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[357] the crowned Bluebeard, Henry VIII., for that of the Pope, in the English Church. It had little in common with the revolution of 1642. The field of its action was the closet of selfish intrigue,— the stalls of discontented prelates,--the chambers of the wanton and adulteress,—the confessional of a weak prince, whose mind, originally narrow, had been cramped closer still by the strait-jacket of religious bigotry and superstition. The age of nobility and heroism had wellnigh passed away. The pious fervor, the self-denial, and the strict morality of the Puritanism of the days of Cromwell, and the blunt honesty and chivalrous loyalty of the Cavaliers, had both measurably given place to the corrupting influences of the licentious and infidel court of Charles II.; and to the arrogance, intolerance, and shameless self-seeking of a prelacy which, in its day of triumph and revenge, had more than justified the terrible denunciations and scathing gibes of Milton.

Both Catholic and Protestant writers have misrepresented James II. He deserves neither the execrations of the one nor the eulogies of the other. The candid historian must admit that he was, after all, a better man than his brother Charles II. He was a sincere and bigoted Catholic, and was undoubtedly honest in the declaration, which he made in that unlucky letter which Burnet ferreted out on the Continent, that he was prepared to make large steps to build up the Catholic Church in England, and, if necessary, to become a martyr in her cause. He was proud, austere, and self-willed. In the treatment of his

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Oliver Cromwell (1)
Gilbert Burnet (1)
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1642 AD (1)
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