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value of the work consists in its thorough and patient research into the original sources of English history. How far it is impartial when treating upon controverted points is a question which neither Catholics nor Protestants are exactly in a position to answer. Dr. Lingard was a sincere and conscientious Catholic; his temperament was calm and judicial ; and if he betrays any bias in favor of his own faith, it is, perhaps, no more than that unconscious bias which always attends genuine conviction. His History, at all events, should be carefully read by every one who is not content with the cheap task of deciding before he hears both sides.
Dr. Lingard also wrote “ The History and Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church,” and some manuals of religious teaching.
Mary of Scotland, after the total defeat of her party at the battle of Langside, in 1568, fled to England, and threw herself upon the protection of Elizabeth, Queen of England, by whom, however, she was kept a prisoner for nineteen years. She was then tried by a commission for engaging in a conspiracy against the life of Elizabeth, and condemned to death. She was beheaded February 8, 1587, at Fotheringay Castle, in Northamptonshire; and the tollowing is a description of her execution.
raised a scaffold, covered with black serge, and surrounded with a low railing. About seven the doors were thrown open; the gentlemen of the county entered with their attendants; and Paulet's* guard augmented the number to between one hundred and fifty and two hundred spectators. Before eight, a message was sent to the queen, who replied that she would be ready in half an hour. At that time, Andrews, the sheriff, entered the oratory, and Mary arose, taking the crucifix from the altar in her right, and carrying her prayer-book in her left hand. Her servants were forbidden to follow; they insisted; but the queen bade them to be content, and turning, gave them her blessing. They received it on their knees, some kissing her hands, others her mantle. The door closed; and the burst of lamentation from those within resounded through the hall.
Mary was now joined by the earl and her keepers, and, descending the staircase, found at the foot Melville, the steward of her household, who, for several weeks, had been excluded from her presence. This old and faithful servant
Sir Amias Paulet was the officer who had the custody of Mary's person.
threw himself on his knees, and wringing his hands, exclaimed, “Ah, madam, unhappy me! was ever a man on earth the bearer of such sorrow as I shall be, when I report that my good and gracious queen and mistress was beheaded in England !” Here his grief impeded his utterance; and Mary replied, “Good Melville, cease to lament; thou hast rather cause to joy than mourn; for thou shalt see the end of Mary Stuart's troubles. Know that this world is but vanity, subject to more sorrow than an ocean of tears can bewail. But I pray thee, report that I die a true woman to my religion, to Scotland, and to France. May God forgive them that have long thirsted for my blood, as the hart doth for the brooks of water. O God, thou art the Author of truth, and Truth itself! Thou knowest the inward chambers of my thoughts, and that I always wished the union of England and Scotland. Commend me to my son, and tell him that I have done nothing prejudicial to the dignity or independence of his crown, or favorable to the pretended superiority of our enemies.” Then, bursting into tears, she said, “Good Melville, farewell”; and, kissing him, “ Once again, good Melville, farewell, and pray for thy mistress and thy queen.” It was remarked as something extraordinary, that this was the first time in her life she had ever been known to address a person with the pronoun “thou.”
The procession now set forward. It was headed by the sheriff and his officers; next followed Paulet and Drury, and the Earls of Shrewsbury and Kent; and lastly came the Scottish queen, with Melville bearing her train. She wore the richest of her dresses, that which was appropriate to the rank of a queen dowager. Her step was firm, and her countenance cheerful. She bore without shrinking the gaze of the spectators, and the sight of the scaffold,
the block, and the executioner, and advanced into the hall with that grace and majesty which she had so often displayed in her happier days, and in the palace of her fathers. To aid her as she mounted the scaffold, Paulet offered his
“I thank you, sir,” said Mary ; “it is the last trouble I shall give you, and the most acceptable service you have ever rendered me.”
The queen seated herself on a stool which was prepared for her. On her right stood the two earls; on the left the sheriff and Beal, the clerk of the council ; in front, the executioner from the Tower, in a suit of black velvet, with his assistant, also clad in black. The warrant was read, and Mary, in an audible voice, addressed the assembly.
She would have them recollect that she was a sovereign princess, not subject to the Parliament of England, but brought there to suffer by injustice and violence. She, however, thanked her God that he had given her this opportunity of publicly professing her religion, and of declaring, as she had often before declared, that she had never imagined, nor compassed, nor consented to, the death of the English queen, nor ever sought the least harm to her person. After her death, many things, which were then buried in darkness, would come to light. But she pardoned from her heart all her enemies, nor should her tongue utter that which might turn to their prejudice.
Here she was interrupted by Dr. Fletcher, Dean of Peterborough, who, having caught her eye, began to preach, and under that cover, perhaps through motives of zeal, contrived to insult the feelings of the unfortunate sufferer. Mary repeatedly desired him not to trouble himself and her. He persisted; she turned aside. He made the circuit of the scaffold, and again addressed her in front. An
end was put to this extraordinary scene by the Earl of Shrewsbury, who ordered him to pray. His
prayer was the echo of his sermon; but Mary heard him not. She was employed at the time in her devotions, repeating with a loud voice, and in the Latin language, passages from the Book of Psalms; and after the dean was reduced to silence, a prayer in French, in which she begged of God to pardon her sins, declared that she forgave her enemies, and protested that she was innocent of ever consenting, in wish or deed, to the death of her English sister. She then prayed in English for Christ's afflicted church, for her son James, and for Queen Elizabeth, and in conclusion, holding up the crucifix, exclaimed, “ As thy arms, O God, were stretched out upon the cross, so receive me into the arms of thy mercy, and forgive
When her maids, bathed in tears, began to disrobe their mistress, the executioners, fearing the loss of their usual perquisites, hastily interfered. The queen remonstrated, but instantly submitted to their rudeness, observing to the earls, with a smile, that she was not accustomed to employ such grooms, or to undress in the presence of so numerous a company
Her servants, at the sight of their sovereign in this lamentable state, could not suppress their feelings; but Mary, putting her finger to her lips, commanded silence, gave them her blessing, and solicited their prayers. She then seated herself again. Kennedy, taking from her a handkerchief edged with gold, pinned it over her eyes ; the executioners, holding her by the arms led her to the block; and the queen, kneeling down, said repeatedly, with a firm voice, “Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit."
But the sobs and groans of the spectators disconcerted the headsman. He trembled, missed his aim, and inflicted a deep wound in the lower part of the skull. The queen remained motionless; and at the third stroke her head was severed from her body. When the executioner held it up, the muscles of the face were so strongly convulsed, that the features could not be recognized. He cried as usual, “ God save Queen Elizabeth.”
“So perish all her enemies !” subjoined the Dean of Peterborough.
So perish all the enemies of the gospel !” exclaimed, in a still louder tone, the fanatical Earl of Kent.
Not a voice was heard to cry amen. Party feeling was absorbed in admiration and pity.
XLVIII. -THE TRIAL OF WARREN HASTINGS.
Tais description of the trial of Warren Hastings is from the review of Gleig's “Life of Hastings,” in the “ Edinburgh Review.” Hastings was governor-general of India from 1774 to 1785; and on his return to England was impeached by the House of Commons, and tried by the House of Lords, for numerous acts of injustice and oppression. The trial began in 1788, and dragged on its slow length till 1795, when he was finally acquitted. The judgments of men entitled to respect are still divided as to the amount of blame to be attached to Hastings. He was a man of great abilities, but there can be no doubt that he was often unscrupulous in his conduct, and cruel in his government. He constantly acted upon the dangerous doctrine, that a good end justifies the use of any means to attain it. He was nearly ruined by the expenses of his trial, which are said to have amounted to nearly four hundred thousand dollars.
HE place was worthy of such a trial. It was the great
hall of William Rufus;* the hall which had resounded with acclamations at the inauguration of thirty kings; the hall which had witnessed the just sentence of Bacon,
* Westminster Hall was built by Willian Rufus, for a banqueting hall.