« EdellinenJatka »
friends. Bothwell had fully cleared himself of the accusation of any participation in the murder of Darnley, and his first illegal marriage could be no obstacle to the second. Foreign Courts were by no means convinced by these representations. At all events, the happiness and tranquillity of the Queen entirely vanished on the day of her marriage.(*) Bothwell, indulging the impulses of his rough disposition, or despising Mary's weakness, tyranized over her in various ways, and, in his jealousy, would not permit her to look upon or be looked at by any one; for he well knew that she loved her pleasure, and had passed her time like any other, devoted to the amusements of the world.(*) Not a day passed that she was not in tears, nay, in her despair, she was near to committing suicide. This dreadful situation was the more natural as the report, that she was an accomplice in the murder of Darnley, was so evidently confirmed by her sinful conduct, and daily became more general. (*) When she appeared in public, she was no longer received with acclamations, but with a dead silence, which was a plain indication of the temper of the people's mind. In less than one month after the marriage, on the 12th and 14th of June, 1567, a great part of the nobles declared that Bothwell's divorce from his first wife was as null as the new marriage, which had been preceded by the criminal carrying off the Queen, and as his acquittal of the charge of having murdered the King, extorted by intrigue and violence. The confederacy of the nobles was concluded for the Queen and her son, against the criminal Earl. Mary's counter declarations were not attended to, her power diminished every hour, while that of her adversaries increased. Bothwell having for the second time refused a challenge, was compelled to fly, and Mary, after fruitless proposals for an arrangement, to deliver herself up into the hands of the confederates. On her way to Edinburgh through Lisleburgh, the Queen by no means endeavoured to satisfy her adversaries, and to gain them by mildness, but on the contrary, spoke of nothing but her determination to have them all hanged. This was the more imprudent as the people were not inclined in her favour, and some who pressed forward loaded her with insults, and displayed before her a flag, on which was painted the dead body of Darnley and her son, the latter kneeling and praying “Lord, judge and avenge my cause.” The tears and justification of Mary made now as little impression as the preceding burst of anger; so fully were the people convinced of the irregularity of her life, and of her crimes. But there was a diversity of opinions on the difficult question, what should now be done with the Queen? Some thought Mary should be restored to power, on condition that she would separate from Bothwell, resume the proceedings against the murderers of Darnley, and firmly establish the Protestant religion. The second opinion was that she should abdicate, and be sent to England or France: a third, that she should be kept in perpetual imprisonment: but the fourth, that she should be condemned to death; for the divine law, without any exception in favour of crowned heads, punished adultery and murder with death.(") As soon as Elizabeth was informed of the rising of the confederated Nobles against Mary, she was extremely angry, and could not be prevailed upon to conceal these sentiments. Every sovereign, she said, must oppose so dangerous an example; and an English army would probably have been sent to Mary's support, had it not been feared that France would interfere in the same manner, or even that Mary's death might be the consequence. Elizabeth advised her not to take any vengeance of her enemies; to punish Darnley's murderers; to avoid all offensive actions, and to send her son for safety to England. On the other hand she seriously reprimanded the Barons for their rebellion, which was subversive of all public order, required that Mary should be set at liberty, and gave her opinion of the measures to be taken; which on the whole coincided with the first and most favorable of the above plans, a conditional restoration of Mary to power. It is probable that it would have
been carried into effect, had not Mary positively refused a separation from Bothwell; nay, as Throckmorton relates in a letter to Elizabeth, declared that she would rather give up her crown and kingdom, and follow him as a simple demoiselle, than sacrifice him to his enemies. In addition to this, several letters and sonnets addressed by Mary to Bothwell, fell into the hands of the Confederates, on the 20th of June, and were produced against her. After the Queen had arrived at the Castle of Lochleven, she was called upon to renounce the Government. Mary answered she would rather lose her life, and Throckmorton, the English Ambassador, declared, that a renunciation obtained by force was null and void. But when Earl Lindsay said a rigorous confinement will then be soon followed by something worse, she, on the 24th of July, signed the act of renunciation with tears, and recommended Earl Murray, as Regent for her infant son James, who was thereupon crowned King, on the 29th of July. While many looked upon all these events as a criminal rebellion,the majority considered them as the restoration of a respectable government and of true religion, and a deliverance of Scotland from shame and disgrace. Bothwell, abandoned by everybody, fled to the Orkney Islands, carried on piracy on the coast of Norway,+was taken prisoner, lost his reason, and died in ten years an object of universal detestation.(")
The situation of Mary herself was so critical, that several of her counsellors declared, in July, 1567, that she could not be saved, unless she went to England, and trusted to the support of Elizabeth. Far from eagerly acceding to this plan, Throckmorton, Elizabeth's Ambassador, states the reasons for which it might be injurious even to his own Queen, who, however, wrote to him, on the 6th of August, that the conduct of the Barons to Mary was contrary to all order, and incompatible with the duty of subjects; on the 29th of August, she approved of the union of Hamilton and other nobles, in favour of the imprisoned Queen, and caused the most serious representations to be made to her adversaries, calling on them to adopt a moderate and mild course of proceeding.
Meantime Murray had returned from France to Edinburgh, on the 11th of August. After he had made himself fully acquainted with the state of affairs, it appeared to him to be injurious, nay, impossible, to restore Mary; he therefore on the 20th of August, but not without the most serious reflection, took on himself the guardianship of the young King, which was offered at the same time, by his half-sister and by the confederate Barons, exerted himself to restore order, strictly enforced the observance of the laws, and summoned the Parliament to meet on the 15th of December, to examine, and to confirm or reject, what had been done. Mary's