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ing new bishoprics or providing for the defence of the nation:
'Far the greater part became the prey of the king and his minions. The vast estates of noble houses remain monuments of the confiscation, and they bound those houses to the cause of Protestantism and a Protestant government so long as the conflict lasted. This is the origin, and hence were derived the politics, of the houses of Russell, Cavendish, Seymour, Grey, Dudley, Sidney, Cecil, Herbert, Fitzwilliam, Rich, which replaced the feudal baronage of the Middle Ages, linked to Protestantism and Constitutionalism by their possession of the Church lands. The effect was felt as late as the Stuart rising in 1745. ... The tithes, which had been appropriated by the monasteries, were not restored to the parishes, but embezzled by the spoilers, and, as the property of lay impropriators, remain a scandal to this hour.'
The ecclesiastical change brought about by Henry VIII. was in no sense religious : it was political or administrative only, and, notwithstanding the many abominations which ushered it in, it resulted in the rooting out of papal jurisdiction from this realm. For two hundred years since the passing of the first Statute of Præmunire in 1353_kings and their ministers had bad this before them as an ideal which they had never been able to carry out; it had only become possible when, consequent on the War of the Roses, a strong king found himself unopposed by a turbulent and powerful baronage, and thus independent of the Pope's alliance. The religious change, or reformation, followed in the reign of Edward VI.; and though the violence prompted or permitted by Somerset or Northumberland led to a reaction in the succeeding reign, the terrible scenes which, however contrary to the sentiment of the English people, were enacted by Mary's order, ensured victory to a Protestant revival, and led to a settlement which was not seriously disturbed for more than half a century. Not that it was altogether pleasing to Elizabeth. She would probably have preferred a return to Catholicism and the recognition of the Pope's authority in religious questions :
'In her chapel, to the scandal of hearty Protestants, stood the crucifix with the lighted tapers before it. She disliked married clergy, and treated their wives with the insolence which always lay beneath her gracious airs. She announced her accession to the Pope . . . probably in full accordance with her own leanings. . . . But the daughter of Anne Boleyn had been born under the ban of the Papacy. Bastard as she was in the eyes of Rome, her only title to the crown was antipapal, while there was a claimant at once papal and legitimate in the person of Mary, Queen of Scots. Elizabeth's part was decisively
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cast for her when the Vatican not only repelled her overtures, but in course of time deposed ber and absolved her subjects from their allegiance. Whether she would or not, the Queen of England became the head of the Protestant cause in Europe.'
Some of Mr. Smith's short character-sketches are admirable—snapshots of singular clearness—such, for instance, as that of John, who had 'force, fitful energy, even flashes of statesmanship and generalship,' but seems to have been thoroughly wicked. “The ecclesiastical chroniclers do not seem to have gone much beyond the mark in 'saying that when he died he made hell fouler by his coming. . . . His throne of cruelty, lust, perfidy, and rapine was upheld by mercenary troops, the scourge of a ' nation. Of John's son he says: He would have been a 'good priest; he was a bad king. That he was a king instead of being a priest was not his fault.' Somewhat similar is his judgement on George III. : 'It was no fault of his that the part cast for him by destiny was not that of a ploughman, for which he had strength and virtue; or
that of a soldier, for which he had courage; but that of 'a ruler of his kind.' James I. ‘is the butt of history as a • learned fool fancying himself the Solomon of kingcraft. ... He
He was kind-hearted, good-tempered, and, as a private man, would have most likely shambled through • life an amiable though laughable pedant. But he was thoroughly weak, and destiny brought him to show his ' weakness on a throne, where it led him into public acts of 'folly, sometimes into public crimes.' But of all our kings, the only one whoin Mr. Smith admires—the only one who seems to have been placed by destiny in his proper sphere-is Edward I.
His reign,' he says, 'is an epoch in the history not of England only, but of the world. He reigns now, through the institutions to which he gave life, over almost all European nations, in America, in Australia, in Japan. He will continue to reign, even if his special institutions should pass away, as the statesman who achieved a union of authority with national opinion. . . . He was the real founder of parliamentary government; and had he lived, or not been thwarted by the malice of fortune, he would, in all probability, have been the founder of British union. . . . Richelieu in his day crushed feudal anarchy, and installed order in its room. But he did not call forth life, and the end was decay. Edward I. called forth life. His work did not decay
It would be impossible here to follow Mr. Smith through the details of his 37-pages-long eulogy of the 'Greatest of
the Plantagenets,' even if considerations of space permitted the attempt. There is much with which every careful reader will cordially agree; much also from which many will dissent; but the general verdict must be essentially the same as Mr. Smith's. Edward's faults and errors were largely the product of his age; his goodness and greatness were his own; his work lives for his country. The author's judgement on Edward III. is, we think, less just. He was
a brilliant soldier and a magnificent man, but hardly a general and still less a statesman. A great war does not offer the best opportunities for constitutional progress or reform, and yet two statutes of Edward's reign--the first Statutes of Provisors and of Præmunire-indicate at least an intention, though it was left to his successors to reap the full benefit of them. In his later years his mind was under a cloud, but while in his prime his statesmanship was sufficient for his own needs and those of his country, and his generalship sufficed to win four great battles under his personal command, and three others by his deputies; to conduct a great siege to a successful issue, to direct a war of conquest, and to lay his enemy prostrate at his feet. What more is wanted ? If we are to picture what he might have done if opposed by a Napoleon, let us at least allow him the five centuries of experience, and the roads, the guns, and the muskets which served Napoleon. But, in truth, it is impossible to compare the warriors of different ages.
The description of battles scarcely comes within the scope of Mr. Smith's work, so that very properly he passes them and the operations of war by with but scant mention. In the history of a great empire which has grown and been consolidated by war, such an omission is serious, and yet, on the whole, it is fortunate; for what little he has said shows that of this side of history his comprehension is imperfect. The subject is distasteful to him, and from time to time he repeats some variant on the familiar platitudes of those who preach peace when there is no peace-platitudes which often take the form of casting,' in the words of Captain Mahan,* the pearls of peace before the swine of self• interest.' Thus we have : ‘By war no one can really
make trade flourish, since trade depends on wealth, which ' is destroyed by war.' This sort of thing has been repeated so often that people—some even of Mr. Smith's intellectual
* Lessons of the War with Spain, p. 45.
calibre-have come to believe in it. Mr. Smith seems to have done so.
He elaborates the idea in different passages, as a summary of our greatest successes. Thus of the Peace of Paris, following the Seven Years' War, he says :
* England kept Canada with consequences presently to be revealed, Minorca, some sugar islands, and some settlements in Africa which drew her more deeply into slavery and the slave trade, as well as her winnings in India. This was what she got for the expenditure of blood, the war taxation, eighty millions of additional debt, bringing the total up to a hundred and fifty millions, and, what proved to be a heavy item on the wrong side of the account, a renewal of deadly enmity with France. Pitt, his City worshippers said, had made commerce flourish by war. To create a factitious prosperity by the destruction of a rival marine and by war expenditure was possible. To create permanent prosperity by the destruction of wealth was not. The necessary inference from all which is quite contrary to established fact. Several of the direct gains secured by the treaty can, indeed, no longer be counted. Minorca' is a Spanish possession; the trade of the sugar islands is at a low ebb; the slave trade, having served to build up Liverpool, is a thing of the past, though Liverpool remains. But our hold on India has not been relaxed; and in the year 1900 we are not going to undervalue the acquisition of Canada, whatever Mr. Smith was ready to do in 1899. But even at the time the indirect gains of successful war were beyond comparison greater than those directly awarded. We had secured the practical monopoly of the world's commerce, and by the wars of the French Revolution and the Empire we sealed our possession.
Mr. Smith speaks of the prosperity so won as factitious ;' in history the possession for a century and a half may almost be called 'permanent. Of course the statistics of the National Debt can be adduced as certain proof of the ruinous cost of war. The proof ceases to be a proof when the figures of the National Debt are collated with those of revenue, merchant tonnage, and the value of exports and imports. It will then be understood how it was that after each increase of debt it was found easier to
Mr. Smith's comments on the war waged by Henry V. are dictated by the same spirit, speaking, it would seem, without considering the special conditions. the war to have sprung de novo out of Henry's claim to the throne of France. But the war was no new war; it was
He supposes begun by the French king eighty years before, in the hope of winning back Aquitaine to the French crown, and had gone on pretty continuously ever since. There had been truces, but they were little more than nominal. The French had taken advantage of the political state of England-an imbecile king, a dying heir, and an infant successor—to secure great successes; it was equally natural for Henry to take advantage of the sanguinary quarrel which was rending France. And what he claimed, in the first instance, was not the crown, but the terms of the Treaty of Bretigny, with Normandy added-partly, we may suppose, as compensation for the delay, partly because of the weakness of France. Of all this Mr. Smith has nothing; he says :
The conduct of France had been unfriendly; she had fomented and aided Scotch hostility and Welsh rebellion; but unfriendly also was the occupation of Calais by England, to say nothing of her barring, by the retention of a remnant of Aquitaine, with Bordeaux and Bayonne, the unification of France. The union of the two crowns upon the same head was impracticable, and if it had been practicable would have been fatal.'
It is quite legitimate to put forward these conclusions, though they are stated with an excess of assurance. Potential history is an impossible study, and in this case all that we can certainly say is that the chronicles of the two countries would be very different from what they actually are if the union had been completed and had endured. It is equally legitimate to argue, as Mr. Smith has argued, that the holding of Aquitaine by the English was contrary to the interests of England, that the effort to maintain our grasp of it would, if rightly directed, have been sufficient to reduce Scotland to allegiance. But to suggest that England was under a moral obligation to give up territory which she had legally and peacefully inherited and had held for two centuries or more, solely because the French coveted it, is neither history, nor philosophy, nor common sense. The French, at any rate, give no support to any such theory. In the end of the seventeenth century, by force, and in the beginning of the eighteenth century, by fraud, France possessed herself of Alsace and Lorraine. Germany always desired to recover these provinces, either by diplomacy or by war, but by European concert was prevented. At last, after waiting from 180 to 200 years, her opportunity came, and she compelled the robber to disgorge. France, far from accepting Mr. Smith's theory, felt and