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Title: Mary Queen of Scots - Makers of History
Author: Abbott, Jacob, 1803-1879
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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 Makers of History

 Mary Queen of Scots







 Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1848, by


 In the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New York.

 Copyright, 1876, by JACOB ABBOTT.

[Illustration: DUMBARTON CASTLE, on the Clyde.]

[Illustration: MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS.]


The history of the life of every individual who has, for any reason,
attracted extensively the attention of mankind, has been written in a
great variety of ways by a multitude of authors, and persons
sometimes wonder why we should have so many different accounts of the
same thing. The reason is, that each one of these accounts is
intended for a different set of readers, who read with ideas and
purposes widely dissimilar from each other. Among the twenty millions
of people in the United States, there are perhaps two millions,
between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five, who wish to become
acquainted, in general, with the leading events in the history of the
Old World, and of ancient times, but who, coming upon the stage in
this land and at this period, have ideas and conceptions so widely
different from those of other nations and of other times, that a
mere republication of existing accounts is not what they require.
The story must be told expressly for them. The things that are to be
explained, the points that are to be brought out, the comparative
degree of prominence to be given to the various particulars, will all
be different, on account of the difference in the situation, the
ideas, and the objects of these new readers, compared with those of
the various other classes of readers which former authors have had in
view. It is for this reason, and with this view, that the present
series of historical narratives is presented to the public. The
author, having had some opportunity to become acquainted with the
position, the ideas, and the intellectual wants of those whom he
addresses, presents the result of his labors to them, with the hope
that it may be found successful in accomplishing its design.


 Chapter                                                    Page

    I. MARY'S CHILDHOOD                                      13

   II. HER EDUCATION IN FRANCE                               37

  III. THE GREAT WEDDING                                     56

   IV. MISFORTUNES                                           76

    V. RETURN TO SCOTLAND                                    99

   VI. MARY AND LORD DARNLEY                                124

  VII. RIZZIO                                               147

 VIII. BOTHWELL                                             168

   IX. THE FALL OF BOTHWELL                                 198

    X. LOCH LEVEN CASTLE                                    218

   XI. THE LONG CAPTIVITY                                   244

  XII. THE END                                              260



 DUMBARTON CASTLE, ON THE CLYDE                  _Frontispiece._


 PLAN OF THE PALACE OF LINLITHGOW                            22

 VIEW OF THE PALACE OF LINLITHGOW                            25

 PORTRAIT OF QUEEN ELIZABETH                                 91

 MARY'S EMBARKATION AT CALAIS                               105

 VIEW OF THE PALACE OF HOLYROOD HOUSE                       114

 VIEW OF WEMYS CASTLE                                       137

 PLAN OF HOLYROOD HOUSE                                     160

 PRINCE JAMES'S CRADLE                                      174

 VIEW OF EDINBURGH                                          179

 PLAN OF THE HOUSE AT THE KIRK O' FIELD                     182

 VIEW OF DUNBAR CASTLE                                      193

 PLAN OF LOCH LEVEN CASTLE                                  221

 VIEW OF LOCH LEVEN CASTLE                                  236

 RUINS OF LOCH LEVEN CASTLE                                 241

 VIEW OF FOTHERINGAY                                        271

 MARY'S TOMB IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY                           285






Palace where Mary was born.--Its situation.--Ruins.--The
room.--Visitors.--Mary's father in the wars.--His
death.--Regency.--Catholic religion.--The Protestants.--England
and France.--The Earl of Arran.--The regency.--Arran
regent.--New plan.--End of the war.--King Henry VIII.--Janet
Sinclair.--King Henry's demands.--Objections to them.--Plans for
Mary.--Linlithgow.--Plan of the palace.--Fountain.--The lion's
den.--Explanation of the engraving.--The coronation.--Stirling
Castle.--Its situation.--Rocky hill.--The coronation scene.--Linlithgow
and Stirling.--The Highlands and the Highlanders.--Religious
disturbances.--Lake Menteith.--Mary's companions.--The four
Maries.--Angry disputes.--Change of plan.--Henry's anger.--Henry's
sickness and death.--War renewed.--Danger in Edinburgh.--Aid from
France.--New plan.--Going to France.--Dumbarton Castle.--Rock of
Dumbarton.--Journey to Dumbarton.--The four Maries.--Departure from

Travelers who go into Scotland take a great interest in visiting,
among other places, a certain room in the ruins of an old palace,
where Queen Mary was born. Queen Mary was very beautiful, but she was
very unfortunate and unhappy. Every body takes a strong interest in
her story, and this interest attaches, in some degree, to the room
where her sad and sorrowful life was begun.

The palace is near a little village called Linlithgow. The village
has but one long street, which consists of ancient stone houses.
North of it is a little lake, or rather pond: they call it, in
Scotland, a _loch_. The palace is between the village and the loch;
it is upon a beautiful swell of land which projects out into the
water. There is a very small island in the middle of the loch and the
shores are bordered with fertile fields. The palace, when entire,
was square, with an open space or court in the center. There was a
beautiful stone fountain in the center of this court, and an arched
gateway through which horsemen and carriages could ride in. The doors
of entrance into the palace were on the inside of the court.

The palace is now in ruins. A troop of soldiers came to it one day in
time of war, after Mary and her mother had left it, and spent the
night there: they spread straw over the floors to sleep upon. In the
morning, when they went away, they wantonly set the straw on fire,
and left it burning, and thus the palace was destroyed. Some of the
lower floors were of stone; but all the upper floors and the roof
were burned, and all the wood-work of the rooms, and the doors and
window-frames. Since then the palace has never been repaired, but
remains a melancholy pile of ruins.

The room where Mary was born had a stone floor. The rubbish which has
fallen from above has covered it with a sort of soil, and grass and
weeds grow up all over it. It is a very melancholy sight to see. The
visitors who go into the room walk mournfully about, trying to
imagine how Queen Mary looked, as an infant in her mother's arms,
and reflecting on the recklessness of the soldiers in wantonly
destroying so beautiful a palace. Then they go to the window, or,
rather, to the crumbling opening in the wall where the window once
was, and look out upon the loch, now so deserted and lonely; over
their heads it is all open to the sky.

Mary's father was King of Scotland. At the time that Mary was born,
he was away from home engaged in war with the King of England, who
had invaded Scotland. In the battles Mary's father was defeated, and
he thought that the generals and nobles who commanded his army
allowed the English to conquer them on purpose to betray him. This
thought overwhelmed him with vexation and anguish. He pined away
under the acuteness of his sufferings, and just after the news came
to him that his daughter Mary was born, he died. Thus Mary became an
orphan, and her troubles commenced, at the very beginning of her
days. She never saw her father, and her father never saw her. Her
mother was a French lady; her name was Mary of Guise. Her own name
was Mary Stuart, but she is commonly called Mary Queen of Scots.

As Mary was her father's only child, of course, when he died, she
became Queen of Scotland, although she was only a few days old. It
is customary, in such a case, to appoint some distinguished person to
govern the kingdom, in the name of the young queen, until she grows
up: such a person is called a _regent_. Mary's mother wished to be
the regent until Mary became of age.

It happened that in those days, as now, the government and people of
France were of the Catholic religion. England, on the other hand, was
Protestant. There is a great difference between the Catholic and the
Protestant systems. The Catholic Church, though it extends nearly all
over the world, is banded together, as the reader is aware, under one
man--the pope--who is the great head of the Church, and who lives in
state at Rome. The Catholics have, in all countries, many large and
splendid churches, which are ornamented with paintings and images of
the Virgin Mary and of Christ. They perform great ceremonies in these
churches, the priests being dressed in magnificent costumes, and
walking in processions, with censers of incense burning as they go.
The Protestants, on the other hand, do not like these ceremonies;
they regard such outward acts of worship as mere useless parade, and
the images as idols. They themselves have smaller and plainer
churches, and call the people together in them to hear sermons, and
to offer up simple prayers.

In the time of Mary, England was Protestant and France was Catholic,
while Scotland was divided, though most of the people were
Protestants. The two parties were very much excited against each
other, and often persecuted each other with extreme cruelty.
Sometimes the Protestants would break into the Catholic churches, and
tear down and destroy the paintings and the images, and the other
symbols of worship, all which the Catholics regarded with extreme
veneration; this exasperated the Catholics, and when they became
powerful in their turn, they would seize the Protestants and imprison
them, and sometimes burn them to death, by tying them to a stake and
piling fagots of wood about them, and then setting the heap on fire.

Queen Mary's mother was a Catholic, and for that reason the people of
Scotland were not willing that she should be regent. There were one
or two other persons, moreover, who claimed the office. One was a
certain nobleman called the Earl of Arran. He was a Protestant. The
Earl of Arran was the next heir to the crown, so that if Mary had
died in her infancy, he would have been king. He thought that this
was a reason why _he_ should be regent, and govern the kingdom until
Mary became old enough to govern it herself. Many other persons,
however, considered this rather a reason why he should not be regent;
for they thought he would be naturally interested in wishing that
Mary should not live, since if she died he would himself become king,
and that therefore he would not be a safe protector for her. However,
as the Earl of Arran was a Protestant, and as Mary's mother was a
Catholic, and as the Protestant interest was the strongest, it was at
length decided that Arran should be the regent, and govern the
country until Mary should be of age.

It is a curious circumstance that Mary's birth put an end to the war
between England and Scotland, and that in a very singular way. The
King of England had been fighting against Mary's father, James, for a
long time, in order to conquer the country and annex it to England;
and now that James was dead, and Mary had become queen, with Arran
for the regent, it devolved on Arran to carry on the war. But the
King of England and his government, now that the young queen was
born, conceived of a new plan. The king had a little son, named
Edward, about four years old, who, of course, would become King of
England in his place when he should himself die. Now he thought it
would be best for him to conclude a peace with Scotland, and agree
with the Scottish government that, as soon as Mary was old enough,
she should become Edward's wife, and the two kingdoms be united in
that way.

The name of this King of England was Henry the Eighth. He was a very
headstrong and determined man. This, his plan, might have been a very
good one; it was certainly much better than an attempt to get
possession of Scotland by fighting for it; but he was very far from
being as moderate and just as he should have been in the execution of
his design. The first thing was to ascertain whether Mary was a
strong and healthy child; for if he should make a treaty of peace,
and give up all his plans of conquest, and then if Mary, after living
feebly a few years, should die, all his plans would fail. To satisfy
him on this point, they actually had some of the infant's clothes
removed in the presence of his embassador, in order that the
embassador might see that her form was perfect, and her limbs
vigorous and strong. The nurse did this with great pride and
pleasure, Mary's mother standing by. The nurse's name was Janet
Sinclair. The embassador wrote back to Henry, the King of England,
that little Mary was "as goodly a child as he ever saw." So King
Henry VIII. was confirmed in his design of having her for the wife of
his son.

King Henry VIII. accordingly changed all his plans. He made a peace
with the Earl of Arran. He dismissed the prisoners that he had taken,
and sent them home kindly. If he had been contented with kind and
gentle measures like these, he might have succeeded in them, although
there was, of course, a strong party in Scotland opposed to them.
Mary's mother was opposed to them, for she was a Catholic and a
French lady, and she wished to have her daughter become a Catholic as
she grew up, and marry a French prince. All the Catholics in Scotland
took her side. Still Henry's plans might have been accomplished,
perhaps, if he had been moderate and conciliating in the efforts
which he made to carry them into effect.

But Henry VIII. was headstrong and obstinate. He demanded that Mary,
since she was to be his son's wife, should be given up to him to be
taken into England, and educated there, under the care of persons
whom he should appoint. He also demanded that the Parliament of
Scotland should let him have a large share in the government of
Scotland, because he was going to be the father-in-law of the young
queen. The Parliament would not agree to either of these plans; they
were entirely unwilling to allow their little queen to be carried off
to another country, and put under the charge of so rough and rude a
man. Then they were unwilling, too, to give him any share of the
government during Mary's minority. Both these measures were entirely
inadmissible; they would, if adopted, have put both the infant Queen
of Scotland and the kingdom itself completely in the power of one who
had always been their greatest enemy.

Henry, finding that he could not induce the Scotch government to
accede to these plans, gave them up at last, and made a treaty of
marriage between his son and Mary, with the agreement that she might
remain in Scotland until she was ten years old, and that _then_ she
should come to England and be under his care.

All this time, while these grand negotiations were pending between
two mighty nations about her marriage, little Mary was unconscious
of it all, sometimes reposing quietly in Janet Sinclair's arms,
sometimes looking out of the windows of the Castle of Linlithgow to
see the swans swim upon the lake, and sometimes, perhaps, creeping
about upon the palace floor, where the earls and barons who came to
visit her mother, clad in armor of steel, looked upon her with pride
and pleasure. The palace where she lived was beautifully situated, as
has been before remarked, on the borders of a lake. It was arranged
somewhat in the following manner:


_a._ Room where Mary was born. _b._ Entrance through great gates.
_c._ Bow-window projecting toward the water. _d._ Den where they kept
a lion. _t.t._ Trees.]

There was a beautiful fountain in the center of the court-yard, where
water spouted out from the mouths of carved images, and fell into
marble basins below. The ruins of this fountain and of the images
remain there still. The den at _d_ was a round pit, like a well,
which you could look down into from above: it was about ten feet
deep. They used to keep lions in such dens near the palaces and
castles in those days. A lion in a den was a sort of plaything in
former times, as a parrot or a pet lamb is now: this was in keeping
with the fierce and warlike spirit of the age. If they had a lion
there in Mary's time, Janet often, doubtless, took her little charge
out to see it, and let her throw down food to it from above. The den
is there now. You approach it upon the top of a broad embankment,
which is as high as the depth of the den, so that the bottom of the
den is level with the surface of the ground, which makes it always
dry. There is a hole, too, at the bottom, through the wall, where
they used to put the lion in.

The foregoing plan of the buildings and grounds of Linlithgow is
drawn as maps and plans usually are, the upper part toward the north.
Of course the room _a_, where Mary was born, is on the western side.
The adjoining engraving represents a view of the palace on this
western side. The church is seen at the right; and the lawn, where
Janet used to take Mary out to breathe the air, is in the
fore-ground. The shore of the lake is very near, and winds
beautifully around the margin of the promontory on which the palace
stands. Of course the lion's den, and the ancient avenue of approach
to the palace, are round upon the other side, and out of sight in
this view. The approach to the palace, at the present day, is on the
southern side, between the church and the trees on the right of the

[Illustration: PALACE OF LINLITHGOW--Queen Mary's Birth-place.]

Mary remained here at Linlithgow for a year or two; but when she was
about nine months old, they concluded to have the great ceremony of
the coronation performed, as she was by that time old enough to bear
the journey to Stirling Castle, where the Scottish kings and queens
were generally crowned. The coronation of a queen is an event which
always excites a very deep and universal interest among all persons in
the realm; and there is a peculiar interest felt when, as was the case
in this instance, the queen to be crowned is an infant just old enough
to bear the journey. There was a very great interest felt in Mary's
coronation. The different courts and monarchs of Europe sent
embassadors to be present at the ceremony, and to pay their respects
to the infant queen; and Stirling became, for the time being, the
center of universal attraction.

Stirling is in the very heart of Scotland. It is a castle, built upon
a rock, or, rather, upon a rocky hill, which rises like an island out
of the midst of a vast region of beautiful and fertile country, rich
and verdant beyond description. Beyond the confines of this region of
beauty, dark mountains rise on all sides; and wherever you are,
whether riding along the roads in the plain, or climbing the
declivities of the mountains, you see Stirling Castle, from every
point, capping its rocky hill, the center and ornament of the broad
expanse of beauty which surrounds it.

Stirling Castle is north of Linlithgow, and is distant about fifteen
or twenty miles from it. The road to it lies not far from the shores
of the Frith of Forth, a broad and beautiful sheet of water. The
castle, as has been before remarked, was on the summit of a rocky
hill. There are precipitous crags on three sides of the hill, and a
gradual approach by a long ascent on the fourth side. At the top of
this ascent you enter the great gates of the castle, crossing a
broad and deep ditch by means of a draw-bridge. You enter then a
series of paved courts, with towers and walls around them, and
finally come to the more interior edifices, where the private
apartments are situated, and where the little queen was crowned.

It was an occasion of great pomp and ceremony, though Mary, of
course, was unconscious of the meaning of it all. She was surrounded
by barons and earls, by embassadors and princes from foreign courts,
and by the principal lords and ladies of the Scottish nobility, all
dressed in magnificent costumes. They held little Mary up, and a
cardinal, that is, a great dignitary of the Roman Catholic Church,
placed the crown upon her head. Half pleased with the glittering
show, and half frightened at the strange faces which she saw every
where around her, she gazed unconsciously upon the scene, while her
mother, who could better understand its import, was elated with pride
and joy.

Linlithgow and Stirling are in the open and cultivated part of
Scotland. All the northern and western part of the country consists
of vast masses of mountains, with dark and somber glens among them,
which are occupied solely by shepherds and herdsmen with their
flocks and herds. This mountainous region was called the Highlands,
and the inhabitants of it were the Highlanders. They were a wild and
warlike class of men, and their country was seldom visited by either
friend or foe. At the present time there are beautiful roads all
through the Highlands, and stage-coaches and private carriages roll
over them every summer, to take tourists to see and admire the
picturesque and beautiful scenery; but in the days of Mary the whole
region was gloomy and desolate, and almost inaccessible.

Mary remained in Linlithgow and Stirling for about two years, and
then, as the country was becoming more and more disturbed by the
struggles of the great contending parties--those who were in favor of
the Catholic religion and alliance with France on the one hand, and
of those in favor of the Protestant religion and alliance with
England on the other hand--they concluded to send her into the
Highlands for safety.

It was not far into the country of the Highlands that they concluded
to send her, but only into the _borders_ of it. There was a small
lake on the southern margin of the wild and mountainous country,
called the Lake of Menteith. In this lake was an island named
Inchmahome, the word _inch_ being the name for island in the language
spoken by the Highlanders. This island, which was situated in a very
secluded and solitary region, was selected as Mary's place of
residence. She was about four years old when they sent her to this
place. Several persons went with her to take care of her, and to
teach her. In fact, every thing was provided for her which could
secure her improvement and happiness. Her mother did not forget that
she would need playmates, and so she selected four little girls of
about the same age with the little queen herself, and invited them to
accompany her. They were daughters of the noblemen and high officers
about the court. It is very singular that these girls were all named
Mary. Their names in full were as follows:

     Mary Beaton,
     Mary Fleming,
     Mary Livingstone,
     Mary Seaton.

These, with Mary Stuart, which was Queen Mary's name, made five girls
of four or five years of age, all named Mary.

Mary lived two years in this solitary island. She had, however, all
the comforts and conveniences of life, and enjoyed herself with her
four Maries very much. Of course she knew nothing, and thought
nothing of the schemes and plans of the great governments for having
her married, when she grew up, to the young English prince, who was
then a little boy of about her own age, nor of the angry disputes in
Scotland to which this subject gave rise. It did give rise to very
serious disputes. Mary's mother did not like the plan at all. As she
was herself a French lady and a Catholic, she did not wish to have
her daughter marry a prince who was of the English royal family, and
a Protestant. All the Catholics in Scotland took her side. At length
the Earl of Arran, who was the regent, changed to that side; and
finally the government, being thus brought over, gave notice to King
Henry VIII. that the plan must be given up, as they had concluded, on
the whole, that Mary should not marry his son.

King Henry was very much incensed. He declared that Mary _should_
marry his son, and he raised an army and sent it into Scotland to
make war upon the Scotch again, and compel them to consent to the
execution of the plan. He was at this time beginning to be sick, but
his sickness, instead of softening his temper, only made him the more
ferocious and cruel. He turned against his best friends. He grew
worse, and was evidently about to die; but he was so irritable and
angry that for a long time no one dared to tell him of his
approaching dissolution, and he lay restless, and wretched, and
agitated with political animosities upon his dying bed. At length
some one ventured to tell him that his end was near. When he found
that he must die, he resigned himself to his fate. He sent for an
archbishop to come and see him, but he was speechless when the
prelate came, and soon afterward expired.

The English government, however, after his death, adhered to his plan
of compelling the Scotch to make Mary the wife of his son. They sent
an army into Scotland. A great battle was fought, and the Scotch were
defeated. The battle was fought at a place not far from Edinburgh,
and near the sea. It was so near the sea that the English fired upon
the Scotch army from their ships, and thus assisted their troops upon
the shore. The armies had remained several days near each other
before coming to battle, and during all this time the city of
Edinburgh was in a state of great anxiety and suspense, as they
expected that their city would be attacked by the English if they
should conquer in the battle. The English army did, in fact, advance
toward Edinburgh after the battle was over, and would have got
possession of it had it not been for the castle. There is a very
strong castle in the very heart of Edinburgh, upon the summit of a
rocky hill.[A]

[Footnote A: See the view of Edinburgh, page 179.]

These attempts of the English to force the Scotch government to
consent to Mary's marriage only made them the more determined to
prevent it. A great many who were not opposed to it before, became
opposed to it now when they saw foreign armies in the country
destroying the towns and murdering the people. They said they had no
great objection to the match, but that they did not like the mode of
wooing. They sent to France to ask the French king to send over an
army to aid them, and promised him that if he would do so they would
agree that Mary should marry _his_ son. His son's name was Francis.

The French king was very much pleased with this plan. He sent an army
of six thousand men into Scotland to assist the Scotch against their
English enemies. It was arranged, also, as little Mary was now hardly
safe among all these commotions, even in her retreat in the island of
Inchmahome, to send her to France to be educated there, and to live
there until she was old enough to be married. The same ships which
brought the army from France to Scotland, were to carry Mary and her
retinue from Scotland to France. The four Maries went with her.

They bade their lonely island farewell, and traveled south till they
came to a strong castle on a high, rocky hill, on the banks of the
River Clyde. The name of this fortress is Dumbarton Castle. Almost
all the castles of those times were built upon precipitous hills, to
increase the difficulties of the enemies in approaching them. The
Rock of Dumbarton is a very remarkable one. It stands close to the
bank of the river. There are a great many ships and steam-boats
continually passing up and down the Clyde, to and from the great city
of Glasgow, and all the passengers on board gaze with great interest,
as they sail by, on the Rock of Dumbarton, with the castle walls on
the sides, and the towers and battlements crowning the summit. In
Mary's time there was comparatively very little shipping on the
river, but the French fleet was there, waiting opposite the castle to
receive Mary and the numerous persons who were to go in her train.[B]

[Footnote B: Travelers who visit Scotland from this country at the
present day, usually land first, at the close of the voyage across
the Atlantic, at Liverpool, and there take a Glasgow steamer.
Glasgow, which is the great commercial city of Scotland, is on the
River Clyde. This river flows northward to the sea. The steamer, in
ascending the river, makes its way with difficulty along the narrow
channel, which, besides being narrow and tortuous, is obstructed by
boats, ships, steamers, and every other variety of water-craft, such
as are always going to and fro in the neighborhood of any great
commercial emporium.

The tourists, who stand upon the deck gazing at this exciting scene
of life and motion, have their attention strongly attracted, about
half way up the river, by this Castle of Dumbarton, which crowns a
rocky hill, rising abruptly from the water's edge, on the north side
of the stream. It attracts sometimes the more attention from American
travelers, on account of its being the first ancient castle they see.
This it likely to be the case if they proceed to Scotland immediately
on landing at Liverpool.]

Mary was escorted from the island where she had been living, across
the country to Dumbarton Castle, with a strong retinue. She was now
between five and six years of age. She was, of course, too young to
know any thing about the contentions and wars which had distracted
her country on her account, or to feel much interest in the subject
of her approaching departure from her native land. She enjoyed the
novelty of the scenes through which she passed on her journey. She
was pleased with the dresses and the arms of the soldiers who
accompanied her, and with the ships which were floating in the river,
beneath the walls of the Castle of Dumbarton, when she arrived there.
She was pleased, too, to think that, wherever she was to go, her four
Maries were to go with her. She bade her mother farewell, embarked on
board the ship which was to receive her, and sailed away from her
native land, not to return to it again for many years.




Departure.--Stormy voyage.--Journey to Paris.--Release of
prisoners.--Barabbas.--St. Germain.--Celebrations.--The
convent.--Character of the nuns.--Interest in Mary.--Leaving
the convent.--Amusements.--Visit of Mary's mother.--Queen
dowager.--Rouen.--A happy meeting.--Rejoicings.--A last
farewell.--Visit to a mourner.--The queen dowager's return.--The
regency.--A page of honor.--Sir James Melville.--Mary's
character.--Her diligence.--Devices and mottoes.--Festivities.--Water
parties.--Hunting.--An accident.--Restraint.--Queen Catharine.--Her
character.--Embroidery.--Mary's admiration of Queen Catharine.--The
latter suspicious.--Unguarded remark.--Catharine's mortification.--The
dauphin.--Origin of the title.--Character of Francis.--Mary's
beauty.--Torch-light procession.--An angel.--Mary a Catholic.--Her
conscientiousness and fidelity.

The departure of Mary from Scotland, little as she was, was a great
event both for Scotland and for France. In those days kings and
queens were even of greater relative importance than they are now,
and all Scotland was interested in the young queen's going away from
them, and all France in expecting her arrival. She sailed down the
Clyde, and then passed along the seas and channels which lie between
England and Ireland. These seas, though they look small upon the map,
are really spacious and wide, and are often greatly agitated by winds
and storms. This was the case at the time Mary made her voyage. The
days and nights were tempestuous and wild, and the ships had
difficulty in keeping in each other's company. There was danger of
being blown upon the coasts, or upon the rocks or islands which lie
in the way. Mary was too young to give much heed to these dangers,
but the lords and commissioners, and the great ladies who went to
attend her, were heartily glad when the voyage was over. It ended
safely at last, after several days of tossing upon the stormy
billows, by their arrival upon the northern coast of France. They
landed at a town called Brest.

The King of France had made great preparations for receiving the
young queen immediately upon her landing. Carriages and horses had
been provided to convey herself and the company of her attendants, by
easy journeys, to Paris. They received her with great pomp and
ceremony at every town which she passed through. One mark of respect
which they showed her was very singular. The king ordered that every
prison which she passed in her route should be thrown open, and the
prisoners set free. This fact is a striking illustration of the
different ideas which prevailed in those days, compared with those
which are entertained now, in respect to crime and punishment. Crime
is now considered as an offense against the _community_, and it would
be considered no favor to the community, but the reverse, to let
imprisoned criminals go free. In those days, on the other hand,
crimes were considered rather as injuries committed _by_ the
community, and against the king; so that, if the monarch wished to
show the community a favor, he would do it by releasing such of them
as had been imprisoned by his officers for their crimes. It was just
so in the time of our Savior, when the Jews had a custom of having
some criminal released to them once a year, at the Passover, by the
Roman government, as an act of _favor_. That is, the government was
accustomed to furnish, by way of contributing its share toward the
general festivities of the occasion, the setting of a robber and a
murderer at liberty!

The King of France has several palaces in the neighborhood of Paris.
Mary was taken to one of them, named St. Germain. This palace, which
still stands, is about twelve miles from Paris, toward the northwest.
It is a very magnificent residence, and has been for many centuries a
favorite resort of the French kings. Many of them were born in it.
There are extensive parks and gardens connected with it, and a great
artificial forest, in which the trees were all planted and cultivated
like the trees of an orchard. Mary was received at this palace with
great pomp and parade; and many spectacles and festivities were
arranged to amuse her and the four Maries who accompanied her, and
to impress her strongly with an idea of the wealth, and power, and
splendor of the great country to which she had come.

She remained here but a short time, and then it was arranged for her
to go to a _convent_ to be educated. Convents were in those days, as
in fact they are now, quite famous as places of education. They were
situated sometimes in large towns, and sometimes in secluded places
in the country; but, whether in town or country, the inmates of them
were shut up very strictly from all intercourse with the world. They
were under the care of nuns who had devoted themselves for life to
the service. These nuns were some of them unhappy persons, who were
weary of the sorrows and sufferings of the world, and who were glad
to retire from it to such a retreat as they fancied the convent would
be. Others became nuns from conscientious principles of duty,
thinking that they should commend themselves to the favor of God by
devoting their lives to works of benevolence and to the exercises of
religion. Of course there were all varieties of character among the
nuns; some of them were selfish and disagreeable, others were
benevolent and kind.

At the convent where Mary was sent there were some nuns of very
excellent and amiable character, and they took a great interest in
Mary, both because she was a queen, and because she was beautiful,
and of a kind and affectionate disposition. Mary became very strongly
attached to these nuns, and began to entertain the idea of becoming a
nun herself, and spending her life with them in the convent. It
seemed pleasant to her to live there in such a peaceful seclusion, in
company with those who loved her, and whom she herself loved, but the
King of France, and the Scottish nobles who had come with her from
Scotland, would, of course, be opposed to any such plan. They
intended her to be married to the young prince, and to become one of
the great ladies of the court, and to lead a life of magnificence and
splendor. They became alarmed, therefore, when they found that she
was imbibing a taste for the life of seclusion and solitude which is
led by a nun. They decided to take her immediately away.

Mary bade farewell to the convent and its inmates with much regret
and many tears; but, notwithstanding her reluctance, she was obliged
to submit. If she had not been a queen, she might, perhaps, have had
her own way. As it was, however, she was obliged to leave the
convent and the nuns whom she loved, and to go back to the palaces of
the king, in which she afterward continued to live, sometimes in one
and sometimes in another, for many years. Wherever she went, she was
surrounded with scenes of great gayety and splendor. They wished to
obliterate from her mind all recollections of the convent, and all
love of solitude and seclusion. They did not neglect her studies, but
they filled up the intervals of study with all possible schemes of
enjoyment and pleasure, to amuse and occupy her mind and the minds of
her companions. Her companions were her own four Maries, and the two
daughters of the French king.

When Mary was about seven years of age, that is, after she had been
two years in France, her mother formed a plan to come from Scotland
to see her. Her mother had remained behind when Mary left Scotland,
as she had an important part to perform in public affairs, and in the
administration of the government of Scotland while Mary was away. She
wanted, however, to come and see her. France, too, was her own native
land, and all her relations and friends resided there. She wished to
see them as well as Mary, and to revisit once more the palaces and
cities where her own early life had been spent. In speaking of Mary's
mother we shall call her sometimes the queen dowager. The expression
_queen dowager_ is the one usually applied to the widow of a king, as
_queen consort_ is used to denote the _wife_ of a king.

This visit of the queen dowager of Scotland to her little daughter in
France was an event of great consequence, and all the arrangements
for carrying it into effect were conducted with great pomp and
ceremony. A large company attended her, with many of the Scottish
lords and ladies among them. The King of France, too, went from Paris
toward the French coast, to meet the party of visitors, taking little
Mary and a large company of attendants with him. They went to Rouen,
a large city not far from the coast, where they awaited the arrival
of Mary's mother, and where they received her with great ceremonies
of parade and rejoicing. The queen regent was very much delighted to
see her little daughter again. She had grown two years older, and had
improved greatly in every respect, and tears of joy came into her
mother's eyes as she clasped her in her arms. The two parties
journeyed in company to Paris and entered the city with great
rejoicings. The two queens, mother and daughter, were the objects of
universal interest and attention. Feasts and celebrations without end
were arranged for them, and every possible means of amusement and
rejoicing were contrived in the palaces of Paris, of St. Germain's,
and of Fontainebleau. Mary's mother remained in France about a year.
She then bade Mary farewell, leaving her at Fontainebleau. This
proved to be a final farewell, for she never saw her again.

After taking leave of her daughter, the queen dowager went, before
leaving France, to see her own mother, who was a widow, and who was
living at a considerable distance from Paris in seclusion, and in a
state of austere and melancholy grief, on account of the loss of her
husband. Instead of forgetting her sorrows, as she ought to have
done, and returning calmly and peacefully to the duties and
enjoyments of life, she had given herself up to inconsolable grief,
and was doing all she could to perpetuate the mournful influence of
her sorrows. She lived in an ancient and gloomy mansion, of vast
size, and she had hung all the apartments in black, to make it still
more desolate and gloomy, and to continue the influence of grief upon
her mind. Here the queen dowager found her, spending her time in
prayers and austerities of every kind, making herself and all her
family perfectly miserable. Many persons, at the present day, act,
under such circumstances, on the same principle and with the same
spirit, though they do not do it perhaps in precisely the same way.

One would suppose that Mary's mother would have preferred to remain
in France with her daughter and her mother and all her family
friends, instead of going back to Scotland, where she was, as it
were, a foreigner and a stranger. The reason why she desired to go
back was that she wished to be made _queen regent_, and thus have the
government of Scotland in her own hands. She would rather be queen
regent in Scotland than a simple queen _mother_ in France. While she
was in France, she urged the king to use all his influence to have
Arran resign his regency into her hands, and finally obtained
writings from him and from Queen Mary to this effect. She then left
France and went to Scotland, going through England on the way. The
young King of England, to whom Mary had been engaged by the
government when she was an infant in Janet Sinclair's arms, renewed
his proposals to the queen dowager to let her daughter become his
wife; but she told him that it was all settled that she was to be
married to the French prince, and that it was now too late to change
the plan.

There was a young gentleman, about nineteen or twenty years of age,
who came from Scotland also, not far from this time, to wait upon
Mary as her page of honor. A page is an attendant above the rank of
an ordinary servant, whose business it is to wait upon his mistress,
to read to her, sometimes to convey her letters and notes, and to
carry her commands to the other attendants who are beneath him in
rank and whose business it is actually to perform the services which
the lady requires. A page _of honor_ is a young gentleman who
sustains this office in a nominal and temporary manner for a princess
or a queen.

The name of Mary's page of honor, who came to her now from Scotland,
was Sir James Melville. The only reason for mentioning him thus
particularly, rather than the many other officers and attendants by
whom Mary was surrounded was, that the service which he thus
commenced was continued in various ways through the whole period of
Mary's life. We shall often hear of him in the subsequent parts of
this narrative. He followed Mary to Scotland when she returned to
that country, and became afterward her secretary, and also her
embassador on many occasions. He was now quite young, and when he
landed at Brest he traveled slowly to Paris in the care of two
Scotchmen, to whose charge he had been intrusted. He was a young man
of uncommon talents and of great accomplishments, and it was a mark
of high distinction for him to be appointed page of honor to the
queen, although he was about nineteen years of age and she was but

After the queen regent's return to Scotland, Mary went on improving
in every respect more and more. She was diligent, industrious, and
tractable. She took a great interest in her studies. She was not only
beautiful in person, and amiable and affectionate in heart, but she
possessed a very intelligent and active mind, and she entered with a
sort of quiet but earnest enthusiasm into all the studies to which
her attention was called. She paid a great deal of attention to
music, to poetry, and to drawing. She used to invent little devices
for seals, with French and Latin mottoes, and, after drawing them
again and again with great care, until she was satisfied with the
design, she would give them to the gem-engravers to be cut upon
stone seals, so that she could seal her letters with them. These
mottoes and devices can not well be represented in English, as the
force and beauty of them depended generally upon a double meaning in
some word of French or Latin, which can not be preserved in the
translation. We shall, however, give one of these seals, which she
made just before she left France, to return to Scotland, when we come
to that period of her history.

The King of France, and the lords and ladies who came with Mary from
Scotland, contrived a great many festivals and celebrations in the
parks, and forests, and palaces, to amuse the queen and the four
Maries who were with her. The daughters of the French king joined,
also, in these pleasures. They would have little balls, and parties,
and pic-nics, sometimes in the open air, sometimes in the little
summer-houses built upon the grounds attached to the palaces. The
scenes of these festivities were in many cases made unusually joyous
and gay by bon-fires and illuminations. They had water parties on the
little lakes, and hunting parties through the parks and forests. Mary
was a very graceful and beautiful rider, and full of courage.
Sometimes she met with accidents which were attended with some
danger. Once, while hunting the stag, and riding at full speed with a
great company of ladies and gentlemen behind her and before her, her
dress got caught by the bough of a tree, and she was pulled to the
ground. The horse went on. Several other riders drove by her without
seeing her, as she had too much composure and fortitude to attract
their attention by outcries and lamentations. They saw her, however,
at last, and came to her assistance. They brought back her horse,
and, smoothing down her hair, which had fallen into confusion, she
mounted again, and rode on after the stag as before.

Notwithstanding all these means of enjoyment and diversion, Mary was
subjected to a great deal of restraint. The rules of etiquette are
very precise and very strictly enforced in royal households, and they
were still more strict in those days than they are now. The king was
very ceremonious in all his arrangements, and was surrounded by a
multitude of officers who performed every thing by rule. As Mary grew
older, she was subjected to greater and greater restraint. She used
to spend a considerable portion of every day in the apartments of
Queen Catharine, the wife of the King of France and the mother of the
little Francis to whom she was to be married. Mary and Queen
Catharine did not, however, like each other very well. Catharine was
a woman of strong mind and of an imperious disposition; and it is
supposed by some that she was jealous of Mary because she was more
beautiful and accomplished and more generally beloved than her own
daughters, the princesses of France. At any rate, she treated Mary in
rather a stern and haughty manner, and it was thought that she would
finally oppose her marriage to Francis her son.

And yet Mary was at first very much pleased with Queen Catharine, and
was accustomed to look up to her with great admiration, and to feel
for her a very sincere regard. She often went into the queen's
apartments, where they sat together and talked, or worked upon their
embroidery, which was a famous amusement for ladies of exalted rank
in those days. Mary herself at one time worked a large piece, which
she sent as a present to the nuns in the convent where she had
resided; and afterward, in Scotland, she worked a great many things,
some of which still remain, and may be seen in her ancient rooms in
the palace of Holyrood House. She learned this art by working with
Queen Catharine in her apartments. When she first became acquainted
with Catharine on these occasions, she used to love her society. She
admired her talents and her conversational powers, and she liked very
much to be in her room. She listened to all she said, watched her
movements, and endeavored in all things to follow her example.

Catharine, however, thought that this was all a pretense, and that
Mary did not really like her, but only wished to make her believe
that she did so in order to get favor, or to accomplish some other
selfish end. One day she asked her why she seemed to prefer her
society to that of her youthful and more suitable companions. Mary
replied, in substance, "The reason was, that though with them she
might enjoy much, she could learn nothing; while she always learned
from Queen Catharine's conversation something which would be of use
to her as a guide in future life." One would have thought that this
answer would have pleased the queen, but it did not. She did not
believe that it was sincere.

On one occasion Mary seriously offended the queen by a remark which
she made, and which was, at least, incautious. Kings and queens, and,
in fact, all great people in Europe, pride themselves very much upon
the antiquity of the line from which they have descended. Now the
family of Queen Catharine had risen to rank and distinction within a
moderate period; and though she was, as Queen of France, on the very
pinnacle of human greatness, she would naturally be vexed at any
remark which would remind her of the recentness of her elevation. Now
Mary at one time said, in conversation in the presence of Queen
Catharine, that she herself was the descendant of a hundred kings.
This was perhaps true, but it brought her into direct comparison with
Catharine in a point in which the latter was greatly her inferior,
and it vexed and mortified Catharine very much to have such a thing
said to her by such a child.

Mary associated thus during all this time, not only with the queen
and the princesses, but also with the little prince whom she was
destined to marry. His name was Francis, but he was commonly called
the _dauphin_, which was the name by which the oldest son of the King
of France was then, and has been since designated. The origin of this
custom was this. About a hundred years before the time of which we
are speaking, a certain nobleman of high rank, who possessed estates
in an ancient province of France called Dauphiny, lost his son and
heir. He was overwhelmed with affliction at the loss, and finally
bequeathed all his estates to the king and his successors, on
condition that the oldest son should bear the title of Dauphin. The
grant was accepted, and the oldest son was accordingly so styled from
that time forward, from generation to generation.

The dauphin, Francis, was a weak and feeble child, but he was amiable
and gentle in his manners, and Mary liked him. She met him often in
their walks and rides, and she danced with him at the balls and
parties given for her amusement. She knew that he was to be her
husband as soon as she was old enough to be married, and he knew that
she was to be his wife. It was all decided, and nothing which either
of them could say or do would have any influence on the result.
Neither of them, however, seem to have had any desire to change the
result. Mary pitied Francis on account of his feeble health, and
liked his amiable and gentle disposition; and Francis could not help
loving Mary, both on account of the traits of her character and her
personal charms.

As Mary advanced in years, she grew very beautiful. In some of the
great processions and ceremonies, the ladies were accustomed to walk,
magnificently dressed and carrying torches in their hands. In one of
these processions Mary was moving along with the rest, through a
crowd of spectators, and the light from her torch fell upon her
features and upon her hair in such a manner as to make her appear
more beautiful than usual. A woman, standing there, pressed up nearer
to her to view her more closely, and, seeing how beautiful she was,
asked her if she was not an _angel_. In those days, however, people
believed in what is miraculous and supernatural more easily than now,
so that it was not very surprising that one should think, in such a
case, that an angel from Heaven had come down to join in the

Mary grew up a Catholic, of course: all were Catholics around her.
The king and all the royal family were devoted to Catholic
observances. The convent, the ceremonies, the daily religious
observances enjoined upon her, the splendid churches which she
frequented, all tended in their influence to lead her mind away from
the Protestant religion which prevailed in her native land, and to
make her a Catholic: she remained so throughout her life. There is no
doubt that she was conscientious in her attachment to the forms and
to the spirit of the Roman Church. At any rate, she was faithful to
the ties which her early education imposed upon her, and this
fidelity became afterward the source of some of her heaviest
calamities and woes.




Hastening the wedding.--Reasons for it.--Attempt to poison
Mary.--The Guises.--Catharine's jealousy.--Commissioners from
Scotland.--Preliminaries.--Stipulations.--Plan of Henry to
evade them.--Marriage settlement.--Secret papers.--Their
contents.--Ceremonies.--The betrothal.--The Louvre.--Notre
Dame.--View of the interior.--Amphitheater.--Covered gallery.--The
procession.--Mary's dress.--Appearance of Mary.--Wedding
ring.--Movement of the procession.--Largess.--Confusion.--The
choir.--Mass.--Return of the procession.--Collation.--Ball.--Evening's
entertainments.--A tournament.--Rank of the combatants.--Lances.--Rapid
evolutions.--_Tourner._--Francis's feebleness.--Mary's love for
him.--He retires to the country.--Rejoicings in Scotland.--Mons
Meg.--Large ball.--Celebration of Mary's marriage.

When Mary was about fifteen years of age, the King of France began to
think that it was time for her to be married. It is true that she was
still very young, but there were strong reasons for having the
marriage take place at the earliest possible period, for fear that
something might occur to prevent its consummation at all. In fact,
there were very strong parties opposed to it altogether. The whole
Protestant interest in Scotland were opposed to it, and were
continually contriving plans to defeat it. They thought that if Mary
married a French prince, who was, of course, a Catholic, she would
become wedded to the Catholic interest hopelessly and forever. This
made them feel a most bitter and determined opposition to the plan.

In fact, so bitter and relentless were the animosities that grew out
of this question, that an attempt was actually made to poison Mary.
The man who committed this crime was an archer in the king's guard:
he was a Scotch man, and his name was Stewart. His attempt was
discovered in time to prevent the accomplishment of his purpose. He
was tried and condemned. They made every effort to induce him to
explain the reason which led him to such an act, or, if he was
employed by others, to reveal their names; but he would reveal
nothing. He was executed for his crime, leaving mankind to conjecture
that his motive, or that of the persons who instigated him to the
deed, was a desperate determination to save Scotland, at all hazards,
from falling under the influence of papal power.

Mary's mother, the queen dowager of Scotland, was of a celebrated
French family, called the family of Guise. She is often, herself,
called in history, Mary of Guise. There were other great families in
France who were very jealous of the Guises, and envious of their
influence and power. They opposed Queen Mary's marriage to the
dauphin, and were ready to do all in their power to thwart and defeat
it. Queen Catharine, too, who seemed to feel a greater and greater
degree of envy and jealousy against Mary as she saw her increasing in
grace, beauty, and influence with her advancing years, was supposed
to be averse to the marriage. Mary was, in some sense, her rival,
and she could not bear to have her become the wife of her son.

King Henry, finding all these opposing influences at work, thought
that the safest plan would be to have the marriage carried into
effect at the earliest possible period. When, therefore, Mary was
about fifteen years of age, which was in 1557, he sent to Scotland,
asking the government there to appoint some commissioners to come to
France to assent to the marriage contracts, and to witness the
ceremonies of the betrothment and the wedding. The marriage
contracts, in the case of the union of a queen of one country with a
prince of another, are documents of very high importance. It is
considered necessary not only to make very formal provision for the
personal welfare and comfort of the wife during her married life, and
during her widowhood in case of the death of her husband, but also to
settle beforehand the questions of succession which might arise out
of the marriage, and to define precisely the rights and powers both
of the husband and the wife, in the two countries to which they
respectively belong.

The Parliament of Scotland appointed a number of commissioners, of
the highest rank and station, to proceed to France, and to act there
as the representatives of Scotland in every thing which pertained to
the marriage. They charged them to guard well the rights and powers
of Mary, to see that these rights and all the interests of Scotland
were well protected in the marriage contracts, and to secure proper
provision for the personal comfort and happiness of the queen. The
number of these commissioners was eight. Their departure from
Scotland was an event of great public importance. They were
accompanied by a large number of attendants and followers, who were
eager to be present in Paris at the marriage festivities. The whole
company arrived safely at Paris, and were received with every
possible mark of distinction and honor.

The marriage contracts were drawn up, and executed with great
formality. King Henry made no objection to any of the stipulations
and provisions which the commissioners required, for he had a secret
plan for evading them all. Very ample provision was made for Mary
herself. She was to have a very large income. In case the dauphin
died while he was dauphin, leaving Mary a widow, she was still to
have a large income paid to her by the French government as long as
she lived, whether she remained in France or went back to Scotland.
If her husband outlived his father, so as to become King of France,
and then died, leaving Mary his widow, her income for the rest of her
life was to be double what it would have been if he had died while
dauphin. Francis was, in the mean time, to share with her the
government of Scotland. If they had a son, he was to be, after their
deaths, King of France and of Scotland too. Thus the two crowns would
have been united. If, on the other hand, they had only daughters, the
oldest one was to be Queen of Scotland only, as the laws of France
did not allow a female to inherit the throne. In case they had no
children, the crown of Scotland was not to come into the French
family at all, but to descend regularly to the next Scotch heir.

Henry was not satisfied with this entirely, for he wanted to secure
the union of the Scotch and French crowns at all events, whether Mary
had children or not; and he persuaded Mary to sign some papers with
him privately, which he thought would secure his purposes, charging
her not to let the commissioners know that she had signed them. He
thought it possible that he should never have occasion to produce
them. One of these papers conveyed the crown of Scotland to the King
of France absolutely and forever, in case Mary should die without
children. Another provided that the Scotch government should repay
him for the enormous sums he had expended upon Mary during her
residence in France, for her education, her attendants, the
celebrations and galas which he had provided for her, and all the
splendid journeys, processions, and parades. His motive in all this
expense had been to unite the crown of Scotland to that of France,
and he wished to provide that if any thing should occur to prevent
the execution of his plan, he could have all this money reimbursed to
him again. He estimated the amount at a million of pieces of gold.
This was an enormous sum: it shows on how magnificent a scale Mary's
reception and entertainment in France were managed.

These preliminary proceedings being settled, all Paris, and, in fact,
all France, began to prepare for the marriage celebrations. There
were to be two great ceremonies connected with the occasion. The
first was the betrothment, the second was the marriage. At the
betrothment Francis and Mary were to meet in a great public hall,
and there, in the presence of a small and select assemblage of the
lords and ladies of the court, and persons of distinction connected
with the royal family, they were formally and solemnly to engage
themselves to each other. Then, in about a week afterward, they were
to be married, in the most public manner, in the great Cathedral
Church of Notre Dame.

The ceremony of the betrothal was celebrated in the palace. The
palace then occupied by the royal family was the Louvre. It still
stands, but is no longer a royal dwelling. Another palace, more
modern in its structure, and called the Tuilleries, has since been
built, a little farther from the heart of the city, and in a more
pleasant situation. The Louvre is square, with an open court in the
center. This open court or area is very large, and is paved like the
streets. In fact, two great carriage ways pass through it, crossing
each other at right angles in the center, and passing out under great
arch-ways in the four sides of the building. There is a large hall
within the palace, and in this hall the ceremony of the betrothal
took place. Francis and Mary pledged their faith to each other with
appropriate ceremonies. Only a select circle of relations and
intimate friends were present on this occasion. The ceremony was
concluded in the evening with a ball.

In the mean time, all Paris was busy with preparations for the
marriage. The Louvre is upon one side of the River Seine, its
principal front being toward the river, with a broad street between.
There are no buildings, but only a parapet wall on the river side of
the street, so that there is a fine view of the river and of the
bridges which cross it, from the palace windows. Nearly opposite the
Louvre is an island, covered with edifices, and connected, by means
of bridges, with either shore. The great church of Notre Dame, where
the marriage ceremony was to be performed, is upon this island. It
has two enormous square towers in front, which may be seen, rising
above all the roofs of the city, at a great distance in every
direction. Before the church is a large open area, where vast crowds
assemble on any great occasion. The interior of the church impresses
the mind with the sublimest emotions. Two rows of enormous columns
rise to a great height on either hand, supporting the lofty arches of
the roof. The floor is paved with great flat stones, and resounds
continually with the footsteps of visitors, who walk to and fro, up
and down the aisles, looking at the chapels, the monuments, the
sculptures, the paintings, and the antique and grotesque images and
carvings. Colored light streams through the stained glass of the
enormous windows, and the tones of the organ, and the voices of the
priests, chanting the service of the mass, are almost always
resounding and echoing from the vaulted roof above.

The words _Notre Dame_ mean Our Lady, an expression by which the
Roman Catholics denote Mary, the mother of Jesus. The church of Notre
Dame had been for many centuries the vast cathedral church of Paris,
where all great ceremonies of state were performed. On this occasion
they erected a great amphitheater in the area before the church,
which would accommodate many thousands of the spectators who were to
assemble, and enable them to see the procession. The bride and
bridegroom, and their friends, were to assemble in the bishop's
palace, which was near the Cathedral, and a covered gallery was
erected, leading from this palace to the church, through which the
bridal party were to enter. They lined this gallery throughout with
purple velvet, and ornamented it in other ways, so as to make the
approach to the church through it inconceivably splendid.

Crowds began to collect in the great amphitheater early in the
morning. The streets leading to Notre Dame were thronged. Every
window in all the lofty buildings around, and every balcony, was
full. From ten to twelve the military bands began to arrive, and the
long procession was formed, the different parties being dressed in
various picturesque costumes. The embassadors of various foreign
potentates were present, each bearing their appropriate insignia. The
legate of the pope, magnificently dressed, had an attendant bearing
before him a cross of massive gold. The bridegroom, Francis the
dauphin, followed this legate, and soon afterward came Mary,
accompanied by the king. She was dressed in white. Her robe was
embroidered with the figure of the lily, and it glittered with
diamonds and ornaments of silver. As was the custom in those days,
her dress formed a long train, which was borne by two young girls who
walked behind her. She wore a diamond necklace, with a ring of
immense value suspended from it, and upon her head was a golden
coronet, enriched with diamonds and gems of inestimable value.

But the dress and the diamonds which Mary wore were not the chief
points of attraction to the spectators. All who were present on the
occasion agree in saying that she looked inexpressibly beautiful, and
that there was an indescribable grace and charm in all her movements
and manner, which filled all who saw her with an intoxication of
delight. She was artless and unaffected in her manners, and her
countenance, the expression of which was generally placid and calm,
was lighted up with the animation and interest of the occasion, so as
to make every body envy the dauphin the possession of so beautiful a
bride. Queen Catharine, and a long train of the ladies of the court,
followed in the procession after Mary. Every body thought that _she_
felt envious and ill at ease.

The essential thing in the marriage ceremony was to be the putting of
the wedding ring upon Mary's finger, and the pronouncing of the
nuptial benediction which was immediately to follow it. This ceremony
was to be performed by the Archbishop of Rouen, who was at that time
the greatest ecclesiastical dignitary in France. In order that as
many persons as possible might witness this, it was arranged that it
should be performed at the great door of the church, so as to be in
view of the immense throng which had assembled in the amphitheater
erected in the area, and of the multitudes which had taken their
positions at the windows and balconies, and on the house-tops around.
The procession, accordingly, having entered the church through the
covered gallery, moved along the aisles and came to the great door.
Here a royal pavilion had been erected, where the bridal party could
stand in view of the whole assembled multitude. King Henry had the
ring. He gave it to the archbishop. The archbishop placed it upon
Mary's finger, and pronounced the benediction in a loud voice. The
usual congratulations followed, and Mary greeted her husband under
the name of his majesty the King of Scotland. Then the whole mighty
crowd rent the air with shouts and acclamations.

It was the custom in those days, on such great public occasions as
this, to scatter money among the crowd, that they might scramble for
it. This was called the king's _largess_; and the largess was
pompously proclaimed by heralds before the money was thrown. The
throwing of the money among this immense throng produced a scene of
indescribable confusion. The people precipitated themselves upon each
other in their eagerness to seize the silver and the gold. Some were
trampled under foot. Some were stripped of their hats and cloaks, or
had their clothes torn from them. Some fainted, and were borne out of
the scene with infinite difficulty and danger. At last the people
clamorously begged the officers to desist from throwing any more
money, for fear that the most serious and fatal consequences might

In the mean time, the bridal procession returned into the church,
and, advancing up the center between the lofty columns, they came to
a place called the choir, which is in the heart of the church, and is
inclosed by screens of carved and sculptured work. It is in the choir
that congregations assemble to be present at mass and other religious
ceremonies. Movable seats are placed here on ordinary occasions, but
at the time of this wedding the place was fitted up with great
splendor. Here mass was performed in the presence of the bridal
party. Mass is a solemn ceremony conducted by the priests, in which
they renew, or think they renew, the sacrifice of Christ, accompanied
with offerings of incense, and other acts of adoration, and the
chanting of solemn hymns of praise.

At the close of these services the procession moved again down the
church, and, issuing forth at the great entrance, it passed around
upon a spacious platform, where it could be seen to advantage by all
the spectators. Mary was the center to which all eyes were turned.
She moved along, the very picture of grace and beauty, the two young
girls who followed her bearing her train. The procession, after
completing its circuit, returned to the church, and thence, through
the covered gallery, it moved back to the bishop's palace. Here the
company partook of a grand collation. After the collation there was a
ball, but the ladies were too much embarrassed with their magnificent
dresses to be able to dance, and at five o'clock the royal family
returned to their home. Mary and Queen Catharine went together in a
sort of palanquin, borne by men, high officers of state walking on
each side. The king and the dauphin followed on horseback, with a
large company in their train; but the streets were every where so
crowded with eager spectators that it was with extreme difficulty
that they were able to make their way.

The palace to which the party went to spend the evening was fitted up
and illuminated in the most splendid manner, and a variety of most
curious entertainments had been contrived for the amusement of the
company. There were twelve artificial horses, made to move by
internal mechanism, and splendidly caparisoned. The children of the
company, the little princes and dukes, mounted these horses and rode
around the arena. Then came in a company of men dressed like
pilgrims, each of whom recited a poem written in honor of the
occasion. After this was an exhibition of galleys, or boats, upon a
little sea. These boats were large enough to bear up two persons.
There were two seats in each, one of which was occupied by a young
gentleman. As the boats advanced, one by one, each gentleman leaped
to the shore, or to what represented the shore, and, going among the
company, selected a lady and bore her off to his boat, and then,
seating her in the vacant chair, took his place by her side, and
continued his voyage. Francis was in one of the boats, and he, on
coming to the shore, took _Mary_ for his companion.

The celebrations and festivities of this famous wedding continued for
fifteen days. They closed with a grand tournament. A tournament was a
very magnificent spectacle in those days. A field was inclosed, in
which kings, and princes, and knights, fully armed, and mounted on
war-horses, tilted against each other with lances and blunted swords.
Ladies of high rank were present as spectators and judges, and one
was appointed at each tournament to preside, and to distribute the
honors and rewards to those who were most successful in the contests.
The greatest possible degree of deference and honor was paid to the
ladies by all the knights on these occasions. Once, at a tournament
in London, arranged by a king of England, the knights and noblemen
rode in a long procession to the field, each led by a lady by means
of a silver chain. It was a great honor to be admitted to a share in
these contests, as none but persons of the highest rank were allowed
to take a part in them. Whenever one was to be held, invitations were
sent to all the courts of Europe, and kings, queens, and sovereign
princes came to witness the spectacle.

The horsemen who contended on these occasions carried long lances,
blunt, indeed, at the end, so that they could not penetrate the armor
of the antagonist at which they were aimed, but yet of such weight
that the momentum of the blow was sometimes sufficient to unhorse
him. The great object of every combatant was, accordingly, to
protect himself from this danger. He must turn his horse suddenly,
and avoid the lance of his antagonist; or he must strike it with his
own, and thus parry the blow; or if he must encounter it, he was to
brace himself firmly in his saddle, and resist its impulse with all
the strength that he could command. It required, therefore, great
strength and great dexterity to excel in a tournament. In fact, the
rapidity of the evolutions which it required gave origin to the name,
the word tournament being formed from a French word[C] which
signifies to turn.

[Footnote C: Tourner.]

The princes and noblemen who were present at the wedding all joined
in the tournament except the poor bridegroom, who was too weak and
feeble in body, and too timid in mind, for any such rough and warlike
exercises. Francis was very plain and unprepossessing in countenance,
and shy and awkward in his manners. His health had always been very
infirm, and though his rank was very high, as he was the heir
apparent to what was then the greatest throne in Europe, every body
thought that in all other respects he was unfit to be the husband of
such a beautiful and accomplished princess as Mary. He was timid,
shy, and anxious and unhappy in disposition. He knew that the gay and
warlike spirits around him could not look upon him with respect, and
he felt a painful sense of his inferiority.

Mary, however, loved him. It was a love, perhaps, mingled with pity.
She did not assume an air of superiority over him, but endeavored to
encourage him, to lead him forward, to inspire him with confidence
and hope, and to make him feel his own strength and value. She was
herself of a sedate and thoughtful character, and with all her
intellectual superiority, she was characterized by that feminine
gentleness of spirit, that disposition to follow and to yield rather
than to govern, that desire to be led and to be loved rather than to
lead and be admired, which constitute the highest charm of woman.

Francis was glad when the celebrations, tournament and all, were well
over. He set off from Paris with his young bride to one of his
country residences, where he could live, for a while, in peace and
quietness. Mary was released, in some degree, from the restraints,
and formalities, and rules of etiquette of King Henry's court, and
was, to some extent, her own mistress, though still surrounded with
many attendants, and much parade and splendor. The young couple thus
commenced the short period of their married life. They were certainly
a very _young_ couple, being both of them under sixteen.

The rejoicings on account of the marriage were not confined to Paris.
All Scotland celebrated the event with much parade. The Catholic
party there were pleased with the final consummation of the event,
and all the people, in fact, joined, more or less, in commemorating
the marriage of their queen. There is in the Castle of Edinburgh, on
a lofty platform which overlooks a broad valley, a monstrous gun,
several centuries old, which was formed of bars of iron secured by
great iron hoops. The balls which this gun carried are more than a
foot in diameter. The name of this enormous piece of ordnance is
_Mons Meg_. It is now disabled, having been burst, many years ago,
and injured beyond the possibility of repair. There were great
rejoicings in Edinburgh at the time of Mary's marriage, and from some
old accounts which still remain at the castle, it appears that ten
shillings were paid to some men for moving up Mons Meg to the
embrasure of the battery, and for finding and bringing back her shot
after she was discharged; by which it appears that firing Mons Meg
was a part of the celebration by which the people of Edinburgh
honored the marriage of their queen.




Mary's love for Francis.--How to cherish the passion.--Grand
tournament.--Henry's pride.--An encounter.--The helmet.--The
vizor.--King Henry wounded.--His death.--The mournful
marriage.--The dauphin becomes king.--Catharine superseded.--Mary's
gentleness.--Coronation of Francis.--Francis's health
declines.--Superstition of the people.--Commotions in
Scotland.--Sickness of the queen regent.--Death of Mary's
mother.--Illness of Francis.--His last moments and death.--Mary a
young widow.--Embassadors from Scotland.--Mary's unwillingness to
leave France.--Mary in mourning.--She is called the White Queen.--A
device.--Mary's employments.--Her beautiful hands.--Melancholy
visit.--Mary returns to Paris.--Jealousy.--Queen Elizabeth.--Her
character.--Henry VIII.--Elizabeth's claim to the throne.--Mary's
claim.--The coat of arms.--Elizabeth offended and alarmed.--The
Catholic party.--A device.--Treaty of Edinburgh.--The
safe-conduct.--Elizabeth refuses the safe-conduct.--Mary's
speech.--Mary's true nobility of soul.--Sympathy with her.--Mary's
religious faith.--Her frankness and candor.

It was said in the last chapter that Mary loved her husband, infirm
and feeble as he was both in body and in mind. This love was probably
the effect, quite as much as it was the cause, of the kindness which
she showed him. As we are very apt to hate those whom we have
injured, so we almost instinctively love those who have in any way
become the objects of our kindness and care. If any wife, therefore,
wishes for the pleasure of loving her husband, or which is, perhaps,
a better supposition, if any husband desires the happiness of loving
his wife, conscious that it is a pleasure which he does not now
enjoy, let him commence by making her the object of his kind
attentions and care, and love will spring up in the heart as a
consequence of the kind of action of which it is more commonly the

About a year passed away, when at length another great celebration
took place in Paris, to honor the marriages of some other members of
King Henry's family. One of them was Francis's oldest sister. A
grand tournament was arranged on this occasion too. The place for
this tournament was where the great street of St. Antoine now lies,
and which may be found on any map of Paris. A very large concourse of
kings and nobles from all the courts of Europe were present. King
Henry, magnificently dressed, and mounted on a superb war-horse, was
a very prominent figure in all the parades of the occasion, though
the actual contests and trials of skill which took place were between
younger princes and knights, King Henry and the ladies being
generally only spectators and judges. He, however, took a part
himself on one or two occasions, and received great applause.

At last, at the end of the third day, just as the tournament was to
be closed, King Henry was riding around the field, greatly excited
with the pride and pleasure which so magnificent a spectacle was
calculated to awaken, when he saw two lances still remaining which
had not been broken. The idea immediately seized him of making one
more exhibition of his own power and dexterity in such contests. He
took one of the lances, and, directing a high officer who was riding
near him to take the other, he challenged him to a trial of skill.
The name of this officer was Montgomery. Montgomery at first
declined, being unwilling to contend with his king. The king
insisted. Queen Catharine begged that he would not contend again.
Accidents sometimes happened, she knew, in these rough encounters;
and, at any rate, it terrified her to see her husband exposed to such
dangers. The other lords and ladies, and Francis and Queen Mary
particularly, joined in these expostulations. But Henry was
inflexible. There was no danger, and, smiling at their fears, he
commanded Montgomery to arm himself with his lance and take his

The spectators looked on in breathless silence. The two horsemen rode
toward each other, each pressing his horse forward to his utmost
speed, and as they passed, each aimed his lance at the head and
breast of the other. It was customary on such occasions to wear a
helmet, with a part called a vizor in front, which could be raised on
ordinary occasions, or let down in moments of danger like this, to
cover and protect the eyes. Of course this part of the armor was
weaker than the rest, and it happened that Montgomery's lance struck
here--was shivered--and a splinter of it penetrated the vizor and
inflicted a wound upon Henry, on the head, just over the eye. Henry's
horse went on. The spectators observed that the rider reeled and
trembled in his seat. The whole assembly were in consternation. The
excitement of pride and pleasure was every where turned into extreme
anxiety and alarm.

They flocked about Henry's horse, and helped the king to dismount. He
said it was nothing. They took off his helmet, and found large drops
of blood issuing from the wound. They bore him to his palace. He had
the magnanimity to say that Montgomery must not be blamed for this
result, as he was himself responsible for it entirely. He lingered
eleven days, and then died. This was in July, 1559.

One of the marriages which this unfortunate tournament had been
intended to celebrate, that of Elizabeth, the king's daughter, had
already taken place, having been performed a day or two before the
king was wounded; and it was decided, after Henry was wounded, that
the other must proceed, as there were great reasons of state against
any postponement of it. This second marriage was that of Margaret,
his sister. The ceremony in her case was performed in a silent and
private manner, at night, by torch-light, in the chapel of the
palace, while her brother was dying. The services were interrupted by
her sobs and tears.

Notwithstanding the mental and bodily feebleness which seemed to
characterize the dauphin, Mary's husband, who now, by the death of
his father, became King of France, the event of his accession to the
throne seemed to awaken his energies, and arouse him to animation and
effort. He was sick himself, and in his bed, in a palace called the
Tournelles, when some officers of state were ushered into his
apartment, and, kneeling before him, saluted him as king. This was
the first announcement of his father's death. He sprang from his bed,
exclaiming at once that he was well. It is one of the sad
consequences of hereditary greatness and power that a son must
sometimes rejoice at the death of his father.

It was Francis's duty to repair at once to the royal palace of the
Louvre, with Mary, who was now Queen of France as well as of
Scotland, to receive the homage of the various estates of the realm.
Catharine was, of course, now queen dowager. Mary, the child whom she
had so long looked upon with feelings of jealousy and envy was, from
this time, to take her place as queen. It was very humiliating to
Catharine to assume the position of a second and an inferior in the
presence of one whom she had so long been accustomed to direct and to
command. She yielded, however, with a good grace, though she seemed
dejected and sad. As they were leaving the Tournelles, she stopped to
let Mary go before her, saying, "Pass on, madame; it is your turn to
take precedence now." Mary went before her, but she stopped in her
turn, with a sweetness of disposition so characteristic of her, to
let Queen Catharine enter first into the carriage which awaited them
at the door.

Francis, though only sixteen, was entitled to assume the government
himself. He went to Rheims, a town northeast of Paris, where is an
abbey, which is the ancient place of coronation for the kings of
France. Here he was crowned. He appointed his ministers, and evinced,
in his management and in his measures, more energy and decision than
it was supposed he possessed. He himself and Mary were now, together,
on the summit of earthly grandeur. They had many political troubles
and cares which can not be related here, but Mary's life was
comparatively peaceful and happy, the pleasures which she enjoyed
being greatly enhanced by the mutual affection which existed between
herself and her husband.

Though he was small in stature, and very unprepossessing in
appearance and manners, Francis still evinced in his government a
considerable degree of good judgment and of energy. His health,
however, gradually declined. He spent much of his time in traveling,
and was often dejected and depressed. One circumstance made him feel
very unhappy. The people of many of the villages through which he
passed, being in those days very ignorant and superstitious, got a
rumor into circulation that the king's malady was such that he could
only be cured by being bathed in the blood of young children. They
imagined that he was traveling to obtain such a bath; and, wherever
he came, the people fled, mothers eagerly carrying off their children
from this impending danger. The king did not understand the _cause_
of his being thus shunned. They concealed it from him, knowing that
it would give him pain. He knew only the _fact_, and it made him very
sad to find himself the object of this mysterious and unaccountable

In the mean time, while these occurrences had been taking place in
France, Mary's mother, the queen dowager of Scotland, had been made
queen regent of Scotland after her return from France; but she
experienced infinite trouble and difficulty in managing the affairs
of the country. The Protestant party became very strong, and took up
arms against her government. The English sent them aid. She, on the
other hand, with the Catholic interest to support her, defended her
power as well as she could, and called for help from France to
sustain her. And thus the country which she was so ambitious to
govern, was involved by her management in the calamities and sorrows
of civil war.

In the midst of this contest she died. During her last sickness she
sent for some of the leaders of the Protestant party, and did all
that she could to soothe and conciliate their minds. She mourned the
calamities and sufferings which the civil war had brought upon the
country, and urged the Protestants to do all in their power, after
her death, to heal these dissensions and restore peace. She also
exhorted them to remember their obligations of loyalty and obedience
to their absent queen, and to sustain and strengthen her government
by every means in their power. She died, and after her death the war
was brought to a close by a treaty of peace, in which the French and
English governments joined with the government of Scotland to settle
the points in dispute, and immediately afterward the troops of both
these nations were withdrawn. The death of the queen regent was
supposed to have been caused by the pressure of anxiety which the
cares of her government imposed. Her body was carried home to France,
and interred in the royal abbey at Rheims.

The death of Mary's mother took place in the summer of 1560. The next
December Mary was destined to meet with a much heavier affliction.
Her husband, King Francis, in addition to other complaints, had been
suffering for some time from pain and disease in the ear. One day,
when he was preparing to go out hunting, he was suddenly seized with
a fainting fit, and was soon found to be in great danger. He
continued some days very ill. He was convinced himself that he could
not recover, and began to make arrangements for his approaching end.
As he drew near to the close of his life, he was more and more deeply
impressed with a sense of Mary's kindness and love. He mourned very
much his approaching separation from her. He sent for his mother,
Queen Catharine, to come to his bedside, and begged that she would
treat Mary kindly, for his sake, after he was gone.

Mary was overwhelmed with grief at the approaching death of her
husband. She knew at once what a great change it would make in her
condition. She would lose immediately her rank and station. Queen
Catharine would again come into power, as queen regent, during the
minority of the next heir. All her friends of the family of Guise,
would be removed from office, and she herself would become a mere
guest and stranger in the land of which she had been the queen. But
nothing could arrest the progress of the disease under which her
husband was sinking. He died, leaving Mary a disconsolate widow of

The historians of those days say that Queen Catharine was much
pleased at the death of Francis her son. It restored her to rank and
power. Mary was again beneath her, and in some degree subject to her
will. All Mary's friends were removed from their high stations, and
others, hostile to her family, were put into their places. Mary soon
found herself unhappy at court, and she accordingly removed to a
castle at a considerable distance from Paris to the west, near the
city of Orleans. The people of Scotland wished her to return to her
native land. Both the great parties sent embassadors to her to ask
her to return, each of them urging her to adopt such measures on her
arrival in Scotland as should favor their cause. Queen Catharine,
too, who was still jealous of Mary's influence, and of the admiration
and love which her beauty and the loveliness of her character
inspired, intimated to her that perhaps it would be better for her
now to leave France and return to her own land.

Mary was very unwilling to go. She loved France. She knew very little
of Scotland. She was very young when she left it, and the few
recollections which she had of the country were confined to the
lonely island of Inchmahome and the Castle of Stirling. Scotland was
in a cold and inhospitable climate, accessible only through stormy
and dangerous seas, and it seemed to her that going there was going
into exile. Besides, she dreaded to undertake personally to
administer a government whose cares and anxieties had been so great
as to carry her mother to the grave.

Mary, however, found that it was in vain for her to resist the
influences which pressed upon her the necessity of returning to her
native land. She wandered about during the spring and summer after
her husband's death, spending her time in various palaces and abbeys,
and at length she began to prepare for her return to Scotland. The
same gentleness and loveliness of character which she had exhibited
in her prosperous fortunes, shone still more conspicuously now in her
hours of sorrow. Sometimes she appeared in public, in certain
ceremonies of state. She was then dressed in mourning--in
white--according to the custom in royal families in those days, her
dark hair covered by a delicate crape veil. Her beauty, softened and
chastened by her sorrows, made a strong impression upon all who saw

She appeared so frequently, and attracted so much attention in her
white mourning, that she began to be known among the people as the
White Queen. Every body wanted to see her. They admired her beauty;
they were impressed with the romantic interest of her history; they
pitied her sorrows. She mourned her husband's death with deep and
unaffected grief. She invented a device and motto for a seal,
appropriate to the occasion: it was a figure of the liquorice-tree,
every part of which is useless except the root, which, of course,
lies beneath the surface of the earth. Underneath was the
inscription, in Latin, _My treasure is in the ground_. The expression
is much more beautiful in the Latin than can be expressed in any
English words.[D]

[Footnote D: Dulce meum terra tegit.]

Mary did not, however, give herself up to sullen and idle grief, but
employed herself in various studies and pursuits, in order to soothe
and solace her grief by useful occupation. She read Latin authors;
she studied poetry; she composed. She paid much attention to music,
and charmed those who were in her company by the sweet tones of her
voice and her skillful performance upon an instrument. The historians
even record a description of the fascinating effect produced by the
graceful movements of her beautiful hand. Whatever she did or said
seemed to carry with it an inexpressible charm.

Before she set out on her return to Scotland she went to pay a visit
to her grandmother, the same lady whom her mother had gone to see in
her castle, ten years before, on her return to Scotland after her
visit to Mary. During this ten years the unhappy mourner had made no
change in respect to her symbols of grief. The apartments of her
palace were still hung with black. Her countenance wore the same
expression of austerity and woe. Her attendants were trained to pay
to her every mark of the most profound deference in all their
approaches to her. No sounds of gayety or pleasure were to be heard,
but a profound stillness and solemnity reigned continually throughout
the gloomy mansion.

Not long before the arrangements were completed for Mary's return to
Scotland, she revisited Paris, where she was received with great
marks of attention and honor. She was now eighteen or nineteen years
of age, in the bloom of her beauty, and the monarch of a powerful
kingdom, to which she was about to return, and many of the young
princes of Europe began to aspire to the honor of her hand. Through
these and other influences, she was the object of much attention;
while, on the other hand, Queen Catharine, and the party in power at
the French court, were envious and jealous of her popularity, and did
a great deal to mortify and vex her.

The enemy, however, whom Mary had most to fear, was her cousin,
Queen Elizabeth of England. Queen Elizabeth was a maiden lady, now
nearly thirty years of age. She was in all respects extremely
different from Mary. She was a zealous Protestant, and very
suspicious and watchful in respect to Mary, on account of her
Catholic connections and faith. She was very plain in person, and
unprepossessing in manners. She was, however, intelligent and shrewd,
and was governed by calculations and policy in all that she did. The
people by whom she was surrounded admired her talents and feared her
power, but nobody loved her. She had many good qualities as a
monarch, but none considered as a woman.


Elizabeth was somewhat envious of her cousin Mary's beauty, and of her
being such an object of interest and affection to all who knew her.
But she had a far more serious and permanent cause of alienation from
her than personal envy. It was this: Elizabeth's father, King Henry
VIII., had, in succession, several wives, and there had been a
question raised about the legality of his marriage with Elizabeth's
mother. Parliament decided at one time that this marriage was not
valid; at another time, subsequently, they decided that it was.
This difference in the two decisions was not owing so much to a
change of sentiment in the persons who voted, as to a change in the
ascendency of the parties by which the decision was controlled. If the
marriage were valid, then Elizabeth was entitled to the English crown.
If it were not valid, then she was not entitled to it: it belonged to
the next heir. Now it happened that Mary Queen of Scots was the next
heir. Her grandmother on the father's side was an English princess,
and through her Mary had a just title to the crown, if Queen
Elizabeth's title was annulled.

Now, while Mary was in France, during the lifetime of King Henry,
Francis's father, he and the members of the family of Guise advanced
Mary's claim to the British crown, and denied that of Elizabeth. They
made a coat of arms, in which the arms of France, and Scotland, and
England were combined, and had it engraved on Mary's silver plate. On
one great occasion, they had this symbol displayed conspicuously over
the gateway of a town where Mary was making a public entry. The
English embassador, who was present, made this, and the other acts of
the same kind, known to Elizabeth, and she was greatly incensed at
them. She considered Mary as plotting treasonably against her power,
and began to contrive plans to circumvent and thwart her.

Nor was Elizabeth wholly unreasonable in this. Mary, though
personally a gentle and peaceful woman, yet in her teens, was very
formidable to Elizabeth as an opposing claimant of the crown. All the
Catholics in France and in Scotland would naturally take Mary's side.
Then, besides this, there was a large Catholic party in England, who
would be strongly disposed to favor any plan which should give them a
Catholic monarch. Elizabeth was, therefore, very justly alarmed at
such a claim on the part of her cousin. It threatened not only to
expose her to the aggressions of foreign foes, but also to internal
commotions and dangers, in her own dominions.

The chief responsibility for bringing forward this claim must rest
undoubtedly, not on Mary herself, but on King Henry of France and the
other French princes, who first put it forward. Mary, however,
herself, was not entirely passive in the affair. She liked to
consider herself as entitled to the English crown. She had a device
for a seal, a very favorite one with her, which expressed this claim.
It contained two crowns, with a motto in Latin below which meant,
"_A third awaits me_." Elizabeth knew all these things, and she held
Mary accountable for all the anxiety and alarm which this dangerous
claim occasioned her.

At the peace which was made in Scotland between the French and
English forces and the Scotch, by the great treaty of Edinburgh which
has been already described, it was agreed that Mary should relinquish
all claim to the crown of England. This treaty was brought to France
for Mary to ratify it, but she declined. Whatever rights she might
have to the English crown, she refused to surrender them. Things
remained in this state until the time arrived for her return to her
native land, and then, fearing that perhaps Elizabeth might do
something to intercept her passage, she applied to her for a
safe-conduct; that is, a writing authorizing her to pass safely and
without hinderance through the English dominions, whether land or
sea. Queen Elizabeth returned word through her embassador in Paris,
whose name was Throckmorton, that she could not give her any such
safe-conduct, because she had refused to ratify the treaty of

When this answer was communicated to Mary, she felt deeply wounded
by it. She sent all the attendants away, that she might express
herself to Throckmorton without reserve. She told him that it seemed
to her very hard that her cousin was disposed to prevent her return
to her native land. As to her claim upon the English crown, she said
that advancing it was not her plan, but that of her husband and his
father; and that now she could not properly renounce it, whatever its
validity might be, till she could have opportunity to return to
Scotland and consult with her government there, since it affected not
her personally alone, but the public interests of Scotland. "And
now," she continued, in substance, "I am sorry that I asked such a
favor of her. I have no need to ask it, for I am sure I have a right
to return from France to my own country without asking permission of
any one. You have often told me that the queen wished to be on
friendly terms with me, and that it was your opinion that to be
friends would be best for us both. But now I see that she is not of
your mind, but is disposed to treat me in an unkind and unfriendly
manner, while she knows that I am her equal in rank, though I do not
pretend to be her equal in abilities and experience. Well she may do
as she pleases. If my preparations were not so far advanced, perhaps
I should give up the voyage. But I am resolved to go. I hope the
winds will prove favorable, and carry me away from her shores. If
they carry me upon them, and I fall into her hands, she may make what
disposal of me she will. If I lose my life, I shall esteem it no
great loss, for it is now little else than a burden."

How strongly this speech expresses "that mixture of melancholy and
dignity, of womanly softness and noble decision, which pervaded her
character." There is a sort of gentleness even in her anger, and a
certain indescribable womanly charm in the workings of her mind,
which cause all who read her story, while they can not but think that
Elizabeth was right, to sympathize wholly with Mary.

Throckmorton, at one of his conversations with Mary, took occasion to
ask her respecting her religious views, as Elizabeth wished to know
how far she was fixed and committed in her attachment to the Catholic
faith. Mary said that she was born and had been brought up a
Catholic, and that she should remain so as long as she lived. She
would not interfere, she said, with her subjects adopting such form
of religion as they might prefer, but for herself she should not
change. If she should change, she said, she should justly lose the
confidence of her people; for, if they saw that she was light and
fickle on that subject, they could not rely upon her in respect to
any other. She did not profess to be able to argue, herself, the
questions of difference, but she was not wholly uninformed in respect
to them, as she had often heard the points discussed by learned men,
and had found nothing to lead her to change her ground.

It is impossible for any reader, whether Protestant or Catholic, not
to admire the frankness and candor, the honest conscientiousness, the
courage, and, at the same time, womanly modesty and propriety which
characterize this reply.




Calais.--Artificial piers and breakwaters.--Throckmorton.--Elizabeth's
plans.--Throckmorton baffled.--Throckmorton's advice.--Queen Catharine's
accident.--Mary's farewell to France.--Her deep emotion.--Mary's first
night on board.--Her reluctance to leave France.--Fog.--One vessel
captured.--Narrow escape.--Mary's Adieu to France.--Attempts to
translate it.--Translations of Mary's Adieu to France.--Arrival at
Leith.--Palace of Holyrood.--Mary's arrival unexpected.--Mary's
reception.--Contrasts.--The cavalcade.--Serenade.--Solitary
home.--Favorable impression.--The Lord James.--Mary makes him one of
her ministers.--The mass.--Transubstantiation.--Adoration of the
host.--Protestant and Catholic worship.--Violence and persecution.--The
mass in Mary's chapel.--Scene of excitement.--Lord James.--The reformer,
John Knox.--His uncompromising character.--Knox's interview with
Mary.--His sternness subdued.--The four Maries.--Queen Elizabeth's

Mary was to sail from the port of Calais. Calais is on the northern
coast of France, opposite to Dover in England, these towns being on
opposite sides of the Straits of Dover, where the channel between
England and France is very narrow. Still, the distance is so great
that the land on either side is ordinarily not visible on the other.
There is no good natural harbor at Calais, nor, in fact, at any other
point on the French coast. The French have had to supply the
deficiency by artificial piers and breakwaters. There are several
very capacious and excellent harbors on the English side. This may
have been one cause, among others, of the great naval superiority
which England has attained.

When Queen Elizabeth found that Mary was going to persevere in her
intention of returning to her native land, she feared that she might,
after her arrival in Scotland, and after getting established in power
there, form a scheme for making war upon _her_ dominions, and
attempt to carry into effect her claim upon the English crown. She
wished to prevent this. Would it be prudent to intercept Mary upon
her passage? She reflected on this subject with the cautious
calculation which formed so striking a part of her character, and
felt in doubt. Her taking Mary a prisoner, and confining her a
captive in her own land, might incense Queen Catharine, who was now
regent of France, and also awaken a general resentment in Scotland,
so as to bring upon her the hostility of those two countries, and
thus, perhaps, make more mischief than the securing of Mary's person
would prevent.

She accordingly, as a previous step, sent to Throckmorton, her
embassador in France, directing him to have an interview with Queen
Catharine, and ascertain how far she would feel disposed to take
Mary's part. Throckmorton did this. Queen Catharine gave no direct
reply. She said that both herself and the young king wished well to
Elizabeth, and to Mary too, that it was her desire that the two
queens might be on good terms with each other; that she was a friend
to them both, and should not take a part against either of them.

This was all that Queen Elizabeth could expect, and she formed her
plans for intercepting Mary on her passage. She sent to Throckmorton,
asking him to find out, if he could, what port Queen Mary was to sail
from, and to send her word. She then gave orders to her naval
commanders to assemble as many ships as they could, and hold them in
readiness to sail into the seas between England and France, for the
purpose of _exterminating the pirates_, which she said had lately
become very numerous there.

Throckmorton took occasion, in a conversation which he had with Mary
soon after this, to inquire from what port she intended to sail; but
she did not give him the information. She suspected his motive, and
merely said, in reply to his question, that she hoped the wind would
prove favorable for carrying her away as far as possible from the
English coast, whatever might be the point from which she should take
her departure. Throckmorton then endeavored to find out the
arrangements of the voyage by other means, but without much success.
He wrote to Elizabeth that he thought Mary would sail either from
Havre or Calais; that she would go eastward, along the shore of the
Continent, by Flanders and Holland, till she had gained a
considerable distance from the English coast, and then would sail
north along the eastern shores of the German Ocean. He advised that
Elizabeth should send spies to Calais and to Havre, and perhaps to
other French ports, to watch there, and to let her know whenever they
observed any appearances of preparations for Mary's departure.

In the mean time, as the hour for Mary's farewell to Paris and all
its scenes of luxury and splendor, drew near, those who had loved her
were drawn more closely to her in heart than ever, and those who had
been envious and jealous began to relent, and to look upon her with
feelings of compassion and of kind regard. Queen Catharine treated
her with extreme kindness during the last few days of her stay, and
she accompanied her for some distance on her journey, with every
manifestation of sincere affection and good will. She stopped, at
length, at St. Germain, and there, with many tears, she bade her
gentle daughter-in-law a long and last farewell.

Many princes and nobles, especially of the family of Guise, Mary's
relatives, accompanied her through the whole journey. They formed
quite a long cavalcade, and attracted great attention in all the
towns and districts through which they passed. They traveled slowly,
but at length arrived at Calais, where they waited nearly a week to
complete the arrangements for Mary's embarkation. At length the day
arrived for her to set sail. A large concourse of spectators
assembled to witness the scene. Four ships had been provided for the
transportation of the party and their effects. Two of these were
galleys. They were provided with banks of oars, and large crews of
rowers, by means of which the vessels could be propelled when the
wind failed. The two other vessels were merely vessels of burden, to
carry the furniture and other effects of the passengers.

Many of the queen's friends were to accompany her to Scotland. The
four Maries were among them. She bade those that were to remain
behind farewell, and prepared to embark on board the royal galley.
Her heart was very sad. Just at this time, a vessel which was coming
in struck against the pier, in consequence of a heavy sea which was
rolling in, and of the distraction of the seamen occasioned by Mary's
embarkation. The vessel which struck was so injured by the concussion
that it filled immediately and sank. Most of the seamen on board
were drowned. This accident produced great excitement and confusion.
Mary looked upon the scene from the deck of her vessel, which was now
slowly moving from the shore. It alarmed her, and impressed her mind
with a sad and mournful sense of the dangers of the elements to whose
mercy she was now to be committed for many days. "What an unhappy
omen is this!" she exclaimed. She then went to the stern of the ship,
looked back at the shore, then knelt down, and, covering her face
with her hands, sobbed aloud. "Farewell, France!" she exclaimed: "I
shall never, never see thee more." Presently, when her emotions for a
moment subsided, she would raise her eyes, and take another view of
the slowly-receding shore, and then exclaim again, "Farewell, my
beloved France! farewell! farewell!"


She remained in this position, suffering this anguish, for five hours,
when it began to grow dark, and she could no longer see the shore. She
then rose, saying that her beloved country was gone from her sight
forever. "The darkness, like a thick veil, hides thee from my sight,
and I shall see thee no more. So farewell, beloved land! farewell
forever!" She left her place at the stern, but she would not leave
the deck. She made them bring up a bed, and place it for her there,
near the stern. They tried to induce her to go into the cabin, or at
least to take some supper; but she would not. She lay down upon her
bed. She charged the helmsman to awaken her at the dawn, if the land
was in sight when the dawn should appear. She then wept herself to

During the night the air was calm, and the vessels in which Mary and
her company had embarked made such small progress, being worked only
by the oars, that the land came into view again with the gray light
of the morning. The helmsman awoke Mary, and the sight of the shore
renewed her anguish and tears. She said that she _could not_ go. She
wished that Elizabeth's ships would come in sight, so as to compel
her squadron to return. But no English fleet appeared. On the
contrary, the breeze freshened. The sailors unfurled the sails, the
oars were taken in, and the great crew of oarsmen rested from their
toil. The ships began to make their way rapidly through the rippling
water. The land soon became a faint, low cloud in the horizon, and in
an hour all traces of it entirely disappeared.

The voyage continued for ten days. They saw nothing of Elizabeth's
cruisers. It was afterward ascertained, however, that these ships
were at one time very near to them, and were only prevented from
seeing and taking them by a dense fog, which at that time happened to
cover the sea. One of the vessels of burden was seen and taken, and
carried to England. It contained, however, only some of Mary's
furniture and effects. She herself escaped the danger.

The fog, which was thus Mary's protection at one time, was a source
of great difficulty and danger at another; for, when they were
drawing near to the place of their landing in Scotland, they were
enveloped in a fog so dense that they could scarcely see from one end
of the vessel to the other. They stopped the progress of their
vessels, and kept continually sounding; and when at length the fog
cleared away, they found themselves involved in a labyrinth of rocks
and shoals of the most dangerous character. They made their escape at
last, and went on safely toward the land. Mary said, however, that
she felt, at the time, entirely indifferent as to the result. She was
so disconsolate and wretched at having parted forever from all that
was dear to her, that it seemed to her that she was equally willing
to live or to die.

Mary, who, among her other accomplishments, had a great deal of
poetic talent, wrote some lines, called her Farewell to France, which
have been celebrated from that day to this. They are as follows:


       Adieu, plaisant pays de France!
               O ma patrie,
               La plus cherie;
       Qui a nourri ma jeune enfance.
     Adieu, France! adieu, mes beaux jours!
     La nef qui déjoint mes amours,
     N'a cy de moi que la moitié;
     Une parte te reste; elle est tienne;
     Je la fie à ton amitié,
     Pour que de l'autre il te souvienne.

Many persons have attempted to translate these lines into English
verse; but it is always extremely difficult to translate poetry from
one language to another. We give here two of the best of these
translations. The reader can judge, by observing how different they
are from each other, how different they must both be from their
common original.


     Farewell to thee, thou pleasant shore,
       The loved, the cherished home to me
     Of infant joy, a dream that's o'er,
       Farewell, dear France! farewell to thee.

     The sail that wafts me bears away
       From thee but half my soul alone;
     Its fellow half will fondly stay,
       And back to thee has faithful flown.

     I trust it to thy gentle care;
       For all that here remains with me
     Lives but to think of all that's there,
       To love and to remember thee.

The other translation is as follows:


      Adieu, thou pleasant land of France!
        The dearest of all lands to me,
      Where life was like a joyful dance,
        The joyful dance of infancy.

      Farewell my childhood's laughing wiles,
        Farewell the joys of youth's bright day,
      The bark that takes me from thy smiles,
        Bears but my meaner half away.

      The best is thine; my changeless heart
        Is given, beloved France, to thee;
      And let it sometimes, though we part,
        Remind thee, with a sigh, of me.

It was on the 19th of August, 1561, that the two galleys arrived at
Leith. Leith is a small port on the shore of the Frith of Forth,
about two miles from Edinburgh, which is situated somewhat inland.
The royal palace, where Mary was to reside, was called the Palace of
Holyrood. It was, and is still, a large square building, with an open
court in the center, into which there is access for carriages through
a large arched passage-way in the center of the principal front of
the building. In the rear, but connected with the palace, there was a
chapel in Mary's day, though it is now in ruins. The walls still
remain, but the roof is gone. The people of Scotland were not
expecting Mary so soon. Information was communicated from country to
country, in those days, slowly and with great difficulty. Perhaps the
time of Mary's departure from France was purposely concealed even
from the Scotch, to avoid all possibility that the knowledge of it
should get into Elizabeth's possession.

At any rate, the first intelligence which the inhabitants of
Edinburgh and the vicinity had of the arrival of their queen, was the
approach of the galleys to the shore, and the firing of a royal
salute from their guns. The Palace of Holyrood was not ready for
Mary's reception, and she had to remain a day at Leith, awaiting the
necessary preparations. In the mean time, the whole population began
to assemble to welcome her arrival. Military bands were turned out;
banners were prepared; civil and military officers in full costume
assembled, and bon-fires and illuminations were provided for the
evening and night. In a word, Mary's subjects in Scotland did all in
their power to do honor to the occasion; but the preparations were so
far beneath the pomp and pageantry which she had been accustomed to
in France, that she felt the contrast very keenly, and realized, more
forcibly than ever, how great was the change which the circumstances
of her life were undergoing.

[Illustration: PALACE OF HOLYROOD. With Salisbury Crags and Arthur's
Seat in the Distance.]

Horses were prepared for Mary and her large company of attendants, to
ride from Leith to Edinburgh. The long cavalcade moved toward evening.
The various professions and trades of Edinburgh were drawn up in lines
on each side of the road, and thousands upon thousands of other
spectators assembled to witness the scene. When she reached the Palace
of Holyrood House, a band of music played for a time under her
windows, and then the great throng quietly dispersed, leaving Mary to
her repose. The adjoining engraving represents the Palace of Holyrood
as it now appears. In Mary's day, the northern part only had been
built--that is, the part on the left, in the view, where the ivy
climbs about the windows--and the range extending back to the royal
chapel, the ruins of which are seen in the rear.[E] Mary took up her
abode in this dwelling, and was glad to rest from the fatigues and
privations of her long voyage; but she found her new home a solitary
and gloomy dwelling, compared with the magnificent palaces of the land
she had left.

[Footnote E: For the situation of this palace in respect to Edinburgh
see the view of Edinburgh, page 179.]

Mary made an extremely favorable impression upon her subjects in
Scotland. To please them, she exchanged the white mourning of France,
from which she had taken the name of the White Queen, for a black
dress, more accordant with the ideas and customs of her native land.
This gave her a more sedate and matronly character, and though the
expression of her countenance and figure was somewhat changed by it,
it was only a change to a new form of extreme and fascinating beauty.
Her manners, too, so graceful and easy, and yet so simple and
unaffected, charmed all who saw her.

Mary had a half brother in Scotland, whose title was at this time the
Lord James. He was afterward named the Earl of Murray, and is
commonly known in history under this latter designation. The mother
of Lord James was not legally married to Mary's father, and
consequently he could not inherit any of his father's rights to the
Scottish crown. The Lord James was, however, a man of very high rank
and influence, and Mary immediately received him into her service,
and made him one of her highest ministers of state. He was now about
thirty years of age, prudent, cautious, and wise, of good person and
manners, but somewhat reserved and austere.

Lord James had the general direction of affairs on Mary's arrival,
and things went on very smoothly for a week; but then, on the first
Sunday after the landing, a very serious difficulty threatened to
occur. The Catholics have a certain celebration, called the mass, to
which they attach a very serious and solemn importance. When our
Savior gave the bread and the wine to his disciples at the Last
Supper he said of it, "This is my body, broken for you," and "This is
my blood, shed for you." The Catholics understand that these words
denote that the bread and wine did at that time, and that they do
now, whenever the communion service is celebrated by a priest duly
authorized, become, by a sort of miraculous transformation, the true
body and blood of Christ, and that the priest, in breaking the one
and pouring out the other, is really and truly renewing the great
sacrifice for sin made by Jesus Christ at his crucifixion. The mass,
therefore, in which the bread and the wine are so broken and poured
out, becomes, in their view, not a mere service of prayer and praise
to God, but a solemn _act_ of sacrifice. The spectators, or
assistants, as they call them, meaning all who are present on the
occasion, stand by, not merely to hear words of adoration, in which
they mentally join, as is the case in most Protestant forms of
worship, but to witness the _enactment of a deed_, and one of great
binding force and validity: a real and true sacrifice of Christ, made
anew, as an atonement for their sins. The bread, when consecrated,
and as they suppose, transmuted to the body of Christ, is held up to
view, or carried in a procession around the church, that all present
may bow before it and adore it as really being, though in the form of
bread, the wounded and broken body of the Lord.

Of course the celebration of the mass is invested, in the minds of
all conscientious Catholics, with the utmost solemnity and
importance. They stand silently by, with the deepest feelings of
reverence and awe, while the priest offers up for them, anew, the
great sacrifice for sin. They regard all Protestant worship, which
consists of mere exhortations to duty, hymns and prayers, as lifeless
and void. That which is to them the soul, the essence, and substance
of the whole, is wanting. On the other hand, the Protestants abhor
the sacrifice of the mass as gross superstition. They think that the
bread remains simply bread after the benediction as much as before;
that for the priests to pretend that in breaking it they renew the
sacrifice of Christ, is imposture; and that to bow before it in
adoration and homage is the worst idolatry.

Now it happened that during Mary's absence in France, the contest
between the Catholics and the Protestants had been going fiercely
on, and the result had been the almost complete defeat of the
Catholic party, and the establishment of the Protestant interest
throughout the realm. A great many deeds of violence accompanied this
change. Churches and abbeys were sometimes sacked and destroyed. The
images of saints, which the Catholics had put up, were pulled down
and broken; and the people were sometimes worked up to phrensy
against the principles of the Catholic faith and Catholic
observances. They abhorred the mass, and were determined that it
should not be introduced again into Scotland.

Queen Mary, knowing this state of things determined, on her arrival
in Scotland, not to interfere with her people in the exercise of
their religion; but she resolved to remain a Catholic herself, and to
continue, for the use of her own household, in the royal chapel at
Holyrood, the same Catholic observances to which she had been
accustomed in France. She accordingly gave orders that mass should be
celebrated in her chapel on the first Sunday after her arrival. She
was very willing to abstain from interfering with the religious
usages of her subjects, but she was not willing to give up her own.

The friends of the Reformation had a meeting, and resolved that mass
should _not_ be celebrated. There was, however, no way of preventing
it but by intimidation or violence. When Sunday came, crowds began to
assemble about the palace and the chapel,[F] and to fill all the
avenues leading to them. The Catholic families who were going to
attend the service were treated rudely as they passed. The priests
they threatened with death. One, who carried a candle which was to be
used in the ceremonies, was extremely terrified at their threats and
imprecations. The excitement was very great, and would probably have
proceeded to violent extremities, had it not been for Lord James's
energy and courage. He was a Protestant, but he took his station at
the door of the chapel, and, without saying or doing any thing to
irritate the crowd without, he kept them at bay, while the service
proceeded. It went on to the close, though greatly interrupted by the
confusion and uproar. Many of the French people who came with Mary
were so terrified by this scene, that they declared they would not
stay in such a country, and took the first opportunity of returning
to France.

[Footnote F: The ruins of the royal chapel are to be seen in the rear
of the palace in the view on page 114.]

One of the most powerful and influential of the leaders of the
Protestant party at this time was the celebrated John Knox. He was a
man of great powers of mind and of commanding eloquence; and he had
exerted a vast influence in arousing the people of Scotland to a
feeling of strong abhorrence of what they considered the abominations
of popery. When Queen Mary of England was upon the throne, Knox had
written a book against her, and against queens in general, women
having, according to his views, no right to govern. Knox was a man of
the most stern and uncompromising character, who feared nothing,
respected nothing, and submitted to no restraints in the blunt and
plain discharge of what he considered his duty. Mary dreaded his
influence and power.

Knox had an interview with Mary not long after her arrival, and it is
one of the most striking instances of the strange ascendency which
Mary's extraordinary beauty and grace, and the pensive charm of her
demeanor, exercised over all that came within her influence, that
even John Knox, whom nothing else could soften or subdue, found his
rough and indomitable energy half forsaking him in the presence of
his gentle queen. She expostulated with him. He half apologized.
Nothing had ever drawn the least semblance of an apology from him
before. He told her that his book was aimed solely against Queen Mary
of England, and not against her; that she had no cause to fear its
influence; that, in respect to the freedom with which he had advanced
his opinions and theories on the subjects of government and religion,
she need not be alarmed, for philosophers had always done this in
every age, and yet had lived good citizens of the state, whose
institutions they had, nevertheless, in some sense theoretically
condemned. He told her, moreover, that he had no intention of
troubling her reign; that she might be sure of this, since, if he had
such a desire, he should have commenced his measures during her
absence, and not have postponed them until her position on the throne
was strengthened by her return. Thus he tried to soothe her fears,
and to justify himself from the suspicion of having designed any
injury to such a gentle and helpless queen. The interview was a very
extraordinary spectacle. It was that of a lion laying aside his
majestic sternness and strength to dispel the fears and quiet the
apprehensions of a dove. The interview was, however, after all,
painful and distressing to Mary. Some things which the stern reformer
felt it his duty to say to her, brought tears into her eyes.

Mary soon became settled in her new home, though many circumstances
in her situation were well calculated to disquiet and disturb her.
She lived in the palace at Holyrood. The four Maries continued with
her for a time, and then two of them were married to nobles of high
rank. Queen Elizabeth sent Mary a kind message, congratulating her on
her safe arrival in Scotland, and assuring her that the story of her
having attempted to intercept her was false. Mary, who had no means
of proving Elizabeth's insincerity, sent her back a polite reply.




Stormy scenes.--Lord James.--Acts of cruelty.--Mary's energy and
decision.--Her popularity.--Story of Chatelard.--His love and
infatuation.--Trial of Chatelard.--His execution and last
words.--Mary and Elizabeth.--The English succession.--Claim of
Lady Lennox.--Lord Darnley.--Offers of marriage.--Duplicity of
Elizabeth.--Melville sent as embassador to Elizabeth.--His
reception.--Conversation of Melville and Elizabeth.--Dudley, earl
of Leicester.--The "long" lad.--Lord Darnley.--Elizabeth's
management.--Darnley's visit to Scotland.--Mary's message to
Elizabeth.--Elizabeth's duplicity.--Wemys Castle.--Mary's opinion
of Darnley.--His interview with her.--The courtship.--Elizabeth in
a rage.--Murray's opposition.--Mary hastens the marriage.--A
dangerous plot.--Mary's narrow escape.--The marriage.--The mourner
and the bride.--Darnley's contemptible character.--Darnley's
imperiousness and pride.--Mary's cares.--Rebellion.--Elizabeth's
treatment of the rebels.--Mary's generous conduct to Darnley.--The
double throne.--Darnley's cruel ingratitude.

During the three or four years which elapsed after Queen Mary's
arrival in Scotland, she had to pass through many stormy scenes of
anxiety and trouble. The great nobles of the land were continually
quarreling, and all parties were earnest and eager in their efforts
to get Mary's influence and power on their side. She had a great deal
of trouble with the affairs of her brother, the Lord James. He wished
to have the earldom of Murray conferred upon him. The castle and
estates pertaining to this title were in the north of Scotland, in
the neighborhood of Inverness. They were in possession of another
family, who refused to give them up. Mary accompanied Lord James to
the north with an army, to put him in possession. They took the
castle, and hung the governor, who had refused to surrender at their
summons. This, and some other acts of this expedition, have since
been considered unjust and cruel; but posterity have been divided in
opinion on the question how far Mary herself was personally
responsible for them.

Mary, at any rate, displayed a great degree of decision and energy in
her management of public affairs, and in the personal exploits which
she performed. She made excursions from castle to castle, and from
town to town, all over Scotland. On these expeditions she traveled on
horseback, sometimes with a royal escort, and sometimes at the head
of an army of eighteen or twenty thousand men. These royal progresses
were made sometimes among the great towns and cities on the eastern
coast of Scotland, and also, at other times, among the gloomy and
dangerous defiles of the Highlands. Occasionally she would pay visits
to the nobles at their castles, to hunt in their parks, to review
their Highland retainers, or to join them in celebrations and fêtes,
and military parades.

During all this time, her personal influence and ascendency over all
who knew her was constantly increasing; and the people of Scotland,
notwithstanding the disagreement on the subject of religion, became
more and more devoted to their queen. The attachment which those who
were in immediate attendance upon her felt to her person and
character, was in many cases extreme. In one instance, this
attachment led to a very sad result. There was a young Frenchman,
named Chatelard, who came in Mary's train from France. He was a
scholar and a poet. He began by writing verses in Mary's praise,
which Mary read, and seemed to be pleased with. This increased his
interest in her, and led him to imagine that he was himself the
object of her kind regard. Finally, the love which he felt for her
came to be a perfect infatuation. He concealed himself one night in
Mary's bed-chamber, armed, as if to resist any attack which the
attendants might make upon him. He was discovered by the female
attendants, and taken away, and they, for fear of alarming Mary, did
not tell her of the circumstance till the next morning.

Mary was very much displeased, or, at least, professed to be so. John
Knox thought that this displeasure was only a pretense. She, however,
forbid Chatelard to come any more into her sight. A day or two after
this, Mary set out on a journey to the north. Chatelard followed. He
either believed that Mary really loved him, or else he was led on by
that strange and incontrollable infatuation which so often, in such
cases, renders even the wisest men utterly reckless and blind to the
consequences of what they say or do. He watched his opportunity, and
one night, when Mary retired to her bed-room, he followed her
directly in. Mary called for help. The attendants came in, and
immediately sent for the Earl of Murray, who was in the palace.
Chatelard protested that all he wanted was to explain and apologize
for his coming into Mary's room before, and to ask her to forgive
him. Mary, however, would not listen. She was very much incensed.
When Murray came in, she directed him to run his dagger through the
man. Murray, however, instead of doing this, had the offender seized
and sent to prison. In a few days he was tried, and condemned to be
beheaded. The excitement and enthusiasm of his love continued to the
last. He stood firm and undaunted on the scaffold, and, just before
he laid his head on the block, he turned toward the place where Mary
was then lodging, and said, "Farewell! loveliest and most cruel
princess that the world contains!"

In the mean time, Mary and Queen Elizabeth continued ostensibly on
good terms. They sent embassadors to each other's courts. They
communicated letters and messages to each other, and entered into
various negotiations respecting the affairs of their respective
kingdoms. The truth was, each was afraid of the other, and neither
dared to come to an open rupture. Elizabeth was uneasy on account of
Mary's claim to her crown, and was very anxious to avoid driving her
to extremities, since she knew that, in that case, there would be
great danger of her attempting openly to enforce it. Mary, on the
other hand, thought that there was more probability of her obtaining
the succession to the English crown by keeping peace with Elizabeth
than by a quarrel. Elizabeth was not married, and was likely to live
and die single. Mary would then be the next heir, without much
question. She wished Elizabeth to acknowledge this, and to have the
English Parliament enact it. If Elizabeth would take this course,
Mary was willing to waive her claims during Elizabeth's life.
Elizabeth, however, was not willing to do this decidedly. She wished
to reserve the right to herself of marrying if she chose. She also
wished to keep Mary dependent upon her as long as she could. Hence,
while she would not absolutely refuse to comply with Mary's
proposition, she would not really accede to it, but kept the whole
matter in suspense by endless procrastination, difficulties, and

I have said that, after Elizabeth, Mary's claim to the British crown
was almost unquestioned. There was another lady about as nearly
related to the English royal line as Mary. Her name was Margaret
Stuart. Her title was Lady Lennox. She had a son named Henry Stuart,
whose title was Lord Darnley. It was a question whether Mary or
Margaret were best entitled to consider herself the heir to the
British crown after Elizabeth. Mary, therefore, had two obstacles in
the way of the accomplishment of her wishes to be Queen of England:
one was the claim of Elizabeth, who was already in possession of the
throne, and the other the claims of Lady Lennox, and, after her, of
her son Darnley. There was a plan of disposing of this last
difficulty in a very simple manner. It was, to have Mary marry Lord
Darnley, and thus unite these two claims. This plan had been
proposed, but there had been no decision in respect to it. There was
one objection: that Darnley being Mary's cousin, their marriage was
forbidden by the laws of the Catholic Church. There was no way of
obviating this difficulty but by applying to the pope to grant them a
special dispensation.

In the mean time, a great many other plans were formed for Mary's
marriage. Several of the princes and potentates of Europe applied for
her hand. They were allured somewhat, no doubt, by her youth and
beauty, and still more, very probably, by the desire to annex her
kingdom to their dominions. Mary, wishing to please Elizabeth,
communicated often with her, to ask her advice and counsel in regard
to her marriage. Elizabeth's policy was to embarrass and perplex the
whole subject by making difficulties in respect to every plan
proposed. Finally, she recommended a gentleman of her own court to
Mary--Robert Dudley, whom she afterward made Earl of Leicester--one
of her special favorites. The position of Dudley, and the
circumstances of the case, were such that mankind have generally
supposed that Elizabeth did not seriously imagine that such a plan
could be adopted, but that she proposed it, as perverse and
intriguing people often do, as a means of increasing the difficulty.
Such minds often attempt to prevent doing what _can_ be done by
proposing and urging what they know is impossible.

In the course of these negotiations, Queen Mary once sent Melville,
her former page of honor in France, as a special embassador to Queen
Elizabeth, to ascertain more perfectly her views. Melville had
followed Mary to Scotland, and had entered her service there as a
confidential secretary; and as she had great confidence in his
prudence and in his fidelity, she thought him the most suitable
person to undertake this mission. Melville afterward lived to an
advanced age, and in the latter part of his life he wrote a narrative
of his various adventures, and recorded, in quaint and ancient
language, many of his conversations and interviews with the two
queens. His mission to England was of course a very important event
in his life, and one of the most curious and entertaining passages in
his memoirs is his narrative of his interviews with the English
queen. He was, at the time, about thirty-four years of age. Mary was
about twenty-two.

Sir James Melville was received with many marks of attention and
honor by Queen Elizabeth. His first interview with her was in a
garden near the palace. She first asked him about a letter which Mary
had recently written to her, and which, she said, had greatly
displeased her; and she took out a reply from her pocket, written in
very sharp and severe language, though she said she had not sent it
because it was not severe enough, and she was going to write another.
Melville asked to see the letter from Mary which had given Elizabeth
so much offense; and on reading it, he explained it, and disavowed,
on Mary's part, any intention to give offense, and thus finally
succeeded in appeasing Elizabeth's displeasure, and at length induced
her to tear up her angry reply.

Elizabeth then wanted to know what Mary thought of her proposal of
Dudley for her husband. Melville told her that she had not given the
subject much reflection, but that she was going to appoint two
commissioners, and she wished Elizabeth to appoint two others, and
then that the four should meet on the borders of the two countries,
and consider the whole subject of the marriage. Elizabeth said that
she perceived that Mary did not think much of this proposed match.
She said, however, that Dudley stood extremely high in _her_ regard,
that she was going to make him an earl, and that she should marry him
herself were it not that she was fully resolved to live and die a
single woman. She said she wished very much to have Dudley become
Mary's husband both on account of her attachment to him, and also on
account of his attachment to her, which she was sure would prevent
his allowing her, that is, Elizabeth, to have any trouble out of
Mary's claim to her crown as long as she lived.

Elizabeth also asked Melville to wait in Westminster until the day
appointed for making Dudley an earl. This was done, a short time
afterward, with great ceremony. Lord Darnley, then a very tall and
slender youth of about nineteen, was present on the occasion. His
father and mother had been banished from Scotland, on account of some
political offenses, twenty years before, and he had thus himself been
brought up in England. As he was a near relative of the queen, and a
sort of heir-presumptive to the crown, he had a high position at the
court, and his office was, on this occasion, to bear the sword of
honor before the queen. Dudley kneeled before Elizabeth while she put
upon him the badges of his new dignity. Afterward she asked Melville
what he thought of him. Melville was polite enough to speak warmly in
his favor. "And yet," said the queen, "I suppose you prefer yonder
_long_ lad," pointing to Darnley. She knew something of Mary's
half-formed design of making Darnley her husband. Melville, who did
not wish her to suppose that Mary had any serious intention of
choosing Darnley, said that "no woman of spirit would choose such a
person as he was, for he was handsome, beardless, and lady-faced; in
fact, he looked more like a woman than a man."

Melville was not very honest in this, for he had secret instructions
at this very time to apply to Lady Lennox, Darnley's mother, to send
her son into Scotland, in order that Mary might see him, and be
assisted to decide the question of becoming his wife, by ascertaining
how she was going to like him personally. Queen Elizabeth, in the
mean time, pressed upon Melville the importance of Mary's deciding
soon in favor of the marriage with Leicester. As to declaring in
favor of Mary's right to inherit the crown after her, she said the
question was in the hands of the great lawyers and commissioners to
whom she had referred it, and that she heartily wished that they
might come to a conclusion in favor of Mary's claim. She should urge
the business forward as fast as she could; but the result would
depend very much upon the disposition which Mary showed to comply
with her wishes in respect to the marriage. She said she should
never marry herself unless she was compelled to it on account of
Mary's giving her trouble by her claims upon the crown, and forcing
her to desire that it should go to her direct descendants. If Mary
would act wisely, and as she ought, and follow _her_ counsel, she
would, in due time, have all her desire.

Some time more elapsed in negotiations and delays. There was a good
deal of trouble in getting leave for Darnley to go to Scotland. From
his position, and from the state of the laws and customs of the two
realms, he could not go without Elizabeth's permission. Finally, Mary
sent word to Elizabeth that she would marry Leicester according to
her wish, if she would have her claim to the English crown, _after_
Elizabeth, acknowledged and established by the English government, so
as to have that question definitely and finally settled. Elizabeth
sent back for answer to this proposal, that if Mary married
Leicester, she would advance him to great honors and dignities, but
that she could not do any thing at present about the succession. She
also, at the same time, gave permission to Darnley to go to Scotland.

It is thought that Elizabeth never seriously intended that Mary
should marry Leicester, and that she did not suppose Mary herself
would consent to it on any terms. Accordingly, when she found Mary
was acceding to the plan, she wanted to retreat from it herself, and
hoped that Darnley's going to Scotland, and appearing there as a new
competitor in the field, would tend to complicate and embarrass the
question in Mary's mind, and help to prevent the Leicester
negotiation from going any further. At any rate, Lord Darnley--then a
very tall and handsome young man of nineteen--obtained suddenly
permission to go to Scotland. Mary went to Wemys Castle, and made
arrangements to have Darnley come and visit her there.

[Illustration: WEMY'S CASTLE--The Scene of Mary's first Interview
with Darnley.]

Wemys Castle is situated in a most romantic and beautiful spot on the
sea-shore, on the northern side of the Frith of Forth. Edinburgh is
upon the southern side of the Frith, and is in full view from the
windows of the castle, with Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat on the
left of the city. Wemys Castle was, at this time, the residence of
Murray, Mary's brother. Mary's visit to it was an event which
attracted a great deal of attention. The people flocked into the
neighborhood and provisions and accommodations of every kind rose
enormously in price. Every one was eager to get a glimpse of the
beautiful queen. Besides, they knew that Lord Darnley was expected,
and the rumor that he was seriously thought of as her future husband
had been widely circulated, and had awakened, of course, a universal
desire to see him.

Mary was very much pleased with Darnley. She told Melville, after
their first interview, that he was the handsomest and best
proportioned "long man" she had ever seen. Darnley was, in fact, very
tall, and as he was straight and slender, he appeared even taller
than he really was. He was, however, though young, very easy and
graceful in his manners, and highly accomplished. Mary was very much
pleased with him. She had almost decided to make him her husband
before she saw him, merely from political considerations, on account
of her wish to combine his claim with hers in respect to the English
crown. Elizabeth's final answer, refusing the terms on which Mary had
consented to marry Leicester, which came about this time, vexed her,
and determined her to abandon that plan. And now, just in such a
crisis, to find Darnley possessed of such strong personal
attractions, seemed to decide the question. In a few days her
imagination was full of pictures of joy and pleasure, in
anticipations of union with such a husband.

The thing took the usual course of such affairs. Darnley asked Mary
to be his wife. She said no, and was offended with him for asking it.
He offered her a present of a ring. She refused to accept it. But the
no meant yes, and the rejection of the ring was only the prelude to
the acceptance of something far more important, of which a ring is
the symbol. Mary's first interview with Darnley was in February. In
April, Queen Elizabeth's embassador sent her word that he was
satisfied that Mary's marriage with Darnley was all arranged and

Queen Elizabeth was, or pretended to be, in a great rage. She sent
the most urgent remonstrances to Mary against the execution of the
plan. She forwarded, also, very decisive orders to Darnley, and to
the Earl of Lennox his father, to return immediately to England.
Lennox replied that he could not return, for "he did not think the
climate would agree with him!" Darnley sent back word that he had
entered the service of the Queen of Scots, and henceforth should
obey her orders alone. Elizabeth, however, was not the only one who
opposed this marriage. The Earl of Murray, Mary's brother, who had
been thus far the great manager of the government under Mary, took at
once a most decided stand against it. He enlisted a great number of
Protestant nobles with him, and they held deliberations, in which
they formed plans for resisting it by force. But Mary, who, with all
her gentleness and loveliness of spirit, had, like other women, some
decision and energy when an object in which the heart is concerned is
at stake, had made up her mind. She sent to France to get the consent
of her friends there. She dispatched a commissioner to Rome to obtain
the pope's dispensation; she obtained the sanction of her own
Parliament; and, in fact, in every way hastened the preparations for
the marriage.

Murray, on the other hand, and his confederate lords, were determined
to prevent it. They formed a plan to rise in rebellion against Mary,
to waylay and seize her, to imprison her, and to send Darnley and his
father to England, having made arrangements with Elizabeth's
ministers to receive them at the borders. The plan was all well
matured, and would probably have been carried into effect, had not
Mary, in some way or other, obtained information of the design. She
was then at Stirling, and they were to waylay her on the usual route
to Edinburgh. She made a sudden journey, at an unexpected time, and
by a new and unusual road, and thus evaded her enemies. The violence
of this opposition only stimulated her determination to carry the
marriage into effect without delay. Her escape from her rebellious
nobles took place in June, and she was married in July. This was six
months after her first interview with Darnley. The ceremony was
performed in the royal chapel at Holyrood. They show, to this day,
the place where she is said to have stood, in the now roofless

Mary was conducted into the chapel by Lennox and another nobleman, in
the midst of a large company of lords and ladies of the court, and of
strangers of distinction, who had come to Edinburgh to witness the
ceremony. A vast throng had collected also around the palace. Mary was
led to the altar, and then Lord Darnley was conducted in. The marriage
ceremony was performed according to the Catholic ritual. Three rings,
one of them a diamond ring of great value, were put upon her finger.
After the ceremony, largess was proclaimed, and money distributed
among the crowd, as had been done in Paris at Mary's former marriage,
five years before. Mary then remained to attend the celebration of
mass, Darnley, who was not a Catholic, retiring. After the mass, Mary
returned to the palace, and changed the mourning dress which she had
continued to wear from the time of her first husband's death to that
hour, for one more becoming a bride. The evening was spent in
festivities of every kind.

We have said that Darnley was personally attractive in respect both
to his countenance and his manners; and, unfortunately, this is all
that can be said in his favor. He was weak-minded, and yet
self-conceited and vain. The sudden elevation which his marriage with
a queen gave him, made him proud, and he soon began to treat all
around him in a very haughty and imperious manner. He seems to have
been entirely unaccustomed to exercise any self-command, or to submit
to any restraints in the gratification of his passions. Mary paid him
a great many attentions, and took great pleasure in conferring upon
him, as her queenly power enabled her to do, distinctions and honors;
but, instead of being grateful for them, he received them as matters
of course, and was continually demanding more. There was one title
which he wanted, and which, for some good reason, it was necessary to
postpone conferring upon him. A nobleman came to him one day and
informed him of the necessity of this delay. He broke into a fit of
passion, drew his dagger, rushed toward the nobleman, and attempted
to stab him. He commenced his imperious and haughty course of
procedure even before his marriage, and continued it afterward,
growing more and more violent as his ambition increased with an
increase of power. Mary felt these cruel acts of selfishness and
pride very keenly, but, womanlike, she palliated and excused them,
and loved him still.

She had, however, other trials and cares pressing upon her
immediately. Murray and his confederates organized a formal and open
rebellion. Mary raised an army and took the field against them. The
country generally took her side. A terrible and somewhat protracted
civil war ensued, but the rebels were finally defeated and driven out
of the country. They went to England and claimed Elizabeth's
protection, saying that she had incited them to the revolt, and
promised them her aid. Elizabeth told them that it would not do for
her to be supposed to have abetted a rebellion in her cousin Mary's
dominions, and that, unless they would, in the presence of the
foreign embassadors at her court, disavow her having done so, she
could not help them or countenance them in any way. The miserable
men, being reduced to a hard extremity, made this disavowal.
Elizabeth then said to them, "Now you have told the truth. Neither I,
nor any one else in my name, incited you against your queen; and your
abominable treason _may_ set an example to my own subjects to rebel
against me. So get you gone out of my presence, miserable traitors as
you are."

Thus Mary triumphed over all the obstacles to her marriage with the
man she loved; but, alas! before the triumph was fully accomplished,
the love was gone. Darnley was selfish, unfeeling, and incapable of
requiting affection like Mary's. He treated her with the most
heartless indifference, though she had done every thing to awaken his
gratitude and win his love. She bestowed upon him every honor which
it was in her power to grant. She gave him the title of king. She
admitted him to share with her the powers and prerogatives of the
crown. There is to this day, in Mary's apartments at Holyrood House,
a double throne which she had made for herself and her husband, with
their initials worked together in the embroidered covering, and each
seat surmounted by a crown. Mankind have always felt a strong
sentiment of indignation at the ingratitude which could requite such
love with such selfishness and cruelty.




David Rizzio.--Embassadors.--Rizzio's position.--Rizzio French
secretary.--Displeasure of the Scotch nobles.--They treat Rizzio
with scorn and contempt.--He consults Melville.--Melville's
counsel.--Melville and the queen.--Rizzio's religion.--His services
to Mary.--Rizzio's power and influence.--His intimacy with
Mary.--Rizzio's exertion in favor of the marriage.--Rizzio and
Darnley.--Darnley greatly disliked.--His unreasonable wishes.--The
crown matrimonial.--Darnley's ambition.--Darnley's
brutality.--Signatures.--Coins.--Rizzio sides with Mary.--Darnley and
Ruthven.--A combination.--The secretary and his queen.--Nature of
Mary's attachment.--Plot to assassinate Rizzio.--Plan of Holyrood
House.--Description.--Apartments.--Morton and Ruthven.--Mary at
supper.--Arrangement of the conspirators.--The little upper
room.--Murder of Rizzio.--Conversation.--Violence of the
conspirators.--Mary a prisoner.--Darnley's usurpation.--Melville.--Mary
appeals to the provost.--Mary defeats the conspirators.--Birth of her

Mary had a secretary named David Rizzio. He was from Savoy, a country
among the Alps. It was the custom then, as it is now, for the various
governments of Europe to have embassadors at the courts of other
governments, to attend to any negotiations, or to the transaction of
any other business which might arise between their respective
sovereigns. These embassadors generally traveled with pomp and
parade, taking sometimes many attendants with them. The embassador
from Savoy happened to bring with him to Scotland, in his train, this
young man, Rizzio, in 1561, that is, just about the time that Mary
herself returned to Scotland. He was a handsome and agreeable young
man, but his rank and position were such that, for some years, he
attracted no attention.

He was, however, quite a singer, and they used to bring him in
sometimes to sing in Mary's presence with three other singers. His
voice, being a good bass, made up the quartette. Mary saw him in this
way, and as he was a good French and Italian scholar, and was amiable
and intelligent, she gradually became somewhat interested in him.
Mary had, at this time, among her other officers, a French secretary,
who wrote for her, and transacted such other business as required a
knowledge of the French language. This French secretary went home,
and Mary appointed Rizzio to take his place.

The native Scotchmen in Mary's court were naturally very jealous of
the influence of these foreigners. They looked down with special
contempt on Rizzio, considering him of mean rank and position, and
wholly destitute of all claim to the office of confidential secretary
to the queen. Rizzio increased the difficulty by not acting with the
reserve and prudence which his delicate situation required. The
nobles, proud of their own rank and importance, were very much
displeased at the degree of intimacy and confidence to which Mary
admitted him. They called him an intruder and an upstart. When they
came in and found him in conversation with the queen, or whenever he
accosted her freely, as he was wont to do, in their presence, they
were irritated and vexed. They did not dare to remonstrate with Mary,
but they took care to express their feelings of resentment and scorn
to the subject of them in every possible way. They scowled upon him.
They directed to him looks of contempt. They turned their backs upon
him, and jostled him in a rude and insulting manner. All this was a
year or two before Mary's marriage.

Rizzio consulted Melville, asking his judgment as to what he had
better do. He said that, being Mary's French secretary, he was
necessarily a good deal in her company, and the nobles seemed
displeased with it; but he did not see what he could do to diminish
or avoid the difficulty. Melville replied that the nobles had an
opinion that he not only performed the duties of French secretary,
but that he was fast acquiring a great ascendency in respect to all
other affairs. Melville further advised him to be much more cautious
in his bearing than he had been, to give place to the nobles when
they were with him in the presence of the queen, to speak less
freely, and in a more unassuming manner, and to explain the whole
case to the queen herself, that she might co-operate with him in
pursuing a course which would soothe and conciliate the irritated and
angry feelings of the nobles. Melville said, moreover, that he had
himself, at one time, at a court on the Continent, been placed in a
very similar situation to Rizzio's, and had been involved in the same
difficulties, but had escaped the dangers which threatened him by
pursuing himself the course which he now recommended.

Rizzio seemed to approve of this counsel, and promised to follow it;
but he afterward told Melville that he had spoken to the queen on the
subject, and that she would not consent to any change, but wished
every thing to go on as it had done. Now the queen, having great
confidence in Melville, had previously requested him, that if he saw
any thing in her deportment, or management, or measures, which he
thought was wrong, frankly to let her know it, that she might be
warned in season, and amend. He thought that this was an occasion
which required this friendly interposition, and he took an
opportunity to converse with her on the subject in a frank and plain,
but still very respectful manner. He made but little impression. Mary
said that Rizzio was only her private French secretary; that he had
nothing to do with the affairs of the government; that, consequently,
his appointment and his office were her own private concern alone,
and she should continue to act according to her own pleasure in
managing her own affairs, no matter who was displeased by it.

It is probable that the real ground of offense which the nobles had
against Rizzio was jealousy of his superior influence with the queen.
They, however, made his religion a great ground of complaint against
him. He was a Catholic, and had come from a strong Catholic country,
having been born in the northern part of Italy. The Italian language
was his mother tongue. They professed to believe that he was a secret
emissary of the pope, and was plotting with Mary to bring Scotland
back under the papal dominion.

In the mean time, Rizzio devoted himself with untiring zeal and
fidelity to the service of the queen. He was indefatigable in his
efforts to please her, and he made himself extremely useful to her in
a thousand different ways. In fact, his being the object of so much
dislike and aversion on the part of others, made him more and more
exclusively devoted to the queen, who seemed to be almost his only
friend. She, too, was urged, by what she considered the unreasonable
and bitter hostility of which her favorite was the object, to bestow
upon him greater and greater favors. In process of time, one after
another of those about the court, finding that Rizzio's influence and
power were great and were increasing, began to treat him with
respect, and to ask for his assistance in gaining their ends. Thus
Rizzio found his position becoming stronger, and the probability
began to increase that he would at length triumph over the enemies
who had set their faces so strongly against him.

Though he had been at first inclined to follow Melville's advice, yet
he afterward fell in cordially with the policy of the queen, which
was, to press boldly forward, and put down with a strong hand the
hostility which had been excited against him. Instead, therefore, of
attempting to conceal the degree of favor which he enjoyed with the
queen, he boasted of and displayed it. He would converse often and
familiarly with her in public. He dressed magnificently, like persons
of the highest rank, and had many attendants. In a word, he assumed
all the airs and manners of a person of high distinction and
commanding influence. The external signs of hostility to him were
thus put down, but the fires of hatred burned none the less fiercely
below, and only wanted an opportunity to burst into an explosion.

Things were in this state at the time of the negotiations in respect
to Darnley's marriage; for, in order to take up the story of Rizzio
from the beginning, we have been obliged to go back in our narrative.
Rizzio exerted all his influence in favor of the marriage, and thus
both strengthened his influence with Mary and made Darnley his
friend. He did all in his power to diminish the opposition to it,
from whatever quarter it might come, and rendered essential service
in the correspondence with France, and in the negotiations with the
pope for obtaining the necessary dispensation. In a word, he did a
great deal to promote the marriage, and to facilitate all the
arrangements for carrying it into effect.

Darnley relied, therefore, upon Rizzio's friendship and devotion to
his service, forgetting that, in all these past efforts, Rizzio was
acting out of regard to Mary's wishes, and not to his own. As long,
therefore, as Mary and Darnley continued to pursue the same objects
and aims, Rizzio was the common friend and ally of both. The enemies
of the marriage, however, disliked Rizzio more than ever.

As Darnley's character developed itself gradually after his marriage,
every body began to dislike him also. He was unprincipled and
vicious, as well as imperious and proud. His friendship for Rizzio
was another ground of dislike to him. The ancient nobles, who had
been accustomed to exercise the whole control in the public affairs
of Scotland, found themselves supplanted by this young Italian
singer, and an English boy not yet out of his teens. They were
exasperated beyond all bounds, but yet they contrived, for a while,
to conceal and dissemble their anger.

It was not very long after the marriage of Mary and Darnley before
they began to become alienated from each other. Mary did every thing
for her husband which it was reasonable for him to expect her to do.
She did, in fact, all that was in her power. But he was not
satisfied. She made him the sharer of her throne. He wanted her to
give up _her_ place to him, and thus make him the sole possessor of
it. He wanted what was called the _crown matrimonial_. The _crown
matrimonial_ denoted power with which, according to the old Scottish
law, the husband of a queen could be invested, enabling him to
exercise the royal prerogative in his own name, both during the life
of the queen and also after her death, during the continuance of his
own life. This made him, in fact, a king for life, exalting him above
his wife, the real sovereign, through whom alone he derived his

Now Darnley was very urgent to have the crown matrimonial conferred
upon him. He insisted upon it. He would not submit to any delay. Mary
told him that this was something entirely beyond her power to grant.
The crown matrimonial could only be bestowed by a solemn enactment of
the Scottish Parliament. But Darnley, impatient and reckless, like a
boy as he was, would not listen to any excuse, but teased and
tormented Mary about the crown matrimonial continually.

Besides the legal difficulties in the way of Mary's conferring these
powers upon Darnley by her own act, there were other difficulties,
doubtless, in her mind, arising from the character of Darnley, and
his unfitness, which was every day becoming more manifest, to be
intrusted with such power. Only four months after his marriage, his
rough and cruel treatment of Mary became intolerable. One day, at a
house in Edinburgh, where the king and queen, and other persons of
distinction had been invited to a banquet, Darnley, as was his
custom, was beginning to drink very freely, and was trying to urge
other persons there to drink to excess. Mary expostulated with him,
endeavoring to dissuade him from such a course. Darnley resented
these kind cautions, and retorted upon her in so violent and brutal a
manner as to cause her to leave the room and the company in tears.

When they were first married, Mary had caused her husband to be
proclaimed king, and had taken some other similar steps to invest him
with a share of her own power. But she soon found that in doing this
she had gone to the extreme of propriety, and that, for the future,
she must retreat rather than advance. Accordingly, although he was
associated with her in the supreme power, she thought it best to keep
precedence for her own _name_ before his, in the exercise of power.
On the coins which were struck, the inscription was, "In the name of
the _Queen_ and _King_ of Scotland." In signing public documents, she
insisted on having her name recorded first. These things irritated
and provoked Darnley more and more. He was not contented to be
admitted to a share of the sovereign power which the queen possessed
in her own right alone. He wished to supplant her in it entirely.

Rizzio, of course, took Queen Mary's part in these questions. He
opposed the grant of the crown matrimonial. He opposed all other
plans for increasing or extending in any way Darnley's power. Darnley
was very much incensed against him, and earnestly desired to find
some way to effect his destruction. He communicated these feelings to
a certain fierce and fearless nobleman named Ruthven, and asked his
assistance to contrive some way to take vengeance upon Rizzio.

Ruthven was very much pleased to hear this. He belonged to a party of
the lords of the court who also hated Rizzio, though they had hated
Darnley besides so much that they had not communicated to him their
hostility to the other. Ruthven and his friends had not joined Murray
and the other rebels in opposing the marriage of Darnley. They had
chosen to acquiesce in it, hoping to maintain an ascendency over
Darnley, regarding him, as they did, as a mere boy, and thus retain
their power. When they found, however, that he was so headstrong and
unmanageable, and that they could do nothing with him, they exerted
all their influence to have Murray and the other exiled lords
pardoned and allowed to return, hoping to combine with them after
their return, and then together to make their power superior to that
of Darnley and Rizzio. They considered Darnley and Rizzio both as
their rivals and enemies. When they found, therefore, that Darnley
was plotting Rizzio's destruction, they felt a very strong as well as
a very unexpected pleasure.

Thus, among all the jealousies, and rivalries, and bitter animosities
of which the court was at this time the scene, the only true and
honest attachment of one heart to another seems to have been that of
Mary to Rizzio. The secretary was faithful and devoted to the queen,
and the queen was grateful and kind to the secretary. There has been
some question whether this attachment was an innocent or a guilty
one. A painting, still hanging in the private rooms which belonged to
Mary in the palace at Holyrood, represents Rizzio as young and very
handsome; on the other hand, some of the historians of the day, to
disprove the possibility of any guilty attachment, say that he was
rather old and ugly. We may ourselves, perhaps, safely infer, that
unless there were something specially repulsive in his appearance and
manner, such a heart as Mary's, repelled so roughly from the one whom
it was her duty to love, could not well have resisted the temptation
to seek a retreat and a refuge in the kind devotedness of such a
friend as Rizzio proved himself to be to her.

However this may be, Ruthven made such suggestions to Darnley as
goaded him to madness, and a scheme was soon formed for putting
Rizzio to death. The plan, after being deliberately matured in all
its arrangements, was carried into effect in the following manner.
The event occurred early in the spring of 1566, less than a year
after Mary's marriage.

Morton, who was one of the accomplices, assembled a large force of
his followers, consisting, it is said, of five hundred men, which he
posted in the evening near the palace, and when it was dark he moved
them silently into the central court of the palace, through the
entrance _E_, as marked upon the following plan.


E. Principal entrance. Co. Court of the palace. PP. Piazza around it.
AA. Various apartments built in modern times. H. Great hall, used now
as a gallery of portraits. T. Stair-case. o. Entrance to Mary's
apartments, second floor. R. Ante-room. B. Mary's bed-room. D.
Dressing-room in one of the towers. C. Cabinet, or small room in the
other tower. SS. Stair-cases in the wall. d. Small entrance under the
tapestry. Ch. Royal chapel. m. Place where Mary and Darnley stood at
the marriage ceremony. Pa. Passage-way leading to the chapel.]

Mary was, at the time of these occurrences in the little room marked
_C_, which was built within one of the round towers which form a part
of the front of the building, and which are very conspicuous in any
view of the palace of Holyrood.[G] This room was on the third floor,
and it opened into Mary's bed-room, marked _B._ Darnley had a room of
his own immediately below Mary's. There was a little door, _d_,
leading from Mary's bed-room to a private stair-case built in the
wall. This stair-case led down into Darnley's room; and there was
also a communication from this place down through the whole length of
the castle to the royal chapel, marked _Ch_, the building which is
now in ruins. Behind Mary's bed-room was an ante-room, _R_, with a
door, _o_, leading to the public stair-case by which her apartments
were approached. All these apartments still remain, and are explored
annually by thousands of visitors.

[Footnote G: See view of Holyrood House, page 114 and compare it with
this plan.]

It was about seven o'clock in the evening that the conspirators were
to execute their purpose. Morton remained below in the court with his
troops, to prevent any interruption. He held a high office under the
queen, which authorized him to bring a force into the court of the
palace, and his doing so did not alarm the inmates. Ruthven was to
head the party which was to commit the crime. He was confined to his
bed with sickness at the time, but he was so eager to have a share
in the pleasure of destroying Rizzio, that he left his bed, put on a
suit of armor, and came forth to the work. The armor is preserved in
the little apartment which was the scene of the tragedy to this day.

Mary was at supper. Two near relatives and friends of hers--a
gentleman and a lady--and Rizzio, were with her. The room is scarcely
large enough to contain a greater number. There were, however, two or
three servants in attendance at a side-table. Darnley came up, about
eight o'clock, to make observations. The other conspirators were
concealed in his room below, and it was agreed that if Darnley found
any cause for not proceeding with the plan, he was to return
immediately and give them notice. If, therefore, he should not
return, after the lapse of a reasonable time, they were to follow him
up the private stair-case, prepared to act at once and decidedly as
soon as they should enter the room. They were to come up by this
private stair-case, in order to avoid being intercepted or delayed by
the domestics in attendance in the ante-room, _R_, of which there
would have been danger if they had ascended by the public stair-case
at _T_.

Finding that Darnley did not return, Ruthven with his party ascended
the stairs, entered the bed-chamber through the little door at _d_,
and thence advanced to the door of the cabinet, his heavy iron armor
clanking as he came. The queen, alarmed, demanded the meaning of this
intrusion. Ruthven, whose countenance was grim and ghastly from the
conjoined influence of ferocious passion and disease, said that they
meant no harm to her, but they only wanted the villain who stood near
her. Rizzio perceived that his hour was come. The attendants flocked
in to the assistance of the queen and Rizzio. Ruthven's confederates
advanced to join in the attack, and there ensued one of those scenes
of confusion and terror, of which those who witness it have no
distinct recollection on looking back upon it when it is over. Rizzio
cried out in an agony of fear, and sought refuge behind the queen;
the queen herself fainted; the table was overturned; and Rizzio,
having received one wound from a dagger, was seized and dragged out
through the bed-chamber, _B_, and through the ante-room, _R_, to the
door, _o_, where he fell down, and was stabbed by the murderers again
and again, till he ceased to breathe.

After this scene was over, Darnley and Ruthven came coolly back into
Mary's chamber, and, as soon as Mary recovered her senses, began to
talk of and to justify their act of violence, without, however,
telling her that Rizzio had been killed. Mary was filled with
emotions of resentment and grief. She bitterly reproached Darnley for
such an act of cruelty as breaking into her apartment with armed men,
and seizing and carrying off her friend. She told him that she had
raised him from his comparatively humble position to make him her
husband, and now this was his return. Darnley replied that Rizzio had
supplanted him in her confidence, and thwarted all his plans, and
that Mary had shown herself utterly regardless of his wishes, under
the influence of Rizzio. He said that, since Mary had made herself
his wife, she ought to have obeyed him, and not put herself in such a
way under the direction of another. Mary learned Rizzio's fate the
next day.

The violence of the conspirators did not stop with the destruction of
Rizzio. Some of Mary's high officers of government, who were in the
palace at the time, were obliged to make their escape from the
windows to avoid being seized by Morton and his soldiers in the
court. Among them was the Earl Bothwell, who tried at first to drive
Morton out, but in the end was obliged himself to flee. Some of these
men let themselves down by ropes from the outer windows. When the
uproar and confusion caused by this struggle was over, they found
that Mary, overcome with agitation and terror, was showing symptoms
of fainting again, and they concluded to leave her. They informed her
that she must consider herself a prisoner, and, setting a guard at
the door of her apartment, they went away, leaving her to spend the
night in an agony of resentment, anxiety, and fear.

Lord Darnley took the government at once entirely into his own hands.
He prorogued Parliament, which was then just commencing a session, in
his own name alone. He organized an administration, Mary's officers
having fled. In saying that _he_ did these things, we mean, of
course, that the conspirators did them in his name. He was still but
a boy, scarcely out of his teens, and incapable of any other action
in such an emergency but a blind compliance with the wishes of the
crafty men who had got him into their power by gratifying his
feelings of revenge. They took possession of the government in his
name, and kept Mary a close prisoner.

The murder was committed on Saturday night. The next morning, of
course, was Sunday. Melville was going out of the palace about ten
o'clock. As he passed along under the window where Mary was confined,
she called out to him for help. He asked her what he could do for
her. She told him to go to the provost of Edinburgh, the officer
corresponding to the mayor of a city in this country, and ask him to
call out the city guard, and come and release her from her captivity.
"Go quick," said she, "or the guards will see you and stop you." Just
then the guards came up and challenged Melville. He told them he was
going to the city to attend church; so they let him pass on. He went
to the provost, and delivered Mary's message. The provost said he
dared not, and could not interfere.

So Mary remained a prisoner. Her captivity, however, was of short
duration. In two days Darnley came to see her. He persuaded her that
he himself had had nothing to do with the murder of Rizzio. Mary, on
the other hand, persuaded him that it was better for them to be
friends to each other than to live thus in a perpetual quarrel. She
convinced him that Ruthven and his confederates were not, and could
not be, his friends. They would only make him the instrument of
obtaining the objects of their ambition. Darnley saw this. He felt
that he as well as Mary were in the rebels' power. They formed a plan
to escape together. They succeeded. They fled to a distant castle,
and collected a large army, the people every where flocking to the
assistance of the queen. They returned to Edinburgh in a short time
in triumph. The conspirators fled. Mary then decided to pardon and
recall the old rebels, and expend her anger henceforth on the new;
and thus the Earl Murray, her brother, was brought back, and once
more restored to favor.

After settling all these troubles, Mary retired to Edinburgh Castle,
where it was supposed she could be best protected, and in the month
of July following the murder of Rizzio, she gave birth to a son. In
this son was afterward accomplished all her fondest wishes, for he
inherited in the end both the English and Scottish crowns.




Earl of Bothwell.--His desperate character.--Castle of Dunbar.--The
border country.--Scenes of violence and blood.--Birth of James.--Its
political importance.--Darnley's conduct.--Darnley's hypocrisy.--Mary's
dejection.--A divorce proposed.--Mary's love for her child.--Baptism
of the infant.--James's titles.--The prince's cradle.--Bothwell and
Murray.--Mary's visit to Bothwell.--Its probable motive.--Plot for
Darnley's destruction.--Bothwell's intrigues.--Desperate schemes
attributed to Darnley.--His illness.--Mary's visit.--Return
to Edinburgh.--Situation of Darnley's residence.--Kirk of
Field.--Description of Darnley's residence.--Plan of Darnley's
house.--Its accommodations.--French Paris.--The gunpowder.--A
wedding.--Details of the plot.--The powder placed in Mary's room.--The
big cask.--Bothwell's effrontery.--Mary's leave of Darnley.--Was Mary
privy to the plot?--Anecdotes of Mary.--Return to Holyrood.--French
Paris falters.--The convent gardens.--Laying the train.--Suspense.--The
explosion.--Flight of the criminals.--Mary's indignation.--Bothwell
arrested, tried, and acquitted.--Bothwell's challenge.--His plan to
marry Mary.--The abduction.--Mary's confinement at Dunbar.--Her account
of it.--Bothwell entreats Mary to marry him.--She consents.--Bothwell's
pardon.--The marriage.--Doubts in respect to Mary.--Influence of beauty
and misfortune.

The Earl of Bothwell was a man of great energy of character, fearless
and decided in all that he undertook, and sometimes perfectly
reckless and uncontrollable. He was in Scotland at the time of Mary's
return from France, but he was so turbulent and unmanageable that he
was at one time sent into banishment. He was, however, afterward
recalled, and again intrusted with power. He entered ardently into
Mary's service in her contest with the murderers of Rizzio. He
assisted her in raising an army after her flight, and in conquering
Morton, Ruthven, and the rest, and driving them out of the country.
Mary soon began to look upon him as, notwithstanding his roughness,
her best and most efficient friend. As a reward for these services,
she granted him a castle, situated in a romantic position on the
eastern coast of Scotland. It was called the Castle of Dunbar. It was
on a stormy promontory, overlooking the German Ocean: a very
appropriate retreat and fastness for such a man of iron as he.

In those days, the border country between England and Scotland was
the resort of robbers, freebooters, and outlaws from both lands. If
pursued by one government, they could retreat across the line and be
safe. Incursions, too, were continually made across this frontier by
the people of either side, to plunder or to destroy whatever property
was within reach. Thus the country became a region of violence and
bloodshed which all men of peace and quietness were glad to shun.
They left it to the possession of men who could find pleasure in such
scenes of violence and blood. When Queen Mary had got quietly settled
in her government, after the overthrow of the murderers of Rizzio, as
she thus no longer needed Bothwell's immediate aid, she sent him to
this border country to see if he could enforce some sort of order
among its lawless population.

The birth of Mary's son was an event of the greatest importance, not
only to her personally, but in respect to the political prospects of
the two great kingdoms, for in this infant were combined the claims
of succession to both the Scotch and English crowns. The whole world
knew that if Elizabeth should die without leaving a direct heir,
this child would become the monarch both of England and Scotland,
and, as such, one of the greatest personages in Europe. His birth,
therefore, was a great event, and it was celebrated in Scotland with
universal rejoicings. The tidings of it spread, as news of great
public interest, all over Europe. Even Elizabeth pretended to be
pleased, and sent messages of congratulation to Mary. But every one
thought that they could see in her air and manner, when she received
the intelligence, obvious traces of mortification and chagrin.

Mary's heart was filled, at first, with maternal pride and joy; but
her happiness was soon sadly alloyed by Darnley's continued
unkindness. She traveled about during the autumn, from castle to
castle, anxious and ill at ease. Sometimes Darnley followed her, and
sometimes he amused himself with hunting, and with various vicious
indulgences, at different towns and castles at a distance from her.
He wanted her to dismiss her ministry and put him into power, and he
took every possible means to importune or tease her into compliance
with this plan. At one time he said he had resolved to leave
Scotland, and go and reside in France, and he pretended to make his
preparations, and to be about to take his leave. He seems to have
thought that Mary, though he knew that she no longer loved him, would
be distressed at the idea of being abandoned by one who was, after
all, her husband. Mary was, in fact, distressed at this proposal, and
urged him not to go. He seemed determined, and took his leave.
Instead of going to France, however, he only went to Stirling Castle.

Darnley, finding that he could not accomplish his aims by such
methods as these, wrote, it is said, to the Catholic governments of
Europe, proposing that, if they would co-operate in putting him into
power in Scotland, he would adopt efficient measures for changing the
religion of the country from the Protestant to the Catholic faith. He
made, too, every effort to organize a party in his favor in Scotland,
and tried to defeat and counteract the influence of Mary's government
by every means in his power. These things, and other trials and
difficulties connected with them, weighed very heavily upon Mary's
mind. She sunk gradually into a state of great dejection and
despondency. She spent many hours in sighing and in tears, and often
wished that she was in her grave.

So deeply, in fact, was Mary plunged into distress and trouble by the
state of things existing between herself and Darnley, that some of
her officers of government began to conceive of a plan of having her
divorced from him. After looking at this subject in all its bearings,
and consulting about it with each other, they ventured, at last, to
propose it to Mary. She would not listen to any such plan. She did
not think a divorce could be legally accomplished. And then, if it
were to be done, it would, she feared, in some way or other, affect
the position and rights of the darling son who was now to her more
than all the world besides. She would rather endure to the end of her
days the tyranny and torment she experienced from her brutal husband,
than hazard in the least degree the future greatness and glory of the
infant who was lying in his cradle before her, equally unconscious of
the grandeur which awaited him in future years, and of the strength
of the maternal love which was smiling upon him from amid such sorrow
and tears, and extending over him such gentle, but determined and
effectual protection.

The sad and sorrowful feelings which Mary endured were interrupted
for a little time by the splendid pageant of the baptism of the
child. Embassadors came from all the important courts of the
Continent to do honor to the occasion. Elizabeth sent the Earl of
Bedford as her embassador, with a present of a baptismal font of
gold, which had cost a sum equal to five thousand dollars. The
baptism took place at Stirling, in December, with every possible
accompaniment of pomp and parade, and was followed by many days of
festivities and rejoicing. The whole country were interested in the
event except Darnley, who declared sullenly, while the preparations
were making, that he should not remain to witness the ceremony, but
should go off a day or two before the appointed time.

The ceremony was performed in the chapel. The child was baptized
under the names of "Charles James, James Charles, Prince and Steward
of Scotland, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Lord of the Isles,
and Baron of Renfrew." His subsequent designation in history was
James Sixth of Scotland and First of England. A great many
appointments of attendants and officers, to be attached to the
service of the young prince, were made immediately, most of them, of
course, mere matters of parade. Among the rest, five ladies of
distinction were constituted "rockers of his cradle." The form of
the young prince's cradle has come down to us in an ancient drawing.

[Illustration: PRINCE JAMES'S CRADLE.]

In due time after the coronation, the various embassadors and
delegates returned to their respective courts, carrying back glowing
accounts of the ceremonies and festivities attendant upon the
christening, and of the grace, and beauty, and loveliness of the

In the mean time, Bothwell and Murray were competitors for the
confidence and regard of the queen, and it began to seem probable
that Bothwell would win the day. Mary, in one of her excursions, was
traveling in the southern part of the country, when she heard that he
had been wounded in an encounter with a party of desperadoes near the
border. Moved partly, perhaps, by compassion, and partly by
gratitude for his services, Mary made an expedition across the
country to pay him a visit. Some say that she was animated by a more
powerful motive than either of these. In fact this, as well as almost
all the other acts of Mary's life, are presented in very different
lights by her friends and her enemies. The former say that this visit
to her lieutenant in his confinement from a wound received in her
service was perfectly proper, both in the design itself, and in all
the circumstances of its execution. The latter represent it as an
instance of highly indecorous eagerness on the part of a married lady
to express to another man a sympathy and kind regard which she had
ceased to feel for her husband.

Bothwell himself was married as well as Mary. He had been married but
a few months to a beautiful lady a few years younger than the queen.
The question, however, whether Mary did right or wrong in paying this
visit to him, is not, after all, a very important one. There is no
doubt that she and Bothwell loved each other before they ought to
have done so, and it is of comparatively little consequence when the
attachment began. The end of it is certain. Bothwell resolved to
kill Darnley, to get divorced from his own wife, and to marry the
queen. The world has never yet settled the question whether she was
herself his accomplice or not in the measures he adopted for
effecting these plans, or whether she only submitted to the result
when Bothwell, by his own unaided efforts, reached it. Each reader
must judge of this question for himself from the facts about to be

Bothwell first communicated with the nobles about the court, to get
their consent and approbation to the destruction of the king. They
all appeared to be very willing to have the thing done, but were a
little cautious about involving themselves in the responsibility of
doing it. Darnley was thoroughly hated, despised, and shunned by them
all. Still they were afraid of the consequences of taking his life.
One of them, Morton, asked Bothwell what the queen would think of the
plan. Bothwell said that the queen approved of it. Morton replied,
that if Bothwell would show him an expression of the queen's approval
of the plot, in her own hand-writing, he would join it, otherwise
not. Bothwell failed to furnish this evidence, saying that the queen
was really privy to, and in favor of the plan, but that it was not
to be expected that she would commit herself to it in writing. Was
this all true, or was the pretense only a desperate measure of
Bothwell's to induce Morton to join him?

Most of the leading men about the court, however, either joined the
plot, or so far gave it their countenance and encouragement as to
induce Bothwell to proceed. There were many and strange rumors about
Darnley. One was, that he was actually going to leave the country,
and that a ship was ready for him in the Clyde. Another was, that he
had a plan for seizing the young prince, dethroning Mary, and
reigning himself in her stead, in the prince's name. Other strange
and desperate schemes were attributed to him. In the midst of them,
news came to Mary at Holyrood that he was taken suddenly and
dangerously sick at Glasgow, where he was then residing, and she
immediately went to see him. Was her motive a desire to make one more
attempt to win his confidence and love, and to divert him from the
desperate measures which she feared he was contemplating, or was she
acting as an accomplice with Bothwell, to draw him into the snare in
which he was afterward taken and destroyed?

The result of Mary's visit to her husband, after some time spent with
him in Glasgow, was a proposal that he should return with her to
Edinburgh, where she could watch over him during his convalescence
with greater care. This plan was adopted. He was conveyed on a sort
of litter, by very slow and easy stages, toward Edinburgh. He was on
such terms with the nobles and lords in attendance upon Mary that he
was not willing to go to Holyrood House. Besides, his disorder was
contagious: it is supposed to have been the small-pox; and though he
was nearly recovered, there was still some possibility that the royal
babe might take the infection if the patient came within the same
walls with him. So Mary sent forward to Edinburgh to have a house
provided for him.

[Illustration: VIEW OF EDINBURGH.]

The situation of this house is seen near the city wall on the left, in
the accompanying view of Edinburgh. Holyrood House is the large square
edifice in the fore-ground, and the castle crowns the hill in the
distance. There is now, as there was in the days of Mary, a famous
street extending from Holyrood House to the castle, called the Cannon
Gate at the lower end, and the High Street above. This street, with
the castle at one extremity and Holyrood House at the other, were
the scenes of many of the most remarkable events described in this

The residence selected was a house of four rooms, close upon the city
wall. The place was called the Kirk of Field, from a _kirk_, or
church, which formerly stood near there, in the fields.

This house had two rooms upon the lower floor, with a passage-way
between them. One of these rooms was a kitchen; the other was
appropriated to Mary's use, whenever she was able to be at the place
in attendance upon her husband. Over the kitchen was a room used as a
wardrobe and for servants; and over Mary's room was the apartment for
Darnley. There was an opening through the city wall in the rear of
this dwelling, by which there was access to the kitchen. These
premises were fitted up for Darnley in the most thorough manner. A
bath was arranged for him in his apartment, and every thing was done
which could conduce to his comfort, according to the ideas which then
prevailed. Darnley was brought to Edinburgh, conveyed to this house,
and quietly established there.

The following is a plan of the house in which Darnley was lodged:


M. Mary's room, below Darnley's. K. Kitchen; servants'
room above. O. Passage through the city wall into the kitchen. S.
Stair-case leading to the second story. P. Passage-way.]

The accommodations in this house do not seem to have been very
sumptuous, after all, for a royal guest; but royal dwellings in
Scotland, in those days, were not what they are now in Westminster
and at St. Cloud.

The day for the execution of the plan, which was to blow up the house
where the sick Darnley was lying with gunpowder, approached.
Bothwell selected a number of desperate characters to aid him in the
actual work to be done. One of these was a Frenchman, who had been
for a long time in his service, and who went commonly by the name of
French Paris. Bothwell contrived to get French Paris taken into
Mary's service a few days before the murder of Darnley, and, through
him, he got possession of some of the keys of the house which Darnley
was occupying, and thus had duplicates of them made, so that he had
access to every part of the house. The gunpowder was brought from
Bothwell's castle at Dunbar, and all was ready.

Mary spent much of her time at Darnley's house, and often slept in
the room beneath his, which had been allotted to her as her
apartment. One Sunday there was to be a wedding at Holyrood. The
bride and bridegroom were favorite servants of Mary's, and she was
intending to be present at the celebration of the nuptials. She was
to leave Darnley's early in the evening for this purpose. Her enemies
say that this was all a concerted arrangement between her and
Bothwell to give him the opportunity to execute his plan. Her
friends, on the other hand, insist that she knew nothing about it,
and that Bothwell had to watch and wait for such an opportunity of
blowing up the house without injuring Mary. Be this as it may, the
Sunday of this wedding was fixed upon for the consummation of the

The gunpowder had been secreted in Bothwell's rooms at the palace. On
Sunday evening, as soon as it was dark, Bothwell set the men at work
to transport the gunpowder. They brought it out in bags from the
palace, and then employed a horse to transport it to the wall of some
gardens which were in the rear of Darnley's house. They had to go
twice with the horse in order to convey all the gunpowder that they
had provided. While this was going on, Bothwell, who kept out of
sight, was walking to and fro in an adjoining street, to receive
intelligence, from time to time, of the progress of the affair, and
to issue orders. The gunpowder was conveyed across the gardens to the
rear of the house, taken in at a back door, and deposited in the room
marked _M_ in the plan, which was the room belonging to Mary. Mary
was all this time directly over head, in Darnley's chamber.

The plan of the conspirators was to put the bags of gunpowder into a
cask which they had provided for the occasion, to keep the mass
together, and increase the force of the explosion. The cask had been
provided, and placed in the gardens behind the house; but, on
attempting to take it into the house, they found it too big to pass
through the back door. This caused considerable delay; and Bothwell,
growing impatient, came, with his characteristic impetuosity, to
ascertain the cause. By his presence and his energy, he soon remedied
the difficulty in some way or other, and completed the arrangements.
The gunpowder was all deposited; the men were dismissed, except two
who were left to watch, and who were locked up with the gunpowder in
Mary's room; and then, all things being ready for the explosion as
soon as Mary should be gone, Bothwell walked up to Darnley's room
above, and joined the party who were supping there. The cool
effrontery of this proceeding has scarcely a parallel in the annals
of crime.

At eleven o'clock Mary rose to go, saying she must return to the
palace to take part, as she had promised to do, in the celebration of
her servants' wedding. Mary took leave of her husband in a very
affectionate manner, and went away in company with Bothwell and the
other nobles. Her enemies maintain that she was privy to all the
arrangements which had been made, and that she did not go into her
own apartment below, knowing very well what was there. But even if we
imagine that Mary was aware of the general plan of destroying her
husband, and was secretly pleased with it, as almost any royal
personage that ever lived, under such circumstances, would be, we
need not admit that she was acquainted with the details of the mode
by which the plan was to be put in execution. The most that we can
suppose such a man as Bothwell would have communicated to her, would
be some dark and obscure intimations of his design, made in order to
satisfy himself that she would not really oppose it. To ask her,
woman as she was, to take any part in such a deed, or to communicate
to her beforehand any of the details of the arrangement, would have
been an act of littleness and meanness which such magnanimous
monsters as Bothwell are seldom guilty of.

Besides, Mary remarked that evening, in Darnley's room, in the course
of conversation, that it was just about a year since Rizzio's death.
On entering her palace, too, at Holyrood, that night, she met one of
Bothwell's servants who had been carrying the bags, and, perceiving
the smell of gunpowder, she asked him what it meant. Now Mary was
not the brazen-faced sort of woman to speak of such things at such a
time if she was really in the councils of the conspirators. The only
question seems to be, therefore, not whether she was a party to the
actual deed of murder, but only whether she was aware of, and
consenting to, the general design.

In the mean time, Mary and Bothwell went together into the hall where
the servants were rejoicing and making merry at the wedding. French
Paris was there, but his heart began to fail him in respect to the
deed in which he had been engaged. He stood apart, with a countenance
expressive of anxiety and distress. Bothwell went to him, and told
him that if he carried such a melancholy face as that any longer in
the presence of the queen, he would make him suffer for it. The poor
conscience-stricken man begged Bothwell to release him from any
further part in the transaction. He was sick, really sick, he said,
and he wanted to go home to his bed. Bothwell made no reply but to
order him to follow _him_. Bothwell went to his own rooms, changed
the silken court dress in which he had appeared in company for one
suitable to the night and to the deed, directed his men to follow
him, and passed from the palace toward the gates of the city. The
gates were shut, for it was midnight. The sentinels challenged them.
The party said they were friends to my Lord Bothwell, and were
allowed to pass on.

They advanced to the convent gardens. Here they left a part of their
number, while Bothwell and French Paris passed over the wall, and
crept softly into the house. They unlocked the room where they had
left the two watchmen with the gunpowder, and found all safe. Men
locked up under such circumstances, and on the eve of the
perpetration of such a deed, were not likely to sleep at their posts.
All things being now ready, they made a slow match of lint, long
enough to burn for some little time, and inserting one end of it into
the gunpowder, they lighted the other end, and crept stealthily out
of the apartment. They passed over the wall into the convent gardens,
where they rejoined their companions and awaited the result.

Men choose midnight often for the perpetration of crime, from the
facilities afforded by its silence and solitude. This advantage is,
however, sometimes well-nigh balanced by the stimulus which its
mysterious solemnity brings to the stings of remorse and terror.
Bothwell himself felt anxious and agitated. They waited and waited,
but it seemed as if their dreadful suspense would never end. Bothwell
became desperate. He wanted to get over the wall again and look in at
the window, to see if the slow match had not gone out. The rest
restrained him. At length the explosion came like a clap of thunder.
The flash brightened for an instant over the whole sky, and the
report roused the sleeping inhabitants of Edinburgh from their
slumbers, throwing the whole city into sudden consternation.

The perpetrators of the deed, finding that their work was done, fled
immediately. They tried various plans to avoid the sentinels at the
gates of the city, as well as the persons who were beginning to come
toward the scene of the explosion. When they reached the palace of
Holyrood, they were challenged by the sentinel on duty there. They
said that they were friends of Earl Bothwell, bringing dispatches to
him from the country. The sentinel asked them if they knew what was
the cause of that loud explosion. They said they did not, and passed

Bothwell went to his room, called for a drink, undressed himself, and
went to bed. Half an hour afterward, messengers came to awaken him,
and inform him that the king's house had been blown up with
gunpowder, and the king himself killed by the explosion. He rose with
an appearance of great astonishment and indignation, and, after
conferring with some of the other nobles, concluded to go and
communicate the event to the queen. The queen was overwhelmed with
astonishment and indignation too.

The destruction of Darnley in such a manner as this, of course
produced a vast sensation all over Scotland. Every body was on the
alert to discover the authors of the crime. Rewards were offered;
proclamations were made. Rumors began to circulate that Bothwell was
the criminal. He was accused by anonymous placards put up at night in
Edinburgh. Lennox, Darnley's father, demanded his trial; and a trial
was ordered. The circumstances of the trial were such, however, and
Bothwell's power and desperate recklessness were so great, that
Lennox, when the time came, did not appear. He said he had not _force
enough_ at his command to come safely into court. There being no
testimony offered, Bothwell was acquitted; and he immediately
afterward issued his proclamation, offering to fight any man who
should intimate, in any way, that he was concerned in the murder of
the king. Thus Bothwell established his innocence; at least, no man
dared to gainsay it.

Darnley was murdered in February. Bothwell was tried and acquitted in
April. Immediately afterward, he took measures for privately making
known to the leading nobles that it was his design to marry the
queen, and for securing their concurrence in the plan. They
concurred; or at least, perhaps for fear of displeasing such a
desperado, said what he understood to mean that they concurred. The
queen heard the reports of such a design, and said, as ladies often
do in similar cases, that she did not know what people meant by such
reports; there was no foundation for them whatever.

Toward the end of April, Mary was about returning from the castle of
Stirling to Edinburgh with a small escort of troops and attendants.
Melville was in her train. Bothwell set out at the head of a force of
more than five hundred men to intercept her. Mary lodged one night,
on her way, at Linlithgow, the palace where she was born, and the
next morning was quietly pursuing her journey, when Bothwell came up
at the head of his troops. Resistance was vain. Bothwell advanced to
Mary's horse, and, taking the bridle, led her away. A few of her
principal followers were taken prisoners too, and the rest were
dismissed. Bothwell took his captive across the country by a rapid
flight to his castle of Dunbar. The attendants who were taken with
her were released, and she remained in the Castle of Dunbar for ten
days, entirely in Bothwell's power.

[Illustration: DUNBAR CASTLE--The Residence of Earl Bothwell.]

According to the account which Mary herself gives of what took place
during this captivity, she at first reproached Bothwell bitterly for
the ungrateful and cruel return he was making for all her kindness to
him, by such a deed of violence and wrong, and begged and entreated
him to let her go. Bothwell replied that he knew that it was wrong for
him to treat his sovereign so rudely, but that he was impelled to it
by the circumstances of the case, and by love which he felt for her,
which was too strong for him to control. He then entreated her to
become his wife; he complained of the bitter hostility which he had
always been subject to from his enemies, and that he could have no
safeguard from this hostility in time to come but in her favor; and
he could not depend upon any assurance of her favor less than her
making him her husband. He protested that, if she would do so, he
would never ask to share her power, but would be content to be her
faithful and devoted servant, as he had always been. It was love, not
ambition, he said, that animated him, and he could not and would not
be refused. Mary says that she was distressed and agitated beyond
measure by the appeals and threats with which Bothwell accompanied his
urgent entreaties. She tried every way to plan some mode of escape.
Nobody came to her rescue. She was entirely alone, and in Bothwell's
power. Bothwell assured her that the leading nobles of her court were
in favor of the marriage, and showed her a written agreement signed by
them to this effect. At length, wearied and exhausted, she was finally
overcome by his urgency, and yielding partly to his persuasions, and
partly, as she says, to force, gave herself up to his power.

Mary remained at Dunbar about ten days, during which time Bothwell
sued out and obtained a divorce from his wife. His wife, feeling,
perhaps, resentment more than grief, sued, at the same time, for a
divorce from him. Bothwell then sallied forth from his fastness at
Dunbar, and, taking Mary with him, went to Edinburgh, and took up his
abode in the castle there, as that fortress was then under his power.
Mary soon after appeared in public and stated that she was now
entirely free, and that, although Bothwell had done wrong in carrying
her away by violence, still he had treated her since in so respectful
a manner, that she had pardoned him, and had received him into favor
again. A short time after this they were married. The ceremony was
performed in a very private and unostentatious manner, and took place
in May, about three months after the murder of Darnley.

By some persons Mary's account of the transactions at Dunbar is
believed. Others think that the whole affair was all a preconcerted
plan, and that the appearance of resistance on her part was only for
show, to justify, in some degree, in the eyes of the world, so
imprudent and inexcusable a marriage. A great many volumes have been
written on the question without making any progress toward a
settlement of it. It is one of those cases where, the evidence being
complicated, conflicting, and incomplete, the mind is swayed by the
feelings, and the readers of the story decide more or less favorably
for the unhappy queen, according to the warmth of the interest
awakened in their hearts by beauty and misfortune.




Mary's infatuation.--Excuses for her.--Mary's deep
depression.--Interposition of the King of France.--Bothwell at Edinburgh
Castle.--He is hated by the people.--The opposing parties.--How far
Mary was responsible.--Melrose.--Ruins of the abbey.--Mary's
proclamation.--The prince's lords.--Bothwell alarmed.--Borthwick
Castle.--Bothwell's retreat.--He is besieged.--Makes his
escape.--Bothwell at Dunbar.--Proclamation.--Approaching
contest.--Mary's appeal.--Approach of the prince's lords.--Carberry
Hill.--Efforts of Le Croc to effect an accommodation.--Bothwell's
challenge.--Morton.--Mary sends for Grange.--Proposition of
Grange.--Dismissal of Bothwell.--Question of Mary's guilt.--The
supposition against her.--The supposition in her
favor.--Uncertainty.--The box of love letters.--Their genuineness
suspected.--Disposal of Mary.--Return to Edinburgh.--The
banner.--Rudeness of the populace.--Bothwell's retreat.--He is
pursued.--Bothwell's narrow escape.--He turns pirate.--Bothwell
in prison.--His miserable end.

The course which Mary pursued after her liberation from Dunbar in
yielding to Bothwell's wishes, pardoning his violence, receiving him
again into favor, and becoming his wife, is one of the most
extraordinary instances of the infatuation produced by love that has
ever occurred. If the story had been fiction instead of truth, it
would have been pronounced extravagant and impossible. As it was, the
whole country was astonished and confounded at such a rapid
succession of desperate and unaccountable crimes. Mary herself seems
to have been hurried through these terrible scenes in a sort of
delirium of excitement, produced by the strange circumstances of the
case, and the wild and uncontrollable agitations to which they gave

Such was, however, at the time, and such continues to be still, the
feeling of interest in Mary's character and misfortunes, that but few
open and direct censures of her conduct were then, or have been
since, expressed. People execrated Bothwell, but they were silent in
respect to Mary. It was soon plain, however, that she had greatly
sunk in their regard, and that the more they reflected upon the
circumstances of the case, the deeper she was sinking. When the
excitement, too, began to pass away from her own mind, it left behind
it a gnawing inquietude and sense of guilt, which grew gradually more
and more intense, until, at length, she sunk under the stings of
remorse and despair.

Her sufferings were increased by the evidences which were continually
coming to her mind of the strong degree of disapprobation with which
her conduct began soon every where to be regarded. Wherever Scotchmen
traveled, they found themselves reproached with the deeds of violence
and crime of which their country had been the scene. Mary's relatives
and friends in France wrote to her, expressing their surprise and
grief at such proceedings. The King of France had sent, a short time
before, a special embassador for the purpose of doing something, if
possible, to discover and punish the murderers of Darnley. His name
was Le Croc. He was an aged and venerable man, of great prudence and
discretion, well qualified to discover and pursue the way of escape
from the difficulties in which Mary had involved herself, if any such
way could be found. He arrived before the day of Mary's marriage, but
he refused to take any part, or even to be present, at the ceremony.

In the mean time, Bothwell continued in Edinburgh Castle for a while,
under the protection of a strong guard. People considered this guard
as intended to prevent Mary's escape, and many thought that she was
detained, after all, against her will, and that her admissions that
she was free were only made at the instigation of Bothwell, and from
fear of his terrible power. The other nobles and the people of
Scotland began to grow more and more uneasy. The fear of Bothwell
began to be changed into hatred, and the more powerful nobles
commenced forming plans for combining together, and rescuing, as they
said, Mary out of his power.

Bothwell made no attempts to conciliate them. He assumed an air and
tone of defiance. He increased his forces. He conceived the plan of
going to Stirling Castle to seize the young prince, who was residing
there under the charge of persons to whom his education had been
intrusted. He said to his followers that James should never do any
thing to avenge his father's death, if he could once get him into his
hands. The other nobles formed a league to counteract these designs.
They began to assemble their forces, and every thing threatened an
outbreak of civil war.

The marriage took place about the middle of May, and within a
fortnight from that time the lines began to be pretty definitely
drawn between the two great parties, the queen and Bothwell on one
side, and the insurgent nobles on the other, each party claiming to
be friends of the queen. Whatever was done on Bothwell's side was, of
course, in the queen's name, though it is very doubtful how far she
was responsible for what was done, or how far, on the other hand, she
merely aided, under the influence of a species of compulsion, in
carrying into execution Bothwell's measures. We must say, in
narrating the history, that the queen did this and that, and must
leave the reader to judge whether it was herself, or Bothwell acting
through her, who was the real agent in the transactions described.

Stirling Castle, where the young prince was residing, is northwest of
Edinburgh. The confederate lords were assembling in that vicinity.
The border country between England and Scotland is of course south.
In the midst of this border country is the ancient town of Melrose,
where there was, in former days, a very rich and magnificent abbey,
the ruins of which, to this day, form one of the most attractive
objects of interest in the whole island of Great Britain. The region
is now the abode of peace, and quietness, and plenty, though in
Mary's day it was the scene of continual turmoil and war. It is now
the favorite retreat of poets and philosophers, who seek their
residences there on account of its stillness and peace. Sir Walter
Scott's Abbotsford is a few miles from Melrose.

About a fortnight after Mary's marriage, she issued a proclamation
ordering the military chiefs in her kingdom to assemble at Melrose,
with their followers, to accompany her on an expedition through the
border country, to suppress some disorders there. The nobles
considered this as only a scheme of Bothwell's to draw them away from
the neighborhood of Stirling, so that he might go and get possession
of the young prince. Rumors of this spread around the country, and
the forces, instead of proceeding to Melrose, began to assemble in
the neighborhood of Stirling, for the protection of the prince. The
lords under whose banners they gathered assumed the name of _the
prince's_ lords, and they called upon the people to take up arms in
defense of young James's person and rights. The prince's lords soon
began to concentrate their forces about Edinburgh, and Bothwell was
alarmed for his safety. He had reason to fear that the governor of
Edinburgh Castle was on their side, and that he might suddenly sally
forth with a body of his forces down the High Street to Holyrood, and
take him prisoner. He accordingly began to think it necessary to

Now Bothwell had, among his other possessions, a certain castle
called Borthwick Castle, a few miles south of Edinburgh. It was
situated on a little swell of land in a beautiful valley. It was
surrounded with groves of trees, and from the windows and walls of
the castle there was an extended view over the beautiful and fertile
fields of the valley. This castle was extensive and strong. It
consisted of one great square tower, surrounded and protected by
walls and bastions, and was approached by a draw-bridge. In the
sudden emergency in which Bothwell found himself placed, this
fortress seemed to be the most convenient and the surest retreat. On
the 6th of June, he accordingly left Edinburgh with as large a force
as he had at command, and rode rapidly across the country with the
queen, and established himself at Borthwick.

The prince's lords, taking fresh courage from the evidence of
Bothwell's weakness and fear, immediately marched from Stirling,
passed by Edinburgh, and almost immediately after Bothwell and the
queen had got safely, as they imagined, established in the place of
their retreat, they found their castle surrounded and hemmed in on
all sides by hostile forces, which filled the whole valley. The
castle was strong, but not strong enough to withstand a siege from
such an army. Bothwell accordingly determined to retreat to his
castle of Dunbar, which, being on a rocky promontory, jutting into
the sea, and more remote from the heart of the country, was less
accessible, and more safe than Borthwick. He contrived, though with
great difficulty, to make his escape with the queen, through the
ranks of his enemies. It is said that the queen was disguised in male
attire. At any rate, they made their escape, they reached Dunbar,
and Mary, or Bothwell in her name, immediately issued a proclamation,
calling upon all her faithful subjects to assemble in arms, to
deliver her from her dangers. At the same time, the prince's lords
issued _their_ proclamation, calling upon all faithful subjects to
assemble with them, to aid them in delivering the queen from the
tyrant who held her captive.

The faithful subjects were at a loss which proclamation to obey. By
far the greater number joined the insurgents. Some thousands,
however, went to Dunbar. With this force the queen and Bothwell
sallied forth, about the middle of June, to meet the prince's lords,
or the insurgents, as they called them, to settle the question at
issue by the kind of ballot with which such questions were generally
settled in those days.

Mary had a proclamation read at the head of her army, now that she
supposed she was on the eve of battle, in which she explained the
causes of the quarrel. The proclamation stated that the marriage was
Mary's free act, and that, although it was in some respects an
extraordinary one, still the circumstances were such that she could
not do otherwise than she had done. For ten days she had been in
Bothwell's power in his castle at Dunbar, and not an arm had been
raised for her deliverance. Her subjects ought to have interposed
then, if they were intending really to rescue her from Bothwell's
power. They had done nothing then, but now, when she had been
compelled, by the cruel circumstances of her condition, to marry
Bothwell--when the act was done, and could no longer be recalled,
they had taken up arms against her, and compelled her to take the
field in her own defense.

The army of the prince's lords, with Mary's most determined enemies
at their head, advanced to meet the queen's forces. The queen finally
took her post on an elevated piece of ground called Carberry Hill.
Carberry is an old Scotch name for gooseberry. Carberry Hill is a few
miles to the eastward of Edinburgh, near Dalkeith. Here the two
armies were drawn up, opposite to each other, in hostile array.

Le Croc, the aged and venerable French embassador, made a great
effort to effect an accommodation and prevent a battle. He first went
to the queen and obtained authority from her to offer terms of peace,
and then went to the camp of the prince's lords and proposed that
they should lay down their arms and submit to the queen's authority,
and that she would forgive and forget what they had done. They
replied that they had done no wrong, and asked for no pardon; that
they were not in arms against the queen's authority, but in favor of
it. They sought only to deliver her from the durance in which she was
held, and to bring to punishment the murderers of her husband,
whoever they might be. Le Croc went back and forth several times,
vainly endeavoring to effect an accommodation, and finally, giving up
in despair, he returned to Edinburgh, leaving the contending parties
to settle the contest in their own way.

Bothwell now sent a herald to the camp of his enemies, challenging
any one of them to meet him, and settle the question of his guilt or
innocence by single combat. This proposition was not quite so absurd
in those days as it would be now, for it was not an uncommon thing,
in the Middle Ages, to try in this way questions of crime. Many
negotiations ensued on Bothwell's proposal. One or two persons
expressed themselves ready to accept the challenge. Bothwell objected
to them on account of their rank being inferior to his, but said he
would fight Morton, if Morton would accept his challenge. Morton had
been his accomplice in the murder of Darnley, but had afterward
joined the party of Bothwell's foes. It would have been a singular
spectacle to see one of these confederates in the commission of a
crime contending desperately in single combat to settle the question
of the guilt or innocence of the other.

The combat, however, did not take place. After many negotiations on
the subject, the plan was abandoned, each party charging the other
with declining the contest. The queen and Bothwell, in the mean time,
found such evidences of strength on the part of their enemies, and
felt probably, in their own hearts, so much of that faintness and
misgiving under which human energy almost always sinks when the tide
begins to turn against it, after the commission of wrong, that they
began to feel disheartened and discouraged. The queen sent to the
opposite camp with a request that a certain personage, the Laird of
Grange, in whom all parties had great confidence, should come to her,
that she might make one more effort at reconciliation. Grange, after
consulting with the prince's lords, made a proposition to Mary, which
she finally concluded to accept. It was as follows:

They proposed that Mary should come over to their camp, not saying
very distinctly whether she was to come as their captive or as their
queen. The event showed that it was in the former capacity that they
intended to receive her, though they were probably willing that she
should understand that it was in the latter. At all events, the
proposition itself did not make it very clear what her position would
be; and the poor queen, distracted by the difficulties which
surrounded her, and overwhelmed with agitation and fear, could not
press very strongly for precise stipulations. In respect to Bothwell,
they compromised the question by agreeing that, as he was under
suspicion in respect to the murder of Darnley, he should not
accompany the queen, but should be dismissed upon the field; that is,
allowed to depart, without molestation, wherever he should choose to
go. This plan was finally adopted. The queen bade Bothwell farewell,
and he went away reluctantly and in great apparent displeasure. He
had, in fact, with his characteristic ferocity, attempted to shoot
Grange pending the negotiation. He mounted his horse, and, with a few
attendants, rode off and sought a retreat once more upon his rock at

From all the evidence which has come down to us, it seems impossible
to ascertain whether Mary desired to be released from Bothwell's
power, and was glad when the release came, or whether she still loved
him, and was planning a reunion, so soon as a reunion should be
possible. One party at that time maintained, and a large class of
writers and readers since have concurred in the opinion, that Mary
was in love with Bothwell before Darnley's death; that she connived
with him in the plan for Darnley's murder; that she was a consenting
party to the abduction, and the spending of the ten days at Dunbar
Castle, in his power; that the marriage was the end at which she
herself, as well as Bothwell, had been all the time aiming; and then,
when at last she surrendered herself to the prince's lords at
Carberry Hill, it was only yielding unwillingly to the necessity of a
temporary separation from her lawless husband, with a view of
reinstating him in favor and power at the earliest opportunity.

Another party, both among her people at the time and among the
writers and readers who have since paid attention to her story, think
that she never loved Bothwell, and that, though she valued his
services as a bold and energetic soldier, she had no collusion with
him whatever in respect to Darnley's murder. They think that, though
she must have felt in some sense relieved of a burden by Darnley's
death, she did not in any degree aid in or justify the crime, and
that she had no reason for supposing that Bothwell had any share in
the commission of it. They think, also, that her consenting to marry
Bothwell is to be accounted for by her natural desire to seek
shelter, under some wing or other, from the terrible storms which
were raging around her; and being deserted, as she thought, by every
body else, and moved by his passionate love and devotion, she
imprudently gave herself to him; that she lamented the act as soon as
it was done, but that it was then too late to retrieve the step; and
that, harassed and in despair, she knew not what to do, but that she
hailed the rising of her nobles as affording the only promise of
deliverance, and came forth from Dunbar to meet them with the secret
purpose of delivering herself into their hands.

The question which of these two suppositions is the correct one has
been discussed a great deal, without the possibility of arriving at
any satisfactory conclusion. A parcel of letters were produced by
Mary's enemies, some time after this, which they said were Mary's
letters to Bothwell before her husband Darnley's death. They say they
took the letters from a man named Dalgleish, one of Bothwell's
servants, who was carrying them from Holyrood to Dunbar Castle, just
after Mary and Bothwell fled to Borthwick. They were contained in a
small gilded box or coffer, with the letter F upon it, under a crown;
which mark naturally suggests to our minds Mary's first husband,
Francis, the king of France. Dalgleish said that Bothwell sent him
for this box, charging him to convey it with all care to Dunbar
Castle. The letters purport to be from Mary to Bothwell, and to have
been written before Darnley's death. They evince a strong affection
for the person to whom they are addressed, and seem conclusively to
prove the unlawful attachment between the parties, provided that
their genuineness is acknowledged. But this genuineness is denied.
Mary's friends maintain that they are forgeries, prepared by her
enemies to justify their own wrong. Many volumes have been written on
the question of the genuineness of these love letters, as they are
called, and there is perhaps now no probability that the question
will ever be settled.

Whatever doubt there may be about these things, there is none about
the events which followed. After Mary had surrendered herself to her
nobles they took her to the camp, she herself riding on horseback,
and Grange walking by her side. As she advanced to meet the nobles
who had combined against her, she said to them that she had concluded
to come over to them, not from fear, or from doubt what the issue
would have been if she had fought the battle, but only because she
wanted to spare the effusion of Christian blood, especially the blood
of her own subjects. She had therefore decided to submit herself to
their counsels, trusting that they would treat her as their rightful
queen. The nobles made little reply to this address, but prepared to
return to Edinburgh with their prize.

The people of Edinburgh, who had heard what turn the affair had
taken, flocked out upon the roads to see the queen return. They lined
the waysides to gaze upon the great cavalcade as it passed. The
nobles who conducted Mary thus back toward her capital had a banner
prepared, or allowed one to be prepared, on which was a painting
representing the dead body of Darnley, and the young prince James
kneeling near him, and calling on God to avenge his cause. Mary came
on, in the procession, after this symbol. They might perhaps say that
it was not intended to wound her feelings, and was not of a nature to
do it, unless she considered herself as taking sides with the
murderers of her husband. She, however, knew very well that she was
so regarded by great numbers of the populace assembled, and that the
effect of such an effigy carried before her was to hold her up to
public obloquy. The populace did, in fact, taunt and reproach her as
she proceeded, and she rode into Edinburgh, evincing all the way
extreme mental suffering by her agitation and her tears.

She expected that they were at least to take her to Holyrood; but no,
they turned at the gate to enter the city. Mary protested earnestly
against this, and called, half frantic, on all who heard her to come
to her rescue. But no one interfered. They took her to the provost's
house, and lodged her there for the night, and the crowd which had
assembled to observe these proceedings gradually dispersed. There
seemed, however, in a day or two, to be some symptoms of a reaction
in favor of the fallen queen; and, to guard against the possibility
of a rescue, the lords took Mary to Holyrood again, and began
immediately to make arrangements for some more safe place of
confinement still.

In the mean time, Bothwell went from Carberry Hill to his castle at
Dunbar, revolving moodily in his mind his altered fortunes. After
some time he found himself not safe in this place of refuge, and so
he retreated to the north, to some estates he had there, in the
remote Highlands. A detachment of forces was sent in pursuit of him.
Now there are, north of Scotland, some groups of dismal islands, the
summits of submerged mountains and rocks, rising in dark and sublime,
but gloomy grandeur, from the midst of cold and tempestuous seas.
Bothwell, finding himself pursued, undertook to escape by ship to
these islands. His pursuers, headed by Grange, who had negotiated at
Carberry for the surrender of the queen, embarked in other vessels,
and pressed on after him. At one time they almost overtook him, and
would have captured him and all his company were it not that they got
entangled among some shoals. Grange's sailors said they must not
proceed. Grange, eager to seize his prey, insisted on their making
sail and pressing forward. The consequence was, they ran the vessels
aground, and Bothwell escaped in a small boat. As it was, however,
they seized some of his accomplices, and brought them back to
Edinburgh. These men were afterward tried, and some of them were
executed; and it was at their trial, and through the confessions they
made, that the facts were brought to light which have been related in
this narrative.

Bothwell, now a fugitive and an exile, but still retaining his
desperate and lawless character, became a pirate, and attempted to
live by robbing the commerce of the German Ocean. Rumor is the only
historian, in ordinary cases, to record the events in the life of a
pirate; and she, in this case, sent word, from time to time, to
Scotland, of the robberies and murders that the desperado committed;
of an expedition fitted out against him by the King of Denmark, of
his being taken and carried into a Danish port; of his being held in
imprisonment for a long period there, in a gloomy dungeon; of his
restless spirit chafing itself in useless struggles against his
fate, and sinking gradually, at last under the burdens of remorse for
past crimes, and despair of any earthly deliverance; of his insanity,
and, finally, of his miserable end.




Grange of Kircaldy.--Mary's letter.--Removal of Mary.--A ride at
night.--Loch Leven Castle.--The square tower.--Plan of Loch Leven
Castle.--Lady Douglas.--Lady Douglas Mary's enemy.--Parties for and
against Mary.--The Hamilton lords.--Plans of Mary's enemies.--Mary's
tower.--Ruins.--The scale turns against Mary.--Proposals made to
Mary.--The commissioners.--Melville unsuccessful.--Lindsay
called in.--Lindsay's brutality.--Abdication.--Coronation of
James.--Ceremonies.--Return of Murray.--Murray's interview with
Mary.--Affecting scene.--Murray assumes the government.--His
warnings.--The young Douglases.--Their interest in Mary.--Plan for Mary's
escape.--The laundress.--The disguise.--Escape.--Discovery.--Mary's
return.--Banishment of George Douglas.--Secret communications.--New
plan of escape.--The postern gate.--Liberation of Mary.--Jane
Kennedy.--The escape.--Mary's joy.--Popular feeling.--Mary's
proclamation.--Ruins of Loch Leven Castle.--The octagonal

Grange, or, as he is sometimes called, Kircaldy, his title in full
being Grange of Kircaldy, was a man of integrity and honor, and he,
having been the negotiator through whose intervention Mary gave
herself up, felt himself bound to see that the stipulations on the
part of the nobles should be honorably fulfilled. He did all in his
power to protect Mary from insult on the journey, and he struck with
his sword and drove away some of the populace who were addressing her
with taunts and reproaches. When he found that the nobles were
confining her, and treating her so much more like a captive than like
a queen, he remonstrated with them. They silenced him by showing him
a letter, which they said they had intercepted on its way from Mary
to Bothwell. It was written, they said, on the night of Mary's
arrival at Edinburgh. It assured Bothwell that she retained an
unaltered affection for him; that her consenting to be separated
from him at Carberry Hill was a matter of mere necessity, and that
she should rejoin him as soon as it was in her power to do so. This
letter showed, they said, that, after all, Mary was not, as they had
supposed, Bothwell's captive and victim, but that she was his
accomplice and friend; and that, now that they had discovered their
mistake, they must treat Mary, as well as Bothwell, as an enemy, and
take effectual means to protect themselves from the one as well as
from the other. Mary's friends maintain that this letter was a

They accordingly took Mary, as has been already stated, from the
provost's house in Edinburgh down to Holyrood House, which was just
without the city. This, however, was only a temporary change. That
night they came into the palace, and directed Mary to rise and put on
a traveling dress which they brought her. They did not tell her where
she was to go, but simply ordered her to follow them. It was
midnight. They took her forth from the palace, mounted her upon a
horse, and, with Ruthven and Lindsay, two of the murderers of Rizzio,
for an escort, they rode away. They traveled all night, crossed the
River Forth and arrived in the morning at the Castle of Loch Leven.

The Castle of Loch Leven is on a small island in the middle of the
loch. It is nearly north from Edinburgh. The castle buildings covered
at that time about one half of the island, the water coming up to the
walls on three sides. On the other side was a little land, which was
cultivated as a garden. The buildings inclosed a considerable area.
There was a great square tower, marked on the plan below, which was
the residence of the family. It consisted of four or five rooms, one
over the other. The cellar, or, rather, what would be the cellar in
other cases, was a dungeon for such prisoners as were to be kept in
close confinement. The only entrance to this building was through a
window in the second story, by means of a ladder which was raised and
let down by a chain. This was over the point marked _e_ on the plan.
The chain was worked at a window in the story above. There were
various other apartments and structures about the square, and among
them there was a small octagonal tower in the corner at _m_ which
consisted within of one room over another for three stories, and a
flat roof with battlements above. In the second story there was a
window, _w_, looking upon the water. This was the only window having
an external aspect in the whole fortress, all the other openings in
the exterior walls being mere loop-holes and embrasures.

The following is a general plan of Loch Leven Castle:[H]


[Footnote H: Compare this plan with the view of the castle, page

This castle was in possession of a certain personage styled the Lady
Douglas. She was the mother of the Lord James, afterward the Earl of
Murray, who has figured so conspicuously in this history as Mary's
half brother, and at first her friend and counselor, though afterward
her foe. Lady Douglas was commonly called the Lady of Loch Leven. She
maintained that she had been lawfully married to James V., Mary's
father, and that consequently her son, and not Mary, was the rightful
heir to the crown. Of course she was Mary's natural enemy. They
selected her castle as the place of Mary's confinement partly on this
account, and partly on account of its inaccessible position in the
midst of the waters of the lake. They delivered the captive queen,
accordingly, to the Lady Douglas and her husband, charging them to
keep her safely. The Lady Douglas received her, and locked her up in
the octagonal tower with the window looking out upon the water.

In the mean time, all Scotland took sides for or against the queen.
The strongest party were against her; and the Church was against her,
on account of their hostility to the Catholic religion. A sort of
provisional government was instituted, which assumed the management
of public affairs. Mary had, however, some friends, and they soon
began to assemble in order to see what could be done for her cause.
Their rendezvous was at the palace of Hamilton. This palace was
situated on a plain in the midst of a beautiful park, near the River
Clyde, a few miles from Glasgow. The Duke of Hamilton was prominent
among the supporters of the queen, and made his house their
head-quarters. They were often called, from this circumstance, the
Hamilton lords.

On the other hand, the party opposed to Mary made the castle of
Stirling their head-quarters, because the young prince was there, in
whose name they were proposing soon to assume the government. Their
plan was to depose Mary, or induce her to abdicate the throne, and
then to make Murray regent, to govern the country in the name of the
prince until the prince should become of age. During all this time
Murray had been absent in France, but they now sent urgent messages
to him to return. He obeyed the summons, and turned his face toward

In the mean time, Mary continued in confinement in her little tower.
She was not treated like a common prisoner, but had, in some degree,
the attentions due to her rank. There were five or six female, and
about as many male attendants; though, if the rooms which are
exhibited to visitors at the present day as the apartments which she
occupied are really such, her quarters were very contracted. They
consist of small apartments of an octagonal form, one over the other,
with tortuous and narrow stair-cases in the solid wall to ascend from
one to the other. The roof and the floors of the tower are now gone,
but the stair-ways, the capacious fire-places, the loop-holes, and
the one window remain, enabling the visitor to reconstruct the
dwelling in imagination, and even to fancy Mary herself there again,
seated on the stone seat by the window, looking over the water at the
distant hills, and sighing to be free.

The Hamilton lords were not strong enough to attempt her rescue. The
weight of influence and power throughout the country went gradually
and irresistibly into the other scale. There were great debates among
the authorities of government as to what should be done. The Hamilton
lords made proposals in behalf of Mary which the government could not
accede to. Other proposals were made by different parties in the
councils of the insurgent nobles, some more and some less hard for
the captive queen. The conclusion, however, finally was, to urge
Mary to resign her crown in favor of her son, and to appoint Murray,
when he should return, to act as regent till the prince should be of

They accordingly sent commissioners to Loch Leven to propose these
measures to the queen. There were three instruments of abdication
prepared for her to sign. By one she resigned the crown in favor of
her son. By the second she appointed Murray to be regent as soon as
he should return from France. By the third she appointed
commissioners to govern the country until Murray should return. They
knew that Mary would be extremely unwilling to sign these papers, and
yet that they must contrive, in some way, to obtain her signature
without any open violence; for the signature, to be of legal force,
must be, in some sense, her voluntary act.

The two commissioners whom they sent to her were Melville and
Lindsay. Melville was a thoughtful and a reasonable man, who had long
been in Mary's service, and who possessed a great share of her
confidence and good will. Lindsay was, on the other hand, of an
overbearing and violent temper, of very rude speech and demeanor, and
was known to be unfriendly to the queen. They hoped that Mary would
be induced to sign the papers by Melville's gentle persuasions; if
not, Lindsay was to see what he could do by denunciations and

When the two commissioners arrived at the castle, Melville alone went
first into the presence of the queen. He opened the subject to her in
a gentle and respectful manner. He laid before her the distracted
state of Scotland, the uncertain and vague suspicions floating in the
public mind on the subject of Darnley's murder, and the irretrievable
shade which had been thrown over her position by the unhappy marriage
with Bothwell; and he urged her to consent to the proposed measures,
as the only way now left to restore peace to the land. Mary heard him
patiently, but replied that she could not consent to his proposal. By
doing so she should not only sacrifice her own rights, and degrade
herself from the position she was entitled to occupy, but she should,
in some sense, acknowledge herself guilty of the charges brought
against her, and justify her enemies.

Melville, finding that his efforts were vain, called Lindsay in. He
entered with a fierce and determined air. Mary was reminded of the
terrible night when he and Ruthven broke into her little supper-room
at Holyrood in quest of Rizzio. She was agitated and alarmed. Lindsay
assailed her with denunciations and threats of the most violent
character. There ensued a scene of the most rough and ferocious
passion on the one side, and of anguish, terror, and despair on the
other, which is said to have made this day the most wretched of all
the wretched days of Mary's life. Sometimes she sat pale, motionless,
and almost stupefied. At others, she was overwhelmed with sorrow and
tears. She finally yielded; and, taking the pen, she signed the
papers. Lindsay and Melville took them, left the castle gate, entered
their boat, and were rowed away to the shore.

This was on the 25th of July, 1567, and four days afterward the young
prince was crowned at Stirling. His title was James VI. Lindsay made
oath at the coronation that he was a witness of Mary's abdication of
the crown in favor of her son, and that it was her own free and
voluntary act. James was about one year old. The coronation took
place in the chapel where Mary had been crowned in her infancy, about
twenty-five years before. Mary herself, though unconscious of her own
coronation, mourned bitterly over that of her son. Unhappy mother!
how little was she aware, when her heart was filled with joy and
gladness at his birth, that in one short year his mere existence
would furnish to her enemies the means of consummating and sealing
her ruin.

On returning from the chapel to the state apartments of the castle,
after the coronation, the noblemen by whom the infant had been
crowned walked in solemn procession, bearing the badges and insignia
of the newly-invested royalty. One carried the crown. Morton, who was
to exercise the government until Murray should return, followed with
the scepter, and a third bore the infant king, who gazed about
unconsciously upon the scene, regardless alike of his mother's lonely
wretchedness and of his own new scepter and crown.

In the mean time, Murray was drawing near toward the confines of
Scotland. He was somewhat uncertain how to act. Having been absent
for some time in France and on the Continent, he was not certain how
far the people of Scotland were really and cordially in favor of the
revolution which had been effected. Mary's friends might claim that
her acts of abdication, having been obtained while she was under
duress, were null and void, and if they were strong enough they
might attempt to reinstate her upon the throne. In this case, it
would be better for him not to have acted with the insurgent
government at all. To gain information on these points, Murray sent
to Melville to come and meet him on the border. Melville came. The
result of their conferences was, that Murray resolved to visit Mary
in her tower before he adopted any decisive course.

Murray accordingly journeyed northward to Loch Leven, and, embarking
in the boat which plied between the castle and the shore, he crossed
the sheet of water, and was admitted into the fortress. He had a long
interview with Mary alone. At the sight of her long-absent brother,
who had been her friend and guide in her early days of prosperity and
happiness, and who had accompanied her through so many changing
scenes, and who now returned, after his long separation from her, to
find her a lonely and wretched captive, involved in irretrievable
ruin, if not in acknowledged guilt, she was entirely overcome by her
emotions. She burst into tears and could not speak. What further
passed at this interview was never precisely known. They parted
tolerably good friends, however, and yet Murray immediately assumed
the government, by which it is supposed that he succeeded in
persuading Mary that such a step was now best for her sake as well as
for that of all others concerned.

Murray, however, did not fail to warn her, as he himself states, in a
very serious manner, against any attempt to change her situation.
"Madam," said he, "I will plainly declare to you what the sources of
danger are from which I think you have most to apprehend. First, any
attempt, of whatever kind, that you may make to create disturbance in
the country, through friends that may still adhere to your cause, and
to interfere with the government of your son; secondly, devising or
attempting any plan of escape from this island; thirdly, taking any
measures for inducing the Queen of England or the French king to come
to your aid; and, lastly, persisting in your attachment to Earl
Bothwell." He warned Mary solemnly against any and all of these, and
then took his leave. He was soon after proclaimed regent. A
Parliament was assembled to sanction all the proceedings, and the new
government was established, apparently upon a firm foundation.

Mary remained, during the winter, in captivity, earnestly desiring,
however, notwithstanding Murray's warning, to find some way of
escape. She knew that there must be many who had remained friends to
her cause. She thought that if she could once make her escape from
her prison, these friends would rally around her, and that she could
thus, perhaps, regain her throne again. But strictly watched as she
was, and in a prison which was surrounded by the waters of a lake,
all hope of escape seemed to be taken away.

Now there were, in the family of the Lord Douglas at the castle, two
young men, George and William Douglas. The oldest, George, was about
twenty-five years of age, and the youngest was seventeen. George was
the son of Lord and Lady Douglas who kept the castle. William was an
orphan boy, a relative, who, having no home, had been received into
the family. These young men soon began to feel a strong interest in
the beautiful captive confined in their father's castle, and, before
many months, this interest became so strong that they began to feel
willing to incur the dangers and responsibilities of aiding her in
effecting her escape. They had secret conferences with Mary on the
subject. They went to the shore on various pretexts, and contrived
to make their plans known to Mary's friends, that they might be ready
to receive her in case they should succeed.

The plan at length was ripe for execution. It was arranged thus. The
castle not being large, there was not space within its walls for all
the accommodations required for its inmates; much was done on the
shore, where there was quite a little village of attendants and
dependents pertaining to the castle. This little village has since
grown into a flourishing manufacturing town, where a great variety of
plaids, and tartans, and other Scotch fabrics are made. Its name is
Kinross. Communication with this part of the shore was then, as now,
kept up by boats, which generally then belonged to the castle, though
now to the town.

On the day when Mary was to attempt her escape, a servant woman was
brought by one of the castle boats from the shore with a bundle of
clothes for Mary. Mary, whose health and strength had been impaired
by her confinement and sufferings, was often in her bed. She was so
at this time, though perhaps she was feigning now more feebleness
than she really felt. The servant woman came into her apartment and
undressed herself, while Mary rose, took the dress which she laid
aside, and put it on as a disguise. The woman took Mary's place in
bed. Mary covered her face with a muffler, and, taking another bundle
in her hand to assist in her disguise, she passed across the court,
issued from the castle gate, went to the landing stairs, and stepped
into the boat for the men to row her to the shore.

The oarsmen, who belonged to the castle, supposing that all was
right, pushed off, and began to row toward the land. As they were
crossing the water, however, they observed that their passenger was
very particular to keep her face covered, and attempted to pull away
the muffler, saying, "Let us see what kind of a looking damsel this
is." Mary, in alarm, put up her hands to her face to hold the muffler
there. The smooth, white, and delicate fingers revealed to the men at
once that they were carrying away a lady in disguise. Mary, finding
that concealment was no longer possible, dropped her muffler, looked
upon the men with composure and dignity, told them that she was their
queen, that they were bound by their allegiance to her to obey her
commands, and she commanded them to go on and row her to the shore.

The men decided, however, that their allegiance was due to the lord
of the castle rather than to the helpless captive trying to escape
from it. They told her that they must return. Mary was not only
disappointed at the failure of her plans, but she was now anxious
lest her friends, the young Douglases, should be implicated in the
attempt, and should suffer in consequence of it. The men, however,
solemnly promised her, that if she would quietly return, they would
not make the circumstances known. The secret, however, was too great
a secret to be kept. In a few days it all came to light. Lord and
Lady Douglas were very angry with their son, and banished him,
together with two of Mary's servants, from the castle. Whatever share
young William Douglas had in the scheme was not found out, and he was
suffered to remain. George Douglas went only to Kinross. He remained
there watching for another opportunity to help Mary to her freedom.

[Illustration: LOCH LEVEN CASTLE--The Place of Mary's Imprisonment.]

In the mean time, the watch and ward held over Mary was more strict
and rigorous than ever, her keepers being resolved to double their
vigilance, while George and William, on the other hand, resolved to
redouble their exertions to find some means to circumvent it.
William, who was only a boy of seventeen, and who remained within
the castle, acted his part in a very sagacious and admirable manner.
He was silent, and assumed a thoughtless and unconcerned manner in his
general deportment, which put every one off their guard in respect to
him. George, who was at Kinross, held frequent communications with the
Hamilton lords, encouraging them to hope for Mary's escape, and
leading them to continue in combination, and to be ready to act at a
moment's warning. They communicated with each other, too, by secret
means, across the lake, and with Mary in her solitary tower. It is
said that George, wishing to make Mary understand that their plans for
rescuing her were not abandoned, and not having the opportunity to do
so directly, sent her a picture of the mouse liberating the lion from
his snares, hoping that she would draw from the picture the inference
which he intended.

At length the time arrived for another attempt. It was about the
first of May. By looking at the engraving of Loch Leven Castle, it
will be seen that there was a window in Mary's tower looking out over
the water. George Douglas's plan was to bring a boat up to this
window in the night, and take Mary down the wall into it. The place
of egress by which Mary escaped is called in some of the accounts a
postern gate, and yet tradition at the castle says that it was
through this window. It is not improbable that this window might have
been intended to be used sometimes as a postern gate, and that the
iron grating with which it was guarded was made to open and shut, the
key being kept with the other keys of the castle.

The time for the attempt was fixed upon for Sunday night, on the 2d
of May. George Douglas was ready with the boat early in the evening.
When it was dark, he rowed cautiously across the water, and took his
position under Mary's window. William Douglas was in the mean time at
supper in the great square tower with his father and mother. The keys
were lying upon the table. He contrived to get them into his
possession, and then cautiously stole away. He locked the tower as he
came out, went across the court to Mary's room, liberated her through
the postern window, and descended with her into the boat. One of her
maids, whose name was Jane Kennedy, was to have accompanied her, but,
in their eagerness to make sure of Mary, they forgot or neglected
her, and she had to leap down after them, which feat she
accomplished without any serious injury. The boat pushed off
immediately, and the Douglases began to pull hard for the shore. They
threw the keys of the castle into the lake, as if the impossibility
of recovering them, in that case, made the imprisonment of the family
more secure. The whole party were, of course, in the highest state of
excitement and agitation. Jane Kennedy helped to row, and it is said
that even Mary applied her strength to one of the oars.

They landed safely on the south side of the loch, far from Kinross.
Several of the Hamilton lords were ready there to receive the
fugitive. They mounted her on horseback, and galloped away. There was
a strong party to escort her. They rode hard all night, and the next
morning they arrived safely at Hamilton. "Now," said Mary, "I am once
more a queen."

It was true. She was again a queen. Popular feeling ebbs and flows
with prodigious force, and the change from one state to the other
depends, sometimes, on very accidental causes. The news of Mary's
escape spread rapidly over the land. Her friends were encouraged and
emboldened. Sympathies, long dormant and inert, were awakened in her
favor. She issued a proclamation, declaring that her abdication had
been forced upon her, and, as such, was null and void. She summoned
Murray to surrender his powers as regent, and to come and receive
orders from her. She called upon all her faithful subjects to take up
arms and gather around her standard. Murray refused to obey, but
large masses of the people gave in their adhesion to their liberated
queen, and flocked to Hamilton to enter into her service. In a week
Mary found herself at the head of an army of six thousand men.

       *       *       *       *       *


The Castle of Loch Leven is now a solitary ruin. The waters of the
loch have been lowered by means of an excavation of the outlet, and a
portion of land has been left bare around the walls, which the
proprietor has planted with trees. Visitors are taken from Kinross in
a boat to view the scene. The square tower, though roofless and
desolate, still stands. The window in the second story, which served
as the entrance, and the one above, where the chain was worked, with
the deep furrows in the sill cut by its friction, are shown by the
guide. The court-yard is overgrown with weeds, and encumbered with
fallen stones and old foundations. The chapel is gone, though its
outline may be still traced in the ruins of its walls. The octagonal
tower which Mary occupied remains, and the visitors, climbing up by
the narrow stone stairs in the wall, look out at the window over the
waters of the loch and the distant hills, and try to recreate in
imagination the scene which the apartment presented when the unhappy
captive was there.




Dumbarton Castle.--The situation and aspect.--Attempt to
retreat to Dumbarton.--Mary's forces defeated.--Mary's
flight.--Dundrennan.--Consultations.--Carlisle Castle.--Mary's
message to the governor.--Lowther.--Mary's reception at the
castle.--Is Mary a guest or a prisoner?--Precautions for
guarding her.--Elizabeth's hypocrisy.--Dishonorable
proposal.--Removal.--Separation from friends.--Proposed
trial.--Opening of the court.--Adjourned to London.--Failure
of the trial.--Mary's indignant pride.--Elizabeth's negotiations
with Murray.--Their failure.--Cruel treatment of Lady
Hamilton.--Hamilton resolves on revenge.--Hamilton's plans.--Death
of Murray.--Hamilton's flight.--Mary's grief.--Duke of Norfolk
beheaded.--Mary's unhappy situation.--Mary almost forgotten in
her captivity.

Hamilton, which had been thus far the queen's place of rendezvous,
was a palace rather than a castle, and therefore not a place of
defense. It was situated, as has been already stated, on the River
Clyde, _above_ Glasgow; that is, toward the southeast of it, the
River Clyde flowing toward the northwest. The Castle of Dumbarton,
which has already been mentioned as the place from which Mary
embarked for France in her early childhood, was below Glasgow, on the
northern shore of the river. It stands there still in good repair,
and is well garrisoned; it crowns a rock which rises abruptly from
the midst of a comparatively level country, smiling with villages and
cultivated fields, and frowns sternly upon the peaceful steamers and
merchant ships which are continually gliding along under its guns, up
and down the Clyde.

Queen Mary concluded to move forward to Dumbarton, it being a place
of greater safety than Hamilton. Murray gathered his forces to
intercept her march. The two armies met near Glasgow, as the queen
was moving westward, down the river. There was a piece of rising
ground between them, which each party was eager to ascend before the
other should reach it. The leader of the forces on Murray's side
ordered every horseman to take up a foot-soldier behind him, and ride
with all speed to the top of the hill. By this means the great body
of Murray's troops were put in possession of the vantage ground. The
queen's forces took post on another rising ground, less favorable, at
a little distance. The place was called Langside. A cannonading was
soon commenced, and a general battle ensued. Mary watched the
progress of it with intense emotions. Her forces began soon to give
way, and before many hours they were retreating in all directions,
the whole country being soon covered with the awful spectacles which
are afforded by one terrified and panic-stricken army flying before
the furious and triumphant rage of another. Mary gazed on the scene
in an agony of grief and despair.

A few faithful friends kept near her side, and told her that she must
hurry away. They turned to the southward, and rode away from the
ground. They pressed on as rapidly as possible toward the southern
coast, thinking that the only safety for Mary now was for her to make
her escape from the country altogether, and go either to England or
to France, in hopes of obtaining foreign aid to enable her to recover
her throne. They at length reached the sea-coast. Mary was received
into an abbey called Dundrennan, not far from the English frontier.
Here she remained, with a few nobles and a small body of attendants,
for two days, spending the time in anxious consultations to determine
what should be done. Mary herself was in favor of going to England,
and appealing to Elizabeth for protection and help. Her friends and
advisers, knowing Elizabeth perhaps better than Mary did, recommended
that she should sail for France, in hopes of awakening sympathy
there. But Mary, as we might naturally have expected, considering the
circumstances under which she left that country, found herself
extremely unwilling to go there as a fugitive and a suppliant. It was
decided, finally, to go to England.

The nearest stronghold in England was Carlisle Castle, which was not
very far from the frontier. The boundary between the two kingdoms is
formed here by the Solway Frith, a broad arm of the sea. Dundrennan
Abbey, to which Mary had retreated, was near the town of
Kirkcudbright, which is, of course, on the northern side of the
Frith; it is also near the sea. Carlisle is further up the Frith,
near where the River Solway empties into it, and is twenty or thirty
miles from the shore.

Mary sent a messenger to the governor of the castle at Carlisle to
inquire whether he would receive and protect her. She could not,
however, wait for an answer to this message, as the country was all
in commotion, and she was exposed to an attack at any time from
Murray's forces, in which case, even if they should not succeed in
taking her captive, they might effectually cut off her retreat from
Scottish ground. She accordingly determined to proceed immediately,
and receive the answer from the governor of the castle on the way.
She set out on the 16th of May. Eighteen or twenty persons
constituted her train. This was all that remained to her of her army
of six thousand men. She proceeded to the shore. They provided a
fishing-boat for the voyage, furnishing it as comfortably for her as
circumstances would admit. She embarked, and sailed along the coast,
eastward, up the Frith, for about eighteen miles, gazing mournfully
upon the receding shore of her native land--receding, in fact, now
from her view forever. They landed at the most convenient port for
reaching Carlisle, intending to take the remainder of the journey by

In the mean time, the messenger, on his arrival at Carlisle, found
that the governor had gone to London. His second in rank, whom he had
left in command, immediately sent off an express after him to inform
him of the event. The name of this lieutenant-governor was Lowther.
Lowther did all in Mary's favor that it was in his power to do. He
directed the messenger to inform her that he had sent to London for
instructions from Elizabeth, but that, in the mean time, she would be
a welcome guest in his castle, and that he would defend her there
from all her enemies. He then sent around to all the nobles and men
of distinction in the neighborhood, informing them of the arrival of
the distinguished visitor, and having assembled them, they proceeded
together toward the coast to meet and receive the unhappy fugitive
with the honors becoming her rank, though such honors must have
seemed little else than a mockery in her present condition.

Mary was received at the castle as an honored guest. It is, however,
a curious circumstance, that, in respect to the reception of princes
and queens in royal castles, there is little or no distinction
between the ceremonies which mark the honored guest and those which
attend the helpless captive. Mary had a great many friends at first,
who came out of Scotland to visit her. The authorities ordered
repairs to be commenced upon the castle, to fit it more suitably for
so distinguished an inmate, and, in consequence of the making of
these repairs, they found it inconvenient to admit visitors. Of
course, Mary, being a mere guest, could not complain. She wanted to
take a walk beyond the limits of the castle, upon a green to which
there was access through a postern gate. Certainly: the governor made
no objection to such a walk, but sent twenty or thirty armed men to
accompany her. They might be considered either as an honorary escort,
or as a guard to watch her movements, to prevent her escape, and to
secure her return. At one time she proposed to go a-hunting. They
allowed her to go, _properly attended_. On her return, however, the
officer reported to his superior that she was so admirable in her
horsemanship, and could ride with so much fearlessness and speed,
that he thought it might be possible for a body of her friends to
come and carry her off, on some such occasion, back across the
frontier. So they determined to tell Mary, when she wished to hunt
again, that they thought it not safe for her to go out on such
excursions, as her _enemies_ might make a sudden invasion and carry
her away. The precautions would be just the same to protect Mary from
her enemies as to keep her from her friends.

Elizabeth sent her captive cousin very kind and condoling messages,
dispatching, however, by the same messenger stringent orders to the
commander of the castle to be sure and keep her safely. Mary asked
for an interview with Elizabeth. Elizabeth's officers replied that
she could not properly admit Mary to a personal interview until she
had been, in some way or other, cleared of the suspicion which
attached to her in respect to the murder of Darnley. They proposed,
moreover, that Mary should consent to have that question examined
before some sort of court which Elizabeth might constitute for this
purpose. Now it is a special point of honor among all sovereign
kings and queens, throughout the civilized world, that they can,
technically, do no wrong; that they can not in any way be brought to
trial; and especially that they can not be, by any means or in any
way, amenable to each other. Mary refused to acknowledge any English
jurisdiction whatever in respect to any charges brought against her,
a sovereign queen of Scotland.

Elizabeth removed her prisoner to another castle further from the
frontier than Carlisle, in order to place her in a situation where
she would be more safe _from her enemies_. It was not convenient to
lodge so many of her attendants at these new quarters as in the other
fortress, and several were dismissed. Additional obstructions were
thrown in the way of her seeing friends and visitors from Scotland.
Mary found her situation growing every day more and more helpless and
desolate. Elizabeth urged continually upon her the necessity of
having the points at issue between herself and Murray examined by a
commissioner, artfully putting it on the ground, not of a trial of
Mary, but a calling of Murray to account, by Mary, for his
usurpation. At last, harassed and worn down, and finding no ray of
hope coming to her from any quarter, she consented. Elizabeth
constituted such a court, which was to meet at York, a large and
ancient city in the north of England. Murray was to appear there in
person, with other lords associated with him. Mary appointed
commissioners to appear for her; and the two parties went into court,
each thinking that it was the other which was accused and on trial.

The court assembled, and, after being opened with great parade and
ceremony, commenced the investigation of the questions at issue,
which led, of course, to endless criminations and recriminations, the
ground covering the whole history of Mary's career in Scotland. They
went on for some weeks in this hopeless labyrinth, until, at length,
Murray produced the famous letters alleged to have been written by
Mary to Bothwell before Darnley's murder, as a part of the evidence,
and charged Mary, on the strength of this evidence, with having been
an abettor in the murder. Elizabeth, finding that the affair was
becoming, as in fact she wished it to become, more and more involved,
and wishing to get Mary more and more entangled in it, and to draw
her still further into her power, ordered the conference, as the
court was called, to be adjourned to London. Here things took such a
turn that Mary complained that she was herself treated in so unjust a
manner, and Murray and his cause were allowed so many unfair
advantages, that she could not allow the discussion on her part to
continue. The conference was accordingly broken up, each party
charging the other with being the cause of the interruption.

Murray returned to Scotland to resume his government there. Mary was
held a closer captive than ever. She sent to Elizabeth asking her to
remove these restraints, and allow her to depart either to her own
country or to France. Elizabeth replied that she could not,
considering all the circumstances of the case, allow her to leave
England; but that, if she would give up all claims to the government
of Scotland to her son, the young prince, she might remain in peace
_in_ England. Mary replied that she would suffer death a thousand
times rather than dishonor herself in the eyes of the world by
abandoning, in such a way, her rights as a sovereign. The last words
which she should speak, she said, should be those of the Queen of

Elizabeth therefore considered that she had no alternative left but
to keep Mary a prisoner. She accordingly retained her for some time
in confinement, but she soon found that such a charge was a serious
incumbrance to her, and one not unattended with danger. The
disaffected in her own realm were beginning to form plots, and to
consider whether they could not, in some way or other, make use of
Mary's claims to the English crown to aid them. Finally, Elizabeth
came to the conclusion, when she had become a little satiated with
the feeling, at first so delightful, of having Mary in her power,
that, after all, it would be quite as convenient to have her
imprisoned in Scotland, and she opened a negotiation with Murray for
delivering Mary into his hands. He was, on his part, to agree to save
her life, and to keep her a close prisoner, and he was to deliver
hostages to Elizabeth as security for the fulfillment of these

Various difficulties, however, occurred in the way of the
accomplishment of these plans, and before the arrangement was finally
completed, it was cut suddenly short by Murray's miserable end. One
of the Hamiltons, who had been with Mary at Langside, was taken
prisoner after the battle. Murray, who, of course, as the legally
constituted regent in the name of James, considered himself as
representing the royal authority of the kingdom, regarded these
prisoners as rebels taken in the act of insurrection against their
sovereign. They were condemned to death, but finally were pardoned at
the place of execution. Their estates were, however, confiscated, and
given to the followers and favorites of Murray.

One of these men, in taking possession of the house of Hamilton, with
a cruel brutality characteristic of the times, turned Hamilton's
family out abruptly in a cold night--perhaps exasperated by
resistance which he may have encountered. The wife of Hamilton, it is
said, was sent out naked; but the expression means, probably, very
insufficiently clothed for such an exposure. At any rate, the unhappy
outcast wandered about, half frantic with anger and terror, until,
before morning, she was wholly frantic and insane. To have such a
calamity brought upon him in consequence merely of his fidelity to
his queen, was, as the bereaved and wretched husband thought, an
injury not to be borne. He considered Murray the responsible author
of these miseries, and silently and calmly resolved on a terrible

Murray was making a progress through the country, traveling in state
with a great retinue, and was to pass through Linlithgow. There is a
town of that name close by the palace. Hamilton provided himself with
a room in one of the houses on the principal street, through which he
knew that Murray must pass. He had a fleet horse ready for him at the
back door. The front door was barricaded. There was a sort of balcony
or gallery projecting toward the street, with a window in it. He
stationed himself here, having carefully taken every precaution to
prevent his being seen from the street, or overheard in his
movements. Murray lodged in the town during the night, and Hamilton
posted himself in his ambuscade the next morning, armed with a gun.

The town was thronged, and Murray, on issuing from his lodging,
escorted by his cavalcade, found the streets crowded with spectators.
He made his way slowly, on account of the throng. When he arrived at
the proper point, Hamilton took his aim in a cool and deliberate
manner, screened from observation by black cloths with which he had
darkened his hiding-place. He fired. The ball passed through the body
of the regent, and thence, descending as it went, killed a horse on
the other side of him. Murray fell. There was a universal outcry of
surprise and fear. They made an onset upon the house from which the
shot had been fired. The door was strongly barricaded. Before they
could get the means to force an entrance, Hamilton was on his horse
and far away. The regent was carried to his lodgings, and died that

Murray was Queen Mary's half brother, and the connection of his
fortunes with hers, considered in respect to its intimacy and the
length of its duration, was, on the whole, greater than that of any
other individual. He may be said to have governed Scotland, in
reality, during the whole of Mary's nominal reign, first as her
minister and friend, and afterward as her competitor and foe. He was,
at any rate, during most of her life, her nearest relative and her
most constant companion, and Mary mourned his death with many tears.

There was a great nobleman in England, named the Duke of Norfolk, who
had vast estates, and was regarded as the greatest subject in the
realm. He was a Catholic. Among the other countless schemes and plots
to which Mary's presence in England gave rise, he formed a plan of
marrying her, and, through her claim to the crown and by the help of
the Catholics, to overturn the government of Elizabeth. He entered
into negotiations with Mary, and she consented to become his wife,
without, however, as she says, being a party to his political
schemes. His plots were discovered; he was imprisoned, tried, and
beheaded. Mary was accused of sharing the guilt of his treason. She
denied this. She was not very vigorously proceeded against, but she
suffered in the event of the affair another sad disappointment of her
hopes of liberty, and her confinement became more strict and absolute
than ever.

Still she had quite a numerous retinue of attendants. Many of her
former friends were allowed to continue with her. Jane Kennedy, who
had escaped with her from Loch Leven, remained in her service. She
was removed from castle to castle, at Elizabeth's orders, to diminish
the probability of the forming and maturing of plans of escape. She
amused herself sometimes in embroidery and similar pursuits, and
sometimes she pined and languished under the pressure of her sorrows
and woes. Sixteen or eighteen years passed away in this manner. She
was almost forgotten. Very exciting public events were taking place
in England and in Scotland, and the name of the poor captive queen
at length seemed to pass from men's minds, except so far as it was
whispered secretly in plots and intrigues.




Plots and intrigues.--How far Mary was involved.--Babington's
conspiracy.--Secret correspondence.--Seizure of Mary's papers.--Her
son James.--Elizabeth resolves to bring Mary to trial.--Fotheringay
Castle.--Great interest in the trial.--Preparations for it.--The
throne.--Mary refuses to plead.--The commission.--The great
hall.--Mary pronounced guilty.--Elizabeth's pretended sorrow.--Signing
the warrant.--Shuffling of Elizabeth.--Mary's letter to
Elizabeth.--Interposition of Mary's friends.--Elizabeth signs the
warrant.--It is read to Mary.--Mary hears the sentence with
composure.--Protests her innocence.--Mary refused a priest.--Mary
alone with her friends.--Affecting scene.--Supper.--Mary's farewell
to her attendants.--Mary's last letters.--Her directions as to the
disposal of her body.--Arrangements for the execution.--The
scaffold.--Proceeding to the hall.--Interview with Melville.--Mary's
last message.--She desires the presence of her attendants.--Mary's
dress and appearance.--Symbols of religion.--Mary's firmness in her
faith.--Her last prayer.--The execution.--Heart-rending
scene.--Disposition of the body.--Elizabeth's affected surprise.--Her
conduct.--The end of Mary's ambition realized.--Accession of James
I.--Tomb of Mary at Westminster Abbey.--Mary's love and ambition.--She
triumphs in the end.

Mary did not always discourage the plots and intrigues with which her
name was connected. She, of course, longed for deliverance from the
thraldom in which Elizabeth held her, and was ready to embrace any
opportunity which promised release. She thus seems to have listened
from time to time to the overtures which were made to her, and
involved herself, in Elizabeth's opinion, more or less, in the
responsibility which attached to them. Elizabeth did not, however, in
such cases, do any thing more than to increase somewhat the rigors of
her imprisonment. She was afraid to proceed to extremities with her,
partly, perhaps, for fear that she might, by doing so, awaken the
hostility of France, whose king was Mary's cousin, or of Scotland,
whose monarch was her son.

At length, however, in the year 1586, about eighteen years from the
commencement of Mary's captivity, a plot was formed in which she
became so seriously involved as to subject herself to the charge of
aiding and abetting in the high treason of which the leaders of the
plot were proved to be guilty. This plot is known in history by the
name of Babington's conspiracy. Babington was a young gentleman of
fortune, who lived in the heart of England. He was inspired with a
strong degree of interest in Mary's fate, and wished to rescue her
from her captivity. He joined himself with a large party of
influential individuals of the Catholic faith. The conspirators
opened negotiations with the courts of France and Spain for aid. They
planned an insurrection, the assassination of Elizabeth, the rescue
of Mary, and a general revolution. They maintained a correspondence
with Mary. This correspondence was managed very secretly, the letters
being placed by a confidential messenger in a certain hole in the
castle wall where Queen Mary was confined.

One day, when Mary was going out to ride, just as she was entering
her carriage, officers suddenly arrived from London. They told her
that the plot in which she had been engaged had been discovered; that
fourteen of the principal conspirators had been hung, seven on each
of two successive days, and that they had come to arrest some of her
attendants and to seize her papers. They accordingly went into her
apartments, opened all her desks, trunks, and cabinets, seized her
papers, and took them to London. Mary sat down in the scene of
desolation and disorder which they left, and wept bitterly.

The papers which were seized were taken to London, and Elizabeth's
government began seriously to agitate the question of bringing Mary
herself to trial. One would have thought that, in her forlorn and
desolate condition, she would have looked to her son for sympathy and
aid. But rival claimants to a crown can have little kind feeling to
each other, even if they are mother and son. James, as he gradually
approached toward maturity, took sides against his mother. In fact,
all Scotland was divided, and was for many years in a state of civil
war: those who advocated Mary's right to the crown on one side, and
James's adherents on the other. They were called king's men and
queen's men. James was, of course, brought up in hostility to his
mother, and he wrote to her, about a year before Babington's
conspiracy, in terms so hostile and so devoid of filial love, that
his ingratitude stung her to the heart. "Was it for this," she said,
"that I made so many sacrifices, and endured so many trials on his
account in his early years? I have made it the whole business of my
life to protect and secure his rights, and to open before him a
prospect of future power and glory: and this is the return."

The English government, under Elizabeth's direction, concluded to
bring Mary to a public trial. They removed her, accordingly, to the
Castle of Fotheringay. Fotheringay is in Northamptonshire, which is
in the very heart of England, Northampton, the shire town, being
about sixty miles northwest of London. Fotheringay Castle was on the
banks of the River Nen, or Avon, which flows northeast from
Northampton to the sea. A few miles below the castle is the ancient
town of Peterborough, where there was a monastery and a great
cathedral church. The monastery had been built a thousand years

They removed Mary to Fotheringay Castle for her trial, and lawyers,
counselors, commissioners, and officers of state began to assemble
there from all quarters. The castle was a spacious structure. It was
surrounded with two moats, and with double walls, and was strongly
fortified. It contained numerous and spacious apartments, and it had
especially one large hall which was well adapted to the purposes of
this great trial. The preparations for the solemn ordeal through
which Mary was now to pass, brought her forth from the obscurity in
which she had so long been lost to the eyes of mankind, and made her
the universal object of interest and attention in England, Scotland,
and France. The people of all these nations looked on with great
interest at the spectacle of one queen tried solemnly on a charge of
high treason against another. The stories of her beauty, her graces,
her misfortunes, which had slumbered for eighteen years, were all now
revived, and every body felt a warm interest in the poor captive,
worn down by long confinement, and trembling in the hands of what
they feared would be a merciless and terrible power.

Mary was removed to the Castle of Fotheringay toward the end of
September, 1586. The preparations for the trial proceeded slowly.
Every thing in which kings and queens, or affairs of state were
concerned in those days, was conducted with great pomp and ceremony.
The arrangements of the hall were minutely prescribed. At the head
of it a sort of throne was placed, with a royal canopy over it, for
the Queen of England. This, though it was vacant, impressed the court
and the spectators as a symbol of royalty, and denoted that the
sovereignty of Elizabeth was the power before which Mary was

When the preparations were made, Mary refused to acknowledge the
jurisdiction of the court. She denied that they had any right to
arraign or to try her. "I am no subject of Elizabeth's," said she. "I
am an independent and sovereign queen as well as she, and I will not
consent to any thing inconsistent with this my true position. I owe
no allegiance to England, and I am not, in any sense, subject to her
laws. I came into the realm only to ask assistance from a sister
queen, and I have been made a captive, and detained many years in an
unjust and cruel imprisonment; and though now worn down both in body
and mind by my protracted sufferings, I am not yet so enfeebled as to
forget what is due to myself, my ancestors, and my country."

This refusal of Mary's to plead, or to acknowledge the jurisdiction
of the court, caused a new delay. They urged her to abandon her
resolution. They told her that if she refused to plead, the trial
would proceed without her action, and, by pursuing such a course, she
would only deprive herself of the means of defense, without at all
impeding the course of her fate. At length Mary yielded. It would
have been better for her to have adhered to her first intention.

The commission by which Mary was to be tried consisted of earls,
barons, and other persons of rank, twenty or thirty in number. They
were seated on each side of the room, the throne being at the head.
In the center was a table, where the lawyers, by whom the trial was
to be conducted, were seated. Below this table was a chair for Mary.
Behind Mary's chair was a rail, dividing off the lower end of the
hall from the court; and this formed an outer space, to which some
spectators were admitted.

Mary took her place in the seat assigned her, and the trial
proceeded. They adduced the evidence against her, and then asked for
her defense. She said substantially that she had a right to make an
effort to recover her liberty; that, after being confined a captive
so long, and having lost forever her youth, her health, and her
happiness, it was not wonderful that she wished to be free; but
that, in endeavoring to obtain her freedom, she had formed no plans
to injure Elizabeth, or to interfere in any way with her rights or
prerogatives as queen. The commissioners, after devoting some days to
hearing evidence, and listening to the defense, sent Mary back to her
apartments, and went to London. There they had a final consultation,
and unanimously agreed in the following decision: "That Mary,
commonly called Queen of Scots and dowager of France, had been an
accessory to Babington's conspiracy, and had compassed the death of
Elizabeth, queen of England."

Elizabeth pretended to be very much concerned at this result. She
laid the proceedings before Parliament. It was supposed then, and has
always been supposed since, that she wished Mary to be beheaded, but
desired not to take the responsibility of it herself; and that she
wanted to appear unwilling, and to be impelled, greatly against her
own inclinations, by the urgency of others, to carry the sentence
into execution. At any rate, Parliament, and all the members of the
government, approved and confirmed the verdict, and wished to have it
carried into effect.

It has always been the custom, in modern times, to require the
solemn act of the supreme magistrate of any state to confirm a
decision of a tribunal which condemns a person to death, by signing
what is called a warrant for the execution. This is done by the king
or queen in England, and by the governor in one of the United States.
This warrant is an order, very formally written, and sealed with the
great seal, authorizing the executioner to proceed, and carry the
sentence into effect. Of course, Queen Mary could not be executed
unless Elizabeth should first sign the warrant. Elizabeth would
herself, probably, have been better pleased to have been excused from
all direct agency in the affair. But this could not be. She, however,
made much delay, and affected great unwillingness to proceed. She
sent messengers to Mary, telling her what the sentence had been, how
sorry she was to hear it, and how much she desired to save her life,
if it were possible. At the same time, she told her that she feared
it might not be in her power, and she advised Mary to prepare her
mind for the execution of the sentence.

Mary wrote a letter to Elizabeth in reply. She said in this letter
that she was glad to hear that they had pronounced sentence of death
against her, for she was weary of life, and had no hope of relief or
rest from her miseries but in the grave. She wrote, therefore, not to
ask any change in the decision, but to make three requests. First,
that, after her execution, her body might be removed to France, and
be deposited at Rheims, where the ashes of her mother were reposing.
Secondly, that her execution should not be in secret, but that her
personal friends might be present, to attest to the world that she
met her fate with resignation and fortitude; and, thirdly, that her
attendants and friends, who had, through their faithful love for her,
shared her captivity so long, might be permitted to retire wherever
they pleased, after her death, without any molestation. "I hope,"
said she, in conclusion, "you will not refuse me these my dying
requests, but that you will assure me by a letter under your own hand
that you will comply with them, and then I shall die as I have lived,
your affectionate sister and prisoner, Mary Queen of Scots."

The King of France, and James, Mary's son in Scotland, made somewhat
vigorous efforts to arrest the execution of the sentence which had
been pronounced against Mary. From these and other causes, the
signing of the warrant was delayed for some months, but at length
Elizabeth yielded to the solicitations of her ministers. She affixed
her signature to the instrument. The chancellor put upon it the great
seal, and the commissioners who were appointed by it to superintend
the execution went to Fotheringay. They arrived there on the 7th of
February, 1587.

After resting, and refreshing themselves for a short time from their
journey, the commissioners sent word to Mary that they wished for an
interview with her. Mary had retired. They said that their business
was very important. She rose, and prepared to receive them. She
assembled all her attendants, fourteen or fifteen in number, in order
to receive the commissioners in a manner comporting, so far as
circumstances allowed, with her rank and station. The commissioners
were at length ushered into the apartment. They stood respectfully
before her, with their heads uncovered. The foremost then, in
language as forbearing and gentle as was consistent with the nature
of his message, informed her that it had been decided to carry the
sentence which had been pronounced against her into effect, and then
he requested another of the number to read the warrant for her


Mary listened to it calmly and patiently. Her attendants, one after
another, were overcome by the mournful and awful solemnity of the
scene, and melted into tears. Mary, however, was calm. When the
reading of the warrant was ended, she said that she was sorry that
her cousin Elizabeth should set the example of taking the life of a
sovereign queen; but for herself, she was willing to die. Life had
long ceased to afford her any peace or happiness, and she was ready
to exchange it for the prospect of immortality. She then laid her
hand upon the New Testament, which was near her, of course a Catholic
version, and called God to witness that she had never plotted
herself, or joined in plots with others, for the death of Elizabeth.
One of the commissioners remarked that her oath being upon a Catholic
version of the Bible, they should not consider it valid. She rejoined
that it ought to be considered the more sacred and solemn on that
account, as that was the version which she regarded as the only one
which was authoritative and true.

Mary then asked the commissioners several questions, as whether her
son James had not expressed any interest in her fate, and whether no
foreign princes had interposed to save her. The commissioners
answered these and other inquiries, and Mary learned from their
answers that her fate was sealed. She then asked them what time was
appointed for the execution. They replied that it was to take place
at eight o'clock the following morning.

Mary had not expected so early an hour to be named. She said it was
sudden; and she seemed agitated and distressed. She, however, soon
recovered her composure, and asked to have a Catholic priest allowed
to visit her. The commissioners replied that that could not be
permitted. They, however, proposed to send the Dean of Peterborough
to visit her. A dean is the ecclesiastical functionary presiding over
a cathedral church; and, of course, the Dean of Peterborough was the
clergyman of the highest rank in that vicinity. He was, however, a
Protestant, and Mary did not wish to see him.

The commissioners withdrew, and left Mary with her friends, when
there ensued one of those scenes of anguish and suffering which those
who witness them never forget, but carry the gloomy remembrance of
them, like a dark shadow in the soul, to the end of their days. Mary
was quiet, and appeared calm. It may however, have been the calm of
hopeless and absolute despair. Her attendants were overwhelmed with
agitation and grief, the expression of which they could not even
attempt to control. At last they became more composed, and Mary asked
them to kneel with her in prayer; and she prayed for some time
fervently and earnestly in the midst of them.

She then directed supper to be prepared as usual, and, until it was
ready, she spent her time in dividing the money which she had on hand
into separate parcels for her attendants, marking each parcel with
the name. She sat down at the table when supper was served, and
though she ate but little, she conversed as usual, in a cheerful
manner, and with smiles. Her friends were silent and sad, struggling
continually to keep back their tears. At the close of the supper Mary
called for a cup of wine, and drank to the health of each one of
them, and then asked them to drink to her. They took the cup, and,
kneeling before her, complied with her request, though, as they did
it, the tears would come to their eyes. Mary then told them that she
willingly forgave them for all that they had ever done to displease
her, and she thanked them for their long-continued fidelity and
love. She also asked that they would forgive her for any thing she
might ever have done in respect to them which was inconsistent with
her duty. They answered the request only with a renewal of their

Mary spent the evening in writing two letters to her nearest
relatives in France, and in making her will. The principal object of
these letters was to recommend her servants to the attention and care
of those to whom they were addressed, after she should be gone. She
went to bed shortly after midnight, and it is said she slept. This
would be incredible, if any thing were incredible in respect to the
workings of the human soul in a time of awful trial like this, which
so transcends all the ordinary conditions of its existence.

At any rate, whether Mary slept or not, the morning soon came. Her
friends were around her as soon as she rose. She gave them minute
directions about the disposition of her body. She wished to have it
taken to France to be interred, as she had requested of Elizabeth,
either at Rheims, in the same tomb with the body of her mother, or
else at St. Denis, an ancient abbey a little north of Paris, where
the ashes of a long line of French monarchs repose. She begged her
servants, if possible, not to leave her body till it should reach its
final home in one of these places of sepulture.

In the mean time, arrangements had been made for the last act in this
dreadful tragedy, in the same great hall where she had been tried.
They raised a platform upon the stone floor of the hall large enough
to contain those who were to take part in the closing scene. On this
platform was a block, a cushion, and a chair. All these things, as
well as the platform itself, were covered with black cloth, giving to
the whole scene a most solemn and funereal expression. The part of
the hall containing this scaffold was railed off from the rest. The
governor of the castle, and a body of guards, came in and took their
station at the sides of the room. Two executioners, one holding the
axe, stood upon the scaffold on one side of the block. Two of the
commissioners stood upon the other side. The remaining commissioners
and several gentlemen of the neighborhood took their places as
spectators without the rail. The number of persons thus assembled was
about two hundred. Strange that any one should have come in,
voluntarily, to witness such a scene!

When all was ready, the sheriff, carrying his white wand of office,
and attended by some of the commissioners, went for Mary. She was at
her devotions, and she asked a little delay that she might conclude
them: perhaps the shrinking spirit clung at the last moment to life,
and wished to linger a few minutes longer before taking the final
farewell. The request was granted. In a short time Mary signified
that she was ready, and they began to move toward the hall of
execution. Her attendants were going to accompany her. The sheriff
said this could not be allowed. She accordingly bade them farewell,
and they filled the castle with the sound of their shrieks and

Mary went on, descending the stair-case, at the foot of which she was
joined by one of her attendants, from whom she had been separated for
some time. His name was Sir Andrew Melville, and he was the master of
her household. The name of her secretary Melville was James. Sir
Andrew kneeled before her, kissed her hand, and said that this was
the saddest hour of his life. Mary began to give him some last
commissions and requests. "Say," said she, "that I died firm in the
faith; that I forgive my enemies; that I feel that I have never
disgraced Scotland, my native country, and that I have been always
true to France, the land of my happiest years. Tell my son--" Here
her voice faltered and ceased to be heard, and she burst into tears.

She struggled to regain her composure. "Tell my son," said she, "that
I thought of him in my last moments, and that I have never yielded,
either by word or deed, to any thing whatever that might lead to his
prejudice. Tell him to cherish the memory of his mother, and say that
I sincerely hope his life may be happier than mine has been."

Mary then turned to the commissioners who stood by, and renewed her
request that her attendants, who had just been separated from her,
might come down and see her die. The commissioners objected. They
said that if these attendants were admitted, their anguish and
lamentations would only add to her own distress, and make the whole
scene more painful. Mary, however, urged the request. She said they
had been devotedly attached to her all her days; they had shared her
captivity, and loved and served her faithfully to the end, and it was
enough if she herself, and they, desired that they should be present.
The commissioners at last yielded, and allowed her to name six, who
should be summoned to attend her. She did so, and the six came down.

The sad procession then proceeded to the hall. Mary was in full court
dress, and walked into the apartment with the air and composure of a
reigning queen. She leaned on the arm of her physician. Sir Andrew
Melville followed, bearing the train of her robe. Her dress is
described as a gown of black silk, bordered with crimson velvet, over
which was a satin mantle. A long veil of white crape, edged with rich
lace, hung down almost to the ground. Around her neck was an ivory
crucifix--that is, an image of Christ upon the cross, which the
Catholics use as a memorial of our Savior's sufferings--and a rosary,
which is a string of beads of peculiar arrangement, often employed by
them as an aid in their devotions. Mary meant, doubtless, by these
symbols, to show to her enemies and to the world, that though she
submitted to her fate without resistance, yet, so far as the contest
of her life had been one of religious faith, she had no intention of

Mary ascended the platform and took her seat in the chair provided
for her. With the exception of stifled sobs here and there to be
heard, the room was still. An officer then advanced and read the
warrant of execution, which the executioners listened to as their
authority for doing the dreadful work which they were about to
perform. The Dean of Peterborough, the Protestant ecclesiastic whom
Mary had refused to see, then came forward to the foot of the
platform, and most absurdly commenced an address to her, with a view
to convert her to the Protestant faith. Mary interrupted him, saying
that she had been born and had lived a Catholic, and she was resolved
so to die; and she asked him to spare her his useless reasonings. The
dean persisted in going on. Mary turned away from him, kneeled down,
and began to offer a Latin prayer. The dean soon brought his
ministrations to a close, and then Mary prayed for some time, in a
distinct and fervent voice, in English, the large company listening
with breathless attention. She prayed for her own soul, and that she
might have comfort from heaven in the agony of death. She implored
God's blessing upon France; upon Scotland; upon England; upon Queen
Elizabeth; and, more than all, upon her son. During this time she
held the ivory crucifix in her hand, clasping it and raising it from
time to time toward heaven.

When her prayer was ended, she rose, and, with the assistance of her
attendants, took off her veil, and such other parts of her dress as
it was necessary to remove in order to leave the neck bare, and then
she kneeled forward and laid her head upon the block. The agitation
of the assembly became extreme. Some turned away from the scene faint
and sick at heart; some looked more eagerly and intensely at the
group upon the scaffold; some wept and sobbed aloud. The assistant
executioner put Mary's two hands together and held them; the other
raised his axe, and, after the horrid sound of two or three
successive blows, the assistant held up the dissevered head, saying,
"So perish all Queen Elizabeth's enemies."

The assembly dispersed. The body was taken into an adjoining
apartment, and prepared for interment. Mary's attendants wished to
have it delivered to them, that they might comply with her dying
request to convey it to France; but they were told that they could
not be allowed to do so. The body was interred with great pomp and
ceremony in the Cathedral at Peterborough, where it remained in
peace for many years.

       *       *       *       *       *

Now that the deed was done, the great problem with Elizabeth was, of
course, to avert the consequences of the terrible displeasure and
thirst for revenge which she might naturally suppose it would awaken
in Scotland and in France. She succeeded very well in accomplishing
this. As soon as she heard of the execution of Mary, she expressed
the utmost surprise, grief, and indignation. She said that she had,
indeed, signed the death warrant, but it was not her intention at all
to have it executed; and that, when she delivered it to the officer,
she charged him not to let it go out of his possession. This the
officer denied. Elizabeth insisted, and punished the officer by a
long imprisonment, and perpetual disgrace, for his pretended offense.
She sent a messenger to James, explaining the terrible accident, as
she termed it, which had occurred, and deprecating his displeasure.
James, though at first filled with indignation, and determined to
avenge his mother's death, allowed himself to be appeased.

About twenty years after this, Elizabeth died, and the great object
of Mary's ambition throughout her whole life was attained by the
union of the Scotch and English crowns on the head of her son. As
soon as Elizabeth ceased to breathe, James the Sixth of Scotland was
proclaimed James the First of England. He was at that time nearly
forty years of age. He was married, and had several young children.
The circumstances of King James's journey to London, when he went to
take possession of his new kingdom, are related in the History of
Charles I., belonging to this series. Though James thus became
monarch of both England and Scotland, it must not be supposed that
the two _kingdoms_ were combined. They remained separate for many
years--two independent kingdoms governed by one king.

When James succeeded to the English throne, his mother had been dead
many years, and whatever feelings of affection may have bound his
heart to her in early life, they were now well-nigh obliterated by
the lapse of time, and by the new ties by which he was connected with
his wife and his children. As soon as he was seated on his new
throne, however, he ordered the Castle of Fotheringay, which had been
the scene of his mother's trial and death, to be leveled with the
ground, and he transferred her remains to Westminster Abbey, where
they still repose.


If the lifeless dust had retained its consciousness when it was thus
transferred, with what intense emotions of pride and pleasure would
the mother's heart have been filled, in being thus brought to her
final home in that ancient sepulcher of the English kings, by her son,
now, at last, safely established, where she had so long toiled and
suffered to instate him, in his place in the line. Ambition was the
great, paramount, ruling principle of Mary's life. Love was, with her,
an occasional, though perfectly uncontrollable impulse, which came
suddenly to interrupt her plans and divert her from her course,
leaving her to get back to it again, after devious wanderings, with
great difficulty and through many tears. The love, with the
consequences which followed from it, destroyed _her_; while the
ambition, recovering itself after every contest with its rival, and
holding out perseveringly to the last, saved _her son_; so that, in
the long contest in which her life was spent, though she suffered all
the way, and at last sacrificed herself, she triumphed in the end.

                         THE END.


1. Minor changes have been made to correct typesetters' errors, and to
ensure consistent spelling and punctuation in this etext; otherwise,
every effort has been made to remain true to the original book.

2. The sidenotes used in this text were originally published as
banners in the page headers, and have been collected at the beginning
of each chapter for the reader's convenience.

3. The original Table of Engravings referenced an illuminated title
page from the first edition of this book; this reference has been
removed as that page does not occur in this e-text.

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