« السابقةمتابعة »
his decapitation than we can now do, even from Mr Jardine's lucid narrative.* Supposed to be embued with that Protestant feeling which the son of the accomplished Surrey might well be thought to have inherited, and which was fostered by the tuition of Fox, the martyrologist; in high favour with Elizabeth-evi. denced by her nominating him as the first of the two noblemen whom the French King invested with the order of Saint Michael in her stead; possessed of a princely estate, great part of which had formerly belonged to the church; standing at the head of the peerage, and an influential member of the Queen's Council, this nobleman might be thought to be more than triply guarded against the contagion of a conspiracy to restore the Papal supremacy; and yet it may be seen how soon he fell into the snare. Imagination of the smiles of Mary of Scotland, for he never saw her, and the prospect of a share in a crown, the possessor of which, upon the death of Elizabeth, might
· Twofold balls and treble sceptres carry,' were sufficient to convert all his protections into snares. Once entered into the plot, with the warmth of a new convert he disregarded all considerations in comparison with the one last admitted into his thoughts. Although a privy councillor, he revealed the secrets of his mistress to the ambassadors of France and Spain; plotted to render the determinations of her council abortive; knowingly proposed a secret but accredited agent of the Pope— Elizabeth's bitter enemy—to be sent to Flanders as her confidential envoy; urged the French Government to send troops into Scotland to oppose the party supported by Elizabeth ; and, with a selfishness equally incompatible with loyalty and patriotism, considered little more than the gratification of the newly-conceived designs for his own personal aggrandizement. These facts greatly lessen our compassion for his fate. After all his secret plotting for the restoration of Roman Catholicism, he declared, upon his trial, that he would be torn with wild horses' rather than forsake his Protestant faith ; and, after deliberately professing his belief in the sufficiency of the proofs of Mary's guilt, he sought to lay his head upon her pillow for no better reason than the mere gratification of a beggarly ambition.
If we turn from the haughtiness of Elizabeth, the perfidy of Leicester, and the vanity of Norfolk, to the Queen's chief Secretary, Cecil, the transition is extraordinary. He was no dealer in sharp sayings; not one who lightly esteemed his word, and gave and withdrew it as convenience prompted; not capable of
* Criminal Trials, vol. i., p. 121.
being diverted from his right-onward course' by the fumes of passion, or the allurements of any private consideration. Whatever may be thought of his policy at particular periods of his government, it will be generally allowed that, as a man, he exhibited in a singular degree, and in no less singular a combination, all the noble qualities, which a minister of this country should possess. Full, in private life, of an unrestrainable, an overflowing benevolence; in public he was quiet almost to coldness, still almost to taciturnity. No minister ever governed more certainly, no one's government was ever less felt. Steady, steady,'-the saying which the Prince of Orange adopted from the directions of a skipper to his steersman, is at once a description of his conduct and his policy. One of his own phrases, often in his mouth at council, let us stay a little, that we may make an end the sooner,' has much the same meaning; and his constant practice of putting upon paper the reasons for and against every important public measure, and his preference of written to verbal communications upon matters of business, are examples at once of his caution and his mode of acting upon his principles. His practice in the last particular, which modern usage has retained and approved, occasioned some sneers from the lively Frenchman, who, no doubt, found himself deprived of opportunities of display, by communicating par escript, à la façon de M. Cecille,' (ii. 25.)
In the work before us are accounts of three attempts to procure the dismissal of Cecil from the government; every one of which was defeated without his own open interference. The first arose out of a seizure in England of certain Spanish treasure, which occasioned an embargo to be laid upon English goods at Antwerp. The Spanish ambassador, who was in secret communication with the Norfolk party, inflamed their minds respecting the injustice of this step; and they, in their turn, fomented the dissatisfaction of the people, who were easily persuaded to believe in the impropriety of a measure which interrupted their trade with Antwerp—then the great emporium of English commerce. A secret meeting of the lords-conspirators was held at Nonsuch, and it was determined to procure Cecil to be sent to the Tower, in the expectation that, once in prison, there would be no difficulty in framing accusations against him. Camden relates the result. The Queen, by whose information,' he says, “ I • know not, came to a knowledge of the design. In the very nick of time she made her appearance in the council, and restrained
the conspirators by her frown.'-(Camd. Annal. 1569.) The second attempt was made by Leicester, in the interview on AshWednesday, 1569, and again, as we have seen, Elizabeth dispersed the cloud. The perfidy of Leicester disconcerted the third attempt before it could be brought to bear. A fourth remained behind, but it does not come within the volumes before us. Thus harassed and vexed by personal and factious opposition; the determinations of the council frustrated by intriguers who privately communicated with the Queen's enemies; the people inflamed by lordly agitators ; ancient religious preposses, sions fanned on the one hand by the Spanish ambassador, who was anxious to dismiss Cecil, because he believed him to be the
greatest heretic in the world, and the strongest adversary to the • Catholic religion, (i. 69 ;) and on the other by the Papal agent, who had at his command that inexhaustible treasury of good things, both in this world and the next, of which St Peter holds the keys ;-the secretary pursued his own quiet and determined course. Protestant as he was, he had neither part nor lot with those headstrong zealots who exaggerated the successes of the Huguenots (i. 21), and would have hurried the Queen into a war with France; nor with that extreme High Church party which sought to enforce strong measures against the Puritans; and this is an apt example of his general policy. In all things, and upon all occasions, he stood between the contending factions like a daysman who laid his hands upon them both.' When commerce with Antwerp was interrupted, he assisted English enterprise into new channels ; opening up a valuable communication with Hamburg, and practically proving the futility of the scheme of continental blockade proposed by the Spanish ambassador, by way of starving England into a reconciliation with Rome. The present volumes contain many particulars respecting this event, so interesting in the history of commerce, but which was rather an exception to Cecil's general policy. He was never fertile in expedients, or peculiarly skilful in attack, but no man ever possessed more of the courage necessary for defence. The Hamburg voyage was suggested by Sir Thomas Gresham, Cecil's great assistant in matters of commerce and finance.
We had marked for extract various passages relating to the cession of the rights of Mary of Scotland to the English throne, alleged to have been made to the Duke of Anjou ; and some others relating to the northern rebellion, in 1569, but we must draw to a close, by shortly stating their contents.
It is well known that Mary was charged with having made such a cession to the Duke of Anjou ; and the English Government, justly considering that an act of that kind might exercise a very important influence over her claim as heiress-presumptive to the throne, called for an explanation. The fact was indignantly denied, and some persons, both at the time and since, have charged Cecil with having put the rumour in circulation, in order to add to the confusion of Mary's affairs. Mary herself, the King of France, the Queen-Mother, the Duke of Anjou, and various other persons, made solemn written declarations that no such cession had been executed. It now appears, by the documents here first brought to light, that a cession was executed ; but that it was to Henry II., the King of France, and his successors, and not to his second son, the Duke of Anjou.(Vol. i. 423-435).
The scheme of the northern rebels, in 1569, was to release the Queen of Scots, to march to London, and re-establish the Roman Catholic faith. It is here confidently stated, that they were encouraged by a written promise of assistance in money, men, and arms, from Flanders; and that Northumberland had a letter from the Spanish ambassador to that effect, which he always carried about his person. Once in the field, at an expence to Northumberland alone of several thousand pounds, they appealed to the Spanish ambassador to perform his promise, when, to their astonishment, he drew back, complained of want of express authority, and talked of conditions; one of which was, that Mary should relinquish her engagement with Norfolk, and marry Don John. Such a marriage would have thrown the succession to the English throne into the hands of Spain, and was, therefore, strongly opposed by France. The delay consequent upon this breach of promise was fatal. The endeavour to release Mary failed; difficulty produced dissension; and the fire which had blazed brightly for a moment, suddenly expired.
The importance of this publication leads us strongly to hope that it will meet with such success as will ensure its farther and speedy prosecution. Considered in a proper historical spirit, and compared with the other authorities for the same period, it will be found to contain information both new and important.
Art. IV.-The Arboretum et Fruticetum Britannicum ; or, the
Trees and Shrubs of Britain, Native and Foreign, Hardy and Half-hardy, Pictorially and Botanically delineated, and Scientifically and properly described. By J. C. LOUDON, F.L.S. 8 volumes 8vo. London: 1838.
r Loudon is well known to practical cultivators as the
Editor of the Gardener's Magazine,' and as the compiler of several useful Encyclopædias. * He has now presented us with another work, which must have cost him far more labour than any of his former publications. The mere fact of his having brought it to a successful termination, affords no inconsiderable testimony of the interest which must prevail on the subject of Planting ; for no one, with Mr Loudon's experience, would have engaged in an undertaking so laborious and expensive, unless he had felt tolerably confident of receiving something like an adequate return for conducting, during four years, a publication which must have required an outlay of little less than ten thousand pounds. It consists of four volumes of letterpress, interspersed with above two thousand five hundred excellent woodcuts; and four volumes of plates, consisting of above four hundred engravings on wood." In a word, we consider the Ar
boretum et Fruticetum Britannicum,' as a publication of the highest value in the class to which it belongs, and one which it will be necessary for every person interested in the important subject of Planting, whether as an amateur or in a professional capacity, to possess and consult.
Although the arrangement of the matter throughout a large portion of the work, assumes a systematic and scientific form, it must not be considered so much in the light of a contribution to the science of botany, as an attempt to popularize a part or sec. tion of that science for the information of landed proprietors, country gentlemen, and landscape gardeners. We do not say this to detract from the merits of its scientific details, for with these we have no fault to find; and, moreover, we are here presented with. a number of facts which will materially assist the botanist in settling several doubtful and disputed points. But the professed object of the more strictly scientific portion of the
* Viz. the - Encyclopaedia of Gardening,' the Encyclopædia of Agriculture,' and the• Encyclopædia of Plants.'