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liberality of a new prince, began to desert her. And crowds of people hurried towards Scotland, eager to pre-occupy the favour of the successor, or afraid of being too late in paying homage to him.
Meanwhile, the queen's disease increased, and her melancholy appeared to be settled and incurable. Various conjectures were formed concerning the causes of a disorder, from which she seemed to be exempted by the natural cheerfulness of her temper. Some imputed it to her being forced, contrary to her inclination, to pardon the earl of Tyronne, whose rebellion had for many years created her much trouble. Others imagined that it arose from observing the ingratitude of her courtiers, and the levity of her people, who beheld her health declining with most indecent indifference, and looked forward to the accession of the Scottish king, with an impatience, which they could not conceal. The most common opinion, at that time, and perhaps the most probable, was, that it flowed from grief for the earl of Essex. She retained an extraordinary regard for the memory of that unfortunate nobleman; and though she often complained of his obstinacy, seldom mentioned his name without tears. An accident happened soon after her retiring to Richmond, which revived her affection with new tenderness, and imbittered her sorrows. The countess of Nottingham, being on her deathbed, desired to see the queen, in order to reveal something to her, without discovering which, she could not die in peace. When the queen came into her chamber, she told her, that while Essex lay under sentence of death, he was desirous of imploring pardon in the manner which the queen herself had prescribed, by returning a ring, which during the height of his favour she had given him, with a promise that if, in any future distress, he sent that back to her as a token, it should entitle him to her protection; that
lady Scroop was the person he intended to employ in order to present it; that, by a mistake, it was put into her hands instead of lady Scroop's; and that she having communicated the matter to her husband, one of Essex's most implacable enemies, he had forbid her either to carry the ring to the queen, or to return it to the earl. The countess, having thus disclosed her secret, begged the queen's forgiveness; but Elizabeth, who now saw both the malice of the earl's enemies, and how unjustly she had suspected him of inflexible obstinacy, replied, "God may forgive you, but I never can ;" and left the room in great emotion. From that moment, her spirit sunk entirely; she could scarce taste food; she refused all the medicines prescribed by her physicians; declaring that she wished to die, and would live no longer. No entreaty could prevail on her to go to bed; she sat on cushions, during ten days and nights, pensive, and silent, holding her finger almost continually in her mouth, with her eyes open, and fixed on the ground. The only thing to which she seemed to give any attention, were the acts of devotion, performed in her apartment, by the archbishop of Canterbury; and in these she joined with great appearance of fervour. Wasted, at last, as well by anguish of mind, as by long abstinence, she expired without a struggle, on Thursday the 24th day of March, in the seventieth year of her age, and in the forty-fifth of her reign.
Foreigners often accuse the English of indiffer-ence and disrespect towards their princes. But without reason; no people are more grateful than they to those monarchs who merit their gratitude. The names of Edward III. and Henry V. are mentioned by the English of this age with the same warmth as they were by those who shared in the blessings and splendour of their reigns. The
memory of Elizabeth is still adored in England. And the historians of that kingdom, after celebrating her love of her people; her sagacity in discerning their true interest; her steadiness in pursuing it; her wisdom in the choice of her ministers; the glory she acquired by arms; the tranquillity she secured to her subjects; and the increase of fame, of riches, and of commerce, which were the fruits of all these; justly rank her among the most illustrious princes. Even the defects in her character, they observe, were not of a kind pernicious to her people. Her excessive frugality was not accompanied with the love of hoarding; and though it prevented some great undertakings, and rendered the success of others incomplete, it introduced economy into her administration, and exempted the nation from many burdens, which a monarch, more profuse, or more enterprising, must have imposed. Her slowness in rewarding her servants sometimes discouraged useful merit; but it prevented the undeserving from acquiring power and wealth, to which they had no title. Her extreme jealousy of those princes, who pretended to dispute her right to the crown, led her to take such precautions, as tended no less to the public safety, than to her own; and to court the affections of her people, as the firmest support of her throne. Such is the picture which the English draw of this great queen.
Whoever undertakes to write the history of Scotland finds himself obliged, frequently, to view her in a very different, and in a less amiable light. Her authority in that kingdom, during the greater part of her reign, was little inferior to that which she possessed in her own. But this authority, acquired at first by a service of great importance to the nation, she exercised in a manner extremely pernicious to its happiness. By her industry in fo
menting the rage of the two contending factions; by supplying the one with partial aid; by feeding the other with false hopes; by balancing their power so artfully, that each of them was able to distress, and neither of them to subdue the other; she rendered Scotland long the seat of discord, confusion, and bloodshed: and her craft and intrigues, effecting what the valour of her ancestors could not accomplish, reduced that kingdom to a state of dependence on England. The maxims of policy, often little consonant to those of morality, may, perhaps, justify this conduct. But no apology can be offered for her behaviour to queen Mary; a scene of dissimulation without necessity, and of severity beyond example. In almost all her other actions, Elizabeth is the object of our highest admiration; in this, we must allow that she not only laid aside the magnanimity which became a queen, but the feelings natural to
WAS son of Mary, daughter of James V. by Margaret, eldest daughter of Henry VII of England, and, on the failure of the male line to the English throne, his hereditary right remained unquestionable. If the religion of Mary queen of Scots, and the other prejudices contracted against her, had formed any considerable obstacle to her succession; these objections, being entirely personal, had no place with regard to her son. Men also considered, that though the title, derived from blood, had been frequently violated since the Norman conquest, such licenses had proceeded more from force or intrigue, than from any deliberate maxims of government. The lineal heir had
still in the end prevailed; and both his exclusion and restoration had been commonly attended with such convulsions, as were sufficient to warn all prudent men not lightly to give way to such irregularities. If the will of Henry VIII. authorised by act of parliament, had tacitly excluded the Scottish line; the tyranny and caprices of that monarch had been so signal, that a settlement of this nature, unsupported by any just reason, had no authority with the people. Queen Elizabeth too, with her dying breath, had recognized the undoubted title of her kinsman James; and the whole nation seemed to dispose themselves with joy and pleasure for his reception. Though born and educated amidst a foreign and hostile people, men hoped, from his character of moderation and wisdom, that he would embrace the maxims of an English monarch; and the prudent foresaw greater advantages, resulting from a union with Scotland, than disadvantages from submitting to a prince of that nation. The alacrity, with which the English looked towards the successor, had appeared so evident to Elizabeth, that, concurring with other causes, it affected her with the deepest melancholy; and that wise princess, whose penetration and experience had given her the greatest insight into human affairs, had not yet sufficiently weighed the ingratitude of courtiers, and levity of the people.
The crown of England was never transmitted from father to son with greater tranquillity, than it passed from the family of Tudor to that of Stuart. Victory abroad, and tranquillity at home, placed the nation in such flourishing circumstances, that upon his accession, he possessed every advantage that could promise a happy reign. Such the English historian informs us was the fact; but as the character of James is only introduced, because that he first sat upon a Scottish throne, it is suffi