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possible. His rise was associated from the first with a genuinely English theory, opposed equally to the encroachments of the Scots and to Irish independence. He wori a place for it by force of arms, and then first, irregularly enough it is true, admitted the Irish and Scottish representatives into the English Parliament. scarcely believe that a parliamentary government of the three kingdoms was possible at the time. The course of events tended rather toward a military monarchy. It is Cromwell's chief merit to have ruled the British kingdoms for a succession of years on a uniform principle, and to have united their forces in common efforts. It is true that this was not the final award of history : things were yet to arrange themselves in a very different fashion. But it was necessary perhaps that the main outlines should be shaped by the absolute authority of a single will, in order that in the future a free life might develop within them.
But for the general history of Europe nothing is of 10 more importance than the fact that Cromwell directed the energies of England against the Spanish monarchy. It was the idea which was most peculiarly his own; the Commonwealth would hardly have done it. We are not considering the political value of this policy, against which there is much to be said; it is only with its results that we are concerned. These consisted in the fact that the European system which had grown up out of the dynastic influence of the Burgundo-Austrian house, and had since been dominant for nearly two centuries, was driven out of the field and forced to open a new path for itself. To the English people itself, and especially to their navy, an important part was thus at once allotted. Cromwell did not create the English navy. On the con-11 trary, the views of its chiefs were hostile to him ; but he
gave it its strongest impulse. We have seen how vigorously it rose to power in all parts of the world. The coasts of Europe toward the Atlantic and Mediterranean especially felt the weight of the English arms. The idea was more than once suggested of effecting settlements on the Italian and even on the German coasts. Such a settlement was actually gained in the Netherlands, and was to be gradually enlarged. It was said that Cromwell carried the key of the continent at his girdle. Holland was compelled, however reluctantly, to follow the impulse given her by England. Portugal yielded in order to preserve her own existence. England could calmly await any future complications which might arise on the con
tinent. 12 So far as home government was concerned, Cromwell
possessed two qualities very opposite in themselves, yet supplementing each other, a certain pliancy in matters of principle, and great firmness in the exercise of authority. Had he allowed the tendencies of the separatists and the democratic zeal of the army, in conjunction with which he rose to power, to run their course unchecked, everything must have been plunged in chaotic confusion, and the existence of the new state would have been impossible. Utterly opposite as he was to King Charles in disposition and character, and in the general bent of his mind, yet Cromwell exercised a very similar influence upon the English constitution. The king upheld the idea of the English Church : in defense of this he died. Cromwell was the champion of civil law and personal property. He broke with his party when it attacked
these fundamental principles of society and of the state. 13 It was of the most lasting importance for England that
he did this without fettering himself with the idea of the kingly power, and relying simply on the necessity of the
case. But it was beyond his power thus to consolidate a tolerably durable political constitution. His was at best but a de facto authority, depending for its existence on the force of arms and his own personal character. Such as it was, it was felt to be an oppressive burden, at home no less by those who longed for a return to the old legitimate forms than by his own party, whom he excluded from all share in public authority; abroad by those who feared him, and by those who were his allies. In Amsterdam this feeling was grotesquely enough expressed. When the news was received of Cromwell's death, there was a momentary cessation of business. People were seen to dance in the streets, crying “ The devil is dead !” And so in London the mob were heard to utter curses when Richard Cromwell, Oliver's son, was proclaimed Protector.
THE EMPEROR CHARLES V PERFORMS THE FUNE
RAL SERVICE FOR HIMSELF.
STIRLING'S “OLOISTER LIFE OF THE EMPEROR CHARLES V.”
Three or four years before his death, Charles V, Emperor of Germany, abdicated his throne, and retired to the seclusion of a monastery at Yuste, in Spain. In his retirement he still manifested the most active interest in the great events of contemporary history. The funeral service, described by Stirling, is an interesting episode in the Emperor's checkered life. Charles V was the father of Philip II of Spain, and nephew of Catharine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII of England. He died in 1558, the same year in which Elizabeth became queen of England.
About this time (August, 1558), according to the his-1 torian of St. Jerome, his thoughts seemed to turn more than usual to religion and its rites. Whenever during
his stay at Yuste any of his friends, of the degree of princes or knights of the fleece, had died, he had ever been punctual in doing honor to their memory, by causing their obsequies to be performed by the friars; and these lugubrious services may be said to have formed the festivals of the gloomy life of the cloister. The daily masses said for his own soul were always accompanied by others for the souls of bis father, mother, and wife. But now he ordered further solemnities of the funeral kind to be performed in behalf of these relations, each on a different day, and attended them himself, preceded by a page bearing a taper, and joining in the chant, in a very devout and audible manner, out of a tattered prayer-book. 2 These rites ended, he asked his confessor whether he might not now perform his own funeral, and so do for himself what would soon have to be done for him by others. Regla replied that his majesty, please God, might live many years, and that when his time came these services would be gratefully rendered, without his taking any thought about the matter. “But," persisted Charles, “would it not be good for my soul ?” The monk said that certainly it would ; pious works done during life being far more efficacious than when postponed till after death. Preparations were therefore at once set on foot; a catafalque, which had served before on similar occasions, was erected; and on the following day, the 30th of August, as the monkish historian
relates, this celebrated service was actually performed. 3 The high altar, the catafalque, and the whole church shone with a blaze of wax-lights; the friars were all in their places, at the altars, and in the choir, and the household of the Emperor attended in deep mourning. “The pious monarch himself was there, attired in sable weeds, and bearing a taper, to see himself interred and to cele
brate his own obsequies." While the solemn mass for the dead was sung, he came forward and gave his taper into the hands of the officiating priest, in token of his desire to yield his soul into the hands of his Maker. High above, over the kneeling throne and the gorgeous vestments, the flowers, the curling incense, and the glittering altar, the same idea shone forth in that splendid canvas whereon Titian had pictured Charles kneeling on the threshold of the heavenly mansions prepared for the blessed. The funeral rites ended, the Emperor dined in 4 his western alcove. He ate little, but he remained for a great part of the afternoon sitting in the open air, and basking in the sun, which, as it descended to the horizon, beat strongly upon the white walls. Feeling a violent pain in his head, he returned to his chamber and lay down. Mathisio, whom he had sent in the morning to Xarandrilla to attend the Count of Oropesa in his illness, found him when he returned still suffering considerably, and attributed the pain to his having remained too long in the hot sunshine. Next morning he was somewhat better, and was able to get up and go to mass, but still felt oppressed, and complained much of thirst. He told his confessor, however, that the service of the day before had done him good. The sunshine again tempted him into his open gallery. As he sat there, he sent for a 5 portrait of the Empress, and hung for some time, lost in thought, over the gentle face, which, with its blue eyes, auburn hair, and pensive beauty, somewhat resembled the noble countenance of that other Isabella, the great Queen of Castile. He next called for a picture of “Our Lord Praying in the Garden," and then for a sketch of the “Last Judgment,” by Titian. Having looked his last upon the image of the wife of his youth, it seemed as if he were now bidding farewell, in the contemplation of