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ed his resentment, and upon his return to his native country, he headed the reformers, and strongly opposed the interests of popery.
The variety of talents in Dr. Robertson and Dr. Stuart, will be perceived in their descriptions of the same character.
Of the Earl of Arran, Dr. Stuart says, "Na-> ture had not qualified him for a high and difficult station. His soul had a womanish sensibility and softness. He was unfit for the bustle of business, and the ardour of turbulent times. His views were circumscribed; and he did not compensate for this defect by any firmness of purpose. He was too indolent to gain partisans, and too irresolute to fix them. Slight difficulties filled him with embarrassment, and great ones overpowered him. His enemies, applying themselves to the feverish timidity of his disposition, betrayed him into weaknesses; and the esteem which his gentleness had procured him in private life, was lost in the contempt attending his public conduct, which was feeble, fluctuating, and inconsistent."
MARY OF GUISE,
THE QUEEN REGENT,
DIED when the affairs of her government were in a disastrous condition. Of her, Dr. Robertson says, she was the instrument rather than the cause of involving Scotland in those calamities under which it groaned at that time. No princess ever possessed qualities more capable of rendering her administration illustrious, or her people happy. Of much discernment, and no less address; of great intrepidity, and equal prudence; gentle and humane, without weakness; zealous for her reli
gion, without bigotry; a lover of justice, without rigour. One circumstance, however, and that too the excess of a virtue rather than any vice, poisoned all these great qualities, and rendered her government unfortunate, and her name odious.
Devoted to the interest of France, her native country, and attached to the Princes of Lorrain, her brothers, with most passionate fondness, she departed, in order to gratify them, from every maxim which her own wisdom would have approved. She outlived in a great measure that reputation and popularity which had smoothed the way to the highest station in the kingdom; and many examples of falsehood, and some of severity, in the latter part of her administration, totally alienated from her the affections of a people who had once placed in her an unbounded confidence. But even by her enemies, these unjustifiable actions were imputed to the facility, not to the malignity of her nature; and while they taxed her brothers and French councillors with rashness and cruelty, they still allowed her the praise of prudence and of lenity. A few days before her death, she desired an interview with the Prior of St. Andrews, the Earl of Argyle, and other chiefs of the Congregation. To them she lamented the fatal issue of those violent counsels which she had been obliged to follow; and, with the candour natural to a generous mind, confessed the error of her administration, and begged forgiveness of those to whom. they had been hurtful: but at the same time, she warned them, amidst their struggles for liberty and the shock of arms, not to lose sight of the loyalty and subjection due to their sovereign. The remainder of her time she employed in religious meditations and exercises. She even invited the attendance of Willox, one of the most eminent among the reformed preachers, listened to his in
structions with reverence and attention, and prepared for the approach of death with a decent for titude.
The character of the Queen Regent is drawn by Dr. Stuart in the following manner.
"Amidst this distress and inquietude, the Queen Dowager, wasted with a lingering distemper, and with grief, expired in Edinburgh. Religious persecution, and a settled scheme to overturn the liberties of Scotland, while they rendered her administration odious and detestable, have obscured the lustre of her virtues. The treacherous views and policy of France serve to explain, but cannot excuse the wicked counsels she embraced, and her uniform practices of dissimulation. She allowed herself to be overcome and directed by the obsti, nacy of the Duke of Guise, the unprincipled res finements of the Cardinal of Lorrain, and the imperiousness of both. Misfortunes to herself and to Scotland were the cruel consequences of her facili ty and submission. If she had trusted to her own abilities, her government, it is probable, would have been distinguished by its popularity, and her name have been transmitted to posterity with unsullied honours. Humane and affectionate in her temper, it was naturally her wish to rule with a woman's gentleness. Her judgment was extensive, her mind vigorous. She could com prehend a system, and act upon it with undeviating exactness and unshaken fortitude. The inclina tions, characters, and humours of her people were fully known to her. She could accommodate herself with ease to the Scotish manners; and the winning graces of her demeanour gave an aid and assistance to her address and penetration. In dis. tributing justice, she was impartial and severe. In her court she was careful to uphold the royal dignity. In private life, she was civil, amiable, and
magnificent. The propension which the example of her husband had promoted was repressed by her decency and moderation. The excesses of an amorous monarch seem even to have induced her to adopt a more than common reserve and circumspection. Though a widow, at an age when the soft passions have their full power, no suspicion was ever entertained of her chastity, and her maids of honour recommended themselves to her by modesty, piety, and virtue. Her various endowments, and the many excellent qualities which gave her distinction, excite a regret that she should have been disgraced so completely by a frail obse quiousness to French counsels: yet for this fatal error, it is some compensation that her repentance was severe and painful. A few days before her death, she invited to her the Duke of Chatelherault, the Lord James Stuart, and the Earl of Argyle, to bid them a last adieu. She expressed to them her sorrow for the troubles of Scotland, and made it her earnest suit, that they would consult their constitutional liberties by dismissing the French and English from their country, and that they would preserve a dutiful obedience to the queen their sovereign. She professed an unlimited forgiveness of all injuries which had been done to her, and entreated their pardon for the offences she had committed against them. In token of her kindness and charity, she then embraced them by turns, and, while the tear started in her eye, presented to them a cheerful aspect. Her soul, melting with tenderness, and devesting itself of its prejudices, weaknesses, and hatreds, seemed to anticipate the purity of a better world. After this interview, the short portion of life which remained to her was dedicated to religion; and, that she might allure the Congregation to be compassionate to her Popish subjects and her French adherents, she
flattered them by calling John Willox, one of the most popular of their preachers, to assist and com fort her by his exhortations and prayers. He made long discourses to her about the abominations of the mass; but she appears to have died in the communion of the Romish church; and her body being transported to France, was deposited in the monastery of St. Peter, at Rheims in Champagne, where her sister Renée was an abbess."
MARY Queen of Scots was born in the royal palace of Linlithgow, on the 8th of December, 1542,* a few days before the death of her father James V. At the age of six years Mary was conveyed to France, where she received her education in the court of Henry II. The opening powers of her mind, and her natural dispositions, afforded early hopes of capacity and merit. While Mary resided in the French court, her charms made a deep impression on the mind of the Dauphin. It was in vain that the Constable Montmorency opposed their marriage with all his influence. The importance of her kingdom to France, and the power of her uncles the Princes of Lorrain, were more than sufficient to counteract his intrigues. The French king applied to the Parliament of Scotland, which appointed eight of its members to represent the whole body of the nation at the marriage of the queen; and in the instructions of parliament to those commissioners, they employed every precaution which prudence could dictate, for preserving the liberty and independence of the nation, and for securing the succession of the crown in the house of Hamilton. The marriage was according ly celebrated with great pomp. Henry II. dying