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puzzled, at the quaint spelling and peculiar modes of expression in those lines. Spenser was a native of Ireland, and a sufferer in that rebellion which, you recollect, occasioned the ruin of the unfortunate Earl of Essex. The poet was obliged to escape from his house, in consequence of the expected attack of a party of the rebels. But though he secured the greater part of his family, he was unable, in the hurry of the flight, to rescue one of his children, who lay unconsciously sleeping in its cradle; the rebels set fire to the house, and the poor little infant perished in the flames. The grief which Spenser suffered from these calamitous events so preyed upon his mind, that he died a few months after, while still in the prime of his life and genius. Spenser's chief poem is called the "Faery Queene." There are passages in it of great beauty; but from the obscurity of the story, as well as from the peculiarity of the language, you would perhaps find it rather difficult to comprehend at present. He was a thoughtful, we may hope a religious man; and his verses are often filled with reflections on the, changes and vanity of this passing world, and the blessedness and security of Heaven. We will close our present chapter with an extract of this kind; and let us hope that, as this great poet experienced much of the mutability of
life which is expressed in those lines, so he also experienced the peace of that state in which all shall rest eternally.
Then gin I think on that which Nature said,
Of that same time when no more change shall be ;
That is contrayr to Mutability.
For all that moveth doth in change delight;
With Him that is the God of Sabbath hight;
Oh, that great Sabbaoth God, grant me that Sabbath's
GUNPOWDER, TREASON, AND
The azure vault, the crystall circles bright,
The rending thunder, and the blustering winds,
The pretty notes the wing'd musician finds;
The bounded waves, and fishes of the seas,-
KING JAMES I.
ELIZABETH was succeeded by James, son of the unfortunate Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland. He was the next heir to the throne, being great-grandson of Henry VII.; and, as you will remember, Elizabeth had, on her deathbed, named him as her successor. He was king of Scotland, as well as of England; so that, from this time, the two countries were
united under one sovereign. James had been brought up a Protestant, and was sincerely attached to the reformed religion; he was a studious and a learned man too, and a poet moreover, as you will have observed;-but he had not that capacity for government, and that political wisdom, for which Queen Elizabeth was so distinguished.
But though James was received with great approbation by the people in general, there was one party so strongly opposed to him, as to form a conspiracy against his life and government in the very commencement of his reign; this was the Romish party. story of the Gunpowder Plot is so well known, and so associated with our earliest recollections of the 5th of November, that you will guess directly that it is to that conspiracy to which I am now referring. You are, I dare say, already acquainted with the story; but I must, nevertheless, give you a little sketch of the principal facts connected with it.
The first suggester of the plot, in this country, was a gentleman of the name of Catesby. With him were joined Sir Henry Percy, Sir Everard Digby, and several others; and the principal person employed to execute the plan formed, was the celebrated Guy Fawkes. The object of the plot was to destroy at once the king, his sons, and the two
houses of Parliament; and to place upon the throne the little Princess Elizabeth, whom they intended to educate as a Roman Catholic. The means by which the conspirators planned to accomplish all this, were most barbarous and cruel. They hired a cellar, partly filled with coals, just beneath the Parliament-house, and concealed within it several barrels of gunpowder. Then they arranged, that on the day of the meeting of Parliament, this gunpowder should be set on fire; and they designed, in the tremendous explosion, to destroy not only the Lords and Commons, but also the king, the queen, and the prince of Wales, all of whom were expected to be present on that occasion; the younger prince was to be seized and assassinated; and the princess Elizabeth declared Queen. All this was duly decided upon; every preparation for its accomplishment was made; and the day, the fifth day of November, fixed for the purpose, was close at hand, when, by a remarkable interposition of Providence, the whole scheme was discovered and frustrated.
About twenty persons were in the secret, and for nearly a year and a half, not one of them suffered that secret to transpire; but as the day approached, one of the conspirators began to feel exceedingly uneasy as to the fate of a friend of his, Lord Monteagle, who would, in