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drawn closer and closer by the toils of its betrayer, while every struggle only renders its bonds more galling, its captivity more severe.
"The issue of the trial to which Mary was subjected was such that Elizabeth, in regard to her justice as a queen, could not but acknowledge that the charge of murder laid against Mary was not supported by sufficient evidence; still, as a woman, there were feelings which obtained the mastery over her better judgment, and the temptation of retaining her rival in her power, was too great for her integrity. Thus the unfortunate Queen of Scots was conducted from one place of security to another, each time on some trivial plea, until, at last, she became a helpless captive, and her doom was finally sealed, by the discovery of a succession of conspiracies, in which it was pretended that she had taken part, though no ground was ever established for this suspicion. It seems probable, indeed, that the length of Mary's captivity, with the consequent failure of her health, added to the many other trials to which she was subjected, had subdued her once haughty spirit, and disposed her mind to the influence of religion; for the manner in which she received her last sentence, and her whole conduct during the last scenes of her wretched life, are more like those of a martyr than of a woman still aspiring to a temporal
Mary received the intelligence of her condemnation with resignation, but yet with undaunted firmness. 'That soul,' she said, 'was undeserving of the joys of heaven, which would shrink from the blow of an executioner!' She had not, she said,
'expected that her kinswoman, Elizabeth, would have consented to her death, but she submitted not, the less willingly.' After earnestly requesting the attendance of a priest-this favor, which was granted to the worst criminals, being denied her— she wrote with the utmost composure her last will, as well as many short and affectionate letters to her friends and relations. She then distributed among her attendants the few valuables which had been left to her, accompanying this solemn duty with a request that they would keep them for her sake.
"In this manner was spent the evening before the day appointed for her execution; and when the morning rose, Mary was found still to maintain the same calm and undisturbed appearance. She was brought down to the great hall of the castle where she was confined, and the spectacle which met her view was a scaffold, on which were placed a block and a chair; the whole being covered with a black cloth. The master of her household, Sir Andrew Melville, who had served her long and faithfully, was now permitted to take a last leave of her; which, however, he was unable to do without bursting into loud and bitter lamentations.
"Weep not, my good Melville,' said the queen, 'but rather rejoice; for thou shalt this day see Mary Stewart relieved from all her sorrows.'
"It was with great difficulty she had obtained permission for her maids to be with her on the scaffold; but on her engaging for them that the expression of their grief should be restrained, this indulgence was granted her; and she then seated
herself on the fatal chair, and listened calmly to the reading of her death-warrant.
"When she prepared for her execution, by taking off such parts of her dress as were necessary, her maids being unable to refrain from cries of lamentation, she gently chid them, by reminding them that she had engaged for their silence. At last, with the same composure she quietly laid her head on the block, and the executioner struck the fatal blow. He afterward held up the severed head, according to the custom of the times, while the Dean of Peterborough cried out-So perish all Queen Elizabeth's enemies!'-but there was no answer, save from one single voice; all the rest were choked with sobs and tears."
OR, THE UNWILLING PHILOSOPHER.
LITTLE ARTHUR was passionately fond of flowers, and not of flowers only, but of everything beautiful, of which his inexperienced eye could discover the charm. His ideas of beauty, however, were entirely confined to variety, splendor, and loveliness, either separately or combined; and as there was much that was splendid in some favorite flowers, and much that was lovely in others, the variety he constantly met with in the flower-garden was perfectly enchanting to his young fancy. He used to run wild among the flower-beds, gathering up whole handfuls, from first one pretty group, and then another, and never stopping, nor growing less eager to secure all he could, until his frock was so full it could hold no more, when he would put on a more sober aspect, and come back to his mother, with the often-disappointed hope that she would admire his flowers as much as he did, and not pull them in pieces, and tell their hard names, and ask him if he remembered what she had said about their nature and properties the day before.
To tell the truth of little Arthur, he did not wish to remember what his mother told him about plants in general, for he did not care for any except those which bore pretty flowers, or had deli
cate tendrils, or bright glossy leaves; and he thought it was a great deal happier to sit down upon a sunny bank, and put all that he could gather into one great bunch, and hold them in his little warm hand, than to hear long histories about the orders to which they belonged, the countries where they grew spontaneously, and the services they rendered to man. It is true he did listen a little while one day, when his mother told him that the myrtle, the hawthorn, and the rose, belonged to one class, for they formed three very agreeable associations in his mind-the sweet myrtle, which the gardener had taken such pains to rear on the south side of the wall, the beautiful may that scented all the lanes, and his own favorite rose. They were, even in his fastidious little mind, most fit companions, and he began to think he should not have so much objection to study botany, if all the truths it contained were as pleasant and appropriate as this.
He had been thinking his own thoughts for a long time, while his mother went on telling him what he had much better have been trying to remember, when his delicate taste was so much offended by hearing her say that the snowdrop and the onion were of the same class, that he would not listen a moment longer, but ran away to the farther end of the garden, where he was soon lost behind a bed of roses.
The lectures he heard every day, were becoming to the unwilling philosopher quite a serious evil, but still he loved his mother too well, not to wish her to share in all his enjoyments; and thus, when he found a flower more beautiful than com