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volumes, both in the French and the English language, have exposed his debaucheries, his adulteries, his homicides, his parricides, his thefts, his rapines, his perjuries, his oppressions of the poor, his cruelties, his deceitfulness, and the injuries he did to the catholic religion, to the public, and to private families. He was successively created baron Denbigh, earl of Leicester, and raised to the dignity of master of the horse to the queen, and to the command of her forces in Holland.
While he lived, sir Francis Walsingham, a man of a decent family, of a saturnine disposition, of indefatigable industry, and greatly attached to the Calvinists, was his confidential agent, particularly in every thing that related to the roman-catholics or the queen's practices in foreign countries. Being advanced to the rank of secretary of state, it was his business to inform her of what passed in parliament, and of all foreign transactions. For this, he employed a multitude of spies both at home and abroad, -and entered into these concerns with so much ardour, that he consumed his own private fortune upon them, and died in debt.
Sir Christopher Hatton was of a good family, and attracted the notice of the queen by his comeliness and elegance : by degrees he advanced himself so much in her favour, as to be created chancellor. He was supposed to be averse from the persecution of the catholics, and was certainly disliked by the puritans. His favour was always on the increase ; yet, though he strongly desired it, the queen would never allow him to marry.
But Cecil is the hero of the tale: his father, says Persons, was in a low employment under the king's taylor; his grandfather was one of the king's body guard, and kept an ale-house in Stamford. Somehow he became a student at Cambridge, and obtained a place in the family of the protector Somerset; and, by betraying him, acquired the favour of the earl of Warwick, afterwards created duke of Northumberland. This nobleman recommended Cecil to Edward the sixth, who made him secretary of state.
Under Mary, he affected great zeal for religion, and always had his beads in his hands. He was favoured by cardinal Pole ; but Mary always distrusted him; upon this, he insinuated himself into the favour of Elizabeth; and was one of the principal advisers of her measures in favour of the protestant religion.
These men, and the followers of their principles, not the
queen, are to be considered the real authors of the proclamation. -Here Persons mentions sir Walter Raleigh and his supposed school of atheism. If, on the death of Leicester and Hatton, sir Walter had succeeded, as had been generally expected, to their favour with the queen, a different proclamation might have been expected : infidelity and epicureism might have been proposed, and the opposers of pleasure declared guilty of high treason.
But does she declare the proclamation to be her own? Then, says Persons, I oppose to her every king and every queen who filled the throne of England before the reformation ; every great and every good man, who flourished in their reigns: I oppose
to Elizabeth her own father, who put Cromwell to death, and threatened Katharine, the last of his wives, with it, because they were suspected of heresy. Their example she rejects, and prefers an imitation of the Domitians, the Maximinians, and the Dioclesians. "But these," says Persons,
opposed the christian religion, as new and of "recent birth; as a religion, which contradicted "the ancient national worship of their gods. But, "when Elizabeth persecutes the catholics, she per"secutes the religion which England embraced on "her conversion from paganism; the religion of "all her ancestors; the religion, in which she was born, brought up, and educated; the religion, "which she had professed at her baptism, which "she had repeatedly avowed in the strongest lan(( guage; and to the defence of which, she, in the "most solemn words, had, at her coronation, (however perfidiously), bound herself by oath." -Adverting to the passage in the beginning of the proclamation, in which Elizabeth mentions her hard lot, not to be suffered to remain in peace, even at the close of her life; "If thou, Elizabeth," says Persons, "treading in the steps of thy most illus"trious ancestors, hadst preserved England in the "state in which thou didst find it; if, conforming "to the institutions of its former sovereigns, thou "hadst maintained, as thou didst swear to do, the "catholic religion; if thou hadst administered justice according to the most ancient laws of the "kingdom; if, like thine ancestors, thou hadst "been faithful to thy treaties with foreign princes;
"if, by legitimate offspring of thine own marriage, "or by any other means, thou hadst rendered the succession to the crown, clear, certain, and free "of doubt,-thou wouldst now have reigned in "the greatest happiness and security; and thou "wouldst not now, in the thirty-third year of thy "reign, have had to complain of its being necessary to labour so hard to avert the dangers, which at once threaten thy life and the public "weal. But, acting in a manner directly contrary, "as thou hast persecuted the church of God, "overturned religion, contemned the customs and "laws of thine ancestors, insulted and injured the
catholics, though the most noble and most nu→ "merous portion of thy subjects, through whom "thou didst obtain thy crown; as thou hast de prived them of honours, offices, and dignities, " and driven them into despair by confiscations of "their property, banishment, and sanguinary inflictions, and hast raised up, in their stead, "atheists and heretics to the government of the country; and in consequence of their licentious"ness and malice, hast filled the whole kingdom "with heresies, sects, and dissentions; when-(a
thing hitherto unknown)-thou hast made it a "capital crime, to affirm, to think, or even to con'jecture who shall reign after thee, as if thy wish "were that every thing should perish with thee; "when thou hast provoked every sovereign near "thee with the injuries which thou hast done him; "when thou hast disturbed every thing, rendered every thing suspected, doubtful, perplexed, ul
“ cerated, and pestilent, what reason is there to
impute this distracted state of things to a few
most innocent and most harmless scholars, a few “ religious men, a few ecclesiastics?
“ What are the crimes, of which so many inno“ cent men, who have been condemned to death
by thy laws, are guilty ?-One, is punished for
having been at Rome; another, for having re“ceived the pope's blessing ; another, for having “ been ordained priest by an order from the pope; “another, for having been educated in the foreign “seminaries; several, for having persuaded their “ families to remain true to the ancient faith ;
others, for returning to their country, for the sake *" of teaching, defending, or extending the catholic “religion.- Learn at last, Elizabeth, that there is
a God, who, before thou didst exist, had chas" tised many kings, queens, and sovereigns, much “ more powerful than thee. Consider how far “ thou hast proceeded, when thou hast not only « condemned hundreds of these holy men to death, " and spilt their blood, but delivered their bodies “ to the fowls of the air, denying them, under “ severe penalties, christian burial. Their holy 166 blood cries from the earth, cries from the wood
on which they suffered, and the sound of it has «s entered the ears of the Lord God of Hosts. The day is near, when thou must render to Him an
, “ account of all this, of every falsehood in thy “ proclamation.”
Then Persons takes upon him to vindicate Philip from the crimes, with which he is charged by the