Elizabeth

, queen of England, one of the most celebrated sovereigns of this or of any country, was the daughter of Henry VIII. by his queen Anne Boleyn, and born in the year 1533. JShe was educated in the principles of the protestant religion, and was distinguished for her attainments in classical literature. By the last will of her father, she was nominated third in order of succession, but by the influence of the duke of Northumberland, she was by an act of Edward VI. excluded from the crown, to which nevertheless she attained on the death of her sister Mary. During, however, the reign of that sister, she was treated with the utmost indignity and severity, committed to the Tower, and threatened with still greater calamities. Her confinement in this fortress was short, for even the judges of Mary could find no plea against her, and she was sent from thence to Woodstock, where, though kept in safe custody, she was treated with much respect. Her sufferings and her principles endeared her to the nation, and she became so extremely popular that it was, in a short time, deemed impolitic to put any restraint upon her. When set at liberty she chose study and retirement, and was very submissive to the will of her sister. Attempts were made to draw her into some declarations respecting her religion, which might be laid hold of; but in every instance she acted with so much prudence and caution as to give her enemies no advantage of that kind, and seemed to comply with the external forms of the established religion, though it was well known, she was attached to that of the reformation.

Elizabeth was at Hatfield, when she heard of her sister’s death, Nov. 17, 1558, and hastening up to London, was received by the multitude with universal acclamations. Even the catholics, it is said, were not sorry at an event which promised greater security to the civil liberties of the nation. On her entrance into the Tower, then a royal palace, she could not refrain from remarking on the difference of her present and her former visit when a prisoner. Not to alarm the partizans of the catholic religion too much, before her power should be completely established, | she retained eleven of her sister’s counsellors, but in order to balance their authority, she added eight who were known to be attached to the pwtestant interest, namely the marquis of Northampton, the earl of Bedford, sir Thomas Parry, sir Edward Rogers, sir Ambrose Cave, sir Francis Knolles, sir Nicholas Bacon, whom she created lord keeper, and sir William Cecil, secretary of state. With these counsellors, particularly Cecil, she frequently deliberated concerning the means of restoring the protestant religion, and by his advice, her first measure was to recall all the exiles who had fled from her sister’s tyranny, and give liberty to all prisoners who were confined on account of religion. She next published a proclamation by which she forbade all preaching without a special licence. She also suspended the laws so far as to have a great part of the service read in English, and forbade the host to be any more elevated in her presence. A parliament soon after, in 1539, sanctioned these acts of the prerogative; and in one session the form of religion was established as it has ever since remained; and to show what a deep root the principles of the reformation had taken, even in her bloody sister’s reign, it is upon record, that out of 940O beneficed clergymen, which was the number of those in the kingdom, only fourteen bishops, twelve archdeacons, fifteen heads ef colleges, and about eighty of the parochial clergy, a number not exceeding 121, chose to quit their preferments rather than give up their religion.

The first important political measure was the negotiation for peace between France, Spain, and England, which terminated in the final abandoning of Calais, which on the queen’s part was rather prudent than pleasing; but, although peace seemed thus restored, a ground of quarrel soon appeared of a most serious nature. As Elizabeth had been declared illegitimate by Henry VIII., Francis, king of France, who had espoused Mary queen of Scots, began to assume the title of king of England, in right of his wife; and the latter seemed so far from declining this empty appellation, that she assumed the arms of that kingdom. It was natural, therefore, that Elizabeth should conclude that the king of France intended, on the first opportunity, to dispute her legitimacy, and her title to the crown. She therefore conceived a violent jealousy against the queen of Scots, which ended at length in the death of the latter by Elizabeth’s orders, a measure which has been generally | accounted a great stain on her government, while some have excused it as a painful act of necessity. It is not, however, our object in this sketch to invade the province of history; and as no event has been assigned a larger portion of history, any abridgment of the actions of, and proceedings against the unfortunate queen of Scots, would be more apt to raise curiosity than to gratify it. Besides, the history of Mary will hereafter form a separate article.

Elizabeth had scarcely been proclaimed queen, when Philip, king of Spain, the widower of Mary, who still hoped, by means of Elizabeth, to obtain over England that dominion of which he had failed in espousing Mary, immediately dispatched orders from the Low Countries to the duke of Feria, his ambassador at London, to make her proposals of marriage, and he offered to procure from Rome a dispensation for that purpose. This, however, she rejected, although in a polite manner. Philip appears to have secretly resented the rejection, and some years after, the coolness between the two sovereigns became more visible, and some petty hostilities aided to bring their mutual dislike to a crisis. The Spaniards, on their part, had sent into Ireland a body of 70,0 of their nation, with some Italians, who built there a fort, but were soon after cut off to a man by the duke of Ormond. On the other hand, the English, under the conduct of sir Francis Drake, attacked the Spaniards in their settlements in South America. Amidst such hostilities, the queen began to look out for an alkance that might support her against so dangerous an adversary. The duke of Anjou, a powerful prince, had long made pretensions to the queen and though he was younger by twenty- five years, he took the resolution to prefer his suit in person, and paid her a private visit at Greenwich. It appears that though his figure was not very advantageous, his address was so pleasing, that the queen ordered her minister to fix the terms of the contract and a day was appointed for the solemnization of their nuptials but as the time approached, Elizabeth became more and more irresolute, and at length declared against changing her condition. Capricious as this conduct may have appeared, it is certain that her principal cou 1 tiers were hostile to a match which threatened to endanger the kingdom and the established religion.

Deprived thus of a foreign ally, Elizabeth looked for resources in the loyalty of her people; but among them | she had enemies, and several conspiracies were formed against her life, for which some persons, particularly Francis Throgmorton and William Parry, were condemned and executed. Such attempts, incited by the popish party, served to increase the severity of the laws against persons of that communion. Popish priests were banished the kingdom; those who harboured or relieved them were declared guilty of felony, and many were executed in consequence of these laws. Babington’s conspiracy was perhaps yet more formidable, but being discovered, the conspirators were executed, and the fate of Mary, queen of Scots, was precipitated by the share, or supposed share, she had in it. The conduct of Elizabeth, after Mary’s execution, forms a part of her character too important to be omitted. When informed of that event, she affected the utmost surprize and indignation. Her countenance changed, her speech faultered, she stood some time fixed, like a statue, in mute astonishment, and afterwards burst into loud lamentations. She put herself in deep mourning, was seen perpetually bathed in tears, and surrounded only by her female attendants. If any of her ministers approached her, she chased them from her, with the most violent expressions of rage and resentment. They had, all of them, she ‘said, been guilty of an unpardonable crime, in putting to death her dear sister and kinswoman, contrary to her fixed purpose, with which they were sufficiently acquainted. In order to appease the king of Scots, to whom she soon wrote a letter of apology, she committed Davison to prison, and commanded him to be tried in the star-chamber for sending off the warrant for Mary’s execution. (See Davison.) James, of Scotland, notwithstanding Elizabeth’s apology, discovered the highest resentment at the death of his mother, and refused to admit into his presence sir Robert Gary, whom the queen had sent as her ambassador. He likewise recalled his ambassadors from England, while the states of Scotland, being assembled, professed that they were ready to spend their lives and fortunes in revenge of his mother’s death, and in defence of his title to the crown of England: but Elizabeth, by frequent messengers and persuasions, aided, perhaps, by James’s peaceable disposition, prevailed on him to return to his amicable correspondence with the court of England.

It was time, indeed, for Elizabeth now to turn her attention towards Spain. Hearing that Philip was secretly | preparing a great navy to attack her, she sent sir Francis Drake with a fleet to intercept his supplies, to pillage his coast, and destroy his shipping. Drake sailed with four capital ships of the queen’s, and twenty-six great and small, with which the London merchants, in hopes of sharing the plunder, had supplied him. Having learned that a Spanish fleet, richly laden, was lying at Cadiz, he boldly made an attack, forced six gallies to take shelter under the forts, burned about an hundred vessels laden with ammunition and naval stores; and destroyed a great ship belonging to the marquis of Santa Croce. Thence he set sail for Cape Vincent, and took by assault the castle situated on that promontory, with three other fortresses. After insulting Lisbon, he took a rich carrack. and by this short expedition, the English seamen learned to despise the unwieldy ships of the enemy; the intended hostilities against England were retarded for a twelvemonth, and the queen had leisure to take more secure measures against that formidable invasion.

Philip, however, proceeded with unremitting diligence, and every part of his dominions resounded with the noise of armaments. The marquis of Santa Croce, a sea-officer of great reputation and experience, was destined to command the fleet. In all the ports of Sicily, Naples, Spain, and Portugal, artizans were employed in building vessels of uncommon size and force naval stores were bought at a great expence armies were levied, and quartered along the maritime parts of Spain and every thing threatened the most formidable naval enterprize that Europe ever beheld. The duke of Parma was to conduct the landforces, twenty-thousand of whom were on board the fleet, and thirty-four thousand more were assembled in the Netherlands, ready to be transported into England. The most renowned nobility, and princes of Italy and Spain were ambitious of sharing in the honour of this great enterprize, and the Spaniards, ostentatious of their power, already denominated their navy the Invincible Armada.

When the news reached England that this mighty fleet was preparing to sail, terror and consternation universally seized the inhabitants. A fleet of not above thirty ships of war, and those very small in comparison, was all that they had to oppose it by sea. All the commercial towns of England, however, were required to furnish ships for reinfiprciqg this small navy. The citizens of London, instead of | fifteen vessels, which they were commanded to equip, voluntarily fitted out double the number. The gentry and nobility equipped forty three ships at their own charge. Lord Howard of Effingham was admiral, and under him served Drake, Hawkins, and Frobisher, all celebrated for courage and capacity. The principal fleet was stationed at Plymouth. A smaller squadron, consisting of forty vessels, English and Flemish, was commanded by lord Seymour, second son of the protector Somerset, and lay off Dunkirk, in order to intercept the duke of Parma. The land forces of England, though more numerous than the enemy, were greatly inferior in discipline and experience. An army of 2O,000 men was disposed in different bodies along the south coast; and a body of 22,000 foot and 1000 horse was stationed at Tilbury, in order to defend the capital. The principal army consisted of 34,000 foot and 2OOO horse, and was commanded by lord Hunsdon. These forces were reserved for guarding the queen’s person; and were appointed to march whithersoever the enemy should appear. The fate of England, if all the Spanish armies should be aule to land, seemed to depend on the issue of a single battle; from which no favourable expectation could be formed, considering the force of 60,000 veteran Spaniards, commanded by experienced officers, under the duke of Parma, the greatest general of the age.

In the midst of all this danger the queen appeared undismayed, issued her orders with tranquillity, animated her people to a steady resistance; and the more to excite the martial spirit of the nation, appeared on horseback at Tilbury, exhorting the soldiersto their duty, and promising to share with them the same dangers and the same fate. On this occasion the words of her address are said to have been these: “My loving people, we have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourselves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear I have always so behaved myself, that, under God, I have placed my chief strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects. And therefore I am coma amongst you at this time; not as for my recreation or sport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live or die amongst you all; to lay down, for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honour and my | blood, even in the dust. I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart of a king, and of a king: of England too and think foul scorn that Parma, or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realms. To which, rather than any dishonour should grow by me, I myself will take up arms; I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. I know already, by your forwardness, that you have deserved rewards and crowns; and we do assure you, on the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the mean time, my lieutenant-general shall be in my stead, than whom, never prince commanded a more, noble and worthy subject; not doubting by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over these enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people.” On hearing this, an attachment to her person became a kind of enthusiasm among the soldiery; and they asked one another, whether it were possible that Englishmen could abandon the glorious cause, could display less fortitude than appeared in the female sex, or could ever by any dangers be induced to relinquish the defence of their heroic princess.

The Spanish Armada was ready in the beginning of May, 1588, but its sailing was retarded by the death of the marquis de Santa Croce, the admiral, and that also of the vice-admiral, the duke of Paliano. The command of the expedition was, therefore, given to the duke of Medina Sidonia, a man entirely unexperienced in sea affairs. This promotion in some measure served to frustrate the design, which was also rendered less successful by some other accidents. Upon leaving the port of Lisbon, the armada next day met with a violent tempest, which sunk some of the smallest of their shipping, and obliged the fleet to put back into the harbour. After some time spent in refitting, they put again to sea, where they took a fisherman, who informed them that the English fleet, hearing of the dispersion of the armada in a storm, had retired into Plymouth, and that most of the seamen were discharged. From this false intelligence, the Spanish admiral, instead of sailing directly to the coast of Flanders, to receive the troops stationed there, as he had been instructed, resolved | to steer for Plymouth, and destroy the shipping in that port, a resolution which proved the safety of England.

The Lizard was the first land made by the armada, about sun-set; and as the Spaniards took it for the Ramhead, near Plymouth, they bore out to sea with an intention of returning next day, and attacking the English navy. They were descried by Fleming, a Scotch pirate, who was roving in these seas, and who immediately set sail to inform the English admiral of their approach, another event which contributed extremely to the safety of the fleet. EffinL,ham, the English admiral, had just time to get out of port, when he saw the Spanish armada coming full sail towards him, disposed in the form of a crescent, and stretching the distance of seven miles from the extremity of one division to that of the other The writers of that age, says Hume, whose narrative we have partly followed, raise their style by a pompous description of this spectacle; the most magnificent that had ever appeared upon the ocean, infusing equal terror and admiration into the minds of all beholders. The lofty masts, the swelling sails, and the towering prows of the Spanish galleons, seem impossible to be justly painted, but by assuming the colours of poetry; and an eloquent historian of Italy, Bentivoglio, in imitation of Camden, has asserted, that the armada, though the ships bore every sail, yet advanced with a slow motion, as if the ocean groaned with supporting, and the winds were tired with impelling, so enormous a weight. The truth, however, is, that the largest of the Spanish vessels would scarcely pass for third-rates in the present navy of England j’and they were so ill-framed, or so ill-governed, that they were quite unwieldy, and could not sail upon a wind, nor tack on occasion, nor be managed in stormy weather by the seamen. Neither the mechanics of ship-building, nor the experience of mariners, had attained so great perfection as could serve for the security and government of such bulky vessels; and the English, who had already had experience how unserviceable they commonly were, beheld without dismay their, tremendous appearance.

Effingham gave orders not to come to close fight with the Spaniards, where the size of the ships, he suspected, and the number of the soldiers, would be a disadvantage to the English but to cannonade them at a | distance, and to wait the opportunity which winds, currents, or various accidents must afford him, of intercepting some scattered vessels of the enemy. Nor was it long before the event answered expectation. A great ship of Biscay, on board of which was a considerable part of the Spanish money, took fire by accident; and while all hands were employed in extinguishing the flames, she fell behind the rest of the armada; the great galleon of Andalusia was detained by the springing of her mast; and both these vessels were taken, after some resistance, by sir Francis Drake. As the armada advanced up the channel, the English hung upon its rear, and still infested it with skirmishes. Each trial abated the confidence of the Spaniards, and added courage to the English; and the latter soon found, that even in close fight the size of the Spanish ships was no advantage to them. Their bulk exposed them the more to the fire of the enemy; while their cannon, placed too high, shot over the heads of the English. The alarm having now reached the coast of England, the nobility and gentry hastened out with their vessels from every harbour, and reinforced the admiral. The earls of Oxford, Northumberland, and Cumberland, sir Thomas Cecil, sir Robert Cecil, sir Walter Raleigh, sir Thomas Vavasor, sir Thomas Gerrard, sir Thomas Blount, with many others, distinguished themselves by this generous and disinterested service of their country. The English fleet, after the conjunction of those ships, amounted to an hundred and forty four sail.

The armada had now reached Calais, and cast anchor before that place; in expectation that the duke of Parma, who had gotten intelligence of their approach, would put to sea and join his forces to them. The English admiral practised here a successful stratagem upon the Spaniards. He took eight of his smaller ships, and filling them with all combustible materials, sent them one after another into the midst of the enemy. The Spaniards fancied that they were fireships of the same contrivance with a famous vessel which had lately done so much execution in the Scheld near Antwerp; and they immediately cut their cables, and took to flight with the greatest disorder and precipitation. The English fell upon them next morning while in confusion; and besides doing great damage to other ships, they took oV destroyed about twelve of the enemy. By this time it was become apparent, that the intention for which | these preparations were made by the Spaniards, was entirely frustrated. The vessels provided by the duke of Parma were made for transporting soldiers, not for fighting; and that general, when urged to leave the harbour, positively refused to expose his flourishing army to such apparent hazard; while the English were not only able to keep the sea, but seemed even to triumph over their enemy. The Spanish admiral found, in many rencounters, that while he lost so considerable a part of his own navy, he had destroyed only one small vessel of the English and he foresaw that by continuing so unequal a combat, he must draw inevitable destruction on all the remainder. He prepared therefore to return homewards; but as the wind was contrary to his passage through the channel, he resolved to sail northwards, and making the tour of the island, reach the Spanish harbours by the ocean. The English feet followed him during some time; and had not their ammuniiion fallen short, by the negligence of the offices in supplying them, they had obliged the whole armada to surrender at discretion. The duke of Medina had once taken that resolution; but was diverted from it by the advice of his confessor. This conclusion of the enterprize would have been more glorious to the English; but the event proved almost equally fatal to the Spaniards. A violent tempest overtook the armada after it passed the Orkneys; the ships had already lost their anchors, and were obliged to keep to sea; the mariners, unaccustomed to such hardships, and not able to govern such unwieldy vessels, yielded to the fury of the storm, and allowed their ships to drive either on the western isles of Scotland, or on the coast of Ireland, where they were miserably wrecked^ Not a half of the navy returned to Spain; and the seamen as well as soldiers who remained, were so overcome with hardships and fatigue, and so dispirited by their discomfiture, that they filled all Spain with accounts of the desperate valour of the English, and of the tempestuous violence of that ocean which surrounds them. Such was the miserable and dishonourable conduct of an enterprize which had been preparing for three years, which had exhausted the revenue and force of Spain, and which had long filled all Europe with anxiety or expectation, and which was intended to have destroyed the civil liberties, as well as the reformed religion, in England. | Soon after this, which was one of the most important events in the history of Elizabeth, or any other sovereign of England, Elizabeth became the ally of Henry IV. in order to vindicate his title, and establish him firmly on the throne of France, and for some years the Englisii auxiliaries served in France, while several naval expeditions, undertaken by individuals, or by the queen, raised the reputation of England to an extraordinary height. At this period Robert Devereux earl of Essex, the queen’s favourite, highly distinguished himself; but the events of his unfortunate life have been already given. (See Devereux.)

In 1601, Elizabeth held a conference with the marquis de Rosni, who is better known in history as s the celebrated Sully, for the purpose of establishing, in concurrence with England, a new system of European power, with a view of controlling the vast influence of the house of Austria, and producing a lasting peace. The queen coincided with his projects, and the French minister departed in admiration of the solidity and enlargement of her political views. The queen, having suppressed an insurrection in Ireland, and obliged all the Spanish troops sent to its assistance to quit the island, she turned her thoughts towards relieving the burdens of her subjects; she abolished a number of monopolies, and became extremely popular. But the execution o her favourite, the earl of Essex, gave a fatal blow to her happiness. When she learnt from the countess of Nottingham, that he had solicited her pardon, which had been concealed from her, she at first became furious with rage, and when the violence of anger subsided, she fell into the deepest and most incurable melancholy, rejecting all consolation, and refusing food and sustenance of every kind. She remained for days sullen and immoveable, “feeding,” says the historian, “her thoughts on her afflictions, and declaring life and existence an insufferable burden to her.” Few words she uttered, and they were all expressive of some inward grief, which she cared not to reveal: but sighs and groans were the chief vent which she gave to her despondency, and which, though they discovered her sorrows, were never able to ease or assuage them. Ten days and nights she lay upon the carpet, leaning on cushions which her maids brought her, and her physicians could not persuade her to allow herself to be put to bed, much less to make trial of any remedies which they | prescribed to her. Her anxious mind at last had so long preyed on her frail body, that her end was visibly approaching; and the council being assembled, sent the keeper, admiral, and secretary, to know her will with regard to her successor. She answered with a faint voice, that, as she had held a regal sceptre, she desired no other than a royal successor. Cecil requesting her to explain herself more particularly, she subjoined, that she would have a king to succeed her, and who should that be, but her nearest kinsman, the king of Scots Being then advised by the archbishop of Canterbury to fix her thoughts upon God, she replied, that she did so, nor did her mind in the least wander from him. Her voice soon after left her her senses failed she fell into a lethargic slumber, which continued some hours, and she expired gently, without farther struggle or convulsion, in the 70th year of her age, and forty-fifth of her reign.

So dark a cloud, says Hume, overcast the evening of that day which had shone out with a mighty lustre in the eyes of all Europe. There are few great personages in history who have been more exposed to the calumnies of enemies, and the adulation of friends, than queen Elizabeth, and yet there is scarcely any whose reputation has been more certainly determined by the unanimous consent of posterity. The unusual length of her administration, and the strong features of her character, were able to overcome all prejudices; and obliging her detractors to abate much of their invectives, and her admirers somewhat of their panegyrics, have at last, in spite of political factions, and, what is more, of religions animosities, produced an uniform judgment with regard to her conduct. Her vigour, her constancy, her magnanimity, her penetration, vigilance, and address, are allowed to merit the highest praises, and appear not to have been surpassed by any person that ever filK d a throne; a conduct less rigoro.us, less imperious, more sincere, more indulgent to her people, would have been requisite to have formed a perfect character. By the force of her mind, she controlled all her more active and stronger qualities, and prevented them from running into excess. Her heroism was exempt from temerity, her frugality from avarice, her friendship from partiality, her active temper from turbulency and a vain ambition she guarded not herself with equal care or equal success from lesser infirmities the rivalship of beauty, the | desire of admiration, the jealousy of love, and the sallies of anger.

Under the wise conduct of Elizabeth the Protestant religion was firmly established, factions restrained, government strengthened, the power of Spain nobly opposed, and withstood, oppressed neighbours supported, a navy created, commerce rendered flourishing, and the national glory aggrandized. No sovereign was ever more jealous of power and prerogative; yet she was truly ambitious of obtaining the general affections of her subjects. She made, during her long reign, frequent progresses, and paid many domestic visits, which were partly the result of policy, partly of economy. She wished to be thought a friend to literature, but never displayed the liberality of a patroness. Her manners and language were but little suited to the delicacy of the female character.

When we contemplate her as a woman, adds Hume, we are apt to be struck with the highest admiration of her great qualities and extensive capacity, but we are apt also to require some more softness of disposition, some greater lenity of temper, some of those amiable weaknesses by which her sex is distinguished. But the true method of estimating her merit, is to lay aside all these considerations, and consider her merely as a rational being, placed in authority, and entrusted with the government of mankind. We may find it difficult to reconcile our fancy to her as a wife or mistress, but her qualities as a sovereign, though with some considerable exceptions, are the object of undisputed applause and approbation.

Bolingbroke’s character of queen Elizabeth coincides in part with the preceding. In his “Idea of a Patriot King,” he says, “our Elizabeth was queen in a limited monarchy, and reigned over a people at all times more easily led than driven; and at that time capable of being attached to their prince and their country by a more generous principle than any of those which prevail in our days, by affection, There was a strong prerogative then in being, and the crown was in possession of greater legal power. Popularity was, however, then, as it is now, and as it must be always in mixed government, the sole true foundation of that sufficient authority and influence which other constitutions give the prince gratis, and independently of the people, but which a king of this nation must acquire. The wise queea saw it and she saw too, how much popularity | depends on those appearances that depend on the decorum, the decency, the grace, and the propriety of behaviour, of which we are speaking. A warm concern for the interest and honour of the nation, a tenderness for the people, and a confidence in their affections, were appearances that ran through her whole public conduct, and gave life and colour to it. She did great things: and she knew hovr to set them off according to their full value, by her manner of doing them. In her private behaviour she shewed great affability, she descended even to familiarity; but her familiarity was such, as could not be imputed to her weakness, and was therefore most justly ascribed to her goodnew. Though a woman, she hid all that was womunislt about her: and, if a few equivocal marks of coquetry appeared on some occasions, they passed like flashes of lightning, vanished as soon as they were discerned, and imprinted no blot on her character. She had private friendships, she had favourites; but she never suffered her friends to forget she was their queen; and when her favourites did, she made them feel that she was so.

Although modern wits have amused themselves with the flatteries too frequently offered to this great queen, on account of her literary productions, and although some of these productions enumerated by lord Orford, and hid able continuator Mr. Park, are rather valuable as curiosities, than as acquisitions to the literary history of her age, yet it cannot be refused that she was truly and substantially learned, having studied the best ancient as well as modern authors. The confinement and persecutions of her youth afforded scope for the acquisition of eminent intellectual attainments. That she was well skilled in the Greek, was manifest from her writing a comment on Plato, and translating into Latin a Dialogue of Xenophon, two orations of Isocrates, and a play of Euripides. Into English she translated Plutarchde Curiositate.” Her versions from Latin authors were, Boethius’s- Consolation of Philosophy, Sallust’s Jugurthine War, and part of Horace’s Art of Poetry. With her general learning, Elizabeth united an uncommon readiness in speaking the Latin language, which she displayed in three orations; one delivered in the university of Cambridge, and two in Oxford. An extraqrdinary instance of her ability in this way, was exhibited in a rapid piece of eloquence with which she interrupted an insolent ambassador from Poland. “Having | ended her oration, she, lion-like, rising,” says the historian, “daunted the malapert orator no less with her stately port and majestic departure, than with the tartness of her princely chekes (reproofs); and, turning to the train of her attendants, said, ‘God’s death! my Lords! I have been forced this day secure up my old Latin, that hath, long laid rusting’.” By her contemporaries, Elizabeth has been highly extolled for her poetry, butto this modern taste will demnrr, yet she had a capacity for Latin versification.

Referring to lord Orford, &c. for a catalogue of her translations from the French, her prayers and meditations, her speeches in parliament, and her letters, which last are dispersed in vast numbers through a variety of collections, we may remark that education and principle led her to favour the reformation; nor could she hesitate on the subject, but acted with caution, not to alarm the adherents to popery by too explicit a declaration of her sentiments, and yet taking care to afford early indications of her favourable views to the cause, some of them displayed in a manner pleasing and ingenious. At the time of her coronation, when she was solemnly conducted through London, a boy, who personated Truth, was let down from one of the triumphal arches, and presented her with a copy of the Bible, which she received in the most gracious manner, placing it in her bosom, and declaring, that amidst all the costly testimonies which the citizens had that day afforded of their attachment, this present was by far most precious and acceptable. 1

1

Hist, of England. Ballard’s Memoirs. Lord Orford’s Royal and Noble Authors, by Park. Nichols’s Progresses. Wood’s Anna’s. Andrew’s Continuation of Hnnry’s History. —Strype’s Annals and Memorials. In all these are many anecdotes of the personal character of Elizabeth,