In the time of James I (Elizabeth I’s successor, and Mary Stuart’s son) many of the English people were very hardly (cruelly = malamente) treated because of their religion. At last they could bear (= sopportare) the ill-usage (= maltrattamenti) no longer, and they thought of a plan to get rid of (= disfarsi) the king and queen and their eldest son.
Many barrels (= barili) of gunpowder (= polvere da sparo) were secretly put into a cellar (= cantina)under the Parliament House, where James was to meet his lords and commons (“le due camere del Parlamento) on November 5 ; and a man named Guy Fawkes was hired (= mandato)to set fire /=incendiare) to it at the right time, and so to blow up (= far esplodere) the hall above, and all in it.
All was ready, when one of the plotters (0 membri
complotto) remembered that a friend of his would be at the meeting next day. As he did not wish (want = volevano) him to be killed, he sent him a letter, without signing (= firmare) his name, saying: ” Do not go to the House, for there shall be a sudden blow to many, and they shall not see who hurts them”.
The lord who received this letter took it to the King’s Council, and when King James saw it, he guessed (= indovinò) what the ” sudden blow ” would be. Men were sent to search the cellars, and there, on the very night before the deed (= gesto) was to be done, Guy Fawkes was found waiting till the time should come to set fire to the powder. He was cruelly tortured to make him tell all he knew, but he was a brave man, and he died without betraying (= tradire) his friends.
Since that time, every year, on the 5th of November, bonfires (= fuochi d’artificio) have been lighted in many places in
, and “guys” (= pupazzi) burned, to remind people how an English king was once saved from a great danger. England