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nineteenth century for a shilling. I do not see that this admits of question. Turning, then, to the table of wages, 7 it will be easy to ascertain his position. By the 3d of the 6th of Henry VIII it was enacted that master carpenters, masons, bricklayers, tylers, plumbers, glaziers, joiners, and other employers of such skilled workmen, should give to each of their journeymen, if no meat or drink was allowed, sixpence a day for half the year, fivepence a day for the other half; or fivepence halfpenny for the yearly average. The common laborers were to receive fourpence a day for half the year; for the remaining half, threepence. In the harvest months they were allowed to work by the piece, and might earn considerably more; so that, in fact—and this was the rate at which their wages were usually estimated—the day-laborer received, on an average, fourpence a day for the whole year. Nor was he in danger, except by his own 8 fault or by unusual accident, of being thrown out of employ; for he was engaged by contract for not less than a year, and could not be dismissed before his term had expired, unless some gross misconduct could be proved against him before two magistrates. Allowing a deduction of one day in the week for a saint's day or a holiday, he received, therefore, steadily and regularly, if well-conducted, an equivalent of twenty shillings a week-twenty shillings a week and a holiday; and this is far from being a full account of his advantages. In most par- 9 ishes, if not in all, there were large ranges of common and uninclosed forest-land, which furnished his fuel to him gratis, where pigs might range, and ducks and geese; where, if he could afford a cow, he was in no danger of being unable to feed it; and so important was this privilege considered that, when the commons began to be largely inclosed, Parliament insisted that the work
ingman should not be without some piece of ground on which he could employ his own and his family's industry. By the 7th of the 31st of Elizabeth it was ordered that no cottage should be built for residence without four acres of land at lowest being attached to it for the sole use of the occupants of such cottage.
Our last extract from Froude is his estimate of the character of Queen Elizabeth. Hume's and Green,s estimates should be compared with this. Elizabeth's reign (1558-1603) is a great central point in English history. The most splendid triumphs of our tongue were achieved in her time, and in that of her successor, James I (1603–1625). The political importance of this era is scarcely inferior to its literary importance. The great issues involved in Puritanism began to take definite form in her reign, as well as those momentous political issues whose settlement was not accomplished until the constitutional revolution of 1688. In the age of Elizabeth and James I the earliest English settlements were made in the present territory of the United States—Roanoke Island, Jamestown, Plymouth-so that the era of those two sovereigns is most intimately linked to the history of our own country. Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, his second wife. What kin was she (Elizabeth) to Mary Stuart? Among the illustrious names of Elizabeth's and James's time may be mentioned Sir Francis Bacon, Shakespeare, Spenser, Jonson, Hooker, Sir Philip Sidney, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Edward Coke, the Earl of Essex, Walsingham, and Burleigh.
1 In fighting out her long quarrel with Spain her concluding years passed away. The great men who had upheld the throne in the days of her peril dropped one by one into the grave. Walsingham died soon after the
defeat of the Armada, ruined in fortune, and weary of his ungrateful service. Hunsdon, Knollys, Burghley, Drake, followed at brief intervals, and their mistress was left by herself, standing, as it seemed, on the pinnacle of earthly glory, yet in all the loneliness of greatness, and unable to enjoy the honors which Burghley's policy had won for her. The first place among the Protestant powers, which had been so often offered her and so often refused, had been forced upon her in spite of herself. “She was Head of the Name," but it gave her no pleas
She was the last of her race. No Tudor would sit again on the English throne. Her own sad prophecy 2 was fulfilled, and she lived to see those whom she most trusted turning their eyes to the rising sun. Old
Old age was coming upon her, bringing with it, perhaps, a consciousness of failing faculties ; and solitary in the midst of splendor, and friendless among the circle of adorers who swore they lived but in her presence, she grew weary of a life which had ceased to interest her. Sickening of a vague disease, she sought no help from medicine, and finally refused to take food. She could not rest in her bed, but sate silent on cushions, staring into vacancy with fixed and stony eyes, and so at last she died.
Her character I have left to be gathered from her 3 actions, from her letters, from the communications between herself and her ministers, and from the opinions expressed freely to one another in private by those ministers themselves. The many persons with whom she was brought into confidential relations during her long reign noted down what she said to them, and her words have been brought up in judgment against her; and there have been extremely few men and women in this world whose lives would bear so close a scrutiny, or who could look forward to being subjected to it without shame and dis
4 may. The mean thoughts which cross the minds and at
one time or other escape from the lips of most of us, were observed and remembered when proceeding from the mouth of a sovereign, and rise like accusing spirits in authentic frightfulness out of the private drawers of statesmen's cabinets. Common persons are sheltered by obscurity; the largest portion of their faults they forget themselves, and others do not care to recollect; while kings and queens are at once refused the ordinary allowances for human weakness, and pay for their great place in life by a trial before posterity more severe, it is to be hoped, than awaits us all at the final Judgment bar. 5 This, too, ought to be borne in mind—that sovereigns,
when circumstances become embarrassing, may not, like unvalued persons, stand aside and leave others to deal with them. Subjects are allowed to decline responsibility, to refuse to undertake work which they dislike, or to lay down at any time a burden which they find too heavy for them. Princes born to govern find their duties cling to them as their shadows. Abdication is often practically impossible. Every day they must do some act or form some decision from which consequences follow of infinite moment. They would gladly do nothing if they might, but it is not permitted to them. They are denied the alternative of inaction, which is so often the best safeguard against doing wrong. 6 Elizabeth's situation was from the very first extreme
ly trying. She had few relations, none of any weight in the state, and those whom like Hunsdon and Sir Francis Knollys she took into her Cabinet, derived their greatness from herself. Her unlucky, it may be almost called culpable, attachment to Leicester made marriage unconquerably distasteful to her, and her disappointment gave an additional twist to her natural eccentricities. Circum
stances more than choice threw her originally on the side of the Reformation; and when she told the Spanish ambassadors that she had been forced into the separation from the Papacy against her will, she probably spoke but the truth. She was identified in her birth with the cause of independence. The first battle had been fought over her cradle, and her right to be on the throne turned morally, if not in law, on the legitimacy of Queen Catherine's divorce. Her sister persecuted her as the child of the woman who had caused her mother so much misery, and her friends, therefore, had naturally been those who were most her sister's enemies. She could not have submitted to the Pope without condemning her father, or admitting a taint upon her own birth, while in Mary of Scotland she had a rival ready to take advantage of any concession which she might be tempted to make.
For these reasons, and not from any sympathy with the views either of Luther or Calvin, she chose her party at her accession. She found herself compelled against 8 her will to become the patron of heretics and rebels, in whose objects she had no interest, and in whose theology she had no belief. She resented the necessity while she submitted to it, and her vacillations are explained by the reluctance with which each successive step was forced upon her, on a road which she detested. It would have been easy for a Protestant to be decided. It would have been easy for a Catholic to be decided. To Elizabeth the speculations of so-called divines were but as ropes of sand and sea-slime leading to the moon, and the doctrines for which they were rending each other to pieces a dream of fools or enthusiasts. Unfortunately her keenness of insight was not combined with any profound concern for serious things. She saw through the emptiness of the 9 forms in which religion presented itself to the world.