Изображения страниц

We cannot

undirected and fortuitous concourse of atoms. believe that

"For blindly, blindly and without design,

Did these first atoms their first meetings try ;
No ordering thought was there, no will divine

To guide them; but through infinite time gone by,
Tossed and tormented, they essayed to join,

And clashed through the void space tempestuously,
Until at last that certain whirl began,
Which slowly formed the earth, and heaven, and man.” *

There is mystery here as in all the phenomena of nature. In the simplest chemical reactions there is much that we cannot understand. The old philosopher, Kanada, knew as much as we, and adrishta, the Unseen, is still the best name we can give to the chemical force. There is no reason why we should not investigate the secrets of nature, and push our researches into the domains of the unknown. We may be sure that no earnest and sincere work can fail of some reward, and that as the ages roll on more light will illumine recesses of the temple of nature at present dark and impenetrable by human vision. But our attitude should be modest and reverent, and nothing must be received as articles of scientific faith to be accepted under penalty of scientific excommunication. Science means knowledge, not faith, and, short of actual demonstration, the mind must be held free to receive new truth, however opposed to old prepossessions. When we cannot fully explain all that is involved in the formation of a drop of water, I think we ought not to dogmatise on the profound mysteries of life and sensation, and when the action of a single force is fully understood, it will be quite soon enough to speculate on what would be the result of the combination of it with known, or even yet unknown, forces.

* Mallock's, Lucretius.




It requires no little courage to venture to add another word to the enormous number already written on Mary Queen of Scots. The subject, however, is in itself so full of interest, and all books published bearing the magic name on the title page, are so eagerly sought for, that I trust this small effort to add to the knowledge available for future historians will not be without value.

These notes were partly written two years ago, but my interest in the subject was revived by the reading of a most valuable contribution to its literature, a work which well deserves the hearty reception with which it has met. I allude to Mary Queen of Scots in Captivity, by Mr. J. D. Leader, of Sheffield.

The foundations upon which the paper is based are principally to be found in two books, both written at the time of the occurrences they describe, but neither published till recently. The more important one is the Journal of M. Bourgoing, the physician of Mary, who entered her service before A.D. 1580, under date of which year a letter of his is quoted by Mr. Leader,* and who remained in constant and close attendance upon her till her death.

On November 23, 1586, shortly after the announcement to Mary, by Lord Buckhurst, that the Council had sentenced her to death, she wrote to the Pope, Sixtus V, a letter, in which she says,

“ You shall have a true account of the mode Mary Queen of Scots in Captivity, p. 437.

[ocr errors]


of my final arrest (that of the removal from Chartley to Tixall), and all the proceedings for and against me; that, knowing the truth, the calumnies of the enemies of the Church will not impose upon you; being able to refute them by the publication of the truth. For this purpose I have sent to you this report.

It is easy to understand the reason for this on Mary's part. She was the representative of the Church of Rome in England, and in that capacity had received from Rome signal marks of favour, extending so far, indeed, that to her was given a power, never perhaps bestowed on a woman before or since, that she could administer the Eucharist to herself during the period in which she was by Elizabeth's orders deprived of the services of her priest. +

The report spoken of by Mary in this letter has never yet been found, but there has recently been discovered in the town of Cluny, in France, a manuscript which bears evidence of great antiquity, and which it is believed was originally in the Library of the Benedictines of the Abbey of Cluny prior to its destruction in 1793. Of this abbey Claude of Guise, nephew of Cardinal Lorraine, and therefore cousin of Mary, was abbot from 1575 to 1612. Mary probably arranged for the writing of this book, for under date of the day following that on which she wrote to the Pope, in a letter to the Duke of Guise, she gives some particulars of the proceedings, and says,

“ You shall hear all that passed."I This manuscript bears strong internal evidence that it is the copy of the

* Labanoff, Lettres, Instructions et Mémoires de Marie Stuart, &c., tom. vi, 447.

+ Quo circa olim tempore persecutionum Christiani omnes quotidie communicabant, ut se roborarent at Martyrium, immo Eucharistiam donum deferebant, illamque mave suis manibus sumebant, uti fecit nuper Maria Stuarta, Scotiae Regina, dum in Anglia captiva detineretur, nec sacerdotem secum habere posset.”—Commentary of Cornelius a Lapide (Ed. Antwerp, 1639) on the xxvi chap. S. Matthew, v. 27.

Hosack's Mary Queen of Scots, &c., ii, 439.


report in question, made at the time that the original was sent to the Pope. It was hurriedly copied, and is full of grammatical and orthographical blunders, and what are now archaisms, but its personal and pointed allusions, and its close agreement with other published information, no less than its religious tone, which is just what might be expected from so clever a woman as Mary writing to her spiritual father, quite warrant the belief that it is a genuine document. It has recently been published by M. Chantelauze,* verbatim et literatim, and it is from his book that I have translated some passages which appear

of interest, and which have not been published before. To correct the natural one-sidedness of this account, I have compared it with the letters written by Sir Amias Paulet, Mary's keeper, to his superiors, Elizabeth's secretaries. The duplicate book of these letters has recently been published by Father Morris, the Jesuit historian, and, though I cannot always agree with his deductions, I have no doubt that his quotations are correct. We are thus, I think, enabled to obtain a fair account of that portion of the final scenes of Mary's life of which I propose to treat.

I should say that the translations are in all cases my own, and I have endeavoured rather to give a literal translation than a free paraphrase.

Shortly after the death of Mary, an anonymous writer published a small book, entitled La Morte de la Royne d'Ecosse, and it has usually been attributed to Bourgoing. That it was not written by him is evident from the fact that its author says he was not present at the last moments of Mary's life, of which we know Bourgoing was a spectator. The author, however, was aware of the existence of Bourgoing's journal, to which he doubtless refers, under the title

* Marie Stuart, son procés et son Exécution. Paris, 1879. + The Letter Books of Sir Amias Paulet. London, 1874.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »