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Canterbury to fix her thoughts upon God, she replied that she did so, nor did her mind in the least wander from him. Her voice soon after left her; her senses failed; she fell into a lethargic slumber, which continued some hours, and she expired gently, without further struggle or convulsion (March 24, 1603), in the seventieth year of her age and forty-fifth of her reign.

So dark a cloud overcast the evening of that day, which had shone out with a mighty lustre in the eyes of all Europe. There are few great personages in history who have been more exposed to the calumny of enemies and the adulation of friends than Queen Elizabeth; and yet there is scarcely any whose reputation has been more certainly determined by the ananimous consent of posterity. The unusual length of her administration, and the strong features of her character, were able to overcome all prejudices; and obliging her detractors to abate much of their invectives, and her admirers somewhat of their panegyrics, have at last, in spite of political factions, and what is more, of religious animosities, produced a uniform judgment with regard to her conduct. Her vigour, her constancy, her magnanimity, her penetration, vigilance, and address, are allowed to merit the highest praises, and appear not to have been surpassed by any person that ever filled a throne: a conduct less rigorous, less imperious, more sincere, more indulgent to her people, would have been requisite to form a perfect character. By the force of her mind she controlled all her more active and stronger qualities, and prevented them from running into excess her heroism was exempt from temerity, her frugality from avarice, her friendship from partiality, her active temper from turbulency and a vain ambition: she guarded not herself with equal care or equal success from lesser infirmities; the rivalship of beauty, the desire of admiration, the jealousy of love, and the sallies of anger.

Her singular talents for government were founded equally on her temper and on her capacity. Endowed with a great

command over herself, she soon obtained an uncontrolled ascendant over her people; and while she merited all their esteem by her real virtues, she also engaged their affections by her pretended ones. Few sovereigns of England succeeded to the throne in more difficult circumstances; and none ever conducted the government with such uniform success and felicity. Though unacquainted with the practice of toleration-the true secret for manag ing religious factions-she preserved her people, by her superior prudence, from those confusions in which theological controversy had involved all the neighbour ing nations: and though her enemies were the most powerful princes of Europe, the most active, the most enterprising, the least scrupulous, she was able by her vigour to make deep impressions on their states; her own greatness meanwhile remained untouched and unimpaired.

The wise ministers and brave warriors who flourished under her reign, share the praise of her success; but instead of lessening the applause due to her, they make great addition to it. They owed, all of them, their advancement to her choice; they were supported by her constancy, and, with all their abilities, they were never able to acquire any undue ascendant over her. In her family, in her court, in her kingdom, she remained equally mistress: the force of the tender passions was great over her, but the force of her mind was still superior; and the combat which her victory visibly cost her, serves only to display the firmness of her resolution, and the loftiness of her ambitious sentiments.

The fame of this princess, though it has surmounted the prejudices both of faction and bigotry, yet lies still exposed to another prejudice, which is more durable because more natural, and which, according to the different views in which we survey her, is capable either of exalting beyond measure or diminishing the lustre of her character. This prejudice is founded on the consideration of her sex. When we contemplate her as a woman, we are apt to be struck with the highest admiration of her great qualities and extensive

capacity; but we are also apt to require some more softness of disposition, some greater lenity of temper, some of those amiable weaknesses by which her sex is distinguished. But the true method of estimating her merit is to lay aside all these considerations, and consider her merely as a rational being placed in authority, and intrusted with the government of mankind. We may find it difficult to reconcile our fancy to her as a wife or a mistress; but her qualities as a sovereign, though with some considerable exceptions, are the object of undisputed applause and approbation. — History of England.

EXECUTION OF LADY JANE

GREY.

THIS excellent personage was descended from the royal line of England by both her parents.

She was carefully educated in the principles of the Reformation; and her wisdom and virtue rendered her a shining example to her sex. But it was her lot to continue only a short period on this stage of being; for, in early life, she fell a sacrifice to the wild ambition of the Duke of Northumberland; who promoted a marriage between her and his son, Lord Guilford Dudley; and raised her to the throne of England, in opposition to the rights of Mary and Elizabeth. At the time of their marriage she was only about eighteen years of age, and her husband was also very young; a season of life very unequal to oppose the interested views of artful and aspiring men, who, instead of exposing them to danger, should have been the protectors of their innocence and youth.

This extraordinary young person, besides the solid endowments of piety and virtue, possessed the most engaging disposition, the most accomplished parts; and being of an equal age with King Edward VI., she had received all her education with him, and seemed even to possess a greater facility in acquiring every part of manly and classical literature.

She had attained a knowledge of the Roman and Greek languages, as well as of several modern tongues; had passed most of her time in an application to learning; and expressed a great indifference for other occupations and amusements usual with her sex and station. Roger Ascham, tutor to the Lady Elizabeth, having at one time paid her a visit, found her employed in reading Plato, while the rest of the family were engaged in a party of hunting in the park; and upon his admiring the singularity of her choice, she told him, that she "received more pleasure from that author, than others could reap from all their sport and gaiety." Her heart, replete with this love of literature and serious studies, and with tenderness towards her husband, whe was deserving of her affection, had never opened itself to the flattering allurements of ambition; and the information of her advancement to the throne was by no means agreeable to her. She even refused to accept of the crown; pleaded the preferable right of the two princesses; expressed her dread of the consequences attending an enterprise so dangerous, not to say so criminal; and desired to remain in that private station in which she was born. Overcome at last with the entreaties, rather than reasons, of her father and father-in-law, and, above all, of her husband, she submitted to their will, and was prevailed on to relinquish her own judgment. But her elevation was of very short continuance. The nation declared for Queen Mary; and the Lady Jane, after wearing the vain pageantry of a crown during ten days, returned to a private life, with much more satisfaction than she felt when royalty was tendered to her.

Queen Mary, who appears to have been incapable of generosity or clemency, determined to remove every person from whom the least danger could be apprehended. Warning was, therefore, given to Lady Jane to prepare for death-a doom which she had expected, and which the innocence of her life, as well as the misfortunes to which she had been exposed, rendered no unwelcome news tc

her. The queen's bigoted zeal, under present, which he might keep as a percolour of tender mercy to the prisoner's petual memorial of her. She gave him soul, induced her to send priests, who her table-book, in which she had just molested her with perpetual disputation; written three sentences, on seeing her and even a reprieve of three days was husband's dead body; one in Greek, angranted her, in hopes that she would be other in Latin, a third in English. The persuaded, during that time, to pay, by a purport of them was, "that human justice timely conversion to Popery, some regard was against his body, but the Divine mercy to her eternal welfare. Lady Jane had would be favourable to his soul: and that presence of mind, in those melancholy cir- if her fault deserved punishment, her cumstances, not only to defend her re- youth, at least, and her imprudence, were ligion by solid arguments, but also to worthy of excuse; and that God and poswrite a letter to her sister in the Greek terity, she trusted, would show her favour." language, in which, besides sending her On the scaffold, she made a speech to the a copy of the Scriptures in that tongue, by-standers, in which the mildness of her she exhorted her to maintain, in every disposition led her to take the blame enfortune, a like steady perseverance. On tirely on herself, without uttering one comthe day of her execution, her husband, plaint against the severity with which she Lord Guilford, desired permission to see had been treated. She said, that her her; but she refused her consent, and sent offence was not having laid her hand upon him word, that the tenderness of their the crown, but not rejecting it with parting would overcome the fortitude of sufficient constancy: that she had less both, and would too much unbend their erred through ambition than through minds from that constancy which their reverence to her parents, whom she had approaching end required of them. Their been taught to respect and obey; that she separation, she said, would be only for a willingly received death, as the only satismoment; and they would soon rejoin each faction which she could now make to the other in a scene where their affections injured state; and though her infringewould be for ever united, and where ment of the laws had been constrained, death, disappointment, and misfortunes she would show, by her voluntary submiscould no longer have access to them, or sion to their sentence, that she was dedisturb their eternal felicity. sirous to atone for that disobedience, into which too much filial piety had betrayed her; that she had justly deserved this punishment, for being made the instrument, though the unwilling instrument, of the ambition of others; and that the story of her life, she hoped, might at least be useful, by proving that innocence excuses not great misdeeds, if they tend any way to the destruction of the commonwealth. After uttering these words, she caused herself to be disrobed by her women; and with a steady serene countenance, submitted herself to the executioner.-History of England.

It had been intended to execute the Lady Jane and Lord Guilford together on the same scaffold, at Tower-hill; but the council, dreading the compassion of the people for their youth, beauty, innocence, and noble birth, changed their orders, and gave directions that she should be beheaded within the verge of the Tower. She saw her husband led to execution, and having given him from the window some token of her remembrance, she waited with tranquillity till her own appointed hour should bring her to a like fate. She even saw his headless body carried back in a cart; and found herself more confirmed by the reports which she heard of the constancy of his end, than shaken by so tender and melancholy a spectacle. Sir John Gage, constable of the Tower, when he led her to execution,

EXECUTION OF ARCHBISHOP
CRANMER.

QUEEN MARY determined to bring

desired her to bestow on him some small Cranmer, whom she had long detained

in prison, to punishment; and in order more fully to satiate her vengeance, she resolved to punish him for heresy, rather than for treason. He was cited by the Pope to stand his trial at Rome; and though he was known to be kept in close custody at Oxford, he was, upon his not appearing, condemned as contumacious. Bonner, bishop of London, and Thirleby, bishop of Ely, were sent to degrade him; and the former executed the melancholy ceremony with all the joy and exultation which suited his savage nature. The implacable spirit of the queen, not satisfied with the future misery of Cranmer, which she believed inevitable, and with the execution of that dreadful sentence to which he was condemned, prompted her also to seek the ruin of his honour, and the infamy of his name. Persons were employed to attack him, not in the way of disputation, against which he was sufficiently armed; but by flattery, insinuation, and address; by representing the dignities to which his character still entitled him, if he would merit them by a recantation; by giving him hopes of long enjoying those powerful friends, whom his beneficent disposition had attached to him, during the course of his prosperity. Overcome by the fond love of life; terrified by the prospect of those tortures which awaited him; he allowed, in an unguarded hour, the sentiments of nature to prevail over his resolution, and agreed to subscribe the doctrines of the papal supremacy, and of the real presence. The court, equally perfidious and cruel, was determined that this recantation should avail him nothing; and sent orders that he should be required to acknowledge his errors in church, before the whole people; and that he should thence be immediately carried to execution.

Cranmer, whether he had received a secret intimation of their design, or had repented of his weakness, surprised the audience by a contrary declaration. He said, that he was well apprised of the obedience which he owed to his sovereign and the laws; but that this duty extended no further than to submit patiently to

their commands; and to bear without resistance, whatever hardships they should impose upon him; that a superior duty, the duty which he owed to his Maker, obliged him to speak truth on all occasions, and not to relinquish by a base denial, the holy doctrine which the Supreme Being had revealed to mankind: that there was one miscarriage in his life, of which, above all others, he severely repented; the insincere declaration of faith to which he had the weakness to consent, and which the fear of death alone had extorted from him; that he took this opportunity of atoning for his error, by a sincere and open recantation; and was willing to seal, with his blood, that doctrine which he firmly believed to be communicated from heaven; and that, as his hand had erred, by betraying his heart, it should first be punished by a severe but just doom, and should first pay the forfeit of its offences.

He was then led to the stake, amidst the insults of his enemies; and having now summoned up all the force of his mind, he bore their scorn, as well as the torture of his punishment, with singular fortitude. He stretched out his hand, and, without betraying, either by his countenance or motions, the least sign of weakness, or even of feeling, he held it in the flames till it was entirely consumed. His thoughts seemed wholly occupied with reflections on his former fault, and he called aloud several times, "This hand has offended." Satisfied with that atonement, he then discovered a serenity in his countenance; and when the fire attacked his body, he seemed to be quite insensible of his outward sufferings, and, by the force of hope and resolution, to have collected his mind altogether within itself, and to repel the fury of the flames. He was undoubtedly a man of merit; possessed of learning and capacity, and adorned with candour, sincerity, and beneficence, and all those virtues which were fitted to render him useful and amiable in society. —History of England.

[WILLIAM ROBERTSON. 1721-1793.] ASSASSINATION OF DAVID

RIZZIO.

They considered him, and not without reason, as a dangerous enemy to the Protestant religion, and suspected that he held, for this purpose, a secret correspondence with the court of Rome.

mained but to concert the plan of operation, to choose the actors, and to assign them their parts in perpetrating this detestable crime. Every circumstance here paints and characterises the manners and men of that age, and fills us with horror at both.

THE low birth and indigent condition In consequence of such a conduct, the of this man placed him in a station in king and nobles mutually conspired to which he ought naturally to have re-take away his life. Nothing now remained unknown to posterity. But what fortune called him to act and to suffer in Scotland, obliges history to descend from its dignity, and to record his adventures. He was the son of a musician in Turin; and having accompanied the Piedmontese ambassador into Scotland, gained admisThe place chosen for commitsion into the queen's family by his skill ting such a deed was the queen's bedin music. As his servile condition had chamber. Though Mary was now in the taught him suppleness of spirit, and in- sixth month of her pregnancy, and though sinuating manners, he quickly crept into Rizzio might have been seized elsewhere the queen's favour; and her French without any difficulty, the king pitched secretary happening to return at that upon this place, that he might enjoy the time into his own country, was preferred malicious pleasure of reproaching Rizzio by her to that office. He now began to with his crimes before the queen's face. make a figure in court, and to appear as The earl of Morton, the lord high chana man of weight and consequence. The cellor of the kingdom, undertook to whole train of suitors and expectants, direct an enterprise, carried on in defiance who have an extreme sagacity in disco- of all the laws, of which he was bound to vering the paths which lead most directly be the guardian. The lord Ruthven, who to success, applied to him. His recom- had been confined to his bed for three mendations were observed to have great months by a very dangerous distemper, influence over the queen, and he grew and who was still so feeble that he could to be considered not only as a favourite, scarcely walk, or bear the weight of his but as a minister. Nor was Rizzio care-own armour, was intrusted with the ful to abate that envy which always attends such an extraordinary and rapid change of fortune. He studied, on the contrary, to display the whole extent of his favour. He affected to talk often and On the 9th of March, Morton entered familiarly with the queen in public. He the court of the palace with an hundred equalled the greatest and most opulent and sixty men; and without noise, or subjects in richness of dress and in the meeting with any resistance, seized all the number of his attendants. He disco- gates. While the queen was at supper vered in all his behaviour that assuming with the countess of Argyle, Rizzio, and insolence, with which unmerited pros- a few domestics, the king suddenly enperity inspires an ignoble mind. It was tered the apartment by a private passage. with the utmost indignation that the At his back was Ruthven, clad in comnobles beheld the power, it was with plete armour, and with that ghastly and the utmost difficulty that they tolerated horrid look which long sickness had the arrogance, of this unworthy minion. given him. Three or four of his most Even in the queen's presence they could trusty accomplices followed him. Such not forbear treating him with marks of an unusual appearance alarmed those contempt. Nor was it his exorbitant who were present. Rizzio instantly appower alone which exasperated the Scots. [prehended that he was the victim at

executive part; and while he himself needed to be supported by two men, he came abroad to commit a murder in the presence of his sovereign.

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