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1572.] MASSACRE OF ST. BARTHOLOMEW's.
King of Navarre and the Prince of Condé saved their lives only by a change of religion. Similar massacres were perpetrated at Orleans, Rouen, Lyons, and other cities, in the course of the succeeding month. They closed with one at Bordeaux on the 4th of October. The number of victims thus immolated to the demon of fanaticism is variously estimated at from 10,000 to 100,000 : the Duke de Sully gives the number at 70,000, and the accurate and veracious Thuanus at 30,000. Medals were struck, and an annual procession and thanksgiving was appointed, to commemorate this horrible event at Paris. The tidings were received with every demonstration of joy at Madrid and in the camp of Alva; and at Rome the pope and cardinals went to return thanks to Heaven for this event in the church of St. Louis.
What connexion this atrocious deed had with the meeting at Bayonne, how long it had been premeditated, and by whom, and whether the young king was guilty or not of the fiendish dissimulation with which he has been charged, are questions into which we cannot now enter. We incline, however, to think that Charles really was deceived by his mother and her confederates; and was made to believe that the Huguenots had formed a dangerous conspiracy, which could be repressed only by anticipating it.
The French ambassador in England, La Motte Fenelon, was instructed to make this excuse to Elizabeth. He repaired to Woodstock, where the court was then residing. When admitted to an audience, he was led through apartments in which a silence like to that of the tomb prevailed. The lords and ladies, habited in deep mourning, took no notice of him as he passed. Elizabeth herself, however, listened to his excuses with calmness: she then showed how inadequate they were, and expressed a desire that the king should institute an inquiry, and, if the charge were found to be a calumny, that he would condignly punish the authors of it. Her opinion of the king's intentions, she added, would be regulated by his conduct on the occasion. Only two days before the massacre, Fenelon had proposed to her a marriage with the Duke of Alençon, Charles's youngest brother, though a youth of but seventeen years. She still permitted the negotiation to go on; and when Charles soon after had a daughter born to him, she accepted an invitation to stand godmother, and sent the Earl of Worcester, a Catholic nobleman, to represent her at the christening.
the mask of religious fury, and (flebile ludibrium, deplorable mockery) the logic of the schools shed blood. Peter Ramus, the antistagirite, was massacred by his antagonist Charpentier.” Catharine of Medicis herself gave the signal for the dreadful toc sin to be sounded, and the sanguinary Guise in person directed the slaughter.--Am. Ed.
This temporizing policy seemed forced upon Elizabeth by the circumstances of the times. Every day gave fresh proof of the determination of the Catholic powers to exterminate the Reformers. Should Charles succeed in France, and Philip in the Netherlands, England might be the next object of attack; and the claim of the Queen of Scots would then be supported by foreign armies. It was therefore the interest of the English queen to neutralize, if possible, one of these sovereigns. Burleigh, Walsingham, and the other statesmen considered the death of Mary, therefore, to be absolutely necessary for the safety of Elizabeth. Sandys, bishop of London, writing at this time to Burleigh on the state of affairs, suggested, as one of the precautionary measures that should be taken, “ furthwith to cutte off the Scottish quene's heade ;' and Henry Killigrew was sent into Scotland on the 7th of September, to propose to the then regent Mar to deliver her up to him and his party, provided “they should give good assurance to proceed with her by way of justice, as they had already many times offered to do.” It is assumed that the upright character of Mar was the cause of this measure not being carried into effect : but, as he died, and was immediately succeeded by Morton, viz., on the 9th of November, we may, with perhaps more probability, ascribe it to Elizabeth's aversion to bloodshed.*
* The object of sending Killigrew to Scotland was, in plain
1572–1576.] CATHOLIC LEAGUE. .
The apprehended storm, however, did not burst upon England. The Huguenots, quickly recovering from the stupor into which the massacre had thrown them, resumed their arms; while Elizabeth connived at money and men being sent to them out of England. In a similar indirect manner she aided the Prince of Orange and the Protestants of the Netherlands. In 1574, Charles IX. died of a dreadful disease, and in all the horrors of remorse; the Duke of Anjou, who had been elected King of Poland, succeeding him, under the name of Henry III. The King of Navarre and Prince of Condé effecting their escape, resumed the Protestant religion, and became the heads of the Huguenots; and, having been joined by the Duke of Alençon, now Anjou, the king, in 1576, granted them most favourable terms. The Catholics, in the mean time, entered into a confederation styled the LEAGUE, headed by the Guises, in concert with the King of Spain.
During all this time the utmost tranquillity prevailed in England : the Queen of Scots, hopeless of aid from her own country (where the regent Morton merely ruled under Elizabeth), or from the Catholic princes, seems to have abstained from her machinations; and the Catholics in general, connived at in their private worship, remained at rest. Elizabeth, in those stately progresses through her kingdom which she was in the habit of making every year, found the means of extending her popularity, and endearing herself to all orders of her people. Commercial and maritime enterprise much engaged the public mind.
English, to induce the regent Mar to become the Scottish queen's executioner, and thus save Elizabeth and her government from the odium of being the immediate instruments of her death. A more base and wicked intrigue can scarcely be imagined; and it is one which, to use the language of an impartial and able writer, “throws a melancholy light upon the character of Burleigh and the councils of Elizabeth." As to “ Elizabeth's aversion to bloodshed,” however strong it might have been generally, it cer. tainly appears in a very questionable shape on this occasion; and it is to be regretted that our author has been able to produce no better evidence of her innocence in this transaction.- Am. Ed.
A trade was established with the Levant; mercantile intercourse with Russia, which had commenced in the late reign, was maintained; various efforts were made to reach the East by the North of Europe or America; and, so early as 1567, Martin Frobisher penetrated to the sea afterward named Hudson's Bay. Other adventurers pursued a more lucrative but less honourable course. John Hawkins, a gentleman of Devon, for example, fitted out vessels with which he proceeded to the coast of Africa, and there seizing the inoffensive natives, sold them for slaves to the Spaniards in America.*
But the individual who most distinguished himself by maritime enterprise at this time was Francis Drake. The father of this great navigator was a man in humble circumstances in Devon, who, having embraced the reformed doctrines in the time of Henry VIII., found it necessary, on account of the Six Articles, to remove into Kent. In the reign of Edward VI. he obtained orders, and was made vicar of Upnore, near Chatham, on the Medway. He apprenticed his son Francis to a neighbour of his, the master of a bark, who, on his death, left his ship to the youth. In 1567, Drake sold his vessel and went and joined Hawkins, then about to sail on an expedition to America : but in the Bay of St. Juan de Ulloa they were attacked by a superior Spanish force and defeated. Drake thus lost his all : but,"by
* We see here the first mention in English history of this detestable traffic. Hawkins has recorded his own infamy by furnishing the details of his expeditions. We give the following in his own words, as a specimen of the barbarities committed in the prosecution of this horrible trade. “A negroe,” he says, to us, sent by a negroe king oppressed by other kings his neighbours, desiring our aid, with a promise that as many negroes as might by these wars be obtained should be at our pleasure. I went myself, and, with the assistance of the king of our side, as. saulted the town by land and sea, and very hardly with fire (the huts being covered with dry palm-leaves), and, out of 8000 souls, seized 250 persons, men, women, and children." The same or worse enormities have characterized this frightful traffic ever since.--Am. Ed.
1572-1580.] VOYAGE OF DRAKE. playing the seaman and the pirate” for some years, he retrieved his fortune. A chaplain in the navy having satisfied him as to the lawfulness of his design, he set sail with a man-of-war named the Dragon, and two pinnaces, in 1572, and attacked and took the town of Nombre de Dios, on the Isthmus of Panama. Hay. ing been informed by some Cimarrons (runaway negroes) of the approach of a caravan of mules with treasure from Panama, he waylaid and plundered it As he was roaming over the isthmus under the gui dance of the Cimarrons, they showed him, from the top of a mountain, the Pacific Ocean. He fell on his knees, made a vow to visit that sea, and implored the Divine aid for his enterprise.
On the 13th of December, 1577, Drake sailed from Plymouth with five ships, carrying one hundred and sixty-three men. Having on his way taken the crews and stores out of two of his ships, which he then turned adrift, he passed Magellan's Straits with the remaining three. A violent tempest coming on, dispersed them; one returned through the straits, and another was lost. With the third Drake proceeded along the coast of Chili and Peru, making descents and plundering the ships which he found in harbour or at sea; for, as an enemy had never appeared in these parts, the Spaniards were without any suspicion of danger. But the alarm being now given, he feared to return by the way he had come, and he therefore boldly stretched across the ocean westward, and reached the Moluccas, whence he proceeded to Java, and thence to the Cape of Good Hope. He landed at Plymouth on the 3d of November, 1580, after an absence of nearly three years. He then went round to the Thames, and his ship was laid up at Deptford, where the queen condescended to partake of a banquet on board, and conferred on him the honour of knighthood. The amount of his plunder was 800,0001. ($3,840,000), a tenth of which was divided among the Officers and crew of the ship. A large sum was afterward paid over to a Spaniard, representing himself as the agent for those who had been plundered; and the