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Edinburgh, Feb. 10, 1567. • Most Reverend Father in God, and trusted Counsellor, we greet you well.

* We have received this morning your letters of the 27th of January, by your servant, Robert Drury, containing in one part sic advertisement as we find by effect over true, albeit the success has not altogether been sic as the authors of that mischievous fact had preconceived and had put it in execution; an if God in his mercy had not preserved us as we trust to the end, that we may take a rigorous vengeance of that mischievous deed, which ere it should remain unpunished we had rather lose life and all. The matter is so horrible and strange, as we believe the like was never heard of in any country.

• This night past, being the 9th of February, a little after two hours after midnight, the house wherein the king was lodged was, in one instant, blown into the air, he lying asleep in his bed, with sic a vehemency that of the whole lodging, walls and other, there is nothing remaining; na, not a stone above another, but all either carried far away or dang in dross to the very ground stone. It must be done by the force of gunpowder, and appears to have been a mine. By whom it has been done, or in what manner, appcars not yet.

"We doubt not, but according to the diligence our council has begun already to use, the certainty of all shall be usit shortly, and the same being discovered, which we wot God will not suffer to lie hid, we hope to punish the same with sic rigour as shall serve for example of this cruelty to all ages to come. Always whoever has taken this wicked enterprise in hand we assure ourself it was dressit as well for ourself as for the king, (for we lay for the most part of all last week in that same lodging, and was there accompanied with the most part of the lords that were in this town) and that same night at midnight, and of very chance tarried not all night there by reason of some masks at the abbey (Holyrood): But we believe it was not chance but God that put in our head.

• We despatched this bearer upon the sudden; therefore write to you the more shortly. The rest of the letter we shall answer at more leisure within four or five days by your own servant. And so for the present we commit you to Allmighty God.

' At Edinburgh the 11th day of Feb. 1566-67.-Letters of Mary Queen of Scots, vol. i. p. 44.

Mary, after the murder, manifested an uncommon dislike to the mention of Darnley's name, which is one of the nearest approaches to remorse that we can find in her. What she said to the Archbishop in this letter she maintained through life, when forced to speak of him at all. But though we see from this example that she did not affect to consider her feelings wounded by the event, there was something about the affair that she would rather keep out of sight. Is there anything in history more detestable than the whole of this letter? The coldness, the hypocrisy, the falsehood; and yet it was by her adherence in the course here first adopted that she, in fact,

! To this letter Miss Strickland appends the following extraordinary comment : • If Mary had had any evil intentions against poor Darnley, she must have given some hint of them to her chief confidant the Archbishop, to whom this letter was addressed.'

gained over her adherents in her own and present times. Partly, it is hard to believe in that long subsequent life of impenitence; men are shaken, in spite of their reason, by consistent assertion and consistent denial. She would be too wicked if it were all true! So, as soon as the overwhelming evidence is a little shoved out of sight by other coming events, Mary gets the benefit of these misgivings and difficulties. But, in fact, her guilt is indefinitely increased by this obstinacy in it, Every good Christian ought to stand aghast at such a picture of impenitent sin. We are tempted here, though out of chronological order, to show our readers what is M. Mignet's mode of judging of character, and how far we are to value anything but his facts; and to begin with his just and fair notice of her conduct immediately after the murder:

• What was the effect produced upon Mary Stuart by this terrible occurrence which filled Edinburgh with indignation and mistrust? She appeared overwhelmed with sorrow and fell into a state of silent dejection. She manifested none of that activity, anger, resolution, and courage which she had displayed after Riccio's murder: but shut herself up in her room, and would communicate with her most faithful servants by the medium of Bothwell alone. Darnley's murderer was the only person admitted to her presence. Even were we not furnished with the most unquestionable proofs of her complicity by the confessions contained in her letters, the authenticity of which we have established elsewhere, as well as by the declarations made in presence of their judges and upon the scaffold, by the subaltern actors in this tragic drama, her conduct both before and after the murder would suffice to convince us that she was a party to the crime.' -Mignet, vol. i. p. 272.

He then recapitulates what we have already gone through, and continues :

* But if her conduct previous to the commission of the crime thus deeply criminates Mary Stuart, what must we think of her proceedings after its perpetration? Her behaviour, both as a wife and a queen, render her guilt all the more flagrant, because far from avenging the husband upon whom she had so recently lavished her hypocritical caresses, she rewarded his murderer, and eventually married him.'-Ibid. vol. i. p. 273.

• Having thus established her guilt so entirely to his own and others' satisfaction, we must show our readers what is the occasion M. Mignet chooses for a burst of admiration for this wicked queen. We somewhat purposely anticipate the course of events, that our readers may not be tempted to the very common error, that distance of time softens unrepented sin ; that is, that a criminal without an act of repentance is, in fact, by the mere passage of time, in some sort cleansed from his crime. We do not believe that M. Mignet could have expressed himself as he does in the following passage, had the scene he describes taken place within a week of Darnley's murder, instead of after a lapse of two years of deserved misfortune; and if, instead of some chapters' change of subject, he had had to proceed to the recording of it before the ink of the last sentence was dry or the page turned over. When Mary took refuge in England, and was detained by Elizabeth, the charge of murdering her husband was brought against her by her own subjects, who supported the charge by producing the letters in the silver casket. Many hard words are applied to Elizabeth, for pressing for a direct answer; for urging Mary, in fact, to defend herself from the charge, giving her the choice of three separate modes of doing so.

• Mary declined this insidious request. She would not condescend to appear as the accused party. Adroit and courageous, sometimes perplexed but never cast down, she now displayed all the resources of her mind and all the energy of her character. After having tried every means to prevent the publication of the documents which criminated her; after having had recourse to the skilful maneuvres of Lethington and the prudent counsels of Norfolk; after having once offered to abdicate, and frequently to forgive, even when she was most grievously offended-she now stood up with all the dignity of a queen, and proved herself as bold as she had previously appeared accommodating. Instead of defending herself, she attacked Murray. On the 19th of December she wrote to her Commissioners : “ Forasmuch as the Earl of Murray and his adherents our rebellious subjects, have added unto their pretended excuses, produced by them for colouring of their horrible crimes and offences committed against us their sovereign lady and mistress, the charge that, as the Earl of Bothwell was the principal executor of the murder committed on the person of Harry Stuart our late husband, so we knew, counselled, devised, persuaded, and commanded the said murder,—they have falsely, treacherously, and wickedly lied; maliciously imputing to us a crime of which themselves were authors and inventors, and some of them even executors." Repelling the charge of having impeded the proceedings of justice against Darnley's murderers, and of having given her consent beforehand to her marriage of Both well, she alluded with consummate ability and eloquence to the danger to which the lords declared that she had exposed her son: [she had in fact wished to give him into Bothwell's hands.] “ That calumny,” she pathetically observed, “should suffice for proof of all the rest. The natural love of a mother towards her bairn confounds them; but in the malice and impiety of their hearts, they judge others by their own affection."'-Ibid. vol. ii. p. 53.

For our own part, so far are we from sharing in M. Mignet's admiration of this unparalleled audacity, that we find ourselves on the contrary responding in a way we could not have anticipated, to Knox's denunciations of the course and character of this woman; his language is strong, we do not defend a subject for using such language towards her who once at least was his sovereign ; but our readers shall judge if it is not in most points deserved. It is from one of his sermons:

I am further accused, that I speak of their sovereign (mine she is not) as that she were reprobate, affirming that she cannot repent; thereto I answer, that the accuser is a calumniator and a manifest liar, for he is never able to prove that at any time I have said that she could not repent; but I have said, and yet say, that pride and repentance abide not in one heart of any long continuance. ... What I have spoken against the adultery, against the murders, against the pride, and against the idolatry of that wicked woman, I spake not as one that entered into God's secret counsel, but being one, of God's great mercy, called to preach according to His blessed will revealed in His Holy Word, I have oftener than once pronounced the threatenings of His law against such as have been of counsel, knowledge, assistance, or consent, that innocent blood should be shed.'Tytler, vol. vii. p. 287.

There is something in simple magnitude which attracts some minds; even a crime may be pardoned if it is only large enough and maintained with spirit enough. We have traced Mary's aptitude for so great a crime to her education in the Court of France, and to the principles which she imbibed there. The murder of Darnley and its consequences were direct fruits of those principles and of that teaching; and, as a remarkable confirmation of this view, we find the same teaching producing the very same results in France itself, only two years after. We need hardly remind the youngest or the most forgetful of our readers, that the Massacre of S. Bartholomew was designed and carried out by those who had especially the direction of Mary's education, Catharine de Medicis and the Cardinal of Lorraine ; and by her fellow-pupils, Charles IX. and his brother, the Duke of Anjou. And in the crimes themselves there are many points of resemblance; in part arising from the dissimulation which is the feature and crowning aggravation of each; and also from the circumstances themselves, which in the domestic act of treachery anticipate on a small scale, and shadow forth, those of the more gigantic enormity. Nor are there wanting points of striking analogy in the minor personage.

Each tragedy has its innocent, accidental victim. And the Lady Jane Gordon, forced to a divorce from her husband, represents Margaret of France, compelled to a marriage against her heart and feelings; each being equally gainers by the act of injustice and apparent cruelty. Mary represents the king and court of France; Darnley must stand for the Admiral and the Huguenot party; and the Kirk of Field is Paris.

Mary's open, impulsive, impetuous temper is sometimes brought forward to show her naturally incapable of an act of deliberate perfidy. But Charles's disposition might have been supposed quite as great an obstacle to his long-sustained effort of patient, watchful, insidious, profound dissimulation. Mary had only Darnley to delude; Charles was matched with Coligni and his party, able men, whose lives had been passed in suspicion, experienced in the arts of deception, and in the task of unmasking the covert designs of the most perfidious court in the world. Mary had but a few days of dissembling; Charles, for many months, might not relax nor indulge himself in one natural outbreak. What must it not have cost a young king, absolute in position, impatient in temper, and utterly unscrupulous in principle, to maintain that long course of concession to his enemies, by which he at length gained his ends ! from that first conference with his mother and the other conspirators, up to the successful issue of the plot formed there; the feigned peace,—the support of the Protestant religion, and severe repression of the outrages of his own party against it;-his affected displeasure with the House of Guise ;-the disgrace into which he brought himself with his Catholic allies, Spain and the Pope, by a course which he could neither justify nor explain ;—the connecting himself by the forced marriage of his sister with one of the detested heretics—the whole series of measures necessary to bring within his net the Huguenots whom he had resolved to exterminate. What unremitting watchfulness, what self-restraint were necessary : what sacrifices must be made to lull their jealous suspicions, what perpetual benignity of aspect veiling the smothered rage within, what toleration of high pretensions and bold demands must he persevere in !-but the end reconciled him to all. That it was an effort we know from that scene with his mother, when he believed her to have let out the plot, and he, on his side, 'grievously complained to her that she should have made known those secrets, which he with so much patience, and resistance from his own mind, putting constraint on his natural disposition, had concealed; to which words the queen, smiling, replied that she did not need to learn from him the art of silence, bidding him to consider if he himself, by his own impatience, had not let out what he suspected others to have done.''

That he succeeded we know, not only from the result but from the naïre admiration Davila expresses for a crowning act of dissimulation by which he distinguished himself. This was on the occasion of Coligni's arrival at Paris.

• It was a notable thing (cosa notabile) to see the Admiral, grown old in ambitious pretensions and proud thoughts, now conscious in himself of his errors; all France for the theatre, and before the eyes of his own partisans; brought to so public a repentance, that he was seen with a copious effusion of tears, prostrated at the knees of that king whom he had so frequently offended, but it was much more notable that the king, so young in years, of a nature so precipitate and irascible, now seeing before him the man who had so often endangered his crown and dominion, knew how to dissemble so perfectly, that, calling him father and raising him with his own hands, he made every one believe him to be sincerely and entirely reconciled to him.'— Darila, vol. ii. p. 273.

Coligni's attempted assassination, under the King's orders, and the subsequent visit of affectionate condolence paid to the wounded man by Charles and his mother, and the surrounding

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I Davila's Historia di Francia,' vol. ii. p. 269.

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