History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth - Vol. 4

History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth - Vol. 4

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History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth - Vol. 4

History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth - Vol. 4

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The impunity with which Elizabeth's Government was able to insult and provoke the Catholic Powers of Europe is the most anomalous phenomenon in modern history. The population of England was less than half the population either of France or Spain. The nation was divided against itself, and three quarters of the Peers and half the gentlemen were disaffected. Yet the intricacies of the political situation protected the Queen not only against active resentment from abroad, but from the conspiracies of her own subjects. Everywhere, indeed, there was paradox; everywhere contradiction and inconsistency. In the struggle for existence men snatch at the first weapon that comes to hand, and cannot look too nicely at the armoury where it has been forged. Catholics and Protestants where they were a suffering minority clamoured alike for liberty of conscience; alike where they were in power they proscribed every creed but their own. The obligations of loyalty varied with the creed of the sovereign. The English Bishops who composed the Homily on Wilful Rebellion, fed the armies of the Huguenots and the Prince of Orange with contributions collected in the English churches. The Catholics who on the Continent preached the Divine right of Kings, believed in England that they might lawfully be deposed by their subjects. Princes were not more consistent than their peoples. Elizabeth was half a . . .

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