Abbildungen der Seite

tion, vi gilance, and address, are allowed to merit the highest p'raises, and appea'r/ no't to have been surpa'ssed/ by any per'son/ who ev'er-filled-a-thro'ne : a co'nduct less rigo'rous, less impe'rious, more since're, more indûlgent, to her pe’ople, would have been r'equisite/ to have foʻrmed a perfect-character. By the force of her mi'nd, she controlled all her more active and stro'ng-qualities, and prevented them from running into exce'ss. Her he'roism/ was exempted from all teme'rity, her fruga’lity/ from a varice, her frie'ndship/from partia'lity, her enterprises/ from tu'rbulence and a vain ambition ; she guarded not herself, with equal ca’re/ or equal succe'ss, from le’ss-infirmities—the ri'valship of beauty, the desi’re of admiration, the je'alousy of lo've, and the sa'llies of anger.

Her singular talents for government/ were fo’unded/equally/ on her te'mper, and on her capacity. Endowed with a great command over herse'lf, she soon obtained an uncontrolled asce'ndant over the people ; a'nd/ while she merited all their esteem by her re’al-virtues, she also engaged their affections by her prêtended-ones. Few sovereigns of England succeeded to the throne/ in more difficult-circumstances, and nône/ ever conducted the go'vernment/ with such uniform succe'ss) and felic'ity. Though unacquainted with the pra'ctice of tolera'tion, (the trûe-secret for managing reli'gious-factions), she preserved her pe’ople, by her superior prudence, from those confussions/ in which theological co'ntroversy/ had involved all the ne'ighbouring-nations : a'nd/ though her en'emies/ were the most powerful princes of E'urope, the most a'ctive, the most e'nterprising, the le'ast scru'pulous ; she was a'ble, by her vigour, to make deep impressions on their states; her own gre'atness (meanwh'ile) remaining untoʻuched and unimpa'ired.

The wise ministers and brave wa’rriors (who flourished during her re'ign) share the prai'se of her successs; bu't, instead of lessening*-the-applause-due-to-her, they make great addition to it. They o'wed (all of them) their adva'ncement to her cho'ice; they were supported by her coʻnstancy; a'nd, with all their ability, they were never a'ble/ to acquire an undûe asc'endant o'ver-her. In her fa'mily, in her cou'rt, in her ki'ngdom, she remained equally mistress. The force of the tender pa'ssions/ was gre’at over her, but the force of her mi`nd/ was still supe'rior ; and the com'bat/ which her victory visibly coʻst her, serves only/ to display the fir'mness of her resolu'tion, and the loʻftiness of her ambi'tious se'ntiments.

* “Lessening the applause due to her," it will be observed, must be considered as one rhetorical word, having the inflexion placed over the principal accented syllable (less.)

The fame of this pri'ncess (though it has surmounted the prejudices/ both of faction and of bi gotry), yet lies still exposed to another pre judice, which/ is more du'rable, because more nâtural ; and which (according to the different views in which we surve'y-her) is capable, either' of exalting beyond me’asure, or diminishing the lu'stre of her cha'racter. This prejudice/ is fou’nded/ on the consideration of her se's. When we contemplate her as a woman, we are apt/ to be struck with the highest admiration of her qu`alities and extensive capa'city; but/ we are also apt/ to require some more so'ftness of disposi'tion, some greater le’nity of te'mper, some of those amiable w'eaknesses by which her se'x/ is disti'nguished. But, the trûe method of estimating her merit i'5/* to lay aside all thěse considerations, and to consider her merely as a rational be'ing, pla'ced in authoʻrity, and entrusted with the goʻvernment of manki'nd. We

may find it difficult/ to reconcile our fancy to her/ as a wife or a mi'stress ; but her qua'lities/ as a sovereign (though with some considerable exce'ptions) are the object of undisputed appla’use/ and approba'tion.

Additional Note by the Author of Waverley. Queen El'izabeth/ had a character/ strangely compounded of the strongest masculine se'nse, with those fo'ibles/ which are chiefly supposed proper/ to the fe'male sex. Her s'ubjects/ had the full be'nefit of her vi'rtues, (which far predominated over her weăknesses); but her coʻurtiers, and those about her peʼrson, had often to sustain sudden and embar'rassing turns of capri'ce, and the sa'llies of a te'mper/ which was both je’alous/ and despotic. She was the nursing-mother of her pe'ople, but she was also the true daughter of Henry VIIIth'; and though early su’fferings and an excellent educa'tion/ had repre'ssed and mo'dified, they had not altogether destroyed the hereditary te'mper of that “hard-ruled Kin'g.” “Her mi'nd” (says her witty god-son, Sir John Harrington, who had expe'rienced/ both the sm’iles and the frôwns which he describ'es) was ofttime

Concluding voice ; see p. 44.


† For the propriety of pausing after the verb to be, see Note of Rule IV. page 30.

like the gentle a'ir, that cometh from the western po'int/ in a summer's mo'rn,—-'twas sweet and refreshing to all/ arou'ndne'r. Her spe’ech/ did win all affe'ctions. And aga'in, she could put forth such alter'ations (when obedience was la'cking) as left no doubting whose daughter she wa's. When she sľmiled, it was a pure su'n-shine, that every one did choose to ba'sk in, if he coʻuld ; but/ an'on/ came a storm, from a sudden gathering of clo'uds, and the thunder fe'll (in a wondrous m'anner) on a'll alike'.”

The mind of England's Elizabeth, in sho'rt, was of that fir'm and deci'ded-character/ which soon recovers its natural to'ne. It was like one of those ancient/ druidical m'onuments, called rocking-stones. The finger of Cu'pid (bóy as he is painted) could put her feelings in m'otion, but the power of Hércules/ could not destro'y their equili'brium.

Concluding tne.


ROBERTSON. To all the cha'rms of beauty, and the* utmost elegance of external f'orm, Mary added those accoʻmplishments/ which render their impression irresis'tible. Polite, a' ffable, in sinuating, sprightly, and capable of speaking/ and of writing, with equal e'ase and dignity. Sudden, however, and violent in all her atta'chments, because her heart was w'arm/ and unsuspicious. Impatient of contradiction, because she had been accéustomed/ from her in'fancy/ to be treated as a queen. No stranger, on sôme-occasions, to dissimula'tion ; wh'ich (in that perfidious court/ where she received her e’ducation) was r’eckoned/ among the necessary-arts-of-government. Not insensible or unconscious of that ple'asure, with which almost every wo'man/ beholds the influence of her own bea'uty. Formed with the qu'alities/ that we lo've, not with the talents that we adm'ire, she was an agreeable wôman, rather than an illustrious que'en.

The vivacity of her spi'rit (not sufficiently tempered with sound ju'dgment), and the warmth of her h'eart (which was not/ at a'll times/ under the restraint of discr'etion), betr'ayed

* When the definite article occurs before words that commence with a vowel or silent h, it should be sounded nearly like the pronoun thee.-Ed.

+ “Necessary arts of government,” is one rhetorical word.


[merged small][ocr errors]

her/ bo‘th into eʼrrors and into crsmes. To say

that she was always unf'ortunate, will not account for that long and almost uninterrupted succession of calam'ities, which befel her : we must likewise a'dd, that she was often impru`dent. Her passion for Darnley/ was ra'sh, yoʻuthful, and excessive. A'nd, though the sudden transition to the opposite extr'eme/ was the natural effe'ct of her ill-requited lov'e, and of his ingratitude, in'solence, and brutălity; yet neither these, nor Bothwell's artful address and important services, can ju'stify-her-attachment to that nobleman. Even the manners of the a'ge (licentious as they we're) are no apology for this unhappy passion ; nor can they induce us/ to look on that tragical and infamous sce'ne/ which fol'lowed-upon-it/ with less abho'rrence. Humanity/ will draw a veil over this part of her cha'racter, which it can'not appr'ove; and may perhaps prompt so'me/ to impute her actions to her situaạtion, moʻre than to her disposition ; and to lam’ent the unhappiness of the former, rather than accu'se the perve'rseness of the latter. Mary's sufferings exceed (both in degree and in dura'tion) those tragical distre'sses/ which fancy has feigned to excite so'rrow and commiser'ation; and/ while we survey them, we are a'pt/ altogether/ to forget her fr'ailties ; we think of her fau^lts with less indigna'tion; and approve

of our tesars, as if they were shed for a person, who had attained much nearer to pu're-virtue.

With regard to the queen's pe’rson, (a circumstance not to be omitted in writing the history of a female-reign) all contemporary a’uthors agre'e/ in ascri'bing to M'ary the utmost beauty of coun’tenance and elegance of sh’ape of which the human foʻrm/ is capable. Her h'air was black, thoʻugh (according to the fashion of that a'ge) she frequently wore borrowed loʻcks, and of different co'lours. Her ey'es/ were a dark gre'y, her comple'xion/ was exquisitely fi'ne, and her h'ands and ar’ms/ remarkably d'elicate, both as to sh’ape and co'lour. Her stature was of a h'eight/ that rose to the maje'stic. She dan'ced, she walk'ed, she ro'de, with e'qual grace'. Her taste for m'usic was ju'st : and she both su'ng/ and play'ed upon the lu'te/ with uncommon sk'ill. No m’an (says Br’antome) ever beheld her person without admiration and lo've, or will read her history/ without sorro'w.*

Concluding tone.

* This sentence, agreeably to Rule X., page 12, terminates with the rising inflexion.

Additional Note by the Author of Waverley. Her fa'ce, her for'm, have been so deeply impressed upon the imagin’ation, a's (even at the distance of nearly three ce'nturies) to re.nind the most ignorant and uninformed re’ader of the striking tra'its, which characterize that remarkable coʻuntenance, wnich see'ms/ at onc'e/ to combine our ide'as of the maje'stic, the pl'easing, and the bri'lliant, leaving us to doubt/ whether they express/ moʻst happily/ the qu'een, the beauty, or the acco'mplished-woman. Who is the’re (at the very men tion of Mary Stuart's na'me) that ha's not her countenance befoʻre him, fam'iliar/ as that of the mistress of his yoʻuth, or the favourite da'ughter of his advanced ag'e ? Even tho'se/ who feel themselves compelled to believe a’ll (or mu`ch of what her enemies laid to her ch'arge) cannot think) without a si gh/ upon the co'untenance/ expressive of an'y thing/ rather than the foul crim'es/ with which she was charged while li’ving, and wh'ich/ still continue to sh'ade, if not to blaạcken-her-memory. That bro'w, so truly oʻpen and regal—those ey'e-brows, so regularly graceful, which yet were saved from the charge of regular insipi’dity by the beautiful effe'ct of the hazel ey'es/ which they over-arched, and which/ seem to utter a thoʻusand-historiesthe no'se, with all its Grecian precision of oʻutline-the mo'uth/ so well propo'rtioned, so sweetly foʻrmed (as if designed to speak nothing but what was delightful to h’ear)—the dimpled ch'inthe sta'tely/ swan-like n'eck, form a countenance, the like of wh’ich/ we know not to have existed in any o'ther ch'aracter/ moving in that high class of li'fe, where the a'ctress (as we'll as the a'ctors) commands ge'neral and undivided atte'ntion. It is in vain to say that the poʻrtraits/ which exist of this remarkable wo'man/ are not like each o'ther ; fo'r, amidst their discrepancy, e’ach/ possesses general fea'tures/ which the eye' | at onc'e/ acknowledges as peculiar to the vi’sion, which our imagination has rais'ed/ while we read her history for the first tim'e, and wh'ich/ has been impr'essed upon it/ by the numerous prints and pi’ctures, which we have se'en. Inde'ed/ we cannot look

upon the woʻrst of th'em (however deficient in point of execu’tion) without saying that it is meant for Queen Ma'ry ; and no small instance it i's/ of the power of beauty, that her cha'rms/ should have remained the sub'ject/ not merely of admira'tion, but of warm and chivalrous inter’est, after the lapse

« ZurückWeiter »