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pleasure meant !"
66 And how came you, Madam, 66 (quoth I,) to this deep knowledge of pleasure? And 66 what did chiefly allure you to it, seeing not many 66 women, but very few men have attained thereunto?". “ I will tell you, (quoth she,) and tell you a truth which 66 perchance you will marvel at. One of the greatest bene5 fits that God ever gave me is, that he sent me so sharp " and severe parents, and so gentle a schoolmaster; for, 66 when I am in the presence of father or mother, 66 whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand, or go, 66 eat, drink, be merry, or sad, be sewing, playing, 6 dancing, or doing any thing else, I must do it as it
were, in such weight, measure, and number, even so 66 perfectly as God made the world, or else I am so “ sharply taunted, so cruelly threatened, yea, presently 66 sometimes with pinches, nips, and bobs, and other
ways, which I will not name for the honor I bear “6 them, so without measure misordered, that I think 66 myself in ****, till time come that I must go to Mr. 66 Aylmer,+ who teaches me so gently, so pleasantly, 56 with such fair allurements to learning, that I think all 66 the time nothing, while I am with him. And when I am called from him, I fall on weeping, because what.
I do else but learning is full of grief, trouble, fear, 66 and whole misliking unto me. And thus my book “ hath been so much my pleasure, and bringeth daily to
me more pleasure, and more, that in respect of it ail 6 other pleasures in very deed be but trifles and troubles C6 unto me.” “I remember," adds Mr. Ascham, 66 this talk gladly, both because it is so worthy of me
mory, and because also it was the last talk I ever had, “6 and the last time that ever I saw that noble and worthy " lady."
What a speech was here from so young a lady! What reader is not melted with it! What a fine taste, and what a noble and enriched mind are here discovered !
Dr. John Aylmer, afterwards bishop of London. † Ascham's Schoolmaster, B. I. p. 37. Also Fuller's Holy State, p. 295.
Mr. Ascham appears, (and where is the wonder?) to have been deeply affected with this interview, and to have retained a most pleasant and honorable remembrance of it. In a letter written the December following, to his friend Sturmius, having informed him that he had the honour and happiness of being admitted to converse familiarly with this young lady, and that she had written a very elegant Latin letter to him, he proceeds to mention this visit at Broadgate, and his consequent surprize at what occurred there, not without some degree of rapture. Thence he takes occasion to observe, that she both spoke and wrote Greek to admiration, and that she had promised to write him a letter in that language upon condition that he would send her one first from the Emperor's court.* (It is to be observed, that Mr. Ascham, at the time of his making his visit to Lady Jane, was going to London to attend Sir Richard Morrison on his embassy to the Emperor Charles the fifth in Germany.) But this rapture rose much higher, while he was composing a letter addressed to herself in the month following. There, speaking of his interview, he assures her, 66 That among all the « agreeable varieties he had met with in his travels abroad, s nothing had occurred to raise his admiration like that “ incident in the preceding summer, when he found her,
a young maiden, by birth so noble, in the absence of “ her tutor, and in the sumptuous house of her most “ noble father, at a time too when the rest of the “ family, both male and female, were regaling themselves « abroad with the pleasures of the chace,”
I found “the” “ virgin diligently studying the" “ Phædo of” • Plato in the original Greek. Happier certainly in " this respect than in being descended, both on the 66 father's and mother's side, from kings and queens.” He then puts her in mind 66 of the Greek epistle she " had promised him, and prompted her also to write 55 another to his friend Sturmius, that what he had said " of her, wherever he came, might be rendered credible
by such authentic evidence.”+
* Epit. Lih. I. Ep. 4. + Biograpbical Dictionary, Vol. vi. p. 136.
If lady Jane received this letter in the country, yet it is probable that she did not stay there long after, since some changes happened in the family which it is not unlikely brought her to town; for her maternal uncles, Henry and Charles Brandon, both dying at Bugden, the bishop of Lincoln's palace, of the sweating sickness, her father was created duke of Suffolk, in October 1551, John Dudley earl of Warwick being also created duke of Northumberland at the same time.
The dukes of Suffolk and Northumberland, upon the fall of the duke of Somerset, having reached to the pinnacle of power, upon the decline of the king's (Edward the sixth's) health, 1553, began to contrive how to prevent that reverse of fortune they foresaw must happen upon his demise. To accomplish this end no other method was judged effectual but a change in the succession to the crown, and the transferring it into their own families. The lady Jane was destined to the principal part in this intended revolution; nay, in reality, the whole of it centered in her. The most excellent and amiable qualities, which had rendered her dear to all who had the happiness of knowing her, joined to her near affinity to the king, subjected her to become the chief tool of an ambition so notoriously not her own. On this very account she was married to Lord Guildford Dudley fourth son of the Duke of Northumberland, without any discovery to her of the real design of the union, which was celebrated with great pomp in the latter end of May (1553) so much to the king's satisfaction that he largely contributed to the expences of it from the royal wardrobe.
But the magnificence and splendor attending their nuptials was the last gleam of joy that shone in the palace of king Edward, who grew so weak in a few days after, that the duke of Northumberland thought it high time to carry his project into execution. Accordingly, in the beginning of June he communicated the matter to the young monarch, and having first made all such colourable objections as the affair would admit against his majesty's two sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, he ob
served that the lady Jane, who was of the royal line, was a person of extraordinary qualities, that her zeal for the reformation was unquestioned; that nothing could be more acceptable to the nation than the prospect of such a princess; and that in this case he was bound to set aside all partialities of blood and nearness of relation, which were inferior considerations, and ought to be overruled by the public good. To corroborate and secure the success of this discourse, care was taken to place about the king those who should nake it their business to touch frequently upon this subject, enlarge upon the accomplishments of lady Jane, and describe her with all imaginable advantages. In the result, the king's af. fections standing for this disposition of the crown, he yielded to overlook his sisters, and set aside his father's will. Agreeable to which a deed of settlement being drawn up in form by the judges, was signed by his majesty and all the lords of the council.
This difficult affair being accomplished, and the letters patent having passed the seals before the close of the month, the next step was to concert the best method for carrying the settlement into execution, and, till this was done, to keep it as secret as possible. To this end the Duke of Northumberland formed a project, which, if it had succeeded, might have made all things casy and se
He directed letters to the lady Mary, in her brother's name, requiring her attendance at Greenwich, where the court then was; and she had got within half a day's journey of the place when king Edward expired, July 6, 1553 ; but having timely notice of his decease, she escaped the snare which had been so artfully laid for her.
The two dukes, Suffolk and Northumberland, found it necessary to conceal the king's death that they might have some time to gain the city of London, and get the consent of lady Jane, who was so far from having any concern in the business, that as yet she was unacquainted with the steps which had been taken to procure her the erown. At this juncture the princess Mary sent a letter to the privy council, in which, though she did not take the title
of Queen, yet she clearly asserted her right to the throne, and took notice of the concealment of her brother's death, and of the practises into which they had since entered, intimating that there was still room for reconciliation, and that, if they complied with their duty in proclaiming her Queen, she would forgive, and even forget what was past. But, in answer to her letter, they insisted upon the indubitable right of lady Jane, and their own unalterable fidelity to her as their Queen, to whom they endeavoured to persuade her to submit.
These previous steps being taken, and the tower and the city of London secured, the council quitted Greenwich, and came to London, and on Monday, July the 10th, in the forenoon, the two last-mentioned dukes, accompanied by the Earl of Pembroke and other noblemen, repaired to Durham-house, where the lady Jane resided with her husband, as part of Northumberland'3 family. There the duke of Suffolk with much solemnity opened to his daughter the disposition the late King had made of his crown by letters patent, the clear sense the privy council had of her right, the consent of the magistrates and citizens of London; and, in conclusion, himself and Northumberland fell on their knees, and paid their homage to her as Queen of England. The poor lady, somewhat astonished at their discourse, but not at all affected with their reasons, or in the least elevated by such unexpected honours, returned them an answer to this effect: “ That the laws of the kingdom, and natural “ right, standing for the king's sisters, she would beware “ of burdening her weak conscience with a yoke which “ did belong to them; that she understood the in" famy of those who had permitted the violation of right " to gain a sceptre; that it were to mock God, and 66 deride justice to scruple at the stealing of a shilling, 66 and not at the usurpation of a crown.
66 Besides," said she, “ I am not so young, nor so little read in guiles “ of fortune,* to suffer myself to be taken by them.
* On the subject of putting Fortune in the place of PROVIDENCE, I must refer the Reader to what I have said in my Four Discourses on the Stage, p. 27 and 136.