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the best portion too, those who have a conscience to be revolted, is a narrow foundation on which to build the existence and safety of a great nation; - a narrow and weak foundation, which must constantly need the props of self-interest and party management, the underpinning of “compromises,” to keep it up. Self-interest, party drill and tactics, commercial relations, railroads and telegraphs are not the stuff out of which can be made the bands which unite man to man as a brother. When alienated feeling has been produced by moral disapprobation, there is already disunion. The invisible central cord is broken, and its outside wrappings of paper constitutions, commercial ties and party ties, will show what they are made of at the first strain. The main timbers of the house are rotten, and the next tempest will prostrate it to the ground. The people of the North, — not the mob, or the worshippers of mammon in the cities, — but the people who dwell on the peaceful farms, who plough the hills and valleys, and reap their harvests, who are daily accustomed to the sight and the companionship of free, hopeful, happy, and law-guarded industry around them, are no admirers of slavery, because they consider it another name for cruelty, oppression, and tyranny. When they see a man escaped from such a state, their first impulse is to assist and protect him, not to send him back. When they see him seized by the officers of the law; when they are told that he is a piece of property; that they must help to send him back, or give their support and encouragement to those who do; that this law must be executed on pain of disunion, on pain of national death, — there arises at once a hard and doubtful struggle in their minds, between their sense of duty as citizens and their feelings as men; between their love of country and their love of humanity and justice; between the claims of the law and all the influences and teachings of their habits and lives.
If, however, they could look on the runaway, not as a man unjustly claimed as a chattel, but as a person who has rights secured to him by law, as a servant who had fled from his master, as one who really owed " service and labor” in return for support and protection, and who had wrongfully and foolishly left a position well suited to his mental and moral con
dition, thousands of honest and well-meaning men, who now oppose, or refuse their countenance and aid to, the fugitive slave law, would with joy and alacrity give it their support. The abolitionists would dwindle to an insignificant faction; fanaticism would lose its chief source of excitement, and the demagogues a topic for agitation. The subject of slavery would no longer be regarded as a weapon in party contests, as a means of influence and power in the ever-recurring strife of President-making, to which our politics seem now to have degenerated. It would thus be left, where alone it can be placed with safety, in the hands of the Southern people, who would be responsible to the country and to the world for its just and wise management. According to that management will be towards them the feeling of the North, — either coldness and aversion, or the sympathy, respect, and love due to worthy countrymen and brothers; and these are bonds stronger and more enduring than cotton and corn, than iron rails or iron wires, to preserve the Union, and to bind us together, not only as one nation, but as one people.
Art. VIII. — 1. England under the Reigns of Edward VI.
and Mary, with the Contemporary History of Europe, illustrated in a Series of Original Letters, with a Historical Introduction and Notes. By Patrick Fraser TYTLER. Lon
don. 1839. 2 vols. 8vo. 2. Lives of the Queens of England, from the Norman Conquest, with Anecdotes of their Courts ; now first published from Official Records and other Authentic Documents. By AGNES STRICKLAND. Vols. V. and VI. Philadelphia : Lea & Blanchard. 1850.
The authoress of the latter of these works, by her lively yet learned treatment of a subject on which both her talents and her sex entitle her to be heard, has aided in disabusing the popular mind of a traditional prejudice which many historians
of great reputation had done their utmost to confirm. No impartial reader of her Lives of Mary and Elizabeth Tudor can believe that the elder sister deserved to have the ugly epithet of " Bloody” prefixed to her name, or that the younger, great as was her popularity, and glorious as was her reign, possessed any of those endearing qualities which the fond appellation of Good Queen Bess” would seem to imply. But the fair writer's zeal has led her somewhat too far. She has done much to disseminate an error precisely opposite to that which she has labored to remove. If her representations should be accepted in their fullest extent, the objectionable epithets will continue to be used. The application alone will be reversed. The world will, hereafter, speak of " Good Queen Mary” and “ Bloody Bess."
In all the sovereigns of the house of Tudor, the natural texture of the character, so to speak, was the same. The fibres were coarse and strong. In the women, we observe no beautiful or delicate trait, no grace of thought, no glow of feeling; in the men, there was no generosity, no magnanimity, no chivalrous sense of honor. In all, there was the same stubbornness of will, the same coldness of heart. It was a hard, unyielding nature, — not reckless when impelled by passion, not gentle or amiable when controlled by principle. We abhor the insensibility with which it trampled on its victims, but admire the steadiness of purpose by which it triumphed over all obstacles. While the vacillation and want of energy inherent in the Stuarts, from the first prince to the last pretender in the line, twice lost them a crown, of which few wished to deprive them, and twice prevented them from regaining it when fortune was propitious; the constancy and resoluteness that so eminently characterized the Tudors enabled the founder of the dynasty to establish himself upon a throne to which he had not the shadow of a rightful claim, and his successors to maintain themselves in more than one crisis of extraordinary peril. With shades of difference in its manifestation, strength of will predominated in the character of every member of this family. It was displayed alike in the quiet and wary, but unwavering, persistence of Henry VII. ; in the selfish, sensual obstinacy of Henry VIII. ; in the conscien
tious, if unenlightened, inflexibility of Mary; and in the haughty, yet politic, firmness of Elizabeth. The first of these princes, whatever may have been his faults, was governed, in the main, by no baser passion than ambition, and his astute and indefatigable policy harmonized with the exigencies of the time. Elizabeth, with higher intellect and larger views, placed herself among the foremost champions of a cause on which the future of Christendom depended. The course pursued by Mary neither furthered the development of the nation, nor ran parallel with the tendencies of the age; but her motives, at least, were respectable; she acted in accordance with what she believed to be the strongest of all moral obligations. But Henry VIII. was neither guided by political principles nor by a mistaken sense of duty. In his character, , the peculiarities of his race assume their most repulsive aspect; and we doubt if the record of a career, so utterly, so brutally, selfish as his can be found in the annals of history. There are names, " at which the world grows pale," of men who, impelled by demoniacal frenzy, have passed from crime to crime, until their natures seemed to lose all semblance of humanity. Nero, endowed, perhaps, by nature, with an excess of sensibility, was steeped, while yet a boy, in all the infamies of the accursed age in which he lived, and reached, at last, an abyss of insatiable desires, when the last of pleasure and the lust of blood were one. The madness of uncontrollable appetites goaded that wretched heathen soul onward in its course of stupendous wickedness; and if the victim paused, if moments of reflection came, Remorse herself seized the scorpion whip, and drove him towards his fearful doom. Henry's character was of a different stamp. His was not a weak and susceptible nature, dragged by the impetuous current of an evil age into a vortex of insane desires. There was a method in his fury, very unlike the wildness of desperation. His intellect, though shallow, was clear; his will was inflexible ; his heart was wholly callous. No affection, no loyalty, ever awakened a corresponding feeling in his breast, or even the faintest consciousness of what he ought to feel. Neither argument nor entreaty could move him from a selfish purpose. Wolsey sometimes knelt before him for
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hours, vainly endeavoring, by all the arts of persuasion, to shake his determination. An intense egotism pervaded his nature. He valued men only as they ministered to his gratification or his ease, not for any intrinsic qualities of their own. When he was weary of them, or no longer needed them, if they opposed his nefarious schemes, or if their rectitude but silently reproached him, he crushed them and forgot them. The trustworthiness of virtue and the subserviency of vice were of equal estimation in his eyes. The great services of Wolsey, the integrity of More, the base compliances of Cromwell, received a like reward from his impartial brutality.
But this is not the depth of his infamy. He was incapable of feeling in cases where the most inhuman feel. He knew no shame for actions of which depravity itself is ashamed. He forgot things which the most ungrateful remember, things which are remembered by most men when they have forgotten the weightiest benefits. He sent women from his bed to the scaffold, and no recollection of their embraces brought a blush to his unmanly cheeks. He cast off the incomparable wife, on whose faithful bosom he had reposed for fifteen years or more, and used all the arts of malice and of meanness to torture the miserable remnant of her days. He consigned to an ignominious death the accomplished woman, to gain possession of whom he had made a revolution in his kingdom and agitated all Christendom, and the ignorant girl who had been his wife for a month. He caused his daughters to be virtuously educated, and branded them as illegitimate. What a wretch must this have been, who never saw in his dreams the forms which he had caressed, and which the headsman had mangled! Who can look without disgust at that face which Hans Holbein's faithful pencil has transmitted to us ? — the small pig's-eyes, the drooping, flabby, greasy cheeks, — these would have revealed the man, had history been mute,- the man destitute alike of princi. ples and of affections, who never experienced an emotion of love, of pity, of gratitude, or of remorse.
No person of ordinary, unsophisticated feelings ever read the history of this monarch without the strongest sensations of horror and contempt. Yet Henry VIII. has been very