen of the children of God! empty words ; thousands and thousands How deeply must the true Christian that are now in heaven, and thousands daily feel the love of God! How do I, that are yet on earth, have found them must he say-how do I constantly protrue to their great and endless comfort. voke the Holy Spirit to depart from me! " A new heart will I give you, and a how carelessly do I seek after Him! how new spirit will I put within you: and I carelessly improve the blessed moments will take away the stony heart out of of his presence ! how little do I endeayour flesh, and I will give you a heart of vour to profit by his teaching ! how often flesh. And I will put my Spirit within prefer not to be taught! What but the you, and cause you to walk in my sta- tenderness of love could bear this ! tutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, “My people," saith God, by the proand do them,” Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 27. Here phet Hosea, are bent to backslidings is the blessed work of the Holy Spirit from me;" and yet he pursues, in the upon the heart. And, oh, what is that next verse, “How shall I give thee up, love which shall bring him into unholy Ephraim ? how shall I deliver thee, hearts like ours ! Think of the opposi- Israel ? how shall I make thee as Ad. tion between the evil tempers, the carnal mah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim ? affections, the foul passions therein; and mine heart is turned within me, my rethat
pure and heavenly visitant. Think pentings are kindled together. I will of the striving which the unrenewed not execute the fierceness of mine anger, mind makes against him, of the wilful I will not return to destroy Ephraim : continuance in sin, of the quenching of for I am God, and not man ; the Holy his heavenly fires. Let me illustrate One in the midst of thee,” Hos. xi. 7-9. again ; that by things familiar to our ap- Herein, then, is love.-C. Neale. prehension we may, if it be possible, enter a little into the deep things of God. Suppose some kind visitant should see a cottage full of misery, and poverty,
By a Naturalist. and disease; and should enter there, delighting to do good, and with the desire, The harvest is over ; the fields, which in the fulness of his heart, of relieving were lately a waving sea of corn, are the misery, and of giving medicines to now covered only with stubble; already heal the sickness; and suppose, instead the ploughman is at work preparing the of being welcomed there, the door should earth for fresh seed, to spring up in due be shut in his face. This is the repre-season, according to the appointment of sentations of our conduct towards the the God of nature and providence, and Holy Spirit. A man, for instance, finds replenish the garners of the husbandman. certain misgivings in his heart, he begins September is one of our most delightto see that all is not right, that he is as- ful months; in the figurative language suredly not in the way of life; that a of poetry, it is that over which Pomona life of holiness would be happier than is said especially to preside ; for though that which he is leading : these are the many flowers are still in their beauty, strivings of the Holy Spirit with his and many plants blossom only at this conscience. What does the man do ? season, it is peculiarly the month of Does he encourage these reflections ? fruits. The apple trees are bending Does he welcome this celestial visitor ? | beneath their load, and the cider press Alas ! how often does he fly to any is prepared; “the downy peach, the thing, any folly, any sin, that may drown shining plum, the ruddy fragrant necsuch disagreeable and disturbing thoughts; tarine, " adorn the sunny wall; and there, thus grieving the Holy Spirit, and drive too, in full ripeness, hangs ing him, as far as in him lies, from his heart. And even in the true believer
Beneath his ample leaf the luscious fig. -even when the great change has taken The vine, too, here her curling tendrils shoots, place upon the heart—the mistrust, the Hangs out her clusters, glowing to the south,
And scarcely wishes for a warmer sky." unkindness, even of the children of God, prove that, although a new nature has Let us go into the fields, and there, in been given, the old one still lingers. our winding walk, “meditate the book And how has the Holy Spirit to bear l of nature ever open,” and in which His