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FRANZ LEOPOLD VON RANKE.
RANKE, Franz LEOPOLD von, a leading German historian; born at Wiehe, near Nuremberg, Thuringia, December 21, 1795 ; died at Berlin, May 23, 1886. He was a student at Leipsic, then a teacher in the gyınnasium at Frankfort-ou-the-Oder, and, from 1825, Professor of History at Berlin. He was sent by the government to examine the archives at Vienna, Rome, Venice, and Florence. His thorough researches made him the father of a school of historiog. raphy. A “History of the Roman and Teutonic Nations” was his first work (1824), covering the period 1494-1535; this was followed by “Principles and Peoples of Southern Europe in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries," “ The Servian Revolution” (1829); and the “ Conspiracy Against Venice in 1688" (1831). Then came his best known work, the “History of the Popes" (1834-37). After this, he produced a “ History of Germany in the Time of the Reformation” (1839–47); “Memoirs of the House of Brandenburg and History of Prussia during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries ” (1847–48); “Annals of the German Saxon Kings," “ French History, Especially in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries” (1852–61); a “History of England, Principally in the Seventeenth Century” (1859–67); a “Life of Wallenstein " (1869); “ The Origin of the Seven Years' War” (1877); “ History of the World” (1880–86). His complete works comprise forty-seven volumes.
THE FALL OF STRAFFORD.
The King was still very far from giving up his own or Strafford's cause. On Saturday, May 1st, he declared that he would never again endure Strafford in his council or his presence, but that he thought him not deserving of death ; and the Lords seemed of the same opinion. Equally little did it seem necessary to give way to the proposals against the bishops. On Sunday, May 2d, the wedding of the young Prince of Orange with the princess Mary of England – who however was but ten years
old, and was to stay longer in England - was celebrated at Whitehall. Charles himself presided with address and goodhumor over the wedding festivities, and seemed to be well pleased with his new son-in-law. Once more a numerous court crowded with the usual zeal around the highest personages in the country. Yet at that very hour the pulpits of the city were ringing with fiery addresses on the necessity of bringing the arch-offender to justice; disquieting rumors were in the air, and kept every one in suspense. The next morning, Monday, May 3d, Westminster presented a disorderly spectacle. In order to throw into the scale the expression of their will on impending questions which already had been so effective once, thousands of petitioners repaired to the Houses of Parliament; the members of the lower House who had voted for the Bill of Attainder, and the unpopular Lords, were received on their arrival with insults and abusive cries. At the hour when the sitting of the lower House ought to have begun, - prayers were already over, — all the members remained in profound silence There was a presentiment of what was coming: the attempt of the clerk to bring on some unimportant matter was greeted with laughter. After some time the doors were closed, and John Pym rose to make a serious communication. He said that desperate plots against the Parliament and the peace of the realm were at work within and without the country, for bringing the army against Parliament, seizing the Tower, and releasing Strafford; that there was an understanding with France on the subject, and that sundry persons in immediate attendance on the Queen were deep in the plot.
Pym might and did know that the French government was in no way inclined to take part with the Queen; and the Parliamentary leaders had already sent their joint thanks to Cardinal Richelieu for preventing the Queen's journey. We must leave it in doubt whether Pym was notwithstanding led by the appearance of things and by rumor to believe in the possibility of an alliance between the French government and the Queen, or whether he merely thought it advisible to arouse the apprehension in others. His speech conveyed the idea that a plot was at work for the overthrow of Parliament and the Protestant religion, which must be resisted with the whole strength of the nation. The mob, assembled outside the doors, where vague reports of Pym's exordium reached them, certainly received this impression : a conspiracy had been detected, as bad as the Gunpowder Plot or worse, for massacring the members of Parliament, and even all Strafford's opponents among the inhabitants. The fact that the Tower, which commanded the city, was reckoned on for this purpose, caused an indescribable agitation. At times the cry “ To Whitehall !" was heard : at others it seemed as if the mob would go to the Tower in order to storm it. ...
For several days the rumor of impending danger grew. The French ambassador was warned at that time, as if he or his government had a share in the matter, and it might still at any moment be carried out. But in truth the disclosure of the scheme was equivalent to its defeat. Jermyn and Percy fed ; other persons suspected or implicated were arrested: the Queen herself one day prepared to quit London. But she had nowhere to go; she could not but be aware that the Governor of Portsmouth, with whom she intended to take refuge, had caused the discovery of the scheme.
Little as her attempt to cause a reaction may have been matured, it had nevertheless the effect of doubling the violence of the previous movement. The royal power itself immediately felt the force of the shock. The King had sanctioned the proposal to strengthen his hold on the Tower with trustworthy troops: the number of men that he desired to introduce was not more than a hundred, but even this now appeared a dangerous innovation. The commandant Balfour hesitated to admit the troops ; the tumultuous mob directed against it a more urgent petition than ever. The Lords were induced to make representations on the subject to the King; who justified the arrangement on the score of his duty to provide for the safety of the
agitation did not insist on its being carried out. The Lords further empowered the Constable and Lord Mayor, if necessary, to introduce a body of militia into the Tower; and thus the control of the fortress which might keep the city in check began to slip out of the King's hands. The measures taken for the security of Portsinouth, for the arming of the militia in several inland counties for this purpose, and for the defence of Jersey and Guernsey, – those islands seeming to be in danger from France, — were in effect so many usurpations of the military authority of the Crown, however well justified they may have been under the circumstances.
Out of the necessity for satisfying the English army arose an idea involving the most serious consequences. As the Scottish