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out her lonely widowhood in a province, without favour, and deserted by her followers. The catholics of her own country early sent to her John Lesley, afterwards bishop of Ross, a minister of ability, an elegant scholar, and an adherent of devoted fidelity, with earnest adIvice that she should land on the north-east coast of Scotland, where the house of Gordon, a powerful family of zealous catholics, might assemble their vassals, and accompany her to Edinburgh, with a force sufficient for the restoration of religion and royalty.
The confidential ambassador of the protestants was James Stuart, prior of St. Andrew's, a natural son of James V. by Margaret Erskine (a daughter of the noble family whose title to the earldom of Mar was afterwards recognised), a person surpassed in ability by no man of his age; and, if not spotless, yet with a public life as unstained as it was perhaps possible to bear through scenes so foul. He urged the necessity of her return to Scotland, mainly with a view to place her in the hands of protestants; but also because he was convinced that her return to her dominions and a compromise with the prevalent religion were the only means by which she could regain any portion of power and securely retain the crown.
Her uncles, who were still more politicians than catholics, saw the necessity of temporising, and distrusted the advice of zealots: they acquiesced in lord James's counsel for the moment, content to adjourn the subjugation of Scotland till all Europe should again bend under the papal yoke. The French officers who had served in Scotland warned the queen against trusting to the strength of the royalists, apprised her of the universality of the defection, urged the necessity of complying with the temper of her people, and advised her to place her confidence in lord James, and to em
sister dochter. So the queen-mother was content to be quyt of the house of Guise, and for their cause she had a great mislyking of our queen." -Melville's Mem. 86. ed. Edin. 1827.
ploy Maitland of Lethington and Kirkaldy of Grange, in spite of the inconstancy which belonged to both.
As soon as Mary had determined on her return to her kingdom, she despatched D'Oysell to London to ask a safe-conduct for the minister to pursue his journey into Scotland; and for the queen of Scots herself, either on her voyage from France to Scotland, or on a journey to her own dominions from any English port where she should choose to land.* Elizabeth delivered her answer to him at a crowded court with a loud voice, and in a tone of emotion, refusing both requests; and adding, that the queen of Scots should ask no favours till she had redeemed her pledged faith by the ratification of the treaty of Edinburgh. "Let your queen ratify the treaty, and she shall experience on my part, either by sea or by land, whatever can be expected from a queen, a relation, and a neighbour." When advices were received of D'Oysell's failure, Throgmorton, the English minister, was admitted to an audience of Mary, in which she displayed a spirit and calmness probably unexampled among beautiful queens of nineteen. Having waved her hand as a signal to the company to withdraw to another part of the room, she said to Throgmorton: "My lord ambassador-I know not how far I may be transported by passion, but I like not to have so many witnesses of my passion as the queen your mistress was content to have when she talked to M. D'Oysell. There is nothing that doth more grieve me than that I did so forget myself as to desire from the queen a favour that I had no need to ask. You know that, both here and elsewhere, I have friends and allies. It will be thought strange among all princes and countries, that she should first animate my subjects against me; and now that I am a widow, hinder my return to my own country. I ask her nothing but friendship. I do not trouble her state, or practise with her subjects; yet I know there be in her realm, that be inclined enough to hear offers.
A copy of D'Oysell's written application, hitherto unpublished, is in the State Paper Office, dated 11th July, 1561.
I know also that they be not of the same mind that she is of, neither in religion nor in other things. Your queen says I am young, and lack experience. I confess I am younger than she is. During my late lord and husband's time, I was subject to him; and now my uncles, who are counsellors of the crown of France, deem it unmeet to offer advice on the affairs between England and Scotland. I cannot proceed in this matter until I have the counsel of nobles and states of mine own realm, which I cannot have till I come among them. I never meant harm to the queen my sister. I should be loath either to do wrong to others, or to suffer so much wrong to myself.” * The genuineness of this eloquent speech, one of the most remarkable specimens of guarded sarcasm and of politely insinuated menace, is indisputable; for it is reported by a pen that would not have adorned it. After this conversation, James Stuart, commendator of the monastery of St. Colmt, was despatched to London. He left Abbeville on the 8th of August, with instructions more friendly than Mary's conversation would have led Elizabeth to expect. latter princess, in her letter of the 16th to the queen of Scots, continues to say, "We require no benefit of you but that you will perform your promise; neither covet we any thing but what is in your own power, as queen of Scotland, that which indeed made peace between us; yea, that without which no amity can continue between us. Nevertheless, perceiving by the report of the bringer that you mean forthwith, on your coming home, to follow the advice of your council in Scotland, we are content to suspend our conceit of unkindness, and do assure you, this being performed, to live in neighbourhood with you quietly in the knot of friendship. It seemeth that report hath been made to you, that we had sent out our admiral with our fleet to hinder your passage. Your servants know how false that is. We have only, at the desire of the king of Spain,
*Throgmorton to queen Elizabeth. + Keith's Historical Catalogue, 386.
Paris, 26th July 1561. Cabala, 335
sent two or three small barks to sea, in pursuit of certain Scottish pirates." * These last words must be considered as substantially an assurance that orders had been given to the commander of the English vessels equivalent to a safe-conduct. A breach of such an as
surance would have been as infamous as that of the most formal instrument. The law of nations, which has the imperfection of being destitute of tribunals to decide its disputes, and of force to carry judgments into execution, has, at least, some compensation in being free from pettifogging, and knows little of the distinction between formal and informal instruments.
Though Mary surpassed her cousin both in vivacity and address, Elizabeth had undoubtedly the better cause; and in her last letter showed more prudence. When asked for a favour, she required the payment of a debt of justice. Mary would have forfeited no fair advantage by ratifying the renunciation. Whatever influence Mary might gain in England by declining to renounce a present claim to the crown superior to that of Elizabeth, was evidently inconsistent with her professed desire of peace, and could only be kept up at the expense of the quiet and safety of the English nation. By the renunciation of the claim to possession, on the other hand, the succession of the house of Stuart, after the death of Elizabeth without issue, according to the hereditary nature of the monarchy, was left inviolate. The two claims to possession and succession, so far from being naturally connected, were practically inconsistent. The claim to possession asserted by the arms supposed Elizabeth to be an usurper the right of succession recognised her as a lawful sovereign.†
The queen of Scots began her voyage about the 14th
* Elizabeth to Mary, 16th Aug. 1561. Robertson's Appendix, No. VI. + Dr. Robertson, a judicious and accurate historian, has argued this case as if the consequence acquired by Mary's pretensions to England were not unlawful; and has confounded the right of succession with the claim to possession. Notwithstanding his general correctness, and his uniform solicitude for truth, he has suffered the words "in all times to come" to slide into his summary of the renunciation, which may seem to favour his argument; though they would, in truth, be of little moment if they were part of the treaty. Robertson, ii. 49. Ed. 1802. 8vo.
of August, 1561: she had been accompanied to Calais by six of her princely uncles, and attended thither by a brilliant company of the lords and ladies of the French court. A smaller number followed her to her kingdom; among whom, fortunately for posterity, was Peter de Bourdeille, lord of Brantome, whose artless and picturesque narrative has furnished to historians the materials of a story which for three centuries has touched the hearts of mankind.
At the moment when the queen was leaving the harbour of Calais, and just before the oars of her galley were first dipped into sea water, a vessel perished before her eyes, from disregarding the soundings and currents, and the greater part of the mariners were lost. On beholding this, Mary exclaimed, "Good God, what an omen for a voyage!" When they had cleared the harbour a breeze sprung up, so that they made sail, and the oars of the galley slaves ceased from their noise. The queen, leaning on both arms, stood on the poop, and, amidst the big tears which fell from her fine eyes, looked back on the port and country which she was quitting, repeating, "Farewell, France! farewell, France!" She continued in this mournful state for some hours, till it waxed dark; and she was entreated to go into the cabin, and eat a little supper. She exclaimed, weeping more plentifully and more bitterly, "It is now, my dear France, that I lose sight of thee: I shall never see thee more." A bed was prepared for her on the poop, where she had some interrupted and disturbed sleep. The steersman awakened her at break of day; for so she had ordered him to do if the French coast were then in view. As it disappeared, she redoubled her farewell ejaculations, exclaiming, "Farewell, France! it is over; I shall never see thee again:"-so poignant were the feelings inspired by the affections, the fears, and the recollections of a royal beauty, whose days of magnificence and power were now closed. Let it not be forgotten that the experience of unwonted sorrow disposed her to pity: she did not allow a slave in the gallies to