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Lord Stafford mines for coal and salt,
The Douglas in red herrings;
Of Rothschild, or the Barings.
Is England's friend and fast ally;
And on the cross and altar stone,
And Christendom looks tamely on,
And sees the Christian father die;
By Europe's craven chivalry.
You'll ask if yet the Percy lives
In the armed pomp of feudal state ?
Of Hotspur and his “gentle Kate,"
A chambermaid, whose lip and eye,
Spoke nature's aristocracy ;
For ten-and-sixpence sterling. F. G. HALLECK.
LESSON C X X X VI.
THE LAST DAYS OF QUEEN ELIZABETH. THE Earl of Essex, after his return from the fortunate expedition against Cadiz, observing the increase of the queen's tond attachment towards him, took occasion to regret that the necessity of her service required him often to be absent from her person, and exposed him to all those ill offices, which his enemics, more assiduous in their attendance, could employ against him. She was moved with this tender jealousy, and making him the present of a ring, desired him to keep that pledge of her affection, and assured him, that, into whatever disgrace he should fall, whatever prejudices she might be induced to entertain against him, yet, if he sent her that ring, she would immediately, upon sight of it, recall her former tenderness; would afford him a patient hearing, and would lend a favorable ear to his apology.
Essex, notwithstanding all his misfortunes, reserved this precious gift to the last extremity; but after his trial and condemnation, he resolved to try the experiment, and he committed the ring to the Countess of Nottingham, whom he desired to deliver it to the queen. The countess was prevailed on by her husband, the mortal enemy of Essex, not to execute the commission; and Elizabeth, who still expected that her favorite would make this last appeal to her tenderness, and who ascribed the neglect of it to his invincible obstinacy, was, after much delay, and many internal combats, pushed by resentment and policy to sign the warrant for his execution.
The Countess of Nottingham falling into sickness, and affected with the near approach of death, was seized with remorse for her conduct; and having obtained a visit from the queen, she craved her pardon, and revealed the fatal secret. The queen, astonished with this incident, burst into a furious passion. She shook the dying countess in her bed; and crying to her, That God might pardon her, but she never could, she broke from her, and thenceforth resigned herself over to the deepest and most incurable melancholy. She resisted all consolation ; she even refused food and sustenance; and, throwing herself on the floor, she remained sullen and immovable, feeding her thoughts on her afflictions, and declaring life and existence an intolerable burden to her. Few words she uttered; and they were all expressive of some inward grief which she cared not to reveal; but sighs and groans were the chief vent which she gave to her despondency, and which, though they discovered her sorrows, were never able to ease or assuage them.
Ten days and nights, she lay upon the carpet, leaning on cushions which her maids brought her; and her physicians could not persuade her to allow herself to be put to bed, much less to make trial of any remedies which they prescribed to her. Her anxious mind, at last, had so long preyed upon her frail body, that her end was visibly approaching; and the council being assembled, sent the keeper, admiral, and secretary, to know her will with regard to her successor. She answered, with a faint voice, that, as she had held a regal scepter, she desired no other than a royal successor.
Cecil requesting her to explain herself more particularly, she subjoined, that she would have a king to succeed her; and who should that be, but her nearest kinsman, the King of Scots ?
Being then advised by the Archbishop of Canterbury to fix her thoughts upon God, she replied, that she did so, nor did her mind, in the least, wander from Him. Her voice, soon after, left her; her senses failed; she fell into a lethargic slumber, which continued some hours; and she expired gently, without further struggle or convulsion, in the seventieth year of her age, and forty-fifth of her reign. So dark a cloud overcast the evening of that day, which had shone out with a mighty luster, in the eyes of all Europe !
DEATH OF PRINCESS CHARLOTTE. WITHOUT the slightest warning, without the opportunity of a moment's immediate preparation, in the midst of the deepest tranquillity, at midnight, a voice was heard in the palace, not of singing men and singing women, not of revelry and mirth, but the
cry, “ Behold the bridegroom cometh !" The mother, in the bloom of youth, spared just long enough to hear the tidings of her infant's death, almost immediately, as if summoned by his spirit, follows him into eternity. “It is a night much to be remembered.” Who foretold this event, who conjectured it, who detected, at a distance, the faintest presage of its approach, which, when it arrived, mocked the efforts of hunan skill, as much by their incapacity to prevent, as their inability to foresee it?
Unmoved by the tears of conjugal affection, unawed by the presence of grandeur, and the prerogatives of power, inexorable death hastened to execute his stern commission, leaving nothing to royalty itself, but to retire and weep. Who can fail to discern, on this awful occasion, the hand of Him who “bringeth the princes to nothing, who maketh the judges of the earth as vanity;" who says, " they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown; yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth;" and he “shall blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble.”
But is it now any subject of regret, think you, to this amiable Princess, so suddenly removed, “ that her sun went down while it was yet day,” or that, prematurely snatched from prospects the most brilliant and enchanting, she was compelled to close her eyes so soon on a world, of whose grandeur she formed so conspicuous a part? No. In the full fruition of eternal joys, for which we humbly hope Religion prepared her, she is so far from looking back with lingering regret on what she has quitted, that she is surprised, that it had the power of affecting her so much; that she took so deep an interest in the scenes of this shadowy state of being, while so near to an “eternal weight of glory.” Memory may be supposed to contribute to her happiness, not by the recollection that she was of illustrious birth, with the most elevated prospects before her, but that she visited the abodes of the poor, and learned to weep with those that weep; that, surrounded with the fascinations of pleasure, she was not inebriated by its charms; that she resisted the strongest temptations to pride, preserved her ears open to truth, was impatient of the voice of flattery; in a word, that she sought and cherished the inspira tions of piety, and walked humbly with her God.
The nation has certainly not been wanting in the proper expression of poignant regret, at the sudden removal of this most lamented Princess, nor of sympathy with the royal family, deprived,' by this visitation, of its brightest ornament. Sorrow is painted in every countenance, the pursuits of business and of pleasure have been suspended, and the kingdom is covered with the signals of distress. But what, my friends,
(if it were lawful to indulge such a thought,) what would be the funeral obsequies of a lost soul? Where shall we find tears fit to be wept at such a spectacle; or, could we realize the calamity in all its extent, what tokens of commiseration and concern would be deemed equal to the occasion? Would it suffice for the sun to vail his light, and the moon her brightness; to cover the ocean with mourning, and the heavens with sackcloth; or, were the whole fabric of nature to become animated and vocal, would it be possible for her to utter a groan too deep, or a cry too piercing, to express the magnitude and extent of such a catastrophe?
LESSON CXX X VIII.
THE HOUR OF DEATH.
Leaves have their time to fall,
And stars to set; but all,
Day is for mortal care,
Night, for the dreams of sleep, the voice of prayer ;
The banquet hath its hour,
There comes a day for grief's o'erwhelming power,
Youth and the opening rose
And smile at thee; but thou art not of those
Leaves have their time to fall,
And stars to set; but all,