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as possibly could be, and that he was made a “ cardinal of purpose to be sent then into England “ for the sweet managing of those affairs.
“ 3. Other arguments they used, drawn from the “ certainty of the victory, as that all the protestants « would either turn their coats, copies, arms, or fly
away, in fear and torment of the angel of God “prosecuting them; that although none of her
majesty's subjects should assist the Spaniards, yet “ their own forces, which they brought with them,
were strong enough, their provision sufficient, “their appointment so surpassing: that they had “ more expert captains, than her majesty had good “ soldiers, all resolute to be in the cause, which “ they had undertaken : that the blood of all the " blessed bishops shed in this land, and all the saints “ in heaven prayed for the Spaniards victory: that “ all the virtuous priests of our country, both at “ home and abroad, had stretched forth their sacred “ hands to the same end : that many priests were “ in the camp to serve every spiritual man's neces“sity : that their forces were guarded with all “God's holy angels; with Christ himself in the “ sovereign sacrament, and with the daily most holy
oblation, of Christ's own dear body and blood: “ that the Spaniards being thus assisted with so “ many helps, though they had been never so few, “ they could not lose, and that her majesty and “ her assistants wanting these helps, although they
were never so fierce, never so proud, never so many, never so well appointed, yet they could
“ not prevail. Fear you not, (say they to such as “ would take their part), they cannot.”
The general mildness of Allen's character, and general wisdom and moderation of his councils, were admitted by his contemporaries, as well protestant as catholic. On this occasion, to repeat words which we have already used, he permitted his better reason to submit to authority. But notwithstanding the great and habitual reverence of the catholics for his talents and his virtues, so little did they defer to his admonition, that Wright, a priest of his own college at Douay, maintained the contrary doctrine in the most explicit terms, and supported it by the boldest arguments *.
It should be observed, that from the writings of father Persons, it appears, that he quitted Madrid in 1585, soon after the preparations for the armada begun; and did not return to Madrid till 1589, the year after its defeat.
XXXV. 3 Conduct of the English Catholics during the threatened
Invasion. Such was the information, such the advice given at this time to the English catholics, by persons, from whom, if they had been influenced by the true spirit of the gospel, or had even juster notions of the real interests of the English catholics, very different counsel would have been received: it now remains to show how the catholics acted.
* Strype, Annals, vol. iii. App. Ixv.
Warmly attached to their faith, which had twice rescued their country from paganism; and under which, during a long series of centuries their ancestors had enjoyed every spiritual and temporal blessing; they now beheld it proscribed ; its tenets reviled, its sacred institutions abolished, its holy edifices levelled with the ground, its altars profaned; all, who professed it, groaning under the severest inflictions of religious persecution ; imaginary plots incessantly imputed to them; the subtlest artifices used to draw them into criminal attempts; “ terfeit letters *, privately left in their houses;
spies sent up and down the country to notice “ their discourses, and lay hold of their words ; “ informers and reporters of idle stories against “ them countenanced and credited ;” and even “ innocence itself,” (to use Camden's own words)
though accompanied by prudence, no guard to “ them :" they had constantly before their eyes the racks and gibbets, by which their priests had suffered, and they saw other racks, and other gibbets, preparing for them ; they saw the presumptive heir to the crown brought to the block, because she was of their religion, and because, as she was formally told by lord Buckhurst, " the established
religion was thought not to be secure whilst she “ was in being ;" they knew the universal indignation which this enormity had raised in every part of Europe against their remorseless persecutor; that St. Pius the fifth, the supreme head of their church, had excommunicated her, had deposed her, had
* Carte's History, vol. iii. p. 585.
absolved them from their allegiance to her, and implicated them in her excommunication, if they continued true to her; they knew that Sixtus, the reigning pope, had renewed the excommunication, had called on every catholic prince to execute the sentence, and that Philip the second, by far the most powerful monarch of the time, had undertaken it; had lined the shores of the continent with troops, ready at a moment's notice, for the invasion of England, and had covered the sea with an armament, which was proclaimed to be invincible: -in this awful moment, when England stood in need of all her strength, and the slightest diversion of any part of it might have proved fatal, the worth of a catholic's conscientious loyalty was fully shown. What catholic in England did not do his duty? Who of them forgot his allegiance to the queen? or was not eager to sacrifice his life and his whole fortune in her cause? “ Some,” says Hume,“ equipped ships at their own charge, and
gave the command of them to protestants; others “were active in animating their tenants, and their “ vassals, and neighbours, in defence of their coun
try;"—“some,” (says the writer of an intercepted letter printed in the second volume of the Harleian Miscellany *, by their letters to the council, “signed with their own hand, offered, that they " would make adventures of their own lives in “ defence of the queen, whom they named their “ undoubted sovereign lady, and queen, against “ all foreign foes, though they were sent from the
* Page 64.
pope, or at his commandment; yea, some did " offer that they would present their bodies in the “ foremost ranks.” Lord Montagu, a zealous catholic, and the only temporal peer, who ventured to oppose the act for the queen's supremacy, in the first
year of her reign, brought a band of horsemen to Tilbury, commanded by himself, his son, and his grandson : thus periling his whole house in the expected conflict * :-the annals of the world do not present a more glorious or a more affecting spectacle than the zeal shown on this memorable occasion, by the poor and persecuted, but loyal, but honourable catholics !-Nor should it be forgotten, that in this account of their loyalty, all historians are agreed.
Will not then the reader feel some indignation when he is informed, that this exemplary, may it not be called heroic, conduct, procured no relaxation of the laws against the catholics ? That it was followed almost immediately by laws, still more harsh than the preceding? That through the whole remainder of the reign of Elizabeth, the laws against the catholics continued to be executed with unabated, and even with increased rigour?- That between the defeat of the armada, and the death of Elizabeth, more than one hundred catholics were hanged and embowelled,-merely, we must repeat, --for the exercise of their religion: and that, when some catholics presented to the queen a most dutiful and loyal address, praying, in the most humble terms, a mitigation of the laws against them, no
* Osborn's Secret History, edit. 1811, p. 22.