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king threw himself on the generosity of the Scotch covenanters. They sold him to the English commons. It was represented to him that he might yet escape farther into Scotland. He replied with a mournful smile, 'I think it more respectable to go with those who have bought me than stay with those who have sold me.' He added, I am ashamed that my price was so much higher than my Saviour's. If Charles had taken refuge among the Highlanders, in the loyal districts, Scotland had never groaned under the bitter reproach of this transaction. There was little to choose between the honor of the covenanters and the roundheads."*
He was carried first a prisoner to Hampton court, thence the rebel army dragged their king to Carisbrook, finally to the dismal solitude of Hurst castle, and Cromwell sent for him to proceed thence to Windsor. Miss Strickland observes "that the king was taken from the Hall," (Westminster, where he had stood his mock trial,) " amidst the irrepressible cries of God bless your majesty! God save you from your enemies!' Such was the only part the people of England took in the trial."
When Charles was for the fourth time brought before his self-constituted judges, a female voice exclaimed from the gallery, "Oliver Cromwell is a rogue and a traitor." Would "that the people of England," at this crisis, had responded in unison to that cry, and rescued their unhappy sovereign from the hands of this military despot, and his regicide supporters! As he left his place of trial the greatest indignities were of fered to him, and the cries of the infatuated soldiery reached his ears on every side.
Cromwell had now risen to the height of his unhallowed ambition. The last act of the sorrowful tragedy which was now performed, removed the rival from his path. The sublime resignation, the unfeigned piety with which the royal martyr met his fate, lead us to trust that his holy hope was realized, and that he indeed exchanged "a corruptible for an incorruptible crown."
"Half blinded with their tears, and with the gloom of impending night, thick with falling snow, the faithful friends. and servants of Charles I, lowered his coffin among that portion of England's royal dead who repose at Windsor, and left him there without either singing or saying, or even the power of ascertaining the precise spot where he was laid."† Henrietta Maria long remained in ignorance of the scenes
* Vol. VIII, page 115.
† Vol. VIII, p. 134.
enacted in England. When they were at last communicated to her, she became immovable as a statue, motionless with grief. She was at length aroused from her stupor and exclaimed in the deepest anguish, "I have lost a king, a husband and a friend, whose loss I can never sufficiently mourn, and this separation must render the rest of my life a perpetual
During her widowhood we are surprised by a fresh outbreak of religious zeal in attempts to educate her younger children in the Romish tenets. We can scarcely forgive in the widow of Charles I and the former queen of Protestant England, the cruel persecution of her young son the duke of Gloucester, when she found her efforts unavailing. In his heart-rending farewell of his children, the king had exhorted him "to keep his religion," and this the young child earnestly promised. No threats or entreaties could induce the princely boy to break his word. The elder sons of queen Henrietta were also at this time firmly attached to the reformed Church of England; the young princess, her daughter, was alone brought up in the faith of her mother. The queen was present at the coronation of her son, but her impaired health caused her again to seek her native land, where at her palace of Colombe she ended her eventful life, in the 61st year of her age.
After the death of the usurper, Cromwell, Charles II was proclaimed king of England, amid the universal joy of the people. He soon after wedded Catharine of Braganza. Her religion, like that of her royal mother-in-law, involved her in much trouble, and many were the plots and conspiracies imputed to the really innocent queen, whose mode of worship was so repugnant to the feelings of her protestant subjects.
James II, at that time duke of York, had, early in life, married Anne Hyde, daughter of the Earl of Clarendon. She also died in communion with the Church of Rome, after which event his royal highness was sorely perplexed in choosing a bride from among the fairest princesses in Europe. His choice was at last fixed upon the young Mary Beatrice of Modena, who manifested an extreme aversion to forming a matrimonial connexion with a man twenty-five years her senior. It would seem as if with the eye of prophecy, she read the secrets of her coming fate, and firmly rejected the idea of a marriage which should cause her long years of sorrow, exile, and widowhood. Her desire of a conventual life was, however, overruled by her more ambitious relatives, and during the sixteen years of her sojourn in England, she never in
terfered in public affairs, though at a later period, her foreign court became the rallying place of the Jacobites.
James appears to have been attached to the Romish Church at the time of his second marriage. This attachment disposed those who regarded his father in the light of a martyr, to look upon the son as an apostate, and to imagine that the popish queen, Catharine of Portugal, had exerted an evil influence upon his religious principles. Miss Strickland, however, discards the idea. She observes,
"After his accession to the throne, the ostentatious parade with which James thought proper to practise the ceremonies of his Church, gave great offence to many of his subjects. He was no longer contented with accompanying his consort to her chapel, but opened a [Roman] Catholic chapel in Whitehall, to which he insisted on their both going to receive the sacrament, attended by the great officers of their household." -Vol. IX, p. 144.
This was surely impolitic conduct for the nominal Head of the Church of England. Religious bigotry does not, however, seem to have entirely steeled his heart against those who differed from him in sentiment, for after the cruelties practised upon the protestants of France, he afforded them, in their need, both shelter and pecuniary assistance.
The reign of James II was drawing to its close. Under pretence of making hostile preparations against the king of France, William of Orange, his own nephew and the husband of his daughter, landed upon the shores of England. If king James had possessed a little of the energy which characterized him as duke of York, he might have still maintained his throne. He lingered in London when he should have taken the field against the enemy. Mental anguish had disordered his mind, and physical infirmities his body. But the crowning point of his distress was the desertion of his daughter Anne, who had early joined her brother-in-law, the prince of Orange. "God help me," exclaimed he, bursting into tears, "my own children have forsaken me." If a lover of Shakspeare, how often, and with what pertinence, must the words of king Lear have rushed into his mind,
How sharper than the serpent's tooth it is
Abandoned by his friends, exposed on every side to the malice of his enemies, the last of the Stuart kings followed his queen to France, upon whose soil she had sought pro
The beautiful chateau of St. Germains, to which James was no stranger, was assigned to the exiles, as their place of abode. He had there passed several years of his early youth, when a fugitive with his mother, queen Henrietta, and sad must have been his remembrances of the past. In this chateau, he ended his life, declaring almost with his latest breath his forgiveness of his daughters and the prince of Orange. Here Mary Beatrice mourned for him with the most passionate grief, and survived him through long years of sorrowful widowhood; here her heart was continually torn with anxiety for her son, and a longing desire to see him restored to the throne of his father. Miss Strickland follows her through this period, which was rendered tolerable only by the devotion of the faithful English followers that constituted her household, by intimacy with the nuns of Chaillot, and more than all by the steadfast friendship of Louis XIV. "The queen of England," observes an impartial witness, "is scarcely less than saintly; and in truth it is a happiness to see her as she is in the midst of her misfortunes. A lady of her court told me that she deprived herself of every thing, in order to support the poor English who had followed the king to St. Germains."
Every page of her life is full of interest, and we gather such a picture of meekness, of self-denial, of devoted affection, and earnest piety, that we recognize in it a perfect model for a queen, a wife, and a mother.
The princess Mary, eldest daughter of James II, seems to have been quite averse to a connexion with her cousin, the prince of Orange. After that event took place, while subjected to his tyrannies, and held in personal restraint, she doubtless found the suspicions which he expressed regarding himself quite correct, "that he might not be very easy for a wife to live with." To use the quaint words of an eye witness, "the prince had infallibly made her his slave, and there was an end of it." Such she undoubtedly was, if submission to his will rendered her such, but we can nowhere find that she deprecated his unworthy conduct, or that her conscience reproached her for her participation in it. To the last moment of her residence at the Hague her fond father could not be persuaded of her double-dealing, but continued to address her in the most affectionate terms of endearment and confidence.
After her triumphant entrance into England, Mary II could scarcely refrain from the most extravagant expressions of satisfaction. "She came into Whitehall jolly as to a wedding," writes Evelyn, "seeming quite transported with joy."
Queen Mary II has rendered her name illustrious as the founder of the Greenwich hospital. The possession of a brilliant intellect is attributed to her, and fine regal powers, which were fully tested during the repeated absences of her husband to other parts of his dominions.
Bishop Burnet, after her death, spared no pains in the labored panegyric in which he portrayed her character. After attributing to her the most exalted virtues, he sums up the long list by declaring her to be "sure of eternal life." Our authoress of course does not pass the expression unobserved, but alludes to it in the sarcastic manner with which she seldom fails to speak of the Bishop of Salisbury. We think he' deserves little better mention, and one who could write pamphlets in justification of the vices of Charles II was probably disturbed by no very severe pangs of conscience when he declared the unnatural daughter, the unforgiving sister, to be 66 sure of eternal life!"
Queen Anne, who succeeded her, appears to have manifested much less native refinement and delicacy than her sister. Her mis-spelt trivial letters to her adored favorite, the duchess of Marlborough, give us no very exalted idea of her mind and heart. She was passionately beloved by the lower orders of her subjects, and obtained from them the appellation of the "good queen Anne." Miss Strickland says, on this subject:
"To her people, queen Anne looked, as the only means of atonement, pardon and peace for the wrongs she had committed in her youth. To her they replaced the children, (if her expressed conviction may be quoted,) of which inexorable justice had deprived her. Few readers of history have given this queen-regnant credit for the great good she actually did when on the throne; still fewer have given her credit for the extreme difficulty she had in performing it, struggling with the inertness of cruel disease, with her own want of historical and statistic education, and, worse than all, with the rapacity of favorites and factions, the nurturers of wars and revolutions for lucre or private gain: in truth, queen Anne is an instance of how much real good may be done by the earnest intentions of one individual, of moderate abilities and no pretence, actually bent on actions beneficial to humanity. Those who bow the knee in idol-worship before the splendor of human talent, would find it difficult to produce two measures, of equal benefit to this island, performed by any queen-regnant of acknowledged power of mind and brightness of genius, with those brought to bear by queen Anne, and which were