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est and wealthiest portions of the Old; he of power, as well as the wide distribution was master of Naples and Milan, the rich- of his dominions, perpetually drew him. est and the most fertile districts of Italy; To coerce the weaker States of Italy, to of the busy provinces of the Low Countries, command the Mediterranean, to preserve of Flanders, the great manufacturing dis- his influence in Germany, to support trict of the time, and of Antwerp, which Catholicism in France, to crush heresy in had become the central mart for the com- Flanders; to despatch one Armada against merce of the world. His native kingdom, the Turk and another against Elizabeth, poor as it was, supplied him with the stead- were aims mighty enough to exhaust even iest and the most daring soldiers that the the power of the Spanish Monarchy. But world has seen since the fall of the Roman it was rather on the character of Philip than Empire. The renown of the Spanish in- on the exhaustion of his treasury that Eliza. fantry had been growing from the day beth counted for success in the struggle when it flung off the onset of the French which had so long been going on between chivalry on the field of Ravenna; and the them. The King's temper Spanish generals stood without rivals in cautious even to timidity, losing itself contheir military skill, as they stood without tinually in delays, in hesitations, in anrivals in their ruthless cruelty. The whole, ticipating remote perils, in waiting for distoo, of this enormous power was massed in tant chances; and on the slowness and hesithe hands of a single man.

Served as he tation of his temper his rival had been was by able statesmen and subtle diplo- playing ever since she mounted the throne. matists, Philip of Spain was his own sole The diplomatic contest between the two minister; laboring day after day, like a was like the fight which England was soon clerk, through the long years of his reign, to see between the ponderous Spanish galamidst the papers which crowded his leon and the light pinnace of the buccloset; but resolute to let nothing pass

The agility, the sudden changes without his supervision, and to suffer noth- of Elizabeth, her lies, her mystifications, ing to be done save by his express com- though they failed to deceive Philip, puzmand. It was his boast that everywhere zled and impeded his mind. But amidst all in the vast compass of his dominions he was this cloud of intrigue the actual course of "an absolute King.” It was to realize this their relations had been clear and simple. idea of unshackled power that he crushed In her earlier days France rivaled Spain in the liberties of Aragon, as his father had its greatness, and Elizabeth simply played crushed the liberties of Castille, and sent the two rivals off against one another. She Alva to tread under foot the constitutional hindered France from giving effective aid freedom of the Low Countries. His bigo- to Mary Stuart by threats of an alliance try went hand in hand with his thirst for with Spain; while she induced Philip to rule. Italy and Spain lay hushed beneath wink at her heresy, and to discourage the the terror of the Inquisition, while Flanders risings of the English Catholics, by playing was being purged of heresy by the stake on his dread of her alliance with France. and the sword. The shadow of this gigantic But as the tide of religious passion which power fell like a deadly blight over Europe. had so long been held in check broke at The new Protestantism, like the new spirit last over its banks, the political face of of political liberty, saw its real foe in Philip. Europe changed. The Low Countries, It was Spain, rather than the Guises, driven to despair by the greed and perseagainst which Coligni and the Huguenots cution of Alva, rose in a revolt which after struggled in vain; it was Spain with which strange alternations of fortune gave to William of Orange was wrestling for re- Europe the Republic of the United Provligious and civil freedom; it was Spain inces. The opening which their rising afwhich was soon to plunge Germany into the forded was seized by the Huguenot leadchaos of the Thirty Years' War, and to ers of France as a political engine to break which the Catholic world had for twenty the power which Catharine of Medicis exeryears been looking, and looking in vain, for cised over Charles the Ninth, and to set a victory over heresy in England. Vast in aside her policy of religious balance by fact as Philip's resources were, they were placing France at the head of Protestantism drained by the yet vaster schemes of ambi- in the West. Charles listened to the countion into which his religion and his greed sels of Coligni, who pressed for war upon

Philip and promised the support of the Huguenots in an invasion of the Low Countries. Never had a fairer prospect opened to French ambition. Catharine, however, saw ruin for the monarchy in a France at once Protestant and free. She threw herself on the side of the Guises, and ensured their triumph by lending herself to their massacre of the Protestants on St. Bartholomew's day. But though the long gathering clouds of religious hatred had broken, Elizabeth trusted to her dexterity to keep out of the storm. France plunged madly back into a chaos of civil war, and the Low Countries were left to cope single-handed with Spain. Whatever enthusiasm the heroic struggle of the Prince of Orange excited among her subjects, it failed to move Elizabeth even for an instant from the path of cold self-interest. To her the revolt of the Netherlands was simply “a bridle of Spain, which kept war out of our own gate.” At the darkest moment of the contest, when Alva had won back all but Holland and Zealand, and even William of Orange despaired, the Queen bent her energies to prevent him from finding succor in France. That the Provinces could in the end withstand Philip, neither she nor any English statesmen believed. They held that the struggle must close either in utter subjection of the Netherlands, or in their selling themselves for aid to France; and the accession of power which either result must give to one of her two Catholic foes the Queen was eager to avert. Her plan for averting it was by forcing the Provinces to accept the terms offered by Spain-a restoration, that is, of their constitutional privileges on condition of their submission to the Church. Peace on such a footing would not only restore English commerce, which suffered from the war; it would leave the Netherlands still formidable as a weapon against Philip. The freedom of the Provinces would be saved; and the religious question involved in a fresh submission to the yoke of Catholicism was one which Elizabeth was incapable of appreciating. To her the steady refusal of William the Silent to sacrifice his faith was as unintelligible as the steady bigotry of Philip in demanding such a sacrifice. It was of more immediate consequence that Philip's anxiety to avoid provoking an intervention on the part of England which would destroy all hope of his success in Flanders, left her

tranquil at home. Had revolt in England prospered he was ready to reap the fruits of other men's labors; and he made no objection to plots for the seizure or assassination of the Queen. But his state was too vast to risk an attack while she sate firmly on her throne; and the cry of the English Catholics, or the pressure of the Pope, had as yet failed to drive the Spanish King into strife with Elizabeth.

The control of events was, however, passing from the hands of statesmen and diplomatists; and the long period of suspense which their policy had won was ending in the clash of national and political passions. The rising fanaticism of the Catholic world was breaking down the caution and hesitation of Philip; while England set aside the balanced neutrality of her Queen and pushed boldly forward to a contest which it felt to be inevitable. The public opinion, to which the Queen was so sensitive, took every day a bolder and more decided tone. Her cold indifference to the heroic struggle in Flanders was more than compensated by the enthusiasm it excited among the nation at large. The earlier Flemish refugees found a refuge in the Cinque Ports. The exiled merchants of Antwerp were welcomed by the merchants of London. While Elizabeth dribbled out her secret aid to the Prince of Orange, the London traders sent him half-amillion from their own purses, a sum equal to a year's revenue of the Crown. Volunteers stole across the Channel in increasing numbers to the aid of the Dutch, till the five hundred Englishmen who fought in the beginning of the struggle rose to a brigade of five thousand, whose bravery turned one of the most critical battles of the war. Dutch privateers found shelter in English ports, and English vessels hoisted the flag of the States for a dash to the Spanish traders. Protestant fervor rose steadily as “the best captains and soldiers” returned from the campaigns in the Low Countries to tell of Alva's atrocities, or as privateers brought back tales of English seamen who had been seized in Spain and the New World, to linger amidst the tortures of the Inquisition, or to die in its fires. In the presence of this steady drift of popular passion the diplomacy of Elizabeth became of little moment. When she sought to put a check on Philip by one of her last matrimonial intrigues, which threatened England with a Catholic sovereign in the Duke of Anjou, a younger into the Pacific, whose waters had never seen an English flag; and backed by a little company of adventurers, he set sail for the southern seas in a vessel hardly as big as a Channel schooner, with a few yet smaller companions who fell away before the storms and perils of the voyage. But Drake with his one ship and eighty men held boldly on; and passing the Straits of Magellan, untraversed as yet by any Englishman, swept the unguarded coast of Chili and Peru, loaded his bark with the gold-dust and silver-ingots of Potosi, and with the pearls, emeralds, and diamonds which formed the cargo of the great galleon that sailed once a year from Lima to Cadiz. With spoils of above half-a-million in value the daring adventurer steered undauntedly for the Moluccas, rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and after completing the circuit of the globe dropped anchor again in Plymouth harbor.

THE SPIRIT OF ENGLAND

son of the hated Catharine of Medicis, the popular indignation rose suddenly into a cry against "a Popish King” which the Queen dared not defy. If Elizabeth was resolute for peace, England was resolute for war. A new courage had arisen since the beginning of her reign, when Cecil and the Queen stood alone in their belief in England's strength, and when the diplomatists of Europe regarded her obstinate defiance of Philip's counsels as “madness.” The whole people had caught the self-confidence and daring of their Queen. The seamen of the southern coast had long been carrying on a halfpiratical war on their own account. Four years after Elizabeth's accession the Channel swarmed with “sea-dogs," as they were called, who sailed under letters of marque from the Prince of Condé and the Huguenot leaders, and took heed neither of the complaints of the French Court nor of Elizabeth's own attempts at repression. Her efforts failed before the connivance of every man along the coast, of the very port-officers of the Crown who made profit out of the spoil, and of the gentry of the west, who were hand and glove with the adventurers. They broke above all against the national craving for open fight with Spain, and the Protestant craving for open fight with Catholicism. Young Englishmen crossed the sea to serve under Condé or Henry of Navarre. The war in the Netherlands drew hundreds of Protestants to the field. The suspension of the French contest only drove the sea-dogs to the West Indies; for the Papal decree whicli gave the New World to Spain, and the threats of Philip against any Protestant who should visit its seas, fell idly on the ears of English seamen. It was in vain that their trading vessels were seized, and the sailors flung into the dungeons of the Inquisition, "laden with irons, without sight of sun or moon.” The profits of the trade were large enough to counteract its perils; and the bigotry of Philip was met by a bigotry as merciless as his own. The Puritanism of the sea-dogs went hand in hand with their love of adventure. To break through the Catholic monopoly of the New World, to kill Spaniards, to sell negroes, to sack goldships, were in these men's minds a seemly work for the "elect of God.” The name of Francis Drake became the terror of the Spanish Indies. In Drake a Protestant fanaticism was united with a splendid daring. He conceived the design of penetrating

1. This England[The speech of John of Gaunt, Shake

speare's Richard II] Methinks I am a prophet new inspired And thus expiring do foretell of him: His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last, For violent fires soon burn out themselves; Small showers last long, but sudden storms

are short; He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes; With eager feeding food doth choke the

feeder: Light vanity, insatiate cormorant, Consuming means, soon preys upon itself. This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd

isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise, This fortress built by Nature for herself Against infection and the hand of war, This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall Or as a moat defensive to a house, Against the envy of less happier lands, This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this

England, This nurse, this teeming womb of royal

kings, Feard by their breed and famous by their

birth,

Renowned for their deeds as far from home,
For Christian service and true chivalry,
As is the sepulcher in stubborn Jewry
Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's Son,
This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear

land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious

siege Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with

shame, With inky blots and rotten parchment

bonds: That England, that was wont to conquer

others, Hath made a shameful conquest of itself. Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life, How happy then were my ensuing death!

2. Unity Against the Foe [The speech of Faulconbridge, Shake

speare's King John] Bast. This England never did, nor never

shall, Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror, But when it first did help to wound itself. Now these her princes are come home again, Come the three corners of the world in arms, And we shall shock them. Nought shall

make us rue, If England to itself do rest but true.

Breasting the lofty surge: 0, do but think
You stand upon the rivage and behold
A city on the inconstant billows dancing;
For so appears this fleet majestical,
Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow,

follow: Grapple your minds to sternage of this navy, And leave your England, as dead midnight

still, Guarded with grandsires, babies, and old

women, Either past or not arrived to pith and puis

sance; For who is he, whose chin is but enrich'd With one appearing hair, that will not fol

low These cull’d and choice-drawn cavaliers to

France ? Work, work your thoughts, and therein see

a siege; Behold the ordnance on their carriages, With fatal mouths gaping on girded Har

fleur. Suppose the ambassador from the French

comes back; Tells Harry that the king doth offer him Katharine his daughter, and with her, to

dowry, Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms. The offer likes not: and the nimble gunner With linstock now

the devilish cannon touches,

[Alarum, and chambers go off And down goes all before them. Still be

kind, And eke out our performance with your mind.

[Erit

3. England at War [From Shakespeare's Henry V, Act III]

Enter Chorus Chor. Thus with imagined wing our swift

scene flies In motion of no less celerity Than that of thought. Suppose that you

have seen The well-appointed king at Hampton pier Embark his royalty; and his brave fleet With silken streamers the young Phæbus

fanning: Play with your fancies, and in them behold Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing; Hear the shrill whistle which doth order give To sounds confused; behold the threaden

sails, Borne with the invisible and creeping wind, Draw the huge bottoms through the fur

SCENE I. France. Before Harfleur Alarum. Enter King HENRY, EXETER, BEDFORD, GLOUCESTER, and Soldiers, with scaling-ladders. K. Hen. Once more unto the breach, dear

friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead. In peace there's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility; But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger; Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, Disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage: Then lend the eye a terrible aspect; Let it pry through the portage of the head Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'er

whelm it As fearfully as doth a galled rock

row'd sea,

[blocks in formation]

O'erhang and jutty his confounded base, Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean. Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril

wide, Hold hard the breath, and bend up every

spirit To his full height. On, on, you noblest Eng

lish, Whose blood is fet from fathers of war

proof! Fathers, that, like so many Alexanders, Have in these parts from morn till even

fought And sheathed their swords for lack of argu

ment: Dishonor not your mothers; now attest That those whom you call'd fathers did beget

you. Be copy now to men of grosser blood, And teach them how to war. And you, good

yeomen, Whose limbs were made in England, show

us here The mettle of your pasture; let us swear That you are worth your breeding; which I

doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble luster in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry, "God for Harry, England, and Saint

George!"
[Exeunt. Alarum, and chambers go off.

Proud of their numbers and secure in soul,
The confident and over-lusty French
Do the low-rated English play at dice;
And chide the cripple tardy-gaited night
Who, like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp
So tediously away. The poor condemned

English,
Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires
Sit patiently, and inly ruminate
The morning's danger, and their gesture sad
Investing lank-lean cheeks and war-worn

coats Presenteth them unto the gazing moon So many horrid ghosts. O now, who will

behold The royal captain of this ruin'd band Walking from watch to watch, from tent to

tent, Let him cry, "Praise and glory on his

head!" For forth he goes and visits all his host, Bids them good morrow with a modest smile, And calls them brothers, friends, and coun

trymen. Upon his royal face there is no note How dread an army hath enrounded him; Nor doth he dedicate one jot of color Unto the weary and all-watched night, But freshly looks and over-bears attaint With cheerful semblance and sweet majesty; That every wretch, pining and pale before, Beholding him, plucks comfort from his

looks: A largess universal like the sun His liberal eye doth give to every one, Thawing cold fear, that mean and gentle all, Behold, as may unworthiness define, A little touch of Harry in the night. And so our scene must to the battle fly; Where—0 for pity!—we shall much dis

grace With four or five most vile and ragged foils, Right ill-disposed in brawl ridiculous, The name of Agincourt. Yet sit and see, Minding true things by what their mockeries be.

[Erit

[From Act IV)

Enter Chorus Chor. Now entertain conjecture of a time When creeping murmur and the poring dark Fills the wide vessel of the universe. From camp to camp through the foul womb

of night The hum of either army stilly sounds, That the fixed sentinels almost receive The secret whispers of each other's watch: Fire answers fire, and through their paly

flames Each battle sees the other's umber'd face; Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful

neighs Piercing the night's dull ear, and from the

tents
The armorers, accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation:

SCENE III. The English Camp Enter GLOUCESTER, BEDFORD, EXETER, ER

PINGHAM, with all his host; SALISBURY and WESTMORELAND. Glou. Where is the king?

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