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Europe, which began about that time to assume the form that it preserved till the French revolution. It was a very memorable period, of which the maxims ought to be engraven on the head and heart of every Englishman. Philip II., at the head of the greatest empire then in the world, was openly aiming at universal dominion; and his project was so far from being thought chimerical by the wisest of his contemporaries, that, in the opinion of the great Duc de Sully, he must have been successful,

if, by a most singular combination of circumstances, he had not at the same time been resisted by two such strong heads as those of Henry IV. and Queen Elizabeth. To the most extensive and opulent dominions, the most numerous and disciplined armies, the most renowned captains, the greatest revenue, he added also the most formidable power over opinion. He was the chief of a religious faction, animated by the most atrocious fanaticism, prepared to second his ambition by rebellion, anarchy, and regicide, in every Protestant state. Elizabeth was among the first objects of his hostility.That wise and magnanimous princess placed herself in the front of the battle for the liberties of Europe. Though she had to contend at home with his fanatical faction, which almost occupied Ireland, which divided Scotland, and was not of contemptible strength in England, she aided the oppressed inhabitants of the Netherlands in their just and glorious resistance to his tyranny; she aided Henry the Great in suppressing the abominable rebellion which anarchical principles had excited, and Spanish arms had supported in France, and, after a long reign of various fortune, in which she preserved her unconquered spirit through great calamities, and still greater dangers, she at length broke the strength of the enemy, and reduced his power within such limits as to be compatible with the safety of England, and of all Europe. Her only effectual ally was the spirit of her people ; and

her policy flowed from that magnanimous nature, which, in the hour of peril, teaches better lessons than those of cold reason. Her great heart inspired her with a higher and nobler wisdom—which disdained to appeal to the low and sordid passions of her people, even for the protection of their low and sordid interests; because she knew, or rather she felt, that these are effeminate, creeping, cowardly, short-sighted passions, which shrink from conflict, even in defence of their own mean objects. In a righteous cause, she roused those generous affections of her people, which alone teach boldness, constancy, and foresight, and which are therefore the only safe guardians of the lowest as well as the highest interests of a nation. In her memorable address to her army, when the invasion of the kingdom was threatened by Spain, this woman of heroic spirit disdained to speak to them of their ease, and their commerce, and their wealth, and their safety. No! she touched another chord-she spoke of their national honour, of their dignity as Englishmen, of the foul scorn that Parma or Spain should dare to invade the borders of her realms. She breathed into them those grand and powerful sentiments, which exalt vulgar men into heroes, which lead them into the battle of their country armed with holy and irresistible enthusiasm, which even cover with their shield all the ignoble interests that base calculation and cowardly selfishness tremble to hazard, but shrink from defend. ing. A sort of prophetic instinct, if I may so speak, seems to have revealed to her the importance of that great instrument, for rousing and guiding the minds of men, of the effects of which she had no experience ; which, since her time, has changed the condition of the world; but which few modern statesmen have thoroughly understood, or wisely employed; which is, no doubt, connected with many ridiculous and degrading details ; which has produced, and may again produce, terrible

mischiefs; but of which the influence must, after all, be considered as the most certain effect of the most efficacious cause of civilization; and which, whether it be a blessing or a curse, is the most powerful engine that a politician can move-I mean the press. It is a curious fact, that in the year of the Armada, Queen Elizabeth caused to be printed the first Gazettes that ever appeared in England. And I own, when I consider that this mode of rousing a national spirit was then absolutely unexampled, that she could have no assurance of its efficacy from the precedents of former times, I am disposed to regard her having recourse to it as one of the most sagacious experiments, one of the greatest discoveries of political genius, one of the most striking anticipations of future experience, that we find in history. I mention it to you, to justify the opinion that I have ventured to state, of the close connexion of our national spirit with our press, and even with our periodical press. I cannot quit the reign of Elizabeth, without laying before you the maxims of her policy in the language of the greatest and wisest of men. Lord Bacon, in one part of his discourse on her reign, speaks thus of her support of Holland :-'But let me rest upon the honourable and continual aid and relief she hath given to the distressed and desolate people of the Low Countries; a people recommended unto her by ancient confederacy and daily intercourse, by their cause so innocent, and their fortune so lamentable ! In another passage of the same discourse, he thus speaks of the general system of her foreign policy, as the protector of Europe, in words too remarkable to require any commentary :-' Then it is her government, and her government alone, that hath been the sconce and fort of all Europe, which hath lett this proud nation from overrunning all. If any state be yet free from his factions erected in the bowels thereof; if there be any state, wherein this faction is erected, that is not fired with civil troubles ; if there be any state under his protection that enjoyeth moderate liberty, upon which he tyrannizeth not; it is the mercy of this renowned Queen that standeth between them and their misfortunes.'"

CHAP. XXIX.

CHARACTER OF LUTHER.

ONE wet Sunday morning, as the Bachelor and his Nymph had resolved not to go to church, bachelors, indeed, are not in general church-going persons,— they fell into discourse concerning the history of religion,-and in the conversation, Egeria, with her wonted acumen, bore the principal part.

“ I am surprised,” said she, “ that the spirit of religious reformation has been so long dormant, but I think the eve of its awakening cannot be very far off. There is a great stir abroad in the world relative to religious instruction,---much of this is made by worthy and pious persons, but the cloven foot of worldly corruption may be seen among them; and in the very nature of things, some bold hypocrite will, sooner or later, attempt to turn the effects of all this to his own particular renown and advantage.”

“ May not,” replied the Bachelor, “ some honest man do the same, not, however, for his particular gratification, but for the general advantage of the world ?"

“ No !" said the Nymph,“ honest enthusiasm no longer exists,—there is no sacrificing now of present interests, – the interests of this world, for the hope of that reward which passeth not away. The existing spirit of the world is altogether mercantile; the epoch of the rider on the black horse, with the balance in his hand, and his oil and corn for sale, has come to pass. There is besides a plain and obvious tendency in the current of human affairs, to undermine the great edifices of ecclesiastical pomp and patronage. But it shall not be till violence has been again called in to uphold them, that any change will take place in the dominion of the spirit that is now abroad on the earth.

“But how is it, Benedict, that you think an honest man may seize the preparations which are making for a change in the religious ordinances of the world ? Surely you forget that it was by the patient and the suffering,-by the martyrs alone,--that the cause of pious truth was advanced. The honest men were the victims. Your Luthers,—your Calvins,—your John Knoxes,—your Mahomets.”—

6 Monstrous ! Mahomet and Luther, John Knox and Mahomet !"-exclaimed Benedict,“ my Life, you are growing quite shocking. Madam de Staël's philosophy was sky-blue to the indigo of such licentiousness.”

“ To be sure,” replied the Nymph, “ it is perhaps a little too much to include Mahomet's name among the list of Christian reformers; but those who have well considered the history of that singular man, will, I am persuaded, agree with me, that if he set not out as a reformer of the church, he was an

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