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STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER
Froude's moral had got him into dilemmas. Henry VIII. had been an awkward hero, but Elizabeth declined to be a heroine at all. She succeeded, in spite of her unfitness for the part, or, as may be held, because of it. The success suggests a primâ facie presumption that a policy of compromise was the fittest for the time. Froude had to explain it as an accident because it would not confirm the great lesson of history which condemns all compromise with evil. And then one has to ask, Did Froude really believe that the thorough-going Protestantism represented the truth and nothing but the truth? Was the religion of Knox so wholly in the right that its triumph was unequivocally desirable? Clearly the concrete Protestant, on his showing, was, with one or two noble exceptions, anything but a purely unselfish and lofty-minded hero. He accepts the teaching of Knox, but did not doubt that Knox's creed, like others, might stiffen into unlovely formalism. He has to believe in the whole Protestant legend for the time, and therefore identify himself with one extreme, and so far fails to rise to the level of world history. To set forth a great drama, where the truth slowly emerges from a confused conflict, the historian