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drink, be merry, or sad, be sewing, playing, dancing, or doing any thing else, I must do it as it were in such weight, measure, and number, even so perfectly as God made the world; or else I am so sharply taunted, so cruelly threatened, yea presently sometimes with pinches, nips, and bobs, and other ways (which I will not name, for the honour I bear them), so without measure misordered, that I think myself in Hell, till the time come that I must go to Mr. Aylmer, [one of lady Jane's preceptors, afterwards bishop of London,] who teacheth me so gently, so pleasantly, with such fair allurements to learning, that I think all the time nothing, whiles I am with him. And, when I am called from him, I fall on weeping, because whatsoever I do else but learning, is full of grief, trouble, fear, and wholly 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 all other pleasures in very deed be but trifles and very troubles unto me.'
EXECUTION OF LADY JANE GREY. This excellent personage was descended from the royal line of England by both her parents.
She was carefully educated in the principles of the Reformation: and her wisdom and virtue rendered her a shining example to her sex. But it was her lot to continue only a short period on this stage of being; for, in early life, she fell a sacrifice to the wild ambition of the duke of Northumberland; who promoted a marriage between her and his son, lord Guilford Dudley; and raised her to the throne of England, in opposition to the rights of Mary and Elizabeth. At the time of their marriage she was only about eighteen years of age, and her husband was also very young : a season of life very unequal to oppose the interested views of artful and aspiring men ; who, instead of exposing them to danger, should have been the pro. tectors of their innocence and youth.
This extraordinary young person, besides the solid endowments of piety and virtue, possessed the most engaging disposition, the most accom- . plished parts; and being of an equal age with king Edward VI., she had received all her education with him, and seemed even to possess a greater facility in acquiring every part of manly and classical literature. She had attained a knowledge of the Roman and Greek languages, as well as of several modern tongues ; had passed most of her time in an application to learning; and expressed a great indifference for other occupations and amusements usual with her sex and station. Roger Ascham, tutor to the lady Elizabeth, having at one time paid her a visit, found her employed in reading Plato, while the rest of the family were engaged in a party of hunting in the park; and upon his admiring the singularity of her choice, she told him, that she received more pleasure from that author, than others could reap from all their sport and gaiety.'-Her heart, replete with this love of literature and serious studies, and with tenderness towards her husband, who was deserving of her affection, had never opened itself to the flattering
allurements of ambition; and the information of her advancement to the throne was by no means agreeable to her. She even refused to accept of the crown; pleaded the preferable right of the two princesses; expressed her dread of the consequences attending an enterprise so dangerous, not to say so criminal; and desired to remain in that private station in which she was born. Overcome at last with the entreaties, rather than reasons, of her father and father-in-law, and, above all, of her husband, she submitted to their will, and was prevailed on to relinquish her own judg
But her elevation was of very short conti
The nation declared for queen Mary ; and the lady Jane, after wearing the vain pageantry of a crown during ten days, returned to a private life, with much more satisfaction than she felt when royalty was tendered to her.
Queen Mary, who appears to have been incapable of generosity or clemency, determined to remove every person, from whom the least danger could be apprehended. Warning was, therefore, given to lady Jane to prepare for death ; a doom which she had expected, and which the innocence of her life, as well as the misfortunes to which she had been exposed, rendered no unwelcome news to her. The queen's bigotted zeal, under colour of tender mercy to the prisoner's soul, induced her to send priests, who molested her with perpetual disputation; and even a reprieve of three days was granted her, in hopes that she would be persuaded, during that time, to pay, by a timely conversion to popery, some regard to her eternal wel. fare. Lady Jane hàd presence of mind, in those
melancholy circumstances, not only to defend her religion by solid arguments, but also to write a letter to her sister, in the Greek language; in which, besides sending her a copy of the Scriptures in that tongue, she exhorted her to maintain, in every fortune, a like steady perseverance. On the day of her execution, her husband, lord Guil. ford, desired permission to see her; but she refused 'her consent, and sent him word, that the tenderness of their par
would overcome the fortitude of both; and would too much unbend their minds from that constancy, which their approaching end required of them. Their separation, she said, would be only for a moment; and they would soon rejoin each other in a scene, where their affections would be for ever united; and where death, disappointment, and misfortunes, could no longer have access to them, or disturb their eternal felicity.
It had been intended to execute the lady Jane and lord Guilford together on the same scaffold, at Tower-hill; but the council, dreading the compassion of the people for their youth, beauty, innocence, and noble birth, changed their orders, and gave directions that she should be beheaded within the verge of the Tower. She saw her husband led to execution, and having given him from the window some token of her remembrance, she waited with tranquillity till her own appointed hour should bring her to a like fate. She even saw his headless body carried back in a cart; and found herself more confirmed by the reports, which she heard of the constancy of his end, than shaken by so tender and melancholy a spectacle. Sir John Gage, constable of the Tower, when he led her to execution, desired her to bestow on bim some small present, which he might keep as a perpetual memorial of her. She gave him her table-book, in which she had just written three sentences, on seeing her husband's dead body; one in Greek, another in Latin, a third in English. The purport of them was, “ that human justice was against his body, but the Divine Mercy would be favourable to his soul: and that if her fault deserved punishment, her youth, at least, and her imprudence, were worthy of excuse; and that God and posterity, she trusted, would show her favour. On the scaffold, she made a speech to the by-standers, in which the mildness of her disposition led her to take the blame entirely on herself, without uttering one complaint against the severity with which she had been treated. She said, that 'her offence was not having laid her hand upon the crown, but not rejecting it with sufficient constancy: that she had less erred through ambition, than through reverence to her parents, whom she had been taught to respect and obey: that she willingly received death, as the only satisfaction which she could now make to the injured state; and though her infringement of the laws had been constrained, she would show, by her voluntary submission to their sentence, that she was desirous to atone for that disobedience, into which too much filial piety had betrayed her : that she had justly deserved this punishment, for being made the instrument, though the unwilling instrument, of the ambition of others : and that the story of her life, she hopedy