ceptable; but he saw that I served him faithfully; so, after some intervals of coldness, he always returned to a good measure of confidence in me. I was, in many great instances, much obliged by him; but that was not my chief bias to him ; I considered him as a person raised up by God to resist the power of France, and the

progress of tyranny and persecution. The series of the five Princes of Orange that was now ended in him was the noblest succession of heroes that we find in any history. And the thirty years, from the year 1672 to his death, in which he acted so great a part, carry in them so many amazing steps of a glorious and distinguishing Providence that, in the words of David, he may be called “The man of God's right hand, whom he made strong for himself.” After all the abatements that may be allowed for his errors and faults, he ought still to be reckoned among the greatest princes that our history, or, indeed, that any other can afford. He died in a critical 9 time for his own glory, since he had formed a great alliance, and had projected the whole scheme of the war; so that, if it succeeds, a great part of the honor of it will be ascribed to him; and, if otherwise, it will be said he was the soul of the alliance, that did both animate and knit it together, and that it was natural for that body to die and fall asunder, when he who gave it life was withdrawn. Upon his death, some moved for a magnificent funeral ; but it seemed not decent to run into unnecessary expense when we were entering on a war that must be maintained at a vast charge. So a private funeral was resolved on. But, for the honor of his memory, a noble monument and an equestrian statue were ordered. Some years must show whether these things were really intended, or if they were only spoken of to excuse the privacy of his funeral, which was scarce decent, so far was it from being magnificent.



This extract from Hume's "History of England” should be compared with Froude's “Sketch of Elizabeth and her Reign,” given in the “ Reader."

1 Some incidents happened which revived her tender

ness for Essex, and filled her with the deepest sorrow for the consent which she had unwarily given to his execution.

The Earl of Essex, after his return from the fortunate expedition against Cadiz, observing the increase of the queen's fond attachment toward him, took occasion to regret that the necessity of her service required him often to be absent from her person, and exposed him to all those ill offices which his enemies, more assiduous in their attendance, could employ against him. She was moved with this tender jealousy; and making him the present of a ring, desired him to keep that pledge of her affection, and assured him that into whatever disgrace he should fall, whatever prejudices she might be induced to entertain against him, yet, if he sent her that ring, she would immediately, upon sight of it, recall her former tunderness, would afford him a patient hearing, and 2 would lend a favorable ear to his apology. Essex, notwithstanding all his misfortunes, reserved this precious gift to the last extremity; but, after his trial and condemnation, he resolved to try the experiment, and he committed the ring to the Countess of Nottingham, whom he desired to deliver it to the queen. The tess was prevailed on by her husband, the mortal enemy of Essex, not to execute the commission; and Elizabeth, who still expected that her favorite would make this last


appeal to her tenderness, and who ascribed the neglect of it to his invincible obstinacy, was, after much delay and many internal combats, pushed by resentment and policy to sign the warrant for his execution. The Countess of Nottingham, falling into sickness and affected with the near approach of death, was seized with remorse for her conduct; and having obtained a visit from the queen, she craved her pardon, and revealed to her the fatal secret. The queen, astonished with this incident, burst into a furious passion ; she shook the dying countess in her bed; and crying to her that God might pardon her, but she never could, she broke from her, and thenceforth resigned herself over to the deepest and most incurable melancholy. She rejected all consolation ; she even re-3 fused food and sustenance; and, throwing herself on the floor, she remained sullen and immovable, feeding her thoughts on her afflictions, and declaring life and existence an insufferable burden to her. Few words she uttered; and they were all expressive of some inward grief which she cared not to reveal : but sighs and groans were the chief vent which she gave to her despondency, and which, though they discovered her sorrows, were never able to ease or assuage them. Ten days and nights she lay upon the carpet, leaning on cushions which her maids brought her; and her physicians could not persuade her to allow herself to be put to bed, much less to make trial of any remedies which they prescribed to her. Her anx-4 ious mind at last had so long preyed on her frail body that her end was visibly approaching; and the council being assembled, sent the kecper, admiral, and secretary, to know her will with regard to her successor. She answered with a faint voice that, as she had held a regal scepter, she desired no other than a royal successor. Cecil requesting her to explain herself more particularly, she

subjoined that she would have a king to succeed her; and who should that be but her nearest kinsman, the king of Scots? Being then advised by the Archbishop of Canterbury to fix her thoughts upon God, she replied that she did so, nor did her mind in the least wander from him. Her voice soon after left her; her senses failed; she fell into a lethargic slumber, which continued some hours, and she expired gently, without further struggle or convulsion (March 24, 1603), in the seventieth year of her age and forty-fifth of her reign. 5 So dark a cloud overcast the evening of that day,

which had shone out with a mighty luster in the eyes of all Europe. There are few great personages in history who have been more exposed to the calumny of enemies and the adulation of friends than Queen Elizabeth; and yet there is scarcely any whose reputation has been more certainly determined by the unanimous consent of posterity. The unusual length of her administration and the strong features of her character were able to overcome all prejudices; and, obliging her detractors to abate much of their invectives, and her admirers somewhat of their panegyrics, have at last, in spite of political factions, and what is more, of religious animosities, produced a uniform judgment with regard to her conduct. 6 Her vigor, her constancy, her magnanimity, her penetration, vigilance, and address, are allowed to merit the highest praises, and appear not to have been surpassed by any person that ever filled a throne: a conduct less rigorous, less imperious, more sincere, more indulgent to her people, would have been requisite to form a perfect character. By the force of her mind she controlled all her more active and stronger qualities, and prevented them from running into excess : her heroism was exempt from temerity, her frugality from avarice, her friendship


from partiality, her active temper from turbulency and a vain ambition : she guarded not herself with equal care or equal success from lesser infirmities, the rivalship of beauty, the desire of admiration, the jealousy of love, and the sallies of anger.

Her singular talents for government were founded 7 equally on her temper and on her capacity. Endowed with a great command over herself, she soon obtained an uncontrolled ascendant over her people; and, while she merited all their esteem by her real virtues, she also engaged their affections by her pretended ones. Few sovereigns of England succeeded to the throne in more difficult circumstances; and none ever conducted the government with such uniform success and felicity. Though unacquainted with the practice of toleration-the true secret for managing religious factions--she preserved her people by her superior prudence from those confusions in which theological controversy had involved all the neighboring nations; and, though her enemies were the most powerful princes of Europe, the most active, the most enterprising, the least scrupulous, she was able by her vigor to make deep impressions on their states; her own greatness meanwhile remained untouched and unimpaired.

The wise ministers and brave warriors who flourished 8 under her reign share the praise of her success; but instead of lessening the applause due to her, they make great addition to it. They owed, all of them, their advancement to her choice; they were supported by her constancy, and with all their abilities, they were never able to acquire any undue ascendency over her. In her family, in her court, in her kingdom, she remained equally mistress: the force of the tender passions was great over her, but the force of her mind was still su

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