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settlers of the Pale, even the iron will of Cromwell shrank. It was at once too bloody and too expensive. To win over the chiefs, to turn them by policy and a patient generosity into English nobles, to use the traditional devotion of their tribal dependents as a means of diffusing the new civilization of their chiefs, to trust to time and steady government for the gradual reformation of the country, was a policy safer, cheaper, more humane, and more statesmanlike. It was this system which, even before the fall of the Geraldines, Henry had resolved to adopt; and it was this which he pressed on Ireland when the conquest laid it at his feet. The chiefs were to be persuaded of the advantage of justice and legal rule. Their fear of any purpose to "expel them from their lands and dominions lawfully possessed" was to be dispelled by a promise "to conserve them as their own." Even their remonstrances against the introduction of English law were to be regarded, and the course of justice to be enforced or mitigated according to the circumstances of the country. In the resumption of lands or rights which clearly belonged to the Crown" sober ways, politic shifts, and amiable persuasions" were to be preferred to rigorous dealing. It was this system of conciliation which was in the main carried out by the English Government under Henry and his two successors. Chieftain after chieftain was won over to the acceptance of the indenture which guaranteed him in the possession of his lands, and left his authority over his tribesmen untouched, on condition of a pledge of loyalty, of abstinence
from illegal wars and exactions on his fellow-subjects, and of rendering a fixed tribute and service in wartime to the Crown. The sole test of loyalty demanded was the acceptance of an English title, and the education of a son at the English court; though in some cases, like that of the O'Neils, a promise was exacted to use the English language and dress, and to encourage tillage and husbandry. Compliance with conditions such as these was procured, not merely by the terror of the royal name, but by heavy bribes. The chieftains in fact profited greatly by the change. Not only were the lands of the suppressed abbeys granted to them on their assumption of their new titles, but the English law-courts, ignoring the Irish custom by which the land belonged to the tribe at large, regarded the chiefs as sole proprietors of the soil.
J. R. GREEN: QUEEN ELIZABETH
From "A Short History of the English People," London, 1888, pp. 370-376.
This analysis is notable because it is put so rigidly in terms of specific fact. Almost any one knows what he thinks of another person's character; it is only the person who has the genius and the perseverance to scrutinize the facts, to harmonize them, and to put them together without abstraction whose explanation is universally convincing. Facts, besides being stubborn, indeed because they are so, may be counted on to hold their savor and to have something like a fixed meaning for the feelings. Moreover, for the facts of human life mankind has an insatiable appetite: hence such an explanation as this will always have eager readers.
ENGLAND'S one hope lay in the character of her Queen. Elizabeth was now in her twenty-fifth year. Personally she had more than her mother's beauty; her figure was commanding, her face long but queenly and intelligent, her eyes quick and fine. She had grown up amidst the liberal culture of Henry's court a bold horsewoman, a good shot, a graceful dancer, a skilled musician, and an accomplished scholar. She studied every morning the Greek Testament, and followed this by the tragedies of Sophocles or orations of Demosthenes, and could "rub up her rusty Greek at need to bandy pedantry with a Vice-Chancellor. But she was far from being a mere pedant. The new
literature which was springing up around her found constant welcome in her court. She spoke Italian and French as fluently as her mother-tongue. She was familiar with Ariosto and Tasso. Even amidst the affectation and love of anagrams and puerilities which sullied her later years, she listened with delight to the "Faery Queen" and found a smile for "Master Spenser" when he appeared in her presence. Her moral temper recalled in its strange contrasts the mixed blood within her veins. She was at once the daughter of Henry and of Anne Boleyn. From her father she inherited her frank and hearty address, her love of popularity and of free intercourse with the people, her dauntless courage and her amazing self-confidence. Her harsh, manlike voice, her impetuous will, her pride, her furious outbursts of anger came to her with her Tudor blood. She rated great nobles as if they were schoolboys; she met the insolence of Essex with a box on the ear; she would break now and then into the gravest deliberations to swear at her ministers like a fishwife. But strangely in contrast with the violent outlines of her Tudor temper stood the sensuous, self-indulgent nature she derived from Anne Boleyn. Splendour and pleasure were with Elizabeth the very air she breathed. Her delight was to move in perpetual progresses from castle to castle through a series of gorgeous pageants, fanciful and extravagant as a caliph's dream. She loved gaiety and laughter and wit. A happy retort or a finished compliment never failed to win her favour. She hoarded jewels. Her dresses were in
numerable. Her vanity remained, even to old age, the vanity of a coquette in her teens. No adulation was too fulsome for her, no flattery of her beauty too gross. "To see her was heaven," Hatton told her, "the lack of her was hell." She would play with her rings that her courtiers might note the delicacy of her hands; or dance a coranto that the French ambassador, hidden dexterously behind a curtain, might report her sprightliness to his master. Her levity, her frivolous laughter, her unwomanly jests gave colour to a thousand scandals. Her character in fact, like her portraits, was utterly without shade. Of womanly reserve or self-restraint she knew nothing. No instinct of delicacy veiled the voluptuous temper which had broken out in the romps of her girlhood and showed itself almost ostentatiously throughout her later life. Personal beauty in a man was a sure passport to her liking. She patted handsome young squires on the neck when they knelt to kiss her hand, and fondled her "sweet Robin," Lord Leicester, in the face of the court.
It was no wonder that the statesmen whom she outwitted held Elizabeth almost to the last to be little more than a frivolous woman, or that Philip of Spain wondered how " a wanton" could hold in check the policy of the Escurial. But the Elizabeth whom they saw was far from being all of Elizabeth. The wilfulness of Henry, the triviality of Anne Boleyn played over the surface of a nature hard as steel, a temper purely intellectual, the very type of reason untouched by imagination or passion. Luxurious and pleasure