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segunda-feira, 4 de novembro de 2013

Remember, remember the fifth of November

On November 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes and a group of Catholic conspirators led by Robert Catesby were captured when trying to blow up the Parliament with barrels of gunpowder at the moment Protestant King James I was present. This event became known as The Gunpowder Plot. The fact is that since Queen Elizabeth I’s reign, Catholics had been persecuted for their beliefs. They hoped their situation would improve with King James I, but were soon very disappointed as this king introduced even more stringent laws against the Catholics, which effectively made their lives worse.

Guy Fawkes`Day is a unique British festival that commemorates that historic event. The foiling of the plot (Fawkes was taken to the Tower of London where he was tortured and executed after confessing) has been a traditional celebration in England. On the night before (known as Bonfire Night), bonfires are lit where sometimes an effigy of Guy is burned. Firework displays are also organized in many cities.

The Gunpowder Plot is so much entrenched in British culture that it is immortalized in this rhyme:

Remember, remember the fifth of November

Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, guy, t’was his intent
To blow up king and parliament.
Three score barrels were laid below
To prove old England’s overthrow.

By God’s mercy he was catch’d
With a darkened lantern and burning match.
So, holler boys, holler boys, Let the bells ring.
Holler boys, holler boys, God save the king.

And what shall we do with him?
Burn him!”

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