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treated as a queen. No stranger, on fome occafions, to diflimulation ; which, in that perfidious court where she received her education, was reckoned among the neceffary arts of government. Not infenfible to flattery, or unconscious of that pleasure with which almost every woman beholds the influence of her own beauty. Formed with the qualities that we love, not with the talents that we admire, she was an agreeable woman rather than an illustrious queen.
The vivacity of her fpirit, not sufficiently tempered with sound judgment, and the warmth of her heart, which was not at all times under the restraint of discretion, betrayed her both into errours and into crimes. To fay that the was always unfortunate, will not account for that long and almost uninterrupted succession of calamities which befel her; we must likewise add, that she was often imprudent. Her passion for Darnly was rash, youthful, and excessive. And, though the sudden transition to the opposite extreme was the natural effect of her ill-requited love, and of his ingratitude, infoJence, and brutality; yet neither thefe, nor Bothwell's artful address and important services, can justify her attachment to that nobleman. Even the manners of the age,
licentious as they were, are no apology for this unhappy passion; nor can they induce us to look on that tragical and infamous scene which followed upon it, with less abhorrence. Humanity will draw a veil over this part of her character, which it cannot approve; and may perhaps prompt fome to impute her actions to her fituation, more than to her disposition; and to lament the unhappiness of the former, rather than accuse the perverfeness of the latter. Mary's sufferings exceed, both in degree and in duration, those tragical diftreffes which fancy has feigned to excite forrów and commiferation ; and while we furvey them, we are ape altogether to fora get
her frailties : we think of her faults with lets indig: Tiation ; and approve of our tears, as if they were fixed for a person who had attained much nearer to pure virtue,
With regard to the queen's perfon, a circumstance not to be omitted in writing the history of a female Jeign, all contemporary authors agree in afcribing to
Mary the utmost beauty of countenance, and elegance of shape, of which the human form is capable. Her hair was black, though, according to the fashion of that age, the frequently wore borrowed locks, and of different colours. Her eyes were a dark gray, her complexion was exquisitely fine, and her hands and arms remarkably delicate both as to thape and colour. Her ftature was of an height that rose to the majestic. She danced, she walked, and rode, with equal grace. Her italte for music was just ; and the both sung and played upon the lute with uncommon skill. Towards the end of her life she began to grow fat ; and her long confinement, and the coldness of the houses in which he was imprisoned, brought on a rheumatism, which deprived her of the use of her limbs. No man, fays Brantome, ever beheld her person without admiration and love, or will read her history without forrow.
IV. Gharafter of Queen Elizabeth. TH *HERE are few personages in history who have been
more exposed to the calumny of enemies and the adulation of friends, than Queen Elizabeth ; and yet there searce is any whose reputation has been more cer. tainly determined, by the unanimous consent of poste
rity. The unusual length of her administration, and the strong features of her character, were able to overcome all prejudices; and, obliging her detractors to abate much of their invectives, and her admirers fomeWhat of their panegyrics, have at last, in spite of politi-:cal factions, and what is more, of religious animosities, produced an uniform judgment with regard to her conduct. Her vigour, her con tancy, her magnanimity, her penetration, vigilance, and address, are allowed to merit the highest praises, and appear not to have been surpalfed by any person who ever filled a throne : a conduct less rigorous, less imperious, more sincere, more indul. gent to her people, would have been requisite to form a perfect character. By the force of her mind, she controlled all her more active and stronger qualities, and prevented them from running into excess. Her heroism was exempted from all temerity, her frugality from avarice, her friendship from partiality, her enterprize from
turbulency and a vain ambition: the guarded not herself, with equal care or equal success, from lefser infirmities; the rivallhip of beauty, the desire of admiration, the jealousy of love, and the fallies of anger.
Her fingular talents for government were founded equally on her temper and on her capacity. Endowed with a great command over herself, she loon obtained an uncontrolled ascendant over the people ; and while the merited all their esteem by her real virtues, she also eno gaged their affection by her pretended ones. Few fovereigns of England succeeded to the throne in more difficult circumstances, and none ever conducted the
govern. ment with such uniform success and felicity. Though unacquainted with the practice of toleration, the true secret for managing religious factions, the preferved her people, by her fuperiour prudence, from thofe confufions in which theological controverfy had involved all the neighbouring nations : and though her enemies were the most powerful princes of Europe, the most active, the most enterprising, the leaft fcrupulous, fhe was able, by her vigour, to make deep impreflions on their state; her own greatness, meanwhile, remaining untouched and unimpaired.
The wife ministers and brave warriours who flourished during her reign thare the praise of her success; but, inftead of lessening the applause due to her, they make great addition to it. They owed, all of them, their ad. vancement to her choice; they were supported by her constancy; and, with all their ability, they were never able to acquire an undue ascendant over her. In het family, in her court, in her kingdom, she remained equally mistress. The force of the tender paffions was great over her, but the force of her mind was still fupeTiour; and the combat which her victory visibly coft her, ferves only to display the firmness of her resolution, and the loftinefs of her ambitious sentiments.
The fame of this princess, though it has surmounted the prejudices both of faction and of bigotry, yet lies still exposed to another prejudice, which is more durable, because more natural ; and which, according to the different views in which we survey her, is capable either of exalting beyond measure, or diminishing, the luftre of
Hier character. This prejudice is founded on the confia deration of her fex. When we contemplate her as a woman, we are apt to be struck with the highest admiration of ber qualities and extensive capacity; but we are also apt to require fome more softness of disposition, fome greater lenity of temper, some of those amiable weaknelles by which her sex is distinguished, But the true method of estimating her merit, is to lay aside all these conliderations, and to consider her merely as a ra. tional being, placed in authority, and entrusted with the government of mankind. We may find it difficult to reconcile our fancy to her as a wife or a mistress; but her qualities as a sovereign, though with some confider. able exceptions, are the object of undisputed applaula and approbation
V. Charles Vi's Resignation of his Dominions. CHARLos
resolved to resign his kingdoms to his son, with a folemnity suitable to the importance of the transaction, and to perform this laft açt of sovereignty with such formal pomp, as might leave an indelible imprestion on the minds, not only of his subjects, but of his successor. With this view, he called Philip out of England ; -where the peevith temper of his queen, which increased with her despair of having iflue, rendered him extremely unhappy, and the jealousy of the English left him po hopes of obtaining the direction of their affairs. · Having assembled the states of the Low Countries at Brussels, on the twenty-fifth of Odober one thousand five hundred and fifty five, Charles seated himself for the last time in the chair of state ; on one side of which was placed his son, and on the other his sister the queen of Hungary, regent of the Netherlands; with a splendid retinue of the grandees of Spain and princes of the empire standing behind him. The president of the council: of Flanders, by his command, explained, in a few words, his intention in calling this extraordinary meeting of the ftates. He then read the instrument of resignation, by which Charles surrendered to his son Philip all his ter Titories, jurisdiction, and authority in the Low Countries ;-abfolving his subjects there, from their oath of allegiance to bim, which he required them to transfer to.
Philip his lawful heir, and to serve him with the fame loyalty and zeal which they had manifested, during fe long a course of years, in support of his government...
Charles then rose from his feat, and, leaning on the shoulder of the prince of Orange, because he was unable to Itand without fupport, he addressed himself to the au dience ; and, from a paper which he held in his hands in order to affist his memory, he recounted with dignity, but without oftentation, all the great things which he had undertaken and performed since the commencement of his administration. He observed, that, from the seven teenth year of his age, he had dedicated all his thoughts and attention to public objects, reserving no portion of his time for the indulgence of his ease, and very little for the enjoyment of private pleasure: that; either in a par sific or hostile manner, he had visited Germany nine times, Spain fix times, France four times; Italy feved: times, the Low Countries ten times, England twice, Africa as often, and had made eleven voyages by fea: chaty. while his health permitted him to discharge his duty, and the vigour of his conftitution was equal in any de gree to the arduous office of governing fuch externe five dominions, he had bever funned labour, nor rer pined under fatigue : that, now, when his health was broken, and his vigour exhausted by the rage of an in eurable diltemper, his growing infirmities admonithed bim to retire ; nor was he fo fond of reigning as to retain the fceptre in an impotent hand, which was no longer able to protect his subjects, or to render them happy: that, instead of a sovereign worn out with diseases and fcarcely half alive, he gave them one in the prime of life, accustomed already to govern, and who added to the vigour of youth all the attention and fagacity of maturer years that if, during the course of a long ad ministration, he had committed any material errour in go vernment, or if, under the pressure of fo many and great affairs and amidst the attention which he had been obli: ged to give them, he had either neglected or injured any of his fubjedts, he now implored their forgiveness :: that, for his part, he should ever retain-a grateful, sense of their fidelity and attachment; and would carry the remembrance of it along with him to the place of his ro