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effect of artifice. She was poffefsed, it is said, of the arts of infinuation : she knew how to cajole, how to coax, and to flatter ; but can any one believe that, in the course of more than forty years, these arts should not have been detected ? It is surely paying an ill compliment to the fagacity of the nation to suppofe the contrary ; but if at that time a full persuasion of her sincerity prevailed, it is certainly harsh and unjustifiable to stigmatize her laudable endeavours to please with the appellations of deceit and simulation. Not that a degree of art may not, upon some occasions, have been used with success; but if she had not been really desirous and anxious that all her determinations in matters of public import should be approved by her people, and if she had not in a great measure regulated her political conduct by the views and sentiments of the nation at large, it is impossible that all her arts could have availed to produce a general or permanant satisfaction. With what address and caution did the conduct the great business of restoring the protestant religion! What nice attention to the national honour appeared in settling the terms of the treaty with France ! for though she well knew that Calais was irretrievably loft, and probably did not even with for the restitution of it, as it was a favourite object with the nation, she would not, by an absolute cession, give too great a shock to their hopes and their prejudices. When pressed to marriage by the parliament, in what foft and gracious terms did she couch her refusal ! “She was already wedded;England was her hus

band,

band, and all Englishmen her children.” The part she took in the affairs of Scotland was perfectly agreeable to the sentiments of the nation, and, I think, to every principle of sound policy. Notwithstanding that her jealousy was unavoidably awakened by the exorbitant claims so openly advanced by the Queen of Scots, and by her obstinate refusal to ratify the treaty of Edinburgh, she yet shewed her disposition to maintain an amicable correspondence with that princess after her arrival in Scotland; and her succeeding misfortunes were owing, not to the intrigues of Elizabeth, but to her own unexampled indiscretions--I should rather say, her own atrocious criminalities; and her long imprisonment, trial, and execution, were justified by the strongest reasons of state necessity, and by the urgent and unanimous wishes and applications of the whole English nation. The assistance she gave to the United Provinces against Spain, and to Henry the Fourth of France, during the continuance of the league, perfe&tly coincided with the views and inclinations of her own subjects, and was productive of the most important and beneficial effects. The war with Spain, which was the necessary consequence of these measures, was as popular as it was glorious ; and though in one important point she declined gratifying the wishes of the kingdom, by delaying to settle the succession to the crown—and there were indeed political as well as personal reasons of great weight, why a successor should not be appointed ; yet she made it sufficiently evident, that her views and intentions

in

in that grand point entirely coincided with those of the best and wifest men in the nation, who all turned their eyes to the King of Scotland, as the man destined by Providence to unite in bands of eternal amity and concord two nations, which had for so many ages subsisted in a state of mutual distrust and enmity. But if we pass on to the reign of this monarch and his son, the unfortunate Charles, what a contrast! In what single instance do we find the interests of the people consulted, or their wishes gratified ? In the countenance and encouragement given by the court to the catholic religion, at a time when the principles and practices of the puritans became every day more prevalent ? In facrificing the gallant Raleigh, to appease the resentment of Spain ? In the desertion of his own children, the King and Queen of Bohemia, under their accumulated distresses ? In his táme acquiescence in the horrid affair of Amboyna ? or in the mean and servile court he paid tò the House of Austria, in his attempts to procure the restoration of the palatinate, and to accomplish that great object of his ambition, the marriage of his fon with the Infanta ? Did his son and successor Charles discover any greater condescension for the opinions or prejudices of his subjects in espousing a catholic princess, and granting, in consequence of this alliance, additional privileges and immunities to the profeffors of that religion ? liv involving the nation in two dangerous wars, to gratify the preposterous vanity and resentment of a worthless favourite? By levying taxes in a time

of

of profound peace, by virtue of the regal authority? By a profeffed intention of governing without parliaments, by violent attempts to suppress puritanisin in England; and by ftill more violent attempts to introduce the most odious innovations of a religious nature in Scotland ? But I shall enlarge no further on this point : it is too plain to be denied, that the public measures of Elizabeth were in general agreeable to the sense of the nation, and that she wished and endeavoured they should be so; and it is as plain, that in the succeeding reigns public opinion was wholly disregarded, and that almost all the measures of government were the result of pride, obstinacy, and folly.

But, 2dly, The contrast between that great princess and her successors appears equally striking, if we consider their respective characters in what may be termed a legal point of view, or as sovereigns pofleffed of a limited authority. Though it must be confessed that the deportment of Queen Elizabeth, notwithstanding her general affability, was, upon some occasions, fufficiently imperious ; it does not appear that the ever had an idea of advancing such exorbitant principles and pretensions as James the First perpetually insisted upon, in his reasonings and speculations upon government; and which Charles, fatally for him. self, attempted to reduce to practice. Mr. Hume afierts, that the only businefs of parliament in this reign was to grant fubfidies : “ They pretended indeed,” says he, “ to the right of enacting laws.”. Pretended! and did they not exercise this right?

If

1

If Mr. Humne had taken the trouble to consult the Statute Book, he would have known that very many important and falutary laws were enacted in this reign. The parliament did not, indeed, assume a power of controlling the crown in matters of state, as they were called, or, in other words, of directing her transactions with foreign powers ; and the Queen's conduct in this respect gave such entire fatisfaction to the public, that they were under little or no temptation to interfere ; but they usually confined themselves to the less fplendid, but more useful, employment of superintending the domestic concerns of the nation; and it is observable, that, to this day, parliament poffeiles no authority, properly speaking, respecting foreign affairs; though the extensive powers vested in that body, and the utter inability of the crown to fupport itself without assistance, give it the highest degree of influence, whenever it judges interference necessary. Mr. Hume pleases to assert, that England had less reason to boast of her liberties in the reign of Elizabeth, than the generality of foreign nations at present : but let us suppose for a moment, that the authority of the general assembly of estates in France were restored; that all traces of vafsalage were abolished; that trials by jury were introduced ; that in the regular courts of judicature nothing were regarded as law, but what had been expressly assented to, and enacted by the representatives of the people; and, that individuals of every rank in public stations were divested of all discretionary powers, and obliged to

conform

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