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a certain number of ministers to be chosen from these districts. In order to improve the state of the people, all feudal dues were taken away. fixed rent in money was substituted for all the services and restrictions to which the land had hitherto been liable. The Highlands were kept in order by the founding of garrisoned forts.
A period of great confusion followed the death of Cromwell, September 3, 1658. General Monk, commander of the army in Scotland under the protectorate, brought back Charles in triumph to England, May 29, 1660.
In Scotland, where Charles had been already crowned, his return was celebrated with great rejoicin gs by the people, who hoped that he would uphold the Covenant which he had signed. Before long, they found out how much they had been mistaken. In the very first English parliament, an act was passed which took from Scotland the privilege of free-trade with England, which she had enjoyed under Cromwell. This was the Navigation Act, by which the exporting and importing of merchandise into England, or any of her colonies, was forbidden to any but English vessels.
The causes of dispute between the king and the people were thus restored to the state in which they had been before the great struggle began. Episcopacy was re-established by the Estates, and the Covenant was publicly burned by the hangman. As there was but one of the old bishops still alive, three new ones were consecrated in England. James Sharp was the primate. He had gone up to London to plead the cause of the Covenant and of Presbyters; he came back an archbishop, and was thenceforward foremost in persecuting the cause he had deserted.
The promised act of indemnity was not passed till 1662. A third Religious War began. In the first the people had taken up arms for a question of doctrine; the second arose from disputes about a form of prayer; this, the third, was caused by enforcing a form of church-government specially disliked by the nation. In the conduct of public prayer no change was made. As there had been in James's reign a Presbyterian Church with a Liturgy, so now there was an Episcopal Church without one. But, though the cause of dispute seemed this time of less importance than in the two former wars, the zeal on the one side and the persecution on the other were
greater than they had been in the former struggles. Then Edinburgh and the Eastern Lowlands had borne the brunt of the battle; now it was in the West, where it was latest kindled, that religious zeal flamed fiercest and lasted longest.
In spite of fines and penalties the churches still remained empty, while the people went long distances to gather round their "outed" ministers. On the hill-sides, wherever in short they were least likely to be dispersed by the dragoons, they met to hear the sermons of their favorite preachers. But so great was the danger incurred by thus worshipping God according to their consciences that sentries were stationed on the hill-tops round to give warning of the approach of danger, and the men stacked their muskets so that they could seize and use them on a moment's notice. Such meetings were called Conventicles, and to hunt them down bands of soldiers scoured the country in all directions.
The trials that followed the Western rising were infamous, from the shameful and constant use of torture. The instruments used for this purpose were the "thumbkin," a screw applied to the thumb joint, and the "boot," a cylinder in which the leg of the victim was crushed by hammering in wedges.
Sharp, the primate, who was looked on as the originator of all the persecutions, was bitterly hated. He was shot at in Edinburgh while getting into his carriage, but was not hurt. But the very next year the attempt was repeated with better success. As Sharp was driving with his daughter across Magus Moor, near St. Andrews, he fell into the hands of a party of men who were lying in wait there for one Carmichael, the sheriff-substitute, a wretch who had made himself specially hated. When they heard that the archbishop's coach was coming that way, they looked on it as a special act of Providence by which the Lord delivered him into their hands. They fired into the coach, but did not hit him. He sheltered himself behind his daughter, but they dragged him out, and hacked him to death on the heath in a very barbarous way, May 3, 1679. It had long been believed that Sharp was in league with the devil. To find proof of this they had no sooner slain him than they began to search everything he had with him. At last they opened his snuff-box, when a bee flew out. This they agreed must have been his familiar spirit.
The death of Charles and the accession of James,
1685-88, did not improve matters for the Scots. A time of cruel slaughter followed, in which Claverhouse was the chief persecutor. Many heartrending tales are told of the sufferings of the poor creatures whose fanaticism led them to persist in refusing to take the "Abjuration Oath."
John Brown, known as the "Christian Carrier," a man of great repute among them, was shot dead by Claverhouse himself, almost without warning, before the eyes of his wife. At another time two women, Margaret Maclauchlan and Margaret Wilson-one old, the other young-were tied to stakes on the Solway shore, that they might be drowned by inches by the flowing tide. Early in James's reign an act was passed by which attending a Conventicle became a capital crime.
Argyle sent out the fiery cross to summon his clansmen, but although they mustered 1,800 strong
at his call, starvation overthrew them, and the chieftain was taken and executed. In 1688 the king granted a full and complete indulgence, extending toleration even to the Quakers, who had up to this time been as much despised and persecuted as the Covenanters. This change of policy, however, had come too late. His attack on the liberties of the Church of England had been resented by seven of the bishops. His English subjects invited his nephew and son-in-law William, prince of Orange, to come to their aid. He came, and was by common consent invited to mount the throne abdicated by James. When the news of William's entry into London reached Edinburgh, a deputation, headed by Hamilton, was sent to him, to pray him to call a Convention of the Estates, and, till it met, to take the government of Scotland into his own hands, Jan. 7, 1689.
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VER since the insurrection of the Ciompi the old Guelfic families and the new popolani grossi, or rich men of the people, had had the chief power in Florence. This oligarchy, in 1433, was under the direction of Rinaldo degli Albizzi, a brilliant and eloquent man, but wavering in purpose and disdainful in manner. The head of the opposition was Cosmo de Medici, the son of Giovanni de Medici, who by his ability and attention to commerce had amassed a very large fortune. Cosmo carried on his father's trade; he lived splendidly; he was a great supporter of all literary men, and spent and distributed his immense wealth amongst his fellowcitizens. He was courteous and liberal, and was looked upon with almost unbounded respect and affection by a large party in the state. Rinaldo was bent upon his ruin, and, in 1433, when he had a Signoria devoted to his party, he cited Cosmo before the council, and shut him up in a tower of the public palace. Great excitement was caused by this violent step, and two days afterwards the Signoria held a parliament of the people. The great bell of the city was tolled, and the people gathered round the palace. Then the gates of the palace were thrown open, and the Signoria, the Colleges of Arts, and the Gonfaloniere came forth, and asked the people if they would have a balia. So a balia was appointed, the names being proposed by the Signoria, to decide on the fate of Cosmo. At first it was proposed to kill him, but he was only banished, much against the will of Rinaldo, who knew that, if he lived, he would some day come back again.
The next year the Signoria was favorable to him; another balia was appointed; the party of the Albizzi was banished, and Cosmo was recalled. He was received with a greeting such as men give to a conqueror, and was hailed as the Father of his Country. This triumphant return gave the Medici a power in the republic which they never afterwards lost. The banished party fled to the court of the Duke of Milan, and stirred him up to war against their city. Filippo Maria was at war with Pope Eugenius, who was forced to fly from Rome, and took refuge in Florence. The pope's cause was taken up by Florence and Venice, and the Florentine army was commanded by Francesco Sforza, who was now in the pope's pay. He was opposed by Niccolo Piccinino, and the war between these two great generals was carried on with wonderful military skill, Cosmo getting the best of it.
In 1447 died Filippo Maria, the last of the great Visconti line, and Francesco Sforza was put forward against Alfonso of Naples, and on Feb. 26, 1450, he was admitted into Milan as lord and duke. Thus in the middle of the fifteenth century the four great temporal powers in Italy were the King of Naples, the Duke of Milan, and the two republics of Venice and Florence. The former was governed by a strict, though as yet a patriotic oligarchy, the latter by a vigorous democracy; but now for the first time one family in the state, without disturbing the democratic form of government, began to exercise an undue influence over their fellow-citizens. A fifth power also now began to be felt in Italy, the temporal power of the popes.
The Captivity at Avignon and the Schism had weakened the position of the popes in Italy and