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ENGLA N D.
AFFAIRS OF SCOTLAND.-SPANISH AFFAIRS.-SIR FRANCIS DRAKE.-A PARLIA
THE greatest and most absolute security that Elizabeth CHAP. enjoyed during her whole reign never exempted her XLI. from vigilance and attention; but the scene began now 1580. to be more overcast, and dangers gradually multiplied on her from more than one quarter.
The Earl of Morton had hitherto retained Scotland Affairs of in strict alliance with the queen, and had also restored Scotland. domestic tranquillity to that kingdom. But it was not to be expected that the factitious and legal authority of a regent would long maintain itself in a country unacquainted with law and order, where even the natural dominion of hereditary princes so often met with opposition and control. The nobility began anew to break into factions: the people were disgusted with some instances of Morton's avarice: and the clergy, who complained of farther encroachments on their narrow revenue, joined and increased the discontent of the other orders. The regent was sensible of his dangerous situation; and having dropped some peevish expressions, as if he were
willing or desirous to resign, the noblemen of the opposite party, favourites of the young king, laid hold of this concession, and required that demission which he seemed so frankly to offer them. James was at this time but eleven years of age; yet Morton, having secured himself, as he imagined, by a general pardon, resigned his authority into the hands of the king, who pretended to conduct, in his own name, the administration of the kingdom. The regent retired from the government, and seemed to employ himself entirely in the care of his domestic affairs; but, either tired with this tranquillity, which appeared insipid after the agitations of ambition, or thinking it time to throw off dissimulation, he came again to court; acquired an ascendant in the council; and, though he resumed not the title of regent, governed with the same authority as before. The opposite party, after holding separate conventions, took to arms on pretence of delivering their prince from captivity, and restoring him to the free exercise of his government: Queen Elizabeth interposed by her ambassador, Sir Robert Bowes, and mediated an agreement between the factions: Morton kept possession of the government: but his enemies were numerous and vigilant, and his authority seemed to become every day more precarious.
The Count d'Aubigney, of the house of Lenox, cousingerman to the king's father, had been born and educated in France; and being a young man of good address and a sweet disposition, he appeared to the Duke of Guise a proper instrument for detaching James from the English interest, and connecting him with his mother and her relations. He no sooner appeared at Stirling, where James resided, than he acquired the affections of the young monarch; and joining his interest with those of James Stuart, of the house of Ochiltree, a man of profligate manners, who had acquired the king's favour, he employed himself, under the appearance of play and amusement, in instilling into the tender mind of the prince new sentiments of politics and government. He represented to him the injustice which had been done to Mary in her deposition, and made him entertain thoughts either of resigning the crown into her hands,