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TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OF
par Marie Veurent
(AUTHOR OF THE LIVES OF CALVIN AND LUTHER.)
EDWARD G. KIRWAN BROWNE,
LATE CURATE OF BAWDSEY, SUFFOLK.
CHARLES DOLMAN, 61, NEW BOND STREET.
Printed by T. Booker, at the Metropolitan Steam Press,
9, Rupert-street, Leicester-square.
The following Translation of M. Audin's learned and interesting History of King Henry VIII. and the Schism of England, has been undertaken with the special sanction and desire of its talented Author, who favoured the Translator with numerous corrections and additional notes.
M. Audin's luminous Preface speaks for itself, and renders unnecessary any expression of comment by the Translator, as to the great importance of a work, which, in the present state of historical inquiry, as well as of theological distraction, in Great Britain, cannot fail to excite earnest attention.
E. G. K. B.
“I come no more to make you laugh ; things now
That bear a weighty and a serious brow,
Tuis prologue to the great English dramatist's tragedy of Henry VIII. forms, in some measure, a summary of our work. “ Blood and tears these are what Shakespeare presented to his audience “ at 1s. a head.” Blood, tears, a mad despotism, follies, murders, and, what is nowhere to be met with in the annals of a Christian people, a nation brutalized by its representatives,—the law itself consecrating iniquity; a House of Peers making servility a dogma; a House of Commons transforming the monarch, not into an image of God, but into a Divinity; a priesthood investing the theocrat with the attributes of Him who reigns in heaven, infallibility and impeccability--such are the scenes which the historian has to lay before his readers.
We do not know of any story more dramatic than the annals of Tacitus, and yet, despite the wonderful talent of the writer, his readers would soon throw the book aside, if it invariably represented crime triumphant; for fond as is the human soul of excitement, it is fonder still of justice, and looks for consolation no less than for excitement. Hence, in that magnificent description of the “Lives of the Cæsars," we behold retribution following, with limping steps it may be, yet surely and closely, on the track of crime; whenever a tyrant appears upon the scene, we feel certain that a judge and an avenger are nigh at hand—the law of expiation is one from which, even in this life, none of the great criminals whom the historian brings upon the stage can escape. The liberator may be concealed under the garb of some obscure centurion, may stealthily creep into the secret apartments of the