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prepared to grant. In that valuable por-And after detailing, in very homely rhymes, tion of the despatches of De la Mothe the beginning and progress of this imporFenelon, published a few years since, we tant plot, he thus proceeds :find most strongly marked proofs of the interest taken by the citizens, even as early
Their treason once discovered, then were the as 68, in foreign affairs. How they ex- Some of them fled into a wood, where, after, they
traitors sought, ulted when the Spanish treasure was carried to the Tower; how, although Elizabeth And being brought into the Tower, for joy the
were caught, was at peace with France, the Huguenots bells did ring, openly recruited for troops in England ; And thronghout London bonfires made, where peoand in how firm a tone the London traders ple psalms did sing, demanded reprisals to be made, when the Duke of Alva seized the English merchants
“ And set their tables in the streets with meates of and their goods in the Low Countries.
ev'ry kind. Much censure has been cast
There was prepared all signs of joye that could be Elizaupon
had in minde, beth and her ministers for their severity in And praised the Lorde most heartely, that with his the cases of treason against her person ; but mighty hand if we consult contemporary documents, we He had preserved our gracious queene and people shall find that the public feeling actually
of this land !" chided the slow proceedings of judicial investigation, and that popular resentment
The celebration of national deliverances pronounced sentence long ere the culprits by“ psalm-singing,” the reader must bear had been brought to trial. At first sight, in mind was no part of thanksgiving" by this feeling may appear harsh, if not un- law appointed;" but it is curious to objust : but we must bear in mind that nearly serve how the popular feeling during Elizaall the plots against Elizabeth and her beth's reign exhibited itself constantly in ministers involved plans of assassination
this form. This is in itself a strong proof crime more abhorrent to true English feel- of the progress of Protestant feeling,—of a ing than any other. It is on this account feeling that waited not, and that chose not that, although most firmly maintaining the to wait, for orders from Lambeth, or even right of every one to worship God as his from the Council,—but with glad heart conscience directs him, we yet cannot feel sought to pour forth the only acceptable, that indignation against Elizabeth and her because spontaneous,“ service of the lips. ministers for their severe measures in this
In the present day men may smile at respect, which many do. For the risings bells ringing, and bonfires blazing, and during Henry the Eighth's reign, for the sober citizens placing tables before their “rising in the North,” in Elizabeth's doors, and with homely hospitality pressing even for the fierce reaction of political and each passer-by to partake the white manreligious feeling that lighted the fires in chet and the huge joint of roast meat, or Smithfield, we can find some excuse.
For the chine and the well-spiced cake ; and much of the irritation and disaffection of they may smile, too, at the heartiness and the Roman-catholic portion of the popula- right good-will with which neighbor pledged tion under Elizabeth, we can allow much neighbor in the cup of ale, or, perchance, in palliation; but for the successive plots, silver tankard of sack and sugar, to the which, by dagger, or pistol, or slow poison, health of our queen and her “ glorious semwere to work out their ends, we can find no per eadem,” only because some dozen violent
And thus thought our forefathers; enthusiasts had been conveyed to the Towand hence arose their irrepressible joy when er:
But if we look at the circumstances of the traitors were committed to the Tower, the nation, we shall well perceive that the and which followed them with exulting detection of a plot like Babington's was
indeed a shouts even to Tyburn. There are some
cause of national gratulation. curious illustrative ballads on this sub- The great and crying evil of most historiject in the Roxburghe collection. One, cal estimates, is applying the standard of by Thomas Nelson, on the discovery of the present to the past. Now this is reBabington's plot, is very characteristic. peatedly done in regard to the reign we are It begins with the loyal prayer
Why could not the English
enjoy their Protestantism peaceably," say “ God prosper long our noble queen, and grant her some silly writers, “ without keeping Eulong to reign
rope in continual tumult about it?" Eng
land enjoy her Protestantism in quiet, when “ Preserve us, Lord, by thy dear word, the Pope had absolved the Roman-catholic From Turk and Pope defend us, Lord ! subjects of Elizabeth from their allegiance
Who both would thrust out of his throne
Our Lord Jesus Christ, thy dear son.” to her! Enjoy her Protestantism, with the most powerful nation of Europe, Spain, Homely lines; but emphatic in their homewaging a ceaseless war--scizing English liness, to men who felt that all they valumerchandise in the Low Countries, attack-ed, --commercial prosperity, an advancing ing English merchant vessels on the high literature, national independence-but, seas, —ever watchful to prevent France and
more precious than all, a free GospelPortugal from forming an alliance, and at length threatening our land with the mighti- depended on their protection from these
antagonist foes. est armament that ever swept o'er the
But while leaning on Divine aid, they ocean! Well might our forefathers rejoice felt that much might be done by themselves at the detection of Babington's plot, even as they rejoiced, in 1588, and caused all against human forms of evil; there was one London's bells' to ring out at midnight, which they contemplated with mysterious
scourge more dreaded than all beside, when the news arrived that that fair and horror-the plague. In the present day, unfortunate, but most mischievous, daugh
even when looking back on the cholera ter of the Guises, was at length headless.
year,” we altogether fail to realize the exA clear view of the dangers which sur-cited yet awe-struck feeling with which rounded our fathers is indeed indispensable that dreaded name was first whispered, and to a just apprehension of the character, the finger stealthily pointed at the infected both of this reign and of the succeeding house. There was so much that appealed period. Powers and influences, which we to the imagination of a most imaginative now smile at, were then mighty agen- age, in such a visitation. Appearing withcies. Pope and pagan, to use the fine per-out warning, sweeping down its thousands, sonification of Bunyan, were not, in the and then as suddenly disappearing, that we days of Elizabeth, couched each at his marvel not that flaming swords were beden's mouth, impotently growling at the lieved to have been seen suspended in the passer-by. They were up and doing. The sky, or the avenging angel standing ready
to smite the devoted city. And then came against England, and rousing kingdoms and forth the summons to prayer, and solemn peoples to work his will ; while the pagan thoughts, and watchfulness-a summons power had encamped beneath the walls of emphatie, though voiceless, from the closed Vienna, and was menacing the last retreat houses, with the red cross marked on the of the gallant knights of St. John. How door, the frequent funerals, and the open anxiously Grindal, in one of his letters be
graves. The awe with which these visitafore us, inquires after “news of the Turk- tions were viewed by the whole people is ish fleet before Malta,” that he might strongly embodied in the ballads of this improve" the victory or the defeat in his
period. There are some to be met with in next sermon. How did the "worshipful plays; for if, during the plague, the themarchantes of London and Bristol make atres beyond the infected districts were “ gatherings” for the redemption of " captives taken by the Turks.” And how open, the performance often ended, strange
as it may appear to the modern reader, with anxiously, in another letter, does Grindal beg Cecil to inform him, whether “ the their knees. Here is part of one, introduced
a hymn, sometimes sung by the actors on death of the king of Navarre, that second into the masque of " Summer's Last Will Julian,”traitor to the Huguenots-was and Testament,” by Thomas Nash :really true, as I intend, God willing, to preach at the Cross next Sunday, and, upon “ Adieu, farewell earth's bliss, occasion offered, would peradventure make This world uncertain is : some mention of God's judgments over Fond are life's playful joys, him.” Faintly can we realize the deep Death proves them all but toys; and anxious feeling with which the thou
None írom his darts can flye.
I am sick, I must dye. sands gathered round Paul's Cross listen
Lord have mercy upon us ! ed, while the earnest prelate “preached to the times,” or when uplifting their my- « Rich men trust not in wealth ; riad voices, they sang,
Gold cannot buy you health;
Physic himself must fade;
Bring the old and the youngest thing;
Come all to death, and follow me-
The courtier with his lofty looks,
The lawyer with his learned books,
The banker with his baiting hooks.
“Think on the solemn 'sizes past, In the Roxburghe Collection we find How suddenly in Oxfordshire many of these ballads, headed with grim I came, and made the judges all aghast," skulls and cross-bones; or, Death brandish
And justices that did appear,
And took both Bell and Baram away. ing his dart; or a stiff ruffed lady and gen
And many a worthy man that day, tleman kneeling on either side of a fauld- And all their bodies brought to clay. stool with uplifted hands. All of them exhibit much devotional feeling, and some
"Pride must have a pretty sheet, I see, times a far higher degree of poetical, than
For properly she loves to dance;
Come away, my wanton wench, with me, we might expect. The two following verses
As gallantly as your eyes can glance; from * The Sinner's Supplication,” are a And all good fellows that flash and swash fair specimen of the hymns sung by the con- In reds and yellows of revel dash, gregations gathered together by the carnest
I warrant ye need not be so rash. preacher, who, driven from the churches by
" For I can quickly cool you all, the strife of “the habits,” lifted up his How bold or stout soe'er ye be, voice in the streets, like Jonah, or, like his
Both high and low, both great and small,
Naught do I fear your high degree,master, taught in the open fields :
The lady fair, the beldam old,
The champion stout, the souldier bold, "Most gracious God! now lend thine ear,
Must all with me to earthly mould.
" Therefore take time while it is lent, Be thou my rocke, my strengthe, my stay,
Prepare with me yourselves to dance; For thou hast promised helpe alway.
Forget me not, your lives lament;
I come ofttimes by sudden chance; "This grievous scourge, which thou hast sent
Be ready, therefore, watch and pray, Upon us for our chastisement,
That when my minstrel pipe doth play,
You may to heaven dance the way.”
How completely is this in the spirit of In wrath against us all to be.”
those grotesque but powerful wood-cuts, But there were others—“ Larum Bells," the dulcimer, is leading the vast crowds
where Death in plumed cap, and playing on " Death's Summons,” " The Song of Death," intended as warnings to the pro
who troop heedlessly on to the open grave.
From a general view of the ballads of who laid not the fearful visitation to heart: this period, both in the Roxburghe, and Such is “ the Doleful Dance and Song of
other collections, a very favorable estimate Death,” and it is curious as supplying the of the moral and religious character of the date of its composition by the allusion to moral; very many are religious, and con
people may be formed. Most of them are " the solemn 'sizes,” which took place in
sist of scriptural narratives in verse. July, 1577.
We will give a few verses of this rude but forcible oid ballad, reminding deed, the more closely we contemplate the the reader that shrouds were not in use at its resemblance to that of the Parliament
age of Elizabeth, the greater shall we find this time, but that the garb of death was and Commonwealth. A strong religious the literal sheet, gathered into folds, tied with a ribbon at the head, and depending spirit was abroad, as may be perceived, not like a cloak to the feet, where it was also only in its general literature, but even in
the dramatic. Almost all the plays, during tied
the earlier period especially, were histori"Can you dance the shaking of the sheets ?- cal; and most of them, true to ancient A dance that ev'ry one must do,
usage, had a chorus, who moralized on the Can you trim it up with dainty sweets, And ev'rything that ʼlongs thereto?
passing scenes, often with solemn effect Make ready, then, your winding sheet,
The direct allusions in Shakspeare's plays And see how you can bestir your feet, to scriptural doctrine have frequently been For death is the man that all must meet. remarked ; but we could point to many Bring away the beggar and the king;
earlier dramas, from whence fine passages And every man in his degree;
of strictly religious poetry might be taken. Voi, XI. No. III.
In Lodge's “ Looking Glass for London,” | ledge that they were so. Religion was in founded on the preaching of Jonah to the all their thoughts and ways, and they went Ninevites, and consequently, bearing a about their respective callings in the very strong resemblance to the ancient miracle- spirit of the city motto, “ Domine, dirige plays, there are numerous passages that nos. How touching are their references read just like portions of a sermon; and to an over-ruling Providence, as seen in the prophet's call to repentance, in solemn their mottoes---even the armorial bearings grandeur, rivals the rich eloquence of Jere- -of their noble mercantile associations. my Taylor. Marlowe's splendid “Faus- The ships of the “Muscovie Company” tus” abounds in similar passages; and the went forth beneath the auspices of royalty; last soliloquy of the wretched man, who for but while the crowned lion was the crest, twenty-five short years of pleasure has bar- the bearings bore the trustful supplication, tered his soul, is appalling
“God be our good guide.” The merchant
adventurers, those merchant princes, bore “Stand still, you ever moving spheres of heav'n,
aspiring Pegasus; but they knew the blessThat time may cease, and midnight never come. ings of God alone made rich, and thus Fair nature's eye, rise, rise again, and make
“ Dieu nous donne bon aventure” was their Perpetual day; or let this hour be a year, A month, a week, a natural day,
motto. And the “East Land Company," That Faustus may repent, and save his soul!
destined to penetrate to the furthest north, Oh! I'll leap up to heaven! Who pulls me down? took the raven, and the heaven-appointed See where Christ's blood streams in the firmament; One drop of that will save me !
ark, and the emphatic words, Despair O spare me, Lucifer! Where is it now? 'Tis gone!
We owe a large debt of gratitude to these And see, a threatening arm, an angry brow! Mountains and hills, come, come and fall on me, alone for the public institutions and schools
merchant-princes of Elizabeth's reign, not To hide me from the heavy wrath of heav'n!"
they founded, but for the encouragement There must have been a widely diffused they gave, and the protection many of them religious feeling, when dramatists made afforded to those confessors, who felt that choice of such subjects. The drama, show- all they had suffered during Mary's reign ever, although so incalculably superior to was futile, if the result were merely the that of later days, found many opponents, establishment of a semi-popery. There from the time of John Northbroke's and was much certainly to irritate those who Stephen Gosson's tracts, to the appearance had dwelt in the Protestant cities of Flanof Dr. Rainold's “ Overthrow of Stage ders and Switzerland, in the pomp and Plays," in 1599. The objections of the power assumed by the bishops at this period. citizens seem, however, chiefly to have Here is a vivid picture of prelatical state. arisen from the danger which the young, It is addressed by a German scholar to particularly their apprentices, incurred from Simler in 1562. « But although the whole the profligate company which frequented city belongs to the bishop, bis domestic arthe theatres round London. A strict rule rangements delighted me more than anywas kept in those days over the appren- thing else. His palace is so spacious and tices; still, much kindness seems to have magnificent, that even sovereigns may, and been exhibited by their masters towards are wont to be suitably entertained there. them; for the feeling which viewed every Next, there is a most extensive garden, one who resided under the same roof as kept up with especial care; a most limpid holding a kind of relationship, and thus stream runs through the middle of it, which baving a claim to the kindly offices of the is rendered much more delightful by the family, was strong in the days of Elizabeth. swans swimming upon it, and by the abun
From the accounts of various city wor- dance of fish.”_"I am transplanted into thies of this period, we form a favorable the abode of a prosperous individual. He estimate of their private character, from the directed his attendants-most elegant young kind feeling evinced by them, both during men of rank-to order some wine to be their life, and after their death, towards brought. The butler forthwith makes his their dependants. Worthy men were the appearance, bearing a large golden gobBonds, the Rowes, the Harveys, the Gre- let. And also, when dinner or suppershams, enterprising merchants, to whom time arrived, how can I describe to you the England owes her high standing as a mer- abundance and variety of the silver-plate ?” cantile nation. And Godfearing men were This " prosperous individual” is Jewel, the they, too ; and not ashamed to acknow-I worthy Bishop of Salisbury, who in all probability bore his wealth and honors with shrew of Paul's Gate,”-began her career meekness; but how must such adjuncts to of speaking home-truths to these lordly prea wide ecclesiastical domination have in- lates at this time, we know not; but, truly, creased the pride and overbearingness of she might have been their leader, since we the Parkers, the Aylmers, and the Whit-find Martin, in his “Epistle to the terrible gifts.
priests,” reminding John of London (Bishop But there were other causes of irritation Aylmer)“ how she bade you throw yourself —the service-book and the habits; and downe at her majestie's feet, acknowledgcurious it is, in turning to contemporary ing yourself to be unsavory salte, and to documents, to find the active part the laity crave pardon of her highness, because you -even the women-took in these questions. had so long deceived her and her people. As early as 1566, prosing Master Strype A tolerable spirit must dame Lawson have informs us, that Robert Crowley, the lite- had; for we find, from a notice in Strype, rary vicar of St. Giles', Cripplegate, had a that she actually attacked the lion in his violent quarrel with some " singing-men,” den-Whitgift at Lambeth. As she is who accompanied a corpse to the church- there spoken of as one of Martin's canonyard; but he, in his zeal against the sur- ized saints," it is most probable that she plice, shut the door against them, and call- was some poor woman who, beggared and ing the civil power to his aid-they becom- persecuted for her adherence to her princiing riotous-he at length compelled them ples, was not ashamed to “testify” even in to depart.. Crowley was summoned before bishops' courts. Parker, when he discovered some fond However “unsavory" Aylmer might be paradoxes,” which seemed to shock poor as to what was good, his style did not Master Strype greatly; and he was com- want for salt, although Billingsgate would mitted to prison; but further we cannot be a far more appropriate designation of it learn. The parish of St. Giles', Cripple- than Attic. From some of Martin's regate, however- —as we find in the volume marks, we find he indulged in wretched before us of Grindal's Remains--had soon puns; on one occasion assuring a Mr. after a good substitute in “one Bartlett, a Madox, “his name did show what he was ; reader of a divinity lecture, who, notwith- for thy name is mad ox, which declareth standing he was suspended, took upon him- thee to be an unruly and mad beast !” while self to read again, without license; and some of his letters, in Sir Christopher Hathaving refused to surcease, alleging his ton's letter-book, bear witness to his furious duty to instruct the ignorant, he was com- intolerance. Here is a short extract from mitted to his own house." Poor Grindal, the conclusion of a terribly long one, adat this time Bishop of London, now proba- dressed to the Lord Mayor, who had not bly thought that all would be well; but treated him with sufficient reverence : alas! as he piteously relates in a letter to “Well, to end as I begun, I pray you use Cecil, “ this day came unto my house three- the ministry according to their calling. score women of the same parish to make If you take this in good part, as coming suit for him.” The poor bachelor prelate, from him that hath charge over you, I am in great alarm at this army of fair ladies, glad of it; if not, I must then tell you your appears to have retired with much haste duty out of my chair, which is the pulpit at into the inmost recess of his palace, whence Paul's Cross, where you must sit, not as a he sent them word“ that I willed them to judge to control, but as a scholar to learn; send half a dozen of their husbands, and and I, not as John Aylmer to be taunted, with them I would talk." Whether the but as John London to teach you and all threescore women were satisfied with this that city; and if you use not yourself as a answer we know not; but it appears-pro-humble scholar, then to discipline you as bably relying on female perseverance that your chief pastor and prelate.” Can we they still continued besieging the poor wonder at the bitter sarcasms against prebishop in his own castle, until; happily, lacy, when such a style could be addressed “one Mr. Philpot, also a suspended minis- to the chief magistrate of the city? ter,” moved to pity at his critical situa- The overbearing are always servile; the tion, boldly came forward, and persuaded following specimen of Aylmer's humble them at length to depart; 80 " they went style, therefore, must be given for the conaway quietly, but yet, so as with tears, they trast. It is part of a pitiable lamentation moved in some hearts compassion.' addressed to Hatton, upon his having fallen
Whether dame Lawson- nicknamed “the under the displeasure of his royal mistress.