MacMillan's Reading Books eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 344 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.
She clung to business as of old, and rated in her usual fashion, “one who minded not to giving up some matter of account.”  But death crept on.  Her face became haggard, and her frame shrank almost to a skeleton.  At last, her taste for finery disappeared, and she refused to change her dresses for a week together.  A strange melancholy settled down on her:  “she held in her hand,” says one who saw her in her last days, “a golden cup, which she often put to her lips:  but in truth her heart seemed too full to need more filling.”  Gradually her mind gave way.  She lost her memory, the violence of her temper became unbearable, her very courage seemed to forsake her.  She called for a sword to lie constantly beside her, and thrust it from time to time through the arras, as if she heard murderers stirring there.  Food and rest became alike distasteful.  She sate day and night propped up with pillows on a stool, her finger on her lip, her eyes fixed on the floor, without a word.  If she once broke the silence, it was with a flash of her old queenliness.  Cecil asserted that she “must” go to bed, and the word roused her like a trumpet.  “Must!” she exclaimed; “is must a word to be addressed to princes?  Little man, little man! thy father, if he had been alive, durst not have used that word.”  Then, as her anger spent itself, she sank into her old dejection.  “Thou art so presumptuous,” she said, “because thou knowest I shall die.”  She rallied once more when the ministers beside her bed named Lord Beauchamp, the heir to the Suffolk claim, as a possible successor.  “I will have no rogue’s son,” she cried hoarsely, “in my seat.”  But she gave no sign, save a motion of the head, at the mention of the King of Scots.  She was in fact fast becoming insensible; and early the next morning the life of Elizabeth, a life so great, so strange and lonely in its greatness, passed quietly away.


[Notes:  Mountjoy.  The Queen’s lieutenant in Ireland, who had had considerable success in dealing with the Irish rebels.

This chill of ... the renascence. In her irreligion, as well as in her brilliancy and fancy, Elizabeth might fitly be called the child or product of the Pagan renascence or new birth, as the return to the freedom of classic literature, so powerful in the England of her day, was called.

Thy father = the great Lord Burghley, who guided the counsels of the Queen throughout all the earlier part of her reign.

The Suffolk claim, i.e., the claim derived from Mary, the sister of Henry VIII., who married Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.  James, who succeeded Elizabeth, was descended from the elder sister, Margaret, married to James IV. of Scotland.]

* * * * *


Project Gutenberg
MacMillan's Reading Books from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook