Imatges de pàgina

treason, came to be regarded as an offence against the national cause rather than as a religious crime. Elizabeth, in fact, cared little about abstract propositions of theology. She was quite content to renounce her father's title of 'Supreme Head of the Church,' if by doing so she could persuade people to acquiesce more readily in her practical supremacy. She had no desire to 'pry into men's consciences,' but she required that every man should bow to the laws which she had made in the interests of the national unity. And the success of this policy is apparent in the religious tranquillity of the earlier part of her reign, a tranquillity which might have been permanent, had not the bulls of Pius the Fifth blown the smouldering embers of religious zeal once more into a flame; and, even then, the failure of the Catholic plots proves the general soundness of the Queen's policy.

If Elizabeth did not derive her principles and method of govern-. ment directly from Machiavelli, it is more than probable that they were suggested to her by the most trusted of her ministers, who, without doubt, had studied him to good purpose.

There is, in the library of the British Museum, a volume containing copies of Machiavelli's Prince and the Discourses on Livy bound up together. These were ostensibly published at Palermo, in 1584, but are judged, from the evidence of certain initial woodcuts, to have been actually printed clandestinely in London by one John Wolfe. On the title-page of this volume, which is elaborately underlined and annotated throughout, is the signature 'W. Cecil.' To attempt to prove that it was Lord Burleigh who owned and annotated this book is tempting; but unhappily honesty compels me to admit that the handwriting is not his, and that in any case at the date of the publication of the volume his signature would have been · W. Burleigh.' Yet the name of Cecil, in such a connection, is not without significance, and it would have been possible to argue from it, with some plausibility, that Machiavelli's treatises were known to Lord Burleigh. Fortunately, however, there is other and more conclusive evidence to prove the same point.

Burleigh was in the habit, from time to time, of reducing the outlines of any course of policy he advocated to writing, as memorials: for the Queen's use. Of these memorials several have been published among


papers, and serve to throw no little light on the character of his policy; one of them being of peculiar value, because it not only proves that Burleigh himself was a disciple of Machiavelli, but enables us to form some estimate of how far Elizabeth's religious policy was directly influenced by the Florentine writer. This document is published under the title of Advice of the Lord Treasurer Burleigh to Queen Elizabeth in Matters of Religion and State,' and the most important part of it deals with the question of the


16 Fourth collection of Somers Tracts, vol. i. p. 101.

, 16



Catholic malcontents. With regard to these there were two courses
open to the Queen. She might either allow them to grow strong, in
the hope of making them contented, or discontent them by making
them weaker, ‘for what the mixture of strength and discontent
engenders needs no syllogism to prove.' But to suffer them to be
strong in the hope of making them contented carried with it, in
his opinion, “but a fair enamelling of a terrible danger;' 'for men's
natures are apt to strive not only against the present smart, but to
revenging by past injury, though they be never so well contented
thereafter.' 17 For on the very first opportunity for revenge that
presents itself 'they will remember not the after slacking but the
former binding, and so much the more when they shall imagine this
relenting to proceed from fear; for it is the poison of all government
when the subject thinks the prince doth anything more out of fear
than favour.'18 But, above all, there should be no half-measures ; 19
for ‘no man loves one the better for giving him the bastinado, though
with never so little a cudgel ;' the course of the most wise, most
politick, and best grounded estates hath ever been to make an
assuredness of friendship, or to take away all power of enmity.'
'Yet here,' he adds, “I must distinguish between discontent and
despair ; for it sufficeth to weaken the discontented, but there is no
way to kill desperates, which in such number as they are, were as
hard and difficult as impious and ungodly; and, therefore, though
they must be discontented, I would not have them desperate ; for
amongst many desperate men it is like that some one will bring
forth some desperate deed.? 21

A comparison with The Prince or the Discourses on Livy will show that not only the spirit of the above advice, but in some cases almost the language in which it is couched, is borrowed from Machiavelli. And if the conclusion to which Burleigh is led by the above argument is a just one--namely, that the consciences of the Catholics should not be forced by compelling them to take an oath contrary to their belief in the Papal supremacy--he arrives at this conclusion not because it is wrong to force men's consciences, but because, in this case, it would be dangerous to the State to do so; and, in dealing out any scant measure of justice to the malcontents, in his opinion the furthest point to be sought was but to avoid


17 Discorsi, book iii. p. 4: Mai l' ingiurie vecchie non furono cancellate da beneficii nuovi.' Also Principe, cap. vii. end.

18 Ibid., vol. ii. p. 14; also Principe, end of chap. viii. 19 Ibid., vol. ii. p. 23 : 'Ne usarno mai la via neutrale in quelli di momento.'

20 Ibid. : Quel Principe, che non castiga chi erra, in modo che non possa più errare, è tenuto o ignorante o vile.'

21 Ibid. vol. ii. p. 28: Notabile a qualunque governa, che mai non debba tanto poco stimare un' huomo, che e' creda . . . che colui, che è ingiuriato, non si pensi di vendicarsi con ogni suo pericolo e particular danno.'

their despair.' "The knot of this discourse is,' he concludes, “that if your Majesty find it convenient, on the one side by relenting the rigour of the oath, and on the other side by disabling your unsound subjects, you shall neither execute any but very traitors in all men's opinions and constructions, nor yet put faith in any but those who ever, for their own sakes, must be faithful.'

It was the carrying out of this policy that enabled the apologists of Elizabeth's administration, Burleigh himself, Walsingham, and Bacon, to vindicate her conduct towards the Catholics by alleging that they were punished, not for conscience sake, but for treason. Yet, however strenuously they might deny that consciences were forced, however frequently they might reiterate that the Government was merely punishing those cases of conscience which had changed their character by exceeding all bounds, and become matters of faction, the fact remained that the limits of conscientious scruple had been arbitrarily fixed by themselves, and that it was their own policy of making religion an instrument for the attainment of political ends which had rendered persecution a State necessity. And through the thin disguise of all their arguments in justification of their repressive policy appears the fact that they themselves were half conscious that their real motive and true justification was the Machiavellian doctrine that all means are permissible that conduce to the well-being of the State.

Machiavellian in its details, the ecclesiastical policy of Elizabeth was, like that of Cromwell, Machiavellian also in its broader aspects. The ecclesiastical settlement under Elizabeth constituted in effect a complete revolution in the religious character of the nation. At her accession the Queen had found the nation, for the most part, Catholic; when she died it was fiercely and unalterably Protestant. And yet of this tremendous change, so skilfully veiled had been the processes, and so carefully conservative the methods, that it was possible for the Government to assert, and to assert with some plausibility, that in the polity of the Church no fundamentally new principles had been introduced. In this part (i.e. in the religious innovations),' runs a proclamation of Queen Elizabeth, we know of no other authority, either given or used by us, as Quene and Governor of this Realm, than hath ben by the Lawe of God and this Realm alwayes due to our Progenitors, Soverayns, and Kinges of the same; although true it is that this Authority hath ben in the Tyme of certen of our Progenitors, some hundred years past, as by Lawes, Records, and Storyes doth appere (and specially in the Reign of our noble Father Henry the Eighth and our deare Brother Edward the Sixth) more clearly recognized by all the Estates of the Realme, as the like hath ben in our Tyme ; without that thereby we do either challenge or take to us (as malicious Parsons do untruly surmise) any Superiority to ourself to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt of the Chrestian Fayth and Relligion, or to chang any ancient Ceremony of the Church from the Forme before received and observed



by the Catholick and Apostolick Church, or the Use of any Function belongyng to any ecclesiastical Person being a Minister of the Word and Sacraments of the Church: But that Authority which is yelded to us and our Crown consisteth in this; that, considering we are by God's Grace the Soverayn Prince and Quene, next under God, and all the People of our Realm are immediately born Subjects to us and to none ells, and that our Realme hath of long time past receaved the Christian Fayth, we are by this Authorite bound to direct all Estates, being subject to us, to live in the Fayth and Obedience of Christian Relligion, and to see the Lawes of God and Man, which are ordained to that end, to be duly observed, and the Offenders against the same duly punished, and consequently to provide that the Chirch may be governed and taught by Arch-Bishops, Bishops, and Ministers accordyng to the ecclesiastical Auncient Pollycy of the Realme, whom we do assist with our coverayn Power


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So the clergy are still, according to Elizabeth, supreme in all

cual matters ; her own function is confined to bringing, as a dutiful daughter of the Catholic Church, the secular power to the aid of religion ! Can this be the same voice that threatened to "unfrock' a certain 'proud prelate' because he tried to defend the property of his see?

Whoever desires to introduce reforms into a State,' Machiavelli had written, 'in such manner as to have them accepted, and maintained to everybody's satisfaction, must retain at least the shadow of old institutions, so as to appear to have altered nothing, while in fact the new arrangements are entirely different from the old.' 23


22 · A Declaration of the Queen's Proceedings since her Reign,' published among the Burleigh Papers, Haynes, p. 591. This proclamation was issued early in 1570, after the Northern rising. It was previous to the Pope's Bull of 1570, which threw Elizabeth into the arms of the Protestants.

23 Discorsi, vol. i. p. 25.



We have at this moment throughout the country 19,800 elementary schools under separate management-5,316 of these schools are controlled by School Boards; 14,484 by Voluntary managers. The number of scholars enrolled is, in the Board schools, 2,310,253; in the Voluntary schools 3,015,605. Both sets of schools receive aid from the Central Exchequer upon the same terms. The Board schools supplement their central aid by assistance from the rates; the Voluntary schools have to rest satisfied for their supplementary local income with what they can secure from voluntary contributions, with the result that they are, generally speaking, run much more cheaply than the Board schools. For instance, on behalf of the two million children attending the Board schools, there were drawn from the rates last year as income supplementary to the central grants, three and three-quarter millions; on behalf of the three million Voluntary schools children, the supplemental income was, roughly, three-quarters of a million.

The facts, examined from the point of view of the money spent on each child, show that 108. 4 d. less was spent last year on each child attending the, Voluntary schools than on each child attending the Board schools; and, strangely enough, of this financial disability—'intolerable strain,” Mr. Balfour styles it—of 10s. 4 d., 8s. 91d. per child is accounted for in the difference between the payments made on account of teachers in the schools of the two systems, that difference being to the disadvantage of the Voluntary school teachers.

Having got thus far, let me set down two fundamental propositions which should, I think, commend themselves to most persons. The first is this: If the country is content to send three of its five millions of elementary school children to Voluntary schools, these schools should be adequately supported. And the second : It should be the duty of the State to see that teachers in all classes of elementary schools should receive the same pay for the same work.

The unfairness of the present system is that neither of these fundamental conditions is fulfilled. The “State-aiders' amongst the supporters of Denominational schools—and by "State-aiders' I mean those who favour the policy of asking for 'special aid’ grants from

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