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her bearing towards Mary, and her love of dress and flattery, but also in the manner in which she behaved towards the various suitors who aspired to her hand. Among these was Philip of Spain, her sister's widower, to whom she sent a civil refusal, which he seems to have deeply resented. When urged by her parliament to marry, Elizabeth had replied that she was espoused to her kingdom, and wished for no fairer remembrance than the in-' scription on her tomb, "Here lies Elizabeth, who lived and died a virgin queen." She was, however, greatly caught by personal beauty in the other sex; and while (as in the case of Lord Burleigh, Sir Francis Walsingham, and Sir Nicholas Bacon,) she chose her ministers for sterling wisdom, she was greatly influenced in the choice of her more personal attendants by the glitter of outward. accomplishment. The person who enjoyed the greatest share of her favour for a long course of years, was Lord Robert Dudley, son of the Duke of Northumberland, who was beheaded in the late reign. He was made Earl of Leicester, and was the handsomest noble in the English court, but by no means a person of unblemished character. The favour and even caresses which Elizabeth bestowed on him, excited his hope of an union, which perhaps she never seriously contemplated. At a later period of her reign she almost pledged herself to the Duke of Anjou, many years her junior; but was persuaded to overcome the feeling which she could not at that time have indulged to the happiness of herself or her kingdom. The weakness with which she courted admiration is amusingly seen in her conduct, when Sir James Melvill was in her court on an embassy from Queen Mary. She danced in his presence, and pressed him to say whether she or the Queen of Scots danced best, and which of them he thought the fairest. He replied that his queen did not dance "so high and disposedly" as Elizabeth; and that Elizabeth was the fairest queen in England, and Mary the fairest queen in Scotland.
On the early death of Francis II., his widow was entreated by her subjects to return to her own kingdom. Elizabeth at first refused to ensure her a safe passage, unless she would renounce her title as Queen of England. She was, however, saluted by the English fleet, when she fell in with it on her way. In Scotland she found the
people so bitterly opposed to any thing resembling popery, that it was with difficulty she could secure the performance of its rites in her own chapel; and her measures and character were regarded with much suspicion. After many discussions about her marriage, in which Elizabeth did not act with candour or kindness, she was united to Henry Darnley, a relative of both queens, whose only other recommendation was his personal beauty. They lived unhappily, and Darnley's jealousy was so raised by the favour which she showed to one Rizzio, a musician, that he conducted several nobles to Mary's private apartments at Holyrood, and assisted them in putting him to death almost in her sight. She was then likely to become a mother, and was soon delivered of a son. The news of that event renewed the jealousy of Elizabeth, who, on hearing of it, gave vent to her feelings by saying, "The Queen of Scots has a fair boy, while I am a barren stock."
A tragedy now took place in Scotland, in which Mary's fair fame must be for ever implicated. She had removed her husband, who was indisposed, to a lone house, which was blown up a few hours after she had herself left it: and the unfortunate prince was found dead in the fields at a little distance. Mary shortly afterwards gave her hand to the Lord Bothwell, of whose share in the murder of Darnley there can be no doubt. The Scottish nobles were roused to action by this dreadful event. Bothwell was forced to fly the kingdom, and Mary was confined in Loch-Leven castle; while her son was proclaimed James VI., under the regency of the Earl of Murray, a natural son of his grandfather. The queen escaped from Loch-Leven, but was defeated at Langside, and resolved to cross the borders, and place herself in Elizabeth's hands. The English council determined that she should be detained; an injustice, which this conduct of Mary, however culpable, could not excuse; and they gained her reluctant consent to an examination into the charges against her, which took place at York. The proofs of her guilt were such, that Elizabeth refused to see her, and she was removed to Tutbury, a seat of Lord Shrewsbury. Here she had communication with the papists in the north, and a rising took place under the Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland, the result of which was that Northumber
land lost his head on the scaffold, and Westmoreland fled to the continent. A plot was then formed for Mary's. marriage with the Duke of Norfolk, who was tempted by this prospect to involve himself in practices, for which he was at last tried and beheaded in the Tower.
There can be no doubt that a conspiracy, in which the court of France was involved, had been formed by the Pope and the King of Spain for the destruction of Elizabeth, the elevation of Mary to the throne, the undoing of all that had been done to purify the faith in England, and the checking of similar movements on the continent. A most atrocious massacre of the Huguenots3, or French Protestants, took place at Paris on the eve of St. Bartholomew, 1572. They were excommunicated persons, it was urged, and might be lawfully put to death. The Queen of England had been excommunicated also, and many. Romanists, therefore, believed it would be a meritorious act to murder her. Monks of the order of the Jesuits (which was established: in this century) arrived in England, and under their influence plots were laid against the queen. The most serious of these was headed by Anthony Babington and six other young men of gentle birth; of whose guilty purpose there can be little doubt that Mary was aware. These conspiracies were detected by the sagacity of Walsingham, and drew forth the affection of the people for their glorious queen. When she appeared in public, they would fall on their knees and invoke blessings on her head. It was at length determined to put Mary on her trial for encouraging these treasons, and the unhappy queen was found guilty by a commission, before which she appeared at Fotheringay, in Northamptonshire, 1586. In no act of her life did Elizabeth show so much hesitation, and (it is to be feared) so much duplicity, as in signing the warrant for Mary's execution. The warrant was at length issued, and Mary was beheaded in the hall of Fotheringay Castle. The scaffold was covered with black.
Mary appeared in
3 Huguenots. The derivation of this word has been much disputed. The most rational one is that which makes it come from the word eignots, confederates, an appellation assumed by the Swiss leaguers at the beginning of the 16th century. About the year 1560 the term Huguenots began to be applied to the French Protestants or leaguers for religion's sake.
a rich dress of silk and velvet, with a long veil on her head, and a crucifix in her hand. The executioners kneeled down and asked her forgiveness. She said she forgave them and all who were concerned in her death. Her behaviour in these trying scenes was marked not only by much dignity and firmness, but also by many indications of sincere piety; and though her memory must ever be loaded with much that is doubtful, yet the judgment of posterity on the treatment which she met with has not been favourable to Elizabeth. The King of Scots made an effort to save his mother, and sent an angry remonstrance after her death: but his threats were disregarded, and his anger was easily allayed. Elizabeth threw the blame on Davison her secretary, whom she imprisoned on a charge of acting without authority, and fined so severely that he was reduced to beggary.
During a great part of this reign a sanguinary struggle against the King of Spain had been going on in the Netherlands, which ended in the independence of the Dutch. Elizabeth assisted them with her troops under the Earl of Leicester, who showed very little ability for his office. In the course of these wars the young Sir Philip Sidney received his mortal wound. He was the flower of the English court, and in mind as well as person seemed to realize the idea of chivalrous and unblemished beauty. When carried from the field, he asked for water; but seeing a wounded soldier look wistfully at it, as he raised it to his lips, he handed it to him, saying, "Thy necessity is greater than mine.”
To avenge himself on Elizabeth for thus aiding his revolted subjects, and also for the execution of Mary, the King of Spain prepared a fleet for the invasion of England, which he named the Invincible Armada. The wealth of Spain and the Indies was exhausted in preparing it; and the approaching struggle was regarded with the deepest interest by the whole of Christendom. The spirit of Elizabeth rose with the trying occasion. Troops were enlisted, and ships supplied by the sea-ports, the command of which was entrusted to Lord Howard of Effingham, assisted by the distinguished seamen, Drake, Hawkins, and Frobisher. A camp was formed at Tilbury, and Elizabeth rode along the lines, animating the soldiers with her
cheering language. She told them, that though she had but the body of a feeble woman, she had the heart of an English king, and would herself bear arms, rather than see her realm dishonoured by any prince in Europe.
It pleased God to scatter this vain-glorious Armada by a storm, in which many ships were lost; and the rest were chased by the English fleet, even to the Northern seas. A small remnant only returned to Spain. The queen gave thanks in St. Paul's for the deliverance of her kingdom from this danger; and the English afterwards attacked the Spanish coasts. The city of Cadiz was taken and burnt by an armament, in which the Earl of Essex and Sir Walter Raleigh bore command. The latter had at one time been much noticed by the queen, and led an expedition to South America, of which he published a remarkable account.
On Leicester's death, the Earl of Essex succeeded to his place in Elizabeth's affections. He was young, popular, and high-spirited; and ventured to behave with greater liberty towards the queen than any other had presumed to take. Having once turned his back on her in contempt, Elizabeth gave him a box on the ear; on which he laid his hand on his sword, and swore he would not have borne such usage from her father. Her affection soon disposed her to forgiveness, and she entrusted him with the government of Ireland, where a rebellion had broken out under the Earl of Tyrone. The weakness of his conduct exposed him to Elizabeth's censure, and she was further displeased when he returned from his government and appeared at court without her permission. Mortified by his reception, he was persuaded to head a foolish insurrection in the streets of London, for which he was committed to the Tower and condemned to death. The mind of Elizabeth long wavered between her lingering affection and just indignation. It has been said that she had given him a ring, to be sent to her whenever he needed her protection; and that the carl entrusted this token to the Countess of Nottingham, who was secretly his enemy, and never delivered it to the queen. Elizabeth was indignant at his neglecting to send the ring, and signed the warrant for his execution. Whatever truth there be in this account, it is certain that the queen fell into a deep melancholy after the death of Essex, and her powers of mind and body gave way. She lay for