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ed him where he lay! It had, perhaps, been most fortunate for Mary, had that union of the two crowns, which ultimately ensued, been brought about earlier by her marriage with Edward VI.; and it is more than probable that the match, but for the “ manner of wooing," as the Earl of Huntley is reported to have said pleasantly, would have been effected. Sir James Sadler, on both his missions to Scotland-whither be had been sent charged with promoting, if possible, the views of his royal master, (Henry VIII.) as connected with that country-endeavoured to detach James from his alliance with France, but without success.
It is not to be disguised, that the constant interference of France in the concerns of Scotland, which sprung out of the near relationship of Mary to the Duke of Guise and Cardinal Lorraine, constituted one of the most signal of those evils which beset the life and reign of the Queen of Scots. Distracted by contradictory counsels-vainly endeavouring to please two parties, equally powerful and mutually opposed--the situation of Mary was, perhaps, the most trying and unfortunate to which it had ever been the lot of sovereign to be subjected. Adopt wbat measures she might, was it likely that they would prove satisfactory to the people of Scotland, and the Kings of England and France, alike? Yet nothing short of this, impracticable and impossible as it was, seems to have been required at the hands of Mary-at best too gentle and too good for the station which she occupied—a station demanding, if ever such station did, sterner materials than composed either the heart or understanding of the beautiful and accomplished Queen of Scots. The extraordinary demands of Henry VIII., his known views and wishes-coupled with his haughty proposals of marriage between his son Edward and the infant heir to the Scottish throne, led to the belief, on the part of the queen-mother and the Cardinal, that it was no longer safe for Mary to remain in Scotland. She was, accordingly, sent to France, confided to the care of the French King; and her noble relatives of the houses of Guise and Lorraine. The policy of this step may well be called in question—but thus was Mary the sport of circumstances to the hour of her death. For thirteen years, an inmate of one of the first convents of France, Mary passed a life of quiet and seclusion they were the happiest, or, rather, the only happy years of her existence. Ambition, in the person of the Guises, soon entered within the walls of this her peaceful sanctuary, and tore her from its embraces.
VOL. VIII.-NO. 16.
: " It was whispered,” says Mr. Bell, “ that she had already expressed a wish to separate herself forever from the world; and it is not improbable, that had this wiska been allowed to foster itself silently in her bosom, Mary might ultimately have taken the veil, in which case her life would have been a blank in history. As soon, however, as her uncles were informed of the bent which her mind appeared to be taking, she was removed from the convent to the castle. To reconcile her to parting with the vestal sisters, Henry, whose conduct towards her was always marked by affection and delicacy, selected, from all the noble Scotch families then residing in France, a certain number to constitute her future household. The tears which Mary shed upon leaving the nunnery, proved the warmth of her young heart; and that her feelings were not of merely momentary duration, is evinced by the frequent visits she subsequently paid this asylumn of her childhood, and by the altar-piece she embroidered with her own hands for the chapel of the convent." p. 56.
We shall pass over Mary's residence in France, where her time was employed at once usefully and elegantly, and spent without reproach-together with her marriage with the Dauphin, Frances II., who died shortly afterward-and proceed 10 notice an ill-advised step which Mary was persuaded, we might say, constrained to take, about this period-a step which, though urged upon her by her uncles, whose wishes, it seems, were commanels with her, she most reluctantly adopted as she herself subsequently declared. There can be little question that the open assumption, on the part of Mary and her French consort, of the arms and title of England, dictated, as was that illjudged and daring measure, by the King of France, and warmly seconded by the powerful house of Lorraine, on the avoked ground of Elizabeth's illegitimacy,* laid the foundation of that hatred which inflamed the breast of the latter toward the person and character of the Queen of Scots, and wbich ended only with the death of Mary. Elizabeth was but too well aware, that her title to the crown of England had become matter of dispute, and, indeed, was openly denied by her enemies, both at home and abroad. The union of the crowns of France and Scotland, was formidable to the interests of Elizabeth; as were, in a scarcely less degree, the power and abilities of the family of Guise. The character and condition of affairs throughout England, at this period—its political and religious institutions overtbrown and set afloat upon that tempestuous and terrible ocean which rushed raging and remorseless from one extremity of the kingdom to the other, overwhelming the weak, and lifting up the strong—this violent concussion of elements social
# Both Elizabeth and her intolerant sister, Mary, had been declared illegitimate, by act of Parliament.
and public, which shook the Isles of Britain to their center, and frightened them from their propriety, was, as has always been the case, more favourable to the views, and more calculated to promote the measures of what would now be termed the “ Moveinent party,” than of those who merely desired to retain, and noi acquire. Among this latter class of the people of that trying period, we must certainly number Mary in the end—for the very first step by which she sought to ascend the ladder of ambition, was identically the one which finally forced her to its : foot--there to defend herself against the rage and hatred of those whom her unfortunate pretensions--by an easy transition to thein--had, from being suspicious and watchful observers of her conduct, converted into the avowed and bitter enemies of her person and her power, as a sovereign. Nothing short of her entire destruction, it soon became manifest, was likely to appease the malevolence of Elizabeth, or render her assurance doubly sure in the safety of that throne from which proceeded the measures that encompassed Mary, and, ultimately, the mandate which led to her death upon the scaffold. Now, in the whole of the transactions of that period, it is impossible not to perceive that the Queen of Scots was a passive, rather than an active party. This prominent, and, as regards the reputation of Mary, most important fact, has, we think, been entirely lost sight of even by the few friends and asserters of her cause, both then and since. This fact, it is, which invests the fortunes of Mary with that profound and almost universal syinpathy which attaches, in the same degree, to the history of scarcely any other distinguished public character of modern times—whilst the fact itself, bas, even up to this hour, escaped detection. It is no where referred to, by the most distant allusion, in the volumes of Mr. Bell--the last and most lucid of that formidable host of authorities, who, as he himself remarks, should all be consulted by those who would form an accurate and just estimate of the real merits of a controversy involving, not alone the public and political credit of a queen, but, what is of far greater importance, the personal fair fame of a wife and mother-a woman the most interesting, as she was the most beautiful and unfortunate of her age, or, we might add, of any age. This, then, is the hidden source-unknown, or, at least, unacknowledged--of that deep and absorbing spell of wo and wonder which closes upon the heart and understanding, as, transported to the past, forgetful of the present, they pore upon the mournful destinies of Mary. Never did
misfortune light upon a head so wise, so gentle, and so just !* View her in what light we may, the same dark shade interposes to throw its gloom upon ihe picture. Was she a queen, her subjects, to say the least, were disloyal-a wife, her husband (Darnley) was a wretch, a traitor to her person and her throne-a friend, the object of her bounty and regard was inhumanly butchered before her very eyes! Distracted by contradictory and opposing counsels-environed by the machinations of her enemies--indebted and endeared to France-responsible to England, yet pledged to her own country-whither could she turn for consolation, where for hope? Hope came not to her, “ which comes to all!” There are more facts than one on record, which go fully to sustain us in this opinion of Mary's non-participation, in a moral point point of view, in those measures which were so singularly and artfully turned against herinvolving her reputation and her peace, in the first instance, and, finally compassing her death, under circumstances the most atrocious. Her reply to Throckmorton, who, in the interview he had with her, shortly after her return from France, adverted to the assumption of the armorial bearings of England, as a subject of complaint with Elizabeth, is alone sufficient to convince every unprejudiced mind that in that act, as in almost every other of her life, Mary was at once the sport of circumstances, and the merest instrument-passive, because unconscious, and unconscious, because unsuspecting-in the hands of the meanly ambitious, for accomplishing their unprincipled designs. Upon Throckmorton's submitting to her, whether “any thing could be more prejudicial to a prince, than to usurp
the title and interest belonging to him," "M. l'Ambassadeur," 'replied the Queen, “I was then under the commandment of King Henry my father, and of the king my lord and husband; and whatsoever was then done by their order and commandments, 'the same was in like manner continued until both their deaths; since which time you know I neither bore the arms nor used the title of England. “Methinks,” she added, “these, my doings, might • ascertain the Queen, your mistress, that that which was done • before was done by commandment of them that had power over me; and, also, in reason, she ought to be satisfied, seeing I now order my doings as I tell ye.”+ Nothing, certainly, could be more reasonable or satisfactory than the above reply; and when we
* To Mary we may fairly apply the compliment paid to one of the mistresses of Francis I. (Duchesse d'Estampes) who was declared to have been, "la plus savante des belles, et la plus belle des savantes''-but who partook, lat the same time, which cannot be said of the Queen of Scots-of the character which, under the reign of Louis XIV., went by the name of Precieuse.
+ Bell, rol. i. p. 99.
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reflect that Mary, at this period, had hardly attained her nineteenth year, we can surely understand how it was that she should have been under the control and at the entire disposal of her royal and princely relatives and advisers-husband, father, and uncles-all agreed in their views; and, consequently, combined in the easy task of influencing and determining hers. We can very well inagine, at the same time, that Elizabeth should have been slung to the quick by this unfortunate act on the part of Mary, founded, as it was, upon the ground of her dishonour-but, then, had not the Parliament of her father-an English Parliament-declared both her and her fanatic sister, illegitimate? But, at all events, Mary's renunciation of that title which she had evidently been constrained to assume, might, in reason, have appeased and disarmed the feelings of Elizabeth toward her, but that the pride of the former had been wounded-a wound which haughty spirits-and Elizabeth had her full share of high conceits-rarely suffer to heal, because they rarely forgive it. Still, however, upon Throckmorton's making known to her, as he must have done, Mary's reply to the question which he had put to her upon this matter, and the new light in which that reply undoubtedly placed the whole subject, should not Elizabeth have been made at once to perceive who her real enemies were-that the relatives and directors of Mary, and not that gentle and unoffending being, had been the authors of the unpardonable insult which she conceived to have been put upon her, both as a woman and a princess ? A fallen human nature is always true to itself, if not to others; and revenge once engendered in the breast of man or woman, seldom discriminates. In the hostility of Elizabeth's conduct to Mary, of which-while various other causes of dislike and repugnance undoubtedly existed the deep foundation may, nevertheless, be said to have been laid at this period—we recognize the force and fidelity of the poet's picture, as it may be termed, of this passion of revenge. Othello laboured under a similar error, with regard to the supposed author of his wrongs, yet do we hear him exclaiming,
Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge
llad stomach for them all! Humanity forbid that we should put in a plea in behalf of Elizabeth's merciless treatment of the Queen of Scots. The dupe in the play, was as generous as he was brave-of a “ free and open nature,”
That thinks men honest, that but seem to be so;