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accursed tribunal. Such treatment greatly increased the hatred which the Englishmen of those days bore to the Spaniards.
When Elizabeth first came to the throne, Philip asked her to marry him. But she had no inclination to share her power with any one, and least of all with Philip: and when he found that she was not at heart a Roman Catholic, but meant to restore the English Church, he no longer wished to ally himself with her. He married a princess of France, and from that time was always, secretly or openly, the enemy of England. During the earlier years of Elizabeth's reign, Philip was so deeply engaged in making war on his own subjects in the Netherlands, that he could not prosecute his designs against her kingdom. The Netherlands then comprised the countries we now call Holland and Belgium and the north-east of France; the inhabitants excelled all the nations of Europe in commerce and manufactures, and England had a greater trade with them than with all the rest of the world besides.
They had been subject to the crown of Spain for many years, but enjoyed their own laws and much freedom till the Reformation began to make progress amongst them. Then the Spaniards persecuted them fearfully; and thousands of the people fled to England, made it their home, and by degrees taught Englishmen to excel like themselves in various manufactures of silk and wool. Those who remained behind boldly took up arms against their oppressors, and many Englishmen by the queen's permission went to help them; Elizabeth also assisted them with large sums of money, and after many years, and a very hard
MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS.
struggle, the inhabitants of what we now call Holland succeeded in conquering their independence, formed a state of their own which they called The Seven United Provinces, and enjoyed their own laws and religion in peace.
France was no more friendly to England than was Spain, but the king of France generally kept at peace with Elizabeth, because he had so much to do at home, trying like Philip to subdue his Protestant subjects and bring them back to the Church of Rome. More than two millions of Frenchmen had become Protestants, and Elizabeth was a good friend to them as well as to the men of Holland.
Everywhere, the Protestants looked up to her as a protectress and helper, and nowhere more than in Scotland. Mention has been made of the little Queen of Scots who was sent to the French court to be educated with the prince Francis, to whom she was betrothed. It was a very bad school for the little Queen Mary, as the court of France was not only the most splendid and luxurious but the most wicked in Europe; and the mother of the prince, Catherine de Medicis, was infamous above all women of her time for cruelty and deceit. She taught her sons to be as false and cruel as herself. Mary grew up very witty and accomplished, and exquisitely beautiful. Every one admired her, though some feared she had been infected by the vices of her associates, and concealed an artful ruthless character behind that veil of grace and beauty.
All papists looked upon her as the rightful Queen of England, for they declared that Henry the Eighth had never been lawfully married to Anne Boleyn,
and that her daughter Elizabeth could have no title to the crown. And as soon as Queen Mary of England died, the Queen of Scots and her husband had taken the title of Queen and King of England. This was a great insult to Elizabeth, and to the English people, who chose that Elizabeth should be their queen; and it was never forgiven or forgotten. As long as Mary of Scotland lived, Englishmen always suspected her of plotting to dethrone Elizabeth, that she might be queen herself and force them to obey the pope again. This plan had really been formed for Mary by her French kinsmen when she was too young to form any plans for herself; but her husband, King Francis the Second, died, and in 1561 Mary left France, and came back to reign over her own kingdom of Scotland.
She was then nineteen years old. While she had been in France a great change had taken place among her Scottish subjects, most of whom had become Protestants. Mary was much displeased when she found this to be the case; but she was not powerful enough to put down the Protestants, so she allowed them to follow their own religion; and was content to place the government chiefly in the hands of her halfbrother, James Stuart, Earl of Murray, the most esteemed of the Protestant lords.
As long as Mary followed his advice her reign was honourable and prosperous. The Scots could not help admiring and liking their queen, but many of them were so unreasonable as to expect her at once to give up the religion in which she had been educated, and become a Protestant like themselves; and they were ready to murder the priests who said mass in her
MURDER OF RIZZIO AND DARNLEY.
chapel. While Murray governed, he preserved peace, but he ceased to be friendly to Mary when he found that she was going to marry her cousin, Lord Darnley, a foolish vicious youth of eighteen, who had nothing to recommend him but his tall stature and handsome countenance.
REIGN OF ELIZABETH-(continued).
MURDER OF RIZZIO AND DARNLEY.-THE QUEEN OF SCOTS IS DETHRONED. SHE FLIES TO ENGLAND, AND IS IMPRISONED THERE.
THE Queen of Scots soon repented her unwise choice of a husband. Darnley behaved very ill, and because Mary would not make him equal in power with herself, he took the wicked, brutal revenge of murdering her favourite secretary, an Italian named Rizzio, who had, as he supposed, persuaded the queen not to give him all the authority he desired to have. Some Scottish lords, who were offended because the queen preferred Rizzio's company to theirs, assisted Darnley in the murder. The unfortunate secretary was butchered almost in his mistress's presence. Mary earnestly entreated for his life; but when they told her he was already dead, "I will dry my tears, then, and study revenge," was her answer. Mary never could endure her husband after this, though for a little while they seemed to be reconciled.
The queen had now given her confidence to one of the most wicked men in Scotland, Lord Bothwell. Her husband, who was ill with the small-pox, was lodged apart from the palace, in a lone house called the Kirk
of Field. There the queen visited him daily, and with seeming affection. One evening, in February, 1567, she took leave of him as usual-but it was for the last time. Bothwell had already conveyed a quantity of gunpowder into the room beneath Darnley's apartment, and two hours after midnight, he came by stealth to the house, laid a long lighted match to the powder, and withdrew to a safe distance. Presently afterwards, all Edinburgh was startled out of sleep by what seemed to be the shock of an earthquake. When day dawned, the house in which Darnley had lodged was found blown to pieces, and his dead body, and that of his page, were lying in the adjacent fields.
Scotland was filled with horror at this murder, of which every one justly accused Bothwell; but the horror was greatly increased when, three months afterwards, the queen married her husband's murderer. The people rose in arms, and forced her to send Bothwell away; and some were not contented with this, but shut her up in Lochleven Castle, and made her give up her kingdom to her little son, James the Sixth, an infant of a year old. Murray, who had left Scotland, was called back to be Regent for his little nephew.
All Scotland was divided into King's men and Queen's men. The queen's men wanted Mary to be released from prison and to be queen again, now that Bothwell had left the country; the king's men were determined that she should not reign. And although Mary escaped from Lochleven, and found herself in a few days at the head of six thousand men, Murray quickly routed her forces. The queen watched the