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that the course she proposed was suggested to her privately by one in great place;" by which Leicester was probably meant: but as it was very unsuitable to the rest of the public proceedings, he expressed his dislike of it, and assigned his reasons, with which she seemed satis. fied, and did not show any intention of following the plan she alluded to, or of deviating from her former resolution on the subject. In the afternoon of the day on which this took place, she asked Davison if he had heard from Sir Amias Paulet in answer to his letter, of which a copy has been given: he replied in the negative; but on his going to London a few hours afterwards, he received the following noble refusal from Paulet and Drury, to become the instruments of so infamous a deed.

"To Sir Francis Walsingham, Knt.

SIR,-Your letters of yesterday coming to my hands this present day at five in the afternoon, I would not fail, according to your directions, to return my answer with all possible speed, which shall deliver unto you, great grief and bitterness of mind, in that I am so unhappy to have liven to see this unhappy day, in the which I am required, by direction from my most gracious Sovereign, to do an act which God and the law forbiddeth. My good livings and life are at her Majesty's disposition, and am ready to lose them this next morrow yf it shall so please her; acknowleging that I hold them as of her mere and most gracious favour. I do not desire them, to enjoy them, but with her Highnesses' good liking; but God forbid that I should make so fowle a shipwracke of my conscience, or leave so great a blott to my posteritie, or shed blood without law and warrant; trusting that her Majesty, of her accustomed clemency, will take this my dutiful answer in good part (and the rather, by your good mediation), as proceeding from one who will never be inferior to any Christian subject living in duty, honour, love, and obedience towards his Sovereign. And thus I commit you to the mercy of the Almightie. From Fotheringhay the 2d of February, 1586.

"Your most assured poore friends,

"A. PAVLET,
"D. DRURY."

"Your letter coming in the plural number, seems to be meant as to Sir Drew Dreurye, as to myself; and yet because he is not named in them, neither the letter directed unto him, he forbeareth to make any answer, but subscribeth in heart to my opinion.”

The next morning, which must have been Sunday the 5th of February, Davison had an audience of the queen, and informed her that he received the preceding letter, which he read: on finding that Paulet refused to comply with her wishes, relative to the Queen of Scots, she severely complained of the "daintiness," and, as she called it, "perjury of him and others," who, contrary to their oath of association, threw the weight of the affair on herself. She then rose, and after a turn or two across the room went into the gallery, whither Davison followed her. Here she renewed her observations on the conduct of Paulet, and blamed the "niceness of those precise fellows," as she termed them, who professed great zeal for her safety, but would perform nothing, adding that she could have done very well without them, and named one Wingfield, who with some others would have

undertaken it. Davison again represented how dishonorable, in his opinion, such an act would be; and what a contrary effect it would have to that of preventing the malice and danger which she was so anxious to avoid: he then explained the situation into which she would have brought Sir Amias Paulet and Sir Drue Drury, if from their solicitude for her safety they had executed what she desired; and represented that in such a case she must either have disavowed or justified their conduct: if she justified it, she took the whole affair on herself to her infinite peril and dishonour: if she disavowed it, she would totally have destroyed two gentlemen who had served her with zeal and fidelity; have blasted their reputations, ruined their estates, and entailed infamy on their posterities; and he concluded his remonstrance by strenuously impressing on Elizabeth the injustice and dishonour of such a course towards them. She then alluded to some subjects connected with Walsingham and her other ministers, and on learning that it was time to go to her closet, rose and left him. On the following day, or, as it appears from the other accounts, at Davison's next access to her presence, which was, he thinks, on Tuesday [February 7th], he waited on her to obtain her signature to some letters relative to a dispute between the Lord Deputy of Ireland and her secretary Mr. Fenton, when she commenced an earnest conversation on the danger in which she lived, and remarked that it was 66 more than time" that the affair was concluded, and "swearing a great oath," said that it was shameful in him, and the rest of her council, who were careless of her safety and negligent of their own duty, that it was not already finished, when she had done all which the law required of her; and commanded him to write a sharp letter to Sir Amias Paulet to hasten that event, because the longer it was deferred the more her danger increased. Davison "being somewhat jealous of her drift," and knowing that the council had forwarded the warrant, of which he justly presumed she could not be ignorant, considering how many had united in causing it to be dispatched, cautiously replied, that he imagined such letters were unnecessary, as from the contents of the warrant it was quite sufficient; and that it must be her majesty's own commission under the great seal, and not a private letter from him, which would be Paulet's authority for that purpose. To this Elizabeth said nothing more than that she thought Sir Amias "would look for it," and one of her ladies then entering to inquire her pleasure about her dinner, she ended the conversation.'

The facts of Davison being afterwards tried, disgraced, and doomed to poverty and contempt, are too well known to need any further notice here: we take leave of Mr. Nicolas, with thanks for the trouble he has taken in illustrating this subject, and a very sincere wish that his next labour may be more worthy of his powers,

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