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tions excited general admiration. Henry owed his success to his generous policy, and prudent magnanimity. "There was nothing narrow in his views, no ungovernable animosity that rankled in his memory; he forgot, he forgave, he offered favourable terms, he negociated with all the fearless liberality of an elevated mind. The result was, that he was served by men who had been opponents and rebels, more faithfully than other princes have been, by their favourites and dependants.'

794. Enumerate some of the difficulties Henry had to contend with on his accession.

The first years of his reign were severe and trying. He was a Huguenot, and the nation could not therefore endure him to be king. He had been leagued with Henry, the former king, while that prince was stained with the blood of the Duke of Guise, the great object of national admiration. He had a disputed title, an able and experienced general to oppose him in Mayenne, who proclaimed the cardinal of Bourbon king; and he was exposed to the hostile interference of the Duke of Parma, at the head of the Spanish infantry, then the first in the world. After being compelled to leave Paris, and bravely combat for every inch of ground he conquered, he was deserted by onehalf of the royal army, who were Catholics, which obliged him to relinquish the siege of Paris, and retreat into Normandy.

795. Where did he gain a final victory over the Duke of Mayenne?

At Ivri; previously to the battle, in the presence of his whole army, he addressed the Deity in prayer, after which he harangued his soldiers, concluding thusMy lads, if you should lose your colours, rally towards this," pointing to a plume of white feathers in his hat;

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"you will always find it in the road to honour. God is with us!"

796. What was the state of society during the religious wars?

Wraxall, in his history of these times, concludes with the lamentation, that he can only find three virtues then in existence,-" courage, friendship," and, what was less to be expected, "filial obedience." Such was the scanty practice of this age of profession!

797. What was the power of the states-general in this reign?

The "Henriade" of Voltaire graphically describes them as "inefficient assemblies, where laws were proposed rather than executed, and where abuses were detailed with eloquence, but not remedied."

798. Name the great deficiency in Henry's govern


He laboured to be a father to his people, without attempting to improve the states-general; he did not distinguish between the temporary blessing of a good king, and the lasting benefit of a good constitution.

799. What two great services are exceptions to this fault?

First, by his own merits, which after his conquest rendered him the idol of the French nation, he prevented the renewal of the government of the fiefs. The civil wars had made the great nobles so powerful, and familiarised their followers to arms, that independent sovereignties might probably have been established if Henry the Fourth had not been on the throne.

Secondly, he procured for the Protestants the edict of Nantz, by the articles of which they were allowed to live everywhere in France, without molestation on




account of their private religious tenets. Thus ended the religious war which had desolated the country for nearly forty years.

800. What privileges did the twenty-seventh article of the edict give to Protestants?

All Protestants (dissenters in France) were rendered eligible to all offices without exacting any oath from them, but "well and faithfully to serve their king in the discharge of their offices, and to observe the ordinance, as it has been observed at all times."

801. In what did this differ from the policy of our corporation and test acts in the same era?

The test was civil, not religious.

802. Who was the zealous and unshaken counsellor of Henry?

Maximilian de Bethune, known by the name of Sully, a man of the strictest honour and integrity, and the most disinterested attachment. When Henry ascended the throne he was twenty-six years of age, Bethune was but nineteen; yet few older heads have displayed more wisdom than these two young men at this critical juncture.

Henry failed in domestic virtue; and his passion for play, constantly, but in vain, called forth the remonstrances of the virtuous Sully. This monarch, dear in the memory of every Frenchman, perished by the hand of the assassin Ravaillac.

803. What preceded the first appearance of the Duke of Alva in the Netherlands?

The contests between Philip the Second and his Dutch and Flemish subjects. The tyranny exercised over the Low Countries may be imputed to the bigotry of Philip, who introduced the inquisition and Spanish

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soldiers into the fortified towns, deprived the Flemings of the free exercise of their religious opinions, and of the laws and privileges of their states and assemblies, leaving no visible head, in ecclesiastical matters, but the pope; and in civil affairs, no real authority but his


804. Who were the favourite instruments of his tyranny?

Cardinal Granvelle and the Duke of Alva; the former a violent but able statesman, acquainted with the country to be ruled, who acquired irresistible authority over the monarch and his cabinet, by his knowledge, and the distinct, decided, and consistent statement of his opinions.

805. What was the character of Alva?

He was the advocate of force, and advised instant coercion. The military conduct of Alva is remarkable. In the field, he was calm and considerate, as he was rash and intemperate in the cabinet. With an army of about fourteen thousand men, he disposed of the lives and privileges of the Flemings of all ranks at his pleasure, imprisoned two of the most popular and meritorious noblemen, erected a council of tumults, or council of blood, and destroyed, in a few months, by the hands of the executioner, more than one thousand eight hundred different individuals.

806. Who opposed the measures of the Duke of Alva?

The Duke of Feria; he was seconded by the Prince of Eboli : the wise counsels of these reasoning statesmen had little effect; the imperious nature of Philip was to be gratified; and he determined that the religious persuasion of these countries should be the same as his own.

"You may lose them if you persist,” said



one of his officers. "I would rather be without kingdoms," he replied, "than enjoy them with heresy."

807. What was the government of Margaret of Parma?

While in authority, she endeavoured to govern mildly, and composed the troubles of the Netherlands.

808. How did the Prince of Orange and the Flemish nobles resist their Spanish oppressors ?

Temperately and regularly throughout this memorable contest-a contest of half-a-century. The great hero was the Prince of Orange,-the great delinquent, Philip the Second; the one a model, in private and in public, of everything that is good and great; and the other, of everything that is to be avoided and abhorred.

809. Name some of the Protestant German princes who came to the succour of the Prince of Orange.

The Count Palatine, the Duke of Wirtemberg, the Landgrave of Hesse, and some others.

810. Were the Flemings consistent or courageous?

No; they beheld their fellow-citizens executed by the Duke of Alva; the principles of their civil and religious liberty destroyed; had suffered the Prince of Orange and their patriotic leaders to fight their battles by means of German Protestants, and left the prince to devise payment for the troops without offering assistance; but the moment the loss of civil liberty produced its effect, and new taxes were levied, combinations were formed to resist the Spanish tyranny.

811. Was a generous and rational sympathy universal?

No; the degradation that could only be felt by the Flemings, when it interfered with petty interest, could

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