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there made resignation of his crown. and counted the hours in vain, shut Here is Shakspeare's description of out for ever from the upper world, his miserable ride in the train of his condemned without trial, and exetriumphant conqueror :
cuted without justice! We can talk “As, in a theatre, the eyes of men,
now with some patience of these After a well-graced actor leaves the stage, things, because they have ceased to Are idly bent on him that enters next, be enacted for so long-because the Thinking his prattle to be tedious : Even so, or with much more contempt, law of the constitution have made
light of the Reformation and the men's eyes Did scowl on Richard ; no man cried, God their way into that unhallowed save him ;
building as into our private houses, No joyful tongue gave him his welcome and modern civilisation has conhome :
verted it into an arsenal for army, But dust was thrown upon his sacred and a pleasant quarter for a few
head; Which, with such gentle sorrow, he shook soldiers-a sight for the Cockneys
on their holidays, and a comfortHis face still combating with tears and able command for a time-honoured smiles,
But in 1417 the state of feeling pose, steel'd
was very different, and any expresThe hearts of men, they must perforce sion of sympathy with human sufhave melted,
fering would not have been underAnd barbarism itself hare pitied him."
stood. The Tower stood black and It was perhaps right that the solid as the representative of the Tower, which was first converted by spirit of the time. Even the best this king into the place of execution and noblest were as deeply stained of state offenders, should have been as the base and cruel with the curse the scene of his own unhappiness and of unforgiveness and the heart of degradation. From that time, for stone. Harry the Fifth, whom we several hundred years, the axe was
still call the most heroic of our seldom still--the favourites of one kings, seems not to have been cayear became the victims of the next. pable of any feeling of generosity or Tower Hill streamed with blood- pity. His enemies, the princes of the Tower dungeons echoed with France, taken in open battle defendgroans. Tyranny, ambition, cruelty, ing their country from his ambiignorance and superstition, all by tion, were here imprisoned for dreary turns opened those dismal portals, years, till a rapsom was exacted which were only once again to turn that left them impoverished for on their hinges when the murderer life. Here languished warriors and slipped in to do his dreadful work chiefs as brave as himself; and here in secret, or the prisoner was openly for several years confined conducted to death upon the scaffold. the young and gallant James I. of Nobles, warriors, heroes, statesmen, Scotland, who had been seized by judges and scholars—even the beauty the piratical vessels of Henry IV., of women and the dignity of queens when there was no war between - could not escape the dreadful the kingdoms, and when there was, doom ; and very frightful is it to therefore, no pretence for an atread, in the records of that awful tack. These were the ideas of jusprison-house, the names of patriots tice and honour that were paraand martyrs of which our country is mount in the feudal times; the now so proud ; and still more dread- same justice and honour would inful to reflect, that those great and fallibly conduct the possessors of illustrious names which still survive, them, at the present day, first to are but the scattered mountain-tops, their county jail, secondly to Noras it were, on which the light of his- folk Island. James, the young king, tory has rested. But what are we to grew used to his imprisonment, culthink of the valleys where the sun- tivated letters and music, and finally, shine has never shone-the unnum- as idleness often leads to foolish acbered, unnamed, unregarded prison- tions, he fell in love with a beautiful ers who pined in those gloomy vaults, young lady whom he saw from the VOL. LXXXVIII.-NO. DXXXIX,
turret window of his tower at Wind- Rome. For these most dreadful and
He by some means got a mes- heretical opinions, Lord Cobham senger persuaded to carry her his was condemned to die; and to mark verses. They were filled with praises the atrocity of his sin, he was exeof her loveliness; and as she under- cuted in a manner the most painful stood he was very handsome, and a and degrading that malignity and king, she thought the verses particu- cruelty could invent. He was drawn larly fine; and as she was a member from the Tower to St Giles's Field, of the royal family, and had interest where he was suspended by the midwith the King of England, the end dle from a chain; a fire was kindled of the story is happier than most under him, and he was thus burnt to stories of love at first sight, for, death. The dust of such martyrs is after the death of the iron-hearted indeed the seed of a true church ; Henry, James was released from and from this glorious execution we his prison, and married the Lady are never without voices rising in all Jane, the daughter of the Earl of parts of England-and of the world Somerset.
--against the crimes and iniquities But it was not for the custody only of the old, and, as we had hoped, of kidnapped kings, or captive prin- exploded superstition. Lollards, as ces, that the Tower was used by the they were then called--that is, rebels possessors of arbitrary power. Re- against the pope's authority and befigion in those uncultivated ages is lievers in the plain words of Scripsure to have its victims as well as
ture-- were imprisoned by hundreds Tyranny. The first martyr of freedom in the dungeons of the Tower; and of inquiry was the brave and virtuous when we reflect on the helplessness Lord Cobham. To strike terror into of those sufferers, and the cruelty of lesser offenders, it seemed good to the treatment they experienced for the ecclesiastical authorities, armed such a crime, it is a sort of relief to with full powers from Rome, to let turn to the upper rooms of the same the weight of their anger fall upon prison, which we find tenanted by the coronet of a noble. If the dig- mere rebels against the Crown, or nity of the peerage did not set a foreign enemies, who would have Reformer above their power, what done the same to their conquerors chance had humbler men to resist if the issue of the battle bad been their lightest claim? It was proved different. Throughout the troubles against the noble offender that he and civil wars of the tifteenth cenhad maintained that “whoso it be tury, we find an endless succession that doth the worship to dead images, of captives consigned to these imwhich is due to God, or putteth such penetrable walls. Twice Henry VI. trust or hope in the help of them as was immured within them-kindly he should do to God, or hath affec- treated, they say, in consequence of tion in one more than in another, the feebleness and meekness of his doth in that the great sin of maso- character,—and finally found dead, metry” (or idolatry.) He had also whether by violence or not is noi maintained, that he that knoweth certainly known, in the chamber he the holy commandments of God, and had occupied so long. keepeth them to the end, shall be
“Ye Towers of Julius, London's lasting saved, though he never in his life go
shame, on pilgrimage, as men use now, to
By many a foul and midnight murder Canterbury or to Rome, or to any other place.” He had denied that Revere his Consort's faith, his Father's every man living here bodily on earth ought to confess to a priest
And spare the meek usurper's holy
head." ordained by the Church ; and worst of all, he denied that as Christ or- The person accused of this “meek dained St Peter to be his vicar here usurper's murder,” if su
did really on earth, the same power which he take place, was Richard, Duke of granted to that apostle was vested in Gloster, afterwards Richard III. his successors the popes, whom all Enough of crimes he has to answer Christians are bound to obey accord- for, without this unproved accusaing to the laws of the Church of tion being cast upon his memory.
By treachery and violence he suc- head. Hastings was seized.
I ceeded to the throne of his brother, arrest thee, traitor,' said the Duke the handsome and prodigal Ed- of Gloster. Me, my Lord ?' 'Yea, ward, and soon the Tower began thee,' replied the Duke ; and I to feel the effects of the new tyr- would have thee sbrive, for, by St anny which had established itself Paul, I will not dine till I have seen by so much blood. The powerful
The powerful thy head off.' And so was the Lord and dangerous were, of course, the Hastings brought forth into the first victims; but there is an episode Green beside the Chapel within the connected with the hard-heartedness Tower, and there, without time for of this usurper, which lets us get a confession or repentance, his head view of humbler people, and shows was stricken off upon a log of timto what meannesses the rancour of a ber.” base nature like Richard's can de- Here are queens and dukes and scend. The following account has Lords, but among them all, the noall the freshness of reality, and ticeable name is that of Shore's wife, brings the scene completely before This was the famous Jane Shore, our eyes.
who had been the favourite of the In a Council held after the death late King, and had used the power of Edward, when Richard assumed her influence gave her in so kind to be Protector of the Kingdom, he and judicious a manner, that people asked Lord Hastings “what they de- were inclined to forgive her for the served that compassed his destruc- means by which she had obtained tion, who was so near of blood to it. Proper she was and fair," says the King, and Protector of his royal Sir Thomas More, the historian of person. Surely, my Lord,' replied those troubled times; "nothing in Lord Hastings, they were worthy her body you would have changed, to be punished as traitors whosoever unless you would have wished her they be.'
Then,' quoth the Pro- somewhat higher. Yet delighted
• tector, that is yonder sorceress, my not men so much in her beauty as in brother's wife, and other with her,' her pleasant behaviour; for a proper meaning the Queen. 'Ye shall see wit she had ; and could both read in what wise that sorceress, and that well and write; merry in company; other witch of her counsel-Shore's ready and quick in answer; neither wife-with their affinity, have by, mute nor full of babble; sometimes their witchcraft wasted my body;' taunting without displeasure and and herewith turned up his doublet not without disport. When the sleeve to the elbow of his left arm, King took displeasure, she would where he showed a wearish, withered mitigate and appease bis mind; arm and small, as it was never other where men were out of favour, she (that is, as it always was), and there. would bring them to his Grace; for upon every man's mind misgave them, many that had highly offended she well perceiving that this matter was obtained pardon ; of great forfeibut quarrel, for they wist that the tures she got remission; and, finally, Queen was too wise to go about such in many weighty suits, she stood folly. But Lord Hastings answered: men in great stead, either for none,
Certainly, my Lord, if they have so or very small rewards, and those
grading as much as possible the now everywhere, pointed with his fingers, powerless woman, whose good quali- or nodded with his head, and the ties and generosity he naturally ab- baron was seized in his hall, the citihorred. She was sentenced to do zen in his parlour, the lady in her penance by the Bishop of London. oratory; the dismal key was turned, She was taken in procession, bare- and the only prospect was a scaffold footed, and enveloped in a white on Tower Hill
. There is something sheet, through the streets, to St awful in the solemn obedience paid to Paul's Cross, where she made open that silent, bloodthirsty tyrant by the confession of her only great crime. greatest and the least. No man knew She bore her disgrace with much who sat at meat with him. It might becoming fortitude; and the grace- be a spy of the court, though perhaps fulness of her manner, with the deep a kinsman of his own. A whisper sense of shame manifested in her in the ear of Empson and Dudley, downcast looks, gained her the pity the infamous informers, took away of every feeling heart,
the squire's estate, the pobleman's « Submissive, sad, and lowly was her look; could offer any resistance? The gen
castle, and the heads of both. Who A burning taper in her hand she bore, And on her shoulders carelessly confused,
try had been destroyed, or nearly so, In loose neglect her lovely tresses hung. by fifty years of civil war; the citiHer streaming eyes bent ever on the zen had not yet riseu into considera
earth, Except when in some sudden pang of public opinion to unite and guide
tion by commerce; there was no To Heaven she seemed in fervent zeal great masses of men; and there sat to raise them,
at Windsor or Westminster, a deep, And bey that mercy man denied her sagacious, imperturbable statesman, here."
with crown on head andsword in hand, It is not to be forgotten that an. wielding all the authorities of the other of her punishments—and the State; no law to check him, no power one probably that was the most to oppose bim, no generosity within agreeable to her oppressors—was the to soften him, and the gates of the forfeiture of all her goods. When Tower ready to open on their noisethey had got all her money she was less hinges the moment he gave the no longer worth keeping in the sign. For long successions from faTower, and they turned her out into ther to son, no bearer of a lofty title the world, where she had now neither had died in his bed. Many died in wealth nor friends. This account of battle, many by the axe; and as the outcast Jane Shore,
spaniels like their master the better " Who died deserted at her utmost need,
the more he applies the whip, it act
ually seemed to deepen men's reverBy those her former bounty fed,"
ence for the King, that his mere word may serve as a companion-picture to had sent their ancestors to the block, the sufferings of kivgs and prioces, where it would also probably send and show that when despotism is themselves. The system that Henry once established in a land, it strikes VII. began was, of course, continued at all alike; and despotism, in its by Henry VIII.; and the thing that heaviest form, was close at hand. seems to have astonished Charles I.
When Henry VII.-after the fluc- and James II, the most, in the resisttuating reigns of Edward IV. and ance which at length the reviving Richard III.-had fully established national spirit enabled Englishmen himself on the throne, there were no to make, was the positive disinclinaalternations of victory and defeat to tion that people showed to being call the apartments of the fortress sent to prison. “Where will this into use; and yet an increasing tide end ?” said Charles I. when all Lonset onward towards those gloomy don rose up in indignation at his vaults, ard carried with it indiffer sending some Opposition Members ently Yorkist and Lancastrian, the of Parliament into the safe keeping nobles that had assisted him in his of the Tower. “If I can't imprison distress, or those who resisted him in my subjects, I am no longer a king !" his strength. One grim dark figure, “ What a fuss about a trifle !” said moving noiselessly, but watchful, James II. when the now awakened
people expressed their indignation at be repressed. Henry's quarrel with his sending the Seven Bishops into Rome was not about the extent of confinement for petitioning him to the Papal power, but about who was govern according to right; “but I to wield it.“ Let heretics be burnt,” will show them a greater stretch of he said—“let those who deny the prerogative than this !”
efficacy of absolution, and the power The power of imprisonment had of saints, be tortured, as much as you in fact existed so long, and the Tower like. Let all who dissent from the stood so invitingly open, that it must Church be punished with the utmost have come upon kings and people rigour; only, let every body confess by surprise when they found that the that of that Church I am supreme keys of that dreadful fortress were and only governor.” In all his other now intrusted to a power more po- sentiments and beliefs, Sir Thomas tent than kings or people, called the More most fervently joined; but, on Law; that the sword of governance the last claim of the King, the partwould never again be placed in one nership was dissolved. The Pope had hand of our rulers without the scales 80 long been acknowledged the chief of justice in the other. But in of the Church ; the laws which Sir Henry VIII.'s time such ideas had Thomas had studied had so firmly not yet got out of Latin and Greek established this principle, that he books and been translated into the was now too old to give up an opinvulgar tongue, and so the Tower car- ion he had been brought up in ; and, ried on a thriving trade in suffering accordingly, as he had persecuted and death. Among the first who heretics for differences as unimporttasted the bitterness of the cup they ant as this, he at once made up his had so often prepared for others, mind to undergo the same fate he were Empson and Dudley, the de- had inflicted on them. The royal graded ministers of the late King, supremacy here claimed by Henry * who, being lawyers in science," as was not any power that interfered their historian says, “and Privy with the doctrines of the Church, but Councillors in authority, had turn- meant that the clergy should be sub. ed law and justice into wormwood jects of the King, and not of the and rapine." Nothing, indeed, is Pope. On this point, Sir Thomas more strange in those years than the More was firm. He was tried, not regularity with which punishment for heresy, as his victims had been overtakes the wrongdoer; no sooner, for denying the transubstantiation of in reading the list of prisoners bread into flesh, but for treason in in the Tower, do we see the name denying an authority which Parliaof some innocent man condemned ment had expressly acknowledged as by the cruelty, of, his adversary, inherent in the King. He was confor some imaginary offence, than, victed of resistance to an Act of Paron turning over the page, we en- liament; and early on the morning counter the name of the adversary of the 6th of July 1535, it was anhimself. We read of Bainham and nounced to him that he was to die Frith tormented and racked by the before nine o'clock. His good huzeal of the Roman Catholic Chancel- mour and liveliness never left him. lor, Sir Thomas More; and before Indeed, there is something not altowe have time to pity the poor suf- gether satisfactory in the frivolous ferers, we read of the imprisonment mirth with which his last scene was and death of the same Sir Thomas accompanied. We should have been More, who had fallen out of favour better pleased if the closing hour had with the brutal and capricious King. brought more melancholy thoughts. None of the murders committed On the contrary, he seemed to grow at the dictation of Henry cast funnier, the nearer the axe approachsuch a stain upon his name as the ed. When he was conveyed to the sacrifice of this the greatest law. Tower, the turnkey, who had the yer, the brightest scholar, and the strange privilege of pillaging his most polished wit of his time. prisoner, asked him for his upperThere was a perfect agreement be- most garment as a perquisite of his tween the tyrant and his Chancel- office. Sir Thomas merrily presented lor as long as the Reformers were to him with his cap, and told him that