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affecting prose the sad story of the noble, whom they owe their existence, to scrutinize though mistaken Carthusians, and to make faithfully and patiently every fact concerning even the Nun of Kent interesting, because them, with a proud trust, that search as they truly womanly, in her very folly and deceit, may, they will not find much of which to be has enabled him likewise to shew us the ashamed. hearts of the early martyrs as they never Lastly, Mr. Froude takes a view of Henry's have been shown before. His sketch of the character, not, indeed, new, (for it is the ori. Christian brothers, and his little true ro- ginal one,) but obsolete for now two hundred mance of Anthony Dalaber, the Oxford stu- years. Let it be well understood, that he dent, are gems of writing; while his concep- makes no attempt (he has been accused tion of Latimer, on whom he looks as the thereof) to white-wash Henry : all that he hero of the movement, and all but an Eng- does is, to remove as far as he can,
the molish Luther, is as worthy of Latimer 'as it dern layers of "black-wash," and to let the is of himself . Written as history should man himself
, fair or foul, be seen. For the be, discriminatingly, patiently, and yet lov- result he is not responsible: it depends on ingly and genially, rejoicing not in evil, but facts; and unless Mr. Froude has knowingly in the truth, and rejoicing still more in concealed facts, to an amount of which even goodness, where goodness can honestly be a Lingard might be ashamed, the result is, found.
that Henry the Eighth was actually very To the ecclesiastical and political elements much the man which he appeared to be to in the English Reformation, Mr. Froude de the English nation in his own generation, and votes a large portion of his book. We shall for two or three generations after his death, not enter into the questions which he dis- —a result which need not astonish us, if we cusses therein. That aspect of the move- will only give our ancestors credit for havment is a foreign and a delicate subject, ing, at least, as můch common sense as ourfrom discussing which a Scotch periodical selves, and believe (why should we not ?) may be excused. North Britain had a that, on the whole, they understood their somewhat different problem to solve from own business better than we are likely to do. her southern sister, and solved it in an alto The "bloated tyrant," it is confessed, congether different way: but this we must say, trived, somehow or other, to be popular that the facts, and still more, the State Pa- enough. Mr. Froude tells us the reasons. pers, (especially the petition of the Commons, He was not born a bloated tyrant, any more as contrasted with the utterly benighted an- than Queen Elizabeth (though the fact is not swer of the Bishops,) which Mr. Froude generally known) was born a wizened old gives, are such as to raise our opinion of the woman. He was, from youth, till he was method on which the English part of the Re- long past his grand climacteric, a very handformation was conducted, and make us be some, powerful, and active man, temperate lieve, that in this, as in other matters, both in his habits, good humoured, frank and Henry and his Parliament, though still doc- honest in his speech, (as even his enemies trinal Romanists, were sound-headed prac- are forced to confess.) He seems to have tical Englishmen.
been, (as his portraits prove sufficiently,) This result is of the same kind as most of for good and for evil, a thorough John Bull" ; those at which Mr. Froude arrives. They a thorough Englishman; but one of the very form altogether a general justification of our highest type. ancestors in Henry the Eighth's time, if not of Henry the Eighth himself
, which frees Mr.
“ Had he died,” says Mr. Froude,“ previous to Froude from that charge of irreverence to the first agitation of the divorce, his loss would the past generations, against which we pro- have been deplored as one of the heaviest misfortested in the beginning of this Article. We tunes which had ever befallen this country, and hope honestly that he may be as successful be would bave left a name which would have taken in his next volumes as he has been in these, its place in history by the side of the Black in vindicating the worthies of the 16th cen, the most trying age, with his character unformed,
Prince, or the Conqueror of Agiocourt. Left at tury. Whether he shall fail or not, and with the means of gratifying every inclination, whether or not he has altogether succeeded, and married by his ministers, when a boy, to an in the volumes before us, his book marks a unattractive woman, far his senior, he had lived new epoch, and, we trust, a healthier and for thirty-six years almost without blame, and loftier one, in English history. We trust bore through England the reputation of an upthat they inaugurate a time in which the right and virtuous king. Nature had been prodideeds of our forefathers shall be looked on his intellectual ability we are not left to judge
gal to him of her rarest gifts.
Of as sacred heirlooms; their sins as our shame, from the suspicious panegyrics of his cotempora their victories as bequests to us; when men ries. His State-Papers and letters may be placed shall have sufficient confidence in those to by the side of those of Wolsey, or of Cromwell,
and they lose nothing by the comparison. Though the hearts of his subjects, is what needs exthey are broadly different, the perception is equal-planation; and Mr. Froude's opinions on ly clear, the expression equally powerfal ; and this matter, novel as they are, and utterly they breathe throughout an irresistible vigour of purpose. In addition to this he had a fine masi: opposed to that of the standard modern hiscal taste, carefully cultivated; he spoke and wrote torians, require careful examination. Now in four languages; and his knowledge of a multi- we are not inclined to debate Henry the tude of subjects, with which bis versatile ability Eighth's character, or any other subject, as made him conversant, would have formed the re- between Mr. Froude, and an author of the putation of any ordinary man. He was among obscurantist or pseudo-conservative school. the best physicians of his age. He was his own Mr. Froude is a Liberal; and so are we. engineer, inventing improvements in artillery, and we wish to look at the question as between new constructions in shipbuilding; and this not with the condescending incapacity of a royal Mr. Froude and other Liberals; and, thereamateur, but with thorough workmanlike under- fore, of course, first, as between Mr. Froude standing. His reading was vast, especially in and Mr. Hallam. theology. He was ' attentive,' as it is called, to Mr. Hallam's name is so venerable, and his religious duties,' being present at the services his work so important, that, to set ourselves in chapel two or three times a day with unfailing up as judges in this, or in any matter, beregularity, and showing, to outward appearance, tween him and Mr. Froude, would be mere a real sense of religious obligation in the energy and purity of his life. In private he was good impertinence : but speaking merely as learnhumoured and good-natured. His letters to his ers, we have surely a right to inquire, why secretaries, though never undignified, are simple, Mr. Hallam has entered on the whole ques easy, and unrestrained, and the letters written by tion of Henry's relations to his Parliament them to him are similarly plain and business-like, with a præjudicium against them; for which as if the writers knew that the person whom they Mr. Froude finds no ground whatsoever in were addressing disliked compliments, and chose fact. All acts both of Henry and his Parliato be treated as a man. He seems to have been always kind, always considerate; inquiring into ment are to be taken in malam partem. They their private concerns, with genuine interest, and were not Whigs, certainly: neither were winning, as a consequence, their sincere and un- Socrates and Plato, nor even St. Paul and affected attachment. As a ruler, he had been St. John. They may have been honest men, eminently popular. All his wars had been suc- as men go, or they may not: but why is cessful. "He had the splendid tastes in which the there to be a feeling against them, rather English people most delighted ; . had more than once been tried with insurrection, ed a tyrant, and his Parliament servile?
he than for them? Why is Henry always callwhich he had soothed down without bloodshed, and extinguished in forgiveness.
The epithets have become so common and And it is certain, that if he had died before the unquestioned, that our interrogation may divorce was mooted, Henry VIII., like the Ro- seem startling. Still we make it. Why man emperor said by Tacitus to have been con- was Henry a tyrant ? That may be true, sensu omnium dignus imperii nisi imperasset, but must be proved by facts. Where are would have been considered, by posterity, as form- they? Is the mere fact of a monarch's asked by Providence for the condặct of the Reforma. ing for money a crime in him and in his tion, and his loss would have been deplored as a ministers? The question would rather seem perpetual calamity."
to be, Were the monies for which Henry Mr. Froude has, of course, not written asked needed or not, and when granted, were these words without having facts whereby they rightly or wrongly applied ? And on to prove them. One he gives in an import- these subjects we want much more informaant note containing an extract from a letter tion than we obtain from Mr. Hallam's epiof the Venetian ambassador in 1515. At thets. The author of a constitutional history least, if his conclusions be correct, we must should rise above epithets; or, if he uses think twice ere we deny his assertion, that them, should corroborate them by facts. Why " the man best able of all living Englishmen, should not Mr. Hallam be as fair and as cauto govern England, had been set to do it by tious in accusing Henry and Wolsey, as he the conditions of his birth."
would be in accusing Queen Victoria and “We are bound," as Mr. Froude' says, Lord Palmerston? What right, allow us to " to allow him the benefit of his past career, ask, has a grave constitutional historian to and be careful to remember it, in interpret- say, that "We cannot, indeed, doubt, that ing his later actions." " The true defect in the unshackled and despotic condition of his his moral constitution, that intense and im- friend, Francis I., afforded a mortifying conperious will,' common to all princes of the trast to Henry ? What document exists, Plantagenet blood, had not yet been tested.” in which Henry is represented as regretting That he did, in his later years, act in many that he is the king of a free people ?—for
: ways neither wisely or well, no one such Mr. Hallam confesses, just above, Engdenies; that this conduct did not alienate land was held to be, and was actually, in
comparison of France. If the document does England immense sums. A large army not exist, Mr. Hallam has surely stepped was maintained on the Scotch border, anout of the field of the historian into that of other army invaded France; and Wolsey, the novelist, à la Scott or Dumas. The not venturing to call Parliament, because Parliament sometimes grants Henry's de- he was, as Pope's legate, liable to a præmands; sometimes it refuses them, and he munire-raised money by contributions has to help himself by other means. Why and benevolences, which were levied, it are both cases to be interpreted in malam seems, on the whole, uniformly and equally, partem? Why is the Parliament's granting (save that they weighed more heavily on to be always a proof of its servility ?-its the rich than on the poor, if that be a fault,) refusing, always a proof of Henry's tyranny and differed from taxes only in not having and rapacity? Both views are mere præju- received the consent of Parliament. Doubtdicia, reasonable perhaps, and possible: but less, this was not the best way of raising why is a præjudicium of the opposite kind as money: but what if, under the circumstanrational and as possible? Why has not a ces, it were the only one? What if, too, historian a right to start, as Mr. Froude does, on the whole, the money so raised was by taking for granted, that both parties may really given willingly by the nation ? The have been on the whole right; that the Par- sequel alone could decide that. liament granted certain sums, because Henry The first contribution for which Wolsey was right in asking for them ; refused others asked was paid. The second was resisted, because Henry was wrong; even that, in and was not paid, proving thereby that the some cases, Henry may have been right in nation need not pay unless it chose. The asking, the Parliament wrong in refusing; Court gave way; and the war became deand that in such a case, under the pressure fensive only, till 1525. of critical times, Henry was forced to get, Then the tide turned. The danger, then, as he could, the money, which he saw that was not from Francis, but from the Empethe national cause required? Let it be as ror. Francis was taken prisoner at Pavia; folks will. Let Henry be sometimes right, and shortly after, Rome was sacked by and the Parliament sometimes likewise; or Bourbon. the Parliament always right, or Henry al The effect of all this in England is told at ways right; or anything else, save this large in Mr. Froude's second chapter. strange diseased theory, that both must have Henry became bond for Francis's ramsom, been always wrong, and that, evidence to to be paid to the Emperor. He spent that effect failing, motives must be insinuat-500,000 crowns more in paying the French ed, or openly asserted, from the writer's army; and in the terms of peace made mere imagination. This may be a dream : with France, a sum-total was agreed on for but it is as easy to imagine as the other, and the whole debt, old and new, to be paid as more pleasant also. It will probably be soon as possible; and an annual pension of answered (though not by Mr. Hallam him- 500,000 crowns beside. The French excheself) by a sneer; “ You do not seem to know quer, however, still remained bankrupt, and much of the world, Sir. So would Figaro again the money was not paid. and Gil Blas have said, Sir; and on exactly Parliament, when it met in 1529, reviewthe same grounds as you do."
ed the circumstances of the expenditure, and Let us examine a stock instance of Henry's finding it all such as the nation on the whole “ rapacity” and his Parliament's servility, approved, legalized the taxation by benevonamely, the exactions in 1524 and 1525, and lences, retrospectively; and this is the whole the subsequent “ release of the king's debts," mare's nest of the first payment of Henry's which a late writer,—in a Review conducted debts; if at least, any faith is to be put in by University men, and therefore, one would the preamble of the Act for the release of have supposed, superior to the stale and the King's Debts, 21 Hen. VIII. c. 24. dangerous habit of reviewing one book by "The King's_loving subjects, the Lords another,-quoted the other day, second-hand, Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in out of Hallam, as a “settler” to Mr. Froude's this present Parliament assembled, calling view of Henry and his Parliament. What to remembrance the inestimable costs, are the facts of the case ? France and Scot- charges, and expenses which the King's land had attacked England in 1514. The Highness hath necessarily been compelled Scotch were beaten at Flodden. The French to support and sustain since his assumption lost Tournay and Therounne, and, when to his crown, estate, and dignity royal, as peace was made, agreed to pay the expenses well for the extinction of a right dangerous of the war. Times changed, and the expenses and damnable schism, sprung in the were not paid.
Church, as for the modifying the insatiable A similar war arose in 1524, and cost and inordinate ambition of them, who, VOL. XXVI.
while aspiring to the monarchy of Christen-been paid by Francis the First, as part of dom, did put universal troubles and divi- his old debt. And it was not paid, but, on sions in the same, intending, if they might, the contrary, Henry had to go to war for it. not only to have subdued this realm, but The nation again relinquished their claim, also all the rest, unto their power and sub- and allowed Henry to raise another benevojection-for resistance whereof, the King's lenee in 1545, concerning which Mr. Hallam Highness was compelled to marvellous tells us a great deal, but not one word of charges—both for the supportation of sundry the political circumstances which led to it armies by sea and land, and also for divers or to the release, keeping his sympathies and manifold contribution on hand, to save and his paper for the sorrows of refractory and keep his own subjects at home in Alderman Reed, who, refusing (alone of all rest and repose—which hath been so politi- the citizens) to contribute to the support of cally handled, that when the most part of troops on the Scotch border or elsewhere, all Christian lands have been invested with was sent down, by a sort of rough justice, cruel wars, the great Head and Prince of to serve on the Scotch border himself, and the world (the Pope !) brought into captiv-judge of the “perils of the nation" with his ity, cities and towns taken, spoiled, burnt, own eyes; and being (one is pleased to say) and sacked--the King's said subjects, in all taken prisoner by the Scots, had to pay a this time, by the high providence and poli- great deal more as ransom than he would tic means of his Grace, have been never have paid as benevolence. theless preserved, defended, and maintained But to return. What proof is there in all from all these inconvenients, &c.
this, of that servility which most histo“ Considering, furthermore, that his High- rians, and Mr. Hallam among the rest, are ness, in and about the premises, hath been fain wont to attribute to Henry's Parliaments ? to employ not only all such sums of money What feeling appears on the face of this as hath risen and grown by contributions document, which we have given and quoted, made unto his Grace by his loving subjects but one honourable to the nation? Through -but also, over and above the same, sundry the falsehood of a foreign nation, the King other notable and excellent sums of his own is unable to perform his engagements to the treasure and yearly revenues, among which people. Is not the just and generous course manifold great sums so employed, his High- in such a case, to release him from those enness, also, as is notoriously known, and as gagements? Does this preamble, does a doth evidently appear by the ACCOUNTS or single fact of the case, justify historians in THE SAME, hath to that use, and none other, talking of these “ king's debts” in just the converted all such money as by any of his same tone as that in which they would have subjects hath been advanced to his Grace by spoken of George the Fourth's or the Duke way of prest or loan, either particularly, or of York's ? as if the King had squandered by any taxation made of the same-being the money on private pleasures? Perhaps things so well collocate and bestowed, see- most people who write small histories, being the said high and great fruits and effects lieve that this really was the case. They thereof insured to the surety and commodity certainly would gather no other impression and tranquillity of this realm-of our mind from the pages of Mr. Hallam. No doubt, and consent, do freely, absolutely, give and the act must have been burdensome on some grant to the King's Highness all and every people. Many, we are told, had bequeathsum or sums of money," &e.
ed their promissory notes to their children, The second release of the King's debts, in used their reversionary interest in the loan in 1544, is very similar. The King's debts many ways; and these, of course, felt the and necessities were really, when we come change very heavily. No doubt : but why to examine them, those of the nation : in have we not a right to suppose that the Par1538-40 England was put in a thorough liament were aware of that fact; but chose it state of defence from end to end. Fortress- as the less of the two evils? The King had es were built along the Scottish border, and spent the money; he was unable to recover all along the coast opposite France and it from Francis, could only refund it by Flanders. The people were drilled and raising some fresh tax or benevolence; and armed, the fleet equipped; and the nation, why may not the Parliament have considerfor the time, became one great army. And ed the release of old taxes likely to offend nothing but this, as may be proved by an fewer people than the imposition of new overwhelming mass of evidence, saved the ones! It is, certainly, an ugly thing to country from invasion. Here were enor-break public faith ; but to prove that pubmous necessary expenses which must be lie faith was broken, we must prove that met.
Henry compelled the Parliament to release In 1543, a million crowns were to have him; if the act was of their own free will,
no public faith was broken, for they were it an offence against the people to agree with the representatives of the nation, and a monarch, even when he agrees with the through them, the nation forgave its own people himself? Simple as these questions debt. And what evidence have we that are, one must really stop to ask them. they did not represent the nation, and that No doubt, pains were often taken to seon the whole, we must suppose, as we cure elections favourable to the Government. should in the case of any other men, that Are none taken now? Are not more taken they best knew their own business? May now? Will any historian shew us the docwe not apply to this case, and to others, uments which prove the existence, in the sixmutatis mutandis, the argument which Mr. teenth century, of Reform Club, Carlton Club, Froude uses so boldly and well in the case whippers-in and nominees, governmental and of Anne Boleyn's trial—“The English na- opposition, and all the rest of the beautiful tion also, as well as
deserves just- machinery which protects our Reformed ice at our hands."
Parliament from the evil influences of bribeCertainly it does : but it is a disagreeable ry and corruption? Pah!-We have sometoken of the method on which we have been what too much glass in our modern House, accustomed to write the history of our own to afford to throw stones at our forefathers' forefathers that Mr. Froude should find it old St. Stephen's. At the worst, what was necessary to state formally so very simple done then but that without which it is said to a truth.
be impossible to carry on a government now? What proof, we ask again, is there that Take an instance from the Parliament of this old parliament was“ servile ?" Had 1539, one in which there is no doubt Govthat been so, Wolsey would not have been ernment influence was used, in order to preafraid to summon it. The specific reason vent as much as possible the return of memfor not summoning a Parliament for six bers favourable to the clergy—for the good years after that of 1524, was, that they reason, that the clergy were no doubt on were not servile; that when (here we are their own side intimidating voters by all quoting Mr. Hallam, and not Mr. Froude) those terrors of the unseen world, which had Wolsey entered the House of Commons so long been to them a source of boundless with a great train, seemingly for the pur- profit and power. pose of intimidation, they "made no other Cromwell writes to the King to say
that answer to his harangues, than it was their he has secured a seat for a certain Sir Richusage to debate only among themselves.” ard Morrison, but for what purpose ? As The debates on this occasion lasted fifteen one who no doubt “ should be ready to anor sixteen days, during which, says an eye, swer and take up such as should crack' witness, " there has been the greatest and or face with literature of learning, if any sorest hold in the Lower House, the matter such should be." There was, then, free disdebated and beaten;' such hold that the cussion ; they expected clever and learned House was like to have been dissevered;" speakers in the opposition, and on subjects of in a word, hard fighting (and why not hon- the deepest import, not merely political but est fighting ?) between the court party and spiritual ; and the Government needed men the opposition, which ended,” says Mr. to answer such. What more natural, thanı Hallam,“ in the court party obtaining, with that so close on the pilgrimage of grace," the utmost difficulty, a grant much inferior and in the midst of so great dangers, at to the Cardinal's original requisition.” What home and abroad, the Government should token of servility is here?
have done their best to secure a well-disAnd is it reasonable to suppose, that after posed House, (one would like to know when Wolsey was conquered, and a comparatively they would not ?) but surely the very effort, popular ministry had succeeded, and that confessedly exceptional) and the acknowmemorable Parliament of 1529, (which Mr. ledged difficulty, prove that Parliament were Froude, not unjustly, thinks more memora- no mere "registrars of edicts." ble than the Long Parliament itself,) began But the strongest argument against the its great work with a high hand, backed not tyranny of the Tudors, and especially of merely by the King, but by the public #enry VIJI., in his “benevolences,” is deopinion of the majority of England, their rived from the state of the people themdecisions are likely to have been more ser-selves. If these benevolences had been realvile than before? If they resisted the ly unpopular, they would not have been King when they disagreed with him, are paid. "In one case, we have seen, a benevothey to be accused of servility because they lence was not paid for that very reason. worked with him when they agreed with For the method of the Tudor sovereigns, him? Is an opposition always in the right: like that of their predecessors, was the very a ministerial party always in the wrong? Is opposite to that of tyrants, in every age and