« AnteriorContinuar »
hand, therefore, should be punished. When I am come to the fire it shall be the first burned."
The crowd was utterly astounded at words so unexpected. Cries of “Pull him down!” “Stop his mouth!” “Away with him!” rose on all sides, and he was borne off by the throng. He approached the stake with a cheerful countenance, and when the fire was lit he held his right hand steadily in the flames, so that men might see it burn before his body was touched. “His friends,” wrote a bystander, “sorrowed for love, his enemies for pity, strangers for a common kind of humanity whereby we are bound to one another."
ELIZABETH DURING Mary's reign 280 persons at least were put to death for their religion, but the result was quite other than she had expected. The Protestants had hitherto been associated in men's minds with disorder and misrule; when they were seen laying down their lives for their faith, the disorder and misrule were forgotten in pity and admiration. A lady writing to Bishop Bonner, who had been the chief agent in the persecution, advised him “ to Isurcease from this cruel burning and murdering." He would never obtain his purpose as long as he went that way to work. “You have lost the hearts,” she said, “ of twenty thousand that were rank Papists, within this twelve months.”
Upon the death of Mary, Elizabeth, the daughter of Anne Boleyn, became queen. She was a woman gifted by nature with many of the qualities which go to the making of a great ruler, but there were also in her character faults which would have seemed petty
even in a private person. The purposes which she strove to attain were wise and good, but she was not above trying to reach them by very crooked ways.
Elizabeth's views on religion were not extreme; she
did not leave things as they were in her sister's time, though had she succeeded her brother, she would not have left them as they were in his time. On ascending the throne she ordered the old service to be continued
till Parliament met, and appointed a committee to revise the Prayer-book of Edward. On the meeting of Parliament the Church was finally separated from
Rome, and the revised Prayer-book was adopted. The changes which the queen made were agreeable to a great part of the nation, only the violent Catholics and the violent Protestants being displeased with them. Since then little alteration has been made in the beliefs of the Church or in its relation to the State.
Surcease, to stop entirely.
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS. HENRY VII. aimed at having Scotland friendly and, if possible, united to England. He therefore married his daughter Margaret to James IV. In 1542 James V. died, leaving as successor his only child Mary, then barely a week old. Henry VIII., who had on the whole continued the policy of his father, tried to bring about a marriage between her and his boy Edward, but the Scotch, ever jealous of their independence, were opposed to the match, and the matter was still unsettled when Henry died. The Protector Somerset, thinking to settle it with the sword, invaded Scotland and won a great victory at Pinkie, near Edinburgh, but he did not follow up his success. The invasion was therefore worse than useless, for it made the Scotch more hostile than ever to the marriage, while it did not force them to consent to it.
Next year the little girl was sent to France, with the understanding that when she grew older she should marry the % Dauphin. The agreement was faithfully carried out, and a year after Elizabeth became queen Mary's husband became king. He, however, soon died, and his widow returned to her own country.
If Elizabeth left no children, Mary, as her nearest BOOK III.
relative, would naturally succeed her; but Mary was not satisfied with being heiress to the throne, she claimed immediate possession of it. Her claim was dangerous, because, she being a Catholic, the bigoted Catholics of England would support it: hence there
HOLYROOD PALACE. sprang up between the two women a 3 rivalry which lasted till death.
Much more depended upon the marriage of a sovereign in those days than does now, so the choice which Mary would make of a husband was a matter of 4 political as well as of personal interest. The man whom she did choose was Henry Stuart, Lord