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Elizabeth had recently died when Shakespeare wrote this.
(The baby ELIZABETH is carried in by her Godmother, and CRANMER blesses the KING and QUEEN.)
King Henry. Thank you, good Lord Archbishop : What is her name?
Stand up, Lord.
[The KING kisses the child.
With this kiss take my blessing; God protect thee! Into whose hand I give thy life.
King Henry. My noble gossips, ye have been too prodigal:
I thank ye heartily: so shall this lady
Cranmer. Let me speak, sir, For heaven now bids me; and the words I utter Let none think flattery, for they'll find 'em truth. This royal infant,-heaven still move about her!Though in her cradle, yet now promises Upon this land a thousand thousand blessings, Which time shall bring to ripeness: she shall beBut few now living can behold that goodnessA pattern to all princes living with her, And all that shall succeed: Saba was never
5. gossips] godparents.
10. still] always.
More covetous of wisdom and fair virtue
In her days every man shall eat in safety
An aged princess; many days shall see her,
W. SHAKESPEARE (from Henry VIII).
SIR HUMPHREY GILBERT
Sir Humphrey Gilbert, statesman, courtier, soldier, and explorer, set out in 1583 to found the colony of Newfoundland, but the attempt was a failure. He sailed back to England in The Squirrel of ten tons burden. On the afternoon of a stormy September day he was seen by the sailors in the companion ship, The Golden Hind, sitting in the bow with a book in his hand. When they approached within hearing, he cried out: 'We are as near to Heaven by sea as by land.' On the same night, the light of The Squirrel suddenly disappeared.
[See Sir Humphrey Gilbert in Froude's Short Studies on Great Subjects, vol. i; England's Forgotten Worthies; and Kingsley's Westward Ho! chapter xiii-'How The Golden Hind came home again.']
SOUTHWARD with fleet of ice
And the east-wind was his breath.
His lordly ships of ice
Glisten in the sun;
On each side, like pennons wide,
His sails of white sea-mist
But where he passed there were cast
Three days or more seaward he bore,
Alas! the land-wind failed,
And ice-cold grew the night;
He sat upon the deck,
The Book was in his hand;
'Do not fear! Heaven is as near,'
He said, 'by water as by land!'
Seemed to rake the passing clouds.
They grappled with their prize,
At midnight black and cold!
As of a rock was the shock;
Southward through day and dark
With mist and rain o'er the open main;
Southward, for ever southward,
They drift through dark and day;
H. W. LONGFELLOW.
13. Campobello. An island in the Bay of Fundy.
22. The Book was More's Utopia, but Longfellow apparently means the Bible.
THE LAST SCENE AT FOTHERINGAY
When in 1568 Mary crossed the Border to sue for Elizabeth's protection against the Scottish lords, she virtually became a prisoner for nineteen years. During all this time she was the centre of the plots against Elizabeth, and a source of perplexity and anxiety to the English Queen and her ministers. At last she was found guilty of complicity in Babington's conspiracy to kill Elizabeth, who reluctantly consented to the English Parliament's petition that she should be executed. How far Mary was really guilty will never be known; historians take sides on the matter. All, however, are agreed on the personal charm she shed on those around her; even dour John Knox felt it.
Enter MARY STUART, led by two gentlemen and preceded by the Sheriff; MARY BEATON, BARBARA MOWBRAY, and other ladies behind, who remain in the doorway.
Melville (kneeling to Mary).
Woe am I,
Madam, that I must bear to Scotland back
Such tidings watered with such tears as these. Mary Stuart. Weep not, good Melville; rather
should your heart
Rejoice that here an end is come at last
Of Mary Stuart's long sorrows: for be sure
That all this world is only vanity.
And this record I pray you make of me,
That a true woman to my faith I die,
And true to Scotland and to France: but God