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The Reign of Elizabeth. (Continued) page 5

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Davison was fined £10,000 for his pretended offence, and committed to prison during her majesty's pleasure. The treasury seized the whole of his property to pay the fine. His sufferings during years of poverty, imprisonment, and palsy - the consequence of it - were great; and to the last day of her reign - seventeen years - she still refused, oven at the petition of the Earl of Essex in the freight of his favour with her, to pardon him. Yet still another mystery in this affair has come to light. Mr. Frederick Devon, keeper of the Chapter-House, Westminster, gave evidence before the House of Lords on the 10th of May, 1839, 011 the sale of exchequer records, that he discovered, in a vault of the Chapter-House, a book of warrants of 1587 - the very year of Davison's imprisonment, in March; that in October of that year he received £500, and immediately afterwards £1,000, and that his pension of £100 a year was granted, for, says Mr. Devon, "I have seen it regularly entered on the rolls." Thus, whilst Elizabeth was publicly punishing and fining Davison, she was privately feeing him. This is probably the reason which warrants the assertion of Dr. Lingard, that "she thought by this severity to convince the world that she did not dissemble, yet, certainly, she effected one important object: she closed the mouth of her prisoner, whom the spirit of resentment or the hope of vindicating his innocence might have urged to reveal the secret history of the proceedings against Mary, and the unworthy artifices and guilty designs of his sovereign."

Elizabeth allowed some weeks to elapse before she sent an official message of his mother's execution to James of Scotland. Probably she felt quite secure of him, being her pensioner, though he is said to have burst into tears and vowed terrible vengeance on first hearing of it. In about a month Elizabeth dispatched Sir Robert Carey, the son of Lord Hunsdon, with a letter to this contemptible monarch. She therein lamented deeply the occurrence of "the unhappy accident" by which his mother's head had been cut off, totally without her knowledge or consent. She called God to witness her innocence and her indignant' grief; protested that she abhorred of all things dissimulation, and above all things loved and admired a sincere and open conduct, than which nothing was more worthy of a prince. She declared that she would punish those who had occasioned the unfortunate "accident;" and as for himself, she loved him dearly, and would be a mother to him. She concluded by stopping his mouth with a present of £4,000, and her agents, duly instructed, backed up the bribe by liberal ones also to the Scottish nobility, who in return warned James to be prudent, to remember that ho was now immediate heir to the English throne, and not to endanger his magnificent inheritance by any rash act. To give him a hint, indeed, that there might be danger on that head, Elizabeth sent for to Court, and showed as her successor, Arabella Stuart, the descendant of Henry VIII.'s sister Mary, raid Brandon Duke of Suffolk. This little girl was then only twelve years of age, and though Elizabeth had never taken the slightest notice of her before, she now sent for her to Court, gave her precedence over all the ladies, made her dine in public with her, arid - what she never did in any other instance, and never would it this case, had she been sincere - pointed her out as her probable successor. She particularly drew the attention of Madame Chasteauneuf, the wife of the French ambassador, to her, saying: - "Look well at her, for one day she will be exactly what I am, she will be the lady-mistress. But I shall have been that before her. She is a maiden of fine talent, and speaks Latin, Italian, and French exceedingly well."

This was quite bugbear enough for the young Scottish Solomon; but it did not prevent the people of Scotland from expressing their honest resentment for the murder of their queen. They called Elizabeth "the English Jezebel," and would have torn her messenger, Sir Robert Carey, to pieces, but James sent a guard and rescued him.

To the Xing of France Elizabeth was more earnest and assiduous in her attempts at excuse and pacification. Though she had accused the French embassy, and especially the secretary of it, Destrappes, of having been concerned in a plot to murder her, she now sent for L'Aubespine to dine with her at the palace of the Archbishop of Canterbury, at Croydon, on Saturday, the 6th of March. After dinner the ambassador endeavoured to get away, but she would not let him escape, but introduced him to her ministers, taking him by the hand, saying playfully, "Here is the man who wanted to get me murdered!" She then freely confessed that she had never believed a word of it, that she knew it was the scheme of two miserable knaves of her own kingdom, and that as she had written to the King of Prance against him, she would now write as much in his favour, for she had always known him to be a man of honour, whom she could trust with her life, and that she now loved him better than ever. Even poor Destrappes, whom she had so expressly accused, she now fully exonerated. Thus could this extraordinary woman, having effected her object, and got rid of the Scottish queen, now shamelessly avow her tricks and calumnies. But as regarded the dead queen, her assertions were the most astounding. As we find the account in Egerton, they were these. She told the ambassador that since their last interview the greatest of all calamities had befallen her in the death of the Queen of Scots. Of that death, she swore with abundance of oaths that she was innocent. She had determined never to execute the warrant, except in case of invasion or rebellion. Four of her council - they were there in the room - had played her a trick, which she should never forget. They had grown old in her service, and had acted from the best of motives, or by - they should have lost their heads. But that which troubled her most was the displeasure of the King of France, whom, she honoured above all men, whose interest she preferred to her own, and whom she was ready to supply with men, money, ships, and German mercenaries against his enemies.

This was so diametrically opposed to all that she had ever done towards the King of France, that L’Aubespine could not help remarking that he wished the queen would show her regard for his master by her deeds. To send, men and ammunition to those who were in arms against him, to hire Germans to fight their battles, to capture French ships, and to treat a French ambassador as she had treated him for four months, were not convincing proofs of friendship and esteem. She replied, she had done nothing to Henry; she had only sent troops to aid the King of Navarre against the Duke of Guise lie asked whether to do even that without the consent of Henry, were not to do in a foreign realm what she would suffer no foreign prince to do in hers? To this Elizabeth replied with amicable professions, and, says the ambassador, "she detained me three good hours, having well prepared herself, and I let her say all she pleased."

In the midst of all this she displayed her usual ability, and prevented the only thing which she feared - a coalition betwixt Scotland, France, and Spain, to avenge the death of the Scottish queen. James of Scotland was readily checked, being of a pusillanimous character, and more fond of money than the life and honour of his mother. Henry III. of France, Elizabeth well knew, was too much beset by difficulties to be very formidable. His course was now fast running to a close. Civil war was raging in his kingdom; and we may here anticipate a little to take a view of his end. His feud with the Guises grew to such a pitch, that, to rid himself of them, he determined to assassinate their leaders, the duke and cardinal, the cousins of the late Queen of Scots. For this purpose, near the close of 1588, he assembled a body of assassins in the Castle of Blois, where he privately distributed daggers to forty-five of them. The Duke of Guise was invited to the fatal feast, and murdered at the very door of the king's chamber. The next day his brother, the cardinal, was also dispatched. But this infamous action only procured the destruction of Henry himself. The Papists, exasperated by the murder of their chiefs, were infuriated. The Pope excommunicated the king, and the clergy absolved the people from their oath of allegiance; and in. a few months Henry was assassinated by a fanatic monk of the name of Jacques Clement, whilst besieging his own capital.

But not so readily was Philip of Spain disposed of. He was crafty and powerful, and remembered the conduct of Elizabeth, who, from the very commencement of her reign, whilst professing friendship and high regard for him, had done all in her power to strip him of the Netherlands. She had supported his insurgent subjects with both money and troops; and at this time her favourite, Leicester, at the head of an army, was enjoying the rule of the revolted territory called the United Provinces, as governor-general. Not only in Europe, but in the new regions of South America, she carried on the same system of invasion and plunder by some of the greatest naval captains of the age - all still without any declaration of war. Philip, therefore, did not hesitate to denounce her as a murderer, and excited amongst his subjects a most intense hatred of her, both as a heretic and a woman oppressive and unjust, and stained with kindred and regal blood. In vain did she attempt to mollify his resentment by recalling Leicester from the Netherlands, and alluring a native prince, the Prince of Orange, to take his place. She opened, through Burleigh, negotiations with Spain, and sent a private mission to the Prince of Parma, in the Netherlands. There was a great suspicion in the minds of the Dutch and Flemings that she meant to give up the cause of Protestantism there, and to sell the cautionary towns which she held to Spain. But, fortunately for them, Philip was too much incensed to listen to her overtures, and had now made up his mind to the daring project of invading England. News of actual preparations for this purpose on a vast scale convinced Elizabeth that pacification was hopeless, and she resumed her predatory measures against Spain and its colonies.

To obtain a clear idea of the causes which, independent of the continual attempts of Elizabeth to break the yoke of Spain in the Low Countries, had so exasperated Philip, we must refer to the marauding expeditions of Hawkins, Cavendish, and Drake - men whose names have descended to our time as types of all that is enterprising, daring, and successful in the naval heroes of England. They were men who, like most of the prominent persons of that time, had no very nice ideas of international justice or honesty, but had courage which shrank from no attempt, however arduous, and ability to achieve what to this day are regarded as little short of miracles. Whilst in Europe they were Royal commanders, in the distant seas of America they were, to all intents and purposes, pirates and buccaneers.

Sir John Hawkins has the gloomy fame of being the originator of the African slave trade. He made three voyages to the African coast, where he bartered his goods for cargoes of negroes, which he carried to the Spanish settlements in America, and sold them for cargoes of hides sugar, ginger, and pearls. This traffic, which afterwards increased to such terrific and detestable dimensions, was so extremely profitable that Elizabeth fitted out two ships and sent them under his command. On this his third voyage, however, Hawkins was surprised by the Spanish admiral in the Bay of St. Juan de Uloa, a desperate engagement took place, and Hawkins's fleet, with all his treasure, was captured or destroyed except two, one of which afterwards went down at sea, the only one returning home being a little bark of fifty tons, called Judith, and commanded "by one Francis Drake. Elizabeth, of course, lost her whole venture in the slave trade.

But this Francis Drake, destined to win. a great name, could not rest under the defeat in the bay of Uloa and the loss of his booty. He obtained interest enough to fit out a little fleet, and also made three voyages, like Hawkins, to the Spanish American settlements. In the logic of that age, it was quite right to plunder any people of a particular nation in return for a loss by any other persons of that nation; and Drake felt himself authorised to seize Spanish property wherever he could find it. In his two first voyages he was not eminently successful; but the third, in 1572, made him ample amends. He took and plundered the town of Nombre de Dios, captured about 100 little vessels in the Gulf of Mexico, and made an expedition inland, where, ascending a mountain in Darien, he caught sight of the Pacific, and became inflamed with a desire to sail into that sea and plunder the Spanish settlements there. He captured in March of 1573 a convoy of mules laden with gold and silver, and in October reached England with his booty.

This success awoke a correspondent cupidity in his countrymen. Elizabeth embarked 1,000 crowns in a fresh expedition, which was supported by Walsingham, Hatton, and others of her ministers. In 1577 Drake set out for the Spanish main with five ships and 160 men. In this voyage ho pursued steadily his great idea of adventures in the Pacific, coasted the Brazils, passed the straits of Magellan, and reached Santiago, from which place to Lima he found the coast unprotected, and took the vessels and plundered the towns at will. Amongst his prizes was the Cacafuego, a Spanish merchantman of great value, which he captured in the spring of 1579. By this time, however, the Spaniards had sent out a squadron to meet and intercept him at the straits; and Drake, becoming aware of it, took the daring resolution of sailing to the Moluccas, and so home by the Cape of Good Hope. The hardihood of this determination we can scarcely at this day realise, for it implied the circumnavigation of the globe, which had never yet been accomplished, Magellan himself having perished on his voyage at the Philippines. He reached Plymouth safely, November 3rd, 1580, after a voyage of three years. The dangers and hardships which he had endured in this unprecedented exploit may be conceived from the fact that only one of his five vessels reached- home with him; but that vessel contained a treasure of £800,000.

Elizabeth was in a great strait. The wealth which Drake had brought, and of which she expected an ample share, was too agreeable a thing to allow her to quarrel with the acquirer; but the ravages which he had committed on a power not openly at war with her, were too flagrant to be acknowledged. For four months, therefore, Drake remained without any public acknowledgment of his services, further than his ship being placed in the dock at Plymouth, as a trophy of his bold circumnavigation of the globe. At length, however, the queen consented to be present at a banquet which Drake gave on board, and she there broke from her duplicity by knighting him on the spot. A tithe of the enormous amount of money was distributed as prize amongst the officers and men; the Spanish ambassador, who had laid claim to the whole as stolen property, was appeased by a considerable sum; and the huge remainder was, according to report, shared by the queen, her favourites, and the fortunate commander.

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