Mary Stuart

Mary Stuart

the famous queen of Scotland, whose name, Froude (Hist. of Engl. 7:369) says, "will never be spoken of in history without sad and profound emotion, however opinions may vary on the special details of her life," the hope of Rome at an hour of sorest travail. was born at Linlithgow Dec. 8, 1542. She was the third child of king James V of Scotland, by his wife Mary of Lorraine, daughter of the duke of Guise, who had previously borne her husband two sons, both of whom died in infancy. A report prevailed that Mary too was not likely to live; but being unswaddled by her nurse at the desire of her anxious mother, in presence of the English ambassador, the latter wrote to his court that she was as goodly a child as he had seen of her age. At the time of her birth her father lay sick in the palace of Falkland, and in the course of a few days after he expired, at the early age of thirty, his death being hastened by distress of mind occasioned by the defeats which his nobles had sustained at Fala and Solway Moss. James was naturally a person of considerable energy and vigor both of mind an body, but previous to his death he fell into a state of listlessness and despondency, and after his decease it was found that he had made no provision for the care of the infant princess or for the administration of the government. After great animosities among the nobility, it was decreed that the earl of Arran, as being by proximity of blood the next heir to the crown in legitimate descent, and the first peer of Scotland. should be made governor of the kingdom, and guardian of the queen, who remainedi in the mean time with her mother in the royal palace at Linlithgow. But while the diifficulty was settling, the Roman Catholics, fearing for the decline of their power if the choi;ce of the nobility should fall upon some one likely to join hands with Henry VIII, urged cardinal Beatoun. the head of their party, to seize the regency. Ambitious for office and power, Beatoun but too willingly listened to the advice of his friends, and, producing a testament which he asserted to be that of the late king, promptly claimed the control of the affairs of Scotland. The fraud was not long undiscovered, but as great suit had been made by king Henry, in behalf of his son Edward, for the hand of the infant queen, and as Arran and his party had been indiscreet enough to accept the offer in spite of the opposition of the people, Beatoun held his own in the country, and finally even persuaded Arran to his views, and the engagement with England was annulled. The result was a war between Scotland and England, which ended most ignominiously for the highlanders. It is not at all likely that this war would have broken out between England and Scotland had it not been for the encouragement France gave to the Highlanders. Scotland had thus far remained true to the cause of Rome: a scion of the house of Guise (duke Claude) was on the throne, and the Reformation, though progressing in the adjoining country, had not yet been suffered to make much of an impression on the Scots. But the new doctrine had found an entrance at least. Indeed, the regent Arran was himself favorable to the Reformers, and in Parliament, as early as 1542, an act had been passed declaring it lawful for all to read the Scriptures in their native language. It was clear, therefore, that though Romanism had hitherto sustained its supremacy, its power was tottering. At this critical juncture of affairs France came forward and offered assistance to the Romish party. The cause of the Church must be upheld at all hazards. The result was the establishment of two camps. "The friends of the Reformation," says Russell (Hist. of the Ch. of Scotland [Lond. 1834, 2 vols. 18mo], 1:181), "supported those counsels which had for their object the union of the British crowns; while the Romanists very naturally clung to that alliance which, aided by the personal influence of the queen- mother, promised to strengthen the foundations of their establishment, already somewhat shaken by the popular tempest." Had Arran been a person of indomitable will and stability of purpose the cause of the Reformers might now have been firmly established, but he was "a weak and fickle man, liable at all times to be wrought upon and biased by those of greater decision and energy of character," and his opponent, the wily cardinal, had obtained the ascendancy, and not only neutralized Arran's opposition, but actually brought him to approve and further the great masterscheme of the cardinal to give the young queen in marriage to the dauphin of France. In consonance with a treaty for this purpose, Mary was sent to France in 1548, to be educated in that country.

Soon after her arrival at her destination Mary was placed with the French king's own daughters in one of the first convents of the kingdom, where she made rapid progress in the acquisition of the literature and accomplishment of the age. She received instructions in the art of making verses by the famous Ronsard, and Latin was taught her by the great Scottish scholar Buchanan. When only fourteen years old she had attained to such a mastery of the language that she pronounced before Henry II a Latin oration, in which she maintained that it is becoming for women to study literature and master the liberal arts. Introduced at the court of Henry II, which, as Robertson observes, "was one of the politest but most corrupt in Europe," Mary, while yet a child, became the envy of her sex, surpassing the most accomplished in the elegance and fluency of her language, the grace and liveliness of her movements, and the charm of her whole manner and behavior. "Graceful alike in person and intellect," says Froude, "she possessed that peculiar beauty in which the form is lost in the expression, and which every painter, therefore, has represented differently. Rarely, perhaps, has any woman combined so many noticeable qualities as Mary Stuart: with a feminine insight into men and things and human life, she had cultivated herself to that high perfection in which accomplishments were no longer adventitious ornaments, but were wrought into her organic constitution ... She had vigor, energy, tenacity of purpose, with perfect and never-failing self-possession, and, as the one indispensable foundation for the effective use of all other qualities, she had indomitable courage" (Hist. of England, vol. 7, ch. 4). The dauphin, to whom she was betrothed, was about two years her junior, but, as they had been playmates in early childhood, a mutual affection had sprung up between them, and when, on April 24, 1558, she was to be joined to him in wedlock, she hesitated not to submit to the most absurd stipulations. Not only was she obliged to agree that her intended husband should have the title of king of the Scots, but she was even betrayed into the signature of a secret deed, by which, if she died childless, both her Scottish realm and her right of succession to the English crown, as the granddaughter of Henry VII, were conveyed to France. The foolishness of this secret compact Mary had afterwards sufficient cause to regret more than once.

Scarce were the nuptial solemnities fairly over, when queen Mary of England died (1558). In accordance with the agreement entered into, France promptly put forward her claims to the vacated throne, and, though Elizabeth was made successor, Mary Stuart's rights were insisted upon, and continued to be urged with great pertinacity by her ambitious uncles the princes of Lorraine. "On every occasion on which The dauphin and dauphiness appeared in public, they were ostentatiously greeted as the king and queen of England; the English arms were engraved upon their plate, embroidered on their banners, and painted on their furniture; and Mary's own favorite device at the time was the two crowns of France and Scotland, with the motto 'Aliaque moratur,' meaning that of England." July 10, 1559, Henry died, and the young dauphin ascended the throne of Charlemagne as Francis II. "Surely," thought Mary, "I am soon to realize my highest expectations. Over three kingdoms I shall sway the scepter. The holy father himself will come from Rome and pronounce his blessing upon me as his most faithful daughter. The lately deceased queen of England received her name in honor of the blessed Virgin, I shall be pronounced more worthy of it still." Alas for human frailty. Man proposeth, but God disposeth. Mary had reached the summit of her splendor at a moment when she believed herself only ascending the heights. Feeble and sickly, Francis It was scarcely seated on the throne when he was seized by disease, and, fast wasting away, died Dec. 5, 1560. Only a year and a half had the young pair enjoyed their royal honors. Childless, Mary was obliged to yield her place on the throne, and the reins of power were seized by the queen- mother, Catharine of Medicis, as regent for her son, Charles IX. Mary must have been prepared, under almost any circumstances, to quit a court which was now swayed by one whom, during her brief reign, she had taunted with being "a merchant's daughter." But there were other reasons for her departure from France. Her presence was urgently needed in Scotland, which the death of her mother, a few months before, had left without a government, at a moment when it was convulsed by the throes of the Reformation. Her kinsmen of Lorraine had ambitious projects for her marriage; great schemes were based on her nearness of succession to the English crown; and both these. it was thought, might be more successfully followed out when she was seated on her native throne. The queen of England, however, interposed; and, as Mary would not abandon all claim to the English throne, refused to grant her a free passage. Mary, notwithstanding, resolved to go, and at length, after repeated delays, still lingering on the soil where fortune had augured so much, she reached Calais, attended thus far by the cardinals of Guise and Lorraine, while three other uncles, D'Elboeuf, D'Aumale. and the grand prior, had come to see her safely to Edinburgh. August 14 she finally set sail, "and with 'Adieu, belle France,' sentimental verses, and a passionate châtelar sighing at her feet in melodious music, she sailed away over the summer seas," and, safely escaping the English ships-of-war Elizabeth had despatched to intercept her, reached Leith on the 19th. Her arrival on her native shores is thus beautifully described in Harper's Magazine, Feb. 1873, p. 348: "August 19,1561. The thickest mist and most drenching rain men remembered ever to have seen. A fog so thick that the very cannon in the harbor boom with a muffled sound, and the peal of bells from the Edinburgh churches sounds ominously, as if it rang out the funeral knell of the young queen. Such is the day that greets French Mary when she lands on Scottish shores. Better far for her had not this fog hid her squadron from the watchful eyes of her royal cousin. Better that she had fallen then into the hands of queen Elizabeth than to have become her wretched prisoner seven years later, shorn of that good name which is woman's chief protection — always and everywhere her best 'safe-conduct." A great change had taken place in Scotland since Mary had left her country nearly thirteen years ago. The Roman Catholic religion was then supreme; and, under the direction of cardinal Beatoun, the Romish clergy displayed a fierceness of intolerance which seemed to aim at nothing short of the utter extirpation of every seed of dissent and reform. The same causes, however, which gave strength to the ecclesiastics gave strength also, though more slowly, to the great body of the people; and at length, after the repeated losses of Flodden and Faia, and Solway Moss and Pinkie-which, by the fall of nearly the whole lay nobility and leading men of the kingdom, brought all classes within the influence of public events-the energies, physical and mental, of the entire nation were drawn out, and under the guidance of the reformer Knox expended themselves with the fury of awakened indignation upon the whole fabric of the ancient religion. The queen-regent died June 10, 1560. In August following the estates convened, adopted and approved the Calvinistic Confession of Faith, and, abolishing the Roman Catholic religion, forbade at the same time the administering of the mass or attendance upon it — the penalty for the third offense being death. "On the morning of Aug. 25, 1560," says Burton (4:89), "the Romish hierarchy was supreme; in the evening of the same day Calvinistic Protestantism was established in its stead." Hardly a year had passed since these changes had been effected. A strange atmosphere this for Mary, who had been taught in France to abhor Protestant opinions. But, fortunately for Mary, she had enjoyed a training which fitted her well for the part she was now to play. Had she not spent the most susceptible years of her life in the court of France under those worthy custodians of the conscience — Vasquez, Escobar, Mendoza? These Jesuit fathers had not hesitated to defend by their casuistry, and under color of religion, fraud, forgery, falsehood, and murder. Their teachings, before counteracted by the protests of such believers as Pascal and such heretics as Luther, had brought forth their fruit in the assassination of William of Orange and of Coligni. and in the wholesale massacre of St. Bartholomew. Surely it could not be expected that Mary would prove herself unworthy of her birth and her costly education. Indeed, as early as 1558 she had shown herself an apt pupil worthy of her Jesuitical masters. Never a blush of secret shame mantled her maiden cheek when she signed the treaty which the Scotch commissioners brought her for the purpose of guarding the independence of the nation, jealous of foreign interference; never a hint from which diplomats could guess that fifteen days before she had signedt away the kingdom to the crown of France, annulling beforehand whatever solemn promise to the contrary she might make to her own most beloved and trusting subjects. So young, so fair, and yet so false, was Mary queen of Scots. "The enthusiastic admirers and apologists of Mary maintain that she was sincerely in favor of toleration. They would make her a kind of apostle of religious liberty. It is an unreasonable stretch of charity, however, to suppose that she would not... have rejoiced in the restoration, and, had it been feasible, the forcible restoration of the old religion ... That she should 'serve the time and still commode herself discreetly and gently with her own subjects,' and 'in effect repose most on them of the Reformed religion,' was the policy which had been sketched for her in France, as we learn from her faithful friend, Sir James Melville" (Fisher, Reform, p. 858, 859). But Mary was wise enough to comprehend that the situation was such that any active opposition to the newly-established religion would be futile and disastrous to herself, and she acoommodated herself to the circumstances.. Yet even this she did only moderately. Her letters to pope Pius IV and to her uncle, the cardinal of Lorraine, in 1563, plainly reveal the secret working of her desire to restore the old religious system to supremacy as soon as practicable. With this purpose in view she refused to grant her assent to the acts of Parliament which established the new religion as the faith of the nation; while she herself failed not to seize every opportunity to prove her attachment to Romanism. The very first Sunday after her arrival Mary commanded a solemn mass to be celebrated in the chapel of the palace; and, as might have been expected, an uproar ensued, the servants of the chapel were insulted and abused, and had not some of the lay nobility of the Protestant party interposed, the riot might have become general. The next Sunday Knox preached a violent sermon against idolatry, and in his discourse he took occasion to say that a single mass was, in his estimation, more to be feared than ten thousand armed men. Upon this, Mary sent for the Reformer, desiring to have an interview with him. The interview took place, as well as one or two subsequent ones from a like cause; but the only result was to make plainer the fact that she was at variance with the newly established religious power of her country. Her youth, however, her beauty and accomplishments, and her affability, interested many in her favor; she had, moreover, from the first continued the government in the hands of the Protestants. The principal direction of affairs she had left in the hands of her half-brother, the earl of Murray (q.v.), the leader of the Protestant nobles, and she had made William Maaitland, of Lethington, another great Protestant leader, one of her most trusted advisers. The government in the hands of worthy leaders, the court sacredly promised to the unimpaired preservation of the Reformed faith and worship, no Protestant felt inclined to ask more; and there were but few to complain when Mary only demanded for herself the same privilege which she accorded to her subjects — "that of worshipping God according to her own creed." "So the nation rested in tolerable peace, trusting in Murray rather than in Mary, and suffering her mass, though always under protest, so long as she suffered herself to be guided by his counsels. But of this kind of compromise the holy Mother Church is always impatient. Although there was no papal legate at the court of Edinburgh, Rome did not lack for envoys-shrewd ones, too. Of' these the chief was an Italian, David Rizzio (q.v.). He entered her service as a musician soon after she went to Scotland; was promoted to the office of valet de chambre; became her private secretary; conducted all her private and secret correspondence; became eventually the power behind the throne greater than the throne itself, usurping the very government. Chief we have called him, yet he was not alone. The court of Scotland had her representatives in foreign courts, as befitted her dignity; but her true representatives were unknown to courtly fame-Chesein in France, Yaxley in the Netherlands, Ranlet in the Low Countries. So there was an outer and inner court. My lord James, earl of Murray, was, indeed, the queen's prime minister; but this unknown adventurer from Piedmont — unknown because he succeeded best while lie hid his office, as his designs — was virtually her secretary for foreign affairs, and her most confidential adviser. The earl of Murray must be dismissed. No easy task, surely, but one that art can accomplish. Who so fitting to come between sister and brother as a husband? Queen Mary shall be married. It is time she laid off her widow's weeds. And who so fitting a spouse as my lord Darnley — the only one who, when Elizabeth dies, can compete with Mary for the throne of England? So my lord Darnley and Mary queen of Scots are brought together. They meet in Wemyss Castle, by the Firth of Forth. It is a clear case of 'love at first sight.' Royal husbands not a few have been proposed for Mary's hand, but nothing more is heard of them. The is the handsomest and best-proportioned long man,' says Mary, 'I have ever seen.' Everything goes as Rizzio and the papal court would have it. The Protestant interest takes fire, for Darnley is a Catholic. It is not less furious in England than in Scotland, for the nation has little hope now that queen Elizabeth will ever take a husband. and in the absence of her heirs the throne of the united kingdom will fall into the hands of this Catholic couple... Queen Elizabeth, who has been playing fast and loose, with fair promises and fickle performance, finds herself no match for the cunning Italian. Her own kingdom is threatened with faction; and rumors of Catholic rebellion, to unseat her and place her rival and cousin on the empty throne, fill the court and the nation with perplexity. She indignantly summons Darnley back again, and gets for answer that The has no mind to return.' 'I find myself,' he says, shortly and almost contemptuously, 'very well where I am, and so I purpose to keep me.' My lord Murray sees the end of all this from the beginning. Neither Mary's tears nor Mary's threats, and she uses both with a woman's consummate skill. can wring from him an approval of the marriage. But all his affectionately-earnest protests are powerless to hinder it. Opposition is only fuel to the flame. Marry she will, though all the world opposes. Love, blind as it always is said to be, for the ignoble Darnley, revenge on Elizabeth, whom Mary cordially hates, and who hates her as cordially, and ambition — the ambition to make good her claim to the English throne, which since she was a girl eighteen years old she has never ceased to nourish — all push her on to this destructive marriage. And Mephistopheles is at her side to remove every obstacle and clear the way. It is Rizzio who arranges for the first meeting between Mary and Darnley. It is Rizzio who affects such liking for the young lord that he shares his bed with him. It is Rizzio who promises to secure the pope's dispensation — for Mary and Darnley are cousins. It is Rizzio who, while negotiations are still pending and the envoy is yet on his way to the court of Rome, fits up a private room in the palace, where the marriage ceremony, which the Church pronounces void, is clandestinely performed. For the papal benediction is needed, it appears, not to hallow the marriage-tie, but only to give it respectability before the public. Elizabeth might as well spare her diplomacy, since all is virtually settled. Rizzio has not exceeded his instructions. There are no delays at the court of Rome. Fast as wind and wave can carry him comes back the messenger with the promised dispensation. The marriage, already performed in secret, is repeated in public. It takes place on June 29, 1565. Queen Mary, as though some secret consciousness hung over her of the sorrows on which she is entering, wears at the marriage-altar her mourning dress of black velvet. It is a gloomy ceremony. When the herald proclaims in the streets of Edinburgh that Henry, earl of Ross and Albany, is hereafter king of Scotland, the crowd receive the proclamation in sullen silence. Even the money distributed in profusion among them awakens no enthusiasm. Only one voice cries, 'God save his Grace.' It is the voice of Darnley's father. My lord the earl of Murray has tried dissuasion. It has failed. He has tried wile against wile, has planned to abduct lord Darnley and send him back to the queen of England. But the rough Scotchman is no match in craft for the cunning Italian. This fruitless conspiracy has only incensed the queen against him. His honest portraiture of the poor fool with whom queen Mare is so infatuated has awakened all her womanly indignation. The court is no longer safe. Rumors are rife of plans for his assassination. True or false, they are probable enough to make him avoid Rizzio and Darnley. The queen summons him to court, and offers him a safeconduct. But Protestants have learned to look with suspicion on safe-conducts proffered by Roman Catholic princes. Murray is conveniently sick, and cannot come. Sentence of outlawry is pronounced against him. All the hate of a hot woman's heart is aroused; 'hatred the more malignant because it was unnatural.' Revenge is sweeter than ambition. 'I would rather lose my crown than not be revenged upon him,' she is heard to say. He calls to arms. The interest of the Protestant religion is his battle-cry. But there are few responses. He dispatches messengers to queen Elizabeth for the help she has long since promised. She hesitates, delays, falters. Mary knows no delay. She takes the field in person. Lord Darnley rides at her side. He is clad in gilt armor, she in steel bonnet and corset, with pistols at her saddle- bow and pistols in her hand. In August the standard of rebellion was raised. In October Murray and his few retainers are flying across the border into England (Burton, 9:286). Mephistopheles no longer conceals his purpose. Mass is no longer confined to the queen's private chapel. The retainers of Darnley's father go openly to the Catholic service. The General Assembly have passed a resolution that the sovereign is not exempt from the law of the land, and that the Reformed service take the place of the mass in the royal chapel. This is Rizzio's answer to their demand. Negotiations are opened with pope Plus V and Philip of Spain. One promises soldiers, twelve thousand men; the other sends money, twenty thousand crowns. The Catholic powers of Europe have at length settled their political controversies, and joined in a secret league for the extirpation of heresy by fire and sword; a league of which that Alva was the founder whose estimate of Protestantism was summed up in the epigrammatic saying, 'One salmon is worth a multitude of frogs;' a league of which the outcome was the Inquisition in Holland, and the massacre of St. Bartholomew in France. That Mary was in hearty sympathy with this league is undoubted; that she was actually a party to it is both asserted and denied by men behind the scenes who had every opportunity to know. That a vigorous attempt was to be made to re-establish the Catholic faith and worship is certain. Her most Catholic majesty assures her subjects that in any event the religion of the realm shall not be interfered with. At the same time she writes to Pius V to congratulate him on the victories already gained, and to inspire him with hopes of victories yet to come: 'With the help of God and his holiness,' she says, 'she will yet leap over the wall'" (Harper's Magazine, 1873, Feb., p. 352, 353). "To this fatal resolution," says Robertson (Histoy of Scotland), "may be imputed all the subsequent calamities of Mary's life." Many of the Protestant lords who had hitherto supported the queen now took fright lest they should suffer the fate of the adherents of the Protestant religion under Mary of England. The bloody deeds of that foul woman were yet fresh in the minds of all. What was there to hinder Mary Stuart from uprooting heresy in her dominions, with her hands staved by all the other Romish powers of Europe? Moved by such fears, several of the Scotch nobles, whose covetousness had had more to do with their interest in the new religion than their soul's salvation (Fisher, p. 351-353), determined to strike boldly against the throne. Mary, however, was not now the ruler of Scotland. She was only called so. . Upon the throne sat the Italian singer. When Mary was married to Darnley she had promised him an equal share in the royal authority, and accordingly the public papers and the public coin were issued in the name of Henry and Mary. But Darnley had not proved the right husband for her, and ere long she manifested her disappointment by placing her name first. Gradually the place lost by the husband is occupied by the Italian adventurer. The public seal is given to Rizzio, and with his own hand he signs and stamps the official papers for the king. There is no access to Mary but through Rizzio: he who would gain the ear of the one must buy the favor of the other. "He had the control," says Froude, "of all the business of the state." The king himself finds the door barred-David admitted, himself shut out. Whispers such as no true woman can afford to suffer circulate freely, and Mary suffers them; ugly stories, aptly illustrated by the saying of a later day, that "King James the Sixth's title to be called the modern Solomon was, doubtless, that he was the son of David, who performed upon the harp." History does not justify these scandals. Neither can it justify the queen who suffered them. David Rizzio was not a man to entertain passion or to inspire it. His power over Mary was not that which love gives. It was that of a Jesuit father over an obedient child. To Mary, Rizzio was the pope, whose benediction he carried with him, whose secret envoy he was. But no husband in such an issue is apt to weigh pros and cons nicely, least of all such a man as Darnley. "Handsome long man" he may have been, but he carried all his merits in his face and figure. Intriguing nobles easily played the part of lago to one who was in heart anything but an Othello. A jealous husband and an unscrupulous nobility were not slow to make common cause; and so the death of the queen's favorite was determined, and accordingly Rizzio fell a prey to both Darnley and the nobles, March 9, 1566. The assassins, of course, suffered their merited punishment. High in position and power, they were not given to the hangman, but an ever- watchful Providence meted out to all their merited award. (The charge formerly made by some [c. g. Tytler] that Knox and the Reformed clergy were privy to this scheme to murder Rizzio has been so thoroughly exploded that it is hardly necessary for us even to all:ude to it here. Those who wish to examine particularly are referred to M'Crie, Sketches of Scottish Ch. Hist., and Hetherington, Hist. Ch. of Scotland, 1:124, 402 sq.) It was an aggravation of the murder of Rizzio that it was committed, if not in the queen's presence, at least within a few yards of her person, only three months before she gave birth (June 19, 1566) to the prince who became king James VI. As that event drew near, the queen's affection for her husband, who had unblushingly declaimed against all part in the conspiracy, seemed to revive; but the change was only momentary; and before the boy's baptism, in December, her estrangement from the king was greater than ever. Divorce was openly discussed in her presence, and even darker designs were obscurely hinted at among her friends. The king, on his part, spoke of leaving the country; but before his preparations were completed, he fell ill of the small-pox at Glasgow. This was about Jan. 9,1567. On the 25th Mary went to see him and, traveling by easy stages, brought him to Edinburgh on the 31st. He was lodged in a small mansion beside the Kirk of the Field, nearly on the spot where the south-east corner of the University now stands. There Mary visited him daily, and slept for two nights in a room below his bedchamber. She passed the evening of Sunday, Feb. 9, by his bedside, talking cheerfully and affectionately with him, although she is said to have dropped one remark which gave him uneasy forebodings — that it was much about that time twelvemonth that Rizzio was murdered. She left him between ten and eleven o'clock to take part in a mask at Holyrood, at the marriage of a favorite valet. The festivities had not long ceased in the palace, when, about two hours after midnight, the house in which the king slept was blown up by gunpowder, and in the neighboring garden was found the lifeless body of him to whom Mary, on the assassination of Rizzio, had spoken these ominous words: "I shall never rest till I give you as sorrowful heart as I have at this present." The chief actor in this tragedy was undoubtedly James Hepburn, earl of Bothwell, a needy, reckless, vainglorious, profligate noble, who, since Murray's revolt, and still more since Rizzio's murder, had enjoyed a large share of the queen's favor. But there were suspicions that the queen herself was not wholly ignorant of the plot, and these suspicions could not but be strengthened by what followed. On the 12th of April, Bothwell was brought to a mock-trial and acquitted; on the 24th, he intercepted the queen on her way from Linlithgow to Edinburgh, and carried her, with scarcely a show of resistance, to Dunbar. On the 7th of May, he was divorced from the young and comely wife whom he had married little more than a twelvemonth before; on the 12th, Mary publicly pardoned his seizure of her person, and created him duke of Orkney; and on the 15th — only three months after her husband's murder — she married the man whom every one regarded as his murderer married while the stain of her husband's blood was still upon him. "Surely this is carrying quite too far the 'indulgent temper' for which her eulogist (Meline, p. 124) praises her so highly." Impelled by a just and burning indignation, her subjects rose in rebellion, led by nobles of both the Protestant and Romish factions. Surrounded at Borthwick Castle, Bothwell escaped under cover of the night, Mary following him dressed in male attire. They hastily gathered the Royalists about them, but such a cause enlisted few followers. Yet the few were mustered, and, however sparse in number, Mary hesitated not to brave the storm; she even dared to eliter the lists against her opponents, but on the field of Carberry (June 15) the army melted away in sight of the enemy, and no alternative was left to her but to abandon Bothwell, and surrender herself to the confederate lords. She was now escorted by the nobles as a prisoner to Edinburgh, where the insults of the rabble and grief at parting with Bothwell threw her into such a frenzy that she refused all nourishment, and, rushing to the window of the room in which she was kept prisoner, called for help, and showed herself to the people half naked, with her hair hanging about her ears. From Edinburgh she was hurried to Loch Leven, where, on the 24th of July, she was prevailed upon to sign an act of abdication in favor of her son, who, five days afterwards, was crowned at Stirling SEE JAMES I; while to her brother Murray was entrusted the government during the minority of her successor on the throne. Barred windows and iron doors proved no confinement to Mary. She soon found ways to communicate with the world, and made even the very prison-keeper her friend and confidant. May 2,1568, she finally succeeded in making her escape from the island-prison, and once more she made a call to arms, this time to enter the lists life for life. An army gathered, and in a few days she found herself at the head of 6000 men. Elizabeth of England, whose great political maxim was "that the head should not be subject to the foot," would gladly have extended aid to Mary had she not feared the power of the perspicacious and firm leader of the Protestants who had imprisoned Mary — her own half-brother, Murray. On the 12th of May it finally came to a battle between the Royalists and the insurgents at Langside, near Glasgow. Mary was completely routed, and obliged to flee the kingdom. She entered England, and threw herself on the protection of Elizabeth. The queen of England, however, had always had cause to fear the presence of her rival on English ground. Mary had never vet renounced her claim to the crown which Elizabeth wore. Moreover, "Mary Stuart was the center of the hopes of the enemies of Protestant England and of Elizabeth. Their plots looked to the elevation of Mary to the throne which Elizabeth filled" (Fisher, p. 382). Political ambition and religious fanaticismr controlled both parties, and should the stronger yield to the weaker? Mary had come hoping to secure her cousin's sympathy and aid. But that cousin feared for her own life and the security of her throne, and therefore persistently denied the ardent and persevering solicitations of Mary fir an interview, on the agreeable pretense that she should first clear herself of the crime imputed to her. A criminal, then, she was made a prisoner, and, after an immense amount of deceptive diplomacy, a commission was appointed, nominally to investigate the charges of Mary against her rebellious lords, really to investigate the charges of the lords against their queen. Before this commission Murray represented the Scottish government. At first he laid the guilt of the murder on Bothwell alone, and defended the insurrection only as one against the infamous, ambitious, and tyrannical earl. But as the trial proceeded he changed his ground. He hesitated, procrastinated, faltered. At length he openly charged his sister with the murder of her husband; and he produced, in confirmation of this charge, the since famous "casket letters." Of their discovery he told this story: The earl of Bothwell — so said lord Murray, and so said the lords he represented — fleeing from Edinburgh, sent back a confidential messenger to the castle to bring thence a silver casket from a certain drawer. James Balfour — that Balfour who drew the deed for Darnley's murder-had received the captaincy of the castle as the price of his crime. He delivered the casket; he at the same time sent the lords a hint of the fact. The messenger was intercepted and the casket seized. This casket, with its contents, was the witness Murray produced before the English commission against the Scottish queen. Its contents were eight letters and twelve sonnets, written in French, apparently in Mary's handwriting. Among the commissioners were more than one of Mary's friends, one of them that duke of Norfolk who subsequently attested the strength of his attachment by the sacrifice of his life: if these letters were a forgery, they were not so declared by them. Of these letters one gave a full account of Mary's interview with Darnley at Glasgow; of his unsuspicious confidence; of her own mournful sense of shame and guilt. Another advised the earl when and where to abduct her, and cautioned him to come with force sufficient to overcome all resistance. All breathed the language of passionate devotion, with here and there a flash of fierce jealousy. They were true to nature, but to a lost, though not a shameless one. Their language was that of a once noble but now ruined woman unveiling her heart's secrets in unsuspecting confidence. If forged, the forger was a consummate master of his art. True or false, they were equally remarkable as contributions to the language of passion. Mary denounced them as forgeries. She demanded to see the originals. Elizabeth granted the reasonableness of the demand, but never complied with it. She demanded to face her accusers. Elizabeth half promised that she should do so, but never fulfilled the pledge. The commission broke up without a verdict. Elizabeth had no interest to press for either acquittal or conviction. Murray was glad to return to his regency. Mary alone had any reason to demand the completion of the investigation, but Mary was a prisoner, and her access to the public not the most easy. Though inconclusive, the trial had revealed enough to strengthen the worst suspicions of the Scottish people, and no one thought of finding fault with Elizabeth for retaining Mary a prisoner. For nineteen years Mary Stuart thus passed life. "For nineteen years both captive and captor are made miserable by plots and counterplots; and whether Mary in prison or Mary at large is the more dangerous to the security of Protestant England is a question so hard to decide that Elizabeth never fairly attempts to determine it. At length a plot is uncovered more deadly than any that has preceded. Half a score of assassins band themselves together to attempt Elizabeth's life, and to put Catholic Mary on the vacant throne. The blessing of the pope is pronounced upon the enterprise. 'The Catholic powers of Europe stand ready to welcome its consummation. Mary gives it her cordial approbation. 'The hour of deliverance,' she writes exultingly, 'is at hand.' But plots breed counterplots. In all the diplomatic service of Europe there is no so ingenious spy as Walsingham, Elizabeth's prime minister. Every letter of Mary's is opened and copied by his agents before sent to its destination. The conspiracy is allowed to ripen. Then, when all is ready for consummation, the leaders are arrested, the plot is brought to the light of day. Mary, with all her faults, never knew fear; no craven heart was hers. The more dangerous was she because so brave. She battles for her life with a heroism well worthy a nobler naturebattles to the last, though there be no hope. She receives the sentence of death with the calmness of true courage, not of despair. With all her treachery, never recreant to her faith — never but once, when her infatuated love of Bothwell swerved her from it for a few short weeks-she clings to her crucifix till the very hour of death. Almost her last words are words of courage to her friends. 'Weep not,' she says; 'I have promised for you.' Her very last are a psalm from her Prayer- book — 'In thee, O Lord, have I put my trust.' And then she lays her head upon the block as peacefully as ever she laid it upon her pillow. No 'grizzled, wrinkled old woman,' but in the full bloom of ripened womanhood — forty-five, no more — Mary Stuart pays on the scaffold at Fotheringay [whither she had been removed for trial of conspiracy from Charpley in September, 1586] the penalty of her treachery at Edinburgh, May 8,1587. The spirit of the stern old Puritans is satisfied, and the prophecy of the Good Book receives a new and pregnant illustration — 'Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.'" Five months after the execution her body was buried with great pomp at Peterborough, whence, in 1612, it was removed to king Henry VII's Chapel at Westminster, where it still lies in a sumptuous tomb erected by king James VI.

"Whoever has attended but little to the phenomena of human nature has discovered how inadequate is the clearest insight which he can hope to attain into character and disposition. Every one is a perplexity to himself and a perplexity to his neighbors; and men who are born in the same generation, who are exposed to the same influences, trained by the same teachers, and live from childhood to age in constant and familiar intercourse, are often little more than shadows to each other, intelligible in superficial form and outline, but divided inwardly by impalpable and mysterious barriers." Thus Froude opens the fourth volume of his History of England, when about to pass in review the affairs of Scotland and Ireland in the 16th century. Yet, when this same writer comes to speak of Mary Stuart, he "writes almost as a public prosecutor of the Scottish queen, and sometimes sacrifices historical accuracy to dramatic effect." The truth is that the character of Mary was long one of the most fiercely- vexed questions of history, and is still in debate; hence the difficulties which beset any attempt to tell correctly the story of her career, or analyze aright her character. The student of history finds no impartial witnesses; few in her own time who are not ready to tell and to believe about her the most barefaced lies which will promote their own party. During her life she was calumniated and eulogized with equal audacity. Since her death the same curiously-contradictory estimates of her character have been vigorously maintained — by those, too, who have not their judgment impaired by the prejudices which environed her. On the one hand, we are assured that she was "the most amiable of women;" "the upright queen, the noble and true woman, the faithful spouse and affectionate mother;" '"the poor martyred queen;" "the helpless victim of fraud and force;" an "illustrious victim of state-craft," whose "kindly spirit in prosperity and matchless heroism in misfortune" award her "the most prominent place in the annals of her sex." On the other, we are assured, by men equally competent to judge, that she was "a spoiled beauty;" "the heroine of an adulterous melodrama:" "the victim of a blind, imperious passion;" an "apt scholar" in "the profound dissimulation of that school of which Catharine de' Medici was the chief instructor;" "a bad woman, disguised in the livery of a martyr," having "a proud heart, a crafty wit, and indurate mind against God and his truth;" "a bold, unscrupulous, ambitious woman," with "the panther's nature — graceful, beautiful, malignant, untamable." The great preponderance of authority, however, seems now to be on the side of those who believe in her criminal love for Bothwell and her guilty knowledge of his conspiracy against her husband's life. The question of her guilt as to the murder of her husband does certainly not rest on the authenticity of the "casket letters," however much these may be matter of historical interest. "Evidence which her own day deemed clear," says the writer in Harper whom we had occasion to quote before, "history deems uncertain. Circumstances which, isolated, only created a widespread suspicion in her own times, put together by history, form a net-work of evidence clear and conclusive. A wife learns to loathe her husband; utters her passionate hate in terms that are unmistakable; is reconciled to him for a purpose; casts him off when that purpose is accomplished; makes no secret of her desire for a divorce: listens with but cold rebuke to intimations of his assassination; dallies while he languishes upon a sick-bed so long as death is near; hastens to him only when he is convalescent; becomes, in seeming, reconciled to him; by her blandishments allays his terror and arrests his flight, which nothing else could arrest; brings him with her to the house chosen by the assassins for his tomb-a house which has absolutely nothing else to recommend it but its singular adaptation to the deed of cruelty to be wrought there; remains with him till within two hours of his murder; hears with unconcern the story of his tragic end, which thrills all other hearts with horror; makes no effort to bring the perpetrators of the crime to punishment; rewards the suspected with places and pensions, and the chief criminal with her hand in marriage while the blood is still wet on his. That the world should be asked to believe her the innocent victim of a diabolical conspiracy affords a singular illustration of the effrontery of the Church which claims her for a martyr. That half the world should have acquiesced in the claim affords an illustration no less singular of the credulity of mankind when sentiments and sympathies are called on to render the judgment which the reason alone is qualified to render." The genuineness of the "casket letters" is maintained by the historians Hume, Robertson, Laing, Burton, Mviackintosh, Mignet, Ranke, and Froude. The most acute writer on the other side of the question is Hosack, an Edinburgh barrister, but he "writes in such a vein as would befit him were he indeed earning a lawyer's fee by a lawyer's service." One of the latest writers on the ecclesiastical history of this period, Prof. Fisher (p. 376), of Yale College, thus comments on the question at issue: "No candid critic can deny, whatever may be his final verdict, that the letters contain many internal marks of genuineness which it would be exceedingly difficult for a counterfeiter to invent, and that the scrutiny to which they were subjected in the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish privy council, and the English privy council, was such that, if they were forged, it is hard to account for the failure to detect the imposture. Moreover, the character of Murray, although it may be admitted that he was not the immaculate person that he is sometimes considered to have been, must have been black indeed if these documents, which he brought forward to prove the guilt of his sister, were forged; but Murray is praised not only by his personal adherents and by his party, but by men like Spottiswoode and Melville (Spottiswoode, History of the Church of Scotland, 2:121)." Yet, however writers may differ about her moral conduct, they agree very well as to the variety of her accomplishments. She wrote poems on various occasions, in the Latin, Italian, French, and Scotch languages; "Royal advice to her son," in two books, the consolation of her long imprisonment. A great number of her original letters are preserved in the king of France's library, in the Royal, Cottonian, and Ashmolean libraries. We have in print eleven to the earl of Bothwell, translated from the French by Edward Simmonds, of Christ-church, Oxford, and printed at Westminster in 1726. There are ten more, with her answers to the articles against her, in "Haynes's State- papers:" six more in "Anderson's Collections;" another in the "Appendix" to her life by Dr. Jebb; and some others dispersed among the works of Pius V, Buchanan, Camden, Udall, and Sanderson.

To enumerate all that has been written on Mary would fill a volume. Among the chief works are S. Jebb, De Vita et Rebus Gestis Mariae Scotorum Regince (Lond. 1725, 2 vols. fol.); J. Anderson, Collections relating to the History of Mary, Queen of Scotland (Lond. 1727-28, 4 vols. 4to); Burton, Hist. of Scotland, vol. iv; Bishop Keith, Hist. of the Affair's of Church and State in Scotland (Edinb. 1734, fol.; 1844-50, 3 vols. 8vo); W. Goodall, Examination of the Letters said to be written by Mary, Queen of Scots, to James, Earl of Bothwell (Edinb. 1754, 2 vols. 8vo); Robertson, Hist. of Scotland; W. Tytler, Inquiry into the Evidence against Mary, Queen of Scots (Edinb. 1759, 8vo; Lond. 1790, 2 vols. 8vo); Laing, Hist. of Scotland; Chalmers, Life of Mary, Queen of Scots (Lond. 1818, 2 vols. 4to; 1822, 3 vols. 8vo); Schitz, Leben Maria Stuarts (1839); P.F. Tytler, Hist. of Scotland; Prince Labanoff, Recueil des Lettres de Marie Stuart (Lond. 1844, 7 vols. 8vo); David Laing, edition of John Knox's Hist. of the Refobrmation (Edinb. 1846-48, 2 vols. 8vo); M. Teulet, Papiers d'Etat relatifs l'Histoire de l'Ecosse (Par. 1851-60, 3 vols. 4to; 1862. 5 vols. 8vo); Miss Agnes Strickland, Lives of the Queens of Scotland (Edinb. 1850-59, 8 vols. 8vo); M. Mignet, Histoire de Marie Stuart (Par. 1852, 2 vols. 8vo); A. de Montaiglon, Latin Themes of Mary Stuart (Lond. 1855, 3vo); Prince Labanoff, Notice sur lae Collection des Poritrits de Marie Stuart (St. Petersb. 1856); M. Cheruel, Marie Stuart et Catherine de Medicis (Par. 1858, 8vo); Ms. Teulet, Lettres de Marie Stuart (Par. 1859, 8vo); Joseph Bobertson, Catalogues of the Jewels, Dresses, Furniture, Books, and Paintings of Mary, Queen of Scots (Edinb. 1863, 4to); Hosack, Mary, Queen of Scots and her Accusers (2d ed. Lond. 1870, 2 vols. 8vo); Meline, Mary, Queen of Scots, and her latest English Historian (N.Y. 1872, 8vo), a polemic against Froude, assails the English historian very bitterly, and shows him to be inaccurate in some minor details; but Meline's own "intense partisanship unfits him for the office of a critic and he entirely fails in his narrative." (J. H. W.)

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