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by birth an Englishman, and could not by his power or alliances, give any ground of suspicion to Elizabeth, it was hoped that the proposal of this marriage would not be unacceptable to that jealous princess.” But although it is said that Elizabeth at first favoured this alliance, sooner did she learn that the Queen of Scots was taken with his figure and person, and that all measures were fixed for espousing him, than she exclaimed against the marriage; sent Throgmorton to order Darnley immediately, upon his allegiance, to return to England; threw the Countess of Lennox and her second son into the Tower, where they suffered a rigorous confinement; seized all Lennox's English estate ; and though it was impossible for her to assign one single reason for her displeasure, she menaced, and protested, and complained, as if she had suffered the most grievous injury in the world.” Darnley was a comely looking young man, some twenty years old, and the day after his marriage was proclaimed king; but as both he and Mary were favourable to the Romish faith, great excitement prevailed amongst the protestants. John Knox, preaching before Darnley, then styled King Henry, openly told his hearers that “God set.ever them, for their offences and ingratitude, boys and women.
Nor was it the marriage of Mary and Darnley alone that engrossed political attention in England; for Maximilian the Second, Emperor of Germany, had sent his ambassador once more to solicit the hand of Elizabeth for his brother, Charles of Austria. The Earl of Sussex and one party in the court were in favour of the match ; whilst her favourite, the Earl of Leicester, and another party, were formidably opposed to it; so that the courtiers were split into factions, and mutually hated each other,
“See the honour done at this time to Queen Elizabeth,” says Sir Richard Baker, “not much inferior to the honour done to Solomon by the Queen of Sheba; for now Cecil, the sister of Eric King of Sweden, and wife of Christopher Marquis of Baden, being great with child, came from
tho farthest part of the north, (a long journey,) thorow Germany, of purpose to see her, for the great fame she had heard of her wisdom. At her being here she was delivered of a child, to whom, in requital of her kindness, Queen Elizabeth was godmother, and named him Edwardus Fortunatus; giving to her and her husband, besides royal entertainment, a yearly pension. At this time also, for the great fame of her wisdom, Donald mac Carti More, a great potentate of Ireland, came and delivered up into her hands all his most amplo territories; and then receiving them
again from her, to hold them to him and his heirs, males lawfully begotten; and for want of such issue, to remain to the crown of England. The queen in requital invested him with the honour of Earl of Glenkare, and Baron of Valence; and, besides many presents given him, paid the charges of his journey.”
In the religious world, the puritans increase in numbers and in influence, despite of the persecution of the prelacy, and number in their ranks men of undoubted learning and piety. At Cambridge, Thomas Cartwright, a learned professor in that university, and three hundred students, throw off their surplices in one day. Bishops they regard as a worse than useless incumbrance to the church ; a remnant of popery that ought to be abolished ; and maintain that the true apostolical form of church government consists not in a proud and extravagant prelacy, that
rear their mitred fronts in courts and parliaments,” but in republican simplicity.-In the Netherlands, the Spaniards—over a proud and cruel people establish the accursed Inquisition, to destroy the reformed religion by fire and
steel. But tyranny is ever short-sighted. Though Philip II. sends his “best of cut-throats,” the Duke of Alva, with a numerous army of soldiers and executioners, they are all too weak to suppress the doctrines of Luther. Many merchants and mechanics escape to England, and settle down at Norwich, where they commence various descriptions of woollen manufactures, in which they are greater proficients than our English workmen, and they are admitted to the freedom of the city. Amongst their number is a printer, named Anthony de Solempne, who erects the first printing-press in Norwich, like a brave man as he was,-honour to his name. The patient Dutchmen, goaded to revolt, will at length achieve their independence.
Glancing for a moment at the literary men in foreign parts, we shall find the young and hopeful Torquato Tasso, now just arrived at manhood, with a fame spread throughout Italy by the publication of his epic poem of “Rinaldo,” four years before, attending the splendid fetes at Ferrara, given in October, in honour of the nuptials of the Duke Alphonso and an Archduchess of Austria, whither he has been sent by his patron, the Cardinal Ludovica, of Este, who is brother to the duke. The beautiful sisters of the cardinal, Lucretia and Leonora, present the young poet to their brother Alphonso, who receives him so kindly that he determines, when his poem of the “ Conquest of Jerusalem " is completed, to dedicate it to the duke. Bright and glowing are now the prospects of Tasso; but, alas ! alas ! the lovely Leonora, whose gentle eyes now beam so kindly on the poet, is doomed to be the (perhaps innocent) cause of all his woes. The friendship which now begins, will in the course of years grow to strongest love, and the harsh conventionalities of the world—its unholy distinctions of caste or rank-will present an insuperable barrier between them, which will for ever forbid their union; and poor Tasso now little dreams that, fourteen years after this, he will be imprisoned in the hospital of St.
Ann, as a raving lunatic !—In Denmark, we find Tycho Brahe, the famous but superstitious astronomer, returning home, and losing his nose in a quarrel with one of the nobility, so that he has to procure an artificial one, cunningly made, to escape observation !-Conrad Gesner, “the Pliny of Germany,” this year pays the debt of nature, aged fortynine years. He was born of poor parents, at Zurich, in 1516, where he afterwards taught a school. Besides rendering great services to his countrymen in the sciences of botany and zoology, he published a full catalogue of all writers extant, in three languages, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, a work requiring great learning and industry. He was ennobled the year before his death.-Abraham Bloemart, the Dutch landscape painter, was this year born at Gorcum ; Alexander Tassoni, an Italian comic-epic poet, at Modena ; and, in our own country, John Spotiswood, successively Archbishop of Glasgow and of St. Andrews, the author of a “History of the Church of Scotland," and one of those who attempted to fasten the episcopal yoke on the necks of the Scottish people.
SHAKSPERE'S THIRD YEAR. ONCE more there is anxiety in the house of Master 1566.
John Shakspere, at Stratford-upon-Avon; the mid
wife and the gossips are assembled; and the worthy alderman is again enabled to thank God for the birth of a son, who is baptized by the name of Gilbert. William is no longer the monopolist of Mary Shakspere's maternal love; but then, is he not old enough to climb his father's knee, or to gambol, in all the innocent glee of happy childhood, beneath the over-arching boughs of the fruit trees in the orchard? And Mary Shakspere has now two cherub boys, to wean her from her sorrow for the death of her two infant girls, Jane and Margaret, her first-born.
too much to imagine the good dame sitting beneath the summer foliage, or around the log-piled hearth, with little Gilbert smiling in her lap; whilst “gentle Willy,” following the infallible dictates of nature, ever and anon impresses his spontaneous kisses on his infant brother's velvet cheeks; kisses which the fond mother repays fourfold, for her heart once more is brimful of joy.
" Ah, happy Childhood ! thou art ever free
From the sad plight of unproductive years,
With sweet and holy trustfulness divine,
GBORGE S. PHILLIPS.
Of Gilbert Shakspere no other record now remains, but the brief registry of his baptism. “ I have no doubt,” says Skottowe, that Gilbert lived till after the Restoration of Charles II., and was that brother of Shakspere of whom Oldys reports, that he saw the dramatist perform the character of Adam in ‘As You Like It.'
“ The register, indeed,” says the same author,"mentions the burial of 'Gilbert Shakspere, adolescens,' in 1611-12, who might, or might not, have been the son of the elder Gilbert.” Verily, there is something melancholy in the brief histories of a parish register! What reveries they give rise to, as one looks upon them in an idle hour! how imagination tries to depict the beings whose entrance or exit from the stage of life they chronicle! and when one is in a contemplative mood—a state of mind they are indeed apt to beget-how touching, to a feeling heart, is the less than "tombstone information” they give. Every line,” as Walker Ord well observes, chronicles a whole life, its fears, hopes, enjoyments, aspirations. What a record of humanitywhat heart-histories—what wondrous biography!” And such is all the history we now possess of Gilbert, the brother of William Shakspere! We may guess him to have been a player
like his eldest brother, William, and his youngest brother, Edmund; but all that we can with any safety conjecture of him, is
s That joy, and grief, and hope, and fear,
Alternate triumphed in his breast; His bliss and wo-a smile, a tear !
Oblivion hides the rest.
** The bounding pulse, the languid Ilmle,
The changing spirits' rise and fall;
Whether or not Gilbert Shakspere (whose birth we have Just noticed) ever lived to become the friend and companion of his renowed brother when he had arrived at man's estate, certain it is that a child was born in London, on the first of September, this year, who not only became both, but a player as well,--the greatest aetor of his age, Edward Alleyn, well known as the munificent founder of Dulwich College, Camberwell. He was born in Lombard-street, in the parish of All-Hallews, of parents well to do in the world, from whom he derived some small fortune. Thomas Heywood, the dramatist, speaking of Alleyn's merit as an actor, oalls him,
« Proteus for shapes, and Roscius for a tongue," Ben Johnson addressed to him an epigram, which thus concludes :
so others spake, but only thou dost act. Wear this renown: 't is just that who did give So many poets life, by one should live."
Fuller says that he “made any part, especially a majostical one, become him.” And a letter of George Peele, (who was a dramatic poet of great celebrity in his day, and a brother-actor and shareholder with Shakspere in the Blackfriars theatre,) has been preserved, from which we learn, that at one of the merry meetings of Shakspere, Ben Jonson, and Alleyn, royal Ben” told “gentle Willy” that he was indebted to his observation of their friend Alleyn's acting for the excellent directions which he has made Hamlet give to the players in the opening of act iii., scene 2nd, of that tragedy. One of his most famous parts was that of Barabas, in Kit Marlow's “Rich Jew of Malta, in which character he is said to have won for himself the title of Peerless. Nor was fame, or celebrity in his own day, the only recompense he received for his acting ; for the player was a more lucrative profession at that time than was that of dramatic author. Alleyn built the Fortune theatre near Whitecross-street, Moorfields, which a writer towards the end of the seventeenth century describes as “a large, round, brick building ;” and of this he was sole proprietor. It was said that he found some treasure in