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XXVII. A CHAPTER ON MARTYRDOM.
The Son of God is gone to war,
His blood-red banner streams afar,
-Who best can drink his cup of woe,
Who boldest bears his cross below,—
The martyr first, whose eagle eye
In midst of mortal pain,
He pray'd for them that did the wrong :-
A noble army, men and boys,
Around their Saviour's throne rejoice,
In robes of light array'd;
O God, to us may grace be given
To follow in their train !-HEBER.
IMMEDIATELY after Edward's death, the Duke
of Northumberland hastened to carry his scheme into execution. He went to the residence of Lady Jane Grey with her father, the Duke of Suffolk, told her of the event which had just taken place, and then saluted her as queen. Lady Jane had heard little or nothing of what had previously passed, so she was, as you may suppose, very much astonished, and could hardly understand what all this meant. She had never had ambitious expectations herself, and the idea of being queen was so far from being pleasant to her, that she was quite grieved to hear the proposal of her father and of the Duke of Northumberland. She felt too, that it would be neither right nor safe to accept the crown, to which the Princess Mary had so much greater claim than herself; and she earnestly begged to be allowed to decline the honour offered her. But the two ambitious Dukes would hear of no refusals; and so Lady Jane was at last unwillingly prevailed upon to yield to their judgment in the matter, instead of acting according to her own feelings and wishes.
Orders were now given by the council, for Lady Jane Grey to be proclaimed; but these orders were obeyed only in London and the neighbourhood. The people knew that she could not be considered as the rightful successor of Edward, and therefore they expressed no joy
on the occasion; and though the friends of the Reformation would gladly have received her as their queen, had her title to the throne been more satisfactory, they would still have dreaded the influence of the Dukes of Northumberland and Suffolk under such circumstances. While all these things were going on in London, those who favoured the cause of the Princess Mary, were exerting themselves for her in other parts of the country. She was now in Suffolk, and prepared to make her escape to Flanders, should Lady Jane Grey be established as queen. But this was not necessary, for there was a much stronger party on the side of Mary, than on that of the Duke of Northumberland; and so in a few days she was conducted to London in triumph, and received with the general approbation of the people.
It was no disappointment to Lady Jane to retire to her quiet mode of life again, after wearing the crown for ten days. She was rejoiced that her reign was so soon over;
-but unhappily, the matter did not end here. The Duke of Northumberland was seized, tried for treason, condemned, and executed. Dreadful as his end was, we cannot but feel that it was the just punishment of his crime; and he gives us an instructive, though a very sad example of the fatal effects
of selfish and unprincipled ambition. The Duke of Suffolk, Lady Jane, and Lord Guildford Dudley, were imprisoned also; Suffolk soon obtained his liberty, but his daughter, who, to gratify his pride, had been induced to act against her own better judgment, remained a prisoner in the Tower, and so also did her husband.
A few months after this, an insurrection broke out, headed by Sir Thomas Wyatt. This rebellion was occasioned by the proposed marriage of Queen Mary with Philip of Spain, a determined Roman Catholic, which was very displeasing to the people. The rebellion however was put down, Wyatt was executed, and several of his party suffered death also. One. of these was the Duke of Suffolk himself. Lady Jane and her husband were quite innocent, but being so nearly related to Suffolk, they were unjustly considered as sharers in his guilt; and orders were accordingly issued for their execution. Lady Jane was not surprised when this fatal news reached her. She had long expected it, and she could listen to the mournful intelligence with calmness and composure. She began to arrange her affairs, and to take leave of her friends. She wrote a farewell letter to her sister in Greek, and this she sent, with a Greek Testament, as a dying token of her love. The Bible had long been
Lady Jane's best guide and teacher; she found it her support and comfort in the approach of death, and her last wish was that it should be, to her beloved sister, the friend and companion which it had been to herself.
When the sad day of execution arrived, Lady Jane sent a message to her husband,—a very mournful one it was, and yet the only message that could give any comfort to either of them at such a moment. She could not see him to say farewell; she knew what a meeting that would be, and she determined to prevent such a trial to their feelings. So she sent him word, that though they would never meet again in this world, they would soon be together "in a better place and more happy estate." But notwithstanding this care, Lady Jane had to witness that morning a sight which might indeed have overcome all the composure which she was trying so much to preserve. As she stood at the window of the room in which she was confined, awaiting her own summons, she saw her beloved husband carried by on his way to execution. She knew too well where he was going; and why. He raised his eyes to the window, and gave her one sad look,-the last she could ever receive from him till, as she said, they should meet "in a better place, and a more happy estate." That dreadful hour passed away, and then