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is there of her own provision.' Unless, therefore, we suppose the Queen to have stopped short upon the journey, to play a match with Lord Seyton as soon as she met him on the road, it is plain that the debt referred to must have been an old reckoning from some former game. These are trifles--but even in trifles we have been accustomed to find Mr. Tytler scrupulously accurate.
On the Tuesday after the murder, the Queen had written to Paris an account of it, announcing the diligence which the Privy Council had already exerted to discover the murderers, and her resolution to exact a vigorous and exemplary vengeance, and alluding in terms of pious thankfulness to her own escape from the explosion. • Of very chance we tarried not all night by reason of a mask at the abbey, but we believe it was not chance, but God that put it in our head.' Next day, a proclamation offered 20001. reward to any that would come forward with information. On the 15th, the body of Darnley was interred in Holyrood Chapel, but with great privacy, none of the nobility attending the ceremony, and only one officer of state. From that time forward there appeared a complete remissness and apathy in seeking out the criminals and avenging the crime, although the Royal justice might have been quickened by several · bills' or placards affixed at Edinburgh, which openly accused Bothwell, Balfour, and others, and even glanced at the Queen herself. Her own vindication would, therefore, become another motive for activity. It seems impossible to explain such remissness in Mary by any want of sense or spirit—she had given, and was soon to give again, abundant proof of both. If innocent, as we believe, of any foreknowledge or participation in the crime, she must surely at least have felt some curiosity, and formed some conjecture. We can explain her conduct only on one of two suppositions. Some may think that, although shocked and surprised at the first tidings, she was speedily reconciled to a crime that freed her from a hateful bondage, and basely consented to screen the criminals, and, above all, the object of her guilty love. Others, again, inclined to a more favourable view of Mary's character, may believe that Bothwell exerted the ascendancy which he already possessed over her heart and understanding to turn her suspicions into an erroneous channel, and divert it from the real criminals. On this theory they will perhaps conclude that Bothwell might be prone to direct her belief against Murray, his old enemy, who had lately refused to make common cause with him, and who, as we find, was afterwards accused by Mary as the murderer when put on her defence in England, although at the time we might conceive her reluctance to bring a brother to the scaffold. On any theory as to Mary's real feelings at that time we have not, and
cannot expect, any positive proof; we can only attempt to determine them on conjecture and on probability.
The Queen's further conduct from this time we need but briefly glance over, as we find no difference of opinion upon it between her worst accusers and ourselves. They allege, and we admit, that it proves the most unbounded passion for her paramour, but nothing further can be deduced from it, with regard to the murder of her husband :-In spite of the daily increasing rumours of Bothwell's guilt, he continued to enjoy an all-powerful influence, and the most familiar intercourse with Mary. He received from her bounty the castle and lordship of Dunbar, the castle of Blackness, the superiority of Leith, and an enlargement of his office of High Admiral, while the government of Edinburgh Castle was granted by his intercession to Sir James Balfour, his confederate. The principal nobles kept aloof from the Court in disgust, and Murray, sagaciously watching the signs of the times and prescient of the storm, obtained leave to quit the kingdom. When, at length, the complaints of Lennox and the clamours of the people rendered Bothwell's public trial for the murder unavoidable, that trial was hurried on with unseemly haste, and closed by a collusive acquittal. At the meeting of parliament immediately afterwards, Bothwell was selected by the Queen to bear the crown and sceptre before her, and the three estates were induced by her influence to confirm his acquittal and approve the conduct of the jury. On the very day when parliament rose, the profligate favourite, having invited the chief nobility, both Protestant and Romanist, to supper, persuaded or overawed them into signing a bond, which earnestly recoinmended this high and mighty Lord' as a suitable husband for the Queen. Whatever is unhonest reigns presently in our Court,' writes Kirkaldy of Grange; “God deliver them from their evil!'*
Wholly resigning herself to her strong and shameful passion for a most unworthy object-'mon cœur, mon sang, mon ame, et mon souci,' as one of her alleged sonnets calls him-Mary readily admitted, perhaps even actively pressed, all the remaining steps to attain a speedy marriage. A divorce between Bothwell and his Countess, Lady Jean Gordon, was hurried through in headlong haste, with her own consent and her brother's, on the ground of consanguinity within the forbidden degrees t-the same pretext probably which the Queen had designed to take with respect to
* To the Earl of Bedford, April 20, 1567. + We may observe, in passing, that Lady Jean Gordon seems to have been a lady of mucb prudence; sbe was remarried to the Earl of Sutherland, and after his death to a third husband, and survived till 1629, but retained till her death her jointure out of Bothwell's estate. See a note to Laing's Dissertation,' vol. i. p. 316. Mary's alleged "Sonnets' show extreme jealousy of her.
Darnley. A pretext seemed also wanting to palliate her own im mediate marriage with the man so lately arraigned as her husband's murderer. To afford this, as, on the 24th of April, the Queen was returning from a visit to the prince her son at Stirling, she was seized at Almond Bridge, near Edinburgh, by Bothwell, with a party of his friends, and carried with a show of violence to his castle of Dunbar. When one of her attendants on this occasion, Sir James Melvil, remonstrated against such usage, he was secretly informed by one of Bothwell's servants that all had been done with the Queen's own consent.* But it has since been vehemently urged in her vindication-how truly let the reader judge—that her approaching marriage was owing solely to the force which was used against her at this time. A few days afterwards she returned with Bothwell to the capital, and appeared restored to liberty. She summoned the Chancellor, judges, and nobility to the High Court of Edinburgh, and declared before them that, though at first incensed at the Earl's presumption in the seizure of her person, she had forgiven him his offence in consequence of his subsequent good conduct, and that she intended to promote him to still higher honours. Accordingly, on the same day she created him Duke of Orkney, placing with her own hands the coronet upon his head, and on the 15th of May she was married to him at Holyrood House. The spectators observed that Mary was again attired in her mourning weeds.
It is remarkable how very far from joyful to the unfortunate Mary were even the first moments when even her own earnest wishes were fulfilled; how truly she was 'cursed with every granted prayer;' how little the pageants or the tournays of the day could soothe her wounded spirit; how soon Bothwell's passionate and brutal temper recoiled upon herself. “To those old friends,' says Mr. Tytler,' who were still at Court, and who saw her in private, it was evident that, though she still seemed to love him, she was a changed and miserable woman. A letter, derived by Mr. Tytler's industry from the secret archives of the House of Medici, at Florence, sets this fact beyond a doubt. M. de Croc, the French ambassador, writes as follows on the 18th of May to the Queen Dowager, Catherine de Medici: "Jeudi' (this was the 15th, the very day of the marriage)
'Jeudi sa Majesté m'envoya querir, où je m'aperçus d'une étrange façon entre elle et son mari, ce qu'elle me voulut excuser disant que si je la voyais triste c'était pour ce qu'elle ne voulait se réjouir, comme elle dit ne le faire jamais, ne désirant que la mort. Hier étant renfermés tous deux dedans un cabinet avec le Comte de Bothwell, elle cria tout haut, qu'on lui baillât un couteau pour se tuer! Ceux qui étaient dedans la * Melvil's Memoirs, p. 80.
day could and brutal teytler, 'n
chambre dans la pièce qui précéde le cabinet l'entendirent. Ils pensent si Dieu ne lui aide, qu'elle se désespérera. Je l'ai conseillée et confortée le mieux que j'ai pu ces trois fois que je l'ai vue. Son mari ne la fera pas longue, car il est trop hai en ce royaume, et puis l'on ne cessera jamais que la mort du Roi ne soit sue. Il n'y a pas ici un seul Seigneur de nom, que le dit Comte de Bothwell et le Comte de Crausurd ; les autres sont mandés et ne veulent point venir.'
A formidable confederacy was, indeed, already formed against her, on the ground of avenging the murdered King, and protecting the young prince, whom, it was alleged, Bothwell intended to seize and put to death. Morton, Mar, Lindsay, Grange, and many more, with their retainers, appeared in arms; several of Bothwell's accomplices in the crime, such as Huntly and Argyle, forsook him for their own security; and even ihe secretary, Lethington, the contriver of the whole, fled from Court, and joined the ranks of the confederates. Mary and Bothwell, however, having mustered an army, advanced from Dunbar, and encamped on Carberry Hill. But her own troops began to waver when in sight of the confederates (June 15, 1567); and Mary was induced to trust their solemn promise, conveyed through Grange, that if she would leave the Earl of Bothwell (whose retreat to Dunbar they liad already intercepted) they would receive and obey hier as their sovereign. Mary, ever prone to act on the impulse of the moment, agreed to these terms, and came forward to the ranks of the confederates, while Bothwell was allowed to ride off the field by the very men who had declared his punishment to be the main object of this rising. Their promises to Mary were broken even before the sun of that day had set : far from being obeyed as a sovereign, she was denounced as a murderess, and treated as a captive.
‘ller spirit, however,' observes Mr. Tytler, ‘instead of being subdued, was rather roused by their baseness. She called for Lindsay, one of the fiercest of the confederate barons, and bade him give her his hand. He obeyed. “ By the hand,” said she, “which is now in yours, I'll have your head for this.” Unfortunate princess! When she spoke thus, little did she know how soon that unrelenting hand, which had been already stained with Riccio's blood, would fall still heavier yet upon herself! : ....
Next day a hurried consultation was held; and in the evening she was sent a prisoner to Lochleven, a castle situated in the midst of a lake belonging to Douglas, one of the confederates, and from which escape was deemed impossible. In her journey thither she was treated with studied indignity, exposed to the gaze of the mob, miserably clad, mounted on a sorry hackney, and placed under the charge of Lindsay and Ruthven, men of savage manners even in this age. We may add, that, amidst danger and disgrace, her passion for
Bothwell continued unabated. She saith'—here we quote a letter of Throckmorton, the English ambassador, that if it were put to her choice to relinquish her crown and kingdom or the Lord Bothwell, she would leave her kingdom and dignity to go as a simple damsel with him.'*
A few days afterwards, the confederates, having intercepted one of Bothwell's servants, named Dalgleish, on his way from Edinburgh Castle, became possessed of a silver casket, which Bothwell had deposited in the fortress for security, and which contained, as is alleged, some secret letters and sonnets which Mary had addressed to her paramour. At a later period, Sir James Balfour having surrendered the castle to the confederates, they also obtained the original Band, signed by Lethington and others, for the murder of the King: but Lethington, who was now high in power, and anxious to conceal his own and his friends' participation in the crime, hastened to commit the tell-tale document to the flames. This important fact, which is new to the controversy, has been elicited by Mr. Tytler from a private despatch which Drury addressed to Cecil on the 28th of November, 1567. With regard to the letters and sonnets, their authenticity has been loudly and longly denied, and as loudly and longly asserted, Every sentence, every word they contain has become a topic either for cavil or for confirmation. On this often debated and re-debated question we are happy to find the opinion which we had formed entirely concur with that which Mr. Tytler has expressed. Like him, we have little doubt that some letters from Mary to Bothwell did really fall into the hands of her enemies; nay, we will go farther, and say we have little doubt that far the greater part of the letters and sonnets now produced were really hers. But the originals have long since disappeared under suspicious circumstances; and the state,' says Mr. Tytler, in which the copies (or rather the translations) have descended to our times is evidently garbled, altered, and interpolated, and renders it impossible for any sincere inquirer after the truth to receive such evidence. Let it only be considered for a moment how strong was the temptation, how great the facility, for interpolation, and how little scrupulous were the men who may be suspected of that baseness. According to our previous narrative it is plain that the Queen's secret letters to Bothwell must have contained abundant proofs of her blind infatuation for him, but none of any foreknowledge or participation in Darnley's death. Now the former proofs would not have sufficed for the object of her enemies, as not affording an adequate legal ground for her deposition. How * Sir N. Throckmorton to Queen Elizabeth, July 14, 1567.
see her blind infattion in Darnley se object of her tion. How